Panem et circenses

Brain farts, Knowledge stuff
Will Hollywood eventually follow Rome’s downfall?

The parallels between the Roman and the Hollywood Empire are, once you look for them, very obvious. When the American film started in the early 20th century, traveling tents showing a limited range of movies were rapidly replaced by dedicated movie houses with an ever changing portfolio. The human capitalist realized there was big money hidden that just needed to be harvested. While across the pond, the European lacerated each other during World War 1 (and not short thereafter: World War 2), business flourished in California. It took a mere three centuries until in 1950 Hollywood was split into the big Populus and the small, ruling Senat (nowadays known as the Majors): 70% of all box office was owned by the Big Five; another 25% by the Little Three. In 1938, 19 of the 25 highest salaries in America were paid in the film industry.
There was a lot of money and it got used to produce even more (e.g. Ben-Hur, Quo Vadis or Gone with the Wind).

Case Study: Cidade de Deus (2002)

Brain farts, Knowledge stuff


The depicted violence in Cidade de Deus (City of God, Meirelles & Lund) – whether within the city or within its characters – gets explained in a variety of different ways but is ultimately presented as something beyond comprehension or escape. While at some points motives are suggested, they appear insufficient to account for the pervasiveness and level of violence. Additionally, all articulated alternatives to violence get eventually undermined.

Explicit violence can be an aesthetic tool; it can be shocking, educational or simply entertaining. How much responsibility does a filmmaker have towards society when depicting violence in a film?

Star Wars: Plot Point 1

Three-Act Structure (explained with Star Wars)

Brain farts, Knowledge stuff

Three-Act Structure is a way of structuring a movie, stage play or novel that can be found in many stories (and even some songs). It helps the audience orienting themselves in the storyline and keeps their interest.

Act I (the Setup) is used to hook the audience and introduce the protagonist, the antagonist and the major conflict/problem/mission of the story. Also, the locale and the mood and conventions of the story are established. Act I takes up approx. 1/4th of the story.

Act II (the Confrontation) forms the main part of the story and takes up at least half of the entire story. Here, the protagonist finds himself in a cycle of struggles and complications on his way to the solution to the original problem.

I was thinking…

Production blog

Well, it’s over. Sadly, I cannot show you the final video just yet. I can say that I have learned a ton of stuff in the last couple of weeks and had a lot of fun creating the clip. I can also say, that I am proud of the outcome and super excited to get your feedback, once Mockingbird releases the song!

For now, I hope some stills and my conclusion are enough. Concerning the pre-production I am super happy that everything worked out so smoothly. It took some time to get my vision clear enough, but once I had a concept, the support from the band was great. It was a very good experience to meet the band on three gigs to get to know them better and to connect the final product closer with their work. My greatest weakness, the planning, did go well (for once) and although everything was planned pretty tight, it all worked out in the end.

One week to go.

Production blog

I used this week to write an edit plan and to assemble all the material I need. On Thursday then, Mockingbird finally finished the song (Loosing myself) and I could start with the serious stuff. After some in-between feedback from my coach, the offline edit is finished now!

Concerning my editing style, I got some inspiration from other music clips of this genre (especially SOHN) which I then tried to combine with my personal editing style and the style of the song.

This Tuesday I will start compositing (Monday is research-time…) and I am very, very eager to show you the final product next week! For now, I’ll head back to my rotoscoping…

Full is full. (I guess…)

Production blog

To be honest: This week sucked. After weeks and weeks of mistreating my laptop, on Monday it finally gave up on me… I guess I kinda had that coming.

Sadly, that meant 5 full days of forced work break, which is not ideal (aka: awful) for my planning.

Well, I ordered my footage and have a nice overview over everything I’ve shot. I am still waiting for Tim & Maika to finish the song and send it to me, so I will have to make the edit plan with the draft version I’ve got.


Back to the future.

Production blog

The second day of shooting went by and I now have over 120GB of material to look through… yay.

This shoot was a completely different experience than the first one. Shooting on location (in an attic flat in Essen-Werden) I wanted to use as much of the natural light as possible. That’s why I ended up only using two additional daylight lamps for exposure purposes.

The way of handling the camera and the actors was new to me as well. As I tried to capture the “Super 8 feeling” I had to distance myself from the conventional way of shooting: