Recently in class we watched a video of J.J. Abrams from TED Talks. In this video Abrams speaks about the mystery behind film and it reminded me of when I was in high school and making films of my own. However, we had none of the special effects or nice cameras that big film directors have today. What we lacked in effects we had to make up in plot and creativity. Our plots had to be original and well written so that the point of the film would reach the audience in only five minutes and if there was something in particular we wanted done we had to figure out how to do it without the help of a computer. For example, the group I was in did not do this, but one director wanted to imply a car wreck, but didn’t want to stand in front of a car for obvious reasons. Therefore, they turned out all the lights in a gym and had two people holding flashlights walk towards the camera. This effect made it look as if there were a car coming towards the camera when in reality there wasn’t a single on in sight. I think that today this creativity and ingenuity is often lacking in films, because it’s so easy to make something with a computer and make money off of repeated plots and character archetypes. The biggest point I took away from J.J. Abrams and will apply to my own career one day, is that to be good at what you do, no matter what it is, you need to think outside the box, or as Abrams might say inside the box of mystery.

Like Abrams I’ll give you one of my favorite clips from a movie. The movie is Psycho directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Although this scene is famous for the intense murder, my favorite part is the shot of the showerhead from below around 1:03. Hitchcock was a genius and I still haven’t figured out how he shot this frame without getting water on the lens.

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