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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Catfish Review

Catfish is a movie unlike any you have seen before. This real-life documentary started when three roommates, a photographer and two film-makers, begin an odd relationship with a girl over Facebook. A simple conversation, a few phone calls, some texting and of course lots of Facebook chats turn into a nine month relationship between a 19 year old girl and a new photographer. Simple interests like dance, music and painting pushed the two together to form a relationship unlike either of them had ever had before. Usually documentaries are unprofessional and poorly put together, but this one really captures the romance, suspense and pain while still putting a clear message across to the audience.
Nev, a photographer, lives with his friend Henry and his brother Ariel, two film-makers. A big break starts off the movie when Nev gets one of his photographs published in a front page exclusive. A few weeks later he receives a package in the mail. When they open it, inside is a painting of the photo that was published and a letter to Nev. The letter is written by an eight year old girl named Abby who was inspired by his photograph and painted it for him. By this time, Nev’s two roommates become fascinated with this out of the ordinary friendship and begin to document their encounters with Abby. Nev believes that his roommates are wasting their time with making a documentary on some random eight year old girl who loves to paint and himself but agrees to go along with it. Nev writes her back and letters begin going back and forth between him and the small town in Michigan where Abby lives. Nev begins sending Abby some photographs of his and she begins to paint them and send them back to him. Then letters become phone calls with Abby’s mom, Angela, and soon Nev is friends with all of Abby’s family on Facebook.
Nev and Abby keep in touch and soon Nev becomes friends with Abby’s 19 year old sister named Megan who thanks Nev for being so kind to her baby sister. Megan is a very beautiful girl and a romance quickly picks up between Nev and her. After a few months ofan ongoing relationship with Megan, Nev starts to put together some things that just don’t add up with this normal, small-town family from Michigan. Nev, Ariel and Henry decide to investigate what is true about this friendly family and embark on a road trip that leads them to a sudden and secret life that no one could have guessed.
What really drew me into the movie was the fact that it wasn’t fictional. I also really liked the camera shots. Although Catfish seemed very professional and very well put together, I also got the feeling that this was all happening for real and not scripted. In professional films, the camera work is very exact and careful. One shot that sticks out in my head is when they leave for the road trip and they are documenting their conversation on the ride down. There must have been one camera on the dashboard looking forward to Nev, who was driving, and then both Ariel, sitting in the back seat, and Henry, sitting in the passenger seat, had cameras. The camera shots would change during the film and sometimes in the dashboard camera you could see Ariel in the back seat with his camera also shooting Nev while he talked. That showed me that although this is a movie, it also is real. There were no redos and they had to capture everything the second it happened just like how real life would be.
I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone. I think I would recommend it to tweens and teenagers especially because Facebook is new and exciting at that time in our life and it seems like the most fun thing to do. But sometimes we are so into it that we don’t realize how dangerous it can really be. As I had said before, this film is fantastic because it truly is real and not just a work of fiction. I also really liked it because it had all the elements of great movie-making in it: romance, suspense and adventure. Catfish, in my mind, deserves four stars!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011


Well today we finished the film. I think that it was very professionally put together. It's almost hard to tell that it is not professional. After seeing the movie I have so many questions about it. Its strange how this one old, married lady makes all these facebook pages, have two cell phones, live a double life and fool these men for nine months. She had this whole scheme planned out that was a total lie. I would definitely not have handled it like Nev did. I would be really really mad and just want to yell at this Angela and be like "What were you thinking? And why?". It's so strange. Athough it was a very strange movie it was really interesting and makes you think. It kind of goes along with the saying that you never know who you are friends with on facebook.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Well today we started where we left off yesterday and went into more of the story. We started today where they decided to go to visit them and when they got there they talked for a while and then they finally confront her about her lies. The stupid thing is that why hadn't Nev and Megan asked to skype or why hadn't Nev asked Megan why she only had 16 friends on facebook. The whole situation was pretty messed up.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today, we started watching the movie Catfish. I have seen this movie before so I know what's going to happen. So far he has been talking to abby/megan/angela for 8 months. That right there is already long. And he gets packages from abby a lot with new paintings and stuff. First he just talked to abby a lot on facebook because she was the one who was painting his pictures. Then he came in contact with her half-sister Megan. She is 19 and also a dancer so they had a lot in common. They started to talk alot on facebook and text. Then they take a trip out to Vail and he starts to piece together some of the things that Megan/Abby/Angela have been telling them is not true. She posts him a song and then they google the song to figure out the words when they come across that song sung by someone else that sounds exactly the same. The ask her about it but she ignores it. Then they look up the address of Abby's studio but when they find that it is vacant and has been for three years then they get suspicious. At the end of the movie today they decide to go to their house and see if these people are real.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Photoshop Project

