Lost – Supercut

This is the final product of the super cut I have been working on for the past few weeks. The video speaks for itself, as it guides the viewer through all of the stages of memory loss as depicted on screen. Memory loss is commonly used across many genres of film, and this video shows the process when used as a plot device.

Even though this is the final cut, I appreciate any feedback!

Diligence and Patience

Creating anything on iMovie requires a ton of patience. Mostly because its attempt to have a user friendly interface just results in a laggy, crash prone program. HOWEVER, I cannot bash iMovie too hard because it is what taught me how to edit videos in the first place.

Today I spent a lot of time trying to establish the length of my video. The cut is going to be about as long as the song, if not a few seconds longer (I haven’t decided if I’ll put a clip of audio that either pauses the music, or plays as the music subsides). I added a few clips from 50 First Dates and Finding Nemo, which I hadn’t yet incorporated. The biggest challenge of this video is trying to put an even amount of each film in the supercut. I think I’m going to try to focus more on the flow than on even distribution of films…

Another big thing I spent a lot of time working on was searching for audio clips I could play over the music that would tie the theme together, and explain the purpose of the video more clearly.

For next class, I’m going to finish up the video, tightening most of the clips and incorporating more “stock” type footage that is found within these movies. Examples of this type of footage includes shots of notebooks, shots of passports, shots of eyes closing, etc. This ideally will allow the viewer to think more about the perspective of the characters, instead of who the actual characters are.

November 6 – Class Progress

Today, I feel like I did a lot more than what translates onto paper.

I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to rip video/audio from SolarMovie. That didn’t work out. So, I just viewed the movies and skipped through them to find notable parts/segments that I wanted to incorporate into my video. I also started taking a look at some songs that I might want to use for my video. Memories by Weezer is an option, but it may be too upbeat for the theme. I may stick with a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, as they have long winded instrumentals, a catchy beat, and relatively subtle audio.

I then compiled my rough story board, which was posted below. I have decided to split my video into four parts, though I plan to edit them together seamlessly. In other words, I don’t want to have title cards in between each part. I want it to be evident that the story line is moving along.

After I finished that, I did some more research about ripping video and have come to the conclusion that pirating straight from The Pirate Bay is the only thing that is going to work. I only feel half guilty because it is for fair use purposes!

Storyboard Draft

Here’s a rough, rough version of my Storyboard. When it comes to editing videos like super cuts, it’s hard to plan as there are always little scenes or snippets that I want to incorporate last minute that I would have forgotten about otherwise. However, here is an idea of how the structure will be:

Title Card: I Can’t Remember

PART ONE: Intro sequence – events that cause the memory loss

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — Joel entering the machine
  • The Vow — car accident
  • The Hangover — drinking/partying
  • The Notebook — the kids come to visit, Noah insists on staying to help her remember

PART TWO: Realizing memory has been lost

  • Memento — “where am I?” “who is she?”
  • Eternal Sunshine — Elijah Wood coming up to Joel in the car, “what are you doing here?”
  • The Vow — waking up in the hospital, “Doctor, am I going to be okay?”
  • Fight Club — realizing he is Tyler Durden
  • The Hangover — waking up the next day

*** Sequence of confused looks among characters in all movies **

PART THREE: Struggling to regain memory

  • Memento — looking in the mirror at tattoos
  • The Hangover — trying to gather details from the night
  • Eternal Sunshine — dream-like sequence, trying to go back and hold on to memories
  • The Notebook — “That, she is playing from memory” (Old Noah to doctor about Old Allie)

PART FOUR: Resolutions – regaining memory, or being content with loss of memory

  • Fight Club — watching the city blow up, holding HBC hand
  • Eternal Sunshine — “We should try this again”
  • Memento — “I don’t care if I don’t remember the revenge, I deserve it”

Movies I need to watch this weekend in order to incorporate:

  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Bourne Identity
  • Shutter Island
  • The Butterfly Effect

Phase 1: Amnesia Supercut

Today I’ve established two important parts of my project. Through peer reviews, I solidified my topic: Use of amnesia in films. This allowed me to create a 4 part general outline of how my essay will be broken down. And secondly, I compiled a more specified list of films.

