Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jillian's Notes

While this is from a previous semester and different text, it is a good preview of things that will need to be researched and learned over the course of your communication studies. Please take the time to review these notes as you advance this semester.

Thank you Jillian!

-Art Lynch

Speech Notes (Partial)

Semantic Noise~ any noise that disrupts the symbols being expressed (i.e. language)

Transactional Model~

(For the model used in class, and on the tests,  refer to Jillian's Notes on Angel under Course Content, Resources and Study Material, 16. Reviews, Jillian's Notes.  The following are alternative ways of conceptualizing and understanding the basic communication model.)

Transmitter, sender, encodes message to the Receiver, audience, who decodes the message. The message is sent along a channel (media) and is disrupted by noise, interference, and screens. Three types- internal (thoughts, how you feel inside), external (things that happen outside of the body that you can’t control), and cultural (everything else that makes you-you!) When the Receiver becomes the transmitter, they are sending feedback. Same filters, screens, and interference will/can occur.

Ask a librarian...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Best Years of Our Lives earned 7 Academy Awards (when far fewer awards were given each year)

19th Annual Academy Awards (1947)

Best Picture

"The Best Years of Our Lives" Samuel Goldwyn Productions

Best Director

To William Wyler

Best Supporting Actors

 To Harold Russell for h his appearance in "The Best Years of Our Lives."

Best Film Editing 

To Daniel Mandell

Best Music Score

  To Daniel Mandell

  Best Writing
  To Robert E. Sherwood

Special Award

To Harold Russell for bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in "The Best Years of Our Lives."

"Best Years of Our Lives" Airport Graveyard

Film Basics pt 1

Intro to Film pt I notes

In this and other publications, the term mise en scène signifies the major aspects filmmaking shares with staging a play. It refers to the sel setting, subjects, and composition of each shot. Normally in complex film productions, the director makes final decisions about mise en scèn 

■ A setting is the place where filmed action occurs. It is either a set, which has been built for use in the film, or a location, which is any plac than a film studio that is used for filming. 

■ Depending on the needs of the scene, settings may be limbo (indistinct), realistic, or nonrealistic. 

■ A setting can be the main subject of a shot or scene but usually is not. Settings often reveal the time and place of a scene, create or inten and help reveal what people (in a documentary film) or characters (in a fictional film) are like. Throughout a film, changes in settings can al changes in situations and moods. 

■ In films, fictional characters or real people are the usual subjects, and their actions and appearances help reveal their nature.

■ Performers may be stars, Method actors, character actors, or nonprofessional actors. There is some overlap among these categories: a st 

example, may also be a Method actor. Depending on the desired results, actors may be cast by type or against type. ■ Usually film actors must perform their scenes out of order, in brief segments, and often after long waits. 

■ Effective performances may depend on the script, casting, direction, editing, and music. There is no one type of effective performance: w judged effective depends in part on the viewers’ culture and the film’s style or its manner of representing its subject. 

Composition: The Uses of Space 
■ Filmmakers, especially cinematographers and directors, decide the shape of the overall image. They also decide how to use the space wit image. They decide when and how to use empty space and what will be conveyed by the arrangement of significant subjects on the sides of in the foreground, or in the background. Filmmakers also decide if compositions are to be symmetrical or asymmetrical. 

■ Composition influences what viewers see positioned in relationship to the subject and how the subject is situated within the frame; what in revealed to viewers that the characters do not know; and what viewers learn about the characters’ personalities or situations. 

■ Many films are seen in an aspect ratio (or shape of the image) other than the one the filmmakers intended, and the compositions, meanin moods conveyed are thus altered. 

Mise en Scène and the World outside the Frame
■ Mise en scène can be used to promote a political viewpoint or commercial product (the latter practice is called product placement). 
or a text (such as a film). It can also be used to pay homage or tribute to an earlier of one. 


The section of settings, subjects and composition in film is referred to as mise en scene, or the directors’ choice.

A setting is a place where the filmed action occurs.

The scene is a section of the action, often separated from other sections by location and/or the narrative.

The take is one shot of one section of a scene.

Settings may be limbo (indistinct), realistic or unrealistic.

Throughout the film changes in settings may reflect changes in character’s emotions, moods, situation, position in the story arch, and / or specific story points.

Subjects may be the actual people (documentary), characters, topics, overall meaning, or topics of a project.

