Category Archives: Thoughts and Ideas

LLA: A Walk Through Hamsterdam

The Scene from the Wire I chose to analyze was this:

Season 3, Episode 11:

Start: 41:23 – End: 42:57 – Link:

Here is what I found; I’ll include an overall summary of this exercise in the end.

1. The Camera Work.

The first thing I noticed about this entire scene was that it always stayed focused on Carcetti or Colvin, specifically their facial expressions. While the dialogue is rather important in this scene, there is a lot to see here, specifically when Carcetti begins to walk down Hamsterdam.

The camera constantly focuses on Carcetti from the chest up as he walks down the street. More importantly, the scene felt like trying to make a video and random people just keep walking in the way. I would like to note that this (the people walking in front of our view on Carcetti) was used for three camera transitions, which zoomed in on his face.

The next interesting thing I noted about the camera work was that it never shows you what he is looking at. The camera cuts to get different views on his face as he turns, but you never see the specifics of what he is looking at. More importantly, it becomes a complete mess as the background and characters around him get blurred. It almost creates a sense of bewilderment and confusion at the situation. Based on the camera work alone, you can see that Carcetti is appalled by the situation in Hamsterdam. No sound was needed at all to convey this.

2. The Sound

The sounds of this start in the car, and you can hear that they are in Hamsterdam. Even while the two men are talking, you can hear the dealing on the street. Something to note about their conversation is that it is really slow. In past scenes, Carcetti’s conversations have been rather fast paced. Here, it goes much slower, almost as though he is somewhat scared to see this mess. The most interesting part of this is Carcetti’s walk. When he gets out of the car, there were a couple of key things to notice while listening.

1. You don’t hear him at all. You don’t hear him breathing. You don’t hear his footsteps. You don’t even hear any interactions between him and the people (not that there were any). My point about the interactions is that he is basically invisible, yet he is very present in this place. It is almost a kin to wishing to be a fly on a wall while a given event is going on.

2. The sounds of the crowd get louder. When Carcetti is walking, you hear the sounds of people selling yellow top more so than any other sound. You also hear the noise of other people (potential buyers). In many ways, it is similar to a market. However, one noise did stand out even above the dealers. Towards the very end of this scene, you hear a baby crying. This means that this is a place where children are being exposed to these drugs. I think that sound right there was meant to just stick out more than any other sound, just to show how screwed up Hamsterdam actually was.

3. Wrap Up

Putting audio and camera work together, this scene was really interesting. I picked up on a couple of additional things that I missed the first time around. The first thing I would like to point out is that you don’t actually see Carcetti go back to the car. The conversation he and Colvin probably had (or lack there of) would have been interesting to see on camera. The second thing I noted was that shortly after the child cried, Carcetti stops in his tracks. He appears to be frozen, and his eyes seem as though they are fixed on something. I also picked up on someone yelling the words “swing state.” It could be a possible reference to the election, but it was rather hard to tell.

My overall take away from this scene was that it was meant to show how screwed up Hamsterdam really was to someone who was never actually dealing with it physically. It was one of those scenes that seemed to take someone on high and put them down with the rest of the rabble. The sounds and camera work showed clearly what Carcetti thought of this, and even showed his uncertainty through dialogue with Colvin.


Thoughts on LLA

This was an interesting activity. My overall opinion has to be that this really got me to think. Whenever the focus was put on someone in this scene, they always seemed to blur everyone else around that character. Even when Colvin and Carcetti were talking they would blur one or the other then switch camera angles and un-blur the other when they began to talk. I found myself learning a lot about how some of these methods were used to shift focus for story telling, which was really interesting.

Hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know what you think!


A Movie Reader’s Introduction

Thoughts on the Opening of M

Okay, I’m going to be quite honest and say that this took a couple of views to even understand what the heck was going on! The lack of English really killed it for me. That being said, I’m going to attempt to put my thoughts together and give you all an impression of what I saw.

The first piece of crucial information I noticed was the setting of this. It seemed to be based around a little girl and someone I’m assuming is her mother. I did not pick this up till the end when she was calling for the young girl. However, the girl was gone because she was either killed/kidnapped. I know this much because of the balloon that floated away that the mysterious man bought for her, and the fact that there was a ball with no child (yeah that’s right, a good ol’ driving principle rule).

