Weekly Summary 4

For the second half of the week, we were to complete 15 stars worth of video assigments. I feel like I say this every week, but I had the most trouble with this one! The best thing I learned out of all of it was definitely the YouTube Editor. So simple and easy to use!

Here are my assignments from the week:

http://happyfuntimeblues.net/2013/06/16/5-second-film/

http://happyfuntimeblues.net/2013/06/16/return-to-the-silent-era/

http://happyfuntimeblues.net/2013/06/16/vintage-psa/

Each being 5 =15

Daily Creates

IMAG0332

The Daily Create not listed here was a writing assignment. The other Daily Create I attempted took me way too long and I ended being too late to post it. I’m still going to finish it and post it here, because it was more pixel art and I worked my friggin butt off!

This was a really learning intensive week, and because of that, I forgot to do things like keep track of my comments I left. All I can really say in the end is that I worked my fanny off to get these assignments done, and I’m actually pretty proud of my work. Sad and excited for the last week of DS106, can’t wait to see what I learn!

5 Second Film

Okay, so this is actually an 11 second film, but it was hard to edit the words of two little girls. This was probably my favorite project yet, just because I believe my nieces to be the most adorable creatures on the planet. For this, they “reenacted” a clip from “Driving Ms. Daisy” in which Morgan Freeman asks to stop for a potty break. I hope you guys enjoy! I don’t know what’s up with the towel on Ms. Daisy’s head, but I wasn’t going to argue.

Here it is:

5 stars

Link to Assignment

Vintage PSA

For this assignment, I decided to take a modern issue (GMO Wheat) and tried to make it feel vintage and a little corny. For this, I used Mpeg Streamclip to cut up the clips and put them together how I wanted them. Then I uploaded them to YouTube and added effects with the YouTube editor. YouTube Editor makes it really easy to ass certain effects (like black and white video) and then just publish it online. Fun new tool.

Here are the final results:

These are the resources I used:

 

http://archive.org/details/Alchemis1940

http://archive.org/details/DinnerPa1945

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5L6d_Da6fs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpmYjLNgkks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BHP3V93ZMg

5 stars

Weekly Summary 1/2

Look, Listen, Analyze

http://happyfuntimeblues.net/2013/06/13/look-listen-analyze/

Exploring the Episodes Even More

http://happyfuntimeblues.net/2013/06/13/244/

http://www.greencine.com/static/primers/

http://www.filmsite.org/genres.html

Genres of Youtube

http://happyfuntimeblues.net/2013/06/13/discovering-genres/

Pre-Production

http://happyfuntimeblues.net/2013/06/13/planned-video-assignments/

Daily Creates

IMAG0332

I’ve learned quite a bit about the technique of film and video so far this week. At times, it was a bit complicated, and I felt like I was back in English Class, but I’m glad I stuck with t because I’ve already learned a lot. Finally figured out how to paste two clips together in MPEG streamline, as well as how to embed a Youtube video on my blog. Well, sort of. Having some technical difficulties with that. I feel as if I’m ready to delve into the video assignments head first. And I have to, otherwise I can’t see my Dad on Sunday. But I’m sure everyone’s in the same boat.

Planned Video Assignments

One assignment that really caught my eye was The Vintage Educational Video. I think these things always have a lot of potential and I love their corny voices. I’m going to use the current controversy of Genetically Modified Wheat as my topic. I have a few materials, many of them are just ideas that I hope to accomplish in Photoshop with the use of layers. But I’m definitely going to use this clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vul6JBdgUjE

And a couple parts of this one, along with a couple other PSA’s from times long gone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys40_HxB7BM&list=PLF29E466E411EBA7B

I’m going to be using Mpeg for both of my video assignments, but like I said above, I may try to render some images and try to throw them into the video.

For my second assignment, I want to do Return to the Silent Era

The trailer I’m going to use is from Hercules (1997) it a little older at this point, but I think it would be an easy one to turn into black and white rag time drama. It’s a little silly, but I’ll probably change the sound effects completely and put a song over it.

This is the trailer I plan to use:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5J8jie6tgk

I feel better just making this post and writing out my plans! Feels like half of the work is done already.

