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Montage Blog – Tonal

Search on YouTube for a Montage sequence the demonstrates one of Eisenstein’s methods of montage. Paste the video into a post and describe how the techniques in the sequence fit one or more of the methods and how you think the sequence works on the viewer’s emotional understanding. 

This scene (beginning at 0:45) displays a good example of tonal montage, more specifically a “graphic montage.” In Einstein’s “Method of Montage,” he gives the example of the fog sequence in “Potemkin.” In “Potemkin,” the visual feeling of the different shots connect them through montage. In “The Lion King,” the imagery of clouds and dust help to build tension within the scene. Graphic tonal montage is displayed through the rhythm in imagery. In the beginning of the sequence, there is dust which shows the conflict in the scene. This is broken up with the blue skies and white clouds. The white clouds still add to the tonal montage, however they

Provide contrast between the area which things are going wrong and where the characters are that do not know the things which are going wrong yet. Through the sequence there is a build in dusty imagery. As the tension and conflict builds, there is more and more dust imagery. As Mufasa is falling off of the cliff,  the dusty imagery is at its peak. In “Method of Montage,” Einstein describes that tonal montage can lead to a higher significance within editing. In this movie, tonal montage helps to build a mood and tension throughout the sequence. It notifies the viewer that something is going wrong, but promotes cohesion throughout the shots. This sequence also follows rhythmic montage, which is the length of shots based on the movement of characters or objects in the sequence. Through the sequence, the camera follows the movement of the stampede, Mufasa, and Simba. Rhythmic montage helps the flow of movement seem natural yet disorienting at the same time.

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Run Lola Run – Blog 4

In “Run Lola Run,” The director breaks up the narrative into three acts, each section tells a different version of what could happen. In the first section, the director uses many shots of Lola running, broken up by side narratives which show photographs depicting other people’s lives. In each subsequent act, the amount of running gets shorter and the director can cut out many things which we have already seen because we get the suggestion of them just from our recall.

This movie can be considered the digital aesthetic because it uses things which would not be possible without digital cinema. For one, it uses a lot of superimposition, such as with photographs. It also utilizes the portability of a smaller digital camera with the use of dynamic movement. An example is when the camera follows alongside Lola or when the camera circles around Lola or her boyfriend.

The film diverges from a traditional narrative structure my showing different versions of the same narratives, each following each other. Also, the film has scenes of the couple in bed which occurred in the past which are spliced into the middle of each narrative sequence. It is similar to Hollywood narratives because it follows Fretag’s pyramid, with the exposition being the first narrative sequence, the rising action being the second sequence, the climax being the boyfriends death, and the falling action and resolution being the third sequence.

A few things that stuck out to me about this movie was the strong visual cues and the sensory overload. The strong visual dues include the bag dropping and the phone dropping. These things help the viewer to understand what’s going on in the non-linear narrative. I was especially compelled by the sensory overload in this movie. The high contrast, overlapping noises, loud noises, and almost constant movement throughout the movie added a pressure and imminence to the movie which would not be there otherwise.

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Blog 3 – Betsy Hanrahan

In McClouds “Time Frames,” he discusses how changes in the rhythm and size of panels can alter how the viewer perceives time. In essence, when the expected is broken, the viewer begins to see things in a different time frame. Although digital cinema can only capture a moment in time as it is happening, similarly one could break the traditional rules of cinema in order to alter the viewers reality. One example is parallel action, which has the ability to show several events unfolding at once. This allows the filmmaker to fit more into a timeframe than what actually could have unfolded in a single moment in a single time.

Through continuity editing, a filmmaker is able to alter the viewer’s perception of time with ease. The filmmaker can make the viewer feel that a lot happened within an extended amount of time, but in reality it unfolded in a few minutes. The filmmaker can make suggestions with motion and framing rules which connect moments that are disconnected in real life. In contrast, discontinuous editing can show many chopped up events across time and space, although it is likely jarring or obvious to the viewer. Another idea of how to alter time in digital cinema is to utilize sounds and noises. While a shot focuses on a subject, the sounds can suggest other activity to the viewer, such as a person walking towards or away from them. In digital cinema it’s all about altering the perception of the viewer, which can be done using noises, framing, and length of shots.

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Sunny Disposition – Continuity Editing

For my video, I chose to film my brother watering our garden. There are a few moments in this sequence that I think are particularly successful. First, is the sequence which starts with the long shot of Ryan watering the garden bed (11 seconds) and ends with him walking away form the garden barrel (26 seconds). In the first shot in this sequence, it’s at the garden bed. The second, over the shoulder shot also occurs in the same place, but at a different time. This then cuts to the shot from the vantage point of the plants he is watering in a different location. This works well because the dynamic movement of the water connects the shots and the exchange acts as a motivated POV, even if it’s the POV of a plant. Another part I think is successful is the cuts on action in the end of the sequence. This part begins with the hose turning off (36 seconds) then goes to Ryan dropping the hose (37 seconds), and the hose hitting the ground (38 seconds). This part works because the first shot establishes that he has finished. The second shot shows him beginning to throw it down, and the last shot follows through with the action.

A part I think that is less successful is from the 4th clip (10 seconds) of Ryan picking up the hose to the 5th clip (12 seconds) of Ryan beginning to water the flower bed. I had initially filmed another clip which I thought could go in between these two, however it did not follow the 180 degree rule so I decided to scrap it. I think another shot which connected the two movements could make this part flow with more continuity. Another part is the cut from Ryan walking with the hose (28 seconds) to the close up of a tomato plant (30 seconds) and then to Ryan’s face (32 seconds). I wanted the tomato plant to act as a relief in continuity, but I feel that the sequence just becomes choppy instead. Perhaps I could have instead used a shot which is close up on a plant but shows Ryan moving and then settling into a spot in the background. This would connect the two shots better in the viewers head.

