Summary – Assignment 5

This has been my favorite. Ultimately I didn’t put out as much work as I have for other assignments, but the work I did put out has a lot more thought in it. Still some challenging things, but my favorite assignment so far. Before we jump in, I’d like to quickly redirect you to another “About Me” supplement I did on my history with movies – for fun.

So yes, I don’t watch as many movies now because I’m in school and a single movie is like, 20% of my free time for the week, but at one point in my life I watched a ton, and watched director commentaries and documentaries on movies (Heart of Darkness anyone?) and directors, and this Assignment was a big hit for me. It was a shade more than nostalgia, which I think of as reminiscing, but I got to geek out about movies again and learn a good deal more as well.

I’ve always harbored a distinct disdain and prejudice against art/movie critics – if you look at Rotten Tomatoes’ all time list…I can’t say the moves are garbage because that would make me a critic BUT, I can say that the list is absolute trash (see? cause now I’m a list critic and not a movie critic). Because it is. Like the Oscars. Zero respect for their taste in movies, and I’m sure its highly politicized. I digress.

Roger Ebert’s How to Read a Movie was astounding. I gush about it at length here. I won’t get in to the details, but the way he talks about the technical aspects of cinematography is just amazing, and he does it in a way that really says to me that he only considers himself an expert because he’s such a huge fan, and not because he has a higher class of taste or any of that BS. I don’t mind if someone tells me what is good and bad, because the fact they say it implies it’s their opinion, but if they say that something is good because they say it is, and I should trust them because they’re an expert…I will destroy them.

Anyways, on to some other stuff. When I was in middle school I had a cracked version of Adobe Premier and made lightsaber videos and a bunch of other cool effects. That was a long time ago and I don’t really use keygen’d software anymore, so I used the very basic Video Editor program on Windows 10. It was tough. I think for what it is, its great, but it has limitations like being unable to mix sound in the same program as video. For sound I returned to Audacity which I leaned on heavily in Assignment 4. Similarly in Assignment 4, I admitted I had trouble grasping the nuances of sound production, and in the Look, Listen, Analyze reflection I struggled with that again. That said, in that specific section, I really think I excelled (relative to me) at the look/analyze portions. I also think I did a really good job Ebert-viewing a scene from The Favourite for one of my video assignments. I’m not sure if that’s my own ability at cinematic analyzation, or the fact that Ebert’s article was so clear, concise and, most importantly, engaging. This assignment has also produced easily my best standalone assignment yet. For the Period Piece Mashup I had to smash together two period pieces, but I also had to incorporate what I’d learned in the audio and visual sections of the course as well, and I got this baby (if YouTube takes it down, I’ve also hosted it on Twitter here).

Socially, video is clearly the most influential media around today. I know there was the stat of 300 hours of video/minute thrown out, and I’ll add one. When I worked in marketing (2015), but there was a stat we used to sell video ads that there were 2 billion YouTube searches a day – a number which I’m sure has gone up due to normal accretion and the fact that we all spent 2020 on our computers.

One last bit of thought is this. One of the things I’ve really been trying to do is drive more traffic to my blog. I had been including link-backs in all tweets as of maybe two assignments ago, but I’ve also started including interesting images in all my links to try and bait people. I also got the idea of adding Google Analytics to my site and tags to my twitter links to determine where my clicks were coming from, but that would give me about 3 days to collect data and 2 days to optimize, with no time to test…all of which are time frames that are way too small for a low-traffic site. So I didn’t. But I thought about it.

From other blogs I found a lot of really interesting analyses of movies. I think Stella does a great job in some of hers, and Digital Leviathan (it feels wrong just calling him Brandon) had a great insight about Tarantino using center-shots because they resembled mugshots.

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