Ya Gotta See This!

Make a video essay in the style of A. O. Scott’s Critics Picks or Jeff Fischer’s “Captain Renault: Decidedly Bi” based on a film of your choice.

Due March 24 & 25 Red and Blue

Here’s a quick how-to:

  1. Pick a movie that you have something to say about. The “something” should be thesis-like, examining a theme in the film, or looking closely as a character, or analyzing style. That is, more than just pointing out stuff you like.
  2. Watch it carefully and choose “quotes”  – that is, clips that illustrate what you have to say.
  3. Handbrake the whole movie or else the individual chapters in which these clips are located into “normal” mp4 files. I’ll show you how to use this and the other needed programs if you don’t know yet. (And don’t forget to throw this all out after you’ve extracted the clips you need.)
  4. Using MPeg Streamclip, extract the clips from the chapters, making sure you give each clip a unique name.
  5. Write your script and practice so you won’t look as lame as I did reading (so lame that I re-edited the movie to get rid of my own image).
  6. Record your script onto video with the Mac’s built-in camera. You can just do it in iMovie, or in Garage band, or  use  a video camcorder and then import the footage.
  7. Import each of these pieces into iMovie and edit it into a 3-8 minute videopodcast.
  8. I suggest the less of your face the better (that was my mistake), since most people would rather see a film clip than a talking head. Plan your clips so that parts can have the sound lowered to hear your voiceovers.

Here’s my video about Captain Renault of Casablanca:

A.O. Scott of the New York Times does this professionally. You can find his podcast, Critics’ Picks with A.O. Scott, free at the iTunes store.

Take a look at some other Mt. Ararat student work from previous years (but — spoiler alert — we may be watching some of these movies later on in class)

Erin Fitzsimmons’s “A Pawn No More” — an analysis of the character of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront:

Erin Weathers’s “The Holly Golightly Style” — about the appeal of the Audrey Hepburn character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

And Matt Graeff’s analysis of the “creatures” in the film Pan’s Labyrinth: