Meet Charlie, this is his video essay about how life is just so hard as a dog.
I chose to observe the hypercinema piece called “Bear 71” I thought this piece was really interesting. I have some experience with hypercinema, but I have yet to really get into it. This piece began with a countdown telling the user it was a 20 minute interactive documentary. The piece opens with a clip of a bear being tranquilized and then released after being given a tracker. Something really powerful about this was the way the narrator spoke from the perspective of the bear. This connected well once the interactive portion began. The narrator spoke of how Banf National Park has been turned into what they called the “grid” because of all of the trackers and frequencies happening within the park. The user is able to move their mouse around the grid that is shown and there are different camera icons that can be clicked on to show what is happening. There were also different tags for different animals being tracked and you could click on those too to see the animals. I thought this was a really interesting sort of expose of the park done from the perspective of the animals living within it. Everyone loves nature and national parks, but we don’t always realize our presence can be harmful to the animals within them. This was really cinematic because of the use of clips in conjunction with the way the user can manipulate what they see. The piece has a rhythm to it done by the use of movement around the grid in conjunction with the music and the voice over.
Video essays are really interesting because it’s not as simple as the idea of a script and visuals, and yet it is. To me a video essay seems to be something that doesn’t necessarily have like actors, but rather is something that is capturing what the words or text speak about. In some of the videos it seemed a video essay was meant to educate, but I have also experienced video essays that are more poetic. I think to begin writing a video essay a central theme needs to be chosen. I think a large part of the essay portion is having the words be eloquently written or spoken while the images or visuals seem to demonstrate the way the words are spoken. I watched a video essay a while ago that was a little boy describing the statue of liberty and it was sort of a conversation between a dad and son about what freedom means and the ultimate idea was that we’ve stopped being a country for immigrants to come to and be free, but it was done by means of a little boy drawing a picture and the dad talking to him about it mixed in with images of early immigrants to the U.S. I definitely think the editing is the most important part of a video essay and usually a video essay will be a voice over guiding some form of montage.
For my final project Diana Kutsenko and I will work together, so far we’ve talked about doing a sort of short drama but with only one or two actors and relying heavily on visuals instead of a lot of dialogue, we wanted to do a sort of last man on earth idea shot in the gorge.
After viewing “SKAM” the facebook interactive networked series, as well as, reading the article, ““SKAM,” the Radical Teen Drama That Unfolds One Post at a Time” I began to think more about the possibilities of something like this being the future of TV. After the Black Mirror interactive movie “Bandersnatch” came out on Netflix last year I began thinking more about electronic literature as a form of entertainment. The idea was cool and new and it seemed a lot of people began having conversation about it, but as a viewer I personally could not see that taking over the entirety of movies and television. Often times a viewer wants to get lost in the story while watching TV and for many visual entertainment is a form of destressing. My favorite thing about a film is when I can forget that “it’s just a movie” and fully feel encapsulated by the storyline. However, I definitely can see something like “SKAM” being popular with a younger demographic. I have a coworker who’s 17 and she’s always on about what this “Tik Toker” did. I could really see someone of that age and social media interest caring about stalking the instagram of a character on the interactive series, and even I love coming up with theories about what’s next in a series when the new season is about to come out. My idea for interactive networked series is that this could almost be a good marketing move for already existing shows and movies, or for future shows and movies having an instagram of the characters to keep the audience still thinking about what’s to come, whilst waiting for a full length episode or film to come out for viewers like me to get lost in.
Films or “movies” have always been something that tells a story. The traditional form of cinema is putting together a set, and recording interaction between characters to tell a narrative. Now, there’s a new kind of storytelling and way to tell a narrative known as “digital media. Lev Manovich tells us in “What is Digital Cinema” that digital media is understood as something that will let cinema tell its stories in a new way. We have forms of digital cinema where the user can manipulate the narrative by making decisions to lead to the next sequence in the story, and we have computer built environments where the entire story is made within the computer, with digital cinema the options for new spaces and ways to explore a narrative seem endless. The hybrid cinema piece of Lake Como Remix by Mark Amerka tells the story through a computer built environment of the images taken by the satellites and cameras of “Google earth”. The narratives takes the viewer on a glitch remixed journey through Lake Como, Italy. The space is entirely computer modeled and plays with the ideas of seeing what you’d see in real life and how that can be manipulated when working in the digital space. One thing I found interesting about this piece was the way it went into the sides of the cliffs and how on google earth inside of those cliffs just showed like a gray color because nothing is mapped inside of them. I thought this was an interesting way to interact with the scenery in a way that is truly digital because should that have been filmed in real life in lake como the space would not have been able to have been manipulated in that way. This is a great example of what Manovich meant when he said,”Digital cinema is a particular
case of animation that uses live-action footage as one of its many elements.” The artist took the live action recordings of the satellites and highway cams and manipulated it into a severely digital age format.
