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‘Week 2’ Category

  1. Let’s chew on our cameras

    January 20, 2014 by

    I was initially skeptical about this video because it’s clearly a GoPro advertisement, and in the first couple of minutes it seemed to me like the GoPro use was gratuitous. I didn’t think the cameras attached to Kevin Richardson’s body were necessary, and I was more taken by the view from the car, where you get a clear sense of how giant these bear-hugging lions are. This seemed like a subject that wasn’t made for GoPros, but worked anyway because of talented producers and charismatic felines.

    But GoPro convinced me with the sequence at 7:15. It’s so bizarre and organic, in a way that I think you could only get from letting hyenas chew on your camera. Then the crew stumbles into frame in a cage, we see lions chasing their car, and it occurs to me: this is a story about physical intimacy, about how different Richardson’s perspective is from those through a window or a computer screen. The story is about a human interacting with predators on predators’ terms, and the producers tell it by asking furred and bearded subjects alike to gratuitously–even roughly–play with expensive film equipment. Thank you GoPro. For contrast they add some clumsy-looking shots from the cage and the car, and what we get is an arresting visual portrait of  Richardson’s privileged relationships. I can’t get over this moment (great timing with the interview and music), or the way a lion’s shoulders move.

    I guess I’m sold?


  2. Week 2 Inspiration – You Will See Me

    January 20, 2014 by Makare

    Dan le Sac v. Scroobious Pip are well known for creating intriguing, and visually compelling music videos. While this particular video isn’t a) their best, or b) particularly groundbreaking I wanted to share it because they posted a making of documentary along with it, and that I have embedded as well.

    What the combination of these two videos brings to the table is that filmmaking, whether that be commercial, documentary, feature, TV, music video, or cinematic journalism (all of these terms  mean the same to me these days) relies on 2 things: Telling a story visually, and solving problems on the fly.

    Creative problem solving is one of the most important things that a filmmaker needs to learn and embrace. In many ways I feel that it is almost as important as being able to recognize and tell story for the simple reason that being able to adapt, change, fix, and embrace problems as they occur will give you the ability to actively accomplish telling your story. My favorite example of something going horrifically against plan, but working to the advantage of the filmmaker is the story of Bruce (the shark in Spielberg’s Jaws).  In short, the animatronic model of the shark would never work properly, and was costing the production too much time, money, and Spielberg was under incredible pressure to complete the movie. Spielberg made the decision that the shark would not be visible throughout most of the movie, and that they would use the idea that what you can’t see is scarier than what you can see to it’s full effect, and historically Spielberg made the right choice, as an entire generation of people found themselves unwilling to go in the water after the success of the film. Spielberg and his production crew creatively solved a problem, and in doing so they created a movie that is far more memorable for harnessing people’s emotions, and expectations.

    While the Dan le Sac vs. Scroobious Pip video doesn’t have near the amount, or scale of needed problem solving, it does highlight that on the fly in order to get the shots the crew had to come up with inventive ways to shoot, edit, produce, and create. Keep the idea in mind that no matter how much preparation you do, no matter how well thought out your shoot might be, something can and most likely will go wrong, and be prepared to solve the problems creatively.




  3. This is terrifying.

    October 23, 2013 by

    I’m afraid of heights so this is pretty much my worst nightmare. Great video though! Also, after trying to get up to speed on video technology I’m pretty proud of myself for recognizing their use of a wide-angle lens. How do we feel about the choice? It distorts the edges of a lot of the shots, but in my opinion that adds to how surreal this experience is. I would also imagine you get tunnel vision when you’re jumping off a cliff, so maybe the distortion is an accurate depiction of what the experience feels like? I don’t really care to find out, myself, but I guess that’s why we get a vicarious thrill out of film.

    According to my tutorials, the wide angle lens also emphasizes 1) the distances between objects in your frame, and 2) the speed of objects. For those of you with more film experience than me, do you think this makes an appreciable difference in this video?


    Experience Zero Gravity from InfinityList on Vimeo.

  4. A Different Approach to Information Sharing

    October 22, 2013 by


    I found this video on the Center for Strategic and International Studies website and I thought that it was a unique approach to a question we all ask ourselves as visual storytellers: what do we put on the screen to capture the point? This animation video is a great example of how to tell a story or portray a message without actual moving video. Although it does feel a little bit like propaganda for the CSIS, I liked the use of  colors, motion, and sound detailed in this video to portray a message. This video also presents a different theory for the future of our world that many of us may not have previously thought about.

