Gran Morgueino

I have mixed feelings about that title. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of altering a film’s genre by rearranging clips in the movie. I have never actually edited a video before, but I have used other Adobe programs such as Photoshop, and as such the interfaces on the application were easy to pick up. I’m not an expert movie maker by any means, but thanks to a little bit of fooling around and the help of Trinity’s Lynda, I managed to accomplish what I wanted to. 

Clint Eastwood stars in Gran Torino.

I decided to use the movie Gran Torino (2008), because it was one of the first movies I looked at that I knew well and also had a fairly clear message that would be fairly easy to alter. Some of the other movies were the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I shied away from due to the universality of the films and the difficulty of finding a genre that wasn’t represented in those movies in some way. Also, Clint Eastwood is just a straight badass. There’s no other way to put it. I love Clint Eastwood. Gran Torino is a movie about an old Korean War veteran Walt Kowalsky (Clint Eastwood) having to come to terms with his racism and his perceptions of a changing society. Alienated from his two sons, he looks with disdain upon them and their families. There is a sense of justification in this, as both sons and their families treat Walt with general disrespect; they only talk to him out of formality, and are more interested in who gets what when he dies.

The main story arc is between Walt and a Korean boy named Tao (Bee Vang). Tao starts out as a shy pushover, easily dominated by people ranging from his cousin to his older sister. He becomes indebted to Walt after attempting to steal Walt’s car, and performs daily tasks that renovate the homes in the neighborhood. Both Tao and Walt grow increasingly fond of each other, and offer one another significant life lessons. Through his relationship with Tao and Tao’s family, Walt is able to learn tolerance. Tao is able to mature into a man capable of taking responsibility for his actions and standing up for himself through Walt’s tutelage. It is an inspiring story of two sides bridging the gap to become better people.

The changes I made to the portrayal of the movie turn it into a kind of psychopathic killer movie. There were multiple scenes of Walt pointing his rifle at people or beating people up or just being threatening in general, which fit perfectly with the idea. The calm intensity of his actions really gives a chilling feeling to these scenes, especially when he says things like “I’ll blow your face off…and sleep like a baby.” Throughout the movie it is revealed that a lot of hidden emotions are inside Walt waiting to burst, and I took advantages of the times that they did. Often he will explode into short bursts of action that make you truly believe he was a deadly soldier.  By adding music that fits the intensity and emotion of these scenes, I tried to develop a sense of fear and adrenaline.

This project was probably one of my favorite school assignments ever. I have always enjoyed watching mashups of videos on Youtube, and I was jealous of the people that could do it masterfully. This project gave me the opportunity to get started learning how to do things like that, which was really cool and exciting. Also, making something original always gives a great feeling of accomplishment when it is finished. I liked the amount of creativity that was encouraged during this project, and am proud of what I’ve done.

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