Out of everything we learned in this wonderful class, my two favorite subjects definitely had to be continuity and the mixing various movies together. So, for my final, I decided to combine these two and create a short story told through various terrible films. Certain clips and edits kept getting copyrighted so I had to cut them, hopefully, the continuity still holds up.
My submission for my finale is titled the “terrible Oscars”. Instead of an award show for the best film has to offer, this highlights the worst of it.
Extra Credit Video Essay
November 18, 2017
Here you go, enjoy.
Blog Post: Cinema Writing
November 3, 2017
First off, I would like to say that I love video essays, I believe they offer a merging of different mediums that we don’t see a whole lot. Voice over a variety of different visuals and sounds, or visual essays, allow the creator so much creative freedom in how they explore their topic, how they provide evidence, how they make their argument, etc, that its no wonder there on the rise when it comes to popularity on youtube. Someone can make a point about something, let us say how Gareth Evans uses one-take shots in the Raid 2, and immediately back up his point with visual evidence from the film. And this is not to say that just visuals can be used to make an argument or explore an idea. That is the wonderful thing about video essays, they allow for so many different aspects and mediums that there are limitless options when it comes to creating one. Sound effects, voice over, images, clips, etc. can all be put into your essay, each having a purpose. Video essays are an amalgamation of many different parts. That is why if I was to create one, I would not just focus on one part, I create the whole idea in my head, collecting all sorts of visuals and sounds and putting them together. While I may focus on creating one part at a time, I would never lose sight of the bigger picture.
When it comes to my final project, I would like to document an Oregon/Washington wide scavenger hunt my friends and I are doing. We would each take turns hiding an object somewhere, and then trying to locate where it has been hidden using clue created by the hider. At the moment, I am thinking the form of the project will take place as a youtube series, but, as of this moment, that part is still up in the air. When it comes to class modules included in my project, I definitely want to focus on continuity as well as visual storytelling. Two things I feel are crucial to telling interesting narratives in cinema. In regards to preparations for the shoots, I have it all covered, cameras, monopods, tripods, people, and locations are all covered, now I just got to get everyone to agree on a time. Thanks for reading,
Blog Post: Interactive Cinema
October 26, 2017
First off I would like to say that I really enjoy interactivity when it comes to cinema. In my opinion, it allows for a level of creativity and freedom that no other medium can offer. For example, in Pry, we have a narrative that is told through images, text, video, and sound. However, the interactivity comes into play in both a creative and enthralling way. In Pry, the user can interact with the text itself in a variety of different ways. These include folding, unfolding, enlarging, as well as other actions. Sometimes these actions will reveal a video, an image, or both. Whatever it is, it will continue the story being told through the text. In my opinion, this type of interactivity is fantastic, it brings about exploration and discovery by getting you involved in a wonderful tale that revolves around soldiers and PTSD. You mess around with the text because want to find out what happens next, and then whatever you find fuels you to explore more. It’s a two-step cycle that works wonderfully, and I hope more creative minds try something like this in the future. Before I go, I do want to take special notice to the video portions of the novel because, just like the narrative being told, are great. They are extremely cinematic, with shots, acting, and length which rivals that of a feature-length film. Overall, I hope people check out Pry, it’s a type of medium that I hope continues onto future projects by creative and imaginative creators. Thanks for reading my post,
Job Profile: Rough Draft Interview with The Best Walmart Employee Ever (slight exaggeration).
October 20, 2017
This is the rough draft version of my interview with my good friend Alex Heim, who is an employee of Walmart. Due to Walmart’s restrictions on B-Roll, there is none in the video. However, like I stated in class, my friend said he would record some on his own and send it to me. Let us hope this happens, anyways,
Blog Post: What Makes a Successful Web Series
October 19, 2017
After watching and reading all of Google’s material for how to be “successful” on Youtube. The big takeaway for me, at least, was that “Success” on Youtube is going to be different for everyone. Some people wish to be Youtube creators just so they can publish their own creations and let the world see it, all of the subscribers and views are just an afterthought, others are just in it for the money. However, regardless of what you define “success” on Youtube as, there are a couple ground rules that may help you kickstart your channel.
