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Video Scavenger Hunt April 7, 2009

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WHERE is the DUCK!!!


Commercial Review March 31, 2009

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Nike: Take it to the next level, is a great commercial that tells the story of a young man getting through the ranks to professional soccer playing against some of the best. There is many first person shots, a few shots that pan across the field that adds perspective to every shot, many of the close ups of the players. The main theme of this commercial is to address the speed, aggression and pace of what soccer really is all about. The bright colors and vibrant settings help add to the tone. It was directed by Guy Ritchie and I am assuming its main goal is to promote soccer to Americans, who don’t understand it. You never see the protagonists face; only his arms and feet to make it seem like it could be you. They also have a slow motion shot of Wayne Rooney to help emphasize the speed and attitude of the shot. Many of the shots are either medium close ups or close ups, there aren’t many wide shots because it is trying to help add to the very personal almost biography of the single player. I love the fast pace of the commercial and the loud music that helps add to the chaos on the field.

Music Video Review: Andrew W.K March 24, 2009

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Music Video Review:

Andrew W.K is one of the many artists that came and went and with many un-recognizable songs and tunes. I was a fan a long time ago and I wanted to find a video that was old but still entertaining and had many artistic characteristics to it.
There are numerous camera shots, that have a close up on Andrew W.K’ face. This helps emphasize the grunginess theme that he is going for. Its part of his persona; to be this angry, dirty white kid is his goal and this video helps portray his character with total anarchy within the music video. This video is up close and personal with very dark very grimy scenery and has numerous close-ups that help emphasize and set up perspective in each scene of this nasty protagonist.
The transitions from scene to scene are very quick and almost violent adding to the mayhem created by Andrew W.K. There are lots of visual literacy themes as well, perspective, lines, foreground and background all apparent throughout the video; with the scene of the wires on the bass guitar emphasizing lines, the stairs, the shots with Andrew W.K walking up the stairs away from the camera and than coming into the camera. The close ups of his mouth, all help create a ghastly tone.
There are various camera shots that walk with Andrew W.K creating motion and energy for the scene. There are also scenes that just are still and allow Andrew W.K’s movements to be the emphasis of the scene.
Plot wise, this video is just about some guy running around a house singing a song being dirty and crazy. This beautiful girl is absent. I believe that the video emphasizes more the idea of letting lose and doing what you want to do with out regrets, like singing a song real loud at night rather than going to find a hot chick, even though getting the hot chick for many people is a crazy and difficult and almost disastrous thing.
I like this video because it’s quick, energetic and entertaining. They captured the themes of Andrew W.K, a singer who doesn’t pretend to be anything other than just loud, grungy and energetic. This video captures that feeling in the three minutes and 48 seconds.

Movie Review March 16, 2009

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the-godfather-posters1The Godfather Review

Movie Review:

Francis Ford Coppola’s the Godfather has several elements of visual literacy running parallel with his telling of the novel, The Godfather. The story follows the young Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, and how his live is altered by certain actions taken by his mobster father. He is a war hero, who becomes a mobster. The Corleone family’s decision to not be part of the Narcotic cartel is what triggers various incidents which are the catalyst to Michael becoming the head of the Family. Michael is a hero from WW2 and a college student, he is the ideal man of the era, and his digression to violence, murder and becoming head of the mob family is what defines this story. Michael can’t say he loves his girlfriend, because he slowly becomes a man controlled by the social codes and order within the social circles of a mobster. Michaels killing is the change in the character changes Michael the ideal man to Michael the Godfather.
The use of shadows is prevalent in alluding to various themes and ideas within the movie. The movie begins with a man talking about America and is framed out by shadows and is slowly no longer the main subject, the shadows give perspective on the man’s face emphasizing him. As it backs out and introduces a man’s hand and back of his head, changes the main subject of the scene and brings Marlon Brando as the main subject of the shot. This scene captures what America is, a place of freedom and fore bringer of wealth, but slowly becomes described as a place of evil. The Godfather is a tale of how America was and is for many people; a country with morale, honor and social code defined by various cultures, and this story is of the Mobster culture and its stronghold on American lifestyle.
Color is another key element within the movie. Blacks and whites and hint of strong colors, red; bright colors aren’t apparent throughout the film even though it is a very violent movie. Many of the rooms are in black and white and have very mute colors, bright colors are meant to emphasize certain images, and ideas. Many murder scenes’ are very dark scenes, with black a main color. What make’s this movie great isn’t only the images presented, but the dialogue being said. Be it, “going to the mattresses, or swimming with the fishes.” This movie lays the foundation for all future mafia movies. It’s great to see so many actors that are old today as young actors.
The movie also uses music as a great way to set the tone and feeling for each scene and transition between various settings. When the mobsters are talking business or killing the music is very grim but during happy moments, the few that are in the movie have very up lifting and very Italian traditional music. Different music for different scenes helps the viewer transition from place to place without it being said that you are no longer in New York but California or Italy. The sound of music gets louder, adding intensity as to sequence and increase emotion for each scene. The transitions of Michael becoming more evil is emphasized through music, because in the beginning happy music, is played when he’s there, bright colors, less shadows. The Piano helps allude to something bad happening, shadows, black, grim music all add to and allude to evil and death is coming.
Sicilian culture and traditions are prominent throughout and add a layer of depth and intensity to the film. Hearing people say racial slurs and not be flustered to hear such obscenities shows how times have changed and helps us understand our past. Prejudice to all those who aren’t Sicilian is emphasized, adding to the importance of family and xenophobia.
Many shots of dialogue are taken of close up shots of the actors speaking, which emphasizes what they are saying rather than the foreground or background. The Foreground and background can distract the audiences and take away the desire of said scene so a framing is done with either shadow work or camera work to set up a frame and emphasize a scene.
Background scenery is also a great facet to this movie. Some of the great shots are of New York City, and the scenery, because it’s a tale of America; capture various settings that define New York and American culture. The use of Italian throughout the film helps create an interesting culture within the movie that isn’t always present in cinema.
Michael’s catalyst to becoming part of the families business is when he decides to kill the cop and head of one of the Mob Families. Michael comes out of the bathroom, and the shot is in almost a slow motion, zooming in on Michael having less and less emphasis on what the enemy is saying, train tracks being a metaphor for Michael’s frustration, using music as a way to tell peoples feelings and add emotion to a scene. Michael escapes to Italy and the countryside of Italy is a setting that provides peace but an area where Michael chooses to maintain his Mobster mentality.
My favorite scene is when Michael is walking with his Italian Woman whom he marries, the tradition behind asking the woman to marry him, having to ask the father for permission, having to meet the entire extended family, going on a walk with the girl and having all the mothers and grandmothers follow. This scene reminds me of traditional Spanish culture.
After Sonny’s death, Michael’s brother, he understands his role and obligation to his family, even though he can decide to leave it be. He no longer wears his army uniform but dark black tuxedos, dressed fancy.
The scene when he goes to Las Vegas and the line that he says, “I love you but don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again, ever” is a powerful line that shows his evil intent no matter what happens the family sticks together and if it doesn’t those who oppose would faith his wrath. He will “make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
The funeral scenes, is a perfect example of a scene that uses many terms used throughout the class, repetition, when all the mobsters get out of there cars, perspective, when the limos are driving into the cemetery, lines, symmetry, and also framing are all used to illustrate the scene within the picture.
“Leave the gun, take the cannolis,” a gun taped behind the toilet seat are but a pair of examples of dialogue and imagery that will forever be imbedded in American pop culture and cinematic history.
When Michael becomes a godfather to his sisters kid, he also becomes godfather of the business by killing off all the heads of the other families, the use of music again is used during the killing, the religious piano organ is used during times of death and killing, this juxtaposition of the religious and peaceful music used during scenes of death adds an ironic tone to the familial and religious façade that the Godfathers presents to his friends and family members.
The killing of family and friends shows how evil and obtuse Michael has become, contrary to the heroic veteran that he was portrayed as. The falling out of grace by Michael is the underlying theme of this movie, which can be a metaphor of American culture and how easily man can be an agent of evil when he himself was a defender of good and justice. A son becoming more than a man, more than a mobster, but a Godfather, is the tale of Michael Coreleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s, The Godfather.

