Films from Literature ENG 2400, Fall 2021 OL 0550

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  • 8/25 First Class Presentation Questions
  • #74288

    Prof. Masiello

    Regarding our 105 minute presentation, “First Class 2021”:
    However, since I want you to enjoy it at your own pace, you will watch it on your own on your computer.

    Afterward, please respond to these questions by posting them in the Discussion folder (by replying to the post from me called “First Class Presentation Questions”)

    1) Please write down at least three things that you liked about the video.

    2) Please explain at least three things you feel you learned or never thought about before.

    Please note: When you name a film, you are supposed to either underline it or italicize its title, but OpenLab may not allow that. (Save that kind of academic punctuation for your essays.)

    3) Please ask at least one question–and as many as you wish–about the content of the presentation.

    You should complete these easy questions before the next class, preferably right after you finish the video.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Prof. Masiello. Reason: addition
    • This topic was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Prof. Masiello.

    weipeng lin

    1) Please write down at least three things that you liked about the video ( First Class 2021 )

    1. When watching up to this film called “Scarface” I find it interesting how the profanity that was used was edited out and that I as watching through it more I find those part extremely funny with what they said after editing the cursing/profanity part out and with the edited version I find it more like it was a parody of the film such as in a funnier way.

    2. Watching up to this part of the film called “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in 1961 the emotions of this Japanese man after encountering every object that hurts him I believe that he’s exaggerating his feelings and I’ve never seen this type of acting in a way where this character/person if over reacting. But don’t get me wrong his over reacting is very funny in a way where I do believe the audience will laugh.

    3. Up to watching “Gemini Man” 2019 I like how the director used facial recognition to create a same looking person (clone) as Will Smith in which they are the same person. I find it pretty cool that technology can do this.

    4. In this film “Gone in the Wind” 1939 music was added to the film to help to intense up the moments and to bring a feel towards what’s happening and I like how when the actors approach each other the music then gets louder and louder it just brings you into that feel.

    2) Please explain at least three things you feel you learned or never thought about before.

    1. The film named called “Song of the South” in 1946 this part it was edited in a way similar to a Disney film type. I never saw or thought you can edit a film that the effect that is similar to Disney type film whereas the person is real but with animated settings. It’s like the environment that surrounds him were an illusion and how butterflies and birds surrounds him. This part reminds me of a Disney film named “The Little Mermaid” and the song “Under The Sea” of how the fishes goes around her just like the film “Song of the South” in that part.

    2. Watching up to this part of the film name called “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” 1966 I realized how when two people are talking the director of the film does a close up of the two character/actor that is talking to each other. But I guess close up shots are used when I guess when the characters talk close up shots can record their emotions when they talk and see other types of facial features that they use.

    3. In the film name called “Goodfellas” 1990 I’ve noticed that as the actors are walking the camera shots were very stabilized. And the shot angles of them walking down the stairs is also very stable and also I wonder how does the camera man follow them in a such sturdy condition whereas it doesn’t move as he continues to follow them to where they are going and the shots of the angle are important as well you wouldn’t want to have the actors left out of the camera.

    3) Please ask at least one question–and as many as you wish–about the content of the presentation.

    1. In the film that’s named “Goodfellas” 1990 are their names specifically called for those camera angles that was used?
    2. In the film “Fast and Furious” 2015 what platform did they use for these types of editing?


    Shania Tennant

    Please write down at least three things that you liked about the video.

    I liked how descriptive the video was. When it was showing a scene from a movie they made sure to let the viewers know exactly what was going on.
    I liked how in Captain America the First Avenger they used a body double and computer VFX to get the effect that was needed to be portrayed.
    I also like how the use of tracking markers and CGI was used in Fast & Furious 7 to complete the movie although one of the main actors had passed away. I found it interesting how people were scanned and put in the scenes to make something that resembles the actor.

    Please explain at least three things you feel you learned or never thought about before.