Find your niche:
Whatever you do, you MUST have a niche. This is what separates you from the rest of the Youtube crowd. Find your passion for video making and stick with it. Whatever your niche is, there is an audience out there that shares it, they will come to you, you don’t need to come to them.
Use tools to bring viewers in:
When deciding on a video to watch, many viewers rely on a variety of things choose. Maybe its the thumbnail, or maybe its the title of the video. Regardless, use these tools to attract audience members. Take some time to make sure that your thumbnail is eye-catching or that your video title is intriguing. The difference between a video with 10 views and a video with 1000 views might just be the thumbnail.
This sort of ties into the finding your niche, the best thing you can do is be yourself. When people watch your videos, they want to see you, not you trying to do a poor impersonation of someone else (unless you are an impersonation channel then, by all means, continue to try and be other people).
Pay attention to your channel:
What I mean by this is, make sure you are paying close attention to what videos are doing well, what videos are not doing so well, even videos that are doing just okay. Every single video reveals what your audience enjoys, and doesn’t enjoy. Use this information to craft the perfect plan for your channel. However, do not let this deter you from experimenting. The next big thing might be just around the corner, you just have to think outside the box.
In regards to a Youtube web series, I would love if someone tried to create something that broke the conventions on how stories are told through Youtube. Maybe someone could use a combination of the comment section, the video description, and the video itself to share a narrative. Or maybe someone could get people to play different characters and have a multiple-character driven story through text in the comment sections. I believe something like this could be incredibly cool if done correctly.
Thanks for reading,
Hybrid Cinema Dancing Peeps
October 13, 2017
I was watching a video of some crazy person dancing in downtown Portland and that inspired me to create this specific video,
Blog Post “What is Digital Cinema”
October 6, 2017
When it comes to the videos linked above this weeks blog post, I would have to say that the Star Wars project along with Yorgo Alexopoulos No Feeling is Final were my favorite. This is not to say that I did not enjoy the others, in fact, its the opposite, I enjoyed every single linked video in one way or another. However, when it comes to these two particular projects, I love how you can get something new from them each time you watch them. I have seen the Star Wars films a hundred times now but thanks to the digital aesthetic of this video, the collage-like feature, means you are seeing something new (or old, depending on how you look at it) wherever your eyes look. The same goes for Yorgo’s video in which you can look at any square and be told a different story. This falls under what Lev says in the readings when he talks about how you can make the computer screen a “space of endless possibilities.” That is what these two videos are doing, they are using the space as a way to tell multiple stories, all at the same time, altering the traditional method of conveying a story, and instead, doing their own thing. If more directors decide to pick up this method of storytelling (I know the FX show Fargo does this wonderfully) then the “idexulaity” of cinema could be expanded and altered, if done correctly of course.
In regards to wanting to create my own hybrid cinema, I would say yes, all these videos really do open your creative passion. When you realize the floodgates on what is acceptable in modern cinema has expanded it sort of inspires you. Like Lev says half-way through his writing, “A number of artists, however, have approached these strategies not as limitations but as a source of new cinematic possibilities,” and this could not be more any more inspirational.
5-Minute Story on the Eagle Creek Fire
September 28, 2017
Whenever I am watching a news story on TV (which is rare for me), I never realized just how much work and thought go into every frame and shot. What someone chooses to show or not show can be the difference between invoking one emotion or another. So when it comes to shooting a news story about the Eagle Creek fire, you would have to choose who you interview as well as the various shots very carefully. With that being said, I would choose to showcase the following…
Interviews: “Because it is so much easier to ask an expert rather than to go out and learn about the subject on your own.” These interviews are here to deliver first-hand experiences and facts about the event at hand.
Both people who were directly impacted by the fire as well as people who could be impacted.
The brave men and women working to put out the fire.
Someone with knowledge of fires and what direction the fire could move to next.
B-Roll: Footage that is “not evidence, just illustration.”
Various shots of foliage and trees burning.
Footage of the people currently in the act of fighting the fire.
