I have to admit, the idea of not having many guidelines for the final project really gave me trouble when it came to thinking of what exactly I wanted to film. I kept bouncing between a narrative or second job interview, and ultimately, decided to create a narrative. After being intrigued by the idea of an interactive narrative using YouTube cards, I decided that would work best for me. However, after filming all of my scenes I realized that the YouTube cards would hinder my story-line more than they would help. Therefore, I created a three minute story based on the concepts of both human greed, and the need to satisfy curiosity. The film starts out with a mysterious package arriving at the door and when my brother opens it he reveals a button that says do not push. Obviously, if a button arrives that says do not push, you’re going to want to push it, so he does. While nothing happens after the first button push, he starts to receive rewards for subsequent pushes after that. This ultimately makes him want to click the button even more. Due to the fact that he doesn’t know the origin of the button, however, he cannot guarantee his safety. The final push of the button happens to give him both the ultimate reward, a winning lottery ticket, and the ultimate penalty, death.
While I had a lot of fun filming this project, It could definitely use more of an organic sense of urgency. I tried to add the urgency these scenes were missing by using scary music and glitch editing, but it still feels like I could’ve done more. I do think the music and editing helped, but there are some more scenes I could film to create more tension, which is what I believe the video is missing the most.
Final Project Rough Cut
December 5, 2018
Here is the rough cut for my final project.
November 13, 2018
For this project I wanted to experiment with the use of sound in a web environment. Basically I wanted the user to be able to choose which snippet of music they would listen to based on which album they chose in the homepage. I forgot to use the correct sound file so the website currently takes longer to load than I would like, but I will fix this later.
November 6, 2018
The work I chose to describe the overall storytelling prowess of HyperCinema was “The Flat” by Dreamingmethods. The Flat incorporates still images, text, and sound to immerse the viewer and increase audience interaction and exploration in various ways. As soon as this work loads and opens on the browser, you are bombarded with an unsettling combination of images, text, and sound that make you feel as if you were actually there.
The interface of this work allows for viewer exploration because it reacts to the movement of your mouse, guiding you to click through onto the next image and section of the piece. I would absolutely consider these works to be narrative based as each image could be considered a chapter that the user must read through and visually understand before moving on to the next. I also think that works like “The Flat” would be considered cinematic because it has narrative qualities that would also be found in many films. The Flat also allows the user to change the angles as they mouse over the images, which creates another layer of interaction all together.
The narrative qualities of this work combine with the beautiful imagery and eerie soundscape to create a visual experience that would be hard to deny is cinematic. Especially when you consider that each of those separately are cinematic elements on their own. This work also portrays cinematic language by piecing together its narrative through still images, and even more-so by allowing users to control the angles and framing almost like they are controlling the camera themselves.
November 6, 2018
For my Video Essay project I wanted to showcase the way Wes Anderson uses center framing techniques to stand out in the film industry. I found as many scenes as I possibly could of Anderson center-framing his subjects and used voice-over to talk about how and why this framing technique works so well. By far the hardest part of this assignment was trying to decide where to include my voice-over as 60 seconds felt like such a short period of time.
Video Essay Blog + Final Project Idea
October 31, 2018
The video essay format is intriguing to me as it pieces together strong audio narrative with dynamic imagery to keep the audience invested more than they would be if they were just listening to or reading something. Dynamic imagery and audio combine to create an immersive experience for the audience, which is essential when trying to tell a story in an effective manner. The TedTalk shows a perfect example of a video essay that draws me into Ansel Adams as artist much more effectively than if I were just reading a blog post or listening to a blog post about him. Talking about his “technical and aesthetic mastery” while showcasing his incredible photography gets the idea across in a streamlined and interesting fashion that isn’t possible via other mediums. For my video essay I would like to talk about different cinematic techniques in films while showing plenty of visual evidence to get my point across. Specifically, I would like to talk about various lighting techniques that films use to represent the mood they are going for.
