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Film Realism

     
 
This iMovie exercise teaches:
 


• How to adjust film clip exposure, brightness, contrast, and saturation levels
• How to use and layer sound
• How to create a plausibly “real” moment that never existed
• How much can be evoked within the limits of film “realism” 

(Instructions for Windows Movie Maker are here).
 
  1. Download this film clip to your computer.  
  2. In iMovie, create a new project. Select Standard (4:3) aspect ratio for your movie. Title your new movie, “Film Realism.”  
  3. Import the clip clip you downloaded, “ModernTrain.mov,” into iMovie and drag it to the iMovie project window. Using the clip trimmer, select the entire 20.7 seconds clip.  
  4. View the shot. The train appears to run in reverse. Click the clip to activate the clip inspector. Click “Convert entire clip.” Click “reverse” to make the train approach, not depart.  
  5. Click the clip again. In the tool bar, choose Edit->Copy->Paste to duplicate the clip. Double click the second clip. In the clip inspector, unselect “reverse.” The train now appears to reverse direction.
 
  6. Click the second clip. In the tool bar, choose Edit->Copy->Paste to duplicate the second clip. Double click the third clip. In the clip inspector, select “reverse.” The train now appears to reverse direction again.
 
  4. Double click the second clip. In the clip inspector, choose Video Effect->Sci Fi->Done to darken the second clip.  
  5. Double click the third clip. In the clip inspector, choose Video->Brightness->45%->Done.
 
  6. From transitions, drag “Cross Dissolve” between the first and second shots. In the inspector, set “duration” at 1.0. Uncheck “Applies to all transitions.” Drag another “Cross Dissolve” between the second and third shots. Set duration at 1.0.  
  7. From transitions, drag “Doorway” before the first shot. Set duration at 0.5. From transitions, drag “Fade to Black” behind the third shot. Set duration to 1.5.
 
  Cool! You’re done. Your movie now runs one minute, slightly longer than a typical Lumière cinématographe film. Using a stationary shot not very different from L’Arriveé d’un train à La Ciotat, you created a “film” expressing the passage of time ticked off by the pendulum of passing trains.  
  Want to keep playing?  
  8. To add a music track (not available to Lumière era filmmakers), click on the music note symbol beneath the iMovie viewer. Select a sound file from iMovie, iLife, or your own iTunes library. Drag it to the project window. Try anything.  iLife sound effects->Jingles->"Shetland.caf" works fine, for example. Adjust the volume of the track you added. Select the sound track. In the menu bar, choose->Audio Adjustments->Volume->42%->Fade In->Manual->.05->Fade Out->Manual->2.0->Done.  
  9. Want your train to move "homebound?" Select the first clip. In the inspector, choose Video Effects->Flipped. Repeat the process for the other two clips. (Objects moving from screen right to screen left seem somehow retrogressive). Select the second clip to darken it.  In the inspector, choose Video->Brightness->-21%->Saturation->130%->Done. Play the movie to see how those transformations strikes you.  
  10. Export your movie to the universe.