Thursday, November 10, 2011

Audio/Video Project

       The audio/video project is one of the key projects for this semester. In addition, I have done previous recordings at a professional standard with better audio and video recording equipment and at more controlled locations. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the audio/video project previously mentioned. There were circumstances that prevented me to record both within my zone of expectations and at the standard of mass media. Nevertheless, given the circumstances, I did a fairly good job. To say the least, my experience with the recent audio/video project was not a very good one. Given another chance, there are many things I would have done differently.
        The technical aspect of making media is important. The equipment we used to record sound and image was passable but not great. I would have used my own recording equipment and recorded a subject that can speak slowly in a clear, loud tone. I would have also tried to reserve time in an empty classroom or a recording space. These elements are necessary for recording sound unless you have top of the line equipment. The project mandated the use of college equipment yet failed to provide locations for proper audio/video recordings. All of these elements came into play when the audio track was loaded into Final Cut Express.
        I knew this recording would need extensive editing and editing skills to create a half-way decent project. First and foremost, a busy college is not a controlled environment to record in unless audio recording space is available. In addition, the interview was not in chronological order as told by the subject. These issues would have to be corrected in the editing process. Both issues require much time to correct and in many cases are uncorrectable pending on how fast the subject speaks. I have learned, if a filmmaker is not in control of his location, equipment, and subject, there is a high probability the the project will not be a success. Moreover, even if one is in control of the variables mentioned above, anything can happen and every thing should be expected when making a media project.
        Filmmaking is one of the most time consuming processes to complete and should be viewed as such. There was an inadequate amount of time to create a good audio/video project. The only aspect of my project I'm remotely satisfied with is the story it tells and the order in which it is told. It has content, depth, and meaning, it tells a story about someone's passion from beginning to end. However, the numerous cuts that were needed are noticeable in many cases, and the sound peeks at -12 yet the voice is still low. The video portion was a quick put-to-gether for a fly-by-night interview both of which I am disappointed in
        As I mentioned earlier, this project did not meet my standards. However, this is a part of filmmaking and these issues should be expected. The filmmaking process is time consuming as seen in documentaries that are concerned with the making of films. Every detail must be well thought out and calculated into the bigger equation—that of a finished product. This audio/video project was a simple exercise that showed me nothing more than the possible issues that I will encounter and have to overcome as a student filmmaker.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Blog #2

 In my opinion, the movie “Sweeney Todd, Demon Barber of Fleet Street” has a grate relationship of the sounds to the images and how they all connect to one another. The content, composition, color, and movement in these scenes are an excellent example of how a story should be told and the elements that are needed to do so. Moreover, the editing is a major component in why I think it is such a grate example of sound to image relation. I will be analysis one particular scene from this movie which provides an example of the elements needed to tell a good story.
Sweeney Todd is a musical and could be considered a cross between horror and drama. The scene I am reviewing is the epiphany Sweeney Todd has after his plans to kill the judge failed.
He begins to rant and rave through song and the images connect to the words as well as the color composition and movement. For example the scene starts off in a dark room as Mr. Todd chances a young man out of the room screaming at the top of his lungs.
There is a brief full shoot of Mr. Todd standing in the room as the young man walks out and the Misses Loveits walks in. then, there are two very quick medium shots of first Mr. Todd and then Ms. Loveits. The camera cuts into a close up of Mr. Todd as he walks towards the window and looks out at a cloudy London sky. the colors are all gloomy an the shoots suggest anger as they cut very quickly and focus on the confusion of Ms. Loveits and Mr. Todd facial expressions. The medium shots that follow are all in accordance to the first few shots that set the tone and the mood.
The song Mr. Todd sings reflects his feelings for society and this is well expressed when there is a jump cut that takes the character from his barber shop to the streets of london. However, even these are medium shots and focus on facial expressions. They are also dark and dreary and only Mr. Todd's image stays well lit and in focus. Before the scene ends, there are two shoots that track away and above Mr. Todd as he raises his barber blades to the sky and then a cut to Mr. Todd in the same position but this time he is back in his barber shop. This is an excellent example of a psychotic break as expressed through sound and image.
Many of the cuts are not obvious but they are very well positioned because this is a sequence that expresses his hatred and thrust for revenge. A series of quick cuts is the best way to evoke an emotion weather it be excitement, fear, or anger. Hence, “Sweeney Todd, Demon Barber of Fleet Street”, is an excellent example of thew many elements needed to express a situation with sound and image. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


            I hear a saxophone playing in the background. There are people calmly talking in small groups while a small go-cart passes through. The sound of it's engine and the transmitter receiver cuts through the air. The most common sound in the city did not seem to fit in at this place. As it passes, it startles a flock of birds which in turn fly past me fluttering their wings. A generator can be heard percolating as it powers large machinery and devices. A small hand radio is tuned to the oldies station and “Down By The Boardwalk” can be heard playing while two men harmonize with guitar and drum on the opposite side; yards away. Both sounds compliment the casual conversation taking place. I hear people walking their dogs and the bells and dog-tags clanging together making the faintest of sounds. The people drag their shoes by as they walk and scrape along the concrete. The sound off a skater skatting joins the symphony. Accompanied by bicyclist riding their bikes. The winds pick up and ruffles the tree leaves while children walk through with their parents and nannies. The grown-ups talk softly while the children push toy baby strollers, laughing, and speaking gibberish amongst themselves. Eventually, the birds come back and gather around me accompany by the squirrels. Their noises are requests for food. Hence, they dig through and ruffle the bushes behind me as they continue their search. Again, the birds take flight simultaneously, flapping their wings in the wind, and leaving the squirrels behind which crack open peanut shells with their teeth. My phone rings, a bum raises his voice for, this local has had to much to drink. These sounds climax and then,... there is a pause... followed by a moment of laughter. A transition begins as the quietness returns. The sounds wait for their next performance.