Discovering Genres

I really enjoyed reading over the genres listed in the google doc, mostly because of how unique they are. Usually, when reading about film, one would see a slew of common and familiar genre titles. These, I feel, are aimed more at the audience of the internet, or Youtube, rather than that of a cinema. These are genres created by the people who watch and enjoy them every day, and many of them make them as well. Since the phenomenon of Youtube began, anyone can be a film maker and define their own drama. I really enjoyed that so many people were able to find a niche for the video they wanted to use. I like that there are so many options these day.

For my example, I chose a comedy video that I recently saw on reddit. I chose to put it under the comedy genre, but also created a new one “Family Humor”. I feel as if social media these days is filled with young parents sharing pictures and videos of their kids, in return, you get ridiculous videos like this one where the family structure/child is mocked. I labeled it Family Humor not only because of that, but also because I feel like it relates to a certain group of people in a way that I can’t understand, because I don’t have a kid; they are gross and stuff. Here is the first of three videos:

Exploring “Night Call”

It actually wasn’t too difficult to find a little bit of information of the Twilight Zone episode “Night Call”. This isn’t too surprising as this series originally aired during a very turbulent time in history and in itself was ground breaking.

“Night Call” was set to air on November 22nd, 1963, but was interrupted by the unexpected death of John F. Kennedy. Coincidentally, the British television show “Dr. Who” was set to make its series premiere the next night, but was also interrupted by news casts for about a minute and a half due to coverage of the story.

This episode was based directly on a well known urban legend. The premise of this story was that an elderly woman was found dead with a phone in her hand. On the other end was only a busy signal. Later, it was discovered that inside her husband’s crypt was a phone laying off the hook. Many also accredit the story line to Richard Matheson’s “Sorry, Right Number”

It would be difficult to label this episode with a genre in particularity, mostly because I feel as if the entire series could fall under the Sci-Fi/Horror category.

As filmsite.org states, “Horror are unsettling films designed to frighten and panic, cause dread and alarm, and to invoke our hidden worst fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience.” This can definitely be agreed upon for this episode in particular. What is more frightening and dreadful than a life long guilt come back to haunt you? Ms. Elva Keene was faced with her worst fear, one she had suppressed for decades. Even if it was visually terrifying or brutal as some horror movies are, she was faced all over again with the loss of a man she loved and the part she played in his death. It also plays into some of our fears of a purgatory. And while this story may not delve into mutant monsters or creatures from outer space, it does, as filmsite defines Sci-Fi,  “expresses the potential of technology to destroy humankind”. Noting that this story originated from a 1930’s urban legend, it’s safe to say that the recent rise of communications technology probably attributed a thing or two to the story at hand. Many were curious at the time how the seemingly ever expanding technology would affect their lives, and their were many fears associated with it. The same could ring true today.

Using Mpeg Streamclip, I pasted edit a certain scene in the episode to highlight the angle at which Elva is shown, always in the same place, almost always viewed from a left angle. The scene also becomes emotionally charged quickly, so I feel as if that also adds to my point

Over all, I think this episode is a great example of deriving meaning through methods of film.

Look, Listen, Analyze

The camera work from the get go brings up many negative connotations. In the opening sequence, a wheel chair is positioned to the left of the screen in the lower half of the frame. Ms. Keene then appears and adjusts to her right, towards the telephone and openly confronts the mysterious caller. The shock of the storm brings her sight back to her left side before she finally rests in the middle of her bed and falls back asleep. This, according to Ebert;s guide, could suggest several negative connotations. Firstly, the wheelchair, placed on the left side, recognized to Ebert as the usually “more negative side of things” suggests a handicap. The fact that it is located on this side of the frame helps to create the idea that possibly this disability lends more to the story and could mean much more than a physical handicap. The clock is placed on the right, which based on the appearance of the main character of the story, suggests that some time has passed, or at least that it is moving forward. The lighting of the show is quite tapered down, as might be expected of any depiction of a horror story. The sudden flashes of dark and light and the contrast of cemetery vs daylight however suggests that there is both a light and dark side to this story. While Ms. Keene is usually featured in the top half of the frame, the telephone she seems so wary of (at least with out sound) is usually seen in a position below her, or in one instance, hanging off it’s hook in the lower half of the shot. Negative things seem, in accordance with Ebert’s guide, seem to sway more towards the negative. To take an earlier example, the storm in the beginning of the show seemed to be centered to the left of the screen, as did the cemetery later in the segment.

