2001: A Space Odyssey Video Essay

Today I watched the good classic 2001: A Space Odyssey to study Stanley Kubrick’s directing and cinematography. It was a long movie, and I had to separate it into two different watchings because I had to go to work in the middle of it.

This movie . . . wow, it was onto something. I really enjoyed it!! I also think it’s so interesting to see how this was one of the first AI characters in media, and I really thought about how AI has changed so much in film. It also had the trope that AI learns too much and becomes evil, so that was interesting how that idea was present even in the 60s.

For the Assignment, I did a video essay on one of the scenes in which HAL-9000, the AI in the film, was observing and listening (or reading) the two humans, Dave and Frank, discuss that maybe HAL was malfunctioning. It’s the turning point, and it’s a tense scene that has barely any movement.

Some notes about my video essay: I used OBS to record the movie and Microsoft Clipchamp to film the audio voiceover and edit. And it was hell. I couldn’t zoom in on the audio and I felt very far away and with limited control. At one point, I tried to drag the audio, and it completely disappeared . . . and I couldn’t get it back despite still hearing it . . . so please ignore the little error where my voice repeats itself! I literally could not see the audio.

Overall thoughts were, the movie was great, the filming and storytelling through tiny tiny things was so powerful. The voiceover was also like fighting a war, I filmed 3 different takes before deciding I just needed to make a script and hope for the best. Editing made me want to slam my head into a wall (also I tried OpenShot first, and couldn’t import my video at all so I gave up), despite having a little experience in editing. I definitely, definitely need more practice.

2 thoughts on “2001: A Space Odyssey Video Essay

  1. I like that you picked up on the color. The way that blue color went from reflections in the foreground to reflections on their faces to the background outside the pod caught my attention, like it symbolized HAL’s penetrating gaze. Kubrick is a great choice for analysis. There’s so much thoughtful detail in his films that you have to watch them multiple times to catch it all.
    I get that editing is a struggle, but it is in the struggles where we learn. Hopefully there’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with getting it done.

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