Story of Film – Episode 1 – Birth of The Cinema

Canonet with gordy's camera strap
“Canonet with gordy’s camera strap” by FXTC is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


The following material is from Wikipedia.

Episode 1 – Birth of the Cinema


  • Saving Private Ryan (1998) dir. Steven Spielberg
    • Sound (effects) cut in and out with the movement of the first primary camera,
    • These sound effects are unique and varying – there are many.
    • The color scheme is strictly dull; blues, grays, browns, greens, a few whites.
  • Three Colors: Blue (1993) dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski
    • Whistling flute in background
    • The woman “feeling the warmth on her face” – is perhaps thought to be dreaming.
    • White bursts of light as transitions.
  • Casablanca (1942) dir. Michael Curtiz
    • Black and white
    • Eyes of the characters are drawn out
    • The first “vibe” drawn out by the piano-man is cut off.
    • Romantics are emphasized.
  • The Record of a Tenement Gentleman (1947) dir. Yasujirō Ozu
    • Black and white
    • “The real classical movies.”
    • Many still images, some movement , but very little.
    • Camera shots filled with squares/rectangular images.
    • “Emotionally restrained.”
    • The first focus is places on inanimate objects, then shifted to the humans who seem secondary.
  • Odd Man Out (1947) dir. Carol Reed
    • Black and white.
    • Bubbles into ideas. This movie Odd Man Out will be the source of bubble-action seen in later movies.
  • Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967) dir. Jean-Luc Godard
    • Focus on moving bubbles.
  • Taxi Driver (1976) dir. Martin Scorsese
    • Muted, fizzy bubbles.
    • Bubbles portrayed here as part of the infinite cosmos – are bubbles offering solace and ideas here?
  • The French Connection (1971) dir. William Friedkin
  • Incredibly quick filming in the first shot.
  • Lots of action, of first-hand excitement and stress.
  • The setting: Daakar, Senegal – as exciting as “Los Angeles in the 70’s.”

