E.T.’s Friends Are Here

I liked the idea of trying to connect two pieces of movie dialogue, so I tried my hand at this assignment.  Probably the hardest aspect of this project was to find two comparable lines that could be combined.  I ultimately chose to use one of the “E.T. phone home” scenes from E.T. and the “They’re here” scene from Poltergeist.  I cut the two sections that I wanted and combined them in iMovie.  Both involved otherworldly beings, and both involved cute children, making the result fairly fluid.

The project was essentially another exercise in finding similarities in either the theme or subject matter between different films, while also emphasizing the importance of context.

Week 10 Summary

The assignments this week allowed me to continue to stretch my video-editing skills.  Two of these projects directly related to finding particular patterns/tropes across film.  For example, for one of the assignments I found five instances of the reluctant hero trope, while for another I made a supercut of dramatic screaming in movies.  Both remind me of phenomena that have percolated on the internet (such as the alignment system and various supercut YouTube videos).  I also made a mashup type video where I layered Oh Fortuna over the music video for Sia’s The Greatest.  This was a fun exercise that reiterated the importance of audio in regards to tone, and how a simple change can lead to incredibly interesting effects.

The daily creates this week allowed for some fun creative exercises.

The Ultimate Dramatic Scream Supercut

I’ve seen supercuts circulate on the Internet before (such as the famous No compilation) so I decided to try my hand at this assignment by creating a similar one that focused on emotional screaming.  In constructing this, I noticed a particular pattern.  Most of the screams are silent, or at least have subdued music/noise in the background.  In addition, many have a slow-motion quality to them that heightens the moment.  The footage I grabbed (using File2HD again) included Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, Eomer in The Lord of the Rings, V in V for Vendetta, Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Harry in Harry Potter, Frodo in The Lord of the Rings, Ruth in Fried Green Tomatoes, Deadpool in Deadpool, Superman in Man of Steel, Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman, Thor in Thor, and Westley in The Princess Bride (which I already had a copy of on my computer).

I moved back to my usual video-editing software, CyberLink PowerDirector, to stitch the footage together.


The result was a nice collection of screaming.  I especially enjoyed ending with the prolonged Sound of Ultimate Suffering from The Princess Bride.  This was another great exercise for looking at commonality and tropes throughout film.



5 Movies in 5 Seconds: The Reluctant Hero Trope

I enjoy finding patterns and commonality in movies, so I chose to explore common tropes with this assignment.  I chose to use the Reluctant Hero trope (one that is becoming especially common with the popularity of superhero films).  The characters I selected included Dr. Strange, Ripley from Aliens, Moses from The Prince of Egypt, Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, and Wolverine from X-Men.  I grabbed the clips for each of these characters using File2HD.


I experimented with iMovie, selecting 1 second clips (which I felt conveyed the hero’s reluctance) and stitching them together.  The result is a fast paced demonstration of the similarities and diversities among protagonists.  In some ways it reminded me of the alignment chart which has become increasingly popular on the Internet as a way to categorize characters.  Both involve teasing out an analysis of what characters have in common with others.

Classical Sia

I always enjoy the mashup video projects, so I decided to try the classical mashup assignment.  I chose Sia’s new music video The Greatest as my visual content.  Since the tone of the videos is more dire (as it is a tribute to the Orlando victims) I chose to use a more dramatic classical piece, Oh Fortuna (which also had a similar length of time).  I downloaded the entirety of the Sia video using File2HD.


I then removed the audio of the Sia video in iMovie and layered the audio from Oh Fortuna.  The result was surprisingly good.  Many of the musical hits match with visual elements in a very complimentary fashion.  I uploaded the video to YouTube, but I’m not certain if the video is playable in the United States (due to the automatic detection of Sia’s visual content), but it appears to be available in Australia if one uses the Hola chrome plugin.


Week 9 Summary

I am an avid lover of all things film-related, so I had a lot of fun this week.  The video essay reminded me greatly of my Introduction to Cinema Studies class I took last semester.  Excellent throwback.  Moving into the assignments allowed me to make some hilarious pieces.  I was able to mashup Ghostbusters and Gravity to make a serious piece into a funny one.  I also placed two pieces with similar tone together (in this case Mulan and The Sound of Silence).  Playing around with slow motion allowed me to make a hilarious clip even more ridiculous while also highlighting the mechanics of the motion and sound.  And finally I was able to condense a movie into its essential parts as a fun exercise in spoiling a film.  Overall this was a very enjoyable week, and I look forward to working with more video-related projects next week.

My daily creates are below.  The first is a fun bit of site exploration, and the second is a nice exercise in storytelling within the constraints of twitter.

Spoiling Aliens

I liked the idea of condensing a movie into its essential scenes, so I decided to try my hand at this assignment.  It reminded me of movie trailers (which are often critiqued for giving away major plot points).  After selecting Aliens as my movie of choice, I spliced what I considered to be the essential scenes together in CyberLink PowerDirector.  I decided to focus on the aliens themselves, minimizing other major subplots (such as the centrality of Newt).  But overall, I believe my editing choices convey an effective summary of the film.  The video is below.  Spoiler Alert!

Mulan and the Sound of Silence

I’ve been enjoying these unconventional combinations of audio and video editing, so I decided to try my hand at this one.  I decided to use the scene where Mulan and the rest of the Chinese army find the burned out village, and overlay Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence (as I felt the somber mood fit the visuals).  I successfully downloaded these from YouTube, muted the Mulan clip, and added a section of the piece of music, fading the visuals and audio at the end to make the conclusion smoother.  I successfully uploaded the result to YouTube, and voila!  A winning combination of complimentary pieces with similar tones.

Xena’s Instant Replay

I enjoy watching America’s Funniest Home Videos, which often have an instant replay effect, so I thought I’d try my hand at this assignment.  I chose a ridiculous scene from Xena: Warrior Princess, where the protagonist makes an incredibly cheesy gravity-defying leap.  I did a quick Google Search to determine how to use slow motion in CyberLink PowerDirector (apparently its a Power Tools option) and completed the effect.  The result helps emphasize the ridiculousness of the jump, while also demonstrating some of the mechanics of the Xena warcry.