Weekly Log 2 (Tuesday 10th November 2015 – Thursday 12th November 2015) – Ghost Stories

Continuing on from yesterday’s first Weekly Log that I published which was based on the Ghost Stories Project, this second Weekly Log will outline key details based on the further research I did during the second week of the Ghost Stories Project back in November last year.

Research / Context

During the course of this week, I continued to watch the 2002 Japanese film, Dark Water, following the previous week’s lesson, and despite how powerful the film was, I was able to use the film to relate my thoughts and ideas to my own experiments, and I was also able to create two mind maps in one that would focus, one on the Dark Water 2002 Japanese film, and two, on the word, Uncanny, and how a large variety of words would relate and connect to the word, Uncanny.

The Kuleshov Effect was and also is a film editing montage effect that was demonstrated by the Soviet film-maker, Lev Kuleshov, in the 1910s and 1920s. The Kuleshov Effect was and also is a mental phenomenon by which the viewers would derive more of the meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots, than from just a single shot caught in isolation. Why did I use the Kuleshov effect? I used the Kuleshov effect shortly after re-shooting the videos that me and some of the other students had done to piece together the video footage, to create my own film montage, but in the similar style that Lev Kuleshov did his works during the 1910s and the 1920s. I also felt that by using the re-recorded footage, I was able to apply the Kuleshov effect to my film editing montage, as well as my own form of film work.

To develop my own understanding of the processes or the image meaning in particular contexts, I watched the 2002 Japanese Film, Dark Water, and I also noticed that there were a lot of camera angles, and I believe that there was a sequence, a cut, a shot, a point of view (the focus point that focuses mainly on the subject whilst showing them from a certain viewing angle or focal point) and a dutch angle, as there were quite a lot of different viewing angles, especially when it came to the way the film was done.

I felt that I understood much of the camera angles that were used when it came to this film, and I felt that by watching the film, this helped me to re-shoot some more videos with my group so that we could head back to the drawing board and then, in turn, this would also help me to re-experiment with creating my own film montage using the Adobe Premiere software program.

Practical Tasks Done

How did I do it? I did it by making sure to do my first experiment with two fellow students in my group, and all three of us felt that we should reshoot our film montages by expanding our group to about 5-6 more people, and this helped me and the other two students in question, as this helped us to expand our film montage, and to also give us more of a chance to make the process of our videos better by adding emphasis to make our footage look and feel more convincing. The processes that were used was cutting and also film (video) montage.

What was difficult? What I generally thought was difficult when it came to doing the first experiment was knowing how to choose which bits I wanted to keep in and which bits I wanted taken out, but I was given guidance as to how I could keep some footage in but take out some footage as well. I was also shown where I should save them, and how I can keep my experiments safe, so that I could prevent my work from being lost.

What worked well? What I generally thought went well on one of the experiments was that I was able to put more emphasis on the footage by making it appear to be scary or ghoulish, that means using some audio to emphasise the concept of what the video was about, and what kind of build-up in emotions there were.

How could I improve it? I could improve it by making sure that I make the video footage longer, but not too long, as I want to be able to make sure that my video is done to the right specifications, so that my video is given a bit more time to do itself justice, in other words, I want to make sure it isn’t too long so that I can give everyone a chance to experience the full build-up of the plot of the video before it concludes with something that’s ghoulish and scary at the same time.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, that’s including framing, the positioning of objects, the line, the tone, the cut, the pace and more, I wanted to make sure that I could create my film montage in a format where it gets to the point of what I’m talking about, but not something that’s in your face, in other words, I wanted to make sure that I had the right amount of cuts, and I also wanted to make sure that the pace of the video footage was balanced, so that my own experiments would be done to just the right standards that I wanted them to be at.

I feel that my research/contextual studies based on what I’ve done so far can be applied to help me develop my experiments further, and I also feel that I can apply my research/contextual studies to develop my experiments further by making sure that my experiments improve each time, so for example, if I make a mistake or I don’t add as much video footage in on my first experiment, I can then improve on that by doing more than one experiment, so that at least I can say that I improved my film montage experiments each time to get the final result that I wanted.

I also looked at FilmMakeriQ.com to look at the two videos below:

  • The history of cutting, the birth of cinema and continuity editing
  • The history of cutting, the Soviet theory of montage.

This second Weekly Log from the Ghost Stories Project has officially come to an end. Make sure to check back soon for the final Weekly Log from the Ghost Stories Project.

Alex Smithson

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