Monday, December 19, 2011

Reflection on MEDP160

I definitely felt this course was a step up from MEDP150, I keep expecting to go into depth and learn everything about a specific program- but I was quite satisfied with how much we went through this semester. I feel like again it was just a crack at the surface.

I really really wish animation was longer. The audio and video projects were well worth the time, but seems like something editors will figure out on their own anyways- animation on the other hand was something I never ever tried before. To have had more time to work with animation and html would've been great since we did video editing in 150.

I was really excited when twitter was brought into the lectures- that was a great example of implementing social media in a real way. I personally didn't get much from lectures unless they had visual material, or if it was a run through a project we were going to work on. More exposure to the program helped.

I also enjoyed watching other people's videos and projects- it's a great source to learn from other students, and I was quite impressed with everyone's work.

Overall it was a great semester, I hope I can continue to hone my skills effectively from this point on.

Thanks so much for you guidance and assistance this semester, Sam!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TV Kids Video

Blog Post 3

This entire process of having audio as a foundation was new to me. I really felt it was impossible to make an interview audio piece that incorporated secondary sources efficiently. However, after my second go at it, I flourished the reorganized dialogue with sound effects, and music- I fell in love with the result. It was a tedious to do at first, I don’t know if many people do this, but I wrote out every word, and um Melissa uttered so I would know what I had and what I would cut. This proved to be the most useful step I took since it allowed me to fix up the dialogue in a very efficient manner. I now know the importance of audio, it will definitely make a video piece more interesting, contrary to what I previously believed: the visuals should be put first, followed by the it’s matching audio, accordingly.

Despite being satisfied with my audio production; I really struggled trying to match my video content with it. Therefore, even though I now audio is very important to a piece- I probably won’t go out of my way to make it a solid audio clip for another video project. I had one recorded clip of Melissa’s introduction- lip syncing that was so difficult. She said the first part in line, but the second part (which ended up being used) was too fast, so I had to slow it down, and this is apparent due to it’s stabilization issues. Next time? –Play back is required for lip syncing.

Melissa was courteous enough to send me a whole bunch of photos of her as a child. I cropped and edited most of them before importing them into the editor. I wish I used more effects, like the Ken Burns effect on them so it would have more movement, however I struggled with making them as subtle as possible, so I just left it all out. (I got headaches from the fast/slow zooms; I was also fed up with the motion points too, this is something I need to practice with). In the end, the struggle of compiling all of this together makes me really respect editors in the field. Every piece I watch now, I have to go “Oh geez, how long did it take for them to get all these shots combined?” –it’s a true skill and gift to be able to tell a story through visuals and audio from all different types of medium- I hope to one day be able to hone this skill and do it for a living.

p.s. It's common sense to save every couple of minutes while editing, yess??? -I need to get some, the impossible program corruption occurred when I was 80% done, and had to do it all over againnnn. -Oddly enough I didn't mind re-doing the video, it allowed me to have a second go at the decisions I made before.

Edit 11/21/11

I came to check on my post when I realized the video I had uploaded last week was not playing right- so I had to re-upload it today on to vimeo.

Hopefully it plays right and is working efficiently this time around. This has been a very technical problem heavy project. *crosses fingers*

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Experience the Acrophobia

The legendary Mr. Alfred Hitchcock is well known for his style and technique. To be quite honest, I'm not a huge movie buff, and a Hitchcock picture is not a common selection I would make. However, I'm quite grateful for being required to watch Vertigo for another course; it allowed me to understand why his craft is unique, and I've come to truly respect his work. Vertigo follows a retired private investigator, John Ferguson and his quest to watch and protect a wealthy acquaintance's wife, Madeleine. Under the impression that the Madeline is possessed by a dead ancestor who wants to kill her, Ferguson is forced to run after her as she enters the bell tower. Diagnosed with acrophobia, the ex-detective has a hard time keeping up with the woman who plans to commit suicide. Hitchcock utilizes great camera angles, and editing techniques to truly convey the sensation of vertigo. The climatic rush of anxiety and panic peaks when Madeline's body is seen falling through the window.

