I really enjoyed reading Gotham Central; I think I in fact liked it more than Animal Man. I am a big fan of the Batman Movies, honestly I’d have to say both the Dark Knight and The Dark Night Rises are two of my favorite movies, so reading this comic was extremely enjoyable. Continue reading
Whilst I have never actually read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and therefore probably do not understand the profound wisdom of this particular song but I do know first-hand that the tune of So Long and Thanks for All the Fish is so catchy that you can get pieces of it stuck in your head for at least a week leaving doubts about the actual sequence of verses in their wake. Not to compare this semester to lingering doubts, but the analogy does seem in context for the series of sequentially imparted although not necessarily sequentially remembered readings of this semester.
For example, I do distinctly remember reading the Shaviro reading about Disney. I can see the page layout in my mind clearly. I know that it was about the falseness of Disneyland but there was a great deal in that reading that I simply did not understand. I know that we were all fore-warned that it was a dense reading but I simply could not make sense of it at all. On a secondary note, whilst the lengthy Dick reading about film was very beneficial in the presentation of vocabulary in the description of films, I think that it might have been more beneficial in the context of specifically examining that aspect of a singular film, a case study going blow by blow, separate from the greater meaning implied. Perhaps this is just me because I have never wanted nor considered working in the movie industry but I feel like I take a lot of elements of the live-action film for granted as perpetuating of the media the puppet masters of any particular work may have been exposed to previously. I found it very difficult to try and extract a greater meaning for the film paper because my applicable knowledge covered essentially the costuming, setting, and literary resonances of the film I was covering. Outside these elements I found it very difficult to focus on how the elements were shot when I looked at how the characters fulfilled literary stereotypes, how they progressed, how the storylines interacted with each other, how the characters suggested greater metaphorical meanings, not to mention the impending need to address the inclusion on the part of the director or writer to include a metafictional plot point.
I think it is easier to take for granted the live-action movie because it is shot from life, whilst there are things you can change, which let’s face it, the movie industry proved recently with movies like Cloud Atlas, is practically everything and to some extent things that it is ridiculously impractical or unrealistic to try to change. For example, in the coming of age type romantic comedy of Morning Glory (Roger Michell, 2010), in the progression of the plot throughout the movie Becky Fuller, Rachel McAdams’ character, is becoming a more successful and respected television producer. However, in the final clinching moment of the movie there are two scenes back to back where the costuming choices were made to accommodate one of the scenes which left the logic and semiotics completely by the wayside in what they were representing. Now, this clip, which is a terrible quality but which illustrates this point perfectly is that throughout the entire movie she’s bettering herself for The Job and there’s a line in the beginning about her dream job of being a producer for The Today Show and she’s there in The Interview and suddenly, she’s forgotten everything she’s been moving through throughout the film and believe me, I know, that these things seem like really small things and maybe they are but I just want to point out that this seems vaguely like everyone just went with it and followed what they were told and didn’t question a thing—because the way this movie is presented is as if it were real life and the real life Becky Fuller, would have looked in the mirror and would have chosen her entire outfit herself and she probably would not have actually turned up in a beige dress that completely washes her out when the people she’s being interviewed by have all turned up wearing monochromatic tones. No, she’s not guaranteed to know that but she would have known that The Today Show producers were in that caliber range of professionalism. Also, not that this particularly matters but, honestly, who runs like that in two inch stiletto heels, I mean, that’s just ridiculous.
It’s like Roger Mitchell and his producers have thrown this entire symbolic resonance out the window or suspended it for this scene thinking no one will notice if it’s just one scene or maybe they only want to get it past people one time. I don’t really know, but it stands to reason, from this that I’m not the only one who takes elements of live action films for granted and I think it stands to reason that, as McCloud pointed out in our course readings for comic books, that in the context of comic books and things that are the entire intellectual spawn of their artists or writers or producers is that since every aspect is created afresh, every aspect is individually considered and chosen following some sort of grandiose plan. I guess that is the perpetuated idea that allows us to take many movies for granted. The idea that the perpetuated media is somehow an accurate representation of what is waiting, and what will become of us in time. Once upon a time, this brilliant idea was released into the world: “we read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel…is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are or may become,” by Ursula K. Le Guin. In our current society, I would still praise this idea but the fact remains that for the most part a movie or a television show takes a lot less time than reading a book just as Klosterman noted in his commentary hitting the greater points of the faults of the movie industry, romantic comedies specifically, and the direct impact of the media made popular during the highly impressionable years of his generations. I won’t say that this sort of thing was brilliant but it was very accessible and immediately relevant to the cultural impacts of the contemporary media and it got me wondering, how does one do that?
