April 2013 Archives

Prompt #11: Wrap-up (required).

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#11: Wrap-up (required). Post by 8 pm May 13.
For this post, please review your projects for Production One and Production Three. How has your work improved from Project One to Project Three - in terms of production (e.g., quality of lighting; sophistication of sound design, etc.) and/or in terms of working as a production team? Also, what advice would you give to someone just beginning in 3201?

Finally, do you have any parting words for your fellow 3201-ers?

Please tag this post #final.

Sons of Anarchy

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I chose to use a scene out of Sons of Anarchy. During this scene, the main character Jax has to decide which of his friends will go fight to the death to make up for another SOA member killing another groups President's daughter. I thought that the audio was really well edited. In the opening and throughout, you could hear the heavy breathing from each character. These environmental sounds are crucial to setting the scene and showing how desperate a situation the Sons are in. Since this scene has so much action at the end, they took advantage of using action continuity. They cut the shot right before the strikes actually happened which as Zettl says; it "accentuates the beginning or end of the motion vector." This along with the secondary movement after, such as when Opie is held up and punched, really emphasizes the hit more and makes it seem more powerful. It is also interesting how they were able to establish index vector lines between Jax and Opie at the very end. Since they were best friends, this technic really made you feel that they were staring right at each other at the moment Opie was killed. This helps the viewer feel the pain Jax felt as if they were standing right in-between them.

Editing: The Dark Knight

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I have been waiting for my chance to look a little further into one of my favorite movies of all time, The Dark Knight. The beginning bank robbery scene where we are introduced eventually introduced to "The Joker", has a very particular editing strategy to it. Through the use of quick jump cuts, the viewer is able to follow two different sequences that are assumed to be happening simultaneously. The scene progressively builds in intensity, and so follows the pace of each shot until it is clearly evident that a bank robbery is taking place. Because of the quickness, it is nearly impossible to watch the scene for the first time and understand exactly what is being said that will come into context later in the film, while also following the progression of action. It is for this reason that the Dark Knight trilogy is one of my favorites when it comes to cinematography and the accurate portrayal of the Bruce Wayne story.

Editing: The Room

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Alright everybody, I've been waiting the entire semester to use this piece of cinematic genius for a blog post and so, here it goes. The ending scene of "The Room", Tommy Wiseau's masterpiece from 2003, which I recommend everyone sees multiple times, contains montage images in which, the camera cuts from Johnny's rage to shots from earlier in the movie of Lisa, who has since betrayed Johnny by sleeping with Mark, his best friend. By having these shots in close succession, we can see just how the relationship has changed across the movie, from deep lovers at the beginning to now this scene where all of his friends have betrayed him and he is "fed up with this world". It's really done quite well, despite, well, the rest of the movie. As we can really feel the pain that Johnny is feeling because of what Lisa has done. This is also a comparison montage because while the events that are being shown in this scene are not necessarily related to Johnny's rampage here, They all come together to show that Lisa betrayed him and so now he is where he is. I am also going to include the full movie here, so everyone can see it in all its glory.

Continuity Editing in The Shawshank Redemption

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This is the scene in The Shawshank Redemption when Andy and Red meet for the first time. I chose this scene because watching it now, after reading these chapters, the vectors feel off because Andy and Red are standing next to each other, but for most of the scene when Andy is kneeling on the ground, they are talking to each other but looking in opposite directions. I found this an interesting and effective technique given the concern for continuity editing. I think by doing this, it made the viewer feel slightly uncomfortable and unsure, which this scene most definitely designed to do, considering the context of parts of the conversation.

Harry Potter

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I chose the video of the scene in Harry Potter The Deathly Hallows (Part Two) of the final battle between Harry and Voldemort. A little background on Harry Potter for those of you who don't know is that Harry is an orphan wizard who goes to a magical school, and he soon learns that an evil wizard, Lord Voldemort killed his parents and has come back from the dead, which then he goes after Harry. Harry is the only one who can defeat Voldemort. All in all, after 8 movies and 7 books later, Harry has finally killed Voldemort, which is what the scene is below. They use continuity editing, by using action continuity. They try to cut a lot during the action film, making it feel more intense and dramatic. They also use rhythm editing, for when they cut a lot during the action shots, they have music that go along with it. When they aren't in the action shots, they have no sounds or music. They also use a different variety of dynamics, from long shots to close ups, and fast and slow. I think all of their choices for the scene went well with what was going on and made the audience feel more involved in the scene.


