Movies to Change the World

  • Fear Eats The Soul – Darkness of human identity
  • Questions Styles of love
  • Imaginative Shooting – Match Dissolves, Vertical Gravity Defying Angle
  • Identity – Performance
  • Nature vs City – Contrast
  • Minamata – The Victims of Their World – Took 17 years to make – One of the greatest documentaries of all time
  • Truth is buried under layers of lies – Documentary production is peeling back those layers
  • New African Cinema – Africa vs Americanized Africa

American Cinema of The 70’s

1967-1979 – New American Cinema

  • Satirical, Dissident, Assimilationist Films
  • In order to be funny, you need to think sad first
  • Taxi Driver – Too painful to watch a scene, embarrassing
  • “Should I exist?” “What does it meant to exist?
  • Paul Schrader – Floating through the world, Rescue from emptiness
  • Woody Allen – From freeform cinematography to precise composition
  • Neo Realist idea of slowing down time to extend a scene
  • 70’s idea of Non Conformist sexuality
  • Chinatown Ending – Tunnel at the end of the light

The Hit – Production Overview


This film we’ve created for this project is a comedic take on the typical suspenseful secret agent film. We took two hitmen, made them distracted and inept and let the story play itself out. For this project, Jasper was our screenwriter,  Matthew was our director, Callie was our editor and I was our cinematographer. The final product is below.

21st Century Skills & What I Learned

The most valuable thing I’ve learned from this project is communication. Especially when working in a team communication is key in keeping everyone on the same page and ensuring everyone has the same vision. Our team was very good at conveying how we all were feeling and making sure everybody shared the same goals for the project. By the end of this project, I have come our a stronger team player and collaborator.

Film Sound Design – Ambient Sound, Library Sound & Foley


Film Before Foley Sound Effects

Film After Foley Sound Effects

Foley Process

Sound Design Editing

From Flickr – User notaaronfield

The Sounds:

  • Keyboard clicks
  • Scrolling Mouse Wheel
  • Hitting Metal
  • Scratching Metal
  • Electronic Door
  • Manual Door Push
  • Glass Hit and Reverb
  • Library Drop Box Open
  • Footsteps on Metal Grate
  • Aaron Making Weird Noise

Possible Uses:

  • Creature Scuttling
  • Alien Clicks
  • Spaceship Interior Noise
  • Alien/Monster on Metal
  • Spaceship/Lab Doors Opening
  • Spaceship Interior Noise
  • Sound Pulse
  • Slide on Rifle
  • Footsteps in Metal Corridor
  • Monster/Alien

Audio Signal Chain Terms

Foley and Sound Effects Terms

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

Cinematographer Post Production Journal


For this portion of our project my main job was to help our editor determine which clips would be the best for the final cut and also assist in data wrangling. I also helped our editor learn the basics of Final Cut.

Evidence of Further Contribution

My main contribution to the editing process was helping Callie learn Final Cut Pro X. We had already gone over the basics during the last project and she put in a lot of her own time to learn at home. I developed our base color grade and then helped Callie learn how to fine tune from there.

I also worked technically as our VFX supervisor to create the muzzle flash and environment lights for our gunshot scene in the climax.

Another important part of contribution was organizing our footage so our editor could access it easier without searching for clips.

How I Could Have Improved The Film

To improve the film, I probably would have tried to get more coverage for our dialogue scenes. Callie did have room to edit, but definitely could have had more choices which is on me.

What I Learned

I learned a lot about the different workflow when working with a team vs working alone. Often, I would shoot knowing I was my own editor. In this project I had to realize my editor doesn’t always know what my intentions are so I had to make sure to keep a clean line of communication with them. Communication is key.

Bibi McGill Video Pre Prodcution

I took a week to plan and begin developing a video to invite Beyonce’s lead guitarist, Bibi Mcgill to our class. I began by researching Bibi and trying my best to understand her as a person. From there I began developing a script for the video. I decided on doing the video as a one shot possibly to be shot on a DJI Osmo. Some of my influences for the idea can be seen below, as well as my first draft of the script.


Melody Recording Project


For this project we were tasked with creating a melody. We started off by as a class creating a single lesson melody. From there, after looking into structure of some of our favorite melodies we went on to create our own.

Lesson Melody


One of My Favorite Melodies

My Melody

Melody Composition Terms

Theme – Melodic Idea

Motive – Short Rhythmic idea.

Period – Full eight measures of music.

Phrase – 4 Measures, two Phrases make a Period

Antecedent (Question) Phrase – You’re asking a question. Sets up the melody. First phase. Builds tension.

Consequent (Answer) Phrase – The second phrase that is like the answer. Eases tension.

