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Blog / FIM110.3
« Last post by Acans on December 12, 2018, 01:26:02 AM »
Welcome FIM110 to my presentation about me!

Now I'm going to quickly lay out this presentation agenda.

Firstly, we're going to talk about me, where I'm from and why I'm at SAE.
Secondly, what filmmakers that I admire
And thirdly, where do I see myself in the film Industry.

So, about me. I'm from a town called Mackay in North Queensland. I Believe the reason I like film so much is during school I took the elective FTV or Film & TV (And that I actually turned up to the class as opposed to others) This gave me my first experience with cameras, green screen, lighting and editing.

But, I didn't want to pursue a career in Film. From when I was 12 I wanted to join the Navy. So much so that from when I turned 12 and a half I joined the Navy Cadets. I didn't want to join straight after school as I knew I was still young and stupid, but once I matured a little bit.

However...

Now I couldn't join the Navy anymore in any capacity, so I needed to think of a new career. After a few years, I finally decided I wanted to study the only other thing I was passionate about in High School, Film. As after high school, I continued doing the odd projects like editing together holiday clips into music videos and creating different types of content to share with friends and family.

Now, onto our second topic, Filmmakers that I admire.

Quentin Tarantino.

Sally Menke.

First I'll start explaining Tarantino and his process. First, he writes everything himself. In fact he has complete control over his whole film up to the editing process. Because of this, he could be called or referred to as an Auteur.

When he's writing he is meticulous, writing as if he was putting on foot in front of the other. Not skipping the small details that could be lost. He also uses a pen and paper to help him with this process for the first drafts.

He writes in huge amounts, an example being a 500+ page screenplay for pulp fiction.

Also a 6-hour film in Jackie Brown that had to be cut down to 2 and a half hours.

To this day he's used his own written screen players, and in an interview has expressed he's not against using screenplays by others, notably David Peoples (Unforgiven) and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption), however, this is not an invitation for lesser writers to send him their scripts. As besides those examples and exceptional scripts, we would much rather be making his own movie or doing other things in his life.

Tarantino is known for his many styles, I won't list them all but give a few examples.

First, is long intense dialogue. The example here is the introduction to the ss cornel and his hunt for jews at the start of Inglourious Bastards. Personally, I believe this scene was a big contributing factor to being nominated for best editing at the Oscars.

Humorously dramatic violence.

Camera shots included the Car Trunk shots, among others.

Tarantino also likes to use recurring actors for his movies. The graphics on the screen shows actors that have appeared in 2 or more movies and which ones. I also feel that he may write some of his characters with these certain actors in mind. Although I couldn't find a confirmed report from Tarantino himself, I found an interview from Christoph Waltz where he said -

"he invited me up to his house again and put another ... warm stack of paper in front of me and then eyed me and watched me reading and sort of reading my face and my reactions to it, so ... yes, I'm proud to say — and I hope it's not being presumptuous — he did write it for me."

Next, on the Sally Menke

Sally edited every Tarantino movie up until Inglourious Basterds until her untimely death. Her death rocked Tarantino as Sally was his "only, truly genuine collaborator". The movie Django Unchained was dedicated to her memory.

She had learned from Scorsese’s example of how to and I quote "follow the emotional arc of a character through a scene, even if, as in the opening of Inglourious Basterds, they're just pouring a glass of milk or stuffing their pipe. We're very proud of that scene – it might be the best thing we've ever done.“ - Sally Menke

As I mentioned earlier, the reason I believe for Inglourious Basterds being nominated for Best Editing Oscar.

Her cutting style with dialogue scenes are very subtle, how she introduces characters and their power dynamic through the editing techniques like moving through black and behind the people.

