Brendan Reardon

Brendan Reardon

Hello, my name is Brendan Reardon and I am a DTC major studying animation and film. I am a big fan of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and many other great movies... It is my goal to become a competent story-teller that can edify, benefit, and challenge people in all aspects of their life.

Brendan Reardon – Final

Since class on Tuesday, I put into affect some of the suggestions people made. Also, I finished the credits of all the great people that helped make this film possible. Thank you everyone for all the encouragement. Feel free to give critiques. It is always much appreciated. Thanks.

Brendan Reardon

This article has 5 Comments

  1. Holy crap, man. You realize you’re supposed to be a student, not a pro, right? Ha! This is amazing! Great storyline, shot compositions, action, sound effects, and solid transitions…especially how you use the actions scenes as flashbacks. And where did you find those actors? They did an amazing job. Very well done.

  2. This is a really unique and ambitious project. The editing is very well done and the only thing I have to suggest is maybe using a gunshot sound effect that has a little more weight to it around 4:30.

  3. This is incredible! I second everything Troy said. You have such an amazing talent, both as a director and an editor. I’ve shown this to all of my roommates, and they couldn’t believe this was a student production. We’re literally all saying we would pay money to see this if it were a full length movie. The script was really interesting, I did not expect that twist. Your main actor was amazing too! He communicated so much with just his facial expressions and body language.

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Hypercinema

http://dtc-wsuv.org/breardon18/hypervideo/index.html

The above link is my Hypercinema assignment. It is a fairly short, and simple, experiment with choices and navigation in an environment. In games, you can explore a virtual world comprised of 3D assets. I wanted to explore the idea of a “point-and-click” adventure, much like a video game, where you explore a space on a website, rather then an application. As long as you have good bandwidth the videos should load fairly smoothly. Let me know what you think.

Brendan Reardon

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Hypercinema: FilmText

Of all the “interactive cinema” projects I found most interested in, it was the FilmText experience. The experience opens with a title sequence foreshadowing mystery and an ominous air. Then, you go through the story and experience what appeared to be an alien/hidden society on Mars… or somewhere on Earth. There is garbled audio, looped video, background images, and many little flash animations that comprised the overall mediums used to communicate the story.

Of all the things that this interactive cinema project accomplishes is the act of drawing in the audience. For traditional cinema, the audience just sits back and watches how the story unfolds. In this interactive experience, the user needs to contribute to the story by integrating with different buttons, animations, and windows in order to progress what happens.

For FilmText, the user is expected to go through a set of chapters in the top right corner of the window to continue each part of the story. Each chapter is a different set of animations, audio, and image backgrounds which give context to the story. At first, things seem very confusing. The story is not very clear or concise in what is actually happening. I actually found myself lost in a couple parts where I didn’t exactly know if I had experienced everything for that chapter. There were no transitions to each individual chapter….

However, I think this was the point of the story/experience. FilmText, was very mysterious in nature, and I think the purpose was to have the audience feel just as much confusion as the character in the story. Overall, it felt very similar to a “point-and-click” adventure game.

Brendan Reardon

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Video Essay

 

Here is my video essay exercise. Feel free to give critiques. Any advice is much appreciated.

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Cinema Writing

Cinema Writing, or writing for video essays  is like writing your ideas down into a concise statement about a particular topic for video format. Video essays could comprise of anything such as tutorials, documentaries, or an explainer video. Video essays are fairly broad in this regard. When combining a narration of a topic, text, and sound to explain something, you need to make sure your visual evidence is convincing.

Visual Evidence is an illustration of what the story/argument is of a particular piece of video. It guides the viewer on what to think/feel. If a video essay has irrelevant or vague visual evidence, about the subject in the video essay, it will be hard to understand. However, if the visual evidence is accurate, this can provide the viewers a strong argument/illustration on what is trying to be communicated through the combination of text, sound, and visuals.

Thus, in order to write for a video essay, shoot video, and combine it all together, you need to make sure you have relevant content available to you. For example, if you want to create a video essay about a farm, you will need to be able to film an actual farm in the present day; or find relevant footage already filmed. You might be able to research and write for eternity about farms, but if you do not have access to visual evidence to back up what you are discussing, you may need a different topic. For the video essay format, I think this marriage of visuals/text/sound all need to be carefully thought out for the marriage to work.

