The mystery and thrill of Alfred Hitchcock‘s MacGuffin: What it is and how it can be utilized in your next film and video project?It’s odd to think about at times, but what is the purpose of film?The earliest iterations of moving pictures, film, and cinema were just meant to entertain. However, as the years went on, more practical uses for film and video developed. From documentaries to corporate videos to YouTube Vlogs to blockbuster movies, the medium has an endless amount of styles and uses.Yet, if you go back and look at classic cinema, or even modern mainstream movies and television, we’re still watching stories that feel like they’re simply meant to entertain and pass the time.At the heart of every narrative film, play, or book are many different storytelling devices and technique. And thanks to auteurs and film theorists like Alfred Hitchcock, we have one device that’s a powerful tool for not just understanding how stories work, but making them compelling.What Is a MacGuffin?From the official Wikipedia definition, a MacGuffin is “an object, device, or event that is necessary to the plot and the motivation of the characters, but insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in itself.” And while the term is most often associated with Hitchcock (more on this below), it was actually originally coined by the English screenwriter Angus MacPhail — a contemporary and collaborator of Hitchcock’s.In layman’s terms, a MacGuffin is that magical “thing” that advances the plot, builds the narrative, and helps push the story forward. It’s closely associated with mysteries and thrillers — Hitchcock’s bread and butter — but viewers can find it in all style and manner of films, as well as other story forms.Alfred Hitchcock’s MacGuffin TechniqueHitchcock used the MacGuffin technique in many of his films. Image via Wikicommons.The reason Hitchcock’s name is synonymous with the MacGuffin is due to the director’s heavy use of the device. Hitchcock also gave a series of lectures in which he would often talk about MacGuffins and how he used them. Hitchcock explains,It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two men on a train. One man says, “What’s that package up there in the baggage rack?” And the other answers, “Oh, that’s a MacGuffin.” The first one asks, “What’s a MacGuffin?” “Well,” the other man says, “it’s an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands.” The first man says, “But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands,” and the other one answers, “Well then, that’s no MacGuffin!” So, you see that a MacGuffin is actually nothing at all. For many of Hitchcock’s films, the MacGuffin was a meaningless “thing” in the narrative that moved the story forward in the first act, only to be of little to no consequence later.Other MacGuffin ExamplesThe Ark of the Covenant was used as a MacGuffin in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Image via Paramount.Hitchcock taught that the MacGuffin was meant to be of little significance. However, modern filmmakers adopted the technique and experiment with having the MacGuffin as a central piece of the film’s plot.From the Dude’s rug in The Big Lebowski to R2-D2 in Star Wars: A New Hope, having a meaningful MacGuffin device at the center of the narrative as an object, place, or thing in which all other characters are interested in can be more effective if the MacGuffin’s presence remains strong throughout the story.Other notable MacGuffin examples include (but are not limited to):The suitcase in Pulp FictionThe ring in The Lord of the Rings“Rosebud” in Citizen KaneThe Maltese Falcon statue in The Maltese FalconThe Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost ArkMacGuffins aren’t just things either. Anything from a person like Private Ryan in Saving Private Ryan to the knowledge of Hamlet’s father’s death in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.How to Use a MacGuffinImage from Star Wars (via Warner Bros).Determine early on in your creative process if and how to use a MacGuffin in your film or video projects. It’s also worth exploring whether or not a MacGuffin already exists — chances are it does.Understanding what a MacGuffin is, and how the technique was used both traditionally and recently, can be a fun way to view your story and film narrative. If the MacGuffin is something you’ve seen many times before, it might be helpful to explore other objects, people, places, or things to put the emotional weight of your film into.Cover image from The Maltese Falcon (via Warner Bros).For more film theory and filmmaking advice, check out some of these cool articles below.What “The Righteous Gemstones” Teaches About Directing StylesThe Prototype Rigging of Vintage Lenses in “Ford v Ferrari”The Ad Astra Editing Team on Creating “Quiet Intensity” in the EditFilmmaking Lessons from the Making of the Sci-Fi Horror Classic “Alien”7 Filmmaking Interviews with Real-World Career Advice
