My final project will be a video that conveys the complex human emotions that occur in long distance relationships. The modules that I will be exploring are time frames (continuity, simultaneity, narrative) and hybrid cinema (montage, effects). In the coming weeks, I will need actors, a monitor that can record itself, possibly voice overs, and a lot of time.
Video essays differ from essay videos. Essay videos are the more formal, academic informational videos. Video essays are the ones that are fast, use more graphics, and engaging voice overs to keep the audience’s attention while also educating them on some interesting topic. Voice overs are the main moving force that narrates the “story.” On screen text is usually supplementary and not necessarily information on the topic itself. Sound accompanies the visuals usually as some background music as the voice over narrates. Graphics are key to keeping the audience interested. One point they mentioned in video essays is the amount of cuts there are. Today’s cinema allows for faster cuts and therefore faster flow of information for our media-driven brains. All of these factors combine to present a case in an almost conversational tone that keeps things casual, funny, or interesting.
I could begin by writing a video essay by looking at what is popular in the media right now. For example, the whole Thailand cave rescue just happened, so a video essay explaining how typhoons form and their destruction could be interesting. Or I could do it on cave structures and how formations occur that make tight squeezes in the cave. Something like that would be simple to talk about, easy to visualize, and has the public’s interest.
I decided to use the greenscreen to layer myself into the video. Other uses of layering include the emojis which I had to recreate a few as a png with transparency. I mostly wanted to create a humorous short skit. I hope you enjoy 🙂
I looked at the digital aesthetics of Light is Waiting and starwarswars.com. Both works include some form of layered art. Light is waiting uses some form of mirror imaging and layering of the same footage for the most part (along with some seizure-inducing flashing colors). Starwarswars simply layers all 4 star wars episodes on top of each other (video and audio), which turned out to be an interesting result (although a bit confusing).
Manovich mentions the term “cinematic montage,” and I think you can definitely see that at work here. In the first example, Light is Waiting, you can see the same actions, during the same times, but in almost a slightly altered space. In the second, starwarswars, you see multiple narrations playing over multiple time frames, and yet, the follow a similar narrative of outer space, combat, and drama. You can tell they are from the same space. Almost like a weird version of continuity.
Traditional cinema is shot in one space, at one time, and played as is. Cinema now has been carefully digitally edited. The space is irrelevant. The time can be manipulated. There is no real truth or reality to what’s on screen. “…live-action narrative cinema that relegated them to the realms of animation and special effects, these techniques reemerge as the foundation of digital filmmaking.” We are seeing a change in cinema, where it is normal to see some impaired version of reality. These new spaces can be anything you want them to be. There is no narration, but you can make one. These spaces open up many possibilities to create a version of reality that challenges traditional media.
I think the new medium is definitely inspiring creativity. I can see many uses for this new hybrid art form.
I had trouble finding someone “in the workplace” for my assignment so I went with hobby. My mother enjoys quilting and sewing, so for this project, I interviewed her on her love of the craft. I make use of continuity with some match on action.
I think having some interaction with the audience is what keeps people coming back and staying aboard. When your favorite franchise notices you, it makes you feel special and with social media, all they need to do is @ you. Having the events unfold on social media takes the action right into your home and it is everywhere you go. Social media is mobile and events are always changing. Using a platform that reflects this is genius, especially in this day and age.
If I had to make something interactive, I might try something using Twitter. Various people have done challenges where Twitter or some poll system votes on the actions the Twitter account’s individual does in a day. Having social media literally control your life would make for an interesting series.
Briar Amanda Annie
This was the most fun project so far. For my amusement, I decided to remix The Purge, Ghostbusters, Twilight, and IT which made for an action-packed trailer.
Let’s say for example my interview is about a large pothole that opened up on a heavily used road in town. Since I only have 5 minutes, I would interview two people: the mayor or whoever is likely in charge of local road maintenance and a small family that lives near the pothole. This would allow for cross examination and input of the mayor/whoever’s effort and part in the road and give a perspective on the local’s effect on quality of life. The B-roll is basically supplementary visuals that have no actual connection to the scene. It does not provide extra visual evidence. It’s just there to provide the eyes something to look at– stock footage. For my B-roll, I would probably use something like stock footage of a local park across the street where people are playing baseball or something. This B-roll footage could be playing/ slowly faded in if the mayor or family I interview are not visually appealing or look boring. In terms of visual evidence, the reading says, “…the footage you choose for the scene has to stand as an accurate analog for everything you remember.” My visual evidence could be the pothole, itself. Or I could have cars driving over the pothole and the quick rise and fall of the car wheels as they pass over the pothole. For something more interesting, I could have a scene in the rain where water collects in the pothole and there are visual droplets falling into the puddle that forms.