The episode starts very high paced. There is a storm heard and then the shrill sound of an old telephone. A click can be heard, very clearly, perhaps meant to denote the end of a scene. Instead, the storm is heard again and the telephone once again rings. After this, Rod Serling begins his narration. The very quick paced beginning sort of makes sense with the plot. You know as much as Ms. Keene does at all points in time, so when you hear her make a big deal over the mysterious telephone calls, it almost makes sense. The moans of the man on the other line give the listener a sense of despair and hardship. The constant calling put together with the panic of Ms. Keene suggests that something familiar about these calls are bothering her. The music, however, just five minutes into the show, is a startling, almost slow paced tune. The orchestra is featured prominently and sharply. This somehow lends the theme of a mystery-the music ends abruptly as a conversation ends, so it leads one to wonder if there is something there that we don’t quite see (or hear yet). As the episode goes on, the voice of Ms. Keene becomes more and more desperate- almost whiny at some points. This can be heard especially in the final moments of the program when she finally understands who is contacting her. Her lovers voice can atone to this as well- he becomes more and more agitated as he tries to contact her. She desperately screams to the voice on the other end, begging forgiveness. This in turn lends to the theme of the show-you must accept the choices you make, and the consequences that become of them.

 

Together, the visuals and audio lend to each other splendidly, and form a tight relationship. When viewed simultaneously, these two forms of media work together to exchange the story. The dramatic switch of views and angles lends well to the change in the tone of the dialogue and the over all increasing urgency throughout the course of the story. It starts out with the assumption of a paranoia, a fleeting feeling of fear, and then increasingly escalates to. Of course, as Ebert notes in his guide, the premise of left=negative, right=positive is not absolute, but merely one strategy of how to interpret film. In this case, I believe this theory to be completely pertinent. Things that seem to frighten or upset Ms. Keene seem to appear on the left of the screen, where as things such as the clock on the right hand side of the wall may suggest something such as time going forward, especially due to Ms. Keene’s advancing age. Although black and white television was common at the time, I feel like when it’s put together with such dramatic dialogue it really speaks to the message of the episode- life is either this or that- it’s what you make it, and you have very little time to make those choices.

Weekly Summary #3

Radio Show Reflection:

This week was by far the busiest of them all. It was difficult to divide tasks between group members and pick a clear direction. I think our strong points definitely came whenever to discuss our ideas. It was hard to write something after I hadn’t for so long, so I’m afraid that part may have not come out to well. I did learn the process it takes to record something like a radio show. It’s very much easier when you work in a group where a few people have different ideas. It’s so much easier to build off of stories and plot lines when there are others contributing. Another upside to working with other people is that as a group you gain many more skills. Different people can always contribute different things to a project. On the home front, I had a lot of fun recording my commercials with my friends. A good friend of mine spent the weekend helping me record with a sock covered telephone that he had jerry-rigged to a guitar cord into an amp. Or something like that. There were a lot of wires. It was interesting to see the difference between Audacity and the recording system used on Macs, which I recorded them on. I mixed them all in Audacity after wards and added all the sound effects I wanted to. My favorite commercial was this one, that my boyfriend lent his voice to:

And this is our final product:

Audio Assignments:

This week, I took up the opportunity to further edit some of my recordings from last week.

Original Assignment Here

 

4.5 stars

Link to Original Assignment

 

3.5 Stars

Link to Original Assignment

 

4 stars

Daily Creates:

timeenough

 

Haiku:

In the hot city

 

There is no one to love you

 

Only the Sun can.

Comments:

http://ds106.clark-amy.com/so-and-sos-greatest-hits/#comment-9

http://bowtiesandskulls.com/uncategorized/ds106-bumper/#comment-176

http://clairepatrick.net/ds106/assignments/the-scary-door/#comment-47

There were more, but I forgot to save them in a document.