On the season one finale of Frameworks, we had the privilege of featuring Maddie Assel, a former contestant on American Idol. After we interviewed her, she debuted her newest piece, "Should've Known" right in our studio. This was one of my favorite episodes!
I recently found this footage from the trip to compete in Skills USA Nationals television production in Kansas City. In the down time, my group grabbed some barbecue and found this frisbee golf course.
Director Alexander Payne’s Oscar nominated film, Nebraska (2013), revolves around it’s rich and beautiful character development. Payne is no stranger when it comes to this film, being born and raised in Nebraska, USA, many of his films also take place within the barren state and serve to play a character in them such as Election and About Schmidt. The original screenplay was written by Bob Nelson and stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb. Director of Photography Phedon Papamichael shot Nebraska completely in black and white, setting this unique and artistic piece apart from many Hollywood films.
The film revolves around Bruce Dern’s character, Woody Grant, and his obsession with journeying to Lincoln, Nebraska to redeem what he thinks is a million dollar ticket, which in reality is just another advertising scam. Woody’s son David Grant, played by Will Forte, eventually gives in to Woody’s relentless attempts to walk to Lincoln and agrees to drive him there to prove that the ticket is indeed fake. What follows is a father-son adventure in which they rediscover their relationship. The film at first would seem like the plot of a shallow and unoriginal Hollywood comedy, but turns out to be a unique and honest story.
The film has little plot, and therefore heavily relies on character development. Although there are many interesting characters, the film focuses on the father and son relationship of Woody and David. It is apparent from the beginning of the film they don’t have the closest relationship: Woody doesn’t know what his son is up to and David finds many things about his father’s past he never knew about as the film goes on.
In the beginning of the film, David tells his dad he can’t just drop everything and take him to Lincoln, to which his father says “what else you got going on?” This statement represent’s David’s mundane life, and inspires him to be something greater than what he is. This is further represented later on in that he lets people walk all over him: his cousins and his father make fun of him and the car he drives. As the film progresses, his character grows and develops to the point where he finally punches someone who upsets him and ultimately in the end when he buys a truck, representing the completion of his character arc.
Woody is a simple and stubborn, he’s slow but his motivation to collect his million dollars is undying, even though the rest of the world seems to tell him to stop. This element of his million dollar ticket seems to almost keep him alive, and keep him moving. His wife claimed that he hadn’t memorized anything for a very long time until that letter came, almost to say that it had brought him life. When Woody is sitting at the kitchen table in front of a glass of milk after his ticket is stolen, he literally looks like he is dead. But as soon as David says “let’s go looking for it,” woody jumps out of his seat ready to go. We learn later on in the film that even though he tells everyone he wants to buy a new truck, the true reason he wanted to collect the million dollars is so that he could leave some for his sons after he was gone. In the end, when it does in fact turn out the ticket was just a scam, they begin to head back home but David makes a stop to trade in his old car for a truck in his father’s name. This concludes the story in that even though he didn’t win the million dollars, in a way he gained everything thing he wanted originally: the truck and a story that his son’s will remember.
Nebraska is truly an artistic character based story. The style and performances of Bruce Dern and Will Forte bring this unlikely story to life. Its uniqueness and developed characters is what carries the film, making it not only entertaining and engaging, but an acclaimed piece of cinema.
It's been a while since I've worked on a music video, but I recently got my chance as part of a competition. It was cold, but thanks to the crew and cast we managed to create something pretty cool.
It was quite a privilege to attend the 10th anniversary screening of Bruce Almighty being that it was at the local Washington West Film Festival. A screening with a director Q&A from someone with any notoriety is not a common occurrence in the DMV, but Shadyac grew up in the area (graduate of J.E.B. Stuart) and is a regular at this particular film festival. Tom Shadyac is also not a typical Hollywood director. He lives in a mobile home and does generous charitable work. During his Q&A, he talked about the importance of story, and the dark side of the Hollywood industry. A very down to earth guy, he took the time to talk to everyone who came up to him. Even though I'm not the biggest Jim Carey fan, it was awesome to be at the event.
This was a short film that I created with a bunch of people for a film festival, Rubycon, which celebrated our former TV production teacher, Dave Ruby. We went from start to finish in about 2 weeks, which was a lot of fun.
The war genre has created some of the most intense, powerful, and meaningful stories known to cinema. War has been depicted in film basically since the conception of the art form. Although the war genre has kept the basic structure of its icons, myths, and conventions, the way in which they are portrayed is dependent upon the conceptions and sentiments towards war during the times they were created in.