My project will be split into four separate chapters/groups:

PART 1 — MEMORY LOSS PROCEDURE

PART 2 — REALIZING MEMORY HAS BEEN LOST

PART 3 — STRUGGLING WITH TRYING TO REGAIN MEMORY

PART 4 — REGAINING MEMORY/BEING CONTENT WITH MEMORY LOSS

The movies I will definitely be using are The Vow, Memento, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The other movies that I still need to watch are:

  • Shutter Island
  • Vertigo
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Butterfly Effect
  • 50 First Dates
  • Bourne Identity
  • The Hangover

I want to incorporate a combination of drama, humor, and action films to show how this one commonality is seen across all different types of films. By next class, I will have watched the rest of the movies, and begin ripping the files so that I can edit them in iMovie.

Proposal

For my final project, my video is going to be a super cut of several films demonstrating how films often use the manipulation of memories as a plot device. In other words, I want to show how films are presenting situations where memory has been altered or lost in some way. I plan on creating a super cut, however, I’m unsure how I will really show how memory is altered. I may need a few title cards or voiceovers, but ideally, I would like the super cut to speak for itself. I’ve been in the process of watching films that have been suggested by classmates and friends. Thus far, the movies involved will be Eternal Sunshine, 500 Days of Summer, The Notebook, Memento, The Butterfly Effect, The Vow, Fight Club, Vertigo, and Shutter Island. This list is certainly not finalized, because as I watch some of the films I’m finding that some work, while others don’t. Even further, some inspire me to check out other films that may be more pertinent.

I will need a copy of each of these films to work with and edit down the relevant clips using iMovie. I find that Final Cut Pro is really only useful for videos that have been recorded by myself. When ripping video from movies, iMovie is much more simple and practical.  My target audience will be just about anybody who enjoys films. The goal of this project is to show how vital the role of consciousness is in the plot of most films.

I’m really open to ANY suggestions anyone has for me! I’m excited for this project..

Additionally: which skills and software tools would you like to have a better handle on?
What do you expect to work on in each of the coming weeks? (TIMELINE)
Any help/feedback you’d like from your peers or myself?

Analyzing an analysis…

An analysis of an analysis – how appropriate when we’re discussing a film such as Inception! I chose the following video essay, simply entitled “Analysis of Inception.” Yes, the title is a bit plain, but I think the contents of the video make up for it.

This video essay takes an organized approach to critiquing Christopher Nolan’s film. Steven Benedict, the author of this video essay, eloquently focuses on three important main aspects of a good video essay. He concisely summarizes the movie, provides context for the inspiration of the movie, and presents counterarguments to the criticisms the film has received.

Benedict uses a combination of voiceovers, the film’s original score, clips of audio from the film, and clips of films that inspired Nolan’s process. Needless to say, there is a lot going on. But it works!

The first minute or so of the video is a compilation of high action scenes. Each clip is about 7-8 seconds long. The purpose of this introduction is to set up the main argument of the video essay: though some may find the film confusing, it makes sense when the film broken down and analyzed. This is summed up when Benedict says, “The people whose heads were spinning the most were the people who enjoyed it the least.”

The rest of the video essay interweaves content from the film with content from other films, especially “Last Year at Marienbad,” which was conceptually a huge influence on Inception. When incorporating other films, Benedict juxtaposes the scenes with scenes from Inception, utilizing rapid jump cuts. He also incorporates stills from the films, which is a good addition, since it allows the viewer to take a second and listen to the voiceover. Sometimes, watching the scene unfold while a voiceover is playing is too distracting and hard to follow.

Another one of my favorite parts of Benedict’s analysis was that he pointed out how there is a theme of non-traditional timelines across Nolan’s films. While some say that Inception makes no sense, Benedict is pointing out that it is just a different way to tell a story, like Nolan has often done. He mentions Memento, which is a story told backwards, Batman Begins, which is told in a non linear format, and Following, which consists of multilayered flashbacks.

Benedict concludes his video essay by focusing on Inception, exclusively. He brings up the profound element of surrealism that carries throughout the film. He provides a deeper interpretation for scenes that may have gone over the heads of many, specifically, the scene where Ariadne realizes she is in a dream, and the shops on the street start exploding. He likens this to a metaphor where Ariadne’s mind explodes with the new information.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 5.49.37 PM

The strongest part of Benedict’s piece is his variety in presentation methods. He starts specific, broadens his argument, and then widdles it down to specifically Inception toward the end. His style is very organized. There is a clear beginning, middle, and end – just as a regular, printed essay would have. His incorporation of credits acts as a “Works Cited,” wrapping up the entire video essay.