Media Objects: Editing Task

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For this task I decided to create a horror trailer. I cut together the footage from my Single Shot Video Assessment as well as footage from archive.org of different horror films. I also cut in my photography work and audio tasks. I used iMovie to create the horror trailer with their trailer template. This created exactly what I was aiming for and with the audio playing over each other it created an eerie and action packed trailer.

My video task was somewhat of an action film already so it was easy to cut that footage together and create an action packed trailer. Inspired by the films The Ring (2000) and a Touch of Evil (1958) as seen on blackboard, I wanted to create a real sense of horror that would impact the audience both visually and aurally.

The task asked us to explore editing based on the theme or idea of ‘impact.’ Impact to me represents being affected by what you watch. Horror films have always left a big impact on me and would affect my sleep and day to day activities if it were particularly scary. I wanted to capture the horror genre in my trailer and leave the audience craving more. I wanted my trailer to incorporate impact not only through story telling but also in the fast paced editing required to leave an impact on the audience. The visuals I used hinted at a dangerous and off putting course of narrative. I wanted the style to be fast and sharp hinting at danger in every corner. The audio used was a mix of iMovie stock horror audio and my audio assessments including the heartbeat track, catalyst song as well as my own audio tracks of raining.

For the most part I am happy with my trailer however I would have preferred to just use my video project as the only source of footage. I am proud of what we shot for the single video assessment task. The black and white cinematography and action packed sequence provided plenty to use for a horror (or thriller, action, mystery) trailer. I feel using found footage off the internet cheapened my trailer and gave it a tacky youtube mashup vibe. Originally I planned to use horror films of the black and white period to match with my black and white single shot video. However as I searched for footage I found some quite frightening video of clowns and steamy alley ways that I couldn’t resist including in my final. Although the footage doesn’t match with my single shot video I found the impact is more disturbing juxtaposed with my footage.

I enjoyed completing this task as I love editing. I want to continue editing films and I believe the opportunity will arise again as I complete my Masters.

 

Sources of my found footage video included in the trailer;

https://archive.org/details/OdeToTheHorrorMovie

https://archive.org/details/Horror_201307

https://archive.org/details/AHORRORMONTAGE

https://archive.org/details/GrindhouseHorrorTrailerCollection

 

Sources of audio

Catalyst by Zilmrah at freesound.org

Heartbeat at 60bpm by klangfabrik at freesound.org

 

Interpreter’s House 5: Search Engine Comparison

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Using three different search engines, I searched for ‘MIFF 2014’. MIFF 2014 is the Melbourne International Film Festival. I want to learn as much as possible about this years festival and I wish to attend as many screenings as possible.

Instagrok Search:

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Unfortunately Instagrok couldn’t find anything on MIFF 2014. In the search engine comparison, Instagrok fails right away.

Duckduckgo Search

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Duckduckgo appears to search from an international point of view. Related topics that appear include the Mumbai International Film Festival and Malaysian International Furniture Festival. These searches aren’t what I was hoping for and don’t help me. The Melbourne International Film Festival is no where to be seen.

Google search:

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Google is clearly the winner and found the best results regarding MIFF 2014. The first link is the official website for MIFF and holds all the information for this years Melbourne International Film Festival.

Google is my default browser as I use Google Chrome for my web browser. If I used Internet Explorer I would go to Internet Options and select Google as my default browser.

Slough of Despond 5: Creative Commons

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One thing I haven’t thought too much about is copyright issues with regards to my reviews. Anyone out there online can take my work and reproduce it as their own. I know my students constantly do this with wikipedia. However for this task we are to find a Copyright licence which suits our work.

I have found Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

Under the following terms:

  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

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Doubting castle 4: advanced blogging

In order to write a review for the film The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I got information about the film, behind the scenes information, release dates and trailers via my RSS feed from my account on theoldreader.com

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Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Plot Synopsis: Peter Parker struggles with keeping his promise to the late Police Captain George Stacy to stay away from his daughter, Gwen Stacy, so she can stay out of danger. Peter also deals with the truth behind his parent’s disappearance as a child as well as a new threat in the villains Rhino, Electro and the Green Goblin.

