Being a novice at filming videos, I turned to the web to find some good instruction on how to shoot professional looking videos. I came across several articles about how to do this, but I found this particular article useful: 12 Tips for Shooting Better Video
This article was helpful for deciding how I want to position the subject of my shot in the the frame. It suggested to place the subject off-center to allow greater view of the background and to add interest. This is something I didn’t think of, but I know want to utilize. The article also included tips such as avoiding overuse of zoom and cautioning against too much backlighting. I hope this article can be useful for you as well when shooting your narrative videos!
I chose this “Imagining the Tenth Dimension” because it uses visual tools to transform what may have been a confusing and frustrating piece of subject matter into an interesting venture into the unknown. For the majority of us, quantum physics and the concept of dimensions beyond the typical three becomes cumbersome without some way to keep track and express it. This video uses objects that are familiar to us to refer to unknown objects by highlighting the commonalities between them. Take a look:
Notice that the creators not only turned a two dimensional drawing board into a multidimensional palette, but they also made it interesting by writing a story into the video. They tap into centuries of science fiction to transform something bizarre into something manageable, albeit still a little strange. By referencing stories that we know well, the video also makes it easy to retain subject matter that would be too dense on its own.
The sound effects used in the video also serve important purposes. They ingrain characteristics of objects in different dimensions by connecting them to action sounds. For example, when a three dimensional object is imagined at one point in time (the 4th dimension), we hear the sound of an arrow finding its mark. Whether we notice it consciously or not, the sound reinforces what we are being told; that one object is planted in time. Similarly, the sound of crimping paper is used when folding one dimension through another as in time travel (skipping in the fourth dimension by folding through the fifth dimension) to reinforce the idea of acting on a dimension.
“Imagining the Tenth Dimension” uses a narrative video format to demystify a medium which we access everyday, and leaves us some familiarity with infrequently used methods of travel through it.
I spent several hours viewing short films and narrative videos on YouTube to find something that really struck me. The video I am analyzing, titled “This is the world we live in”, is not the fanciest or most creative video I watched. It was however the most striking and to-the-point. Those qualities made me want to watch it again and again and it is the video I am going to analyze.
This short video is a compilation of videos that display the juxtaposition of life in America to other third world countries. The video does not utilize a script but relies on dramatic music and visually stimulating pictures. The pictures alone, successfully display the message of the video.
After viewing this video what were your thoughts?
For me, I questioned how life for myself could be so much richer than that of a girl my age in a third world country. Was it solely because of where I live? Is it because of the leadership of my country? At one time were the lives of those poor people better? I was struck with a million thoughts after watching this video.
A video that stimulates such questions and thoughts is a successful one. In one minute and ten seconds my mindset and emotional feelings were changed. Regardless of the novice quality of the video a message was effectively spread.
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!).
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.
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.
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.”
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.