Humpty Dumpty did NOT sit on a wall…

The assignment posted for the end of week four seemed to be a little confusing.  Minimal instruction was provided, unlike in previous weeks.  While the mid-week assignment was filled with various cinematic filming techniques, there was never any direction given on the actual video editing aspect of film.  As a result, all of my video assignments were produced using iMovie either on iPhone or MacBook.  I had never utilized this application before, so I enlisted the aid of various Youtube tutorials and Apple message boards to achieve my desired product.  But the more I worked with iMovie, the more I felt comfortable editing my photos and video clips with it. In the end, I was glad to be forced to open up an application on my phone that I had never worked with before.

The Lenny Movie – worth two stars

This is the first video montage I completed with the use of iMovie on MacBook.  When I read the assignment description, I felt it was a “no brainer” choice.  There’s no question that I own a dog, and already have multiple pictures of him stored in my phone.  However, compiling all the pictures into one cohesive montage took a little bit of effort, and I was happy with the end result.

Lake Views – worth four stars

This time lapse video took an entire day to complete.  Video clips of the neighborhood lake were captured at 8:00am, 10:00am, 12 noon, 6:00pm. 7:00pm, and 8:40pm.  If I did not have a prior engagement, a video would have been shot around 2:00pm and 4:00pm.

I could not figure out how to “blend” the different video clips without adding in a “cross dissolve” transition.  In the end, I decided that the transition worked really well to create a gradual transition from one image to the next.  Without the “cross dissolve,” each clip would just “jump” into the next.

Walking it Out – worth two and a half stars.

This was another video clip taken in my neighborhood.  If this was a three star assignment, this is what I would have utilized as my “alternate nursery rhyme ending” assignment.  I normally take walks around the neighborhood, and as I was filming, I felt myself speeding through my walk so that I would not have such a long, monotonous video.  It was not until I started editing the video, did I realize there was an option to either increase or decrease the rate of speed.

The Making of Humpty Dumpty – worth two stars.

I was glad I was able to tie in my nursery rhyme assignment to this video assignment.  I am not much of a creative person, however I thought that creating a Humpy Dumpty character constitutes as being art.

So Much to Do, So Little Time – worth three stars.

The alternate ending of my chosen nursery rhyme is that if given the option, Humpty Dumpty would not sit on a wall. He would realize that he has responsibilities to attend to, namely in daily chores and housework.  These daily chores including walking the dog, doing laundry, making dinner, and vacuuming.  The vacuuming piece was a little difficult to film, with a hard boiled egg and a heavy vacuum cleaner in the same hand.  The other hand was trying to keep the camera steady.

All in all, I hope I fulfilled all the requirements of week four, since no checklist was provided.  While I enjoyed filming these assignments, editing the video clips was more difficult that I expected.  However, I am thankful I was able to utilize an video editing application at my finger tips.

 

 

So Much to Do, So Little Time

 

This video is to fulfill video assignment #2030 entitled “Where do your shoes take you?”  It is worth three stars.  The requirement is to depict a video story using only the viewpoint of one’s shoes.  This version, however, shows a day in the life of Humpty Dumpty.  From the moment he awakens, his day is filled with various chores that need attention.  The idea is to show that he does not have the time to “sit on a wall.”

This video was created with the iMovie application on the Apple iPhone.  Various situations were filmed throughout the day, and combined into one video clip in iMovie.  The original video clip is topped at three minutes and eleven seconds.  In order to reduce the length, the speed was increased to 4x the normal speed.  The final video is a little over one minute in length.  The sound effect titled “Acoustic sunrise” was added in the background to indicate a “happy yet eventful day” for our character.

The Making of Humpty Dumpty

 

This video is to fulfill video assignment #1925 entitled “#SixSecondArt.”  It is worth two stars.  The specification is to produce a six second video of a creation of art.

This assignment was chosen because it partly relates to the nursery rhyme character selected for the mid week assignment.  The video shows the construction of Humpty Dumpty, the nursery rhyme character who will be depicted in the alternate ending of a nursery rhyme video assignment.  This video was created and edited using the iMovie application on the Apple iPhone.  The original clip is forty two seconds long.  In order to shorten the length, the speed of the video was increased to 4x the original speed.  The sound effect called “cartoon ascending” was added to the background to indicate a rushed or hurried period of time.  The final product is eleven seconds in length.

Walking it Out

 

This video is to fulfill video assignment #1537 entitled “Exercise and Socialize.” The requirement is to film a personal video of a stroll around the neighborhood.  It is worth two and a half stars.

