Outcome 2 – New Media Editor – Verna Fields

Verna Fields 1918 – 1982  was an American film editor, film and television sound editor, educator, and entertainment industry executive.

Credits

Fields has edited more than thirty motion pictures, including Peter Bogdanovich’s What’s Up, Doc ? (1972), Paper Moon (1973), and Daisy Miller (1974). She brought George Lucas, her pupil at USC, into the studios, and she supervised the ground-breaking editing on American Graffiti (1973). Then she edited The Sugarland Express (1974), 23-year-old Steven Spielberg’s first major picture. That work led to her most heralded assignment: editing Jaws (1975).

Life

Her father Sam Hellman, a managing editor of The St.Louis Post-Dispatch, had moved his family to Los Angeles so he could write screenplays. Hellman scripted Little Miss Marker (1934) and Stanley and Livingstone (1939) and other 1930s successes. But he had higher aspirations for his daughter than Hollywood. “My father was very celebral,” Verna said. He sent her to a fancy Parisian secondary school at the College Feminin de Bouffemont, before she studied at USC, receiving a BA in journalism.  In 1946, she married the film editor Sam Fields. The Fields had two sons; one of them, Richard Fields, became a film editor. In 1954, Sam Fields died of a heart attack at the age of 38.Her career as an executive at Universal continued until her death in 1982 at age 64.

Early Career

When asked how she planned to break Hollywood barriers against women in production jobs, she said this:

“I’m the wrong one to ask,” she said. “I was totally ambitionless. I got into movies by accident. I was on canteen duty during World War II, doing nothing special. I met my friend Margie Johnson one day, and we were on our way to serve coffee to the GIs. But her boyfriend was an assistant editor, so she said, ‘Come over to the studio first. It’s fun.’ Well, this guy met us at the gate. He was cute. I started hanging out there to be with the cute guy.”

Director Fritz Lang needed help with sound editing, so he asked, “Who is that young girl always hanging around?” Thus “discovered” by Lang, Verna was hired on as an editing apprentice, without knowledge or experience; and four years later, she joined the union.

Subsequently her first credit as a sound editor was for Fritz Lang’s While the City Sleeps (pictured above). She worked on the experimental documentary The Savage Eye (1959); the co-directors Ben Maddow, Sidney Meyers, and Joseph Strick and the other connections she made on this film were important to her in her future career. In 1962 Fields won the Motion Picture Sound Editors’ Golden Reel Award for the film El Cid (directed by Anthony Mann).

Teaching

In the mid-1960s, Fields taught film editing at the University of Southern California. Douglas Gomery wrote of her time at USC that: “Her greatest impact came when she began to teach film editing to a generation of students at the University of Southern California. She then operated on the fringes of the film business, for a time making documentaries for the Office of Economic Opportunity. The end of that Federal Agency pushed her back into mainstream Hollywood then being overrun by her former USC students.” Fields students had included Matthew Robbins, Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz, John Milius, and George Lucas.

Career

Shortly after the completion of Jaws in 1975, Fields was hired by Universal Studios as an executive consultant. Some insight into Universal’s reasons for hiring her can be gleaned from the fact that during the filming of Jaws, in addition to her editing, Fields had been “omnipresent…at Spielberg’s beck and call by means of a walkie-talkie. Often she would shuttle back and forth on her bike between the producers in town and Spielberg at the dock for last-minute decisions”. Throughout her career, Fields had worked independently, but in 1976, and following the unexpected success of Jaws, she accepted a position as the Feature-Production Vice-President with Universal.She was thus among the first women to hold high executive positions with the major studios.In a 1982 interview, Fields was quoted as saying, “I got a lot of credit for Jaws, rightly or wrongly.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Outcome 3 – Film Evaluation

The project for video practice and editing for new media required me to create a visual sequence which considers the continuity of storytelling through planned shots and camera angles. My aim was to create a logical flow which an audience could easily follow through my exploration of rhythm, pace, stillness and motion.

The brief required me to create a two-minute film exploring the theme of body and movement using various camera angles and shot types.

My idea was to capture on film the process of being homeless and “couch-surfing” as i had experienced it. My next step was to document this experience via storyboard. I created a board that featured the various houses and flats I had lived in. Another prominent aspect was the suitcase that I travelled from house to house with.

