— fengshui

March 25th, 2012 Daily archive

Synopsis: For this assignment you need to select several scenes from your favorite film (or one of your favorites), and edit them together and comment on some of the filmic elements of the scenes? Why do you like these scenes? What strikes you about them? What makes them good cinema? Is there a subtext at work in this film? In short, construct an essayistic commentary on the scenes as a narrator explaining to your audience what you find important about the scene, and why. What’s more, what do the details you have pinpointed say about the film more generally. For an excellent example, see Rob Ager’s analysis of space in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shininghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sUIxXCCFWw

For this assignment, I chose the same scenes as I did for my pre-production analysis. The most tedious part was to align the video with my voice-over and making sure the audio in the movie played at a decent volume. For timing, I actually used two laptops…. James’ for playing the video and mine to record on audacity. This is probably not the smartest way, but what’s done is done and it sounds pretty good (except that my voice isn’t distinctly clear). I think I would have enjoyed this video assignment if I weren’t too concerned about my own homework assignments but it was still a good attempt. Enjoy! 🙂


I uploaded the video essay on vimeo, so hopefully there’s no copyright issues. Let me know if there are any problems with this video.

Video essay – Titanic from Feng Chen on Vimeo.

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Sunday, March 26.

Nothing like an entire day to spend working on this week’s upcoming tests/assignments. At least, that’s what Sundays are for, right? #overwhelmed. 

Saturday, March 25.

Cherry blossoms festival day!! Last night we planned on waking up early in morning to take the metro. So we set our alarms at 8, or at least one of us did. Naturally, we woke up an hour later. I pulled on some shorts and a cardigan with flip flops and left at 10. I have already anticipated the weather, but still, we were convinced to go. We reached the Smithsonian metro stop and walked not long before we have arrived near the monument where cherry blossoms bloomed. I took some pictures of the lovely flowers but the sudden wave of wind and rain made it hard to admire the cherry blossoms. We left after a few minutes of picture-taking and that’s when it really started to pour. We were all feeling hungry so we went to grab some lunch at Chipotle. Let’s just say I did not choose appropriate enough clothes or footwear. I felt really irritated because I was freezing cold and wanted to go home. However, we ended up going to the Smithsonian Art Museum and walked through the history of video games. I, myself played pac-man in front of a huge screen. I also learned of this video game available exclusively on the PS3, called Flower which lets you take control of the wind as you explore and navigate through beautiful, lush environment used on SIXAXIS motion control. Personally this game attracts me because of its aesthetically pleasing graphical qualities and music. I really want to play the game after seeing others play, so I stood in line, but because my stomach was acting up, I left. By the time we finished touring, some of us were getting tired, so we left for home. Overall it was a good day despite the lousy weather and I have some pictures!

me w/ cherry blossom tree
more cherry blossoms
beautiful lake

FRIDAY, March 24.

It’s Friday and I am super excited for the weekend to start. I have been overwhelmed with so much homework, tests, and assignments these two weeks. It feels like it’s never-ending. However, I shall not complain because it is Friday and I want to celebrate. I was done with classes at 1:50pm and had lunch with a friend at 3. The weather was just absolutely gorgeous today, thus I spent the entire day soaking up the sun and just simply relaxing. At 4 I went to check out the Holi Festival of Colours. I thought about participating but did not have any clothing I want to get dirty, so I just sat on a bench and observed the splashing of coloured powder and water between people. Needless to say, it was really lively. Dinner was at 6 and I was famished! I went with some friends to eat at Hibachi Buffet, this Asian buffet restaurant. I left the restaurant feeling bloated but it was a good feeling I haven’t felt in a long time from eating really good food. I headed to James’ apartment to work on some ds106 video assignments while waiting for a friend to pick us up and go to his house. There, we slept over and the next day we drove to DC for the cherry blossom festival.

PS. I didn’t have my camera with me today, so there are no pictures available for you guys 🙁 Sorry! I promise I’ll double up on pictures at the cherry blossom festival. Definitely.

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Wow, this took so much effort and so much time into perfecting this video assignment but I have to say, I am very pleased with the result. I will talk more about the process later. Meanwhile, please enjoy the video! 🙂



Synopsis: The dawn of cinema had no audio; silent movies created an atmosphere with music and the use of cue cards. Take a 3-5 minute trailer of a modern movie and render it in the form os the silent era- convert to black and white, add effects to make it look antiquated, replace the audio with a musical sound track. As an example, see Silent Star Wars.
Get creative and choose a movie that would look most unlikely to be done from this era. If you want a shortcut, try using The Artsifier

As I said, this video assignment took me a very long time to complete. Many times I became frustrated because I wasn’t familiar with windows live movie player well enough, which makes it all the more annoying. This is also my first time using this program to edit a video. I decided to download all the sound clips first because I wanted to spend most of my time editing the video. Probably the most difficult obstacle I stumbled upon was to figure out how to precisely match the video with the audio I chose. I ended up doing it the difficult and tedious way — by playing both the audio on audacity and the video on windows live. Through serious concentration and precision, this process took a good hour or two to match up with both the audio and video counterparts. The next obstacle was figuring out how to trim certain scenes to align with the audio. I discovered the “set start point,” “set end point” option which lets me trim the selected music so it starts at a specific point and end at a specific point. That was a really cool feature and is really helpful with timing everything. One scene of the trailer that I wanted to improvise is the section where Andy is happily with his toys on his bed. I decided to slow the speed half way, so that it draws out that raw emotion of happiness before transitioning to the next scene where Andy’s toys are upset about his leaving to college. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this video assignment, probably one of the best assignments I’ve ever had to do and I am very proud of the outcome 🙂 

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TDC76 image: Some trees express enormous soul. Find and photograph that special tree.

Cherry blossom tree

cherry blossom tree

TDC75 audio: Read a favourite quote, emulating the author’s voice. Tell us why the quote is meaningful. 

Will smith quote by feng_shui

TDC73 image: Make a photo that emphasizes the color yellow

yellow mellow coat

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