Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Understanding Basic Film Shots

Back in 2013 I had the privilege of interning for a well known web series and got served a crash course in basic cinematography. Little things in terms of where the camera is located in relation to what is being filmed and how it's later edited, made a big difference on how I consume media today. Here are some examples from the reality show, "Welcome to Fairfax."

The Establishing Shot:

- The first shot you see in a new scene or segment is usually called the establishing shot. The reason why it's labeled this is because it's important to establish to the viewer (i.e. you) where exactly the next scene is taking place. In this first shot we see Mizzle (the guy in the shirt that says 'Youth') and Rick Ross (the real former drug kingpin Rick Ross from which the rapper by the same name took as his alias). Both are walking through a pair of open doors that look like the entrance to some coffee shop.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thoughts on Beyond The Lights

A few weeks ago director Gina Prince-Bythewood, penned an open letter urging audiences to see her latest film, "Beyond The Lights." Having had the chance to view the film twice myself, I wholeheartedly agree more people should see this film.

"Beyond The Lights" stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as pop star Noni, and Nate Parker as Kaz, the police officer who saves her life after an apparent suicide attempt. After saving her life, Noni and Kaz become close and their relationship evolves, much to the chagrin of their doting parents.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Look Back at 2014

2014 was a year of progress and one of resolve for me.

It was during that calendar year I really upped my camera equipment game: camera mount, overhead light, microphone, and a new tripod. On top of all that I got some editing software as well. Even picked up some books on producing in the process.

In terms of covering films and Hollywood, I was happy for Lupita Nyong'o winning an Oscar at last year's Academy Awards. I made proud to see another woman, and former movie of the year winner on this blog -- Ava DuVernay -- receive critical acclaim across the board for her film "Selma." Not to mention Gina Prince-Bythewood and her moving film, "Beyond The Lights."

In 2014 there was the continued rise of the web series and we can began to see web success spill over into the more traditional medium of television. Issa Rae is working on a show for HBO and the creators of BlackandSexyTV are doing a show for HBO as well. TV shows like "Blackish" and "How to Get Away With Murder" showed network TV executives (again) that shows featuring characters of color can not only succeed, but thrive, especially in the realm of social media.

Despite this progress, most films released from the major studios are still overly white and male focused. That old door however is being pushed against harder and harder every year. People want to see themselves on screen, and in 2014 people of color are making that happen through many different forums. Let's keep this going in 2015. Let us continue to get educated.