For my final project I would like to revisit spatial montage and create something much more visually appealing. I also want to incorporate movement into every frame of my spatial montage as I want the focus to be about movement, even though i’m not exactly sure what movement this will be yet. I also want to include hybrid space into this final as I really enjoyed learning glitching techniques in my previous hybrid spaces video. Overall, I envision my final project being about 2-3 minutes and following traditional cinematic narrative.
Hobby Profile Final Cut
October 30, 2018
Here is the final cut of my hobby profile. I appreciate all of the feedback and tried to incorporate as much of it as possible! I got rid of my brothers introduction statement and replaced it with him putting the truck on the jack and also added back all of the mechanical sounds in the background. The background sounds definitely added to the overall atmosphere of the video and made it louder than it was previously.
October 24, 2018
The idea of having supplemental social media pages to enhance the experience that viewers have when watching “SKAM” seems like a fantastic idea. It adds a layer of engagement and authenticity that many other television series and films lack because it allows the audience to connect to the characters in a way that seems familiar. Social media is such a dominant force in the entertainment industry that it would seem as if this should have already been done, yet “SKAM” is leading the charge. Instead of a television series that uses social media strictly for their marketing, “SKAM” uses it to further their story lines on platforms that are only getting larger and larger. It also helps that SKAM is targeting an audience that is constantly glued to their phones, as the show revolves around the “turbulent lives of affluent sixteen-year-olds at an Oslo high school” that deal with pivotal issues in teen life.
Another tidbit I found interesting was that the creators of SKAM also pay attention to fan comments and responses on these social media accounts to change plot details and rework storylines, which essentially means that the audience has creative control over how the show continues to play out. This much creative control given to the fans allows for the type of instant gratification that those using social media tend to seek out, making it the perfect blueprint for future series to follow.
I think that this level of fan interaction could be interesting when used in tandem with a show in the horror genre. Having cast members post to social media while trapped inside the house of a crazed killer and letting fans try to figure out which one of them is the culprit could be a really fascinating way to involve the audience.
Job/Hobby Profile Rough Cut
October 23, 2018
Rough cut hobby profile of my younger brother who is currently going to school to be an automotive technician.
October 16, 2018
There are some very bright flashes.
For my Hybrid Spaces video I edited my recent hiking footage in an attempt to create an extremely glitchy old VHS tape. I used various video effects including warp, color effects, opacity, transform, and layer manipulation to create the overall glitchy aesthetic of the video itself. In order to further the effects of the visual glitches I incorporated audio glitch sound files that I found to increase their overall effectiveness. The “PLAY” and “STOP” sequences in the beginning and end of the film come from a template I found, but the rest of the footage is mine.
October 9, 2018
As Manovich states in What is Digital Cinema, “cinema was understood, from its birth, as the art of motion, the art that finally succeed in creating a convincing illusion of dynamic reality.” However, in today’s digital age, there are a plethora of tools at our disposal to create cinema that is no longer bound to the illusion of dynamic reality. As filmmakers today, we can essentially change any piece of recorded footage to fit any narrative that we can conceive.
It is for this reason that I chose “LIGHT IS WAITING” as my example for Hybrid Spaces. This video contains hybrid spaces such as collages, remixes, and a variety of effects to make the viewer feel as if they are stuck inside of a broken television screen. These techniques, specifically the act of collaging and remixing, revolt against the indexical identity of cinema as they are working against normal filmmaking procedures and intended uses of film technology (Manovich). The digital effects used in this video also challenge the idea of traditional cinema due to their relation to both space and time. Michael Robinson uses slow motion effects, image mirroring, and vibrant color flashes in order to create his own rendition of these Full House episodes. These effects collaborate with each-other so well that they even turn a relatively happy dance scene into something of my nightmares. Not only do the effects used in this video work well together, but they also work to redefine “moving-image culture” an act in which is allowing other options to become just as popular as cinematic realism.
Overall, I love the idea of working with hybrid spaces to create something as unorthodox as Robinson’s piece. The idea of abstraction in film has always held my interest as I believe it adds a layer of surprise to the traditionally monotonous beginning, middle, and end we have grown accustomed to. I would like to incorporate similar ideas in my hybrid space video to create something just as eerie as Michael Robinson created in “LIGHT IS WAITING.”