The relationship between Director-Editor was very strong, often times she would just know what he wanted as if she could read his mind.
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Blog / FIM110.2 Kimi no Na wa. (Makoto Shinkai, 2016, Your Name.)
« Last post by Acans on November 09, 2018, 04:05:48 PM »
Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name., 2016) is a Japanese anime film written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. It currently holds the record of highest grossing anime film of all time (Boxofficemojo.com, 2018). Kimi no Na wa. tells the story of Mitsuha and Taki, two high school students whose minds begin switching bodies during their sleep. However, we are taken on a much deeper emotional story with Makoto Shinkai using film form, specifically mise-en-scène, cinematography, and sound, to create its rich subtext. In Kimi no Na wa. the subtext refers to how we are all connected, people, places and times.

In Kimi no Na wa., the most obvious form of connections is through the use of lines, and once you start looking for them you begin to see them everywhere through the use of mise-en-scene and cinematography. The first line of the movie is created by a falling meteor heading towards Itomori, a connection between the meteor and the comet Tiamat that it broke apart from. However we soon learn this isn't the only connection, and that the comet possesses an orbital period of 1,200 years past earth and that meteors have broken away and has at least hit the area twice. Once during the formation of Lake Itomori and another creating Goshintai, the crater where the body of the Miyamizu family shine's god lies. So from the opening seconds, we are exposed to the subtext of connections through the mise-en-scene of the sky above Itomori and the cinematography capturing the meteor and the tail creating the line in the whole shot. Immediately following this first opening shot, we are introduced to Taki and Mitsuha. Awaking from a dream crying, unable to remember what the dream is, feeling that they are connected to something but unable to remember what it is. So they are left with a sensation that they have somehow lost something. As a result, they are always searching for someone, something, ever since that day five years ago, they both stared at the sky seeing that great celestial line cross the sky. We later learn that not only are Taki and Mitsuha connected to his great line, but all of Japan is through various shots of different mise-en-scenes used to show people all over Japan either looking at this line in the sky or watching it from their televisions. So if we later find this line connects all of Japan and not just the protagonists, how are they connected? The answer, they are connected by the most important line of the movie which is depicted by Mitsuha's hair braid, which I believe represents the red string of fate. For those unaware of this legend, the following is a quote from The legend of the red string of Japan by (MONASTERIO, 2015). "According to this myth, everyone's pinky finger is tied to an invisible red string that will lead him or her to another person with whom they will make history." We first see this during the films opening sequence, the characters back to back against a white background in a mid shot surrounded by Mitsuha's red hair braid. Also, the last shot of the opening sequence as they step away from each other, being connected by this line on the hands, the red string of fate. Outside of the opening sequence while dreaming, just before Taki wakes up in Mitsuha's body of the first time, we are shown the first time they also 'meet' in Tokyo. During this exchange, Mitsuha unties her hair braid and extends it towards Taki to grab and take it. During this shot, the mise-en-scene changes from Mitsuha departing the train onto the station surrounded by people, to the people surrounding the two protagonists fading and disappearing from the shot as they form their connection when Taki reaches out and grabs the hair braid. The Kanji that we see written onto themselves to communicate, even at one point using a line to separate the two mise-en-scenes through the middle of the frame. However, it is with the Kanji we see the limitations of the lines, as although they are connections, they are imperfect and incomplete. An example is that during Kataware-doki atop Goshintai, as Mitsuha begins to write the Kanji of her name onto Taki, Kataware-doki ends. The camera angle looking down on Mitsuha beginning to write her name, before it jumps to unexpectedly to just Taki on the mountain, with a partial and imperfect line on his hand. This line, unable to allow him to permanently retain the memories of Mitsuha. Another example of these lines not creating perfect connections is the braided cords they create at the shrine. They don't know why they create the cords, but they do it anyway, as The Great Fire of Mayugorou destroyed the shrine and documents. So the braided cords that they create at the shrine are a connection to a past lost, far from a perfect connection.