Multiple shots of the people who have been impacted by the fire.
Visual Evidence: “Work to tell your story in visual evidence.” This is the visual meat and potatoes of the news story.
Locations in which the fire will strike next.
Locations in which the fire is currently burning.
Still shots of the damage the fire has done.
The Cinematic and Narrative Techniques of Run Lola Run
September 22, 2017
Man, Run Lola Run was such a fun run (no pun intended). Tom Tykwer really did a fantastic job with this film, it feels like every part of the movie has some little creative touch. Specifically, when it comes to style and how the narrative is told. To me, this movie is almost like a video game, Lola perishes, respawns, and then takes what she knows and uses it to change what happens. In terms of technical talk, it allows for nonlinear editing. As Rombe’s states in his article, this allows the movie “to manipulate units of time in cinema today (that) parallels the activity that used to be the domain of the director or editor.” This whole narrative idea allows for so many creative possibilities that Tykwer capitalizes on. Throughout the movie, just like Lola, we often experience the same situations and scenes over and over again. However, thanks to this video game approach, these scenes play out differently each time, both narratively and cinematically. When Lola is going through the situation for the second time, we see how a change in pace (her bumping into the bum for example) changes the narrative as well as the cinematography. This change in pace results in a rising intensity which Tykwer showcases by using more close-ups, as well as other different shots.
Before I go, I just want to highlight one more narrative technique that I feel really helps add to the multilayered narrative that is present throughout. This technique being whenever Lola runs into somebody on the street, we get a stylized montage of vignettes that reveals the future or the past of that particular character. Not only is this fun to watch but it also serves the overall narrative, showcasing how Lola going through the same events again and again change the people around her.
Thanks for reading,
September 15, 2017
Below is my video for the continuity assignment, enjoy!
In the video, I tried to show off my dog (Scout) comedic hijacking of my car, while having it somewhat make sense. The video shows my very own reaction to Scout in the driver’s seat, followed by him pulling out and driving away. In the large scheme of things, it all makes sense (besides the dog driving a car, that makes no sense what so ever). However, I made some pretty big mistakes when it comes to the little details. My sunglasses remain on when I just took them off in a previous scene, the time of day looks somewhat different even though I shot them at the same time. Finally, some of the background items are in slightly different locations. This all has to do with me not paying attention to the smaller details, which in a scene all about continuity, is a big mistake. If I ever get a chance to reshoot this whole thing, hopefully, I fix those mistakes.
Thanks for watching,
Time Frames: Creatively Passing Time
September 14, 2017
Ever since I discovered them, cinematic gifs have quickly become one of my favorite things on the internet, here are some of my favorites.
Image 1: Sunglass Man
With all three images, I wanted to have a consistency between them. In this case, we have three gifs with pretty common narrative loops, however, each one offers something unique in that you can spawn a number of different narrative ideas from each one. With this particular one, we have a man in sunglasses who is angled towards the sky, showing off the clouds above. From this one gif, we can create a number of situations, all of them (at least to me) interesting. Maybe the man is a passenger in a car that never stops moving, or maybe he has fallen asleep and is never waking up. McCloud tells us in the reading that “when the content of a silent panel offers no clues as to its duration, it can also produce a sense of timelessness.” (McCloud 102.)
Image 2: Endless Waterfall
When I first saw this gif, my eyes were immediately drawn to the endless water fall in the background. I found it fascinating to watch it, never ending. Here we have a similar situation to the previous photo since we have not a single clue of the duration of the water pouring down. Staring at the gif almost creates a sense of timelessness, like an endless rain. This, in turn, allows us to create our own stories around this idea. maybe the man is frozen solid, never able to move for the rest of eternity. Maybe he is not a human at all, maybe he is something else entirely. Maybe earth has been hit with an endless rain, never to stop. All of these narratives spin off the one loop offered in this particular gif.
