February 2013 Archives

Prompt #6: Building depth.

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#6: Building depth. Post by 8 pm March 10.

Find a still image or clip from a television show, film or video game that you feel builds depth effectively.

Be sure to reference specific concepts covered in the readings in your response. You might, for example, consider z-axis blocking; overlapping planes; linear perspective; wide angle lens perspective; telephoto lens perspective; or rack focus.

Please use the tag #depth.

Prompt #5: Framing

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#5: Framing. Post by 8 pm Feb. 17.

Find a still image or clip from a television show, film or video game that you feel exemplifies a compelling choice in regards to framing and shot composition.

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 the concept(s) or technique(s) it exemplifies. What framing and compositional 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 screen area and energy; horizontal or vertical orienation; tilted horizon; psychological closure; pull of the frame; headroom, nose room and/or lead room; or continuing, converging and/or diverging index and/or motion vectors.

Please use the tag #framing for this post.

Mary Poppins as a Horror Trailer


Hi everyone,

I know that this doesn't really count as a blog post, but seeing the Parody of The Shining Trailer made me wonder if anyone else did anything similar, so I found this parody of Mary Poppins and I thought that it'd be a good idea to share it, so, enjoy!

Sound: Jurassic park


I choose the clip from Jurassic Park for my Prompt #4. The reason why I choose this movie is because the major character is dinosaur. As we know,they don't know the same language as human do, so we only can use their sound to identify their motivation. It is a huge challenge for the director to make this movie.
At the beginning of the clip, the sound is kind of slow and melodious. Audience would anticipate the characters are at the mystery place. Then the lady started asking question within anxious emotion. This is one of the example of literal and nonliteral sound combinations. She is asking question (literal) within a deep voice while there is a melodious background music (Nonliteral).
So, do we know that there is something danger coming soon ( before you actually see the dinosaur alive)? Yes, we do. The sound is being quiet and soft slight while the lady seen the specimen of dinosaur. We could visualize she will be in danger at the moment. One of the factors of outer orientations of sound, situation. Although the dinosaur wasn't moving at that moment, the sound created a precarious feeling for fearing us.
You still can hear the husky sound of the dinosaur while the characters were running away from the dinosaur, it was the example of source- disconnected sounds. You still can hear its voice whiles the dinosaur was in off-screen space. As the wheeze gets louder and louder, the dinosaur gets closer and closer.
I hope you guys enjoy this clip.

Star Trek: First Contact


I chose this clip from Star Trek: First Contact because it has so many different types of sounds. In this clip, the Enterprise has been told to "standby" while other ships attack a Borg cube because a few years earlier, Captain Picard had been abducted and assimilated by the Borg. Despite his desire to protect Earth, Captain Picard and his crew are forced to wait by the sidelines and listen to their ships get destroyed.

At the beginning of the clip, there is a lot of diegetic sounds, although most of them are source-disconnected because we are hearing the people talk, but cannot see them and it is clear from their voices that they are scared and hurried, and it is probable that are not going well. After a minute or so of hearing this, Captain Picard begins to speak and we are hearing source-connected conversation. His tone indicates a sense of defiance, which supports his words (although I believe Data's response is the best).

After the Enterprise crew decides to defy orders and join the battle, we start hearing a lot of non-diegetic sounds. First, with the "red alert" sound that begins screaming to indicate danger, then background music cues in to create a feeling of foreboding, danger, and excitement. The clip ends with a battle scene, the Enterprise destroying the Borg cube. There is a lot of diegetic sound in this part as we hear and see phaser fire and explosions over and over.

Sound: Jaws


The movie I chose to examine with sound is the film "Jaws". I chose this film because it has one of the most famous sounds in it and this sound is produced by only two notes. The "duh-nuh" sound that is played when the shark is coming towards the boat or swimmers is a non-diegetic sound. It is not produced by something in the scene but is music that is played to trigger an emotion of fear. As the shark gets closer and closer the sound increases in speed and in intensity, forcing the audiences emotions to run faster and faster. The sound also becomes non literal because we don't see the instruments play in our minds with the music; the sound causes us to visualize danger coming and the shark, showing the importance of context in every scene. The outer orientation of this sound is indicating a specific situation; there is a shark in the water and it is coming closer and closer, or that danger is coming. Finally, the movie shows predictive sound as the music gets louder and louder when the shark gets closer and closer, you can assume something bad is about to happen just from the music.

The clip from Jaws I chose to show was one of the very first scenes when the girl goes swimming in the ocean and the shark comes. When she is first swimming the sound is very light and soft, but then as the shark slowly gets closer to her the sound gets more heavy and speeds up letting you know there is danger.

