THE NOTORIOUS MIND – Complete Story

A hot afternoon, a red Dodge was speeding over 100 Kph on the cross country highway. An old rock song played on the car stereo; the back seat was rambled with clothes, books and a suitcase. Henry is about 30, and he is driving the car. Maria is smoking a cigarette and enjoying the speeding back trees and desert bushes. She sees an animal and tells Henry that she saw a red wolf. “But there aren’t much here hon”, said Henry. Maria thought Henry never believed her. She told him about some strangers following their car a while ago, but he did not believe that either. It was a bursting sound, followed by a throb when the car slowed down and stopped.

Maria looked puzzled at Henry. He didn’t look like he had a clue of what had happened. He got out and bent down to check the tires. They seemed to be ok. He walked out to the front and opened to the bonnet, to see a lot of smoke coming out from the radiator. He told Maria “babe, we need some cold water”. There was only a little water they’ve kept for drinking, but that had become scorching after the long desert ride.  It was 20 past 1.00p.m. Maria lit another cigarette as Henry lean backed on his car looking at the far stretching dessert road. 20 minutes later, Henry jumped into the middle of the road as he saw a car speeding towards them from the far end of the straight highway. The car stopped a few meters after their car and parked on the same side of the road where Henry had moved his car too.  Henry came running to the driver’s pit as a fat man in a cotton check shirt pulled down his window. “Do you have some cold water sir?” said Henry. The fat man got out the car to take a look on the dodge. There was a lot of smoke coming out. Henry tried to make a conversation with him, but he wasn’t quite successful. She signalled to Henry, as he walked to her window, the fat man said in a very hard voice “your fan belt is broken”. Henry got distracted from Maria, and he walked fast to see the engine. The fat man was right, the belt in the cooling propeller was broken. Henry said “Er… But it wasn’t”.Henry looked apprehensively at Maria. She looked back doubtfully. Fat man gave a serious look at Henry as if he was waiting for a reply. “It was…er..well…all right before” said Henry. The fat man didn’t respond to that. He was about to walk back to his car.

Maria was very alert. She started noticing the fat man very closely. Henry ran behind him and blocked his way to give a more serious look. Sweat was dropping from his forehead. The fat man said he could help him tow their car to the nearest repair centre. Maria was doubtful, and she told him that she smell something wrong somewhere. She asked Henry if they could wait for another car.

The fat man’s pickup pulled their vehicle off-road in a different direction. Maria was smoking another cigarette while she was taking a note of the place. The sight of no-one and no buildings were worrying her, and it showed on her face. 20 minutes later their car was in the middle of the dessert. The pickup stopped, and the old man got out of his vehicle, and he went to the front door. Maria could see an old warehouse in front of them. The fat man who has gone to the backside of the store is now back and walking towards their car. The warehouse is locked, and the owner has gone somewhere, informed the fat guy, as he removed his cap and put that over their car bonnet. Henry moved out of the car and hammered the bonnet in anger. The cap fell as both the men bend down to pick it up. Maria saw something hidden beneath the fat man’s jeans. It looked like a gun. She was shocked when she realised that the guy was carrying a gun, her face started to turn pale.  Maria and the fat man caught eyes together. She refused to look away and gave him an extended look like she saw something. He was a very suspicious and dangerously looking man.

Maria read his freckled forehead, thick eyebrows and heavy palms. She got out of the car and walked to Henry who was also near the pickup. Fat man moved to them before she could say anything to Henry. “Do you want me to help check the dumb in the backside? You never know, you could find a belt.” They both moved to the backyard, before that the fat man went to his pickup and kept something from his back inside the car. Maria quite noticed it. As Maria lost their sight, her curious mind couldn’t resist. She moved closer to the pickup. It was an old and dirty van. She saw an iron eroded cross serpent key chain. She bent down to see a dirty comb, some nuts and a screwdriver on the dashboard. And then she notices the dashboard on the other side of the vehicle, where the fat man might have kept his gun. She looked either side and made sure neither the fat man nor anyone is there. She went to the other side of the pickup and opened the dashbox. There were only two old photographs inside the box. There wasn’t any gun. Her face showed that she was sure that it wasn’t a delusion. She scanned through the photographs. One photo had a girl, while another photo had two girls in it. In the photographs, she noticed some red dots. She knew what they were even before she put them close to her nose. Her pupils dilated, her forehead shrank, her lips were shivering. It was blood. The smell of cold blood. She was dead shocked when a heavy palm fell over her shoulder. It was the fat man. He was too tall than she expected. He had a skull tattoo on his hand. With a thick voice, he asked, “what are you doing madam?”. She was terrified and put the photos back. She asked him about Henry. The fat man explained that he has gone to a nearby tap to collect water. She went back to their car and closed the door, and made sure it was locked and all the windows were up. She was looking at the fat man, scared, and now sweat was running down her forehead. She saw the old man looking at the photographs sitting on the pillion seat. He was scanning through the photographs and as she did, he smelled them and looked at her. He stared her for 10 seconds, but she couldn’t keep the eye contact like before. Then he got out the car, closed the door hard behind him and moved towards her. She was growing fearful. As he was closing, she could hear her heart bit. She looked all around the car for something- maybe weapons that she could use. She looked at the long pointy heels she was wearing. He knocked on the windows, knocked harder until she rolled down a little bit. Open the bonnet he said. Her heart beat went a little closer to normal. He moved towards the bonnet and drawing a screwdriver from his back he took out the propeller.

