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October 31, 2007

Julia Pott animation

Project #3: In-Between


What happens when we slow down and stop time? What can happen in between the constant flow of frames we call life? Fantasy commingles with reality, imagination comes to life and background comes to the fore. Alternates are possible as cycles cycle. Your second project will allow you to think broadly about these issues of time and its "in-between" spaces.

The final product will be approximately 2-3 minutes in length. The "style" and materials used in your stop-motion animation is very flexible. You must also be thinking about sound. The sound must be either recorded or made by you. What kind of sound does your animation "need"? This could range from using your voice to an instrument to recording sounds in a public space. If you absolutely MUST use someone else's sound, let us talk. Rules are made to be broken ... if of course, you have talked about it with me far in advance.

Technical Goals

  • Build on your knowledge of narrative techniques
  • Build your knowledge of basic lighting techniques
  • Learn the basics of stop-motion animation
  • Build on your knowledge of creating sound and incorporate this in to the project

Way-points and Due-dates

  • 5 November, 07 : Project Research and Proposal : Write a 400-500 word project proposal including: your topic, why it interests you, a set of initial ideas for making your animation (technique, location, style, materials etc). Find videos and artists that interest and inspire you. Post your proposal and links to videos (embedded videos if possible!!) on the blog. Be ready to discuss your initial ideas in class.
  • 14 November, 07 : A "rough draft" is due -- i.e. import all of your images into the computer so that we can talk about your progress together.
  • 21 November, 07 : Final videos due for group critique. Post your video (Flash 8 Medium) and a brief 200-300 word reflection on the blog before class.

Grading Criteria

  • Technical (i.e. did you choose to do it, or did the technology choose for you?): Editing - good use of camera, "quality" of animation (is it appropriate for the content?)
  • Thoughtful: Does your treatment of the subject allow you to critically engage the topic you are interested in? Demonstrate effort toward thinking about the topic in a larger cultural/critical context.
  • Effort: Effort cannot be underrated - are you pushing yourself? If you figured out the basics on day one, what do you do with the rest of your time? Are you challenging yourself to think past easy answers?
  • Participation: Participation in discussions, online comments, other people's work, etc.

October 30, 2007

These Boots were Ment for Draw'n

how to survive in the wild

For this project I decided to make a ‘how to’ video on wilderness survival basics. My original plan was to make a completely sarcastic spoof type video on one of those shows on the Discovery Channel like “Man vs. Wild? or “Survivorman.? As I began to work out on paper exactly what I wanted to do and take some preliminary footage, I decided I wanted it to take a more somber and serious tone without completely doing away with the sarcasm. When I finally got most of the raw footage back to the classroom and began to edit with Final Cut Pro I realized the potential of what could be done to manipulate my shots. This being my first time ever using Final Cut Pro, and pretty much one of my first times really doing my own video editing, I was amazed at the possibilities that existed and spent hours and hours having fun honing my video and adding final touches. After I decided to use only music that I had created for the soundtrack, the tone of the video really solidified itself in my mind and I worked to put into video the vision I had in my head. I had fun toying with the absurdity of a person trying to survive in a situation that obviously wasn’t completely wild (the beginning sequence shows me driving into a park and ‘getting myself lost.’) and not clueing the viewer into the fact that it’s not entirely genuine until I find a frozen tv dinner in the woods. From that point on video balances on the edge of sincerity and sarcasm that can often be subtly read on my face. I had a great time putting this piece together and after cutting the final video down from 7:30 minutes to 5:30 minutes am satisfied with how it came out. I think the music that I chose for it, a lot of which features natural sounds that I recorded in the wild with a DAT, fit in nicely with the natural footage and give the video a nice mellow flow throughout.

October 29, 2007

Deconstructing Subjectivity

For this video I tried to emphasize the DIY aspect by incorporating a lot of my own low-budget, craft like effects into the mix. I was also playing with the mixing of different mediums. I liked the idea of taking this at-home-craft aspect with which the viewer uses to build an abstract idea that isn’t actually available to them in that tangible way. This project involved a lot of trial and error for me. I haven’t worked with video as an art media before this class, and so my first thoughts for this project were perhaps a little too ambitious. My visions for this video changed a multitude of times, the general idea and/or concept stayed the same throughout the process, but finding ways to visually represent my ideas was challenging. At first I was very nervous about my subject matter, it could be easily misinterpreted and it is a very broad topic of discussion. I don’t think I really got a chance to get as in depth with this subject as I would have liked, the video only scratched the surface. I hope that there is a general sense of the concepts I was leaning towards. The time it took to produce this movie was also a surprise. I had a lot of computer troubles that shortened my time to work on other aspects of the movie such as the audio portion, which is still not where I would like it to be. I consider this project an experiment with myself.

Don't Put the Cart before the Horse

In the creation of my instructional video which explored the idiom “Don’t Put The Cart Before the Horse,? I came across a lot of problems. My vision for the project changed several times throughout the last two weeks, and that caused a lot of changes in the message and scenes in my video.
In my final video, I decided to add the description and meaning of the idiom. I also added introductions before each scene, as not to lose the audience with confusion during a scene. The introductions made the video flow a lot better. I also added more scenes that are everyday scenarios, yet in a social context. I feel that this broadened the meaning of the piece and put a greater perspective on the idiom. I also added music that is somewhat suspenseful, which is simple yet changed the overall feeling of the video, and made each scene more interesting.
The scenes were a lot of fun to film, but I actually found it a bit challenging to think of purely visual scenes that were distinctly out of order. The fact that I didn’t use sound and concentrated on visuals made how I shot each scene very important. The overall message of the video is that, while society has set rules on the order that things are generally done, it is also that way because it makes sense- doing things in their proper order makes for a satisfactory outcome. This is reflected in all of the scenes where a negative consequence arises from “putting the cart before the horse.? A few of the examples are purely cultural, such as blowing out the candles before eating cake.
Overall it was a fun project, despite the stress that went into determining an effective vision for the piece.

Cooking With Magic

I choose to do a cooking show because I like to cook. At first I made a serious video like a real cooking show, but I didn’t like it so I started all over and made it into a cooking show using magic tricks. I wanted to make this seem like a T.V. show so I had a title at the beginning, and the scrolling text at the end. I added the clapping after some of the tricks to make it seem like there was an audience watching, and also letting the viewers know what next week’s show will be about.
Magic shows are also usually intense and serious so the video had narration instead of me talking. I also tried using music to set a curtain tone or mood to the video. I used the music to make it seem more dramatic at times. I wanted it to look serious, but not something people would take seriously. I used more low quality effects like using stop motion or sticking a funnel through my sleeves and letting the water run. While editing this video I didn’t use too many effects. I used to speed changed to make the things go faster like the water flowing out of my hands, and the knife cutting the tomatoes. I wanted to keep the obvious low budget effects to make it seem funnier.
The hardest part for me while doing this project was to get the timing right. I had a hard time getting the narration, the video, and the music to line up just right. It also took a lot more time than I thought it would.

How To Be Awkward

I learned alot while doing this project. It definitely gave me a new perspective on how much work goes into making videos, even if they're just small five minute clips. If I had more time I would have done it better. There are two clips in my video that sound like there's an airplane in the backgound. That's because I was at a place that had a lot of background noise. I'll remember that for next time. The reason I couldn't change that is because that "loud place" was the place where I work and I was really rushing to get everything done, hence being at work at shooting my video. I came to class today a half hour early to upload my video to the internet but I doubt that it will be ready in time. That is another mistake which I will remember in the future. I checked out a lighting kit but a few of the lights turned up in the scenes I shot. So next time- better camera/light placing! My friends and I all had a good time making this video and I'm pretty sure they'd be willing to help me out again if need be.
I took a pretty long time to edit my video. This is mostly because I originally came here with 15 minutes of awkward scene footage and I had to chop everything down so much. I had fun with the music and I incorporated one of my favorite intrumental bands called, Ratatat. I would definitely do this project again, and of course, do it better. As of right now, I'm excited to start the stop motion project.