Brendan Reardon

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Networked Cinema

After reading the article, and watching parts of the web series, the idea of having a string of videos on social media to tell a story is fascinating. The “Skam” web series seems to have a lot of flexibility in its story telling power. With social media, you are able to use text, photos, and video all together to weave a story from many different mediums. As most teenage series are, there is a lot of drama, romance, and social ongoings. However, I think this type of series could be very well done in a political and historical way.

You could potentially create a web series around a natural disaster, international crises, or a conspiracy that unfolds on the platform of social media. You could have weather updates pop up on the web series page about the natural disaster, additional videos of victims of the disaster, and maybe the occasional update of the main character in the midst of the event. The addition of text and photo imagery to help push the idea could really create an immersive experience.

Many people today spend hours upon hours a day on social media. If you could take that time spent and pull them into an immersive story, artificial as it may, could pose as something very realistic. People are used to experiencing things from a distance on social media so the idea of creating fictional stories through social media might be very convincing. It would be interesting to see a project, with a Hollywood budget, be created on the social media platform.

 

Brendan Reardon

 

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Well done. I like all of the visual evidence. I grew up working on a small family farm in Wisconsin. I can relate to alot of what is being documented here. Excellent work.

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Job Profile

Here is my job profile assignment. This is definitely one of the best experiences I have had in awhile. It was a lot of fun creating this from start to finish. Any critiques would be much  appreciated.

 

Brendan Reardon

This article has 7 Comments

  1. Hey Brendan! Really cool video! Now this is an environment I know little about because I never grew up on a farm, so it’s interesting to watch.

    I like your intro to create context, and your use of a simple title to show Daniel’s name without him speaking it. You have good visual evidence, as well. And I get a good sense of his thoughts and experience with what he does. Great job!

    I wonder if what you did here could be enhanced by the right musical track?

  2. Brendan, This is so great. A lot of visual evidence – the unruly calves breaking down the barrier. I like both the opening and the ending, and the inserts of the family photos. There are just a few spots where the sound cut is abrupt and the edit is perhaps too quick – I would have to show you these.

  3. Brendan – wow, this is amazing. The natural sounds, the abundance of visual evidence… you nailed this assignment. There are a couple shots that could maybe benefit from some color editing because they’re either over or under-exposed (the cows are super white at 1:00 but dark at 2:05). And the only other thing I would suggest is maybe seeing how your opening shot looks after it’s been stabilized in Premiere. I personally love hand-held shots, but you might just see how a more stabilized version looks. (Go to Effects, then Warp Stabilizer in Premiere) But these are just minor things. Fantastic job 🙂

  4. The visual evidence in this is solid! You have such a wide variety of shots that it really keeps my interest throughout. I also really enjoyed the scene where Daniel is freaking as the calf is hopping over the downed fence. Him riding off into the distance on an ATV felt like a solid ending point as well.

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Hybrid Spaces Project

Here is my most recent project. I was able to include stop-motion, VFX, SFX, compositing with green-screen, live-action footage, and matte painting in this video. I would have loved to work on it more, but, sadly, time was the death of my ambitions. Feel free to critique the different aspects.

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Hybrid Spaces

After reading the chapter from Lev Manovich on digital cinema, hybrid cinema seems to be the staple of today’s entertainment industry. As Manovich explains in the chapter, “In principle, given enough time and money, one can create what will be the ultimate digital film: 90 minutes, i.e. 129,600 frames, completely painted by hand from scratch, but indistinguishable in appearance from live photography” (pg. 9). This is exactly what comprises a great majority of cinema today such as: PIXAR movies, Marvel movies, STAR WARS movies, and many more franchises. Granted, some of the above films still use a great amount of traditional filming as the backbone of the work, but most of it will be touched digitally in the post-production process. It has transformed the way people make movies.

The “hybrid space” work I picked to study was the mash-up of the six STAR WARS movies on starwarswars.com. It was very interesting watching the first half hour of the piece as it displays all six films at the same time. The opening sequence seemed to really work as the combination of the films helped amplify what was on screen. However, once the movies progressed into different scenes, chaos ensued.