How do you get into a job field where you write opinionated columns with the same determined persona of students writing finals? Is that what Communication Majors aspire to? Do they do that all along, trying to disperse there theories and extracted meanings to the population so that they will have a smooth entre into society the same way University artists are encouraged to submit and participate in artistic shows? In this vein, I will specifically not be doing that again next semester. Trying to fit in the sculptural work of a show with 16 floundering credit hours does not work at all. In retrospect, it’s quite funny, I’ve been telling people for six years that the moral of Jurassic Park, the book by Michael Crichton, is that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. So, for next semester, I’ll be taking two courses in Communication and Studio Art, towards my majors, in addition to taking Symbolic Logic to satisfy my mathematic common curriculum requirement. In addition, I’ll be taking a dance class, participating in a dance group, and trying to increase my physical activity besides that because that was one thing that I changed this semester and since everything seems quite off kilter it seems I should start somewhere in putting it back together.
Putting it back together. I suppose this is the meaning of the Quinn Tulpa box on the doorstep. The meaning, along the lines of Dr. Delwiche is crazy but in the Robin Williams as Prof. Keating of Dead Poet’s Society fame is crazy, he’s doing it in pursuit of a point. I believe that the heart of that point is established in this box, that the only proof that most of our lives exist and proceed is through how we use media and other tools because the convenience provided by our tools inevitably makes us less functioning. “If you have no idea what the answer is on any quiz from here on out, just write ‘Marshall McLuhan’.” – Dr. Delwiche, COMM 2302: Metafiction.
I chose to take the movie Legally Blonde and take it from a romantic comedy to a suspense/horror type film. I found some aspects of this project to be quite challenging and some aspects to be quite enjoyable and easy.
I chose to pay close attention to the different types of shots that Bernard Dick discusses in his article. I used close up shots of the faces of the actors to portray what I wanted the scenes to say. The close up shots helped to give the trailer an eery feeling because of the different facial expressions that were expresses by each character. I also used the optional reading for Adobe Premiere that really helped me get to know Premiere better as well as how to work with video transitions for my video.
Rationale for Creative Choices, Difficulties and Frustrations
To find the music I wanted to include I just did a search on YouTube for suspenseful music and there was a video that was solely dedicated to playing creepy music so I converted that into an MP3 format and used that as the music for my video. My frustration with this project was my lack of creativity. I am not a very creative person at all, I’m more of the executer in a group. Taking this project from Point A to Point B was very challenging to me and stretched me outside my comfort zone. I also had difficulties with my audio. I played around with the audio levels but just could not get the music to be softer than the audio. I got it to the best that I could but I’m afraid you still cannot hear the dialogue that clearly over the music.
Bernard Dick (2002). “Film, space, and image,” excerpt from Anatomy of Film. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s.
OPTIONAL READING. “Chapter 6. Video Transitions” from Adobe Premiere CS5. Classroom in a Book.PDF document
At first I thought I would have a difficult time finding recut trailers of some of the movies I wanted to view but I didn’t really encounter that much difficulty. I tried to look at different movies from different genres to get a better sense of the techniques that can be used.
I first looked at Paranormal Activity. In the original trailer the audience was shown along with the actual footage of the movie. There wasn’t really any music and the screams and dialogue was the heart of the trailer. However, for the recut trailer, it was significantly shorter in length, only about a minute as opposed to the two minutes of the original trailer, and had happy music. The screams were still there. However, it was made into a comedy by the funny “zinger” at the end of the girl sticking her tongue out at the priest.
The second film I looked at was The Proposal. This is one of my all time favorite movies so I was excited when I found a recut version. In the original trailer there is happy, light hearted music as well as plenty of dialogue. There is also the classic conflict that is shown in a romantic comedy trailer as well as a long length of two minutes and seventeen seconds. However, the recut trailer I watched was going for the suspense/thriller genre. There was suspenseful music that made the audience on the edge of their seats as well as very short choppy scenes. There was not a whole lot of dialogue, it was mostly just shots of the actors in various scens. However, there were a lot of scenery shots almost as if to set the stage for the movie. It was also considerably shorter at only one minute and eighteen seconds.