1895-1918: The World Discovers a New Art Form or Birth of the Cinema

1903-1918: The Thrill Becomes Story or The Hollywood Dream

  • Life of an American Fireman (1903) dir. Edwin S. Porter
    • Music is lovely
    • Shaky pan/filming, impressive storyline for that time.
    • Sets precedence for Cuts (editing equivalent of the literary word “then”).
  • Sherlock Jr. (1924) dir. Buster Keaton
    • Fascinating storyline, fascinating cuts
    • Would’ve been astronomically magical back then – I imagine.
  • The Horse that Bolted (1907) dir. Charles Pathé
    • Again, cuts used with the purpose of providing multiple stories.
    • “Parallel editing.” – to mean “meanwhile.”
  • The Assassination of the Duke of Guise (a.k.a. The Assassination of the Duc de Guise) (1908) dir. Charles le Bargy and André Calmettes
    • So much drastic movement
    • Fast-paces
  • Vivre sa vie (1962) dir. Jean-Luc Godard
    • Lovely clarity
    • More curiosity than absence of.
  • Those Awful Hats (1909) dir. D. W. Griffith
    • Trembling set
  • The Mended Lute (1909) dir. D. W. Griffith
    • Bright whites
    • Tone of anxiety
  • The Abyss (1910) dir. Urban Gad
    • “Less Censorship.”
  • Stage Struck (1925) dir. Allan Dwan
    • Luxury, outrage, “sublime”
  • The Mysterious X (1914) dir. Benjamin Christensen
    • Blaring white light
    • Strange drawings of a dream – “Daring debut”
  • Häxan (1922) dir. Benjamin Christensen
    • Terrifying
    • Color scheme induces further terror
  • Ingeborg Holm (1913) dir. Victor Sjöström
    • Tone quickly changes: from “naturalism” to worry
  • The Phantom Carriage (1921) dir. Victor Sjöström
    • Interesting blue light/tone
    • Fascinating shadows
    • Effects used well
  • Shanghai Express (1932) dir. Josef von Sternberg
    • Intriguing shadowing, lots of crossing/lattices
  • The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) dir. Charles Tait
    • Horses and riders facing camera, though looking distracted with one another
  • The Squaw Man (1914) dir. Oscar Apfel and Cecil B. DeMille
    • Lovely setting, lovely wardrobe
    • Eyes matching across the cut creates connection between the two involved characters.
    • In a later part, the “rule” with the 180 degree line was broken and created a disconnected section of film.
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980) dir. Irvin Kershner
    • Shiny-ness is striking (of Vader’s helmet)
  • Falling Leaves (1912) dir. Alice Guy-Blaché
    • One of the first arced stories (directed by a woman)
    • tragic underlying meaning/story
    • Innocent character/child
  • Suspense (1913) dir. Phillips Smalley and Lois Weber
    • Amazing patterns in background
    • Sideways point of view shot “remarkable”
    • Interesting triangle split screen
    • Suspense created could’ve been heightened with a more realistic approach, but is still well brought forward.
    • Of course the intruder is a brown man omg.
  • The Wind (1928) dir. Victor Sjöström
    • Different, terrifying
    • Expressive, pointed storyline
  • Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest (1908) dir. J. Searle Dawley
    • Lovely painted skyline – gorgeous clouds; overall a magical setting
  • The House with Closed Shutters (1910) dir. D. W. Griffith
    • As Cousins says, “Stagey.”
    • Interesting acting
  • Way Down East (1920) dir. D. W. Griffith
    • Pretty, soft close-up: “delicacy.”
    • “Roland Barthes, said that some images have unplanned, natural details in them, that move us. Bart called this -Punctum. The thing that pricks our feelings.”
    • Dramatic drifting ice scene.
  • Orphans of the Storm (1921) dir. D. W. Griffith
    • “Visual softness and backlighting” – gave a halo to the actors’ hair, helped objects to stand out.
    • Browns, and whites
  • The Birth of a Nation (1915) dir. D. W. Griffith
    • Dramatic, almost rushed.
    • Smoke smoke smoke.
    • Pretty setting, though filmed near LA
    • I didn’t even notice the man’s mother that he was embracing – she completely dissolved into him.
    • The racism proved dangerous as represented in film.
  • Rebirth of a Nation (2007) dir. DJ Spooky
    • “Played with the toxic scenes of Birth of a Nation – almost as if he was scribbling on them.”
    • Strange shapes/geometry on screen
  • Cabiria (1914) dir. Giovanni Pastrone
    • Spooky (director of previous movie) was stunned, particularly by the moving Dolly shots.
    • “Using elephants to express scale.”
  • Intolerance (1916) dir. D. W. Griffith
    • So many moving characters/aspects
    • Brown and blue hues – “violent scenes tinted blue.”
    • Intercuts: “He [Griffith] took storyline so far, then jumped to storyline B, advanced [it], then went back again to A, and picked up where he’d left off.”
    • These cuts between time periods was not saying “then”, or “meanwhile.” It was saying; “look, these very different events from different eras all show the same human trait; Intolerance, or the failure of love.”
    • These cuts place a deeper meaning on the sequence of the cuts.
    • The film was filmed with a dolly on a crane for some shots, even with a balloon to get high enough – up into the wind. Impressive, for film had only been 20 years old.
  • Souls on the Road (a.k.a. Rojo No Reikan) (1921) dir. Minoru Murata
    • Two storylines uniting – parallel editing
    • “The first great Japanese film.”

Film – Week 11 – Updating Workflow – Mind Like Water

“‘Be shapeless and formless.. like water’ (Bruce Lee)” by is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

“Have a mind like water.”

― David Allen,  GTD


  • I enjoyed watching the first episode of “The Story of Film,” and am excited to watch the rest of it. Additionally, I loved the way that Sneakonthelot formatted their Film Production lesson; it was engaging and helped me understand the task at hand.


