This is definitely not the one directed by Edward Zwick and starring Leonardo DiCaprio in 2006. DiCaprio is still starred in this one, however. I tried to make a recut trailer for Titanic (James Cameron, 1997) and named the new movie “Blood Diamond”. As the title says it all, the new genre is action.
One should find it very hard to deny how famous and influential Titanic is. As Titanic is very well-known, given the condition that I did my job well, I believe most people will be able to recognize many familiar scenes in my recut trailer, and therefore, they will be surprised at how those scenes now can depict very unfamiliar things about the characters. Moreover, they will understand how some digital video editing tools can help us transform the genre of a movie effectively in particular and manipulate the media content easily in general.
Specific links to course readings
First, I utilize a lot of straight cuts when “one image instantaneously replaces another.” (Dick, 2002, p.84). As I already explained why a trailer often uses straight cuts in my previous blog posting, my recut trailer is also not an exception. I use a lot of straight cuts to make the overall pacing of the trailer fast. Also, the fast pacing will fit the genre of the movie, action.
Second, I only make the lines “The Heart of The Ocean” and “…Is Everyone’s Desire” sapphire. “The Heart of The Ocean” is the name of the blue diamond that main characters try to own. As sometimes color “is meant to inspire strong emotions”, I choose sapphire because it is the color of “The Heart of The Ocean” itself (Golombisky & Hagen, 2010, p. 113). It helps the audience gradually get a visual sense of the diamond that makes everyone desire. Also, it is also the color of the ocean, where most of the movie was filmed. It makes the audience aware of the context of the film.
Third, I intentionally leave some scenes black (empty). As “elements omitted from a work of art are as much a part of that work as those included”, I give the audience some seconds to think before moving on to new shots (McCloud, 1994, p.82). The audience should be given enough time to digest the information. Some pauses will help slow down a fast-paced trailer a bit.
Rationale for creative choices
First, I think “Blood Diamond” seems to be an appropriate new title since the main characters strive for the diamond. It seems to be evocative enough for an action movie. Also, I can utilize the title sequence from the real movie. It does make the recut trailer more real. Next, as I mentioned above, I intentionally have some black scenes. I really like them because they create some thoughtful silences between two unrelated sequences. They are virtually transitions that do nothing. Last but not least, the trailer’s music really satisfies me. I utilize keyframes to adjust the audio levels for different shots. For example, the volume is very small when a character says something. I think they really help emphasize important lines of dialogue.
Frustrations, difficulties, and solutions
It was my first time creating a video from scratch so I had to deal with some problems. One of them is that it is difficult to select the appropriate subclip so that when I add a video transition later, it will switch smoothly to the subsequent subclip. Thanks to Lynda, I found a solution. I moved frame-by-frame and selected some additional frames so that Adobe Premiere Pro will not repeat frames when adding transitions. Next, the program sometimes crashed unexpectedly. I had to save my work regularly and sometimes export it to an uncompressed AVI file to make a backup of my work.
Overall, I have really enjoyed working on this trailer. It really helps me improve my video editing skills and further my understanding of some media concepts.
Bernard Dick (2002). “Film, space, and image,” excerpt from Anatomy of Film. Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s.
Kim Golombisky & Rebecca Hagen (2010). White space is not your enemy: A beginners guide to communicating visually through graphic, web, and multimedia design.
Scott McCloud (1994) Understanding comics: The invisible art. New York: HarperPerennial.