The Weakest Week

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I named this the weakest week because I didn’t finish one of my assignments and rushed a little towards the end.

I really enjoyed the video editing lesson. I think my version of the Untamable Tamer turned out ok however I would have liked to add music to it too. I was debating between romantic music and zainy music.

The assignment that I chose was fun to do. I put a funny song about montages from Team America Word Police over the Rocky III montage scene. Is that too literal?

I enjoyed both of the the video breakdown and filing tips exercises. I don’t think I will ever look at a video the same way. I will always be looking for those themes. And I had no idea how often they changes camera angles in fight club! Wow…

 

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And that’s a wrap – the final project summary

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I’m generally a fairly creative person but I was having trouble coming up with my big idea all semester. What can I say, I work well under pressure. I will milling through ideas and started thinking of things that would really draw people in, what we can all related to, stories, unlikely heroes, looking at things from a different perspective… ok the thoughts were jumbled in my head. I just finished my research paper for 590. At this point we are lucky I didn’t write about critiquing a research video. On a serious note, it was a combination of thinking about things from a different perspective and an unlikely main character were the inspiration for this idea.

My idea for an improvement is conceptual at this point. I don’t have the steps defined and I don’t know exactly what the solution would look like. What I do know is that understanding a dog will help an owner  and a dog be better friends. If this get’s picked up I’ll work with the dog whisperer to come up with the content for the training dvd J.

The story is written from the dog’s perspective. This is a shift from the usual emphasis on the owner in commercials. But I thought it made sense to present from this angle because the product I’m promotion is about understanding the dog.

The story follows a traditional story line. Once upon a time there was a dog names max. Every day he played with balls. One day he made a big mess. Because of that his owners get frustrated and yelled at max. Because of that Max felt bad and the owner purchased the Understanding him, Be a better friend to your pet dvd. Finally, the owner began to understand Max and train him properly. And ever since then he and his owners were best friends.

Though what I wrote above was much more succinct then the story contained in my post. The story contained in my post is much me interesting and engaging.

I started the story off with a picture of Max, a black lab puppy I from google images. I added a though bubble in snag it and resaved the image as a png file. Then I added a picture of Max with no shredding toilet paper with not description followed by an audio file. I created the audio file in Adobe Audition using several of the skills I learned in week five. First I impersonated (can you impersonate a dog) the voice of Max having a great time shredding the toilet paper. Then I solicited help from an actor, my husband, to record the voice of Max’s owner yelling at him. I used a little of the Foley skills I learned and slammed a door to added affect followed by me impersonating Max whimpering. I added the file to soundcloud and embedded it into the post.

Next I added a line of text specifying that time has elapsed. Then came the fun part! I created a very short film from my camera phone through the eyes of Max as he was “sniffing” around the house. Max comes across the DVD sitting on a chair, pauses for a second then spots a ball and darts away. I created an audio track that I placed on top of the video. I’ll get to that in a second. The audio itself was recorded in Adobe Audition. I made sniffing sounds then spoke in my max voice again followed by 10 seconds of sniffing and a statement about the ball. I decided that it would be appropriate for Max to hear the owners talking about their frustration with him off in the distance so I recorded a second file of myself talking about Max being naughty and trying the dvd as a latch ditch effort. I created a multitrack session Audition and layers the files. I placed both files in the session with the master’s background played over the sniffing. Unfortunately the master’s voice was too loud so I had to alter the file in some way. This is the first time I’ve tried to do something like this before so I had to reference google to find a solution. I found an idea on linda.com that did the trick. There is a “far away source” option I selected to get the desired effect. Then I save the multilayer file as an MP3. The last thing I did was combine the audio file with the video. I forgot to mention sooner that I watched the video and wrote down the key points in the video so I could sync up the sound before importing it.

Screen shot from Audition

Screen shot of my project in Audition

I used Windows Movie Maker to combine the audio and video together. I’ve used it a few times before our previous lesson and know it’s a little clunky. The video I recorded has unintentional sound included so I had to figure out a way to remove the sound. I went to google again for this and found that I could mute the sound embedded in the video and attach my own sound to get the desired affect. The last thing I did was save the file as an MP4 then uploaded it to youtube. Wow, that was a lot of work but I think it turned out good!