The war film is most easily recognized and defined by the significant use of combat scenes. In its basic concept, war is combat. The war film is generally classified by its use of the combat scene as a key component of the plot. Combat and war is found in films across all genres, but that doesnʼt necessarily put it in the war genre. The film Lincoln is largely based upon the Civil War, yet itʼs not considered a war film because the plot is not based on combat, only a small portion actually takes place during combat. The combat scene from a true war genre film is the spectacle of the film, itʼs the action that excites, terrifies, and saddens the audience, and puts the them into the action. The core of the film is often focused around this experience of going into battle.
This experience of fighting the enemy often brings about common myths. Camaraderie is a basic universal myth of war films. It is frequently seen when characters go into an intense situation such as battle, and a bond is created between them out of the experience. Camaraderie is even seen with characters who arenʼt acquainted with each other, when they are brought together for the greater good they are fighting for. In Saving Private Ryan (1998), the main characters of the film havenʼt event met Private Ryan (Matt Damon) when their mission is given, but they are willing to risk their lives to save him. This is the type of universal camaraderie that war is depicted to bring about.
Another myth found in war films is heroism. The idea that it is up to the soldiers risk their lives to fight for all that is good and for the safety of others. It is important to realize heroism is sometimes exaggerated for cinematic effect and that the depiction is not necessarily representational of a true war. War films often only depict the men on the front line, when in actuality a war is a much greater collaborative effort by many. This brings a misconception to the audience and an under appreciation for the rest of those fighting the war. Heroism has changed throughout the history of cinema. The role of the hero is no longer reserved for the strong and the brave as it seems to have been in the classical period, the hero can come in many forms. For example, in War Horse (2011), the hero is a horse who overcomes many odds to survive the war and inspire the ones he touched; in A Very Long Engagement (2004), the hero is a woman who doesnʼt give up hope in finding her husband. The genre has evolved to show that the hero now can no longer be described with only one set of character traits.
The traditional war film usually highlights a certain message or take on war with its use of myths. The evolution of film is evident through the changing of messages. Each war and each time period are different in their general sentiment and tone. As a result, the specific war depicted within a film often tells much about how the film will approach the idea of war. For example, the World War II films often send a message of nationalism, honor, and respect because the war was historically well supported. A film that takes place in the Vietnam war, on the other hand, often approaches it critically because the war wasnʼt generally well liked. On the flip side, depending on how historically accurate a film is, we can often learn about the general sentiment towards a specific war through a depiction on film.
The iconic combat scene has also evolved dramatically with time because of the advancements in technology, changes in conceptions toward war, and the audienceʼs taste. With the advent of computer generated images and more advanced special effects, filmmakers have been able to create more iconic intense and epic battles on a grander scale. With these increasingly intense and violent films, audiences now have somewhat of a tolerance for it. What was considered graphic in the 1950s would be nothing to the current generation. There has been a growing audience for the war genre solely for the spectacle of them: the action is what brings them to the cinema. As a result of this demand, films are in a constant evolution to do it bigger and better than the last time.
One can look at two films of the same genre from different periods on different wars, such as They Were Expendable (1945) and The Deer Hunter (1978), and easily see the changes that have occurred within the genre. The two films were made in completely different times right after two very different wars, and represent the sentiments of those wars. As a result, they approach the same conventions, icons, and myths in different ways.
They Were Expendable uses many elements from the Classical Period. The world of the story is homogenous with one universal truth and moral, to fight to protect the United States. We are taken through the story of this truth in a causal and transitive manor. One event leads to another and the audience always knows whatʼs going on. We have sort of an omniscient point of view, with not much withheld from us. The protagonist of the film, Lieutenant “Rusty” Ryan (John Wayne), with his signature “tough guy” attitude is a likable character than was relatable to many Americans at the time, especially those who served.
The Deer Hunter is very different in its approach, as it is very much so a modernist film. We have a selective point of view within a heterogeneous world from Mikeʼs character (Robert DeNiro), yet the character is somewhat distant from the audience. The plot can be described as non-transitive, with a more fragmented telling of the events within the story. There are points during the film when the audience is not exactly sure what is going on, or what certain components of the film serve for the overall purpose and meaning. Most notably, The Deer Hunter also uses situational ethic, meaning morality is relative to the situation. This ambiguous morality is visible during the russian roulette scenes in Vietnam. Under normal circumstances, the two characters would have never had risked their lives pulling the trigger of guns pointed to their head only to break into a shoot out with those holding them captive, but the situation called for it. In this case, the characters morality was based on the phrase “the ends justify the means.”
