January 2013 Archives

Introduction - Madisyn Hilborn

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Hi everyone! My name is Madisyn Hilborn and I am a senior with a Comm Studies major. I tend to be shy in the beginning but that won't last long. I am really looking forward to this class and getting to know all of you. So, to break the ice, here's a little about me.

Best thing I've ever done? Hands down that would be when I completed a triathlon my senior year of high school. It was the most physically, mentally and emotionally challenging thing I have ever done but was also the most rewarding.

My dad works for a classic rock radio station, so I grew up with a music taste that was a little different than those around me. I mean, you don't really hear many fifth graders say their favorite band is Led Zeppelin, but that was me. My music taste has grown since then and is very broad but music continues to be my safe haven when everything around me is chaos.

Like my music taste, some of my favorite films are from before my time. One of my favorite films is a film adaptation of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. The performances by Gregory Peck as Atticus and Mary Badham as Scout are incredible in my eyes. I could go on and on about how wonderful the novel and film are but I'm pretty sure most of you have experienced it. I wish this clip included when Scout talks to Boo on the porch and walks him home, but this scene leading up to it...well I love it.

Lights and Lighting

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Yep I did it folks.. brought back the good 'ol Titanic days! In this scene Rose is being (forcefully) helped into her corset by her mother while they have a discussion about the choice of men in her life. The lighting crew is very concerned with accentuating Rose's face in this shot. She has a look of defeat or discouragement, while her mother kisses her cheek. It looks as though there was a back light used to bring solely Rose more to focus in the shot with possible fill lights surrounding her to soften the shadows so it wasn't such a sharp line of light across her face and body. There is a focus lights on most of her face, while a light key lights softens the surrounding of her lower body and her mother. Using these tactics forces the audience to focus on Rose's face and share in her emotions of sadness.

Light and Lighting Blog Post

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I analyzed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Overall, the lighting in the movie starts out bright and then progressively becomes darker as the story unfolds. This serves the purpose of creating drama as the story becomes more and more dire. By the end of the movie, the lighting is noticeably brighter again, most likely to symbolize that the evil has gone and that everyone can be cheery again.
There is one scene in particular towards the end of the movie where the lighting and shadowing are most noticeable. Harry and Dumbledore are discussing Harry's triumph in the Chamber of Secrets when Lucius Malfoy enters. The lighting on Malfoy's face uses a unique technique that I hadn't seen before, where all of Malfoy's face is cast in shadow except for a horizontal line of light across his eyes. During this time when his face is shadowed, the audience focuses on the gaze of Malfoy as he mockingly talks about how he only has the welfare of the students in mind. Later in the scene, we see his eyes turn from powerful to shameful as he realizes that his plan of assisting Voldemort has been found out.
This use of shadow is balanced with the bright faces of both Dumbledore and Harry, brought on by above-eye level lighting. I believe this contrast serves to suggest the classic contrast between good and evil. I believe this technique is being used in much the same way that below-eye-level lighting would be used: to make Malfoy appear evil and malevolent or frightening. This lighting is important because it serves to tell us as the audience that this character will appear again and may bring harm to the main character.

Introduction - Channing Alto

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Hello, I realize I'm a few hours late on the submission, but I figured I would still introduce myself to the class. My name is Channing Alto, I'm a senior and a COMM Studies major. One thing I briefly touched on in class but is probably my favorite thing I've done so far in life was recording/producing my band's first album this past summer/fall. We did everything professionally, but independent of any record label, so it was a great experience to have complete control of the project, creatively speaking and with all steps of production. The recording experience, as well as the ongoing promoting/distributing of the album has really sparked my interest in the production of other forms of media. I would say it definitely led me to signing up for this course, and I'm really looking forward to learning how to make Live to Tape videos.

As I said in class, my favorite movie is Almost Famous. The specific clip I chose is one of my favorites in movie history, and includes one of my favorite songs as well. Music easing tensions and bringing people together, I think it's a poetic scene.


