Week 10 Summary

How to read a movie

I have done something like this before in an AP Literature and Composition course in high school. We would take movies and go through them looking for context clues and different signs that underlay the plot such as shadows, words, different view points, or lighting. The one I most vividly remember reflecting on was when there’s a scene shot through a window or different room and how when it was shot through the window the character didn’t know something was happening. When the scene was shot normally the character was in the loop about what was being discussed. After learning these techniques in high school I found myself looking for things like those in movies now and I really enjoyed that. So I was excited for this assignment.


Notes on How to Read a Movie by Robert Ebert

  • Had to teach himself
  • Intrinsic weighting: certain areas of the available visual space have tendencies to stir emotional or aesthetic reactions
    • Not consciously applied
  • Shots that well up emotionally, instinctively, or strategically
  • Placement of people
    • Somewhat to the right of the center- ideally places (strong axis)
    • More right- positive
    • More left- negative
    • Centered- objectified (like a mug shot)
    • Person on right seems more dominant over the person on the left
  • Future on the right, past on the left
  • Top is dominant over bottom
  • Foreground stronger than the background
  • Symmetrical composition seems at rest
  • Diagonals in a composition seem to “move” in the direction of the sharpest angle they form
  • Tilt shots put everything on a diagonal, implying the world is out of balance
  • Point of view above a character’s eyeline reduces him, below the eyeline enhances him
  • Extreme high angle- make characters into pawns, low angles- into gods
  • Brighter areas dominant over darker
  • Dominant contrast: area we are drawn towards
  • These rules work by being followed and by being violated

Top 20 Amazing Cinematic Techniques

  • There are a lot of different cameras and filming techniques (steadicam, long cam, track cam, trunk/low angle,frantic, etc) that go into recording a scene
  • The director must think about how he wants the audience to perceive the scene and what he wants to demonstrate

It doesn’t really tell how the effects contribute to the film and without seeing the films or knowing the backstories it’s hard to know what the effects are suppose to be doing. However I did take away an appreciation for all the thought that goes into movies and then I wonder if what Ebert said is true most of the time; that the filmmakers don’t plan these things out, it’s just natural,


The Shining: Zooms

  • Car on the right
  • Car bright yellow, background neutral, earth tones
  • Car enters just to the right of middle
  • Person sleeping top left corner, rest of the scene black
  • zooms out from him sleeping, to show more

I’ve never seen The Shining so I thought it was just showing people and this was a scene from the movie and then it kept adding people so I scrolled down and read:

A synchronized collage of every zoom in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror masterpiece, The Shining.

This was a really short video and I’m not quite sure how to reflect on it without every seeing the movie. Since I’ve never seen it I don’t know why exactly there is zooming in and out and who the characters are or which parts are important. So I decided to read some of the comments and see what people said in order to see what I could learn.

  • Tracking shots:  when a camera follows a person or an object physically moving with the subject

That’s about all I got from the 19 comments. However I know that the zooming is important and relies an undercover message.

  • Possibly when zooming out on the people sleeping: they don’t know what’s happening, someone watching them, showing distance, enhance foreground
  • Zooming in on person sleeping: showing thought/emotions
  • Zoom helps to show a focus point, draw your attention somewhere

American Psycho

In order to review this scene I used the information I received from my post How to Read a Movie.

LOOK

Analyze the camera work. Before watching the first time, turn the volume on the clip (or on your computer) all the way down. Take notes on the visual aspects of the clip. Look for camera angles, cuts, how many times the camera switches view, the quality of light, the cuts or transitions. Look for the ways the camera tells, guides the story.

  • Head on
    • Objectified, like a mug shot
  • Film from above when filming the guy on the coach
    • Pawn
    • Less dominant
  • Film from below when filming the guy standing
    • God like
    • Dominant over the other guy
  • Reflection in mirror
    • Suspense
    • Lack of knowledge
  • Attention to medicine bottle
    • Highlighting, he didn’t take his medicine
  • Guy on coach, guy standing is behind him
    • Foreground stronger than background
  • Guy on coach back to audience
    • Lack of knowledge

LISTEN

Analyze the audio track. Now turn the volume up, but play it without looking at the screen (or turn off the screen); just listen to the audio. Take notes on the pacing of the dialogue, the spaces in the audio, the use of music or sound effects (think back to our work earlier on listening to audio).

  • Creepy door
  • The characters voices aren’t what I expected
  • Footstepts
  • Water
  • Movement
  • Joking
  • Music- happy, upbeat, loud
    • Hip to be square
  • Screaming
  • Struggling
  • killing noises

ANALYZE

Put it all together. Finally, watch the scene as normal. Pay attention to something you may have missed the first time or how the elements you saw in the first two steps work together.

  • The conversation makes more sense with the images and knowing he’s going to kill him
  • Now that I know the end result the mirror makes sense
  • Newspaper on the floor makes sense with him asking about the dog and the end murder
  • The music playing because he wants to cover up screams

I truly want expecting the murder when I first watched it, I guess because of the lack of sound. I did wonder why the one guy had an ax though. The conversation seems really weird with a lack of images as well.


 

Video Assignments

I started my first video assignment by going to MP3 converter and converting YouTube videos to sound files and dragging them to Audacity. Then I realized this isn’t how you work with video, so I then googled video editing tools and downloaded Movavi.


The first video assignment I did this week was to make a compilation video. It was worth 3.5 stars. The assignment was to pick a theme, download multiple videos from YouTube that fit that theme, clip the videos, put them together, and ass music. My first thought was a video of great volleyball plays, but when I googled this it just came up with a bunch of compilation videos. So I decided to go a different route. My two ideas were Disney kisses or most important moments or the most tragic movie deaths. Well I decided to do a compilation video of most memorable movie deaths and I figured the best starting place would be a Buzzfeed article of movie deaths. However, Buzzfeed really let me down.