    I never thought about how much green screens are used to make the film background more enjoyable to view.
    I never thought about how directors go about creating illusions as they did in Forrest Gump when one of the actors had no legs. Everything was a computer-generated image with a lot of editing and that’s really cool.
    I learned people didn’t really enjoy watching violence so they had to release censored versions of movies that showed little to no blood and gore as the original version, same thing with cursing, although up till this day, movies still censor curse words when shown on a regular tv program opposed to viewing it in a theatre.


    Prof. Masiello

    Wei Peng, Song of the South is a Disney film. Combining live action and animation will be seen again much later in the semester. It was commonly done with non-Disney characters called Tom and Jerry. Disney’s studios combined like this in Mary Poppins in 1964. The live action is filmed and the animation is added using large clear animation cells upon which artists painted.

    The smooth. lengthy camera movement in Goodfellas is done with the camera and camera-man on a track, like a train track and is called a “tracking shot.”

    As for the face replacement used in Fast & Furious and Captain America, it is a very sophisticated software, more elaborate than”deepfake.”

    Different companies like WETA have their own techniques.

    Everyone, please note: you can and should use italics when writing film titles, not quote marks.


    Prof. Masiello


    Yes, greenscreen is used far more than we all realize.

    As for people and watching violence, it is network TV censorship (like on CBS or ABC) that eliminates some of the violence, not the audience liking it or not. However, with streaming and cable series (like HBO and Netflix), violence and scatological language are right up there to see and hear in our own homes, like with Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.



    1) Please write down at least three things that you liked about the video.

    – I liked the idea of different types of shots. So for example, in Singin in the Rain (1957), there was a two-shot of two actresses, allowing the viewer to see more of the background, and how they interact as they gradually dismiss the distance between them. As opposed to a one-shot like Shadow of Doubt (1943), where they not only had one actor in the scene, they slowly zoomed in on his face as his dialogue intensified.

    – I also liked how many shots that can be used in movies. For example in Twilight (2008), Bella and Edward are exchanging looks, which alone were about 7-8 shots. Then, as a car is about to hit Bella, the shots go back and forth between the car nearing her, and Bella’s expression of fear, before Edward inserts himself between the two to almost ‘complete’ the series of shots. You wouldn’t care if you weren’t paying attention, but the amount of shots for that brief scene is a bit insane.

    – I also like the CGI work in Death Becomes Her (1992). It has a creepy thing to it, with humor added to sort of calm the creepiness of it. And the sound effects of her snapping her head back in place, the whole thing is creepy but funny in a weird way. It’s always good to ease horror with a bit of humor.

    2) Please explain at least three things you feel you learned or never thought about before.

    Firstly, I didn’t really realize just how evolved censorship has become. I’m so mainly used to televised entertainment not allowing certain curse words and explicit imagery. But watching the many films where the original movies, like Scarface (1983) had to be fixed by changing certain words or jokes that were a bit too explicit for the public.

    I also never thought about camerawork that doesn’t use shots for a certain portion of scenes. For example in Goodfellas (1990), the camera follows right behind them on their tail, acknowledging the other people that the main actors interact with while still not cutting shots, or going too far away from the protagonists.

    I also didn’t know that in Fast & Furious (2015), CGI was used to finish the movie. I didn’t realize that Paul Walker passed before shooting all the scenes for the movie. The idea of using his similar-looking brothers to create Paul Walker is a very intriguing idea.

    3) Please ask at least one question–and as many as you wish–about the content of the presentation.

    Are there certain limits to what filmmakers can shoot for movies? For example, Titanic (1997) was allowed to show Kate Winslet’s body exposed.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Gabby.

    Asif Khan

    1) Please write down at least three things that you liked about the video.

    I liked that the issues in most of the clips are real world problems. Sexism, racism, and colorism are still huge in our society.

    I like that the quality is very good and the video is well put together, straightfoward from scene to scene.

    I like that there were descriptions before each clip began and during the clips.

    2) Please explain at least three things you feel you learned or never thought about before.

    I never thought that these clips would somehow still be unreleased, in the theaters.

    The movie “White Dog” never came out to the public in 1982 when it was intended to.

    I learned that even movies from the 40s and 50s targetted, then present, issues. Such as “Song of the South”, it showed the life of a slave, however they made it seem like being a slave wasn’t so bad.

