This Is It.

For this last week I was inspired The Truman Show. Now, when I first started my project I forgot that’s what the movie was called and I named my own show and final project The Jenna Show. I did not realize this until after all my assignments were completed, and “The Jenna Show” was written in every one. I apologize for this inadvertent lack of creativity.

I wanted to take the original concept and switch it up to show the people behind the camera a little bit more. With each assignment I showed a different job or perspective of someone working for or watching the show. For a visual assignment I showed behind the scenes of marketing troubles and the realities of reality tv. Through video I gave insight into how the show was filmed and the type of people who film it. Using design I expanded on different people’s success from the show, and how it didn’t just affect Jenna. And lastly audio, my favorite piece to create this week, showed the uncertainty and fragility of the show as a whole.

I chose myself as the main character because I know myself better than anyone, and I also wanted to incorporate videos, and I knew I would be okay with being shown on Youtube and my blog. This last week has just been fun using all the tools and skills I learned the past month and trying to create my best work yet. I think the final was my favorite project to complete because it allowed me free range on what assignments I wanted to complete and it was the most fun I had creating a story. 

Looking back on this semester, I realized I learned so much in such a short amount of time. I also now appreciate how much I still have to learn. My media projects are all far from perfect, and I hope to continue working with a lot of the tools I used this semester in the future. I would highly recommend this class to anyone wanting a challenge, trying to fulfill an ALPP requirement, or trying to expand digital skills. I was looking for all three (okay, maybe I wasn’t looking for a challenge but I sure got it). If I could give one piece of advice to someone taking this class in the future it would be: DO SOMETHING EVERY DAY!! I did not listen to this and I struggled  and was very overwhelmed my first  few weeks. All in all, I am very pleased with how I completed this course and what it taught me.


The Jenna Show

The concept for The Jenna Show came about in a meeting of producers from several reality tv networks in the mid 1990’s. Their ratings were consistently falling and reality tv wasn’t bringing in the big bucks like it had in the past. The only problem was, about half the channels on tv were all owned by a massive reality tv company, Greenbrier Productions. Even though they were failing, they had so much inventory no one could afford to buy them out. Greenbrier started looking at outside solutions and taking polls from the most and least watched communities. The common thread: reality tv was becoming too staged. No one believed that these people weren’t acting or that shows weren’t scripted. Greenbrier decided that they had to create an atmosphere that wasn’t fake, and they decided that the only way to do that was to put someone in a reality show that didn’t know they were there. Since Greenbrier didn’t have enough money left to do this on their own, all the other networks joined forces, with the stipulation that they would get a fair percentage of the profits while Greenbrier controlled everything.

Greenbrier decided it was best to use a baby, so they would grow up knowing nothing different and not risk arousing suspicion. They hired different teams to build the biggest, most elaborate set in the world, create logos for the show, brainstorm titles for the show, and seek a main character. Greenbrier decided it was best to choose an orphaned child, since the rest of the family couldn’t join in the show. They found several candidates from the United States and waited to see which one was best in front of cameras. The show couldn’t be released yet because the title was based on the name of the child, and there were some legal problems to attend to. The production had hired lawyers because this concept was groundbreaking and sure to upset some people. The lawyers said that getting a baby wouldn’t be illegal as long as the guardian gave consent. The problem was when the child turned eighteen. They would have to give their own consent to be on the show, and they wouldn’t even know that they had been on a show for the past eighteen years. The CEO of Greenbrier laughed when he heard this; the longest running reality show had lasted eight years, and the next longest had only lasted three. He was thinking that this show would be over and his company save long before the child turned eighteen.

The first child to be given consent by their guardian was an orphan named Jenna. Thus, The Jenna Show was born. This was the winning logo that Greenbrier decided to represent the show. The artist of this design became rich and famous because of how many people wanted to hire the man who designed the “face” of The Jenna Show.

The first few years of the show saw good ratings only at important childhood moments like first words, first steps, and so on. Greenbrier was getting worried that he had dug an even deeper hole for himself. One of his marketing advisors had been sent to see what was going on, and he came back with the information that people in remote towns and cities alike weren’t all that knowledgable about The Jenna Show. People just hadn’t heard of it. Greenbrier had wanted to keep it hushed during the primary stages so protests wouldn’t occur, but now it was too hushed. They started a marketing campaign, at first doing a yearly advertisement for the show depicting Jenna growing up. As the show gained popularity quickly, special edition posters allowed the recipients of them to be a guest extra on the show. The most recent poster shows Jenna at almost eighteen years old.

