apham17

Andrew Pham

Hi, I'm Andrew.

Final Project – Mom’s paintings

For my mom, painting has been a powerful way for her to cope with her grief and anxiety. I wanted to do my final on her work because I think the obstacles she’s had to overcome are quite difficult and the creations she’s made through this outlet for her anxiety are something I admire.

 

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Final Project Draft

I’m still not satisfied with the editing I’ve done so far, but here’s what I’ve got.

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  1. Andrew, I really like what you did here. It’s intimate, you have some great shots, and the music is a nice touch, especially near the ending where the subject is talking about her husband’s guitar playing. Very touching.

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Video Essay

For my video essay project, I talk about the many different minimalistic aspects of the game “Shadow of the Colossus”

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HyperCinema Blog Post

The most interesting HyperCinema works on the list to me was the last dream project. The use of music, imagery, and text all combined to create a unique and sometimes unsettling experience. In this project, the music choice was ambient and I think at some points in the track chanting/humming can be heard which I think is fitting the surreal nature of this project. The use of imagery was also very creative and supplemental to the experience. It consistently used a parallax effect where the more unsettling objects were in the closer view like the mask and old rocking chair. The text is also creatively used in conjunction with the imagery such as having text placed behind or around important objects. I would say this project kind of works as a narrative, but it does rely on you doing some of your own detective work to get through certain parts of the story and I can see how that could potentially be a hindrance to some audiences. There are some cinematic aspects, like how some scenes could be attributed to various cinematic shots like medium shots or long shots. Also, there is one point in the experience when there is a cut to black which I would consider cinematic.

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Cinema Writing Blog Post / Final Project Idea

Video essays are something that I’ve passively watched before on youtube without really realizing there is a whole community of people that are dedicated to content like this. I think that video essays have the potential to be more impactful than written essays in that you can have the visual evidence to supplement your argument. The “How Does an Editor Think and Feel?” video uses a lot of interesting techniques to justify their argument and one thing I really appreciate in his analysis/evidence is that he replays, pauses and slows down evidence at one point in the video (2:38). This makes the pacing of his analysis seem natural to how long an average viewer might need to grasp what the evidence is trying to show. On top of this, the video also uses text description which I think is appropriately used as a descriptive measurement (3:30). The combination of visual evidence, use of text, narration, etc are effective when the evidence is strong and the different examples are cohesive to the argument.

I would probably structure a video essay a bit like a film and how I might in a written essay. How I’d structure it like a film is through the composition of my footage. I’d start off with a footage that would be substantial enough to capture initial interest, then I would use footage I could use to support my argument, and then finally footage that could be used both as a conclusion to the video and that can reinforce my argument. My actual narration would be structured like how I would in a written essay: Intro/hook, evidence/analysis, and conclusion.


My final project will be on my mom and how painting has been an outlet for her anxiety. I will likely prepare this in a documentary format where I’ll probably capture a lot of raw footage that I condense down. Two modules I will be prioritizing for this project are visual evidence and framing. I don’t think I’ll have any trouble getting footage for this project other than actually recording her in the act of painting.

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Job Profile Final Cut

Many young people face the dilemma of not knowing what they want to do in life. College is not for everybody and my friend Sam tells me how he carved his own path. In a lot of modern education we are taught a very conventional path towards success, but for Sam, he shows that success can found in other places.

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Networked Cinema Blog Post

I think that being able to have a platform where audience members can interact with the social media to uncover details of a show is quite interesting. Being able to let the audience do their own detective work before any plot progresses just based on social media posts could definitely give viewers a sense of accomplishment. This kind of reminds of the show Westworld on HBO where the social media team would post these clever subliminal/hidden messages on their website to hint to later points in the show and people online would post about all their discoveries and connect the dots. One downside to this kind of storytelling in the case of Skam, is that I think it could potentially enable unhealthy behaviors online like social media stalking, snooping, jumping to conclusions about people, etc. I definitely can see how adding social media for interactivity can add to the depth of a character or reveal something you wouldn’t have seen in the primary medium, but I think it can also be a bit too reflective of obsessive tendencies in social media. I also think that networked cinema is kind of constrained because of it naturally being like an event. You can only get the unique experience of uncovering these hints if you watch it at the time of release and interact with the media at the time of its release, otherwise, you can’t really get that fresh experience. I think pretty much any mystery typed series would work well with a networked interactive format so that users could uncover secrets for themselves.