Finally, the last movie I looked at was Bride Wars. In the original trailer there is of course happy music and lots of dialogue among the characters. There was also pretty, girly font used for the captions in between scenes. However, the recut trailer was definitely something different because it was recut into the same story but with two Disney princesses. The dialogue was the exact same as well as the length. The only difference was that there were no scenes from the actual movie, they were all scenes of princesses from Disney movies which I found to be quite amusing and confusing.
All in all, these trailers show that the creative possibilities for a recut trailer are endless. The sky is really the limit and it gave good ideas of how to turn a romantic comedy into a suspenseful type of a movie.
Paranormal Activity, The Proposal, Bride Wars
Brian K. Vaughan’s Saga depicts a warring space world that consists of horned beings, winged creatures, and other outlandish entities. The main characters, Marko and Alana, certainly possess these alien-like qualities, yet readers can instantly distinguish their youth and attractiveness through facial structure. Furthermore, their neutral coloring allows for the characters to be ethnically ambiguous. Despite his horns, one could identify Marko with James Franco or Channing Tatum. Yes? No? Maybe?
Product placement is a huge factor in television and movies alike. Some products can be very noticeable while others sit in the background of a scene. Product placement is designed to get the target audience to go buy the product or try the product.
For example, in the hit television show on CBS, The Big Bang Theory has product placement everywhere from in different scenes to the lines spoken by the characters. One example would be in the cafeteria scenes. The table is filled with Fiji and SmartWater bottles, Pepsi’s and Vitamin Waters. Sometimes the viewer is not always privy to the label to see the actual name or sometimes, the name could be slightly altered to avoid legal repercussions. However, the audience is still able to recognize the Fiji water bottle because of it’s unique shape even if they can’t see the label on the bottle or the name on the bottle as been altered to avoid using the real name.
Another product placement would be heavily featured in the movie Avengers. We see the character Tony Stark get into an Acura convertible at the end of the movie. You can see more about the role Acura played in the movie here. This is an excellent example of product placement because the shot is focused on the Acura symbol the most everyone can recognize and identify with. This is an example of a more obvious product placement because of the focus of the camera and the length of time the shot is held focusing on the Acura symbol.
Product placement is a huge part of television shows and movies. It is what helps make the project money by having sponsors as well as giving the project props to work with. The goal of product placement is to get the viewer wanting to try or go buy the product. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But the fact of the matter still remains that the product is in the viewer’s subconscious. Hmmm…maybe I’ll go test drive an Acura tomorrow.
I have a lot of plans for the upcoming semester. I will continue to pursue more intensive studies in marketing. I’m taking international branding and marketing management, which will both be interesting classes. I will be looking for jobs all next semester whether it be in Texas or anywhere else in the world.
One interesting idea I took away form this class was the idea of signifiers. Signifiers mean many different things to different people and thus can be construed in a variety of ways. In addition, I really liked the ideas of camera shots and how they can change the perception of the audience based on how the shot it made. High angle shots can show dominance over another character while low angle shots can be seen differently.
I really liked Klosterman’s idea of the “laugh track” and how idiotic it is. It’s crazy that a laugh box has to dictate to the audience when something is funny or when it is not. Show’s need to let the audience feel when something is funny rather than just dictate it. The Freud for beginners article was probably my least favorite because it was so dense. The articles I enjoyed were the ones that were not as dense and more enjoyable to read.
I think the package in the mail shows how really we are all very similar people. We need to stop looking at white verses black or poor versus the rich because it creates division and animosity in our lives. This package is a reminder to treat everyone as equals because we are one people who need to live in this one world together, not divided.
Next semester I’m really going to be cranking on my majors/minor. I’m taking two History classes, two Education classes, and two Communication classes, for which I’m mondo excited. Ideally, in the next few semesters I’ll take 18 hours in order to graduate a semester early. I considered studying abroad but this will be better for me financially in the long run. I really want to get into the Masters of Arts in Teaching program and pursue my dream to become a teacher (middle school, hopefully).