The video interview project was probably my favorite assignment during my Digital Media course experience. I really enjoyed the filmmaking process and although the editing was tedious at times, I was satisfied with the final result. My partner Milip Park was great in all aspects. She was cooperative and easy to direct while filming as well as helpful during the editing process. Now that the video is over I can look back and criticize my work in order to gain a better understanding of my own style of filming.
Although I felt I planned well for this video I feel like I could of done a lot more with the opportunity given. First off, I would of scoped the location a little better instead of relying on memory. By knowing the environment through and through I could of visualized my piece more thoroughly. Secondly, I would of filmed a lot more footage and filmed each shot longer because I found myself becoming complacent with shots that I wouldn’t necessarily put in at certain times. A major aspect of filming that I learned from this project was the importance of a storyboard to help me further visualize and prepare for the actual filming process.
This project doesn’t exactly change the way I view movies. I have always looked at cinema or tried to at least from a filmmakers perspective. One thing I can take out of this project however is the importance of preparation. Preparation in film is key for a successful filmmaking process. Overall, I was happy with the way my video came out and for only being able to edit in a short amount of time I was satisfied with the final result. Filmmaking for me is something I have always loved. While filming and editing, its almost as if I get tunnel-vision. I stay focused on the task at hand and strive to perfect my artwork, although perfection is never truly possible.
The John Canemaker seminar was very informative. I definitely gained a better understanding and appreciation for animation. This style of story telling allows the creator endless possibilities. The animator can express their artistic style in a completely different median than an actual filmmaker can do. Canemaker is a perfect example of an animator who is able to create not only stylistic imagery but also a composing and gripping narrative.
I though Canemaker’s piece about his father was very well done. He was able to tell a deep and personal story while at the same time creating images that were appropriate to the actual story. Growing up watching cartoons, I can personally say that animation played a large part in my appreciation for storytelling. One of Canemaker’s biggest influences’ was Disney, but his style to me at least seems a lot more abstract. I believe a lot of Canemaker’s success came from his intuitive approach to his art-form. I hope that one day I can incorporate animation into my films as a means to tell stories in an interesting and dynamic way.
Handshake Of The Month (by Badideaonline)
The short video I analyzed was filmed by my brother Christian and I for a web-series he called “Hand Shake of The Month”. It stars my brother and his friends from school. The video begins with his friend Mike walking down the street while sipping a soda, which then cuts to an over the shoulder shot of my brother who is across the street. It cuts back and forth from Mike to my brother. We then get a shot of Adam who is also across the street staring directly at my brother, which also cuts to a closeup of Mike allowing us to see his reaction. The cuts are seamless, cutting back and forth from the opposing characters to Mike’s close up reaction shot. When Mike utter’s the words, “What is this a showdown?”, the scene cuts to a close up of Adam’s face with an emphasis on his glaring eyes. Music is also incorporated which gives the scene that “Old Western” feel for the stare-down. The crossfade transition that is used also gives the scene that intense, western-style feel as well.
As the scene progresses and the two characters approach each other the music’s tempo beings to rise which adds a feeling of suspense, making the viewer wonder what is going to happen when the two characters actually confront each other. They finally confront each other only to give each other a high 5 all the while still cutting to Mike’s reaction shot. The transitions are relatively smooth and flows nicely. The wardrobe as well as the background behind Mike adds a nice sense of color to the scene as well. The scene concludes with Mike walking down the street practicing the high 5 gesture that he just saw. Similar music is added too although it is more upbeat giving the scene a less intense conclusion.
Extra Credit Assignment
Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) is one of the most intriguing yet controversial films ever made. Originally banned from theatres for its graphic violence and sexual content, Kubrick was forced to edit out much of the original scenes and ultimately destroyed the original version. Known for his perfectionist and obsessive behavior, Kubrick is widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished, innovative and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. The scene I have chosen from the film is “Dissent Among Droogs”, the scene in which Alex; our protagonist puts his gang members in their place after suspecting they want to overthrow him as their leader.
