Friday, May 2, 2014

180 Rule in Film

So there is this rule in film that is called the 180 rule (I don't follow rules!). For people who do not know what the 180 rule is or just want a refresher on what exactly the rule is, I have the perfect blog for you!
In film making, the 180-degree rule is a basic guideline regarding the on-screen spatial relationship between a character and another character or object within a scene. An imaginary line called the axis connects the characters, and by keeping the camera on one side of this axis for every shot in the scene, the first character is always frame rightof the second character, who is then always frame left of the first. The camera passing over the axis is called jumping the line or crossing the line.

There are a couple of times though that the 180 rule can work to your advantage! 

Pitfalls

The imaginary line allows viewers to orient themselves with the position and direction of action in a scene. If a shot after the original shot in a sequence is located on the opposite side of the 180-degree line, then it is called a "reverse cut." Reverse cuts disorient the viewer by presenting an opposing viewpoint of the action in a scene and consequently altering the perspective of the action and the spatial orientation established in the original shot. 

Solutions

There are a variety of ways to avoid confusion related to crossing the line due to particular situations caused by actions or situations in a scene that would necessitate breaking the 180-degree line.

Prevention

Either alter the movement in a scene, or set up the cameras on one side of the scene so that all the shots reflect the view from that side of the 180-degree line.

Camera Arch move

One way to allow for crossing the line is to have several shots with the camera arching from one side of the line to the other during the scene. That shot can be used to orient the audience to the fact that we are looking at the scene from another angle. In the case of movement, if a character is seen walking into frame from behind on the left side walking towards a building corner on the right, as they walk around the corner of the building, the camera can catch them coming towards the camera on the other side of the building entering the frame from the left side and then walk straight at the camera and then exit the left side of the frame.

Buffer shot

To minimize the "jolt" between shots in a sequence on either sides of the 180-degree line, shoot a "buffer shot" along the 180-degree line separating each side. This lets the viewer visually comprehend the change in viewpoint expressed in the sequence.

The 180 rule is REALLY important, everyone but me needs to follow it!

8 Things I Learned From Making A Short Film

This is it... Last blog post of the year. I'm not saying I've looked forward to this day since the first blog post, but... yeah. Just kidding, Arturo (please don't fail me)! I had a lot of fun with my last blog post (100% because of the GIFs), and since we're nearing towards the final days of Fiction Field I, I felt like wrapping things off with some valuable lessons I've learned, assisted by the power of moving images. So here we go.

8 Things I Learned From Making A Short Film

1. Choose Your Positions Wisely

You're finally in your groups, and it's time to decide what you're going to contribute to the film. STOP. Before you go volunteering for a position, think. How much work do I actually want to do? Do I want to be responsible for the failure of this film? Do I know anything about lights? Am I organized enough to catch every single continuity issue there is? Thankfully, each member of my team were equally competent in their positions and we learned a lot along the way. But, looking back, I probably shouldn't have volunteered for three positions. Although it was extremely rewarding, I don't think I've ever been this exhausted in my entire life.


2. Always Pick Comedy

Just kidding. But seriously, really think about the type of movie you want to make before you decide. Think you can handle talking about suicide, murder and depression for four months? Are you sure? You can try as hard as you might to crack jokes on set, but trust me, it'll start to weigh you down.


In the end, you might have something that will leave an impact in your audience, but be prepared to accidentally become the most morbid person in your creative writing class.

3. Don't Do Anything Embarrassing

This, unfortunately, is inevitable. But if you can avoid it, try. On a film set, inside jokes at the expense of others is a long, grueling experience. Extremely hilarious when it's someone else, maybe not so much when it's you. If you do something worthy of your ridicule, you can be almost certain that you're going to hear about it every single day, of every single shoot.


It's one of the only things that keeps the group together and no one kills anyone. So maybe think twice before you clap the slate in the actress' ear, or don't lose your pants the night before a shoot. But if you do, thank you for your sacrifice for the cause.



4. Birthdays Don't Matter

Prepare for your best friends, roommates or parents to hate you if their birthday happens to fall during production season. Doesn't matter if they're Jesus, thou shalt not party on a shoot night.


But hey, if it's your or a crew member's birthday, cake on set is ALWAYS appreciated.

Thanks for being born, Paul.

5. Take Lots of Naps

All nighters are going to happen. More than once. When post production rolls around, you're going to forget what going to bed before the sun comes up feels like. The only good thing about this is that your other professors may let you slide on a few assignments due to your new zombie-like nature.


So if you have a chance to fit in a nap, take it. Squeeze in an hour in between classes, or put your head down at the library for a few minutes during a study break. Doesn't matter where, but trust me, you'll need it.


