Shawn Sims

Hybrid Cinema Blog

Light is Waiting and Starwarswars

What I like so much about Light is Waiting is the unique style for which it took. It mirrored one half of the video and placed it on both sides to create this interesting effect. This effect coupled with the flashing lights and distorted audio makes for a rather creepy experience. I assume it is supposed to represent a damaged TV given the static effect used multiple times. It is representative of the idea that because they are made from pixels, they are simply just another graphic. “If live-action footage was left intact in traditional filmmaking, now it functions as raw material for further compositing, animating, and morphing.” (7) The video Light is Waiting treats the film which it pulls from the show as merely an element to be played with, it is no different from all the other elements to the computer as the computer doesn’t distinguish between film and image as Manovich explained. These same principles explained for Light is Waiting can also be applied to Starwarswars. Starwarswars is essentially just the combination of all the Star Wars films into a big collage. All the sounds and video are placed together, creating a very interesting experience. It is again, like Light is Waiting, treating film as merely an element to be morphed, and edited however the editor wishes to edit it. Something that both of these hybrid cinema films do is collapse the distinction with editing and special effects, combining them together. (8) Before, special effects and editing were separated, but with the computer, this is no longer the case. Now, you can add in the special effects and edit at the same time. A simple “‘cut and paste'” as Manovich said, is done. (8) It is interesting to think of all the possibilities with hybrid cinema and it does inspire me to jump into this interesting realm, now it is just a matter of figuring out what exactly I would create.

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Networked Cinema Blog

I think the concept of networked cinema is interesting. I like the idea of being involved in the story that is happening in the show. It allows the viewers to be more engaged and involved with the characters. The article stated how the viewers can even influence the show through their comments on the various posts that the characters make and they even take into account comments from the episodes themselves. It makes the characters feel real and I think that is huge because one of the most important things about getting someone into a show is to make the characters feel believable.

In terms of my own idea I don’t really know. There was a project I did back in Multimedia Authoring which involved you following a chain of news articles, emails, and audio logs of a security officer on a remote planet around Bernard’s Loop. It involved a corrupt leadership and the discovery an alien life. You followed the Chief Security Officer as the events unfolded, starting out seemingly fine, but devolving with missing persons cases, followed by human experiments, the Chief Security Officer trying to stop the Director of Operations, and then to chaos. The only thing that was missing was the video element and I think the inclusion of video would really make for a compelling story. Instead of creating my own website like I did with the original project back in Multimedia Authoring, I would post news articles on Facebook or Twitter or some other social media site, I’d make a YouTube channel which would feature press interviewing the Security Officer for example. I might even include a new thread, where hackers hacked into the emails of the Officer as everything falls apart by placing the emails in a Facebook thread, exposing leadership corruption and exposing the illegal experimentation going on. The idea is the viewer would be a colonist on their computer or phone. Their reactions would influence how the Chief Security Officer and the Director may respond to certain situations for instance.

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Visual Evidence Blog

If I were interviewing someone in relation to the Eagle Creek Forest Fire I would first interview the fire chief to understand the situation on the ground. I’d open with some B-Roll of the fire department headquarters and starting off the interview inside the office. After that we’d head on site and capture the situation in action and capture visual evidence. Understanding the difference between B-roll and visual evidence is critical. Barry defines B-roll footage as, “B-roll is cover footage, pictures that run while someone is talking. It’s like the children dressed up as shepherds or wise men in a Christmas pageant – there to provide something for the audience to look at while they listen to words. It’s not evidence, it’s illustration.” (106) Visual evidence is when the shots have purpose and meaning behind them. Like for example, in this documentary, when it came to focusing on community impact, I would use shots of the interview itself as well as the additional footage within a person’s home for example. Visualize the words of the person being interviewed by utilizing the environment that they live in. Something I would ask them as Barry mentioned in his visual evidence piece is, “‘What can I film that will show an audience what we are talking about?'” (99).

Overall this is what I would do:

-Open with brief narration over B-roll footage of fire department

-Interview the fire chief with B-roll footage of fire department headquarters.

-Get visual evidence of the Eagle Creek Forest, footage out in the field and interview the head in the process.

-Go to the town which has been impacted and interview a select number of locals, one who has been relatively well off, one who has had some problems but not severe, and those whom have gone through severe damage. Use B-roll footage in the opening of each and then use visual evidence to represent how they are impacted.

-Give a closing with visual evidence of the forest fire and the town affected.

I will also add that I’d want to keep interviewing at a minimum if possible because Barry mentions The War Room documentary which has no interviews, but rather all visual evidence. (97) I see a lot of value in that so I would also utilize the audio in the visual evidence in order to strengthen the visual evidence.