  5. Meet Porter: The World’s First Driving Dog

    October 21, 2013 by

    This video caught my eye for several reasons, namely that it features a dog driving a car. What appears to be a collaboration between the SPCA and Mini Cooper serves as an interesting mix of multi-camera angles, music, and text. I imagine it was probably difficult to shoot, so it’s interesting to see the editing choices considering the subject is an animal.

    As a very creative way to encourage pet adoption, the organization also succeeds in advertising their hashtag for an extended multimedia experience. Visiting Twitter and searching ‘#drivingdogs’ yielded entertaining and supportive tweets, as well as a link from the MDG Blog saying that all of the puppies at the SPCA Auckland shelter were adopted within weeks of the ad airing. Good dog!

  6. Process: The Making of a Chair

    October 18, 2013 by

    Phloem Studio // The Peninsula Chair from Quimby on Vimeo.

    I chose this piece in connection with our assignment, Story Without Words. Also, my “special man friend” is a furniture maker. With the interest of making a film about his work at some point in the near future, I have been looking at films of people making things for guidance. I found this to be a great application of visual storytelling, which created a compelling and dynamic short film without words. I found the editing, specifically that it was in sync with the music, well structured. Contrary to my usual preference, I liked the lack of background sounds. I felt this added to the magical kind of mood. The relatively rapid edits kept me engaged and excited to see what would happen next. This seemed particularly important in cases such as this, with minimal audio stimulation.  Lastly, I enjoyed the films use of depth and focus. I found that the high percentage of extreme close ups made me feel a part of the process.

  7. Breaking Bad Point of View Shots

    October 18, 2013 by

    I know, I know, the whole world is still talking about this show, but one of the cooler less-discussed things in the show was the use of inanimate object point of view shots. This video from January 2012 is an awesome collection of all the best ones up to that point. It’s a cool idea. If the normal point of view in a TV show is from an arbitrary spot that we’re not supposed to acknowledge as being anybody’s 1st person view, then why not see the point of view from something that isn’t a person at all. I love the underwater ones, especially from the inside of the toilet. The video Summer posted totally stole the idea of being inside the washing machine, but if you’re gonna steal you might as well steal from the best.

  8. Fun local music video_inspiration2_SummerHatfield

    October 18, 2013 by

    The Uncluded – Delicate Cycle from Ben Fee on Vimeo.

    This is a really fun music video filmed right here in Portland. It won an award for best music video last year. It’s not my favorite song ever, but I think there’s a lot we can learn from this video. For one, it really plays around with getting extreme and weird shots, like the one from inside the washer. Also, the one from the back of the wagon looking forward. It’s kind of like a POV from the cat. I also like how it starts out, showing the band in the same position but in different locations. It’s an interesting way to edit. I think this video also has some nice examples of camera movement. Like following the direction of where the girls are looking. Or following the action of the cart in the laundromat. It also uses focus really well.

  9. Now This News (Instagram Edition)

    October 17, 2013 by

    This is a great news source for people with no time to tune into news basically. It’s called “Now This News” and it delivers news stories as fas as 15 second instagram video. This shows how we can make quick packages by simply using shocking data along with quick photos. This video used the technique of animating each image to not make people get bored looking at it for more than 2 seconds, it also used big colored text to emphasis on facts and stats. The music also matches the speed of the piece perfectly. I think thats where news is going nowadays because most of our generation uses social media as their number one source of news.

  10. Jarritos Gringos Commerical (ACE 2)

    October 16, 2013 by

    This is inspiring to me 1) because it’s funny 2) because it was made without a big production company 3) I know them…and this makes me think that all is, indeed, possible.

    In terms of production quality with one camera and no budget, I appreciate a number of parts of this video.

    1) The first is the use of the 1,2,3 in the opening scene that gets closer and closer to the singer’s face.  They break up the jump cut with a blur, which makes it feel authentic.

    2) I also appreciate how it’s clear that they’ve staged it, and have long scenes where the camera is following them down an aisle and keeping them framed well, going around corners of fruit. It just seems like they’ve got a tight space to work with but they’re creating all sorts of dynamic shots.

    3) They greenscreened. Love it.


    Jarritos Gringos Commercial from Elizabeth Shapiro on Vimeo.

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