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Job Profile Rough Cut

This is the rough cut job profile of my friend Sam who works as an electrician for Just-in-time electrical. There are still holes in the video that I will fill in with footage, but this is how it will be structured for the most part.

This article has 8 Comments

  1. I like all of the angles of footage you have for this project. I couldn’t hear anything though. Are you still working on the sound? Anyway, great job.
    Joshua

  2. So many great shots in this! I liked the story a lot. My only cc is I didn’t care for the blam]nk spaces (black) If you’re going for a dramatic effect maybe make them shorter?

  3. Hi! First off, I think you have a great start here. I love the background music – it isn’t too distracting but it adds a nice vibe to your video. The shots of him sitting down for the interview are also really nice with the soft, blurred background. One suggestion I have is to maybe consider a different opening shot/sequence. What you have now works, but perhaps showing him at work, like a close up of his hands, might be more visually interesting? Your audio sounds good too, but I might just increase the volume of it. I also think the end is a little long – after he stops talking, the screen is just black, so maybe either add credits (like his name, give credit for the music, etc.) or just shorten it. But overall, great job!

  4. Hey Andrew! I like the insight you’ve provided here in the life of one of your friends. Good choice and use of the musical track. I can see where you’re planning on adding more video shots.

    As a suggestion, and as Will suggested to me for my video, you may also want to add some of the natural sound that comes from Sam doing his work, which will allow viewers to connect more to the person you’re interviewing. (I have to work on that, myself). But you did a really good job here.

  5. Hello Andrew,

    I really liked your subject material. I have always found the electrician trade very interesting. I think there could be some things to work through with this clip however. I noticed some black spots during the video, I don’t know what happened, or if you are trying to go for an effect,, but that is something I noticed that could be improved. I did like the different shots though of the electrician working with wiring and driving to work.

    Brendan Reardon

  6. Andrew, This is the same version I saw in class. It is great. I like the framing and the editing. The problem is the sound. I want to hear wires snipped and things dropping. The music is too overpowering. Just use music for empty moments.

  7. I love the variety of shots and visual evidence you have. The opening shot with the lights on the ceiling and the one of the ladder from below really stick out to me. There are a couple places where the lighting or focus gets weird (around 0:13 and 1:07) but they’re really minimal and would probably be tricky to fix without reshooting or simply covering those parts with footage. Can’t wait to see how it comes together with the blank spaces filled!

  8. I would agree the music is a bit overpowering, but the actual song works for the most part ( a bit somber at first). The visual evidence works, and its shot really well. I would say the begging could be different, I’m not sure how, but maybe something that grabs your attention a little more? Just a thought. Great rough cut!

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Hybrid Space

Since halloween is coming up, I wanted to make something kind of creepy by layer compositing some old duracell ads and a clip from max headroom to make it look like it’s playing over my tv. I also composited a secondary layer of other creepy videos as well.

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Hybrid Cinema Blog Post

I think the most interesting of the listed works for me was probably the “No Feeling is Final” video. This video uses a variety of different image manipulation techniques on what appears to be mostly still photography.

 

The Manovich reading discusses all the different editing techniques such as “re-ordering sequences of images in time, compositing them together in space, modifying parts of an individual image” and this video most likely uses all of these in a spatial montage (Manovich 8). The many editing techniques specific to this video are color filters, animated graphics over some shots, compositing shots over another, etc. This is all done in a 4×14 spatial montage which gives the video plenty of freedom to be more dynamic than traditional cinema.

 

In one of the video’s Manovich talks about all the variability in a spatial montage he was analyzing. He mentions how “sometimes all the clips are paused, and only one clip is playing” and “at other times two or three different clips play at once” (Manovich 19). The “No Feeling is Final” video does this at multiple points in the video except with still photography, and also with the use of digital effects like translating the image position, changing the color, and compositing the photos over each other at times. Sometimes this is done to juxtapose different photographs, sometimes to give off the illusion of an actual moving video, and then eventually it obscures into just colors at the end.

 

While I would like to create a hybrid cinema similar to this, I would probably go for something a bit less complex because some of the animation and editing that was done in this video looks like it took an incredible amount of time and hard work. I primarily would like to use the color filtering, position translating, and overlay compositing used in this video to create some sort of hybrid cinema.

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Spatial Montage

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  1. This was good. I almost wonder if spatial montage would be useful for explainer/tutorial videos? The multiple perspectives help communicate to the audience the multi-perspective aspects of different tasks. One thing I might change is the blur on some shots. I would keep everything in focus. I could be wrong though.