To settle his fellow “droogs” bitter dissatisfaction, Alex offers to reconcile with them and suggests first buying them a round of drinks (“moloko-plus”) at the Korova milkbar. They walk along the flat block marina to the bar, in graceful slow motion. Alex who has an insatiable taste for classical music and violence, is triggered when hearing Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie traveling out from an open window, Alex “viddies”(understands) what to do: he turns on his pals. First, he spins and strikes his first droog Georgie in the crotch with his cane and then thrusts both Georgie and Dim into the water. To impose his will over his followers and subject them into submission, he draws his knife from the end of his cane and slices Dim with it across the back of his hand. Later, in the at the pub, Alex resumes power over them and is acknowledged as their “master and leader:”
The opening shot of the scene has Alex and his droogs walking down the flat block marina in slow motion. It is a long shot so each character is seen in view as they are walking closer to the camera. The slow motion effect gives them a mythical perception and demands the viewer’s attention. The baron flat block has a droll and depressing look to it; the concrete, modern setting is boring but at the same time very stylish.
The inclusion of a voiceover plays a major roll; it gives us insight into both the theme of the movie and also into Alex’s character. Alex’s love for classical music is often assimilated with his extremely violent nature. When Alex hears Rossini’s The Thieving Magpie playing from a car nearby (diegetic music), he reacts and immediately hits Georgie in the groin with his cane. Alex never plans out his actions, he acts out on his impulses, “suddenly, I viddied (saw) that thinking was for the gloopy ones, and that the oomny ones used like inspiration and what Bog (God) sends. For now it was lovely music that came to my aid. There was a window open, with a stereo on, and I viddied right at once what to do.” This theme of acting out on freewill is a theme that remains prevalent in the film, Alex not only enjoys his violent outbursts he believes it is what makes him human.
All the while the camera is still remaining in the same position with a long shot of each character. The music can be assumed to be non-diegetic at this point; we are now listening to what Alex is hearing in his head, as he is about to perform his violent attack. After Alex strikes Georgie in the groin, he then proceeds to kick him in the stomach ,which then immediately cuts to a full shot of Georgie about to fall in the water and Alex turning around in anticipation of Dim’s attack. The camera then cuts to a full shot of Georgie, as he plunges into the marina’s water. The camera cuts back to Dim and Alex and pans along the screen when Dim charges at Alex who dodges his attack very swiftly and proceeds to hit Dim in the groin as well. The musical symphony gives the scene a rhythm that can almost be seen as “ballet”, although we are witnessing violent actions happening on screen each movement is very stylized.
After Dim falls into the water, the camera cuts to Alex leaping into the air from a low angle shot, which gives Alex an imposing and dominant stature. Alex dominates the screen and the viewer’s attention is completely on him. The shot is being filmed from Dims point of view as he is panting in the water helplessly. The camera cuts quickly to a high angle shot as Alex retrieves his dagger from the top of his cane. The use of this shot places emphasis on the dagger. From there the camera cuts to Dim as he is helplessly trying to reach the marina dock. The scene is still in slow motion throughout. The camera than reverts back to Alex who is in overwhelming ecstasy as he is witnessing his friends who are in a state of complete disdain. The lighting of this scene is truly extraordinary; the lighting looks unnatural with an almost purple haze over Alex. This unnatural lighting makes Alex seem supernatural which leaves a powerful impression on the viewer.
The conclusion of the scene gives us insight into Alex’s dark character. Kubricks use of crosscutting back and forth from Dim and Alex together as Alex slices Dim’s hand to the close up of Alex’s grinning face also leaves an impression on the viewer. The graphic nature of Alex cutting Dims hand is incorporated with a close up of Alex’s face because Alex is taking sheer pleasure in watching his friend suffer. It is a reflection of Alex’s dark character and of his unquenchable taste for violence. The scene concludes with a medium and then a full shot of Dim as he collapses into the water while gazing at his bloody hand in shock, knowing that this was his “friend” who committed this.