This video essay was based on some of my first most impressions and scenes on the Wire. I compiled these Windows Movie Maker and with the help of my audio in Sound Cloud.
For this assignment we had to do a video essay, commentary. I picked the scene before the incident that happened in the classroom. Here is the original video without any commentary. I decided to focus on the camera angles, this was actually a little more difficult assignment.
I mentioned how the camera angles can tell the story and show who is important in that second. The angels focused on whoever was talking symbolizing their importance/control.
This was a tad more difficult, so after I selected the scene I used audacity to record my voice. While I was recording my voice, I was watching the video so they could match up.
Once I finished recording I exported the audacity file and downloaded the youtube video with the clip using savefromnet.com. I then uploaded both into iMovie and played them. Turns how it did not match up so I added a title scene so I could place some audio during it therefore the scenes would somewhat match up to my commentary.
This week we had to do the assignment “Video Essay” for The Wire (5 stars). Boy was it worth five stars. This assignment was a lot of work. Rather than doing a discussion of Seniority in one episode, I made mine pretty much a discussion on a theme that is throughout the show but I focused on Season 1. It would have been way too much to do it throughout the whole show. It was something that I tracked pretty thoroughly throughout season one but then focused a little less on it in season two and beyond. So anyway, I discussed the theme of seniority throughout season one of The Wire in my video essay.
How I did it:
Well at first I was getting frustrated because I couldn’t find the scenes that I wanted on YouTube. I didn’t know that you could download the episodes from the wire hub site. So once Groom told me that, I downloaded the episodes that I needed (which took a while because I was on the school wifi–bad idea). I then went through the episodes to find the scenes that I had notes on that I wanted to talk about. I got these notes from my notes on the different episodes, specifically the scenes talking about hierarchy or seniority. Once I had all of the scenes that I needed I imported the first episode into Windows Live Movie Maker and trimmed it down to the section that I needed. I used the trim tool and then the set start point and end point tools. I did this for all of the scenes that I needed.
Once I had all of my scenes, I needed to record what I wanted to say about them. I opened Audacity so I could record my speaking parts. I recorded them all. I then split my screen between Movie Maker and Audacity so I could situate my talking so it coincided with the beginning of each scene in Movie Maker. This was pretty easy. I just clicked on the beginning of the scene in Movie Maker to see what time the scene started at and I used the time shift tool in Audacity to move the words to where I needed them to be. Once I did this with all of my talking parts, I selected all and amplified them so they would be louder. I then exported it as an MP3 file and imported it into Movie Maker. I made sure everything matched up. I had to adjust the volume of the videos so that you could hear my talking over the dialogue in the scenes but so that you could still hear it when I wasn’t talking. It took a little adjusting to figure that out but it wasn’t too hard.
I then exported the video and uploaded it to YouTube. Here is the final product:
Hiya! The Video Essay (5 stars) was an interesting assignment. Instead of using what ever film or TV show we wanted, we were tasked with using the Wire. I decided to use season 4 episode 1 for this. And at first I was really excited to do this assignment and I saw some great themes throughout the episode but when I got ready to create the voice over, I just couldn’t get what I wanted to say out. They were good themes throughout the episode but I just couldn’t figure out what I wanted to say, fortunately I was able to after countless takes with the voice overs.
The Color Green:
I saw the color green a lot throughout the episode. In particular I saw green a the color of money. In the beginning of the episode, Snoop gets into a green Nissan Armada after she buys the nail gun. In this case the green means wealth because an Armada isn’t a cheap car. It seems to be a newer model so he definitely would need a good amount of money to buy the car.
The next snippet of the color green I saw was in the cupola of city hall. This also represents the use of money, especially since it is city hall, and the government needs a lot of money to run.
I noticed Dukie’s shirt was green but not in the way of wealth. Its almost like he’s the odd ball out. And you can see that when he gets picked on by the group, they are wearing plain white t-shirts.
So while watching the episode I wrote down things that I saw that I thought were interesting.
I noticed that after the Mayor finished tying his tie, it was crooked. I thought this was interesting because its almost like he’s stuck in this rut, where its a cycle of the same things day after day. The crooked tie shows that he’s tired, everything is starting to weigh him down. I also noticed this cycle with Carcetti, I noticed that he’s always in the cycle to get to his next appearance and this weighs him down too. He becomes frustrated because he’s not where he wants to be in the campaign.
The next scene is where the two groups meet for a revenge plot. However that revenge plot goes south quick. I thought this was interesting because they worked so hard on this but by just one mistake it totally turned around, and for the worse too.
The final scene I talk about is the one where the teachers are sitting down in a presentation. They seem completely bored, they definitely don’t want to be in this presentation. Then it cuts over to the police in a presentation as well. They are bored as well. I thought this was a cool mirror in the episode. Both groups had to be in this presentation but I’m sure they all could think of better things they could have been doing with their time.
Over all I thought this assignment was interesting. Besides the fact that the voice over was a little wonky I really enjoyed picking out different things to talk about from the episode! Here is the final product!
For the Video Essay assignment, I decided to discuss scenes from The Wire season 3, episode 12 and how they show the characters dealing with Stringer’s death and comprehending how they understood him and where they go from here.
