Visual Review – Movie Poster

For my visual review of a movie poster, I choose a poster form The Dark Knight. I like this poster because the cold color that it uses, the Why So Serious sentence with a happy face drew with blood, and the blurry effect of the Joker.

When I first see this poster, the red Why So Serious sentence jumped out of the frame because the color contrast of the light blue and red is so strong. This is also a sentence that the main character, the Joker used a lot in the movie. He says this sentence when he is about to murder/ cut somebody but that person is crying or terrifying in the movie. When I am taking a closer look at the writing, it becomes really interesting. First of all it is all red, which I said in the beginning, it made a strong contrast from the background color. Second of all, we can see the blood dripping down which makes me think about this is actually blood written on the screen. Third of all, the letters are all capitalized, which makes the whole sentence important and outstanding. Fourth, the letters of serious, the question mark and the happy face is redder than other letters in the sentence, which makes the letters creepy; especially Joker’s smile, because it is the last and the reddest part of the sentence. Fifth, at the end, it has a smile, which is the classic Joker happy face that he has on his, and the happy face also matches the actual face of the Joker in the background. Since the Joker bent his body to the right, his face is actually between the question mark and the end of the curve, so it makes the happy face on the screen seems suitable on his face in the background. The poster also uses symmetric for the words at the bottom, and a sort of symmetric for the buildings in the background.

The blur of the Joker is also very interesting. The creator of the poster intentionally blurred almost every part of the Joker except of his hands. Joker’s face is blurred because the designer of the poster wants us to match the drawn happy face to Joker’s face. His hands is not blurred because we want to see that one of Joker’s hands has blood remaining, and the other is internationally pointing at us like saying “Why So Serious” to us, which seems more like advertising the movie to me because Joker is creating an interaction with the audience. The part under Joker’s hand is also blurry because we want to see the movie information clearly.

The color choice is also impressive. Besides the smile that the Joker draw and “Why So Serious” that he wrote, everything else is in blue either dark blue or light blue. The background is filled with plain light color, which is really good to outstand the dark blue jacket that Joker is wearing, and contrast the blood handwriting. The near white blue color also makes an effect that the city looks foggy and sketchy since the Joker is in the city. Because the blue color is usually used in horror movies; therefore, this color also gives a creepy and cold effect to the audience especially with the blood.

Overall. I think that the poster did a good job presenting the main character and the place that the movie is taking place. While also attracting the audience to see the movie because Joker is pointing at the audience when he is writing Why So Serious.

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Visual Review for a Music Video

I think the music video Transcendence by Lindsey Stirling is really awesome, although the storyline of this music video is a little bit weird. It is about Lindsey wearing a white dress, and a fashion designer changing clothes on his computer and the computer connects to a projector that is on Lindsey. But what makes it weird is that both of them are not in the same place, so they cannot see, touch, feel each other: they are disconnected. What is interesting is that the emotion of the two characters are somehow are connected, but in an opposite way. For instance, at one place when Lindsey is smiling after she noticed that the fashion designer no longer controls her; however, the fashion designer acted to be shocked and scared and went to check the computer immediately. There are also other scenes in the video that the two character’s expression is linked together that makes the whole video interesting.

In the beginning of this music video, the fashion designer is controlling the clothes that Lindsey is wearing. But as Lindsey picked up a violin on the ground, the whole situation changed. The clothes that are displayed on the dress changes when she is playing the violin (instead of when the fashion designer is clicking on different clothes that changes the display of the clothes). After knowing that her clothes will not change anymore, which is when other people’s clothes are flashing and the clothes on herself is not, Lindsey begin to play her violin which make her dominate the selection of clothes that eventually drives the fashion designer crazy. On the other hand, when the fashion designer is crazy pulling out cords of the computer, the video uses low angle to make the fashion designer to look bigger and fierce. At the time when the fashion designer is totally crazy, the camera moves while he is smashing the keyboard, and pulling out the mouse cable, which makes the whole scene wild. The scenes also have some crazy camera switches between what is happening to the designer and the spotlight, which eventually turn out to be a flash, and the whole scene comes back to Lindsey.