So if these connections created through lines are not perfect connections, then what is? The answer I believe are circles, defined as "a plane figure bounded by one line" (Carroll, 1883) and Musubi, the old way of calling the local guardian god through the tying of threads, which the movie also shows through its use of mise-en-scene, cinematography, and sound. My first example is when Taki (in Mitsuha's body) visits the shrine of the Mizamizu family. He is explained by Hitoha that the braided cords they make are the god's art, and represent the flow of time itself and quote "They converge and take shape. They twist, tangle, sometimes unravel, break, then connect again." While hearing this explanation, they reach the summit. This is where the sound of the movie picks up as the cinematography changes from a close up to a wide than extreme wide shot of the crater. This extreme wide shot shows the 3 circles, Lake Itomri, The crater of Goshintai and the river that separates the gods from the people. The song is also called Goshintai after the crater itself. ("‎Your Name. by RADWIMPS", 2016). Later on in the movie, when Taki makes the climb up the mountain to prove that it all wasn't just a dream, he finally makes it to the summit during the rain. The camera angle we are given is a medium shot, which Taki in focus and the background blurred. Once he knows it wasn't a dream and moves forward, the camera lingers and the background comes into focus. These two circles joined together in the shape of the infinity symbol. This cinematography use of pulling the shot into focus after Taki walks forward I believe gives the subtext of Taki being sure of himself, and of his connection to Mitsuha. I mentioned earlier that the Kanji lines weren't a strong enough connection to allow Mitsuha and Taki to remember each other, but I believe that during the scene when Taki returns the hair braid that Mitsuha had given him 3 years ago, we see her tie it into a bow, two joined circles, is what allows them to be drawn to each other 5 years later through the divine power of musubi. Finally, the circle that appears in the logo for the movie after the title, this circle is the Japanese full stop. Now if the En Dash (in my example, refers to the line) is used to connect or "to link spans, such as numbers in addresses, distances or times" and you "end with a full stop" (Anderson, Woods & Ward, 2013). It means that like Okudera-sempai, who found her perfect connection as depicted by her wedding ring shortly before Mitsuha and Taki meet again 5 years later, that their story has now come full circle through the power of musubi and the circles created by it from the tying of threads that bought together two people, across places and times.



Bibliography:

Boxofficemojo.com. (2018). Your Name. (2017) - Box Office Mojo. [online] Available at: https://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=main&id=yourname.htm [Accessed 6 Nov. 2018].

MONASTERIO, L. (2015). The legend of the red string of Japan. Retrieved from http://www.faena.com/aleph/articles/the-legend-of-the-red-string-of-japan/

Anderson, W., Woods, G., & Ward, L. (2013). English Grammar Essentials For Dummies. Milton, QLD: Wiley.

Carroll, L. (1883). Euclid books I, II (p. 4). London: Macmillan.

Your Name. by RADWIMPS. (2018). Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/your-name/1434005560
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Blog / Wade's Notes
« Last post by Acans on October 25, 2018, 02:05:19 AM »
SpiderMan: Homecoming (2017, Jon Watts)

This is the Analyst for the first half of the car scene, called the greatest scene of the movie by (Cavna, 2017).

What is the Context of my half of the scene? Peter being driven to the homecoming dance with Liz by her father Adrian, who Peter just discovered in the previous scene is Vulture, the antagonist of the movie. Vulture doesn't know that Peter is Spiderman yet. Vulture beings the scene with the "Dad interrogation" but becomes suspicious over the cause of the scene until he knows for sure that Peter is Spiderman, which Josh will cover in his piece.

Now lets look at some of the editing techniques used in this scene.


Firstly, L and J Cuts (and the emotion they build during this scene):

The L and J cuts from these scene are used against Peter when transitioning between shots. First to show his anxiety and fear, but then later in the scene for Intimidation as Josh will be covering. As their are used against him, we the audience are given time to see this anxiety and fear in his face before he has a chance to respond, thus creating the subtext in the scene of fear/anxiety from Peter. They are also a great from of transitioning between shots instead of using a hard edit as mentioned in (Renee, 2017).


