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Loop Assignment-All The Loops

I gave this loop thing my best shot.

Here is the more traditional loop featuring a more conventional style and edit as well as a narrative.

Here is the second loop I put together. My attempt at a contininous simple shot with no narrative.

And last but not least here is my off the wall loop with different camera angles, zooms as well as edits.

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Continuity Assignment: BBQ Chicken

My contunity edit. I decided to pick something simple just to test my shot making ability. What I chose was the act of making microwaved chicken with some BBQ sauce. I really tried to maintain a singular flow throughout the edit and at times it is a bit choppy but overall there are quite a few shots and edits I am proud of. Shooting video is still something I am fairly new at. So, this is a lot of experimenting with different angles and shots. As well as diferent types of close ups and medium shots.

Overall, I like it and it is just another example of the continuing work in progress that is shooting video for me personally.

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#3: Time Frames

In a portion of Scott McCloud’s comic about comic books, Understanding Comics, he discusses time frames in the comic form and how panels show the progression of time and space among other elements. This progression is similar to what is found in film.

Films have panels of their own. They consist of individual frames or shots. Through editing these shots can be cut together and create passages of time that can be short or very long depending on what the focus of the shots wind up being. Since films don’t have speech bubbles, this progression is also maintained by the actors or in some cases narration. Films also just like comics tend to show the progression of time and space in an unnatural way. Sometimes even fast forwarding through moments all together just so the focus can be on the moments of greater impact. These moments can be emotional, or strictly visual but it is usually these moments of impact that provide a dyanamic progression of time and space without even showing the viewer directly how much time has passed or how the space has shifted over time.

The key in comics with this progression of time and space is to make it appear as natural as possible but in order to do so in a concise manner, this progression has to be shown in a way that is truncated and far from normal. Sometimes the progression of time can be shown through the seasons, the absence of sunlight, a simple edit that takes the characters from one place to another, or directly through subtitles. But there is usually never a completely accurate depiction of how much time has passed in a scene. Instead there is the illusion of such a shift. Becuase films just like comics are intended to engage an audience. If either were realistic in their approach to progression of time and space, they would be quite dull.

This progression is enhanced greatly with the use of various different kind of shots and filmmaking techniques. Just like the panels found in comics. You have the different kind of camera shots like the long shot, the medium shot, the close-up, etc. etc. that can enhance this progression as well as other elements of filmmaking like slow-motion photography, and time lapse. While comic panels can be quite static and flat when it comes to how they show the progression of time and space, films can be the complete opposite with the combination of shots and techniques creating visuals that are total eye candy that not only progress the time and space the characters are in but the story as well in a way that is truly stunning.

This progression is an element of comic books and filmmaking that is widely considered by many to be such a stock and simple aspect of both forms but an incredibly important and valuable one that is far more complex than you might think. Reading the passage from Understanding Comics and applying it to cinematic techiniques really opened my mind and showed me first hand how valuable and truly interesting this seemingly simple progression really is. It truly allows you to view films and comics in a completely different lens that is more detailed and clearer than ever before.

 

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Skyfall Recut

Just my 30 second recut of a scene from Skyfall.

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#2 : Framing In Action

Film is a visual medium and it uses it’s visuals to tell a story in a unique way that is greatly affected by the use of framing to create a sequence. How framing is used can provide a scene with a certain flow, speed or even a mood. One of my favorite films is the 1986 film Cobra.

Here is one of my favorite scenes of the film condensed into a series of still frames each of which are approximately one after another. Some vary because it was dificult to get the exact screenshot. But the purpose of these series of photos is showcase framing in action.

Medium

Close-Up

Medium Close-Up

Medium

Close-Up

Medium Long Shot

Medium Long Shot

Medium Long Shot

Medium Close-Up

Low Angle Shot(Slightly Canted)

Medium

Extreme Close-Up

When you look at these shots seperate from one another in a series of stills, you see how much really goes into shooting a dynamic sequence in a film and how much different forms of framing in action makes in this particular example, an action sequence as action packed and exciting as possible. In this scene the goal is to showcase a dynamic and cool series of shots that make Stallone’s character Cobra look like one of the coolest cops out there. The use of medium shots to really allow Stallone’s presence to dominate as many frames as possible. And the final extreme close-up of the butt of his gun placed into his jeans with the stylized Cobra also creates this sense of cool and machismo that screams bad ass.  Which is the very intent of this scene and how it is framed. To make its star and the character of Marion Cobretti look as powerful as possible and larger than life. Cobra is a film that is loaded with sequences just like this that are framed in ways to get maximum thrills. Once you learn framing and the different ways shots are framed in film, it completely changes the way you view films and makes you appreciate this unique form of story telling even more.

 

 

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Framing Assignment : The Hunt

This is my assignment for framing different shots. I tried to be fairly unique with my shot selection with this video. I wanted it have some otherworldly look and feel to it and I tried to go through a wide variety of framing shots. Close ups, extreme close ups, medium length, and landscape. It is a short video but I personally didn’t feel it had to be any longer than this. I just wanted to experiment with my shot selection. Hopefully you find it as interesting to watch as I did shooting and editing it together.