Windows Movie Maker

Screen shot of my project in movie maker.

I followed the video with one line of text to explain that time has elapsed but the dog has learned a new trick for lack of a better term.

The last feature in the story in my favorite because I love the video. I leveraged the video from a dog food commercial I found on Youtube. I used SaveFrom.net to download the video. I was able to use to use the entire video but has to clip the portion of the video with the product and added an image of the dvd I was promoting. I muted the audio liked I did on the prior video so I could add my own.

I felt like this video really needed music over it. I went on youtube and found a really nice song that I liked. I used SaveFrom.net to download this file as well. Once the file was downloaded I used Audition to cut it to the length of the video. The only effect I used here was I used the fade out to have a more natural song ending. The original track was four minute and I cut it down to one. I solicited additional help from my hired actor, my husband to record a 15 second voiceover for the video with a message about being a better friend to the dog. I layered these files in a multitrack session. The only modification I has to make was increase the voice volume and decrease the music volume. Finally I saved the file as an MP3. I imported the MP3 into the video, saved the file and uploaded it to youtube.

Wow I’m out of breath just typing that! The last thing I did was made a “poster” to solidify the end of the story. Note the same image received a cameo in both videos.

Hopefully you enjoyed my story and reading my blog to this point. I really enjoyed telling these stories and adding life to the elements through media.

Bring It On: Fight to the Finish – Week 5

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In case you haven’t noticed by now I try to name my weekly summary titles after movies. OK, I didn’t do that for week one but did for all the other weeks. This being the fifth week I had to name if after the fifth movie in a series. Surprisingly there are a lot of direct to TV fifth movies and a few (new) classics liked Harry Potter and Star Wars but I decided to select Bring it On: Fight to the Finish because is references two of my assignment topics this week.

the first, is my 90 minute story by made by sounds The Champ, the story of a boxer winning a fight. I had a good time making the champ and appreciate all the time that goes into editing sounds. The second is my rendition of Can I Take Your Order, the adventures of a cheerleader/sorority girls in McDonald drive. through. Maybe it was more or an impersonation then rendition?

The last reason reason I selected the title is because the next 7 days will be a fight to the finish for me. Much like like the boxer I have trained for this (lots of all nighters in my job and in college) and will be able to pull off the upset but finish the last two assignments in seven days. Maybe I should have called this mission impossible.

The other bit assignment I worked on this week was Foley Proof – The Lion Sleeps Tonight, a folly I created in my bathroom using water, a pain tin, toilet paper, a towel, my bath tub, my door and some creative self made sound effects. I think my favorite sound effect I made was the dog growling but I really enjoyed the paint tin dropping sound. It really made an excellent water dish falling sound.

One last thing, I realized I have not added no ideas for my final project this week. Due to the compressed nature of my last few assignments I’ll probably come up with one big idea. I know that’s deviating from the outline a bit but I’ve never been one for rules… no but seriously, hopefully that’s ok. I will come up with a decent idea towards the end of the week and create my masterpiece this weekend just in time to toast champagne next week at midnight on Monday. Hopefully I submit the assignment a litter sooner but I think you get the point.

Week 3: Try Hard with a Vengeance

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The title of this week’s summary is a play on the classic Die Hard with a Vengeance. I debated if I could refer to it as a classic then realized that its in 20 years old. They classify music that that 20 years old as classic rock so I guess the same would be true for movies? Scary thought.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the old adage a picture is worth a 1000 words. This week we learned about using pictures of tell stories.

In Stop or my Mom will Shoot a Bad Photo, I tried a few different techniques to enhance my photos. The first was using the rule of thirds to naturally slice images into three segments. The second, talking photos from silly caused me to change the way I looked at the word.

In Picture Perfect and The Story Behind the Picture Perfect Gallery, I went on a photo scavenger hunt to find interesting photos around my condo. My favorite photo is probably a drill in my refrigerator.

Photo of two things that do not belong together

Photo of two things that do not belong together

Then I wrote a story about a dog who helped his master pick of ladies in the 5 picture flicker challenge. This helped to realized that I can write a story based on almost any sequence of five images. To read about Rufus click here.

The last two blog articles I wrote feature different pictures I created in Photoshop. For a list of the story being the images select the images. I’ve prefer to let you have your own interpretation of the images then read more about them if you are interested.