The second piece of information that was conveyed very well was time shifts. Now, in most movies that have color, this is no problem  since you can visually display what time of day it is and show this based off of other things. However, I counted at least 3-4 focuses on the clock which show the first seven minutes occurred from 12:00pm – 1:15pm. This was something that I found interesting, especially for a person that does not watch old movies (or foreign ones for that matter).

The third piece of information that I thought was interesting was the importance of making a mysterious individual. The person that picked up the little girl was a silhouette the entire time. With the exception of when he bought her the balloon (which you only got to see his back), you have no clue as to who this person is. However, I feel as though the time focused on that sign on that pole gave some information as to who that person might be. As the girl and him spoke, the camera still stayed focused on the sign.

My current unknown is the relationship between the two women at the beginning. Again because I could not understand a thing they said (and had no subtitles), I could not decipher whether they were friends/family/servants/etc.

That is about what I got in two watches of the first seven minutes.

It was pretty interesting to actually focus on these elements.

Inspire: Of Cruelty and Treats

This one was just plain cruel! However, I could not stop from laughing at it. That dog looks so depressed that that is not a treat. I’ve seen some cruel stuff in my days, but this one was just great. I wonder if the dog actually fell for it though.

Anyways, I’m inspired by this, and I hope to pull from this inspiration at some point during this class.

Danielle, you’ve inspired me!

Inspire: Remembering that Awesome Autumn

So, I just got inspired today! I started looking through folk’s websites, when I stumbled upon this lovely little picture. To most people, this is just a tree. However, this inspired me to remember that awesome time of year called “Autumn.” Since I’ve been in college, the rest of the world is almost invisible because campus life take priority.

Every once in a while, it is good to sit back and take a look at your environment and enjoy it. Thanks to this picture, that’s what I’m now doing after I post this!

Jasmine Dragon, you’ve inspired me!


Inspire: Going for Excellence

This picture inspired me to go for creating excellent work. After I saw this picture, I decided I should probably step my game up and try to make some really awesome stuff. This picture was just designed very well.

Maybe this does not do for you what it does for me, but I rather enjoyed seeing this and it really did inspire me to up my game.

Congrats La Kisha Mahone; you’ve inspired me!


Inspire: A Wild Jim Groom has Appeared!

My drawing of Jim Groom. #dailycreate #tdc992

Jim Groom just keeps showing up on this site, and I’m not sure how. Anyways, this is a pretty darn good drawing, even if it is not using huge details. It really shines in the fact that the picture looks just like him!

This picture inspired me to keep doing simple work because huge details are not always needed to make art. This drawing was just really awesome, and I am glad i saw it.

Congrats Nicky Memita; you’ve inspired me!


Inspire: Boots Made for Stomping

This one inspired me to make a picture of my fan for one of the visual assignments. Something about this large boot was just cool to me. Perhaps, the post that the author made, inspired me, I’m not really sure. One thing is certain, this was done very well and I really like how this was done.

Congrats to the Wafflestomper; you’ve inspired me!


1st is the Worst… Right?

Hello ladies and gentlemen!

Earlier this week, I got the opportunity to listen to Science and The Wire (the first radio show up this past week). I have to say, for the first one up, this was an awesome show, and here are some of my thoughts about it.

1. The Discussion

Okay, so this is suppose to be about science; to most people that are not sciency, this would probably turn them off. However, the first major thing to note about this radio show is that these are not professors speaking; these are students, more importantly, they speak in common tongue. In other words, they made it easy to understand and explained everything very well. More importantly, the technical terms that they did use, they explained them in enough detail that it did not confuse, but rather brought the listeners up to speed. I’m rather impressed with how that went. Second, they made science behind the wire taps and surveillance pretty clear and it was actually very interesting. It brought up a lot of the realism in The Wire. I had one of those “The More You Know!” moments while I listened in. Kudos to this group! Not many professors can get that from me.

2. The Sounds

I did notice a couple of sound effects, specifically when different pieces of technology were mentioned. This was a nice addition to the radio show, and it added some more importance to each topic. It was also a cool feature to add into the show, and I liked the electronic sounds. I’m certain some people may not have liked this one as much because of a lack of music or other various sounds, but I thought the lack of sound helped focus more on the discussion at hand. For this show at least, less seemed to be more.

3. Commercials, Transitions, and Bumpers

All three of these were just good! The transition from the show to commercials via music was spot on. It made the flow of the show very smooth. The bumper was also spectacular as well. What I really enjoyed was the sound used for the transition. It was perfectly inline with the type of show. As for the commercials, those were awesome as well. I’m actually surprised they used a UMW-esque commercial (talk about free advertising). Overall, all of these really helped the transition and flow of the show. It was very well made and the group should be proud of themselves.

