Archive for the ‘Best of’ Category

Dark Knight Rises Silent Redux

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Here’s my Silent Film assignment for ds106.

I wasn’t sure initially which trailer to use but Dark Knight came to mind. After watching it I thought that a silent film version could work well. So I downloaded the video from Youtube and uploaded it into Windows Movie Maker. I changed used the black and white filter that Movie Maker had but I wanted to add a 16mm film grain effect. I used one from youtube and used a program called tracAxPC. Its a movie editor that’s pretty straight forward but I’m sure if I played around with it there’s probably a lot of depth. There is a 30-day free trial that comes with the download. The program allows you to adjust the opacity of layers so I turned down the opacity on the 16mm layer and got the proper effect.

As far as the soundtrack I really wanted to use The Dark Night score. I didn’t think a classical piece would work as well as the film score.

The screen cards I goggled and edited in Gimp 2. It was simple use of the text tool and layering. I then inserted them where I wanted. Silent films usually don’t overload the film with captions so i thought a minimal amount was best, especially for a trailer.

Here’s my video:

Here’s the original:

Hugo meets Inception

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

These are two of my favorite films from 2010 and 2011. The films are not very similar, Inception is a little bit more action oriented while Hugo is a little more down to earth. Although both the films share discussion about dreams. Inception is built around dreams and the power of ideas. Hugo really illustrates the magic of movies and how dreams come to life on screen.

To be honest though, looking for two trailers to mashup I wasn’t thinking about this. I was looking at a couple different trailers and watched the Inception trailer, which is a great trailer. I then watched the Hugo trailer and thought to myself . . . “These two trailers are A LOT alike.” The music and the pacing are almost identical. So mashing up the two wasn’t that difficult.

To make it more seamless I edited the Hugo trailer to match some moments in the Inception trailer. I cut few of the scenes out and rearranged them so that the progression would make a little more sense. The Inception trailer added a tenseness to an already tense Hugo trailer. But the mashup really handled itself.

Here’s the original Hugo trailer:

 

And here’s the same idea done by someone else (swear I found this after I made mine):

I think my mashup works a little better. Not sure if Leo’s voice makes sense coming out of  little Hugo . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQG3oUYm2Js

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.

Fountain Pen & Ink

Saturday, February 11th, 2012
Fountain Pen & Ink by TheMattyPatty
Fountain Pen & Ink, a photo by TheMattyPatty on Flickr.

I love fountain pens. Not sure if it’s an everyday item, but they are for me. This is a pen I recently got, great writer. I the ink is blue so I thought it natural for it to have a blue tint.