2

So I went to my second option Twitter with use to have a hashtag #fictionaldeathsIwillnevergetover. So I got some inspiration from that:

  • I am Legend- dog
  • Marley and Me- Marley
  • Bridge to Terabithia- girl
  • Harry Potter- Dobby, Dumbledore
  • Hunger Games- Rue
  • Titanic- Jack
  • Remember Me
  • Fault in our stars- Augustus Waters
  • The Boy in the striped PJs
  • The notebook
  • A walk to remember

I then looked up google videos of these death scenes. Which was actually kinda hard to find. For the ones I found I converted them so I could download them from YouTube, then I dropped it into Movavi Video Editor, and cropped the scenes. I was so use to working with Audacity that I kept trying to do things the way I could with that program. Once I had all the videos cropped I muted the videos and added a sad song.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gV3g9LCvPc&w=420&h=315]

I then exported and uploaded it to Vimeo- again I wanted to use audio technology and went to SoundCloud first. Vimeo took ages to upload and process the video, it was only 3 and a half minutes long. However, I then found out that it was uploading a 15 minute file. So it was uploading the part i posted plus 11 and a half more minutes of nothing. I tried to fix it using various tools and How To pages, however none of them worked. So now I have to figure out how to change this.

3

So I’m going to try another program called Filmora.

4

Which gave me more problems. And now I’m starting to stress how I’m going to finish my work with no program and I’m wishing I had a Mac where it just came with bomb video editing tools, although personally I don’t like Macs and I love my computer.

5

I tried retrying multiple times, I tried ignoring, and then finally I aborted and downloaded it again and WAHLAHH it worked!

6

So I finally got it to work and brought the video I made in the other program to this new program in hopes of saving it as a 3 minute video instead of longer. I then exported it, uploaded to Vimeo, and crossed my fingers. It ended up being the right length. The problem though was that I now had water marks for two different programs and the watermark for the second program was huge and right across the whole screen, where the other one just pops up momentarily a couple times. So I’m posting both videos just with the first one it says it’s 15 minutes but its not.

[vimeo 144213282 w=500 h=281] <p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/144213282″>Compilation of movie deaths</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43207446″>Kelsey Stanbro</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

And here’s the one that is the right time, but has a HUGE watermark.

[vimeo 144282082 w=500 h=281] <p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/144282082″>Compilation of movie deaths</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43207446″>Kelsey Stanbro</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>


The second assignment I did was worth 5 stars called Highlight Reels. And at this point I am very frustrated with video. I like the topics and all I just can’t find a good editing tool, my computer keeps freezing, and anything that can go wrong is. However I am being very careful about saving my work every now and then to prevent loosing it. *saves draft* I began by finding several videos and using a converter to download them. Most of the videos were unable to download, my best assumption is because hey were protected. SO I had very limited choices in videos. I then edited them and cropped and rearranged. I decided to add a title and that’s when things went wrong.

a
I had all of my clips picked out and I was adding a title to it.
b
And then this happened..
c
Luckily after shutting down the program it saved on it’s own.
d
And so the first thing I did was officially save my work.
e
And then it happened again!!!

Luckily again it auto saved, but it was still very very annoying. I wanted to put a background song in but in order to edited it I had to use Audacity. Yay! I really have missed Audacity.

f

I cropped the song and then made it fade out. Then I exported it and put it into the video editing app. I then had to change the length in Audacity again cause it was too long and repeat the process. And then Movavi stopped working once again and once again I had to close the program and then restore my work. I added a finishing title, which is done through the program and then I export my video and this time it’s the correct length so yay! Now I’m thinking about going back and trying to figure out the difference between the two projects and why the first video assignment I did was so long.

The editing software has a lot of cool features including different fades, titles, and effects. However, you cant edit sound in it which is a huge downfall. Although I liked the software I do not think this is the best one out there to use.

I think the choice of music was awesome! It lined up perfectly with the intro and the first hit of the video and it correlated with the video really really well without much tweaking.

[vimeo 144290761 w=500 h=375] <p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/144290761″>Misty May Treanor Highlight Reel</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43207446″>Kelsey Stanbro</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>


Daily Creates

TDC 1387

Today’s daily create was to create a wanted sign. I started brainstorming ideas and then asked my roommate and her boyfriend for ideas that were cute. After thinking of some pretty awful ideas. I thought of doing a missing boyfriend. I googles boyfriend and got images of a band called boyfriend. My roommate and her boyfriend started laughing and wouldn’t tell me why. I kept asking them and then finally my roommate said that Justin said I should do my relationship. So we settles on a funny wanted poster and I went to work in Word.

TDC 1388

Today’s daily create was to show ‘where you get your groove back’, basically a happy place. I chose the volleyball court and tweeted a picture of me playing volleyball.

TDC 1389

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Today’s daily create was to make a game on a post-it note size paper. I did the old fashion Cracker Barrel peg games, but on a sheet of paper. I then tried to play it and it gets kinda tricky, so probably not the best game to play on a sheet of paper. If you would like to play the game the real way because you have never had an authentic American family meal at Cracker Barrel here’s a link so that you can fix yourself some mash potatoes, chicken and dumplings, and biscuits and pretend like your getting the full Cracker Barrel experience.

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TDC 1390

Today’s daily create was to create Halloween origami. I created a spider web! It’s basically like a snowflake except I call it a spider web. It was actually a bigger challenge then I thought to make, so props to people who do oragami!

x Kelsey

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