smaldonado17

smaldonado17

Final Project

This video is a promotional video for City Vineyard, a new church plant in North Portland. It involves hybrid cinema through use of text and titles, still images and video.  In this video, I included visual evidence, some montage through the use of quick transitioning of still images as well as filming an interview. I recorded the musical segment and the scenes of people talking amongst themselves without telling anyone. I set my camera on a table and just hit record to see what kind of candid moments I could get. I think this provided some great, authentic visual evidence. Because the church is so strongly focused and invested in the neighborhood in which it resides, I wanted to film the neighborhood, its natural environment and everyday life. The idea is to convey the mission of the church and the hearts of those attending and leading it.

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Interactive Cinema

Here is the link to my interactive cinema site. It’s a path to a waterfall that the user can either get there by foot or by car.

http://dtc-wsuv.org/smaldonado16/interactive

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Video Essay

Video essays use voice overs combined with video, text and images combines to provide visual evidence and explanation of the topic at hand. When the voiceover raises a point and provides multiple examples and references, the essay’s argument becomes valid, an aspect highlighted in the Fandor movie. I would begin to “writing” a video essay by deciding what my topic was, collecting evidence and resources, arranging the evidence in a captivating way, and recording or providing text to explain and clarify points.  As the Ted Talk notes, keeping a video essay short, interesting and truthful is very important for the success of a video essay. Knowing that viewers lose attention fairly quickly, I would choose a topic that hasn’t been talked about widely, is interesting, and can be explained concisely. 

__________

For my final project, it is a promotional video for a church plant in North Portland. It will involve an interview as well as voice over describing different aspects of the church. It will be a 2-3 minute video, similar to the job profile assignment. The two class modules I’ll be exploring are hybrid spaces and the job profile/interview module. In the coming weeks, I will need my actors because they will be the ones interviewed and explaining. I will also need permission to film at the location I have in mind for the interview. 

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Interactive Cinema

I chose to explore the Dreaming Methods’ “A Flat.” The narrative and storytelling work with the text, images and sound to create an eerie environment where you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen. The text appeared on screen for a fairly short time, making it difficult to fully understand the storyline. I went through it a couple times, and at least on my first try could not fully catch all of the text because I was trying to investigate the environment as well.

The interface creates context for exploration by having the cursor turn into a hand pointing, letting the participant know this element is to be clicked. Additionally, you would only see part of the scene, such as part of the room, or a close up of a soap bar on a sink. As I was clicking through the different elements, and walking around the flat, I knew something was going to happen or jump out. The element of the two minute clock running down added an element of suspense. I didn’t know what was going to happen once the time went out. When the time did expire, the story became more involved with the knocking on the door, and the viewer deciding to open it.

It was cinematic in the sense that the still images were intriguing and giving close up shots or partial shots added to the environment as a whole. The selection was a narrative because of the text appearing as you hovered over certain elements. The interface did a great job of setting the scene and keeping the viewer intrigued. I was in the position where I just wanted to see what scary thing would happen, or when and where the ghost would appear.

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What Makes a Successful Web Series

YouTube is flooded with videos of all different types from all different people. Ferdinand Rafols tells us that 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Because of this, creating a successful web series calls for intentionality and focus on specific tactics. To summarize these videos, the key things to having a successful web series on YouTube are the following:

  • Creating niche content
    • Your videos won’t attract everyone. If you create content that you imagine will be popular to the general public, odds are that content has already been created by someone else, and they probably already have a successful following from it. By creating niche content, you’ll attract a specific audience that will be searching for content like yours. If you have a specific interest or passion that may be slightly unconventional, create content geared toward people of like thinking because if they like your content, they’ll continue to watch it, share it, interact with it, etc.
  • Shareability
    • Your audience is more likely to grow if your videos reach more people through more avenues than word of mouth.  If you create content that is relatable or useful in someway, your viewers are more likely to share those videos with people they think will relate to them.  Making shareable content broadens your audience even if the initial viewer doesn’t relate to the content. If it’s a good video, they can share that with people who will relate to it, growing your audience.
  • Consistency
    • Keeping a consistent aesthetic will keep your viewers coming back to watch your content. As the videos would suggest, a consistent format, host, opening sequence, upload date, etc. will build anticipation of the upcoming upload, as well as create more of a routine for the viewer. The series becomes like an episode of television that they watch every week.

Some secondary aspects to creating a successful web series are captivating titles, intriguing thumbnails and concise, informative descriptions.

