A Notebook of Crime

The Notebook

I had a difficult time deciding which movie I would remix for this assignment. However, once I settled on The Notebook, the concept seemed to fall into place. It probably helped that I have watched The Notebook many, many times. Although the concept for my remix came easily, executing my plans did not always go so smoothly. Making meaningful editing choices and choosing the right audio amidst a slew of technical problems was quite the challenge. It was a long and not always easy process, but I think I learned a lot along the way and that the finished product was well worth it. You can see the original movie trailer for The Notebook on the IMDB website and my trailer remix on the Media Interpretation and Criticism video site.

I took The Notebook, a romantic drama, and transformed it into a crime thriller. In the original film, the great love story is that of the love between Noah and Allie. They overcome their differences and time spent apart to be together at last and live happily ever after. In my remix, Allie is in love with Lon, a somewhat minor character in the original film, and Noah is a stalker out to kidnap her. Allie is portrayed as oblivious to what is going on as Noah, a mentally unstable man, stalks her and plans her abduction.

One aspect of my trailer that I focused on was making the shots really work together as parts of the whole, something discussed in the Bernard Dick reading. For example, I knew  that I wanted to begin by showing the happy relationship between Lon and Allie. However, I needed a way to transition between this happy and untroubled couple to Noah. In order to make  this transition, I used a shot of Noah seeing Allie and Lon through a restaurant window. In my remix, this is meant to be the beginning of Noah’s obsession with Allie. The scene is critical for the cohesion of the trailer. Also, the length of the cuts I used is an important aspect of the trailer. At the beginning of my trailer I used longer cuts. As the trailer progressed and the tension rose, I began to use shorter cuts to get the feeling of urgency to the audience. The use of captions to help explain the trailer combined with the music also added to the feel of the trailer. The choice of font was made purposefully to show up well on the screen.

Symbolism was also something I considered when making  this trailer. The birds flying away at the beginning of the trailer were originally used during the ending credits of The Notebook. At the end of the original film, they seem to symbolize Noah and Allie flying away from this world as they die, their souls staying together. I used the birds to symbolize something else. With the music that plays while they fly, I am hoping that the birds symbolize more of a longing for freedom. If Allie has been kidnapped, she could be looking out a window, seeing the birds fly, and wishing for her own freedom and the carefree life from which she was taken. Also, I used a scene from The Notebook in which Allie is driving and is so upset that she nearly has a head on collision with a truck. I used the scene of an out of control car to symbolize how out of control everything else in her life has become because of her stalker, Noah.

There were other important editing choices made once I had my scenes put together in the order I wanted. For example, in order to give the once romantic movie a darker feel, I used the opacity of the scenes to change the lighting. I was able to make several of my scenes seem more sinister through this simple change. Also, I found transitions to be important. I had a difficult time finding transitions that I liked. Some of them were really cheesy. I ended up using mostly dips to either black or white and film dissolves. I liked the film dissolves because you could see one scene fading into another. I thought this was useful in making some of my scenes connect. In one transition, an image of Allie and Lon fades into Noah lying in bed and drinking. The transition seems to imply that Noah is thinking about what he saw as he drinks. This was useful in many transitions throughout the trailer.

Throughout the process of creating my trailer remix of The Notebook, I ran into several difficulties. Audio was a major concern. I was one of the unlucky ones who had their audio disappear. At the point my audio disappeared, I had already completed my video. I had to be patient and trust that a solution would be found. It was hard not to get frustrated at having to redo my trailer, but I am glad that I did. Working through everything a second time allowed me to think even more about the choices I was making. If I were to make another trailer remix, I would be sure to give myself enough time to work on it several different times. Every time I left and came back to my video I found something to improve. Having enough time to think about the concept and how to execute it helped me to make what is hopefully a successful trailer remix.

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