Unit 9

Reading Movies

In readying my tools I discovered that my computer does, in fact, have Windows Live Movie Maker. I had no idea it was there. I just messed around for the last ten minutes with a video of my son, adding captions, music, an effect and some kind of a dissolve open.  I;m having trouble inserting it here – I think because its a wmlp file. I’ll keep working on it. I also downloaded MPEG StreamClip and played with it a little bit.  Easy to import videos and mess around by I need to keep practicing to get the editing down pat, although the tools (in point, out point, etc) are all familiar to me.

Look, Listen, Analyze

I chose Reservoir Dogs, a great film – and the Mexican standoff scene at the end. It starts off by putting the wounded cop in the center of the scene and rotating around him to reveal one of the men coming in. It does one cutaway to a wounded man on the floor but otherwise stays with the same basic shot, rotating back to the left when Chris Penn comes in. Without changing angles, Penn shoots the cop. Now the shots change. We see a steep angle down to a wounded man and a steep angle up at Chris Penn, clearly showing who’s in charge. Cop is still in the foreground of the wide shot with 5 men in it now.  But for the next several minutes, its just Penn and the wounded man back and forth – same shot – same angles. When it finally pushes in, its to show how angry Penn is. These shots match Ebert’s formula in that the wounded man is to the lower right of the camera shot while Penn is to the upper left, demonstrating dominance. When the boss enters, he’s in each shot while part of the conversation – back of his had in the foreground or shot slightly from below up into his face when he’s speaking. Either way, he’s the dominant presence in the shot. When everyone pulls their guns, the camera angles are either right into the barrels of the guns or right down the sight lines of their arms. It gives the viewer the impression they are either shooting or being shot at. Love the low angle shot when all the bullets go off, then returning to the original opening angle to see Mr. Pink leave. No real audio tricks to speak of. Not watching the video, I realized how loud the cocking of the guns are as well as the heavy breathing as the scene moves ahead. Interesting to note the echo in the warehouse. No music or background identifiable.

Exploring the Movie Even More

Other tidbits about the movie include the fact that the budget for the film was so low that many of the actors wore their own clothes, Another is that the movie budget didn’t include money for police assistance for traffic control so during the carjacking scene, Steve Buscemi could only drive when the lights were green. And the warehouse where most of the movie takes place used to be a mortuary and was filled with coffins and even a hearse.  Source from IMDB

As for the film genre, it is clear from the AMC genres site that is a crime and gangster movie. It’s obvious due to the repeated references to the crime (jewel heist) and violence (shooting police) and the actual violence shown in screen. IMDB has it listed under crime and drama. Much of the film is a buildup to the tension and shooting in its final scene.

To work on other clips, I went to youtube, then used savefrom.net to download two other scenes from the movie – the one where they get their code names and the one where he cuts the cop’s ear off.  I always seem to lose the files when I download them, so I copy them immediately into the video file.

I did the edits in MPEG STreamclip, figured out how to put them back to back, but when I tried to Save As, it says the movie can;t be saved in this format, even though Im not changing the format. (its mp4) Files that appeared had 0 bytes and of course wouldn’t upload to YouTube.  Instead, I ended up doing the edits in Windows Movie Maker and then uploading =that= to YouTube. Its much easier and allows you to play with the effects and captions as well. The results are https://www.youtube.com/embed/c_aEdqcg6qE“>here

(For some reason the audio doesnt match up)

YouTube Genres

My favorite type of YouTube clip that I didn’t see listed was the fail. I think the characteristics would be anytime anyone is sincerely trying to accomplish something and then failing spectacularly and hilariously.  It usually involves someone getting hurt.

Here’s an example.

As for the genres that are listed, I felt like some are overly broad (like animation could be broken down into sci-fi or cartoon or stop-action, etc) while others (usually the sillier ones) seemed to be down to very narrow genres (like children with accents). Somehow the comedy sections seems to mostly include kids and animals and no actual…comedians.


I’m thinking of going back to the silent era so I wanted to find a clip with a lot of dialogue and facial expressions that I could play with. I came up with this one from Anchorman.

Daily Creates (did two)

Irritable Vowel Poetry

Title: How do you daily creat(e)? (poem without an E)

Daily dating? / No – sorry / Mating? / Hmmm OK / That can work!

I also did the DS106 class president (Hail to the Chief) – uploaded to Flickr and tagged tdc1194



This Unit is great and has a lot of fascinating tools. Some of it still seems a bit beyond me, but I’m trying to keep up. Unfortunately, the technology, particularly on StreamClip isn’t helping me demonstrate what I’ve been able to do.  On the flip side, the Windows Movie Maker is fantastic and seems extremely easy to use.


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