December 2, 2019
For four interminable years, the Bush administration has held America hostage to a bogus war on terror, decimating the country’s lofty traditions of civil and political liberties and time-honored ideals of equality, individual liberty and personal dignity.Whatever temporary powers a state may need to fight terrorism, holding suspects without charges, trial, access to lawyers or courts, for four years and counting, fails to meet even rudimentary standards of fairness and decency in a democratic society. One can understand the occasional need to detain suspects for a few days or weeks for investigation, but placing them incommunicado in indefinite detention is draconian and has all the hallmarks of a Soviet-style gulag. At the very least, the government is obligated to identify its prisoners and the grounds for holding them.Likewise, the Bush administration has dodged around the Geneva Convention’s prohibitions on the abuse of prisoners of war by drawing facile distinctions between soldiers and enemy combatants. To evade the constraints of international treaties and domestic law, it has transferred terror suspects to countries with an abysmal history of human rights abuse for torture to extract information.The Bush administration has violated international law, falsified and fabricated intelligence and lied to the world and the American people in its headlong rush to war in Iraq for which the country and the world is paying a heavy price.No liberty is too precious, no cost too excessive and no life too innocent in Bush’s war without end, time or place on terror.The indictment of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, for exposing a covert CIA agent lays bare the extent to which this administration will go in its vindictive campaign to hound, vilify and intimidate its critics, even at the expense of its own vaunted national security interests.Bush’s pit bull Dick Cheney and his reactionary right junta seek to browbeat earnest critics by questioning their patriotism. But it is patriotic in the grandest American tradition to challenge arbitrary governmental authority and abuse of power. What is decidedly un-American and unpatriotic is for the Bush administration to abuse state power to systematically intimidate, harass and persecute critics.The celebrated French philosopher Jean Baudrillard recently remarked, “Even if there were no Americans living in the United States, there would still be America. France is just a country; America is a concept.”Whatever invective the pretenders on the right might spew, a true American is American not by nationality, but by deed.For far too long, the Bush administration has used the bogey of terrorism to undermine this country’s most cherished values and to intimidate those who raised a lonely voice in protest.It is time for Americans to rise up to rescue the country from the terrorists of the American soul who are holding the country hostage to their self-serving and imagined nightmares. Related Items
December 1, 2019
Heeding a demand of saints for land titles, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath said here on Tuesday that if the government could give land titles to industrialists and businessmen, why not give them to saints and hermits as well.“Our country is not known for its economy or military power,” he said, “It is known for its spiritual power . The entire world looks at us in wonder. There is no country like ours with such diversity. Yet, spiritual power unites us, and the country stands under one flag.”He was addressing a congregation of saints and hermits from across the country at the ‘Sant Samagam Sammelan’, organised by the State Department of Spirituality.Exhorting saints to direct the youth, especially those living in cities, to spirituality, he said, it was their duty to make sure youngsters didn’t lose track and remained connected to spiritual power.“Almost 35 years ago, I had said in the Lok Sabha that we had created so many departments, yet most importantly, there was a need for Adhyatmik Vibhag [Spirituality Department],” said Mr. Nath. Former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh said, “Wearing orange robes, people are selling churan [power]. Wearing orange robes, rapes are happening. Rapes are happening in temples. Is this our religion? Those who’ve disrespected our Sanatana religion, even God won’t forgive them.”Veiled jibe In a veiled jibe at the BJP, Mr. Nath said, “When I entered here, I thought it was a happy day. But then someone must be feeling pain in their stomach, you know who, right? They are those who publicise they’ve taken the contract of religion.”“When we enter temples, hold such functions or even talk of religion, they feel pain,” added Mr. Nath. Representing the saints, ‘Computer’ Baba, said they stood by the Congress.
