Thursday, September 30, 2010

IMovie Editing Practice: M.C. Escher

Here's my first editing experience with IMovie HD! (I usually work with Final Cut)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lesson Plan for teaching Film Analysis

Part 1:
Begin the activity with a discussion about film as an art form. Explain that, like painting, filmmakers use color to emphasize components of the art piece. Review with the students the meaning of some of the more popular colors ("What does the color red mean?" "love!" "What does the color green mean? "springtime or rebirth") Of course fill in the blanks for the harder colors such as blue (symbol of desire). Reiterate the fact that every single thing seen in a shot is there for a reason to emphasize some aspect of the story from the lighting and color of the lighting, to the music, to the camera angles and camera movement, to the costume and makeup, to the action by the actors.

Part 2:
Show them the clip from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. (SEEN ABOVE) The scene depicted shows the meeting of Nick and Norah as Norah is attempting to impress her friend Tris by showing her her "new boyfriend" (she asks Nick to pretend to be her boyfriend) and Norah soon realizes that Tris is Nick's recent ex-girlfriend. IMPORTANT NOTE: While this film is rated PG-13, the first few minutes of this clip are too inappropriate to be shown in school, so for the lesson, begin the clip at 1:55.

Part 3:
Brainstorm the thematic keywords: ask "what single words describe what the scene is about?" = love, jealousy, sexuality, sensuality, relationships, break-ups, music, friends, partying, high school, kissing, ex's, boyfriends, girlfriends, temptation, etc.
Ask "if you had to describe the moral of the story that the filmmakers are trying to describe with this scene in one sentence, what would it be?"
"Love will conquer all", "Sensuality is more important than sexuality", etc.
These are the themes of the film!

Part 4:
Break the class up into 8 groups to look for a specific filmic technique and describe what they see, or hear, and then discuss how they emphasize a theme keyword or sentence.
The groups are: music, lighting, editing, camera work (Cinematography), choreography of actors, Mise-En-Scene (how objects or actors or composed in the shot, AKA Shot composition), script (what they actors say: highlight a few important lines), and make-up.
Show the clip to the class again, but this time, tell them to take notes on their specific component.
Once all the groups have a chance to discuss and are ready to present, each group will go up to the front of the class and discuss their findings.
Here are some examples of things students might discuss for each film component:

Music: "I don't wanna be your favorite enemy" when Norah is talking to Tris (Nick's Ex). "Who will save us? Your smile's on fire" during the Kiss.

Lighting: Overwhelming Red = Love for Norah. Blue = Desire for ex-girlfriend (negative connotation of desire).

Editing: Fade to flashback to show change of setting to inside his memories/ day dream.

Camera work (Cinematography): Slow motion to emphasize their kiss and instant love for each other. Point of view shot from Nick's perspective looking at Tris being kissed by another guy- the shot is slowed down to emphasize Nick's trance by Tris.

Choreography: Bump into each other to physically be introduced to each other. Norah walks over to Nick, grabs his sweatshirt and kisses him.

Shot Composition: Bump into each other- Caroline on far right side of shot- put emphasis on Nick and Norah meeting. During day dream sequence, Nick is on left side of shot by him self, and Tris is on right side of shot by her self to emphasize Nick's distance from the scene as it is his past memories/ day dream.

Script: "Dont give into temptation", "Who do you belong to?" "Would you be my boyfriend for five minutes?" = Sensual Love is greater than sexual love.

Make-up/ Costume: Norah is seen with conservative amounts of make-up and dress. Tris is seen in a skimpy outfit and plenty of make-up. = Tris is the evil character who is depicted as sexually attractive, while Norah is the protagonist and is depicted as naturally beautiful.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Graduate Clip

This is a clip with a few scenes from the film The Graduate. This movie is one of the most influential films in American film history. It was the first feature film to have a soundtrack provided by a popular rock group which is Simon and Garfunkel. In the past, most films' soundtracks were provided by instrumental ensembles. In addition, the film is the first to feature an editing concept known as "split editing" in which the sounds from a following scene begins before the cut to the next scene occurs. The Graduate is a film which has revolutionary (for its time) film techniques which are relatively easy to analyze in terms of its narrative juxtapositions, thus making it an excellent film to show students for a "film studies" film. In the clip that I chose, Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman) is confronted by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) before a date with her daughter Elaine (Katherine Ross), who tells Benjamin that if he does not leave Elaine, she will confess to her about their previous affair between Benjamin and Elaine.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vlog Analysis

Hey Hey! Here's the vlog that I watched.
It is the introductory Blog for one Sarah Rose, who was a student in this class in 2009. I felt that this video definitely introduced me to her interest in books and teaching, but not much else. The video began with an interesting Intro: her speaking in Sign Language, while the audio is actually her speaking what she is signing (I presume). From this, I infer that she possibly teaches english courses to students who use sign language as their first or even second language. The bulk of Sarah's Vlog is her displaying her favorite books and describing them to the audience. Unfortunately, when she would hold a book, about 1/3 of the book is cut off from the bottom of the shot. The framing of her books was really distracting as I wanted to see an entire view of the book! One point that she brought up which I thought was particularly interesting was the fact that she named her cat from a character in one of her favorite books. I liked this little glimpse into her life and felt that more of this type of information was necessary for it to be a more effective introduction. Another interesting moment was when she displayed the book that she used to write her senior paper. She fanned through all of the pages with all of her sticky notes along with the pages, which I felt was a nice visual that explained the amount of work that she put into her senior paper. Finally, the coda of the vlog involved her holding up her cat with an obnoxious song in the background featuring lyrics regarding cats. This was a little over-dramatic for the type of vlog that it was, however it did indeed show another comical side of Sarah which did add to the introduction of herself. Overall, I felt that this blog was interesting, as it did keep my attention, however, I felt the content was lacking information that would effectively assist in her introductions.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vlog #1

Hey Hey! Here's my first Vlog, now embedded into my Blog! Yay!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Welcome to my Blog!


My blog is now good to go! I am excited for this class and am even more excited to meet all of you during the next class period.

Stay tuned for more posts!