When I completed this week’s assignments I was a little relieved- I had never worked a movie program in my life. Though my final products didn’t turn out to be an Oscar winning film, I am glad that I got some basics out of how to use movie/ video editors. The thing that gave me the most trouble surprisingly was the final phase of each assignment and it was to upload the file to Vimeo- it wouldn’t take my file at first and I was so confused as to why, and I figured it was because I saved it wrong the entire time. The thing I enjoyed the most was the opportunity to read about Roger Ebert’s thoughts on picking apart movie scenes. I have never been one to analyze movies but it does give me a little more enlightening tips on there’s more to the story than just the story itself and that can be portrayed in little details such as lighting and character placement. That is one of the things I took away most this week. The other thing was to use basic tools in Movie editors such as transitions or when to add music if needed. The thing I would do differently is the use actual live footage from Friends than pictures of the cast for one of my assignments to go with the opening of how the tv series did it. I would also have added more characters to my Where are they now assignments.
To be an amateur movie analyzer (is that even a thing?) I observed a scene from the movie- Gladiator.
Let me split it up into the parts I observed.
Part Uno: The Visual Aspect-
Focusing on just the shots alone, I could tell that the scene was going to be dramatic and intense. I first saw soldiers marching on to somewhere in a distance.n The scene cuts to the face of a worried woman and back to a scene where all guards are standing looking stone cold in the face. As the tension builds up the scene cuts to the presumably leader figure and an extreme close up of the men’s face as they are about to die. This happens more often as the scene comes to a close to show the viewer the fate will sealed.
Part Dos: The Audio Aspect-
Just by listening to the score an ominous and serious tone is set from the get go and this told me that uh-oh someone is going to be in serious trouble. The score heightens up to the point where the men are executed. After they are executed complete silence is then heard to show the overall mood of the scene.
Part Tres: Put it all together-
As I can say, this is not a happy scene. Just by watching both aspects I was on edge and I felt like I was there with the people because of the may cut shots of their emotions and extreme close up zoom ins.
So I did the “Where are they now?” (worth four stars) assignment. I used, of course, my favorite show Bob’s Burgers mainly because they are still kids and it’s just easier to build off of what might possibly happen to all of them in the future. I used Powerpoint and Windows Live Movie maker yet again.
To start, I used a high school (and college students) best pal- Powerpoint. I simply pasted the pictures into the-the powerpoint. Then, I changed the background because while Powerpoint is not the most eye catching when it comes to all the effects the video does deserve some sort of “pop” (is that the right term for it?). I then went to the Insert tab and added a text box to explain the ultimate fate of all the main characters. After I snazzed up my powerpoint descriptions, I saved the file as a JPG or JPEG. Then I uploaded it onto Windows Live.
Then I got a frame by frame that looked like this but a lot shorter. I played over the slides to see if the transition was smooth enough or had enugh time to explain the characters. The only problem I had while encountering this, is uploading it, I don’t know what Vimeo has against me.
I used Pixlr it is just as good as Photoshop (almost it’s twin), but it’s a lot more easier to navigate around.
1.) Pick Create New Image and it will ask you the dimensions (height/ width) and go crazy! I would choose around 500×800 just because the file may be too large to insert into a post.
2.) After that has been done, there is a tool bar on the side that has a paint bucket and a brush. These will be your best friends with this project.
3.) With the tools pick the paint bucket icon and a color wheel will show up, choose any desired color. I know for mine I did a coral sort of color to match the mood of the song. In addition there’s a gradient tool to give your poster an ombre sort of look.
4.) Once you got your background down, there’s also the option of using the blur, paint brush, smudge, burn effects to give your poster more Pizazz.
4.) Now, to add text there in the tool bar you’ll see a random “A” this is where a text box shows up and you type in the desired lyrics and you have the option to change the font and place it anywhere on your poster.
This is what mine turned out to look like in the end-
Now that you heard the theme song, you are now prepped. This assignment is fairly simple. All you need is Imagination.
And of course, some colored pencils, paper, or go with Photoshop! This assignment requires you to create your own Pokemon.
The hardest part of this assignment is finding inspiration. What I did was, I went to Google and binge searched a bunch of Pokemon characters. Then, I remixed it with using my dogs as another source of inspiration and making them into super strong “pocket monsters”. I drew them up and then later I went into Pixlr to add some more sparkle to them with the brush.
Also… to add to this there is a similar assignment in the Assignment Bank where you could create your own Pokemon card! So if you find yourself in the mood, create a card for you new Pokemon creature!
Here’s one site I recommend: http://www.pokecard.net/
All you have to do is input the information you want, fill in a description, add a picture of your creature, and there you go!!
But there’s definitely other ways to create more cards, feel free to explore.
So I did the assignment- Opening Credits Redux (Worth 4 stars). At first, I had no clue or direction of what opening credits I wanted to redo, then I had an epiphany- let me remake the credits to an iconic TV Show- Friends. I will admit it is not at all as good as the originally season openers used but it did give me an introduction on how to use the basic tools in my Windows movie maker (and it gave me a good excuse to sing “I’ll be There for you” on repeat).
How did I put together this opening video? One word. Two Syllables and a program almost everyone has used once in their life- Powerpoint.
Yes, I am a plain Jane and used Powerpoint, but it proved useful in developing my video.
Now with this I used the “Insert tab” to fill in the background to a more appealing color. Then, I typed into the middle of the title slide the title of the show. I then went to the insert tab again and proceeded to add about seven more slides to introduce the cast.
