Title Sequence

24 03 2009

I thought long and hard about what kind of title sequences I like, but the ones that came to mind were mostly animation like The Incredibles, Juno or Sweeney Todd (gruesome, yet fascinating to watch blood). However, I wanted to write about an opening sequence that was not animation, yet was masterfully photographed with powerful imagery. Hence, I chose the opening title of the TV show Six Feet Under

With the title of the show, it is pretty obvious what its about. The sequence matches in both music and the shots of the last rites of a person as he/she is prepared for the funeral and subsequent burial. The close-up of washing hands and the wheel of the stretcher as it takes the dead body away are especially picturesque. There is no grimy, ugly-ness to the whole process. It is shown with bright lights and blue skies. They could have used darker motifs and a dreary color palette to demonstrate death, but they chose not to.

This, we learn as the show starts, is because the concentration is not death itself, but a dysfunctional family who owns a funeral home. As the show’s website states: “”When death is your business, what is your life? For the Fisher family, the world outside of their family-owned funeral home continues to be at least as challenging as–and far less predictable than–the one inside. From Oscar(R)-winning screenwriter Alan Ball comes this breakout series that takes a darkly comic look at members of a dysfunctional L.A. family that runs a funeral business.”

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The Lumiere Project

25 02 2009

This Lumiere movie was made using a G-10 Canon camera at La Madeline in Georgetown. My subject is eating a vanilla and fruit parfait with a spoon. She realizes at the beginning of the movie (as I open with a close-up of her eating with the back of her spoon) that she cannot access the rest of the parfait at the bottom of the cup with her big spoon. So she inverts the spoon and starts eating using the handle. This causes a degree of embarrasment captured using my hand-held camera.

This was the fourth take and hence I have almost no parfait left to work with (it was yummy, I can tell you that!). As the girl finishes eating she explains away her actions in as logical a manner as she could. The problem with audio is that there was much ambient noise that I could not get rid of. The one camera movement that I have is when I pan over to the table to show the viewer that even after explaining her embarrassing need to get every last bit of the parfait, she actually wipes off the spoon handle so that the cleaning crew wouldn’t laugh at her. This camera movement occurs at 0:39 sec.





Movie Poster ad

25 02 2009
Bamboozled

Bamboozled

This is a movie that I own, but have never watched. The DVD cover was what had caught my eye in the first place and so I decided to do my movie poster analysis on ‘Bamboozled.’
This is what I found online about the movie: Bamboozled is a 2000 satirical film written and directed by Spike Lee about a modern televised minstrel show featuring black actors donning blackface makeup and the violent fall-out from the show’s success. The content is intended as satirical, with its show within a show featuring its characters, all in blackface, performing in a watermelon patch. The audiences within the movie, initially baffled, come to love the show, and after a few episodes even elderly white women show up in blackface and proclaim themselves “niggers”.

What struck me first about this particular poster (there are many with different satirical cartoon images of African slaves) is that ‘this isn’t PC at all, especially in 2000). So the watermelon-eating blackface and red-lipped character on the poster is offensive to the viewers’ sensibilities, immediately drawing attention to the poster. The mustard circular background creating a halo behind the person’s head indicates a spotlight (if you know that this is a show within a show) or a halo for the ‘naive, black person’ who has done no wrong but depict media representations of the Black people. The poster itself is created as an playbill of a theatrical show.





Analyze static ad

20 02 2009
Ad for stationery

Ad for stationery

This is a very clean and clear ad with a message. An ad for stationery ‘Stabilo’ uses current affairs/politics to bring home a point shared by many readers of this ad. That small print in the middle of the page catches your eye. And your immediate reaction is, ‘No…what a mistake!’ And that is when your attention is piqued enough to find out more and you read the bottom right lettering. ‘Everyone makes mistakes’ is printed underneath a mechanical pencil made by this company.

The minimalist ad is my favorite. It gets me everytime. The more busy a page is the less likely I pay any attention to it. The old paper quality of the background gives it a more realist feel. You really feel like going back in time a voting what you now know would have been a better choice for president.





Photography Scanvenger Hunt

18 02 2009

This is a link to a series of photographs Feri and I took on campus.





Photo Essay 4

11 02 2009
Through the fence

Through the fence

This picture shows a ‘point of view’. It leads the viewer through the fence surrounding the Cathedral. As Jim Krause talks about in his book, framing is the key to keep the eye from wander off. The fence itself, being of a traditional design, worked perfectly to line up the towers of the cathedral.





Photo Essay Part 3

11 02 2009
Foyer

Foyer

In this photo of the foyer of the cathedral, there wasn’t any light except for the chandelier. This photo then became a focally colored picture with black and white hues surrounding a warm center. There is definitely a measure of symmetry playing in the foreground and I sharpened some of the shadows to draw out the lighting in the balcony.

Here is a link to the complete photo essay