I have never really had any true “professional” experience with photography. I’ve taken quite a lot of photos in my life obviously, but I was never really practiced or took classes on it. I’ve taken pictures just because I liked the view, whatever landscape i saw, wherever I traveled, I took photos because I thought, “Wow that view looks incredible, i wanna capture that on a camera”. But I think if I actually took a class on photography I might even enjoy it, there’s something to be said about the aesthetic nature of photography. It’s almost like freezing an amazing moment in time and sharing it with everyone. I usually have enjoyed taking photos of great landscapes, growing up overseas, it helps to take advantage of the unique scenery you can capture. But also I liked taking photos of human interaction. Like for instance, your group of friends talking, people at a party, etc. I never really try to instill meaning in my photos, it’s usually just whatever I’m feeling at the time. Or I might go neutral and photograph landscapes. The first step for me to improve my photography would be to get a better camera. A Nikon or Kodak would be very useful. But on a more serious note, after reading the sources, there’s a lot more I can do with lighting. Lighting to me is so crucial for photography, not just enough lighting but what kind of lighting. It can change the mood of a photo dramatically. One point that was made by Jason Eskenazi in the “Storytelling and Visual Literacy” video that along with photography, there’s a sense of visual grammar and literacy that is required. It’s difficult and hard to grasp because its changing the world from something round into something flat. From three dimensions to two dimensions.
This has been perhaps one of the most turbulent weeks with this blog and all the assignments I’ve done. The readings were great, each story had elements of film noir but the characters were different from story to story. They all kept me interested and focused on the story, some of them i couldn’t stop reading. I was also given the chance for some real self-expression by creating my own character. I took some characteristics from my favorite sci-fi charcters, elements of sci-fi and noir films. I had to make sure my character sounded genuine and not cliche or generic for film noir. The writing assignments were a real challenge, they sort of force you to think outside of the box with how you can approach each challenge. But the best part was that i had fun writing each challenge. I enjoyed being able to create my own alternative ending for the readings we did. The Daily Creates are also really fun and allow for some easy posts that display creativity with photography. This week I completely changed the look of my blog site. It went from being a work in progress to actually resembling a blog that has character, a personality behind it, it looks as if someone actually made it instead of a robot.
Alternative Ending for “Chinatown” screenplay
The original ending for Chinatown consisted of Gittes, Evelyn, and Katherine planning to escape to Mexico after being pursued by the LAPD. They planned to meet at a hiding place in Chinatown but the police arrive early and arrest Gittes. Evelyn warns her father Cross not to get near Katherine but after ignoring her demands she shoots his in the arm and attempts to drive off. The police open fire on Evelyn’s car and kill her. Cross retrieves and escapes with Katherine, even with Gittes wanting to pursue him.
An alternative ending for this plot is while the police have arrived at the safehouse in Chinatown and have arrested Gittes, Katherine has secretly been meaning to betray both Evelyn and Gittes. After Evelyn shoots Cross, Katherine grabs a gun and fatally shoots Evelyn and Gittes and wounds several police officers before speeding off in the car. Turns out Katherine has been working with the corrupt members of the Department of Water and Power who killed Hollis Mulwray, if she eliminated Gittes and Evelyn, she would receive $50,000 to get rid of the detective that had been snooping after the murder of Mr. Mulwray.
Video Game: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Enter an immense world filled with creatures of fantasy and quests of adventure, the world of Skyrim. The action RPG (role-playing game) released by Bethesda Game Studios is by far one of the most exciting, compelling video games releases i have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. This isn’t just about playing a video game, it’s about the virtual experience and Bethesda does an amazing job fully immersing their audience into the world of the game, it honestly feels as if this world could exist.
