I want to start off by saying that I know this was not a required assignment, or an assignment at all. However, I feel like I got a lot out of this course, and I wanted you (Professor Drew) to know what I was able to gain from this class and the projects we’ve done.
I have always been a fan of movies and tv shows, but in the recent years, my interest has deepened. I think part of my interest had to do with my fascination in and desire to tell stories. I was always in awe of large-scale movie sets and high-quality cinematography, but I never gave much thought to how certain shots were taken or how a specific scene was framed. This class gave me the ability to see those techniques and to identify them with the correct terms. Now I’ll hear a door slam or footsteps going up the stairs in a tv show and movie, and I’ll realize that the noise didn’t come from an actual door and the footsteps weren’t real, but they were sound effects edited in during post-production.
I’m a fan of Hindi films, so that is predominantly the cinema that I watch. One of the great things that I’ve noticed is the universality of movie-making. Whether in the East or the West, many of the core techniques and functions remain the same. Not only can I apply what I’ve learned to the many American tv shows that I watch, but also to the Bollywood movies to which I have always been a dedicated audience member.
When I listen to interviews of directors from the Hindi film industry, I have a deeper understanding the terminology that they use, because of this class. One director, while explaining his process, says that he never creates a story board until the set is fully designed. While he was talking about his pre-production process, I was able to relate (on a smaller scale) because now I’ve had the experience of making a few short films. So not only has the techniques and terminology you teach us in class benefited me, but also the hands-on experience.
Although stressful at times, mostly during shooting footage, it was a great learning experience and an enjoyable class. Thanks for doing what you do and for being so passionate about films and film making!