Review:

Reading the plot synopsis above doesn’t quite capture everything going on in the film. I didn’t mention Peter also reunites with his old friend Harry Osborn, who is slowly dying from a mysterious disease and needs Spider-Man’s blood. As well as everything going on in the mysterious corporation Oscorp, and Peter’s Aunt May (Sally Field) and Peter graduating from High School and going to college. As you can see this film is very busy. So much is crammed in that it is hard to grasp everything that is going on. The producers are clearly trying to develop a cinematic universe much like The Avengers which balances sequels and numerous characters with great ease. I find this unfortunately detracts from the film and instead of focusing on a few interesting characters (which this film has many) the film gets lost in its juggling act.

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This is unfortunate because Peter Parker/Spider-Man is such a compelling character. Growing up as a fan of comic books I found the story of Peter Parker balancing his personal life with his superpowers among the best of the genre. In 2002 Sam Raimi directed an excellent adaptation of the comic book which balanced the heart and soul of the characters with the action and spectacle of a blockbuster film franchise. Raimi continued this streak with 2004’s Spider-Man 2 and ultimately failed in 2007 with Spider-Man 3. Unfortunately in Spider-Man 3 even Raimi couldn’t juggle the multitude of characters, back stories and villains and tie them up into an interesting film. Spider-Man 3 was the last film in Raimi’s trilogy. In 2012 Sony and Columbia Pictures decided to reboot the franchise with a new director, actors and crew, titled The Amazing Spider-Man. The film went back to basics with Peter Parker discovering his powers, falling in love with Gwen Stacey and fighting one villain. It was a tightly focused, smaller superhero film which I thought worked because of its simplicity, great actors and a darker more realistic vision from director Marc Webb. However just as Sam Raimi before him, he too must now work out how to balance franchise needs, multiple character arcs, giant action sequences and keep fans eager for a sequel. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 works better than Spider-Man 3 however while balancing it all we lose some of the heart and soul which made the first two films so great.

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On the positive side Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone both excel in their interpretations of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. Their chemistry is real and believable. You feel for these characters and are engaged in their every step. They engage us with their romance and break our hearts with their actions. They are truly the films strongest asset. Also Marc Webb creates multiple action set pieces which defy the laws of gravity and show us things we’ve never seen before in a superhero film. The introduction of Spider-Man taking on some thugs in a busy New York City throws us right back into the wonderful world of Spider-Man. The ending (especially in Imax 3D) is also breathtaking in its vision and scope.

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Where the film suffers is in its multiple storylines and characters. Dane DeHann and Jamie Foxx don’t get enough to flesh out their respective villains. Also Paul Giamatti and Sally Field can’t do much with their limited screen time.

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The score from Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams is interesting in combining orchestral music with dub-step. It really does work in amping up the action and tension.

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As a popcorn blockbuster the two main leads and great set pieces keep this film working. However the multiple storylines let the film down and it can’t reach the heights of the first two Raimi Spider-Man films.

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Rating: 2 Stars

Cast & Crew

  • Director: Marc Webb
  • Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHann, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti
  • Screenplay: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner
  • Producer: Avi Arad & Matt Tolmach
  • Music: Hans Zimmer & Pharrell Williams
  • Cinematography: Daniel Mindel
  • Editor: Pietro Scalia & Elliot Graham
  • Studio: Columbia Pictures and Marvel Entertainment

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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Slough of Despond 3: Advanced Blogging

In order to write a review for the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I got information about the film, behind the scenes information, release dates and trailers via my RSS feed from my account on theoldreader.com

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

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Plot synopsis: After being frozen for over 50 years, Captain America struggles with his new life in modern day America. While working for the secret agency S.H.I.E.L.D under Nick Fury, his growing concerns of corruption come to a fold when an old threat returns.

