February 2010 Archives
There has been many stories that details certain wordings that described this current northern continent using no name because many a name was used and abused. So as I had learned of origina stories winters ago that there was and still is some false non truths and some truths with the current northern continent and I was very young then and had to learn for those people older than me who were education instructors who taught them and then them to me. I was learning at a time when black and white television receptions was limited because of the sending and receiving strengths of the on the roof television and radio antenna that had a lighting wire and lighting rod attached. The television I would see only had radio and television signal capacity to receive 4 channels and those are 3, 6, 10 and channel UHF 36 Canada channel when the radio signals were strong. Some of the television programming would show those cartoon animated programs through the television.
I was able to see some of what was being broadcasted when the reception was good. So as I was meditating my perceptions' as to what subjected matter my digital media group is doing I selected a topic for fit into my the truth of bits and fits category. The Melo-O-Toon story that is shown and has song an oratory originates maybe before the northern continent became a continent I selected a very new animated story... I provide the linkages to receive that online animated cartooned video. Mel-O-Toons: Christopher Columbus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuvRFZ4Mxbo .
One more post for y'all. Again, I think humor is such a great way to combat stereotypes and negativity, so naturally I want to be funny while still being able to bring something interesting and challenging to the table when producing something. The bad thing about humor is that it is so very hard to pull of well. I like the idea of several very short clips that build to something a bit larger, have a greater point. Brevity is the soul of wit, and if SNL has taught us anything, it is that things that go on too long become repetitive and we can be mercilessly beaten with unfunny for what seems like an eternity. I also think that very quick things can be fun and make us think a bit more by leaving us to decipher what was meant rather than punch is in the face with its point.
I like to think that I am funny(though maybe you guys would beg to differ)so I think I could contribute something funny and unique and smart as a part of a project. I am also excellent with most any video related peripheral(editing, shooting, etc.)so I know I could contribute to make a great looking project. In fact, I would probably demand it, as I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to this sort of thing(You know George Lucas once said the films aren't released, they escape, I just wish Jar Jar's cage had bigger locks) Anyways, I think I can definitely contribute in terms of style and production and hopefully in terms of intelligence and humor as well.
I would like to do a video interpretation of a traditional native story for the next project. I would like to do a story that teaches a lesson, or maybe a creation story. In anticipation for the final project I will hold off from trying to do a Windigo story. I think a mixture of footage we take, video clips found online, and pictures we take or find online would be good for visual effects. We could maybe make props to represent certain things from the story to draw on the viewer's sense of imagination.
I think a story from people in the immediate geographic region should be considered foremost as there are probably more relevant to people living there (us). Finding the story would be something we would have to research. Selecting a story should be based on content, what the story is actually is telling. This is left for the audience to decide. I think we could agree on a story that evokes enough in the group.
Since I'm not the greatest at video editing I would say my best asset to contribute to the project would be researching and writing. Finding the story would be something I would be interested in, as well as finding visual representations to go with the story. I like to think I can write decently well and a script based on a traditional story seems like something I would like. I have a digital camera and know how to use it, but I'm not much of a photographer. All in all I would like to contribute creative flow, writing and research.
I chose this story based on its description: "this is the story of why the rabbit and the owl look the way they do." I thought it would be a little more creative in the effects aspect. The storyteller also stuttered and seemed to lose his thoughts throughout. Besides that I really liked it. He was outside, taking live footage of himself speaking. The story was easy to follow but it was still keeping my attention. Some things that stood out were the use of props, these props were simply trees, leaves, dirt. I thought they worked great, but it was missing an actual visual representation in some way of a rabbit or an owl. Depending on the story it could be figurative or literal.
All in all I thought the video worked well to tell the story he was telling. I would like to use 'live' footage, filmed outside in a seemingly natural setting. The use of props like leaves and dirt to describe why the owl is colored the way it is is something I would like to do. I would probably try to rehearse the lines a little better than he did, but the kind of jumbled portrayal works well for an evolving story.
I enjoyed it tremendously, it was really low budget and it gave it a sense of hardness, an edge. I liked too that it seemed to be filmed on a reservation and also depicted a crucial problem that plagues so many natives today, drinking. He brought it to the forefront and it was neat seeing a young native rapper address the problem in a creative way. After seeing that video I feel like we can definitely come up with something substantial for Paul.
I really liked this video! It tells a Cree legend, and I think it uses digital media to its advantage by letting the viewer see things for himself/herself. I love that it uses Cree language, and I think it is put together with a combination of seriousness and humor that is appealing. I like that the makers of this video weren't afraid of using visual effects, but also didn't overdo them. This stood out to me because I feel like it was a very good example of what we are trying to accomplish with our project.
