Ian

Ian Farnham

Pixel Cinema Blog Post

Lev Manovich described digital cinema as a case of animation that uses live-action footage as one of its many elements. This seems to be more common in many movies in this modern era and with viewing the links I got to see what someone can really do with digital cinema and how much it can be altered. The Star Wars video was great because Star Wars already consists of digital cinema in almost every scene and what Marcus Rosentrater did made it so much more interesting. He placed all six movies on top of each other, changing the opacity for each movie. It made it so intriguing to watch as it was hard to follow what was going on but I could make out certain scenes that were familiar to me. It was a really unique way of manipulating space and certain moments would catch my attention such as the action scenes. There would be a part where the action scenes would still be going on for two of the movies but the other four there would still just be dialogue.  It was difficult to follow conversations as there were many people talking at once except for a few certain scenes that were iconic for me. Another website that I really enjoyed was playdamage.org. I was surprised to hear the middle of Lana Del Rey’s Summertime Sadness when the site opened. The second thing I noticed was the strange image that was being shown. It looked like a very pixelated and distorted picture of the Great Sphinx. Then I noticed that the song playing was on a loop. After about a minute or so I thought I’ve seen enough until I noticed that there were hidden links that I could click on that took me to a different page that displayed a different song and image. This had me invested as I wanted to explore everything on the page. There were about 120 different pages all different from each other that had distorted images or videos. 

 

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Eagle Creek Fire

If I were to do a documentary on the Eagle Creek fire, I would want the main focus to be the cause of the fire and who was affected by it. I would want to interview the boys that caused the fire and the witness that saw them as well as any park rangers that worked on the site. I would also want to interview the boys’ parents too and ask them about their reactions when they heard about the fire and when they heard who was responsible. I would also want to interview the hikers that were trapped in the fire and forced to stay overnight up the trail. Some footage I had like to get ahold of but would be difficult to get would be the video the boys themselves recorded of them throwing fireworks into the canyon. I would want to find some archived footage of Eagle Creek before it was burned down and then revisit those locations and film what it looks like now to use for B roll footage. I would use this B roll footage as visual evidence when I would ask the rangers how many acres were burnt down and when they would say it I would show the footage. I would look to see if there would be any archived footage of the forest rangers rescuing or helping the hikers. I would want the documentary to end with the audience feeling a sense of hope. I would film what people are doing to help the forest such as replanting and other things. I would want to also ask the park rangers on what their plan is to restore Eagle Creek.

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Favorite Montage

One of my favorite montages of all comes from the animated movie Up. The “married life segment from Up tells the entire story of a happy couples marriage from the beginning to the very end all under five minutes. It opens with the Ellie and Carl getting married and you can see Ellie literally jumping with excitement. Then it cuts to them getting their dream house which is very run down and then they start immediately start to work on it. You can tell that this must’ve happened right after the wedding since they’re still wearing their wedding clothes. Then when it shows them finishing up the house they are wearing work clothes to show that some time has passed. Then time and space passes some more showing them spending time together like going on picnics. You see them go up a hill as Ellie races ahead and Carl trying to keep up. They both even work at the zoo together, Ellie as a zookeeper and Carl as a balloon salesman. One of my favorite scenes of this montage however is when the married couple are ready to have a baby and you see them painting a baby’s room. Then the scene slowly pans over and you see them together in a doctor’s office only to find out that Ellie can’t conceive. There is no dialogue spoken at all. The story of the entire montage has no dialogue. The story is told through the actions of the characters which is a perfect example of “show, don’t tell”. When Carl and Ellie are at the doctor’s office the music changes it’s happy pace to a slow sad pace. Ellie is sitting in a chair crying with Carl behind her trying to comfort her. The scene then cuts to Carl looking out the window to see Ellie sitting in their yard still very sad. Normally, you always see Ellie’s hair tied up in a bun but this time see has her hair down which shows the audience that she’s very depressed, especially when the audience sees her face. To cheer her up Carl hands her a book she made as a child which reminded her of their shared dream to travel to Paradise Falls. This inspires her and cheers her up as she makes Carl promise her to take her there like she did when they were kids. They make a coin jar and the montage shows the passing of time as you see the jar filling up more and more. Then the tire to their car breaks and you see Carl sadly break the Jar to pay for a new tire. Then time passes again as you see Carl with a broken leg and a tree falling on their house. Each incident that is shown is followed by them breaking open the jar. A really good passing of time element is shown next as Ellie ties Carl’s tie for him right before they go to work. Then it focuses on Carl’s tie and quickly cuts to more and more different ties being tied on him until you see her fixing a bowtie on him as they both are now old. Even though they are both old they are still shown as a very happy couple as if they just got married yesterday. Then as they’re cleaning the house together Carl sees a picture of Ellie as a child which triggers him to remember their forgotten dream. The scene cuts to Carl at a travel agency buying tickets to Paradise Falls to him hiding the tickets in a picnic basket as they go up the hill only this time Carl races ahead and Ellie struggles to catch up. Carl notices Ellie really struggling and rushes to her side. The music slows once again into a sad tune as the scene changes to Ellie in a hospital bed reading the book see made when see was a kid. Carl sends a balloon into the room which was something Ellie did as a kid to Carl when he wasn’t feeling well. She gives her book to Carl as she knows she doesn’t have much time. Carl gratefully takes it and comforts his dying wife. Then the scene changes to Carl at Ellie’s funeral all alone holding a balloon. He then gets up and walks home. Again this is my all time favorite montage. Within five minutes the director cause you to invest in this couple and feel for Carl. It’s the first movie ever to make me cry that early during a movie.

