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Final Project

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au·to·bi·og·ra·phy   

[aw-tuh-bahy-og-ruh-fee, -bee-, aw-toh-] Show IPA
-noun, plural -phies.
a history of a person's life written or told by that person.

Create a video autobiography for yourself. The project should be 3-5 minutes. You may make a traditional narrative starting from birth to present day, or you may focus on one aspect of your life that you are extremely interested in and want to present from an historical point of view. The autobiography does not have to be traditionally narrative, it can also be experimental in nature. For this assignment you may not use pre-recorded music or sound. Think carefully about how the sound relates to you and your personal history.

The assignment will be due Wednesday December 15th, posted to Mediamill.

Final Cut Finishing Touches

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For those of you looking to finish your stop motion animations in Final Cut, here are some basics you'll need to know.

Always make sure your "Tool Palette" is open.
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You can find this by clicking> Window>Tool Palette. Here you'll find your pointer, razor, and pen tools to cut, move, and establish fade ins and outs.

In the actual timeline, you can place image and sound. Image is placed on the top half and is blue. Sound is placed on the bottom half and is green.
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The default for Final Cut is to link the two together. You want to unlink these so you can ad your own sound in. You do this by clicking the linked selection button in the upper right hand corner of the timeline.

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The button should look like the number 8 inside of a square.

When bringing new images or sound into Final Cut, click>File>Import>File> then select your video, image, or sound. From the bin, you can then click and drag your media onto the timeline to edit.

Once you are finished editing, you will want to export your media into one quicktime file. You can do this by clicking>File>export>Quicktime Movie. Make sure when exporting you are clicked on "Sequence 1" in your browser,

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and all of the media is selected in your timeline. You can achieve this by clicking the timeline and hitting command/apple/A. All of your media should become highlighted.

You will be taken to this window:

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Make sure you title your project and save it to the appropriate folder and your settings match the one shown here.

You should be set to go!

Remember, the lab is open all day Friday until 11pm and Saturday until 8pm.

Let me know if you have questions!

Artist Inspiration

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The first piece that I want to discuss is Kenneth Anger's "Eaux d'artifice". I really enjoyed this film, because of the combination of music and water. I have always enjoyed water and fountains, and this film adds a very interesting aspect. Throughout the entire thing it was similar shots of fancy fountains in the same setting. However, as the music changed, it seemed that the story did as well. Early on the music was somewhat frightening, almost like a horror film score. But as it changes, it seemed as though the water did too. It went from being an intimidating scene to an exciting one, and then to almost a joyful one. I also really liked the visual effects they incorporated throughout the film. The fading and transitions were so smooth that it effectively confused and intrigued me about the film. I really enjoyed this film, and the use of water as an art form.

The next film that I would like to acknowledge would be William Klein's "Broadway by Light". I knew I would appreciate this film right away when I noticed it was New York, because NYC is one of my favorite places. I really enjoyed how Klein made the lights of NYC into music. I have always personally believed all of New York City to be a work of art, and I thought that Klein did a great job of showing that. By matching up certain sounds and instruments to the movement of lights, he showed how even advertisements and promotional items can be beautiful too. I really felt that the main message of this film was that there is beauty everywhere you look, if you take the time to see it. He found music within the lights of old NYC, and I was very impressed with the entire film.

Lastly I would like to focus on "Frank Film", by Frank and Caroline Mouris. This was the film that I was most impressed with. Mouris incorporated so many different aspects into one film that it was almost mind-blowing. He told his entire life story, and to greater detail than one would have ever expected. While doing so, he seemed to include key words spoken at the same time that had meaning to him. Perhaps single things that were important to him, which he didn't have time to bring into the main story. I really enjoyed having the option of which speech I wanted to focus on during the film. I think this was a very effective way of telling his story more in-depth. And obviously the visual effects were outstanding. It was so fast paced, and lasted so long. Watching the animations while listening to his story really placed you in his shoes. This may have been the most effectual life story telling that I have ever heard in 13 minutes. I felt as though I knew him much more than I should ever know anyone after listening to them speak for a mere 13 minutes.

Emotion(s) Animations

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Begin by thinking of at least five different emotions. Try to choose an object, or a body part other than your face, to portray these emotions. Use a series of stop motion animated pictures to show at least two of these emotions.

Can a banana be happy? Can a shoe be sad?

You may add sound. Try to stray from adding your favorite song from the radio. Think of the sound assignment if you would like to add sound, and edit your sound to fit the emotion.

This assignment will be due November 22nd before Thanksgiving. If you plan on going out of town, you must turn the assignment in BEFORE you leave.

You may use a still camera and Final Cut or Frame by Frame.

Here is the download link for the software.

Please post your sound pieces to the blog as .wav files. We will be critiquing them on Monday. Please be prepared to discuss how the piece is an extension of you. In other words, how it is a sonic self portrait. You can structure the discussion in any way you like. If you'd like us to listen to it first and then respond, or if you'd like to talk about it first and then have us respond.

Write a short paragraph about the piece, a little bit about what you'd like us to know about it. Maybe there are questions you have for us, or things you thought about while you were composing the piece. Feel free to bring those to the discussion.

Please make sure the pieces are posted to the blog BEFORE class on Monday.

Rachel and I discovered that the limit for a sound file is about 60MB. If you are trying to upload a file that is larger than this, something that may help is to compress the file. Once it is exported as a .wav OR a .aiff (this file format is totally acceptable as well) hit >control >click on the file and there will be an option to compress it. This will create a zip file and you should then be able to upload it to the site. If you have problems, please e-mail me BEFORE class.


Record and/or collect a series of sounds. Layer and alter them to reflect your personality. Use different objects to get different and interesting sounds. Spend some time thinking about the environment in which you live, your surroundings, how you walk, how you talk, how you sleep, and how these factors could play a role in your "sonic self-portrait." Bring the finished product to class.

Minimum time limit 3 minutes.

Project due date: Monday 10.25

3 minute sound piece

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Compose a three minute sound piece and post it to the blog by Monday, October 10th. No write-ups or explanations. Just a quick sound exercise!

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Photoshop Project

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A - Bring in three images that tell a story. If you have to photocopy or scan any photographs from home, please do so. The images can be from magazines, newspapers, or hand drawn. There is a scanner in the classroom.
B - You will tell your story with the images you provide to someone else in the class and give those images to that person. The story can be a true story or completely made up. Take some time to create the story with the images. Please don't come in with one sentence for each image.
C - If you have a question about what an image means, please ask, but don't feel limited to using that image within its original context. Photoshop the three images in any way you like. Be inventive with the original story and try to stretch your own interpretation of what was told to you and how you view that person's story. Feel free to add, subtract, draw on, photocopy, scan, paint or do anything else you wish to them.

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