Lucky Number Sleven…

I’m not talking about the movie, but rather the merger of weeks 6 & 7 that seem to have gotten the best of me in a good and less-then-good way.  I didn’t underestimate the time it would take to edit a movie, I had done so years back with Windows Movie Maker (in the XP world) back in the day, albeit super simple stuff.  What I DID underestimate, was amount of thought (and time) it took to make awesome work.  The bit with the coffee, “Coffee is, My” inspired me to dig deep and look for something I could own.  Little did I know, it would own me…perhaps the creative outlet I was bursting to find and once I opened that spigot, I couldn’t close it…


Over the past couple week’s we explored ways to read movies and learned about different techniques used to guide and position the audience to a particular position or feeling.  We started off learning about the 180-degree rule and I chose to review articles on camera angles, Kubrick’s One-Point Perspective, and the Top-20 Cinematic Techniques.  In my post, I compared takeaways from these techniques to some of the key points Ebert made about the foreground/background relationship, the interpretation of Left vs. Right, as well as the effect of center-focus & symmetry on the audience.  One particular technique that stood out for me, that had fasicnated me for the longest time, was the Zolly technique.  I went ahead and created  short clip and posted it as a demonstration both of my grasp of the concept and also to flex my Vimeo account.

Having familiarized myself with some fundamental techniques available to both read and guide a story, I looked through the collection of classic movie clips provided to the class.  I chose to look at the Harvard bar scene from “Goodwill  Hunting” where Matt Damon and crew stand up to the Harvard Michael Bolton while trying to pick up on some ladies at the bar.  The exercise was interesting  because we decomposed the complete experience in to video first and then audio, both in isolation.  Doing this prior to watching the entire experience kept honest as I used my new found analytical skills to focus in on the use of tempo, spacing, the 180-degree rules, center-focus, and zoom.  Analyzing the video as a whole helped me appreciate how audio and video, together, provide a more complete story that a viewer would have to otherwise “fill in the blanks” with their own assumptions and knowledge.

After walking through the analytically process on both the video and audio dimensions, I moved onto demonstrate my video/audio editing skills using material from our Foley assignment on Charlie Chaplin and the Lion.  I used VideoPad Video Editor to pull together the video from YouTube, select clips from SoundCloud, royalty-free vintage silent film music from, and a pull from the Lion King as a addition to the middle of the story.  This exercise allowed me to get more comfortable with splitting audio and video clips, transforming/splicing YouTube clips (downloaded using, and creating opening and closing titles.

Next, I moved onto the first of two video assignments.  For the first assignment, I decided to continue along the pattern of taking other people’s work and mashing it together.  I decided to go after another Guy Richie movie, “Snatch” and mix it with something funny.  There were definitely a lot of serious scenes to pick from in this movie.  For the comedy movie, I decided to go with a “Funniest Lines” type YouTube.  My logic being, “if someone’s already gone through the trouble to collect the work, why reinvent the wheel?”  In hindsight, it might have been better to pick any scene with the picky (Brad Pitt’s character) since his mouth moves so fast, I could have dubbed anything over his lip movement.

For my second assignment, I got really carried away, in a good and less-than-good way.  First, I grabbed on to an idea/issue/occurrence that was relatively fresh in my head and ran with it.  I was inspired by a combination of personal experience, black & white introspection of “Coffee is, My”, a collection of songs that Spotify randomly played for me on the metro.  I actually conceive the idea prior to even looking at the options laid out on this weeks’ assignment page.  I searched for this video assignment because I had already set my mind on the story.  Many hours later, and with the hand of a helpful friend, I had the footage.  When all was said and done, I had a halfway decent story without dialog and a whole bunch of footage left over.  I was happy with the result, but also out of time into the final stretch.




One thought on “Lucky Number Sleven…

  1. Brilliant work this week, Amos- in many ways you reach beyond just completing an assignment to find your own creative approach on the stories you make and the way you write them up.

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