Performers may actors or real people who advance the story line, help us to understand the subject or provide other on an off camera services using their voices, actions, images or performance talents.

Films are made out of sequence, usually based on using a location or being close to other locations to reduce set-up, travel and other production costs.

Films are an ensemble product, with many artists and technicians contributing. Films depend on writing, directing, casting, cinematography, video shootists, editing, computer and other effects, Foley, lighting, sound, set designers, continuity, actors (or talent), costumer, make-up, researchers, crew, transportation and all tied to budget.

Usually the editor and/or director, and/or producer are responsible for the final product.

Composition: the use of space.

Shaping the overall image to tell a story, paint and emotion or have the desired effect, overall for the film, scene-by-scene or even frame-by-frame.

Aspect Ration: the final image height and width as a ratio.

Mise en Scene can be used to promote political viewpoints, in advertising, advertising product placement, in comic contrast, to parody human behavior, to parody text or content, and/or to pay homage or tribute.

The Best Years of Our Lives: Graveyard Scene

Best Years of Our Lives: Homecoming


Cinematography involves the choice and manipulation of film stock or video, lighting, and cameras. Some of the main issues in cinematography are film grain, color, lenses, camera distance and angle from the subject, and camera movement. As with other aspects of filmmaking, the choices made in filming affect how viewers respond to the film.

Film Stock
Film stock, which is unexposed and unprocessed motion-picture film, influences the film’s finished look, including its sharpness of detail, range of light and shadow, and quality of color. Often professional cinematographers use different film stocks or videotape in different parts of the same film to support certain effects.

Generally, the wider the film gauge is, the larger are the film frames and the sharper the projected images.

Slow film stock, which requires more light during filming than fast film stock, can produce a detailed, nuanced image. In older films, fast film stock usually produces more graininess than slow film stock.

Color associations vary from culture to culture, and a color’s impact depends on context—where and how the color is used.

In most Western societies, warm colors (reds, oranges, and yellows) tend to be thought of as hot, dangerous, lively, and assertive. Greens, blues, and violets are generally characterized as cool colors. In Europe and the Americas, cool colors tend to be associated with safety, reason, control, relaxation, and sometimes sadness or melancholy.

Color may be saturated (intense, vivid) or desaturated (muted, dull, pale), and saturated and desaturated colors can be used to create or intensify countless possible effects.

Hard lighting comes directly from a light source, such as the sun or a clear incandescent electric bulb. Soft light comes from an indirect source. Hard lighting is bright and harsh and creates unflattering images. Soft lighting is flattering because it tends to fill in imperfections in the subject’s surface and obliterate or lessen sharp lines and shadows.

Low-key lighting involves little illumination on the subject and often reinforces a dramatic or mysterious effect. High-key lighting entails bright illumination of the subject and may create or enhance a cheerful mood.

The direction of light reaching the subject—for example, from below or from only one side—can change an image’s moods and meanings.

Like light, shadows can be used expressively in countless ways—for example, to create a mysterious or threatening environment.

The Camera
During filming, one of three types of lenses is used: wide-angle, normal, or telephoto. Often all three are used at different times within the same film. Each type of lens has different properties and creates different images.

Choice of lens, aperture (or opening), and film stock largely determine the depth of field, or distance in front of the camera in which all objects are in focus.

Diffusers may be placed in front of a light source or in front of a camera lens to soften lines in the subject, to glamorize, or to lend a more spiritual or ethereal look.

Camera distance helps determine how large the subject will appear within the frame, what details will be noticeable, and what will be excluded from the frame.

By changing the camera lens and the camera distance between shots or during a shot, filmmakers can change perspective: the relative size and apparent depth of subjects and setting in the photographic image.

The angle from which the subject is filmed influences the expressiveness of the images. There are four basic camera angles—bird’s-eye view, high angle, eye-level angle, and low angle—and countless other angles in between.

In point-of-view (p.o.v.) shots, the camera films a subject from the approximate position of someone, or occasionally something, in the film. Such camera placements may contribute to the viewer’s identification with one of the subjects and sense of participation in the action.

A motion-picture camera may remain in one place during filming. While filming with a camera fixed in one place, the camera may be pivoted up or down (tilting) or rotated sideways (panning).

Panning too quickly causes blurred footage. Such a result is called a swish pan.

