In the reading by Manovich, he has plenty to say about aesthetics. Digital media redefines the very identity of cinema, and breaking the illusion of cinema space is becoming more and more prevalent. A whole repertoire of techniques has been developed to modify the basic record obtained in a film apparatus. One scholar in the field, Andrei Tarkovsky, was asked if he was interested in making abstract films, to which he responded: “there can be no such thing.” Though everyone has their own beliefs and perspectives, it’s interesting how someone in the industry can have that strong of an opinion.
The Eagle Creek fire demolished treasured parts of the Pacific Northwest, all because an irresponsible teenager made the decision to set-off fireworks in the area. I would focus my story on the environmental impacts and would interview regular hikers, local townspeople and others impacted or displaced by the fire. Some walked the paths every day, some live at a distance that required evacuation and some lost valuables in the fire. The reading on visual evidence makes suggestions for interviewing strategies that will best engage the audience. Emotional interviews are always tough, but they do get the message across. On page 99, Hampe mentions “making a documentary with visual evidence requires the filmmaker to go out and find something happening in front of the camera that tells the story to the audience far better than any interview with an expert.” Unless someone has plentiful amounts of footage from right there in the moment of the fires, then a major part of that is missing. In the case of the fire, the interviewee would need to provide the necessary images. Not only would their emotions do a lot of the work, but if they use illustrative strategies like “the raging fire was near my property, inching closer and closer to my house, causing me and my family to evacuate”, then that does a lot of the work of the video. Though it is hard to get before shots of the situation, I think that finding footage from people willing to provide, or even open-source footage, would be a good way to show the beauty of the before and the tragedy of the after. I am an avid hiker myself, so I think it would be interesting, and possibly even fun, to follow a hiker along on a path that opened up after the fire and they can share if it is emotional or not.
I can’t help but share a montage from one of my favorite movies – Ferris Bueller’s day off. A montage is a film-editing technique where thematically-related parts of a film are placed together to provide a sense of continuity, but not so much so that it is an easy-to-follow chain of events. In Ferris Bueller’s day off, they ditch school and spend a day having fun and going to different places. In probably the most famous scene of the movie, because of the montage techniques, they go to the art museum. Not only are the various choppy clips of different pieces of art around the museum, but there is also clips of Ferris and his acquaintances looking at the different pieces. Though it’s very far from a smooth few minutes of the film, it makes sense because it’s the same location so we have a familiar sense of continuity.
“Run Lola Run” is a revolutionary film, and likely the first to play with viewer’s brains in the way it does. At first, the movie was a lot to take in, but it became increasingly more interesting. The aesthetic of varying outcomes and the overall 90s aesthetic is quite prevalent throughout the movie. The different outcomes are not only present when Manni there are the “ending” scenes with Manni outside the grocery store, but also the scenes with the quick “futuristic” photograph bursts with different people Lola encounters, such as the woman with the stroller on the street corner.
I appreciate the conciseness in the various scenes as the movie develops. Each new “section” of the movie starts with Lola running out of her home, passing by her drunk mother on the phone, but we quickly start receiving a faster pace throughout when the different scenarios are played out. The film can also be considered very intimate with the scenes of Lola and Manni in their bed talking about their relationship and Lola asking Manni if he loves her.
I also noticed an extreme sense of time manipulation during the sensory overloads throughout. There were several moments throughout the film where I had to look down because of the extreme flashing and spinning. Not only were the flashing images a contributor to the sensory overload, but also the loud music and or noises throughout such as the camera shutter and gunshots. Lastly, with how this film sticks to traditional Hollywood style, it has a clear introductory scene, rising action, climax and then it starts all over again, which is the shift away from traditional style.
Different methods in cinema make things more exciting. I appreciate when McLoud says “we all learned to perceive time spatially, for in the world of comics, time and space are one and the same. The few spaces from one seen to the next could take readers a while to get to and it’s up to the reader. In film, the viewer does not have an steps to take. All they need to do is watch the movie and the scenes will follow one after another. Filmmakers and artists know that the viewers are glued to the screen, so they have complete control because viewers do not know what is coming up next. They don’t have a break. This applies to framing and continuity, and frankly any other editing techniques. The goal in continuity is to make it seem like the actors have accomplished a lot in a short period of time, while the actual length is quite long.
Background imagery also helps with timing in cinema production. If there are a few scenes in a short amount of time with morning brightness and then the dark of the night, that can show that a lot has happened in a short period of time. Time and comics lead us to sound and motion, just as it can in digital cinema. When there are sound cues such as bells, that can help indicate experiences time. In some horror movies, the bell rings at night to provide a sense or scaredness and alertness for the viewers.
