So for our very final assignment, we were asked to give advice for future students. Professor Bond does send out an e-mail before the semester starts warning about the amount of work and time required for the course. Definitely take that e-mail to heart, he’s serious! The work itself is not that hard and its actually fun to do, its just very time consuming. If you have a heavy schedule or work a lot or anything like that, this may not be the class for you. Also, when given the option to work in groups, always do it! Its more fun that way and you will end up learning from the group as well.
The real thing I wish I had known going into this class is how to use all of the editing software and apps. We learn a lot about the different types of media and what to look for in it. The basic instructions received on how to do the assignments are not enough. At least not for someone like me who learns best by having someone next to me actually waling me through how to do something.
So I watched the videos and I read the essay. I learned what to look for in a scene and how it effects the outcome and the viewers opinion of it. But I still found it hard not only to find in a scene but also to actually analyze it! For my scene, I chose “That’s Not Cheese!” from the 2008 film version of Get Smart. Its not a very long scene but I still was able to find a couple different techniques we talked about this week. Its not great visually because I still haven’t quite got the hang of some of the video editing options but I did it the best way I know how. Password is ds106
“Moon Graffiti” was really amazing to listen to. I never really knew how well sound could set the stage and tell a story. The music in the background to the recorded conversation really set the mood and intensified everything. It added suspense to the whole story. When they found bad damage, the music changed. During the speech at the end, the music took on a sad, eerie quality. Some of the music heard reminded me of the music played during movies and tv shows when people are in space or when there are aliens so it definitely made me feel like I was on the moon with them.
Sound in generally drives a story more than I ever noticed before. Fast, upbeat music usually means happiness whereas slow quiet music can really signal either sadness or love, depending on the tone.
For example, the music in this clip from Titanic always makes me think of love when I hear it and that is really exactly what is going on here.
Whereas in this clip from “If I Stay” the music is kind of similar but still has a very sad quality to it:
And then there’s this clip from “Trolls”. Just try not to sing along and want to dance!
Music and sound plays a bigger roll in storytelling than most people will ever realize but now I actually pay attention to how it makes me feel during a movie or tv show.
All things considered, my experience with photography is pretty limited. Of course when I was younger, I used the disposable camera and even had a real camera that required actual film and had to be taken to walmart or a pharmacy to get the pictures developed. I even had a polaroid that spit out the picture right away and you had to shake it. Boy did I love that thing! As technology moved on, so did I. As a teenager I got a nice(at the time) digital camera and actually held on to it for a couple years. The downside of that is, the memory card and the computer the photos were uploaded on are now gone so they’re all lost 🙁
These days I really only take pictures with my phone except on special occasions when I “borrow” my parents fancy camera with changeable lenses. I mainly take pictures of my animals, my niece, and landscapes I love if I’m at the beach or hiking. I don’t mess with them or edit them at all unless I’m posting to Instagram in which case, I love playing around with the filters they offer. I also play around with snap chat alot. Its so much fun to take selfies or pictures with friends using their filters. Its also great because their filters change almost daily and can even change what it is based on location or holidays.
In all reality, I don’t necessarily have any sort of approach to taking pictures other than its a person, place, or thing that I want to capture in that moment. I’ve never really worried about lighting or angles or any of the stuff that can really make a picture stand out. I suppose some ways in which I can better my photos are to really pay attention to the lighting and surroundings of my subject. An actual camera as opposed to my phone would probably make a huge difference in the quality as well! I want to focus more on my subject in the moment and try to make sure things don’t look so posed.
This week we had to watch a YouTube video called The Shapes of Stories. This video features Kurt Vonnegut showing us that all stories fall into categories and the flow of the story can basically be drawn as a line on a graph. I actually found this to be pretty fascinating and tried it out on a few of my favorites. For this example I used the Spy Kids movie we watched for class.
This movie falls into his “Man in Hole” category where someone gets into trouble and then gets out of it again. In the beginning, there is an above average, happy family. Then the parents are kidnapped, hence the descent into the “hole”. Now the kids go on this big adventure to rescue them and then everyone is home and even happier than they were before. The plot may be different but story line does follow a very set pattern that many movies follow.
It feels like Secret Agents and Spies have been around forever but the truth is that they didn’t really show up in movies until the early 1960’s and tv in 1964.
The movie I chose to watch this week was Spy Kids. It really took me back to my childhood! In the movie, the parents of two kids are kidnapped and the kids discover that their parents are actually retired secret agents. These 2 kids then go on a mission to save them and keep a secret project out of the bad guys hands. At the end of the movie, the two kids are basically offered jobs as spies at the agency their parents worked for and now the whole family are secret agents. While it does fall squarely into the Secret Agent category, it is definitely aimed at the younger generation and includes a lot of comedy which most people don’t associate with this theme. When people think of secret agents, they think of James Bond or Jason Bourne. Their minds do not jump to children or agents such as Maxwell Smart from tv’s Get Smart.
No matter whether it is a comedy or a drama or anything in between, all secret agent movies have a few things in common. There is always some sort of mission to be accomplished or problem to be solved and there always seems to be someone from a foreign country involved! Another common theme in the genre is having cool gadgets. I’ve always wanted a lipstick laser or a a car that turns invisible with the press of a button!
In the end, all a good secret agent movie really needs is a bad guy to defeat and a secret agent to do it without the world ever knowing who saved it.
I love the secret agent theme of this class. Its such a broad genre when you really think about it and gives us a lot of options to work with. While I love a good international spy thriller like James Bond, my personal interest really lies more along the lines of Maxwell Smart and Agent 99! I prefer more comedy or science fiction themed secret agents (think Men in Black) as opposed to the more well known war-time double agents or government conspiracy and CIA types.
As a class, we can really take this in any direction we want. Someone may become a secret agent themselves. The next James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, or even Agent P (Disney’s Phineas and Ferb) could be among us, their stories just waiting to be told!
Austin Kleon’s post was very inspiring to me. I think he makes a lot of good points and while some of his advice seems a little played out to me, its still good advice. While all of his points are important, the one that really calls out to me personally is #10-“Stick Around”. I have horrible habit of giving up on something as soon as it gets hard or takes too much effort on my part. “It’s very important not to quit prematurely. The people who get what they’re after are very often the ones who just stick around long enough”. This is a very meaningful quote from this article for me. It really hits home about needing to keep at something in order to succeed.
As far as how his article applies to this course and what we will be doing, I think its very applicable. As a class, we can share and bounce ideas off one another. If there is criticism, we can gentle it or pick that person up and help them better themselves with advice of our own. He encourages people to put themselves out there and that is exactly what we are doing in this class.