Category: Prof. Patkanian

due March 25 (TREM 4728)

I. Watch Joshua Oppenheimer’s Act of Killing. It’s available for rent on all major media outlets: Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, etc. Post your thoughts on the movie’s “key,” or goal + a still from the movie that visually reinforces your point.

II. Read Evidence chapter from Crafting Truth. You can find it here: Evidence from CT. I will email later how we can discuss it.

III. Motion exercise is due. Export you movie with a H.264 codec. It should be less than .5GB in size. Name it FirstName CourseNumber Motion, ex. Anna 4728 Motion. Files named differently will not be watched or graded. Remember, you are graded on animation, videos and text have to move. 10 animations of video and 10 animations of text will get you a B max. If the rest is good, and the video shows consistency in production and content, you can get an A. Put it here. You are sharing this folder with TREM 3871 students, so watch all the videos, get inspired!

IV. Start working on your midterm – a film self portrait that uses interview (A-roll) and carefully composed cinematography (B-roll) to convey your personality. It is due March 31.

V. Keep thinking of Final Project – a creative documentary. As I said it can be done in groups of 2.


due March 24 (TREM 3871)

I. Motion Exercise is due on March 24.

Export you movie with a H.264 codec. It should be less than .5GB in size. 1-2 min. Name it FirstName CourseNumber Motion, ex. Anna 3871 Motion. Files named differently will not be watched or graded. Remember, you are graded on animation, videos and text have to move. 10 animations of video and 10 animations of text will get you a B max. If the rest is good, and the video shows consistency in production and content, you can get an A. Put it here. You are sharing this folder with TREM 4728 students, so watch all the videos, get inspired!

II. Style

We will be looking at 3 more directing styles (neo-noir, impressionistic and expressionistic). I’ll email later how we can watch clips together and discuss them.

For the MIDTERM (DUE March 31), you will create a short film (1-3 min) in the directing style of your choice. The film should be (loosely) based on Jacques Prévert’s poem “Dejeuner du Matin”). You can find it here: Jacques Prevert.

You can interpret it any way you want. You do not have to follow the words or even actions described in the poem. The main point is there are two people having breakfast and one of them is not talking to the other. They may not be talking because they are mad, sad or gaged. It can be set in a kitchen, in a bedroom, in a car, in the park, wherever. It may or may not have dialogue. Here are some examples from previous semesters, but if you have an idea, you don’t have to watch any of them. Some of these are made by MFA students, yours can be shorter, simpler etc. The main point of the exercise is to prepare you for the final project.

The second part of you midterm is a PowerPoint (or KeyNote) presentation, in which you will choose one of 6 styles presented “in class;” discuss stylistic elements of a given film (I’ll post titles after next class), incorporating examples of stills from it, as well as discuss how your film (Breakfast adaption) adheres to the style you have chosen.

III. Final Project

Script is due. Please upload your scripts by March 17 into this folder. I will show you examples of LookBooks next class which will be due on March 31. I have updated the calendar.


due March 11 (TREM 4728)

I. We will finish the motion graphic exercise. Try to work on it at least for 4 hours before next class.  We will start working on the Midterm – your (self)-portrait. It can be shot as a traditional documentary (A-roll – interviews of you, and/or your friends and family + B-roll) or it can be a creative essay-type film that uses voice over that you have written under impressionistic shots and/or montage.  You will have to shoot original footage. The midterm is due March 18.

II. Watch A strange Love Affair with Ego, post your thoughts and a still from the film that visually expresses them. You will find the film here.


due March 10 (TREM 3871)

  1. Bring Final Project Proposal to continue workshopping it in class. You will hand it to me for comments.  2 pages max. Font 11-12, single or 1.5 line spacing. Answer questions (1-7) from the doc below (do not restate the questions, but do number answers)

Final Project Outline

2. Bring 3-5 shots of your life that you could use as b-roll to illustrate your interview. You can shoot them on your iPhone or any camera. Remember FEMO equation and try to use natural light. You can partner with a classmate, come an hour earlier and film each other.  Make sure you have

  1. Close Up of your face
  2. WS of you doing doing: studying, writing, cooking, driving, walking your dog?
  3. You with your friends of family
  4. You alone, facing window?