Blog intro- Aaron Cain

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Hello everyone, my name is Aaron Cain. I am currently a junior and my major is communications. This seemed like a very interesting class to take, so I decided to step a little bit out of my comfort zone and give it a try. One thing that I have experienced in the past that is pretty interesting (to me, atleast) is my job as a student manager for the Gopher Football Team. This job is fun and it is really cool to see what they do everyday as far as practice and watching film goes and stuff like that. It takes up a lot of my time, but it is very worth it and got to go down to Houston for the bowl game, which was a ton of fun.
Television shows and movies have always interested me very much. That is why I thought taking this class would be cool. It will be pretty eye opening to at least get a glimpse into the amount of work and everything that goes into making a commericial, show or movie.
This is a clip from one of my favorite television shows, The Office. It is just a highlight clip of Creed, the office weird guy/mysterious guy.



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Hi Everyone! My name is Courtney Thompson Im a senior and I cant wait to graduate! I have wanted to be a news anchor for as long as I can remember and I have had some experience with working in front of cameras and with production, but never to this extent. Im a super big cluts so Im a little worried about carrying expensive equipment so team work will be much appreciated! Currently I live in Lindstrom (aka south duluth! lol) so its a bit of a commute, I plan to become a city folk eventually, but not sure if I will be granted the connivence while im still in school though.

Throughout this class I hope Ill be able to understand the meaning of why certain techniques are used in movies and tv shows and how to use and become comfortable with the equipment. Now Im gonna talk ya'll back a bit here. But one movie I remember which had really intensely close and aggressive shots was in the movie The Blair witch project. Im sure we all watched this when we were going on a date in the 6th grade! But there really took close ups to a whole new level. Plus its about student film makers so it kind of works!

Introductions - Joey Russ

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Hey guys!

My name is Joey Russ. Like I said, I am a sophomore in the School of Journalism majoring in Advertising. Something interesting about me is I have wanted to go to the U of M ever since I was a little kid since my hometown is about 10 minutes away. I don't have too much relative experience to what we are doing in class. In high school I played in the pit orchestra during a couple musicals, and I have also been in a couple music videos.

During my free time, I play drums in a band, writing, rehearsing, recording, and performing music. We are based out of Minneapolis, MN and travel all over the country. This is probably the biggest part of my life and keeps me busy. I am out of town a lot because of this, but I absolutely love it. One of the coolest parts about it is being able to become friends with a lot of the people that you look up to. It is definitely a weird feeling becoming friends with some of your idols.

The clip that I chose to share is the intro to How I Met Your Mother. Definitely one of my favorite shows right now. I had a hard time choosing a favorite scene so I just posted the intro. Enjoy.


Introduction: Aaron Bergland

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Hello, I am an English Major and will be graduating in 2014. I have been obsessed with creating stories ever since I can remember. I developed my first set of characters at the age of three. It was about a group of hired mercenaries who fought various foes. Matchers was the leader, Firkson was the brains, Jackal Death was the muscle, and Bob was the dopey coward who didn't really belong. Since then I created many fantasy worlds in my head that are partially written down on paper. I hope to someday complete these various works and have them published, and perhaps with a bit of luck, eventually turned into films.

My first real experience working with video equipment came at the age of eleven. I was appointed along with four other students to develop a short film about Elm Creek Elementary School to incoming students, who were merging from another school. Working with the professional editing equipment at Cable 12 studios and creating this film was one of my fondest memories from my childhood. Since then I have partaken in developing a few different films, but nothing too elaborate. I am taking this class because I would love to get more involved in video production in the future.

There are many great scenes from various shows and movies and is its difficult to choose a favorite scene. Below I have chosen a scene that I personally found to be particularly moving. This is a scene from the HBO show called Rome. In this scene Titus Pullo has been sentenced to death through the gladiator games. As his old friend Lucius Vorenus (who fought alongside him in battle for ten years in Gaul as members of the Thirteenth Legion) must stand idly by to watch his former comrade be executed.

