All posts tagged: Cinematography

Revisiting My Undergraduate Thesis Film

As I enter my last year of graduate school, I’ve found myself reflecting on my undergraduate years, almost longing for that simpler time. I’m only 25, yet I’ve been feeling far older, like my age is a scary number that keeps getting larger and larger and more overwhelming. But that’s a different story – one that I may return to in a separate post. This sentimental reflection on my past has led me to revisit some of my older work, such as my senior thesis film, Fruition. So much has changed since I started making Fruition in 2012, and although I haven’t made a notable short film since, I know that my perspective as a creator has evolved significantly. On the one hand, I’m not as naive and am instead somewhat disillusioned and overwhelmed by how little I understand about life itself. On the other hand, I feel more empowered and able to embrace who I am and my unique perspective. I know that I’m somewhat smarter and more equipped to understand others and the world around me. That being …

Video of the Day: Arizona Monsoon

By definition, monsoon refers to a seasonal wind in South and Southeast Asia that brings ample rain, but those of us native to Arizona call our summer rains monsoons too. Last week I was lucky enough to head home to Tucson during spring break, and although it didn’t rain, returning to the desert made me realize just how much I’ve been missing monsoon season. I write about Tucson quite often, but growing up in the Sonoran Desert is a gift that I’ll never take for granted, and I’ll use every opportunity I have to share its character and beauty. I recently came across Monsoon II by Mike Olbinski and couldn’t help but post it. Enjoy, and be sure to check out more of Olbinski’s work on his blog and Vimeo.

Eternal Sunshine – The Two Shot

Today’s Video of the Day comes from Between Frames, a channel on Vimeo that describes its purpose as “looking deeper into the story, style & symbolism of popular cinema.” In their latest video they examine the use of the ‘two shot’ in Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which places the characters of Joel and Clementine together in the frame as their relationship comes together, falls apart, and is resurrected. The film’s cinematography is done artfully by Ellen Kuras. If you haven’t seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I recommend renting it as soon as possible. To this day it remains one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. And if you like this video, be sure to check out more from Between Frames.    

Unconcealment II – A Stunning Visual Exploration

Balamir Nazlica short film Unconcealment II, inspired by German philosopher Martin Heidegger’s concept of unconcealment, invites spectators to explore nature and the cosmos through a visceral journey in light and darkness. Heidegger described unconcealment as “what appears from out of itself, in appearing shows itself, and in this self-showing manifests” (1). Unconcealment II is not only visually striking, but Nazlica’s use of sound works to create a viewing experience that is both haunting and electrifying. Through the examination of changing landscapes, Nazlica’s short film also illuminates questions about time and space. In order to capture the changing of the seasons, the film was shot over six months in both Vermont and Maine. To learn more about Unconcealment II and Balamir Nazlica’s other work, please check out his website. “Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2015. Martin Heidegger

Yes, I Want to Share Another LA Video

This may be the fourth or fifth time I’ve shared a similar video – one that features swooping images of Los Angeles’ beautiful skyline and an impressive array of street art – but I must share this one, because it’s just that good. Simply titled Los Angeles, Ian Wood’s newest video comes as a city-wide follow-up to his previous downtown exploration. As someone who fell in love with Los Angeles and decided to make the move here recently, I’m struck by how much of this city I have left to explore. As evidenced by the range of stunning shots that are stitched together perfectly, this sprawling metropolis is wildly diverse in so many ways. From culture, to architecture and nature, Los Angeles seems to have something for everyone. The experience of watching Los Angeles is so much fun that I find myself enthusiastically bouncing around to the music with every new viewing. Each shot is a sight to behold, and the soundtrack exquisitely compliments the varied imagery. So watch the video and let me know what you think! And if you’re interested, check out this map that highlights all of the shooting locations.

Unsettling & Beautiful: “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”

I’m not one for reviewing movies, so lets call this a brief one-sided discussion in which you are welcome to join in the comment section below. A few weeks ago I watched Lily Ana Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night because it was available on Netflix and I remembered reading such great things about it after its 2014 Sundance premiere. The reason I wanted to write a bit about Amirpour’s film is because it felt so new and original to me that it demanded a post of its own. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night takes place in a close-to-empty Iranian town called Bad City. The film’s tone is new wave cool, with a spaghetti western vibe and a vampire-horror theme. Although her style of filmmaking is clearly influenced by many genres, I believe Amirpour’s film transcends all genre stereotypes. With A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, I felt like I was watching something important unfold before my eyes. It’s one of those films, like 8 1/2 or Mulholland Drive, that’s iconic the very moment it’s completed. I want to hear from you! What did you think about A …

First and Final Frames: A Side-By-Side Comparison

This beautiful short film cuts together the first and last shots of several iconic films. Some of my favorite comparisons include Birdman, Her, The Black Swan, Gone Girl, Taxi Driver, 12 Years a Slave, Raging Bull, Nebraska, Whiplash, and Dr. Strangelove.  By Jacob T. Swinney What can we learn by examining only the first and final shot of a film? This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side. Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different–both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film. MUSIC: “Any Other Name” by Thomas Newman Films used (in order of appearance): The Tree of Life 00:00 The Master 00:09 Brokeback Mountain 00:15 No Country for Old Men 00:23 Her 00:27 Blue Valentine 00:30 Birdman 00:34 Black Swan 00:41 Gone Girl 00:47 Kill Bill Vol. 2 00:53 Punch-Drunk Love 00:59 Silver Linings Playbook 01:06 Taxi Driver 01:11 Shutter Island 01:20 Children of …

VIDEO OF THE DAY: DTLA

I’m officially four months away from moving to Los Angeles and WOW am I excited. I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do when I get there, but goodness gracious I can’t wait to call that city home. I love so much about LA, and lucky for me it’s only a 7.5 hour drive back to good ole Tucson when I’m feeling homesick. I’ve posted LA videos before, but this is by far my favorite one. Make sure to watch it in full screen HD and turn up your volume as loud as you can! Enjoy.

My Thesis Film

My senior year of college I set out to make a thesis film that reflected my sensibilities and personal aesthetic. Fruition is an experimental short film in which a young woman experiences and perceives abrupt changes in her existence. It’s about the journey of life, which is particularly turbulent between adolescence and adulthood. Fruition screened at I Dream in Widescreen on May 11, 2013 at The Fox Theatre in downtown Tucson, AZ. At the screening it received honorable mention for cinematography, which was done artfully by Santiago Bahti. It has been almost a year since I completed my thesis project and it still boggles my mind just how much work goes into a six minute short film. In retrospect there is so much (I repeat, so much) I would change about my thesis short – but isn’t that the point of school? This project was a lesson (one of many I hope) and I look forward to learning and developing more as I grow into my own style. Heck, I’m even still trying to figure out what I want to spend the rest of my life doing! All I know is, I …