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career discourse

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 4 months ago

Kill Jhug 2

This is an excerpt from my RTF application:

"I grew up watching movies. I enjoyed watching them so much, that in the summer of 2004, I decided to make my own movie. At the time, I was heavily involved in a game called Counter Strike and my online team, whom I participated in tournaments with. I recorded all of our matches from a few seasons in an online league. I spent days running through hours of film to pick out the best highlights from my short gaming career. At this point in my life, I knew little to nothing about directing or editing. Therefore, I had to teach myself how to film a movie. I began by researching editing techniques, then camera angles and perspectives. I had to learn how to navigate through editing programs and how to arrange scenes. After months of long, tedious work I finally had my movie. The theme of my “frag” video was meant to resemble Tarintino’s “Kill Bill” and was aptly named “Kill Jhug”, after my online alias: Jhug. It was such an accomplishment to finish this project. I dived head-on into a difficult project which I knew nothing about, and was awarded with incredible results. Not only was it a great accomplishment I can be proud of, but it also helped bring out my attraction to film and the process of movie-making."



In creating this video, I decided to have it broken into three parts: the intro, the "frag" part, and the credits. I had taken all of my raw footage and edited and chopped them up to make the "frag" portion of the film which comprised the bulk of the video. Because of the creativity required in making such an introduction, I procrastinated and put off making my intro until last. As it turns out, this was a good thing whereas normally, procrastination never is. I wanted the introduction segment to be a short, about a minute long, arrangement of third-person shots that would build up to the first clip of the "frag" segment. I decided on including a few panning shots as well as a few short multi-angle shots to emphasize parts of the song accompanying the intro. At this point in production, I really only had a vague idea of what I wanted to accomplish in the introduction.


After taking a load of footage for the introduction segment, I sat down and began the editing process. I really wanted to be creative in this process, so I researched and attempted a few camera tricks and shots to employ.

One of my favorites is the first scene in the movie. It features a lone fighter centered in the screen. Suddenly the camera whips backwards and moves far away from the fighter, all the time keeping him as the center of attention. At the same time, however, the camera is zooming in on the object, creating a strange effect that blurs the motion outside of the focus. This was a technique I had previously seen in various movies and other "frag" movies that I really wanted to incorporate into mine. This technique is named the Vertigo Effect after Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo". My effect unknowingly took a different approach to this technique. My implementation was a "reverse" Vertigo effect, if you will. I took the camera, had it fly away from the object while zooming in. This is contrary to the traditional Vertigo effect, in which the camera moves forward, opposed to backwards, delivering a keen visual effect tricking the viewer into thinking the camera has indeed moved away from the object in focus. This particular scene is my favorite for many reasons. The single character on screen that stares at the camera zipping away is the protagonist of the video, so to speak. The viewer is introduced to him, if only for a second. The video then proceeds to show a collage of different scenes depicting the character's team attacking in various situations in different locations, all shot in a third person perspective, that help give the viewer the sense of urgency and excitement I hoped to have the movie obtain. The opening scene is incredibly short, about two seconds to be exact, but it sets the theme for the movie to follow and introduces the main character (me!). The vertigo effect also works very well with the music, which I intentionally chose for its mysterious and intense rhythm, and helps create a great opening shot and an epiphany for its creator.


I created three shots in this film using the Vertigo effect. The third use of this effect was the last scene in the "introduction" bit and directly shifts to the main "frag" portion of the video through the use of a white flash. This scene is important because it singles out the character, again, and places him at the scene where the first "frag" bit occurs. It lets the viewer know that the protagonist is heading towards his first encounter in the movie and also acts as a nice way to bring the introduction around full-circle: the viewer was both introduced and left with the Vertigo effect. The second portion of the introduction is the Montage Sequence. It consists of an array of different action sequences occurring in different locales. None of the characters or locations are specified, the viewer is welcomed to assume that they may or may not be affiliated with the protagonist, it is irrelevant whether they are or aren't. The "montage" sequence contains sweeping shots of enemies being dispatched, stable shots of enemies grouping up and various other action sequences shown to giver the viewer a sense of suspense and a peek ahead to the action in the main "frag" session. This part of the intro was put together from a large collection of various action sequences I had captured previously to making the video. I decided on including a montage into the video so I could use most of the clips I had made previously, and to help orient the viewer and their expectations heading into the video. As I said previously, when making this video, I had no prior knowledge of video editing other than what I had seen in prior films and "frag" videos. Creating a montage was a really difficult process. You have to have at least some idea what you are trying to convey, without it you will inevitably have just a messy compilation of random scenes stuck together. According to the Wikipedia definition, a montage shot is "a series of short shots... edited into a sequence to condense narrative." It is basically a short cut to fill-in the viewer of what has happened or of what they should know or expect to happen. In my case, I used it to portray the general idea of the movie, the recurrent theme of death and destruction that would follow. This is a "frag" movie, after all.


In the beginning of this project when I first began tackling the process of making this Career Discourse page, I believed my epiphany happened upon viewing the introduction to my movie in its complete form for the first time. Now, however, after completing this website, I find myself in a moment of clarity in that my epiphany did not occur at that direct moment. It was a much slower moment of insight. It did not happen at once; it steadily grew from a small moment of accomplishment into the epiphany I experienced. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and this project can attest to that. It was not that single moment that changed me, it was the entire process of creating the introduction to my film that moved me. The introduction to this film was my opportunity to be truly creative and experiment with techniques I had honestly never heard of before hand. I was a pioneer in my old world of filmography. Creating this introduction helped unleash my wildest dreams by recreating what I had seen in my head a hundred times onto film where I could truly see it with my eyes. Creating this video was such a monumental achievement, especially for someone who had zero knowledge about what it is like to create an entire film, from start to finish. If I had to relate this feeling to something more external, it would be as if you built your next house, from the ground up, with your own hands. You had an idea of what you wanted it to look like, you had the materials and time to build it, but not the knowledge. Instead of giving up and purchasing a house already standing, you decided to create it yourself. After months of hard work and problems, you finally have a finished product you can look at and say, "I made that." It will always be there for you to admire and is a shining example of what people can do when they put their minds to it. The introduction to this movie is my Wide Image, and has helped me unleash my passion for movie-making that I hope to have a career in some day.



Here is my movie, Kill Jhug 2, hosted on File Front: http://files.filefront.com/killjhug2avi/;8534341;/fileinfo.html


All photos courtesy of me and my film.


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