Warning this scene is very graphic.

Prompt #2: Light & Lighting

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#2: Light & Lighting. Post by 8 pm Jan. 30.

Find a still image or clip from a television show, film or video game that you feel exemplifies an interesting use of light and/or lighting techniques.

Post the link to your image or clip and briefly introduce it (tell us what movie or show it's from, provide a little context). Then explain what lighting concept(s) or technique(s) it exemplifies. What lighting choices were made? What kind of an impact do those choices have?

Be sure to reference specific concepts covered in the Zettl reading in your response. You might, for example, consider fast v. slow falloff; focused v. diffused light; high v. low key lighting; three point lighting; predictive lighting; chiaroscuro lighting; flat lighting; the 'inner orientation' functions of the lighting choices; etc.

Please the use tag #lighting when making your post.

Introductions - Brian Miller

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Hello everyone, as you can see above my name is Brian. I am currently a Junior majoring in Communications. Just a heads up, I tend to be a fairly quiet person until I get to know people better, but I am always up for meeting new people and making new friends so don't hesitate to come talk to me.

During my free time I like to just spend time with friends and watch TV, Movies, or play video games. I used to play a bunch of sports back in high school, but now I am just a fan and try to play recreationally when I can which is not as often as I'd like to.

Something most people do not know about me or would not know about me from just looking at me is that I love to dance. Not ballet or tap dancing or anything like that, I just like to dance to good music. I was the kid in high school that would be the first one on the dance floor and usually the last to leave. Why did I decide to disclose this to a group of complete strangers you may ask? I have no idea.

For my media example I chose a clip from my favorite TV show Community. To be completely honest, Community isn't something I watch to learn anything new or for any life lessons. I just think it is hilarious and, in my opinion, the funniest show on TV. Everyone in Community is a little bit weird and a little bit different, but they all seem to get along well. I guess if it teaches us anything it's that we should embrace our differences and be who we are. Now this clip is multiple takes of a scene between my two favorite characters Troy and Abed. I just love the chemistry between them and how much you can get out of two actors who are really gelling.


An Introduction to me Jacob Kramer

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Hey guys! Jake here. As many of you may have noticed already, I am somewhat of an outspoken individual. Many of you may like that, and many of you may hate it. Hopefully either way we can all get along. I am really looking forward to exploring this class and meeting you all.

In my free time, which is seldom now that I have a job and classes are back in session, I love to spend my time playing pick-up basketball at the rec center. I longboard during warmer months and even compete in competitive downhill racing. I have injured myself plenty of times doing both of these things, but I will not be detered!

Something you might not know about me? Well I suppose I have epilepsy if that is interesting to anyone. I haven't had an incident for nearly 5 years so that's good news. I do have to say it makes for interesting conversations and some funny jokes amongst my friends at times. The sad part is I love flashy lights and such.

I like to find inspiration in most everything I do, from listening to music, to spending time with friends, and reading tons and tons of books. Movies fall right in line as well. I think one of my all time favorite films is Schinder's List, as such the performance by Liam Neeson in the film is one of the most inspiring and powerful of all time, brings me to tears. If you haven't seen the film, fair warning it contains spoilers. Also if you don't want to shed some serious tears, you might not want to watch either. But seriously, watch it.


Introductions -- Hugh Simons

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Hello everyone,

I'm Hugh Simons. I suppose the most interesting thing about me is that I'm a half-deaf musician. I started playing the cello at the age of four, when my parents found out that I was functionally deaf in my right ear. I've been playing since, and I was second cellist for the Minnesota Youth Symphonies, Minnesota's (and one of the country's) most renowned high school orchestras. I've also played bass and guitar for over ten years each, and I can sort of play the drums, but you wouldn't want me as the drummer for your band. Despite having pretty bad hearing, I enjoy recording, mastering, production, and composition in my off-time.