Meanwhile, Jenna is growing up happy and healthy. The country has seen her every day and every night since she was a month old, and they know her like a their own child or sibling. She loves her small town with it’s parks and all the neighbors knowing her name when she bikes to school. Jenna is (almost) top of her first grade class and wants a pet dog more than anything. Most of what Jenna gets to do/ have are voted on by the audience. Luckily and unbeknownst to her, Jenna wins and gets a puppy. Her “parents” aren’t happy about that because they’re both allergic. Jenna notices this, and also notices that she doesn’t seem like her parents all that much. They have tan skin and all she does is turn red in the sun, and their hair is stick straight while hers is curly. She wonders if she is adopted, but never asks for fear of upsetting her parents, and fear of finding out the truth.

Throughout her life Jenna is happy, but faces a lot of identity issues. Her parents don’t ever tell her much about her grandparents, who she has never met, or how they met each other, they don’t even have wedding photos. All the photos of them together start when Jenna is about a month old. Her mother says all the older photos were lost in a fire that destroyed the house they used to live in. However, Jenna cannot find a record of any houses burning down in their town within the past twenty years.

As Jenna grows up she becomes more and more aware of how different she is from her parents, and it seems like everyone around her is watching her every move. Sometimes she’ll see someone new in town who just stares at her, like they’re waiting for her to do something. As she gets older she spends more and more time at the library, partially because of her love to read, but more so because no one can bother her there. One day she stumbles upon a door she’s never seen before. She thought she knew every inch of this library, so she is intrigued and opens the door to find a small room with a file cabinet that is slightly ajar. It seems like she isn’t supposed to be in there. Jenna leans down to inspect the open drawer and finds at least fifteen VHS tapes. She picks one up to see what it is, and on it is a label that reads: The Jenna Show; Video Log 6,965. She gasps, then hears footsteps approaching so she stuffs the tape in her backpack and runs home.

In her basement at home she finds and old VCR and pops in the tape. She can’t believe what she sees.

It was her. It was her from yesterday. In her house. Jenna was shaken and didn’t know what to do. When her parents got home she told them and they both turned white. They made up some excuse about a new security system they had installed and forgotten to tell her about. Jenna almost believed them, but then remembered that she found the videos in some weird room in the library. Why would her family’s security tapes be there? And if it was a new system, why were there so many tapes?

Jenna could not shake this incident. Every day she went back to the library to try and find that room, but she couldn’t. After a week, everyone in town had started avoiding her and the town shut down the library for renovations. Jenna knew she had to get out of town and figure this out, but she didn’t know how. She asked her parents if they could go on vacation, just for a weekend. They had never been on vacation before. Her parents said no, they couldn’t afford it right now. Jenna thought “probably because you spent all that money you don’t have on a fancy new security system.” Jenna started to raise money by herself so her parents had no excuse to not leave.

Every time Jenna got close to a substantial amount of money it was lost or stolen. The first time it was stolen from Jenna’s bedroom when she left the window open. Jenna was kicking herself for being so careless. It was odd, though, that before that incident the town had a crime rate of zero for the past eighteen years. The next time Jenna had almost all the money she needed, a strong wind ripped down her street and blew all the money right out of her bag. At last, Jenna thought to put the remaining money in the bank. About a month later she finally had enough saved up for a family vacation. As she was about to tell her parents the good news, they sat her down to tell her “something important.” Someone had stolen her identity and gained access to her bank account. Once again, all was lost.

Jenna decided then and there that there was someone trying to make sure she didn’t leave town. That night she snuck out of bed and into the forest that surrounded town. She face many obstacles like blocked roads, fallen trees, and even a loud siren announcing a storm warning, though the sky looked clear to her. Little did Jenna know that this was no storm warning. It was an emergency broadcast to the crew of the show.

Soon enough Jenna could sense that the town had woken up. She started to run. She knew the forest only surrounded the town for five miles on each side, and she had been walking for an hour already. She knew she was close to the edge of the forrest and suddenly…she ran face first into a wall. She hadn’t seen it, it was camouflaged to look like the forrest. She panicked. Where was the end of the forrest? Did it even have and end? She ran along the wall to find an opening until she was so tired she collapsed. Her parents and a search party found her a few minutes later.