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Shawn Sims Trailer Remix

Movies Used:

Alien

Interstellar

Gravity

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Shawn Sims Cinema in the Digital Age Blog

One of my favorite aspects about the move Run Lola Run is the use of nonlinearity to weave a narrative. The way nonlinear editing is used in Run Lola Run is quite interesting; one of the best parts about nonlinear editing is the following, “but rather that the ease and speed whereby the database can be accessed and summoned means that more experimental, even radical representations of time in cinema are possible.” (130)  Time is a major aspect of the movie Run Lola Run, Lola and Manni are in a constant loop where if one dies, they are doomed to repeat themselves. “Because digital cinema operates on what Lev Manovich has called database logic, it allows for the arrangment of that database in ways that change not only the screen, but the very ways in which time is represented.” (192). One of the best examples of how time is represented is in the opening scene when Lola throws the phone in the air. When Lola throws the phone into the air, time around her slows down. I argue that this is representative of the filmakers idea that time is malleable and that time is like any other dimension where you are free to navigate in any direction. This is something Brian Greene discusses, “time seems to relentlessly march forward. Whereas in space, which Einstein taught us was related to time, you can go left or right or back – you are completely free – your motion in space.” (213) Expanding further, the idea that time is like any other dimension in which you can freely navigate through is represented in the loop of time itself. The idea of linear time, where time is constantly moving forward as Brian Greene also points out (213), is thrown out of this movie. In this universe the movie has set up, Lola is not constrained by linear time as evident by the fact that Lola learns as the movie goes along, an example is the women with the baby on the stroller. What makes this move different is its unique interpretation of time and how the film treats it as though it is like the 3 dimensional space we live in. Time in this instance is the 4th dimension, whereby time is like the space we live in, freely explorable. Neil Degrasse Tyson explains it very well so I’ll be sure to link it down below for a better explanation.

Classical Hollywood styles are not abandoned from this movie, but rather fused into the movie itself. Take parallel montage for example, which Gene Youngblood states is an example of traditional cinema, is used in the movie, but in a unique way. (192)  Rather than cut to one area and cut to another, it instead splits the screen to show both scenes happening at the same time; to make things even cooler, time is also shown at the bottom, again going back to the significance of time in the movie.

One way in which the movie maintains continuity between cuts and separate scenes is the use of sound. An example is when Manni is walking into the grocery store, Lola is whispering in her head for him to wait. This greatly helps aid in establishing that both scenes are happening simultaneously.

 

 

 

Down below is a link to Neil deGrasse Tyson explaining the idea of time acting as a 4th dimension. Yes it is in reference to Interstellar but the commentary is relevant to Run Lola Run as both films heavily explore the concept of time as a 4th dimension.

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Shawn Sims Continuity Assignment

For the continuity assignment I chose to create a video where I cooked a rice bowl. Cooking food is an easy to express the passage of time. I believe I was effective in doing this as I opened the video with the lights turned off, then I turned on the lights. From there I displayed the ingredients and began cooking. I chose a more close up approach with my shots because cooking is a much more hands on activity, you are close to the food constantly and I wanted to be able to express that effectively. The use of POV shots, close up shots, the one long shot at the beginning, and the use of medium shots all help in creating this close quarters feeling that I was going for. I think the setting also was a huge plus as the kitchen I have is incredibly small, so it helps in further creating this close up feeling that I was going for in the film.

One of the best aspects of the film in my eyes is the effect where objects appear to just appear out of thin air or my tomato and avocado being cut with the snap of a finger. One of the struggles though is making sure everything stays aligned and I think I messed up at some points, especially with the tomato and avocado portions where the paper towel was moved around for the tomato and the avocado scene had the knife I used in the frame which killed the effect.

One struggle I did have was injecting some humor at the end of the video, where I show the rice to be burned and dried up. I think the addition of some sound or text on screen would’ve helped aid in communicating the joke that I was going for. Its not that the joke is unnoticeable as both the shot of the rice and freezer are right next to each other; its that if there was something additional, it would’ve made the joke itself funnier.

As a whole though I believe I was effective at showing the passage of time from start to end. There was a clear linear path that the video took from start to finish.

I did create two versions of the video. One which is version 1, which is solely showing the framing and shots, and one with text in it, showing the steps to the recipe.

Down below is the second version. I think the addition of text really helps aid the video, and provides context to certain parts in it.

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Shawn Sims Time Frames Blog

This gif here is representative of the subject of motion which was discussed in McCloud’s comic. This specific instance is effective at displaying time passing through the high speed when the crew is approaching the wormhole. The blurring of the lights helps give the illusion that they are moving incredibly fast. One of the best aspects of the gif is the constant loop that it is in, it feels as though the ship is constantly flying around the wormhole.