If I had all the extra time in the world, I likely would go back to add more framing to this video, but the goal for me was to understand continuity. I watched several videos on continuity and the 180-degree rule but finally decided I should just shoot the video instead of stressing too much about the concept. After all, it is better to learn by doing than watching.
We discussed in class that step-by-step videos were an option for the continuity project. I enlisted my dad to help me with this project, and what better way to show continuity than by showing a step-by-step process for vacuuming. I start by having my dad plug the vacuum hose into the wall to show that the chore is starting.
I tried incorporating different angles to add to viewer interest while not making them confused as to what is happening in the scene and wondering if it switched to a different time and place. To keep to the 180-degree rule, I stayed to the left of my dad while filming and moved to the front to get the close-up shots. I think it worked great having the different shots while he was walking down the hallway to show that there was continuity, but it’s not like I was following him around with the camera.
I slowly started to create some closer-up shots such as when the camera is placed on the floor and the vacuum is coming directly to it. I don’t think this overwhelms viewers at all. It just adds something fun to the film instead of filming a man from behind while he is vacuuming back and forth.
Research in the film done by Joseph Magliano suggests filmmakers use continuity in editing to engender a sense of situational continuity in the film so the viewer does not become confused by location changes, directional changes and or background object changes. “Most narrative film is made with the goal to construct a clear and coherent event structure so that the viewer can readily understand the sequence of events depicted in it.” Film would not be as enjoyable if there was a continuous shot following the subject around. I believe I made a few errors in my film by following my dad around.
Films rarely depict all of the sub-events that make up a larger event. Hence, a complete following of the shots in unnecessary. Some suggest that making the user think about continuity is important. Switching up the directions helps. I mentioned earlier that the 190-degree rule confused me so tried to mostly stay to the left of my dad while filming. Going down the hallway, stationed by the wall and in the living room, I attempted to stay to the left or in front. I would appreciate feedback from viewers if this works and/or if they would like different angles. One factor I regret not incorporating would be point of view shots because that helps viewers see what the subject is seeing rather than just what they are doing.
Napoleon Dynamite is one of my favorite movies. It was only supposed to be a small film at the Sundance film festival but gained popularity. Though the film had a low budget, it is filmed well and provides a variety of shots throughout. Here are a few shots from one of my favorite scenes. The various shots add to the humor of the film. The framing and editing showcase the stylistic choices of the film such as the clothing and background scenery. The facial expressions made by the characters are priceless. Close-up shots provide a crisper view of the subjects. Sometimes I watch movies and wonder “why are they constantly filming so far away” and “what does it do for the viewer when they can’t see the facial expressions, details on outfits etc.” A quote from mediacollege.com that sums framing up perfectly is “Shots are all about composition. Rather than pointing the camera at the subject, you need to compose an image.”
I think whether or not iPhone movies are trying to be like traditional films rely solely on the goal of the director. There is no way for the production and effects to be the same as cameras that cost thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lindbergh says in the reading “To me, the technology hasn’t advanced to the point where an iPhone movie won’t look like an iPhone movie.” No matter how good the production quality is, the aesthetics will still provide the fact of the films being shot on a phone. Some producers do have a goal of lower-quality aesthetics.
Digital video affords automatisms in several forms, when users are unconsciously making choice for video production. Ease of use is at the top of the list, with a lightweight “machine” in your hand that can shoot 1080p, movie-worthy video. When watching Détour, there seemed to be several abstract shots with the tricycle, such as in the water, that would have been difficult with a traditional camera. Détour is surely a lower quality video, giving off commercial vibes, but is fun and has a good storyline. Night Fishing provided the automatism that felt like the camera was naturally following. iPhones add transparency because it’s obvious there is a difference in quality, but that is likely there for a reason. The reading mentions that iPhone have an aesthetic that is somewhat unnerving,
Almost every cell phone is a smartphone, providing smartphone owners the capabilities to shoot video on a budget compared to purchasing or renting equipment. Yes, equipment matters but the production and other elements matter too. The overarching flaw mentioned in Lindbergh’s reading is that iPhone cameras have trouble focusing in video. For sharp, crisp scenes in blockbusters, this would be an issue.
The accessibly of smartphones has truly expanded opportunities for creators and consumers. Anyone can be a creator, and because of that, most people with smartphones can be the consumer too. YouTubers, bloggers and other influential use smartphones to take consumers along on their journey through life. This expands human connection capabilities with the added bonus of entertainment.
Hello, Everyone. My name is Andrew Nevue and I am a senior majoring in Digital Technology and Culture with a minor in Communication. This course has interested me since starting in the program, so I am excited to finally dive into the class and work on the various projects. I took a video production class several years ago, and have taken various DTC classes that utilize Premiere Pro, so I am eager to hone in on those skills more. I have taken a lot of animation courses, and have a solid understanding of animation, so I’m hoping to transfer some of those skills to video production.