Kendra Martinez_Brother’s Keeper

This documentary captures the essence of this tight-knit community who can really stand by someone in which they trust and believe in that did not kill his brother. In interviewing different people to get a perspective on the matter, one can get a clear sense of this small town, where everyone knows everyone. This plays out a large factor in his support and not only do they support him, but they really do love him like family, and without a question or any doubt in their mind, believe he is innocent. The documentary provides both sides to the story, the law enforcement and the people that live in this community, and it is evident that the brother’s oblivious to the legal aspect but within the frame of the community, they would have his back no matter what.


Zion Decoteau_Thin Blue Line

Errol Morris’ documentary The Thin Blue Line (1988), recounts Randall Adam’s wrongful conviction for the  murder of a Dallas Police officer in 1976. The title partially reveals the story’s content as the phrase thin blue line references the role of police in our society. The documentary’s style strays far from the traditional. Rather than using typical narrative style, it employs climatically shot reenactments. I think the re-enactments are justifiable in the sense that they put views in the middle of the situation being discussed. Rather than haring a narrator tell events in a linear style, we are further engrossed in the story. I would use this technique sparingly however, because I think it blurs the line between cinematic fiction and reality.


Zion Decoteau – Stories We Tell

Stories we tell concerns filmmaker Sarah Polley’s inquisition into her paternity. Polley discovers that she’s a product of an affair between her mother and a Canadian producer. In the film Polley uses interviews from family member’s and friends of her mother’s to delve into the circumstances surrounding the affair. The film is (really) about how our perception/memories of people may sometimes trump the truth of who that person really is/was. We later lean that the interviews and supposed home movies shot on a super 8 camera were staged. This was perhaps done to be a commentary on how events can have different perceptions from different points of view, and how the truth can become manipulated by people, or over time.


Zion Decoteau_Brother’s Keeper

Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s 1992 documentary Brother’s Keeper chronicles the circumstances surrounding Bill Ward’s death. Ward’s brother Delbert is the primary suspect. Moreover, the film also displays the surrounding community’s support of the Ward brothers, despite Delbert being a suspect. Immediately upon seeing the title “Brother’s Keeper” and learning it concerned a murder, the biblical account of Cain killing Abel in Genesis out of jealousy immediately rang a bell. I believe the film is (really) about the sense of community in small towns, and exploitation of the under educated, as Delbert was coerced into signing a confession he couldn’t read or see due to his illiteracy and poor eyesight. This would most likely be an informal documentary style because there is no narrator. The documentary’s story is driven primarily by interviews and trial footage. 


due March 4 (TREM 4728)

Watch Tarnation by Jonathan Caouette. You can find it here (and Brother’s Keeper, you can watch and get credit for last HW)

Read a chapter Authenticity from Crafting Truth. You can find it here: Authenticity

You do not have to upload a paragraph on the blog this time, but be prepared to discuss the easy and the film.

 

 

 

Bring 3 shots that could be used as B-roll for your digital portrait. we will work o it in class.

  1. WS of you doing something (making coffee at homers OK, playing soccer is better)
  2. CU of your face (looking out of the window, thinking, try outside with natural light, be mindful of FEMO)
  3. Shot of you with friends, family or colleagues (laughing, arguing are good, something active)

All could be shot on the phone or camera. If not using tripod, make sure it is not shaky at least for 20 seconds. You do not have to upload it. Bring it class. Here is a nice tripod for phone.

You all must buy Hard Drive to keep your footage/projects on. Here are recommendations from Young Cheong:

500GB HD

Better one, 1TB


due March 3 (TREM 3871)

We are setting up and recording interviews in the TV studio 2-4. Please come early to help set up.

Somos Cuba video is due with titles/credits. We’ll mix sound in class. You may have the two types of montage (20 1/2sec. shots and 5 1sec shots) but you don’t have to.

Video should be 2 min. max and should have some sort of story, or mood, or tone that would make it work as a piece. Feel free to use your own music.

Here is a nice tripod for phone.

You all must buy Hard Drive to keep your footage/projects on. Here are recommendations from Young Cheong:

500GB HD

Better one, 1TB