Lumiere Critique

While creating my lumiere film I learned to appreciate these types of films in a different light. Although these films consist of no sound they are very entertaining to watch and convey a story in their own way. It is funny to think that these are how movies used to be. While making my movie I realized how hard it was to tell a story in such a short period of time. That had to be the biggest challenge in making my movie. The movie I made with Chloe was out original idea and we were thankfully able to execute it with no problem. If I had to change one thing about my movie I think I would have liked to use a bigger aquarium and been able to shoot a bigger variety of fish. Despite this I was very pleased with my film and the reaction it got from my classmates and professor.

My favorite lumiere film would have to have been the one with the incense. The way he captures the smoke was unbelievable and amazing. It almost grabs the audience and takes them into a trance. My least favorite film would have to be the one shot in the elevator. I feel that this concept lacked a bit of originality and could have been executed better if they had taken more time on it


Production Journal

I had two different ideas originally, before the final product of my photo essay.   My first idea was to capture the different fashions around Washington DC that make this city so unique. I wanted to show how these different fashions represented all the different cultures and people in DC.  Although this seemed like a good idea at the time, with the time frame and workload I had, this idea was not feasible.  After encountering this minor bump in the road to my final project I decided to drop this idea and go in a totally different direction.  I went towards something that was a bit more doable but was still able to bring out my creativity.

This is my first semester at American University and I have made amazing friends since transferring here.  They are an amazing group of girls that are unique in their own way and have so much going for them.  This is where my second photo essay idea came into play.  I wanted to do a photo essay that would show my friends in their own element while still showing how they all have something in common that brings them all together.  In the photo essay I wanted to have all the girls doing their hobbies and talents that make them unique, while all wearing this same red shirt. This red shirt would symbolize unity and sameness.  The unity and sameness that brought this group of girls together and made them best friends.

After pitching this idea to my professor she told me that the shirt was not needed.  She felt that the concept of showing the girls in their own element made this project cool in it’s own way. The shirt would just take away attention from the girls themselves.  After having this meeting my third and final photo essay idea was created.  This was an essay about seven girls all best friends yet all unique, and what make them the beautiful people they are.

During production I let every girl pick out an outfit that made her feel the most comfortable and in her element.  By doing this I knew it would tell my audience exactly what kind of person she was and this would also reflect on her personality.  I also let all my models choose the setting or background she wanted to be shot in. I wanted everything in my photo shoot to be natural and all about the model. By doing this it also made the girl so much more comfortable, making them more open to more poses as well as making my job of photographing them much easier. The execution of my project was the most fun for me. I got to capture the essence of all my friends in a enjoyable and creative way.

During the actual execution of my project I did come upon a few bad encounters, the main being time management. This is due to the fact that I was shooting photographs of seven different girls, and had to work around their schedules. During finals week this was especially difficult to work around. However, despite this I managed to shoot them all and get the shots that were needed for my project. Also another factor that affected my photo shoot was the weather. A lot of my photos required the outdoors as a background, and due to the unexpected rain this sometimes ruined my shooting schedule.

After finishing up with the shooting editing was my next challenge. This is because I wanted to add the perfect effect to the photos that would flatter the girl, her image and also personality. Additionally, because I used a digital camera I wanted to get the pictures to look high quality and professional.  This took me about two days but after working hard and long hours I finally got the pictures to exactly how I wanted them. After the editing was finished came the least favorite part of my project. This was the actual printing of my photos and putting them all together on a board. Also coming up with a title was a little difficult to me as well. Finding one phrase or title to sum up my whole project and concept was challenging. Every project has its setbacks but every good project manager sees these set backs as an experience.

In my postproduction there are some things that I would have wished to do differently. I wish I would have had more time to do my project and had better planned my time frame. There are many cool things I could have done to play with the pictures and models to have been able to make my project a little more creative and artsy. However I had to put this aside and work with the time I had at hand. Also I wish I would have had access to a better camera. I feel this would have allowed my photos to have a better quality.

Because all the photos were shot on my campus I had a limited background and scenery. If I would have had a better shooting schedule and managed m time wiser I could have taken the girls into the city and shot the pictures in places that brings out who they are. This is probably one of the big factors I would change if I had the opportunity. The things that I would definitely keep the same are the models I used for my project. These seven girls are the best models a photographer could ask for. Another thing I would keep that I really enjoyed, was the whole concept behind my photo essay.

Throughout this whole project I learned many things.  Photography is not as easy as it looks and it is a profession that I feel that is much taken for granted. I also learned that organization is key to being successful at creating a well-put and creative project. This photo essay taught me how to tell a story by capturing a person’s personality and essence without using words. Photo essays help people understand the story in a more emotional way. There’s a hook that keeps them asking “what is going to happen next?” and yearning for more. Also each one of your viewers may have a different interpretation of your essay.

