Category: Writing Assignments

Movie Time!

Movie Time!

This week, we continued our unit on video! One of the first assignments was to watch another apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic movie! Last week, I watched The Quiet Earth. This week, I watched a movie that I really, really enjoyed, The Day the Earth Stood Still (the 1951 version).

Source: Wikipedia

I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this movie! As I have said before, I am not the biggest science-fiction fan, however, this movie was so good! I also have a special place in my heart for old black and white movies. My mom and I used to watch them all the time on the Turner Classic Movies channel. My favorite one was Bringing Up Baby.

Source: imDb

Anyways, The Day the Earth Stood Still is about how a UFO lands in the middle of Washington D.C. one day. Klaatu, a ‘human’ who changes his name to Mr. Carpenter as to seem more ‘human,’ comes to Earth on behalf of the aliens in order to learn about the Earth’s humanity during the Cold War-era. His and his robot friend, Gort, seem to terrorize the city, even though they are not looking to harm anyone or anything, as long as everything goes well. Klaatu meets a family, and spends time with and befriends the young son, Bobby, who has no idea that this man is the ‘space-man’ that everyone is looking for, and is able to learn more about the world and meet some very important people. I won’t spoil too much, though! It is such a good movie! If you’ve never seen it, I strongly recommend it!

After watching this movie, I completed a video assignment to go along with the movie! I chose to do the assignment, Character/Genre Song Mashup, from the assignment bank. Basically, I took different scenes of Klaatu and Gort from this film, and interspersed scenes and clips of other futuristic/alien films and TV shows, such as The JetsonsLilo and StitchStar Trek, and Wall-E, and set it a song that I think meshes well with this video. I chose to use the song “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. I do not own the song or these movies/TV-shows that were included in this video.

Take a look!

I hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you think!

A Lyric Video for One Republic

A Lyric Video for One Republic

For one of my video assignments, I created a lyric video for one of my favorite songs, Future Looks Good, by One Republic. I had a lot of fun creating this video! I downloaded the song from a YouTube video, and then looked up the lyrics on A-Z Lyrics. Once I had the song and the lyrics, as well as a background image to use, I used iMovie to animate and create a lyric video! It was definitely time consuming, however, it was a lot easier and more fun than I thought it would be! Maybe I’ll make more lyric videos in the future!

Please enjoy:

All credit to One Republic and the other original owners.

Learning to Read Movies

Learning to Read Movies

The first task of Week 10 has been to learn how to read movies. We all know how to watch movies, but can we all read them?

I’m a Communications and Digital Studies major. For one of the elective requirements, I took Intro to Cinema Studies here at UMW last semester. Here I thought that the semester would be full of just watching movies. This was definitely true, however, it was so much more than that. We had to learn the different parts of cinematography and got to go a little bit behind-the-scenes in order to understand why and how some of our favorite movies were made the way they were. It was not easy, I will tell you that. For example, it was strongly engrained in my brain that there is a huge difference between a shot and a scene in a movie. When I saw that we would be having a video unit in this class, I wondered if I would need to revisit my movie-sleuthing, if you will, abilities. I was (sort-of) right.

I finished reading Robert Ebert’s articleHow to Read a Movie, and it brought me right back to last semester. One thing that he mentioned that really stood out to me was how he explained the difference between when you put a character on the left of the screen and when you put a character on the right of the screen. As Ebert says, “in general terms, in a two-shot, the person on the right will “seem” dominant over the person on the left.” Who knew? He explains it a little more comprehensibly by saying, “Right is more positive, left more negative. Movement to the right seems more favorable; to the left, less so. The future seems to live on the right, the past on the left. The top is dominant over the bottom. The foreground is stronger than the background. Symmetrical compositions seem at rest. Diagonals in a composition seem to “move” in the direction of the sharpest angle they form, even though of course they may not move at all. Therefore, a composition could lead us into a background that becomes dominant over a foreground. Tilt shots of course put everything on a diagonal, implying the world is out of balance.” I never knew that a character’s placement in a film could mean so much.

The next part that I did was I watched four videos about four different aspects of filmmaking/filmmakers. You can watch these videos too:

Kubrick//One-Point Perspective

The Shining – Zooms

Tarantino//From Below 

2001 A Space Odyssey

First of all, they were each short, which was a nice luxury for a busy college student.

The first video is a montage of one-shot perspectives in Stanley Kubrick’s films. For example, in the movie, The Shining, the shots in the movie in which the camera is at the end of the hallway looking forward, are examples of one-shot perspectives.

Source: Bloody-Disgusting.com

The second video is a montage in which all the shots/scenes in which zooms are used from The Shining. As each shot of a zoom is displayed on the screen, they each continue to play together which makes it feel somewhat chaotic. This also feels appropriate for a movie such as The Shining.

Source: Tenor

The third video is a compilation of all the shots in which the camera is at a tilted angle facing upwards as to make you feel like you are looking up at the characters in Quentin Tarantino’s films. Talk about intimidation while you’re just trying to enjoy watching a movie!

Source: Pinterest

The fourth and final video that I watched was a depiction of what a match-cut is in films. This video uses a scene the film A Space Odyssey in which a match-cut is used. A match-cut can be defined as when two shots of two different, but similar, elements are joined together. For example, in this video a bone is ‘match-cut’ with a space station.

