♪ Hit me with your best shot
Why don’t you hit me with your best shot
Hit me with your best shot
Film away ♪

Pat “Melody” Benatar

It’s video week at Ds106, and this week we got to explore the ways in which the camera and the editing process help tell a story. Acting only drives the story so far, but editing is what really sells it. And what better way to see how editing functions than to watch a film and hit pause on the action!

Video Essay

I kicked off video week by making a video essay on the film, ‘Trading Places!’ This movie has quite a bit of symmetry and other interesting design choices in it, which made it a natural pick for film analysis. ‘Trading Places’ is on our TV all the time, but I’ll admit that I’ve only seen bits and pieces of it (as with most movies), and so I hadn’t really watched it with a critical eye before.

I noticed a lot of the things that Ebert talked about in his essay How to Read a Movie, and in Zhou’s Every Frame a Painting, in particular how positive things are placed on the right and negative on the left. Or how chairs seem to reflect the nature of the character (Randolph and Mortimer can be seen sitting in very ornamental, high-backed chairs). Or how the camera angle can either diminish a character or elevate them (In the beginning of the movie, there are scenes where the camera looks up at a haughty Winthorpe, but later the camera looks down on him when he starts to lose it).

There were a lot of great scenes to choose from for my analysis, but I chose to focus in on the part where Randolph and Mortimer go to pick up Valentine from jail. I liked the symmetry and contrast in this scene with the way the characters are dressed, and how the camera follows Eddie Murphy’s facial expressions. It’s a great scene that shows just what all the characters are thinking and plotting!

Post: LET’S MAKE A TRADE: Video Essay

Featured video:

Video Assignments

I completed 10 stars worth of video assignments this week with the assignments ‘Create A Commercial’ (5 stars) and ‘Have A Conversation With Yourself!’ (5 stars). I filmed these videos at the same time, but the editing process was a tad easier for the commercial, and it’s also my favorite of the two. Even though the editing is pretty terrible (as in poor quality 80’s video bad), I think it just adds to the humor of the video. I’ve been sick this week, so you’ll have to excuse my rough edits and oddball acting, haha.

I think overall, my commercial still turned out pretty well, and I even got a positive comment from the YouTube community:

The Talking With Myself video turned out OK, but it’s definitely the rougher edit of the two. I decided to make it a commercial extra so that I could make it a little easier on myself and film at the same time, but the editing process was not easy. I spent hours trying to get the mask not to be so noticeable, but you can still see where it is because of the color and light changes. I understood how to create this assignment, but I didn’t know how to create it smoothly. It was a long and tedious process just to make this short clip of me talking to myself even though it’s not totally seamless. At least I impressed my bf who knows nothing about the magic of film editing. XD

Video Assignment #2

Post: TALKING WITH MYSELF: Commercial Extra

Stars: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

From Assignment: Have A Conversation With Yourself!

Featured Video:

Post: RECLAIM VIDEO: Now with 100% more video

Stars: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

From Assignment: Create A Commercial

Featured Video:

Community Building

There were a lot of great videos this week, but my favorite videos came from Ds106-er, Iliana Loaiza. She made a Cooking Show, an Arts & Crafts Tutorial, and a Product Review, and they are all incredibly well-made. I love the editing and camera angles, the crisp clear dialogue, and the attention to detail she gave for each topic. She even threw in a bit of ASMR in her Product Review video, and a bit of humor in her cooking show video. I can tell that she’s had experience making videos, because her videos look effortless.

I also enjoyed Lauren Perez’s video essay, because she actually included pictures of a real dust storm, which I thought gave helpful context to her analysis. I’ve never seen Bladerunner, and that extra detail helped tell the story so that I knew what was happening in the movie.

Lastly, I commiserated with Yara on her weekly summary post. It seems like it’s been a rough week for a few people health-wise.

Commented on:

DIGITAL STUDIES 106: Weekly Summary 10
THOUGHTS FROM BRIAN: Cooking Show, Arts & Crafts Tutorial, Product Review
Lauren Perez: Video Essay

Daily Creates

This week, we got into the spirit of Halloween with October-themed daily’s, such as monsters, ghosts, and costumes. My favorite Halloweens are probably the ones where I got to dress up in cosplay! Before I ascended to weeb-dom, I didn’t have any particular favorite Halloween costume. But being able to dress up as an anime character for Halloween is a lot of fun and it really builds a sense of community to be able to dress up with people who share similar interests. So my featured daily this week is a sketch of me dressed up as Mizune from Soul Eater. I dressed up for a JADE costume contest at UMW way back in 2011, and I even placed third.

Post: DAILY CREATE: Week 10

Featured sketch:

Bonus Picture:

2011 JADE cosplay contest
Soul Eater Group
2nd place: Mifune
3rd place: Mizune

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