6. Keep Your Cool

Tension will thicken and tempers will rise. This is what happens when seven extremely different personalities are forced to work together for four months straight, running low on sleep, food and sanity. If you are a producer or director, it is especially important for you to keep calm during these times. People are going to snap and mental breakdowns will happen, and as tempting as it is to join in the anger and misery, you have to pull through and mediate the situations.


The storm will pass, and when it does, you'll be in a much better place if you didn't punch your crew members in the face.

7. Make Sure You Like Pizza

This will be your diet for the next few months or so. Maybe you'll get some bagels and coffee in the morning on a good day, but most likely it will be frozen pizza from the night before. So suck it up, and accept the cheesy goodness that is shitty delivery pizza.


8. Appreciate Your Crew Members

Your crew is like your family. Probably more so since you spend way more time with them than anyone else. Everything you do affects the group, and you can't do much without them. And just like family, they may get on your nerves, and you'll most likely get on theirs, but at the end of the day you have to love them. This semester, I had one of the greatest groups I could ask for. I made so many friends and memories, and created something I was truly proud of. Without them, this semester could have gone horribly wrong, and I thank each of them for not kicking me out (yet). Shout out to the members of Team Falcon (Patricia, Paul, Amelia, Kelly, Mike and David) for all of the hours and hard work that you put in and sacrificing their lives to create a twenty minute short film about butterflies. I love you all!


Now all we have to do is survive the premiere...


"I'm Shmacked"

     In honor of tomorrow being the holiday known as Kendall day and the fact that I have completely run out of things to talk about for these blogs I'm going to discuss the "I'm Shmacked" film crew. I'm Shmacked is a group of people that travel from college to college and record and document the parties. As you may know two years ago they came to Ithaca College's end of the year celebration known as Kendall Day.

Warning: Arturo you may not be 
happy with what you see

     The I'm Shmacked crew creates a lot of controversy in its wake. Everyone knows that most college students drink and party, but usually it is not documented to such an extent. One of the big fears is that if a student is captured in one of these videos how would that affect their future employment goals. If a potential employer sees you in one of these videos would that be cause for them to not hire you. However there are many students that are not worried about being discovered in one of the videos because their name is not tagged in it and would never come up in a Google search of them. 
     A possibly more serious concern is the possibility that when students hear about the crew coming to their school does that make them more likely to act wild in a way to be the most exciting video. That very thing is possibly what happened at the University of Delaware. Cops say that the arrival of the I'm Shmacked crew turned what would have been a peaceful Monday night into a "near riot".
     Some students also voiced their concern that after seeing these videos colleges may be forced to crack down on their drinking and parting policy to counter public outcry.   

The End...


Well, after many sleepless nights, stressful mornings, and seemingly endless nights of shooting and production, it's with great excitement I welcome the end of the semester.  My team and I have worked tirelessly for months on our film Black Butterfly, and I cannot wait to see all of our hard work pay off.

I knew Fiction Field was going to be a challenge, but it was more than just many hours of hard work on a school project.  This course pushed me far outside my comfort zone, placing me in positions of authority I wasn't quite sure I could handle at first.  Arturo's expectations seemed impossible at times, and I didn't want to disappoint.  Despite my shaken confidence, my group remained supportive and encouraging throughout the production.  Every one of us had something valuable to contribute every shoot.  The overall open-minded atmosphere among us allowed our ideas to flourish fully and received critique positively.

Black Butterfly is more than a final project to us; we gave our all every day, constantly striving to improve and refine the film.  I appreciate the honest feedback from my fellow peers and classmates, as well as from Arturo.  Criticism is difficult to give and receive, and I am grateful to have honest peers with my best interest at heart.  While we remained competitive with each other, we didn't let that taint our relationships.  Many friendships were formed during the semester, and everyone's willingness to help others was truly admirable.

Thank you to everyone and anyone who assisted in the creation of Black Butterfly.  Our cast and crew sacrificed many hours of their time to help us make something great.  Their dedication never ceased to amaze me, and didn't go unnoticed among my teammates. We never would've been able to have such a wonderful experience without the generous donations of friends, family, and others who believed in our innovations.  Thank you to everyone who provided honest, genuine feedback in hopes of our improvement.  Lastly, a huge thank you to Arturo and my teammates, Meghan, Patricia, Kelly, Paul, Mike, and Dave.  As cliche as it may sound, you have each taught me something valuable.  Thank you for challenging me to better myself each shoot, and I hope you all had a great of an experience as I did. You're all so talented, and it was truly an honor to have worked with each of you!

Two Masters Talking

So after last week's gratuitously long blog post, I will attempt to keep it concise this week. One of my favorite film directors of all time is Martin Scorsese. Another one of my favorite directors of all time is Paul Thomas Anderson. And lo and behold, here is a talk between them!



In terms of people I look to learn from on a variety of levels (Writing, composition, camera movement, kinetic nature of editing), there are few film makers I try harder to aspire to. Any words from these men (I'd listen to these guys rattle off their grocery list) are gems of insight and it is amazing that there is video of a talk of them speaking with each other. So watch it and learn!!!