Screenshot from
Screenshot from
  • Overview complete
  • Development almost complete
  • Pre-production complete


Screenshot from The Story of Film Trailer on NetworkReleasing YouTube channel
  • Blog can be found here:


Image from
  • I structure my school day mornings relatively well; I wake up, eat breakfast, read, (honestly, spend too much time on screens in the morning), get my morning exercise in (3m run or walk), and prepare for school.
  • However, there could be improvement in the actual structural system that I have for my actual school/class time. I have been finding it increasingly difficult to stay 100% engaged during class, and though I don’t like having zoom for an hour and a half, I’ve noticed (in my English class mostly), that it can be helpful for the zoom to remain open but not attention-needing. This way I am held more accountable for my class time and am less likely to cease working. However, as long as I know my teacher is available for question answering via email, I can mostly remain on track.
  • I also enjoyed a quote that was from you during our Thursday zoom – which I believe – as I keep it easily viewable in front of my desk – will help me stay motivated during the allotted class time even if I am not in a zoom class. It was something along the lines of: “People of quality submit their attentions and efforts – 100% – to whatever activity they are engaging in.” (I believe you were paying a compliment to M. Cousins) Because I would like to be a person of quality, I am going to direct my efforts towards doing exactly this.
  • Side not: Coincidentally, my soccer team has recently gone over intention and how each action should be deliberate if we want to succeed and improve – Intention has become one of our centralized core values – interesting how that connects with my schoolwork.
  • Thank you Mr. Le Duc, for your words of wisdom 🙂
  • I would like to point out that my timer just went off, and this is one of the first times that I have finished all the intended work exactly on time – yay!


  • What I learned:
  • I learned I should prioritize the sneakonthelot work first, because there can be hidden snags and obstructions that can prevent my progress that I need to be aware of further ahead of time. This week I worked on “The Story of Film.” notes first, but should’ve started with sneakonthelot.
  • Problems I solved:
  • One main problem I have at least begun to solve is that of my distracting phone. I have had my sister create a screen-time password that only she knows and can use, and I have set a total time limit for my most distracting apps of 25 minutes per day. I also have a “down time” set; I cannot use my phone until 8:30 am (I am going to have to change this to 8:00 because I run at 8:00 nearly every morning and use music), and cannot use it past 7:00 pm at night.
  • This has already helped my productivity monumentally.

Film – Week 10 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 2

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Teens are overwhelmed, partly because they don’t yet have the skills to manage the unprecedented amount of stuff that enters their brains each day.  – from

“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

― David Allen, (GTD) Getting Things Done for Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World


  • I effectively completed the blog post, and am now leaving with excitement directed towards the future creation of my new GTD system.


Screenshot from
Screenshot from
  • Both of these are finished 🙂


Screenshot from Animated Book Summary And Review at YouTube

You are going to learn to develop your own version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) process in this ‘room.’

  • The first few minutes of the GTD Ted Talk by David Allen weren’t too compelling, but after about halfway through the video I began to fully process and understand many of the points Allen was making. The combination of the other resources has led me to an exciting conclusion, and a new way I am going to begin organizing my ideas, actions, etc. (I’m assuming this was exactly the point, the culmination of all the GTD work we’ve been doing, so YAY). Essentially I’m going to construct a physical Trello board, but one adjusted for my brain. I’m going to have paper ‘pockets’ mounted on the wall, each labelled to fit their description; Inbox, Next actions, Quick actions, Projects, Timed agenda, and Completed. Hopefully this will allow my brain to get out all of the excess information and focus on only producing ideas, not continually harboring them. I’m excited!
  • Note: I loved when Allen talked about time, and how when people say their issue is that they “don’t have enough time”, they are in a way lying to themselves – for even if they did have time, without an effective GTD system in place, an entire extra 2 hours could be easily wasted, whereas 2 minutes spent with an effective GTD system in place could quickly alleviate stress and yield results. I found it funny that myself and so many others act as if time is the true criminal (perhaps for a few it may be), when in reality the criminal is ourselves and our silly unwillingness to prioritize systems over stress.


