Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Your final blog post for this class should include a link to your project and a discussion of at least 5 paragraphs that include the background information for your idea, a reflection on how your project fits the story spine, and media references, and details of how you produced it.

I can’t believe the end is finally here and I have created my final project for everyone to enjoy. Again the task for the final project was outlined by our professor (http://ds106.us/2014/05/04/gmu-week-8/#your-final-project) and it was a huge undertaking.  To think I have outlined all my possible ideas over the weeks and now have to pick one!  I decided to go with my idea about the Chicago River telling the life and times of the City of Chicago.

The first steps I took after coming up with the idea was look around on internet for where I would get the historical and relevant information and decided Wikipedia would be best. I found two sites that had a ton of information that would be great to start my project.  Those were:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Dearborn

Next, I decided to treat my little history character as an app you download while you are in the middle of the city to find out more about it. There are a ton of guides, signs, and websites but this would be a great way to learn while walking around.  I could even see it as chapters on the app that you could launch.  Others would probably have ideas like this from historical figures or someone just reading the facts so I liked my idea of having the River take on the persona of the guide and fix the information overload.

I choose to just give a taste of what the concept app would sound like and cover just the brief beginnings of the city. The full blown app could cover all of the past and present.  I even thought about the idea of having some of the buildings take over talking points and act like they are friends or other inanimate objects in the city.  The potential is limited only by imagination and need.

For the script I used a lot of the wiki information and put it into a word document so I could make sure I added the beginning and the ends of the script to give context to someone that is listening for the first time. I then used audacity to record my voice reading the script.  I figured I could change my pitch so it would sound different and represent the River’s voice.

Then, I used photoshop to come up with a concept poster or advertisement for the app that could be placed downtown or online for people to find and use. I found images of Chicago online but none really worked for me so I went back to my photos I took myself when I was there last month. I also thought this was fitting since it was my inspiration for the character. I used the layers feature of photoshop to manipulate the images, put in shapes for his face, and put in additional text on the app and where to find it.

Screen capture of Photoshop poster creation

Screen capture of Photoshop poster creation

Finally, I created a video to use the promotional advertisement, the voice recording I did earlier, and combined them to create a video advertisement to showcase my story on why the app is great to meet Mr. River and discover his city of Chicago. I just imported all the items and created the final video. The website http://en.savefrom.net/ helped me download the original.
Original video I used:

Image of Movie Maker

Image of Movie Maker

Final video:

The final story fits the story spine well in that it has an introduction, a middle, and an end. It would go something like this:

Once upon a time there was a river named Mr. Chicago River. Every day, he saw events unfold before his eyes and a city rise around him. Until one day, he saw a tourist staring confused at an information sign and looking around lost. Because of that, he decided that he could tell his own story about his beloved city and not waste people’s time reading.

Overall I think it went really well and like the final product. It was challenging as always to use all the different software but it came out fine.  Oh and I had such a hard time saying all the tribe names! I am horrible at names. But, I could see myself pitching this concept to the tourism department of Chicago to get additional funding to make it a reality. Mr. Chicago River could have friends like the former Sears Tower that talks or well anything really. Also, the app could have a gps feature that lets it tell the story of the item closest to you.

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One response to “Parting is such sweet sorrow.”

  1. Alan Levine (@cogdog) says :

    You have gotten a lot out of Chicago for assignments, so its easy to understand taking on this as a story project. The perspective of the river, and giving it an embodiment of a voice is a good approach. I might wonder how a river might express its view of the city as a river sees it. What is the lesson from a river people should know?

    I can see how you took on the design, audio, and video media elements to support the story.

    Something might be amiss in your final video, as I do not hear any other audio in it except for the original music.

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