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My new friend! Thanks Westin Hotels.

For this two week segment you should complete two more ds106 video assignments, each should be posted to your blog, appropriately tagged and categorized. All videos should have an opening and closing title/credits sequence.

For the second assignment I was looking around the possible items and came across the one that requires you to use Vine. This really sparked my interest since Vine has made a huge splash in the video space with just 6 seconds of footage. People are no longer going to their desktops to create video they are doing it right on their phones. Now I have never done Vine and this was a good excuse to practice. I had no idea it was so hard! You can’t dub in the music so you have to do that at the same time. So I had to go through my shot sequence with thinking where I would put my laptop to play the music. Since I am in a hotel this week and they did a towel animal it was too cute not to use. I came up with a story that he is my new friend and he spends the day with me while I work. He loves popcorn so I give him some at the end to say thanks. I had to do this a few times because the towel animal would fall apart as I moved him, or the song wouldn’t go so well, or the shot was dumb when I played it back. You are able to touch the screen and release to move to the next scene but that is it. No editing after or anything so you have to start over. Not sure how these folks do it with so many vines online.

Here you go! My first Vine and the future of video creation on your phone. (Make sure you click the speaker icon in upper left to turn on sound)

Screen shot of the Vine App:

screen shot of Vine app recording

screen shot of Vine app recording

The source file for the song is

Also this does make me want to try another one at Christmas with my nieces and nephews. They are such hams!

And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going without my NUTS!

For this two week segment you should complete two more ds106 video assignments, each should be posted to your blog, appropriately tagged and categorized. All videos should have an opening and closing title/credits sequence.

I was trying to think what assignments to do this week that would make me laugh and be interesting to make. This one about making a normal scene sound like a chipmunk when you speed it up was great. I decided to take an iconic song in Dream Girls that Jennifer Hudson sings and turn it into a chipmunk version. First the song is sung slow and takes a while to build up so it was perfect. Not only that but everyone knows it so it would also get a laugh. I went to YouTube to find a video clip of her singing it and downloaded it using http://en.savefrom.net/. Next I use my movie editing software to play around with the speed. At first I made it 4x but you couldn’t make out the words so I toyed around and settled on 1.75X. I then added a title and closing credits, put in some transitions at front and after/before each text that comes in. Finally, I played it and laughed at my work. Oh and I am a big fan of the Chipmunk movies too so this is great way to do my own version too. Hope you enjoy!

My changed one where she is only thinking like a chipmunk that wants her nuts is here:

The original is this clip here in case you want it:

Screen shot of my video editing:

Screen Shot of Video Editing

Screen Shot of Video Editing

Not bad overall right? Was interesting concept.

Charlie the Animal Whisper!

Write up a blog post embedding your new version of the story. Explain where the idea came from, and include reference URLs for all media you used. Also include a screen shot of your video editing interface.

I knew this assignment would be challenging and it lived up to it. Talk about using all we have learned in one homework assignment! I was able to download the files just fine using http://en.savefrom.net/ and also soundcloud to get all the files. I used moviemaker on my laptop to edit the movie and audacity to do the sound track because it was easier to work with the files. I also found my singing lion on YouTube
My story for this Charlie Chaplin reimagined is he is an ‘animal whisper’ that can talk to animals via his mind. He has found himself in a circus full of crazy animals that are either super excited to talk to him (horse and dog) or mostly bored with him (lion). The woman in the story does not get that he can talk to animals telepathically and is confused. However, in the end the lion gets tired of him interrupting his sleep, is a little playful and sings that he is sleeping, and then yells at him to leave him alone. This scares Charlie and he runs out and up a pole. But everything is fine and he comes down.

I hope you like it! Here it is:

I couldn’t have done all this without my source files used. Here you go!

Sound files

Original video clips

Screen showing my movie editing:

Video Editing screen shot

Video Editing screen shot

Overall it was a good experience and great use of Movie Maker. However, I think it would have been easier with a better movie editing software like Apple has but I can only do what I have free on laptop. The sound piece was hardest and the titles.
Not bad for my first time if I say so myself!

Matrix, oh how I love thee after all these years.

Write up a blog post that includes the embedded clip, and the notes you made in the three views of the scene. Did you notice anything new by minimizing one of your senses?

I must admit I was a little worried about the assignment to analyzing a famous scene from a movie. These are scenes that tons of people know and love so it is with care I decided to do the Matrix clip.
Matrix: Birth of the chosen one

I remember being so amazed by this movie when it first came out and how fresh and new everything it did felt. I know this will be one of those movies that just stays with you forever. So without further redo here is my notes on the three views of the scene that I did, I hope you like it.