Issues

  • Re-visiting all the places I had lived in the first year of homelessness (eight in total) this was a problem as three of the people i lived with had moved, one to the states and two down south. This meant making the film shorter than planned.
  • I wanted to convey that the person in the film was being forced to move from home to home and not simply visiting friends. The only way i could think of doing this while keeping with my plan to not feature anyones face and emotions, was to portray it in the audio. Various people affirming that the character on-screen is homeless through a series of short quotes.
  • My plan was to film all the shots needed over a weekend. It was important to maintain continuity as the film was meant to represent a year. This meant a few wardrobe changes to give a sense of a different timescale.

Filming Methods

It helped to remember the time spent couch surfing as a series of scenes, this helped create the plan for filming. I also had decided beforehand that the film wouldnt feature any faces, this was to represent my experience of homeless culture, a faceless minority that refuses by all in authority to be recognized. The following are the shots i planned out and subsequently filmed.

  • Point of view/eyelevel angle of the characters hand pressing a buzzer or doorbell to gain entry to a home.
  • Jump cut, close up, low angle shot of character walking up the stairs dragging the suitcase behind them. The close up will show the feet and part of the legs of the character.
  • Jump cut, master shot from eye level of the room the character is living in. The suitcase will be placed within view in this room to maintain continuity.
  • Jump cut, close up, eye level view of a front door closing to represent moving again
  • Above shots will be repeated four or five times at different locations.

Process and Techniques i have learned

I have learned a lot throughout this project. The use of planning and storyboarding is a valuable and necessary process to go through in order to make a succesful film. Creating a schedule by making lists of shots needed, locations to be filmed, equipment needed, props (in my case the borrowed suitcase) are all extremely important. Pre-planning and good time keeping was important to me as i had to arrange specific times to visit people’s homes for the shots needed. This was my first time using a camcorder and so I have also learned a lot and become more confident using the various associated controls and functions.

What I would do differently in the future

I planned the shots and locations etc as best I could, however in hindsight i feel it could have been better planned. The fact that the equipment was borrowed for a short period of time made me rush some of the shots.

Outcome 1- Film/Video art research

Douglas Gordon

Gordon was born in Glasgow and studied art first there at the Glasgow School of Art from 1984-1988 and later at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, from 1988-1990.

Much of Gordon’s work is seen as being about memory and uses repetition in various forms. He uses material from the public realm and also creates performance-based videos. His work often overturns traditional uses of video by playing with time elements and employing multiple monitors.

In one early work, Meaning and Location (1990), a passage from the Gospel of Luke is given with a comma in different places, thus subtly changing the meaning of the sentence. List of Names (1990-present) is a list of every person Gordon has ever met and can remember. One version of this is applied onto the wall of a stairwell in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Gordon has often reused older film footage in his photographs and videos. One of his best-known art works is 24 Hour Psycho, 1993 which slows down Alfred Hitchcock’s film Psycho so that it lasts twenty-four hours. Feature Film, 1999 is a projection of Gordon’s own film of James Conlon conducting Bernard Herrmann’s score to Vertigo, thus drawing attention to the film score and the emotional responses it creates in the viewer. In one installation, this was placed at the top of a tall building, referencing one of the film’s main plot points. In Through a looking glass, 1999, Gordon created a double-projection work around the climactic scene in Martin Scorsese’s film Taxi Driver 1976, in which the main character addresses the camera; the screens are arranged so that the character seems to be addressing himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1jkoMfPa40

Norman McLaren

11 April 1914 – 27 January 1987 was a Scottish-born Canadian animator and film director known for his work for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). He was a pioneer in a number of areas of animation and filmmaking, including drawn on film animation, visual music, abstract film, pixilation and graphical sound.

His awards included an Oscar for the Best Documentary in 1952 for Neighbours, a Silver Bear for best short documentary at the 1956 Berlin International Film Festival Rythmetic and a 1969 BAFTA Award for Best Animated Film for Pas de deux.