"Wind reel and print"

Well, it has come to that time of the semester here at Ithaca College when things start to get a little hectic with finals, finding a ride home, re-shoots, laundry, Kendall day, figuring out textbook rental return dates etc. Living in the college world, these stressors are supposed to be taking over my life, However, while working on my Fiction Field Production class short movie assignment, I quickly found out that "Manage Your Time 101" should be offered and be a requirement for all Parkies, if not every student in college.My experience working with my crew was one I will never forget. It was my first time writing for this type of assignment, and also taking on the job of Script Supervisor, never did I ever think that I would be in the local supermarket passed midnight on a school night. I wasn't expecting the amount of time I was about to spend with my classmates outside of out normal classroom setting. I wasn't sure how well we would all get along, if our ideas would even work well together, or if I even felt comfortable sharing my ideas aloud.





 I quickly had a reality check at our first shoot when it was 2:30am on a Monday night, cigarette smoke clouded the living room from our countless takes of cigarette puffs, and I realized that at that moment, this was what I came to college for. This is what I am meant to be doing. I then didn't even want to imagine where else I would be if i weren't in that clogged up smoky living room.



It always amazes me when its the end of the semester and in some of my classes, I maybe know the persons name who is is sitting next to me, the professors name, and thats about it. In others, I know everyone, everyone knows me, I am invested, and overall enjoy my time spent in the classroom. In this class, on the first day I knew about half of everyones names solely from being in classes with them in a previous semester. Once our "teams" were made for our movies, I had two ways of approaching the situation. One, I let my position be assigned to me, don't put too much opinion, and just flow. Or two, speak my mind, let my personality make its way out, and genuinely enjoy my time working with these 7 other people until the semesters over. Im happy that I chose the second route, because what came out of working with those 7 other people, was so freaking cool. I had no idea the amount of talent I was surrounded by, and if I was just open to it, I could learn a lot from these kids. Not only were we able to work together, share our ideas, and produce an amazing short film. We were able to have fun, and work as friends We created awesome memories together, and some pretty amazing friendships that I will forever be grateful for.





Thursday, May 1, 2014

Controversy amongst the 4th Estate

For those of you who don't know, here is a quick lesson on our government in the U.S. as it pertains to the topic of discussion. As some of you may know, our democratic government runs on a series of checks and balances through different branches of government. We have the Judicial, Executive, and Administrative branches constantly trying to keep each other in line while maintaining different powers. Although we have these three estates watching over each other, we have developed the mainstream media as a 4th estate to really make sure things are being run legally, ethically, and morally. The three branches are controversial enough as it is on how they run things sometimes so we trust the media to subside some of those dilemmas with they're exposing of the truth. But what if the 4th estate was manipulated by the government, what if these news networks were not exposing the truth the way they should? Where would that leave us?

Well, I bring this all up as CBS is in a pretty sticky situation with their News president David Rhodes. David Rhodes happens to be brother with Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser. It has been brought to light that CBS may have been going soft on the report about the recent Benghazi, Libya attacks in 2012 due to the close ties between the two Rhodes brothers. In defense of the matter, CBS has here been having current discussions about the attacks without David Rhodes being present.

It is scary to think that the White House has such close ties to such a major news network. It makes you wonder if there is more to the stories that are being reported by CBS and any other news network for that matter. Personally, I feel it is highly unethical to have the deputy adviser for the president have family relations with the President of a major news network whether they are in close contact or not. If you're brother asked you to cover something up to protect his job, would you? Something should be done about this controversial issue fast or else may be continued to get a government edited version of the news.



Friday, April 25, 2014

Neil Patrick Harris Defends HIMYM Finale

WARNING: spoilers ahead

If somehow you still haven't heard about how the HIMYM series ends, do not read any further!


When the beloved show How I Met Your Mother aired it's season finale a few weeks back, many viewers were outraged.  How could they drag the show on for 9 seasons and the mother is dead the entire time? Everyone who was rooting for Barney and Robin were left disappointed, and many fans felt that the ending was "an easy way out."

The show's star, Neil Patrick Harris, made an appearance on "Late Show."  He told Letterman he was a big proponent of the season finale.  Harris defended the ending, saying that Barney isn't the type of character that is going to settle down and change out of the blue.  "You want Barney to be the guy you bring your mom home to, but Barney is the guy that wants to bang your mom," Harris told Letterman.
He continued to defend HIMYM, saying that "sometimes people's growth doesn't mean they grow up."

Do you agree with Neil Patrick Harris? Watch the video below, and decide for yourself what you think.

Athletic Supporting

Commercials made by sportswear companies all follow a similar formula. They involve pump up music, usually rock or rap, a very fit and muscular person working out while wearing the product. This appeals to a limited amount of people that are already in shape and good athletes.


