ICYMI: Magical Creatures Swarm Brooklyn Bridge After Loss of One of Their Own

After months of building and the help of unicorns, elves, and tools from Pandora’s box, the mermaid had successfully completed the bridge. She had gotten a potion from a fairy that allowed her to float up out of the water and work on the bridge, but to her dismay the water under the bridge had started to get cold. Soon enough, the water didn’t even flow anymore. The mermaid had not accounted for the winter. Where she was from they didn’t have winter. She was stuck on the bridge for months before the city thawed and she could swim back home. She should have listened to her father…mermaids aren’t architects.

This daily create was really fun. I got to get back into editing photos a little bit which was a nice change. I decided to combine the mermaid onto the Brooklyn Bridge and to do that I first searched for a picture of the bridge I liked to use as the background. I then searched “mermaid transparent” in Google. If you search for anything “transparent” it will give you a cut out image with no background. The reason I used a transparent image is so that when I imported the image into GIMP, it was already all cut out and all I had to do was move it around the canvas. I used this transparent mermaid image because it looked like she might be struggling, which is what I needed for this story.

You’re Making Me Nervous

Today’s daily create was very open ended, and I actually thought I was missing part of the directions. My first thought of being nervous was a drip of sweat running down someone’s head. I searched Youtube for a little to find  a video and decided I was going to have better luck with making a GIF. I remembered a Key & Peele skit where Peele sweats a lot during a nervous conversation with his girlfriend. So, I looked that up and made it into a gif like this. I think it is the epitome of nervousness. This is the clip the GIF is from, but be careful as it is not very safe for work.

Why So Serious?

For looking, listening, and analyzing I chose a scene from Batman The Dark Knight. These are notes from my three different perspectives.

Camera work:

  • Camera pans around to show all the faces
    • Allows the audience to see reactions from the group as the Joker enters
  • Angle is behind the Joker’s shoulder, showing group’s reactions
    • Leaves audience in suspense because we can’t see who has walked in
  • Angle looking up shows Jokers superiority/dominance in this scene
  • Quick cuts allow the audience to see group’s reactions and keep action going
    • At first there is a flurry of action, then the rest of the scene is relatively calm. This juxtaposes the two speeds, and how violent yet calm everyone in this group is.
  • Usually only one or two characters on screen at a time
    • This allows the audience to see each individual character’s emotions more clearly
    • Shows how each person in the group is an individual looking out for himself
  • Up close shots of the Joker as he’s speaking
    • Shows that the Joker is running the show; he is at the head of the table
  • Slow zoom in on group’s faces as they react
    • Adds suspense to the scene, even though movement is slow
  • Closer up when the camera cuts back to the Joker
    • Makes the viewer uneasy because it is so close, and it enhances the intensity of whatever he is saying.
  • Only the Joker and the one man who yells are ever the in the shot alone
    • The Joker is always alone in the shot because no one wants to be associated with him. The man who yells gets his brief solo moment because of his burst of anger that is nowhere else in the slow scene.

Audio Track:

  • Low, creepy laugh
    • Introduces the audience to whoever is walking in, we presume it is the Joker because of the way it sounds.
  • Slow, rising and falling background noises
    • The score doesn’t overpower the dialogue, but it adds suspense with the rise and fall of the tempo and volume of background noises/music.
  • Mostly just dialogue
    • There are no special sounds, this is just a business meeting. The calm tone in everyone’s voices makes this scene even more off-putting, because they are so calm talking about gruesome topics. This also shows the group’s true colors and motivations.
  • The Joker is talking the most by far
    • This continues to help show that the Joker is in charge here, as he dominates the conversation.
  • Some characters raise their voices, but not the Joker
    • This reiterates how the Joker is different and isn’t as hot headed as some of the other bad guys. He uses this to keep control of the conversation and to get what he wants.
    • Collective laughs
      • This enforces the group dynamic and the outsider-ness of the Joker

Audio and Visual:

  • The heads turn toward the sound of the door opening
  • The zoom in on characters’ faces is in response to the Joker’s dialogue
  • When Joker says “blow” he reveals the grenades he has lining his jacket
  • Hearing the score build as the camera zooms in increases suspense

Connections to Ebert’s and Other’s Techniques

When the Joker first walks in he is on the right side in the foreground, which makes him stand out against the group in front of him. This is the first time he dominates the scene, and he doesn’t quit throughout the whole scene. The right and left theories of positive and negative don’t really apply here because there are mostly close up shots. The camera angle does suggest the Joker’s dominance in the beginning, especially when he is still standing up and everyone else is sitting down. The ever increasing presence of the Joker in this scene (from zooming in and dialogue) is echoed in the rest of the movie, where he is also increasingly present.