One of my favorite web series is Buzzfeed’s Whine About It. Whine about it is a weekly video series where a Buzzfeed employee drinks wine, gets drunk and complains about things. These videos are relatable in that they almost poke fun at the “basic white girl” stigma of loving wine, and using wine as an avenue to complain. His content is fairly entertaining, and I find myself agreeing with a lot of his points. Granted, Buzzfeed has a huge following, so his success his greatly attributed to the company he works for.  Buzzfeed eventually stopped the series, and he tried to bring it back individually, but was not nearly as successful. Whine About It’s success can be seen through their consistent posting days, and type of content. The opening sequence was the same every time, and the collaboration or representation from Buzzfeed grabbed a niche audience of the present Buzzfeed following.

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Job Profile

For my Job Profile I featured my friend, Josh McArthur, who is a middle school Health and Fitness teacher. Before filming, I contacted the principal of the school asking permission to film. After receiving permission, I provided Minor Release forms for all of the kids to have signed by their parents. All children in this video returned the release form from their parents granting me permission to film them.

My b-roll was fun to film because most of the kids loved having the camera there and were more than willing to be filmed. My lighting for the interview portion was limited. I don’t have a lighting rig, but I ended up bringing a lamp with an adjustable neck, and turned off some of the florescent lights in the classroom. Since there was nothing I could really do about the gym lighting, I just adjusted my settings on my camera to make it look better. All of this was filmed  on a Canon Rebel t6i, and the audio was recording using the camera microphone.

The music is by my brother, Mitchell Maldonado. He gave me permission to use his song, and sent me the file to do so.

These types of videos are the kind of video I would like to do more of professionally and as a hobby.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Hola Stephanie,

    This is a great interview, Josh seems like a great P.E teacher. I know its just a short video but your choice of visuals along with Josh’s answers let you get a better understanding of not just his work, but Josh as a person. Keep up the great work.
    -Brady Lewis

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Hybrid Cinema

For this assignment I compiled a number of different landscape videos I’ve shot over recent months, including a drone video. I layered some videos, did the green screen effects on another portion and edited the color of another video to create a hybrid of video.

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Hybrid Cinema

Manovich describes digital cinema and the deviation it has from original cinema and filmmaking techniques. In his work What is Digital Cinema, he discusses how editing and special effects no longer have a distinction due to the capabilities computers have now. Manovich also comments on how avant-garde filmmakers “revolt against indexicality, disregard the films original purpose…and operate on periphery of commercial cinema aesthetically and technically” (27).

In Light is Waiting, the original film is being stretched, painted over and mirrored, creating a 3 dimensional space as well as a spacial dimension with the montage of the static images and sound paired with the edited footage.

Playdamage.org utilizes loops, user interaction and a hybrid of sound, edited images and images layered. These different loops are intriguing because some of them change the longer you watch. For example, the loop of the different faces being montaged with the looping acapella song, develops more images the longer you watch. The space being created is not quite narrative, but almost invokes the viewer to create a narrative.

These hybrid cinemas do inspire to create one. Creating one would most likely push me outside of my creative comfort zone and cause me to use my imagination a little more. These seem fun to make, and almost create them without editing oneself.

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Visual Evidence

If I were asked to make a 5 minute story about the Eagle Creek fire, I would focus on the experience of the hikers trapped overnight near the falls.  I actually know one of the hikers who was trapped, so she would be the first person I interviewed. Because the fire and her experience already happened, a bulk of my focus would be on comparing what Eagle Creek looked like before the fires and their current state.  Some of the scenes would need to be reenactments, but the visual evidence would come from her narration of where things happened and how she felt.

As Barry Hampe notes in A Short Sermon About Interviews, this should not be a “talkumentary”, and interviews are not evidence. “…[J]ust because a person–even an important person–said something, that doesn’t make it true” (114). I’m not implying that the interview will be dishonest, it just would not be the only foundation I’m creating my story off of.

I would interview Katie and her friend she went hiking with. Because it is only a 5-minute segment, the number of interviews should be limited.

My B-roll would consist of the following:

  • Pictures and possible videos of Eagle Creek before the fires
  • Any photos of video (instagram stories, vlogs, etc) of Katie (my interviewee) and her friend before they went hiking
  • Social media posts and news headlines regarding the fires and destruction it caused

The voiceover from the interview would be going with the visual support and illustration of this B-roll.

My visual evidence would consist of

  • showing the same trail they hiked
  • filming the physical difference between the location before and after the fires.
  • Possible reenactments

They could reenact, to the best of their ability, where things such as supplies being dropped to them, and the trail they had to hike to get to the rescue busses. If the destruction in that particular area was devastating,  including it in the story would be quite beneficial. Barry Hampe suggests that with incorporating visual evidence, you need to ask yourself “What can you show your audience that will help them understand the subject[?] What can you show that will catch their attention…that will make them want to know more?” (99).