Apple Lemon Bushbouquet-of-18 roses 1 is red

Week 2: The New Batch (of assignments)

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Week 2: The New Batch (of assignments) was another fun and interesting week. If I had to pick a theme for my blog this week i’d say it was food which is fine, as long as it is not consumed after midnight.

I started the week off by refreshing my memory about layering in images and audio. I’ve done enough work with Photoshop to be dangerous and I’ve done basic audio editing using Adobe Audition so the term layering isn’t foreign to me.

A missed opportunity for an example of layering is 80’s clothing. I’m kidding and wanted an excuse to put this photo into my blog.

Cool-60s-Fashion-Trends-e1367201608821

The use of audio to enhance storytelling was evident in the Doppelgangers radio show I listened to. Both stories, though very different, used audio to enhance the storytelling. The first story was a humorous tale about the pork industry’s attempt to pass off pork as imitation Calamari. This goes along with the food theme for the week. Audio was added to enhance humor and the element of realism. The second was about two young men battling PTSD. Audio was added to emphasize points of transition and sympathy. To read more about either story visit my blog.

The second task of the week was to analyze a commercial that used storytelling. I’ll give you one guess to pick what the topic of my commercial blog was? Give up, it was food, more specifically a taco. The key takeaway from this assignment was storytelling can be used effectively in commercials but the objective of the story should not be forgotten.

My thoughts on feedback are still a work in progress. I enjoy reading my classmate’s blogs and find them interesting and thought provoking. I hope they feel the same way about mine. Bottom line, keep the feedback and comments coming!

Wild n’ Wacky Week “won”

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I didn’t know what to expect in this class but I enjoyed the format. It seems like it will be a lot of work but worth the effort in the end. I successfully created my first blog https://number1fio.wordpress.com. Why number1fio you ask? It’s actually my old aim handle from the 90′s and I continue to use it whenever I need a screen name for anything. My favorite number and softball and volleyball jersey number at the time was 1 and fio was short for my last name before I got married. The full blog creation article can be found here.

I enjoyed the ideas that share stories assignments and posted my blog here. I selected Major League as the “epic” story to analyze. I created a Vonnegut timeline with baseballs signifying key points in the plot. Overall it was a little cheesy but educational.  In case anyone has not seen Major League, first of all you should. Second here is the story spine:

  • A story spine is a technique used to give stories their shape. I will provide an example of the Major League story spine.
  •  Once upon a time, there was a washed up old ball player named Jake Taylor.
  • Every day, he drank too much and played baseball on a no name team in Mexico.
  • But one day, the Cleveland Indians called him up and asked him to come to spring training.
  • Because of that, he flew up to Cleveland and attended spring training and ran into his ex-girlfriend.
  • Because of that, he made the team and played baseball with a rag tag bunch of ball players and perused his ex-girlfriend.
  • Because of that, he managed to find ground with the ball players and unite the team together.
  • Until finally, the team wins the pennant and he gets the girl.
  • And ever since then, he lived happily ever after with his girlfriend, or at least we are left to think that.

I enjoyed watching Ira Glass and Tim Stanton’s videos about storytelling. The key aspects of storytelling they provided that can be used today are:

  • Timing and inflection are important. The story has to be interesting enough to draw the audience in. Let them know the story will lead someplace. Everything from the first sentence should lead up to a singular goal.
  • The story should include a mix of anticipation with uncertainty. Hint but don’t give everything away at once. Keep them wanting more.
  • The audience needs to understand what’s in it for them and why they are there and care. They commonly want to know what’s in it for me. This should ideally be some reaffirm a truth or deepen their understanding. I’d take it another step and say, to solve a problem or teach them something.

If you would like to view my entire blog, please click here.

And last but not least. My final project idea is still la work in progress but I have a few general ideas. I don’t think it should be anything that’s a step-by step procedure such as a recipe or manual. I think it should be something that that audience needs to be persuaded to perform or chose one option over another, more or an idea then a process. One idea I have is a teenager telling the story of how he saved his friends life performing CPR and walk through the steps of what he did in a dramatic fashion.  I love medical shows and they always draw me in and don’t know much about medicine myself so something like that seems like it could translate well as a story.