 

There are a few instances though where the companies go for the other audience, the 'fatties' and the 'losers'. This is the audience should be exploited more. I believe they will respond more positively to advertisements and spend more money chasing their fitness goals.



The second ad in my opinion is much more effective. There is a much larger population of unfit people, especially in America. Encouraging people to work out and be healthy is more motivating than showing already very fit athletes working out.

ADR at its finest?

So these past couple of weeks have been really stressful for me and I know many other people as well. Well I wanted to share really well done ADR (automatic dialog replacement) that I found that will make all the stress go away!




Okay the ADR in these clips aren't exactly right or what the character was saying before it was altered but you have to admit it was pretty impressive. If the content that they were saying wasn't so weird it would be pretty believable.
These videos were done by youtuber badlipreading. The about section of the youtube page says "I put 
words into other people's mouths." I guess that is true!
Well I hope this made your stressful life just a little bit better or at least distracted you from doing something important!

Todrick Hall and Virgin America: A Good Combination

If you have never heard of Todrick Hall, let me explain to you just how cool he is. Todrick is a YouTube sensation and an amazing choreographer, dancer, and musician. One of my favorite videos he has done is Cinderfella; a parody on the classic Cinderella love story. The video that I am referring to though, has a different impact than some of Todrick’s other videos. This video is a creative publicity and advertising tool created by him in partnership with Virgin America Airlines. We all know how monotonous and boring the safety instructions at the beginning of a flight can be, but Virgin America and Todrick Hall decided to turn that around and make it a fun and entertaining experience. This video is just another example of Todrick’s brilliance, considering he choreographed and created the entire idea.  Not only did this video go viral, but Virgin America is now able to use this videos on all of their flights. This might encourage travelers to choose Virgin next time they are planning a trip.

Not only is this a great move for Virgin America, but it is also positive for Todrick. Him doing this video was just another tool for him to get his name out there. Being associated with this large company was a smart move to further propel his career.

           
         I think this safety video is a very clever idea. The song is catchy and the dance is creative. I think it is a great promotional tool and something that other airlines might consider doing when evaluating their informational process. Not only would I recommend this video purely for entertainment, but I would also suggest that you take a look at some of Todrick’s other work. Below is the Virgin America video, as well as Cinderfella, which I mentioned earlier.



Smart Things

     Ever see the Disney Chanel movie Smart house and think wow I wish my home could be like that. . . without the robot "Mom" wanting to keep you hostage. Well Smart Things is a pretty cool bit of technology that allows you to completely automate your home and can make it almost as cool as Smart house. You can use your cellphone to talk to your home and have your home talk back to you by using some of the devices that come with the smart things package. Your home will know when you wake up which will tell your home to turn on lights, start making coffee and could set your temperature. Here is a video showing a demo house with smart things technology in it.


     Although it does sound pretty neat smart things is pretty creepy at the same time. Having you home making your life easier could be nice, but having it know so much about you an your family makes me uncomfortable. Also if you want to completely automate your house it could start to get pretty expensive. The starter pack is $200 and comes with some cool stuff to get you, well started. But the more you want your house to do the more you have to pay. 

Camera with Ridiculous Frame Rate

As my title suggests, this camera is indeed crazy fast. How fast? Try one TRILLION frames per second.

Now you see what were dealing with here. This camera is so fast that it can be pointed at a fucking apple and the footage will make you have to change your pants. The purpose of this camera is to capture light moving...let that sink in because we now have the power to see light move. The camera was designed at M.I.T. and is used to experiment with photons. One of the people who created this camera, Ramesh Raskar, gave a TED talk about the camera and its future potential. 


Around the 6:27 mark is the start of a cool animation that explains how they use this insanely fast camera to see things around corners. The full potential of this camera is astounding and the future practical uses for this kind of photography interlaced with other technology is amazing. Cameras don't always have to shoot movies...they can do other things like bend the laws of physics. 

Kid President

I love Kid President videos. He's such cute little kid! I'm sure someone writes his script for him but it's so right. He takes things that we hear all the time like "give the world your everything" and "do the best you can" and he makes it not cliche and awful to hear. I think he reminds us of things that we often forget. The music in the back of this video is so perfect too. It's just noticeable enough. It's not overpowering or harsh. It's gentle and calming. Just like his words.