Image 3: Golfball Thrower
Last but not least, we have a man (Bill Murray) tossing an endless amount of golf balls into the pool. I love this specific gif just because it not only gives us a sense of time and space but also helps characterize the man throwing the golf balls. He looks bored, and maybe he passes the time by chucking golf balls into the pool. And just like the other gifs, we can create a variety of narrative plot points just with this one tiny loop. Maybe this man is the only person on earth who is still able to move and he is bored out of his mind, so to pass the time he just tosses golf balls into a random pool. In fact, all three of the gifs I showed could, in fact, tie into one another. There are so many possibilities when it comes to using loops as possible narrative points, we just have to think outside the box.
Thanks for reading,
Who Dunnit? – Aint Nobody Here
September 8, 2017
With the following video, you will see what remains after a group of friends just vanished out of nowhere, without a trace. Their cassette player still booming and their plates still out and about. Scattered throughout the various shots are clues to what might of happened, but in the end, who knows what went down.
One video offers a filter which I feel adds to the atmosphere, the other video presents the scene without any filter.
Narrative Spaces – Framing Within The Dark Knight
September 7, 2017
Below is the scene I decided to use for this particular assignment, one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In the scene, Batman (Christian Bale) interrogates the Joker (Heath Ledger) trying to pry out some important information from him. However, the integration completely turns to Joker’s favor as the scene goes on. Eventually, Batman does get a lead, but its not exactly what he wanted to hear.
Medium Close up:
Taken from the perspective of the Joker, this medium close up shot of Gordon is suppose to convey to the audience the fact that the Joker is already in control of the situation.
With this medium shot, the darkness closes around Commissioner Gordon, he, as well as the rest of the characters in this scene, think they have the one up on the Joker, this is just another shot showing the viewer that is not true.
One of my personal favorite frames from this scene, here we see Batman, and his physical superiority to the Joker. However, as the audience knows, mentally, the Joker is in absolute control.
Medium Close up:
Once again, another medium close up, this one lights up the Joker’s face, revealing him smirking as he knows what events are about to unfold.
In my own, personal opinion, this the scene where the audience starts to see that the Joker is getting to Batman, and this canted, distorted shot portrays this. While Batman may have slammed the Joker into the table with extreme aggression, the Joker seems to have gotten what he wanted.
Thanks to this low shot, we can visually see Batman’s physical superiority to the Joker as he stands over him after just slamming him into a one way mirror.
In the end here see Batman looming over the Joker, almost looking like he has murderous intentions. Though it looks like he has won the interrogation thanks to this shot, this is far from the truth.
Blog Post #1 – What Was Cinema? The New Age of Cinema
September 1, 2017
Brady Lewis, 8/30/2017, DTC 338
Oddly enough, my friend and I were having almost the exact same discussion about a week ago. We were driving to a movie and the topic of our conversation somehow moved too that of digital video. My friend asked, in this day and age, why do you use digital video? While I wish I could have answered immediately, I definitely needed some time to respond. I mean, that really is a loaded question. I use digital video for such a wide variety of reasons, from entertainment to social outreach. However, a trend I noticed between all my uses was that of ease of use, and representation. Digital video is a one stop shop for so many people, and for me personally, its an easy to use representation of my life. Cinema was invented to tell and share stories, for me personally (and many other people) digital video allows me to give visual representation of my own personal stories. If my pet dog all of a sudden starts singing and doing backflips, I just pull out my phone and record it. This is the simplest and easiest form of visual representation currently, and its bound to change as time goes on.
After my loaded and elongated response to my friend, he immediately threw another question my way? What do you feel will be the future of visual representation? Right now, as we talked about in the previous question, someone just pulls out their phone and records something. I have seen entire movies recorded on a more recent iPhone, edited, and put on YouTube for millions of people to watch. Film is no longer the big thing, far from it. Or as D.N Rodowick states in the reading, “The birth of film studies is concomitant with the death of cinema.” Whatever we use in the future will revolve around two pillars, ease of use, and visual clarity. Whatever “automatism” checks those two boxes the best, will be the new thing. Only the future holds what that thing may be.
Thanks for reading,
Brady’s Very First Blog Post (Hi)
August 25, 2017
My name is official name is Braden Lewis, but most people I know call me Brady. When it comes to anything video, I am a complete novice, so I am extremely excited to learn more.