Focusing on the elements composed in the bell tower scene, I've discovered many layers of careful decisions Hitchcock has made. The soundtrack plays a vital role in the story telling. The beat picks up after the two characters separate, and Madeline begins to run. The rhythm of the violins match the panic Ferguson expresses in his attempt to chase her. Diegetic sounds, such as foot steps and the sound of Madeline's body hitting the ground act almost like dialogue in a scene with very little words. The carefully picked sounds assists and enhances the action.

Eye line match is used the most in this film. A close up shot of Ferguson looking up diagonally, followed by a shot of the tall bell tower conveys his conclusion that Madeline is running in order to jump off it. When he enters the church in a wide shot, followed by two empty wide shots of the church, the sound of her footsteps is what leads audiences to understand why he ran in the direction of the empty stairs. These empty scenery shots of the church were short but long at the same time. Short, because they were literally only a second or two- but long because audiences have identified themselves with Ferguson's point of view. Thus, when in a panic, one scans one's surroundings quickly but carefully, elongating the experience of time.

Hitchcock develops the chase scene up the tower steps, running with the usage of eye line match. Crucial to the movie, Hitchcock used a filming technique to distort and create a sensation of vertigo by zooming in and tracking back at the same time. A wide shot of Ferguson struggling to climb up and over looking the banister, is followed by this distorted shot- allowing the audience to understand his suffering. The sweat on James Stewart's forehead further emphasizes the effects of vertigo. After Madeline's body falls, and Ferguson is climbing down the steps again, the high angle of the stairwell with him making his way around is a powerful image since audiences can still feel the overwhelming dizziness from both acrophobia and from witnessing a devastating death. There's great acting, camera work, and music- however, what truly makes this scene a classic is the editing involved in combining these elements.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Audio for Project One

Untitled from Thu Huynh on Vimeo.

Well I sure made a booboo, I was under the impression that this audio piece was to be used in our final video project. -I intend on using most of the interview and incorporating more video content audio. I had no sound effects/ music in mind, which is why I didn't add anything to the piece. HOW BLAND AND BORING COMPARED TO EVERYONE ELSE'S MASTER PIECES TT~TT

**will work on a heartier version for the sake of saving some form of creativity.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What I Hear: Soundwalk

I didn't realize how addicted I've become to plugging my ears every time I went out until I actually did this little walking meditation/ear cleaning exercise. Don't get me wrong, I was always an advocate for ipod-less train rides and walks to work, but I guess one can grow accustomed to traveling with music that it becomes a necessity. My reluctant attitude to put away the ipod on my journey home from school one day ended up being more difficult than I thought it would be initially, however with some time I eased in the groove of "natural" noise.
I walked to Grand Central from Hunter, took the 7 train from there to Roosevelt Avenue, where I got off and walked home- a grand trip adding up to about an hour and a half of natural noise, no distractions, and a open mind. I went several blocks unsure of what my ears were supposed to pick up. Noise is noise- cars honking, random conversations, machines whirling, smoke sizzling... the more I focused on just sounds, I found myself eventually walking blind with my eyes open- if that makes any sense. It was a sensation where I didn't feel like I saw anything, I simply focused on sounds- and for some reason I felt like I could see better, I understood my environment a lot more.
On my walk to Grand Central down Lexington, dominant noises included the six train rumbles from underground, cars honking, and tires screeching. Though there's many people walking and talking- the sound isn't as prolific and demanding as machine noise. The blaring ambulance and fire trucks stick out, the high amplitude of the sirens kill all other sounds and demands attention. On the train, talkative murmur was more apparent. I found myself trying to focus on everyone's conversation, which was difficult since it was US Open season, and there's a heck of a lot of groups traveling together. Despite this, the train announcements were just as loud as sirens on the street, interrupting the natural conversations on board. On my walk through Jackson Heights, language, music, and again- machines filled my ears. Eventually I heard wind blowing through leaves when walking through house lined streets with great trees- ah yes, nature- the best track on this entire CD of natural noise.