Hello Film Crew –
When we think of film, we are immediately reminded that it is a visual medium. This week, we will explore cinema through the lens of the camera and cinematography. We will discover the importance and uses of “camera framing”, the “impact of color-theory”, and began to examine film categories like Drama, Biopics, Documentary, and based on true story films. You will also learn the best ways to evaluate and review film remakes and sequels. You’ll get a chance to hear from Oscar-winning cinematographers and explore adaptations, and discover why there is very little originality in Hollywood films.
After you dive into all these topics, you will need to address the following response/dialogue topics and post your feedback at the bottom of the Dialogue page (or email/message me with your comments if they don’t post). Answer any three of the following:
Upcoming Assignments: Dialogue/Response Post –
Questions for Consideration (Due Feb. 15, 11:59 pm):
- Based on the reading of “The Camera” what framing techniques did you discover (or rediscover) that may help you the most in critiquing films. Offer an example. What else did you gain from that reading that you feel is important? Why?
2. After engaging in section titled “Cinematographers tell their Story” – describe what impressed (or intrigued you) the most after watching or listening to one of the award-winning cinematographers. You must identify which cinematographer or video/audio segment you engaged.
- After engaging in the sections “Understanding Adaptations”, “Drama, Reality and Documentary,” and “Evaluating Remakes and Sequels”– choose one topic or element that surprised you, intrigued you, or that you feel will truly help you in your understanding of cinema critique. Always defend your answer with “why you feel that way.”
4. After exploring “color theory” in this chapter, name a recent film you’ve seen and identify the color-scheme that was used (throughout the film or in a particular scene) and explain what the color represented. How will understanding the use of color-themes in film help you understand the filmmakers/director’s intent.
Story-Song/Story-Poem Adaptation Assignment (Film Journal Blog)
You also have a personal film blog entry due on March 3 (11:59 pm). You must dissect a story-song or story-poem using the guidelines listed below. When you break down a story-song/poem into the formula components (character, conflict, resolution), you’ll get a closer understanding and appreciation for how filmmakers find story ideas for adaptations. As always, your journal entry should include three images, three tags and three links. Post your link below, or email/message me the link if it doesn’t post.
- You must find and story-song or story-poem (do not examine a music video for this even if one exists– this is strictly about exploring and dissecting the written words or lyrics). If there is a music video out there, that can only be used for bonus points and shouldn’t be the focus of the assignment. You may select any story-song or story-poem that fits the criteria below. If you need suggestions for songs/poems, email or message me before Thursday. I also have a list of user summited songs that fit the criteria here in this chapter.
- Your selection must include:
- Character or Characters
- Some type of conflict/crisis
- You must post the original lyrics (and attribute the writers and/or performers) and then do the following:
- Identify the characters
- Identify the Inciting incident
- Identify the setting of the story (if you can tell)
- What is the conflict/crisis?
- What is the resolution
- If this were made into a film, would it be a comedy, drama, action, horror, animated film? Why?
- BONUS POINTS (up to 20 additional points) (for any of the following): Identify which “literary hero” is best represented and why. Which film director or acting cast do you think would be best to bring this adaptation to the big screen? What is the story question? How was the story question answered? Do you feel this follows the standard Freytag story arc we explored … if so, offer defense. Include embedded audio or video file connected to the song.
Check out this example of “Goodbye Earl” – Performed by the Dixie Chicks and written by Dennis Linde on this page.
Semester Project Updates/Timelines
If you haven’t already sent me your sources (at least 4-6) for your semester project, that should happen by Feb. 25 to keep you on target for this project. By March 7 –You should have viewed your semester project film and started making detailed research and critique notes.
Communication & Assignment Reminders
If you send me an email or in-course message, I will always respond to you. If you post an assignment or a blog post, I will always acknowledge it. If you don’t receive a response or acknowledgement, that means for some reason I didn’t get it, and you should reach back out to me to make sure you’re getting credit. As a reminder, I will no longer accept late work; make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to complete the assignments. If you every have questions, comments or concerns or need guidance, you can reach out to be in a multitude of ways, (email, message, phone) and I will respond. It is up to you to make sure that your post (and assignments) are making it to me.
I want you all to succeed in this course, and that happens best, when you engage in these chapter materials. I believe that you will find by interacting in our lessons, you will discover relevance that can be applied to other classes, personal observations and the enjoyment of other mediums (TV, literature, music, etc.).
For this week, that’s a wrap,
Noel T. Manning II