Ginger Clarke

SKAM and video series

SKAM takes on a different approach than I would’ve thought on the topic of online video series. In this, I was thinking mainly of Carmilla, a web series about the old vampire tale of Carmilla, a lesbian vampire but set in a modern, college setting. The difference between it and SKAM was that you had a clear understanding of why you were watching it: because the main character (not Carmilla, but I forget her name) is taping everything in vlogs and keeps the camera running when she thinks her college roommate Carmilla is coming back.

SKAM acts still like a TV series, but more akin to a fictional reality television with the way it connects everything to social media accounts made for the characters. It’d be like Keeping Up with the Kardashians in which you’re allowed to follow them on the different social media platforms. In keeping everything fictional with SKAM, I feel like it could go two ways in terms of societal effects: either we normalize online stalking and treat celebrities as open books to which we’re invited to dig into their entire lives, or we move on from reality TV to this fake version of it which has no ramifications to a real person’s life when something is “dug up”.

Perhaps a way to go about another networked series would be to have two opposing news blogs covering the same events. It could work like how old newspapers would have one article and the city’s other newspaper publishing a response, and then the first one publishing a response to the response, that sort of thing. It could work well as a mystery story where one blog is an investigative journal with videos, or perhaps a web series of an ongoing documentary, and the other is doing something similar but has a different take on it. Maybe even the ongoing documentary is being posted anonymously and the other video series/blog is trying to uncover who the first person is.

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Montage and Interview

For this assignment, I made a trailer montage made from the following trailers: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jupiter Ascending, Oblivion, and Black Panther.

For the sake of this hypothetical, if I was to make a 5-minute story about something impacting the community, I would make it on the effects of fireworks. I’d ask firework vendors, local homeowners or neighborhood committees, or a VA representative.

The B-roll would be active fireworks, footage of the fireworks being set off, seeing people buying their own fireworks, the kids that hold the signs that show people where to get their own fireworks.

As visual evidence, something that actively supports the argument the film is trying to make rather than being visual filler to keep the eye entertained, the visual evidence for this would be the litter people leave behind when doing their own fireworks in parks, football fields, etc, and footage of the signs that ask people not to use fireworks near as a veteran with PTSD lives near.

The biggest challenge I’d see with this story is that a lot of it would rely on the interviews, which the reading says shouldn’t be used as evidence, the same way we would with testimonies in court. Unless I was able to get footage of people cleaning up their yards from other people’s fireworks (and was able to convey it was someone else’s stuff in their yard), a vet having trouble coping with fireworks nearby, or seeing a firework veer off and star a minor fire, then a lot of this would be about personal opinion of fireworks rather than how it effects the community.

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Continuity and Gifs

I wish I had been able to get more shots but my camera ended up dying, so I did my best in the editing stage even though my actress was very inconsistent. It’s my fault for using a hamster, but in my defense, she has a history of trying to go the same route no matter where you place her.

I see a small editing problem in trying to get the cut just right to show the right passage of time or setting it in the right space. Sometimes I’d have footage where she would step forward in the right way/direction but with the wrong foot to cut to and made it look more like she stamped her paw and teleported rather than finishing a step.

The last two shots are at relatively the same angle even though they’re at different perspectives, which I can’t tell if it worked or not.

 

I love Atomic Blonde’s long fight shots that take advantage of the fact Charlize Theron can do a lot of her own stunts. Most of the gifs on the movie, including this one, don’t rely on editing to make it feel faster. In gif for, you can take advantage of the loop feature to really see what’s happening, step by step, that you wouldn’t get in a full watch through of the movie.

This one I found more entertaining than anything else. The loop of this scene in Mad Max: Fury Road makes it look like the people are perpetually being sucked into the sand tornado and the car is forever exploding.

Another one from MM: FR, I just love how the camera stays on the truck and even though there’s a start and end to this gif, it’s relatively hard to spot. The sky and car stay mostly static in this shot but you can see the movement in the sand, but it blends together rather well and gives the appearance that its forever diving in the sand at sunset.

 

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Visual Storytelling and Framing

For this, I struggled with doing story in only the scene with no actors as my focus in writing in general are the characters, what they say and what they don’t say. That and I wanted to do this without making a huge mess. In the end, I used what I had at my disposal to tell the most interesting story I thought I could make.

Framing exercise:

Close up

Close up

Medium Close up/shaky

Medium

Long shot

Medium

Shifts focus to the extreme long shot

Close up

This was one of my favorite scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While I skipped for the footage with Finn just a bit for this assignment, I like how Finn’s introduction and conflict were introduced without words. You see him watch one of his buddies die and mark him, which the camera then pans a little shakily with his movement to show his anxiety (or to enhance the performance by John Boyega). Later, as Kylo Ren walks past, the camera focuses on Kylo and then moves its focus to the longer shot, focusing on Finn in the background. There wasn’t any need for dialogue here as the transitions from one character to another help describe the relationship.

For the conflict introduced, we see death and then Finn’s inner conflict to follow the orders that would lead to further death. The death has marked him and made him stand out, both with the blood on his helmet and when Kylo Ren takes notice of him later. With the mask, we can’t see what Kylo Ren is looking at. If it was just Kylo looking out at the scene, rather than a focus shift from him to Finn, we wouldn’t know where to look or where the character was looking either.

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Hi, I’m Ginger!

I have little background in video. My first introduction to it was less than a month ago when we tackled both After Effects and Premiere in the DTC 201 class, but I found I really enjoyed working on those programs even if it was a little overwhelming at first.

For equipment, I pretty much have none. While my phone might take okay-ish video, I know my hands tend to shake, especially when I’m trying to hold something out in front of me, so I don’t think that’s the best recourse of equipment for myself.

In this class, I want to learn more about how a scene is made and the storytelling aspects of different shots, when to cut to the next scene, and so on. There’s a phrase I heard that essentially said the editor has the final rewrite of the story, and I really want to get into and learn about that aspect.

I’m a DTC major who will end up graduating with an English lit minor and creative writing minor. My biggest professional interest or aspiration is to work in the game industry or any realm of work that will allow me to do creative writing.

Warning for the video that it contains references/language of mature content. For the most part, I love the angles that this video takes for each of the characters and the comedic timing of the editing and delivery of the lines.

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