Source: Reddit

As a last piece of learning how to read movies, I watched the film The Quiet Earth on Kanopy. The film is about a man, Zac Hobson, who wakes up one day to a world in which he is the last man on Earth. Everyone has disappeared, however, as Hobson explores the city, cars are abandoned on the road and no one is home or at work. He soon realizes that he now has all the power and can do whatever he wants! He moves into a mansion in one part of the movie and another scene is of him driving a police car around town. Is he alone, though? What happened, exactly? You’ll just have to watch the movie to find out!

Below, you can find a video that I created as a video essay in which I analyze a scene in the film. The scene I chose is when Hobson is living in the mansion, and he makes a “presidential” speech to different cardboard cutouts that he has placed in the yard. One of my favorite lines that he says is “I’ve been condemned to live.” Powerful, right?

Girls’ Guide to the Apocalypse has Aired

Girls’ Guide to the Apocalypse has Aired

On Tuesday, March 20th, my survivalist group’s radio show aired on DS106 Radio. It was so exciting to listen to something that we all worked so hard on on a platform where anyone and everyone could hear it! Rachel did a wonderful job editing everything together. There was one moment that the volume was a little funny, but everything turned out so well! In my opinion, it sounded professional and like something that we had spent a lot of time on rather than something that sounded like we tried to rush and get it over with. I do not have a link to our show just yet, however, when I do, I will add it in to this post.

I live-tweeted the event while trying to give some ‘behind-the-scenes’ information as well as trying to add some more humor to our already-funny radio show. Some examples of those tweets:

If you want to see more tweets from my live-tweet session, you can find them on my Twitter profile, @eafinto!

I’m so proud of how our show turned out. I also really enjoyed seeing my other classmates’ reactions to the show! From the health advice, to the beauty hacks, and lastly to the advice column, it was funny, entertaining, and exciting. I hope you all who listen(ed) enjoy too!

After our show, I listened to the next show that was airing on Tuesday, Eagle Report. I really enjoyed this show as well! It seemed like a real news report during the apocalypse. Very cool! I enjoyed how they integrated music into their show, as well. They had a theme song that would play at the beginning of the show and at the end of the show, as well as every time that the show would resume after a commercial/ad. I also love how creative this group got with incorporating different bumpers into their show. They used real-life commercials that we have all heard or seen on the radio or on TV. I tweeted along with this show as well, and one of my favorite tweets that I added to the discussion was:

This show reminded me a lot of the show that aired on DS106 Radio a few weeks ago about the mysterious outbreak and the contaminated water. It was a live broadcast of what was happening on the streets and what the announcer was seeing. This show from Eagle Report was very similar, and I really enjoyed it!

These radio shows were fun to create and listen to, and I hope I am able to work with my group again soon in the future, and maybe even create another episode of the Girl’s Guide to the Apocalypse.

Another Apocalyptic Haiku

Another Apocalyptic Haiku

One of my assignments this week was to remix/redo/update a project that I have already completed during this semester. I decided that I would redo the three-star assignment “Haiku it up” from the writing assignment bank.

The original was posted on February 3rd, and it is now March 25th! The first time around, this was what I created:

Photo by Jaak Horn on Unsplash

Our world was gorgeous.

 The apocalypse took it away.

 Now we wear gas masks.

Now for the updated/remixed version!

Photo by Satwik Arora on Unsplash

The road is empty.

Once in a while I see you.

Someday this will end.


BEHIND THE SCENES OF THIS POST: 

For this assignment, I redid an assignment I found in the DS106 Assignment Bank back in February. I really enjoyed this assignment the first time, and when I saw that one of our assignments for this week was to remix/redo one of our past assignments, I knew I wanted to write another haiku, with a different picture. Both times, I used WriteAHaiku.com to create my haikus because it really helped me keep track of the syllables I had in each line. It was so useful! I found these images from Unsplash.com. I loved the colors and I thought they were so perfect to illustrate the apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic world.

A Word Cloud!

A Word Cloud!

Word Clouds are always fun! I remember as a kid, we would have this day in school where it was just a day for writing. The whole day was devoted to going around to different groups and “seminars” where they would show us a fun new way to write a poem, short story, word clouds, and more. One of my favorite things was when we would write poems or stories by writing them in a pattern of an object. For example:

Source: Technology Rocks Seriously

Mine never turned out to be in the shape I wanted because I could never keep in the right pattern. I would be so mad because then it just looked like a huge blob.

So, when it came time to work on this assignment, I was worried I would get the same results. However, luckily, a computer is much better at this than I am. So, I chose to write a list of words that I felt described my character, Annalise Huddleston, as well as words that describe a doctor’s profession on wordclouds.com Then, with a click of a button, the words were transformed into the symbol for a woman, like you see on the door of the women’s restroom. (I had chosen this layout beforehand.) The first time I clicked “Apply” as to get my result, I realized I didn’t have enough words to fill up the entire symbol/pattern so I needed to come up with more words! It was almost like playing Mad Libs. Then, after finally having enough words, I realized I wanted my character’s first name to be the most prominent and outstanding word in the word cloud, so I then had to figure out how to rank each word, so that the rank would correspond to how large each word would be! Finally, after fixing all of the little loose ends, I had my final product. I decided to change the colors and fonts I was originally given in the beginning. I really love our school colors and love the contrast between the navy blue and white/gray, so I decided to implement these colors in my word cloud!

Am I forgetting any words? Let me know!