Zach Losness

DTC-338 Final – Vancouver! The Public Access Documentary

Here is my final draft of my final project. I recruited my coworker, Ranger Bobby to give me his thoughts on Vancouver, the city he works and lives in. I decided that after the awkward vibe of my last job shadow, I would accentuate on the tone and give this feature a “public access” type of shoot, inclusive of cheesy music and grainy footage. I found some free sounds on youtube to include for my soundtrack and learned how to give premiere a VHS effect, though I only used the effect to its fullest for the intro scene as I did not want to distract the viewer from the narrative itself. My shots still deliver continuity and I am able to develop a narrative, as we learn firsthand from Ranger Bobby how he really feels about living in Vancouver.

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Final Project Rough Cut

This is my rough cut for my final project. When the official final is submitted, I will include a write up and review.

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Video Essays and Final Project Brainstorming

Video essays keep the viewer very stimulated in their segments. With extensive cuts and visual evidence throughout the entire essay, the viewer is able to keep up at the essayists’ pace of information. Text is large, pronounced and in summation of the the content being discussed. Voice overs are present throughout the whole essay and go into detail about the facts of the essay, while breaking occasionally to present visual evidence. It would seem that to begin a video essay, one most compile massive amounts of footage and research to help support whatever point it is that they are trying to make. If a voice is not present in a video essay, then text can be overlaid to establish key points or just visual evidence that ties together and draws a desired reaction from the viewer.


I’m still trying to nail down a final project idea, however, I am definitely thinking that it needs to be oriented towards the forests and the outdoors. I want to take my girlfriend (who hates hiking) hiking and document the experience from beginning to end, and capture her emotions along the way.

It will just be a standalone 2-3 minute video.

I plan on implementing continuity editing, and interview editing, as I plan on having my girlfriend tell the story of her hike, with footage of her hiking to be the supporting evidence.

I will mostly just need time and access to the forest with cooperative weather.

This idea is subject to change, but in the mean time, I’m certainly going to be spending alot of time in the forest shooting.


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Interactive Cinema Blog

I decided to discuss the Whale Hunt interactive database. The piece creates a sense of discrete media by allowing the viewer to select where they want to jump into the experience. The project is organized by a series of pictures that play in chronological sequence that detail the experience of going on a whale hunt. What I really found interesting was that the images could be organized on the screen in a few different patterns, such as rows that are meant to illustrate each chapter of the hunt, a pinwheel where the distinction between start and stop has vanished and instead plays the sequence on a loop, and a time line where there is a definitive start and stop for the sequence. This project serves a few different artistic works, it can tell a narrative when explored in a linear format, and can be dissected further into chapters when played in rows. But it is also art, given that it is presented in a manner where time isn’t necessarily the most pertinent factor. It allows me to dive into the experience where and whenever I want. I think this opens the doors for documentary type work, and can offer interactive educational experiences. I’m not sure if it would thrive in a narrative space however because I think the amount of interactivity it provides could distract the viewer from being able to focus on the story.

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Networked Cinema

Successful YouTubers produce content that not only interests them, but that they find a serious passion for. The content has to be produced in a way that appeals to the viewer and promotes repeatability; something that doesn’t get stale or boring, something that you would feel confident in tagging or sharing with your friends without fear of losing your tag privileges. Every passion is going to target a niche population who finds just as much joy in that passion. Communicating with your audience in a way that generates interest, speaking in a language that your audience understands, and making them feel included can certainly boost views and popularity.  Utilizing social media to promote your videos can also generate traffic, such as tweeting previews and teasers for upcoming videos, and makkng bonus content available on Facebook, its also nice to expand your personality with social media and give your followers some familiarity with you as a person. Once views are accumulated and a following is generated, monetizing videos can be a good way to profit from your content and allow Google and YouTube to measure your success.


One YouTuber I like is Anthony Fantano and his music review series “The Needle Drop.” Anthony consistently releases videos of him sitting in his office reviewing new albums, offering think pieces on music, culture, and politics, and frequently dropping lists related to music. His appeal to me is that he approaches every genre of music objectively and dives deep into his reviews of the album’s in the genre’s that I like. He establishes context and backstory for the music he reviews and dissects the lyrics, production, marketing, and musical culture. His formula is rather simple, but I rely on his videos to help me pick new music to listen to and to strengthen my musical pallet.