How to do a neat card trick.

When we first got this project I didn't know what I wanted to do. Then through some exploration I decided that I would do a card trick and that I would do it as a silent film. Making it a silent film made the filming process pretty simple since there was no script or audio to screw up. The only porblems that I encountered during filming then were camera angles and screwing up on part of the trick. The editing process was a little more difficult. At first I wanted to use both a close up of the cards for teaching and also just show the trick being performed but with having to use text to say everything it soon became evident that I could not do it that way becuase it would not have fit within the given amount of time. Also, it became very monotonous. So with taking some advice I changed it up a little and decided to use the performance part to teach the basics and then use the close up to teach the harder parts of the trick. This then fit the film in the allotted time but in the end made it a little bit harder to follow than the other way.

How to Cook a S'more in the Microwave

My video, “How to Cook a S’more in the Microwave? is a hybrid

between a simple instruction that is coordinated with a spy fill spoof. My aim was to create a narrative that was strong, yet typical and “cheesy? and still show a sub-context of instructing a person how to cook a s’more in the microwave. I wanted to take common elements of a spy movie/ show and combine them to tell the story. Some of those components are the narrator in his mysterious tone and dress. I added the typewriter effect to date the film back into the past. I also tried to make the characters in a humorous way to give them some personality. It was difficult to give the graham crackers a personality because they are inanimate objects, but I added different faces, and different voices to make each one a little different. I also tried to make Detective Michaels a very self-involved person.
I think that the setting was successful with the mix of typewriter and bold font in top of the bright orange scene and music. I thought it was a strange yet successful melding of 60’s spy show and 70’s spy show/movie. I also tried to make every element purposeful. I used transitions that were effective in the storytelling. For example, I used the additive transition to show flashing of a camera, or to go along with the orchestra hits in the music or the clock transition to show a passing of time. I also chose to spin some of the words with the s’more was in the microwave to show that the microwave plate was also spinning while making the “haha? blinking to mimic the rhythm of the audio. I feel like these elements used to tell the narrative came together in a successful way and I am pretty pleased with my final product.

Pranking Basics

This is a basic instructional video on pranking, enjoy.

Reflection on processing:
In retrospect I needed to spend a lot more time on my video then I did. Almost all of my clips had no lead or end time on them, which makes it very hard to edit. Small things such as timing and extra clips and takes make the editing process that much easer. I think that the program Final Cut Pro is very intuitive and easy to use. The fact that you can simply cut up any clip and drag it into a sequence makes it very easy to manipulate a video to the standards that you want.
The clips that I did have were not the best. I don’t know if it was my camera or me but the white balance I had set up looked terrible. The best way I found to fix this was to use the 3-way color correction. To me this filter was the most useful of all of them, it allowed for any clip to be completely rewhitebalanced and made any badly lit shot look decent.
I also had a hard time with transitions. The more transitions that are added the more cheesy the piece looked. However without transitions between most of my clips I found that they did not blend well into one another and the editing looked bad so I worked with the most basic transitions I could and the piece seemed to flow better.
Overall I am pretty pleased with my first video project and look forward to doing more advanced things.

We are the Champions

For the DYI video project, I immediately knew I wanted to do a satire video. After some thought, I decided I wanted to make a satire of the black and white 1950’s educational video, simply because I think they are ridiculous and funny. They often were used as propaganda to push certain opinions and beliefs onto the audience, so I wanted to further examine some of the persuasive techniques they use in the videos, and emphasize and exaggerate said techniques in my video. My original idea for a “how to? topic was “how to wage war?, but I later decided to change it to “how identify a Korean?. Now that I look at the finished project, I think the video is also a part of a broader “how to? topic, of something like “how to be ignorant?. I also knew from the beginning I wanted to give the video a particular undertone of ridiculousness, which I did by adding music clips and sound effects. I did encounter a few problems in the making of the video. I would have liked to re-shoot a couple scenes, but simply didn’t have to time. For example, there was one scene in which enough leeway wasn’t given before the scene, so it was cut into a couple seconds late.

How to Uncommonly Use a Frisbee

The process of brainstorming, capturing and editting this video has been difficult. However, thanks to the extension of the deadlines, this project became a better one. I tend to work my videos to perfection and that means I take more time on my videos because I'm looking at every little detail. This video was no exception. I've spent the last day or so completely on editting this video and I'm satisfied with where it's at. I created music using GarageBand and Soundtrack Pro, both editting tools I was not familiar with before doing this video (they're both programs that were easy to pick up though since we've been using similar audio editting programs). I had a rough time getting my audio files off of a audio recording device so I wound up recording my voice overs in garage band also and doing a series of conversions to get the audio into Final Cut Pro. I spent a lot of time on the opener of the series, the pictures of 'common things' spinning and bouncing about. I really enjoyed that process of layering the video clips and animating them to the beat of the music. When I had last used Final Cut Pro I was just beginning to learn the editting process behind layered clips so this project allowed me to continue to push myself past my comfort zone and learn more about Final Cut. Lighting also became something very aware to me during this project. I hadn't ever heard of three point lighting so when I had three light fixtures to work with I did try it out, but it's not as nice as the studios three-point lighting. The DV cameras were interesting to work with because the cameras I had used before are more complicated. It was actually pretty difficult for me to understand 'fooling' around with the menu options in on the DV cameras because I was used to all the buttons being available on the sides of a camera. I learmed about the importance of a tripod when I found out my camera work isn't the steadiest and I became accustomed to using the tripod. My video is about a minute short but because of this I spent a lot of time on the editting and made sure everything was solid and I put in extra effort in creating my own music for the show.

Porject 2 proposal

Believe it or not, here we go..

For this instructional video project I've been thinking of making a video that would be a part of a series. The series would be about everyday objects used in a variety of ways. For my episode of this series I will be showing the different uses of a frisbee. I came up with this idea when I was looking around my room for inspiration and my eyes came across my frisbee. My friends and I then brainstormed on all the possible different uses for a frisbee. Here's a bit of the list: rain protector, sun shade, laddle for pouring punch, candy dish, water dish, food platter, coaster for cans, mini table, nut cup, a paddle when in a boat, a tool to use to get water out of a sinking canoe, a weapon to take someone out at the back of the knees, and the list goes on for awhile. Some of these ideas aren't actually duable on our budget though so I've narrowed it down to the simple ones but a couple of the ridiculous ones. For shooting the video I will be going home to get some of the footage since my family is willing to be in the video. And then I'll shoot whatever extra footage I need out at the UofM using friends as actors. At the University I'll probably shoot the video in my room, or in the quart yard outside of the dorms, maybe even down by the river if necessary. I'm unsure of how to transition between the different uses right now. The possibilities are: using titles, using a voice over, using both titles and a voice over. I'll just have to try them each out to see which looks best. I'll be aiming for a cheesy feel with my video because I'm sort of basing it off of other cheesy informative vieos.

