“Room 237” Documentary
(On 1980′s The Shining)
- Danny’s Impossible Tricycle Ride
“the reason so much in the hotel is inconsistent throughout scenes (the pattern on the rug changing, the posters on the walls, the window that makes no sense, and this tricycle riding scene) is because kubrick is trying to convey that the hotel isnt on the same plane as the physical world without directly stating it. The scenes where things appear normally there are no paranormal phenomena, but the scenes where jack is seemingly mad or possessed or the scenes where the twins or other ghosts appear, there are subtle differences in the appearance of the hotel. These changes not only add an uneasy atmosphere to the scene, but subtly tell the viewer that the physical and paranormal are starting to overlap, without ever blatantly stating it” - YouTuber (sic)
This is my first composite photograph, and this post should give you little insight into my creative thinking and process. Here two completely different images taken in different years are blended together to create a new story.
First in Photoshop simply starting a new project with same dimensions as original two RAW full frame images. Very quickly I layered the Lightning photograph (which was taken at midnight in the summer of 2014) on top and lined the bottom of the strike with the horizon in the new landscape.
Then using a brush set to clear with a feathered radius, flow 50% and opacity 40% brushed out the foreground of the lightning photograph. Gradually (with patience) reducing the flow to produce a seamless blend of both skies.
This left me with the 3rd image which I then saved as a .tif and moved into Lightroom CC. To finish creating one sky, I desaturated the entire sky including the tree which I would later contrast to produce a striking silhouette.
To dramatise the image further I darkened and increased the contrast of both the highest cloud and introduced shadow into the foreground. All using brushes of feather 60%, flow 88% and density 88%.
Final touches to the scene involved adding a feathered vignette with a small midpoint. Removing distracting grass elements and a bench from the foreground and finally using a clarity brush to go over the edges of the major components of the image and give it a final dramatic edge.
I hope you find this informative, and look to do more of these quick editing inspiration posts with more dramatic skies and interesting landscapes.
Find yourself looking at a blank screen a lot lately? It happens to all of us. (I have to write proposals, catalog copy, and pitches too!)
So what do you do when you’re stuck? Here are some great tips for overcoming the dreaded writer’s block.
Join the club that knows how to defeat those obstacles and has learned to look forward, not back:
1. Acknowledge the feelings and try to get to the root of them: Are you nervous, anxious or unsure about your story? Are you scared that it won’t live up to reader’s expectations? Are you looking at the clock and–knowing you have limited time–watching the hands move around? If you’re truthful about your reservations you can recognize and move past them.
2. Forgive yourself a perfect draft: No one writes a clean first draft. It’s called a “Shitty First Draft” for a reason. Read some Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird is a must!) and learn that perfect doesn’t exist. Especially in art.
3. On a separate piece of paper drill down on your true intentions: What are you truly trying to say? Can you boil it down to an overview? Be clear about your goals and try to sort out a new way to tell that truth.
4. Build a new routine: No one says that the routine that’s worked for you in the past is always going to work. But forcing yourself to work is the only way you’re going to get there. Gillian Flynn, author of GONE GIRL, says: “I could not have written a novel if I hadn’t been a journalist first, because it taught me that there’s no muse that’s going to come down and bestow upon you the mood to write. You just have to do it. I’m definitely not precious.”
5. Embrace free writing or stream of consciousness: Give yourself permission to get off track, with the purpose of it getting you back on track. Learn about free writing and let your mind wander where ever it wants to go. Reignite your imagination. Write about dreams, memories or ramble off a stream of consciousness.
6. Set deadlines to get work to your agent, critique partner or writing group: Internal deadlines can work for some people, because we don’t want to let others down.
7. Write something, anything: Like free writing, Maya Angelou says: “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.’ And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.’”
8. Solve the problem in your story: Go back and see what you’re hung up on. Do you not believe yourself? Then re-write that section again until you’re happy with it and can move on.
9. Butt in chair: Many successful writers (with deadlines) believe the only way to get things done is to tell yourself that you’re going to do it. Barbara Kingsolver says: “I learned to produce whether I wanted to or not. It would be easy to say oh, I have writer’s block, oh, I have to wait for my muse. I don’t. Chain that muse to your desk and get the job done.”
10. If forcing yourself to sit at your desk doesn’t work, then take a creative break: A creative break is one where you go do something else, but keep your mind open and give ideas space. Instead of watching a movie or TV, meditate or take a walk. Don’t fill your head with someone else’s words, fill your head with your own and let the words come to through the open window of this “creative break” opportunity.
Heya guys! Do you remember that Kagehina manipulation AMV I was working on? Well, this is what I made so far. It took me ages to do this and tbh I kinda put the project aside. I made this long ago and didn’t want to show it until I had the full project but now I decided to share it bc I am not sure if I will ever finish this. Manipulations take so much time and effort :/ Anyway tell me what you think? I still have to fix some of the masks though, gomen.
Hi! So I know someone just recently asked something along similar lines but I'm nearing the end of the first draft of my first fantasy novel. I'm very excited but nervous about the editing process. I'm worried that I won't be very good at "killing my darlings" especially when it comes to scenes/ideas I've started to grow attached to. Do you have any advice for the process as a whole?
As someone whose least favorite part of writing aside from cranking out the middle of a first draft is the first round of edits, here’s how I cope:
Once you finish your first draft, celebrate. Seriously, that is a major accomplishment and deserves a big pat on the back, a special libation of choice, a couple happy dances, and maybe more. Enjoy and be proud of the fact that you made it through a first draft.
Then, let it sit for a while. Walk away from it completely. Drafts need some time to revel in their completion, and so do you. A completed draft should be a precious item for a bit.
