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Alfred Hitchcock: What did I get from this course?

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If I were to summarize what I got from this course, I would say that I learned to appreciate and respect Hitchcock, not only for his films and craftsmanship, but for the impact he had in filmmaking and movies in general.


If I were to expand, I would do it in three points, most of which have been expressed more ellegantly by Dr. Edwards and Wes Gehring:


1. Hitchcock's ability to balance between being an "artist" and an "entertainer".


Like Dr. Edwards and Wes Gehring said repeatedly, it is amazing how well Hitchcock juggled both aspects of his career. Despite the fact that many artists nowadays seem to favor one side over the other, Hitchcock shows that both sides don't have to be mutually exclusive. His films are full of mass appeal, while also being excellent works of art and outstanding achievements in filmmaking.


2. Hitchcock's work ethic and how prolific he was.


Hitchcock really worked hard. In a time where many filmmakers seem to take forever to make a film, one has to give kudos to this man, who through all his career kept an unbelievable work pace, releasing an average of 2, sometimes 3 films per year; finishing with 54 films through a 50+ year career. I love that he just went at it. And if a film didn't work, he just went on with the next one, never stopping.


3. Hitchcock's ability to innovate and experiment.


Hitchcock wasn't afraid of change. Another of the things that Dr. Edwards and Wes Gehring emphasized was precisely how Hitchcock stood at the front of the pack, in terms of the filmmaking business. When other artists struggled with the silent/sound transition, he just went on and reshaped a film (Blackmail) from silent to sound; when he felt like he had hit a dead end in Britain, he packed his things and moved to Hollywood; when new technologies surfaced, he wasn't afraid of experimenting with them: from VistaVision to color, or 3D; when television seemed to threaten cinemas, he just went and made a TV show. It's amazing the ability he had to adapt to changes and use them to his advantage.




I think those are the three things I've learned to respect most of Hitchcock, and are things that I can only hope to instill in my personal and professional life.


I'd like to thank Dr. Edwards for yet another terrific course. I started with you on the #NoirSummer course, and I can say that your insight, intelligence, and more importantly, your accesible delivery and approachable attitude have given me greater appreciation for this art I love, films. Just sign me in for the next one, doesn't matter what it is about!


Also, thanks to Wes Gehring for his excellent contributions to the lectures. Watching you and listening to you might be enough to make someone enroll in your classes. Your endless knowledge and stories were a perfect accompaniment to Dr. Edwards.


Obviously, thanks to the people behind: Ball State, Canvas, and TCM, for putting up this efforts.


And finally, thanks to everyone who contributed here and on Twitter. Like Dr. Edwards says repeatedly, the social aspect of the course, is perhaps the best part. To read so many insights from so many people all around the world is amazing. I wish I could've contributed more to the forums or the live-tweets, but as it is, I always enjoyed reading the things this amazing community brought forward.



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