Friday, August 3, 2012

Final Course Reflection

As this class winds down, I begin to reflect on the things I learned about cameras, lighting, and most importantly, the knowledge I have gained as a filmmaker and artist. At the start of this class, I figured that I knew a great deal about videography and that this was going to be a boring refreshment of information that I already possessed. Little did I know, what I would take away from this course would not be any technical aspects, but rather insight about myself as a filmmaker and artist. I always knew that it was important for any artist to have his/her very own unique style. Rather it be a technique or several techniques that a artist uses or the way he/her depicts lights. During the different exercises and assignments, I found myself returning to the same types of images, styles, and inspirations. These images described my visual style and define my vision as an artist. After noticing that I have somewhat of a visual style, I have been thinking of ways to make this style distinct to me. It will take me several years but I am dedicated at creating my own visual style. This class has really helped me to become proactive in discovering my artist style and honing my skills.

Blog #8 Camera Choice

For my scene assignment, I decided to use the Canon T2i DSLR. The reason why I chose this camera was it's ability to film in low light and it's great depth of field. For my scene, I chose a scene from the feature-film "Dead Presidents" in which the character's plan a bank robbery. My vision was to create a high key, low contrast, shadowy, type look, that surrounds the subject with darkness. DSLRs are great with low light functions in part due to it's ISO ratings and the great depth of field will allow me to crush the background while keeping the subject in the foreground in critical focus. The small size of the DSLRs also make them more useful in situations where space is limited. I automatically cancelled out both of the JVC cameras because of their low sensitivity to light. The Ex-3 is capable of filming in low light situations but it's work flow is rigorous due to the XDCAM footage it records. So, based on my needs I pretty much knew that DSLR was the way to go.

Midterm Reflections

So far I have learned alot in this course. I've learned about camera specs, filters, and most importantly, prime lenses. I am fascinated by the prime lenses that we have here in the TCF Department. I look forward to learning more about lenses and using them hands-on in order to become a better cinematographer. At this moment I believe my strength lies in lighting. It just seems natural to me. However I do not wish to D. P. but rather direct. Hopefully as this course goes on I will gain more knowledge to become a better director

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lighting Styles

This is a screenshot from Kanye West's short film "Runaway". The lighting and composition of this shot is simply breath-taking . This silhouette shot is created by placing a bright light source, in this case an explosion, behind the subject.The absence of light in front of the subject allows the back light to illuminate the outline of the subject.

These two screen shots from "Runaway" show beautiful soft light. The Kino Flow lights that we have here in the TCF department are capable of reproducing this soft light. I really like the feel of soft light and the way it brings out and softens the skin tone of darker subjects.

This is another example of beautiful soft light. It also has a shadowy contrast with light in the subject's eyes and shadows falling on the wall behind.

The sun is the most beautiful light if you can catch it at the right moment. I enjoy the use of natural light and absolutely love beautifully captured sunlight. This photo catches the beautiful sunlight as the sun was setting. The color palette of this image is very "autumny".

Reel & Artist Statement


Reel Kourtney from UA, Telecommunication and Film on Vimeo.


I find myself with writer’s block when searching for the perfect words to describe myself as an artist. It’s quite difficult to define who I am as a filmmaker because I am constantly growing, learning, and adapting as I gain experience and insight in the field.  When I decided to major in media production, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The only camera I had ever picked up was a HP digital camera and my cell phone. Like most people, I was thinking, “ C’mon man, how hard can this be? You just grab a camera and go shoot.” Boy was I wrong. I never imagined how demanding and chaotic this field was until I was faced pulling an all night editing session and so many of my clips wouldn’t edit together.  I was unaware of the amount of hours that go into producing a 2-3 minute film, and oblivious to the amount of time it takes to record a feature-length film. I was also unaware that I would fall in love with this art form. I have always been fascinated by music and since a child I have dreamed that one day I will be able to touch the world with my music. Music and film are almost synonymous in today’s culture, with the two sharing very similar characteristics. My goal as an artist is to combine these two art forms, these two ways of conveying information, and use them to influence others like myself, the dreamers; in hopes that it will inspire them to create something great and reach their dreams. I do not wish to be remembered as a legend or innovator but as inspiration to others. If I can inspire one dreamer with my work, then I have achieved my own dream. 

Scene Assignment: Dead Presidents Remake


DeadPrez convert from UA, Telecommunication and Film on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Motivated Camera Movement

Camera movement is only effective when it is motivated. In this age, technology has allowed camera movement to become achieved easier, and in turn has resulted in the overuse of this technique by many directors. Camera movement can be motivated by several different things. Most of the the time, the camera moves when following a subject, but also to reveal the details of a certain location or scene. Camera movement can also be motivated by the story. It can be effective when used to display to the audience a character's internal feelings, or to reveal a prediction or foresight of the plot.

Below are a few examples of effective camera movement:

This scene from the film Kill Bill Vol. 1, captured in one shot, uses a plethora of camera moves. 



This example contains a lot of aerial shots or fly overs, which helps establish location and allows the viewers to move with the camera and take in some of the information of the "world" that the director has created.



The camera movement in this example is mostly comprised of aerial shots, but the performance scenes are all shot while the camera pans back and forth, sort of giving it a shaky and gritty feel, which plays well with the theme of the song.