I downloaded the episode and rewatched the scenes I wanted to cover, taking note of what was important about them and how they were shot. I then imported the video into iMovie and trimmed it to only the clips I needed. Then I added in the title and credit screens. For the audio commentary, I recorded myself talking in Audacity, exported the file as an mp3 and imported it into iMovie. I then split the audio from the video in the clips from the show and rearranged it so that my commentary track was above the audio of the episode, so it would take precedence. I then split and adjusted my commentary as well as the volume of the audio from the episode.
Here is what it looked like in iMovie:
I then saved the file and uploaded it to YouTube. Here is the final product:
I’m not sure this is my best work, and I’m sure I could have refined and structured the audio and ideas better, but I think it gets my ideas across well.
For my video essay, I decided to look at The Wire as a primary source. I am Dr. McClurken’s U.S. History in Film class, and one of the things we do is look at the movies we watch as primary sources. We discuss what a movie can tell us about when it was made. For example, Disney’s Pocahontas can tell us more about the way that Native Americans were viewed in the 1990s than about the actual story of Pocahontas (which is nothing like what is showed in the Disney movie in case you were wondering). The Wire was made in 2002, about contemporary issues, and can now be used as a primary source to study this time.
For the video essay assignment I really wanted to do my commentary on episode 11 of season 3 because it is my favorite episode thus far. Stringer is one of the most interesting characters and his attempt to rise above the gangster world and enter the business world and the resulting fall is so sad, yet beautiful to me. He tries to rise above himself and his past, but he does not belong in the business world and ends up being betrayed by Avon, his brother figure.
This episode had so many great scenes that culminated into Stringer’s death and so I chose certain scenes very carefully and then ended with Stringer’s death scene. Below is some written analysis of each scene that I did not get to discuss in the video analysis.
I want to start with the opening scene of the episode with Omar:
I love the opening scene with Omar because we hear what I call Omar’s “fight song” which is usually whistled by him as he goes into battle with a giant gun, but here he is held at gunpoint by the Reverend. Omar is shadowed out in a hallway of sorts, walking with coat tails flapping behind him. There is nothing but darkness and smoke around him.
This scene is really important because it so well parallels Stringer’s death scene at the end of the episode, where Omar and the Reverend work together to murder Stringer. This scene is so Westernized with the pulled guns and constant back and forth of the camera. The camera zooms in and then takes longer shots of the two men as their guns are pulled out at each other.
The next scene I want to discuss is the discussion between Stringer and Avon, which parallels the fight scene between Avon and Stringer from before. Avon is again yelling at Stringer for being too business minded, but this time Stringer realizes he has failed in his endeavors. The camera goes back and forth between the men again and they are positioned the same way, even with the same contrasting white and black clothing.
The scenes in which Stringer and Avon betray each other are very paralleled as well, but I am just going to focus on Stringer’s scene with the Major in the cemetery. The scene is very dark and smoky. It’s extremely dramatic, with the slow movement focusing in on the various headstones and angels. Then the camera jumps back to Stringer selling out Avon to the Major. The whole scene reminds me of a Deep Throat moment, but much creepier as it’s in a graveyard. The flowers beyond the Major make the scene even more dark because of the contrast. I also like that this scene foreshadows what happens to Stringer at the end of the episode.
Stringer and Avon on roof
Stringer attack and running with Omar walking in darkness:
Stringer immediately runs and all we hear is him running and the man crying, who is nothing to Omar. The pigeons fly around prophetically, and much like a church yard scene, as Stringer tries to find a way out. Then Omar in shadow once again walks through the building hallways. This is the parallel I pointed out earlier to the beginning of the episode.
A cool triangle is created with Stringer in the middle and the two guns pointed at him. The light shines behind him as a symbolic light of why this is happening occurs to Stringer. Omar tells him Avon gave Stringer up and Omar is getting back at him for his boyfriend’s death. Stringer is utterly defeated in words and manner, with his face showing his own defeat. Avon’s betrayal ruins his resolve it seems. The two men walk toward Stringer and look at each other after they shoot Stringer before he can get his last words out. The camera then lingers on the sign in the background on the building, which represents Stringer’s hopes for the future. Then a light shines on Stringer’s dead body as the other two walk away.
This scene was the climax of the episode and represents a finish to a great character. Everything in this episode culminated in Stringer’s ultimate demise, which was beautifully created.
Click here to view the video on YouTube.
This video assignment expands on my video analysis on THE GREATEST MOVIE EVERRRRRR!!!!!
SPIKE LEE’S DO THE RIGHT THING…
In this video assignment I break down the movie… I show the major scenes that define the movie… what the scenes mean, and what the scenes mean to me…
I show the love hate scene that appears in the beginning of the movie, because that defines the whole movie… the love hate between Sal and Pookie and the extreme hate through out the movie…
I also discuss the scene with the stereotype name calling between Jews, Blacks, Italians, and Koreans. This scene also serves as a foundation of the movie and the plot behind it.
I show the last two epic scenes… Radio Raheem’s death and Pookie getting fed up and taking action… Both of these scenes show how stereotypes and racism can get out of hand and get dangerous… The last two scenes does not only define the movie, but make the movie a classic
To create this video essay, I used the program Jacksta to download my favorite clips from jesus christ superstar, next I imported it to iMovies, where I edited and voice over my commentary. When I completed this project the file was really large, so I had difficulties uploading it to my website or youtube. I had to shorten the length of this video essay in order to reduce size.
Click here to view the video on YouTube.