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Job Profile

For my job profile, I decided to shadow my coworker at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest Headquarters. His job entails visitor services and public affairs, so there were some great settings for interviews. B-Roll was tough to come across however, so we had to get creative in establishing shots, though I was afraid it might look a little tacky, I think it turned out well. It was also my first time experimenting with audio to this extent. I used an audio program and a microphone on my laptop to capture the audio and then had to get creative in getting the audio to match the video, in this case I clapped my hands.

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Hybrid Cinema

I composited archived national parks, US Forest Service, and wildlife footage, with an FDR speech addressing The New Deal.


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I selected the Star Wars video. I think that combining all 6 movies into one blended sequence was an interesting selection for a demonstration of hybrid cinema. Firstly, all of the images from the 6 films were blended so that they were all present on the screen at the same time, including the audio. What made the video work in my opinion was the story arc of the 3 acts that was carried by the trajectory of each individual movie offering itself to the blueprint of traditional storytelling. It was especially evident during the end where the final lightsaber duels, battles and space fights all seemed to occur at the same parts of the video.

“In contrast, cinema works hard to erase any traces of its own production process, including any indication that the images we see could have been constructed rather than recorded.” I find the star wars films to be indicative of this quote. Star Wars is so successful in placing people in a world of fantasy that feels so distant but so real. The attention to detail of the planets, the weapons, the creatures, the space ships and the narratives make it feel like the viewer is in the driver seat of the experience.

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Blog: Eagle Creek Fire

My goal would be to illustrate the public reaction to the fire, as a result, I would seek out interiewees who have been displaced by the fire or who have had business effected by the closures in the area. To capture a sincere and raw reaction, I would try and ask questions that show their feelings toward losing their home or business and also ask questions that are about how they feel for those responsible for the fire. My B-roll would consist of day to day life in whatever temporary housing situation the impacted residents find themselves in, and would also include shots of the aftermath of the fire and of first responders tending to the damage. I found it impactful in the reading that “reading people” is a key to a successful interview. I think with any interview or documentary, capturing someones raw emotions and reactions to a situation is a great way to illustrate their enthusiasm and feelings towards that subject. Capitalizing on the mood and emotion of a scene can best be done by reading the body language and interaction of the people in that scene, and allowing the camera to let it unfold, rather than cutting the footage out because it’s not action packed.

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Movie Trailer Remix- Titanic vs. Captain Phillips vs. Life Aquatic

Making this mashup was pretty fun. I think the toughest thing about the assignment was trying to condense the footage into a video less than one minute, I decided to slice off a piece of the Titanic trailers audio and start the trailer straight from the climax.

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Blog: Narrative spaces

“Run Lola Run” lays out the narrative of a woman who has 20 minutes to run across town and bring her boyfriend a bunch of money, or else he will die. Being a 90 minute film with a plot line that spans over the course of 20 minutes, the director implemented some clever techniques to tell the story in the length of a feature film. For one, the use of parallel time was implemented, where different scenes all occurred over the sane span of time, rather than in a chronological fashion. Nextly, there were alot of stylistic edits incorporated into the film that added some depth to the plot and that made the movie more entertaining, such as the moments when Lola would pass by a stranger and then the scene would cut to quick cuts of that strangers life. The director divided the film up into 3 different outcomes, all starting with the same premise, but with Lola and her boyfriend making a different series of decisions within each iteration. I think the most useful way that the director established the time in the narrative was by reverting to repeating sequences from the first iteration, such as Lola throwing her phone, running past her moms room, sprinting down the stairs, almost getting hit by the car, etc. By repeating those exact instances, it brings the viewer back to a realization of the time in the narrative that that occurred. Rombe inquires “In other words, could it be that the very process of digital media navigation – selecting which scenes or chapters to view on DVD, or which screen version to select, or which alternate ending to watch – could it be that this process itself is a basic form of storytelling, insomuch as it allows the user some degree of freedom in selecting and arranging narrative bits and chunks?” And I would feel compelled to agree with him. “Run Lola Run” establishes 3 different outcomes to the same exact scenario over the same amount of time, and as the viewer, I feel liberated to take preference and satisfaction to one outcome over another, and I credit much of that to the fact that I have the freedom to pick an outcome that best satisfies me. 