At school, I'm focusing on communications and production. I work for Housing & Residential Life doing tech support for all eleven residence halls on campus. I'm also a member of the U's debate team, although I don't debate competitively -- I got sick of the hyper-competitive market after a life full of competitive classical music.

I enjoy history, especially 20th century to modern history. One of my favorite scenes in a movie is the opening to Saving Private Ryan. My family has WWII history -- my grandmother grew up as a Jew in hiding during the Nazi occupation. It illustrates the brutality of war and emphasizes the futility of combat on both sides of a battle. I think it is a testament to the power that a staged, fictitious scene can have to incite a less detached understanding of real human history.

WARNING: Extremely graphic



Hi everyone, my name is Jeffrey Long, but most people call me Jeff. My friends also call me Juff, Jeffie, and J-Lo (not a big fan of this one).

One thing that you might not know about me is that I love sports. I have played football, basketball, and soccer my whole life. I havent missed a Vikings game in 11 years and I also love watching the Timberwolves, Twins, Gophers basketball, and Gophers football.

One of my most memorable moments is when I played in a soccer tournament on a fractured ankle and scored 4 goals in the semi-final. It was a really important game and I really didnt want to miss it. I had to get a doctor to like send electricty through my ankle before the game. It was intense!

Over break I didnt really do anything too crazy. Hung out with friends, played some football, basketball, and pond hockey, saw alot of movies, relaxed, partied and just had a fun time.

I picked 2 clips to share. The first one comes from The Pursuit of Happyness. I just really like how it makes me feel. It is inspiring and makes me happy. It is a reminder to follow your dreams.

The second clip is the train fight from Spider-Man 2. It is just really exciting and action packed. It is also very creative and innovative. It is a great action scene.

Blog 1 Introduction


Hi all. One of my favorite experiences here at the U of M has been working at the University Athletic Communications office. It's been a great opportunity to participate in Gopher Athletics and to learn about Public Relations, so that has been a great experience for me. I was drawn to media production because I've always enjoyed making home videos and editing stories ever since elementary school. I also love seeing the behind-the-scenes footage of how movies get put together and I want to learn more about how movies and TV are made in general.
I really like the movie The Prestige. I thought the story about two competing theatre magicians was really compelling. The movie was directed by Christopher Nolan, so of course the plot was very twisty windy and filled with surprise betrayals. The most compelling part of the movie was the characters. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale both play dynamic characters who both possess good and evil traits. I think the movie does a great job of making a person think he or she has figured out the plot, and then turns everything upside down.
The image does a good job of putting the two competing magicians face to face to symbolize how the two are in a conflict. The woman in the middle started the rivalry and was the catalyst for each of the magicians' careers. The boxes in the background become significant of death and they are part of the "greatest illusion of all time". There's a faint bit of lightning in the background as well which becomes significant later in helping Hugh Jackman revamp his career, but also turns his character into a darker, less caring individual.
Here's a link to the photo:

Prompt #1 Introduction - Lindsey

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What's good COMM 3201 class?!
My name is Lindsey as many of you know from the first day. Something that you didn't know about me (which is pretty hard to tell from my appearance) is that I'm 50% Middle Eastern. My mom came here from Syria when she was 16 years old. The reason as to why you would never guess that I'm mixed is because I don't look 'ethnic'; my dad was Polish (blonde hair and blue eyes) hence my last name, Gominsky, and I inherited most of his physical traits which is to explain why my skin isn't as dark and my features are light.
Over break I went and visited family in Chicago for a couple weeks and then went on a Cruise to the Eastern Caribbean (Bahamas, St. Marten, and St. Thomas). I actually just got back on Monday (the day before classes started).
Another thing that all of you may not know about me (but I'm sure will soon see) is that I'm a very outgoing person. I encourage anyone if they see me around campus, to come say hi. Don't be afraid, I don't bite! And I may even beat you too the punch if I happen to see you first!