Foley Can Make or Break Your Film

So I was on one of my favorite websites, Devour.com and stumbled upon a video called "bad foley." Now, coming from an audio minor and a person that simply appreciates the art of sound in general it was almost disturbing to see how bad sound in film can really be. Even though this video was made as a joke, it can really make you appreciate how much time foley and mixing go into the process of film making. Especially with scenes that do not require that much natural sound, its the art of creating the deceives the audience to make them believe it is real. I encourage everyone to take a look at this video, it will make you laugh, or if your a sound guy, possibly cry.

  http://devour.com/video/star-wars-bad-foley-edition/

On Simba’s General Assholery, The Poor Parenting Technique of Mufasa, and The Errs of a Male Focused Society



            Lion King’s a solid flick. Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, the film serves as an interesting riff on Hamlet with the pieces re-arranged to make it kid friendly and a superb musical accompaniment courtesy of sir Elton John that worms itself into your brain for years to come. But people misread the film. Specifically, the character Simba. Canon has it that Simba is  a deeply sympathetic hero whose bravery and tenacity in the face of tragedy serves as model of virtue that we all should aspire to exemplify a daily basis. This interpretation is, in fact, misguided fallacy, a misappropriation of story resulting from the buoyant, cartoonish, and musical atmosphere of the film. If you look at the movie on an objective level, Simba turns out to be an entitled, self-involved asshole raised in to a culture of privilege and indulgence by a father whose sole moment of proper parenting was dying.
            At the start of the story, Simba’s a young lion. He’s a boy acting in boyish ways: a tad immature, overly adventurous, and a disrespect of authority. It’s understandable because boys will be boys. You don’t slip out the womb full of wisdom and insight. Mufasa knows this and early on trues to implore upon Simba the virtues and requirements of a leader and, to an extent, of any halfway decent human being (Or lion, whatever, you know what I mean). But these type of ideas take a while to ferment within a personality, so Simba’s still off being a rambunctious little lion that he is.
Uncle Scar, the film’s agent of chaos and evil, tells Simba about this cool forbidden elephant graveyard. Simba, of course, wants to go. Zazu, being they kind of guy who, likes his King’s kid being alive and stuff, tells Simba not to venture off. Simba goes anyway, roping his innocent friend Nala along for the shenanigan. Disobedience, especially within small children, is if not forgiven, than understandable as long as it is the exception to their behavior, not their general mantra of behavior.
But before they take part in their disobedience, they need to get rid of Zazu. And they do so with a musical number called “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”. Simba riles up all these Pride Land animals (Who no doubt were enjoying their afternoon perfectly fine before Simba came along and brought his little song and dance routine, I’m sure) and performs this big musical number which subdues Zazu by pure chaotic force. Their handling of Zazu is not really the issue here though. What is bothersome is the lyrical content of Simba’s song. He sings about how he cannot wait until he will not have to bow down to authority. He is a power hungry crown chaser who wants to be in charge just so there’s no one above him telling him how to act. This mindset is not necessarily role model material, but one chalk it up to the pitfalls of boyhood I suppose.
Simba and Nala get to the elephant graveyard and, what do you know, it turns out to be dangerous and they nearly get eaten by hyenas! Like Zazu warned them! Mufasa sweeps in and saves the two children at the last minute. Now this is an opportunity for true parenting. If Mufasa handles this moment properly, a stern yet not entirely unsympathetic approach, this could become a real character forming moment for Simba that clearly defines for him the line between right and wrong. This line could go on to guide Simba years later during his time as king. Precision is necessary in this moment.
 Instead, Mufasa has about thirty seconds of glaring and grimacing before tussling his son’s mane and basically saying, “Hey, just don’t do that again.”
WHAT THE FUCK.
NO! Just no! This style of parenting, the type where your kid messes up and you let it slide just this one time because he definitely learned his lesson and will NEVER act like this again because you told him not to and it’s different then when you told him earlier not to do that thing because you, as a parent, really mean it now, breeds the absolute worst type of person. These are the type that not are not only unable to understand the nature of consequence, but are also unaware of its very existence. Such a force has never been a presence in their life because their parents excuse them of it. These people act in a reckless, selfish manner because that’s all they’ve ever known. And it is not as much that Simba is a horrible person in this particular moment, but that he would have grown to become one had everything in his life not gone to shit. Had Mufasa been able to keep up his parental style of fostering a privileged and consequence-free environment for his son, then, to draw a parallel to our world, Simba would have become that jock asshole in high school that got a brand new 50,000 dollar Porsche for his birthday and purposefully crashed it so he could get a new one, this time with the correct plush interior. Which is why Mufasa’s was at his best as a parent when he died.
Mufasa’s death is tragic on a variety of levels. Drawn beautifully, evocative voice acting and fantastic sound design, it’s a powerful moment that sits inside the viewer long after the movie’s over. But the situation Simba is put in may be that part that hits hardest. Simba’s childish ways end up leading to his father’s death (Or so Scar leads him to believe). Losing a father is hard enough, but having to bear the emotional brunt of responsibility for it as well is a form of psychological baggage so complex and weighty that I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. (Actually, I probably would on him, but probably not my third or fourth worst ones.) From a removed perspective though, this is an important and beneficial moment for Simba. There is no one there to excuse him for his actions this time. No one to say it’s ‘All okay.’ (Yet.) Simba’s forced to confront his personal flaws and deal with them. Hopefully, this will shock him out of his boyhood ignorance and thrust him into adulthood.


