Tag: movies

Video Week 2.0

Video Week 2.0

We have reached the end of our video unit. Ladies and gentlemen please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle until we have finished this blog post. Thank you.

First things first, I completed two Daily Creates this week!

On Thursday, as a class, we wrote a story all together in which we could only respond with GIFs. We started as “Once upon a time, this star was moving through the sky  at quite a pace and smaller stars fell from its wake…” And once I was ready to respond, we were talking about Kanye West. Then it went on to talking about Kim Kardashian crying. Let’s just say it took a turn! You can read the full story by clicking on the Tweet below! You don’t want to miss this one! Kanye will know if you keep scrolling!

Then! On Saturday, I made my own “Escape the Apocalypse” playlist on Spotify. Honestly, I find some of my song choices to be quite hilarious. For example, I can imagine myself driving/flying/walking/running away from everything in slow-mo while listening to “We Are The Champions” by Queen.

Source: Giphy

Next, I watched another apocalyptic movie! This week, I watched The Day the Earth Stood Still from 1951. I enjoyed it very, very much! It’s all about a ‘man,’ Klaatu, who comes to Earth with his robot friend Gort to bring a special message! I wrote a reflection post about it, as well! After watching, I created a video in which I compiled clips of different aliens, futuristic people, etc. Check it out!

Next, I sat down and had a Q&A session with Dr. Vanessa Locke! She asked me some questions about the apocalypse and what I have experienced. She needs to know these things!

As a video assignment from the video assignment bank, I chose to complete a 3-star assignment in which I highlighted my favorite person. Without even having to blink, I chose to talk about my mom. If you want to see more, you can read this blog post!

As my last assignment bank assignment for this video week, I created a notecard story! We’ve all seen the videos in which people tell sad, personal stories while lifting up different flashcards with their stories on it. I wanted to make one, and I wanted mine to be funny! All I have to say is that sometimes, my dreams are so realistic.

Also this week, I was able to create my own assignments to add to the Daily Create collection as well as another assignment to add to the video assignment bank. I somehow managed to forget to take a screenshot of my Daily Create, but I made it so that people would have to put a SnapChat filter over a clip of their favorite movie or TV show. My favorite videos of this are from Friends, the TV show. If you’ve never seen one before, watch this one below! (I did not personally make this video.)

For the assignment bank video assignment that I created, I asked for people to create book trailers for their favorite books or even for a book that they personally want to write!

We have now reached the end of this weekly update. Feel free to get up and move around the site!

😉 Until next time!


You hear on the radio that the End has started. What do you do first?

I hear the End has started. Immediately, I make sure that I, in fact, am not dreaming. Next, I grab my bag that I prepared years ago just in case. Then, I try to go anywhere safe that I can all while calling my relatives and friends to tell them where I’m going and that they need to stay safe as well. I just keep running away from whatever it is that has caused the End.


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!

3…2…1… Action! – Week 10 Recap

3…2…1… Action! – Week 10 Recap

Ugghhhhh… This week, you guys. I’m barely crawling out of week 10 alive. This week was filled with so much  to do, not just in this class, but in all of my classes! In college, the grind never ends. It’s 10:00 PM on Monday night, and I am exhausted.

But! Enough complaining!

Week 10 was the beginning of the video unit here in DS106! Say cheese while I call action!

This week started out with me completing two Daily Creates!

On Wednesday, the 28th, I decided to create my own fantasy plant! We’ve all probably heard of the  Giving Tree, but have you ever heard of the Talking Tree? Now you have! I figured this tree looked like it belongs in Horton Hears a Who, but it might not be animated enough. Anyone else agree?

On Thursday, I did the Daily Create in which I was to take a “tourist slogan” from a particular place such as Los Angeles, Niagara Falls, Paris, France, or whatever I wanted to add, and then add that slogan to somewhere it obviously doesn’t belong. So, for fun, I decided to put Disney World’s slogan or theme “The Happiest Place on Earth” under Virginia, where I live. VA can be a happy place, but is it as magical as Disney World? Probably not.