With all that being said, I was going to post a clip of one of my favorite episodes from the show I Love Lucy. I was even contemplating posting the most memorable bloopers from the show Friends. Since I couldn't decide, I thought of a spoken poem I was introduced to around this time last year called Pass On by Michael Lee. My dad passed away unexpectedly on February 20th, 2012 and a classmate had introduced me to this video and I can't tell you enough how much it helped me and continues to help me through one of the most difficult times in my life. His words are honestly so moving.


"Death does not come when a body is too exhausted to live. Death comes because the brilliance inside of us can only be contained for so long. We do not die, we pass on."

Introduction - Essa

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I'm Essa Waag and this past summer I had the opportunity to visit South Korea for the first time. It was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. It was such a beautiful country and I met so many people, including my foster mother. It was one of the best vacations I've ever taken.
The entertainment industry has always been a huge area of interest of mine. One of my favorite movies is Black Swan, a Darren Aronofsky film. I really like this movie for multiple reasons, one is because I danced throughout middle and high school and I really enjoy the amount meaning and plots that Aronofsky films tend to have.

Here is a scene that I really like:

This is the opening scene, I really like it because of the lighting because it almost sets the tone for the entire movie.

Introduction - Bjorn

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Hello there. Again, my name is Bjorn Sorenson. I think my greatest accomplishment is dunking in a basketball game. I've heard that less than 1% of the population can dunk, so that was a special moment for me. Sports have always been my favorite activity and form of entertainment, but I also love music and film/TV. One of my favorite films is The Pixar Story, which is a documentary about Pixar's journey, going from just an idea to a massive success. I saw it last semester in my journalism class and I was truly inspired. In the future, I hope I can be creating things as awesome as Pixar films. It may be films, but I also see myself making commercials someday. I love commercials because I strongly dislike them. Despite my love for getting angry at them, they generally need to change and I would love to help with that cause.

Here's a scene from one of my favorite shows, Misfits. Nathan's friends are basically under a spell that makes them act extremely proper, and he is trying to stop it. So he puts on an act.


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Hello everyone, this is Allyson. I'll get us started.

As I mentioned in class, when I was an undergraduate I worked on a student produced television show that made music videos for local bands. Eventually the show started to do some work with more nationally known musicians. Shortly before graduation I went to a show and ended up speaking with the lead singer of a long-defunct band I'd loved since high school (Operation Ivy). He was very nice to me and my assistant producer, and better yet, he expressed interest/willingness to have us shoot his new band when they next came to town. It never happened - I graduated, and I think the band broke up - but it was still pretty awesome.

In addition to teaching COMM 3201 and writing about the digital game industry, I love watching TV. I'm particularly into sci-fi/fantasy/superhero related shows, very silly comedies, and all sorts of shows from the '90s. This clip is from a show that fits solidly in the "silly" category. "Look Around You" is a British comedy that spoofs 1970s/1980s educational films. I love the writing, and I appreciate the detail with which they created an aesthetic appropriate to the genre & time period, from sound design to set design to performance & video quality. (The "Maths" episode is one of my favorites, but this clip is pretty funny, too).

Prompt #1: Introductions

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For this forum post, introduce yourself to your fellow 3201-ers. Tell us one thing about you that we didn't already learn in class (What did you do over the break? What is the best thing you've ever done/experienced? What drew you to a media production course? Etc.).

Then, share one image or clip from one of your favorite films, television shows or video games. Tell us what you like about the image/clip or about the television show/film/video game in general.

Please respond to this prompt in a separate post. If you are enrolled in this class you have already been added as an author of this blog. Log in to UThink and then create a new entry for this blog. Please use #introductions as a tag for this post (When you make your post, you'll see a field below for "tags". Type "#introductions" there).

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