    3) Please ask at least one question–and as many as you wish–about the content of the presentation.

    I only have one question:
    How long did it take to put this together? It really looks well done and I was entertained throughout the whole video!


    Prof. Masiello

    Hello, Gabby,

    Most scenes in most films are made up of the kinds of cuts you saw in that slip from Twilight. It is much harder to film a long tracking shot like in the Goodfellas scene I showed. One of the most remarkable tracking shots I have ever seen is in Atonement, a scene that follows three soldiers as they walk among many others along a beach where soldiers are awaiting leaving for home:

    As for nude scenes, like in Titanic, it seems that most actresses since the late 1960s have it in their contracts to allow nudity or not. It is likely you will find more actresses than not have agreed to nude scenes in some of their films. Prior to the late 1960s nudity was not shown. The same goes for scatological language. We rarely heard swear words in movies prior to then. This is something we will experience in the movies and film clips we watch.


    Prof. Masiello

    Hello, Asif,

    Minor point of accuracy, Song of the South’s main character, Uncle Remus, was a freed slave, but you are right: his happiness is a point of controversy to today’s audiences.

    As for how long my presentations take, I used to tell students for every minute you see I probably spent 10 hours. Partly it is because I am an untrained editor and lots of times some clips from my own DVDs were problematic and I would have to seek out torrents or very new YouTube clips, and often my finished files would get lost through external hard drive problems.

    I use Adobe Premiere.


    Justin Alava

    Please write down three things you liked about the video:

    I liked how the narrator put brief descriptions about what we were going to see in the video. I also like how the video talked about the issues people in our society are going through on daily bases. And lastly, I liked how movies use CGI to make them more complete and visually appealing.

    Please explain three things you learned or feel like you never thought about:

    I never thought about the amount of green screen they need to make the movie come to life. I also learned that CGI was used to finish the movie fast and the furious due to the passing of Paul walker. I also learned the importance of every camera angle. Each camera angle needs to be placed precisely.

    Please ask at least one question–and as many as you wish–about the content of the presentation:

    Was there ever a movie filmed in one take ?


    Prof. Masiello


    Just for the record, I write the text in the presentations when I am editing the clips.

    Your question about a one-take feature film is great!

    There are two major award caliber films that were made to LOOK as if they were one take, but they were not really. Very discerning viewers can look for where cuts may occur: Birdman and 1917.

    I wrote to a classmate recently here in Discussion and added a link to one of the most impressive one-take scenes (not a whole movie) set on the shore of Normandy Beach during WWII in the great film Atonement: It starts at the 05. second mark. Imagine all the pre-planning that must have occurred!


    Angel Rivera

    1) Please write down at least three things that you liked about the video.

    One thing I appreciated about the video was the text describing each portion of the video. It was helpful for gaining insight on the meanings of different words and actions presented in various portions of the video that the viewer may not notice. I also liked how it explained the technical side of film making. For example, when you watch the Sleeping Beauty in wide screen, you’re able to see more scenery because of the extra screen space from 16:9 aspect ratio, but in The Rocky Horror Film Show, the quality difference isn’t as noticeable the scene with the lips and black background. I also enjoyed how the film showcased how computer generated effects can do many things such as apply a background to make the setting of the movie appear real, or change how a character looks.

    2) Please explain at least three things you feel you learned or never thought about before.

    One thing I learned was filmmakers use tools such as green screen to apply special effects into a film. I also learned the definitions of some terminology such as shots, and cuts. Also, I never thought about how the same phrase or words can mean different things during different periods of time. Another thing I learned while watching the video was how filmmakers use color to symbolize various things. Lastly, I was shocked by the existence of blackface, or actors impersonating people from a different ethnicity.

    3) Please ask at least one question–and as many as you wish–about the content of the presentation.

    Since I’ve seen many examples many examples of old films that use a black and white color scheme, I was wondering if there were any old films that were remade for modern viewers?


    Prof. Masiello

    Hello, Angel,

    Black and white was the standard until the 1930s; then gradually each decade saw more and more color films. Today, b&w is rare but it remains an artistic choice, as you might see in fashion magazines, art photography, and the occasional artistic movie.