“A bit” can range from a few days to a few months – depending on deadlines, life, other projects, etc. Some projects sit longer than others; the key is to try and give yourself enough time to distance your mind from the joy of having finished something and switch to the practical mindset that a good portion of what you wrote is going to be changed.
Once it’s time to pull that draft out again, there are two reading tactics that tend to work well from an editing perspective.
1) Read your draft out loud. If things sound awkward out loud, they’re going to likely read as awkward. Read your writing as punctuated. You’ll find it easier to use punctuation properly and as you intended when you read aloud.
2) Approach reading your draft not as the creator, but as a reader. It’s a different frame of mind to get into, but try and imagine you’re a reader picking up your book for the first time, knowing nothing about the world, the characters, the story, any of it. Is it engaging? Do you understand what’s going on? Are the characters fully formed people? Are you being told too much, or not enough? Are there any gaps between chapters or time jumps that leave you with questions? All these are things to constantly ask from a readers’ perspective and make notes on while starting to revise your draft.
For myself, I also find it easier for the first round of edits to have the draft printed out rather than editing on screen. Everyone is different, but having the ability to physically cross out sections and make notes engages me a lot more than deleting sections and making comments on a screen. You also tend to catch more mistakes when you’re looking at a draft in a different format than you wrote it. If nothing else, make a copy of the draft for editing and change the font and/or background color.
Once you’ve gone through and marked and notated your edits, it’s time to incorporate them in the draft, as well as work on revisions based on your notes. Sometimes it’s tempting to rewrite or add during editing, but on the first pass it’s usually better to approach like the first draft while writing – just get through it. Take lots of notes, even work on a section if you want to write something to get a break from the editing – but write it in a different document or by hand to insert later, because what you write will be kind of a mini-first-draft of its own.
Think of it like this – drafting is homework time, sitting down in comfy clothes and just getting the work done. Editing is looking at that work like a teacher, assessing its strong and weak points, offering ideas on how it could be more polished and better expressed. Revising is taking those notes from the teacher and incorporating them to rewrite the work as a stronger piece, with both your original ideas and intent and the teacher’s notes. They all engage different methods of thinking but are all aimed at the same goal.
Editing and revising exist to make your story and characters better. Sometimes that means cutting and changing things that you, as a creator, love but as a reader won’t make any difference (or, in some cases, any sense). It’s one part of a very involved process needed to tell the best story possible. Just like writing, it has its pitfalls and rewards, but in the end it’ll only strengthen your work. Approach it with determination, and you can do it.
I cannot get over the editing in Mad Max. Everyone is talking about aspects of plot right now (which obviously, talk away!) but I wish I could see some more ranting about the technical film-making.
That was some of the best editing I’ve seen in a while and it was in an action film, which is not usually the genre I look to for amazing editing.
I wish I had saved a link to the article, but I was just reading about how the director asked his wife to lead the editing, to which she replied that she had never edited an action film. He told her that was the point, because he didn’t want it to feel like every other action film. And mad did he succeed.
The last action film I saw in theaters was Age of Ultron, which of course was a bit of disappointment for a whole list of reasons. Again, most of what’s being talked about it issues with plot/storytelling, which is of course a key element. But Ultron failed so badly in terms of action filmmaking too.
I can’t wait until I can get a hold of quality footage of both movies, because I want to closely compare the two opening scenes. Both used odd, jumpy editing to create a sense of speed, action, and, in UItron’s case, gimmick-y comic book style.
But where Ultron failed so miserably with that (my friend actually leaned over in the movie to ask me if the editing looked weird to me) - where Ultron’s choppy, unrealistic editing actually takes the viewer out of the film long enough to ask, “what is happening here?” the choppy, sped up, unrealistic editing of the opening Mad Max actually heightened the sense of urgency, fear, anxiety and inflicted it upon the viewer - not only drawing the viewer in, but letting the viewer live Max’s emotions.
I could rant more about Ultron’s almost 100% use of CGI vs. Mad Max’s use of as many practical effects as possible, too, but I’ll leave that for after I’ve read up more on them. But it shows. Man, it shows
I expected to be wowed by Mad Max’s refreshingly feminist plot and its tight writing, which I was. But I did not expect to be so blown away by phenomenal film-making on a technical level. Mad Max is an example of what films can be when filmmakers take the time and effort to do things right.
What exactly will an editor do with my story? Like, I can write cool dialogue and plot but I fear I can only do such a good job at really making it read well, pacing, etc. I'm afraid that an editor will just tell me it sucks and is hopeless. Also, will they just do grammar and syntax stuff, or will they help me with plot and, above all, help me make the story fun to read once my manuscript is done? I know it's a really generalized question but I really have no clue about any of this stuff.
In my experience as a freelance editor, it largely depends on two things:
If you’re self-publishing or going through a publishing house,
If you’re self-publishing, what you pay them to do.
If you’re paying a freelance editor, then you can tell them, “Just do copyediting,” which will cover the grammar, syntax, etc. For basic copyediting, a professional editor can set you back USD $15-$50 an hour. If you’re handing over a novel, some may charge you per word, so be aware of that.
A developmental editor does a whole hell of a lot more, and they also cost a whole hell of a lot more. Think of them as a professional writing buddy who can help sort out theme, plot, character development- anything and everything related to your story. A professional developmental editor can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars depending on your project.
If you get picked up by a publishing house, that’s a whole different ballgame. You’ll get access to amazing editors you won’t have to pay, but it comes with a tradeoff. What a freelance editor will tolerate in terms of an author not wanting to change something, a publishing house editor may not be so forgiving.
A good editor should never tell you it sucks and is hopeless. However, their job is to find and help you improve every spots in your story, especially if they’re a developmental editor. Regardless, receiving constructive critiques is part of the writing process. That might mean your dialogue as well. Remember, there’s always room for improvement.