grid shot

“The big empty” - Some thoughts on symbolism

Many meta thoughts about this episode have already been posted, so I’m going to focus on some aspects whicht haven’t been mentioned before (as far as I know) or I want to contribute to. Enjoy :-)

1. Dean is writing a journal:

Later in the episode, when Mia confronts the Winchesters with their ways of dealing with grief, Dean denies having or writing a journal. But I noticed, that in this early scene he takes notes about the new case in a book, that looks suspiciously like a journal… This can be seen as another parallel to his Dad (there are some of those in this episode), too. Later with Mia, he doesn’t want to admit having a journal, because that would seem unmanly: “Never since I was a little girl” - Dean wants to keep up a certain facade in a situation, in which he feels vulnerable.

Another thing I noticed is the special lighting in this shot: the grid of light and shadow sets up some prison imagery again.

2. Jack and Clone Wars:

I’m a huge Star Wars fan and really adore all the references in Spn! What I liked especially about this scene is Jack’s dislike for Anakin (such a good mirror for himself!) and him liking Ashoka (Jack said the name differently, maybe a copyright issue). Interestingly enough, Ashoka also turns out to have a tendency towards the dark side, due to Anakin being her teacher. That’s an interesting parallel and dynamic for Sam and Jack.

3. Honesty:

After last week’s episode I wondered, how Jack would react to Sam not telling him the entire truth. In this scene, Jack confronted Sam bravely and got an honest answer which set things right again between them. Honesty in regards to Jack’s feelings and path towards the light is and might remain the main focus of this season for Jack.

4. Flowers:

The theme of flowers pops up quite often during this episode. You can see them in a major part of the episode: orchids, chrysanthemums, lillies and (only mentioned by the empty verbally, not visually) tulips. Imo the flowers stand for a new life and resurrection, which are both given to Cass at the end of the episode. So all in all the flowers are linked to Cass. Two scenes stand out to me (as well as the one in the empty, but I have nothing new to add to the already existing brilliant meta there):

First, the neighbour of one of the victims. She’s watering the plants, thereby giving them new life. The colours of her clothing are purple and blue, our recurring colour theme linking Dean and Cass ;-) I know it’s far fetched, but it could be linked to Cass and his love for Dean, which (next to some other things aswell) is literally giving him new life this episode.

It was hard not to notice the lillies in this scene. Lillies stand for mourning, which is true for Sam, Jack and Dean, who are all standing next to the lillies in this scene. I was wondering why the lillies aren’t white, which is the usual colour associated with them, especially at funerals. They’re red, the colour of (romantic) love. So the lillies also stand for the mourning of loved ones, which all three of them have lost.

5. White is purity:

Another thing I found interesting is the use of the colour white in this episode. It’s the lightest of colours, standing for hope and purity. It’s definitely fitting, that Mia’s whole apartment is held in white, so as to give her patients a positive atmosphere. But I also think that the colour white refers to Mia herself. She is a monster, but she came round from being bad to helping people and living a pure and peaceful life.

6. The ties:

The Winchester family has almost the same taste in ties: blue with lighter stripes (Dean in the first picture, Sam in the second and Cass in the third). Imo this could stand for belonging together - for Team Free Will.

7. The five steps of grief:

By now the brothers have mastered some of the different steps of grief and have arrived at acceptance, especially Sam (I really liked that this episode was focused on his grief and gave us some specific insight to his character). When the brothers talk at the end of the episode, they take some steps toward each other, admitting, that each one of them is right to a certain degree. They’re dealing and talking way better than they used to in earlier seasons!

8. The absence of flowers and Cass’s powers:

When Cass awakes back on earth, he’s lying in the middle of a field with thorny blackberries and dried up dead grass. Due to the flower imagery earlier this episode I suspected him to wake up in a flowerfield. But Imo this “dead” and unfriendly field (only concerning the fauna, not the bright sunlight shedding hope on the whole scene) makes even more sense: all the life energy of the flowers is used up, but he who was dead is alive again. As if this energy has shifted, if you know what I mean.

And of course Cass’s outfit is new, aswell. There has also been much speculation about it, but I wanted to add, that I think that he’s back to full angel-power. His trenchcoat is long again, the tie a dark blue, just like when we first met him in that barn in season 4.