The transformation of the genre from They Were Expendable to The Deer Hunter is a large one. The myth of the hero and camaraderie seems at first to be fairly similar: a group of close guys eager to serve their country. In They Were Expendable, this group is the men on the PT boats who want to prove themselves and earn their honor by fighting in battle, and eventually do. On the other hand, the group of guys in The Deer Hunter started off excited and optimistic, but as soon as they reached the combat zone, the sentiment completely changed. The film took a dramatic stance on how war can mess someone up in the head, and keep them from entering back into society. Instead of receiving honor and proving themselves, they were left permanently scarred and hurt.
The style and intensity of combat had increased dramatically from They Were Expendable to The Deer Hunter. In They Were Expendable, the combat scenes we saw were spectacular, but they were all portrayed in a valiant and heroic way. The scenes were not particularly violent or gory, and even the deaths are shown honorably with the men paying their respects at a funeral. The Deer Hunter sought to portray a more realistic and gritty version of combat. They donʼt leave much to the imagination, most of the violent scenes are gory and intense. The two films differ in the way combat scenes were portrayed in that They Were Expendable sought to show fighting as a high ideal that was honorable, while The Deer Hunter showed a more gruesome side to bring out the true realities and destruction that combat can create.
The message of the two films are almost opposite. They Were Expendable seems to be very supportive of the war efforts and what the military was doing at the time, even utilizing actual navy resources during the production. It commended those who went into battle with itʼs use of brave men who were successful in their missions. This is not surprising being in that the film came out right after WWII had ended, which the vast majority of people were supportive of. The Deer Hunter came out just after the Vietnam War had ended, which was one of the most criticized wars in American history. It highlighted the negative effects that the war had on the characters, ultimately leading to the self destruction of one who had just about lost it completely. The film ends with the characters singing a sorrow version of “God Bless America” after their Nickʼs funeral, almost to put shame on America and criticize it for putting itʼs men through a horrific war. Thus the two films have two completely different views on war, and there are certainty many more films just like them that share their views. They Were Expendable praises those who served with honor and made a difference while The Deer Hunter blames the country who sends their youth to destroy themselves.
The war genre will be around for as long as films are being made and wars are being fought. Some of the most compelling and powerful stories from the war genre have been able to change society. The genre has gone through a tremendous transformation, which is easily seen through the films They Were Expendable and The Deer Hunter. The depiction of combat scenes, camaraderie between soldiers, heroism, and the message the film brings have existed throughout the entirety of the history of the genre, but they are in a constant transformation and evolution to bring the new ideas of the times. Although the war genre has kept the basic structure of its icons, myths, and conventions, the way in which they are portrayed is dependent upon the conceptions and sentiments towards war during the times they were created in.
Film is a medium to tell life. It can be a very powerful tool, used to inform or persuade, for better or for worse. To bring a certain subject to light through an intended experience, films are often told through genre, films that share a common myth, conventions, and iconography. The genre of noir (and later neo-noir) incorporates many aspects of history that combine fiction and truth. At times the line between fiction and truth is thin, while other times the two couldn’t be further apart. That being said, many noir films are not completely historically accurate, nor are they intended to be, but the stories are based in a greater truth. The facts may be bended or distorted, but all for the purpose to prove a point and bring a message to the audience. The noir genre enhances our view of the history of Los Angeles by incorporating examples, metaphors, and exaggerations to bring a greater truth to the foreground.
The noir genre brings a certain style to the story to deliver the message more effectively. Recognizing a film as noir, the audience has a preconceived idea of how the film will approach the characters, plot, and themes. The noir genre is generally known for portraying a dark and depressed city filled with crime and corruption sometime during the 1930s through the 1950s. Many noir films depict the police and law enforcement of those times, while others focus on issues of race and class and the powerful elite. Noir is very much based on perspective, leaving the audience without absolute knowledge of the situation, to create a mystery that often times turns out to be not what it seems. Many of these mysteries come with a signature noir twist at the end. These unique elements are used creatively to enhance the perception of race and class within the story being told.
