Citizen Kane Research

The Battle Over Citizen Kane

  • The “social media” back in the day was mainly newspapers
  • The newspapers had a large influence
  • Orson Welles was allowed to create his own movie and have creative liberty. This was much more than others were allowed
  • Citizen Kane was well received but it would result in Welles’ career
  • Citizen Kane almost didn’t get released. People were trying to destroy it
  • William Hearst would sometimes make his own news like making a woman collapse on the ground or make someone jump off a ferry
  • Hearst attacked his enemies through his newspaper and vicious wording
  • The character, Charles Foster Kane, was based off of William Hearst
  • William Hearst was against Citizen Kane
  • Welles was considered a genius by the age of 3 and lost both of his parents at a young age. He didn’t get to really experience his childhood
  • Welles’ career thrived off of controversy
  • Welles was willing to do anything to make his play perfect, even to the point of threatening people of physical assault
  • Welles worked his actors like dogs
  • Welles would ride in ambulances to get to places quicker
  • Welles’ first play at the Mercury theater wasn’t met with good reviews
  • Hearst had the worst attendance of any congressmen ever. He believed that attending the meeting was a waste of time
  • He bought multiple newspaper companies and was one of the first to have a national chain of papers
  • Hearst’s papers told someone to put a bullet in the president and someone did
  • Hearst ran for many governmental positions like mayor, governor, and president. However, he lost all of them
  • Hearst was for “the people” wanting laws like the 8 hour work day
  • Orson would sometimes change up the radio show minutes before they were about to air. This was not uncommon
  • Welles would sometimes go on rampages at the Ritz Carlton, tearing down the doors of the guests. This added up to $40,000 or so in damages
  • Welles broadcasted a fake war terror story and received a contract for total freedom for a movie
  • Marion Davies was a performer that Hearst liked while his wife was pregnant
  • Davies knew how to flatter men to get what she wanted
  • Orson Welles had to fight to be able to release the film. Obviously he succeeded
  • The FBI made many accusations about Orson, communist, gay, etc
  • Hearst would threaten Welles even further, telling no adverts for ‘Citizen Kane’
  • They would do anything to stop Welles and Citizen Kane
  • Citizen Kane had 9 nominations and Welles himself had 4 nominations
  • Citizen Kane could not die. But after 40 or so years, it became popular and was put on many lists of “the best film ever made”

Docudrama RKO 281

  • Docudrama starts off with a tv reviewing Welles’ life and how he’s a genius
  • William Hearst has a mistress
  • Hearst has no money left but won’t accept it
  • “We will buy this movie. And we will destroy it”
  • Welles gives a speech to the board to convince them to allow him to release the movie. “Are you going to send the message to the world that one man [Hearst] can take away all of our voices?”
  • Welles invited Hearst to the premiere of his film

Episode 4 – The Arrival of Sound Notes

The 1930s: The Great American Movie Genres…

…And the Brilliance of European Film


  • The success of Frankenstein added a surge of horror movies to cinema
  • Gangster films used to be morally debated and shifted to somewhat of “Greek tragedies”
  • To make animated humans look more natural, Disney filmed a girl dancing and then transcribed it into their animation exactly to make their animation look more natural
  • Later in the years, Poland started to contribute to cinematography
  • 1932, zoom lens started becoming readily available
  • Hitchcock is one of the most influential filmmakers in history

Episode 3 – The Golden Age of World Cinema

1918-1932: The Great Rebel Filmmakers Around the World


  • Cinema slowly transitioned from the soft appearance of film to a harsher most realistic type of film
  • People would go through many different lengths to have “special effects”. For example, to make a mask, people would have to put plaster on their face

Episode 2 – The Hollywood Dream Notes

1918-1928: The Triumph of American Film…

…And the First of its Rebels


  • People in Hollywood slowly learned to use light for different things. For example, how to make one location look like another based solely on lighting
  • Many dramatic scenes (like a burning bridge) and stunts were not fake. Many people were injured and many structures destroyed
  • Charlie Chaplin is one of the most notable figure in cinema
  • Chaplin influenced many actors. People based many of their characters based on him and his appearance
  • Eventually people created non-fiction stories and films
  • To create non-fiction films, they filmed the content and then recorded a voice over it
  • They used props such as tiny desks and dolls to give the illusion of a forced perspective for example. a warehouse full of desk workers