The gameplay of Skyrim has been revamped slightly since the last released title in the series, Oblivion. You can switch between first and third person view of the camera and the fighting styles in the game are solid and vast, providing for a wide range of ways to play the game. All the different weapons, spells, perks, abilities, Dragon shouts, potions, at your disposal truly allows for any player to play the game the way they want to play it. Each time you level up your skill by performing 1 of the 18 skills available in Skyrim. Kill your opponents with bow and arrows to boost your Archery, use a shield and practice deflecting enemy blows to boost your Blocking, One handed and Two handed weapons as well as various forms of magic spell casting such as Destruction, Alteration, Conjuration, etc. You could create a character to be a walking tank, able to take damage with heavy armor, and armed with heavy two handed weapons. Or you could create a character with more stealth, increased Sneak, Light Armor and Pickpocket to play as a character that kills his enemies with more stealth, the choice is up to you. The melee controls do feel a bit wonky at times, like you’re slicing at air rather than an actual opponent, but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience. This is an open world game, with such a vast continent and all the skills in the world, Skyrim is your oyster. 9/10
The plot of Skyrim is fairly simple and cliche but that’s not why the plot of the game is so great. You can pick and choose what destiny you want in Skyrim. You could just follow the main story plot, as the Dragonborn, the one prophesied to bring peace after the Dragons returned to wreak havoc on Tamriel. As the Dragonborn (Dovakhin), you have the ability to speak the language of dragons as well as possessing the soul of a dragon. However in lieu of following this main story quest, it is so easy to get sidetracked with the hundreds upon hundreds of side quests. Skyrim is truly a massive continent with so much to do and be explored. It’s not just about completing the campaign or story, its about exploration and adventure, pushing the limits of this virtual world to its ends. You can join the Dark Brotherhood to become an assassin, join the Thieves Guild to pillage and plunder, or join the Companions and become a noble warrior. 8/10
While playing this immense RPG, it doesn’t hurt that the soundtrack and ambiance of Skyrim leaves you slack-jawed and breathless. The music of Skyrim is powerful being able to greatly instill the sense of adventure, or spectacle in the right moment of the game. Climbing atop a great mountain range in Skyrim, turn around to witness the view behind you and the music will immediately change to reflect the awe-inspiring beauty of Skyrim’s landscape. 10/10
Last but certainly not least are Skyrim’s stellar graphics. The game looks absolutely stunning, the amount of detail placed in every creature, character, rock, river, weapon, tree, spell effect is astounding. The creatures in Skyrim look real and especially terrifying, adding to the fantastic adventure atmosphere. Character models look and perform very realistically, conversations flow and faces aren’t as distorted as they seemed before in previous games. The dragons in Skyrim look the best as the dragons are absolutely massive and instantly instill fear and awe into the player. The continent of Skyrim is also vast and diverse, from dark, wooded forrests, to lush countrysides, to spiky mountain ranges and sloping snow hills, Skyrim has environments for all players. 10/10
“He belts her finally, knocking her into a cheap Chinese vase which shatters and she collapses on the sofa, sobbing.
GITTES: I said I want the truth.
EVELYN: (almost screaming it) She’s my sister and my daughter!
(Kyo comes running down the stairs.)
EVELYN: (continuing; in Chinese)For God’s sake, Kyo, keep her upstairs, go back!
(Kyo turns after staring at Gittes for a moment then goesback upstairs.)
EVELYN: (continuing) — my father and I, understand, oris it too tough for you?”
This quote from Chinatown piqued my interest the most because of the shocking reveal that is made in this scene. The protagonist, J.J. Gittes is questioning Evelyn Mulwray on the identity of the girlfriend of Mr. Mulwray (Katherine) and how she knows this woman even though she was cheating with Evelyn’s husband. At first Evelyn lies and says that the woman is her sister. But after Gittes catches her lying, he slaps her until she breaks down sobbing and confesses the true identity of the woman named Katherine. As is turns out, Katherine is both Evelyn’s daughter AND her sister, inferring that she was born after a incestuous bout with her father. This shocking and horrifying reveal made my jaw drop when I first read this screenplay. An unexpected plot twist in this genre of film adds to the “mystery” classification of this film noir.