Marvel's The Avengers

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i found a video on youtube that I think is interested to share to all of you. Avenger!!!. Iron man and Loki were having a talk before they fought with each other. The atmosphere was very smooth. They were getting close to each other tardily so I noticed they were going to have a fight soon. More than that, there is no background music in this clip so it is a signal before a war started.
In this clip, it is a good example to demonstrate the continuity editing. You can see that there is a lot of cut between Loki and Iron Man. Continuity editing make us available to both of their facial expression. One represented as a devil while the other one represented as hero. As an audience and a big fan of the Avengers, I really iike this scene. And also, you can see the example of 30 degree rule in this clip (the camera should move at least 30 degrees between shots of the same subject occurring in succession.).

Prompt #10: Editing & visual narrative.

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#10: Editing & visual narrative. Post by 8 pm April 21.
Find a clip from a television show, film or video game that you feel provides a compelling example of one of the editing concepts discussed in the reading.

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 editing concept(s) or technique(s) it exemplifies. What editing 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 continuity editing; the 30 degree rule; jump cuts; complexity editing; or one of the various types of montages. If you share an example of an idea associative montage, please identify which kind of idea associative montage it is.

Please tag this post #editing.

SNL Commercial Parodies

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Saturday Night Live has been making commercial parodies since its first season in 1975. In the show, the commercial parodies are almost never live like the rest of the program, they are made ahead of time and used to give the cast and crew time to get into costumes and setup in between sketches. Some are very funny and some are not so funny. But SNL continues to make them and I always enjoy seeing what they've come up with.
I think the "Head Lice" commercial parody is relevant for this post because it directly makes fun of a certain convention in the advertising world. The kind of commercial that is made fun in "Head Lice" is the no name "breakthrough" medical or hygiene treatment. These types of commercials often use "fancy" computer illustrations to show microscopically how their product works. This parody is about a head lice treatment that uses the african click beetle to eat the lice and it shows the microscopic lice scurrying away in fear of the beetles. Another commercial element that they make fun of is the fake customer testimonials. These are used to show that people like you and me are using this product and like it.


SNL "Head Lice" from QuietManOnline on Vimeo.

Spaceballs

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If you are a Star Wars fan, this may not be the first time you have heard of the movie Spaceballs. It is one of the most popular parodies of all time, and a great example of parody used in film.

Spaceballs takes the framework of Star Wars' story and tells its own tale, one that could stand as an interesting sci-fi comedy all on its own. In fact, Mel Brooks takes Star Wars head on in this twist up of such a recognized sci-fi classic.

Most of the movie is based upon playing up the characters and referencing them with something from popular culture, as you can see below with the introduction scene of "Pizza the Hut", a spin off of Java the Hut.

The clip, as well as the rest of the movie is focused on taking the storyline and characters way out of proportion. By featuring prominent comedian John Candy, the parody is immediately given a ton of credit as a film, but then goes way into left field as far as plot is concerned.

Minnesota Style

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I feel like the creative thing to do in this technology era is to make a parody version of popular songs and make their own version and music video to it but still have the same beat as the original song. When Psy came out with his "Gangnam style" a group of friends, I'm assuming who go to St. Ben/ St. Johns and who are originally from the Twin Citites made their parody of Gangnam Style, titled "Minnesota Style." The group of friends are well known from their Minnesota Girls parody from Katy Perry's California Girls that came out last year (?)/ two years ago.
I believe this is a parody because they use many similar situations and dances the Psy originally has in his music video- like the dance off, the girl stretching, the someone standing over the guy and thrusting, and of course- the gangnam style dance.
And of course- the group themselves consider their music videos to be a parody ;)

Weird Al Yankovic - Eat It

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I don't watch a lot of TV or movies, but I do listen to a lot of music and the first thing that comes to mind when I think of a parody is any kind of music from Weird Al Yankovic. The song I chose by him is called "Eat It", which is a parody of Michael Jackson's famous song "Beat It". A little background on Weird Al in case people haven't heard of him, is that he is famous for his singing-songwriting as a satirists and parodist. He usually takes songs in the pop culture and then makes parodies of them. Another song he is famous for is Amish Paradise, which is a parody of Gangsta's Paradise. "Eat It" uses the same background music as the original, Beat It and also follows the same kind of verse. When looking at the video, it is similar to Beat It because they use the same kind of locations in the video, which include alley ways, the cafeteria, and the a sewer to. Along with location, the lighting is also similar. Then lastly, the clothes in both the videos are almost identical, especially the iconic red leather jacket.

Here is Eat It by Weird Al:


And if anyone wants to compare, here is Beat It by Michael Jackson:

Family Guy Parodies Star Wars

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Popular cartoons like South Park, The Simpsons, and Family Guy often reference pop culture and parody popular works of media. The clip I'm sharing today is the trailer for Family Guy's 'Something, Something, Something Dark Side'.