From this exercise, I found that playing with movement of an object, like a yellow hose, or a liquid, like water, through a frame can create dynamic imagery and transitions. I found that some of the sequences, like the hose dropping to the ground cut on action, when I rewatched it I didn’t even notice the cut. I feel that in order to be very successful in continuity editing, all my cuts might feel like this. This exercise also showed me how difficult it can be to film someone doing something with spontaneity. I  often found myself directing my subject to go back, or move over. It showed me how difficult it is to create a true documentary, and how boring it might be for a viewer to watch.

 

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  1. There are a lot of interesting edits – continuous and discontinuous. Here the continuity (and lack of sometimes) creates a mystery around the subject. With more traditional continuity editing (establishing shot etc) the viewer would be able to mentally map out the space of the garden. I am not sure I can, but instead it focuses on the experience of the character.

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Blog 2 – Fargo Movie Shot

Medium shot, pan on action

Medium shot, following character

Medium –> medium close up, pan on action

Long shot

Medium close up

Extreme long shot

Long shot, pan on action

Extreme long shot, POV zoom in

Long shot —> medium close up shot, pan on action

Long shot

Medium Shot


Medium Shot

Medium Shot

Medium Shot


Medium Shot

Medium shot, cut on action

cut on action, long shot

Medium close up —> long shot

Medium shot, gun follows action of character of screen

Extreme Long shot

Extreme Long Shot, cut on action

Cut on action, medium shot

Medium close up

Long Shot, slight tilt

Extreme Long Shot

 

For this blog, I chose to use my favorite scene from the movie Fargo, to discover why I find it so compelling. The framing of this scene shows a sequence of discovery and triumph, thoughtfully played out through the camera framing and movement. This scene begins with the main character coming through some trees in a series of medium shots. The third shot is slightly closer to the character, hinting that the character is beginning to make a discovery. This shot is then followed by a long shot, which gives us a feel for the whole setting, and hints that there is going to be something coming up in front of her later in the scene. The fifth shot, a medium close up allows us to better see the character’s face and feel her discovery. Next, we get to finally see what she’s looking at, however, there is little on screen action in this shot and because it is an extreme long shot, the exact nature of the surroundings is not clear. The series of next four shots show a pan on the woman’s action in and two POV shots which walk us closer to the subject, illuminating the nature of this interaction.

In the next sequence, we are showed a series of medium shots, alternating between the woman and man. Although the camera stays in the same place in each respective shot, the filmmaker makes use of timing to help illustrate the story. The shots start out longer and then get increasingly shorter until there is a cut on action while the man throws the wood. This sequence helps to build the tension until it is broken with dynamic movement. This sequence represents a height on tension, until it is broken with the cut on action.

Next, we get a medium close up which transitions into a long shot of the man running away from the woman. Next, she follows his motion off-screen with the motion of her gun, which helps to give us a sense of where he’s headed, even though we can not see him. The extreme long shots of the man running away gives the audience a sense that he is escaping, it makes us wonder if he might actually evade punishment. In another cut on action into a medium shot, we get the relief that he doesn’t escape, signified by the move in of the camera. If the filmmaker had chosen to stick with the extreme long shot, the visual metaphor would not have been clear.  In the last two shots, we see the triumphant character in a long shot, with a tilt to show her moving down towards the injured man. Then, an extreme long shot which is able to illustrate the triumph of her closing the lead he thought he had on her. Over all, this sequence uses camera movement and framing in order to show a journey of discovery, heighten and release tension, and show who came out on top.

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Blog 1 – iPhone film properties

I believe that iphone movies are creating something new, with new properties, diverging from high production cinema. Due to it’s portability, accessibility, and unique “look,” iphone movies have a different feel from that of movies shot on Red Cameras for instance.

The automatisms of digital iphone video is the dynamic movements, the ability to get obscure angles easily, a deep focus, and the feel that the viewer is there. The use of iphones parallels the use of camcorders of the early 2000s. When watching “Night Fishing,” I couldn’t help but be reminded of “The Blaire Witch Project.” In a similar way, I feel that when I see a hand-held shot from a movie that I am more in the action and that I can suspend my disbelief that the events in the movie actually happened. There is a certain charm to using iphones to film things, just as with camcorders. In early seasons of “It’s Always Sunny in Philedelphia,” the low quality taping adds to the grunge of the show. In a similar way, iPhones can be used to add grunge, realism, more accurate POV shots, and more obscure angles. It also allows movies to be more accessible and cheap to create.

The access to a mobile phone with cinematic capabilities allows for us all to be creators and consumers, and do it cheaply and quickly. In my perception, a lot of the content that I see online that was created on an iphone is for the purpose of sharing experiences or creating funny content on the basis of shared experience.

In an age of information, I feel that cinema is begging to be shortened, to be chewed up into bite-sized pieces of information. Everyone has access to movies, tv shows, and videos on their personal devices. Why should we go to a movie theatre? Why should we sit and watch a two hour movie at all? YouTube has created a place where we can share and watch snippets of information anytime. Apps like TikTok and Vine have made the creation even more accessible, the content even shorter, and the gratification more immediate.

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Howdy!

My name is Betsy Hanrahan and I am a junior studying Digital Technology and Culture. I have created some artistic narrative videos and some informative videos for jobs. I love tv shows and movies, though! Here’s a video I particularly like:

I like this style of video because it’s a professional video that explores different viewpoints and perspectives. This video also uses auditory cues such as dings to let the viewer and the participants know what’s going on in the video. In addition, these videos encourage participation because all of the questions used in the videos come from viewers. This video is simple and raw, but is high quality.

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