I decided to write about La La Land by Damien Chazelle this week. It is a L.A. love story between a jazz musician, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring young actress, Mia (Emma Stone). The brilliant, Oscar-winning (YAY) Chazelle delivered the story in the form of a musical. It’s very nostalgic; Chazelle pays tribute to many classic ninetieth musicals such as Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris, but the story itself is modern and Chazelle definitely made it into his own style.
I have to say that I’m truly surprised by how much I’m in love with this film. I’m not a fan of musicals and am pretty cynical when it comes to romantic dramas, especially ones like this where everything is just so over-the-top romanticized. So it may seem like besides Ryan Gosling’s beautiful face, there shouldn’t be any reason for me to like this film at all. But in the midst of all the dancing and singing and floating in the planetarium, La La Land really touched me, evidenced by my crying hysterically for the both times I watched it in the theater and the many times on my laptop.
For my project, I’ll be writing reviews on films with the broad theme of love. I’ll focus more on the analysis of characters and storylines instead of the technicality of filmmaking since it’s not my area of expertise.
In light of Valentine’s Day, I watched Blue Valentine by Dereck Cianfrance this week, and here’s my complete review on the movie.
This week I wanted to focus on the film clips I am watching and next week I’ll focus more on the storyboarding process. I watched a film clip this weekend called “The Miseducation of Dylann Roof”. While watching it I realized that many of the documentaries we watch are picture based. I never noticed this because when we think of a picture film we think of something slightly boring and not so interactive. There is a way to use pictures to tell a story and a way to make pictures seem as though they are a piece of film instead. While paying attention to the craft only, I realized how much technique goes into these types of films. I think I will find times throughout the filmmaking process where I get frustrated due to running out of ideas on how to craft the pictures and what techniques to use on them. I want to compile a bunch of links with films that do a good job of engaging with pictures, one of them being the recent film clip on Dylann Roof. This is not a problem for me because I love watching documentaries, it would just be watching with a different intention: technique and craft.
Here is the link to the video incase anyone is interested in the craft or even the topic (
“My three Ps: passion, patience, perseverance. You have to do this if you’ve got to be a filmmaker.”
– Robert Wise
This week I spent a lot of my time researching different types of films and ways to make an engaging film about history. When I watch history films it is oftentimes hard for me to stay engaged if I do not have particular interest in the subject or is not made in a fun or interesting format. A film that is dense with information can be both hard to follow and also at times uninteresting. That being said, the format of the film can be just as crucial as the topic itself. Many would agree “it’s all in the presentation”. After looking at different types of films and watching trailers of all kinds I decided I wanted to make a picture film. After talking to my mentor he told me I can pull it off but there is also a chance it does not come out to be as engaging as I thought. I want my film to be comprised of photos depicting the stories I tell. I may include article headlines, photos of rulers, war scenes, perspectives from both Pakistan and India and Kashmir. I need a variation of photos in order to do this well and I need to learn many techniques. This will come from watching these types of films and replicating many techniques. I am excited to start storyboarding my video and laying out each scene: this has been the part of the seminar I’m most looking forward to doing.
Here is a link to some older history films made: Watching a film with the intention of looking at technique and format more so than the plot can provide a different lens to the film. http://www.history.com/films
A topic that I am exploring in one of my films is the concept of beauty Continue reading
While I have been working on my treatment and plot for my film, I have also been researching how to make a documentary. I found a blog that is very interesting, not just for someone wanting to make a film. No Film School is similar to a news source like Buzzfeed or Fast Company but focused on filmmaking. Continue reading
I’ve been uninspired recently but I think I’m getting back into the swing of things. Continue reading
Y’all ain’t ready for this Continue reading
For the first week of the independent seminar, I went into it not knowing where to start on a film. I had many questions: How will I present information? What format should it be in? What movie maker will I use? Should I use clips? Continue reading