October 27, 2007

Steps to Being a Slacker

For my projected I decided to create a video about how to be a slacker. This video is meant to be a satirical jab at slacking in general. I try to show real ways to get by while being a slacker, and at the same time show how absurd it is for a slacker to be making a video about slacking. I’m not sure I achieved my goal, that’s for the viewer to decide.
While doing this project I learned a great deal about filming/lighting and Final Cut Pro. I realized quickly that I was not going to be able to throw this together in a night, and it was going to take a lot of time. I spent a lot of time trying to get shots perfect (which never worked out the way I wanted them), until I decided to just film a lot of footage at the same time and then use Final Cut Pro to edit it down. That strategy worked much better for me. On the subject of Final Cut Pro, I found that it was very fun to use and in my opinion fairly easy understand. I’m sure I haven’t mastered it by any means but I have a good knowledge base from which to go off of.
Overall I am very please with my project. I spent a lot of time and effort in it and I hope that everyone can see that. This video project was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. Hope you enjoy my video.

October 25, 2007

Visiting Artist: Nikki S. Lee

Nikki S. Lee is a contemporary Korean photographer who focuses her work on various subcultures and demographics.
She has done various projects over the past 10 years, each of which takes months of preparation. When she is preparing for a project, she takes a particular group of people, and studies the way they walk, talk, dress, interact, etc.. After extensive preparation, she goes to where she can find this particular group of people and more or less becomes one of them. She then takes photographs of herself within the group. Examples of some of her projects include the punk project, hip hop project, hispanic project, lesbian project, drag queen project, senior project, ohio (hillbilly) project, korean schoolgirl project, tourist project, skater project, and exotic dancer project. I found it very interesting how in-depth her preparations for these projects are; for example, she went to the tanning salon 3 times a week for several months to prepare for the hip hop/african american project. href="http://www.tonkonow.com/lee.html">http://www.tonkonow.com/lee.html is a site to see some of her work. I definitely found her work to be extremely interesting. Usually, a person believe he or she has no choice in what social group they fall into. Nikki S. Lee's work raises interesting questions about if we are able to a certain extent to choose our social group, rather than have our social group choose us. Her work also gets the viewer to think about different of definitions of the word "identity", and how identity ties into the people we associate with.

October 24, 2007

How To Make Bad Popular Rock Music

For my instructional video project, I wanted to do something fun that I could implement humor into. My friends and I always talk about "bad popular rock music" and what goes into it, and also make up funny songs some times, so I figured the video I was doing for class could use those ideas and just push them further. The first thing I did was make a "bad popular rock"-like song with my friend, starting from scratch. We came up with ideas first, and then he played and put together all of the parts, before recording them onto his computer. Then I wrote lyrics, and recorded those. Then we came up with ideas for a humorous video that would accompany the song. After all of this, I put together the "process" of how you would come to make a song such as this, and filmed excerpts of some of those steps. Once I had this, I filmed myself giving specific instructions and explanations for making "bad popular rock music" and inserted some pictures and what have you into that footage. Finally, once I edited this all together, and had an explanation at the front of the video of how a lot of mainstream rock music sort of got to the point where it is now that I was making fun of, the whole thing pretty much came together pretty nicely. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience, and I am very happy with what I have completed in the form of my final product.

October 23, 2007

How to Play Fantasy Football

This project was very much a learning experience for me. Going in to filming, I really didn’t know what to expect. Before this project, I had never had any experience editing and very little experience using a camcorder for anything formal. I soon realized how hard it is to speak on camera without stuttering, laughing, forgetting what to say, or anything else that ruins a shot. I have a lot of extra footage of my friend and I screwing up lines. Believe it or not, this project was very time consuming and a lot of effort goes in to making this video turn into four minutes. The whole process of filming in general is very hard including finding decent lighting, enough time in the day to sit down and film, getting people to help out, making sure people don’t talk or walk into your shot, ect. Overall, however, I’m very pleased with how my video turned out given these circumstances. At first, I had the intention of making the video humorous but learned very quickly that trying to be funny is the quickest way to make the video unfunny. I then figured that the best way to go about it was to focus extensively on the dialogue, which shows through in the video. Editing was by far my favorite part of this project. Tinkering with little effects and such was enjoyable. My final impressions about the video project in general are that I felt rushed, especially because the camera equipment is only available for two days at a time and never on the day that you need it because of limited quantity, and the editing software doesn’t allow you to work from home either. If I had more time and better resources, I would have been able to use better lighting and minor techniques that would have brought up the quality of the project. That being said, I still believe I put out a good effort for my first time using these technologies, given the circumstances and overall I am very pleased with my how-to video.

October 22, 2007

Nikki S. Lee 18 October 2007

Nikki Lee is a Korean born artist that works in the medium of photography. She started her career in New York by working as a fashion photographer. However, she soon began to hate the work. Mainly, in the fact that she was not able to put her own influence into the work as much as she would like.
One of the most interesting things about her past, that I feel had a great influence on her work, was the cultural upbringing in Korea. She said herself that the biggest change about coming to the United States was the diversified culture that was in stark contrast to the single culture of Korea. It was these subcultures that inspired Lee to begin taking photographs within these groups.
Lee decided to place herself within these groups making herself the subject. She was able to save money by not having to paying models. She only needed a small camera and film. Her method was simply to give the camera to a friend and say take a picture of me. The picture takers were not professionals, and the only direction Lee gave was do not cut off my head.
Lee was driven by the question of why people choose their particular cultures. Whether, this be hip hop, punk, lesbians, exotic dancers, or many others. Lee’s method for engulfing herself into a particular culture is unique and makes for some extremely interesting photography.

Final Video

My vision for this project was to create a stop motion video of a lunch that makes itself. Surprisingly, making a stop motion film was much easier than I had ever expected it would be. However, this is not to say it was not time consuming. When I was finished with the project I had taken over a thousand pictures and my video is only three and half minutes long. Doing this project did teach me a lot of things about the genre of stop motion. There are several lessons that I will take from what I learned. The first thing is to plan out your scene ahead of time. This way you don’t get to a point where you have object in the scene that are not meant to be there, and then you must start over. If you think a person was in the clip and not supposed to be take another picture, memory is free. It might seem obvious but try really hard not to bump the tripod. Even the smallest moves are obvious when all the pictures are added together in the video. Be conscious of your light source. This way you are not casting your own shadow into the picture. Lastly, plan on spending a lot of time taking pictures, because it takes longer than expected. In the end, I feel my project is what I set out to accomplish. I would like to have made some things more advanced but this was my first stop motion, and I hope to improve on my next.

Response to Nikki S. Lee

Nikki S. Lee is a “Korean Korean? photographer and filmmaker, rather then “Korean America,? as she was born in Korea rather than America. She was quick to point out her background, as she feels it is a distinguishable factor of her work. She noted that in America there are several different cultures, whereas in Korea she only grew up around the Korean culture, until she moved to America at 24 years old. Her background strongly influenced her work on identity seeking and sub-cultures.
Lee moved to New York with initial intentions of becoming a fashion photographer. She completed a fine arts degree in photography and started work, only to find out that she hated the fashion world. She started to do her own work on the side, as she had an interest in documentaries. Lee had a specific interest in identities, and pointed out that she believes artists are constantly searching for identity. I agree with this statement to some extent, because it seems that people that are eager to define themselves as artists have also already defined the sub-culture they fall into. As Lee was interested in how people choose their cultures, she started a project where she immersed herself into a different culture and changed the way she looked to fit in, then photographed herself. The different groups she weaved herself into over the course of her project were punks, swingers, young-professionals, tourists, hip-hop, exotic dancers, lesbians, drag queens, skateboarders, white-trash, Hispanic, and young-Japanese people.
This project was extremely interesting to me because of how well she fit into each culture by changing her image. She tanned her skin to look more like the African-American girls in the hip-hop culture, died her hair blond to fit in with the “white trash,? and lost weight to get work as an exotic dancer. The project was very impressive. Other projects she discussed were similar- an examination of the face and how it changes, as well as how a person’s identity changes with each relationship they are in.
Overall I was very impressed with Lee’s work, because it offered a genuine, fresh perspective. I also liked her work because it reflected her lifestyle and showed her attachment to her work, as well as her genuine interest in her own identity.