Without Sound: The scene starts with just a door on the left which is on the negative side and on the right is darkness. So your focus is on the door that is on the negative side. Overall, there is not a lot of light which is telling of something bad going to happen. When the door opens Agent Smith (bad guy) is on the left and Neo (good guy) is on the right which further aligns to the negative on left and positive on right that Roger Ebert talks about in How to Read a Movie. There are a lot of camera cuts from character to character and lower and upper body. It has a way of focusing the scene on the two men and the gun fire. Also the Agent was in the foreground when he shot and Neo was in the background showing that the Agent was more dominate in this section of scene. When the scene cuts to the hallway again you see Neo on the Right as he is shot and Agent Smith is on the left that is doing the shooting. There are some nice up close camera views of the gun to show it in a dominating fashion. There is another cut to the ship where the characters outside the matrix are and Trinity is looking over Neo. As Neo dies he falls down and to the left implying the death and negative consequences that would cause. Lots of great cuts from the hallway to the ship and the Agents coming from different sides of the hallway to check on Neo. As we look at Neo dying on the table in the ship you can see his face is bathed in light as if to convey hope. When Neo is alive the alignment of characters get out of whack but since Neo is nearest to the room, phone, and light it still grounds us in the purpose of him verse the Agents that are bad. The fight scene is great with the slow motion and camera angle changes as Agent comes at him down the hallway. Actually the whole fight happening in the hallway was a nice touch to focus us on a small playing field where we could only focus on the characters and fight.

Sound only: Dramatic sounds start off then lighter sound and the sound of the bullet dropping. Then total silence and the phone ringing as the shots fire. Music was light and then rising as the phone continues to ring. The heart monitor sound is dramatic to denote the passing of the character but the phone continues to ring. The sound climaxes with lasers, voices but then silence (no ringing) and just the voice of Trinity. We are forced to focus on her voice with light music before the volume/sounds start to climax until you hear the heart beat monitor and the phone ringing again. The music tacks over and no dialogue as the bullets are fired by the agents. You hear the music imply almost god like angel call. The fight scene is dramatic with the music playing and the sounds of punches. Then only music as it builds towards him jumping into the agent and followed by God like music again. The electronic sounds that play when the Agent explodes is a nice touch to imply matrix.

Sound and Video: Now as I watch it I am more a tuned to the phone ringing in the Matrix and how it doesn’t in the ship. It helps ground you to which reality we are watching unfold. I hadn’t thought of that the first time but the lasers are a constant sound in the real world. I hadn’t really heard the god like music that plays when Neo comes back alive. The audio track and video play well together to give you the dramatics and climaxes of action that are happening. Also in more serious scenes the lack of audio focuses the mind on the statements.

I must admit since I have gone to the Museum of Moving Image these concepts were not new to me but I still enjoyed watching the hard work that went into the audio and visual elements that made up this movie scene. I always thought they did so a great job in the mix of the two for the Matrix. Heck who can forget the 360 stop motion video angles they basically patented in this movie.

Did you see that? It changed! Rewind!

Write a blog post that includes your response to the methods suggested by Ebert– why might they work (or not)? Summarize what you learned from the two videos you watched about cinema techniques.

I thought Roger Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie” was very interesting and insightful. For those that have never heard the basic run down that DS106 gave us is spot on. And I quote,

“In simplistic terms: Right is more positive, left more negative. Movement to the right seems more favorable; to the left, less so. The future seems to live on the right, the past on the left. The top is dominant over the bottom. The foreground is stronger than the background. Symmetrical compositions seem at rest. Diagonals in a composition seem to “move” in the direction of the sharpest angle they form, even though of course they may not move at all. Therefore, a composition could lead us into a background that becomes dominant over a foreground. Tilt shots of course put everything on a diagonal, implying the world is out of balance. I have the impression that more tilts are down to the right than to the left, perhaps suggesting the characters are sliding perilously into their futures. Left tilts to me suggest helplessness, sadness, resignation. Few tilts feel positive. Movement is dominant over things that are still. A POV above a character’s eyeline reduces him; below the eyeline, enhances him. Extreme high angle shots make characters into pawns; low angles make them into gods. Brighter areas tend to be dominant over darker areas, but far from always: Within the context, you can seek the “dominant contrast,” which is the area we are drawn toward. Sometimes it will be darker, further back, lower, and so on. It can be as effective to go against intrinsic weightings as to follow them.”