This gif is also an effective representation of the passage of time as the wormhole in the background is rapidly moving, which is effectively expressed through the motion lines of the lights, creating the illusion to the viewer that the CGI object is rapidly moving. The second part of the gif shows the passage of time as the space station gets progressively closer. In both cases, the motion helps give the feeling that a large amount of time is passing and the separation of the shots helps this further by giving the audience the feeling that more time has passed.

This gif shows the large passage of time through the movement of the clouds. In comic books, the way time is expressed is through the creation of motion lines as McCloud explained. The constant loop the gif is in helps create the feeling that an infinite amount of time is passing. The infinite loop that it is in helps represent the timeless beauty of nature, so from a narrative standpoint, the loop helps aid what the gif is trying to communicate.

 

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Sims Project #1

 

  1. Extreme Long Shot
  2. Extreme Close Up
  3. Medium Shot
  4. Close Up
  5. Long Shot
  6. Medium Shot that transitions to a medium close up.

For this project I decided to take a atmospheric horror approach where as the video goes along things grow more and more wrong. When watching the video keep in mind the sound of the wind chimes as they themselves are also a clue to what happened. I used a variety of shots in order to create this video. I was inspired by psychological horror movies and games when making this project. Throughout the video I used only the dining room light as I wanted to have a low light level because I wanted to create further immersion. I had originally used all my lights but it killed the horror completely. I hope you enjoy the video and I look forward to seeing all of your videos as well.

-Shawn

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Shawn Sims Framing Blog

 Medium Close Up

 High Angle Medium Shot

 Medium Over The Shoulder Shot, pans to the left

 Close Up Shot

 Medium Over The Shoulder Shot, pans to the left slowly before next shot

   The first two shots here are extreme close-ups of the SS officers uniform, followed by Oskar in a telephoto zoom.

 Medium Close Up Shot

 Medium Long Shot  OTS Long Shot

 Extreme Close Up Shot

 Close Up Shot

 Over The Shoulder Wide Angle Long Shot?

 Extreme Close Up   Medium Close Up Shot

 Medium Close Up Shot

 Extreme Long Shot

 Medium Long Shot

 Long Shot

 Long Shot

 Medium Long Shot

 Medium Shot

 Medium Close Up Shot

 

Schindler’s List is one of my favorite movies and this scene is in my top three favorites within the film. What I loved so much about this scene was how it established Oskar’s character; this is the first time we are introduced and the way he was introduced in this scene was fantastic. The variety of close ups, medium shots, and pans really aided in this process. The telephoto shot of Oskar with his cigarette when the SS officers are getting photographed is my favorite shot in the entire scene because the shot conveys so much information about Oskar’s character. He is observant, and it is clear he doesn’t view the Nazis in a positive light, the shows an air of disgust. The final shot at the end gives another hint to his character. The SS officer is smiling towards the cameras but Oskar is looking away. Again this shot reveals much about Oskar’s character, it shows him as a person behind the scenes, someone who isn’t interested in a lot of attention; he likes to be the person in the background.

As a whole, the shots serve to develop who Oskar is. The scene gives various shots of where Oskar is, it then shows his reactions to the environment around him and then shows him taking action through bribing the waiter in order to get the attention of a high ranking officer.

Below is the entire scene.

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Shawn Sims Introduction

My name is Shawn Sims, and I am double majoring in DTC and History with a minor in political science. I love video creation, from writing down a screenplay, to filming, and then my favorite, editing. A huge influence in my life has been living in different parts of the states, as well as living in Europe. I’ve lived in Arkansas, Germany, California, Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and here in Washington. Thanks to me living in different parts of the world I’m always fascinated by the huge variety of different cultures and histories in each location (Germany is my favorite).

In regards to equipment, I am using my I-Phone, I-Pad, Snowball ICE microphone, and a Macbook Pro with a full Adobe Suite. I am currently in the process of ordering a camera for better quality filming.

My aims for the class is to better my video making and editing skills. The main reason I’m in this class is because I have a huge interest in video creation and editing. I’m hoping that my interest in this realm of DTC continues to grow.

I’ve considered careers in video editing, the state department, and working for the intelligence community (DIA specifically) to name a few.

 

The following video I chose is a clip from the intro to the classic Alien movie. I chose a movie clip because most of the YouTube content I watch is either music, long form commentary pieces, or podcasts generally discussing political or gaming topics and that is not what I’m going for in this class as of now. I chose the clip because what Alien did so well was world building, immersing you into the world that was created. I love the idea of giving the environment huge focus, making it have character and that is something that I want to do in my projects.

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