Scale Degrees –

  • Tonic – Root of the key note, everything is based off of it. Begins and ends the scale
  • Supertonic, Mediant, Submediant – You wont get the same feeling of rest, but it’s moderate tension
  • Dominant, Subdominant, Leading Tone – Most forward moving force, it ‘want to go somewhere’

Steps – Any movement using half or whole steps.

Leaps – Any movements using intervals larger than a whole step.

Conjunct motion – Everything moves very slowly, primarily made using steps.

Disjunct motion – Melody built primarily using leaps.

Repetition – Use repeated materials to create a link between two phrases of a period.

Contrast – Write two phrases that contain material to create tension and interest.

Variation – Half way between repetition and contrast. The two phrases include recognizable material and some varied material.

What I Learned

Throughout this project I learned a lot about what really lies behind melody. Like any other medium, Melody has a language. Understanding how tonic and subtonic notes work and how to build tension or bring a melody full circle is important to making a melody truly great. Appreciating the work that goes into a good melody is the first step to creating a good melody of your own.

Cinematographer Production Journal


Throughout our production phase, I had a large role in the design and fulfillment of the project we had at hand. My job as a cinematographer was to plan and design shots, as well as create them out in the field. I also had to think creatively and be able to adjust and redesign on the fly.

Camera Evidence

We ended up deciding on using a Canon 70D and a DJI Osmo for our production. We knew we wanted to do a one shot for our intro scene, so we spent some time choreographing and planning to ensure we could get that done in an efficient amount of time. We used the Osmo to incorporate smooth movement into the film and made sure to keep the production value high when using the DSLR with a variety of angles and shot types.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.24.39 PM



Shot Choice Justification

There was a lot of discussion and debate with my director regarding what shots would work best for what we had in mind for this film. We agreed that in the end, the best way to make this film work was shoot in a way that really sold the comedy. We tried to create high production value moving cinematic shots that contrasted with static comedic shots within the film. We wanted to make sure however that we never had a shot that was there just to “be there”.

Lighting Design

We used a blue LED through a sunroof of our car for the shot in the scene below. This was to create cooler tones that contrasting with the naturally warm skin tones of our actors. This created a cold steel, intense effect. In other scenes we used a bounce to get some more warmth on our actors and to separate them from the backgrounds.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.23.12 PM

Consultation With Editor

Early on we made a decision to shoot our actors angles one at a time, doing each actors dialogue all in one run. This allowed our editor to make personal choices about comedic timing and breaks. Otherwise if we had both actors act out the scene in real time with a two camera setup, our editor would have a lot less control, especially in mixing dialogue.

Alternative Shots

Some of the alternative shots we did included extra slider shots of the car, fake crane shots and cut ins. This allowed our editor to be able to hide harsh cuts to fix timing to help sell our final product.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.24.22 PM

Camera Work and Lighting Evaluation

I think throughout the film we demonstrated a good amount of technical skill in slider, moving and static shot variation. From an artistic standpoint, we took a lot more time to focus on why we lit some scenes the way we did. We wanted the coffee shop to feel warmer, so we used gold reflectors. We wanted the car scene to feel like a spy flick, so we used blue gels on LED’s. These techniques added to the artistic value of our film.

Influences from Films

Some of my influences I drew from included Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revanant) and Andrzej Sekuła (Pulp Fiction). Emmanuel’s long glidecam style one shots gave us the idea to do our intro scene as a long one shot. With the gimbal on the Osmo we were able to achieve glidecam like stability. Andrzej knew how to shoot something gritty but still sell comedy. The accidental shooting scene in Pulp Fiction was one of the big influences for the last scene in our film.

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

This project has taught me a lot about working in a team. A lot of the other projects I’ve worked on I usually do independently so there was a bit of a learning curve for the collaborative environment. I found that two heads really are better than one and four is even better. We faced some problems with the weather we had not planned for, but in the end we were able to find simple work arounds like shooting under umbrellas and chasing the sun between shots. In the end, production went smoothly and I’m excited to see this project after post.

How Music Works – Rhythm

  • Pulse
    • The beat, the basic root of rhythm. The heartbeat is an example.
  • Tempo
    • How fast or slow the pulse is
  • Accent
    • Emphasis placed on a particular note
  • Syncopation
    • a temporary displacement of the regular metrical accent in music caused typically by stressing the weak beat. Human and quirky. Jerky.
  • Cross-rhythm
    • Effect when two conflicting rhythms are heard together.
  • A gentle push ahead of the pulse creates a melodic flow in the song. Dynamics.
  • We have an instinctive sense to find a hidden pulse even when not heard.