October 16, 2007

Video Rough Cut

October 10, 2007

Project 2

I think for this project I am going to do an instructional film on creating your own 'noise' band. Although the premise of the project will rely on the trope of the "how to" video, it will be conducted in a way that is both informative and radical. My plan is to first present a bit of biography as to the history of 'noise' culture (some of which we have already gone over in class). Then I will talk to a small degree about postmodernism and the changing gap between high and low art. My main goal here is to show that essentially anything can be music and to point to some practitioners of this concept. The film will contain the Dada duality of dead seriousness and absurd mockery both of 'mainstream' music and 'noise' music. I will then explain a bit further types of tools one may need to create 'noise,' and end with the grand "...and now you can do it too." In a sense then the film will also have links to instruction manuals we have discussed in class such as that of Yoko Ono's.

October 9, 2007

Video Proposal

I want to make an instructional video called “How to Make S’mores in the Microwave?.

I am planning for this piece to be satirical yet functional. I plan on my audience being mostly college-age men and women who have a sense for some-what cheesy humor. I shoot this as an actual production with an intro that leads into the subject with a tacky Brady-Bunch-like joke that shows how people don’t have time or the knowledge to build a campfire and roast marshmallows to create an “old-fashion? s’more. Then I will reassure the audience that this is ok now because there is a “new? method to make the same s’more inside their own house. I will segue into a cooking show style ingredients list and preparation narrative. It will end, of course, with me eating the s’more. I may add more humor into the mix. A couple things I thought of was using a famous guest on the cooking show or possibly find a way to make it look like I blew up the microwave, but that might be too inconvenient and overboard. In addition, I plan to dress in some presentable clothes and an apron to act the part. I may even try to impersonate a well-known television chef.
I plan on using a number of different views like a cooking show would, but I also want to make it retro-looking so I might look at some old commercials or cooking shows on the internet to help me with creative ideas. I would also like to create some interesting affects during the editing process to make the style of video mimic the style of a old, cheesy show.
I obviously want this video to be funny, but I want to do it in a thoughtful way and I do not want to go completely overboard. I want to take a simple process and make it interesting, nostalgic, and humorous without being annoying. I think I could pull off a video that is funny to those who seek a “stupid? comedy, and one that is technically and visually interesting for those who seek art.

Project 2 Proposal

*Sorry this is late but my Internet has been down for a day and a half*

When I first sat down to think about this project, I knew that I wanted to infuse a little bit of humor as well as information. I also wanted to make sure this how-to was something that I was able to speak about easily and with knowledge. Keeping these factors in mind, I decided to make a how-to video on playing fantasy football. Fantasy football is an activity that I’ve been involved in since I was 12 years old. Since its infusion, I’ve always been intrigued and have tried to find ways and patterns to win with more success. This video will focus not only on the rules and ways to get involved, but also tips to create a solid fantasy football team.
There are several reasons as to why fantasy football interests me. The main reason is because of my love for the sport and game of professional football. I feel that it is head and shoulders above all other sports to watch. Secondly, there is plenty of money to be won in the game of fantasy football and I have definitely won my fair share in leagues that I have been in. Third, most everyone in my life plays fantasy football in some form, whether for money or for pure pleasure, and having that common bond is a great way to relate to my dad, brother, and friends.
Initial ideas that I have for this video project will be first to provide rules and ways to get involved. I think this will help to get people interested in the topic. Next, I’d like to show people a live draft and some more “man law? aspects to add a little humor if I pull it off correctly. Third, I hope to let people know how to set their lineup. Lastly, I would like to show how to watch football on Sundays. I will most definitely film this in my house with friends. Hopefully they will be supportive in my quest to make a good project. Also, I intend to get as much experience with the camera before I start shooting as possible to make the actual film go smoothly.
Overall, I want to make a video that is informative, that helps get more people involved in fantasy football, and also makes people laugh. I look forward to making it and to learning the techniques of editing and shooting video.

October 8, 2007

Video Project Proposal

I thought that of the few videos we’ve seen in class, instructing people on how to have a certain persona were really funny. For my first video project, I think I’m going to instruct my audience on how to be awkward. I can see a bunch of different situations that could be included in this video. Some examples could include various phrases someone could say, farting on a date, jumping into conversations at the wrong time, going for the wrong handshake, etc,

I really like the idea of using multiple angles for my how-to video. I don’t think that I will personally be a character in my video because I want to be the one operating the camera. Using color effects could be interesting as well. For instance, switching back and forth between color and black and white film. The awkward silences that always seem to follow an awkward moment create the perfect transition between situations. I don’t think that I want to have any narration in my video. I think it would be much better if it were just different situations.

An example that comes to mind are a series of videos done by Liam Sullivan, whose done such videos as shoes, muffins, text message breakup, and let me borrow that top. The songs are what is supposed to be funny in these video clips, however the beginning sequence with “Kelly’s? family is what is truly funny. This is especially evident in “let me borrow that top.?

I’m most intrigued about doing a video about awkwardness because I constantly find myself talking about how awkward I am with my friends. We’re always wondering why we can’t sometimes just be normal in situations. This video could go in numerous directions. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to record and edit this video.

Notes for next class

Great class today. I was very pleased with the ideas and discussion. Thank you for the effort there. If you have not posted your project proposal on the blog, make sure that happens ASAP.

Points of note for Wednesday:

  1. We are meeting at Rarig studio E. Wednesday morning at 9am sharp. We only have a 45 minutes tour so don't be late! You will find directions here : http://studiob.cla.umn.edu/studioe/
  2. Please read through the following tutorials by Wednesday. The goal is to familiarize yourself with the language and basic layout of Final Cut Pro and video camera usage. These are an easy read and are essential for Wednesday.
  3. Links to today's videos and resources are on the blog in the "links" section on the blog (see the right hand menubar).
  4. A point of note regarding attendance -- you are permitted 2 unexcused absences according the the syllabus. After that they quickly start counting against your final grade in an unfavorable way. Doctor's notes or some form of validation helps you. Whether unexcused or not, you are expected to make up any missed work -- and I'm not going to find you, so it's your responsibility to contact me.

Project 2 Proposal

For the second project I plan on doing a satire of cooking shows. I got this idea when I was watching a cooking show last Friday. Watching cooking shows always makes me hungry and it looks so good I want to make them myself. I like cooking, but I usually prefer baking. I wanted to do a satire of it because the food I make never turns out the way it looks on T.V. They always make it look so quick and easy. It’s often hard to follow along with them on the show, and I have to get the recipe after the show online. In fact it’s almost impossible to follow along with the show because they have everything ready and a lot of things are done ahead of time. A meal that would normally take two hours to make they can do in fifteen minutes. They have all the food cut up and pre-cooked. They also have steps that are already cooked so they can show you what it’s suppose to look like, and of course it always looks delicious. However, once I’m done cooking the food it doesn’t turn out the way it looked on T.V. Its like the hamburger you buy in a fast food restaurant never looks as good as the one advertised in the commercials.

I think this video is intended towards the general public. For this project I’m planning on making spaghetti with meat sauce, meatballs and maybe a side salad. I wanted to take a meal that normally takes about an hour and squeeze it into five minutes. To make it humorous I might have everything cooking at once and use octopus arms to help me do it. I might want to mess with the speed during the editing process to make it look like I chop at super speed. I plan do the cooking in my house for a “home cooking? feel to it. I’m not sure which angle I’m going to shoot the video from exactly yet, and I think I might shoot from different angles to see which works best.

