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‘Winter Week 2’ Category

  1. Who are we?

    January 27, 2014 by

    Last week, after our Reporting Story class, Mark mentioned that the founder of MediaStorm would be coming to the U of O next month. Intrigued, I decided to explore their site for this week’s blog post. I was highly impressed, both by the organizations material and their mission. They state that they are leading a “paradigm shift” in multimedia story telling and are focused on “inspiring audiences to take action.” They believe that “compassionate storytelling builds empathy, and that empathy is the first step towards creating positive change.” Their hope is that they can “bridge the gap between perception and understanding–building connections across the shared human experience.” ( I could not agree with these goals more and hope to create pieces that meet this mission at some point soon in my career.

    I was touched by many of the MediaStorm pieces (beware the site is a wonderful but slightly dangerous time vortex) but I decided to post the this piece because of its discussion about journalism, which I thought the rest of the class might find intriguing. The piece is about an organization called Ripple Effect Images, which was founded by three photographers. There is a film on each photographer separately, as well as a condensed piece on the organization as a whole. I chose the piece about Lynn Johnson because I was particularly struck by some of her points, as well as the filmmaker’s choices in the piece.

    The film starts with Lynn saying, “I’m short. I’m shy. I’m a mature woman. And if I didn’t acknowledge the truth of who I am, then I cant even try to share the truth of who you are.” The audience hears these words while watching her slightly nervous and awkward movements on camera as she attempts to get comfortable for her interview. The vulnerability and honesty of this portrayal pulled me right in. This was also an obvious and necessary choice by the filmmaker – if the subject is commenting on the need for journalist to acknowledge truth in themselves and the subject, then portrayal of truth at that moment in the film seemed a must. I found the execution of this moment to be incredibly well crafted.

    Another of Lynn’s points that struck me was during minute eight, with her discussion about creating action and solution oriented stories with the subject as a “collaborator”. She states “let us use powerful visually imagery and storytelling to actually move people to action. You can do that if you don’t have a collaborator on the other side of the camera. You have to be lead by the lives that you’re witnessing.” I’m still mulling over the implications of this statement. I’m curious what others think!

  2. Great Cinematography achieved in a day.

    January 22, 2014 by

    The Glint from Mathieumaury on Vimeo.

    There is something about this piece that struck a chord with me. Maybe because of the fact that the filmmaker shot this in one day (which doesn’t look impossible). But it goes to show that if you truly think out your shots and capture all of the details, then all you need is one shoot and you nailed it. Like this. Although I am aware that this is an advertisement, it is also a much deeper piece entirely. For those of you really looking to focus on lighting for this term, I think that this video does an impressive job of using  a low-light situation to their advantage. The lighting in the garage is very purposeful, so it doesn’t feel fake or forced, yet it adds a dramatic effect to all of the close ups. It also allows for the camera to pick up all of the sparks flying off of the metals, which I think added to the dreamy feel of the film.

    The above the action shots in this piece were really powerful to me. I like that the filmmaker chose to create frames that were a change from the typical break down of a scene. For example, when the motorcycle comes out of the garage at 1:00, I really liked the small moment that it created where the biker hesitates before he really takes off, as if deciding which path he will take.  I was also very impressed with all of the tracking shots on the motorcycle. I think that the filmmaker definitely used picturesque roads to his advantage (the tree lined lane and the rolling clouds behind the tall grass fields).


  3. Week 2_Summer Hatfield

    January 21, 2014 by

    EAGER by Allison Schulnik from garaco taco on Vimeo.

    When we were talking about animations for the purpose of recreation in our Reporting Story class this video came to mind. Even though it is not recreating anything, I still wanted to post it because I find it to be very inspiring and I love claymation. Plus I think there are certain aspects of it which could be applied to making a really interesting animated recreation. Allison Schulnik has such a unique style. It’s a little strange, sometimes a little creepy, but always beautiful. What I am really impressed with in this video is how she managed to choreograph the characters dancing with the music. That is really hard to do with regular video, so I can’t even imagine how she did it with stop motion.