Each movie was digitally edited, or manipulated as Manovich states: “the essential characteristic of digital information is that it can be manipulated,” so that everything could become transparent between the films (pg. 10). For instance, because the movies were all transparent you could almost see all of them at the same time. Some scenes with higher contrast seemed to stand out better than other darker scenes, which blended into the background. The audio of all six movies were very garbled up in dialogue scenes, however the battle scenes were amplified with all the dialogue colliding with each other.

I was impressed with the creativity behind the project. In fact, I think this type of digital manipulation could be very useful for dream sequences, memories, or some sort of abstracted thought. The hybrid spaces created are completely digital, which is the only reason why this exists. Moreover, moving forward, I think it would be interesting to see two completely different movies, such as a romance and an action movie, combined to see what the mix creates.

Work Cited:

Manovich, Lev. What is Digital Cinema. web. 2018

 

Brendan Reardon

 

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Spatial Montage Assignment

Here is a short video me and my brothers worked on together. It was a lot of fun. Especially with some of the fury subjects we worked with.

There are some improvements that could definitely be made, however. For instance, the audio is absent entirely. There was so much audio between the different scenes that it made it difficult to tackle. For the assignment I left the video mute, but I will be coming back to the video and finishing the audio. Another thing that could be improved on would be the continuity editing.

There is continuity within some short clips, but there are some jump cuts that carry the story to the next scene. Now that I know how to edit with spatial montage, I would like to rework how I shoot shots to incorporate the montage style. In conclusion though, it was a lot of fun.

Brendan Reardon

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Visual Evidence and the Eagle Creek Fire

Creating a documentary on the recent Eagle Creek Fire, that occurred in the Columbia Gorge, would probably be fairly easy. The wildfire was only about a year ago, and the event is very fresh in the public’s memory. You would have much material at hand to show the audience visual evidence.

I would focus solely on the firefighter’s perspective in the main story. The tremendous job of trying to fight back flames that endangered some of the public’s most beloved nature spots would be challenging. Also, I would probably have a few sub-plots fleshing out the perspectives of people who lost their homes, the perpetrator of the fire, and the general public’s perspective.

Just as Barry Hampe explained in his writings on visual evidence, I would need to show the audience what happened and not just tell them. Instead of just using old footage of the fire, I would attempt at getting footage of flames close to Multnomah Falls to illustrate the potential loss the public faced, if the fire had continued its growth. I would try to gather footage of firefighters fighting flames off the highway, houses, and different state parks. Get some shots of the public watching the flames consume the gorge as they stand helplessly watching their home destroyed. I would go in that direction.

You could interview some firefighters, residents who lost their homes, residents who almost lost their homes, the individual who started the fire if they would cooperate. I would try to delve into their memories of the event such as: their thoughts when they were instructed to evacuate, the smoke and haze that covered the area in the surreal manner it did, firefighters speaking on the stress of the situation. I would probably use some of the interviews as voiceover as I showed the audience old footage of the fire.

Moreover, I would also get some before and after shots of what the Columbia gorge looked like before and after the fire. It would help cement the idea of the consequences, which came with the Eagle Creek fire. You would also need some shots of the gorge from the Washington side looking across the river to help give the audience the sense of scale the fire was characterized by. I would try to avoid the overuse of interviews, as Barry Hampe warns against, and try to focus on visual evidence and the corresponding after-math that the Columbia gorge now inhabits.

 

Brendan Reardon

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“Run Lola Run” Thoughts

After watching Run Lola Run, I was immediately impressed with it’s style. It was very original with its use of loops as to rewinding time in key points in the story. You almost thought while watching the story would end at the death of the main character, but time reversed instead. It was very different, and effective.

One thing that caught my attention while watching the film was the use of split-screen, or spatial montage, when the tensity was at it’s peak. You simultaneously see the two main characters in their own space in time as they race against the clock, which appears subtly in the crescendo. It reminded me of what Scott McCloud discussed in his writings about time, and how it can be manipulated in various ways.  This film definitely was experimenting with time passage and how the audience perceived it. It was very effective on informing the viewer of multiple timelines. The alternative would be an attempt to “cross-cut” between character’s and their own spaces. In reflection though, I think the spatial montage works best.