To give a little background, Family Guy originally made a tribute parody episode to the 30th anniversary of the original Star Wars move. Since it got so popular, the television show made episode parodies of the remaining two Star Wars original trilogy movies. 'Something, Something, Something Dark Side' is the second installment.

The extended length episode features the characters of the Star Wars movie with characters from Family Guy portraying them. Peter plays the part of Han Solo, Brian is Chewbacca, etc. The episode features a shortened plot of the film (mostly the more famous and visually striking scenes) and adds Family Guy-style hilarious toilet humor. The parody element also goes down to the poster of the episode in IMDB which uses similar devices like the Star Wars text to parody the Star Wars poster. Parodies are often used as satire or to make fun of what is being parodied, and the trailer makes it obvious that the episode is filled with comments about the original film.



Mac and PC commercial parody

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I found an interesting commercial parody on YouTube which about Mac and PC. I really think this parody is really funny because it is copying one of the early Mac commercial.
There are two character in the video. The person who wear formal outfit as business man is representing PC, And the person who wear T-shirt and blue jean is representing Mac. This video included many conversations and conducted by the way of two main character teasing each other. This parody is ironically promoting the feature of Mac by comparing to PC. (Both of them introduce themselves at the beginning very clearly so we know that they are parodying PC and Mac book.) And also, you can see that there is Mac book picture had been shown during the commercial.
Basically they are promoting apple product but using negative promotion. First, you can tell how exaggerate of Mac's outfit is and the way he acts is ridiculous. This impression as a reflection of Mac user and PC user in reality (The majority users of Mac are teenager and less mature.) The Mac person demonstrated the feature Mac have but PC does not have. Second, the Mac person has been so annoying at the video while the PC person is being calm. The implication here is satirize the promotion strategy of Apple.
In my perspective, no people will think this parody is real and they will start searching the original one after they seen this video, as I did. This video is a very successful parody by having contradistinction, sarcasm, jokes, and exaggerate reactions. I hope all of you enjoy this funny video.

Gas Right Strips

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The clip that I chose is a commercial parody courtesy of Saturday Night Live. It is a parody of the informercial genre. They are proud to introduce NEW Gas Right Strips, from the makers of BreatheRight Strips! Essentially, while BreatheRight Strips prop open your nose so that you don't snore, this product props open your butt so that you don't fart while you're sleeping. I know it's immature, but it's pretty funny anyways.

http://youtu.be/il9Arcx4h2k (you'll have to click the link, they have disabled embedding in this video for some reason!)

I think that this clip counts as an informercial parody because it adheres to many of the conventions of the genre while simultaneously poking fun at it. It's very common to have the creator of a product introduce their product to the viewer directly. In the Gas Right commercial we have the creator doing exactly that, telling the viewer what need he was hoping to fill. It then goes to the montage of him in his own bed with his wife and how disruptive his gas was to his wife. Then, the typical "scientific demonstration" comes where they demonstrate that the technology is revolutionary. In the Gas Right commercial, we have a demonstration with foam pads that are formed to look like rear ends. They demonstrate using those pads that the Gas Right strip actually makes it so that no noise comes out when air goes through. At the end, it goes back to the creator's testimonial of how his product changed his life and it all ends with the snappy slogan: "They spread your butt cheeks apart!"

South Park - the King of All Parody

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This is a live-action commercial parody from an episode of South Park. In this episode, one of the protagonists, Kyle, is having kidney problems and needs a new one. A holistic medicine craze sweeps South Park, and Kyle's parents decide to forgo bringing Kyle to a real, modern hospital. Instead, they bring him to a "healer" that plays herself off as a Native American witch doctor named Miss Information (get it?). She tells Kyle's parents not to bring him to a real doctor as they only want to make money, and to instead buy her products as they'll actually heal him. Cheech & Chong, playing themselves as Miss Information's Native American business partners, finally expose Miss Information for the fraud she is and encourage Kyle's parents to seek real medical treatment for Kyle.

This clip is, clearly, a parody of the aforementioned holistic medicine craze. A tampon made of Cherokee hair is awfully absurd, and I do hope no one would ever think this is a real ad (although one could be easily confused since it does air in a part of the episode that is directly after an ad break if you're watching it on TV). Some people take the whole "all-natural, down-to-earth" thing a little too seriously, and this clip (along with the whole episode for that matter) is meant to satirize that.

I think you could also call this a parody of tampon ads from the 1980's and 1990's. From what I remember, ads from that era always seemed to include a young female accompanied by her female parent, guardian, role model, or somebody of that nature. The two characters would always discuss this feminine issue in a much more uplifting, less awkward manner than moms and daughters do in real life (at least I think, I never had to have that conversation so I wouldn't know). Ultimately, the product would be brought in as the solution to all their problems and all would be well again. This parody follows that outline to a tee, just with the added ridiculousness of South Park.

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