007 Sound Design


For this prompt, I chose the trailer for the movie "Skyfall." This film was recently nominated for an academy award in sound design and it definitely earned that honor. I feel that this movie trailer exemplifies the importance of sound design in advertisement and movie trailers as a genre. Since the filmmakers have only a couple of minutes to sell you a two hour experience, they have to create anxiety, tension and suspense very quickly in this trailer. They rely heavily on their sound effort to give the abbreviated story some context and emotional impact.
Dialogue is used heavily in this trailer to give a sense of the type of events to come in the film. They don't want to give too much away, but they want the viewer to be intrigued. When "M" says, "you both know what's at stake here, take the bloody shot!" it establishes that time is of the essence and something important is happening. The next set of dialogue is the explanation of the basic premise of the movie, that a computer has been hacked into that has the names of all of the secret agents, and they've begun releasing them one by one. The choice for them to have that revelation narrated was very intentional, as this seemed to be the most effective way to quickly get that information to viewers.
Most of the sound effects in this clip are nonliteral, they are used primarily to establish a sense of urgency and suspense. All of the staccato chords hit in rhythm with the events on the screen and eventually build up to the suspenseful crescendo in the scene. These sound effects have an inner orientation function of establishing the mood of the film. As a trailer, they have an even larger responsibility to portray the overall mood of the film in the short period of time. Since the movie hits a suspenseful climax in the same way that the sound effects on this clip crescendo, they have obviously done a great job of recreating the energy of the film. The brief intermittent silence is used to intensify the inner orientation experience.
A few of the sound effects in this clip are literal and serve the function of outer orientation. The helicopter whirring, for example, gives us more information about the helicopter in flight and thus the surrounding environment. The various clicks of the guns throughout the trailer also remind the viewer of the environment that the characters are in, as well as the situation they've found themselves in. At the tail end of the clip, the literal sound effect of Bond lifting his pistol and taking a shot characterizes him. Without the actual gunshot sound, we wouldn't believe that he shot the gun, but we now know that Bond is the kind of guy who takes his shot and does not hesitate. He is a secret agent with a license to kill and the ending sound effect makes it apparent that he'll be using that privilege.

Prompt #4: Sound

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#4: Sound. Post by 8 pm Feb. 12.

Find a clip from a television show, film or video game that you feel exemplifies an interesting use of sound. 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 the sound concept(s) or technique(s) it exemplifies. What 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 diegetic and non-diegetic sound; the 'outer orientation' functions of sound; the 'inner orientation' functions of sound; etc.

Please use the tag #sound for this post.

Color in Dexter


The first thing that came to mind when I was thinking about the use of color was the show Dexter. They use red so often to show blood spatter that the viewer can lose focus on the intensity the color is creating. I choose to use the scene when Dexter is working in a hotel room and keeps imaging the room filled with blood, just like the pool of blood he was born in in the shipping container.


This scene is a good example color because the red spattered all over the white room shows the torture and evil that lives in Dexter's memory. The red is able to stand out and draw your attention when being used on a white background.

I think the biggest impact by the color and the blood is the symbolism of the river of blood that flows through the middle of the room. I believe it signifies Dexter being drawn into these horrible memories by the current of the bloody river. The river also makes the viewer feel as if they can feel the vast emptiness inside of Dexter.

As Dexter is continually brought back to this image every time he enters the hotel room, I believe the viewer can get a deeper and better connection with his past. The scene does not surprise the viewer because of the great amount of blood (since the entire show is very bloody already), the blood creates thought and brings a little of relatability to the character.



One of the strangest music videos i have seen that uses color in a very interesting way is for the song "Somebody that i use to know" by Gotye. The color is not only in the background but also painted on the two people in the video and a lot of the colors are used as symbolism. The song is about a break up and how the girls has moved on from his life. This is symbolized through the brighter colors on the girl compared to the guy. The colors on the guy also give off a lower energy, being different kinds of tans and browns whereas the girls has some of the brown but more green and a little yellow on her side. As strange as this music video seems at first, it is that much interesting and uses colors very well to get the emotions across.


Color in The Graduate

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One of the movies that I've seen that really shows interesting things in color is the movie The Graduate. Throughout the movie, the director uses color changes to show the main characters transition and advancement through out the film. In the opening scene, linked here, we see the character surrounded by white while the titles are shown in black showing a contrast between the reality and the backdrop of the film itself as the film progresses (without giving too much away) the choice in Dustin Hoffman's wardrobe becomes progressively darker, showing a change from the pure person that he was in the beginning. In addition to colors growing darker it also corresponds to the soundtrack in the background as often times the "Sounds of Silence" is used as a way of showing that things are escalating or at the end, when the main character is again in white (showing he is "pure" once again) and the song is played in a more uplifting fashion.

I look forward to your comments and thanks for reading!



One of my favorite films of all time is Jurassic Park, so I made an attempt to watch the movie while thinking about some of the color strategies discussed in our textbook. A scene in particular that always peaks my interest is the "First Brachiosaurus Encounter".