Project 2 Description

I am going to make a video showing how to do a card trick. I have always liked magic and want to share that by doing this video project on me doing a magic trick. Ever since I was young I have always been interested in magic: the whole performance of it all, the mystery, the entertainment you get from watching someone perform a great trick. I thought that this video project would be a great way for me to share my love for magic with others. Right now, I am thinking of shooting my video in a pretty small, well-lit space, probably at a table or desk in my room. I think I am going to start with the video by showing me behind the desk/table with a deck of cards explaining the trick, and then zoom in to my hands and the cards while I perform it. I believe that this will show in more detail what happens during the performance than if I just shot the video in a wide shot or some other “far-away? frame. This way the viewer can see the cards more clearly and they will know the trick isn’t a video edit or anything like that. I still haven’t decided exactly what trick I am going to do, but it will probably be a fairly simple, straightforward card trick. I think I will shoot me doing the trick, then after the viewer sees that, I will redo the trick, explaining how to do it. This will give a better effect than if I just showed how to do it straight off the bat. Anybody will be able to watch and enjoy my video. I am not making it for a specific target-audience or certain type of person. It will be entertaining, but short and to the point so viewers can watch it to completion without getting bored or anything.

Project 2 proposal

Although I haven’t completely decided what my video project is to be about, my proposed topic for the project is a spoof on the old black and white educational/informational videos shown in the 1950’s. They were made for young people, usually students as they were often shown in school settings, and they were often made to reinforce 1950’s conservative values. I looked a few of these videos up on “Youtube?. A couple of examples of topics for said videos were how to have a good party and what to do on a date(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nvivEqxjsI; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WH4NWbPABw). I felt like the purpose for making these videos was to discourage the participation of certain taboo activities in a euphemistic way, because it wasn’t considered proper to openly discuss these subjects. Instead of making an educational video about the risks of drugs and alcohol, they made a video on how one is suppose to throw a party; and instead of making an educational video on the risks of sex, they made a video of what two people are supposed to do on a date.
For my video, my idea is to make a satire video about “how to go to war?. I am doing this because I think there is a correlation between the hidden agenda of the 1950’s videos, and the hidden agenda of the current war, in the way they both use the extreme use of euphemisms to discuss serious topics. I plan on heavily exaggerating the use of euphemisms in order to emphasize my point and give it a comedic effect. I also plan on mimicking/mocking the mannerisms from these videos, such as the music, the style of the times as far as hair and clothing, verbal language, and body language. I’m going to try to make the video as humorous as I can, because I think using humor can be a great, sometimes unexpected way to get a message across to an audience. The intended audience of the original 1950’s videos was young people with intent to hide the truth through the use of euphemisms, and my video’s intended audience will be young people of today with intent to do the opposite through the exaggerated use (or misuse) of similarly executed euphemisms. I want the video to be loosely scripted; I think it might be a good thing to somewhat play it by ear as I go along, because I might get ideas on the spot that I may not have gotten otherwise.

Project #2 Proposal

I have always liked idioms, and for the purpose of an instructional video, I would like to do a piece based on the the idiom “put the cart before the horse,? as it is an instructional statement. I understand that this statement is usually “putting the cart before the horse? to describe an action and not intended to be instructional, I think it will be interesting for this project because I will have to show the truth of the statement through the images and situations I film. I am also open to switching to a different instructional idiom if I can find one that can be expressed better through video.
For the idiom I would like to do video shots of certain situations where the idiom applies, but I don’t want to have a lot of sound in the video. This may change, but I think it would be interesting if the only sound was a repeated statement or word that plays in each new situation. Repetition does add effect, and since I will be illustrating the truth of an idiom I think less sound could make a bigger effect. I intend to make this piece will be pretty clean with intelligent humor in the visuals, so my intended audience is adults, although a younger audience could view it but perhaps not understand all of it.
Some of the situations I could show for the idiom “put the cart before the horse,? are simple situations where people do things out of order and it turns out to be a problem, such as getting dressed out of order, or cooking eggs out of order. Since the idiom is usually “putting the cart before the horse? and not intended to be instructional, I will have to show the contradiction of that through the images and situations.
In the puzzle video that was shown in class, I thought there were a lot of interesting shots and colors. Since I am interested in a possible career as an art director in print, for this project I would like to use simple situations that portray the idiom so I can concentrate more on setting up interesting shots.
Idioms are recognizable statements and can be instructional, and since they are recognizable and common I think it would be really interesting to do a video project on one, to put a new spin on a familiar thing.

Project #2 proposal

The DIY culture is about being self sufficient, and demystifying skills that we are taught are unattainable, that become commodities in and of themselves, owned and regulated by a select group of people. Putting this idea of instructing into the context of an art piece takes this idea of DIY to a new level putting it in a more abstract and less useful context. The initial idea for my project is to make an “instructional? video that shows people how to make their own televisions. What I want to address here is our reliance on television as a way to vicariously live through experiences that aren’t ours. The audience for this piece is very broad, and not meant for any specific demographic. It should affect everyone in different ways. What I want the viewer to find is a way to interact with the world and the tactile and visible things around them. This is meant to be empowering by offering an alternative to passive existence and suggesting initiative be taken to act on their own desires and interests, to be creators rather than consumers.
There are two films that stuck out in my mind when I was imagining my project, Amélie and The Science of Sleep. These two stuck out specifically because they exhibited artful qualities in the way they were filmed, certain aspects made them more like creative projects than many other motion pictures I’ve seen. Another video that inspired my thoughts for this project was the music video for the Joanna Newsom song “Sprout and The Bean?. There is something in the handmade and underlying crafty qualities of all of these films that really attracts and inspires my desire to make. What I really appreciate about The Science of Sleep is the experimentation with methods that are very accessible. Most of the effects are done with simple methods that could be recreated by a relatively inexperienced film make. It involves a lot of stop motion techniques and use of cardboard props.
The idea for my film is that you can make your own film with a simple frame, because you can make even the simplest things amusing by just focusing in with your frame. I imagine this being sort of simple, I suppose the contradictory aspect of this film is that in order to hear my message you must watch me on a screen, but that doesn’t necessarily detract from the message and in fact its contradictory nature emphasizes the point at hand. That is to say, it should inspire the viewer maybe even to stop watching and leave before its finished.

Project 2 proposal

How to do a card magic trick.

I decided that for my how to video I would like to show people how to do a simple but effective card trick. The reason I like this topic is that as a kid magic tricks fascinated me and then as I grew up I started to want to learn how to do them. So from time to time I would pick up a magic trick here and there. The trick that I would like to teach is one that I learned a few years back but has stuck with me. The reason I want to teach the specific trick is that it only requires a normal deck of cards and is fairly easy to do.
For the actual filming process I want to start off with me performing the trick for a friend that has not seen the trick before. The location that this part of the film will be done will either be at my place or at the home of the friend. The second part of the film will then be where I teach people how to do the trick. This will be done at my place and I am thinking that I would like to make it in black and white.
The intended audience for this is anyone that wants to learn a card trick. This could be people of any age. What originally got me started on this idea is as I was bored watching videos on metacafe I found some videos of people teaching magic tricks and as I watched them I remembered the trick I learned a while back and I never saw it on any of the videos so I figured it would be fun to make a video for it myself.

Project 2 Proposal

How to be a Slacker - The Work Required to do Nothing

For my second project I am thinking about showing us, “How to be a Slacker – The Work Required to Do Nothing?. Being one myself I think it would be funny to actually document how to get by in school while still being a slacker. The ironic and funny part of this video will be how much actual work it takes to be a “slacker?. Showing the various extremes of what people have done to get out of tests and homework. I hope to make it funny for the most part, or at least enjoyable.

