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!

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.


Week 10 Summary

The assignments this week allowed me to continue to stretch my video-editing skills.  Two of these projects directly related to finding particular patterns/tropes across film.  For example, for one of the assignments I found five instances of the reluctant hero trope, while for another I made a supercut of dramatic screaming in movies.  Both remind me of phenomena that have percolated on the internet (such as the alignment system and various supercut YouTube videos).  I also made a mashup type video where I layered Oh Fortuna over the music video for Sia’s The Greatest.  This was a fun exercise that reiterated the importance of audio in regards to tone, and how a simple change can lead to incredibly interesting effects.

The daily creates this week allowed for some fun creative exercises.

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.

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.

Week 7 Summary

This week’s focus was on the radio project.  I have to say this was a great experience as far as group projects go.  We were able to successfully coordinate and meet up in person four times during the week, and everyone contributed.  Most of the work came in the form of figuring out logistics and editing the sheer amount of audio recordings that we had generated.  But overall, this was a very positive experience.

In addition, the daily creates this week were a bit more image oriented.  The first one required some quick editing to mashup two images/historical events.

And the second involved going outside to perform some photography.

Week 6 Summary

This week really focused on getting us prepared for the radio show project.  Our group quickly put together a google doc for planning.  I used some of my weekly assignments to contribute to developing the project.  One of the assignments I completed was a fun little commercial for a fictitious Gods Away Spray to assist Xena when she has to deal with the meddling of Greek deities.  It’s lighthearted and funny, and I was quite proud of the end result.  I also completed a promo poster for our radio show through GIMP.  This took some playing around with, but I believe the outcome successfully communicates our theme in a clear and concise, yet engaging manner.  The full assessment of our progress can be seen in this post.

Other audio projects, while perhaps not directly assisting with the radio project, did help with improving my familiarity with Audacity.  I was able to experiment with tone while mimicking the style of Don LaFontaine.  I also had the opportunity to reclaim spam.  Finally, I continued my recurring theme of using Xena at every possible opportunity by creating a fictitious voicemail for the character.  Overall, this week really focused on audio, and more specifically with preparing us for this radio show project.  And I believe our group is ready to tackle the challenge!

In addition, the daily creates were somewhat more involved this week.  One involved making a gif:

Another involved poetry:

And the last one involved creating clones through messing with panoramas.  This one was especially fun as I was literally running around the room getting into position.  3 clones is pretty successful!

Week 5 Summary

This week was a fun foray into the intricacies and intent behind design.  We began by reflecting on various resources and examples that emphasized the importance of meaning, emotion, and memory when beginning the design process.  We then moved on to exploring design for ourselves.  Since I don’t have a great deal of experience with visual design, I chose to do many smaller assignments to ease myself into the skills and mindset needed.  I examined my own identity through designing my hypothetical biography.  I then explored the various images and associations that one makes in conjunction with different words.  Later I was able to examine the centrality of certain film plot points and play with the dialogue of a screenshot to drastically change the implications for the movie in question.  I also tinkered with medieval tapestry design, applying this older style to a more modern series’ narrative.  And finally, I took a book title out of context to turn a classic story into a horror story.  These were a fun set of exercises that helped cement the connection between design and meaning.

Other design exercises included reexamining Show Your Work in the context of design.  This allowed us to review the importance of documenting our creative process (an important aspect of this class) while also allowing us to see how design can be used to aid one’s argument.  We also searched for various design concepts in everyday advertisements and objects during the designblitz.  This was a particularly fun assignment that allowed us to connect these ideas to our everyday lives.

Finally, the daily creates were very photo-centric this week, allowing us to further examine the importance of visuals and design.