She kept looking him with fear, and he kept glaring her back as he was cleaning the fan with an old cloth. He took the fan to his pickup and walked back towards her car. She was getting anxious again. This time he knocked harder on the windows. At once she opened it, but a little less this time. He moved his face closer to the window’s opening and asked in a very serious tone “Why did you take it?”. She gave him very vague look and asked where is Henry in a shaky voice. He didn’t notice that and kept his face in a manner as he was expecting a reply. He asked her again. He said, “I want it back”. She kept looking him troubled. He grew restless and tried to open the door. It was locked. She got very panicked and start searching the chaos in the back seat until she found her phone. She began dialling Henry when the fat man lost his patience. He put his hands in the small window opening and tried to pull it down. Seeing that, she freaked out and rolled up the window. His hands got jammed in between, but she didn’t stop. It started bleeding as he cried out loud and pulled his hands back. “Ugly bitch,” said the fat man as he took the screwdriver from his back and then started hitting the window using it. She took her phone and dialled 911. Her hands were so shivering that it took some time for her to do that. Before the call could connect, he smashed the window open as the screwdriver fell inside. She dropped the phone as he took her hands tightly. With his other hand, he tried to open the door. Before he could do it, Maria picked up and struck the screwdriver hard into his neck. Blood splashed all over her face. The fat guy looked like he didn’t expect that. His hands on her loosen as he fell . Maria was zoned. Her face had signs of realisation and guilt. But she managed to be normal. A tear rolled down her cheek.

Ten minutes later, Henry arrived. He walked puzzled towards the car, but once as he got the visual of the man lying down covered in blood, He fell on his knees and cried aloud, “Not again”. He knew that it had happened again. Police arrived the scene and questioned Henry. He explained that she was in a mental asylum for a short while since she had this mental instability of exaggerating things a lot sometimes.  Maria was in handcuffs and was inside a police van accompanied by three or four police officers. She gave a pained smile as the door closed before Henry. He watched them driving away in the direction where their car got broke down. He moved slowly to his car and got inside. He notices something strange in the dashboard. He took it in his hand; it was the picture of a girl. But no blood on it.

My Favourite Adobe Premier Shortcuts

I’m a great fan of adobe’s keyboard shortcuts. I had memorised most of the keyboard shortcuts when I was working in the post-production studio. Learning shortcuts is an energy saver which can speed up our work considerably. Certain shortcuts are easy to remember because the first letter of the tool matches the task name, namely Peen Tool [P], Mark In [I], Mark Out [O].  In Premier Pro we can copy customised shortcuts from one computer to another computer, or to another location on our computer.

The are many keyboard shortcuts one can utilise in Adobe Premiere Pro, but I would like to discuss those we will be using on a more consistent basis as we edit a movie. If it’s on Mac: CTRL = COMMAND and ALT = OPTION.

  1. Selection Tool: [V]
  2. Razor Tool: [C]
  3. Slide Tool: [U]
  4. Slip Tool: [Y]
  5. Track Selection Tool: [M]
  6. Ripple Edit Tool: [B]
  7. Rate Stretch tool: [X]
  8. Add Edit: (SHIFT) + CTRL+[A]
  9. Mark In/ Out: [I] / [O]
  10. Default Transition: CTRL + [D]
  11. Mark Clip: [X]
  12. Link / Unlink: CTRL + [L]
  13. Pen Tool: [P]
  14. Unselect All: CTRL + SHIFT + A
  15. Navigation: (SHIFT) + LEFT / RIGHT / UP / DOWN
  16. Hand Tool: H
  17. Export Media: CTRL + M
  18. Rolling Edit Tool: [N]
  19. Insert to Timeline: [,]
  20. Grouping Tool: CTRL + [G]

I would like to discuss my favourite tools:

Selection Tool: [V]

Selection Tool is the default tool in Adobe Premier and the most used. It is used to select clips in the timeline

Ripple Edit Tool: [B]

This tool is used to adjust an end point and move the other clip in the timeline to compensate.