My two photoshop projects. The first is of a wedding that was going on at the Air Force Academy when we visited my brother. I took the picture while they were taking their pictures on the Torazzo in front of the chapel.
The second is of my brother and I when we were at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs while visiting him over parents weekend at the Air Force Academy. He is 20 years old but still acts like a little kid.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Impact of Cell Phones on Society

Mara Bertelsen
Hour 2
Impact of Cell Phones on Society
Cell phones have become just as important to carry with you as your own head. When we forget our cell phones, we feel lost without them. A cell phone used to be chunky and a hassle to carry around. Only the wealthiest people had cell phones and it was a real treat. But now-a-days, a cell phone is common and 90% of 11-15 year olds have their own cell phone. Cell phones have advanced over the years, and are now not only for talking but for texting and the internet. They also are becoming less of a burden in school and teachers are adapting to using them as resources.
The first cell phones were plain and large, and quickly were given the name “the brick”. The brick weighed about two pounds and offered only half an hour of talking time for every recharging. Over the years cell phones have gone from “the brick” to ones that are about the size of an Altoids box and even smaller. I know my phone can offer me three to four days of talking time before I have to charge it again. But each phone is different when it comes to charging, and it also depends on how much talking time or texting you do on your phone. Cell phones have evolved so much now that most cell phones offer internet and email access. Company workers often have Blackberry’s so that their work emails go to their phones. This way they are always connected to work and never miss important information. When cell phones first hit the scene they were similar to credit cards in that people only used them for emergencies. Now people’s cell phones are their lifeline. They can be very helpful when there is a problem or emergency and they have often been able to help people in times of need. I read a scary story in someone’s blog on blogspot.com where her cell phone really did save her life. She was driving somewhere and had to use the bathroom so she stopped by this dog park where she often would take her dog for a walk and walked to the restroom. There was a man in his car that was just watching her and she was getting nervous, so as soon as she got into the bathroom she decided to leave and when she opened the door the man was waiting there for her. She quickly shut the door and locked it and luckily she had her cell phone so she called a friend that lived near there to come and get her. The friend showed up 15 minutes later and the man was hiding behind a wall waiting for her. He quickly ran away after seeing her friend and they called the police and reported their experience. Without her cell phone she could have been stuck in that bathroom for who knows how long waiting for that guy to leave. Her cell phone really came in handy that day and possibly saved her life.
For years, as cell phones have become increasingly common, teachers have fought to keep them out of the classroom and from distracting their students, but now there is no fighting. Nearly 73% of students in a classroom have their mobile phones on during class and 13% say that they received a call or message during that class. Those statistics are from 2001, and being a high school senior myself I would correct that statistic and say that closer to 95% of students have their mobile phones during class and more than half of them receive a call or message during class. The teachers have a hard time trying to keep our attention with all of these distractions but I believe the best way to keep our attention on the class is having us put our phones on our desk during class or being stricter about seeing cell phones during class. One of my teachers has a system that for every five cell phones she sees we have to take a pop quiz. I think that that is a good way to motivate us to not have our cell phones out or visible. More and more teachers are also using cell phones in their lessons to include them. Teachers aren’t oblivious to the fact that most teenagers are addicted to their phones, so they are incorporating them into their lessons so students might not be as tempted to text during class when they get to use it for other activities. History teachers especially are using them to take class surveys. This is a smart way to connect learning to the cell phone and also get the point across. Also, after school activities and even some classes depend on cell phones to send out important messages. Teachers have discovered that if they get each person’s cell phone number and carrier they can send out text messages from their computer to their student’s phones. Just yesterday I received two text messages from my teachers; one telling us about a test that we were going to take today and the other saying that we have a meeting after school on Thursday. This is a more convenient way to get information out because students always have their phones and rarely check the internet for updates.