The beginning of the scene has a lot of dissolved color and the saturation does not enhance any of the action that is taking place, but a shift occurs immediately after the reveal of the monstrous dinosaur. The color temperature increases significantly during the entrance of the dinosaur into the shot. This has to do with the presence of sunlight cutting across the shot, therefore the colors on the dinosaur and background scenery are much more defined and saturated.

The warmer-feeling colors, together with the use of music, are able to make a shift in mood through the scene itself. The colors become increasingly warmer as the camera shot pans right and tilts upward toward the neck of the enormous creature. The color energy has also come up to a new level than the beginning of the scene. Toward the end of the scene, a long shot of the entire landscape is shown in much greater saturation and vibrance than in the beginning shots, which shows the transition of color definition.

One of the big factors in the color transition for this scene is the strategic use to indicate rising action and triumph. This is the first moment in the movie where the characters realize exactly what Hammond has created and the tremendous power he has harnessed. The energy in this scene is immense, and the color development certainly follows along.

Red in American Beauty


When thinking about color in film the first thing that came to my mind was the use of the color red in American Beauty. American beauty is itself a type of rose with a vibrant red color that recurs throughout the film in different ways. The most obvious is the picture that I used as my media example of the character Angela Hayes in a sea of the red flowers as Lester Burnham fantasizes about her. I have read a few interpretations of this scene and the color, and the one that makes most sense to me is it being a symbol for Lester's lost youth and the sexuality and counter-culture life that he grew up in and was a product of before he became a spineless working stiff. As he fantasizes about her and the vibrant red, he is flooded with the youth that he once had and his motivation in the film is to get with Angela and in a way get his 'mojo' back.

The roses also recur when Lester fantasizes about Angela during the halftime show of the high school basketball game where she is a cheerleader. Lester becomes mesmerized by Angela's vitality and the film portrays himself as the only one sitting in the stands as Angela seductively dances for him and eventually roses flow out of her shirt as Lester almost voyeuristically watches.

The roses also creep into lester's home as his wife Carolyn meticulously prunes the roses. In Carolyn's case, she has no interest in re-visiting her youth but rather moving on; she wants to be the housewife that sells real estate as a career and wants a home life. One could say that her manicuring the red roses represents her want of leaving her youth in the past and perfecting the life that she desperately wants to live (and fails at).

All in all, there is a symbolism to the vibrant red that is used in American Beauty; for Lester Burnham it is his desire for youth and his lust for Angela and for Carolyn it is her desire to be the perfect housewife.



It took me awhile to find an image of a movie that I felt was a good representation of color. I wanted to find something that highlighted very vivid color in a way that shows the intensity of a film. For those very reasons, I chose an image from Transporter 2.

(sorry ya'all, I tried a million times to insert image and it just would not work!)

Once you can see the image, you will notice how raw and vivid it is. I chose this specifically because I feel it does a good job at representing the color throughout the whole movie. This image is highly saturated and the colors shown individually are very bright and rich. Increasing the character development of "Lola" as she is pictured here. She does not stop and through color, the viewer can see the rawness behind her and how violent she is. You will also notice that because of the high saturation and brightness, this image has an intense yellow hue. If you have seen this movie, you will know that a lot of the scenes are filmed with this same color tint. This is a great example of color energy and the overall aesthetic impact it is supposed to have on the viewer. Transporter 2 is a very high energy and action packed film and the use of color, especially in this shot, creates that further for the viewer. Therefore increasing the accelerated and fast-paced, high anxiety "inner orientation" the film produces.

Color: The Wizard of Oz


When thinking of the use of "color" in films the first movie that pops into my head is the 1939 "The Wizard of Oz". I feel as though this film has a lot of good color symbolism and different types of color. The beginning of the film and the end of the film is shown in black and white and the brightness of it is low and saturation is eliminated, this symbolizing Dorothy's boring life in Kansas and making the viewer feel as down as Dorothy does. When she is taken up from the tornado she is taken into Oz and the movie turns into color showcasing Oz as a somewhat "dreamland", allowing the viewer to feel as though they are in a dreamland as well. Throughout the scenes in Oz the saturation of color is higher and color is apparent. The color although, is fairly low definition, except for Dorothy's red slippers and the yellow brick road. You can guess that this is because the creators wanted to showcase the shoes and road's power and importance, making the red shoes and yellow brick road brighter with higher definition. The colored scenes have a high color temperature, seeing as they are outside most of the film and the light looks somewhat bluish.

I feel as though these color types are different when looking at the original version of the movie, and the new HD version. The colors are more apparent when you watch the HD films. I chose a clip from the original movie and I chose the scene when Dorothy says the famous, "there's no place like home," clicks her slippers together and leaves her color dreamland to return to her dull, black and white world.

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