Rolling Tool: [N]

Rolling Tool is my favourite tool in adobe premier which is used to adjust an end point between two clips. Changing this end points won’t affect rest of the timeline or other clips.

Grouping Clips :[CTRL] + [G]

For using this tool firstly we should select all the clips to be grouped and then press CTRL + G. When we click a clip in the created group, they all turn grey, i.e., gets selected. Grouping helps in moving multiple clips as a whole. After grouping, if we click on the end of a clip, it trims that clip and clicking on edge trim the group.

Razor Tool: [C]

Using Razor Tool, a clip can be divided into two pieces, i.e., unwanted part of the clip can be removed easily.

Add Default Transition: [SHIFT] + [D]

By this tool, default transition effect can be added to the selected clips. Transition effects sink two shots correctly and blend nicely.

Add Edit: CTRL + K

Add Edit is similar to Razor Tool, but it cuts only targeted clips. Add edit can be viewed in a sequence by clicking the wrench icon and choose “Show Through Edits”.

Track Selection Tool: [M]

With Selection Tool all clips on a track from a specified point can be selected, or even select multiple tracks.

Film Making: The Key Process

Filmmaking takes place in many places throughout the world in a range of social, political and economic contexts, and using a variety of filmic techniques and technologies. Typically, it involves a huge number of crew members and can take a few months to several months or years to complete. I have experience working as an associate director in two feature films in India.

I wish to discuss the development stage first; It is a vague, amorphous, and painful period in which the movie’s conception takes form, and the fundamental elements get sorted. Development mainly consists of the building of the story, treatment, script, plot points and structure. In the initial development phase the main plot is developed, here the screenwriter has a personal style of developing a story. However, anyone who takes the three-act structure will determine the plot’s  structure as a matter of significance. During development, the screenwriter decides the boundaries between the three acts, also the inciting incidents, conflicts and the midpoint of the second act. After developing the basic story, for most screenwriters, the next step involves writing a scene by scene outline of the full movie. Most of them use an index card for each scene to arrange and re-arrange the scene.

Next, I would like to discuss the Location. Finding appropriate place would be a real pain. From my experience, the best way to get a good deal on places is to contact an honest film location agent and explains the situation. Depending on the movie budget, location scouts, as like casting directors are worth every denomination if one can afford them. They do exactly what their name proposes; they go with our specifications and cast candidates for our location, and in any case, they already have wide-ranging libraries of location.

The Ultimate Goal

My ultimate goal is to explore unexplored territories in the field of Video Production and Print Media. I am very much passionate about editing and compositing in movies, and I’m involved with it since 2013. I love what I do and always looking for exciting opportunities with anyone around the world where I can gain knowledge and experience from professionals and mentors. My specialities are Video Editing, Digital Compositing, Direction, Photography and Lighting. My career objective is to gain media experience where creative initiative, ideas and a genuine enthusiasm would allow me to progress my abilities, skills and knowledge. institution. I believe that RMIT University offers the needed flexibility for a fast and vast field.

The media industry has undoubtedly changed our lives for the better. In just a relatively short period, it has already significantly changed the way we looked at certain things. It is also an industry which can change what is ahead of us, shaping our future that will soon come. For this reason, my desire to pursue this field as my primary stems from the desire to move with the future. I believe that a Master’s Degree in Media from RMIT University will give me with the theoretical knowledge and, as well as an in-depth idea involved in practical approaches in doing research skills. I’m a stranger to the style of Australian education, so during this first semester I should work hard and master it. Language is another task I should be working.

My immediate goal is to attain a demanding, rigorous and rewarding post within this media professions. I know that I still have a lot of things to learn, and I am very much willing to explore the horizons, making myself very useful in this media industry.

How do I write reflectively?

I spent a great deal of my time thinking about stories and scripts in my life. When I reflect on a story first, I start with building a character and make a story based on character. Initially, during my bachelor’s degree, I use to think of a story and add characters and incidents to it. Later when I worked under a director, he asked me to build a character and then brainstorm to make sub characters and conflicts that the character could face.

After reading reflective reading, I realised that what he asked me to do was a similar idea. I use to think about what people have said, and I always try to include it in my stories. Most my character’s characteristics are same as my real world friends or colleagues. I would say, reflection is a personal response to new ideas, information, situation, or experiences. It is a phase of processing where learning and thinking would take place. In my opinion, there is no particular style or format of reflective thinking; there are only questions to be explored and answered. Studying other people is an opportunity to gain self-knowledge, and also a way to achieve clarity and a better understanding of what we are learning.

I would like to discuss the strategies for enhancing learning from surrounding experience. We should also think about the different perspectives on what we read or experience, i.e., alternative interpretations I would like to call. We should be able to answer few questions like, why it is inspiring, confusing, challenging or exciting. We should be able to explore what comes next after thoughts and actions. Later at the end, we should think about, how we solved the problem, reached a conclusion and attained the point of understanding.