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Trailer Montage

I chose to make a montage of famous movie trailers. When I was randomly deciding on movies to combine, I realized they were all Brad Pitt movies. This became helpful for continuity purposes once I began editing. This trailer consists of scenes and audio clips from Money Ball, Inglorious Basterds, and Oceans Eleven. Despite all copyright laws, here it is!

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Cinema in the Digital Age: Run LoLa Run

Nicholas Rombes discusses the idea of manipulating time to tell a story is brought up in multiple ways in his book Cinema in the Digital Age.  In his introduction, he discusses how digital cinema has developed a technique and artistic depiction of movies that feature randmoness and mistakes.  He notes Dick Hebdige’s description of this desired effects as “little disasters” (10). These “disasters” include imperfections, shaky cameras, and disorder.  In Run Lola Run, you can see shaky cameras and disorder throughout the movie.  This technique is effective because of the chaos of the plot.

Rombes also discusses nonlinear editing in his writing. Nonlinear can be seen in classic hollywood movies like Man with a Movie Camera where sequential time is broken up and rearranged in the editing process. In Run Lola Run, the timeline is skewed with new stories being introduced half way through the film, and a constant clock ticking with the severity of her situation of getting money to her boyfriend.  Rombes describes nonlinear editing as “capturing chaos of the time” (131) which is very effective in situations such as the ones present in  Run Lola Run.

Chaos appears to be the aesthetic in this movie. The constant, ticking clock paired with the same events being replayed and altered slightly  each time the situations loop around add a disjointed feel throughout the movie. Throughout the movie time is stretched by allowing Lola’s psychological time partner with, and at times, over power the linear clock, making the editing style slightly unconventional. This is done through database logic, the memory from the viewer of previous events that is produced from repeating actions (214). However, the jumps of time and repeated action display continuity because each jump leads to the next location, the next thought process, or the next event.  Since time is of the essence in this movie, continuity is showed through quick cuts rather than watching the entire sequence of events.

This narrative is different than most conventional narratives because of the aforementioned techniques as well as the use of time shifting.  The story doesn’t exactly start at the beginning. The viewer doesn’t know why Lola’s boyfriend is in trouble, what he does, we just know that he needs money quickly.  Details such as the relationship between Lola’s parents is not revealed until much later in the movie. However, our brains can piece that information together as it’s happening. We recount certain events that happened previously, and associate them with the present, and maybe try to predict the future outcomes. As George Lucas puts it, “This method of telling stories– skipping back and forth in time, compressing and decompressing swathes of time – is deeply linked with technologies that foreground this process” (218).

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Loops

To create these loops, I thought back to some vines that I admired, especially with the guitar loop. I always enjoyed AcousticTrench’s videos, and thought it was really creative to loop a measure of music. I wanted to utilized match on actions and continuity in the door loop to create a revolving door effect, in a way. I used a tripod to capture the continuity, and just repositioned it around the room. I did struggle slightly to remain in the time constraints, so some videos are sped up, but their effect isn’t lost.  The light loop was fun to create. I’ve always found loops like these humorous, even though they’re so simple.  I couldn’t quite figure out how to loop them on YouTube, but if you right click on the video, there is an option to loop the video.

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Time frames (cinematic gifs)

Scott McCloud introduces the idea of comic book frames being arranged to introduce time, and the single picture becoming “joined by the composition of change, the composition of drama, and the composition of memory” (115). Gifs and continuous loops do just that, but faster than a comic book panel. The first gif illustrates time in a continuous way that is almost mesmerizing. As Scott McCloud mentions, “the interaction of time and comics generally leads us to one of two subjects: sound or motion” (116). This gift introduces motion in a way that allows us to fill in the gaps of time to watch the interaction of time and movement.

In the second gif, the idea of change is present, and left to the viewer to imagine. Because of the moving background and newspaper, the idea of changing destinations in this gif is very well depicted.  As I look at it, time passes in my imagination of a subway ride that is longer than a single second, continuous loop. Like comic books, the viewers fill in the gaps of time without the need for every destination or detail to be seen. The hybridization of a still image and moving elements more clearly illustrates the time passed and change occurred.