Episode 1 – Birth of the Cinema Notes

The following is from Wikipedia:


  • Don’t be limited by your location. You can change it
  • Ideas drive movies, not money
  • Thomas Edison took the first steps to the start of cinema
  • The Lumiere Brothers created a camera that allowed people to watch films
  • People eventually found different ways to change their films and add special effects like how to make someone “disappear” by changing the film itself
  • The ‘Phantom Ride’ technique is a commonly used technique by many modern and past filmmakers
  • Filmmakers kept their camera wide instead of close up as to not confuse their audience
  • People later learned how to cut and edit in order to improve their films
  • Parallel edit allows us to tell two storylines at once
  • Cinema later transition from filming the location to filming the actors
  • Before, many people didn’t even know the actor’s names
  • This was the start of stardom
  • At the start, Hollywood was mainly made up of women and immigrants, people who wanted to work but didn’t have an opportunities
  • Many women were directors as well as actors
  • Frances  Marion is one of the most notable screenwriter that have received multiple oscars for her screenwriter
  • Once the industry grew, big money was able to be made. This meant that many men joined the industry as well and took over many of the jobs from women
  • D.W. Griffith has been accredited for many films and many different techniques

Chocolate! Film Post-Production – Editor’s Journal


After production, everyone on the team switched to be an editor and edited the same clips and sounds but in their own style.

Test Edits

I did not do any test edits. However if I did, I would’ve tested on the audio rather than the footage itself.

Edit 1 – The first edit I would’ve attempted would be a reverb edit. In the beginning, our audio sounded off. This was because we did not record enough ADR or proper ADR for the background to make it all work. The camera audio had somewhat of an echo which made it sound more natural but the ADR audio did not. Learning how to properly use the reverb effect could’ve helped improve the film immensely.

Edit 2 – Another edit I could’ve test edit would be a zoom or a crossfade. These could’ve helped the film transition more smoothly.

Editing Software Screenshots

Color Correction. I added a subtle hint of yellow throughout the film. If I went overboard, it would be obvious due to the wooden cupboards in the background.

Visual Transition. This is a dip to black edit. I chose this since my next piece of footage was a black background with text on top of it. It made the transition between the two pieces of footage smoother.

Audio Transition. Similar to the dip to black edit, this one was an exponential fade audio edit. This helped make the dip to black edit less noticeable. I even changed the time of edit to coincide with the dip to black edit.

How I Could Have Improved The Film

We could’ve easily improved the film by recording better ADR. The mix of ADR and camera footage was unsettling and distracted the viewer from the film. It was obvious whenever we switched from camera sound to ADR sound.

What I Learned and Problems I Solved

I learned that making ADR sound sound like camera sound and visa versa was very hard. Although there are certain audio effects that could help. I also learned that and easier way to match up the audio is to look at both files and match the “mountains” up. Cutting away to other footage is also another easy way to avoid having to match up the audio and the footage.



Chocolate! Film Production – Director’s Journal


We worked with another group to help each other film our projects. For my group’s film, I worked as a director to adjust the actors and tell them how to act. For the other group’s team, I worked as an actor in the film.

Production Notes for Each Day of Shooting

Day 1

Expectations: Test shoots and organize on how to place equipment and work with actors on how to shoot the video.

Achievements/Not Achievements: We were able to figure out the placement of equipment and the actors were able to know how to do their part. We were unable to film due to lack of props.

Issues and Solutions: Our cinematographer was absent. We solved this issue by making one of the other team members do the job.

Day 2 

Expectations: Finish filming and get all of the shots we need

Achievements/Not Achievements: We were able to record all of the footage.

Issues and Solutions: Our cinematographer was absent. We solved this issue by making one of the other team members do the job.

What I Learned

Throughout this experience, I learned how to direct actors into their proper positions. Since I also took on the role of cinematographer, I also learned how the angles of the camera and what kind of feeling it could produce depending on angles and position.