October 3, 2018
The spatial montage project was easily the most difficult project for me to film in this course so far as I really struggled to figure out a subject matter that could incorporate more than one frame. After mulling over various possibilities I finally came up with the idea of having the spatial montage depict more of a hypothetical space rather than an actual quantifiable space. Essentially I wanted to show the viewer what my dog may or may not be daydreaming about as she relaxes on the couch while she waits for someone to play with her. I also offset the shots that show my dog with a frame that shows a clock-face ticking away to show the passing of time in a rhythmic manner. I also timed each one of the scenes with my dog in them to the ticks of the clock in an attempt to create a sense of both boredom and urgency. The clock also added a layer of both the stretching of time and a metric feel as well, since each scene is spaced accordingly to the ticks themselves.
Overall, I believe I somewhat failed in my execution of combining the scenes to create the illusion that my dog is actually daydreaming. I tried a couple of different editing techniques, from including just two frames at a time (as seen in my video) or showing all four frames at the same time, both of which lacked the storytelling that I was initially going for. However, no matter how I arranged these frames together, I couldn’t actually make it look exactly how I wanted. This was definitely the first video I created where I couldn’t showcase exactly the feeling and idea that I was going for.
I also realized how hard it is to use an animal as a subject because they really don’t want to cooperate with you as a director and thus, make pretty bad actors (although I suppose this could just be my dog in particular). I had a couple of more scenes in mind but after running her around for a few minutes she was pretty tired and didn’t want to do anything else except go back to the couch. I particularly enjoyed editing this together as it helped me learn a lot of interesting Premiere techniques that I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to learn otherwise. Filming this did open my eyes to the possibilities of spatial montages as a whole, and I would eventually like to revisit this technique to hopefully understand it a bit more.
October 2, 2018
While the Eagle Creek fire was undoubtedly a tragedy on all accounts, I would want my short documentary to portray the rebuilding efforts by all of the parties involved and how far they have come since the fire. Obviously, there was no shortage of horrifying footage from the 2017 Eagle Creek fire, which was covered by news outlets everywhere relentlessly, showcasing the fires destruction. However, I believe it is just as important to show firefighters, volunteers, park rangers, and others coming together to restore as much of the Eagle Creek area and the surrounding community as they can.
Filming my short documentary in this way would highlight the efforts of all the hard working individuals who battled the fire and also hopefully take an extremely negative event in Oregon’s past and show a positive aspect of it. In order to accomplish something like this, I would definitely want to interview Firefighters, Park Rangers, volunteers and even local residents to ask not only about how difficult the fire was to deal with when it was at its strongest, but also how hard the restoration efforts have been. As stated in “Visual Evidence” it is also necessary to overlay B-roll footage in documentaries to give the viewers information and also help advance the story all together. Therefore, many of these interviews would have B-roll footage mixed in with the interviews to give the viewers something to look at while it is being narrated. I would want all aspects of my film (interviews, footage, etc) to mesh together in a way that would show a light at the end of the tunnel and the overall resiliency of both nature and humans.
However, I would also want to show clips of the fire and its destruction as a reference point to how far these individuals have come in their restoration efforts. This would show the audience that while the fire took its toll on the area, there will always be people willing to risk their lives to help others. Clips like these would also show the audience what happened instead just telling them, which would both create and maintain their interest much more than just telling them. Showing the audience what happened both during the fire and during the restoration efforts is without a doubt a necessary feature in creating such a documentary.
September 25, 2018
For my first video, I attempted to create a montage-style loop that shows the basics of using a record player to listen to music while having it be as endless as possible. I wanted to portray the idea of the rhythm that one finds themselves getting into when swapping records since this rhythm really adds to the user experience overall. While each scene is relatively the same length, they are slightly varied due to the 10 second time limit that I struggled to maintain with the amount of footage I had originally filmed. Also the amount of footage I had forced me to narrow down each scene to what I would consider to be the absolute minimum length while still retaining enough visual information to show the full process of swapping records.
