Entering The Peripheral

It’s been interesting to delve into another William Gibson novel after having been exposed to his previous work, Neuromancer .  Neuromancer was a somewhat difficult but fascinating read in that it was a sci-fi novel written in the past predicting a technological future, which while often predicative of actual technological advancements, occasionally greatly diverged from present technology and conventional sci-fi.  I initially anticipated that The Peripheral may be an easier read as it’s a more recent novel that can be grounded in the realities of current technologies while again predicting the future.  But this was not the case.  Gibson predicts so far into the future that the technology involves ideas and concepts I had never considered.  This makes his plots a bit difficult to grasp because you are essentially dumped into a new world with no context.  But after wading through the initial chapters, struggling to pick up and recognize the strands of plot, everything began to come together around chapter 20.  This has greatly increased my motivation to read the book, as I’m now invested in the characters and I understand what’s going on, and it has some incredible plot twists.  The idea that you could play a “game” that is actually the future, witness a real murder, and now be in danger is such a cool idea.  I’m looking forward to continuing Gibson’s novel, and further exploring his vision of the future now that I have a better idea of what’s happening.

Weekly Summary/Final Project

This week’s work on the final project included creating two aged images, two pieces of audio service announcements, and one gif, in addition to numerous tweets that help make the overall story more cohesive.  In addition to my work on the final project, I completed my advice post for future students.  I focused my advice on promoting strategies that I feel make the workload more fun and engaging.

The full twitter account for the final project can be viewed here.  Essentially I’ve created a page that impersonates Julius Caesar (as a character in Xena: Warrior Princess) that provides his perspective on Season 4 events.   I found inspiration from the companion twitter accounts created for the web series Carmilla and the companion tumblr account created for the show Wynonna Earp.  Essentially, fans of the show would be able to visit the account and view what can be considered another layer of storytelling.   On this account, “Caesar” has tweeted a total of 22 times, which has included 4 pieces of image editing, 1 piece of video-editing, 3 pieces of audio editing, and 1 gif.  His account itself can be considered a web assignment, and the whole project can be considered a form of fanfiction. I must say, some of his tweeting style may have been inspired by recent political figures… An example:

Enjoy, and thanks for a great semester!

DS106 Advice

This class does require a lot of work and time commitment, but the flexibility afforded by the multitude of assignments means that this course can be fine-tuned to your interests.  As long as you incorporate ideas or characters or shows that you find fun and entertaining, you’ll find the motivation to complete the assignments.  I think this is especially important for the final project, which requires unifying many assignments to tell one story.  If the story you’re telling is compelling for you, you’ll be motivated to work on the project consistently (which is the ideal way to work).  This makes the process minimally painful, and can actually make the work incredibly fun.

Progress Report 2

I have decided to stick with my original plan of tying together a story from Caesar’s perspective in Xena: Warrior Princess.  To accomplish this, I’ve created a fake twitter account for Julius Caesar where he regularly posts his own opinions (think ancient Donald Trump…) and links to more formal updates (such as public service announcements, etc.).  So far I’ve been having a great deal of fun with this project.  I love my topic and have found many of my little creations to be personally hilarious.  The full progress can be viewed on the twitter page itself, but here is an example tweet that is one of my personal favorites.

 

Progress Report 1

This week has largely been spent brainstorming ideas.  Any open-ended project is intimidating in that the possibilities are essentially endless and selecting the right idea is entirely dependent upon you.  Selecting a topic that will be continue to engage me and motivate me over several weeks is critical.  If anyone has noticed a slight theme in my projects, it’s that many of my assignments revolve around Xena: Warrior Princess.  My thought is that I can create an overarching story that revolves around true events in the series, with additional supplemental pieces (almost like a giant piece of fanfiction).  Most of these pieces I believe I can create from the point of view of Caesar’s government, which would be trying to track down and kill Xena.  They would paint her as a villainous character, which would provide a context where both truth and lies can intermingle (which could provide great exercises in tone).  So for instance, I could create a Twitter account devoted to posting public safety announcements in regards to Xena’s whereabouts, and a Google Map Tracker of last known locations.  In addition, I could create service announcements (such as those that interrupt our “regularly scheduled program) and most wanted videos.  Essentially I would be creating a propaganda machine devoted to discrediting Xena’s accomplishments and attempting to capture her.

Week 11 Summary

This has been a fun week for me, as mashups are my forte.  I began by mashing up E.T. and Poltergeist in another little exercise focusing on finding similarities among films (even with wildly different tones).  Following the election, I performed another Poltergeist mashup to properly capture my feelings.  I then published a Wonder Woman mashup I uploaded last week (for fun) following the new trailer release.  I then created a video examining a changing character, which in this case was Gabrielle.  I moved to remixes, beginning by remixing my archetypes assignment (creating a horrific power point), followed by my Mulan video (which also experimented with tone).  I also created a tutorial for the original Mulan related assignment I completed a while back (which allowed me to reflect on the step-by-step process I needed to complete the project).  Overall I turned this into a video-focused mashup week, allowing me to continue to hone my editing skills in both iMovie and CyberLink PowerDirector.

The daily creates I completed this week were essentially some fun exercises in creative writing.

 

A Stereo Movie Tutorial

To begin, you will need to find your visual footage of choice for editing.  One of the ways this can be achieved is by downloading videos from YouTube.  To do this, begin by highlighting the section in front of the youtube url and replacing it with pwn (so it reads pwnyoutube.com).

tutorial-1

This will direct you to Deturl.com.  Many of the downloading options are unreliable, so be sure to only click on File2HD (preferably in a browser like Chrome that helps prevent unwanted pop-ups as an additional precaution).

tutorial-2

Once here, check the terms and service box and select Movies, and then click the Get Files button (ignore any other buttons, no matter how flashy).

tutorial-3

Then click on the highest quality file to download your YouTube video.

tutorial-4

This video can then by added to your video-editing software of choice.  Place the video on your timeline, mute the video, and then add your chosen song.

tutorial-5

Publish your video, and voila!

Bad Archetypes Remix

I remixed my old archetypes assignment into a bad-powerpoint.  I began by deliberately selecting small pictures that I stretched to a large size (making them poor quality).  I also enlarged the pictures in such a way that pieces were cut off or images covered the title text.  In addition, I chose a particularly terrible lime green background and red text (which was also capitalized).  The result is a pretty horrendous powerpoint (select the bad powerpoint link above).

*The powerpoint is so bad I can’t find a way to embed it.

Gabrielle: A Changing Character

My love of all things Xena: Warrior Princess should be well documented by this point, so it’s no surprise that I decided to try my hand at this assignment.  I’ve always been particularly impressed with Gabrielle as a character on the show.  She has an incredible growth arc, evolving from a naive farmgirl to a warrior over the course of six seasons.  To depict this evolution, I selected clips from my collection of Xena DVDs and arranged them in CyberLink PowerDirector.  I chose to use the song Sol Invictus by Audiomachine as my source of music, layering this audio over my footage.  The result is a fairly epic video provided below.