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.
I included the description in the title of this post because I think it’s really beautifully said. Although it’s called Sarah’s Uncertain Path, the description is; “Profiling a pregnant teenager in Missouri, this short documentary provides a window into rural poverty in America’s heartland.” Short, sweet, enticing, heartbreaking, and to the point in one sentence. A great example of how to entice people to view your work in only a few words – something we are all working on.
This piece in particular has been getting a lot of social media conversation, so I wanted to see what the buzz was all about. Also, I use the word heartbreaking because I definitely cried during this piece. It’s so beautifully composed, with intimate close-up shots of the families and beautiful lighting streaming through the panels of the old barn and the rural landscapes, not to mention the lovely use of sunset light at the end. What struck me most of all was the unspoken message of hope despite all odds. These sweet children with few possessions were making the most of their situation by playing the broken down piano, twirling each other around on a makeshift swing, lost in childhood and blissfully unaware of how set back they’ll be by so many of their peers living in bigger homes, with more money, and therefore more opportunities.
The documentary really peeks after we’ve met this family, been shown around and let in to the little corners of their lives, and we hear Sarah talking about her dreams for the future. Simple dreams, to have her own house and car, maybe go to college, maybe have a pool. Why is that so hard for someone like Sarah, or any of us, to achieve? As the character of this piece, Sarah paints an emotionally powerful picture of the “American Dream” that is slipping further from reality for all of us, as a pregnant 15-year-old in a broken down house in Missouri, still filled with endearing hope that her dream is just out of reach.
This video is almost two different videos in one. On the one hand, we have the minimally lit band set up that is mainly comprised of medium and close-up shots of individual instruments or band members. Then we have the story, where we are constantly transported back to following our subjects in a more colorful set of scenes where it seems as though the cinematographer is possibly using a filter. The story scenes also feature jump cuts in a way that really works well with the pace of the music, and a few POV shots that are awesome, including one where the camera is covered by dirt and we transition back to the dimly lit band set. The band shots feature a much smoother pace allowing us to see the instruments clearly while masking many of the band members faces mostly in shadow, setting a tone for the darker story at hand.
The casting choices are particularly great, considering the cast features hot up and coming Portland indie actress Summer Hatfield! There are some interesting theories as to what kind of message the band is portraying with the story, so if you’re planning to comment, I’d be interested to hear what you think.
This piece caught me mostly due to light and sound. It’s short and sweet, but does a great job of showcasing how a surface of LED can be illuminated when touched by water. What I noticed about this piece right off the bat was the sound. There seems to be an example of the “stereo effect” going on that’s especially noticeable at the beginning, with the sounds bouncing between the left and the right speaker. The music is electronic and interesting, just as the subject matter, so it seems fitting.
Shooting in the dark always seems daunting to me, but since the focus of this piece is the process of using paintbrushes or water atomizers to create light paintings on the LED walls, it’s a good choice to showcase the light. In shots like that of the children and patrons “painting” the wall, it casts light on their faces allowing us to see the people while still enjoying the bright lights of the light graffiti. Other times, people serve simply as silhouettes against the designs. Shooting this piece in the dark helps make the beautiful light creations the centerpiece of the production, as they should be. Perhaps shooting in the dark isn’t so scary after all!
I know I haven’t been the first to post a Sigur Ros music video, but this has always been one of my favorites. This is a story without words as the only sound used is the music, and it features mostly tight and super tight close-up shots on faces as well as detail shots on buttons, shoes, and the environment. I think it’s a very beautiful and creative use of the environment of Iceland, as there are many natural springs that give off steam and tall grass that looks lovely close-up or far away. The costumes of the children have a naturalistic element that makes you think they might just be wild children, wandering the plains of Iceland.
The lighting is also remarkable considering the entire video is shot outdoors. It seems to be nearing sunset when the video starts and it is dawn towards the end, but you are able to tell due to the contrasting color change which seems to work well. While the majority of the shots are close-ups and only occasionally medium or long, there is an extreme long shot at the end that is absolutely magical. There isn’t much of a narrative model as we are simply on a journey with the mysterious wandering children, wondering where they are going, but the last few shots answer our question and make it completely worthwhile. All in all, it’s an ethereal piece of cinematic work.