Next, I read and watched some sources in order to learn about how to read a movie! Yes, you read that correctly. You can read movies. If you want to see a more in-depth look into my reflection of the different videos and movie I watched (The Quiet Earth), I wrote all about it in one of my blog posts from this week!

Source: Bloody-Disgusting.com 

The next three assignments this week came from the Video Assignment Bank for DS106!

The first video I created was a digital, video snapshot of my last three years of college in which I included numerous pictures from freshman year all the way to now, in junior year. A lot has happened in only three years! Take a look:

The next assignment was a lyric video that I created for one of my favorite songs, “Future Looks Good” by One Republic. I do not own the song or the band. I just wanted to make this video for a song I love. If you’ve never heard the song, then you can listen below!

The last video I created for this week was a quick survival tip video from Dr. Annalise Huddleston, herself! She gave some insight into how to survive the apocalypse, and clear some things up from the radio show that she starred in two weeks ago, Girls’ Guide to the Apocalypse. 

That is all from me this week! Onto Week 11 we go!


What question would you like to ask the class?

One question I would like to ask our class is:

What is your favorite memory? Why?

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?

Reflecting Upon Movies Portraying the End of the World

Reflecting Upon Movies Portraying the End of the World

Source: Michelle Buchman on Nerdist.com
Source: TheFunambulist.net

The first film I watched this week was a short film, La Jetée, in which a man is taken through a journey of his memories from the past and present, and is then taken to the future all while being a part of something that seems to be some type of psychological test. The main character is one of a few survivors trying to stay alive, literally, under Paris after a nuclear destruction. Instead of being a movie that you expect in which it’s 24-frames-per-second is watched as a constant video stream, this film is made up of multiple still images, almost as if you are reading a picture book with a narrator telling you everything that has happened and is happening.

La Jetée was very interesting. I had never watched a film like this before. Honestly, I kept getting confused as to if I was in the unnamed man’s dreams or if I was watching what happened to him after he escaped this experiment chamber. However, I did find it interesting that when the man was dreaming, he would see everything and move clearly. Then, he would suddenly vanish. In a matter of seconds, he would return to his dream world where the same woman, who seemed to be his love interest, would be sitting there waiting for him to return. You know how when you are having a really good dream, but you wake up too early and don’t get to know what happened? I hate that. I always wish I could go back and finish the dream. The man didn’t always reappear in the same location, but he always saw and spent time with the woman who was there.

Source: The Road (2009)

The second film I watched this week was The Road (2009) directed by John Hillcoat. I watched the trailer for this movie and was not so sure about it from the looks of it. It looked like it was going to be severely graphic and violent. However, I was very surprised. There was violence and it was somewhat graphic, but it was so much more enticing than I expected. Just when I thought all of their problems were solved, or that they were finally safe, I was thrown a curve-ball.

In this film, a father and son, who are never named, must survive through the post-apocalyptic world they have been thrown into. This GIF above illustrates how there is literally nothing left in their world. Shortly after this shot in the movie ends, the man/father looks at the fire and says “It’s like it used to be when the sun came out.” Another quote that becomes a theme in this movie is when the man/father says to the boy “You have to keep carrying the fire.” The boy then asks, “What fire?” The man responds, “The fire inside you.” This quote is something that really struck me in a way as expressing that no matter how bad life gets, even if you have nothing, keep that light inside of you going, no matter what.

Also in this film, the man’s wife, and son’s mother, left them and died somewhere unknown. It is only the two of them left to survive. They encounter cannibals who they must protect themselves from. They also face starvation, until they happen upon a bunker stocked with enough food to feed an army. However, there troubles do not end there. They are robbed, nearly killed, and learn to trust the last people alive on earth after the apocalypse. I won’t spoil anything because the story is constantly changing and surprising you around ever corner! If you are looking to watch this movie, I definitely recommend it. You can find it on Netflix!