    Here is a list of b&w films that have been computer colorized:

    I have seen a few of them but prefer them in b&w. Colorization was “invented” to make older films more appealing to people who reject b&w.

    Yes, there also have been color remakes, with different actors, directors, etc. of b&w classics: Psycho, King Kong, and Invasion of the Body Snatchersare notable examples. Usually, the remakes are inferior to the originals, though Invasion of the Body Snatchers is quite excellent.

    As for blackface, it has been an area of controversy in the news, not just in old movies:


    Tatiana B.

    For this presentation, please add your comments in the Discussion folder (on the right) Late entry
    A. Name three things that you liked about the presentation.

    Firstly, I loved the overall compilation of this presentation and that it covers a wide variety of films.

    1.) I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the reasons why wide screen is preferable to full screen films. For example, in Sleeping Beauty 1959, you can visually see that a wider screen provides a further scope to consider and explore within the film. It is interesting to think what images may be left out due to display formats.
    2.) I also admired learning the view and progression of racial issues throughout various films. Over time it has become antiquated for an individual person to pursue a character role when not of that nationality or decent. For example, we can take a look at Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961 film. Mickey Rooney a Caucasian man adopts a role of a Japanese man. While assuming this role we can also agree many stereotypes projected against Japanese men ensued. In today’s society this would unfortunately result in ager or protest due to the current racial issues at hand in this country. I also appreciated that classic films have been remade with regard to current societal views in place. For example, Othello, a character in a book by William Shakespeare, is described as a Moorish general. Moorish relates to the image of a person as it relates to race and color, or nationality in this setting. Learning that in the Othello 1965 film the actor playing Othello is a Caucasian man in makeup can be alarming for some. This also speaks to the fact of how acceptable and normal it was for actors to use “blackface” in films before it became socially unacceptable. In the Othello 2001 remake the character Othello is played by an African American to maintain the description and integrity of the character.
    3.) I enjoyed learning that Computer Generated Imagery is used to accomplish special effects , illusions or to enhance a character’s appearance to make an actor look as need for a shot. For instance, we see the usage of these effects in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button 2008. The actor, Brad Pitt, plays a role where the character Benjamin Button is born with an old appearance who essentially ages backwards. It is interesting to note how skillful and exquisite computer-generated imagery allowed this film to be wholesomely great.

    B. Name three things you feel you learned or never thought about before.

    1.) I never realized how much censorship and sexual content has evolved over the past few decades. Today many movies can be viewed as over sexualized in content where many decades ago provided more censorship over direct sexual content. As proof we can look at the film The Boys in the Band 1970. This film showcases gender roles and homophobic issues that were subjected to scrutiny at the time of its release. I never knew films such as this one pioneered the breakthrough for the film Broke Back Mountain 2005.
    2.) I learned that filmmakers use numerous shots which are edited together to compose scenes of a typical movie.
    3.) Prior to this presentation I actually never heard of the term tracking shot. I learned that a tracking shot occurs where an entire scene is composed in just one shot. For example, we see this in Good Fellas 1990 where a 3-minute tracking shot is featured and shows a great depiction of what a tracking shot provides for the viewers. This made think of The Shinning 1980 film where the filmmaker’s use of tracking shots creates a terrifyingly eerie and thought provoking film. The camera movements make the viewer feel as though the supernatural forces of the hotel are walking with the family. Talk about creepy!

    Please ask a question or as many as you wish about the content of the presentation.

    Can a tracking shot be entirely composed of computer generated imagery?
    How long have you been a film editor and was this originally a hobby?


    Prof. Masiello


    The amount of violence allowed seems to be decided by censors and film executives. Audiences gradually get more accustomed to the amounts shown though it seems nowadays there are no limits to violence especially in horror movies that are considered “torture porn” by critics. Audiences now look at older horror films as not too scary, yet the newer ones with rare exceptions are not so much scary as disgusting. My guess is that far older audiences found the original King Kong frightening because…what if such a giant ape tried to eat them. I doubt today’s audiences actually fear that anyone is going to go after them with a chainsaw!

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