Archive for March, 2012

Serenity Now/Tutorial

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

 

My twist on the assignment. Not necessarily a “Serenity Now” therapeutic video but maybe someone finds it comforting…

My idea came from those 10 min memes which repeats a  short clip for, of course, 10 minutes. One of my favorites:

Serenity Now – Black Knight

Tutorial:

It’s not hard to make a video like this. What you need is to find the clip you want to use. you could rip it from youtube.com using pwnyoutube or another program. Then you edit the clip how you want it. Simply trim the clip. Then you want to copy and paste the clip so it fills up 10 minutes. It could be hundreds of times. And don’t expect anyone to watch the hole thing, but putting a little Easter egg at the end could be a little funny. For the “serenity now” part you want to add a serene audio track to the video. So mute the clip and add the audio track behind the video. It’s pretty straight forward in Windows Movie Maker, the program I used, and maybe even easier in iMovie.

 

 

Scene Essay

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Here’s a short video essay of a scene from Orson Welles’ “comeback” film Touch of Evil. This scene, the opening shot, is one of the most famous in cinema history. The reason because for nearly 3 minutes and 30 seconds there is only one take. Welles uses a tracking shot to take us from a car to the US/Mexican border. By using this specific technique Welles is able to set the environment for his film entirely in just a few minutes, the oping minutes at that. The conflict that the film surrounds is the radical differences between the two countries, the juxtaposition of American culture on o a downtrodden, meager border town. Through this forced influence this town experiences nothing but corruption and violence perpetuated by a once glorified American policeman who now is just as infested by the town he runs. This shot is able to capture all of that and more simply through the use of cinematographic techniques.

There are a couple of films that I reference. As a film auteur, or artist, Welles uses techniques and themes repeatedly throughout his work. His most glorified film, Citizen Kane is an easy example to pick from. This film influenced countless of films and continues to do so. It offers so many groundbreaking and creative camera angles and shots that one can spend an entire semester studying them. Welles recycled a couple of things that I mention in this shot. One is the tracking shot, which shows depth and tension. The other is audio layering, which is also another technique  that adds tension to a scene. Contact (1997) uses this technique to add a sense of depth to the beginning of the film.Robert Zemeckis utilizes both a long tacking shot and the audio layering, just as in Touch of Evil. The only difference really is his use of CGI. But, in essence, we have another example to suggest that everything is a remix. You can even see inspiration from Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001 in this particular take.

As movie goers I think we overlook far too many techniques and lose the impact a certain scene is supposed to exert. Nothing is taken for granted in making a film due to the strict budget (sometimes far too strict – as in Welles’ films). Therefore, neither should we. This opening tracking shot is a perfect example of how and why a director would spend so much time and effort into one shot, long or short, technical or simple.

DS 106 Radio Show

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

The Live Outdoors was an outdoor radio show that featured several well written and edited segments. The first segment was a call in to Bear Grylls. The way they did this was very clever. The group used sound bits from the show to answer random question. Of course the answers to the questions were in not at all helpful and sometimes taken completely out of context. The questions ranged from what to eat out on a first camping to where to sleep and Bear answered with seemingly outrages answers that were far and beyond what was necessary. Their use of sarcasm here was brilliant because Bear Grylls is offering advice to viewers as if they were to find themselves in his situation. The chances for utilizing his advice, at any point, are – and I really don’t have to point this out – but extremely slim. So the group did well to emphasize the absurdity (as well as utter brilliance) of Bear Grylls.The tent review was also great. It was well written and sounded rehearsed. Which is a good thing in a radio show as the delivery was perfect.

To criticize the show I would have to point out that at certain times the sound levels were not corrected. Recording was done on several differ mics in several different rooms, perhaps outside as well. In the context of the show the change of “scenery” serves The Live Outdoors well. But it is important, with anything related to sound, to have good, consistent quality. What the group did that was consistent was great sue of sound effects. Foot steps, car engine noises, streams running and fire crackling were inserted into the show with great precision and accuracy. It gave the show depth and kept it entertaining. There was also a neat little (big) plane crash that the group had done with mixing layering different effects to give the effect of a plane crashing. The ending was very smart and creative, they pulled it off terrifically with numerous sound layers, reverberation and static noise.

Overall I thought the group did a great job executing their idea of an outdoors radio show. It was very funny, sarcastic and interesting.