Review:

The seventh film from the Marvel Studios is surprisingly one of their best. In 2014 the Marvel brand is as strong as ever. This year we will see four blockbusters based on Marvel properties, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spiderman 2 and X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy. However only Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier are produced in the Marvel Studios and follow the timeline of other Marvel Studios properties such as Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and The Avengers. Following these films adds extra weight as we have gotten to know these characters, and minor characters, over seven films now. After playing Captain America for the third time, Chris Evans appears comfortable in the role and takes the character to places he hasn’t been before. Supporting characters such as Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Bucky Barnes (Sebastion Stan), Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), and Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) are fleshed out and given higher stakes to play with. New supporting characters including Sam Wilson aka The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Kate/Sharon Carter aka Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) also bring gravitas to the film. This all adds to the films overall tension and development. The writing also helps these characters shine with their witty banter to each other keeping things light in the right moments.

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The film is different to other superhero properties as it plays with the genre conventions of the paranoid spy thrillers of the 70s, while also staying faithful to the genre conventions of the modern action superhero film. The film is a rush from beginning to end. With breathtaking action sequences including hand-to-hand combat, car chases and city street shoot-outs, every scene keeps you engaged and hungry for more.

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The direction of brothers Anthony and Joe Russo is superb showing an eye for incredible action set pieces as well as tender moments between characters coming to terms with the films twists and turns. The score by Henry Jackman also helps to amplify the tension, especially in the action set piece on the city street where we are introduced to the winter soldier, a high frequency pitch is played which jars the audience and gives the soldier an extra edge. Cinematography from Trent Opaloch is also top notch. This film is an excellent addition to the Marvel franchise and superhero films in general.

This is the 2014 action film to beat, with three more Marvel films on the way this will be hard to top.

Rating: 4 Stars

Cast & Crew

  • Director: Anthony & Joe Russo
  • Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson
  • Screenplay: Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
  • Producer: Kevin Feige
  • Music: Henry Jackman
  • Cinematography: Trent Opaloch
  • Editor: Jeffrey Ford
  • Studio: Marvel Studios

 

Media Objects: Audio Assessment Task

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Theme: “Catalyst, sounds that change a situation”

For the third task in Media Objects we are to collect seven sounds which reflect and interpret the theme of ‘Catalyst’. In the previous assessment involving Photography I looked at the theme of Catalyst as objects that cause change in my day. I looked specifically at breakfast which allows our bodies and minds to function with our daily tasks.

For this task we are to record and collect seven sounds which have to be ‘unedited’. I was disappointed that we couldn’t edit the sounds as I originally had ideas that involved using Adobe Audition or another sound editing program. However I came up with ideas that involved unedited sounds which I created and I sourced other sounds too.

Four sounds must be recorded, 3 can be sourced (need to be copyright free)

Combination of long sounds (atmosphere) and short sounds and only one music track

Sound 1

Rainy Car:

Waiting in traffic while it starts raining. I turn my wipers on to push the rain off the windshield. Catalyst’s include the rain and also accelerating once the green light comes on to get to my destination.

Sound 2

Drinking Ice Cold Coca-Cola:

Similar to my photography work. Drinking Coke brings on a change in the body. Not only is my thirst quenched but also the caffeine gives me a boost to finish my tasks for the rest of the day.

Sound 3

School bell:

Brings on change of periods for students and teachers at High School. The bell is a catalyst in all schools as it brings change in subject, recess, lunchtime and also closes the day.

Sound 4

Click of a camera:

The sound of the shutter button clicking and taking a photo of something. This change occurs and a photo now exists. A moment in time captured forever.

Sound 5

Sourced from freesound.org

Converge 1.aiff by JimiMod

This is a soundscape I found online from a copyright free website that allows you to download free soundscapes and music for a film production. This piece is a loop of four tracks with one of them being at a slower tempo than the rest. It catches up as the loop begins to repeat. I thought this soundscape interpreted the theme of catalyst perfectly as the sounds build up to an intensity which can cause change for a character in a science fiction, thriller or horror film. The soundscape puts you in a dark space which you want to escape.

Sound 6

Sourced from freesound.org

Heartbeat at 60bpm by klangfabrik

This is another soundscape I found online from a copyright free website. This one is of a heartbeat. The bass is very low and you will need to have headphones to hear it. The soft beating of a heart is the catalyst for every human being to function. The heart pumps blood throughout our body and allows us to exist. We are all catalysts in this world and we all have one major catalyst inside us and that’s our hearts.