One of Me is Enough

When I first saw the daily create this morning I wanted to do it but I was by myself, so I couldn’t. Now, at the (almost) end of the day, I found someone to help me finish cloning myself. I just showed the upper body so when the camera passed me I could duck down and pop up in front of it again without the camera capturing any of that motion. Also, the lighting is bad because it’s nighttime. I wanted to do a different face every time to show that I didn’t just photoshop myself three times onto a background. Just for clarification, I used the panorama setting on the iPhone camera. I was pleasantly surprised that the first attempt actually looked good. I don’t think it would be fun to have two clones, and I don’t think my mom would like it either.


I Had to Learn How to Read…Again

One of Roger Ebert’s most interesting tips on how to read a movie was that there really are no concrete rules to be followed when filmmaking. There are guidelines and generalities, rather. I like this approach to movies because sometimes when things get too technical they can lose their meaning and emotion. I found it compelling that the right side seems more positive while the left seems more negative. It’s amazing that just a change in direction can elicit an emotional response. A lot of video techniques are similar to photography techniques, especially in a stationary scene. One that stood out the most was how diagonals create motion where there is none by drawing the eye across the image. The main thing I took away from Ebert’s advice was to follow emotion, instinct, and strategy, rather than “the rules.”

Some editing techniques I learned were different ways to transition and edit scenes. My favorite cuts were the tempo/rhythm and jump cuts. I liked the tempo/rhythm cut (that changes the shot on the beat of the soundtrack) because having the shot change on the beat emphasizes each one and adds importance to the changes as well. This gives the scene a very purposeful style and makes the scene seem very important with the added emphasis this type of cut gives it. I liked the jump cut because it keeps the action flowing quickly and allows the audience to see different character’s reactions as the camera comes quickly back to them. I didn’t like the swipe transition; it looks like a movie made with a Powerpoint transition in it. Although, I do think in a less serious movie it could work, and it does have the advantage of drawing the eye toward the next action. 

A technique I enjoyed was the freeze frame. The first thing that came to mind was the last shot of The Breakfast Club where Bender throws his fist in the air and the frame freezes for the credits.

The freeze frame shows the importance of a moment by making the audience watch it for longer. It can also extend the emotion a shot is expressing.

Next I looked at zooms in The Shining. This video was disturbing because of all the sounds from the overlapping scenes. From watching this I gathered how zooms can represent different things. Zooming in or out can build suspense, especially if it is a slow zoom with building music. It also shows the audience exactly where to look, and sometimes gives an uneasiness derived from the closeness, in the case of zooming in. Oppositely, zooming out shows that the whole shot is of importance and can give a sense of being overwhelmed.

Lastly, I looked at different camera angles. One of the techniques that was reiterated here was that for action especially, the camera angles need to keep changing and being unconventional to keep interest and energy up. Different shots and angles give the film depth, which is something you need in order to give the 2D media of video a 3D feel to the audience. My favorite technique I learned was called the zolly, where the camera zooms out and the dolly that the camera is on moves in. If the zoom and dolly are moving at the same speed, it results in the subject in focus staying the same size, but the background moves closer. I have seen this technique many times but never knew how it was accomplished until today!

How I Ended Up Here

Compile your favorite photos from your experiences, trips, hobbies etc and make them into a video. Try to organize them chronologically to tell your story as you work your way through college. Make the video at least two minutes.

This 4.5 star assignment was on the first page of video assignments for this week. I decided to do it because I love taking photos and I know I have a lot from my first year at college. I also thought it would be nice to have this video in the future to be able to look back on all the best memories I made during my first year of college.

Going to college was a very weird experience. There was so much freedom I had never experienced before and so much responsibility. I handled my workload pretty well, but making new friends was pretty hard at first. I knew a couple of people going into college (literally two people) but I wasn’t really friends with them. I usually ate breakfast alone, which to be honest I was perfectly fine with, because I am NOT a morning person. Lunch and dinner were trickier, because it seemed like everyone already had friends and I still didn’t really know anybody.

I eventually ate lunch with people I had classes with right before lunchtime and became better friends with them. I wasn’t good friends with my roommate, and while I ate with her at the beginning of school and did some stuff with her, we didn’t interact much. About a month had gone by and I didn’t have good friends. I had some really nice acquaintances, and I tried to hang out with them as much as possible, even if it was a little awkward at first.

