Dylan Niehaus

Dylan Niehaus – Final Description

Final Description:


The idea of my final video is to create a video essay/documentary hybrid that explores the ways in which I enjoy video games. The main focus would be on the ways in which I collect and display my games, How I went about finding the best ways to display my old consoles on newer TVs, how I’ve gone about repairing old consoles found at goodwill, and how I enjoy retro game consoles without the focus being on just playing them.


It will take the form of a 2-3 minute video, it may be a bit longer than 3 minutes.


This will explore the video essay and visual evidence modules in class.


The only permission I will need which I am fairly confident I will get is permission to film my favorite local retro video game store. (Double Jump Games)


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Dylan Niehaus Blog – video essay

Video essays are unique in that they involve narration, but this narration comes from a person’s own point of view. They are using spoken words along with video and text to support an argument or to tell a personal story. Many video clips used in video essays are there to give visual evidence or to supply a visual aid to what the narrator is speaking about. If a video essay were to have no visuals, the narration could work by itself in podcast form. Video essays are all about providing interesting voiceover narration that expresses an interesting idea while using visuals as support while not necessarily being the main focus of the video. If I were to write a video essay, I would begin by writing my speaking lines, and then recording those lines on audio. I would then lay out my spoken lines on a timeline in Adobe Premiere, and make note of how long my talking points go on for. I would then plan my video footage around these lengths of time, because in video essays it is important to have footage that sort of matches the “flow” of your spoken narration. Once I make a shot list based around my talking points, I would then go out and film footage that I find necessary to shoot. If there is visual evidence that I couldn’t necessarily capture myself, that is when I would turn to other sources of visual evidence.

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Skam – Networked TV Blog – Dylan Niehaus

The idea of Skam as an interactive TV series that plays out on social media is definitely interesting. I enjoy it as a concept and I think that it is employed properly in a high school setting, as young teenagers are most likely to create interesting drama dynamics on social media, making the interactive posts make sense. Unfortunately, Facebook was acting up on me and I was unable to view the clips themselves. Despite the fact that I was unable to watch any clips, one thing that I feel is a weak point of this concept is that if you aren’t closely following the status posts and video postings as they happen, the charm and uniqueness of the networked TV series is missed out on. Sure, there are weekly recaps of everything that happened, but is that really the same as being there and witnessing things as they occur? 


When trying to think of another “networked” TV concept, I first thought that a similar thing could be done but with a focus on older characters who are maybe in college. But I then realized that as people get older they are less dependent on social media, so it may not be the most realistic approach.

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Dylan Niehaus Pixel Cinema – Food Pantry

In this video, I implemented a green screen effect using a blue blanket I had.

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Idea Montage – Dylan Niehaus

I struggled with ideas, this is what I managed to come up with.


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Dylan Niehaus – Eagle Creek Fire Blog

If I were to make a documentary about the Eagle Creek fire, I would focus on members of communities that were forced to evacuate to safety from the fire. I would ask them what they were thinking in that moment, about actions that they took, and their overall experience during the fires that were in their vicinity. The reading makes mention of finding visual evidence and filming b-roll for a documentary. To me, b-roll in this eagle creek fire documentary would be shots of various towns or communities that were given evacuation orders. This would be b-roll because it is illustrating these communities to the viewer and providing them with a better understanding of the situation, but it is not necessarily giving them visual evidence of the fire.

If I were to shoot visual evidence, I would focus on burnt trees that are in the vicinity of these communities. And if the fire were still going on during the filming of this documentary, I would definitely grab shots of the huge amounts of smoke that these fires created. These shots of the overwhelming amounts of smoke created by the fire would provide great visual evidence of the pure massiveness of the fire and the helplessness that many felt about the fire being contained at the time. In summation, b-roll provides the viewer with something to look at while an interviewee speaks, while visual evidence shows exactly what the interviewee is talking about through visual affirmations.