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# 1: Pocket Cinema

As the years have gone by advancements in technology have led to more and more aspiring filmmakers and established filmmakers alike gaining access to faster and quicker ways to get their visions on film. It started with the digital cameras that could shoot HD video that didn’t weigh a metric ton or cost thousands of dollars and the evolution is continuing with even smaller and lightweight cameras inside the latest smart phones that can fit in your pocket.

It all sounds like some kind of technology that came from the minds of science fiction writers of decades past, but its the real thing and more and more filmmakers are beginning to use these pocket cameras to make pocket feature length films. One director in particular this is really drawn to this new form of filmmaking is Steven Sodebergh who has directed not one but two films with an IPhone to date.

One debate that is ongoing is whether or not filmmakers who are choosing to use the IPhone are doing so for creative purposes to create something unique or just for economic and efficiency reasons. I personally feel the answer is a bit of both. These filmmakers are drawn to this new way of shooting video with a smart phone. But the majority of these filmmakers are only drawn to this form for short or feature length films because the advancements in technology have allowed them to be able to shoot the kind of film they already like to shoot but with a smaller budget and with faster efficiency leading to their work being in the can much faster than before. Sodebergh has even discussed this aspect of pocket cinema openly.

Yes. There were exceptions in the past like Night Fishing from the IPhone film fesitval in 2004. But even after that film was successful shot and garnered some acclaim it didn’t lead to some new revolution of filmmaking. As soon as the IPhone started to have HD video capabilities on par with digital cameras or high end cameras that is when most of these filmmakers started to consider the possibility of shooting full length short or feature films with a phone. This does not mean that some filmmakers did not choose the format for artistic reasons. I am sure Sodebergh and the director of Tangerine for instance hand picked the format to give their films a unique sense of realism or atmosphere only the IPhone could provide. Unsane for instance is a dark film dealing with dark subject matter. So the camera not being able to capture light as well as others is not a bad thing. It enhances the already dark mood of the film. In the case of Gondry’s Detour or Tangerine the IPhone camera allows the filmmaker to get inside the realm and personal space of the film and its characters much more intimately because the camera is much smaller than the typical cameras used to shoot film.

This uniqueness though has its limits. I don’t believe that these filmmakers chose the IPhone to shoot their films based on the IPhone camera and its differences from traditional film cameras. They even have used apps to make the footage widescreen or panoramic and used attachments to the phone to provide a better picture and a wider scope that is closer to what they and most audiences are familiar with. Michel Gondry’s short film Detour is a perfect example of this. It is shot in a way that is incredibily cinematic in a traditional sense all the way down to the framing of shots. Gondry would more than likely not have used an IPhone to shoot the short if it didn’t have the kind of camera in it that could shoot the exact kind of video he wanted for his film. The technology has evolved over the years to match what the filmmakers already look for when it comes to the quality and flexibility of film.

This new form of cinema, Pocket Cinema to me is an evolution of other forms of cinema like Shot On Video. When loads of low budget films were made, edited and produced on video by various different filmmakers for various different genres. The shot on video film still exists today. And it could arguably shift into various different forms of Pocket Cinema as the phones become more abdundant and their cameras continue to adance in terms of their abilities and technology. Pocket Cinema has less automatisms than other forms of filmmaking. It is less static because it can be held by hand rather easily to shoot footage, and it can also be stationary like any other previous form of filmmaking. Other attachments can also be used to move the camera inside the phone in various different directions and places. The biggest automatisims that Pocket Cinema has to date is when it is hand held the footage is rather shaky and the footage can tend to be less dynamic in terms of color or overall depth. But as the format continues to evolve it will become more and more dynamic in terms of color and depth and potentially become on par with even the best cameras.

When I read about this new form of cinema and witnessed examples of it, I wasn’t as shocked that these films were shot with phones. Unlike most audience members I knew that today’s phones are top of the line in terms of technology and because these short films or feature films are directed by already established filmmakers, they could adapt their filmmaking techniques to the IPhone cameras to create films that look no different than what they have done before with heavier and more expensive cameras. Despite that, it does not make what they have accomplished any less impressive. And we might witness a new wave of films and filmmakers as this genre continues to develop and produce content as the years go by. And that is very exciting.

An example of this style of Pocket Cinema taken to an even bigger extreme. Webcam footage and screen recordings of computer screens edited into a feature film. I know the film has gotten a lot of flack, but I personally really enjoyed it. And its form of filmmaking is unquestionably unique.

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Howdy Class!

Hello there. I am Mike Brown. Some people on the internet know me as OcpCommunications on you tube. This is my second digital cinema class. I had a lot of fun with the first one and I am looking forward to further honing my video production skills in this class. Hopefully I get a hang of Premiere a lot better this time around.

Subscribe or just check me out if you are into all kinds of movie reviews and stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/user/OcpCommunications

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