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Surprisingly, this reading turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would be. When I first started reading it at home, Vertov used such big words and not to sound like a preschooler, but those words through me off completely. His style of writing was so intense and so overdone in my opinion that it made me not want to read it any further. I honestly didn’t know what I was reading. “The machine makes us ashamed of man’s inability to control himself,” is that something you read every day? But once we started discussing it in class and breaking down what he meant, his words and his style of writing became so intriguing!

Vertov definitely has a style all his own; it’s something that I really can’t put my finger on. It’s not like reading something by Shakespeare and saying “this is Shakespeare because I know how he writes.” Vertov has created this unbelievable entertaining style of writing that lends a voice to his readers by constantly using the word “we.” (You don’t see that a lot in Shakespeare.) And for someone who generally has a passion for film and the ‘art’ of filmmaking, his metaphorically usage for cinematography is amazing. He gives such a realistic feel, description actually, to the art of cinematography. “Cinematography must die so that the art of cinema may live.” Yet again, is that something you read every day?

For Vertov to take something as common as film, which technology is now letting us to take it for granted I believe, and give it a voice is fantastic, which is why once I started to look deeper into his writing I enjoyed it so much. It truly is amazing how Vetrov defended cinema and showed what its true value is. Yes I understand times are changing and things are only going to expand and getter better from here, but is more always better? Is having a film shot in Dolby Digital 3D with Surround Sound really necessary!? I think we’re doing it now just to do it; just for a director to say “my movie is a 3D movie and yours wasn’t.” Soon it won’t be action and horror films that are 3D, it’ll probably be comedies and dramas.

After reading Vetov and figuring out what his stance is on cinematography and cinema itself, I think he would be extremely disappointed to see what is in our movie theaters today. I think he’s turning in his grave just knowing that over 30 movies will be released in 3D next year. (You know a whole lot more will be converted because 3D now has become a sure fire way for studios to make big bucks at the box office.) He definitely would say that Avatar is a blow to cinematography and that it destroyed the real meaning of the motion picture. (But you have to admit, it was a great movie!) Like I said, Cinema must be able to flow freely, without cuts, edits and visual distraction so that the art of cinema is to remain dominant.

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Sherman’s writing “Projecting the Self” depicts to us the impression of how the shaping, or frame work, of a film is used time and time again to guide the knowledge of the viewer’s intake in any direction. Sherman believes that when filmmaking, every last possible detail that goes into a project has some, if not major significance to what the viewer gets out of the film. As she so puts it in her opening statements, “even the placing of the camera for a film consisting of a single “take” is a manipulation.” Sighting works of various directors throughout her writing and using numerous interviews conducted, Sherman uses that information to support her theory that a film is nothing more than a filmmaker blending themselves into their work with the intention of getting the viewing public to see their film their way.

Having read and discussed Harvey’s “Elements of the Academic Essay” is the clear to pick up on the usage of them throughout Sherman’s piece. Her first paragraph alone introduces us to her thesis; she is going to be discussing her theory about the filmmaking process and what it entitles. To do so, she needs to show her readers how she came up with this theory. She needs to clearly and coherently show her readers where she got her information and how the information backs up her theory, which she does. Harvey’s element of thesis has been used so far, followed by the elements of Structure, Evidence and Analysis. To back up her theory, Sherman then begins to break down the writing into sub-topics: Editing “Truths”, Sound Devices: The Filmmaker’s ‘Voice”, and Tools of Choice. Each sub-topic serves a purpose, bringing to life the “data – facts, examples, or details – that you refer to, quote, or summarize to support your thesis” as Harvey puts it.

Other uses of Harvey’s ‘Elements’ is the uses of title. The title “should both interest and inform” which I believe it does. “Projecting the Self” sounds sophisticated and it doesn’t sound like an everyday title of a writing piece so right away I was interested to found out is there any reason the writing is titled the way it is? Once I began reading, the tile was somewhat explain. But by somewhat explaining it, by given not a direct meaning to what it is, it still got the job done of informing me and kept me interested at the same time.

I found that Sherman’s writing was a perfect example of the usage of Harvey’s Elements.

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“Documentary is a clumsy description, but let it stand.” Reading this first sentence of Griersons work caught my attention immediately. Those words alone explained something that has been on my mind since our first discussion of what a documentary is some time ago. I was never truly able to grasp what a documentary really is but this helped me understand it much better. A documentary, as it stands, is the complete opposite of what Hollywood refers to as ‘film’. Grierson compares documentary filmmaking to the unrealistic premise of big Hollywood productions, complete with actors, special effects and a script. Even if a film is “based on a true story” or “inspired by actual events”, is not a documentary. Documentaries have a style of their own, similar to a big Hollywood production, which he goes on to describe later on in the essay.
Once he establishes what he believes should make up a documentary film, he starts to describe the work of a filmmaker named Flaherty. He believes that Flaherty is the example of what documentary is and that he knows home to make one properly. Flaherty makes his films by metaphorically putting himself in the film, familiarizing himself with his surroundings a making it in real life. He goes on to describe that Flaherty does not make documentaries for the sake of making them. He makes them out of fact, meaning what he knows is real and based off of what he (Flaherty) see’s.
Based on the reading, this is my final interpretation of what a documentary should be. The point of a documentary is to convey to an audience what is happening in real life and that its happening in real time, using what he calls “natural materials.” These “natural materials”, he points out, could be everyday things that we see such as a newsreel or magazines. And it’s in these elements that we get different types of information that we observed.

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  1. Silence first.
  2. Shot of Maya sitting. Close up on her.
  3. Blank name tag. (Asks name)
  4. Shot of Queens  College (why she came here)
  5. Shot of mass-transit.
  6. Campus photos (She replies with Convenience and I liked the campus)
  7. Hobbies. Clip of basketball, music, movies etc…
  8. Clip art of TV show Bones (says she watches TV; favorite show is Bones)
  9. Clip of someone playing a musical instrument. (says she likes to play live music)
  10. Clip of a smile. (she giggles after reply)
  11. Shot of women in a business suit (resembles what she wants to be in the future; asks about major.)
  12.  Long shot of movie studio. (she’s leaning towards Media Studies)
  13. Clip of someone dropping a textbook. (Asks what class/classes would she drop if she could)
  14. Show cover of a Political Science textbook.
  15. Question mark.
  16. Clip art of a pause sign (she pauses to think)
  17. Clip of someone tired ( says it take al lot out of her.)
  18. Long shot of someone writing at a desk with mounds of paper surrounding them. (says it’s a lot of writing.)
  19. Clip of shaking hands. (thank you)
  20. Clip art of someone waving goodbye (ending of interview.)

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