Video Assignments: Serenity Now! – 3 stars

In one of the episodes of the last season os Seinfeld, one of the main characters is advised to repeat “serenity now” as a mantra to ease his high blood pressure. Rather than repeat the phrase in a calm and controlled manner in a way that might help, Frank Costanza yells “SERENITY NOW!” at the top of his lungs whenever he feels stressed, thus defeating the purpose of the mantra.

I decided to create a visual piece of video and audio that would correct Frank’s mistake, and attempt to actually create one of those “serenity videos” that are often seen being played at dentist’s offices, or a spa.

I am very proud of my Serenity Now! video. I used time lapse videos I found and linked them together in Windows Movie maker. I then added music: Only Time by Enya, Serenade by Franz Schubert, and Por ti volare by Andrea Bocelli. The first video is of a rose blooming, the second is of different scenes in nature, and the third is satellite video of the earth. I also added a mini-clip in there that is really fun, but you will have to watch the video to see what it is!

Summary of two Daily Creates

The first daily create I did this week was “Make an out of focus photo that is artistic/interesting/evocative”.(tdc520)

I chose a screenshot from the Twilight Zone episode, “Eye of the Beholder”, when the patient is being held down while the doctor is coming at her with a syringe. This shot already has a lot of emotion in the scene, but I decided to emphasize the drama by messing with the colors and putting it out of focus. I think it came out pretty well. I believe that it does relate to what we have been doing this week about “reading” movies. We are drawn to the brighter areas of the photograph, which causes “dominant contrast”. Also, the point of view below the characters’ eyelines enhances them and makes the scene more interesting. You don’t notice it at first glance but the longer you look at the photo, your eyes can see the syringe in the lower left hand corner.


For the other daily create I did so far, I completed:
Capture a photo in the golden hour- first hour past sunrise or last before sunset


I don’t believe that this photograph has any relation to what we are doing this week except the angle looking above kind of makes the clouds look like gods. I really like doing the photography assignments though, they are my favorite.

Video Assignment Ideas

I was thinking about doing the video assignment “Advertisement Galore”.

For this assignment, take different clips of people in movies using something and make an advertisement out of it! Be as creative as possible!

It seems like it would be a fun assignment to do, incorporating video with text. It appeals to me because I can make it as goofy as I’d like, while adding creativity into it. I believe that I could probably use Windows Movie Maker to do this assignment. I would probably download some clips from YouTube that have to do with the same object and then cut them and then add them together. I then would add text, and maybe some special effects.

For another assignment I might do “Product Evolution”.

Things are’t what they use to be. For this assignment pick a product, a piece of technology works best but you can use anything, and create a short video timeline of how it looked way back all the way to how it looks today. Be sure to add dates.

This one seems really interesting. I was thinking of maybe doing cars or cell phones or televisions. I will have to think more on this one because I want to do something really unique that people don’t normally think about. I could probably use Windows Movie Maker for this one as well. I will find pictures of the older piece of technology first and then montage them together or possibly overlap them to look like its morphing in front of your eyes.

Meaningful or playful?

I chose a scene from the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers to add to the scene from the Night Call episode. Both of these clips are in the sci-fi genre. They are also from about the same time period. They are also both black-and-white. I would say that these videos are just playful examples of the genre of sci-fi. Twilight Zone definitely is known for having meaningful messages though. I think YouTube is probably the most current up- to -date information bank that we have. It is so well-known across the world and the videos on there are so diverse, that I would consider YouTube to really just be video as we know it on the web.

Sci-fi Genres: Night Call and Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I researched some of the production notes on the episode Night Call of the Twilight Zone on the website It was supposed to air on November 22, 1963, but was postponed because of the assassination of JFK. Instead, the episode aired on February 7th, 1964. The episode’s script was adapted from the short story “Long Distance Call” by Richard Matheson. The director was Jacques Tourneur for this episode. The stars of this episode were Gladys Cooper, Nora Marlowe, Martine Bartlett, and of course Rod Serling. The genre of the Twilight Zone show would be sci-fi. I choose a scene from another sci-fi genre, the movie, “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers.”

In the scene from the body snatchers, you really need the audio to know what is going on because they aren’t really doing anything except talking in this scene. They do a lot of cut scenes going back and forth to each character that is talking. The camera focuses dead center on the speaker. The speaker is in the center of the screen giving symmetry to the shot. The speakers for the most part are at eye-level. There is some sad music playing in the background conveying a sad atmosphere.

Final Review of Night Call

Review 1:I chose a scene from the episode “Night Call” to review. It is the first scene of the episode. When the scene starts the camera pans from the left side of the room to the right past a rocking chair and then focuses on the woman in the bed. The camera angle is above the woman therefore focusing the scene around her. You can tell it is storming outside because of the flashes of light. They did a good job of portraying what was going on in the scene even though there was no sound. You knew what was going on in the scene because the camera portrayed the sequence of events. The way that the camera focused on the telephone and then back to the woman, where she expresses disdain, you can tell that the phone was ringing. The camera only seemed to switch views 2 or 3 times, from the woman to the telephone. When the camera switched to the telephone it was directly facing the telephone, at a front facing angle. The quick cut to the telephone and then back to the woman indicates that there is some action taking place. At the end of this scene, the camera pans back from right to left, clearly ending the scene.

Review 2: Lightning crashes, indicating a bad thunderstorm. The phone rings twice. Someone picks up the phone and says hello. Thunder crashes in the background. There is no one on the line. Static. Woman hangs up. Thunder crashes again. Immediately, the phone rings again. You can hear her pick up. She says hello? hello? No one there. She hangs up. Background music begins. It sounds ominous.

The sound of thunder introduces the scene as the first audio you hear. It sets the theme for the entire scene. The timing of the thunder and the phone seems to be related. The actress waits for the person on the line to respond before she repeats hello?. There are definite pauses in the scene, maybe to add more dramatic effect and mystery to the scene. The woman seems nervous in the tone of her voice as well as the pauses she makes when she’s waiting for someone to answer her. You can also faintly hear static from the phone. This adds to the mysterious vibe of the scene.

Review 3: It seems like anytime that the actress was talking, that the thunder was quiet. Once the thunder started again, the phone immediately rang. When the woman seemed more worried, it seemed like the camera zoomed closer or more intimately on her face and facial reactions. I’m assuming by getting a closer shot of the actress that this was to provoke more sympathy out of the viewer.

Final Conclusion:
In the opening of the scene, the camera panned to the right. From Roger Ebert’s article “How to read a movie”, we know that “right is more positive”. He also mentions that “the future seems to live on the right, the past on the left.” The idea of this is that the action (what is taking place in the scene) is going to happen towards the right. Ebert also mentions that “symmetrical compositions seem at rest”. The position of the camera on the first few shots of the woman seem very symmetrical creating balance and focus on the subject. The first few shots of the woman are also above her making her seem vulnerable. Ebert refers to this as making “characters into pawns”.



Review 3: Put it all together

It seems like anytime that the actress was talking, that the thunder was quiet. Once the thunder started again, the phone immediately rang. When the woman seemed more worried, it seemed like the camera zoomed closer or more intimately on her face and facial reactions. I’m assuming by getting a closer shot of the actress that this was to provoke more sympathy out of the viewer.