All right, that’s it! :-) Please feel free to give feedback and share your own thoughts in the comments. ‘Til next week!  Awesome grid shot from our brother over @spentbrasstraining - for all your #socal training needs go check them out 💯👍
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Friday Thanks

Just Noticed My Tumblr Has More Than 21,700 Followers. In Honor Of All Of You, Here’s A Tribute To The Muscular Hindquarters Of Colt McCoy. A Talented Quarterback Through His Glory Days At Texas And His Career In The NFL Have Showcased Two Wonderful Assets…Those Power Glutes…Always Encased And Strapped Whether In The See-Through Uniform Of The Longhorns Or The Skin-Tight Uniform Of Various NFL Teams!

Sexy As Hell, Baby!

Spectre’s cinematography: meh.

Larktag asks, did Spectre have a different DP than Skyfall? A-yup; cinematographer on Spectre was Hoyte van Hoytema, who did Interstellar and Her, among others. He suggested to director Sam Mendes that they could get a nostalgic, more romantic feel by using 35 mm film, rather than digital equipment like the Arri Alexa DP Roger Deakins used for Skyfall. Unfortunately, I think it turned out less nostalgic than stultified, less romantic than old-fashioned. The bar was high, though; Roger Deakins is one of the most well-regarded cinematographers, and his genius is all over films like The Shawshank Redemption, A Beautiful Mind, Kundun, and all the Coen Bros’ best (O Brother Where Art Thou?, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, etc.). Three things marked Deakins’ style for me in Skyfall: the gorgeous lighting traversing palettes across locations, the quiet or very smoothly moving camera that didn’t sacrifice clarity for action, and the framing that balances movement within each shot without resorting to the heavy-handed center framing that’s becoming all too common in action films.

While the colors were obvious and striking (the deep blue of the skyscraper scenes in Macau, for instance, or the vibrant reds in Shanghai, or the chilly desaturation on the Scottish moors), the lighting was quietly masterful: this was a film about mirroring and self-reflection, Bond seeing himself in others and examining his own psyche, and it used a constant motif of glass and mirrors to get that across. Nothing puts pressure on lighting design like filming so many glass walls: how the fuck did they get so many shots like this without the camera showing up in a reflection?

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How to have a better Instagram feed

If you don’t know what Instagram is then you must not be from around here… and from around here I mean Earth. Kidding… Just trying to make a point how popular Instagram is right now. Basically, Instagram is a lot like twitter. You follow people, you gain followers, you can flood the public timeline with your content but instead of words, you post photos.

“I already have Instagram so stop blabbering” yeah… okay but is your Instagram feed pretty? I know some people really don’t care but having a pretty Instagram feed really makes an impression to people who stalk you (heh) and it’s a nice way of expressing yourself too.

So this post is dedicated to prettifying that feed of yours. I know there are a lot of other “how tos” online but this is based on my personal experience. Also, Please do remember that “better” and “pretty” are very subjective ideas. ;)

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Can we talk about the shot composition here for a minute? I mean just a few details I’ve noticed. I placed a rule of thirds grid over the shot and I love how well it is put together.

Look at how this shot frames the room. Look at how the table/desk in the center column perfectly fits in between the two vertical markers. I also like how if Dean were to sit up straight his eyes would line up perfectly with the cross of the top horizontal and right vertical markers.

Notice the symmetry of the room. The two columns in the back of the room followed by the two pillars closer to the camera create a trapped feeling, which helps the viewer get into Dean’s mind here. The repetition of arches also pops out at me, from the archway leading to the telescope, to the arch that the table makes to the arches that the chairs make as well.

Then notice where the symmetry of the room breaks. It strikes me as interesting (whether intentional or not) that the lamp on Dean’s table/desk is off center compared to the other two lamps on the tables in the distance. This creates a discordant feeling/mood for me, again, helping the me/audience identify with how Dean feels.

Finally I love how long this shot is while also feeling very small and trapped. I assume a long focal length was used to pull in and compress the background while at the same time the repetitive table/lamp/chair combinations make it all seem like a reflection (Dean going through the same thoughts in his head?)