Art of the Interview – Citizen Kane Project


In this project, I used my skills in editing and screenwriting to create a mock interview with Orson Welles about a scene from the movie “Citizen Kane”. My team used our knowledge of film techniques to explain the use of some techniques found in the scene.

The Film


Even though I was the editor, I still participated in the screenplay writing process. I collaborated with the entire team and each of us added lines to the script. I added the section about the lighting showing who’s in the right or wrong, as well as the line “in the light is in the right”.


Screen Shot 2019-06-17 at 9.11.45 AM

I did all of the editing in this project, including adding clips and cutting back and forth between the interview and the movie clip, as well as add and remove the sound files as needed. I used my skills that I have acquired with Adobe Premiere Pro to handle this editing process with ease. I also changed the interview clips into a black and white filter in order to emulate an interview from the 1940s.

Reactions to the Final Version

“I liked the part with the laugh. It was creepy, but pretty cool.” – Cassandra McClelland

“It really felt like I was watching some lost footage of that Orson Welles guy. Pretty cool stuff.” – Keith Porteus

“Yeah, I liked it. I like that you made it black and white. It felt more immersive and stuff. Wait, are you writing what I’m saying? Oh, okay. Cool.” – Rune Boggs

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

In this project, I learned how to change the color filter, as well as add video effects to clips in Adobe Premiere Pro. Another thing that I learned was that it’s a lot easier to remember a script when it’s taped on a light fixture next to the camera. One problem we ran into was the fact that the script was more than one page, so we had to tear off one page from the tape and reveal the next one, which kinda added a hiccup to the video. To cope with that, I cut out the part where it’s torn off and fixed the cut by cutting into a clip of the scene. I’m pretty sure it worked well.

Citizen Kane Research

Ciudadano Kane

“Ciudadano Kane”by Kane. is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Battle Over Citizen Kane (Documentary)

  • Hearst transformed the newspaper industry
  • Hollywood was at the top of it’s game in 1939
  • Welles had a feeling that he could do no wrong
  • The greatness of Welles drove him down to nothing, because he was careless
  • Heart built an empire of media, he controlled numerous media outlets
  • Hearst lived on San Simeon (the large estate/palace that was half the size of Rhode Island)
  • Welles and Hearst were both power hungry
  • Hearst was well-off, and usually got what he wanted from his mother (who was devoted to him), and father (who was a powerful miner and businessman)
  • Hearst wanted his newspaper to be filled with it’s own story/creating his own news
  • Hearst era created gas-lighting techniques, which is manipulative
  • Welles was a born show-man, his career was built on controversy (but that controversy benefitted him, until Citizen Kane)
  • Welles wanted to revolutionize the theatre, no matter what it took to get what he wanted (the Macbeth play got wonderful reviews)
  • Welles had fame within theatre and radio, he exuded power and authority
  • Hearst always wanted more, he was taught to aim for the highest
  • Hearst lost at multiple political positions (even his own party that he formed)
  • Welles stripped Hearst’s life story to make his own plot for his drama
  • Welles’ radio could reach many people, used this platform in a risky and daring way (ex during his War of the Worlds show that scared many)
  • Marion started as a gold digger, but she ended up falling in love with Hearst
  • Citizen Kane had a horrible portrayal of Marion Davies (Orson still believes it was a wrong trick to play)
  • Welles was always posing (he did not take any blame for the issues, always put it on other people)
  • The script for the movie, Herman J. Mankiewicz, gave a copy to the nephew of Davies, Hearst knew that the topic of the movie was him, but Welles continued on with production
  • Hearst loved a good time and loved life, but he used his newspaper for his own influence (making up fake stories)
  • Hearst wanted the film destroyed and offered to buy the film and burn them
  • Louella Parsons wanted the film to be ruined, Hearst and Parsons threatened Orson
  • Orson was accused of being a communist and a homosexual
  • The RKO palace was where Citizen Kane opened, no Hearst papers showed any reviews or advertisements for it
  • Citizen Kane only got one Oscar, for the screenplay, even though it was nominated for 9
  • The one winner of the Orson and Hearst battle is the film itself

RKO 281 (Docudrama)

  • Welles, at 24, signs with RKO 281 (with an unimaginable contract)
  • Hearst and Welles had conflict at a dinner party that was hosted by Hearst (there were bull-fighting references that related to the structure of Hollywood)
  • The production of Citizen Kane went over the scheduled time
  • Welles and Mankiewicz had their ups and downs, but in the end they worked things though and were able to collaborate
  • Welles struggled within his relationship with his father
  • Hearst was in debt over $100 million
  • Marion was upset about her portrayal after watching the movie
  • Heads of the studios met to come up with a plan for their situation, which was to burn/destroy all of the copies of the film
  • Orson spoke to the ‘money-men’ in New York City, and convinced them to show the film, because of the freedom they had

