Archive for March, 2018

Film Analysis : Why is Joker, the ultimate antagonist to the Dark Knight?

This is a new series of blogs where we discuss about videos on film analysis.

We have seen a lot of villains come and go. There can be those who want to rule the world, those who want to take revenge on the world, and then those who just want to watch the world burn. What makes Joker one of the most unforgettable villains in the recent past?

The Joker is in the back seat of a police car, with his head outside the window.

Heath Ledger as Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’.

Michael Tucker is a filmmaker, who is more famously known as the creator of “Lessons From the Screenplay”. In this video essay, he explains why Joker maybe the perfect antagonist to Christopher Nolan’s Batman.

To make the points about the film, Michael Tucker references two books, they are ‘Story’ by Robert McKee and ‘The Anatomy of a Story’ by John Truby.

Here’s a summary of the video –

1) A protagonist and his/her story can only be as intellectually fascinating and emotinally compelling as the forces of antagonism make them.

  • The more powerful the antagonist, the harder the struggle for the hero. The harder the struggle, the more compelling the story.

2) How to make a villain powerful? Create an opponent who is exceptionally good at attacking the hero’s greatest weakness.

  • Most of Batman’s power comes from his strength, Joker uses his strength as a weakness, because he is not afraid of death. In fact, he wants Batman to kill him.

3) True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure – the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation and the truer the choice is to the character’s essential nature.

  • Throughout the film, the Joker forces Batman into choices that reveal who or what he cares about. E.g) The scene where he chooses to go and save Rachel when both Rachel and Harvey have been kidnapped by Joker.

4) How do you know your antagonist is the right one? It is only by competing for the same goal that the hero and the opponent are forced to come into direct conflict and to do so again and again throughout the story.

  • Both Batman and Joker have their own visions of what they want Gotham to be. Batman wants order a Gotham without crime, Joker wants to upset the establishment and create chaos.

To conclude, that’s what makes the Joker such a formidable villain. If you loved this, you should check out our blog post on the rules of editing a film.

Work Stories #2 : A chance encounter led to a music video with Vasu Dixit

What do you get when you put together, a mistaken identity, an energetic crew, and a deadline? The story of how we got our first music video project. It all started after the meeting that got us our first video project, Cauvery Hospital ad.

Vasu Dixit in a blue shirt, singing in a bus with his guitalele.

Vasu Dixit’s surprise performance in a bus.

The Chance Encounter

Kameshwar Nayak, one of our founders decided to go to the canteen at Rangayana, Mysore after the meeting with Cauvery Hospital execs. At Rangayana canteen, he saw an old friend of his. Excited, he went up to the friend and patted his back. Only when the friend turned around did he realize that it was someone else. A perplexed Kameshwar then apologized to the person. To his luck, that person took it in stride.

 

Being an extrovert, Kameshwar then sat together with him and chatted him up. He introduced himself as Shreekanta Swamy, a percussionist who has been working in Rangayana for many years. Kameshwar got excited, back then Panorbit did not have a music composer. He asked Shreekanta if he would compose music for Panorbit. Shreekanta said that he doesn’t compose, he just played percussion for plays at Rangayana, a band called Naavu and Vasu Dixit. Having made a new friend, a happy Kameshwar just left for home.

The Music Video

Months later, Vasu Dixit wanted to release the first single “Amma” from his new band, Vasu Dixit Collective. He was looking for a video production house to help with the shoot and Shreekanta suggested our name. So, late one morning, Kameshwar gets a call from Vasu Dixit asking if Panorbit would like to make a video for him. The catch was that the video from concept to finish had to be done in a week to release on Mother’s Day, 2016. When Kameshwar discussed this with the team, we were all super excited. We were ready to slog day and night to get it done! It was our first music video and it was for Vasu Dixit, an artist we all admired from his work in the famous Indian Folk Rock band, “Swarathma”.

9 people from the crew of the music video shoot taking a group selfie.

The crew behind “Amma” shoot.

We got to work right away, Vasu Dixit already had an idea for the video. The song was dedicated to mothers and motherhood. It was a letter of gratitude to the hard work that went into raising kids. He wanted the video to have kids say the lyrics of the song in sign language to their deaf mothers. We loved the idea, we found a huge studio space that Vasu Dixit’s contact agreed to give us rent free. We found kids and mothers who could understand sign language from the NGO, Giftabled. The shoot was done in two days, we sat day and night and edited it in another two days. We got the video out exactly on Mother’s day and it turned out to be a real tear-jerker, loved by everyone, amassing around 250K views on Youtube.

Are you following these 6 Rules of Cinematic Editing?

Feel your video is not working? Your storyboards were great, your shoot went out great but still, for some reason it isn’t working as it should. Well, the problem could be your editing.

Ansel Elgort wearing black shades listening to a walkman.

A still from Baby Driver (An excellent example of a movie in editing).

Here is Film Riot, one of the oldest filmmaking channels on youtube sharing a video about the different rules to follow while editing your film.