NOPE. After a brief period of angsty though really understandable period of moping, he runs off into the forest with Timon and Pumba and becomes the Disney animation equivalent of a stoner, preaching apathy and hedonism while munching on an endless amount of edibles. For years, he lives for the sole purpose of escaping the pain and guilt of his actions. If nothing else, as a kid, Simba at least had ambitions of leadership, no matter how egotistical and selfish they were at their core. But now he just sits on his ass all day thinking about the latest ways to please himself. Presented with the chance to move past his flaws and embrace the basic emotional requirements of becoming a mature adult capable of leadership, he doesn’t as much say no as ignore the opportunity all together.
Guilt, regret, shame. These emotional bedrocks are what ultimately carry us from childhood into adulthood. We confront these emotions after an array of mistakes, big or small, and deal with them, making promises and pledges to ourselves to not make these types of mistakes again. And in the process of fixing the ills and foibles of our personalities, we turn into better people. (Which is why the axiom “No regrets” is, pardon the vulgarity, utter bullshit.) Without regret, you have no reason to grow as a person because you are utterly content with the one you are today. So why bother trying to fix it? Simba makes that choice of apathy every day of his life for years. Sympathy for his tragic upbringing aside, this is not someone I aspire to become.
Simba, after years of indulgences escapism, is forced to confront his past during a chance encounter with Nala. After some passionate cuddling and nose rubbing, Nala asks him to come back to the Pride Lands and assume the throne because only he can stop Scar from making such a muck of things. (Nala, despite all of her other fantastic personality traits which we will get to later, clearly is not skilled in the art of character assessment.) Simba being Simba, he does not want to confront the emotional burden of his father’s death and refuses, angrily running off into the forest. All his old friends and family, even his mother, are in danger of dying out due to this egotistical tyrant. But hey, Simba comes before everyone else.
Simba eventually changes his mind though after encounters with floating flower petals and a monkey that’d get psychiatric help if he knew what was good for him. He goes back to the Pride Lands and fights off Scar, has a baby with Nala and rules over the Pride Lands. After basically an lifetime rife with moments basically calling out to him “Hey, get your shit together!”, he finally does. And you know what, kudos to him. Seriously, well done. It’s not easy changing, but we’re all glad he did. And so he ends the film as a fairly noble king and everyone likes him. But he should not be given all that much credit for this. Simba has been given such a dearth of opportunities to change himself, and he only acts upon them once everyone he loves pesters him to do so, as opposed to finding that change within himself through introspection and revelation. I’m not saying he is the worst person ever, but he’s not all that great, and he’s definitely not role model material.
Even as he grows up, Simba is not the leader the Pride Lands deserves. Nor is Scar (A man too enraptured in the thralls of jealousy and selfishness, despite his clear tactical qualifications and cunnery, to ever benefit the masses. Also, he’s just a big jerk). Nor is Mufasa, (Too na├»ve and kind hearted to make the types of decisions that need to be made as a king, i.e. Ned Stark). The leader the Pride Lands deserves is Nala. Look at this girl. Powerful, smart, yet not without compassion. She is a gentle soul who is not cruel yet knows what needs to be done for the kingdom to thrive. But can she be the ruler of the Pride Lands? No. She’s a girl.

Lion King ends up being about the faults of a society that empowers and breeds male egotism as well as the consequence that such institutional bias births. Scar, Simba Mufasa, none of them are fit to rule. Nala, the best candidate for leader, is relegated to being nothing more than a muse, a mere inspiration for passion and fortitude for Simba when he needs it most. And it’s a god damn shame that it works like that.  

Timeflies-Let it Go

My most recent artist obsession has become Timeflies Tuesday. They are unique and I love listening to their music. Recently they came out with a youtube video called "Let it Go," it is a cover of the song from Frozen, however has it's own spin on it. Cal, the lead singer pulls a Disney movie out of a hat and has to incorporate it into the song. It is smart, creative and super catchy. Not only was the song very well done, but so were some of the camera shots. There were extreme close ups of guitars and drums that were sick!  They were perfectly in focus and you could see the string vibrate while some powder fell off of the strings. The editing was awesome and flowed. The combination of the amazing song and the camera shots made this music video very much worth watching. I recommend taking a look(especially my fellow Frozen fans out there)


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Aprantly the GoPro is not the only great action camera you can buy...