I became really good friends with three people in my FSEM that lived in my dorm (FSEM served its exact purpose in our cases) and we hung out and ate together almost every day. I met my best friend in my FSEM class, and she introduced me to more people, and now we’re all rooming together next year. I honestly didn’t know anyone at the beginning of the year, and even a month or two into the year, that I would be comfortable rooming with. Now, I have so many new friends that I never would have had if it weren’t for UMW. If I could give one piece of advice to incoming freshmen it would be this: do not give up trying to make friends. It will take a while and you will feel lonely at the beginning. Don’t worry, you aren’t alone! I have pictures to prove it 🙂

These directions work for Apple products. First, open the photos application. Then click projects > + > slideshow.

Create a title for the slideshow, click OK, and then select the photos you want. Once all the photos are selected you can choose a theme for the slideshow.

To change the order that pictures appear, just click and drag the photo you want to move to the place you want it to be moved to. To edit a picture in the slideshow, double click on the picture. This window will appear. When you are done editing click done.

To add captions to slides, select + > add text. Then just type directly onto the slideshow where the text box appears.

In order to get a closing slide in my slideshow, I made a Powerpoint slide with all the closing credits. I then took a screen shot of the slide by clicking command – shift – 4. Then insert it into the slideshow by navigating to the very last picture and clicking + > add photo.

To adjust the speed of the slideshow click the stopwatch icon and slide the custom bar until it is the total speed you want.

When you are happy with your slideshow, click export > save. Be patient while it exports the project. I saved mine in movies to later be uploaded to Youtube.

To upload to Youtube, log into your channel and click upload.

Then choose the movie you want to upload. Again, be patient. This will take a few minutes. Then you can choose a thumbnail and click publish.

A Sheep in Baby’s Clothing

First of all, I see the acronym ICYMI ALL THE TIME on Twitter and I could never figure out what it meant. So thank you daily create 1982, for showing me what I was missing. I think pictures that use TFW are usually really funny, so that’s why I decided to used it. I’m not sure if I was able to make anyone laugh because of this picture but it made me chuckle. I think the sheep’s face looks so resigned that everyone else has a baby and he is just forgotten at their feet (also, I hope that’s a sheep).

All I did was Google “classic art” and chose a picture I liked (aka this one). I posted the caption to Twitter with the original image, and I also cropped the original to include just the sheep up close.

Over Halfway Done…

Audio week was quite the experience. Trial and error became the name of the game for me. Garageband made me nervous, especially because Audacity was so heavily suggested, and no one else used Garageband! Although this week was a lot of listening, I enjoyed all the different perspectives and stories I heard. This week was more relaxed for me and it seemed like less work overall than the design week, which was a nice change of pace. I really liked learning more about radio and different audio techniques by listening to Ira Glass, Jad AbumradTED radio hour, and Scottlo, because those were things I hadn’t really paid attention to before. Moon Graffiti was very interesting to listen to and introduced me to a different type of storytelling I had not encountered before.

I definitely stepped up my interactions this week and I got a lot more feedback as well. Something I discovered in word press was the horizontal line feature, which I used to format my blogs throughout this week. I really like the way my blog posts look now! This week I completed three of the more difficult audio assignments: Sound Effects StoryCombining Covers, and Remix Song With Speech. I really enjoyed completing these assignments, but doing my first assignment with Garageband took about five times longer than it should have. Like I said, trial and error.

I had some struggles and triumphs this week, but I ultimately learned a lot and enjoyed gaining new skills. The daily creates this week (#tdc1976#tdc1977#tdc1978#tdc1979) were really fun, and some of them even matched the theme of assignments I was creating! I’m looking forward to next week and the new skills and knowledge it will bring me.

The Road Less Traveled

This week was a learning experience for me, for sure. I got into the nitty gritty with Garageband, and now realize Audacity was probably a better choice. Garageband didn’t have a lot of editing tools that Audacity seemed to have, and this deterred me from some projects I was drawn to. Although I may have taken the road less traveled this week, I’m glad I gave myself a challenge. I also couldn’t find any ds106 audio tutorials that used Garageband, so hopefully I helped someone in the future with at least one Garageband tutorial! I also got a lot more comments on my blog this week, which was really nice to receive feedback and suggestions from other people. Having another perspective really opens your eyes to mistakes and opportunities missed, and how you can improve next time.