Summer 2015 Professional Development – Summer Blockbusters

It’s finally summer time! It’s time to catch up on some professional development that I have been neglecting, like movies!

I have finally taken the time to seek out Every Frame a Painting, by Tony Zhou, a series of mini-video essays that analyze films.  These are wonderfully structured and fascinating short videos on different aspects of film. As you can tell by the name the creator Tony Zhou has a fine eye for appreciating details (see for example chairs or Jackie Chan, or Chuck Jones). However my personal favorite is this very succinct homage to Orson Wells classic “F for Fake”, (by way of South Park, Star Wars, and Dude I lost my car).

It’s got a pretty clean message: “Therefore” or “but”, never “and then”,”meanwhile back at the ranch” (second story line), Peak out and then switch story lines.  I plan to show this in class next year during a video essay project. We shall see how it goes. (then discuss why this technique may not work well for written essays).  But seriously watch some of these amazing videos and you will find so many cinematic details to appreciate in new ways.

In a similar vein is the collective endeavour Art of the Title. Title sequences have become beautiful works of multimedia art that set the stage for the series to come. Art of the title  summarizes the important art and production decisions and often interviews the creators. I have learned much about special effects from them, and they are simply beautiful. My favorites are Game of thrones, The Vikings, Manhattan, and the playgrounds festival (2014).  Yep, they don’t just cover TV series, but also festivals, video games, anything with a title sequence.  Love it.

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Finally while on the topic of cinema/multimedia, this excellent observational piece in The Guardian explains why Hollywood movies scripts are so horribly confusing these days.  Essentially current filming schedule require completing the complex special effects set pieces before the scripts are even complete, leaving it to the writers to try and weave together the confusing story.




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