For my second video, I wanted to implement as much continuity as I possibly could due to my previous lack of understanding during the poor execution of my previous continuity project. To create the illusion of continuity I created a short loop that has more than one scene highlighting a cut on action approach. The implementation of cutting on action allowed for a more seamless transition between shots and immensely helped with my understanding of the differences between continuity and jump cuts. In this loop I sandwiched a longer shot of my brother putting the guitar in his lap between a couple of shorter shots that incorporate cutting on action, which was my way of trying to stretch time.
My last loop was my attempt at creating a “perfect loop” using the cinemagraph technique to show an endless amount of steam wafting through the air out of a pot of spaghetti sauce. While this was the easiest loop to make in terms of filming, it was the hardest to edit. Also it taught me a lot of Photoshop techniques that I was previously unaware of, which is always helpful.
Run Lola Run Cinematic Techniques
September 25, 2018
Looking back at “Run Lola Run,” I believe one of the most evident cinematic and narrative techniques used is that of time shifting. In “Cinema in the Digital Age,” Rombes states that time shifting is a method of telling stories, in which you are constantly skipping back and forth in time, and compressing and decompressing swathes of time. The director of Run Lola Run uses the method of time shifting perfectly to illustrate each specific time that Lola rewinds her life to where she drops the phone to initiate the start of her next attempt. Not only is time shifting visible in these rewinding scenes, but it is also noticeable when there is a flashback to where both Lola and Manni are laying in bed together talking about their ideas of love. Mark Stephen Meadows is quoted in Rombes’ book saying “digital media, with things like back buttons and the ability to accelerate, decelerate, link and close, changes how time is used in narration.” Therefore, the digital aesthetic in this movie is apparent during the scenes where time shifting takes place as these scenes represent the new abilities of digital media.
These flashback scenes I referred to above also showcase the idea of nonlinear editing as you are really unable to decipher when these took place relative to what was currently going on in the story line. Rombes states that “it is not that the ability to rearrange and re-sequence time in movies is new with nonlinear editing, but rather that the ease and speed whereby the database can be accessed and summoned means that more experimental, even radical representations of time in cinema are possible.” I think this is a very important statement that directly relates to these flashback scenes as the timeline of Lola’s rewinding after each death is understood, but the timeline in which they are laying in bed is not. Does this scene take place before Manni needs the money, or does this scene take place after all of these events have already unfolded? Honestly it is hard for me to tell, and also possibly left up to viewer interpretation, which could be exactly what the director wanted.
I find that that the sense of narrative continuity is both portrayed and maintained by the repetition within the scenes that show Lola running. Lola starts upstairs and runs by her mother on the phone, down the stairs, runs into a lady with a stroller, almost gets hit by a car, and runs to find her dad. Each of these small interactions with other characters in the film push the narrative forward while keeping consistency throughout the film and allow you to understand exactly where she is in her 20 minute time frame before Manni robs the store. This repetition essentially allows for an understandable narrative space while breaking the traditional ways most conventional movies would arrange their story elements.
September 18, 2018
For this assignment, I decided to create a metric montage of me cleaning my room to show both the passing of time and the healthy mindset that stems from working in a clean environment. Each of my clips are exactly 3 seconds long and show just enough of each smaller process that goes into cleaning my room, including picking up everything I have laying around, cleaning my desk, dusting, and finally, making my bed. While I originally was intrigued by the idea of creating an intellectual montage, I couldn’t think of what to do. I decided to abandon the idea all together and chose a metric montage instead. I also thought a metric montage would be the second best way, after an intellectual montage, to elicit an emotional reaction. In my case, the emotional reaction was the satisfaction of a clean work space.
Overall, I believe I had the most trouble showcasing the passing of time like it did while I was recording the video. Also, this was the first video I created where I filmed myself, which gave me a lot of trouble correctly framing each shot and fitting them together for a seamless viewing experience. Personally, I found editing a metric montage harder than I would have originally believed due to wanting every scene to have more of a sense of completion. I think this is most noticeable during the scenes where I was making my bed, because I felt that one short 3 second clip was not enough to show everything that I did to put it back together. Using three clips of me making my bed also forced me to cut another scene picking up more the paper off the floor, and also a scene of me vacuuming to finish it all off. I also really fought with the idea of adding music because I feel that music really helps with the vibe of montages overall.