As we all know, GoPro took the stage by storm when it launched a few years ago. This amazing camera takes filming to new nights by getting some unique shits that could not have been accessed before. This amazing camera is capable getting some beautiful action shots such as those in extreme sports. You can literally attach the camera to your helmet and record yourself skiing, skydiving, swimming, ect. Now the GoPro isn't anything new, so why did I bring it up? I brought it up because I never knew of any camera capable of doing the same tasks. The GoPro is so big that I was convinced it held a monopoly over the action camera market. Well, it turns out there are many other companies that have replicated the action camera and arguably improved it. A company called Gizmodo decided to put these cameras to the test in this short youtube video:

As expected, the GoPro Hero+ Black was deemed the best camera, yet the other cameras still did well relatively. But although the GoPro won the best overall camera, it does not mean it is the best in every field. Depending on what you are looking for certain action cameras may in fact be better then the GoPro for you. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Scandal Season Finale

From the first day I started to watch Scandal, I was hooked. My dad would come into my room and immediately know I was watching it. I binged watched season 1 and 2 and caught up to 3. The acting is a bit overdone at times, yes; however it is one addicting show. The scandals to say the least are juicy and I always want to know what is going to happen next. Since the first season, a lot has changed. People have died, been killed, risen to power, become more evil than I didn't believe possible. The character development is what makes the show so interesting to watch. There is never a dull moment with the characters in every episode.

Today I watched the season three finale and it was very good. It was not amazing and I was not happy with some of the way things were done. I found the way how everything from that season led up to this to be a bit disappointing. I was not expecting some of the things that happened for sure, but some of the way the characters were presented seemed wrong. For example, one character who is supposed to be caring and selfless ends up almost letting a bomb kill a ton of people. Olivia Pope's father has always been evil, however we see him become more caring towards the end of the season. All of a sudden we find out that he is back to being evil. The season finale was too much of a flip flop and was a bit of a disappointment . However, I know I will still continue to watch the following seasons.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What is Field Production, Really?


Some people may not know what field production actually means, well field production means you're anywhere but a studio. Field production is always dependent upon the characteristics of your location. Your location might be a doctor's office, the bottom of a canyon or a barn.

Each situation calls for unique methods but you can always find similarities. Field production usually requires a lot of setting up and tearing down the equipment.

The Super Bowl, the mother of all field productions, uses at least seventy cameras along with two huge trucks full of tape decks, lights, microphones, cables, switchers, signal controllers, graphics generators, you name it that extravaganza uses it.

(These are just the cameras!)

Hollywood movies evolved using one-camera technique. Most field productions, especially low-budget, are done with one-camera technique.

One-camera technique means the action is repeated over and over with the one camera in a new location every time.

For fancy field production, all the lights are moved and re-set up in between every camera location.

Then, all that footage is editing together to simulate the effect you would have gotten had the action been captured simultaneously by multiple cameras.

Field productions are edited using a computer after they are shot. Good editing can make even a boring subject exciting but quality editing is time consuming. An editor who knows his stuff will plan on taking a minimum of one-hour to finish one-minute of edited story. Quick, down and dirty editing might go faster, but not much. An extremely intricate :30 commercial that gets bickered over a lot might be in editing two weeks. No wonder the budgets for video can quickly soar out of sight! Don't let that happen to you.

The higher the level of the production, the longer editing can take. Quality editing can save an otherwise poor production. Good editing is usually planned, and not just a reaction to fixing stuff that went wrong when shooting. Good editing is one of your most powerful story-telling techniques.

5 Phases of Making a Fiction Field Production I Film

Well my friends, it's that time of the year. Picture Lock season. Each and everyone of us has worked hard, suffered greatly, and felt like we've gotten nothing accomplished. But as we near the end of our filmmaking journey, I want to reflect on the steps we've taken (or at least I've taken) to get to this point.

5 Phases of Making a Fiction Field Production I Film

1. Pick Your Group
Though this seems like an easy task, the cooperation of your team members can either make or break your film and/or mental state. A group that works well together and has members with different strengths makes the difficult process of making a film a little bit easier. They become your family. Either you love them or you hate them, but you're attached to them no matter what. Thankfully, I got lucky and have a really strong group with some great people, and they have become not only my coworkers, but my friends.


2. Pre-Production
You're all so excited. "We're going to make a movie!" You assign jobs, then start planning how the rest of the semester is going to go. You have to write the script, find sponsors, start a fundraising campaign, get actors, get additional crew members, get locations, storyboard, start production design, the list goes on... forever. But you're bright-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take on this film and make your family proud. So how do you get started? You don't... for weeks. Because you think you have time. You have all semester! Why bother?


Don't worry, it'll all get done. Right?

3. Beginning Production
Nope. You were wrong. You were so, so wrong. By now you've wasted at least three weeks, spring break has come and gone and you haven't even casted. The script may or may not be done (sorry guys, my bad), and you have to start filming in a week. As of right now, your blood pressure is shot through the roof. You have to distribute flyers and still make a blog post. Coffee is your new best friend. But you get together with your group and you muddle through it, dealing with one crisis after another to start on time. You are now familiar with panic attacks, but feel like you have gained superhuman powers at the same time. This is what adulthood feels like, and although you're unsure of the future, you go into the next phase head on.