After watching the entire movie, I was a little confused as to the purpose of the story. Maybe this question is irrelevant. However, the loops in the film extends the film’s capacity to tell a story. Instead of just telling one story, it told three. Three different outcomes of the same scenario, which reveal different aspects to the characters. That is what the loops in this film accomplished.

 

Brendan

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Loops

Continuity loop:

 

 

Discontinues loop:

 

 

Infinite loop:

 

 

These loops were fairly challenging for me to make. Thinking of a piece of media that gets it’s message across quickly in a variety of editing strategies was difficult. Especially brainstorming/planning an infinite loop, and figuring out how to construct the seamlessness of the video, was very challenging. I would definitely like some advice on the technical side of infinite loops. It was fun putting these short loops together.

 

Brendan

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Temporal Montage Assignment

 

Here is my temporal montage short film. It is probably slightly ambitious for what the assignment called for, but I really wanted to try my idea out. This is a short story of a soldier in a tense situation. I was greatly inspired by the Tree of Life video we watched in class. I attempted at incorporating the same editing style, however my editing is not nearly as abstract.

Brendan Reardon

This article has 6 Comments

  1. Holy shit! Am I allowed to curse? This was incredible. I love the idea behind the flashbacks and tying the momento in the final scene. I am thoroughly impressed. I feel inspired by this video.

  2. The background sound is a little jarring between outside and the flashbacks but this is awesome! Definitely makes a really strong association cutting between the present scene and the past. I liked how you made the present full color and the past a little saturated to create that contrast.

  3. Dude you did an amazing job on this. As a person who has been through combat I have high expectations for war footage. I literally had chills when we watched this in class. Very well put together. Great job.

    Joshua

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Loops in Digital Cinema

Loops in digital cinema, or gifs, are probably most common to us through social media and communication through text messages. However, gifs, or simply looped video, can be much more than that. Some gifs can take on a more “artistic,” thought out, approach instead of the usual gag, or meme, to relate to that day’s difficulties.

One such example is the gif above, which displays the skyline of San Francisco at dawn. It is a simple time-lapse. The scene can be very addictive to look at. It captures your attention and draws you in to watch the plumes of cloud drift by on their journey. For cinematic purposes, this could be used as a wide shot, or as a piece to illustrate the passage of time. The above gif is very successful at picking out one detail, among many, in the composition and displaying it on it’s own.

I have always been fascinated with how the night lights in a city can produce so much life. In this gif, we see a person standing in what seams to be rapid traffic. It gives a sense of business, excitement, and loneliness. Even though there is much bustle about, this person seems to be removed from it. For cinematic purposes, the following could be powerful in examining emotion in your character during key moments in a plot.

This last gif is very humorous in its portrayal in something as simple as pouring a drink for someone. Obviously, Cary Grant is acting very hesitant toward what the host is offering, or is he thinking simply “bring it on?” However, if it was the later of the two, I would think his face would show it more plainly. Again, this composition takes one part of the whole and separates it for effect. The gif illustrates the thought in the character’s head and suspends it in time. It is amazing what details you can pick up, in a single image, when it is frozen in time.

 

Brendan Reardon

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Narrative Time and Dunkirk

After reading Scott McCloud’s chapter on “Time Frames,” in Understanding Comics, I was instantly reminded of Christopher Nolan’s recent movie Dunkirk. In the film, Dunkirk, Nolan used several different characters to create the whole narrative of the Battle of Dunkirk. Each character existed in a separate timeline, for example: one character’s story was over the course of a day, another character’s story was over the course of a week, another’s story was over an hour. At the end of the movie, each storyline collides in the same event, which concludes all of their stories. It was very interesting. The idea of manipulating the passage of time, and creating the illusion of separate stories, and yet, they were all interconnected by the end. It was new.

I think these are similar questions being raised in McCloud’s book. What can we learn from common visual habits and incorporate those ideas in other media? In digital cinema everything is very linear. The whole idea of a three act structure to a story is very linear. You have a beginning, middle, and an ending in classic story-telling.  How can someone challenge this idea?