Movie Poster March 3, 2009

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The V for Vendetta poster has numerous visual literacy themes about it, from the color pallet to the lighting, to the foreground background, to the lines creating direction and creating a frame in certain cases.
I like how V for Vendetta is on an arch tilting on a thirty degree angle making it stand out and all the people dressed up add to the line and even create repetition within the poster.
On top of them are two pictures of the protagonists and they are shaded in a very comic book-esque style, paying tribute to the original graphic novel. The lines and Freedom Forever, create a movement a sense of background in the distance, giving it perspective. Being in the middle of V’s hat also creates an outline for it.
I love the contrasting color shades of bright white and than a more muted yellow, and shades of black and red repeating emphasis around the characters.

Title Sequence Review February 24, 2009

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This title sequence is for the video game, Metal Gear Solid 3; Snake Eater. I chose this sequence because it links well with the photo shop lecture we had manipulating images and playing with various color patterns. The entire sequence uses various themes and ideas we use in class

The sequence opens with various news articles placed asymmetrically creating a sense of perspective for the bold letters. It later goes on throughout the intro this constant snake, slithering around the screen. Its bones and its movement accentuates the idea of repetition.

The color tones in this intro vary from a very saturated Red when the world is painted red and than very gray and other very dark colors. This color pallet helps exaggerate the white letters that move throughout the screen. The background/foreground is used throughout whether; it’s the snake slithering around and in front or behind the letters.

The use of black and whites helps create a foreground background and associate a model for the viewer. The muted colors helps with the tone of hidden espionage, blending in, not standing out. At times there is a strong emphasis on the names when slowly it is more of a background and the snake takes the foreground. The constant movement of the camouflage colors helps emphasize the names.

The color palette is a mix of muted and saturated colors that helps create this very hidden, kind of sneaky tone that is linked with the protagonist of the video game.
The title sequence ends with the title in the middle, out of the rule of thirds and the black creates a portrait emphasizing the title. There is plenty of negative space in the final sequence that helps frame the title as well.

The moment I saw this title scene I knew it would work well for this assignment. I am a big fan of the video game and it was fun watching it giving me flashbacks as to when I played.

Photographer Review February 16, 2009

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My photographer is Rodney Smith, he is a surrealist photographer. Rodney Smith uses very muted colors and has negative pace in his photos that create a frame and highlight the main objects. The color pallet isn’t varied because he isn’t capturing emotions through light but rather through motion or the lack there of. I like these photos a lot because he uses the rules of thirds in a very appealing manner, having the foreground and background altering or varying some of his pictures work. He creates a certain enriching atmosphere with his very gloomy and engaging photography.
Rodney Smith studied photography at Yale, has traveled around the world. He lived in Jerusalem for three months and has worked for various universities in various regions of the world. His work has been accredited numerous times, wining various awards. He not only teaches, publishes and travels around the world but he exhibits and lectures, characteristics of very few artists.
I love the juxtaposition in all of his photos, where he playfully contradicts the natural with the mechanical. He likes to create bigger pictures with the human body, and I am very attracted to the magical feeling that it emits. It reminds me of Alice and Wonderland, a world where the obscure is natural and the natural obscure. He has various objects in focus while the main focus of the photo out of focus to exaggerate his message and juxtapose symbols and realities.

picture review February 10, 2009

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What attracted me most about this picture is its attractive use of the light effect, the source of light seems to be coming from a bent light bulb. The dark background helps exaggerate the color of the lighting affect. It slowly gets muted as it gets farther and farther from its source. It applies to the rules of thirds by no having it in the center, having it skewed to the left is better for the person looking at the picture, more appealing place. It would be cool if the photographer could some how alter the lighting affect and spell his or her name out. The blackness helps frame out the lighting affect. The blurry out of focus background that isn’t the blackness, seems to be a possible oven. The oven alters the depth of field, allowing giving the image to have different levels of images within the picture.

You would be a BAD vegeterian-Photo Essay February 9, 2009

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Foreground/Background February 3, 2009

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The reason I chose this picture, was because I saw various depths of field within the picture, allowing to viewer to focus on not only the foreground, but what lies between the foreground and the background. I wanted to create an interesting picture with very mundane objects. I found that a cell phone, laptop and tacks are things people may have around them at many stages of the day, whether in your backpack, pocket or at your desk. I wanted to create art out of the basic and inartistic.