The neo-noir genre is different from the traditional genre in that they are from two different periods of time. Traditional noir films found in the classical and postclassical periods (1920s through 1950s) depict the times they were created in, as most noir films are set in the 1930s through the 1950s. Neo-noir films seem to be generally made in the 1970s through the present, using a retrospective view of the 1930s through the 1950s. Therefore the additional component of neo-noir not found in other noir films is the telling of history and the past. These films now had the ability to manipulate and bend the truth of the times they are set in. This creative freedom allows the filmmaker to choose what he or she wants to say and how they want to say it, all for the enhancement of the audience’s understanding.
Chinatown is an example of a noir film in which the characters and their situations are fictional, but they are placed in a historically real world to enhance the understanding of the story and of that specific time. The film discusses the corruption and injustice that plagued Los Angeles’ history. In a broad sense, the film depicts the Los Angeles water wars, in which water was basically taken from elsewhere and brought to the city. Los Angeles became a growth machine, where people from all over the country came to make their fortune exercising this new opportunity. With the Water Department, a stigma was brought about Los Angeles that to sustain this extreme population growth, it had to take water from some other area. This event is a highlight of the corruptive and deceitful nature of those who have historically been in power in Los Angeles.
“It’s a symbol from reality,” as director Roman Polanski describes his own 1974 film, Chinatown (Roman Polanski). Polanski is explaining how his film serves as a metaphor for the prominent theme of injustice that infected Los Angeles throughout history. The negligence among the people in power results in the death of the innocent character Evelyn (Faye Dunaway) at the end of the film. When what has been done during this scene is fully realized, everyone involved is let go without question. When the protagonist of the film, Jake (Jack Nicholson), is astonished by the events that have just occurred, he is told “Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown” (Chinatown).This statement is representative of the injustice not only in Chinatown, but Los Angeles as a whole. The town has been filled with so much injustice and corruption, because it’s Chinatown, no one will care. It is also something to point out that Jake Gittes makes his seemingly very substantial living off of exposing corruption and affairs. It says something about a society that the people have to turn to a private investigator and hire him to bring some justice or civility. Roman Polanski seems to have sought to bring these components of Los Angeles’ history to a generation that was unfamiliar with them.
The Los Angeles Police Department has had a rough history, to say the least. Many noir films have sought to enhance an understanding of the LAPD’s notorious reputation. The film L.A. Confidential, is filled with examples of LAPD brutality, racism, and corruption. Although these specific events are fictional, they are easily believable looking at the real events such as the Rodney King Riots or the Rampart Scandal. The film takes an interesting comparison of the good cop vs the bad cop policing style with the incorporation of the two completely different characters, Bud (Russell Crowe) and Ed (Guy Pearce). Bud is the type of officer who takes the law into his own hands, often using violence and brutality to bring justice. His character is representing the stereotypical version of the ruthless 1950s LAPD officer. Ed, on the other hand, sticks to the book and believes the system will bring justice. His character represents the ideal police officer that we hope the police force will become. This incorporation of two different types of officers represents where the LAPD came from, to what they hope to become. It is interesting to note that as the film progresses, the two characters seem to blend together to form a more realistic version of what a police force is: not completely ruthless, yet not completely just. These two different officers enhance our understanding of the heterogeneity within the LAPD, which may not have been present in the times the film is set in, but could very well be representative of the LAPD at the time the film was made. This is an example of a film that uses a historical perspective of noir to describe the current state of a society.
The film Devil in a Blue Dress addresses similar issues as the other two films do, but from the point of view of the black community. This perspective is quite different because the racism that is visible portrays the elite as evil and cynical. The film enhances our understanding of race and racism through the rather blunt depiction of the way blacks were viewed at the time. Racism is quite visible geographically, being that blacks weren’t welcome everywhere. Often the main character, Ezekiel (Denzel Washington), has to be cautious of where he goes or hide himself to avoid being singled out. Racially restrictive covenants, a racist police force and government, and an unfair economic and social situation among races that are depicted in the film also contribute to the audience’s better comprehension of that time period. The literal and specific events depicted in the film are again fictional, but not at all unrealistic with our knowledge of history.
With all that being said, most noir films are not completely historically accurate. They are not intended to be. Noir films cannot be used for research purposes nor as an accurate representation of specific events. The intention is to inform an audience of a world they might not have been familiar with. Although there are many motivations to filmmaking, it is an art of entertainment. Just with any other art, it can be used communicate an idea, but it is entertainment that creates the blockbusters and draws the crowds. The majority of people would not find watching a stale documentary on racial tensions during the 1940s entertaining, but they would find entertaining a neo-noir film starring Denzel Washington. In the form of entertainment, noir films seek to bring light to an era that is unknown to the current generation. The entertainment value of noir is a strategy and tool for informing audiences on a truthful subject or issue. Using fiction often times allows a point to be more easily made or an impact to be greater received. Fiction is not bound by the constrictions of history. The literal truth can be stretched to make a point about the greater truth. The brutality against blacks in Devil in a Blue Dress could be exaggerated for impact, but that just brings out more of an underlying truth. The elements of narrative fiction serve as a tool for the communicator to amplify the truth. Often the point and impact is better received with use of fiction rather than history.