Ways to move the camera around during filming include dollying, tracking, using a crane, and employing a Steadicam. Like other aspects of cinematography, camera movement can be used in countless expressive ways.

Digital Cinematography
Film and video images can be scanned or transferred into a computer, changed there, and transferred back to film. Computers can be used to modify colors and contrast (digital intermediate), correct errors, and change the images in ways impossible or more troublesome and costly to do with film alone.

Mainly for reasons of economy and convenience, more and more movies are being filmed in high-definition video and transferred to film for theatrical showings, though the results do not yet match the detail and nuance of the best film stocks.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Film Basics Part 3

Editing involves decisions about which shots to include, the most effective take (version) of each shot, the duration of shots, the arrangement of shots, and the transitions between them. Regardless of the equipment used for filming and editing, editing can strongly affect viewer responses. It can be used, for example, (1) to promote continuity or disruptions; (2) to superimpose images; (3) to juxtapose shots to make a point, support a feeling or mood, intensify the viewer’s reactions, or show parallel subjects or events; and (4) to affect the viewer’s sense of pace, compress or expand time, and convey an enormous amount of information in a brief time.

Early Film Editing
The first films of the 1890s consisted of one shot or a series of one–shot scenes.

By the time of The Birth of a Nation (1915), editing was used to maintain continuity while telling complex stories.

In the 1920s, the editing of some Soviet filmmakers conveyed a story and promoted ideas by the juxtaposition of shots.

Building Blocks
The shot is the most basic unit of editing. It is a piece of continuous film or videotape depicting an uninterrupted action or an immobile subject during an uninterrupted passage of time.

A scene is a section of a narrative film that gives the impression of continuous action taking place during continuous time and in continuous space. A scene consists of one or more shots although on rare occasions, a shot will convey multiple scenes.

A sequence is a series of related consecutive scenes that are perceived as a major part of a narrative film.

Editors can use one or more of many possible transitions between shots, such as a cut, lap dissolve, or wipe. Depending on conventions and context, editing transitions can be used to convey or reinforce information or moods. For example, often a lap dissolve suggests that the next shot takes place at a later time or different location—or both.

Continuity Editing
Continuity editing, which is used in most narrative films, maintains a sense of clear and continuous action and continuous setting within each scene.

Continuity editing is achieved in filming and editing by using eyeline matches, the 180-degree system, and other strategies. The aim of continuity editing is to make sure viewers will instantly understand the relationship of subjects to other subjects, subjects to settings, and each shot to the following shot.

Image on Image and Image after Image
A momentary superimposition of two or more images is possible in a lap dissolve, as in the ending of the 1960's Psycho.

Consecutive shots can stress differences or similarities. They may also be used to surprise, amuse, confuse, or disorient viewers.

Reaction shots often intensify viewers’ responses. Usually a reaction shot follows an action shot, but it may precede one, or it may occur alone with the action not shown but only implied.

Parallel editing can be used to achieve various ends, including to give a sense of simultaneous events, contrast two or more actions or viewpoints, or create suspense about whether one subject will achieve a goal before another subject does.

Pace and Time
Usually fast cutting is used to impart energy and excitement. Slow cutting may be used to slow the pace or help calm the mood.

Depending on the context, a succession of shots of equal length may suggest inevitability, relentlessness, boredom, or some other condition.

Shifting the pace of the editing can change viewers’ emotional responses, as in the excerpt analyzed from near the end of (Battleship) Potemkin.

Montage compresses an enormous amount of information into a brief time, as in the montage of Susan’s opera career in Citizen Kane.

Editing usually condenses time (for example, by cutting dead time), but it can expand time—for instance, by showing certain fragments of an action more than once.

Digital Editing
Increasingly, computers are being used for editing. Images shot on film are scanned into computers; images shot on videotape are simply transferred to computers.

Once in the computer, the shots can be edited there and later transferred to DVD or film for showings.

Film Basics Part 4

The chapter briefly explains a few of the many ways that film sounds have been created. More important, it explores some specific uses of a soundtrack’s four major components, possible sound transitions, and general uses of sound in narrative films.

Spoken Words
In films, spoken words may take the form of dialogue, monologues, or narration.

Overlapping dialogue can create or reinforce a sense of nervousness, stress, and isolation.

Spoken words, such as those by Darth Vader, may be distorted for effect.

