Enabling comments…

I’ve had a few students contact me in frustration, because they are attempting to comment on their group-mates’ blogs, but can’t– either because very few people in their groups have written anything, or they don’t have comments enabled (Group 8, I’m looking at you!!).

Please bear in mind that your classmates get graded on the comments they provide to you– when you slack off on this, you sabotage the whole discussion process (not to mention your own grade).

To enable comments:

Click on Settings on your Dashboard. Then click on Discussion.  Make sure to check the box that says “Allow people to post comments on new articles.”  Then make sure these boxes are NOT checked in the section “Before a comment appears”: “An administrator must always approve the comment” and “Comment author must have a previously approved comment.”

Please check that comments are enabled on your site. Let me know if you are having trouble with this.

Blog Challenge #1: Observing Citizen Kane

For this week, I’d like to see posts that work on the initial stages of observation and evidence gathering that we discussed in class:

• OBSERVE: Select a short scene, or a portion of a scene (roughly 1-10 shots– the shorter the better) from Citizen Kane. Take careful notes on everything you see and hear. Every decision being made here is extremely deliberate. What techniques did the filmmakers employ?

• LOOK FOR PATTERNS: Are there repeated techniques you notice throughout the film? Certain types of images, or movements, or uses of lighting that recur? Is there any pattern as to WHEN these techniques are used?

•ASK QUESTIONS: WHY might the filmmakers have made the stylistic decisions they did in this scene? What are they trying to say? How do these techniques impact the audience– how do they make you feel? Do they influence your identification, or offer insights into a character’s motivation? Might there be a commentary here on power relations, or politics?

[Image: Learningresources.com]

Comments on posts

Hi all,

I’m making my way through all the posts for this week, which is really a treat. But I’m finding that many of them have comments disabled. This is a big problem as the point of the blogging is to generate a conversation– not to mention that your classmates are graded on the comments they provide to you.

Please be certain to turn comments on for all of your posts (including those that are already up). If you don’t see the box that says “allow comments” when you are typing/editing, you can do this by going to “Screen Options” above your post interface in the Dashboard, clicking “Discussion”, and then clicking “allow comments” in the area below your text box. Thanks!


Tips on blogging….

There seems to be a bit of anxiety about the blog posts, in terms of what to write, and how much.

Here is my best advice: try not to think about the posts as a “finished project” you are completing for me (Prof. Herzog) to grade. Think about the posts as attempts to share ideas and generate a conversation. What kinds of observations and questions will encourage an active discussion? The goal is for you to talk to each other, and hopefully learn more about how film works, and how film functions historically, in the process.

SUGGESTION 1: Read through other posts and see what styles and approaches appeal most to you. Are there certain techniques that seem to work better than others? There are MANY ways you can create a productive blog– the goal here is not to be competitive, but to experiment with different styles.

SUGGESTION 2: Think about the steps we discussed in class: OBSERVING (taking notes, looking at audiovisual techniques in detail), LOOKING FOR PATTERNS, and ASKING QUESTIONS. Can you discover something new about a work based on the recurring themes you observe? Do certain repeated elements confuse you? It is fine if your questions are open-ended— but set them up with some detailed observations. This will help the rest of us jump in with our own theories.