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Welcome to my blog. This is a very rough palette at this point, but keep checking the site for updates, weekly posts, and discussions of the class’s musings.

In Tuesday’s class (9/9/08), we started the semester off by compiling a list of techniques and approaches that could answer the question: What helps tell a story? The list ended up being quite long and by no means exhausted all of the possibilities, but my brain has crawled out of its summer hybernation and has begun to actively recognize some of the techniques we discussed in Tuesday’s class. This leads me to the real meaning of my post. My friend e-mailed me a while back concerning a Spanish-language horror entitled Rec (2007) that scared him beyond belief, and being an avid fan of horror and frightful things, I decided to watch some of the more scary scenes on YouTube. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gWEy9uHACU

The basic story involves a Spanish TV News crew filming a documentary that follows firefighters and policemen on their nightly rounds. This particular night, they follow the firefighters and police to an apartment building where an old woman is trapped. From then on out, the film delves into horrific events involving viral infections and possession to name a few, but has been lauded recently as one of the most scary movie experiences in a long time by critics and audiences alike, which is awesome, because the current state of the horror genre, in my opinion, is not in good shape. Regardless, the point of this post is to highlight some techniques used to tell the filmic story. I think the most apparent aspect after watching the clip is the use of a first-person perspective embodied by the character of the cameraman. Especially in this instance, the cameraman represents the curiosity of not only the characters, but also the audience. His camera follows the action, shifts throughout the space, providing the audience with a limited, but adequate perspective of the action. I don’t like this phrase, but the audience is meant to “identify” with his perspective, but not necessarily his character. I make the distinction because I am interested in looking at how the 1st person POV can inform us about the character of the cameraman, because obviously the camera is not just here to provide the visuals, but infact exists as a character as well. I’d need to actually see the movie in order to make those distinctions clearer and more well informed. I imagine that questions like this will crop up throughout this class: how does a 1st perspective provide meaning for a narrative vs. a 3rd person perspective?

Besides being a frightening clip, I think the film ingeniously uses both the audio of the audio playback machine and the images and photographs scattered around the apartment to provide a scary mood for the film as well as to unravel the mystery that the camera crew (and subsequently, the audience) are wrestling with. It reminded me a bit of those scenes in movies where the camera pans slowly across a series of photographs to say something about the characters within those photos. Obviously, this knowledge adds to the fear within and characters and the fear within the audience, which ultimately builds to a startling climax, which, I’ve at least seen that part, is SCARY.

One Response to “Narration Acrcoss Media”

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