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http://Making Meaning Yewon Yoo from Making Meaning on Vimeo.

I was impressed by Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times mostly because it conveys such a strong narrative with minimum quantity of filmic effects. No one talks except the machines, and Chaplin sings a theme song at the end of the film. I thought this is an interesting part to experiment. Then I chose Transformers to work with, because it might contrast with the Modern Times in many aspects. Transformers also illustrates humans dominated by machines. Over 70 years had passed after Modern Times, and fabulous filmic technologies have developed impressively. Transformers is a series of films that integrates all these modern filmic technologies, especially CGs and effects. Since Transformers doesn’t really have strong themes and narratives, I thought it would be effective if I eliminate some of the effects like Modern Times and see how it changes. I chose one of the battle scenes that has overwhelming visual effects and sounds. Then, I divided scenes by either it has more visual or sound effects than other scenes. I eliminated colors from the scene that had more colors. I muted sounds from the scene that sound effects play major roles. Also, I added a music that sounds to go along with Modern Times to see how robots in Transformers become silly with music. I tried to random the eliminating procedure to avoid boringness and expecting what will happen next.


I first tried to upload 1280×720 movie via vimeo, but file uploading declined because the file was huge. I changed the size to 960×540 m4v file, please email me if there is any problem.

{ 5:20 pm


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I chose Westminster street as the place for mapping. I researched ‘Providence Tax Assessor’ website and gathered all possible construction dates for every building of Westminster street. I categorized the construction dates of the buildings in every 50 years and differentiated them with 5 different values of b&w. The actual printout is a 4″x10″ accordian, folded within 6 sides.

* I failed to figure out how to directly show my pdf file into this post, but you can still access to my pdf by clicking the link above for couple of times.

{ 3:09 pm


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I decided to focus on the term “modern”, as it says “a story of industry, of individual enterprise – humanity crusading in the pursuit of happiness”. At the beginning, the film starts with a moving clock.


These are scenes that show modernized people in busy life. Modern life, illustrated in the film, looks somewhat ridiculous. These scenes work with audio effects.


01:33 – A herd of sheeps rushes, forcing each other.

01:39 – A herd of sheeps shifts into a crowd of people in the subway station.

01:44 – People rush to the factory without caring about cars running toward them.

01:52 – Workers rushing inside the factory.

02:47 – President of the factory monitors his workers.

03:07 – Presidents says “section 5, speed it up.”

03:25 – Charlie tries to catch up machine speed, but fails for few times.

04:55 – President says “section 5, more speed.”

05:27 – Charlie marks his time for cigaratte.

05:47 – President doesn’t let him to rest.

07:13 – Salesmen introduce a machine that feeds workers during work.

12:15 – Employers don’t give up and starts the feeding machine again.

14:44 – Charlie sucks into the machine and into the wheels. Then escape.

Another point that I thought interesting was, the text in the film. At the beginnning, a short description of the film shows up, and then another text introduces the president of the factory. During the factory scene, the texts shows the time of the day. Throughout the film, texts show up at crucial scenes, like “He’s crazy!!!” and “It’s not practical”. Also, the text narrates the storyline like “Cured of a nervous breakdown but without a job, he leaves the hospital to start life anew.”


It can be understood that this film doesn’t consist actors’ dialog due to the technology of the time, but some of the dialogs still exists in the film. It is interesting because some of the lines are written as the text and some of the lines are spoken by the actors.

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