And Thats a Wrap!

FINALLY!

The class made it to Week 5.  This educational experience has been intense, yet meaningful.  Going into this course, my expectations included being taught the technical aspects behind multiple media formats.  However, I feel I have gained immense knowledge due to the fact the class was forced to reflect on the elements of a good story.  With all of this combined, I feel that my largest takeaway from this class was learning how to work hard to formulate a good story that is intriguing to others.  I found it very rewarding to be able to offer a story that provides fascination, awe, and a unique perspective.

With that being said, here is the link to my final assignment:

Little Legs, Big Dreams!

Because I dedicated my blog to my beloved dachshund, I found it only fitting to come full circle and draft a fictitious adventure that Lenny would appreciate.  The story follows Lenny through the path of deciding, training, and ultimately winning a dachshund race.  Dachshund races are a real thing – devout owners such as myself would convene and subject their low-riding pooches to these controversial sporting events, mostly for the camaraderie and social aspect.  Dachshunds are not typically known as a racing breed, but are rather defiant and stubborn.  When put in a racing situation, some dogs may choose to simply ignore the task at hand, and instead choose to play with other participants.  Others may eventually make it down to the finish line, especially if coaxed with food or squeaky toys.  Lenny has participated in the Georgia Dachshund Racing league, where he was awarded first place in his heat.  However, he seemed to have lost sight of the prize toward the end of the day – he was more interested in following the other dogs during the final championship round.  Nonetheless, the entire experience was a great time for everyone involved, and I would love to revisit another opportunity in the  future.

Screen Shot of dachshund poster

This is a screen shot of how the dachshund race poster was created.  I utilized canva.com, which has become my favorite go-to online design tool.  The layout of a pet adoption poster was selected, however a different image was inserted and the wording was changed to the appropriate subject matter.  Also, the font size was increased by two points to create optimization on the important aspects of the poster.

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 12.53.27 PM

This is a screen shot of how Lenny’s training video was created on iMovie.  iMovie is an easy drag and drop system.  You can layer different sound bytes and songs to your project, as well as play around with the transition features and titling options.  For the creation of the movie, several videos of Lenny running around that were filmed on iPhone were uploaded.  The cross-dissolve transition was added in between each clip, to give the effect of continuation.  Because Lenny needed to be prompted in order to move in certain directions, the actual footage was muted, but the song “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor was added.  Also, the speed of some of the clips were slowed down to emphasize athleticism.

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 9.08.50 PM

This is a screen shot of the Audacity file used to create the sound byte titled “Dachshund race.”  Most of the material was found on freesound.org.  One track was created with my voice.  In order to create the sound of multiple dogs running, various files were played at the same time.  These files included a single dog running up and down stairs, one running across tile floor, and a file of an actual dog sledding race held in Alaska.

Lenny trophy

This prop was used as the fictitious trophy for the race.  It is a ceramic replica of a dachshund.  This photo was meant to utilize the “Get Balanced” and “Contrast” facet derived from the improving photography skills lesson.  The statue was placed on a dark table against a white wall.  Not only does it create contrast, but it also creates a horizontal line in the background that draws focus into the centered object.

Here is the link to the three Daily Creates required of this week.

Lastly, my favorite picture of this entire project.

Champion

This pose took several takes.  Because I needed to drop down to his eye level, Lenny saw that as an opportunity for play.  Eventually, he held still long enough for this photo.

In conclusion, I feel that the process of creating a digital story is a constantly evolving teaching and learning activity that can be very effective to a vast audience with the use of multiple media outlets.  I feel fortunate to have built a small foundation based on the digital storytelling principles that can be utilized across an expanding outlet of possibilities.

Little Legs, Big Dreams!

As Lenny the dachshund was strolling through the campus of UMW, he came across a poster that caught his attention:

Adopt a Pet,Don't Shop-2

 

“Whoa!” he thought. “I should enter in this race! I bet I have a great chance of winning the trophy!”

Here is a picture of the winning trophy:

Lenny trophy

 

Determined as ever, Lenny got to work on his training regiment.

 

“Whew!  That was tough.  That’s enough training for today,” he exclaimed and collapsed on the cold hardwood floor.

Tired Lenny

 

“I’m feeling pretty confident that I can win this race and I should probably just reserve all my energy.  Besides, a nap sounds good right about now.”

Nap Lenny

 

Before he knew it, it was race day.  “Oh boy!” Lenny thought, scoping out his competition.  “I’m definitely the fastest dachshund here.”

Here is how the winner will be determined.  Each participant will run the length of the track, which is approximately twenty-five feet in length, in groups of four.  The winner of each heat will compete in a final race to determine the champion.  Lenny was assigned to heat number three.

 

And the winner is…..

 

Hooray! Lenny won the dachshund race!  He knew he could do it!  Here is a picture of the champion with his winning prize.

Champion

 

Nature’s Best

This week, the class was tasked on completing three Daily Creates.

This Daily Create is to fulfill the prompt that was published on June 14.

Where do you find gaps?

This is a gap in between two townhomes across the street from my own.  Fortunately for my husband and I, because of this gap, we are given a small view of the neighborhood lake.

 

This Daily Create is to fulfill the prompt that was published on June 18.

What’s in a sunset?

The task is to post a picture, creative writing, or creative art of a sunset.

As I was scrolling through my files to find a picture of a sunset, I did not realize that I have a lot more pictures of sunrises than sunsets.  Actually, I could not find a picture of a sunset that I have taken this year.  This one was taken in February 2017 while I was in San Diego, CA for a business trip.

This Daily Create is to fulfill the prompted that was published on June 20.

Tweet a quote that is inspirational or interesting to you in some way

This picture was taken on a recent fishing trip in Virginia Beach, VA in the early morning hours. Shonda Rhimes, the acclaimed screenwriter and producer for various award winning television dramas, is credited for the inspirational quote.  I found this quote comforting because it reminds me to not settle with limitations.  Your life is filled with endless possibilities, just like the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean.

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!