November 27, 2019
NLEX deputy coach Jojo Lastimosa. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao is taking a much-deserved break after a strenuous past few months.Guiao will be absent from the Road Warriors for three games, starting from the 100-87 loss to Alaska, to go on a vacation with his family in Europe.ADVERTISEMENT Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DeMarcus Cousins ‘pain-free’ but uncertain for NBA Finals opener LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess View comments ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue “It’s just a good idea for the family and him to get away and forget about basketball for a while,” said Lastimosa.As for the Road Warriors, Lastimosa said Guiao told him to get a perfect record in his absence but that already got a blot after NLEX fell to the Aces sending the club to a 0-3 hole.“He told me that he’ll be gone for three days and that we should the 3-0 in that span, but we won’t be getting that target soon,” said Lastimosa, who also led the Road Warriors in the 2018 Governors’ Cup when Guiao was in Indonesia as Gilas Pilipinas’ coach in the Asian Games.Lastimosa held the fort and led the Road Warriors to three wins in the four games that he was in charge.“We still have our next two games, somehow we have to figure out a way how to keep the games close up until the end.”ADVERTISEMENT Assistant coach Jojo Lastimosa said Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena that it was Guiao’s family who organized the trip for their father after the elections and also the PBA games drained most of the fiery coach’s energy.“Coach Yeng is in Europe, he’s on a cruise,” said Lastimosa. “It’s a treat from his family to get away from the game a little bit and to the things that happened to him in the last few weeks like the elections.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsGuiao, a former legislator, lost to re-electionist Carmelo Jon Lazatin in the congressional race for Pampanga’s first district representative in the 2019 midterm elections.And while he was campaigning, Guiao was also busy with NLEX in the Philippine Cup where the Road Warriors missed out on the playoffs with a 4-7 record for the ninth seed. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew
October 24, 2019
Seven schools and a number of small farmers that were hard hit by Hurricane Sandy will get assistance from Scotiabank to aid in their repair and recovery. Like Us Facebook for More News and Information The entity’s President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bruce Bowen, made the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday November 7, at the bank’s headquarters downtown, Kingston, where he outlined a $12.5 million programme of assistance. The money will cover the total repairs of seven schools at a cost of $8.3 million; $1.2 million to purchase mattresses for needy families identified by the Salvation Army; and $3 million to assist dozens of small farmers to purchase seeds, pesticides and fertiliser for replanting. Among the schools to benefit is Norwich Primary in Portland, where the grade one block was flattened by the hurricane. Over 105 of the school’s 545 student population have been dislocated and are now housed in a nearby church. Approximately $3 million will be used to rebuild the block. Other schools to receive assistance are: Highgate Primary, Carron Hall All-Age, Carron Hall Infant, Bellefield Primary, and Zion Hill Primary in St. Mary; and St. George’s College in Kingston, which had significant damage to its library. Mr. Bowen noted that the level of Scotiabank’s commitment was made following consultation with stakeholders including branch managers; the Ministry of Education which identified the primary schools with the greatest needs; and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). “As we learnt of the damage, especially in St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary, we felt dismay. The images of the damage to infrastructure, of the people that were stranded in those three parishes, were especially heart wrenching. It was with sadness, as well, that we learnt of the damage across Jamaica in the agricultural sector and that’s a sector that has been doing increasingly well in the last couple of years,” he stated. The Scotiabank CEO also announced a special $500 million loan fund, which the bank will make available to its customers between November 9 and December 28 to help homeowners and businesses recoup. The loan is at an interest rate of 9.75 per cent to 11.75 per cent and is to fund expenditure for repairs, replacements, rehabilitation, acquisition or replacement of equipment; replanting or resuscitating of crops; and repairing roofing on residential and commercial property. Principal of the Norwich Primary School, Claudia McLean; President of the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce, Jeffrey McKitty, and CEO of RADA, Harold Spaulding were on hand to express their appreciation for the bank’s generous donations. Mr. Spaulding informed that 21,000 of the 37,000 farmers affected by the hurricane were from the parishes of St. Thomas, Portland and St. Mary. Also slated to receive assistance through the Scotiabank programme will be families in Pumpkin Bottom, Hanover who were recently displaced by the overflowing Maggoty River.
October 22, 2019
Some of Nova Scotia’s largest employers are hitting the road with provincial government representatives in an effort to bring ex-patriates back to work at home. Halifax Regional Municipality, Maritime Forces Atlantic, EastLink, Dexter Construction, Irving Shipbuilding Inc., Capital District Health Authority and the Public Service Commission are among the employers that will connect with job-seekers at a series of Opportunities Nova Scotia events in major cities across Canada. The initiative is being organized by the provincial government and builds on a series of similar events that were held within the province last spring. The local events connected 95 employers with more than 4,500 job seekers. “This initiative is in keeping with the province’s 4R strategy aimed at recruiting, repatriating, retaining and retraining Nova Scotia’s workforce,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “This initiative will give ex-patriates and others the chance to live and work in the best province in Canada.” Opportunities Nova Scotia will take place in Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Calgary, and Edmonton between Nov. 5 and Nov. 15. A virtual recruitment campaign has been created to accompany the networking events, giving ex-patriates living across the country the chance to connect with employers through on-line job postings. “There are many great opportunities right here in Nova Scotia, and we want to get out there and tell Canadians about them,” said Education Minister Karen Casey. “By bringing together some of Nova Scotia”s top businesses, who are prepared to win employees in a very competitive climate, we can demonstrate the strength of our economy and show that there are high quality jobs available right now in Nova Scotia.” The Department of Education has hired human resources consultants The People Bank to facilitate the events and run the online recruitment campaign. The People Bank will host Opportunities Nova Scotia offices in each city for five months around the events, enabling employers and job seekers to connect over the longer term. The province plans to promote Opportunities Nova Scotia phase II with Nova Scotia and city-specific advertising and publicity. Promotion will also include virtual postcards for Nova Scotians who want to notify their friends and family about the events, and e-mails targeting ex-patriates. Advertising in the province will kick off Saturday, Oct. 6. “Businesses are growing, and there are excellent positions here at home,” said Donald Rankin, director of human resources for EastLink. “We are pleased to join government and other progressive employers in connecting with ex-patriots and other interested Canadians about the exciting career possibilities in our province.” For more information on Opportunities Nova Scotia, see the website at www.opportunitiesns.ca .