Luckily for Jenna, the dawn ushered in her eighteenth birthday. She now needed to give her own consent for being on the show, which had been running her whole life, making the reality networks rich and Greenbrier richer. Her parents said they would take her home, but Jenna watched them pass her house and head toward the library. They took her to the little room where a man came in and told her everything. Then he opened another door hidden in the room and ushered Jenna through it. They emerged into a room covered floor to ceiling in windows. Jenna had never seen anything like it. No, not the windows; through the windows and many stories below them was a city. Jenna was so disoriented. Weren’t they just in the library? The library was at the lowest point of town, how were they suddenly up this high? Her town, the set, had been built in a skyscraper so Jenna would never hear any of the sounds street level may have produced, or the protests that were small but regularly going on outside the building. Most surprisingly, she saw poster and billboards of her face plastered all over the city. She was…famous?

After eighteen years, most of which were spent in confusion, Jenna was finally free. She could go anywhere she wanted, and go to the actual place not just a set. She never needed to work again because she had sued the network for misleading her and won about half the network’s worth. That was enough money for three lifetimes and then some. Jenna spent the rest of her life traveling the world and seeing every place she had ever dreamed of.


The World is Watching

When The Jenna Show first aired in 1998 we weren’t sure how long it would last. The overarching attitudes toward the concept of the show were mixed. Some people loved it, some people hated, and some people didn’t care at all. The first few years saw ups and downs as viewership would climb and plummet overnight for seemingly no reason at all. None of the producers could figure out why our audiences weren’t stable.

We then realized in the third year that our advertising had been lacking. Sure, before the show aired there were ads on television, billboards, busses, you name it. But we assumed that a 24 hour always live show wouldn’t need much advertising at all. Well, we were wrong. Some of the production team made the switch over to advertising, including me. This poster is our most recent ad. It is in circulation around cities and towns all over the world. We like to send them to any place with a television.

Since out first poster was designed in 2001 there has been a yearly advertisement campaign to update the public on Jenna’s current look. These are also great for our archives. Sometimes we do holiday special posters. We have even started a collectable edition that people can redeem for a spot as an extra on the show! This initiative has really bumped up viewership and audience approval. Right now we are at an all time high with a 97% viewership approval! Unfortunately, the other 3% is quite loud.

I was inspired by the poster visual assignments. I wanted to make  poster to show how the rest of the world views Jenna. I chose a picture like this because I didn’t want it to look too smiley and posed, as Jenna isn’t staged in the show. I also new I wanted black and white because I wanted the focus to be all on Jenna and not on the colors of the poster. I also wanted a minimal design for those purposes as well.


The first step is to choose a picture for the poster. Then open a new GIMP window and click and drag the chosen picture into GIMP.

To make the picture black and white, go to image > mode > grayscale.

I then made the picture a little brighter by going to colors > brightness-contrast and sliding the brightness bar up to 33. Click OK to apply this setting.

I was clicking around different GIMP features and came across the Posterize effect. I really like it and decided to keep it, as I am making a poster. To get the effect go to colors > posterize.

Once you click posterize, slide the bar until the image is how you want it. Click OK to apply this effect.

To add a text box click the A icon in the toolbox. Then click and drag on the picture to make a text box. 

To change the style of the text, highlight the text. You can increase font size by the middle box, change the text color by the bottom right black box, and change to italics using the A button. I also added another text box to the bottom of the poster to tell information about the show. I used the same process as this text uses.

To insert the logo I made in another assignment, I just clicked and dragged it into the window like my first step. If it doesn’t show up, try to add a new layer by going to layer > new layer and then dragging the logo on.

To move an object around the screen select the move tool, this looks like arrows pointing in four directions from the toolbox. Then click and drag the desired object. To resize and object, select the scale tool, which is a box with a diagonal arrow through it, from the toolbox. This will open a new window with scale measurements. The move tool is highlighted below on top, while the scale tool is highlighted below on the bottom.


To save the final product go to file > save as. To save the file as a .png or .jpeg go to file > export and select the preferred settings.