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Dylan Niehaus – Montage Blog (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

When thinking of notable montage scenes in film, this is one of the first scenes that came into my head. First off, this montage has strong elements of a metric montage. I started analyzing this montage by determining how long each shot lasted. After the shot in which the kids holding hands go across the room, each shot lasts about 4 seconds or “beats” to the music. There are some shots, like the one where Ferris and his girlfriend share a kiss, that last twice as long at 8 beats. Towards the end of the montage when Cameron is looking at the painting, those shots last about 2 beats. This montage also has a tonal feel to it. This is an interesting montage because it is much more dependent on still imagery rather than motion, although motion is present at times. The music combined with the shots of art, romance and Cameron’s staredown with the painting give this montage a sort of melancholy feel to it. This montage may also have a slight intellectual feel to it because of its art-focused shots. Deeper meaning can also be found at the end with Cameron’s painting staredown. Why is he doing this? What exactly is he feeling or thinking? What is the meaning of the constant zoom in on the painting? Overall, this is a highly effective montage because although nothing of particular importance to the story happens in this sequence, the way it is presented with the music and imagery still makes it an incredibly memorable and effective scene.

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Dylan Niehaus – Run Lola Run Blog

Run Lola Run uses the interesting narrative style of showing a sequence of events and then repeating the same sequence of events under different circumstances. What I found most interesting about this film is that it is suggested that the repeated 20 minutes that Lola goes through are not implied as alternate events that happened in a “different world”, but that they are instead being relived by Lola. The film implies that Lola is able to travel back in time in some way. I think the biggest give-away of this concept is in the second loop of the primary events in the film. There is an instance in which Lola is told that she does not know how to use a gun, and she proceeds to release the safety and shoot the gun off near her father’s head. This is interesting because the first instance of the main sequence of events shows Lola robbing a store with her boyfriend. She asks him how to use the gun, and he tells her about releasing the safety on the gun. This implies that Lola had gained knowledge from living through the 20-minute sequence of events and used what she had learned in the second loop. However, the film also suggests that they are “alternate universe” events because of the actions of the boy with the dog in the hallway. If she were truly reliving the exact same events, why would the boy randomly decide to trip her in the second set of events? I think the film does a great job of creating a mostly understandable world that also raises some questions for the viewer. 

I greatly enjoyed the quick, stylish and fast-paced filming style of Run Lola Run.  I liked the strong visual cues that were used to indicate the restarting of events, such as the red phone falling on the hook and the woman asking where Lola was going. I just feel that the film could have had a stronger narrative and more character development. I was also intrigued by the use of cartoon work to show Lola running down the stairs at the beginning of each 20-minute sequence. It gave the film a true otherworldly feel to it. Overall, I thought the film was entertaining and intriguing in the way that it was filmed and with the world that it created, but I feel that Run Lola Run could have had a much stronger and engaging narrative. 

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Dylan Niehaus – Loop Videos Assignment #3

Loop 1 – This is my attempt at a somewhat narrative loop. All I do is grab a piece of pizza and put it in the microwave, but I decided to make this an interesting loop in that it begins from black with a door opening to the light, then ends with a door shutting and going to black, creating an interesting loop cycle.

Loop 2 – This is my idea for a somewhat infinite loop.

Loop 3 – This is my idea for an abstract/frantic loop. There isn’t really a deeper meaning behind this one, I just wanted to create something that would make the viewer wonder what in the world they are looking at, and maybe even make them feel uncomfortable.


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Dylan Niehaus – Time Manipulation in Film

The beginning of McCloud’s essay discusses one panel that is stretched out to show people reacting to a character taking a picture. McCloud explains how this panel, although singular, takes place over a period of time. I feel that a live film adaptation of this “long frame” comic could be done in an interesting way. One way I imagine a live film adaptation of this, which I have seen in films before, is to freeze the movements happening in a shot, and then pan the camera over to the next area of the scene, and then resume time. This is a style of filming that I have seen in the film “Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows”. It is used during a chase scene in a forest in which time slows down to accentuate something bombastic happening, and then resume to normal speed.

I have also seen films use literal comic book frames to show a sequence of events occuring. The film I can think of that uses this example is Hulk (2003). In Hulk, there are several sequences in which a shot will occur, and then that shot shrinks down into its own frame while another shot appears by the original shot to show multiple events occuring in the same scene at once. The idea of integrating comic book frames into live action films is something that should be explored more often as it is an interesting technique that can lead to new ways of story telling.

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Dylan Niehaus – Continuity Assignment

Since I greatly enjoy collecting and playing retro video games, I decided to make a video focused on me hooking up my favorite retro game system, the Nintendo 64. Due to the 60 second time constraint, I had some challenges with making cuts in my video to fit it within the given time frame.