This video was created with with iMovie application on the Apple iPhone.  A video of the afternoon stroll was recorded, than uploaded as an iMovie project.  The original video was recorded as a continuous clip, topping out at five minutes and twenty-six seconds.  The speed of the clip was increased to 8x the normal speed, which brought the movie down to two minutes and forty-three seconds.  The Apple sound effect titled “Playful” was added as a background accompaniment to indicate an easygoing afternoon stroll.

Lake Views

This video is to fulfill video assignment #1654, entitled “Time Lapse.”  Multiple one to two second clips of the same location were captured, then combined in a single video clip to highlight the differences seen throughout the day.  This assignment is worth four stars.

The location of this assignment is a man-made lake within the neighborhood. iMovie on MacBook was utilized as the preferred video editing application for the creation of this short film.  The individual video clips were highlighted and selected to be merged together into a single movie project.  A “cross dissolve” transition was placed in-between each clip to create a gradual transition from one image to the next.  Each image is played in realtime, and the actual sounds of the lake can be heard.

The Lenny Movie

The video below is to fulfill video assignment #2234 entitled “Pupper Appreciation.”  It is worth 2 stars.  Since the blog is entitled “Adventures in the life of a dachshund,” this assignment is a personal favorite.  Basically, the directive is to create a short video montage of a favorite pup, and Lenny the dachshund was selected as the star of this short film.

The video was created using the iMovie app on MacBook, where the photos were cropped using the “Ken Burns” style to create the “zoom” effect.  The “standard lower” option was chosen as the title theme to highlight “Lenny” on the bottom lefthand corner of the first two clips, indicating the name of dachshund.  The song playing in the background is “Just like Heaven” sung by Katie Melua.  It was chosen to compliment the video montage and indicate a “happy” and “carefree” mood.

 

Here’s looking at you, kid.

The beginning of this week did not prove to be terribly strenuous, however a great deal of reflection was required.  This week, the class is tackling the topic of film.  Numerous sources of information were provided to us, mostly to educate on various cinematic techniques introduced by various filmmakers that became both trademark and influential to the film community.

One requirement is a reflection post on Roger Ebert’s How to Read a Movie.  I throughly enjoyed reading his essay, and actually read a few more of his blogs to familiarize myself with his work.  RogerEbert.com houses a lot of Mr. Ebert’s reviews and essays, as well as current movie criticisms documented by various contributors.

A second reflection post is on various cinematic techniques and how they changed our view on video production.  These videos were found to be extremely educational due to my limited knowledge of film and filmmaking techniques.  The biggest take away for me is the realization that filmmakers and directors usually have a purpose when they decide to shoot a certain way.  There is usually a larger meaning behind the story than is being portrayed.  It is most likely intentional to have characters or objects placed in certain situations, shot in various angled frames.  This exercise has taught me to open my mind and analyze the seen for more than just face value.

This is a daily create that was posted on June 12. The prompt is to take a picture of any tree and write about it.  I came across this tree as I was running an errand to the bank.  I am not exactly sure if it was injured at one point due to weather, or maybe it was purposely stunted in growth.  Either way, it struck me as having potential.

The Alchemy lab color page was a fun exercise to do.  However, I could not figure out how to save the image onto my desk top.  This is a screen shot of the finished product.

What childhood nursery rhyme would I choose to create an alternate ending?

The nursery rhyme of my choosing is Humpty Dumpty.  My ending would change completely because I would make him realize that he simply does not have the time to spend all day sitting on a wall.  Stay tuned for Mr. Dumpty’s next adventure!

Opening Soon at a Theater Near You

This week, the class was tasked on reading the essay How to Read a Movie, written by American film critic Roger Ebert.  One of the main points that resonated was to look at a still shot of a film, and simply “think about what you see.” Throughout his essay, Mr. Ebert was a firm beliver that analyzing scenes from the movie could influence your understanding of the visual techniques utilized to authenticate the story.  Described as a “shot by shot” technique, by pausing the film to study the approach of how the scene was captured, can affirm the viewer’s emotion or aestheic reaction.