To emphasize both character’s expression, the video uses lots of middle close ups to close ups with zoom ins and zoom outs on the character. For Lindsey, it is mostly middle close ups because we want to see how joyful she is when she is playing the violin; but for the fashion designer, it is mostly close ups to express his frustration and craziness. In the video, Lindsey is also interacting with the people and object that are displayed on the background. She gets a beer when somebody is handing her one, copied the clothes that someone else is wearing when she is touching it, and she wonders around the crowd people are passing by her. It is also interesting that in the end, the whole scene changed all into white, except the violin that she has on her hand. I think the director did this purposely because the director wants to emphasize the violin as an important role of her to be free in the music video, which also the violin is the main melody in the whole music.

 

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EiyPRqP5glY

Visual Review – Rocky

This movie is an action movie about Rocky, a man who was really passionate about boxing, but was never trained professionally. Because he usually doesn’t get a lot of money from his fights, he was also active in a gang in order to survive and make money. During this time, which was also the 200th anniversary of America, the heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, was prepared for a fight but unfortunately his opponent was injured. So instead, he decided to pick a random person to fight with, and the person who won fifteen rounds will win one hundred and fifty thousand dollar prize. This lucky person is Rocky. When Rocky was announced to fight Apollo, Mickey, his manager, agreed to train him. With Mickey’s training, his own faith and encouragement from his girlfriend, Rocky survived the fifteenth round, and earned everyone’s applause, although he lost the match. In the movie, the filmmaker uses different shots and angles to convey his ideas to the audience. The beginning of the movie starts with a full frame of Jesus and then switch to the fighting scene with Rocky. The filmmaker chose this scene to convey sympathy for Rocky, as he isn’t making a living off of his passion. Next, the camera zooms in on Rocky’s reflection as he studies photo of his younger self. The focus then changes to Rocky’s face contrasts with how naïve he looked when he was young and how tired and frustrated he is now. When Tony Gazzo left him alone after paying him money, the frame was a zooms out from Rocky’s face to the view of the street he’s walking on. This is used to show Rocky solitude. When Rocky was using a fire hydrant to break open a locker, the filmmaker chooses to use low angle to shoot the frame to make Rocky look strong. In addition, when Rocky is in a fight, the focus is mostly on Rocky’s face to show his determination to win the fight. When Mickey is begging Rocky to let him be his manager, the camera focuses on Rocky throwing darts. The camera is shooting Rocky instead of Mickey to show that the audience as well as Rocky shouldn’t be paying attention to him. In the previous scene, when the camera is shooting Mickey begging to help Rocky, the video uses a middle close up shot of Mickey to demonstrate that they are now equals. After Mickey’s successful training, Rocky ran to the highest place in Philadelphia with his hand held up high to show his victory. This iconic shot uses a low angle to show Rocky’s strength and determination after all his hard work. The filmmakers chose multiple street scenes because it uses the street as lines that go across the whole scene, and uses unequal spacing for Rocky when he is walking on the street. Overall, I think this is a great film not only for the meaning behind it but also for the choices in camera angles and shots.

Rear Window

Scenes in the following playlist divide the whole movie that I watched into ten scenes. Please refer back to the playlist on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE082F5FCEC9F4631

 

In the first scene, the video mainly uses panning. By panning from windows to windows, the video gives a clear view of the scene outside of the rear window to the audience. The clip also made a significant effect when the panning stopped suddenly when a lady shouted.

In the second scene, it is mainly talking about Jeff using his telephoto lens to see what the man on the other side is doing. After Jeff saw the man went to sleep on the sofa, the MCU became a CU to show the suspecting expression that appears on Jeff (because Jeff saw the man hiding saws).

In the third scene, the camera is switching from frames to frames to show the reactions of people after they heard the woman cried for her dead pet. I think the filmmaker is also reflecting the cold society during that time, which is criticizing people are unfriendly and don’t care much about others. The camera then gives a VWS to show the whole neighbors reaction of the woman screaming which is impressive.

In the fourth scene, when Jeff is writing the note to Thorwald, the filmmaker choose a high angle to show all actor’s action and the follows up with a close up to the letter. When Jeff’s girlfriend is sending the mail to Thorwald, it gives few scenes that are portraits for Jeff’s girlfriend, and Thorwald. This gives the audience a vivid expression for the two people.

The fourth and fifth scene uses different close ups like MCU and CU of Jeff when he is calling Thorwald and when his girlfriend is threatened by Thorwald. By doing this, the filmmaker can show us how anxious Jeff is during the two scenes.

It is also interesting that almost at the end of the seventh scene, the film uses two-short of Jeff and his servant both using magnify equipment to see what is happening in Thorwald’s room. This shows that both of them are worried about the situation happening on the other side.