I wanted to include several more details that I had filmed for this video, such as me having to blow on the cartridge to get the game to start and unwrapping my controller and plugging it in. Despite these cuts, I think the video turned out quite well. I could have had smoother cuts and transitions during the segment in which I plug the cords into the back of the system. I mainly learned from this assignment that I need to do a better job of accounting for how long all my planned shots will be when put together for the final product.

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Dylan Niehaus Blog Post 2 – Napoleon Dynamite – Eat the Food!

For this post, I decided to analyze a scene from one of my favorite films, Napoleon Dynamite.


Opening shot – Extreme Long Shot







This is the establishing shot of the scene, which shows Napoleon exiting his home to feed Tina. In this same shot as he advances towards the camera, you hear him yell “Tina you fat lard, come get some dinner!” this shows that Napoleon has pent up anger and aggression, which the viewer can assume to be from his home life and the way he is treated at school.


2nd shot – Long Shot







This shot reveals to the audience that Tina is a Llama. Napoleon also calmly tells Tina to eat the food while putting the spoon up to her face. Tina backs away a bit.


3rd shot – Medium Close-Up

At this point in the scene Napoleon is becoming frustrated at the fact that Tina will not eat the food that he is offering. This is a brief shot that shows Napoleon scooping out another portion of food for Tina.


4th shot – Long Shot

This shot is similar to the 2nd shot, but in this shot Napoleon has reached his breaking point. He yells “Eat the food!” and aggressively throws food a considerable distance away from Tina. He then empties the rest of the food on the ground in front of Tina.


5th shot – Medium Close-Up

Same framing as the 3rd shot, but this is a brief shot that shows Napoleon throwing another scoop of food on the ground.



Final Shot – Close-Up

This is the final shot of the scene that shows Tina’s face.


While at first glance this seems like a funny yet meaningless scene, I think it does a great job of furthering the character development of Napoleon. Yes, we do see that Napoleon can be aggressive towards other people with an outburst in the first scene of the film (“Whatever I feel like I wanna do, Gosh!”). But this scene shows that Napoleon is truly unhappy and disturbed on some level with the way he decides to be needlessly aggressive with Tina. Despite his unnecessary aggressiveness, we can still see that Napoleon isn’t cruel, as he doesn’t cause harm to Tina and still does give her food. We just see that Napoleon is definitely frustrated with his life, and understandably so. This scene is effective because it is funny, but also offers further insight to the film’s main character.


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Dylan Niehaus Framing Assignment – “Food”

This is what I was able to come up with for this assignment.

I enjoyed making this video, and I was very fortunate that my cat cooperated in the way that he did!

Although I did use at least 5 different shots, I may have struggled to properly utilize 5 different framing styles.


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Dylan Niehaus Blog Post 1

Detour and Night Fishing are both short films that were filmed with iPhones, yet both appear to be quite cinematic in style at first glance. With no doubt, Night Fishing has a much more cinematic appearance and way of filming than Detour. Detour for one is much more colorful, clear, and just has a more “digital” look to it. Detour also makes more creative use of the small size and portability of the iPhone by utilizing shots that move in unique ways, such as in a side-to-side “swaying” motion instead of traditional cinematic still shots. 

Automatisms, or the automatic and unconscious uses of technology, are greatly present in modern digital cell phone cameras. One automatism of cell phone cameras is the fact that they are so portable and easily accessible. Cell phone cameras lend themselves greatly to spontaneous shooting, which leads me to believe that cell phone cameras are mostly used by consumers for human connections and wonder. If somebody were to see something they truly believed was amazing, there is a high chance they would take advantage of their cellphone camera to capture what they are seeing to share with others. As a creator, digital cameras lend themselves greatly to making films or videos that have a more casual and modern feel to them. The short film Starvecrow makes use of improvised footage filmed by the actors themselves on their smartphones. Another interesting use of iPhone cameras and IoS devices themselves is to create an interactive fiction story that is exclusive to the platform. One such example of this is Pry, an interactive fiction story that is exclusive to IoS. Pry is an interactive fiction story that makes use of filmed footage that the user can come “in and out” of by pinching the screen closed or shut, in other words, the user opens or closes the main character’s eyes to gain different perspectives of the story. Without the existence of modern touch screen devices, this form of storytelling would most likely not exist.

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I am Dylan Niehaus

Hello! My name is Dylan Niehaus and I have greatly enjoyed creating videos for the past few years.


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