If I was to do this assignment over again, I would have definitely made each clip smaller to fit in more variation of scenes and more framing techniques. I also would have liked to play with the idea of fast forwarding through some of the scenes because I feel like it would show how much time passed more accurately. I definitely also filmed a lot more footage than I needed, which made it harder for me to choose both the order of clips and what clips I wanted to include in my video.
September 18, 2018
The first GIF I chose is by far my favorite loop of all time and it shows Jack Nicholson’s character from The Shining endlessly breaking down the door. This GIF manipulates time by making it seem as if he will be breaking down the door forever with one endless strike after another.
The second loop I chose showcases time in a very interesting manner. How long has this man been waiting for this shot? How many shots will he have taken after a large amount of real time passes? These are just some questions that I thought of while watching this on repeat. It’s also a great display of how creative someone can be using the loop technique to create something aesthetically pleasing.
This last loop was one I found while researching specifically for this blog post and it actually took me a second to realize what was happening. The man sitting on the bench is calmly and casually flipping through his newspaper as the traditionally buzzing city of New York is at a dead stop. I think this GIF does a great job at switching the typical narrative of a city passing someone by with a man passing the city by. Time in this loop seems to stand still for the man casually sitting down, letting him read his newspaper with no distractions, which I found to be an interesting take on how time passes in a bustling city.
September 11, 2018
For my continuity assignment I decided to film my girlfriend meal-prepping her lunches for the week as I believed the process of making pasta would be a great way to showcase the passing of time while remaining relatively continuous. While we originally believed this process would take no more than 30 minutes, it ended up taking about 45, which lead to me filming a lot more footage than I thought I actually would. This meant that I had a lot of footage to fit into the 60 second time-frame that we were given for this assignment, hence the collection of rapid cuts through the middle of the video. When I was going through my footage in Premier to determine which shots would be shown, I felt as if almost each shot I took was extremely important to the continuity of her cooking. Obviously, this made it very challenging for me to decide which shots I was going to include, however I believe I did a pretty good job fitting as much content as I possibly could in the 60 second time frame. One major continuity error that I did have was the fact that she grabs the pasta sauce from the pantry, but is never actually shown putting the sauce into the pan with the other ingredients. Also, I was so focused on filming and visuals that I didn’t realize the television was so loud, which is definitely noticeable and distracting in some scenes.
This video opens with my girlfriend retrieving the pasta from her pantry and then moves on to her grabbing the vegetables and sausage from the refrigerator. After grabbing all of the ingredients, I show her prepping the vegetables, sausage and stove, before throwing the pasta in the pan. Next, I film a few different angles of her cooking and stirring the noodles before she strains them. She then moves on to cooking the vegetables and sausage in the pan, throws the noodles back in, and finally places her pasta in a bowl to serve.
Another thing I realized during my filming was that I was constantly thinking about either the way I was framing the shot, or the way I was showing continuity, but never both. I would get so caught up thinking about the way each of my shots were framed that I would forget about making sure my film had solid continuity and vice versa. This led to me having a lot of the the same angles in the video, mostly defaulting to the close-up with the camera set on the counter. This angle is used when the stove turns on, when she cuts the sausage, and when the pasta is drained. An aspect of continuity that I tried to maintain throughout the entire video was making sure that each item never changed position if it wasn’t shown doing so on camera, which was actually harder than I thought it would be due to her moving items quite often.
September 10, 2018
I think one of the most interesting aspects of Scott McCloud’s “Time Frames” is when he uses rope to represent a fragment of time. He states that each inch of rope can represent a second in time, and this rope can twist and turn throughout the panels of the comic, which essentially allots time for each panel. This metaphor helped me really understand the differences of how time could pass between both long and short cuts in a piece of digital cinema. Typically in film, the director attempts to make their cuts as seamless as possible which allows the user to understand the time frame of each individual scene. However, since comic books are working with panels and pages rather than video and cuts, they have to represent the passing of time in distinctly more concrete ways. One of the ways that comic books showcase the passing of time is through arranging panels from left to right, essentially creating a time sequence. This is something that while very important to the structure of a comic book, has no bearing on the way film portrays time.
