Monday, December 5, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blog 3: Production Notes

As someone who has no experience working a camera or editing videos, this project was kind of stressful for me. Now that I have finished the whole process there are a couple of things I wish I had done differently. I realize how helpful story boarding can be if you really put the time and effort into it. While I had many ideas of what I wanted to shoot and include in my video, I didn't give much thought to framing or camera angles and while I was out shooting I felt really unsure of what to do with the camera. I wasn't too happy when I played back the clips I recorded as I noticed how shaky the camera was, how I cut some of the clips too short when I should have kept recording a bit longer, and how I zoomed in during shots when I didn't know what else to shoot.

Before this project I hadn't ever used Final Cut before so I was totally confused by all of the different buttons and while trying to figure out the program I made a lot of mistakes that thankfully, I was able to undo. One of the hardest parts of the project for me was editing the images and video clips in a way that flowed smoothly. While I initially wanted to stay away from the amateur default transitions, I think they did help keep the video from looking too choppy.

I liked that I was able to include Aaron's personal family photos that I think really connected with the audio and I only wish that I had had the time to film Aaron cooking or handling food which probably would have brought the piece together.

While it was interesting to discover how many different aspects actually go into making a video, I'm not sure that making and editing videos is something I want to pursue. However, I definitely have a greater appreciation and respect for the filmmaking process after working on this project.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scene Analysis-A Clockwork Orange

In this scene from A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick, the main character Alex and his “droogs” decide to fight a rival gang. The scene starts out with a close-up of Alex with only half of his face dimly lit and the other half in total darkness. It cuts to a medium close-up of Billyboy, the leader of the rival gang as he flicks out his knife. We then get a wide view and darkly lit shot of both gangs fighting one another, with the rival gang appearing in the scene like dark shadows and Alex's gang standing out in their all white outfits.

The rest of the scene is montage-like as it consists of several quick paced shots of the fighting action. We see the characters smashing bottles and breaking chairs, tables and windows which is reminiscent of the violence seen in slapstick comedies. Along with their use of acrobatic moves like tumbling, jumping, and soaring through the air, this turns the violent acts into more of an artistic show. The music that plays in the background of the entire scene is an opera composition which ties in with the theatricality of the scene. It is also appropriate that the setting is an abandoned theater. The camera follows along with the action as it pans over the boys falling, jumping up and down, and being thrown down. It provides some close-ups of the action as well as panning out to provide a wide view of the action. It is also interesting to note how despite all of the falling and tumbling they do, all of the “droogs” can be seen wearing bowler hats in every shot which never fall off and lend to the continuity of the shots.

The editing and direction of the scene give us more insight to Alex's character as the film's plot revolves around his propensity for violence. Just as Alex enjoys listening to classical music like the music playing during this scene, he gets a similar enjoyment out of acting violently. He finds violence to be beautiful and this artful interpretation of violence in the scene reflects Alex's own attitude towards violence.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What I Hear

For this assignment I decided to take a walk through Union Square. I figured it would be a good place to go because it is always bustling with people and activities. As I walked up the stairs of the subway station, the first sounds that caught my attention were those of the cars driving by and buses making screeching sounds as they stopped and started again. While I could hear people talking all around me I couldn't pick out any one conversation as I walked along, the voices all seemed to blend together into just a humming of voices. I continued to walk past people on the sidewalk and I heard the sound of music blasting from someone's headphones which were way too loud. I heard the sounds of a skateboard and boots stomping on the pavement. Someone's keys or change were rattling in their pocket. I heard the crinkling sounds of shopping bags and the honking of a car.

I walked to Union Square Park and sat on one of the benches for a little while. The first sounds I heard were the flapping of birds' wings and their chirping and also the sound of squirrels playing in a tree. I could hear the leaves from the trees rustling in the wind. Across from me I heard the sound of a soda can being popped open and I could hear the faint singing of someone nearby. A girl walked by with a hula hoop and I heard the beads rattling inside it. Somewhere behind me was a noise that sounded like someone cracking their gum. I then heard the sound of newspaper pages being turned. As I got up to leave I saw a dog being walked and I could hear the clinking noise of its dog tags. Something I thought about as I was sitting there taking in all of these sounds was that not all of them were as easily identifiable as I would think, even though they were made by ordinary objects or actions that we encounter every day. I really enjoyed this assignment because I think we should always be more aware of our surroundings instead of just constantly walking around with headphones on and ignoring everything that goes on around us.