YouTube, commercials, television, and movies play a big part in our everyday lives. These forms of media are important for entertainment, advertising/informing, or just making you laugh. Where do they come from, you may ask? They are the result of students, just like our own here at DSHS, learning about cinematography and other movie making techniques.
“Cinematography, is probably the best storytelling technique there is” says BJ Mercer, DSHS’s own cinematography/AV teacher. Nowadays, cinematography is all around us in our media, especially the movies that we watch. There is even a specific cinematographer title.
“It’s the next level of visual and audio skills that have been enhanced to send your message through media,” Mercer says. Being very advanced in the film department isn’t about working the technology, but the product that comes out of it.
Anyone can a make a video, the defining artistic factor that can make a video good is often the cinematography. The cinematography class has had a project testing these skills. Half of the class broke up into groups to produce a video that was missing audio, but effective enough to tell a story. The other half of the class broke up into groups, and were tasked with creating the audio to go on the silent film.
“When you make a movie using techniques of cinematography, you have to write a story, create the characters, and tell the story in a visual way,” Mercer explains.
Sophomore Jaxson Thornton does this through his short films on YouTube. Many adjectives could be used to describe the films, such as funny, quirky, collaborative, and random. The defining traits are originality and creativity. In his newest film, “awkward.”, he uses minimal speech, quirky music, and a great sense of comedic timing that helps tell the story tell it’s…awkward story!
“[Thornton] is a good cinematographer, and can basically take all the film departments and make them into one job,” Mercer says. Thornton has a healthy film reel from the past year and a half of cinematography, all of which can be viewed at Youtube.com/JaxsonThorntonIsh.
Maybe the next time you watch a sketch on YouTube, look for the skills employed in the video such as, elements of camera angles and lighting, and directing. Cinematography is everywhere, even though you aren’t thinking about it.