Reading Movies in Week 10

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The good news – I’m getting the last of my ds106 work in before the midnight deadline this week.

The bad news – this is only because I have a research paper due tomorrow which is going to be what ultimately keeps me up well past midnight tonight anyway.

BUT hey, I’ll take progress where I can get it. :)

This week, we’re getting an introduction to video work by studying how to read movies.  Yes, I did say read movies, and no, it’s not a typo.  Check out what Roger Ebert has to say on the topic if you don’t get it.

First of all, I should say that the only experience I’ve had with movie-making is through this class so far.  I’ve used MPEG StreamClip when we tried making GIFs earlier this semester.  That was interesting.  I also used YouTube video editor and Windows MovieMaker for a couple of daily creates.  That’s literally about it.  But since those experiences, my laptop bit the dust, so I had to do a complete system restore on it.  This meant that this week, before I could even begin, I had to re-download QuickTime, StreamClip, and even Java (it was very recent).  What a mess.

So, to get myself into the mindset for this type of work, I went ahead and checked out the majority of the suggested videos on the assignment page. I’ll share my notes. :)

Videos watched:

Star Wars Continuity Mistakes – entertaining, and makes good points.  Something to think about when making videos of my own.

Kubrick // One-Point Perspective – apparently Kubrick likes One-Point Perspective shots…also, note to self, don’t watch The Shining, or any more clips from it. :P   Can’t handle it.

Tarantino // from Below Favorite – Kill Bill – favorite scene is when Lucy is dominant via the ‘from below’ shot of her, till the camera scales back and we see the blonde chick is even higher than Lucy.  Perfect.  Love Tarantino.

Examples of Editing Techniques – old Toyota jingle, slow-motion montage – epic; overall educational and effective way to point out various techniques

Top 20 Cinematic Techniques Tarantino 8D <3 – more of the same, getting tired of seeing the bone fly into the air and come down as an object in space. :P   Did no other film produce a good example of form cuts? Challenge accepted. :P

Camera Angles and Techniques Special effects + camera angles – narrator guy loves himself a bit too much for my taste.  Still, effective demonstration of various techniques.

Hitchcock loves Bikinis- brilliant demonstration of using film cuts Wow.  Well-done, and good point.  I’ll have to see if I can use this one.

I think the hardest part about the ‘Exploring Great Movieassignments was picking the original movie clip.  That was tough.  It ended up biting me in the rear, since suicide is a touchy subject for me, but I’m really glad I chose the clips I did.  It was helpful to choose clips from a movie I’d never seen, and the shock value that I got once I dug further into the movie for the second assignment from it was priceless.  I went from wanting to watch the movie after seeing the original clip, to not wanting to after learning that it deals with the issue of suicide, to wanting to watch it again anyway after learning Pacino’s character was blind and identifying the awesome techniques applied in the movie, in such simple ways, despite the suicide topic.  I’ll probably never have time to actually watch it, but just being willing to despite the material is pretty big for me. I’m kind of a dork, and I love to analyze things, so these exercises into learning how to Read Movies was really exciting for me.  I took a few years of Music Theory and Skill Development in my first few years of college just to be able to do the same thing – learn to analyze and create – with music, and I love how ds106 is giving me the same things in regards to digital media.

That being said, after first seeing the kinds of video assignments we would need to do next week, I have to admit to a bit of dread creeping over me.  It’s intimidating to try to picture myself creating well-produced video edits and such.  But I did the suggested pre-production work (thinking, planning, preparing, and gathering), and found myself getting excited about these projects as well, and at the same time, grateful for the opportunity to do pre-production a week in advance.  It helps to have been given the opportunity to wrap my head around the projects and prepare for it before having to actually do it.  Makes me feel like I’m coming into Week 11 swinging.  I like that feeling.

And finally, to make this post a bit more interesting, I decided to include my daily creates directly in my summary.  Mostly because I thought they were clever and amusing and would bring a smile to the end of all the boring reading I’ve created for my audience in this post so far.

So, one of the two I chose to do was the photo representing how old I feel.   My first instinct here was to find something that represents how young I feel, opposed to how ‘old’ I feel.  I’m allowed to feel young, right?  (This may be in protest to my one obstinate grey hair that has been plaguing me lately, but that’s beside the point.

Never Too Old

You’re never too old for milk and cookies!  My recent discovery of these gluten-free versions of the Oreo was particularly exciting to me, and brought out the kid in me, so I decided this would be a great representation of feeling young.

The other was the photo representing the passage of time.  This one didn’t take much time or thought – time never seems to pass quicker than when I’m on Facebook.  :P
Time Drain
Particularly fitting, I thought, were the photos of the Color Run (fun but nonproductive use of my time that weekend), and my posts about watching The Princess Bride with my daughter and the little blurbs about my stuff on Pinterest.  Yeah…I don’t ever waste time…like at all…

All in all, a good week.  For once, I got started much earlier this week (thanks to Hurricane Sandy), and it was nice.  Hopefully I can do this again next week.   I’m looking forward to editing some videos and seeing the kinds of things that come from my classmates’ blogs, too.

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