Story of Film Episode 5 – Post-War Cinema

The following is copied from Wikipedia

1939-1952: The Devastation of War…And a New Movie Language

Story of Film Episode 4 – The Arrival of Sound

The following is copy and pasted from Wikipedia

The 1930s: The Great American Movie Genres…

…And the Brilliance of European Film

Story of Film Episode 3 – The Golden Age of World Cinema

The following was taken from Wikipedia

1918-1932: The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World

Story of Film Episode 2 – The Hollywood Dream

The following material is from Wikipedia

1918-1928: The Triumph of American Film…

…And the First of its Rebels

Story of Film Episode 1 – Birth of the Cinema

The following links are from Wikipedia


1895-1918: The World Discovers A New Art form or Birth of the Cinema

1903-1918: The Thrill Becomes Story or The Hollywood Dream


Editing an Interview


In this project, I had to take a 31-minute interview with actor James W. Clark and shorten down and turn it into a more condensed and meaningful interview.

Terms and Concepts Covered

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • V – Selection tool
  • Q – Cuts everything to the left
  • W – Cuts everything to the right
  • Cmd, K – Makes a cut
  • \ – Shows the entire timeline
  • Home – Moves cursor to the beginning of the timeline
  • I – In-point
  • O – Out-point
  • ; – Lift (leaves a gap)
  • ‘ – Extract (fills the gap)
  • B – Ripple edit tool
  • Up Arrow – Moves cursor to the left edit
  • Down Arrow – Moves cursor to the right edit
  • Left Arrow – Moves cursor to the previous frame
  • Right Arrow – Moves cursor to the next frame
  • Cmd, Shift, D – Crossfade
  • Number Pad – Moves cursor to a specific location on the timeline
  • A – Selects all tracks forward
  • . –  Drops a clip into the timeline
  • Opt, X – Clears all in-points and out-points

Techniques / Tools

  • Cross Fade: Smooths out jolts between clips.
  • Three-Point Editing: Add one in-point and one out-point on the timeline, and one in-point on the individual clip. Or add one in-point on the timeline, and one in-point and one out-point on the timeline. Then simply drop the clip into the timeline.
  • Morph Cut: Helps fix jump cuts. To use it, go to Effects and search for “morph.” Drag and drop the Morph Cut onto an edit. After it finishes analyzing, render it by clicking Enter.
  • Adjusting Audio Levels:
    • To adjust the levels of all the audio, select all the audio clips, right-click, choose Audio Gain, and adjust.
    • To create keyframes, hold down Cmd and click on the audio level bar. Use these keyframes to adjust the audio levels of just a specific section.
  • Color Grading: Select a clip, go to the Color layout, and make adjustments. To apply this color grading to several other clips, select the main clip, go to Effect Controls, click on Lumetri Color, and copy it. Then select all the clips that need the filter and hit paste.
  • Razor Blade Tool: Used to cut out a section of a clip.

Collating Files and Storyboard

this be it

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 9.01.46 AM

Project Skills Evidence

What I Learned

In this project, I learned that editing out small clips and moving them together takes a long time, especially when the starting video is 31 minutes long. I did the actual editing of this video for two days, and I was only able to get 34 seconds of footage. It didn’t even turn out how I wanted it to, but at least I hit the deadline.

Film Music Operation & Control


In this project, I took the video that I made in a group and added a chord progression to it to try and add an effect to the film.

The Fundamental Elements of Film Music Notes

  • Photoplay Music: short compositions useful for inducing different moods
  • Tempo: paired w/editing, bpm, speed up and slow down to match feel
  • Time signature: top is # of beats/measure, bottom is which note value gets beat
  • Rhythm
    • subdivide
  • Free time: no tempo/beat
  • Scales and melody
    • Pitch: high=small
  • Harmony: 2 notes at the same time
    • Chord: 3+ notes
  • Music makes a film, film makes the music

How to Imitate a Whole Lot of Hollywood Film Music

  • Major triad: select root, move 4 spaces right, then 3
  • minor triad: select root, move 3 spaces right, then 4
  • Distance between roots
  • M2M: Protagonism
  • M6M: Outer space
  • M8M: Fantastical
  • M4m: Sadness, loss
  • M5m: romantic, middle eastern
  • m5M/M7m: wonder transcendence
  • m2M: mystery of dark comedy
  • m11M: Dramatic sound
  • m6m: antagonism (less character based)
  • m8m: antagonism (more character based)

Film with Music Composition

Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 8.56.29 AM

For this chord progression, I used an E minor chord ad the root and moved the root note up two spots to make an F sharp major chord. This progression was made to give the emotion of mystery in the film, as the audience does not know what the protagonist is going to find in the bathroom, therefore it being a mystery.

What I Learned

In this project, I learned that making a chord progression is easy, but making a good chord progression is not. Making a good chord progression that also fits with the scene is a whole other story. I also learned how to use different chords in a pattern to evoke certain emotions and feelings to the audience.

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