Action!

This week was all about video.  I was able to manipulate and create my own video clips as well as learn about the techniques used in cinematography and video editing.

I really enjoyed learning about different ways to manipulate scenes to fit how you wanted the narrative of whatever story you are telling.

My favorite assignment was definitely when I was able to change the audio of National Treasure, partly because I really like playing with the audio aspect of media and partly because it turned out so funny.

Overall, this week has really opened up my eyes to how tedious video editing can be and how a project may seem simple but can end up having many aspects to it that are hard.

Look Listen and Analyze

This week, we took a scene from a classic movie and analyzed the visuals, audio, and overall work separately.  I decided to analyze one of the Joker’s most notorious scenes from the Batman movie, The Dark Night.  Directed by Chris Nolan, this is arguably one of the best films ever made.  This is due to Nolan’s dynamic and creative directing style.

At first, I watched the entire scene without any audio.  Something that stood out to me from the start was how active the camera was, specifically the use of the panning and cuts.  Panning is when the camera pans across a frame to follow a specific character or movement and a cut is when the camera moves to from one character to another with no transition.  Panning the camera is used in the scene to follow the characters movements and make the scene feel more active.  Even though the scene is set in one room, the use of wiping and a camera panning around the room evokes action from an otherwise boring (action-wise) scene.  The cuts being used are fast and are used to set pace in the scene.  There are a number of characters (three stand alone and one group) and by roughly and quickly focusing on each speed up the scene at points.

After watching the clip without the audio, I only listened to it.  The scene opens with the Joker’s very distinct laugh in the distance.  As the Joker interact with the room, you can sense the tension between every character.  The volume of the characters varies and there is no score behind the scene, which makes you listen.  The lack of score highlights the conversation as well as the the rest of the noises in the scene, you can hear the movement of chairs and the footsteps.  It also makes the scene more realistic, as unrealistic as it is.

I put the entire scene together and watched it one more time through, with the audio and the video.  After watching it altogether, the audio and the visuals come together in perfect harmony.  The hardness and scariness of the audio is intensified by the Jokers mannerisms and fast pace fo the video.

Down here I have embedded the clip, so you can analyze it for yourself!

Jinkies!

For my last video assignment, I chose to do a Supercut of one of my favorite cartoons, Scooby Doo.  A supercut is when a creator will take short clips of reoccurring themes, styles, or lines from different movies or television shows, and put them altogether with no transitions.  The idea is to showcase whatever theme or line you choose in a very quick way.  I decided to take multiple scenes from Scooby Doo where the villain is unmasked and out them altogether.

This process took a LOT of time.  First I had to find the clips of old Scooby Doo episodes.  I found a channel on YouTube that made this process very easy, since they had a playlist that contained shortened clips of the show that were labeled as a “reveal”.  After finding the clips I liked, I used the video downloading website SaveFrom.net to download them onto my computer.  Because the cartoon is so old, it made downloading them very fast due to the fact that the resolution is already so low.

Once I had all of the scenes I wanted to use, I put them into iMovie and began cutting them down.  This was the most tedious task out of the whole process.  I had to make sure that the clips were long enough to get the point of the scene but short enough to make sure my video was still considered a Supercut.  After I had all of my scenes cut down to size, I added a title and an ending and uploaded my video to my YouTube channel.

This process was fun, and I think I would enjoy making another supercut if I took a long time to do it.  When I say a long time, I mean months.  It would be a really fun project to pick a line in a movie or a camera technique just casually come by them and add them to a supercut.

Overall I am pretty happy with how the final product turned out, but I do wish it was a bit longer.

I’m gonna steal it

Today, I decided to give everyone yet another reason to laugh at Nicholas Cage by doing the Chipmunk Style assignment.  I took one of the most pivotal scenes in National Treasure, where Benjamin Gates is talking about stealing the Declaration of Independence, and I tweaked it a little by making Ben and Riley sound like chipmunks.  The process was significantly simpler than I thought it would be.

The first thing I did was download the scene from YouTube onto my computer using a free downloading website called SaveFromNet.  I then opened iMovie and imported the clip.  Once the clip was opened in iMovie, I exported the clip as a file and saved only the audio.  I took the audio from the scene and imported it into Audacity.

There, I was able to manipulate the pitch of the audio.  I chose to increase it by about 40%.  The scene’s score is quite loud and there is a good amount of background noise (others talking and walking) which meant that if I went any higher in the pitch, it would have sounded extremely distorted, and not in a fun, chipmunk kind of way.

Changing Pitch

When I was satisfied with how the audio turned out, I exported it as an MP3 and inserted it in my original clip in iMovie.  To ensure there was no overlap, I just turned the volume of the original clip all the way down.  Lastly, I added a title and uploaded the video to my YouTube channel.

I am really happy with the final product.  For some reason, having such a high pitch in the dialogue of the characters makes their mannerisms 10x funnier, especially Nick Cage.

Hope you enjoy!