An Incredible Essay

This week is all about video, specifically analyzing cinematic camerawork and how it brings everything together. Since we have been looking at numerous aspects such as color, design, photos, audio, etc. throughout this course I was particularly excited to explore a different aspect of storytelling such as video.

Prior to participating in this first initial assignment I read Ebert’s essay and watched the series of Tony Zhou videos that further discussed the basics of film analysis and the key components that go into filming. These works really helped further understand film. However that being said I have taken an intro to cinema studies course here at UMW which covered numerous topics that were emphasized in the essay and videos as well. I was thrilled to see some overlap between this course and that.

Moving forward I utilized these tools to help me in my first assignment of the week. Our first task was to identify a scene from a video that’s related to our secret agent theme in some way. We then were asked to analyze it in a video essay. Based on the reading we needed to point out and discuss important characteristics in regards to video that we read and further learned about.

So with that I decided to break down a scene in the secret agent movie, The Incredibles. I absolutely love this movie and felt it would be fun to analyze and expand my video skills.

Prior to this assignment I really have had little to no experience with iMovie. I may have used it once or twice here and there, but I am far from comfortable with it. Total disclaimer this assignment actually was incredibly hard for me. It wasn’t hard in the sense of analyzing the video I thoroughly enjoyed that. It was hard in the sharing and finalizing steps of the video.

To begin I downloaded my video from YouTube using one of the sites provided for us. I at first wanted to use the site 4K Video Downloader because it seemed safer for my computer, however my laptop wasn’t up to date with software so therefore I couldn’t access it. That being said I decided to try y2mate.com. This site worked in downloading the video from youtube, but I will probably never use it again because of the potential malware issues it provides. I was so nervous to mess up my computer because I have had an encounter with malware problems before so I am more than likely going to stay clear of it in the future.

Once the video was downloaded I pulled up iMovie and imported the family dinner scene from the first incredibles. From there I recorded a voice over of me analyzing the scene. In my voice over I discuss aspects like lighting, camera angles, lenses, camera placement, shot-reverse-shot, positioning of characters, etc. When I was finished recording I went to share my video as a file so I could upload it on youtube, however it wouldn’t save for the life of me. I spent hours looking up ways online and just couldn’t seem to find an answer. Ultimately I decided to test out downloading the new mac software “Mojave”. I felt this may help the issue and ultimately was living on a prayer. After about an hour and a half of downloading I finally had the new software and my video FINALLY decided to save as a file and allowed for me to upload it to youtube. Most importantly though, I found out that 4k Video Downloader now works on my computer since it is updated and I will never ever have to use y2mate.com again. Phew, thank god.

I’m really proud of myself for toying around with my computer because it ultimately led to the success of my video. I was on the brink of giving up, but relied on my perseverance to get me through. By doing so I was able to create an awesome video that explores the cinema techniques utilized in the family dinner scene of The Incredibles. I certainly need to work on further understanding video techniques as well as familiarizing myself with iMovie, but for now I am quite satisfied with how everything turned out.

Check out my video and let me know what you think!

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