Film, then, seems to rely more on the creativity of framing and lighting within shots, as well as obvious continuity between shots. If a character in a film is driving to the gas station, it makes sense that the director would make all the cuts and transitions he would need to portray the fact that time has passed. If the character had gotten into the car and in the next shot just appeared at the gas station, the viewer wouldn’t have much of an idea how much time had passed unless there was a clock in the scene or the lighting had changed drastically. Honestly, I find the passing of time in film to be one of the hardest aspects to portray, which was confirmed even more in my filming of the Continuity assignment. This is because while elements of comics are typically nailed down and more concrete, such as my above example of left-to-right panel arrangements, time-passing in a film can be something the director chooses to leave up to viewer interpretation.
Framing for Visual Evidence
September 1, 2018
For my “Framing for Visual Evidence” video, I wanted to emphasize what many people may experience with their pets on a regular basis. I started with sounds distracting me from my homework upstairs, which made me look downstairs, where I continued to hear these sounds. I then moved on to my kitchen and eventually found my dog snacking on the evidence. While I may have given away the culprit a bit early, I feel like it added a layer of comedy to the mystery of my “Who Dunnit” video. I also realized that it is harder to keep a Monopod as steady as I thought I would be able to.
Framing – Drive (2011)
August 29, 2018
A scene that I believe to be a great example of versatile framing is the opening scene from Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive.”
While this is a relatively long scene at 12 minutes, all of these shots do a great job at maintaining tension throughout while also following the traditional structure of an introduction, a climax, and a resolution. The wide angle in the beginning and the scene that follows introduce the characters that will be portrayed in this scene. After the introduction of these characters the shots begin building tension with the canted/dutch angle followed by an extreme close-up which shows the main characters expression very well. The chase portion of this scene is highlighted by a lot of low angle shots of the main character and, after a successful escape, ends the scene with the long shot into the medium shot. Both the music and ambient sounds in this scene correspond with the shots to keep tension high throughout, until the successful escape, which is followed by a cheer and a drastic change in music.
Skyfall Trailer Edit
August 29, 2018
Testing continuity through video editing.
Blog Post 2 – Pocket Cinema
August 29, 2018
In “How your smartphone is changing cinema,” Sara Atkinson gives examples of films that I believe both break the cinematic mold and also follow traditional cinematic examples. Specifically, I find “Detour” and “Tangerine UK” to both be trying their best to be like traditional film, however, I find “STARVECROW” to be the exact opposite. For example, the film Starvecrow showcases just how popular found footage style films have become, which I think can be attributed to people looking for more “realistic” films to watch. On the contrary, if nobody had told me that “Detour” and “Tangerine UK” were both filmed by cellphones using cellphone techniques, I would have never been able to tell. Therefore, I believe that the idea of the director creating something new based on the unique qualities of the iPhone will end up varying film to film.
As Stacy Atkinson states, “with all emergent media forms, the content and themes reflect and exemplify the tools of their making.” Thus, as cellphones become better and easier to access, more films will be created using qualities that make them seem more “realistic.”
I think one of the most important aspects to take into consideration when thinking about automatisms of digital video has to do with the portability of the modern camera. With cellphones being as portable as they are, one can record video at any moment in their life regardless of the situation. This portability also brings with it a more personal experience for both the creator and the consumer, This is because you can literally take your phone out of your pocket, record a video, and connect with thousands of viewers. I think as an expressive form, digital video seeks to add a layer of both realism and the ability to be personable to the traditional film.
August 22, 2018
I’m Austin, most of my interest in video stems from my love for film and movies. I have no true video experience but am excited to learn as much as I can this semester!
There is nothing I love more than nature photography and videography. When it is done well, it can be both aesthetically pleasing and calming to watch. I also am very intrigued by time-lapse videography as it lets you experience nature in a way that seems timeless.
I am a huge fan of the visual effects used in “Superposition” by Young the Giant. The way this music video is edited leaves a lot up to viewer interpretation while also creating a beautiful neon color palette.