Dialogue is invaluable for revealing a character’s ideas, goals, and dreams, though usually it does so more concisely, obliquely, and revealingly than conversation in life does.

Although spoken words can be extremely expressive, many films and many film scenes rely heavily on visuals and use only limited spoken words.

Sound Effects
Sound effects consist of sounds that objects make, sounds that people make other than spoken words, and ambient sound.

Some of the many possible uses of sound effects are to help create a sense of a location, intensify a mood, enhance a humorous situation, or conceal an action.

Sound effects specialists have many options in manipulating sounds, such as playing them backward, playing them faster or slower than they were recorded, constructing them, and blending them in different proportions.

Film music may serve countless functions, such as to mirror a film’s central conflict, direct viewers’ attention, establish place and time, suggest what a character feels or an animal is like, and cover weak acting.

Film music may reference earlier film music. Sometimes the same music is used; other times an approximation is composed and used.

In large-budget movies, sometimes the film music is selected with an eye to future recorded music sales.

Possible uses of silence in films include during dreams, to suggest dying or death, or to interrupt the regular rhythm of life’s sounds.

There are many possible ways to use sound between shots, such as to have the sound of the first shot end as the shot does.

Sound transitions between shots are used to reinforce continuity or contribute to discontinuity.

General Uses of Sound in Narrative Films
Sound in narrative films may come from on-screen or offscreen and may derive from a source in the story or outside the story.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?

Social media—from Facebook to Twitter—have made us more densely networked than ever. Yet for all this connectivity, new research suggests that we have never been lonelier (or more narcissistic)—and that this loneliness is making us mentally and physically ill. A report on what the epidemic of loneliness is doing to our souls and our society.

First Run 4-22-2012

By Stephen Marche
The Atlantic Magazine (click here to read the story online at the Atlantic).
Phillip Toledano

Yvette Vickers, a former Playboy playmate and B-movie star, best known for her role in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, would have been 83 last August, but nobody knows exactly how old she was when she died. According to the Los Angeles coroner’s report, she lay dead for the better part of a year before a neighbor and fellow actress, a woman named Susan Savage, noticed cobwebs and yellowing letters in her mailbox, reached through a broken window to unlock the door, and pushed her way through the piles of junk mail and mounds of clothing that barricaded the house. Upstairs, she found Vickers’s body, mummified, near a heater that was still running. Her computer was on too, its glow permeating the empty space.

The Los Angeles Times posted a story headlined “Mummified Body of Former Playboy Playmate Yvette Vickers Found in Her Benedict Canyon Home,” which quickly went viral. Within two weeks, by Technorati’s count, Vickers’s lonesome death was already the subject of 16,057 Facebook posts and 881 tweets. She had long been a horror-movie icon, a symbol of Hollywood’s capacity to exploit our most basic fears in the silliest ways; now she was an icon of a new and different kind of horror: our growing fear of loneliness. Certainly she received much more attention in death than she did in the final years of her life. With no children, no religious group, and no immediate social circle of any kind, she had begun, as an elderly woman, to look elsewhere for companionship. Savage later told Los Angeles magazine that she had searched Vickers’s phone bills for clues about the life that led to such an end. In the months before her grotesque death, Vickers had made calls not to friends or family but to distant fans who had found her through fan conventions and Internet sites.

Vickers’s web of connections had grown broader but shallower, as has happened for many of us. We are living in an isolation that would have been unimaginable to our ancestors, and yet we have never been more accessible. Over the past three decades, technology has delivered to us a world in which we need not be out of contact for a fraction of a moment. In 2010, at a cost of $300 million, 800 miles of fiber-optic cable was laid between the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange to shave three milliseconds off trading times. Yet within this world of instant and absolute communication, unbounded by limits of time or space, we suffer from unprecedented alienation. We have never been more detached from one another, or lonelier. In a world consumed by ever more novel modes of socializing, we have less and less actual society. We live in an accelerating contradiction: the more connected we become, the lonelier we are. We were promised a global village; instead we inhabit the drab cul-de-sacs and endless freeways of a vast suburb of information.