The Hardest Five Weeks of My Life

I took two online summer classes in this first five week semester. That was my first mistake. The first two to three weeks were stressful, especially because this class took up much more time every day than I had anticipated, more so at the beginning. I am grateful that this course has weekly due dates, or else I would have procrastinated, but it also made it hard to find time for my other course. I felt like I had to spend time every day on this course. However, after week three I found my footing and breezed through the rest of the course. This class moved much faster than I was prepared for. Each week’s assignments always seemed like too much to get done in one week. Obviously it can and has been done by many, but I had to experience the procrastination struggle for myself before I jumped into gear. Why would I listen to advice when I could just struggle?

I took this class to fulfill my last gen ed requirement, and I did not think about how much work it would actually be. Looking back I am really glad I got my last requirement out of the way in five weeks, but I don’t know if I would do it again. Luckily I was only working part time during this class, or I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it, at least not well. I was surprised about how much my digital skills improved over the course of this class. Before I had only edited pictures using Instagram, but now I can use GIMP, which to be  honest was very difficult for me to get used to. The daily creates helped me a lot during this class to practice using tools like GIMP and making GIFs. At first I thought of them as dreaded daily activities, but at the end I really liked doing some of them. I think I liked them more at the end because I became proficient at using the tools I needed. I also taught myself how to use GarageBand and iMovie. While iMovie is very self explanatory, GarageBand is NOT.  I read a few tutorials and spent hours playing around with different features. I would strongly recommend for people to use Audacity and just take the extra few minutes to download the applications you need. It will save hours in the end. Like I said, I cannot follow anyone’s advice, I have to make my own mistakes before I believe anyone.

I really enjoyed reading other people’s blogs and seeing how they completed assignments, blog posts, and how their blogs looked. I liked getting inspiration from them and different opinions from them on my work as well. I liked focusing on the four units we did. I thought they encompassed many different media and I learned a lot of new things. I learned the most about audio and design. The audio unit was fascinating and frustrating for me. I loved listening to the radio shows and learning about broadcast media, but completing audio assignments were difficult because of the software I used. The design week was challenging because I was away on vacation, but I also felt like that week had more assignments altogether than the other weeks. I felt like the design week helped me in the rest of the course the most because the concepts can be applied visually and through video.

Overall, I learned a lot during this course. I think my digital identity has been very expanded as I now have Soundcloud, Youtube, Twitter, and Flickr accounts and know how to use them all. I am also grateful that this class pushed me to not only be creative, but also learn a bunch of new techniques and software that I can use in the future.

Year 19. Month 1. Day 21.

I am the head of surveillance at The Jenna Show. This is the video report log for year 19-month 1-day 21 during the time slot 1942-2041 hours. I have many people under my department, and we have on of the most essential jobs at the show. We make sure that everyone are in their positions when they need to be. In other words, when Jenna is around or approaching, we send the signal to stay in character.

There are cameras set up in disguise all over town and even more in the places Jenna frequents, like the coffee shop, bookstore, school, and her house. Some of the cameras masquerade as other objects, sometimes plants or light bulbs, but other times they are hidden in plain sight. There are cameras in Jenna’s house and school and some around town that look like security cameras.


This 4 star assignment is similar to what I did here. The techniques used would be the same for making a documentary and making this video here. I wanted to show a “behind the scenes” look into the show. Showing how the cameras are hidden, as well as in plain sight, is essential to the concept of the show. I also included the different perspectives here to show how Jenna (me) is always under surveillance from all angles.

The first step is to open a new iMovie. Click create then movie.

Next, import the media. Click the import media plus sign and select all the files to import, then click import selected.

Click and drag all the imported videos from the my media box down to manipulate them. If some clips are too long, they can be altered by navigating the playhead to where the clip should be cut. Then click modify > split clip. Then select the clip to discard and click the delete key.

To get the surveillance feel to the video I added a filter and time stamp to it. To add a filter go to clip filter & audio effects which looks like three overlapping circles above the video preview.

While a clip is selected, go to clip filter and choose Raster. Do this for every clip.

To add the time stamp, go to the Titles menu option. Then click and drag date/time onto the beginning of every clip.

After the video is finished, save it by going to file > share > file… and giving the project a name.