In the vine, the narrative displayed is the chorus of the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” The use of a loop in this case makes it seem like the song will continue, but continues to repeat the same line instead.  It’s a creative way to cover a song, and when looped well is quite impressive. Contradicting McCloud’s point of associating change, this loop doesn’t change when the viewer might expect it to.  Instead of continuing with the song, it loops back to the beginning of the video, stopping the listener in their tracks because their mind might have already gone to the next part of the song.

https://vine.co/v/i3HYidEFePD

 

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Continuity

To show continuity in this assignment, I chose to depict the sketching process. Sketching can be a mindless act, but as seen here, does require a certain amount of focus.  The entire process shows the gathering of materials, in this case taking them out of the backpack, finding inspiration (the cup), the actual sketching, and the completion, sealed with a signature. I wanted to use perspective shots to show this process, and better illustrate the concentration and thought that went into this sketch.  A match on action was used when the notebook is put onto the table and when the backpack is tossed on the chair. Because of the size and detail of the sketch, it was a little difficult to depict the entire, continuous process in under a minute, so I used the shot of her back to act as a time lapse.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Stephanie,
    This video’s second half has great continuity cuts around drawing. But the first half could have used some continuity cuts to get us more quickly to the action. So, for example, she puts the sketchpad on the counter. Close up on sketchpad. Then back to subject sitting on stool.

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Framing–Inglourious Basterds

The opening scene of Inglourious Basterds really caught my attention the first time I watched it. I really enjoyed the wide open field, and the drama felt in a scene with almost no dialogue.  The first shot is an extreme long shot, featuring the French farm house, and wide open terrain. Followed by a low angle, medium shot, the audience sees a French man hard at work in his field. The regular chores of this family are interrupted by an Austrian soldier searching for Jews in hiding. As the soldiers get closer to the house, you can see the anxiety building in this family.  The shots that feature the landscape point to a sense of solitude, exclusion, and freedom this household use to feel. As the soldiers get closer to the house, the camera shots get closer to the people, specifically the French man hiding Jews. The framing of the shots does a great job of depicting rising animosity, and narrating the situation through a combination of extreme long shots, close ups, rule of thirds and various camera angles. Later in the scene, when the Jewish people are hiding under the floor boards, the combination of the high angle shot featuring the shooting through the boards, and the “Jew Hunter” walking about the kitchen after this horrific shooting. When the camera closes in on him from a low angle, it offers a chilling depiction of his attitude toward the Jewish people and lack of remorse.

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Who Dunnit?

For this Who Dunnit scenario, I wanted to illustrate the mystery of an anonymous gift alluding to at least two different possibilities. Honestly, I was quite uninspired, and struggled to come up with a plot for this video.  The use of props such as a card without a sender and pedals leading to different locations assisted in identifying a suspect where there were no actors. However, when the pedals lead to a dead end, there seem to be no more leads as to who left the flowers. Who dunnit? Who knows. That’s the mystery.

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What Was Cinema?

In What Was Cinema? Rodowick’s acknowledgement of the hybridization of digital media is an important realization due to the evolving creative scope of today’s society and technological advancements. As recognized throughout the article, film is a dying, if not dead art, however, “cinema nonetheless persist. And in fact digital filmmaking may inspire exciting new forms of cinema not yet imagined” (p. 30). This inspiration, paired with digital technology advancements, expands boundaries of inquiry rather than limiting the discipline to either film or cinema (p. 30).

Today, digital video is readily accessible and often used by a range of people. Some automatisms often utilized are merely using the automatic settings on cameras or even phones. In addition to some artistic elements being lost through some approaches of digital video, practices like daily vlogging and sharing videos constantly with others, such as social media “stories” have let society slip into automatisms of digital video. Without a thought, one can see how others live their lives either in their culture or a different culture around the world. Film is lost with the modernization of a digital culture that is constantly updating because it is frankly not quick enough or easily accessible for everyone.

In my life, I “use” digital video for educational purposes such as tutorials, digital classrooms, or informational videos. In addition to education, digital video is also used for human connection and wondrous aspects, with the utilization of tools like live streaming, and creating short video updates with only my phone. Social media has played a huge part in the automation of digital video through the ability for everyone to express ideas and creativity with a phone app. Mobile phones have changed automatisms by creating a precedence for video. If digital video is not accessible on a mobile phone, it can be disregarded. However, mobile phones and devices allow constant opportunity for creative outlet. Digital video wants to be an accessible, foundational outlet used for creative outlet, interaction and education.

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Stephanie Maldonado–Hello!

Hi, I’m Stephanie Maldonado.

I’m a senior in the DTC program. My super power is Social Media/PR.  I don’t have a ton of experience with video. I’ve done simple projects for DTC 201, and other classes, but I’d like to do more to expand my creative outputs. I’m mainly interested in videos used for marketing purposes, such as promotional, interview, etc. One example for the style of video is an Indiegogo fundraiser video my brother made for the music studio he has.  I like this style of video because it incorporates creative shots, interviews, and music that compliments the purpose and style of video really well. The videos I am looking to create would be somewhere a long the lines of this one.

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