“Necessities & Misdemeanors” – An Uncut Movie

mis·de·mean·or

noun \-di-ˈmē-nər\

law : a crime that is not very serious : a crime that is less serious than a felony

1: a crime less serious than a felony

2: misdeed

(Misdemeanor, Merriam-Webster)

The Merriam-Webster defines Misdemeanor as a crime of lesser degree. The actual term I wanted to use was the German word “Mundraub” – an archaic term for stealing food of little value. There is no corresponding English translation, thus I decided to use this term as a compromise. My Uncut Movie deals with the topic of stealing out of necessity. However, it is rather difficult to convey many information of a plot, if you have only one scene. It will be up to each individual viewer how he or she is interpreting the ending of the movie.

The effort you have to put into an uncut movie in pre- and postproduction is considerably low. My main issue was to find a short plot fitting to this style of movie since you either have to work in one place or with a tightly scheduled string of action. If you still have the ambition to convey a certain appeal in your uncut movie, it becomes rather difficult. My inspiration for Necessities and Misdemeanors was The Bicycle Thief.

The shooting process was the main challenge of making this picture. Especially spotting the correct location for the shooting was not easy. The initial setting was ditched in favor of a less crowded spot, where the crew could work undisturbed. During the process, it was all about communication, organisation and team work. If one person made a mistake, the whole scene has to be redone. It was also very useful to have one extra person in the team to keep an eye on the string of action. Thus, the actors could focus on their action, while the extra person reminded them of their timing.

The editing was quickly done since no cutting was allowed. The only problem was to find a fitting score to the action. I resorted again to a notable piece of Kevin McLeod, who offers his composition for free under a Common Creativity Licence (here the link again).

In terms of using this kind of motion picture in a classroom setting, I am not convinced that it has major advantages compared to the other styles. It is very limited and does not join well with the necessary skills for most subjects. However, it is very useful for team bonding experience and communication practice for uncut movies require a high amount of team work and organisation skills. I could imagine using this technique for recreating certain scenes of a play, though this assumption has no real-life experience backup.

Necessities & Misdemeanors:

I want to finish this post and movie with a quote of the movie I stole the title from:

  • “We’re all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, Human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. It is only we, with our capacity to love that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.”

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