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Over and Over

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For my three time review, I chose to watch this clip from The Pursuit of Happyness:

For this assignment, I had to watch this clip in three different ways and each time I noticed something different.

1. Analyzing the camera work.

The first time I watched this clip, I turned the volume all the way down. I was only paying attention to the camera angles, the lighting, and how many times the camera angle switched. The location of the scene changed during this clip and the camera angles seemed to change quite frequently. At one point, the camera angle switched from the dad to the boy to the basketball hoop and then back to the dad – all in about ten seconds. I watched this video on camera angles. I learned that different camera angles and the switching of these angles is good for making patterns within the image. Because this clip seemed to switch camera angles so often, the director might be trying to convey a pattern within this.

Once it got back to the dad, the camera zoomed in slowly. This made me think that what the older man was saying was important. The camera seemed to zoom in and out a lot in this short clip. This seemed to tell a story in itself. I watched this video on zooming. I always thought that zooming seemed to tell a story and now I know, it does. Zooming in and out seems to mark an importance on something or someone.

According to Ebert’s How to Read a Movie, right is more positive and left is more negative. The boy seemed to be in the right a lot when both characters were in the camera’s view. Ebert also said that the future seems to live on the right. So the fact that the little boy seemed to be on the right side a lot symbolizes the future and maybe even a positive one. Also, movement is dominant over things that are still. Before the boy packed up the basketball, he moved behind the dad.

The lighting didn’t seem to be too much of a positive or negative factor. When they were outside, it seemed cloudy which could mean something about the mood of this clip. I think I didn’t notice the lighting too much because this clip took place outside.

2. Analyzing the audio track.

The second time I watched it, I had to do the complete opposite thing from the first time: I had to turn the volume up and just listen and not watch. I noticed that the music didn’t start playing until about halfway through the clip. Before that, the two characters were just talking and the basketball was bouncing. I could hear the city: car horns and sirens.

The music, when it started playing, was soft and powerful at the same time. The dad’s dialogue seemed to be choppy. He would say something and then pause. During those pauses, my attention {because I wasn’t looking at the clip} was solely focused on the music. To me, the monologue was more powerful because of the music. I cannot imagine the monologue without the music playing in the background.

3. Putting it all together.

The third time I watched this clip I got to watch it with audio. Both of the elements that I had to focus on before {camera and audio} seemed to work well together. When the dad was talking and the music started playing, the camera was zooming in on him. When I was just focusing on the camera, I said that the zoom is illustrating importance. And when I was just listening to the audio, I said that the music made something stand out and that the monologue was powerful because of the music.

This assignment taught me to be critical and pay attention to detail. If you were just watching a movie, like normal {what I did during my third review} you would miss some key elements. You might know that the dad’s monologue is important but by just listening to the audio and just watching the camera, you learn a lot more about a scene. More than I thought I was going to learn.

When I reviewed this clip the second and third time, this quote stuck out to me. This has nothing to do with this assignment, but I just love this quote so I want to include it in this post.

You gotta dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.

Blog title: Over and Over – Nelly (ft. Tim McGraw)

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