    Another thing that struck me that you don’t often see in stop motion is that the camera focus changed in the middle of a scene. This happens at about 6:03. Shortly after that the video breaks into a really fast part where the quick changes of flower scenery, with some time-lapse, implies that a great deal of time is passing. If it went on for too much longer than it does it would be a little too much to handle, but I think it stops just soon enough to be effective.

  4. Eckerson Week 2: Jean Luc Goddard, Weekend

    January 19, 2014 by

    I watched Weekend this weekend, and it was one of the more disturbing, brilliant, and strange films I’ve ever scene.  This scene, the infamous traffic scene is emblematic of the movie’s style.  For one, it goes on and on…and on. In terms of content, it’s probably the more benign example of the sort of social commentary that the film provides (most of it includes explicitly marred dead bodies, car crashes and sexual exploits) .  What I find remarkable about it is that the shot is one long continuous scene. For like, 7 minutes. It doesn’t appear to me that they once stop moving. I’m curious how many times they had to shoot it, as it is quite choreographed. I think it’s a brilliant example of the effect you get from using equipment like sliders (if they’re a mile long…).  The length and tediousness of it is also in direct contrast to the fast paced cinema we’ve come to expect, which enhances the uncomfortability of the scene, and the entire film, which I believe was Goddard’s intent.  This version is silent –there is mostly honking and yelling as sound.


  5. 56 Ways of Saying I Don’t Remember

    January 16, 2014 by

    I hope it doesn’t feel like cheating if I begin to take almost everything I post these days from the NYT Op-Doc series. There is some seriously amazing stuff on there and it really keeps falling in line with everything else I have been watching and enjoying. Take this video for instance. I recently watched a feature film by this filmmaker, Alain Berliner. It is called “First Cousin Once Removed.” It is aaaammmmaaaazzzing! I really wanted to share it with everyone, but unfortunately it is on HBO and there is no way to share their stuff. So, when I stumbled upon this very short and very altered version of the film that hints at what the longer piece is about I was very excited to share it.

    In “56 Ways of Saying I Don’t Remember” we really get to know the character as someone who is defined by not remembering. It is through the repetition that we come to know the inability to remember is an everyday feeling for him. So, while it is repetitious I never felt that it was unnecessary because this repetition is part of his character. He is becoming more and more overcome by Alzheimer’s. True, there is more story that is elaborated on in the feature length film, and he is able to say more than that he doesn’t remember, but the feeling of what it might be like to have Alzheimer’s, or at least the feeling of what it is like to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s, is distilled in this short through the repetition of different moments where he states that he can’t remember something. I thought it was a powerful and risky choice. There might be people who will say you are making your character look silly, or that you are taking advantage of him, but I also think it is possibly a very true and accurate portrayal as well. And if you are wondering, the filmmaker and his cousin talked about making this film before he was severely affected by his Alzheimer’s, and his cousin gave him permission to film him.



    January 14, 2014 by

    I’m really happy to see a lot of people posting creative ideas on how to feature aspects of the past while producing multimedia journalism pieces. To add another to the mix, this Vimeo Staff Pick is titled Treasure, and features an adorable old man named Tom Clark whose insatiable appetite for treasure hunting has kept him searching into his golden years.

    What I notice about many of the pieces we’re posting is that filmmakers seem keen to recreate scenes or actions of their subjects doing the activity that they may have old photographs or footage of. I don’t really think it counts as staging as it seems to be just a more controlled version of what subjects are currently doing as their hobby anyway, as is the case with this piece, and I think it can really help us visually link the past to the present.

    This piece has so much going for it in terms of creative flashbacks. There are quick shots of Clark doing his “detecting” in between other quick shots of a black and white photos of him in his youth. Since we’ll be looking into incorporating older artifacts as well as pictures for our Reporting Story assignments, another visual element that I think is valuable is the shot by shot montage of a multitude of the treasures he’s found over the years. Most are simple items and while they’re still interesting, it’s a very creative way to showcase his immense findings in a short amount of time. There are many close-up shots of his hands, the shovel, and the little trinkets, all of which let us in close to this interesting world of treasure hunting.

    TREASURE (03.00) from Oliver Murray on Vimeo.

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