As for filming techniques, for the most part it is probably going to be filmed in my house, with friends and roommates playing teachers, myself demonstrating and explaining as we go along. However I do have some idea’s beyond that. While in this project there is going to be a lot of explaining, I also want it to be humorous. Therefore I don’t want it always to be videos of people. I’m considering adding some flash elements into the project. Within these flash animations I will put pictures to words. So when I am listing something off the audience will not just be looking at me, but will have something more enjoyable to look and laugh at. In my head I just keep thinking of those old documentaries where you have an ambient voice talking to someone on screen and the person on screen doing the actions, just an idea though.

Some of the steps would include; What to do when you have nothing to do!, Getting out of Tests and Quizzes, How far can you take excuses – When is it too much?, ext. It should be humorous.

I originally thought of this idea because I wanted to do something funny. Also I think that I would be a good person to explain how to be a slacker because ever since junior year of High School I have been one. I have use excuses that you wouldn’t believe to get out of things.

The main issue that I really want to show by doing this project is the irony behind being a slacker. In becoming a slacker you decided to make your life easier in area’s while more difficult in others. Mainly I want to show how much work it actually requires to effectively get out of a homework assignment, or to get out of a test (that you’ll have to retake anyway), and in doing this show that it was probably worth it to just do the work in the first place instead of go though the hassle of getting out of it. In my opinion this is a documentary of a good chuck of my generation.

Project 2 Proposal

The first idea I have had for my video project is ‘how to make a sandwich.’ I plan to focus on the editing and style of it, making it intentionally too formal. If it came out right it would have a dry comedic tone to it but not overtly cheesy or frivolous. I thought it would be fun to make a ‘do-it-yourself’ video on something so mundane and over done that no one would think to consult the video in the first place. I could perhaps film someone doing the various steps incorrectly in black and white and then play the correct procedure in color. I would use various sound effects such as the “wah wah? sound when it was done incorrectly. I think I would play some kind of contemporary ‘80s instrumental track in the background to give it a similar mood to one of those videos everyone has watched during a job orientation. I would probably go through all the various breads, meats, vegetables, and condiments that could be used maybe using a clean still shot of each one with a professional sounding narration. I plan on using certain effects and especially vibrant color to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the video. I want it to be something that is actually entertaining to watch. There are a couple of skits on the no longer aired HBO comedy program “Mr. Show? that I think I’m using for inspiration but I can’t recall the specific scenes. I would use a couple of my friends as the actors, and probably have one of them do the narrating as well since I don’t think my voice is correct for the feel I’m going for. It would probably mostly be shot in one location, someone’s kitchen; however I may also do some shooting at a grocery store or market to get more ingredients.
I just noticed that ‘how to make an organic tuna-melt sandwich’ is one of the examples listed in the project assignment so I may try to come up with something a bit different but go for the same type of feel. This wasn’t something that I was completely dedicated to, just one of the first things I had thought of. I have always found something funny about talking about sandwiches for some reason, probably just the banality of them. I think making an incredibly detailed video on how to make one could work.

Project #2 Proposal

For my project, I am thinking of showing how to go about making a "generic rock pop song." By “generic pop rock song,? this is a blanketed term for the kind of music some bands in the current music scene are creating. One band of this particular style, Hinder, makes music that one critic said is “so egregiously dull, [it] appeal[s] not to fans of music, but fans of high fives.?

I plan to utilize my friends (and most likely a guitar), a computer and recording equipment, and possibly some other recordings of "generic rock pop songs" to illustrate examples to the audience. The video will be humorous in tone, so the intended audience could be anyone who finds humor in satirizing much of the popular rock music of today, or, ironically, people who can’t pick up on the subtle nuances of satire, and who actually want a good idea of how to make music that is, as one critic said, “the kind of stuff that's happily ignorant of common courtesy or trying much of anything new musically.?

Certain ideas as far as technique go, would be doing a lot of cuts to title cards and possibly pictures with the Final Cut Pro program, during the instructional process, to help illustrate the points of instruction. I would probably use both tripod steady shots, as well as freehand filming with someone holding the camera, whichever one fits the scene better. I haven’t decided what I want to do with lighting yet, but it will probably remain fairly simple, as I don’t necessarily think the piece will call for that many dynamic lighting elements.

This idea interests me because it is something my friends and I have worked on doing before (making competently done, yet intentionally ironically lame songs, through to completion), and I think it could work out well. I would break down the steps from writing the lyrics, coming upon a vocal styling, and finding a riff, to actually performing the piece for an audience. These things would probably take place mostly inside of a recording room (a bedroom with equipment, basically), and the performance may utilize some kind of stage. Beyond that, I have to kind of see how it shapes up, but those are the basic points. In a nutshell, the video I think could be described as an introspective and informative look at the creative process of writing competently unoriginal and mundane music to aim at the pop charts.

October 7, 2007

P2 prop

The initial idea that I have is a how to video for how to party like rock star. It would have a comedic feel to it, and if it works out it will be funny. My initial idea is to have steps that lead to final goal. Some initial ideas for steps: take only the minimal about of credits possible, have no concern about what day of the week it is, show that schedule for the night (in that it is not just the bar/party, it is the pregaming, bar/party, and after bar/party), have no worry about whether or not you are good singer (karaoke at Blarney), and I would like to get some guitar hero footage in there as well but I am not sure how I want to incorporate that part yet. My target audience would be college students. This seems like kind of a no-brainer for the audience because this video will essentially be about the college experience.

I would utilize several different locations for my video. There would be a portion of the video that would take place in my apartment. This would be things in the video when we were pregaming or taking about the evening. Then I would shoot video at the bar or at a party. I would also incorporate comical pictures into the video set to music probably. I also had some thoughts on the soundtrack as well. Some songs that came to mind right away were: “Superstar? by Cypress Hill and “Rockstar? by Nickelback. I am not sure how I would physically shoot the scenes, but I would figure that out as I got more experience with shooting digital video. My subjects for the video would be mainly my friends and myself. This will make it easier to get the shots and the dialog that I want.

Some of the ideas I have thought out in more detail. For instance, the taking the minimal amount of credits. I would have someone registering for classes and the classes would all be things like physical education classes or freshman level courses. For the showing no concern for what day of the week it is I would have two people on the phone and one would propose that they go to the bar and the other friend would remind him that it is Tuesday. Then the other friend would respond that he knew that and it’s the perfect night for going to Big Ten. Then once each scene is completed I am picturing a green check mark and a dinging sounds to show that step to be a rockstar is complete.

October 3, 2007

Project 2: Instruct!


What happens when previously inaccessible technologies become available to the masses? What happens when virtually any individual can instantly share their thoughts, opinions or instructions with a global audience? With so many potential voices, who makes the rules? Who decides on the "correct" way to do things or the "best" things to own? What is the role of the expert or the professional? What is the role of the amateur?

Your second project will allow you to think broadly about these issues and express your ideas using digital video and sound.

The video composition will be inspired by DIY (do-it-yourself) culture, instructional videos, guidebooks, tutorials, etc. The 4-5 minute video should should creatively "instruct" the viewer on a topic of interest to you. Topics might range from "how to make an organic tuna melt sandwich" to "fomenting a communist uprising". As you develop your video, you must consider your audience -- who are you making this video for? You must think about the social, political and/or cultural associations of your topic and the meanings that your video might generate. You should cull your ideas from the things and ideas that surround you on a daily basis -- from the things you find absurd, useful, ridiculous, or so simple that we might otherwise miss it.