You might be able to use split-screen as a way of showing different passages of time. Time-lapse could be another method, however, it is still linear, it still moves from beginning to end. You might be able to mimic a comic’s advantages by breaking up your’ frame into multiple frames and then creating motion, and cause and effect between different frames in a non-linear method. Or, you could create loops of video to create repeated time, like a GIF.

Of all the media that does non-linear story-telling the best, I think it is open-world video games. You can choose your path and interact with whatever you want at any time. The game leaves the path up to you. You may still navigate the story in a linear way, but you choose where to start and when to finish.

 

Brendan Reardon

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Continuity Assignment

 

For my continuity assignment I decided to film my grandpa playing golf. I thought it would be a great subject since golf has a very definitive “beginning,” “middle,” and “end” as you play each hole on the course. Also, it would give me a chance to film something outside, which I thought would be a challenge.

When planning this project, there were some things I definitely wanted to accomplish. First, I wanted to create a continuity throughout the experience that was smooth. Second, I wanted to have a variety in framing such as: LS’, ELS’, and CU’s. Third, I wanted to capture the essence of golf. I thought of this “essence” as the three “acts” of each hole. The first “act” is starting the hole, the second is the journey to the hole, and the third is the final time on the green at the hole. Fourth, I wanted to edit the short film with fast cuts so that the film did not drag on, which characterizes the PGA most of the time.

I began the process by designing some storyboards, thinking about the framing, and the general story arch of the short film. Then I arranged a time to go shoot the video with my Grandpa, and then edited down the 17 minutes of footage into the minute long video, which became the final product. After completing the entire project, I definitely have improvements for next time. My list of improvements can be seen in the bulleted points as follows:

  • The continuity in my short film could have been better. I think some shots work well, such as the shot where you see the ball flying through the trees, or the “putting” sequence at the end. However, the journey getting to the hole could have been better. Currently, I have a montage of three “swing” shots in sequence to communicate the idea of passage of time, or the journey to the hole. It seems choppy. I think I needed to give more variety to the framing, or show some “walking/driving” shots to give the impression of travel.
  • I needed to scout out my shooting location before I actually started to shoot. Before me and my Grandpa shot the film, I just imagined what kind of framing/shots I wanted to shoot while at home. I had been there a few times before, so I thought I had enough information to go off of. I was WRONG. When I arrived on the golf course, there was people everywhere, you had to be careful no to interrupt anyone while shooting, the terrain was somewhat different then what I remembered. In short, it was a learning experience. I know now to ALWAYS scout out the shooting location before shooting.
  • Planning the juxtaposition of each swing of the golf club, and how that affects the next, would be good to keep in mind. I need to think about creative ways of displaying cause and effect. For the short film, I would like to show more shots of the ball landing on the course.

 

In retrospect, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process of this short film. I am looking forward for the next project to improve on what I learned.

 

Brendan Reardon

 

 

This article has 4 Comments

  1. Brendan, Not all of these shots are following strict rules of continuity.In fact most of the cuts are discontinuous jump cuts. But you keep screen direction and at one point change the camera angle on several swings and of course the ball rolling. Those are continuous.

  2. While this doesn’t always keep continuity rules in mind, I felt like the editing had a certain style to it. Maybe it’s one of those things where you purposely break the rules for a particular style!

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Skyfall Remix

Here is my short little Skyfall remix trailer. It was great fun to create and mix up an established piece of work in a new imaginative way.

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Framing for Visual Evidence

Below is my short video deploying visual evidence for the aftermath of the an event. The scenario was inspired by previous experiences of people I know. I hope it is relatable to everyone who watches it. It was very fun to create.

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Framing

For my framing blog post I chose one of my favorite scenes from LOTR: The Return of the King as an example of storytelling through the use of framing different elements within your story. The scene starts with the Riders of Rohan coming to Gondor’s rescue. However, they will have to deal with the horde of orcs between them and the city. Below is the different shots Peter Jackson used to make this such a memorable scene.

