The next project given to us in Digital Design Foundation/CAT 111 was to create a 1 to 1.5 minute video piece that is new, interesting and cohesive with appropriated video and sound clips found from copyright-free sources. Conceptually, the goal of this project is “re-contextualization”. That is, give new meaning to concepts (visual and aural) by placing them in different environment/perspective/situation and Archive.org is a resource to use.
The start of this project we were give a discussion in which we described one of our favorite scenes from a favorite movie. The first image I had was from the movie Snatch, directed by Guy Ritchie. I selected the first fight scene in which Mickey knocks out Gorgeous George, and then we see Tommy in pure disbelief as chaos ensues around him. (My synopsis is at the bottom of this blog.)
After I completed that, I moved on to the project…I was excited to splice together some of my favorite scenes, but, before I explored the site, I decided I wanted to brainstorm ideas for my video. I had an idea to use dark intense conversations from different movies that have stuck with me through the years.
These are some of those clips:
Batman 1989 – “Ever danced with the devil by the pale moonlight?”
In the Line of Fire 1993 “What do you see at night, when the demons come?” (my fav line starts minute 3:40)
Boondock Saints 1999 (Final Speech/prayer gives me chills EVERYTIME!)
Troy 2004 “Is there no one else!!!!?” (His run and smooth jump and slashes his sword smoothly into his neck…the setup/directing, whatever goes into creating a scene was done perfectly!)
Two of my favorite scenes include fighting, so I decided I would create something around that idea…
But, the next day, as I anticipated finding these great scenes on Archive.org, I was highly disappointed…this site has no such things.
So, I went back to the drawing board with some air knocked out of my sails.
Scenes that include droves of people in chaos always intrigue me, so I continued to look for “fight” scenes. Riots filled my monitor…Okay, I can work with this. Immediately “what a wonderful world” played in my head that definitely is a new concept to go with fighting, that fits the criteria for this project…Okay, I finally had a plan…To illustrate the irony of having such a sweet and innocent song play during pure chaos…Eerie children laughing (like you hear in horror movies) needed to be added to.
I found a few clips I wanted to use and drafted up my story board. I felt I was on a good track. But, as I went searching for the eerie children laughing, again, I came up empty. So, I searched on other sites only to find you have to pay for these clips and that you can’t download anything from YouTube. (Obviously I hadn’t tried to do any of this before, so I was learning it all on the fly and it was VERY discouraging.) View my storyboard.
I was turning up empty leaves every turn I made, but I realized I needed to start learning Adobe Premiere. Just upon launching the program, I was already shaking in my boots. Four empty but completely unfamiliar sectors stared at me from my monitor. “What the heck am I supposed to do here? Oh, geez, this project is quickly becoming my least favorite by the nano seconds!!!!”
Okay, the tutorials on Adobe Illustrator were conducted by an easy to follow guy, so there’s still hope for me. Not. Much to my chagrin, it wasn’t the same instructor, but an annoying older guy that repeated the same things and didn’t really seem to go over just what I was looking for.
I imported the few clips I saved, but was confused about getting audio sound-over, or how to manipulate a single audio clip’s volume without affecting the others on the same stream. Finally, I came to grips with accepting the resources that were available and realizing I have to create something that just isn’t what I had imagined. Of course I still ran into hiccups that made me want to scream…bless my boyfriend’s heart for silently listening and cheering me on as I vented through this process.
Finally. I finished the damn thing. It had some cool audio pieces, I wasn’t thrilled with the images, but, overall, I accomplished a sliver of what I hoped to. Only to learn that the video was THREE TIMES TOO LARGE! How the heck do you make something smaller? This is one of the areas I am very ignorant in. Another three or four more hours total trying to change formats, this and that before I went into Premiere and just started hacking away at the clips. I removed some of my favorite pieces and tried again. It would have been nice to know that the pieces you import hold their enormous size. (I did not take ANY of that into account and wished I would have known that before I started bringing pieces in and would have been able to understand which pieces to stay away from. Or even just to cut out exactly the scene you want, save that as a new clip and THEN import it back in. Of course I discovered this ON MY OWN much too close to the due date.)
I finally learned how to zip and send and shot it over to my boyfriend for the first view. I called him up only to listen to silence. A few ‘ums’ and ‘aahs’ came through, but he really didn’t have anything to say about the damn thing. My heart sank and I wanted to cry. I had spent a crap load of man hours on this piece of thing, and only wanted to hear a little praise that maybe it was an okay work of art. But, I don’t think he liked it. I think he mentioned something about it abruptly ending…he couldn’t explain. And that didn’t leave me with any hope about how others would feel about it.
Well, it got turned in, and none of my classmates had anything to say about it either. I feel like a failure. I am used to creating things that people enjoy. I guess I have to rack this one up to a learning experience. I wasn’t able to create a good product but I did slightly learn how to use a new program. I still continue to brainstorm about different pieces I would like to turn into video, and really want to know how to download movie clips. I guess money will have to be involved. But then I would be able to create something that I actually want to create using pieces I want.
And still the video is too large to be added into this blog, so here’s a link:
Choose one of your favorite films, pick an important or memorable scene, and describe how the editing process plays an important role in the success of the scene.
Not only is Snatch one of my favorite movies, it includes one of my favorite scenes which is perfect to talk about for this discussion. For those of you who haven’t seen it, I suggest you do. The scene I love is:
Gorgeous George takes on Mickey in a fight. They’re dancing around and George is really giving him a beating. George hits Mickey so hard that he lands on the fence, and breaks it. George is yelling “Get back down, or you will not be coming up next time!” Mickey takes a minute to stretch his legs while he’s down there. George says “Oh, bollocks to you. This is sick. I’m out of here” Mickey hops up, says
“You’re not going anywhere, you thick lump.” [pulls off his shirt and he is ripped – you think oh no, this is not good}
“You stay until the job’s done.” Mickey kisses his good luck charm. George throws a punch, but Mickey dodges it, and knocks out George with a clean strike to the jaw. The crowd gathers around Georges body. You hear Turkish begin to narrate as the song Golden Brown plays.
The next scene is like a dream state, you can’t hear what anyone is saying, the camera is slowly panning in on Tommy’s face who is looking scared and defeated, two people on either side of him are yelling at each other, spit flying, pushing each other and Tommy’s just in the middle getting moved around, but he’s staring off into space as if he’s having an out of body experience in the middle of this chaos. Turkish says–
“It turned out that the sweet-talking, tattoo-sporting pikey was a gypsy bare-knuckle boxing champion….Tommy “the Tit” is praying. And if he isn’t … he f-ing should be.”
If you’d like to see this clip on YouTube click here.