what does it mean to annotate a film scene

what does it mean to annotate a film scene

What does it mean to annotate a film scene
It comes as no surprise that watching a Shakespeare film is inherently different than reading a Shakespeare play. The two mediums engage our minds differently. Thus, when we go to annotate the two, we approach from different angles. I personally am much more successful at annotating texts. The reason for this is two-fold; when reading a text I am both able to work through it at my own pace and able to physically make notes on it.
This page from act II scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet serves as an example of my annotation process. Textual elements, for example the oxymorons at the bottom of the page, are first identified and then grouped together. If the grouping then suggests something about the character or the scene I jot down a quick note of interpretation. If I cannot see some purpose to the textual elements of the passage I will write questions or question marks to help me identify what it is I do not understand. This specific page contains interesting annotations because here I have likened lines 158-159 to lines from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These types of connections expand and enrich the meanings of passages.

This situation got me fantasizing about some better way to do this kind of assignment and assessment. I once tried, unsuccessfully, to embed clips in blackboard and have been wondering about some way to make a clip available to students for a set period of time and running the assignment as a kind of take-home test: Watch this clip as many times as you want, freeze it, rewind it, play it over and over, as much as you want within a time from of one hour, a half hour or whatever….and generate as detailed a “segmentation” or outline of formal components of the clip as you can; then write up an analytical interpretive essay and post that too. Even doing this, I think, could significantly improve the quality of their experience of practicing formal close analysis and the quality of what they turn in to me to be assessed.
But my fantasies didn’t stop there; I started to wonder if there might not be some cool way to have students actually annotate a film clip “on the clip” so to speak. Wouldn’t it be cool (and pedagogically awesome) if they could actually mark moments in time or spaces within the frame when and where something significant happens in the clip? Wouldn’t it be cool if some kind of clip analysis setup could have multiple tabs, each one dedicated to a different formal component of the clip (e.g. one tab would be for sound, another for editing, another for acting, another for costume, another for camera movement, another for camera angles, etc. etc.)? I could then require students to go through each tab and fill in observations on each of those aspects of the clip.

What does it mean to annotate a film scene
5 – There are also some graphical annotations such as banding or score (or pointing).The program Faux Raccord proposed by Allociné website is based on this model. We can hear a voiceover commentary associated with the film clips which reveals [editing] errors in the movie by inserting circles, arrows or crosses.
Let me now explain my focus: I will discuss the audiovisual annotation based on 2 analysis:

What does it mean to annotate a film scene
I believe you only need to a see a film once in order to critique a film. Of course, there are those who prefer at least a couple viewings, but from my experience multiple viewings can actually skew your assessment.
I want to ensure that my thoughts encourage readers to create a constructive discussion around the film, or help them decide whether or not the movie is for them. And hopefully, the audience will have as much fun reading my review as I did writing it.

What does it mean to annotate a film scene
As a teaching aid, OTTO provides a template for students on how to write concise and close analyses of film moments. First, students have to select an annotation category. There are ten categories in OTTO such as dialogue and screenplay, performance/acting, photographing, staging, etc., to help students limit their focus to a particular aspect of a shot or scene. Second, there is a description text box for students to provide a context or a simple overview of a particular filmic moment. Third, there is an analysis text box that enables students to reflect on how the moment they are tagging and annotating contributes to their understanding of film noir and connects to larger theoretical, cultural, or thematic issues.
Winter 2011: Shannon Clute and I co-authored The Maltese Touch of Evil: Film Noir and Potential Criticism (Dartmouth College Press). The book explored exemplary moments in film noir (which we dubbed ‘ noiremes ‘) through the lens of Oulipian constraint and recombinatorics . The final section of The Maltese Touch of Evil ( MTOE ) suggested the idea of developing a “participatory, procedural (and ultimately, perhaps, encyclopedic) database dedicated to film noir” (262). The MTOE project “would allow readers to add their own investigative notes, to tag or annotate the filmic material with further information and metadata, to author new noiremes , and to suggest or create constraints for resequencing existing noiremes (percent of a frame in shadow, number of times ‘Baby’ is uttered in one scene of a screenplay, etc.)…” (263). At the time the book was published, we weren’t sure how or evenif the MTOE project would develop, but we were hopeful that such a project was possible. In terms of its potential uses, the MTOE project could help students pursue close readings, share viewing notes online, and curate annotated entries in an ever-growing digital archive. Moreover, in keeping with the Oulipian roots of the project, such a tool would be able to generate surprising insights leading to new critical observations or new avenues of investigation through mathematical constraints and algorithmic processes.



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