4. The Topic

Lastly, I think I should address the chosen topic. Now, I found this topic to be really interesting. I really enjoyed hearing about how all this stuff works in real life. I’m one of those people that looks into these kind of shows to see if they are using some realism in it or merely BS’ing their way through. This felt like one of those, “Behind the Scenes,” specials that you would see on HBO or something like that. To an extent, the group was sounding like professionals (which is good). I listened to the pre-show discussion, and it was nice to hear how the topic was picked. I am really glad to hear that the group managed to put this together with ease, and the quality came out really well.


If you are the kind of person who likes to hear about how stuff works, then give this radio show a listen! I think you will enjoy it, I know I certainly did. As far as first being the worst, this group said “%$&# THAT!!!” and made it awesome!

Progress Report

The radio show is actually coming along pretty well.

Here is what our group went over:

1. We decided that we are going to do a discussion about The Wire. This discussion will center around how we would have handled a given situation or a discussion on how we think the characters should have handled the situation. The bulk of this discussion will center around characters that have made some more difficult decisions; this is done in order to promote a very interesting conversation.

2. In order to make the discussion doable, we also came up with the idea that each of us need to make two questions that will be asked. Not all questions will be asked during the radio show, but if we have 8 questions it gives us room to choose the ones we want to ask. These questions will be chosen prior to the actual recording.

3. Since this is a radio show, we have all been tasked with creating some form of a radio commercial. On the optional part of this, some individuals may be looking into finding a song that can relate to The Wire. This is to ensure that we all cover some form of audio that is going to be used (apart from our voices during the discussion) in the radio show.

Quick Check List

– Create a radio commercial.

– Create two questions for discussion.

– Show up and discuss!

Current Issues

1. Our current, and biggest issue, is that we need a good mic that is not a headset. Currently, our alternative is using a sound recorder on a phone, but that probably will not sound as good. We were hoping to get a mic that we could place in the middle of a table and literally just sit around it and discuss like it was a normal conversation. Furthermore, by doing it this way, it would remove the chopiness of stringing various recordings together, which would make this seem like more of a discussion rather than a, Person 1 asked question, Person 2 answers question, Person 3 answers question, etc.

What I’ve Gotten Done.

I have currently come up with two questions (they will be up on the Google document soon). The radio commercial from me should be finished sometime today or tomorrow.

Currently, everything is moving along decently!

The More You Know!

Thoughts On: The Vignelli Canon

I feel like I learn something new in this class every week. I took a read through the Vignelli Canon expecting to read yet another bland article, but I was surprised by the creativity that was shared.

The biggest part of this booklet that stuck out to me was when the author talked about the use of fonts and spacing in books. I had to literally stop and think about it for a moment. After thinking about it for a moment, I began to grab various books that were in my room; textbooks, on-line articles, guide books, novels, and a few more books were grabbed from around my room. I began to take a look at how things were sectioned off to reveal importance or in some books they were sectioned off to go off on a separate tangent. Seeing how fonts were arranged was also interesting, especially with how they were centered on the page.

Another thing that I found interesting in the article was the idea of scale. Scale is something that I actually look for, especially since I am a builder. The fact that he stated that it is something that must be continually tweaked for each instance it is used was something I can really agree with. Usually, scale is important because it allows certain things to be examined more closely or it can lessen the importance of some things. It really made me think as I considered the scale of certain builds I have made.

Color was also another aspect that he touched on that I had to agree with. As I stated in my design blitz, I found that color itself was capable of conveying certain messages that everyone could relate to. For example, something that is suppose to be scary is typically not going to use rainbow colors (unless it is a clown). Likewise, happiness it typically not conveyed through dark and scary colors. In some ways, the omission of color tells us a lot. For example, when someone wants to design something that appears to be from the past, they might use black/white color scheme or a sepia like color scheme.

Texture is also another concept that I found interesting. His points on the differences between smooth and rough textures is something that I really found important in design. Again, as a builder, when I designed a cliff or a rocky pass, certain pieces helped create that texture of rockiness. If I had not had used those pieces, the space would have come out smooth, which was not what I was looking for. It is something very important that needs to be examined when designing something.

These were some of the biggest concepts that really stuck out to me. I hope you enjoyed the read!

Let me know what you think!