Melbourne Noir: Shelter in the shadows

YouTube Link:

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Earlier I have done five short films in black and white tone, however here the challenge was bit different because the challenge was to narrate a story with four images and two videos. Film noir go beyond genre to have an objective reality as a body of movie described by their predicted change of mood and scepticism. Noir is my favourite theme because it should have a stark, high contrast, sharp visuals, and angular shadows. My aim was to introduce a rustic feel to the modern city Melbourne. The main characteristic of my story was the interaction between the photographer and light. When I was thinking about the narrative theme ambiguity and violent death came to my mind.

The biggest problem I faced during the shoot was the lack of sufficient light and unwanted noise in the image. Adequate lighting can bring vibrant and high contrast black shadows to the frame. It is the constant opposition of areas of light and dark that characterises film noir cinematography, stated by Janey Place and Lowell Peterson. As I shot the video with the Mobile phone, the depth of field doesn’t play a significant role in the photos and videos. One of my classmate, Christina Stenseth’s issue, was with the lighting. Most of the scenes shot at night with subtle lighting and with shadows. Street lights are the only source of light and the main action set in the dark street. The characters and the location often give sufficient lighting emphasis. The antagonist hid in the realistic tableau of the city at night, and most of the time his face is blacked out by shadow as he follows. Due to insufficient lighting, the arrangement of space inside the frame was irregular, because of that establishing long shot and the personalised shots were tough.

The Oscar winner Janusz Kaminski, for the film Schindler’s List, he faced a similar lighting issue, and the film was his first feature film directed by Steven Spielberg. Kaminski shot most of the movies in the black and white emulsion; he uses light as symbolism, and it represents quickly. He is a lover of soft lighting and seen throughout the movie. With the help of natural light, he tries to get a soft diffused look, and he ended up in getting a highlight blooming. Detailed study of Kaminski’s lighting style, helped me to realise the mistakes I have made during the framing process. Using natural light and street lights is a better way to get a soft and contrasting look for the objects in the frame.

References:

1. Naremore, James. More than any Night: Film Noir in its Contexts. Berkley and Los Angeles. University of California Press,  1998.

2. J. Walker, Sheldon. “Schindler’s List (1993) – DP: Janusz Kaminski”. Sheldon J. Walker | Cinematographer. N.p., 2017. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

3. Tsutsumi, Cindy. “Film Noir | Film Noir: Characteristics.” Cindytsutsumi.com, 2017. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.

4. Christopher, Nicholas. Somewhere in the Night: Film Noir and the American City. New York: The Free Press, Division of Simon & Schuster, 1997

WE ARE ALWAYS TRACKED

I recently became aware of the extent online media can get into our personal interest and identities. When a person creates a page or an account on social media, he or she has to put their personal information into the platform. These details are then set as our online identity. This profile details will be tracked by the web services and used to target us with various contents, which will interest us.

For example, when we post or browse about our favourite football club and later when we browse, the ads or news regarding the football club will be displayed in the advertisement column, this is because the web services maintain our browsing history and the user profile. Thus, comes the partial identity which is said as the secondary characteristics of the main character. For example, when we plan to buy a gadget online we may browse and add it to shopping site’s wish list or cart, and this data will be your partial identity.

The Identifier is a code that identifies a person or an object uniquely. The identifiers may include the MAC address of our computer’s network adapter, E-mail, Mobile number and even the location through GPS. The rate of information gets increased based on our online browsing pattern. For instance, a search you conducted for “discount shoes” or a list of websites visited. Your profile may also be based on inference data. For example, a service provider has a certain number of data points; they will use those as the basis to infer other things about you

An advertiser can track a user’s movements between Web sites because the first banner advertisement presented can set a cookie containing a unique identifier. Whenever we are browsing online the online web services drop a specific code into our system which we used to navigate, this system includes the data about the browsing and its pattern. This system is utilised by the sites to target us in later browsing. When we enter into a site, and suddenly we find an advertisement based on our previous day’s browse data. For instance, we checked the price of an apple laptop online, and on the next day, we would be able to find advertisements about the suggested laptops with low price, this is done by the web services by dropping the cookies inside our system. For example, Ebay.com sets a cookie to identify users when they log in; this allows users to download content from Ebay.com without having to re-enter a password.

I can conclude that we are always tracked one way or the other, even our present location is monitored by an unknown person on the other side.

References

  1. Wood, Andrew F, and Matthew J Smith. “Online Communication”. Google Books. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  2. Shull, Mark, William Bohlman, and Elisa Cooper. “Patent US20060230039 – Online Identity Tracking”. Google Books. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.