Let’s look into Walter Murch’s the Rule of 6. Walter Murch is a legendary editor behind many critically acclaimed movies such as The Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now, The English Patient. He has a book out called “In the Blink of an Eye” which is a bible for video editors out there. In that, he explains the 6 rules-

1. Emotion –

How will this cut affect the audience emotionally at this point in the film? He doesn’t talk about the actor’s emotion rather he talks about the vibe of the scene.

2. Story –

Does the edit move the story forward in a meaningful way? There is a difference between a story and a plot. A plot is the detailed scene that is happening whereas a story is the big picture look about what the video is about. The cut should contribute to moving the story forward.

3. Rhythm –

Is the cut at a point that makes rhythmic sense? The rhythm should express the emotion of the scene.

4. Eye-trace –

How does the cut affect the attention and focus of the audience on the film? What are they watching? What are they concentrating on? This can be used to hide stuff or draw attention to a particular thing in a frame.

5. The Axis –

It is also called the 180 rule. The 180° rule is a cinematography guideline that states that two characters in a scene should maintain the same left/right relationship to one another. If you break the 180 rule, people will get disoriented about the geography of the scene. But nowadays, this has less effect.

6. 3D Space –

Is the audience sure of the geography of the scene? Which character is in which part of the room?

Before you edit a video, you need to learn how to make a video yourself. Check out our blog where we write about How Peter McKinnon’s tips on making your own videos.

How to make videos by yourself, Peter McKinnon Style?

The rise of social media has contributed to the rise of personal stories from individuals. These stories can take any form, from Instagram or Snapchat stories to live tweeting to video vlogs. Videos are becoming the most important form of information exchange on the internet. So, how do you make a video by yourself?

Peter Mckinnon in a winter jacket posing between two buildings while sunlight fills the space.

Peter Mckinnon in action.

In this video, Peter McKinnon explains how he films himself in most of his tutorials and vlogs. Peter McKinnon has gained huge popularity on youtube with getting his first million subscribers in just 9 months. Ever since he has been producing great videos with high production quality.

He breaks it down into three points –

1) Gear that you need

  • Joby Tripod – If you’re going to be on screen, you need to mount the camera somewhere and a Joby tripod comes in handy for that. They bend, they flex and they wrap which is very convenient. If you’re using a smartphone to shoot, use a tripod that is meant for smartphones.
  • Friction Arm – A friction arm has a super clamp mount that you can use it on the table and then mount your camera on the plate. Choose a friction arm that can give you a lot of flexibility so you can mount your camera however you want to.
  • GoPro – Even though a GoPro may not offer the quality of a DSLR or any other camera, it is still a great asset when you want to get shots from weird places/angles. Especially, in places, your camera won’t fit.

2) Camera Placement and Creativity –

Find obscure, unique angles to tell your story that people don’t usually expect to give fresh perspectives or fresh takes on the story. These will keep your edit interesting to the audience and unpredictable.

This is where you show your creativity. You have to develop your own unique voice & style that people will relate to easily and identify. There is nothing right or wrong here. So get creative!

3) Pacing of the video –

Pacing is one of the most important aspects of a video. Pacing is gonna help distract the viewer from realizing that the camera is locked off on a tripod. If you have just two-three angles, and you change between them every 10 seconds or so it can get boring. Mix and match different perspectives, different sounds, background music etc. This way you can show variety in your edit and also keep viewer attention.

Get the right equipment for you, figure out what is the best way to express your idea, shoot it and edit it with the right music and right pacing and you’re done!

Check out these posts where we talk about better composition and lighting to improve the look of your videos.

Avoid these 6 mistakes to get better at Writing

Writing can be a daunting task, especially for someone just starting out. Or you might be on the other end of the spectrum where you think your writing is immaculate. Wherever you are, you need to go through these points so you can be sure you’re avoiding such mistakes.

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Work Stories #1 : Spending a day and a night in the Cauvery Hospital

Our first video project was from Fortis Cauvery hospital, a heart and multi specialty hospital in Mysuru, Karnataka. They wanted to run a new ad campaign for their hospital in cinema halls during the city’s world famous Dasara festival. Their request consisted of two videos.

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6 Ways to set your frame for better Composition in your Videos

Composition basically means the way you set things in a frame. There are a lot of ways you can set your subjects and objects in a frame to make it look aesthetically pleasing. But when it comes to cinematography your composition should also convey the story.

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5 Lighting Techniques to make your video more Cinematic

Ask any photographer or cinematographer and they’ll tell you that lighting a scene is as important as choosing the lens or the composition. Good lighting can be the difference between a flat image and a cinematic image.

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“How do you find a leader?”, I asked Kiran Bedi.

It was a cold Saturday morning. We had just reached Puducherry and set ourselves up at Auroville. The first order of the day was to meet with the prolific Lt. Governor of Puducherry. She was a national level tennis champion when she was a teenager.

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