Team Pilgrim Blog Post

By Manasi, Jay, Amanda, Sabrina, Jasmine and Ampee

Our two films are both set in the modern era, however they differ in their main communication to the audience. Our group decided to choose Act 1 Scene 5 from Romeo and Juliet, lines 91 to 108 with some lines taken from different scenes.

Our close reading of the passage

Our close reading of the passage

The first film we worked on was set at the University of Calgary and the love story was between students. We chose this because it is relatable to ourselves, as well as warrants more comedy into the story. Since we only had one male actor, we decided to make Romeo and Juliet lesbians in this scene. The rivalry between U of C and Mount Royal mirrors the rivalry between the Montagues and the Capulets. The stigma of two women being together is also played upon. We added extra characters of friends for Romeo and Juliet to help with the comedy and set up essential plot points, such as Romeo being at U of C to meet Rosaline and the friend noticing the rival school logos.  We used continuity editing (link) to best portray a sequential story. We also took multiple shots from different angles to present different perspective to the audience. The camera was omniscient, and the camera directs where exactly we wanted the audience to look.

For comedic effect we decided to use slow motion to introduce Juliet as well as Romeo reaching out to her. Generally, this film uses a lot of physical/slapstick comedy. We also incorporated improvisation into both films. Both editors used iMovie to construct both films.

The use of black and white effects for drama

The use of black and white effects for drama

For the second film we used more visual storytelling than the first one, such as the use of black and white, limited speech as well as soundtrack to guide the audience. Where there is talking it is mostly in voiceover, a way to tell the story without character interaction. For this story we decided to have most of the scene over Tinder texting, as this also relates a lot to the lives of university students and how we meet people in recent times. This film is more similar to a feature film style, rather than in the first film, as there is a not conclusion to the conflict.

Romeo and Juliet texting

Romeo and Juliet texting

Our two film styles reveal how the same scene can be reproduced through time, and even integrate technology into it. It is our belief that Shakespeare wanted to show the magical realism of falling in love. Falling in love is a universal feeling, and expressions of love has remained throughout the ages, however forums of love have changed to become more inclusive (such as welcoming lesbian love as well as online dating).

Note Reflection

By Amanda Faller

Over my years in school, I have experimented with many ways to take notes, even using methods such as the Cornell system (link). However, time and again I always come back to the plain and simple lined notebook and just write what I think is important out. For films I write frantically trying to keep my eye on the screen, however you can see a distinct difference in my close-reading notes.

Close Reading Notes

Close Reading Notes – Brain Dump on Page Right

For my close reading I decided to use two different pen colours to help my eye stay focused. I used black ink to paraphrase the speech in my own words. In green ink I took phrases and words I was unfamiliar with and defined them as they appeared in the speech. I gave the black ink to the paraphrasing so it would stand out and I could read it easily.

Then, in the margins I divided the notes into parts with brackets and labels of “part 1” and so on. I underlined the important phrases at each part beginning to bring attention to them so I could later form an argument around it.

For phrases that stood out to me for their symbolism or function, I also wrote in the margins, such as “simile” “pun?”, “metaphor” and “summary”. Breaking the speech into parts let my mind focus on one section at a time without becoming distracted or off topic by the surrounding lines.

Then on the next page I “brain dumped” my opinions, observations and arguments in preparation for my essay. Overall, I think this system of note taking was very effective for myself, and helped me fully understand the speech and get the best grade I could for me. I especially like the colour coding, as it’s visually nice as well as functional.

While I was creating these notes I had my computer open with OED and my book of Henry V. Although some people think books are to use and abuse, I love a fresh, clean book with perfectly flat pages so I stay away from marking my books.

Film Review Notes

Film Review Notes

I also wrote a review on Romeo + Juliet by Baz Luhrmann. For this, I had the film going and my notebook open. These are the messiest notes I have because the film is so fast paced. Sometimes I would rewind the film and watch back something if I missed a detail. For each new point I drew a dash to help me later see the order of things so it wasn’t just a blob of words. Some of these notes have no real meaning however they helped recall certain ideas or visuals when I wrote my review. I found myself writing down small details such as “editing quickens” and “shadow over face”. Those were the details I decided to go with for the film review. They helped me dig deeper into the filmic choices of the director rather than more obvious things (such as “gun instead of dagger”).

In the margins I have arrows and brackets to connect separate ideas to help me find patterns or even to just elaborate on a thought.

For some concepts, instead of describing them in words, I found it quicker to jot a small doodle of what I meant. On the second page I drew out a frame composition I found striking as well as Juliet’s eyes later on in the frame

Interesting frame composition sketches

Interesting frame composition sketches

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Slowly my writing becomes more illegible as I was seeing more interesting things to take note of. For this particular note set I decided to just jot ideas to help me remember later. In fact, I hardly used these notes while writing my review because I did it right after watching the film and my thoughts were still fresh. Perhaps if I wrote it another day these notes would become more meaningless as they are vague and messy. This note style is, I think, appropriate for watching a film, and they also helped me quite a bit in getting the best mark I personally could.
In my opinion it would be impossible to do the same note style for a close reading and a film review. However each note styles have their pros and cons. For example, the close reading notes are very clear and organized, yet lots of the actual “arguments” came only when I “brain dumped” later on. No real ideas or arguments came in the beginning stages of these notes. The opposite can be said for the film review notes. They are unorganized (other than chronologically) and are made purely of ideas and arguments. I am glad I have experimented earlier in my life with different note taking habits to help me today in finding the best way to do it for different situations.