The ultimate goal of this project is not to simply reproduce an instructional video or guided experience. Instead it is intended to help you think about audience, empowerment, cultural associations, authorship, sequence, and DIY strategies.

Technical Goals

  • Learn to use DV cameras
  • Become familiar with basic lighting techniques
  • Learn to edit video using Final Cut Pro
  • Learn to distribute video via the Internet

Way-points and Due-dates

  • 8 October, 07 : Project Research and Proposal : Write a 400-500 word project proposal including: your topic, why it interests you, a set of initial ideas for making your video (technique, location, style etc), describe your intended audience. Make drawings, find images, and reference other art, projects or sources that inspire you. Post it all on the blog. Be ready to discuss your initial ideas in class.
  • ****UPDATED****17 October, 07 : Rough videos drafts due. Upload a rough cut to Mediamill and share it with me.
  • ****UPDATED****24 October, 07 : Final videos due for group critique. Post your video (640x480 Flash) and a brief 200-300 word reflection on the blog before class.

Grading Criteria

  • Technical (i.e. did you choose to do it, or did the technology choose for you?): Editing - good use of transitions and other techniques, a "flow" : Video - video shot thoughtfully and intentionally.
  • Thoughtful: Does your treatment of the subject allow you to critically engage the topic you are interested in? Demonstrate effort toward thinking about the topic in a larger cultural/critical context.
  • Effort: Effort cannot be underrated - are you pushing yourself? If you figured out the basics on day one, what do you do with the rest of your time? Are you challenging yourself to think past easy answers?
  • Participation: Participation in discussions, online comments, other people's work, etc.

October 1, 2007

Project 1 : Sound Map!

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Urban Market Walk

Framers market urban stroll

On Thursdays in down town Minneapolis, the streets are full of people. The farmers market sets up shop all along the Nicollet Mall. This event draws a diverse group of individuals to the produce tents. People of various social-economical backgrounds congregate to the small tents, which seem to be spilling over with fresh produce.
I thought this would be an interesting contrast with regards to the urban environment in which we live, the notion of buying produce directly from the farmers, the economical differences between those who are buying and those who are panhandling. The streets are rich with the sounds languages and music. You can hear the different cultures that are all around us as foreign languages dance about the ears to the tune of the street musicians.
The market is truly an allegory of the global village in which we live, enriching us with the diversity of society.
The effects I used were; amplification, repeat, echo, and speed. I wanted to capture the true richness of a crowd, so I tried not to over do it with effects.

Studying at Starbucks

I choose to do my project at Starbucks because I like to go there to do there sometimes and have a blended coffee while I study. I usually think of it as a nice and quiet place, but I was surprised at how much I normally tone out. I wanted to make this a linear experience but I found it really hard. While I was recording I notice that there was music playing in Starbucks, but I didn’t give it much thought until I got to the editing part. A lot of the sounds I wanted to use had different background music to it. I had to use different tracks for some of the sounds, and used a separate track for the background song I choose. I used panning on some of the sounds, echo, reverse, amplify other sounds I wanted to emphasis, fade in and out and I normalize everything at the end. This project was harder and took a lot longer than I thought it would.

4th Quarter in the Metrodome

The metrodome is currently home to multiple events, and is a perpetual dynamic environment. I decided to use the site during a Gopher football game to capture the environment during one of it's rowdiest moments. In the metrodome I did not discover anything unexpected, as I have visited the site several times and, depending on who the opposing team is, the site for Gopher football doesn't differ that much from game to game. For me, football doesn't completely capture my attention but I find it fun to participate in the songs and cheers. For this reason, I organized my sounds as a football game between the cheerleaders and the band, with silence where chants and songs usually are, and noise where silence usually is. The main effects I used were intended to make it sound like a play was being made, so the sounds were changed in their amplitude, speed, tempo, bass, and I also worked often with the fading in and out features, as well as overlapping sound to indicate moments when the opposing team intercepted the ball or interupted a play. After reviewing the rules of Football, the process came naturally and was a lot of fun once I developed my concept further.

Project 1 Piece

I chose to make a soundscape of my own room. I wanted to show its qualities of tranquility. I feel like I have accomplished this by adding the rhythm of my own heart beating as it changes pace and volume. I selected sounds of daily actions within my room and mixed them. I placed them in an order that they would be in during a normal evening, but I overlapped some actions while speeding up or abbreviating others. If you listen for it, you can even hear the subtle noise of the fan which was artificially created. Also, I altered a portion of song that I recorded on guitar to act as a soothing undertone of calming harmonies. This was to show the literal representation of the guitar in my room while further arguing for the tranquility of my room.

Project #1 "Stone Arch"

I chose the stone arch bridge because it is probably the place in Minneapolis that I visit the most, I walk my dog there frequently. It floored me how much sound I missed when I would go for walks. With the recorder in hand I picked up on so much of the conversation that was going on around me and the specific noises that existed in the background noise. In editing I did a lot of noise removal, it takes a lot to cut out the background noises that you don’t want to focus on. I also did a lot of fading and transition work to emphasize what I wanted heard. I wanted the experience to sound real and give you a real transition from the top of the stone arch to the bottom and show how the business of the city disappears to a natural haven inside the cities.

A Walk Through Home

After recording audio for my upcoming project, I realized that many
questions that had previously been anonymous were now answered. Recording
sounds around my house seemed like a logical choice to pick because these
were sounds I hear ever day but never pay much attention to. The most
unexpected thing was just the fact that there were so many unique noises
and to single them out was interesting. I organized my sounds by arranging
them by almost giving a tour of the house. The reasoning for that was so that
the listener is able to picture the scene in their heads with ease and can
relate as well. I used a lot of echoing as well as different volume and
speed effects to give the piece a more realistic feel. I also experimented with
the phaser effect at one point and liked the outcome. Overall, the whole
process was fun and challenging at the same time. It had me really get in
touch with my surroundings and helped me focus and develop the piece on a
new level.

Project 1

I decided to work in an area in which there was not a large amount of sound. I do a lot of work with spray paint and tagging and figured that I would use one of the areas that I regularly work at as the focus of my project. The idea of the piece as a whole was to follow my movements and the movements of my spray can as I hid throughout the city. Attempting to tag is, in a sense, ironic in relation to this project as tagging involves avoiding sound whereas we are attempting to capture sound. The overwhelming sounds in the clip come from the mic that I threw in my bag as I traveled. Although occassionally there are audible cars or an airplane, for the most part the only other sounds come from the can of spray paint at the end.

Dorm Life


I chose to do my first project in Frontier Hall. I wanted to do it somewhere that I have a connection to, and since I live in Frontier, I thought it was the perfect place. While listening back to my audio files, I realized that there were a lot of sounds or noises I missed when I was there just listening. There were noises I just tuned out, like the constant humming of a refrigerator in the background, or just taking other noises for granted. Also reading the article on Deep Listening made me realize that there are many, many noises I just tune out every day. I tried to organize my piece in a way that would connect all the noises together, almost like telling a story, but not quite that structured. I wanted it to make sense, and not just be a bunch of random noises strung together. I wanted it so that if someone listened to it, they could get a feel of what a dorm room is like. While editing my piece, I use a lot of amplifying to increase or decrease certain sounds. There was a lot of loud music in the background that I tried to quiet down, and other smaller noises I tried to bring more to the front so you can hear them better. I didn’t want to change the sounds too much, because I thought that would kind of take away from the feeling of the place, so I only did little tweaks to the noises so they would still be “real?. I mostly rearranged the sounds to make more sense to a listener. I thought this project was kind of fun, but what I liked most about it was that it made me realize how much sound I am missing by not listening very hard to everything.

Twilight Cemetery

Use headphones!