In this scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off we have the montage of events as Ferris makes his home run stretch back into bed to play sick. At this point in the film we have got his sister after him, his parents both on their way home from work, the principal on his tail, and he is running at the speed of light. I would say that this illustrates Einsteins fourth type of montage- Overtonal Montage- in this montage all the events sort of play off of each other, and we have some scenes that move really quickly paired with scenes where time is elongated which holds elements of metric montage. overall in this scene each cut holds movement that becomes a catalyst for what is next going to happen. This montage also reminds me of the scene that we watched in class that represented parallel time where the man was in the wheelchair and the woman was coming home. This scene bounces off of itself to create the suspense and tension for ferris’s journey home.
Infinite loop sort of ?
This film was one that had a very strong sensory overload and part of that was what made the narrative more complex, and a bit more unique when it comes to timing. The film made use of black and white on the scenes that are meant to illustrate what is happening or has happened that was not shown in real time. This helps to piece together some of the unknown bits for a film that is a bit out of chronological order. In the first part of the film the director made use of high intensity scenes of lola running and then paired that with photographs placed into the film to show what is going on while lola is doing this desperate sprint. This makes use of sensory overload to keep the movie moving at a dramatic fast pace, and still show what else is going on during this scene as well.
I would say this is how the film is a digital aesthetic. The film pairs stills with motion picture to allow for an almost multimedia experience while watching the film. It’s unique from typical Hollywood because it’s not just your simple normal model of a beginning, middle, and end, but rather throws you right into the film and you kind of sort your way around. This film reminded me of the way Memento uses the black and white shots to show what happened before when the film is out of sequence.
Here we see Heather, the lead Heather, she’s giving Veronika instructions to give a dirty note to a girl they’re bullying from a popular guy.
The camera goes to the other two Heathers. and they’re positioned both in colorful dress and included in the frame together to kind of show that they’re the lead Heather’s little puppy dogs. They both giggle to each other about the lead Heathers idea. These first two shots are both close up shots in the beginning of the film to introduce the characters.
Next we go to a close up shot of Veronika, Veronika and the lead Heather are both framed solo in this scene to represent how they are both more dominant characters kind of opposing one another, while the other two Heathers are included in the shots together to represent their weaker personalities in the film.
Here we go to a wide shot that shows Martha, the girl the girls are bullying, in this shot lead Heather has just turned to look at Martha her eyes leading us to a POV shot of Martha getting her lunch minding her own business. This shot is the point of view of the lead heather “spotting her prey”.
This shot is mid shot that sort of is used to solidify the roles each character plays in the group where lead Heather turns back to the girls and begins to instruct them their roles. The shot is framed so that we see Heather in the position in front of the group of girls in a position of authority, Veronika is sort of off to the side and looking away still looking to Martha, who she doesn’t want to bully. The two Heathers stand side by side directly in front of lead Heather to show that they’re in a submissive role. Also the three Heathers are all wearing bright dress while Veronika is wearing all black, further distancing herself from the group in similarities.
The way Mccloud discusses how a longer frame in a comic means a longer amount of time has passed is similar to the way a longer scene without a direct cut is a longer amount of time passing as well. This reminds me of how in cinema when there is a bunch of quick cuts or almost a montage it references a bunch of different moments in time and moves things along at a quicker pace. I think it’s interesting how Mccloud shows that in comics a frame without text and then the same frame right next to it with text is kind of like a pause in time. I think its super interesting how this concept has been used a bit in film even though obviously in film we can just have the actor pause for a minute before speaking to show this gap in time for thought. In the film “My Own Private Idaho” the director uses some freezed shots during the sex scenes where the actors almost emulate sculptures, but the freezed shots kind of show us what is happening in that scene and still have fluidity in the scene. The actors do not do the movement with their bodies, instead the freezed shots put together fill out the fluidity of the scene. I think this concept is really similar to how comics move along their stories, being that comics are not moving pictures and this is a really interesting literal example of this in film.
Here is my framing exercise video, the scene is after a break in and knife fight.
In today’s world digital video is running rampant throughout all aspects of society; whether it be for marketing advertisements or social media we are all consumers of video. I think an automatism of today’s society is the way people use video for instagram and snapchat stories. An example of this is my friend and I used to create “snapchat story movies” where we use these 10 second long clips of video that we take on our iphones and create sequential stories in a short film fashion and upload them. I think this is something kind of different because it involves non editing and is kind of an unconscious formation of cinema.
Digital video is something that is used unconsciously by most people to document moments of everyday life, and to share them with their friends and families. I think digital video has changed a lot because it has become something that anyone and everyone does on a daily basis, and not only something that creative filmmakers use to tell stories. I think it is really interesting though because while it is unconscious and in a different format the general public are still telling stories through their use of video, the stories of their lives.
Hello I’m Jenna! I also go by Jen!
My background in video is that I love making creatives videos with my friends for fun, I’ve taken a couple film classes, and I really love to write and edit!
I know this is a video from next week’s coursework, but I honestly would love to make videos like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=525&v=Ryk0eny1j0M
I really love the creativity behind this!! I like the way it kind of makes you think how did they come up with that!?!? I love the way the scenes each flow together and contribute to another part of the underlying story. This short film tells a story, but also has multiple stories along the way and I love that.