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‘Winter Week 6’ Category

  1. Week 6 Inspiration – At the Cost of Silence, The Second Screen Experience

    February 23, 2014 by Makare

    I’ve been spending a little time thinking about how viewers interact with the shows and media that they consume. The last few years has seen a rise in what is called “second screen” meaning that the shows on television are being augmented with an online experience that is meant to engage with the audience. The idea behind this type of engagement was that it would drive viewers to your sites where they can then access behind the scenes clips, or interact with characters via games, while getting more time for advertisers on their mobile devices or laptops. A perfect example of this is AMC’s The Walking Dead where you will see a notice pop up right before the beginning of the show that is a prompt for viewers to start their second screen experience.

    To my thinking this second screen experience is an awful distraction to viewers. While the content that can be shown on a second screen might be of interest, and relevant to the viewership it feels like something that can pull the audience away from the story that is playing out in front of them and that can lessen the impact of the message you are trying to convey.

    I have started putting my phone in another room to lessen the temptation to use it while watching tv shows or movies. I’ve done this because I feel like viewers like me have become so easily distracted that moments that feature silence have become times when you check into your Facebook, or Twitter and in that moment you are lessening the impact that the filmmaker/storyteller is trying to convey by using silence as a storytelling device.

    I think back to one of my favorite scenes of all time and how being a distracted viewer would have ruined that moment for me, and ultimately taken the moments leading up to it and rendered much less impactful.

    While I might not like the idea behind second screens according to recent reports by Nielsen the use of second screens is successful for content providers and networks…that does not mean that the viewers are getting the best means of consuming the media, but that they are using second screens to access their social media accounts, or shop for products being advertised within the show.

    At least one major network is looking to stop using second screen applications, as this quote from Disney’s Digital EVP Albert Cheng in an article by GigaOM indicates:

    ABC did a number of tests with second-screen applications that pushed out contextual information for shows like Grey’s Anatomy, and Cheng said that one of the lessons learned during those tests was that it just doesn’t matter enough to viewers. “It was interesting to viewers, but not essential,” he said. What’s more, when engagement did happen, it ended up taking people’s attention away from the show’s story. “Second screen becomes a distraction,”

    As we produce our works, and attempt to have people connect with the stories we are aiming to tell it is important that we explore all of the tools, and capabilities that are available to us, but I can’t say it strongly enough, that no matter what choices we make as creators those choices need to serve the story, and not come at the cost of silence.

  2. A Tear-jerker_SummerHatfield

    February 18, 2014 by

    The Conditioned from Facebook Stories on Vimeo.

    This video made me cry. Not only is it beautifully shot, but the story is just amazing as well. These are the kinds of stories that I think a lot of people always hope to find. One that is gripping, and that has a happy ending, and one that you feel good about making. By taking the time to talk to this person and get his story, the filmmaker actually changed his life.

    There is a lot of great sequencing in this video as well as some interesting angles and camera movements. And the lighting on the subjects was really well done. But the thing I really love about this video from a technical standpoint is the way the translation was done. The handwriting that stands as if it is part of the landscape, then fades out as we move past it was really striking to me.

  3. Video Supporting Audio in “Holy Cow Lisa”

    February 17, 2014 by

    Holy Cow Lisa from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.

    Some of us have posted some great pieces that have relied on an audio recording that is then coupled with either archival photos or quirky graphics to visually illustrate the story. This video does something similar, but while taking things in a new direction. In “Holy Cow Lisa” the filmmaker has recorded a conversation between her professor and herself. As we saw in “The Gap,” the video is a chance to be playful and veer a little off course from audio we hear. The video is a place to be imaginative. We know that the filmmaker is experiencing a break up and we get her feeling of what it is like to talk to people about it and feel. We then get the deeper story of her professor’s experience. She again uses interesting and quirky ways to convey the details of his story. Sometimes she uses more straightforward methods with archival photos, but often she is keeping the viewer aroused with unexpected and humorous scenes or graphics. There is a lot of freedom and FUN possible in this kind of filmmaking. She takes this idea of relying solely on an audio bed upon which separately created visuals are placed even further in a piece she made after this video called “the scared is scared.” It’s hard not to love it because of there is a simplicity to it: Just show what the kid is saying. And yet it feels somehow like you are not just seeing word for word what he saying because the filmmaker has so many ways that what he is saying could be shown, so there feels like a big element of surprise. Yes, I know as a viewer that I am about to see exactly what this kid will say, but how will it be shown to me.


    the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.