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Run Lola Run

 

In Run, Lola Run, a cinema and narrative technique that was used a lot was “show, don’t tell”. In a majority of the scenes it was mostly just Lola running and trying to beat the clock. They show this quite literally as you can see her running, trying to get to her boyfriend and then the scene cuts to her boyfriend watching the clock count down. The film had a really good digital aesthetic with the many montages that were shown throughout the entire movie. These montages also followed the “show don’t tell” narrative technique as there was no dialogue but only still shots. People that Lola would see while running were shown to the audience and as Lola passed by them we got a glimpse into what was in store for them. Each time that Lola would go back in time, we got to see the characters she met previously again but this time their futures had some drastic changes then before. When she goes back in time for one final time, again their futures are changed. This happens in a strange way. For example, one character Lola meets was a woman pushing a baby carriage. Her futures are changed drastically as it changes from her losing her baby and in result stealing a baby, to her winning big in the lottery, to her becoming religious. Another unique artistic moment the film has is Lola running down the stairs as her boyfriend told her the bad news. The entire scene of her running downstairs is animated. These scenes and these scenes alone are the only scenes that are animated. One thing I like a lot about the narrative space is the split screening that is used. Multiple times during the film the see Lola trying to run while her boyfriend is watching the clock or walking towards the grocery store. What makes this unique is that this is done in order to show the space around both the characters. My favorite use of this was when Lola arrived at the area she needed to be in. On her side she sees her boyfriend in the distance walking into the store and on his side you can see Lola in the background yelling at him to stop. 

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Continuity Project

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Ian,
    About half of the edits are continuity edits. The others are discontinuous. For example, there are cuts from one side to another of the bowl mixer. It would work better if you included more variety: close of subject, over the shoulder, wide establishing shot, medium shot etc.

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Time Frames

This was a very interesting story article. As I read this a ton of different thoughts and ideas came into my mind of the possibilities movies have that could manipulate time. One example that Scott McCloud used about how time can be slowed down is to expanding the panels. This made me think of fight scenes in action movies. When I was editing the James Bond footage last class it I edited it all down making it seem like the scene happened really fast. I did this by doing a lot of cutting. But if instead I kept the longer shots and didn’t cut them as much the scene would’ve felt like a lot more time was passing. I also liked on how McCloud said to use pauses that show the passing of time for when characters are talking. A way to accomplish this in cinema that I thought of was to use b-roll footage. For example, two characters could be in a restaurant having a conversation. One character could ask a character a question and instead of that character answering right away, the editor could cut to some b-roll footage of other things or moments happening in the restaurant. One film that I thought of that used time techniques was the film Shrek. The scene I thought of was a montage of Shrek and Donkey traveling through different environments and scenery gave the audience the feeling that they were traveling a very long distance. They did a very similar thing in the movie’s sequel when Shrek, Donkey, and Fiona are traveling to meet Fiona’s parents. They’re riding a carriage through different environments and scenery until they eventually make it there. These scenes are only a few minutes long but as an audience we have a vague idea of how long it took. We just know that it took a long time.

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Framing of Shawshank Redemption

The opera scene of Shawshank Redemption is my favorite movie scene of all time.

The first shot is of a close up of Andy looking through a bunch of records.

The next shot is again of a close up as it shows Andy grabbing an Italian opera record and playing it on the record player. The guard that is supposed to be watching him is in the bathroom. He hears the music play but thinks nothing of it.

While the music plays the camera makes an extreme close up on Andy’s hand as he grabs a key.

Close up

He then makes way to lock all the doors so no one else can get into the room.

Medium close up

Andy does to the PA system and then turns it on allowing the whole prison to listen to the opera music.

The next shot follows a medium shot of the prisoners stopping with what they’re doing to just listen to the music. The prison guards are now figuring out what’s going on and rush over to Andy’s location to stop him.

Medium shot

This is a extreme long shot. All of these last three shot are just an example of what the director is trying to show of how every single person in this prison is just standing still listening to the gift that Andy had given them.

This medium close up shows Andy feeling accomplished with what he just did. He knows that he’s gonna be severely punished for this action but he doesn’t care.

A close up of Andy’s closest friend Red. As Red narrates this entire scene he feels thankful for the music that Andy had given everyone. He doesn’t know what the Italian music is saying and he doesn’t want to know.

Medium close up

The Warden had now arrived and he is furious. He demands Andy to open up the door.

Close up

Andy acknowledges him by turning up the music to show him that he doesn’t care.

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Iphone Cinema

These iphone movies aren’t trying to be like traditional movies. When using the iphone, the movies that they create can be completed quicker than any other standard movie. Steven Soderbergh is a director that is changing the world of cinema. He directed the Netflix original “High Flying Bird” all on smartphone. Before that he film the psychological thriller “Unsane” on smartphone and shot the whole film in just two weeks. I would have thought that this would have limitations to film but it appears to be better. When I watched the short film “Detour” I got impressed with the point of view shot of the man looking through the binoculars. That impressed me with what you can do with an iphone. I didn’t know if it was a filter or just simple editing but it seemed like a very unique shot. I get very curious though but how far you can go with filming on a smartphone device. I know there can be limitations such as the higher quality professional movie cameras can produce but also they’re impressive about how much it can cut back on cost when filming a movie. Technology is evolving and that goes with the world of cinema as well. The beginning of cinema was just a silent black and white image. Now it’s so much more with the power of technology we have today. No honestly anyone can be a filmmaker. Everyone has access to a smartphone and we all can make short films with it. Iphones even come with the imovie app which can allow you to make quick simple videos to easily put on youtube for other people to watch on their smartphones. It’s easier, you can literally do it anywhere you want whether it’s making a film or watching a film.

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Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Ian and I am a senior at WSU. I have a big love for film and cinema and love making my own original videos.

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