The last step is to upload the video to Youtube. Just log into your account and click the upload button, then choose the file to upload. Wait for the video to upload, then choose a thumbnail and hit publish.


Almost Famous

The Jenna Show has been on air for 19 years, 1 month, and 21 days. It all started when Jenna was born. She was to be the main character of the show, and grow up with everyone watching. She wouldn’t be acting, and the audience loved her for it. They all knew her like a best friend, a sister even, but she didn’t really know anyone.

She had always wanted to travel, but her parents “couldn’t afford” to send her anywhere. When she turned 18, she started fundraising so she could visit somewhere other than her small town. It seemed to her like no one else had ever left that town. Her fundraising efforts had to be dismantled. We had cast and crew steal the money, we had special effects wind blow it away, we even had her identity stolen once she started using the bank. That was the only thing I ever regretted about this show. I never felt that we were depriving her of anything until that day.

Anyways, I don’t have much to do with the show anymore. I just designed the logo. I designed it to be blue and pink because we originally didn’t know whether it would be a boy or girl on the show. My career has taken off as a graphic designer after The Jenna Show first aired. I will be forever grateful to her, though she will never know me.

I chose this 4 star assignment because I wanted to make a logo for the “show.” I wanted it to be simple and represent what the show is about (basically constant surveillance). I was happy to find a pre-made logo with these colors because they are two of my favorite colors. I wanted to make something that was unmistakable as The Jenna Show, and something that people would remember.


I used to create this logo. First, I added the text by clicking the T text button. I typed in The Jenna Show.

I then chose a font. I selected the Handwriting category then the Rock Salt font. I wanted something easy to read but that would also stand out.

I then navigated to the search bar at the top lefthand corner of the screen and searched “camera.”

I selected the logo I liked best. I then resized it by dragging the corners or the logo, just like in  Powerpoint.

I then moved the text by clicking and dragging the text box to the center of the video camera. Then I changed the color of the text by highlighting the text and using the color wheel on the bottom right hand corner to match the words to the pink of the camera.

You can then click the save button in the upper right hand corner, and choose the free option!




Clip on SoundCloud

People are scurrying around the newsroom, frantically waving papers around and yelling. All televisions are turned to one channel: surveillance. Mr. Hobbs, the manager of the station, is trying to calm people down but it is no use. She has discovered the truth. Or we think she did. Or she is on the brink of discovering the news. Anyways, it doesn’t matter. My life’s, all our lives’, work gone down the drain. I suppose her life has been in the drain since she was born, though. Maybe it’s what we deserve.

I can’t help but remember when this all started. There were protests and court cases, and eventually we won. I never thought we were harming her or depriving her of anything. We gave her the perfect life. People would kill to have her life. People would also kill to set her free. She is free what am I saying? Mr. Hobbs is calling. How are we going to fix it this time?

This assignment is similar to the 4.5 star Fictional Radio Ad audio assignment. However, instead of an advertisement, I made a breaking news announcement/ emergency broadcast. I chose this type of assignment because I wanted to incorporate an emergent feeling to my audio, and what better way to do that than an alarm and an urgent voice? I wanted to put the listener in a real world situation, so I chose to do this kind of recording instead of something like a radio show where it could seem fictional. I wanted this “broadcast” to seem real.

The first step is to think about what you’re going to say and write a short script so the recording sounds professional with no stutters. Then, I searched for an emergency broadcast sound on Search for EAS Alarm to get the sound I used. Once you have found the right recording, click the yellow download button.

Then, open Garageband and choose the voice option.

Next, insert your first sound effect into Garageband. I originally saved the downloaded clip to my desktop and dragged it over into Garageband.

Play the recording by pressing the arrow play button. When the playhead gets to a place you want it after the initial sound effect, press the red circle record button to start recording your broadcast. After you are done speaking, press the record button again to stop recording. Then press the square stop button to stop the playhead from moving.

I then inserted the original EAS Alarm sound effect again at the end of my recording by dragging it from my desktop into Garageband.

At this point I thought I was done, but the recording seemed lacking. I decided I needed a bumper while I was speaking to give it a real breaking news effect. I searched for background music and news music until I found one I liked.