I consider myself to be a very emotional person, especially when it comes to ‘feel-good’ stories.  Often becoming caught up in the moment, perhaps the reason why I tend to react so strongly is because I find the story to be relatable.  For example, storylines that portray characters who “do the right thing,” in my opinion are classified as a ‘feel-good’ movie.  These characters can also be referred to as the protagonist or hero of the story.  In his essay, Mr. Ebert describes that the placement of characters within a scene can support their inclination toward a particular characteristic or type of behavior.  In other words, the person on the right may appear to be more positive, favorable, or dominant over the person situated on the left.  This is an aspect of visual compostition that I have not observed in the past, however, I agree with.  Below is an example where the “positive” character is on the right and the “negative” character is on the left.

angel

Another element of Mr. Ebert’s piece that resonates, is his statement of movement in film as being “dominant over othings that are still.”  I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.  The way that the camera moves across a scene can reiterate the expression that the director is trying to compose.  In the scene below, the character is running up the stairs.  This can be interpreted as him “running towards success” as he continues his training.

rocky_1

All in all, this piece was a great introductory resource leading into the study of film.  Although, I am slightly familiar with who Mr. Ebert was, my exposure to his personality was that he endorsed a “thumbs up, thumbs down” approval meter to movie reviews.  By listing the examples above, his essay helped to provide a better understanding on this topic by clearly laying out definitive examples of visual techniques.  These examples were effective in understanding the relationship between the viewer’s perspective and the delivery of narritive information of the filmmaker.

Directing the Audience Through the Film

In addition to reading Roger Ebert’s essay, the class was also tasked on reviewing various videos highlighting cinematic techniques.  Upon viewing a minimum of four videos, a personal observation on how these techniques may influence our perception of video production is required.

The first video selected is the one titled “Kubrick – one-point perspective.”   One-point perspective exists when the picture plane or image contains only one vanishing point on the horizon line.  It is typically used for images of roads, hallways, or buildings where the lines of the object seem to run parallel with the view.

one shot perspective

This is probably my favorite technique.  The picture shown above is perceived to be very linear and symmetrical.  If you were to fold the image in half, each side would be a mirror-image, respectively.  Also, the entire shot fills the frame with limited space unaccounted for.

This is another example of a one-point perspective of a location that is familiar to the residents of Richmond, VA.  This is a real life image that helps to better understand the topic because of its similarities to the one-point perspective.

Browns Island

It is the underside of Manchester Bridge, which runs across the James River into downtown Richmond.  In this shot, the lines of the bridge run parallel which converge at the vanishing point in the distance.

The second video chosen is titled “The Shining – zooms.”  Zooming is a technique where the camera gives the viewer the illusion of moving through space either toward or away from the object.  This can be accomplished by zooming in, where the lens is adjusted in a way that the focus or object seems to be larger and closer.  Or by zooming out, when the camera widens the view on an object to introduce the overview of the surrounding environment.  I find these two concepts similar to the “fade in/fade out” effect that was utilized when creating a sound clip in Audacity last week.

Dolly-Zoom-Raging-Bull

The third video selected is titled “Tarantino-from below.”  An observation I concluded from this video is that this angle is perceived as the point of view from the victim on the ground looking up.  From the victim’s perspective, the subject or attacker fills the frame, and into a position of dominance and authority. I believe this technique is similar to my observations in the “one-point perspective” technique in that they both fill the frame with either an object, character, or scene.

from below

The fourth video selected is titled “Example of a match cut.”  A match cut is a cut from one shot to another where the two shots are matched by the action or subject matter.

match-cut

The example above was taken from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001:  A Space Odyssey.  Other than this research, match-cut is a technique that I am the least familiar with, however it seems like a fun satire.  Since two images with entirely different backgrounds can be matched to portray a single action, this technique vaguely reminds me of the audio assignments we completed last week, such as the sound effects story.  In this assignment, we were tasked to form a compilation of sounds to tell a story without the narration.  Two images used in a match-cut are essentially doing the same thing – combined in a way to continue a story with or without narration.

After reviewing all of these techniques, most seemed to be familiar, even though I did not know what the specific technique was called.  The knowledge gained from watching all of these cinematic perspectives will enhance my perception of the overall movie by taking into account that these images are most likely to be intentional, and to discover the underlying message.

 

Practice makes Perfect!

Audio – shamaudio.

I dreaded this week with a passion.  Coming into this week, my exposure to audio included listening to various outlets such as broadcast radio.  Nonetheless,  I had no clue how to compile a sound byte or even create an mp3.  I even purposely procrastinated on completing the audio alternative history assignment because I had no earthly clue on where to begin.