CLIP


Second, Montage:

Rhythmic Montage (also referred to as Continuity Editing) is used throughout the scene, with the content of the shot in question determining the length as illustrated in (Fusco, 2017). An example being the cuts between the dialog.


CLIP


Dimensions of Film Editing:

The scene has two dimensions of film editing as described (BORDWELL & THOMPSON, 2013).

Temporal - There are No Flash Backs or Flash Forwards. Each dialog piece moves the story forward like A to B to C etc.
Rhythmic - Different Rhythmic patterns used for editing between the standard "Dad Interrogation" at the start to Vulture suspecting than figuring out Peter is SpiderMan. The example of the last clip, besides Spidermans anxiety and fear, Liz and Vulture are going on like nothing's out of place. That's the Rhythm created by the Rhythmic editing but in this next clip, the Rhythmic Editing changes to create a new Rhythm of heighten tension, that is aided by the addition of a new background music added. More on the sound later but first, the clip.


CLIP


Now keeping that clip in mind, lets talk about The Rule of Six:

The scene follows The Rule of Six as defined in (Murch, 2001) as "The ideal cut is one that satisfies all the following six criteria at once". The criteria of Emotion, Story, Rhythm, Eye Trace, 2D Plane of Screen and 3D Space. Emotion is the strongest in the scene evidance by Peter's Facial Expressions, followed by the Story of vulture suspecting peter being spiderman, than Rhythm, slower paced cutting holding on the faces longest, reinforcing the emotion and story. The eye trace between the two characters, the 2D Plane of Screen i.e the 180 degree rule and the 3D space i.e the car.

P.S I don't count the shot from Peter's POV looking at Vultures face in the centre car mirror as breaking the 180 degree rule, as no dialog was happening during the shot and when dialog resumes, they hadn't changed positions. Which makes my statement of "The Scene Follows the Rule of Six" correct and not "The Scene Closely Follows the Rule of Six" by giving up on the 2D plane of screen.


Sound:

Throughout the scene with dialog, the car engine and traffic sound is turned down. Sound of car horns while focused on the actors is also turned down, becoming louder when the scene transitions to a long shot of the cars in traffic. At the beginning of the scene you can hear a siren in the background, adding subtext of warning and danger ("Definition of SIREN", 2018). Lastly, as I mentioned when talking about The Dimensions of Film Editing, as Vulture get's more suspicious new ominous music appears which Josh will elaborate on in his piece.
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Blog / Edit Analyst - SpiderMan: Homecoming Car Scene
« Last post by Acans on October 20, 2018, 04:24:47 PM »

SpiderMan: Homecoming (2017, Jon Watts)

Analyst for the first half of the car scene, called the greatest scene of the movie by (Cavna, 2017).

The Context: Peter being driven to the homecoming dance with Liz by her father Adrian, who Peter just discovered is Vulture, the antagonist of the movie. Adrian beings the scene with the "Dad Interrogation" but soon figures out that Peter is Spiderman.



L and J Cuts (and the emotion they build during this scene):

The L and J cuts from these scene are used against Peter when transitioning between scenes. First to his anxiety and fear, then later in the scene Intimidation that Josh will be covering. They are also a great from of transitioning between scenes instead of using a hard edit as mentioned in (Renee, 2017).


Montage:

Rhythmic Montage is used throughout the scene, with the content in question determining the shot length as mentioned in (Fusco, 2017).


Dimensions of Film Editing:

The scene has two dimensions of film editing as described (BORDWELL & THOMPSON, 2013).

  • Temporal - No Flash Backs/Flash Forwards. Each dialog piece moves the story forward like A to B to C etc.
  • Rhythmic - Different Rhythmic patterns used for editing between the standard "Dad Interrogation" to Vulture suspecting than figuring out Peter is SpiderMan.


