Week 7 Means It is Movie Time

This week we enter what most students find the most challenging yet rewarding portion of ds106: video. Because of this complexity, for some of the assignments below (the star assignments from the Video Assignments section in the Repository) we will give you two weeks to complete them; all other items listed below are still due by this Sunday (July 8) at midnight. While we will start video editing this week, we want to spend some time first looking critically at the video form.

More resources and tutorial will be released into this week, so stay tuned to the Camp Tutorials area of this site.

Read the rest of this post for details about all of your work for this week!

Ready Your Tools

For the work in the next 2-3 weeks, you will need to be using software that allows you to combine, edit, re-sequence video, as well as being able to add or even replace the audio from a video clip. Reference the Packing List for general video tutorials and links to software you might want to use.

We most strongly recommend that you use the applications that come with most computers- either Windows Movie Maker or Apple’s iMovie, these are generally the easiest to get started with and should be available on your computer.

In addition, for making small clips from downloaded videos, get a copy of the free MPEG StreamClip, an application for Mac OSX and Windows that makes it easy to mark and export the exact portion of a video – see our new tutorial that shows you how this is done.

Reading Movies

Pick a favorite movie that, in your mind, represents the best qualities of a compelling film – writing, acting, set design, camera work, audio, etc. If you are new to thinking about movies as art, for inspiration check out the AFI’s list of the 100 Best movies of all time. You cannot go wrong with any of these as examples. Your choice for this assignment should be more than just your favorite movie; it should be one that really stands out as powerful cinema above others.

Write a blog post that explains your selection by identifying key scenes that use some of the elements described by Roger Ebert in his article “How to Read a Movie” essay link to below.

Identify the film genre and justify your choice with supporting evidence from the film, and then relate it to the most relevant specific genre from the TV tropes site.

Locate at least 2 YouTube clips that demonstrate points you made in your analysis in your post—their availability will obviously inform your film choice so choose carefully. We want you to put these scenes together in a montage, editing them together so that you get some basic experience with video editing. See our tutorial that shows you two different ways to download YouTube videos as video files – you will then want to pull sections out of them with MPEG Streamclip and combine them into a newly edited video.

Tag this post AnalyzeThis.

Due: Sunday, July 8 at Midnight

From Roger Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie:”

“In simplistic terms: Right is more positive, left more negative. Movement to the right seems more favorable; to the left, less so. The future seems to live on the right, the past on the left. The top is dominant over the bottom. The foreground is stronger than the background. Symmetrical compositions seem at rest. Diagonals in a composition seem to “move” in the direction of the sharpest angle they form, even though of course they may not move at all. Therefore, a composition could lead us into a background that becomes dominant over a foreground. Tilt shots of course put everything on a diagonal, implying the world is out of balance. I have the impression that more tilts are down to the right than to the left, perhaps suggesting the characters are sliding perilously into their futures. Left tilts to me suggest helplessness, sadness, resignation. Few tilts feel positive. Movement is dominant over things that are still. A POV above a character’s eyeline reduces him; below the eyeline, enhances him. Extreme high angle shots make characters into pawns; low angles make them into gods. Brighter areas tend to be dominant over darker areas, but far from always: Within the context, you can seek the “dominant contrast,” which is the area we are drawn toward. Sometimes it will be darker, further back, lower, and so on. It can be as effective to go against intrinsic weightings as to follow them.”

References on Film Genres:

AMC Film Genres

IMDb Film genres

Green Cince Genre Primers

Tv Tropes

A Little bit of Pre-Production First

Before we set you loose on the Video Assignments, many of which require some knowledge of video editing tools and techniques, we would like to focus on some pre-production that will help you complete the assignments. What we want you to do this week is to identify two assignments that appear interesting, and just do the set up work that will enable you to complete the assignments next week.

The ones listed below were chosen because they have plenty of examples done by previous ds106 students and they also have tutorials that others have written for the assignment.

  • Return to the Silent Era: Select a trailer or movie segment you can use for this assignment.  Outline the things you can add to make it more like silent movie style, or write the text you will use on the screens that display dialogue.
  • Vintage Educational Video Assignment: Identify an educational video you could use to create your own; create a script and set of media needs to complete  the assignment.
  • Play by Play: Write a script and record audio you can use for this assignment.
  • Plinkett Review: Write a script and record audio you can use for this assignment.
  • Make a Scene from a Horror Film: Outline and describe what you would need to do for this assignment
  • Redub a Movie: Write a script and record audio for this assignment.
  • Or choose any other video assignment, and document all you would need to do before going into editing

Again the point here is to just do everything you would need to do for these assignments up until you do video editing. Write a blog post outlining what you’ve completed for pre-production for these assignments.

Tag this post PreProduction.

Due: Sunday, July 8 at Midnight

Video Assignments

Over the next two weeks, you are charged with completing at least 1o stars of assignments in the Video category, this can include ones you do pre-production work for above or others that you are interested in completing. These will be due Sunday, July 15 at Midnight, but you may begin working on them as soon as you are ready!

Daily Creates

To keep your creative juices running, please do at least two daily creates this week, and include a write up of them in your letter home.

Letter Home

Of course your letter home this week should be a video! And it should include some clips of the things you worked on edited into your letter.

2 Responses to “Week 7 Means It is Movie Time”

  1. […] my intention was to sit down and “read a movie” for this week’s ds106 assignment. I read Roger Ebert’s article on How to Read a Movie, I looked over the chapter on […]

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