Casablanca Trailer by Michael Bay

4th Quarter Benchmark Project by Tito and David.

For the final project in the Reel Reading course, David and I chose the option of creating a trailer that incorporated elements from a movie we watched in the class, and also the style of a different director of our choosing. After giving it some thought, we agreed that we wanted to do something with Casablanca since it was a movie that both of us were interested in understanding it better. I recalled that when I saw the movie for the first time, the one thing I would've done differently with the film was to include more action going towards the end. David and I thought about who the best representative for action is, and Michael Bay was the director that came to mind.

Michael Bay has a very specific and prominent style in the work he does. He has been considered by many people to not take film seriously and more as a unsophisticated artist that is just in it for the money. On the other hand, Casablanca is regarded as one of the greatest films to have ever been made by United States cinema. Going into our research, we were curious to see how these polar opposites could clash.

The research for this project was divided into four main parts. Analyzing Casablanca's most popular scenes; Analyzing the artistic opinion of Michael Bay productions; Analyzing the specific aspects that make Michael Bay's filmography; and looking at trailers from Michael Bay films to understand the feel that he also chooses to go for when advertising his films.

We took dialogue from Casablanca and merged it with the rest of the sounds of some visuals. When creating the trailer, many choices had to be made starting from the most basic structure that dictates the editing, which is the soundtrack. We noticed how trailers by Michael Bay often use intense music that starts deep and low, and then builds up into colossal collages of overwhelming action. On the other hand, we stuck with our personal opinion of Casablanca being action-less (compared to Michael Bay) and so the music that we chose you will find has a much longer buildup, and more importantly is more prominent than the dietetic sound. While Michael Bay has just as much sound design as there is video design, Casablanca tends to value music more importantly than dietetic sound, hence why our trailer was toned down on the visual-to-audio ratio. Lastly, I would like to reflect on the composition that Michael Bay uses, and our abilities to recreate that. Michael Bay is not actually a bad visual composer, he is actually quite committed and even brilliant in how every frame of his is in fact a painting. Some say that his biggest flaw is himself, and his commitment to letting every single clip of his movies (which could be on screen for maybe just half of a second) hold great composition value. Audiences simply do not have the chance to see all the detail, which is why he designs his films for theaters and IMAX rather than a living-room television. He tries his best to put viewers into the shoes of a spectator that is either part of the action, completely immersed, or able to zoom out from the perspective of a flying object. With the time and resources David and I had, we wouldn't have been able to film and edit the CGI necessary to create what we imagined, so we used a lot of footage from other productions that appeared to be most in line with Michael Bay's style, Casablanca's style, and the time period of WWII.

My concluding statement is that Michael Bay is actually pretty good at what he does.

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