The Rule of Six:

The scene follows The Rule of Six as defined in (Murch, 2001) as "The ideal cut is one that satisfies all the following six criteria at once". The criteria of Emotion, Story, Rhythm, Eye Trace, 2D Plane of Screen, 3D Space.

Sound:

Throughout the scene with dialog, the car engine and traffic sound is turned out. Sound of car horns while focused on the actors is also turned down, becoming louder when the scene transitions to a long shot of the cars in traffic. At the beginning of the scene you can hear a siren in the background, adding subtext of warning and danger ("Definition of SIREN", 2018).




Bibliography:

Cavna, M. (2017). Let’s talk about that single greatest scene in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2017/07/12/lets-talk-about-that-single-greatest-scene-in-spider-man-homecoming/?utm_term=.c05364af6658

Renee, V. (2017). Editing 101: What Are J and L Cuts (and Why Should You Be Using Them)?. Retrieved from https://nofilmschool.com/2017/10/editing-101-what-are-j-and-l-cuts-and-why-should-you-be-using-them

Fusco, J. (2017). Watch: 5 Essential Types of Montage to Use in Your Film. Retrieved from https://nofilmschool.com/2017/08/film-montage-types-eisenstein

Definition of SIREN. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/siren

BORDWELL, D., & THOMPSON, K. (2013). Film art : an introduction (p. 221).

Murch, W. (2001). In the blink of an eye (pp. 17-20). Los Angeles: Silman-James Press.
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Blog / The Documentary Filmmaker
« Last post by Acans on October 19, 2018, 07:58:32 PM »
Quote
"Anna Broinowski likens the role of the filmmaker to a con artist, using ‘slight of hand’ to trick the audience. Do you think this is true of the documentary filmmaker though?"

I believe the documentary filmmakers and audiences interpretation of 'slight of hand' is what decides if they are truly a con artist. Some argue that any edit to a documentary footage is a 'slight of hand'. I personally believe that a documentary filmmakers job is to create both an entertaining and educational piece for the audience. To accomplish this, edits are required! Just talking about a male lion and how it defends it's pride all in one, uninterrupted shot. Sure it may exist, but with male lions sleeping up to 20 hours a day, not likely.

Personally what I find to be a 'slight of hand' comes from Introduction to documentary (Bill Nichols, 2010) and that is:

Quote
"Is it all right to make Miss Michigan look foolish by asking for her opinion about local economic conditions in order to mock the irrelevance of beauty pageants to the damage caused by automotive plant shutdowns in Flint, as Michael Moore does in one scene from Roger and Me?"


I absolutely believe that asking that kind of question in a documentary to a surprised person is something a con artist would do. I would advertise for meetings or at the very least asking first if this is something they want to comment on. The reason for this is not everybody would have strong feels either for or against this sort of thing I surely don't have strong feelings towards everything that happens around me, but again maybe that's just me. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe everybody will have a different interpretation on if a documentary film makers is using 'slight of hand' tricks and all I can say is what I believe the 'slight of hand' tricks makes a documentary film maker a con artist.

References:

Nichols, B. (2010). Introduction to documentary, second edition. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Myhrvold, N. (2018). LIONS: AFRICA'S MAGNIFICENT PREDATORS | Edge.org. Retrieved from https://www.edge.org/conversation/nathan_myhrvold-lions-africas-magnificent-predators
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Blog / Genre Reflection
« Last post by Acans on October 12, 2018, 09:49:01 PM »
Quote
Do you agree with the criticism that genres can’t be artistic? Or are they a helpful framework for filmmakers to write and sell their films?

At first I thought completely the latter, however after some pondering I'm leaning 20% towards artistic and 80%. I came to this realization after thinking about how two different action movies can have the same basic plot, but a completely different tone to each other. This tone I believe is the filmmakers own artistic input for that action movie. I also believe this to be completely necessary. If every "western" movie had the same tone to it, they wouldn't have kept getting made as audiences would eventually stop going to see them. However because enough had a different tone to the last, it allowed the genre to stay popular from the early 20th century to the 1960's.

