Two Things

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  1. You’ll want to know when your homework (see THIS POST) is due… so I’ll give you till next Friday, 6th November. As a treat, I’ll even give you the mark scheme as soon as I finish writing it! (I know, there’s no start end to my generosity!)
  2. If you haven’t already found them, there’s a couple of very useful handouts (not mine) in the Reference Section of the blog… #justsaying




Have Some Homework

Here’s a wee early bonus for those that are subscribed to the blog. 😉 This is the homework I warned you about earlier this week.

TASK: Choose an advert and carry out an in-depth analysis focussing on the technical and cultural codes used to create it.
Your answer should take the form of an essay, but you are advised to use screen grabs to illustrate the points you wish to make.
Make sure you include a link to the advert you choose.

The handout, complete with added hints and tips, is available for download below. And feel free to ask me about it tomorrow. 🙂

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As ever… click to download.


*** Check the mike is compatible with your camera BEFORE you order it! ***

I was asked about a mike that’s be suitable for using with a DSLR. Without going mad, I’d suggest the Røde VideoMic GO. It’s about £55… which means it’s just gone up by a fiver. 😦

Røde VideoMic GO
The mike clips into the ‘flashgun’ shoe and plugs directly into your camera.

I know that’s a fair amount for a mike, and if it’s just for this course, you should be OK with the built in mike in your camera/phone/device… And I do have a few decent mikes you can use for re-recording if needed…

And yes, you will almost certainly find a cheaper alternative, but Røde have a really good reputation for quality and value for money… I’m hoping to get one for the school, but it is education, so money is extremely tight. 😦

PS: Check any mike is compatible with your camera BEFORE you order it!

Anyway, recommendation passed on! 🙂

Cinematic TV

This post starts with a serious hat tip to Alisdair Satchel. He’s an actor, writer, director, and generally all-round good guy (who I’m hoping to drag in to speak to you some time) and who pointed me at a really interesting ‘essay’* that I strongly recommend you take 15 minutes to watch.

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 20.19.25It’s called “What Does ‘Cinematic TV’ Really Mean?” and explains with some fantastic examples why TV and film are not really the same… though some TV does use elements of film to tell its stories. It’s worth your while watching because it mentions (sometimes just in passing) several important institutional concepts (such as the need to film quickly for TV and how this leads to a bias for ‘shot-reverse-shot’ filming), and it may also give the more switched on of you ideas for improving your own films (and watch the bit at about 10 minutes for a really great idea I’d love to see you think about!).

Finally, while the link to the original article is above, I would actually recommend you use THIS LINK as it will open the video only in a tab/window at much higher resolution (at least on my setup). I haven’t worked out how to download it for saving (yet), so you’re on your own for this one.

PS: The video will always play you an advert first… 😦 I’ve seen an advert for flu jabs by NHS England 3 times now… At least I’ll get it free here!

PPS: Keep your eyes out for Terence Stamp playing more to type in a clip from The Limey!

*How would you go about submitting a ‘film’ as an essay for one of your subjects? 😉

Framing and Montage

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Click to embiggen
Click to download Handout

As promised, here is the handout version of the slides from today. The key things to remember are the difference between editing and montage, and to have an understanding of how montage can be used to advance the story. The documentary I referenced is The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (<- Clickable link to YouTube), and the clips I used came from the following films:

You should also carry out a YouTube search for things like Rocky Training Montage for other examples of montage being used to shorten time. Feel free to share any interesting montages you find in the comments.

Useful Resource

I’ve just rejoined FilmmakerIQ (Yes, even I can forget login details!), and am posting a link here for you guys. It’s a useful site for movie and film related resources/research and occassional practical exercises/competitions.

It will expand your knowledge exponentially and regular visits and viewings will allow you to completely pwn parts of the course. Just be aware that it is an American site, and the focus when it comes to things like censorship and audiences is skewed to the good ol’ US of A.

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Click the image to visit FilmmakerIQ… go on… you know you want to! 😉