This was a really long clip (45 minutes) and it was going to take too long to download. Instead of downloading the clip I inserted a new track into my Garageband file by going to Track > New Track With Duplicate Settings. This creates another area for you to record beneath the current recordings so the current ones don’t get overwritten. Once my new track was created I selected it in the middle panel (mine was called Audio Track 11, and yours will be something similar). Then, have both windows open and click record on Garageband, then click play on I was only recording the bumper during the time I was talking.

After you are happy with the recording, you can save it by going to File > Save As and entering a name for your file. To export to SoundCloud go to Share > Song to SoundCloud…. If you want to save the file as an mp3, you can go to Share > Export Song to Disk… and choose the mp3 option.



Recapping It

My fourth week in ds106…what a ride. This week was much easier than the previous three. I think the video assignments did take a while for me to edit, but since I only had to complete two worth eight stars it wasn’t too bad. The intro videos and background information also weren’t as time consuming as the other weeks. This was a nice final week and my previous experience from editing pictures and audio cam in handy while editing my videos. I actually just thought “hey, maybe that’s why the weeks are in this order.”

Two weeks during this course I was at the beach, which was really nice but also harder to find time to complete assignments. During the design week I was at the beach, as well as this week. This week was by far easier than the design week, which was really nice as it allowed me to relax.

I had a lot of fun completing this week’s assignments. I made a video of my college memories and a video of my travels throughout the day. I learned a lot from Ebert and how to read movies. Reviewing the movie clip was a really good way to put that knowledge to use. I actually took a film studies class my junior year of high school, which helped me a lot this week. I was able to take my previous knowledge and apply it to this week’s lesson, and I think it gave me greater insight into reviewing the movie clip.

This week’s interactions were a little easier for me for some reason. Maybe it’s just a habit now. Last week I was really annoyed because on Sunday night after 10 pm I got like three or four comments on my blog from people doing last minute comments. I did not appreciate that because I kept getting notifications when I was trying to relax before bed, and I also think they were cutting it a smidgen close.

I had fun with this week’s daily creates as well.

Overall, this was my favorite week yet!

Walk a Mile in My Shoes

Where do your shoes take you in a day? Tell a story using a video of only your shoes!

For my last assignment (4 stars) I decided to make a movie of everywhere I travelled in a day. This assignment caught my eye because I like to watch vlogs, which is basically a day on video. Mine was a more simplistic version of that including just my feet. The original assignment specifies shoes, but I was barefoot a lot of the time on the day I filmed and I decided that was just as good.

When I woke up we relaxed basically all morning and there wasn’t much footage of that. I started a puzzle, but quickly gave up on it. Then around one I headed out to the beach. I laid on the beach and read for about two and half hours, and was rudely interrupted by some guy who wanted to take our picture. I was actually shocked that he started talking to me because I was literally facedown in the sand reading a book. Rude.

Anyways, after the beach we went to the store for some pre-dinner appetizers. We came back and played a bunch of outdoor games like corn hole and Kan-Jam and had a nice happy hour. It was such a nice happy hour that we ate so much we didn’t have dinner until 9 pm.

Everyone had burgers and fruit, and then we hunkered down for the rest of the night and played games. We played truth or dare, Jenga, and lots of different card games. It was a very fun beach day, and luckily the only work I had to do was a daily create!

I created this video using iMovie. When iMovie is first opened, select create new > movie.

Select the my movie menu option and then import media.

Choose the files that will be included in the movie, the click import selected.

Drag and drop the imported files in the order you want them to appear to the lower section of the screen. To cut clips, move the playhead to where the cut should happen and select modify > split clip. That will split one clip into two, and then one can be deleted.

Once all the clips are in order, transitions can be added. A simple cross dissolve transition can be added by selecting the clip you want and clicking edit > add cross dissolve.

More complex transitions can be accessed by clicking transitions in the menu.

Once the video is done, it is time to add opening and closing credits. To do this select titles from the menu. Then choose an opening title you like. For the closing credits, choose scrolling credits.

I needed to cut the sound out of some of my clips, so I selected the clips individually and clicked modify > mute audio.

I then added background music. Go to audio > effects > theme music. Then click and drag whichever song you want onto the clips it should apply to.

To save the project go to file > share > file…

The last step is to upload the movie to Youtube. To do this, log into your Youtube account and click the upload button. Then select the movie and click upload. This may take a while! After it is done uploading select a thumbnail and click publish.

Then you are done!