Despite all this I feel that I did a pretty good job. This was my first time doing a photo shoot and I feel that for a beginner I did pretty well. I had a few challenges through this whole process but I was able to overcome them and make the best of it. Through this project I was able to expand my creativity and do things that I don’t usually get to do and was able to learn many new things. I found this project to be very enjoyable and am very glad that I chose to do the photo essay as my final project.


Movie Poster: Rough Draft

Bhutan: A Kingdom of Happiness

The documentary I saw was called Bhutan: A Kingdom of Happiness. It was about a country that built a democratic nation around sustainability in terms of “happiness”.  Rather than the monarchial government being overthrown, the king himself decided to turn this country into a democracy. But with the price of democracy and freedom comes consequences. In this countries case it is the rising number of, drugs, alcohol, crime, and depression.

This documentary was supposed to show how the country coped with industrial growth and the things that come with it.  However the did not do a very good job in making this concept clear. Rather thank talking about how they are dealing with this issues they talked more about the background of this country and how it came to be a democracy. However they did mention that it was unfinished and still had much work to do.

Despite this I thought the movie was phenomenal. It was well constructed and put together and had an important story line. I taught all its viewers about a new country and it beauties.

This documentary does not fall into one category of documentary, rather falls into various. These are Expository, Observational, and Participatory. This documentary had many points to consider. I feel it’s most important though had to be, Intentions, Communicative function, and Importance and evaluation.  This is because the true message of this documentary is to tell people how there is such a place that believes in “Gross National Happiness”. Meaning laws and actions are all done in consideration of the people’s happiness. Also there is a way to preserve your environment. This documentary’s goal is to enlighten and stimulate the thoughts of its audience.


Monica White

COMM 105 – Visual Literacy

Movie Poster Critique


The movie poster I chose to use for my critique is one from the movie, The Dark Night. This is an action packed thriller and filled with lots of suspense and a touch of goriness, and just by looking at the movie poster it pinpoints each one of these themes. The symbolism that is used in the poster is clear and effective, making it quite easy for you feel the suspense building up. In saying this, the poster did an excellent job in giving you the feel and premise of the movie.

By blurring the image in the background the title, which is written in blood, is much more clear and stands out. In doing this, the goriness of the film is suggested. Also the ghostly image in the shadow and the foggy background give an element of a villain and darkness, which plays a big role throughout the movie. All these different effects tease the viewer, leaving them with many questions and wanting more. Questions like, who is this ghostly and scary figure in the background, and what role does he play in the film? Why is the title written in blood and what do those words even mean? By leaving the viewers with all these questions they have no choice now but to go and immediately see the movie to get their answers. In saying this I feel that this movie was indeed effective, and went above and beyond selling the movie.

As for a subversive message this poster does not in actuality contain a hidden message, rather it has a little bit of irony. When it comes to the actual message of this poster, it is a more of “what you see is what you get” kind of poster, and everything you see is blatant, and clear to understand. On the other hand when you start to look at the little things you start to see the irony that is being hinted. The most clear and biggest fixation in the poster that suggests irony is in the title itself. It is written in blood, yet it is asking the question “why are you so serious?” As if there was nothing serious about blood, goriness and going against rules and what is considered right.

To add on to the irony the character ends his question with a bloody smile. In doing this, humor is being justified in wrongdoing. This also suggests the characters role in this movie as being the joker, and what a big part he plays in the events that occur. Being the joker, this phrase not only tells us, but shows us how he considers all his actions to be nothing but a game. Because of this, he takes nothing seriously and expects the audience to do the same.

This is probably one of the most brilliant and clever posters designed. Not only because it was so remarkably constructed or because it captured the essence of the movie, but because of the whole idea behind it all. Although the joker was a huge character and a key center in this movie, it seems that what is really being sold here is the actor himself. Heath Ledger was a talented and huge actor that was known to many people but more than this, tragically his death came around the same time as the movies release. By putting him on the movie poster right after this devastating event, was a huge selling and marketing factor to get even more fans and people to watch the movie in memory and tribute to this amazing and talented person.


Informal Critique-Realism in Films

Realism can be a good thing and a bad thing in films. It is supposed to give the viewer a sense of reality in the film, and something they can relate to. Films that contain war, drugs, and sex are all good examples of the reality of today but are filmmakers crossing the line?  According to the article, An Introduction to An Introduction to the Problematics of  “Realism” in Film, Video, and Moving-Image culture “The problem, in sum, with using “realistic” uncritically in relation to film is that use of this term often suggests we can simply look through film onto reality itself (like we do through a window), i.e., that some kinds of film–”realistic” films–involve no process of construction/manipulation/fabrication, but simply show us The Truth, rather than one particular kind of truth.  This is, in fact, NOT the case at all.” Filmmakers now a day are taking reality and exaggerating it to sell out in the box office.

Looking past all this, realism played a big role in the history of cinemas and movies. There are four different kinds of realism used in films today. They are Hollywood realism, social realism, direct cinema, and neo-realism. By using these different methods of realism in films, humans are given a better understanding and relation to reality therefore shapeing our quality of living into something better.