Love Corner! Get in love with excellent filming.

Life as an American College student brings certain life changes. A high school fondness for pop tarts evolves into pop tarts constituting lunch, a former knack for procrastination is now a full-blown shitstorm of last minute activity, and the occasional YouTube video binge becomes your regular source of entertainment (because you don’t have cable TV, sucker!).

Charlie bit my finger picture

This nibbling SOB is better than anything on TLC anyway!

Like a junkie and their first hit, I remember the first YouTube video I ever watched like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 2007 and young Melissa was just learning how to be apathetic. The video was called “The Love Corner,” and it was intended to be a rough piece of a TV pilot for a comedy sketch show that either never aired or is lost in the netherworlds of media. I frequently re-visit “The Love Corner” any time I start to forget my time-wasting roots.

Open Scene Love Corner

Every time I see this opening scene, a snarky voice whispers "It all began with me, child. You're welcome."

Each time I pay homage to my YouTube gateway drug, I notice more and more how generally well done it is.  This 5 minute video tells the story of two friends who stand on an urban roof on a beautiful day and watch as people on the street corner fall in love (or not fall in love). Conflict arises when one manages to meet someone and the other is jealous. The whole tone is dry, tongue-in-cheek about the notion of love at first sight, and uses simple but effective filming technique.

There are two main techniques I noticed and should be imitated. First, the concept and design are very minimalistic. Less is more, and this one scene sketch definitely embodies that tried and true expression. There are no elaborate effects or sounds or layers, and this keeps the viewer in the mindset that this really could (almost) happen. However, multiple camera angles that change every few seconds keep me interested in the action and makes the video more professional looking. The camera does not swing to follow the actors, something else that prevents an amateur look.

Blair Witch Pic

Hear that, Blair Witch Project? No one likes a swingy camera. Or a crying man.

I also really appreciate the music. The same cheerful little tune is used in various places throughout, generally to show two people meeting and hopefully falling in love. I like the continuity that adds to the minimalist theme. However, although the music itself doesn’t really change, it always adds to the mood of the video. For example, when two people meet and the main characters think they’re about to fall in love, the music intensifies. But when something bad happens, the music stops suddenly, paralleling the crashing disappointment that comes with an unfortunate incident on a beautiful day.

This clip also uses a lot of implication. For example, at the end of the clip the character in the stripped hoodie is stabbed by a young lady on the Love Corner. However, we never see him get stabbed. One scene ends with them hugging and the next features him in a hospital room and his friend remarking “I can’t believe she stabbed you.”

Stab girl pic

Face of a killer

I hope to employ all of the methods used in “The Love Corner” in my video. I would like to have multiple camera angles to keep the scene fresh, simple music to quietly enhance the tone, and cuts that are obvious enough to fill in the gaps of what I do not explicitly film. So while “The Love Corner” may have been a gateway into a horrible downward spiral of staying up late and getting nothing done, at least the cinematography set a good example for my future endeavors.


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