Week 9 Summary

I am an avid lover of all things film-related, so I had a lot of fun this week.  The video essay reminded me greatly of my Introduction to Cinema Studies class I took last semester.  Excellent throwback.  Moving into the assignments allowed me to make some hilarious pieces.  I was able to mashup Ghostbusters and Gravity to make a serious piece into a funny one.  I also placed two pieces with similar tone together (in this case Mulan and The Sound of Silence).  Playing around with slow motion allowed me to make a hilarious clip even more ridiculous while also highlighting the mechanics of the motion and sound.  And finally I was able to condense a movie into its essential parts as a fun exercise in spoiling a film.  Overall this was a very enjoyable week, and I look forward to working with more video-related projects next week.

My daily creates are below.  The first is a fun bit of site exploration, and the second is a nice exercise in storytelling within the constraints of twitter.

Spoiling Aliens

I liked the idea of condensing a movie into its essential scenes, so I decided to try my hand at this assignment.  It reminded me of movie trailers (which are often critiqued for giving away major plot points).  After selecting Aliens as my movie of choice, I spliced what I considered to be the essential scenes together in CyberLink PowerDirector.  I decided to focus on the aliens themselves, minimizing other major subplots (such as the centrality of Newt).  But overall, I believe my editing choices convey an effective summary of the film.  The video is below.  Spoiler Alert!

Mulan and the Sound of Silence

I’ve been enjoying these unconventional combinations of audio and video editing, so I decided to try my hand at this one.  I decided to use the scene where Mulan and the rest of the Chinese army find the burned out village, and overlay Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence (as I felt the somber mood fit the visuals).  I successfully downloaded these from YouTube, muted the Mulan clip, and added a section of the piece of music, fading the visuals and audio at the end to make the conclusion smoother.  I successfully uploaded the result to YouTube, and voila!  A winning combination of complimentary pieces with similar tones.

Xena’s Instant Replay

I enjoy watching America’s Funniest Home Videos, which often have an instant replay effect, so I thought I’d try my hand at this assignment.  I chose a ridiculous scene from Xena: Warrior Princess, where the protagonist makes an incredibly cheesy gravity-defying leap.  I did a quick Google Search to determine how to use slow motion in CyberLink PowerDirector (apparently its a Power Tools option) and completed the effect.  The result helps emphasize the ridiculousness of the jump, while also demonstrating some of the mechanics of the Xena warcry.

Gravity and Ghostbusters

I loved the idea of making a serious movie funny, so I took this assignment and ran with it.  I began by selecting my two scenes to mashup.  For my serious scene I chose the reentry clip from Gravity (one of my favorite movies).  Then I chose the proton pack scene from Ghostbusters as my funny audio clip. I downloaded these clips from YouTube, entered them in CyberLink PowerDirector, muted the Gravity scene, and overlaid the audio from the Ghostbusters scene.  I edited the order of some of the shots from Gravity to make the audio mesh better, and the result was pretty solid.  It does a fair job of demonstrating how important audio is for creating tone, and how two jarringly different pieces can come together in a pretty hilarious manner.  The final product is available below for your viewing pleasure.

The Karate Kid: A Video Essay

To be perfectly honest, perhaps the hardest aspect of this assignment was finding a suitable movie scene to analyze.  I wanted to ensure that it was meaningful to me, while also selecting a scene that was not dialogue-centric (as I figured it would be difficult to successfully overlap narration and dialogue without the piece becoming confusing).  Once I selected this scene, I recorded myself narrating my analysis in Audacity while playing the video.  This took several attempts, as the computer had trouble simultaneously recording me while playing sound.  I ultimately chose to mute the video while recording myself to address this problem.  I then downloaded the scene from YouTube and added it in CyberLink PowerDirector (my video-editing program).  I lowered the scene’s volume and then added my narration, adding a promotional image from the movie during the beginning and end of the video where there’s only voice-over).  Once satisfied with the product, I uploaded it to YouTube, where it can be viewed below.

Week 8 Summary

Whew.  This week was a lot to get through, but I managed.  First we began with listening to our incredible radio shows.  It was obvious that a lot of work had been put into these, and I was thoroughly impressed.  I personally reviewed the Meme Show for my RadioListen.  Excellent work all around.

I then moved into learning how to use X-Ray Goggles.  The actual installation and use wasn’t that hard to navigate, and I quickly moved to playing around with the tool.  I first manipulated our main UMW site to make it seem like a school for Witchcraft and Wizardry.  I then used the same tool to create my own personalized search engine.  I finally moved to altering YouTube, implying that Eowyn’s encounter with the Witch King involved romance and providing some pro-Sauron summaries for the side videos.  For my last assignment, I moved away from X-Ray Goggles, instead deciding to play with Google Translate to totally change our national anthem.  Overall, these exercises were a fun way to demonstrate the fact that the web is not a static entity.

I also combed through our blog feed to contribute to the ds106 showcase.  It was beyond evident that we have a lot of creative work being produced by this course.  In addition, I connected my daily creates through the point of view of an author to make them coherent as a single entity.  Overall, this was a long but productive week.

Daily Create Story

I am an author.  When people ask me why I write…

Writing can have many different purposes.  Sometimes it can involve artistry and poetry…

Other times, it can involve simple documentation.  Such as recording the actions of these incredible women.

DS106 Showcase

It’s pretty incredible the amount of work that this class has created.  There are some great minds in this class.  I was perusing many different assignments, seperating out those that especially struck my fancy, when I noticed a bit of a pattern.  All the assignments I was picking were visual.  Perhaps this is related to the fact that we are visual creatures, or perhaps it is simply that I am not a very good visual editor myself, and no how difficult it is to work with GIMP and Photoshop (hence my admiration).  Regardless, here are my top picks.

showcase1

I specifically remember seeing this blog post a while back, which inspired me to try my own hand at creating a medieval story.  I remember being impressed with the visuals of the storytelling, and with the ability to successfully utilize a much older art form.

showcase2

This is also from a post I remember seeing this semester that truly impressed me.  The visuals are striking.  The crumpled American flag immediately brings up connotations of broken politics, while the spade evokes the idea of cards (quite fitting for House of Cards) and the idea of chance or gambling.  Beautiful piece of work.

showcase3

This last piece is from a post that I don’t recall initially seeing.  I of course loved the reference to the Lord of the Rings, but was also impressed with the post itself, which was very thorough.  The image is simplistic, but also powerful.  Eyes are great symbols (as evidenced by Sauron) and is apparently a reference to Dragon Age.  This was obviously quite time-consuming, and therefore warranted my appreciation.

Google Translate Sings the National Anthem

Browsing through possible assignments, I saw this one, and was immediately reminded of Google Translate Sings.  It’s a fun channel that takes songs, runs them through Google Translate, and then translates them back into English to see what changes ensue (most of which are pretty humorous).  I decided to run our national anthem through Google Translate.  I first began by plugging in the English lyrics, and translating them to Armenian.  I then translated the Armenian results to Norwegian, followed by Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and then back into English.  The results are below.  I think most of the major changes came when having to translate between different alphabet systems, especially in regards to Japanese, which has a very different structure than the original English.  Personally, my favorite section is where it states that we must “overnight document” that our flag was still there.

Oh, you say that you can you can see,
By the light of dawn
We welcome the fact that with pride
Finally, I will flash the dusk.
Who broad stripes and bright stars
For dangerous fight
We saw on the wall
Galant?
And, it lights the rocket red!
Bomb will explode in the air!
Overnight document
That our flag was still there.
Oh, they are the Stars and Stripes are still referred to as the wave
In a free land
And brave of the house.