    Brendan Reardon

  2. Yeah the blur was probably unnecessary since it wasn’t really used in any other shot. I definitely agree that spatial montages with multiple perspectives could be used for plenty of tutorials, especially ones that require a lot of attention to detail.

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Visual Evidence Blog Post

I think the story I would try to pursue is one focused on growth and trying to be positive about the future for both the community and the ecology. To achieve this I would only briefly discuss the origin of the incident since it has basically become common knowledge around here, but have a large a majority focus on those in the community that are trying to stay hopeful in rebuilding their communities and for an ecological rebound.

To achieve the brief beginning portion of the story, I would probably use external footage of the fire destroying all the homes and the gorge as well as the aftermath with an interviewee narrating over. I would choose someone who has been a victim of the incident and I would have them narrate over that footage and have them discuss how it has personally impacted them. I think having them explain the destruction anecdotally and matching the shots to their descriptions would make the visual evidence be more effective.

The reading talks about the importance of shooting “people doing what they do” and to “plan the location so that it becomes a part of the evidence” (Hampe 98). To incorporate these stylistic choices, I would transition the shot to the interviewee on-location of their current living situation while they are doing their daily routine with the narration still being overlayed. Ideally, I would seek out an interviewee that I know could demonstrate strong behavioral evidence of staying positive as the reading mentions that “behavioral cues decide whether or not to believe an interviewee” (Hampe 117).  If possible I would try to get footage of the interviewee in a positive mood while also trying to rebuild or adjust to their changed life.

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Post-Continuity Editing Blog Post

Although Run Lola Run is a contemporary movie whose age has become quite apparent, it stands out in an era that was quickly transitioning over from analogue to digital. One interesting subtopic of digital film that Rombes talks about is the theory of convergences which is defined as the exploitation of “the database archive to select images from separate times and places that seem haunted by each other” (Rombes 24). I think the theory of convergence is a facet of digital film that Run Lola Run uses abundantly. It is seen extensively in her encounters with strangers and each of these strangers are seen with quick glimpses into their potential futures.

Run Lola Run actually uses a variety of different editing techniques of which the most discernible is its use of nonlinear editing which is briefly discussed in the Nicholas Rombes’ readings. Most movies follow the traditional style of editing and “traditional videotape editing is by definition, linear” (Rombes 127). Run Lola Run’s use of nonlinear editing is purposeful for the narrative because the story is about ideal outcomes beginning with two other unsuitable outcomes so going back to previous points in time is necessary.

The most notable ways that Run Lola Run uses the classical Hollywood style is through its exposition and ultimate closure. The movie makes it fairly explicit what the goal is which is to get enough money to pay off Manni’s affiliates. The closure of the final narrative loop is probably the most safe and Hollywood aspect of the film which results in Lola and Manni being debt free and with plenty of money to spare.

Time manipulation is the primary feature of Run Lola Run and the way that the movie experiments is through memory and time shifting. Rombe’s book actually discusses Run Lola Run as an example of experimenting with memory as Lola “repeats her quest to secure money the save her boyfriend” (Rombes 209). Time shifting is another technique discussed in the book that is said to be a “signatory gesture of digital technologies” that “allow us to experience and shape time in ways that equate to the nonlinear nature of the stories we consume” (Rombes 210). The way that Run Lola Run uses time-shifting is seen at multiple points in the side character’s flashbacks and flashforwards.

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Temporal Montage

I’m still not entirely sure if I’m doing this project correctly, but my intent was to make a metric montage. The theme of the video was around procrastinating on written assignments, something that I’ve been a victim to countless times throughout my education. Each clip is around 4 seconds and I was trying to evoke the tension that most students feel when they procrastinate.

This article has 5 Comments

  1. Nice, this is something I think we all can relate to as students. I like the different angles you use for each shot (from the close up to the medium long shot that shows you at the computer from behind). Nice setup by the way.

  2. Hello Andrew,

    I think your idea is a very good one. There is a lot you could with a “procrastination” short film. The framing is spot on. One thing you could do to create more tension, like you were saying your description, would be to make faster cuts. You could make each cut go by faster and faster until you hit the midnight mark. Just a thought. I like the video overall.