 

CU

ELS

MCU

ELS

CU

CU

M

MCU

M

MCU

CU

M

CU

 

ELS

MLS

ELS

LS

MLS

CU

MLS

ELS

LS

MCU

LS

LS

CU

MCU

ELS

MCU

MCU

M

LS

M

LS

ELS

MCU

ELS

ELS

LS

MCU

ELS

CU

ELS

MCU

LS

 

Every time I watch this scene it gives me goosebumps. I do not think this was achieved without great thought and care however. As we see the horses riding up onto the hill, and the orcs noticing this in the first group of shots, we observe the stage being set. It is literally the age old western stand-off between the good guys and the bad guys. Then, Peter Jackson, uses a series of close-ups to create horror and tension for the setting.

For example, the good guys witness what they are up against and the bad guys prepare to repel them. Then, we witness a montage between  medium close-up shots, close-ups, and extreme long-shots to further pump up the audience for what is about to ensue. Also, there are a series of cut-ins from close-ups to extreme long-shots to give a sense of what each particular character is feeling in this situation so that we don’t lose track of the cast.

Eventually, the good guys stampede off to defeat their foes and succeed in trampling every villain in sight. This, conclusion to the scene, is accomplished by starting with an extreme long-shot to give a viewer a sense of the action, and then the shots zoom in on different character’s vignettes to bring the audience in close to the action, with close-ups and medium close-ups, to give the audience a pay-off for the built up anticipation.

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Pocket Cinema

“Pocket Cinema” in the twenty-first century is essentially digital video made with a mobile device. The idea of this mobile, and accessible, way to create and share video across the world, through the internet, is changing how people perceive cinema. Cinema is no longer something only Hollywood may posses to carry out. Cinema can be carried out by the average person with a two hundred dollar mobile device. 

The idea of everyone being their own personnel cameraman is fascinating and also foreboding. In Sarah Atkinson’s article “How your smartphone is changing cinema” she describes how these mobile devices are changing the medium. She goes into depth on new tech that allows filmmakers to experiment on phones such as: lenses, apps, and adaptors. Some filmmakers take film grammar and translate it straight into the mobile experience. Consequently, filmmakers create intimate shots that only a small device could capture. Moreover, Some filmmakers gather collections of personal video clips from various people to weave together a story. These stories can become surprising, and disturbing, such as the new “selfie” movie called Starvecrow

These advantages, in pockets cinema, can be seen as a shift in the way digital cinema is seen today. These mobile devices with readily available HD video, some carry 4k capability, is astounding. You can carry a phone anywhere, easily maneuver them into tight places, shoot for as long as your’ hard drive will let you, and immediately share the video to multiple platforms all on one device. These automatisms of Pocket cinema are powerful, and yet, most people take it for granted. 

It is easy to forget how much power we do have as creator in the fast paced world we live in. Twenty years ago these tools were not readily accessible. Mobile phone are everywhere now. Moreover, most people do not even use their devices to create, but to consume. Most video produced seems to be very casual, and practical, like explainer videos or to show your friend something. This new age of cinema has opened the door to many new creators to experiment, and explore in ways that they could never imagine before. However, it also opens the door to ways video is used for more then just story-telling. You have innocent little short films, like Détour, being created, which is a heartfelt story, while then you have the silly teenager video taping themselves just to post the video on social media. People can film anything they want to because the door is wide open. Digital video can be anything for anyone. 

Brendan Reardon

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Introduction

Hello everyone, my name Is Brendan Reardon, and I am a DTC major focusing on animation and story-telling. I have many interests in video, especially in film language such as: how to frame a shot, how to transition between shots, and how to tell a meaningful story. I also hope to improve my skills technically as well. I have always struggled with lighting and composition within my video. My video seems to always come out fuzzy and grainy. I aim to improve on this. I love movies such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and documentaries such as Ken Burn’s work. I hope to capture some of this inspiration within my own work. Here are some videos that have the aesthetic I wish to aim for as follows:

I picked the first video because it discusses story. Story, to me, is fundamental to any cinema. I do know that there is some cinema out that purposefully avoids a definitive western esc story, I do think there is a place for that, however that does not speak to my interests as much.

I picked the second video for it’s montage of amazing shots from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I do know that I am not going to be able to produce crazy crane shots of vast mountain ranges and so on. I do know, however, that I can learn great composition and design from this short remix, which is my goal. 

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