In the eighth scene, the movie uses close ups MCUs and CUs to show the expression of Jeff when he knows that Thorwald is coming to his house and wanting kill him. When Thorward entered, his face was first dark and then only his eyes on his face was highlighted by the light, which gives him a creepy look that matches what Jeff feels like in that situation.

But in the ninth scene, Jeff is portrayed in a dark lighted situation which gives him a mysterious feeling, which also matches Thorwald’s feeling because this is the first time that he sees Jeff after Jeff starts to investigate him. I also like the orange scene after Thorwald is blinded when Jeff flashes him because it takes me the scene by doing this. The clip also uses low angle for Thorwald, to show how threating he is to Jeff. In addition, the video gives CU shots when Thorwald is hanging Jeff on the side of the window, which makes the audience see how painful Jeff is.

In the tenth scene, the movie gave different windows a short time to performing after Thorwald is caught, and stops at Jeff’s upper body, then panning to his legs to give us some humor. The movie ends with Jeffs girlfriend reading a magazine.

Morgan Norman

Morgan Norman is a professional photographer for fashion. What makes Morgan outstanding among other photographers is he choice of exposure, white balance , and selection of colors. It is said that the scenes that he works at actually inspire him the choices of exposure, white balance and colors that he choose, and I think this is why the color choices matches the background and clothing of the models perfectly.

   

For the choice of colors, the photos has a large color variety. I think this is very unique because usually when you take portraits of models, people usually choose warm tones. However, he uses different themes like black and white, cold tones and warm tones in his projects. With different type of color choices and white balance, he can match the models clothing naturally in the whole picture. For example, in black and white photo bellow, the suit that the male model wears fits perfectly in black and white theme than warm color tones or cold color tones, which contrasts the suit and the shirt.

      

In addition, Morgan’s pictures have a really nice exposure and light choice. When the photo is taken in the outdoor, the exposure of the background is bright enough but not overexposing the models face. While the scene is shot in the indoor, the light that Morgan lays on the background is dim, but the light on the model is good enough to see the model’s face and clothes clearly (this is because dark backgrounds can make people see the model more clear).
   

Beside Morgan’s light and color choice that make him a great photographer, the models in his projects also have extreme expressions that make his photos look impressive and sharp. For example, the smoldering expression of male makes them sexy looking, and the fierce expression of female, makes them seem powerful looking.

    

 

Overall, I really like the color and white balance choice that  Morgan chooses, and the expression that he makes the models do. These are all powerful portraits not only for magazines but also for art.

All photos are originally from Morgan Norman: http://www.morgannorman.com/#.

Video Review – Hermit Crab Migration

The video Hermit Crab Migration focuses on showing the audience how magnificent the migration of the hermit crabs is. In filming the video, the director of this video uses a lot of different shooting techniques like pull downs, high angles, low angles, sliding (from right to left and from up to down), close ups, filming different depth of fields etc.. By using these techniques, we can clearly see all the details of hermit crab migration: how they migrate, how difficult the migration is, how large their population is, and what the hermit crabs look like.

Before seeing this video, I have no sense about how large or small the migration is. After clicking on the play button, the video starts at the skyline and slowly maneuvers downwards until you see the beach filled with thousands of hermit crabs. To be honest, I was really surprised by the number of crabs that there was on the beach after the camera view shifted. So I can say that the pull down effect gives the audience a really good surprise.

After the set frame, the video continues with a slide from the left to the right. This gives the viewers a clear horizontal view of how large the crab population is. I think that this is a good decision to make because it lengthens the time needed to see the total population and also helps the viewer grasp at the enormity of the crowd as they are also forced to take in amount of land covered.

The video also has some close up frames of the crabs. When the camera gives the portrait of a crab, it captures most of the details of the crab’s movement and shows how difficult it is for the hermit crab to move from one place to another. This also gives a strong contrast of the previous frames of the whole landscape of crabs that will show the audience how difficult it is for the whole population to migrate from the sea to the inner land. In some close up scenes, the camera is set still to picture the rocks, and the sea. The rule of thirds is applied when shooting set frame scenes.

High angle is also used in this video, of which I think the purpose is to make the audience have the same angle that the filmmaker had while filming the scenes. Furthermore, it shows us how dense the population in his or her angle of the view.

In the ending, the shooting returns the scene back to the place where it starts. The meaning behind this, in my opinion, is that every migration will come back to its original place, which is in this situation, the sea.

This is the link for the video: ((http://vimeo.com/48466065))