Monday, May 16, 2011

Elements of a Hitchcock Film

NOTE: Unfortunately, my movie will not work as a YouTube link. I am working on a way to attach a link to the blog. My abstract below explains the movie itself.

For my project I created a short movie entitled “Elements of a Hitchcock Film.” In this movie I highlighted five characteristics, each of which is demonstrated in many of Hitchcock’s films. I focused on his use of attractive blondes to play the female leads, his strategic use of staircases, his cameo appearances, the MacGuffin as a device in film, and most importantly Hitchcock’s well-known element of suspense.

The aim of my project was primarily to increase awareness amongst my viewers. Many students, especially in my generation, only know of the main Hitchcock movies such as Psycho. There are many Hitchcock films that are often overlooked by the general public. I also wanted to encourage further exploration of Hitchcock’s works because the various elements Hitchcock employs in his films are more meaningful when analyzed from more than just one film. I hope to inspire deeper thought in the audience. Perhaps symbolism in a certain scene is overlooked, but when I point out that Hitchcock has a habit of using a certain symbol, device, or element, its significance will be more apparent.

Hopefully on some level, watching my movie will inspire questions such as: What does Hitchcock’s use of attractive blonde females say about the culture and the time in which he created these films? How does the use of a MacGuffin affect the viewing experience for the audience? What is Hitchcock trying to do with his cameo appearances? All in all, I wanted to point out some interesting characteristics employed in Hitchcock’s work and cause my audience to notice and think about them.

Hitchcock’s work has stood the test of time. With newer technology, current films are much more dramatic and realistic with special effects. However, audiences still see Hitchcock’s work as meaningful and influential. Throughout this project I was considering this and I hope my audience will spend time thinking about that as well and ask themselves why he is still celebrated and has not been replaced and forgotten.

This project was my first time using the iMovie software. Much of my time on the project was spent learning how to use the program through online tutorials and trial and error. I was able to use a wide variety of tools in my movie. I incorporated film clips, transitions, titles, an interview, and I created a PowerPoint presentation, which I then adapted into a movie. I also learned how to cut music, edit existing clips, create a DVD, and to customize the menu of that DVD.

All of the editing, research, and formatting took hours for every one minute of footage that appears in my final movie project. I also spent a lot of time viewing Hitchcock films, clips, interviews, and reading about his unique directing style in order to determine which I elements to showcase and how best to communicate them to the audience.

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