    Brendan

    1. Agreed, I think that would definitely make the tension more clear if the clips got shorter as the video progresses. I was actually considering making each clip a bit shorter like you recommended, but I was a bit concerned about my videos duration being too short. Anyways, thanks for the feedback!

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Loops Blog Post

 

Immediately when I read the criteria for this blog post, I thought of this gif from Hitchcock’s Psycho I’d seen a few times on the internet.  When I first saw this gif I was really creeped out by it and I think it could be used in a narrative similarly. It could probably be used most effectively as a follow up to a scene with slow pacing. The slow pacing could throw the viewer off and scare the viewer the same way it did for me.

Alone in Kyoto (Lost in Translation, 2003)

This gif originates from Lost in Translation and what I really like about this gif is that the loop is pretty much perfect and gives the illusion of an extremely long duration. For a narrative, this loop could be stretched out for a long time to establish that the audience should feel like they are on an endless train ride with the character.

 

I’m not entirely sure of the origin of this gif, but I thought it was really interesting in that it’s almost like an animated version of those multiple exposure composite photos. It kind of reminded me of the lecture on the history of film with Eadweard Muybridge and his study of motion on the horses. In a narrative, I think something like this would be great for a crime scene analyst trying to imagine how a character got from point a to point b(obviously not of a guy flailing his arms though).

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Continuity

There are a few minor continuity errors, but given the 60 second time restriction and limited amount of opportunities I had to shoot all of the footage I think it turned out okay as a whole.

One of the reasons I was kind of limited on opportunities for footage was because I only had one set of standard guitar strings . If I were to have accidentally messed up restringing the guitar and broke it in the process, I wouldn’t really have another convenient set so I pretty much went with whatever footage was available. Having one set of strings also affected one of my shots where I picked up the pack of strings with my right hand in the first shot, but in the next shot I had it in my left. I didn’t really notice that until the editing process and by then the packaging was already torn apart and in the trash.

I think that an area I kind of struggled with was definitely fitting the time constraint. I knew I was going to have a lot of footage, but truncating it so that it fit that 30-60 second time limit was quite difficult. There are parts of the video that don’t really feel as seamless as they probably could be like the shot when I’m unwrapping the string packaging. The previous shot shows me carrying it off screen to another location that doesn’t really match too well. The biggest issues in continuity that might not be as noticeable is the actual restringing process. I had to completely cut out a shot where I was removing the broken string from my tuning peg and while it probably isn’t obvious to most I can bet there are many people who play guitar that would notice. There were also some shots that seemed like jump cuts. These are noticeable in the string unpacking and also between the shots when I am straightening the new string and looping it through the bridge.

Looking back at my video and all the footage I had, I think I probably could have had more variety with the shots I had. Most of the shots I had were close ups or mediums and I can see that being kind of monotonous to the average viewer. I wanted to have at least one long shot, but my room is a bit small and was also kind of messy.

If I were to redo this project I think fixing the continuity with which hand I picked up the pack of strings with would be at the top of my priority, next removing the shots that looked like jump cuts, and lastly adding at least one long shot. In terms of continuity, I think it worked well for the most part, but I could have added more of the techniques listed in the notes like eyeline matching, a motivated pov shot, etc. Overall, I found this project to be a lot more interesting to do then the previous assignment and it served as a great learning experience.

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  1. Andrew you had a lot of really creative framing in your video! You had such a limited space in only one room but you came up with lots of different perspectives to film from. Nice!

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Narrative Time Blog Post

I think one interesting point that McCloud talked about was how our eyes have been well trained by photos to a continuous image as only a single instant in time. The panel of course was actually different points in time that included a camera shot, a reaction to the camera shot, some people complaining, and some people playing checkers. All of these actions were different points in time, but conditioning had made readers think otherwise.

A director that I think does a great job at using manipulation of time in film is Christopher Nolan. His most recent movie Dunkirk does a great job at doing something similar to what McCloud talks about in the continuous image panel, where the original perception is that the story takes place at the same time when it isn’t necessarily. Dunkirk is a story that follows 3 separate narratives that eventually coincide: the soldiers (1 week out), the civilians (1 day out), and the pilots (1 hour out). Due to the intense pacing of the movie, you never get a chance to breathe and even notice that each set of characters start at different points in time until they eventually encounter each other at the climax of the movie. While the story doesn’t necessarily follow a linear fashion I think that having the story start at different points in time isn’t just some gimmick. It actually does a great job at conveying that the war regardless of which front and how long the characters spent in combat was an incredibly tense moment in time where all the characters shared the mutual interest of returning home.

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Framing for visual evidence

For my project I wanted to make an aftermath video of a crime scene. The narrative of this video was about tying loose ends with a noisy neighbor. I know that the assignment strictly says no “actors”, but I used my friend mainly as a scene prop instead of an actual character.

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Framing Blog Post

A scene that I thought would make a great sample for sequential framing is part of the bar scene in Blade Runner 2049. Excuse me if I don’t match all these shots correctly. I am not too great at this, but I really love this scene.

CU (Hand with token)

MCU

M

CU

Panning CU

Panning CU

ELS

What’s really great about this scene is that it’s cohesive in the narration and the thematic melancholy felt in the entire movie. Every shot has some sort of purpose in this scene. In my head, K (the main character) is carefully inspecting everything in vicinity and putting the pieces together like a detective should do while simultaneously going through many emotions. Each shot closely examines objects of importance to the plot: the wooden horse, the framed picture, and the jukebox (mildly important and more of a mood setter). I think that all the closeup shots of him inspecting each object is a good representation of the character trying to connect all the dots.

The first close up is on the jukebox which in the plot of the movie is a relic of a time before the blackout (a pivotal moment before the plot of the movie). The next shot is a medium close up shot on K with the hologram also visible. This shot to me is more of a mood setter and is reflective of the movies constant message of what’s real and what isn’t. The next is a medium shot and captures a bit of his surroundings and I think that helps the viewer realize he’s going to start looking around the entire room. The next is a close up of the Frank Sinatra hologram and I think that was to reinforce the mood of the scene. The next shot is a panning close up of a series of wooden dolls which pans up to the wooden horse he kept which probably belonged to the set of other wooden dolls. Once again, another panning close up, but this time on a framed picture of Rachael that he picks up. This close up is an important shot that highlights the importance of Rachael to K’s task and answer to his existential crisis. This shot is also synced perfectly when Frank Sinatra sings “one for my baby” and makes painfully aware the emptiness that is felt from her absence in Deckard’s life and K. The final shot is an extreme long shot that captures a lot of open space around him. A lot of that open space and emptiness echoes the feeling of loneliness once again. My interpretation of the whole sequence overall is that it’s a bit of detective work and a lot of emotional buildup.

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Pocket Cinema

I think that these iphone movies are not necessarily trying to their best to be like film, but instead are deliberately trying to put themselves in a spot in between a home movie and a film where there are qualities of both a film and those of home movies. Examples of the home movie qualities are present in a lot of the close up scenes of the Michel Gondy video. One side effect of the close up shots in the Michel Gondy video is that there is some subtle shakiness that gives off the vibe that it’s trying to emulate what a home movie might look like. The more professional film-like shots are seen in the distant wide landscape shots. These shots are usually still or have even less noticeable shakiness.

The most prominent forms of automatism on the internet today are probably instagram/facebook videos. A lot of these are condensed or truncated videos that generally will serve as something informative or be a brief form of entertainment. Sometimes these types of videos can be almost like a short demo of somebody’s creativity or be an advertisement. I don’t like to generalize things too much, but I think that the direction digital video content is going in terms of mobile phones is primarily commercial use. A lot of people that have trending/popular videos on apps like instagram or facebook generally are paid to frequently advertise a brand/product or are part of a larger syndicate that will pay them.

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Introduction

Hi everyone, I’m Andrew Pham. I don’t really have any background in video, but I watch a ton of movies and even worked at a theater for a bit. I’m taking this class both for a course requirement and also a bit of a personal interest in digital cinema.

An approach to video that I’d like to pursue is the use of narration accompanied by visual storytelling. Two videos that I picked out are from the National Geographic channel and the other from Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.

This video I really like because of the slow landscape shots and the close up shots on the Inuit everyday life. I think that the close up shots on their daily tasks makes the video a lot more intimate and accompany the narration appropriately. National Geographic does a lot of these short story videos and I think the way they are filmed makes for good binge watching material.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYMEoFOZavs

This next clip is from Anthony Bourdain’s show and I think this is a bit of reverse situation compared to the previous video, where the narration compliments the visuals rather than the visuals enhancing the narration. Bourdain’s dry humor in his narration makes the video a lot more comedic because of their struggling attempts to make Sichuan food. Bourdain does this type of narration in all his shows and I find it to be more entertaining than the average food documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC7UC_ssTdM

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