  4. Cinematography at it’s Finest

    February 17, 2014 by

    I personally consider Top Gear to be the greatest cinematography that you will find on television today.  This is a combination of both fantastic camera work on the front end by the Top Gear camera men, but also on the back end with their editors.  What the cinematography does is take Jeremy Clarkson’s humorous car review and makes it something truly breathtaking.

    The shots of the car in motion from the angles they shoot from is something of beauty, and of course those are shot at much slower speeds when driving.  The shots that are really remarkable are the cars at high speeds.  With the high speed cameras stationed around their test track they are able to get these fantastic images of the car, in this case a Lamborghini, performing power slides throughout the the track.  But I also love their use of high speed shots to catch the wheels spinning, and if it happens to be wet on the track it’ll be kicking up water and look even more fantastic.

    One other thing I want to point out here is the active narration by Clarkson.  He is driving this nearly million pound car around the track at speeds over 100 mph and he is performing a car review as well.  One that is as I noted above is humorous, but is also pretty darn informative.  If your in the market for a super car there are no better reviews that Top Gear.

    As a parting I’ll leave you with a gif from the last years series of a Ferrari review and what was quite possibly the best shot in the film.


  5. Miss Representation

    February 17, 2014 by

    I’ve found myself recommending this documentary to many of my peers, especially the ladies. Clocking in at 90 minutes in length, it’s available on Netflix and discusses the disparaging representation of women in the mainstream media, including news, TV, movies, advertisements, and more. I’ve been talking to many people lately about how few movies and shows feature females in lead roles, and I’ve noticed that when people stop and think about it, they’re usually a little shocked upon realizing how complacent we’ve all become with assuming that’s the norm. The documentarian behind this piece, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, interviews a range of women and men throughout the documentary including actors and actresses, newscasters, activists, high school students and many professors among others. Throughout the documentary statistics pop up showing women’s involvement in various aspects of the media industry as well as politics, and many really make you stop and think.

    What I found useful about this documentary besides the great voices making the film a worthy watch is the campaign behind it that has taken on a life of its own. Miss Representation has a Twitter account helping to launch their new campaign and app Not Buying It: “Let the media know: sexism won’t sell. Use #NotBuyingIt on Twitter to challenge the misrepresentation of women and girls.” I chose this as my example this week to show how documentary can go beyond challenging people to think about bigger concepts differently and actually propel action through the use of social media tools as well as app development. An interesting multimedia component that can help a project live on with a purpose. GO GIRLS!

    Miss Representation 8 min. Trailer 8/23/11 from The Representation Project on Vimeo.

  6. After Effects Master

    February 15, 2014 by

    After seeing this kid’s video, I basically feel like a pre-schooler in the world of digital editing. On the other hand, it is really inspiring. He does all his work on Final Cut, so technically I suppose we have the capabilities to create these kind of videos. It’s also no surprise that his YouTube handle is Final Cut King – if you’re looking for more of his stuff there’s tons out there. Which leads to the other inspiring aspect of King’s work. In the behind the scenes video I posted below, he states that he tries to put up one Vine 6 second video a day, which he claims he can bust out in under an hour. This prolific nature of his work has led him to having over half a million followers on Vine and YouTube. So as we’ve heard before, we should all just be putting as much stuff out there as possible. Even if not all of it is your most quality work, you gain an audience by building a reputation of regularity. This is something I’ve found on my music blog. I try to post an entry every weekday, and it has created not only a regular daily following, but it has also created a backlog of material that is constantly drawing in new readers. I’m currently averaging around 6,000 unique viewers a month.