The insert tab in this was my best friend, I added the cast pictures, screencaps, and any more pizazz I wanted to add to it. Then I clicked File and hit Save As. This is the most important part because with this, you want to save the file as a .JPG NOT a .WMV, this enables you to upload it later to a movie editor.
Now, I used the Windows Live Movie Maker, as opposed to iMovie. The first thing I did with this was upload my JPG files onto the program.
It should look something like this- a sort of frame by frame object. After I played throughout the video a few times to see a smooth transition I then added the music. Now, there is an add music option- but you need to have it in Mp3 before adding it to the video. I also circled the “Music Tools” at the top because this enables the music( or opening theme) to play at the right timing.
Then, I uploaded it to Vimeo…which at the moment does take a while to process which is the only problem I seem to have run into with this assignment.
Yes, anyone- Lady Gaga, Obama, your great aunt Belinda, anyone can read masterfully into movies with just the right amount of techniques. Roger Ebert, a film critic, and professor shares his tips to the- well inexperienced on how to analyze the scene to a television show or movie in his article- “How to Read a Movie”. Being the said “inexperienced” viewer, I’ve never invested myself with taking a closer look at shots. But, more often than not, there’s a greater meaning to the story just by the placement of certain characters or objects.
The enlightening point about this article is Ebert’s main idea- anybody can pick apart a film’s meaning through the simple techniques they use. Not only did this make me feel better about my abilities but it opens the door for anyone to analyze films. Ebert says all the audience (or viewer) needs is some sort of visual strategy. Ebert elaborates by saying just like painting a picture, in reading a film, there’s also rules of thumb. By focusing on how the visual space and placement of characters or objects in a scene can tell the viewer the overall mood of the film.
Ebert gives more “rules of thumbs” when approaching a movie scene. Placement can tell a lot of about the situation and relationships between characters. Right is looked upon as a placement of the power, and seems to be more favorable as opposed to being on the left where the character is looked upon as weak and/or less so dynamic. The same concept goes for top and bottom, where the top is looked upon as more dominant than the bottom. But placement is not the only thing one can take note of. There’s much more to a scene telling a story like- camera angles, symmetry in the composition of the scene, zooms, and shots of a character POV can reveal a lot more about the story.
Ebert was kind enough to show a walkthrough example of his thought process when he reads a movie with Hitchcock’s- “Notorious” Ebert first explains the situation going on in the film. Then, he talks about the relative position of the Cary Grant’s character on the axis where he moved from the right to the left, showing a dynamic behavior shift where a character in power shifts to a more vulnerable manner. Ebert says to take note of all the things you notice whether it’s the color, lighting, even the spoken dialog can reveal things.
I also got a chance to look at about four videos which are consisting of the different techniques used by well-known directors such as Kubrick and Tarantino. The main takeaway I got from watching this video culmination was the camera work and angles can make the audience almost feel like they are following the character(s) or having a moment with them. As camera techniques are often brushed aside, they serve to show the dynamic to the character and give a sense of depth on a two-dimensional plane.
Well first and foremost- there’s no single person I choose that personifies “special” to me. I have a lot of people that have really impacted the way I live, how I view things, and how I grow into the person I am becoming. Today’s daily create honestly, left me with internal conflict. So I am bending the rules a little- I’m writing a mush-fest post for those people.
First, is my mother, I can’t thank you enough for the amount of times you drop everything to help me out (no matter how big I screw up). For accepting me, when even I couldn’t accept myself. For the countless times, I had fallen down you immediately offered your kind and warm hand to help me up. You have made me look at the world and others through a compassionate lens. I can’t express how much you mean to me, thank you.
Then, there’s my father who never fails to encourage me to do better in whatever I encounter. I want to thank you for telling me the corny jokes to make me smile and brighten up my day a little more. Thank you for being my biggest advocate and fan in whatever I do. I also want to thank you even more so for not having a heart attack when you saw how much my tuition would cost. You are the man, stay gold dad.
In addition there’s Zach (my brother), you have been a shoulder to lean on and a free ear to exhaust. I’ll admit- we had our arguments but you have always cared and given me some of the best advice. Thank you.
I want to especially thank my best pals- Jazlynn, Katie, Alesa, and Kevin; I don’t know what I would do without you. I don’t. I’d probably be lost in the middle of the desert, city, or so way out location like Antarctica. Anyways, just I can’t express how much I love you all- it’s hard to find those who will care for you no matter what. Kudos to you.
To the many friends I have met this year at UMW, you all have been through some tough times, but you manage to stay positive and supportive. You all are just amazing.
Finally, to all you “ds106ers” (that’s an appropriate term right??), I appreciate how inspired you all make me! To those in my class, my professor, and every one of you I don’t personally – thank you for inspiring me and showing the many aspects of creativity!
This week’s assignments were tougher than I thought they would be, but I had a lot of fun using the applications and creating the audio. Audacity was a fairly simple and straight forward application I had to use, and the only problems I had this week were uploaded the final products for my audio assignments. The thing I enjoyed doing the most had to be making a song so much slower than what it had to because it felt like I was creating a new song all together, and listening to the radio show stories because I think without that I wouldn’t enjoy audio storytelling as much as I do now. As far as what I learned, I learned there is a lot more to audio than what people think they know. So much goes into making the final product. The thing I would do most differently this week, is the assignment where I had to make my theme song, I felt like I needed to learn more about how to make a song with a beat that has a flow because in the end I felt like my product was just mashed up together and I was not really satisfied with the final product. As far as any cultural or societal impacts, I definitely did notice when I was listening to other people’s versions of making a a song 800% slower, it really goes to show with enough work any song whether it’s a pop anthem, fantasy theme show, or country song could be turned into an epic or “ethereal” piece.