At the forefront of all this unexpectedly lonely interactivity is Facebook, with 845 million users and $3.7 billion in revenue last year. The company hopes to raise $5 billion in an initial public offering later this spring, which will make it by far the largest Internet IPO in history. Some recent estimates put the company’s potential value at $100 billion, which would make it larger than the global coffee industry—one addiction preparing to surpass the other. Facebook’s scale and reach are hard to comprehend: last summer, Facebook became, by some counts, the first Web site to receive 1 trillion page views in a month. In the last three months of 2011, users generated an average of 2.7 billion “likes” and comments every day. On whatever scale you care to judge Facebook—as a company, as a culture, as a country—it is vast beyond imagination.

Despite its immense popularity, or more likely because of it, Facebook has, from the beginning, been under something of a cloud of suspicion. The depiction of Mark Zuckerberg, in The Social Network, as a bastard with symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome, was nonsense. But it felt true. It felt true to Facebook, if not to Zuckerberg. The film’s most indelible scene, the one that may well have earned it an Oscar, was the final, silent shot of an anomic Zuckerberg sending out a friend request to his ex-girlfriend, then waiting and clicking and waiting and clicking—a moment of superconnected loneliness preserved in amber. We have all been in that scene: transfixed by the glare of a screen, hungering for response.

When you sign up for Google+ and set up your Friends circle, the program specifies that you should include only “your real friends, the ones you feel comfortable sharing private details with.” That one little phrase, Your real friends—so quaint, so charmingly mothering—perfectly encapsulates the anxieties that social media have produced: the fears that Facebook is interfering with our real friendships, distancing us from each other, making us lonelier; and that social networking might be spreading the very isolation it seemed designed to conquer.

Facebook arrived in the middle of a dramatic increase in the quantity and intensity of human loneliness, a rise that initially made the site’s promise of greater connection seem deeply attractive. Americans are more solitary than ever before. In 1950, less than 10 percent of American households contained only one person. By 2010, nearly 27 percent of households had just one person. Solitary living does not guarantee a life of unhappiness, of course. In his recent book about the trend toward living alone, Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at NYU, writes: “Reams of published research show that it’s the quality, not the quantity of social interaction, that best predicts loneliness.” True. But before we begin the fantasies of happily eccentric singledom, of divorcées dropping by their knitting circles after work for glasses of Drew Barrymore pinot grigio, or recent college graduates with perfectly articulated, Steampunk-themed, 300-square-foot apartments organizing croquet matches with their book clubs, we should recognize that it is not just isolation that is rising sharply. It’s loneliness, too. And loneliness makes us miserable.

Click "read more" below or click here to continue reading this much quoted story in the Atlantic.


For those who think you cannot tell a simple story.
For those who want their minds to wanter.
For my fellow Chicagoans of a certain era..
and no, I did not and do or encourage drugs,,
but I did and film,,,
in a very creative and energy bursting
blue collar city...
the greatest city on earth...Chicago...

-Art Lynch

"There's a road I'd like to tell you about,
lives in my home town.
Lake Shore drive the road is called
and it will take you up or down.

From rats on up to to riches,
fifteen minutes you can fly
pretty blue lights along the way
help you ride on by.
With the blue lights shining with a heavenly grace
help you ride on by

There aint not road just like it
anywhere I found
putting yourself on Lake Short drive
heading into town
just slipping on by on LSD
Friday night trouble bound.

It starts up north from Hollywood
Water on the driver's side
Concrete mountains rearing up
throwing shodows just aout five
sometimes you can smell the green
if your mind is feeling fine
there aint no place to be
Then running Lake Shore Drive
and there's no peace of mind
or place to see
than riding on Lake Shore Drive

There aint not road just like it
anywhere I found
running south on Lake Short drive
heading into down
just slipping on by on LSD
Friday night trouble bound.

It's Friday night and your looking clean
too early to start the rounds
a ten minutes ride f rom the Gold Coast back
makes you sure your pleasure found
Now its four o'clock in the morning
and all the people have gone away
just you and your mind on Lake Short Drive
Tomorrow is another day
and the sun shines fin in the morning time
Tomorrow is another day

There aint not road just like it
anywhere I found
running sout on Lake Short drive
heading into down
just snaking on by on LSD
Friday night trouble bound.

Lake Short Drive is the road to drive

Alotta, Haynes and Jerimah, Chicago band, mid 1970's
Available on iTunes


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Using Power Point

V.            Using Power Point
Links on blog:

Click "read more" below for a brief outline on the use of PowerPoint or other screen presentation programs.