McLaren’s next film, Camera Makes Whoopee, 1935, was a more elaborate take on the themes explored in Seven Till Five, inspired by his acquisition of a Ciné-Kodak camera, which enabled him to execute a number of ‘trick’ shots. McLaren used pixilation effects, superimposition and animation not only to display the staging of an art school ball, but also to tap into the aesthetic sensations supposedly produced by this event.

His two early films won prizes at the Scottish Amateur Film Festival, where fellow Scot and future NFB founder John Grierson was a judge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjl0i_p_pow

 

Outcome 1 – Film making techniques

Point of view shot

A point of view shot is a type of shot used in film that shows a  character and then what the character is looking at. The point of view shot usually shows the character looking at something and then cuts to a shot of the object/person the character is looking at. This shot is used to portray a view from the character’s perspective.

Cloverfeild is shot almost entirely in pov. These type of films are meant to engage the viewer on a whole new level. Pov is traditionally a fleeting moment, a small scene in a much larger film. Films like cloverfield where we watch the entire film in pov only enhances the connection we feel when watching. There are many other examples of this in film. Here are a few.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkFcHUvyJ-k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7nAwDRatA4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjrdNZCYOS8

Mise en scene

When applied to the cinema, mise-en-scene refers to everything that appears before the camera and its arrangement such as composition, sets, props, actors, costumes, and lighting. In some instances, the mise-en- scene is used to evoke lasting feelings throughout the movie and not just for selected scenes.

In the film braveheart, the costumes and location help bring together the mise en scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n0Q8THJE60

Tracking shots

In motion picture terminology, a tracking shot (also known as a dolly shot or trucking shot) is a segment in which the camera is mounted on a camera dolly, a wheeled platform that is pushed on rails while the picture is being taken.

When combined with a zoom, a tracking shot can become a dolly zoom, famously used to create a sense of vertigo in the church tower scenes in Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjPCk494e5Q

 

 

 

Outcome 1 – Camera controls and functions

On/Off switch

The on and off switches are clearly labelled.Loading/Ejecting tape

Loading and ejecting a tape from a camcorder is a universal process for most makes and models made today. The side panel opens up after which the tape holder will pop up and open automatically and expose the tape. Simply close the holder, wait for it to automatically drop back down into the side panel and then you push close the side panel again.
Audio/Visual recording

Audio and visuals are recorded at the same time. Audio is recorded through an in built mic and visual data is recorded through the lens at the front of the camera. Most modern cameras have a LCD screen situated on the side (opposite the tape loading side) in which you can view the material you are recording. The record button is normally the largest button on the camera and will appear as pictured.
White balance

You should white balanceyour camcorder whenever you enter a new lighting situation. For instance if you walk inside your house from outside, or move from a dark room to a room filled with sunlight then you will want to white balance to ensure your video is the best it can be. Most camcorders will have a white balance button, or a menu option for white balance.

  1. Find something in the room around you that is white. Most professional videographers will carry around a white card with them in their camera bag or you can use a white wall or a white piece of paper.
  2. Zoom your camcorder into the white so that is all you see in the viewfinder.
  3. Press the white balance button.

Zoom controls

Lens setting/zoom controls can be found at the top of the camera as a slide button or on the side of the LCD screen labelled as a + and -. + to zoom in and – to zoom out. These can also be labelled as W and T. W stands for wide and is used for zooming out. The T stands for telephoto and is used to zoom in. (pictured below)

Exposure

Exposure is an important tool in your camcorder because it adjusts the amount of light that will hit your image sensor that can improve the quality of your video.

You can adjust the exposure control in your camcorder to allow more light into your video. To do this, go to the menu of your camcorder and the exposure settings  just move the exposure control from 0 to the positive on the number scale. This will allow more light to enter your camcorder, thus adding more light to your video. You can add more light in your video if you are shooting in a dark room or area. By increasing the exposure level of your camcorder, you can capture a more detailed image. Using the manual-exposure control is generally the same as the automatic.

