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Emmanuel Mauleon Project 2

Media Mill Video

My initial project proposal was to re-shoot a scene from Forrest Gump. Unfortunately, Netflix couldn't get their act together, so it never arrived in the mail.

The scene I then fell back on was one of the two I had originally been thinking about remaking, which which Luke Wilson's haircut/attempted suicide from the movie "The Royal Tenenbaums." Aside from the obvious emotional gravity of a suicide scene, this scene took me by surprise when I originally watched the movie as I had recently had two friends who had tried to commit suicide. Therefore this scene has stuck in my head not only because of the original content, but the subtext within my life. Another reason this scene has stuck in my mind was the use of Elliott Smith's "Needle in the Hay" for the soundtrack, who is a favorite artist of mine who has also committed suicide. I don't know how many more frowns I can inspire right now, so let's move on.

I had some initial apprehension to remaking this scene as I thought it would be emotionally challenging, but actually it was quite fun trying to figure out some of the challenges I faced in shooting. One of the first challenges was trying to get the quality of light to be similar to that of the original scene. I shot my remake at night, and tried very hard to create the daylight and blue-light that is apparent in the original. After about an hour of setting up lights and switching out the gels, I was able to get a similar quality of light. However, this was completely undone by my inability to figure out how to take off the auto-white balance on my camera, which kept switching between the outdoor and indoor setting. Luckily, this mistake helped me to figure out how to do color-correction in Final Cut, which allowed me to fix this mistake in post production.

Another challenge was finding a way to set up the shots in the bathroom, which I imagine is smaller than the set they had for the movie. I had to build a temporary tripod platform on my toilet out of textbooks and cardboard, which at the time was frustrating but thinking back on it was actually fun trying to problem solve in order to achieve the correct angles.

Lastly, I tried very hard to mimic Luke Wilson's movements so that later in editing I would be able to try and replicate a shot for shot remake. This became difficult when I realized I did not have a Grizzlyman style beard. So I faked it.

After I did my initial cut I met with Jordain and she agreed with me that I should do some color correction, and supported the idea of using the original footage of the bird/bus montage in my project. This was helpful in getting me on the right track toward taking my project to a final, finished look.

I happen to really enjoy the process of editing, which I think I carry over from musical editing and mixing. I enjoy the repetition of reviewing a project over and over until you get the "feel" of the scene right. I enjoyed trying to make my scene look as close to the original as I could, including the effects, and for one part using a piece of the original footage chopped into my project.

Overall I feel like I learned a lot about editing, about setting up lights, about problem solving, and about the amount of work that really goes into creating a well crafted movie scene. The end result is something I am very proud of.