Monday, November 21, 2011

Project Reflection

I really enjoyed creating the portrait video project in this class and I am very happy with my final production. I have to admit that this project was challenging for me because I am not familiar with putting together a video and it was my first time working on Final Cut Express. However, with the help from the class (lab & lecture handouts) and friends, I was able to place all the pieces together.

I also enjoyed using the Zoom because the sound quality was just amazing, it was clear and loud, and extremely sensitive to the ambient sounds. Selecting music as a background for the audio was very tricky because I really wanted to bring in a cartoon theme song since AJ loves drawing cartoons, but at the same time the music cannot compete with the vocals in the audio. After skimming through all different songs and music, I decided to pick an instrumental piece so that there are no words in the music that would overlap with the audio. Shooting/filming was not as easy as I thought because some of my shots were not as steady and the picture quality blurred. Also I zoomed in and out of the shot to fast, so it definitely took some time editing out the "good" shots that I was able to use the clips for my video. I learned not to do that anymore. Overall, I had many challenges in completing this portrait piece but I think I managed it in the end. Nowadays, when I go to the movies, I actually pay more attention to the cinematic techniques and the choices that the editors/directors make, rather than watching the movie for just the story itself.

After making this video, I learned a lot about my partner AJ and that he is a very creative artist. I wish him the best of luck!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Clip Analysis- Caché

Caché is an Austrian French movie written and directed by Michael Haneke. The English translation for the title is “Hidden”. This is a small scene that strike out to me the most.

There are many cinematic techniques that are found in this particular scene. One of many important ones is cinematography. Without any warning or preview of what the scene is going to be about, the director gives the audience a real close up still image of the struggling rooster that was brutally held down by the boy. The next frame jumps to the splattering blood from the rooster to the boy’s face. Both of these frames are from an objective point of view, in which the audience is looking from a third person’s point of view, and not in particular the viewpoints of any character. Then, the director follows up with a wide-angle of the whole background, which includes Georges’ house and the whole yard. This provides a strong depth of field in the frame, thus, creating chiaroscuro lighting for the overall frame. As the scene continues, the viewer can conclude that this long shot frame is Georges’ perspective because he is standing at the back of the barn. This image leaves the audience a sense of mystery and unknown of what might happen next, because the viewer is still trying to make sense of the sequence of the frames. 
The close up frame between Georges and the silhouette frame of Majid shows the contrast that the beheading of the rooster frightens both boys. However, the close up frame on Georges is bright, whereas the full body frame on Majid is dark.
The scene ends with Georges’ sudden awake from nightmare just when Majid raised the axe above his head. He is sweating and panting, concluding that he was terrified in the dream. The cinematography used to end the scene is by using a full blackout of the scene, which gives the audience a break from the tensions from the previous frame. Before this scene ended, the audience had no idea that all this was a dream or reality, until the very end when Georges wakes up. This technique used by the director controls the emotions of the audience and maintain the grasp of their attention. Forcing the viewer to feel threatened or scared makes them sit on the edge of their seats, and then follow by the sudden release of tensions by Georges waking up from this nightmare. The frame shows Georges panting and grasping for air. Ideally, the audience also feels a relief as well.