Focus

Professional cameras usually have a manual focus ring near the front of the lens housing. Consumer-level cameras usually have a small dial or access through the menu much like adjusting exposure. Manually focusing usually involves adjusting the focus ring/in menu slide scale until the picture is sharp. Turn the ring clockwise for closer focus, anti-clockwise for more distant focus.
Timecode

The timecode is a numeric code that uniquely identifies a single frame in a digital video sequence. In DV video the timecode is recorded by the camcorder on the MiniDV tape; if recording is not interrupted (or if no recording gaps are allowed when restarted) the timecode numbering is continuous. Otherwise a tape includes many records separated by timecode breaks; each record starts with timecode 00:00:00:00.
Menu Functions

To select a menu setting or user option, you would navigate categories (may be presented by an icon). You may have six or so major categories which you can choose, these may have a further number of categories to choose from. For example, the within the CAMERA SET OPTION you may find sub-categories such as SELF TIMER and IMAGE STABILISATION. The actual navigation of these menus varies from touch screen to up, down, left and right buttons situated on the camera.

Playback

The playback button can be located in the screen menu or as a button titled playback. This function allows you to view, via the screen, any recorded material and using the navigation buttons you can fast forward, rewind and delete selected recordings.

Cable connections

Most modern camcorders come with a battery pack that, like mobile phones, can be charged using a mains connection. The mains connection needs to be connected when transferring data into a digital editing suite.

A phono connector is a type of electrical connector used to carry audio and video signals. These would be used to view video material on a monitor. A FireWire connection lets you send data to and from high-bandwidth digital devices such as digital camcorders, and it’s faster than USB. Firewire is necessary for transferring data into a mac editing suite from a digital camera.A USB is used for connection, communication and power supply between computers and electronic devices such as the camcorder.

Capturing and saving video material

  1. A typical digital camcorder usually has ports for both a firewire and a USB 2.0. A firewire is the ideal choice because its transfer rate is relatively faster than a USB but a USB is a good and convenient choice as well. Connect either one to your computer
  2. Choose video editing software. Windows XP has basic video editing software installed, called Windows Movie Maker. This editing software has all the basic functions needed to edit a video.
  3. Rewind your video material and start up your editing software
  4. Find the option which states ‘capture video’. This option is typically under the ‘File’ menu. A capture prompt may appear. Follow the instructions on the capture prompt.
  5. Play the video through the camcorder. The software should automatically capture the video to the PC.
  6. Save the video with the appropriate file extension to your computer hard drive and/or flashdrive/external hard drive.

Assembly of tripod

Tripods steady the camcorder, ensuring a stable shot, and allowing you to leave the camcorder for a short period of time. Tripods have three telescopic legs, these can be individually adjusted wich is ideal for uneven terrain and kept in place with a screw. The camcorder can be screwed on top of the tripod (the mount) and left to record. Some tripods feature a lever attached to the mount that can pivot the camcorder.

 

 

 

Task 6 – POV shot

A point of view shot is a type of shot used in film that shows a  character and then what the character is looking at. The point of view shot usually shows the character looking at something and then cuts to a shot of the object/person the character is looking at. This shot is used to portray a view from the character’s perspective.

Examples

Cloverfeild is shot almost entirely in pov. These type of films are meant to engage the viewer on a whole new level. Pov is traditionally a fleeting moment, a small scene in a much larger film. Films like cloverfield where we watch the entire film in pov only enhances the connection we feel when watching. There are many other examples of this in film. Here are a few.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkFcHUvyJ-k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7nAwDRatA4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjrdNZCYOS8

 

Task 5 – shot reverse shot

Shot reverse shot (or shot/countershot) is a film technique where one character is shown looking at another character (often off-screen), and then the other character is shown looking back at the first character. Since the characters are shown facing in opposite directions, the viewer assumes that they are looking at each other.

Shot reverse shot is a feature of the “classical” Hollywood style of continuity editing, which deemphasize transitions between shots such that the spectator perceives one continuous action that develops linearly, chronologically, and logically. It is an example of an eye line match.

Examples

In this scene from the 2000 X-men film, Charles and xavier are playing chess and conversing. Shot reverse shot is used to follow the characters actions and dialogue. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWDDVuxFboI&feature=related

This is a scene from the 1971 film Dirty Harry. The scene where Harry asks “do you feel lucky?” is filmed using shot reverse shot. Unlike most shot reverse shots this isn’t over the shoulder. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xjr2hnOHiM