For my sound project, I started by recording a short musical piece at home and altered it using audacity. I listened to the altered musical piece and it reminded me very much of back when I was a kid when I used to have sleepovers at my aunt's house, and my aunt and I would stay up late watching old episodes of the T.V. show "The Twilight Zone". So I decided to construct my project around this short music piece, and make my project sort of "Twilight-Zone-esque". The location I chose for the recording was the Hillside Cemetery on Stinson blvd., because it matched to theme of my project and the tone of the music. I basically just walked through the paths in the cemetery to hear what sounds I could find. I would hear sounds like a few wind chimes that I found hanging from a tree, geese honking, crickets and other bugs chirping, and the wind blowing. For effects, I used a lot of spatialization, a lot of fading in and out, altering the speed, and the "wah wah" effect for the music. Overall the process of putting the audacity project together came pretty naturally, because all components of the "story" it tells made sense to me.

Hidden Falls Regional Park

The place that i chose was the Hidden Falls Regional Park and this is because it is a peaceful and relaxing park. I also thought it is interesting that while here as in any park in the cities you get both sounds from nature like birds and crickets but also sounds that are from cities and the such like traffic in the background. One thing that was unexpected for me was on the day I went to go get sounds there were basically no other people at the park and so it was extremely quiet and I had to make some sounds myself by throwing pebbles into the water among some other things. When it came to organizing the sounds that I got I set them up in the order of the places I stopped around the park. For me this was the most logical since it then follows some sort of path. When it came to editing the piece in audacity I used some repeating to get some sounds to last the same amount of time as others that needed to go together and I also amplified some quiet sounds so that they were easier to hear. I also used the envelope tool to try and get a spatial sound with the motor boat. All in all I did find the project to be fun though challenging at times. It was difficult to try and figure out what I wanted to do with the sounds when I was editing and when I was out recording I wasn't even sure that anything was being picked up for the most part since it was a quiet day out there. When I got back and listened to the recordings and found out I did get sounds it made me fell a lot better.

Questioning Agency

This stretch of Franklin Avenue is one that I frequent quite a lot. For me it is the connecting strip between two worlds. However, what I have found in the times that I have traveled through this area is that the places in-between are far more interesting then one might expect. In ways this stretch of street tells a narrative on its own just by being, and when heard in succession the individual stories grow to create an incongruous mix of many backgrounds and themes. These are things at first I did not recognize, but bicycling has a funny way of forcing you to open up and be a part of the surrounding scene.
I organized these sounds into a narrative, taking bits and pieces from my travels and mixing theme to form some semblance of a journey, complete with stops at different areas. This technique mimics the path I would normally follow complete with all the usual and unusual noises heard along the way. This process was a lot like piecing a puzzle together, mostly just picking and choosing a few seconds here and there and blending the sounds. I used mostly fading and amplifying techniques to make it seem realistic and as well to emphasize the significant noises. The process of sound mapping and sound editing is unfamiliar territory for me. I think on a technical level I may not be very skilled and that was a challenge, this process, however, of opening up to knew ways of experiencing the world was very enjoyable and enlightening.

Dorm Room

The site of my project was my dorm room, however that had little to do with this sound piece. The main focus of this piece comes from the actions that take place on a regular basis in my dorm; playing Wii. I chose to make my audio project this way because the noises made from or inspired by the Wii are comforting to me. I was also able to be a part of the audio making process and not just the recording and editing. I attempted to organize the sounds into somewhat of a song. I was aiming for a techno song but upon trying to put one together from audio bits, I learned I was in way over my head. However, I do enjoy the song that I was able to put together it's just not what I had orginally invisioned. I used many different effects, most commonly the fade in and fade out so the sound bits would fit well together. I also used the reverse a few times, I altered the speed and pitch of some pieces and I echoed one thing. I used the echo for an erie effect. The process of making this audio piece was not what I expected it to be. I'd made music pieces in programs like garageband and prosound so I thought it would be similar to that experience. I was mistaken. It proved to be a very difficult task and I found myself spending many, probably too many, hours working on this piece. This project was a very enlightening one for me because even though I thought I had done something similar previously, I found myself to be very wrong and learned a lot about a new process of editing audio.

Sound Project #1

Sound Project #1
Kevin Green

The site I chose to do my project on was the University of Minnesota Mall. I chose the Mall mainly because I spend a lot of my free time there, mostly eating and or sleeping between classes. While I do spend a lot of my time on the Mall after doing my project I realized that I don’t pay much attention to the sounds around me. One recording has what seems to be the sound of an Eagle that I have never heard before. I tried to organize my project as if you were spending some of your free time in the mall. At the beginning you hear a bell, at the height of the hour, and it’s fairly calm. Near the middle I tried to make it seem like you were in the middle of a crowd that had just been let out from class and the mall is busy all around you, doors opening and many conversations. Then you hear another bell ring and it calms down again. Some effects I tried to use were having the sound fade from one ear to another which I hope worked well. In one section I actually have two audio clips, one in each ear to make it seem like there are many things going on around you, during those clips you can remove one headphone and hear a single conversation or listen to both simultaneously. Personally I thought this project was a blast to do, really paying attention to all the sounds around me was an interesting experience. One thing that did bug me is that I really felt creepy recording people and sometimes “stalking? them to get a good noise, it must have looked strange. Overall I am very please with my first sound project.

First Sound Piece

I chose to record sounds while going on a walk around Lake Harriet. I decided on that location because I've always found that particular lake to be the most relaxing and enjoyable to walk around. I picked a pretty windy day to go out and record sounds so there was a lot of material I couldn't use. I also didn't expect to hear the song 'Baby Love' at the end of my excursion. I organized my sounds in the order of which I walked. That part was rather easy for me. The most challenging part was finding clips that were easy enough to hear through all the wind. I used a lot of the fade in/fade out effect. I like this effect because it makes everything flow better. I also amplified a couple parts, for example, I made the clip with the crickets louder. The process of this project was very stressful for me because I was having technical difficulties for about a day. When I figured that part out it went alright. Editing takes forever! It was a good experience but I'm glad it's over.

The Bar Story

I chose the site I did because I thought it would be interesting to try and capture the atmosphere of a bar aurally. After listening to my final mix I've realized that the bar atmosphere is much louder and more frenetic than it usually seems when I'm there. A lot of the background sounds seem to be subconsciously filtered out when one is in that environment. For my mix I attempted to highlight some of the more familiar and thus more ignored sounds by cutting them up and creating playful almost rhythmic patterns occasionally in the background. My piece follows an arguably typical bar room conversation/story through my ears and also as a memory as I sit in the same bar and recall the story. I used a lot of reverb and echo to give the effect of a dialog going on in the head of the narrator. The process of creating this piece came as a challenge to me as I was not used to putting together non-rhythmical work. After I recorded and isolated a number of good samples and began the work of sequencing and editing the task became fun as much as it was challenging.

From The Car To The Mall And Back Again

For my sound mapping project, I chose to record a trip from my car in the parking lot of the Southdale mall, into and around the inside of the mall itself, and back out to my car again. I chose this particular location because I thought it would be interesting to chronicle the different kinds of sparse ambiance of the outside with the bustling varied sounds of the mall, and show the round trip from the car to the mall and back again. Nothing too unexpected was came across. I organized the sounds by cutting out a lot of the more boring empty spaces, and filling up the five minute piece by connecting the more dynamic sounds together. I also used some panning effects, and drenched the mall atmosphere with heavy reverb, to add to the immenseness of the sound, contrasted with the open air of the outside area. Overall, I thought the process of putting the project together went pretty well. It was hard at times to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the sounds, but after I got into it it got easier. Overall, it was pretty fun and I think it turned out pretty well.