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot from Animated Book Summary And Review at YouTube

Two GTD Maps: Basic and Detailed

  1. Detailed map by guccio@文房具社 icensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
  2. Basic map from embedded below

GTD-based Trusted System

Image from
  • The examined and chosen method of GTD of mine is paper and pencil. I’ve always been a kinesthetic learner, and I believe that capturing my ideas in a way that doesn’t involve a screen will benefit my mind best.



Image from
Image from
  • I walk a lot, and I realize I have been terribly missing out by not bringing a (small) notebook and a pencil with me on my walks. When I think about it, I realize that there are many times during my walks where I will have the same thought more than once – something that Allen explicitly advised his listeners to avoid. So from now on, I will ditch my phone and bring only paper and a writing utensil.
  • Getting Things Done for Teens: Take Control of Your Life in a Distracting World by David Allen


  • The GTD steps written (for my own reminder and referral):

  • Decide the ACTIONS and OUTCOMES embedded in them
    1. Get yourself a MAP OF ALL THAT so you can step back and take a look at it.
    2. And then, basically, you USE THE MAP TO DECIDE, “OK, here’s the course that we’re going to go on.”
    3. You then LAUNCH the ‘ship’ on a trusted course in the short term, as well as on the long horizon that you’re moving on.
    4. And then, on a regular basis, you need to REASSESS, “OK, we need to take in NEW DATA, CLEANUP, RECALIBRATE, and REFOCUS for the next leg of the journey.”
  • ‘Capture’ all the ACTION ITEMS you can in your GTD Trusted System


  • I have successfully determined a new GTD system of mine that I will be implementing shortly after finishing and updating this blog post. I am extremely excited because I love making paper organization boxes/pockets. I still have yet to learn why that excites me so.
  • I successfully finished this blog – I think Saturdays will be my determined Blog Post days from now on. I will have my posts done by Saturday night – and I haven’t made this decision to deliberately undermine (by one day) Mr. Le Duc’s goal due date, but I have made it to help myself organize my time (upon writing the word time I just remembered something I wanted to note in the Classroom ‘room’) and to better divide my mind between classes. As I understand the learning is happening either way (most likely it will be happening even more effectively and efficiently if it is taking place on a Saturday rather than a Friday, for I will feel less rushed and more focused and relaxed), I believe no one will be harmed by this one-day extension. And of course if there is an important goal that MUST be met on Friday, then I will make sure to prioritize whatever that may be.

Film – Week 8 – Screenwriting

FOUND IN CAFE: Screenplay, slightly used

“You can’t fix a bad script after you start shooting. The problems on the page only get bigger as they move to the big screen.” – Howard Hawks


  • Weekly summary: My post was turned in late – but this will hopefully be the last time that happens. I AM EXHAUSTED.



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  • Complete the Sneak on the Basic Filmmaking activity
  • This activity easily took over 60 minutes, and was relatively draining. It was not as enjoyable as the previous sneakonthelot activity, and though I learned good information, I didn’t feel completely engaged.


  • Things that act as sources of tension in my life:
  • Timers
  • Lack of time
  • Time
  • Familial conflict
  • Covid-19
  • Current politics
  • My pets
  • Soccer games
  • The need to do daily tasks


  • One-sentence scenarios for a 3-5 minute short film:

  • I frantically search for my dogs as they run away (and taunt me).
  • Timers haunt me as I fail to finish assignments and homework
  • The opposing soccer team prevents my team from scoring.
  • Covid-19 numbers in Thurston county rise and restrict my soccer team’s performance abilities.
  • I attempt to force my eyes to function as they slowly shrivel up due to excess screen time.
  • Tensions between stuffed animals rise to all time highs and I have to severely moderate them.
  • I patiently wait for time to pass so that I can be an old lady.
  • I imagine my friends’ demise while they refuse to respond to my electronic communications.


