Daddy’s Game

I was thrilled when this video trailer remix project was assigned. I took a video technology class in high school, so I was familiar with a lot of the editing tools used in this project. I noticed a lot of people in the class were choosing comedy films and turning them into thrillers. I am a big horror/thriller movie buff, so I took this chance to turn the thriller Hide and Seek (John Polson, 2005) into a feel-good drama about a young girl and her estranged father. The original trailer of the movie can be viewed here. This project taught me how to be very obeservant of details and refreshed my crude editing skills.

Hide and Seek is considered to be in the thriller genre and has all the characteristics of a scary movie: dark lighting, quick transitions between scenes, extreme close up shots, and suspense. According to Thomas Sobchack’s article Genre Film: A Classical Experience, genres are easily classified through recognizable characters, iconographies, and familiar plot formations. Since Hide and Seek is a thriller, it contained an easily identifiable antagonist and protagonist. Therefore, I manipulated the film but cutting and arranging the shots to reduce both of those appearances. By reducing the image of the an antagonist, Robert Di Niro was portrayed as a devastated father struggling to reconnect with his daughter. This distinct change in the film allows the transition from a thriller to a feel-good drama. Most dramas consist of a character that is struggling with an obstacle thus causing them to be estranged from their loved ones. I was able to creat Di Niro as this character by using iconographies with the audio and video to display an internal struggle with the death of his wife. I tried to connect a lot of the clips with Emily alone and the audio of her father speaking about needing to be there for her. With his words overlapping the film of her, it displayed a missing link in their father daughter relationship.

I manipulated the film by mainly choosing shots during the day because a lot of the dark shots added unneeded suspense. The beginning consists of just Emily smiling and then shows her mom as well. This is to introduce a warm feeling to the audience and slowly establish the genre. The dip to black transition after the mother leaves the room is to represent her death. However, I added the titles on the clips in the beginning to portray this death as well. The extreme close up of Emily’s eyes was added to emphasize the drama and is followed by the dip to white to represent time has passed. A lot of the shots in the beginning are of Emily sad and lonely in order to contrast with the clips in the end of her smiling. This is how the genre is able to be a feel-good drama and ultimately shift the original theme of Hide and Seek.

In the majority of the clips, the audio played with each clip is different than in the original movie. I did this in order to change the plot of the film and eliminate the original confusion and suspense in the movie. By connecting clips of Emily playing alone with her father talking about wanting to be ther for her, their broken relationship was revealed with the father’s struggle to be there for her. This dramatic iconography of their damaged relationship displays the drama, but keeps a feeling of hope instilled in the audience. A lot of the clips were not close together in the original movie, however, they do not show that in the trailer. These clips represent the concept closure discussed by Scott McCloud in Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. Even though they were from opposite parts of the film, they create a new story. This is because closure allows us to percieve separate parts and view them as a whole when we put them together. Although there are major gaps between each clip in the movie, we are able to fill in the gaps ourselves when they are put together for us. I was able to apply this concept to eliminate the original thrill in Hide and Seek and establish a whole new theme of family and hope.

There were some gaps in the audio, so I used the audio Fulfillment from the music library to fill in the silence. I picked this particular music clip because it had an ascending volume and beat but was still calm. It helped emerge the sense of hope and change at the climax of the trailer. The music was played before the clip of Emily playing hide and seek. Originally, her father was not in that clip. However, the music creates a happier mood with the manipulation of the film. Also, at the end I added the song clip Reason for Hope because it contiually gained power and overall empowered the last clip of Emily and her father hugging. The happy powerful music is to be an icon of the relationship finally being rekindled. The original clip was during all the madness of the father going crazy, however, with the “I love you” audio and powerful music being played with the clip, it was depicted in a much happier way. The manipulation of clips and audio allows an entire different theme to be presented.

Although the project had a few set backs in the beginning, it was overall a very fun project. I don’t think my movie choice was the best, but it still was a great experience. I would like to do a project like this again and be able to use more audio effects and such. I liked working with Adobe Premier because the editing tools were all very familiar to me. Also, if I was not sure how to do something, lynda.com was very helpful during this project. Using subclips caused many audio problems, so I adjusted and just dragged the clip directly on to the timeline. I did not start super early on the project, but I was able to finish on time and it took me about 6-8 hours to complete (not including audio setbacks). At first, I had a lot of difficulty choosing with clips to use, but once I dragged a few on the timeline it became more clear. Next time, I would write an outline of what I wanted to do with the movie first. The computer I used tended to freeze sometimes, so I suggest that you continuously save your project to prevent any loss of work. If you don’t leave this project to the last minute, then it will be a very fun experience.

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