Sound 7

Music track

Catalyst by Zilmrah

This music track was sourced from filmmusicarchive.org a website which allows the user to download copyright free music for a film or for personal listening. This music track incorporates spoken word with electroacoustic and field recordings. It is an avant-garde piece which is at times hard to listen to but open for much interpretation. I find it incorporates the theme of Catalyst as the music brings about change in mood in its timbre and tone. It would make a good soundtrack to a film where the villain is introduced and brings about change and destruction to the main protagonist.

Media Objects – Single Shot Video Critical Reflection

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For the assessment task – Single Shot Video, the students of Media Objects were to get into a group and develop an idea for a one-minute single take video incorporating the theme of “success”. On the first day of our intensive I met Brenda, Bo and Mari. We got together and worked on a practise task, which enabled us to work together and get to know each others strengths and weaknesses regarding the production of a short single take film. Our practise task was successful and with our newfound confidence in filmmaking, we began developing our single shot assessment task.

Success as a theme can be represented in many ways. The night before I had watched The Wolf of Wall Street directed by Martin Scorsese. That film explored the idea of success by tracing the rise and fall of a Stock Broker who cheated his way to the top. The character of Jordan Belfort played brilliantly by Leonardo DiCaprio believed success was directly tied to being rich. Money was his main motivation throughout the film, and he would stop at nothing to ensure he had as much as possible. After hearing that our theme was success I automatically thought of that film and of doing something similar. However every good idea that I had would require a multiple cuts. The single take was limiting to my vision and I had to rely on other ideas in order to be successful in this task. We eventually decided on the idea of someone being robbed and chased and then being rescued and that would be the “success.” It would be shot with an in your face, action aesthetic similar to director Paul Greengrass of The Bourne Identity films. These films incorporate a lot of handheld action, which give you the experience of actually being there. It is thrilling and leaves the audience with a dizzying effect. We knew because of the constraints of having one shot, we had to make it as thrilling as possible so the audience would be able to experience something new in this format. We decided on including a chase scene, which would give the viewer a sense of the real time action. As we developed the story further we agreed on a location and who would act and film.

The story would be as follows;

Brenda would walk down the stairs of a train station, walk down an empty alleyway where she would get a phone call. As she answered the phone, unbeknown to her, Bo would snatch her bag and run down the alleyway. I would play a local merchant who just happened to be there. I would intervene, get the bag off her and return it to Brenda. The success would be her getting her bag back.

We filmed the scene in a few takes and were happy with the results. As we returned to class our tutor Jeremy took a look. He gave us feedback and said that perhaps we could include a bit more to the story, perhaps some form of a narrative twist. We all agreed and decided to meet up the weekend after and re-film our scene. During the week we kept in touch via email and discussed how we could improve our one shot film and add a twist. We decided to have Brenda have an envelope with something important inside and put it in her bag. As she is robbed by Bo, I would again intervene and rescue her bag. However the twist is that Bo and I are in it together and I get the envelope from her bag while I return it to her. As Brenda leaves happy her bag is returned. I meet Bo and tell her I got the envelope and that’s our “success”.

Our second round of filming took longer than our initial film, however due to the advanced storyline, many takes were required. We had up to 19 different takes and the last one was the best. As we filmed that day problems with the film included the actors not being able to keep a straight face and shaky handheld filming. We didn’t use the Sony Video Camera we used the week before, we used a Canon DSLR, which unfortunately wasn’t as stable as the Sony Camera from the University. The smooth filming from the first day was lost in the process. Our final cut is shakier however it does incorporate the handheld action aesthetic that we originally wanted. Our video now looks more in the style of the action films of Paul Greengrass and Michael Bay.

Our final cut will be uploaded to youtube for public viewing. I will advertise it through my blog as well as social media such as Twitter and Instagram. I am happy with our final cut and hope to make a film with my group again.

Title: The Envelope

Credits:

Written & Directed by Bo Dechphant, Mari Guren, Daniel Hennequin & Brenda Au-Yeung

Starring:

Brenda Au-Yeung as Lady with envelope

Bo Dechphant as Thief

Daniel Hennequin as Stranger/Helper

Director of Photography: Mari Guren