My character’s name is Carter Smith. An NYPD detective in the year 2047. He was born in Brooklyn, NY 2022 to Robert and Linda Smith. Robert Smith, a police detective, and Linda Smith, a school teacher. After his father’s death, Carter and his mother moved to Queens and his mother remarried. After his stepfather was eventually murdered as well, Carter moved his mother and his younger half siblings down to Houston to be safe from the Mafia gang that was after them. After enlisting in the military for 7 years, he discharges and chooses to become a detective in the NYPD like his father in order to find the men who killed him. Highly motivated by love for his family and revenge on the death of his father. Carter also had a wife named Sarah and a daughter named Maya. Carter Smith a strong, brave, and vigilant officer. Though many of his fellow officers are concerned about his “lack of restraint” when it came to arresting criminals, particularly those serving Antonio Cipriani, the mafia don who leads the Cipriani crime family. Carter Smith grew up mostly in Queens, NY. He played basketball and football in high school and excelled at both. He also frequently practiced his skill at gun ranges since he was 16. He has a tendency to pursue his own vigilante efforts at thwarting the Mob in New York, without being under the badge of a police officer.
1) Read some Noir: Chinatown Screenplay
After completing the readings on film noir I decided to focus my post on one particular reading that struck me the most. The screen play for Chinatown, a 1974 noe-noir mystery film. The screen is basically a copy of the script from which the actors read their lines and blocking. Many common or reoccurring themes of film noir are found ubiquitously within the script of this play. The protagonist, J.J. Gittes, a hard boiled detective, hired to solve a simple case of adultery unravels into a much more sinister plot. Other characters involved include Mrs. Mulwray who’s husband, Hollis Mulwray, the Chief Engineer of LA’s Department of Water and Power is murdered after he discovers that large amounts of water have been released from the water reservoirs. Shifty moves being made by corrupt city officials, gangsters and enforcers. The numerous settings of the screenplay also give the plot its “noir ambience”. The plot is given an urban setting in the city of Los Angeles. Most noir films are set in urban cities because that is where most crimes are committed, in the big cities. The setting occasionally changes to more rural areas such as the water reservoirs and dams, bars, and clubs. There are many familiar themes of film noir within this story. Themes of Greed, Betrayal, Corruption, Murder, Sex, etc. For example, Betrayal is shown through Mr. Mulwray’s cheating and adultery on his wife Mrs. Mulwray. But also at the very beginning, Mr. Gittes is betrayed by an imposter Mrs. Mulwray, Ida Sessions, a woman who is paid to frame Mr. Mulwray by hiring Mr. Gittes to investigate Mr. Mulwray under the false guise of Mrs. Mulwray. Corruption is another theme that is expressed through Mr. Mulwray’s murder. Once the chief engineer of the department of water and power realized that someone is siphoning off the water supply from the reservoir to irrigate newly bought real estate, illegally. The narrative of the story is told in 1st person narrative, the audience has not outside knowledge that the protagonist doesn’t know. There is no dramatic irony in this story.
This week I learned a lot about how to create your own domain website and how to post and embed media in those posts. I already had accounts for most of the social media sites that were required for this course, making that fairly easy. It was difficult just getting the time to sign up for all the websites and installing various applications and having to check emails to confirm that my domain was registered, etc. It’s a draining process but it had to be done. What was fun for me was learning about Film Noir. Actually i shouldn’t call it learn since I’ve taken 2 film studies classes that included film noir in the syllabus. I was able to re-explore a genre of film making that has consistently been one of my favorites, especially when they are adapted for animation. I loved being able to mention one of my favorite animated tv shows that had an episode that took elements of film noir and incorporated it in their narrative. I was also thrilled to watch some old tv shows and movies that showed aspects of film noir in their narrative as well.
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