I would classify Run Lola Run as an action, fantasy, drama-like film. The film uses quick jump cuts in the beginning and speeds up or slows down time (like we see with the telephone). There are parts of the film that use techniques like parallel action (when the boyfriend is about to go into the store and it is a splitscreen with Lola running). There is little use of shakey camera angles like there would be in today’s action chaos films, even when she gets shot my the police in one of her realities. The movie starts the same every single reality with the same lines spoken by the woman, the same dog and boy on the staircase. Small differences start from that point. She gets tripped on the stairs by the boy, she hops over the dog, she gets back at and scares the dog. Similar things follow with the ambulance, the lady with the stroller, does she go to the bank? The supermarket? The casino? There is a sort of narrative there that follows a set of rules. Each time she resets her reality, she retains knowledge of the previous attempt (as seen when she knew how to take the safety off the gun). Conventional movies follow one story. It is continuous and linear. In Run Lola Run, she repeats her day three times, each with different choices and outcomes. Run Lola Run follows mainly one protagonist with various side stories happening with other characters that meet up at some point in the film to further the plot. Camera cuts and lingering seem to stretch time (like the pillow talk scenes after one of the characters is about to die), when you compare to all the events that happen directly prior to the incidents. Sound also plays a large role in manipulating time. When one action is happening and the camera cuts but the sound remains the same through the two scenes, you know that the action is continuing through the scene (when she screams in the casino). Many actions and one sound cue seem to stretch time. Also provides multilinear cuts (multiple things happening at once). The reading states that ,”Indeed today, the interface to a movie functions as a narrative as much as the movie itself.” This refers to how our narrative language is evolving in movie time frames. We are becoming more adept at understanding the nature of time in a digital platform, in movies. This enabled directors to take more leaps when it comes to continuity and it still make sense.
Framing starts with establishing shot of the scene. Shot is from behind. Scene moves in to a side close up of my hands and as they pick up the paper, it cuts to a POV of what I am doing with the paper. POV continues as I fold the two triangles for the front of the airplane. After the two folds are done, it cuts to when I am finishing the two last folds. Once the airplane is complete, it cuts to the launching of the airplane, which crashes sadly to the ground. Abrupt end of scene cuts off all visuals as though to relay an abrupt failure in the plane’s launching. Sound is present to narrate the folding and crashing of the plane. Some elements that did not set the scene as well as I would have liked was maybe the middle where I transitioned cut from the first couple folds to the last. Perhaps I could have cut it when it was just before completing the first couple folds to cut to ending the final fold. I also found it difficult to get an over the shoulder shot (so I gave up on that idea), but maybe I can find a way to get that set up through various book stacking procedures and angling.
Eclipse shows a slow passage and suspense. McCloud talks about how panels with no sound are almost timeless. I feel like the slow reveal adds to that narrative.
On the other hand, the looping cheetah has blurry background as though time is going really fast. So fast that things move rapidly and our eyes can’t focus on the scenery. In picture media, zip-ribbons are used to show fast/blurry motion. In video/gifs, you can see the blur of real motion. A focused object, a “streaked background.”
This scene shows a cowboy slowly looking up. His gaze is held maybe a half second longer than normal as though to hold the scene and the audience. This gives the feeling that the picture happens for longer than in reality.
blacked out (audio present)
medium long shot
Narrative begins with lights out and things seeming calm and dark. But in the darkness, you can hear a scuffling noise to indicate that there is mischief happening. Next shot is of the destruction and then a close up of some ripped/crumpled papers. Final shot is a shadowy flash of a wagging tail exiting the scene through a carelessly cracked open door.
This is a fight scene from Dexter. The narrative starts with a surprise appearance, words are exchanged, they fight, and are broken up when a random person interrupts them. Waist up shots show who is involved, and the wide angle shows where they are in the scene with both characters interacting. The fight goes from full body to close ups of their faces as fight intensifies to draw viewer in closer to the action. When the random person approaches from a distance, the camera shows a long shot as he enters the scene. The fight is broken up and the close ups of the faces are no more to signify distance from the characters and the action. The fight scene shots are close in succession to one another and once the fight is over, the cuts are further apart to show things slowing down.
medium from waist up
medium from waist up
wide angle full body
wide angle full body
medium close up
face close up
over the shoulder face close up
medium waist up
medium from waist up
My only background in video has been at WSUV’s DTC program.
I own a phone camera for video taking.
My aim for the class is to learn techniques for cinema and practice my skills.
Major: DTC and I’m interested in anything of the creative digital media
Video style example: This is a video from zefrank, an amusing documentary-style parody.