October 20, 2019
New Delhi: E-commerce major Amazon Monday said it is expanding its ‘packaging-free shipment’ (PFS) programme, an India-first initiative, to nine cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Nagpur. The programme, under which orders are shipped in their original packaging without any secondary or additional packaging, will also be available in Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Noida, Chennai and Hyderabad. Through this initiative, Amazon aims to reduce the waste generated from secondary packaging of customer orders. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents”The program is one of many sustainability initiatives to help achieve Shipment Zero, the company’s vision to make all Amazon shipments net zero carbon, with 50% of all shipments net zero by 2030. The pilot began in July last year in Bengaluru when we delivered the relevant customer orders packaging-free and received positive feedback,” an Amazon India spokesperson said.The programme is applicable on certain orders based on pre-defined parameters like location of the customer, distance the order has to travel and the category of product ordered. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefProducts that are shipped packaging-free include automotive accessories, tech accessories, home and home improvement products, shoes and luggage. Liquids, fragile items, or products that need privacy are never shipped packaging free, the spokesperson said. Akhil Saxena, Vice President (Customer Fulfillment) at Amazon India, said feedback from customers had indicated that they are looking for more sustainable packaging solutions. “This has led to the new packaging innovation – delivering products packaging-free. Our investment in protecting the environment ensures a triple win — it is good for our planet, good for our customers and community, and good for the business,” he added. He said customers who receive their orders without secondary packing are informed of this initiative via email and also in a paper pouch placed on their physical shipment.
October 17, 2019
DETROIT – Toyota Motor Co. is recalling 347,120 Sienna minivans worldwide — including 24,000 in Canada — because they can shift out of the “park” position and roll away.The recall involves Siennas from the 2005-2007 and 2009-2010 model years. Most are in the U.S. In addition to the models in Canada, Toyota also is recalling 13,000 in Mexico, 100 in Europe and 20 elsewhere.Toyota says the grease used in the shift lever assembly could transfer to other components, causing them to work improperly. In particular, the shifter can move out of “park” even if the driver isn’t pressing the brake pedal. It won’t move out of position if the parking brake is activated.Toyota won’t say if it knows of any accidents related to the defect.The company will notify owners by mid-December. Dealers will repair the vehicles for free.
October 14, 2019
APTN National NewsIt started with a final wish from the great-niece of Louis Riel.Now two Metis filmmakers are trying to heed her call.APTN’s Cara McKenna has this story.
October 3, 2019
FILE – In this Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, Nicole Kelly, right, interviews Justin Rushing for a server job at a job fair held by The Genuine Hospitality Group, in Miami. On Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, issues its index of non-manufacturing activity for July. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Sep 6, 2016 8:42 am MDT Last Updated Sep 6, 2016 at 10:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Survey: US services firms register slowest growth since 2010 WASHINGTON – U.S. services companies grew last month at the slowest pace in more than six years, a private survey finds.The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its services index fell to 51.4 last month from 55.5 in July. The August reading was the lowest since February 2010, and last month’s 4.1-point drop was the biggest since November 2008 when the U.S. economy was in a recession. Still, anything above 50 signals growth, and services firms have now expanded for 79 straight months.New orders and hiring grew more slowly in August. Export orders fell. Eleven services industries reported growth in August; seven, including retailing, contracted.Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities, said the report is the latest that shows the economy was “noticeably weaker than expected” in August. He says the ISM services reading gives the Federal Reserve another reason to delay an interest rate increase at its September meeting.The ISM is a trade group of purchasing managers. Its services survey covers businesses that employ the vast majority of workers, including retail, construction, health care and financial companies.Services companies have continued to grow despite a less-than-stellar U.S. economy. Last Friday, the Labor Department reported that employers added a modest 151,000 jobs in August. Of those, almost all — 150,000 — were generated by private services firms. Factories cut 14,000 jobs last month, and the ISM said its manufacturing index contracted in August for the first time since February.Overall economic growth slowed sharply starting late last year. From April through June, the economy expanded at a lukewarm annual pace of 1.1 per cent, dragged down by the third straight quarterly drop in business investment. The investment slump partially reflects cutbacks in the energy industry in the face of low oil and gas prices.