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‘Winter Week 7’ Category

  1. Leaving the Unanswered question Unanswered in “The Roper”

    February 25, 2014 by

    This Sundance accepted short follows Kendrick Domingue, a black southern man, as he makes  his way through the predominantly white world of roping horses at rodeos in the South. He hopes to one day make it to to the Las Vegas Rodeo Finals. At only six minutes, it seemed like a tall order to show him going from the rodeos of small Southern towns to the finals in Las Vegas, while also developing his character. It became apparent that the short would leave this unanswered question unanswered. He has done well on the regional circuit, but whether or not he will ever make it to Las Vegas is never answered.

    I struggled to some degree with this decision by the filmmakers, even though I understand that the time required to create the movie that shows the longer journey to Las Vegas was possibly more than the filmmakers could afford. Still, the character development is strong and the possibility of his success outside the region is demonstrated through his performance at the rodeo in small town Louisiana, so it’s not like we don’t get the feeling that he could make it to Las Vegas. It does show that not all questions that are raised need to be answered in order to have a complete piece.

  2. 180 ID David Wilson: Music Video Master

    February 24, 2014 by

    David Wilson started out studying illustration at Brighton University. He then began using his drawings to create movement and animation videos, and when YouTube sprang up, he started putting them online, where they started to garner quite a bit of interest. They’re so unique and creative, featuring hand-drawn illustrations as well as stop-animation with face paint and more.

    This video takes you behind the scenes as you get to see the making of the creations as well as the end result on the screen. It’s really interesting to see not only the kind of props and cameras they use, but in addition to hear David talk about the inspiration behind the stories of his music videos. The video as a whole is also an interesting look at how to layer backstage b-roll over a simple two-camera interview.

    180ID David Wilson from Canal180 on Vimeo.

  3. As Simple as it Gets.

    February 24, 2014 by

    MediaStorm’s fantastic embed code that was much hyped doesn’t seem to be working. Please go here to see the film that I am talking about.

    After seeing Brian Storm speak last week, I wanted to check out MediaStorm for my weekly inspiration this week.  I want to start off by talking about the MediaStorm website, it is clean and easy to navigate.  I personally had never been to the MediaStorm site before, but for someone who had never been there it was easy to figure out.  Exactly what we should want in the websites that we visit.  I was able to easily find their videos, to things that were done by commission.  I also took some time to browse the training videos that Storm had talked about at the end of his talk.  I plan to watch as many of these as I can, they can be very useful for any filmmaker no matter how experienced they might be.

    Now lets talk about this video.  When I say in the title that it is as simple as can be I am not lying.  These are simple one camera set-ups filming New Yorkers talking around town in the wake of the September 11th attacks.  These are genuine feeling that are being expressed by the people that are being filmed, even though they know they are being filmed as some of them, like the younger man at the beginning, will look to the camera.  But what is interesting about how the filmmakers made this film is that it’s not clean shots that they went for, instead they set up their cameras as if they are watching the people from across the room, allowing the people in the shot to just have their conversations without the feeling of being filmed.

    I think the best shot of the film was not the argument at 6:20 between the two women, although that did have the most emotion clearly.  In fact it is the moment with the mother and her little girl around five minutes in.  You only see the girl’s face in an over the shoulder shot of the mother, as if the filmmakers are putting us into the shoes of the mother for a moment.  It is the only shot like it in the film and that is why it is really significant and lends the most emotional moment in the film.

  4. The Runners – Finding the New Moment

    February 24, 2014 by

    The Runners from Banyak Films on Vimeo.

    Did somebody post this before? Because I can’t believe I’m the first one here to stumble upon it. I suppose it’s only been up on Vimeo for a few days, but anyway… I love this piece. Not only did the directors interview people in a position we’ve never seen done before, but they found a moment where people were inherently willing to put their guard down. There’s something about the existential connection between our inner monologues and our physical beings that makes any kind of motion cause your mind to drift. There’s been times in my life when I’ve been a runner, and the cerebral clarification part of the process was always my biggest reason for doing it.

    There’s an awesome article with these fellas at The Guardian that shows the cool bike trailer they created to film the interviews, but also talks about how willing the majority of the people were to start speaking. I think some of the comfort level not only arises from this mindset that people are in mid-run, but also the quick realization that these directors were doing everything they can to not get in the way. I’m finding in my own work that sometimes creating that comfort zone with your interviewee is the biggest part of the process. While filming Grateful Dead bowling, I’ve been having a surprisingly difficult time getting folks to loosen up around me. I think a good degree of the uneasiness comes from the stereo typical angle of mockery that is often used in news pieces in regard to the Deadhead community. However as tomorrow will now be the 3rd week (three and a half) I’ve spent at the lanes, as well as the 2nd time filming, I feel as though I’ve now built up a long enough track record for myself with these folks that they’re finally ready to be themselves in front of the camera. There’s nothing worse than a stiff hippie for some bad interview footage – take my word for it.

    Back to The Runners though, this video reminds me of Taxi Cab Confessions. The stories all seem to have that fairly direct and quick path to deep insight, caused by a near instantaneous degree of acceptance.

  5. Another Alternative to Animation_SummerHatfield

    February 21, 2014 by

    I just found this very cool video that is made up mostly of someone illustrating what the narrator is talking about as she is talking. The illustrations are time-lapsed. This is yet another great alternative to animation, and I find it a very intriguing way to present a subject that, while very important, might otherwise lose some people. I especially like some of the more unique things the illustrator did, such as at about 2 minutes when she tore pieces of the paper away to reveal the picture underneath and create a new image. Also, at about 3 minutes when she started pulling out the pre-painted illustration. In addition to illustration, the filmmaker incorporated the use of sound to highlight some of the points.

  6. Eckerson Week 7: Substance in the Age of Style

    February 17, 2014 by

    Portland’s Cinema Project is bringing Skip Blumberg to town at the end of March, with the goal of looking at interviews from the inside and the outside. Skip is an old public access guy from Buffalo, NY, and he got known for doing a shotgun program called “Studio in the Streets” where he stood on city hall and interviewed people.  The experience and tactics he and his crew used to talk to strangers and get them to open up is fascinating to watch, if you can stand the old school style interviewing. This piece is him interviewing interviewers, and their discussion of the art of the interview–namely, to get the person to forget they’re being interviewed–is food for thought.

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