    So if you get a good idea, run with it, and keep running with it, and the quality of your material will only increase after time.

  7. Slow Mo Magic!

    February 12, 2014 by

    After our discussion about the high speed cameras, I found this commercial and I was pretty much rendered speechless. This is AMAZING! Don’t get me wrong, this took a lot of work, a huge crew, a composer to create the perfect sound design, but I thought it was a killer idea of some creative things we could do (or at least try) with the FS 700 camera at our disposal.

    Created as a commercial for Schwartz Flavour Shots, this slow-motion video dubbed “The Sound of Taste” is an amazing combination of cinematography and pyrotechnics that has been combined to create what filmmaker Chris Cairns calls “an audiovisual feast.” Couldn’t have said it better myself! The filmmakers said in this article that they were trying to emulate what the experience of tasting different flavors would physically look like. I also found that the behind-the-scenes video of the production was really interesting and helped me wrap my head around how they were able to pull this off. Seems like they did a lot of work to get it just right, but it definitely paid off! This is one of the most creative commercials I have seen in a long time!

    Also another amazing slow-motion video I found. This type of video seems to be a little more in our ability to create….

    A Phantom Flex Summer Story from Brad Kremer on Vimeo.

  8. Eckerson Week 6: Go Prooooomigod!

    February 10, 2014 by

    This short film was commissioned by fashion designer Roberto Cavalli, and it features models leaping off of cliffs in haute couture.  It’s compelling, however, for the multiplicity of ways that a GoPro was used. While we’re used to seeing GoPro’s with the traditional fisheye lens look, each leap looks distinctly different, and it’s incredible to think about how the cameraman was able to think about designing their shots at the same time as leaping off of a cliff.  As I tried to figure out how to shoot and stage things while standing on the ground this week, I’m extra impressed by the variety captured under more trying circumstances.

  9. Bonnaroo – Brilliant Pacing

    February 10, 2014 by

    I really think this video is amazing. I’ve seen a lot of festival compilation videos before, but I’ve never seen one put together this well. The festival commissioned these filmmakers known as Already Alive to make a video that shows the festival in a way that words fail to capture. Instead of it being a montage of the performers mixed in with some freaky shots, the bulk of the frames are focused on the ecstasy of the moment. And despite these guys presumably filming for four days straight, they’re able to make an all-encompassing piece that is under four minutes long.

    What really grabs me is the pacing here. The video starts out with a rapid fire of quick shots, and also uses a nice touch of black space between them. It’s almost like someone opening and closing their eyes. Then it pauses and switches to these great slow-mo cuts with extended interviews over the top – really giving it room to breathe. And then the music starts to slowly build again and the images start to come quicker, and by the time we reach the end we’re back at that same rapid fire progression that started the whole thing off. Excite > breathe > re-excite. It’s like they get your heart-pumping but then pull back so you don’t’ get too overloaded, and then they come in for the kill at the end. Killer sequence editing.

  10. Slow Motion Shots

    February 10, 2014 by

    After seeing how cool the FS-700 is concerning the slow motion options, this music video demonstrates some scenes in which slow motion is appropriately used for creative effect. There are a variety of shots in which paper cranes are flying, whether off a ledge, in the little boy’s hand or in the wind, and I imagine they were all different speeds when they were shot. This music video showcases how in post, we can slow down the rhythm of all the shots to match what we’re making.

    I also worry about location a lot, whether the logistics of permission or of something not being “beautiful” enough of a location to shoot, but this video also shows how artistically interesting an abandoned building filled with piles of forgotten waste can actually be. There are so many close-up detail shots that bring you in to the intimacy of exploring the space, and the lighting is very well done. All in all I think this piece shows that when done right, slow motion can really be a magical effect.

    Hammock – Breathturn from David Altobelli on Vimeo.

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