The parts of this that made the most sense to me is the right and left side dictating positive and negative. I think that is how a lot of our living world is constructed too but that is a very Western World thought process. I wonder if we looked at other countries where left is more dominating in the world they live it would be the same. But none-the-less I did relate to this line of thinking to some of the films I have saw recently. It also made me think of how I have come up with some rules for myself with Sci-Fi films where the characters we do not know their names are more likely to die than the ones we do know. That is just one example that comes to my mind when I think of how you can come up with rules that help you make sense of a film. I also thought it was interesting to read about how he came to this thought process and used to have students help him decipher a movie or ‘read it’. Some of his other thoughts on tilted shots did not really make an impression on me because the talk of characters “sliding perilously into their futures” seems like a stretch. However, that is just my opinion but seems a little over analyzed.

I also enjoyed watching two film editing techniques. The first was the •Examples of Editing Techniques

that showed different cuts, freeze frames, and other methods. I related a lot to the rocker band cutting methods they used. I had not thought about all the different cuts you could make until you see them lined up. And the thaw frame with the people on the treadmills I remember watching a bunch of times. It was so inventive! I couldn’t imagine sitting in an editing room with hundreds of hours of film footage and having to not only come up with what to cut and splice together but also how to use cuts and edit techniques to piece them together. No wonder they have Oscars for these types of things!

The next video clip I watched was something near and dear to my heart, •Star Wars Continuity Mistakes


First it is Sci-fi which is one of my favorite genres but also I have a knack for picking up continuity mistakes in a movie. I am the person that will shout “Wait! Did you see that? The person had….” And make people rewind. Okay I don’t always shout it out unless it is in my home and we have all seen it or it is not too serious of a watching event. But I really do have the gift to pick up those things and think about them in my head. I can spot a glass in someone’s hand that ends up on the table when they cut to a different angle. Or I am good at spotting when hair or clothes change between shots. It is most fun in a TV series setting since they have less time or energy it seems to catch those items. Overall, again this is a hard job for the set folks to keep in mind when they are shotting a lot of takes and for the director to keep in mind for lighting and time of day. The Star Wars mistakes were fun and I liked the storm trooper hitting his head the most.

Chi-town sure was loud

You would think each week has me in a new city and that would be true the last two weeks. This week I was in Chicago for work and needed to do my assignments while in either a hotel room or a friend’s house. So that was an adventure but I was up for it!

First up was the creation of my soundcloud.com account and that was super easy. I even got to do my first sound upload for it and thought it was a breeze. I did use my iphone to create the file since it is something that is easy to do and fast!

Next up was my sound effect story that was a little harder to do because I had to think of the story I wanted to tell! But my surroundings gave me a great idea and I just ran with the spring weather and lake idea. The software, Audacity, was easy enough to use and I figured it out.

The Charlie Chaplin Foley assignment was a little harder to do in a hotel room and being in one spot to record everything in one take was hard. However, I figured it is not meant to be perfect but show that I am trying. So that’s what everyone got!

The audio assignment bank were not filled with a lot I wanted to do but I finally found the mock 911 call idea and loved. That concept goes with my silly humor and I know I really did want shorts badly with the nice weather!

The story idea came to me with all the touring around I did and the great stories my friend gave me. That also means others might not know the stories so why not share!

I got a lot of good comments from the professor on getting more detailed on the images and concepts. I am still waiting on some additional audio comments and plan to update this when I have them. I saw others were doing a great job on the sounds. I like how some were doing screen shots with numbers on the clips to help explain. I should try that next time for mine.

Overall, I think this was a good week but not as easy as images since making sounds is very technical and not second nature to me like images. But I tried and got better!

And here is a nice remix to get you excited for summer!

911 emergency! I don’t have shorts.

I find picking the assignments from the bank can be fun and interesting if you go a few pages into the list. This time I found one for doing a mock 911 call and recording it.

But in the spirit of the layering ideas the professor wants us to do. I decided to add in sound effects to make it more polished.

The story is me in Chicago with only pants and the weather decides to get up to 75 degrees. So this 911 call is me wanting someone to fix this problem and get me some shorts, Stat! The EMS voice is showing how they find me when they finally arrive and I am getting angry.

The image file is my photo of downtown Chicago showing clear skies with the temperature only starting to rise as I realize I only have pants.

Voices: I do both speaking parts using my iphone to record the voice files. I created two to help me layer. Those file types were not supported so I just recorded directly into the audacity software.
Telephone call file: http://freesound.org/people/Razzvio/sounds/79568/
EMS voice: http://freesound.org/people/nnus/sounds/127331/
Software used to compile: Audacity
Overall I really liked this assignment and found it fun to come up with a story and piece it together. I hope you enjoy!