  • How do we build a great story structure?

  • I liked the video. I will certainly refer back to the video when making films later, and I now have a better understanding of the usual and audience-capturing structure of a story.


  • I finished this blog post in the course of a week and a half (overdue) – and I believe I have now learned a few different ways to effectively finish my blog posts.
  • I need to start my weekly film assignments by doing a quick scan or overview – looking at each of the things I need to do (for the specific blog post), writing a list, and then prioritizing them.
  • I’m going to try to aim for one hour of film each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This should allow me to completely finish my film assignments in a timely manner, and should help dissolve some of my lingering stress.
  • I have learned that Youtube is an incredibly distracting black hole that I can easily trip and fall into. I need to stay away from its evil clutches (unless I am watching something educational or uplifting).

Week 9 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 1

  • TITLE THIS BLOG POST: Week 9 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 1
Clocks for Den
“Clocks for Den” by robstephaustralia is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Day 092/366 – To Do List” by Great Beyond is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Your toughest work is defining what your work is! –  Peter Drucker


  • Write your weekly summary here, last, at the end of the week…
    • Only one to two sentences of WHAT YOU DID


  • In this ‘room’ you are going to take a survey that will help us next week
  • Spend up to 3 minutes…
  • …filling in the Getting Things Done Survey


Image of David Allen at TED Talk
Screenshot from David Allen TED Talk

In this ‘room’ you are going to try Getting Things Done (GTD).


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
  • Intention: Write list (semi-detailed) of work to do
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • As of : 11/2/20
  • Algebra 2:
  • 7.10 GO
  • 7.11 GO
  • Quadratics worksheet
  • Factoring Worksheet
  • 7.6 homework check
  • IB Film:
  • Finish last week’s blog post
  • Finish this blog
  • IB Spanish 3:
  • Zoom(s)
  • El Dia de los muertos fill-in homework
  • IB HOTA:
  • Historian A,B,C homework
  • Physics:
  • Finish last week’s notebook.
  • Take last week’s quiz
  • Finish this week’s notebook
  • Take this week’s quiz
  • 11th Language Arts:
  • Get started on/finish poetry assignment.


Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
Screenshot of David Allen TED Talk
  • Intention: Write prioritized list
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • 1) Finish last week’s Film blog post
  • 2) Finish last week’s Physics: Notebook and Quiz
  • 3) Work on/Finish Language Arts Poetry assignment
  • 4) Algebra: Homework check
  • 5) Algebra: All other math work.

  1. Set a timer for your first task
    1. Decide how long you think it will take before you start
  2. Start working
  3. Repeat this process for 45 minutes for as many tasks as you can complete, then take a 15-minute break
    • Get up and get a drink of water
    • Get up and go for a walk
    • Every 20 minute blink your eyes 20 times while looking at least 20 feet away
      • This is good for your eyes

Start steps 1 through 3 again, repeat for your school day


David Allen image
Oct. 2020 Lucidchart interview with David Allen
Image from FastCompany Magazine,
Image from FastCompany Magazine,
  • Reflect on GTD and getting to the top of the colorful list above for a minute
    • How can the GTD process help you tame the crazy-busy dragon of modern life?
  • Then, go for a 15-minute walk, if it is safe to do so
  • Write a few sentence reflection

OPTIONAL EXERCISE – Literally, read the article and go for another walk 🙂

 Katia Verresen homepage
Katia Verresen,

“I coach C-suite executives and rising stars from the earliest startups to Fortune 100 companies. My passion is to help ambitious leaders achieve their full human potential.”  – Read more about Katia…


  • Write only a few sentences of WHAT YOU LEARNED
  • In one or two sentences, describe a PROBLEM YOU SOLVED


  • Give feedback on this week’s class Content and Process

Posted onNovember 2, 2020CategoriesCreativityProductivityLeave a commenton Week 9 – GTD – Getting Things Done – Part 1

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