The noir film genre seeks to tell stories through numerous similar conventions, myths, and icons. Often these conventions are used to inform an audience of the times the stories are told in. As seen in the neo-noir films Chinatown, L.A. Confidential, and Devil in a Blue Dress, this genre enhances our view of the history of Los Angeles by incorporating examples, metaphors, and exaggerations to bring truth to the foreground.
There Will Be Blood (2007) is a visual spectacular that takes the audience through a somewhat disturbing transformation of Daniel Plainview’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) life. The film brings together many cinematic elements to tell this story of greed, among other things. Director and screenwriter Paul Thomas Anderson utilized countless elements of mise-en-scène to push the story, but this paper will specifically focus on the deliberate use of sets and props, contrast, and performance to promote a greater meaning and the story itself.
Throughout the film, oil is used to both symbolically and literally represent a variety of themes. One interpretation of oil in the film is that it represents life. Daniel Plainview’s life revolves around oil, which he became obsessive about because it brought him wealth. Oil seems to be the only thing that brings joy to his life. Daniel shows no joy, or really any other emotion, until he first finds oil after the first 15 or so minutes of the film. In that scene, he smears his hand over the oil as if it were precious and reaches up to the sky in excitement. Shortly after, Daniel puts a blob of oil on H.W.’s forehead, as if he is baptizing him into this lifestyle of greed and foreshadowing what is to come. Later on in the film, when the oil tower is consumed in flames, it’s as if what little bit of hope there was for Daniel disappears with the burning monument. Daniel, drenched in oil, watches the inferno as if he’s exhilarated, despite the fact that H.W. had just lost his hearing and everyone else is scrambling around for safety. Daniel seems to lose whatever life he still had in him with that fire, for all the blood that was to come.
The burning tower scene is an excellent example of the contrast in the film. There is an intense variation in lighting between the fire and everything else. The tall flames brighten everything around and light up the sky, also producing a large consuming black cloud. This dark cloud stretches across the sky as if it were engulfing everything around in a perpetual darkness. The characters are shown as silhouettes in front of this huge wall of flame, possibly to show the darkness cast upon them. Daniel, along with H.W. watches while completely drenched and consumed with this darkness. Their faces can barely be made out with the black abyss behind them. A very dim shot of Eli’s face is cut to as he watches the tower being consumed in flames. All of this contrast in light shows the extremes of the film, the good and evil, lightness and darkness, black and white.
Death can also be represented by the oil, just like life, in the film because as it is in the real world, death is a part of life. As the drilling increases, so does the deaths due to the overworked workers. The workers are overworked to bring more profits, as a result of Daniel Plainview’s greed. Figuratively, oil kills Daniel in the end. He loses his senses as the film progresses and he becomes more obsessed and overcome by greed. It culminates to the point where he abandons H.W. and later rejects him as his son. This leaves the audience questioning if H.W. actually ever meant anything to Daniel, or whether he was simply just a selling point for his “family” business. Daniel is also dead in a sense to where at the end of the film he has lost all traces of humanity as a result of his wealth, aging, and seclusion where all that is left is a bitter old man who can kill without mercy. This death of Daniel is foreshadowed in the beginning of the film by use of mise-en-scène. Right before Daniel finds oil deep in the ground, a rope is lowered into the hole as part of the ongoing excavation. This rope appears to be tied in a noose, as if to symbolize that by digging up this oil, Daniel is taking his own life. It’s interesting that later on in the film, Daniel tells Eli that he’s going to burry him in the ground, which is exactly what he does, figuratively. These subtle elements of mise-en-scène all help to push the meaning and characters in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film.
Oil in There Will Be Blood is an antipode to the church, as is Daniel to Eli. Oil is black, dark, and dirty, symbolizing not only life and death, but evil as well. Daniel is frequently seen soaked in it, which represents his darkening and ever growing greed. As more oil is drawn up, more evil inside of Daniel is brought out. He becomes violent, beating and killing often without mercy. Contrasting this is the church, which is often shown as clean and light. One moment Daniel is covered in oil, the next he is being washed during a service, although he is only there for the sole reason to expand his drilling.