Making sounds is hard!

Write a blog post that includes an embedded version of your foley recording. Include your list of brainstormed sounds and the objects or methods used to create the sounds. What was the experience like?

So this assignment really sounds fun to create the sound effects for a film. I have actually done this one other time but with music at the Museum of Moving Image in NYC where you got to dub over a movie with a different soundtrack to show the difference music makes in movies. If you have never been it is amazing and one of my favorite museums in the world.

Back to this assignment, I got a lot of good insights from the clips the professor provided and realized with the objects I had in my hotel room this was going to be a little harder than if I was back in my house. Not only that but doing it all in one take was crazy sounding. Since my birthday is in July I got the first 30 seconds of the movie. I copied down the following list of actions that would need sounds and the ideas I thought of to create them:

 

Actions/Objects needing sound Used to generate sound
Charlie running Me running in place with shoes on.
Charlie and horse running Me running in place and also hitting a wood door at same time with both hands alternating to make it sound like a horse
Charlie running up wooden stairs and horse running past Used door wood again.
Opening door and closing Opened and closed closet door
Steps in cage Walked on floor with shoes
Sleeping lion sound Breathed like I was asleep
Charlie Tip-toeing away Tip-toed on floor with shoes
Charlie touching door and pushing Touched the wood door to bathroom
Wooden latch falling Dropped an object on counter top
Sleeping lion Breathed like I was asleep

 

Here is my final clip:

As you can see it wasn’t exactly spot on but I feel this is the best I can do with the limits of a hotel room and only one take where you can’t mix different sounds later. It is a lot harder than I thought, even when practicing. Overall, it all worked minus the door slamming didn’t get picked up by my microphone but that is as best I could do since all the rest of the objects were around my bathroom. After all that work I want to say I now think the folks that do Foley should get a lot of credit. It is exhausting to think what is next and how to do it and well be creative. They are great at what they do and should get lots of love.

The lake is calling me

Create a story made only of sound effects, the Sound Effects Story assignment — a story told in five or more different sounds.

This assignment will be interesting to think through a story without dialogue but the other examples worked well so I think I can do it. I like the alien one for sure but it did have a little bit of voices. So keeping with my theme of escaping, visiting Chicago, and excited about the weather I came up with my idea pretty fast. It helped the window was open in my friend’s apartment and he lives by the huge lake! So here is my story of hearing the sounds of spring calling you outside and the lake tempting you to come out and play. The story spine would go something like this:

Once upon a time there was a city that had long been frozen in a back winter. Every day, they saw nothing but white snow and wanted to spring to arrive! Until one day, spring finally arrived and everything thawed! Because of that, the birds came out and he was able to go on the lake and enjoy the nice weather. All is good with the world when he gets away and sits on the end of pier.

Here is my final file on leaving the house and going to the lake dock.

The files I used to construct it are below:
Birds chirping sound file: http://freesound.org/people/keweldog/sounds/184870/
Door closing sound file: http://freesound.org/people/JarredGibb/sounds/219481/
Cars: http://freesound.org/people/FreqMan/sounds/20049/
Lake waves: http://freesound.org/people/Benboncan/sounds/67884/
Footsteps on a dock: http://freesound.org/people/joedeshon/sounds/78368/

The image is my own that I took of the lake in Chicago outside my friends house that inspired my idea.

I thought the tool was a little confusing at first but it worked well once I figured out you had to shift the sound files around and the layering. Here is my image of me having the files ready and starting to edit in Audacity. Not bad software and free!

Editing Sounds

Editing Sounds

No clouds here just nice sound weather to report

Create your own account on SoundCloud.com, write a blog post that embeds your audio directly into the post.

I was glad to see this week we could use soundcloud.com for our assignments. I have known about this site for years and used it to hear my favorite dj remixes or other random songs. However, I was always a consumer and never a creator on this site so looked forward to flipping my role. I do have to say that I never did provide someone a comment but have seen others do it. So I will be interested to see how that works out.
Okay I went ahead and created a username that would go with my other items of Claytondc because I like to have my name and city front and center. DC represent! The setup was straight forward and I was ready for my first sound file. After thinking a while I decided to do a weather report since I am in Chicago for work (escaping a little with friends for fun) and it is nice out. So here is my weather report and first sound file I uploaded to soundcloud. The image I got from facebook that someone posted with text on top of a scene from the movie “Office Space”. So here it is below:

Hope you enjoyed it and glad I figured out all the little items to make it work.