However,  in spite of all of my apprehension, I actually enjoyed learning how to navigate through the audio editor Audacity,  and trying my hand at creating something new and entertaining.  A recommendation that really helped was to select a few of the “easy” assignments posted on the Audio Bank, to gain more exposure on editing and layering different sound clips in order to produce a cohesive product.

Watching the video “Layered Audio Editing in Audacity: The Remake” helped tremendously.  It was one of the videos posted in the Audio Resources site, and where I gained the most value.  I resourced freesound.org for all of the sound effects utilized for the audio assignment submissions.  Just like any skill that you encounter, the more you practice the easier it becomes. By the time I was ready to attack the audio alternative history assignment, I completed it in less time than any of the previous assignments due to the fact that I had already been practicing on Audacity.  And I must admit, this has been my most favorite topic so far.

Vamos a Mexico!

This was the first audio assignment that I completed.  It took me almost three hours to compile a ninety second sound byte!  Even now, as I listen to the audio clip that I created, I can pick out different areas where I should have utilized the “Fade In/Fade Out” effects better to maintain fluidity.

The story should portray a person traveling to a Mexican beach.  Sounds of various modes of transportation were utilized, such as a car driving through traffic to get to the airport, and an airplane taking the traveler to their destination.  Music from a mariachi band was downloaded to indicate the destination of Mexico.  In the end, you can hear the waves breaking on the shoreline to help envision a relaxing environment, coupled with a few seagulls squawking in the distance.  My husband and I honeymooned in Isla Mujeres, Mexico in 2015.  The clarity of the water, the smell of the ocean, and the sounds of the beach are ones I will never forget.

A Positive Attitude Changes Everything

This is the second audio assignment that I completed.  Sounds that naturally provide a calming and relaxing atmosphere were chosen.  In addition, I consider myself to be a morning person, and I associate all of these effects as being heard during the morning hours.  The sound of bells were chosen to indicate the start of a religious service.  More beach sounds were selected, along with a person running in the sand, to envision a morning run.  The last sound chosen was thunder and rain, because I personally like waking up to the sound of rain in the morning.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 11.05.39 PM

This is a screen shot of what my Audacity photo editor looked like as I created this sound byte.  In this assignment, I experimented with the volume to create sounds that can be coupled together without overpowering each other.

The Dark Side of the Moon

This is the third assignment that I created and the goal was to put together a compilation of unpleasant sounds to create the worst sound ever.  I am not, nor have I ever been a fan of horror movies.  All these sounds chosen are ones that undoubtedly create an uncomfortable environment.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 11.20.31 PM

The large sound waves are the ominous screeches depicted in the sound byte.  To me, they were the most uncomfortable and unpleasant to listen to.

Freedom Towers – April 4, 2023

This was the dreaded audio alternative history assignment.  While the sound effects story took me three hours to complete, this one only took me about an hour and a half to layer and edit the different sound bytes.  The most time consuming aspect of this assignment was gathering up the facts in order to create the “dedication” speech.  By the way, all the facts of the World Trade Center were taken from the WTC history website.

A few of the sounds that were applied to this assignment included New York City traffic, applause from a telethon, and band music from a Veteran’s Day celebration.  I would image that a dedication ceremony for the World Trade Center would be a very patriotic event to the community of New York, which is why I imagined the towers being dedicated to the NYPD and NYFD.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 11.31.55 PM

I felt very comfortable copying/pasting/deleting various pieces of the sound waves in order to layer a cohesive product.  Also, in Audacity the “silence audio selection” was utilized a great deal because some of these sound waves were very long in length.  The band music for example was 12 minutes long.  However, I trimmed down the area that I needed and pasted it at the end of my clip.

Comments and participation

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 9.07.42 PM

This one was on Yousef’s post “Every Horror Movie Ever.”  I told him I thought his sound effects were super scary and I almost did not listen to his created sound byte in its entirety.  It made my skin crawl.

Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 8.59.11 PM

This comment was made on Abby’s post “What’s your story?”  Although, I appreciated learning something new from her (I had no idea you could add a photo to your SoundCloud,) I really did not get the story she was trying to portray.  The beginning sounded like a beautiful beach with singing birds, but at the end, a large animal growled in my face.  It reminded me of a dinosaur snacking on his lunch.

Daily Creates for the Week

The link above should take you to the two required Daily Create submissions on twitter.

Like I mentioned earlier, I throughly enjoyed this challenging week.  Working with Audacity is not as bad as I expected, however I do feel that I only have  the basic skills mastered.  Any suggestions on an audio editing class to further expand my knowledge base would be greatly appreciated.