In There Will Be Blood, the greed associated with the oil is corruptive by nature. In Eli’s case, he was originally resistant to the idea of drilling, but if drilling was to occur, the church would be compensated for it. But it seems as if, just like Daniel, Eli is consumed by greed as well. In another turning point of the film, Eli is beat by Daniel to the ground, where they both get covered in oil. This scene symbolizes Eli becoming infected, just as Daniel, with greed by his body being saturated in oil. This infection grows in Eli, up until the end of the film where he actually denounces his faith because he is taken over by greed and his desire to get respect and a fair share for the church and himself.
Color in the film is used to exhibit the realism used in the film. The colors are generally dull; they are very naturalistic, organic, and bland greens and browns, to blend in with the desert like setting. The colors and tones of the settings, props, and costumes all blend together as one realistic style of image. This fits the plot line because the film calls for a more realistic style. It adds to the intensity of the characters because they are very believable. They could have existed, they could have been real.
Contrast is prevalent in almost every scene in There Will Be Blood, especially when looking at lighting. High key lighting is used in many shots, some even being almost overexposed. Where as other scenes use more low key lighting, even to the point of almost being underexposed. These extreme differences represent the dynamics of the film. It is a constant rotation between the intense and calm sequences.
The practical effects used in conjunction with the sets and props create a visual masterpiece that aids in telling the story. Although surely an accomplishment in itself, the practical effects are necessary for There Will Be Blood to work as a film. The story could not be told in the same way it was if the filmmakers weren’t able to have oil shoot out of the ground, or have a tower engulfed in flames. The film would not be the same experience without them and there wouldn’t be as profound of an effect. These set pieces visually tell the story as imperative elements of mise-en-scène.
Arguably the greatest cinematic element of There Will Be Blood is performance. The performances of Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano carry the film to the next level. With regard to mise-en-scène, both actors visually tell the story with their movements, gestures, and statures. Daniel Day-Lewis’s stature changes throughout the film to show his character’s transformation. In the beginning, he would stand straight and confident, but by the end, he is seen hunched over and weak. This represents how the character of Daniel is consumed by greed and eventually corrupted. Eli, on the other hand, is shown as kind of the weak guy throughout the whole film. The movements in the fight scenes are unique in that the audience only truly sees a brutal scene at the very end, where Eli’s head is smashed. Before that, the fighting isn’t very brutal and at times, it seems somewhat childish with the smacking, pushing around, and throwing between the two characters. This style of fighting represents the two character’s motivations. Niether of them is devoted to taking out the other, they are rather competing against each other and in that process, things get ugly. These physical interactions help enhance the audience’s understanding and perspective of the relationship between Daniel Plainview and Eli Sunday.
Mise-en-scène undoubtedly is a major component and selling point of There Will Be Blood. Most visibly, the use of oil as a motif helps bring the film full circle and adds that depth to the story. The other set pieces promote the plot and allow a setting for the film to flourish. The lighting portrays a sense of night and day contrast. The colors, along with the set pieces, bring a sense of realism to the screen. The remarkable performances of Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano bring their characters to life and use physicality to bring meaning to their actions. All the cinematic elements are beautifully and deliberately crafted to bring the meaning and themes of the film together. Although many mise-en-scène techniques are used in this story of greed, most visibly is the use of sets and props, contrast, and performance to make the film quite an exceptional work of art.
USC's Trojan Vision was invited to the 2013 LA Times Travel Show at the LA Convention Center. As a senior producer on the show The Toast, my crew and I were assigned to walk the floor to cover the show in a highlights video that would air the next week. The highlight for me was interviewing Phil Keoghan, the host of the CBS show, The Amazing Race. We had no scheduled interview with him, but we knew he would be doing a talk. We found the giant room he'd be giving this talk in, borrowed some nice chairs to make it look professional, and planned on grabbing Phil as he walked in to do a quick interview before he went on stage. Before he arrived, his assistant said no to the interview. But thanks to the persistence of our reporter, Paige, Phil himself said yes and sat down with us. We were literally holding up his talk as a room of 300 anxious fans waited, watching us interview him. He gave us some great stuff, and I got really excited when Phil said he liked that I turned the gain up on the camera because it was "good for old people." He's a really inspirational guy, especially for people like me who are aspiring in his line of work. You can check out the full highlights video below.