Joe Redman

Run Lola Run Cinema Narration

Run Lola Run is a movie that is fittingly full of energy. Even at the beginning when Lola and Mani are on the phone, the conversation is intensified with the rapid cuts and quick zooms. I thought the animated bits were a bit disconnected, but the movie’s world is stitched together well as many shots of Lola running through the city are shown. This partly relies on the film’s ambitious method of storytelling. It presents itself as three different what-if scenarios. This confused me at first, but what made me instantly realize what was going was that Lola, who died in one scenario was alive again in the spot she began. If the second scenario had begun anywhere else, it would have been much more confusing. Another thing the film did well conveying was the micro stories on a handful of people Lola interacts with. They were only told through quick freeze-frames, but provided enough visual cues to show what would happen. I found it interesting that not everyone had the best future in scenario three. The film ditched the conventional 5 step storytelling method used by most other things to really teach a lesson at the expense of actually seeing characters develop. Lola did not develop from a rude individual  that pushes over people to someone nice. The film just showed what it would be like if she was already rude or nice going into the three scenarios.

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The Continuous Dog

I was planning on having other people in this video, but everyone was busy…The only actor left was my dog. Working with animals in film can be very difficult. The framing done inside of the house takes the perspective of someone looking down at the dog. When outside, the framing shifts to a height much closer to the dog’s level.  I had very loose control over where I could direct my dog to go. The only action he could do while running around the yard was just that. To convey a form of continuity I had to make my dog repeat some actions a few times such as walking through the door and walking on the sidewalk. Something interesting that happens about 13 seconds in is that my dog appears to walk underneath the frame instead of leaving left or right. Though the dog’s eyes may match with the camera from a distance earlier in the shot, he is still a bit below it. I redid that shot so my dog would walk out of frame onto the grass for a moment, so the transition to him being on the grass would not be jarring. I play with distance here. Sometimes the dog is close to the camera. Sometimes he is further away and gets closer and other times he gets further. At about 25 seconds in the dog sprints to the back of the yard and slows down once he gets close to the fence. It is not perfect, but the transition to the shot of the dog walking along next to the fence was based on the change of his running speed. One of the shots I enjoyed filming was the one that followed the 180-degree rule of my dog gradually gaining speed as he ran next to the fence. I had to keep the framing intact as my dog kept running faster.

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  1. Joe, The continuity shots here are not very strong. I think it is in the editing more than in the shots themselves. It is very difficult to direct a dog! But one way around the problem is to vary the distance from the subject. We can sit and discuss if you want.

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Mccloud Time, Space, and Motion

When looking over Mccloud’s points one of the things I think of the most is how time is frozen on a panel, but is a moving sequence in cinema. When eyeing a panel like the one on top of page 96, a reader can take the time to make out every element of the panel before moving on to the next. Even if the panel is written as described on page 95, a reader can make their own pace through. The rope through the text bubbles guides readers while cinema mixes elements such as full movement of sound. A movie viewer may not be able notice everything that occurs within a long-shot. Even if the shot lasts for a while they may only focus on one thing at a time. There is a connection to what Mccloud describes on page 101 between comics and cinema in which a pause or longer amount of time is emphasized. The optimal method he shared is by having a longer panel which also takes up more space. The same is done with film in that a pause takes up space and time. Mccloud also covers motion within comics. Artists trick readers similarly to how continuity methods occur within film.

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Continuity with movie clips


close up


medium close-up

medium-long shot

long shot

In this intense early scene that sets up the atmosphere of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jones and the other man that soon betrays any trust there may have been takes place in a dark underground temple full of traps. The first shot is completely focused on the relic that Jones is after with it being in the center of the frame while zoomed out enough to show that it sits on a pedestal. Shot 2 is a closeup of Jones’ feet as he slowly makes his way over to the relic. It reminds the viewer that there are traps that could be stepped on. In shot 3 he still is moving as he was before, but stops in front of the relic to swap it out with a sack. He does so and in shot 4 the other man who is alone in the shot reacts to what he sees. In shot five, rumblings begin and the whole temple begins to implode within itself. This is presented in a medium-long shot with Jones looking back at everything in front of him coming down. The long shot for shot 6 emphasizes how far underground the temple is as Jones escapes. Timing is an important element of the this scene’s narrative. It is a tense scene that gradually becomes something more energetic. The camera framing focuses on the relic while the intensity builds. Once Jones starts running for his life the shots are much quicker, focusing all around the temple and its traps.

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Pocket Cinema

When watching the posted videos that were both captured with a cell phone I got the impression that the filmmakers were trying to capture the action with several dynamic angles, but the underlying goal of telling an interesting story is not affected much at all from filming with a different camera. In Detour, I thought the whole concept was a good fit for filming with a phone because a major component of the film is the constant travel and change of setting. People bring their phones wherever they go and this film is a good demonstration this practice. There were a few shots within both films that I thought must have been easier to capture with a phone and to show off how good the quality was. In Night Fishing the filmmakers showed off how well a phone caught a dark night scene. In Detour there is a shot taken of the tricycle  on a highway that is very low to the ground. This shows how the phone can capture scenes in interesting angles.

Even though phones were used to film these movies the sense of a immersion one feels from the stories they tell will not be affected at all. If I did not know these were filmed with phones I would have never would noticed. Today I believe a major automatism of digital film making is focusing on actions with quick cuts. Shots that linger are less common. With so many people having such a high-quality camera in their pockets, the purpose of film-making is more personal with creators making whatever they want. People are a lot more comfortable using their phones than they were using their often unprotected fragile cameras, so maybe people will be more comfortable and daring when filming with phones.

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