Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bo Burnham - Comedic Genius

Last night I watched Bo Burnham's "Words Words Words" comedy special on Netflix. The guy is seriously brilliant. For anyone who's not familiar with Bo, he began on YouTube posting videos for his family and friends (I've included a video in this post, but seriously go look at the rest of them. All of them.) He taught himself to play piano and began composing funny little songs; due to the... controversial content of the videos, they garnered a lot of views and this led to a deal with Comedy Central and a number of good things for Bo, including the special I watched.

The special includes a combination of musical comedy and normal stand-up, and pokes fun at modern commercial comedy, almost taunting other comedians, daring them to make intelligent comedy and to trust that the audience can understand the jokes. Often, there are so many jokes in a song that it takes multiple listens to fully appreciate his genius. Unfortunately, some people aren't willing to put that much effort into listening, and turn to dumbed-down comedy that they can absorb without trying. But for someone looking for a person who truly pushes the envelope comedically needs to watch this special.

To me, it's so impressive to look at what he's accomplished so far in his life, and it's crazy to think that he's only a year older than me. I really look up to the guy, and would love to be able to collaborate with him on a future project, somewhere down the line.

Well don't just take my word for it, check him out!

Friday, October 7, 2011

"Coming Home" - A Short FIlm About The Importance of Music

I decided that I'm going to post one of my own videos every Friday, so this is the first one. It's called "Coming Home," and it's the first video project I made at U of M. The instructions were to make a short film about a place on campus that reminds you of home. Being in a group, it took a while to come up with an idea that we all could agree on. After a lot of just thinking, fueled by thoughts from others in the group, I had the idea of filming the music building. Everyone (or I guess nearly everyone) can identify with the power music has to transcend both time and space. Listening to music can make you nostalgic by looking back on your past, it can make you look to the future with wonder, and it can help you reflect on the present. Music can transport you to other locations as well, and I really latched onto this idea that the music building is so special because it is a place that people go for music when they need to transported away for a while.

The song was a little piece on the piano that I had been toying with since before the project, and the perfect opportunity arose in which I could use it. I used some amateur recording software to record the piano and violin, and then when it came time to record we played the instruments with the music. In editing, I took out the audio track from the camera and only used the song recording.

I've found that an easy way to edit a video like this (in Final Cut, that is) is to stack all the video tracks on top of each other and then view only one at a time, making sure it's in sync with the music. Once the tracks are all in sync, you can choose which clip you like best and then cut out any other clip that's playing at the same time. I guess if you filmed with multiclip in mind, that would be the easiest, but I haven't had much experience with multiclip, so this is the way I edited this video.

Anyways, without further ado, here's the video. And please, shoot me a comment below. Do you have a better way to edit a video like this? Thoughts on the video itself, or on music as inspiration? Let's start a conversation.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Citizen Kane of Blog Posts? Not a Chance

All right, first post and I'm excited. Of course I spent the whole evening getting this blog to look the way I wanted it to and now I'm tired and I'm not sure what to even write about. I have plans for what I'm going to post in the future, but is it possible for your first post to be anything but a throw-away? Is it possible for me to post relevant content in the first blog post?

I wrote a paper today for my film history class on Citizen Kane, and it's probably not as good as it could be.  You know, I get a lot of people who watch Kane and disagree that it's the best movie ever made. To be honest, when I watched it the first time I thought it was pretty dull and hard to get through. Maybe I didn't give it a fair chance, I don't know. But since then I've seen it probably three more times, and I have to say I do really enjoy the movie now. There are a number of elements, plot-wise, technique-wise, that I didn't pick up on the first time through, and I guess it's like reading a book again in that I catch something I didn't notice the previous time. And I think that's kind of cool.

But anyways, one of the books I checked out from the library has the shooting script in it, and I'm pretty excited to read through it, to revisit the movie again from a different perspective.

I also picked up the script for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I'm excited to give that a read, too.

I'm gonna keep this post short and not get too in-depth here right off the bat, especially since I have to do my Spanish homework before I go to sleep tonight. So I'm gonna curtail this post here for now, and pick up on my ruminations at another date.

Until then,


(Also, I know that was a very "e-mail" way to end this post, but hey cut me some slack, I'm new at this.)