However that was the 20%. Now comes the reason I lean so heavy towards the latter of the quote, and it can be summed up in one word; money. Film's can be quite expensive, from the smallest short to the biggest blockbusters. To fund these, where you get the money from wants to see a return for their investment. The returns to keep skilled individuals in all aspects of the film-making industry employed and making a living, to the company's producing returns to share holders or investors. This is why I lean 80% towards being a helpful framework to sell films. If you come up with an idea but cannot fit it into a genre, than trying to have it green lit without knowing an audience to sell it to becomes a very tall task. One last reason I believe using genre as a framework is inspiration. If you're trying to fill in some blanks for your story, you can take some inspiration from other films of that genre, or sometimes other genres. To give you're spin, you're take on it.

References:

Indick, W. (2007). The Psychology of the Western (p. 2).
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Blog / Kimi no Na wa. - Musubi + Shrine Scene
« Last post by Acans on October 05, 2018, 04:25:31 PM »

The Musubi explanation and visiting the Shrine scene from Kimi no Na Wa. (Makoto Shinkai, 2016) not only beautifully shows off Makoto Shinkai's animated world, but is rich in subtext through it's use of Cinematography and Sound. During this scene, the movies exposition hero Hitoha asks Mitsuha (currently Taki in her body) and Yotsuha if they know what "Musubi" is. As she explains the audience is given a series of shots in a montage, of nature, of the braids they create and of leaves wilting than falling onto water. I believe these shots are to help show the passage of time, especially the leafs falling into water as the first shot is of one leaf, than the last shot of multiple leafs. A representation of time moving forward in the Autumn season in relation to Hitoha's speech but also holds the deeper meaning that we, as people are very small in the grand scheme of the world and the gods. I believe this is reinforced further with the close up of Mitsuha face in awe of the Shrine, followed by the wide shot of all three characters and the Shrine, and finally the extreme wide shot of Shrine atop a crater. The ultimate view of this spiritual place itself being shown as a small part of the world.

All of this is complemented by the beautiful background music that plays throughout the scene. The song is called Goshintai, named after the crater where the Shrine is located. The sound has a kind of serious, yet soft and calm tone. I personally found it very spiritual, especially when it builds to show the awe of Mitsuha seeing the Shrine for the first time and the two wide and extreme wide shots that follow before returning to it's previous tone as they cross "kakuriyo" and slows further as they enter the Shrine.

References: ‎Your Name. by RADWIMPS. (2018). Retrieved from https://itunes.apple.com/au/album/your-name/1434005560
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Blog / Chungking Express - Opening
« Last post by Acans on September 28, 2018, 12:01:49 AM »
The start of Chungking Express (Wong Kai Wai, 1994) is definitely an interesting one, at least of me. I cannot recall the last time an opening sequence made use of a slow shutter speed on the camera to show a fast pace environment and movement. This type of cinematography caused confusion at first as I'm not accustomed to it but after discussing it among by peers to make sense of it I've decided I quite like it. Normally this is done by lots of fast cuts, usually accommodated by shots of a large crowd. I feel that Wong Kai Wai choose these settings to get across to the audience the fast paced nature of not only the chase between the two leads, but also of time moving fast as she covers a long distance due to the large city in which the film is set. Below you can see the screenshots from the opening, the blur caused by the slow shutter speed.



The mise en scène for Chungking Express comprises of a 1990's poor Asian neighbourhood. This is reinforced by the dark, dirty, grimy feel of the location. No bright colours, the people are wearing either dirty closes or just plain white singlets for as far as the eye sees. The only two characters in the opening sequence that are dressed are the male and female leads. The male, a cop wearing a richer set of clothes signifying & the female lead, a drug dealer the same. The storm sounds overhead also signifies that either a big storm is coming, or perhaps it's already here, and that the next few days are going be tough.

Yonde itadaki arigatogozaimasu.
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