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Cinematic GIF’s

Cinematic gifs can be used to emulate a single experience or action within a larger narrative. I see it as the equivalent to underlining a part of a story to really emphasize the particular point. The gifs below are simple and  very subtle in their sequence, however give and indication of a mood or emphasis of tone within a specific narrative. I think that motion like this is already quite common within comics, as individual frames in comic books use sound bubbles to convey an action or movement, if the hybridization of comics and cinema becomes more prevalent then cinematic gifs could surely have a large presence.

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I decided to film a sequence of myself waking up in the morning and making a cup of coffee. As a more obvious indicator of the continuation of time, I made sure that the clocks in the my shots were all within the same time frame of 1-3 minutes, even though the video itself is about 40 seconds. To further establish a sense of chronology, I used the technique of entering and exiting the frame for certain shots to trick the viewer into thinking that I was walking a continuous path from my room to my kitchen. I also used quite a few quick cuts to demonstrate the actions of my shots and further establish that everything was being done in a sequence. I initially had about a minute of finished product to publish but wanted to shave off some unnecessary shots. So, rather than establishing a shot of every turn and hallway in my home, I captured a shot leaving my room, and a shot of entering my kitchen to get across the point. I found most difficulty trying to follow the 180 and 30 degree rules, but after revisiting the notes from the previous lecture, I think I set up a smooth and continuous enough story board to get the point across. One shot that I think was effective and also fun to set up was me opening my kitchen cupboard to reach for a mug, as I filmed a medium shot of me reaching, and then an interior shot from the cupboards perspective of the mug being grabbed.

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What was cinema?

Many of the automatism’s of today’s digital cinema revolve around experiencing things; with snapchat and instagram being so present in society, and in the palm of everybody’s hands, it seems like things are recorded for people to bear witness to something that happened. Social media has created a huge sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and caused us to habitually record important moments of a day for the rest of the world to see.

I use digital cinema similarly, however, I would rather share an experience that brag about it. I like to record city scapes and landscapes and broadcast them to inspire attention and appreciation for the scene of what’s happening. Besides that, I watch alot of movies and always enjoy the choreography of framing and movement across a screen. I enjoy new movies and older movies, as they both have effective, yet unique ways in telling a narrative. This resonates for me with Rodowicks statement that “cinema is reinventing itself, just as it had done in previous periods of technological transition, by producing stylistic innovations while respecting narrative continuities”. I think that a well crafted story arc and effective shots can tell a great story no matter how old the story or the medium is.


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30 second “Who Dunnit” video – The Deadly Selfie

I wanted to build suspense as to what this stuff was doing next to a steep edge, and conclude showing that I fell off the edge taking a selfie.

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Favorite Movie Scene-Framing

There Will Be Blood (2008)

At the conclusion of the film, Eli (Paul Dano) pays Daniel (Daniel Day-Lewis) a visit to catch up and spread news of his success with his preaching. Daniel, who has clearly lost all sanity, taunts Eli, chases him around his bowling alley, and kills him.

Medium close up:

Daniel’s backside is facing the camera as he is berating Eli, who’s emotions are clearly meant to be visible as a result of Daniel’s insults.

Medium  close up:

Daniel hovers slightly about Eli’s line of sight, emphasizing that while they are having a conversation, Daniel clearly has dominance over the situation.

Wide angle:

The frame opens up to show Daniel throwing Eli down the bowling alley, the depth of the lanes and with of the rooms is shown here.


Long shot

Eli repeatedly disappears behind the bowling wall and pops up in a different position while Daniel is attacking him.

Tracking long shot

Through the perspective of Daniels legs, we see him chase Eli, who is crawling for help on the other side of the room/


Low/Medium close up

After delivering a violent blow to Eli’s head with a bowling pin, Daniel towers over him.


Illustrating Eli’s mangled corpse with this shot, Daniel hunches over his victim in crude satisfaction.

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My name is Zach, I’m a DTC major. I’m an Army veteran and currently employed with the US Forest Service in public affairs. I have a passion for digital photography and am looking to use this program to polish my skills and apply what I learn to building a career in photography.

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