4. Production
You're in the heart of your production phase. Check your pulse. Yes, you're still alive, but barely. You haven't slept in what feels like years. Your friends and family are worried because they haven't heard from you and don't know where you are. You forget that you have other classes, and your grades suffer from it. Coffee is not your friend, but has become a part of your bloodstream.


Schedules are no longer set in stone. Film shoots are temperamental, either convincing you that you will be the next Steven Spielberg or making you rethink your entire career and future. Arturo laughs as your health deteriorates, slowly but surely. Someone, if not every single person in your group has had some sort of a mental breakdown. But post production is so close, so you torture yourself a little bit longer, hoping and praying that something, ANYTHING good will come of this hell known as filmmaking.

5. Post-Production
You think you'd be relieved, but the work has really just begun. This is the part where you save your film from every little and big mistake that you've made during pre-production and production. And it all falls on the one or two people you call your editors. Thankfully, this is not me, but I have a feeling my work is not done. As we approach this stage of our voyage, I can only hope that it's smooth sailing. But like all of my hopes and dreams this semester, I'm fully aware that this will not be the case. Until then, I'll live my life day by day and hopefully come out of this with at least one lesson: Making films is hard. If anyone ever says anything different, this semester has shown me that it is completely appropriate to react with physical violence.


So to everyone in my class, and all future Fiction Field members, I wish you luck as we come to the close of the longest (yet shortest) semester of my life, and I look forward to all of our hard work to translate into something we're not embarrassed to show even our parents.

(Bonus) Wrap Party






A Powerful Message

With all the science and media coverage today, it's no secret that cigarettes are not beneficial to one's health. There are numerous nonsmoking campaigns aired during commercial breaks each day, but none as impressionable as an ad where children as adults for cigarettes.  There have been many anti-smoking ads over the years.  Some are simple, but others are much more graphic.  I've seen commercials where a doctor cuts into the brain of a deceased person who was a smoker.  The graphic ads left a burning image in my mind, but it was an image I wanted to quickly get rid of.  That's why I think the children campaign is so effective.

In this ad, Indonesian children approach smoking strangers, asking them for a lighter.  At first, many adults are taken aback, shocked by how young the inquirer is.  Every single adult refused to help the child smoke a cigarette.  Some adults even tried discouraging the children from smoking, listing reasons why it's bad for you.  The commercial ends with the children handing the smoker a note reading, "You worry about me. But why not about yourself?"  This powerful message leaves the smokers stunned and speechless.

Spider-Man Vs. Batman

     As the semester is running to an end I am running out of things to talk about so now I'm posting about who is a better superhero, Spider-Man or Batman.
     Spider-Man is a teenage high school student named Peter Parker that receives his powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider. He's lived with his aunt and uncle since a young age ever since his parents died. Peter's powers give him the ability to cling to walls, and have the proportionate strength and speed of a spider. Along with that he gets a "Spider Sense" which allows him to detect danger and avoid it making it nearly impossible to hit him. Peter is also naturally very intelligent which is how he invented "Web Shooters" that allow him to swing from buildings and trap foes.
     Batman is Bruce Wayne the worlds best detective and also a billionaire. The origin story of Batman changes very often, but one thing usually agreed upon is that a young age little Bruce saw both of his patents murdered which makes him want to put an end to crime in Gotham city. The most interesting thing about Bruce is that he doesn't actually have super powers. He is a normal person that is a master of stealth, extremely intelligent. He can also afford to create a seemingly endless supply of cool gadgets.
     But who would win in a fight? This is an argument that I have gotten into on countless occasions with a surprising number of people. Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero ever since I was a young lad so obviously I think he would beat Batman. However most people I come across do not agree with me. I attribute that to the movie portrayals of the two heroes. Batman's recent movies have been excellently done and are extremely popular, whereas pretty much every Spider-Man movie hasn't been too great.
      Thanks to the internet questions like "Which fictional character would win in a fight" can be easily answered by people with more than me. Fortunately there is a youtube channel called ScrewAttack that does just that. The team takes the two characters makes stats for them and decides a winner. Afterwards they create an animation to show the outcome.


 

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On


Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is probably one of my favorite videos on YouTube. Although there are many reasons why this short is so great, the main one in my opinion is that it makes me smile. For those of you who have not seen it before, I’ll give you a little idea on what it’s about. Both videos are about a tiny little conch shell with shoes on named Marcel. It is basically as if someone is interviewing this little shell and asking him all about his life. The voice of Marcel is also one of the reasons this video is so cute. He has a high-pitched little voice that really adds a punch to all of his one-liners. The second video is basically the same thing, just with some different jokes. All in all, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On might not be for everyone. But if you enjoy cute little videos to help you pass the time, these are definitely for you.