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.

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

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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

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October 27, 2007

Steps to Being a Slacker

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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

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.

October 8, 2007

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.