I really enjoyed this video because it was humorous and creative. I like the idea of examining everyday interactions between people that perpetuate stereotypes. Then, I would like to show how ridiculous they truly are, but in a comical way. I doubt the creators of this video think that Metis people are stereotyped to be able to open bottles and start fires more easily, but it is a good framework for our group project, in my opinion.
I think one of the things that I like most about this video is how stark and honest it is, which is all the more acceptable with child actors in place. The children make the events seem completely absurd, yet it all is true. There is a place in history for these events.
I like the idea of taking historical events and satirizing them, as the producer of this video did. It is entertaining to watch, yet ultimately has a point (other than being funny). It is smart humor, which is something that I would like to see done in the group project that I will be participating. I have never had much experience with comedy, so it seems like focusing on how to decolonize one aspect of history/American conception in a humorous way would be the best starting point.
I think this is counterproductive in a way, as the song is quite lewd.
Over all, the lighting and use of video filters accents the song, and I think we could adapt the methods used in this video to make our own video spectacular.
Once you've copied the code, return to the blog and click on the button to switch the blog entry mode from WYSIWYG mode to HTML mode. This button is on the toolbar on the far right side and looks like this:
After you click on it, the entry you're writing will stop looking normal and have a bunch of code and weird symbols and characters that make sense to your friends in Computer Science but looks like gibberish to most of the rest of us. When you get this page in HTML mode, paste the code at the end of your entry. Click preview and see if it works before you Save and publish your entry.
Email me if you have problems and we'll try to figure it out, but give it your best shot! I'm rooting for you.
Syressa's Digital Story: Phoenix
I was stunned after viewing this short video. I thought that she encompassed all of the elements beautifully. Her point of view was clear, a grandchild in awe of her grandmothers strength and thankful for the presence in her life. I struggled with the dramatic question some...perhaps, how will her grandmother emerge from this current situation/problem to be even stronger yet? This entire video was drenched in emotional content. From the pain and love heard in her voice to the words she used to describe her grandmother (strong, phoenix, unwavering) you couldn't deny the emotion emanating from the images. Her voiceover was dramatic and captivating, you could sense the validity in her voice and the sincerity of her words. Accompanying her beautiful video was the quiet voice of a female singing in the background, however because it was so faint I wasn't able to makeout what the words were saying. But I actually think that that enriched the video even more, because it didn't take away from what Syressa was saying. In regards to economy I feel as though she stuck with the same basic images: her grandmother engulfed in smoke, shot at a distance and complimentary pictures of trees filtering sunlight throughout the forest. I also enjoyed how she went a step forward in simplicity and made it black and white. It was elegantly paced and I was able to enjoy how organically the images flowed from one to the other while her strong voice informed us of her story and the beautiful singing added a peaceful and delicate yet sad tone.
For my digital story analysis I selected The Talking Tree by Surya Govender located at
http://www.storycenter.org/stories/index.php?cat=8 and video length of 3:44 three minutes and forty-four second.
The story is short history story about the life of a father and daughter named Surya Govender. She tells of an apartheid any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc
The video is a combination of photo's with audio from the daughter telling about her and her fathers journeys and uses a talking tree where people come to meet and they talked and told story that were to be told again.
The photos she narrates around are apartheid and a talking tree, family, flower, streets, people and provides photos of their life that seems to be snap shot photos from the place locations that her, her father, her grandparents had lived or lives.
Surya voice give some voice to the photos that she surrounded her life that she seemingly maybe doing a photo and voice ceremony for her father that didn't say goodbye. That portion of her story adds an unknown to her story...
The place location she describes most is
Her oral story as she Surya Govender says "the stories that matters most are the hardest to tell.
CDS - The Mountain http://www.storycenter.org/stories/index.php?cat=8
I watched the 'The Mountain' by Amy Johns. It is a recollection of personal memories of a place and angst over the treatment of this place. She goes back to a place where she spent her childhood - a lot of land in Pennsylvania her family owned. She describes the place as a beautiful spring with large boulders scattered everywhere. She tells of the stories of giants that used to live there that her grandfather told her. I think she succeeded in showing a strong personal tie to this place. In order to build a larger house on this land her grandfather sold the rights to mine the land for coal. When all of the more easily-accessible coal in the area was depleted it came time to mine the mountain she loved so much. This brings in the topic of natural resource usage and abuse and the earth-shattering means of attaining them. She gives good examples of this by pointing out the devastation caused by the clearing of forests and blasting of the mountain side. The spring she cherished was now a mere memory. Overall the video was successful at making the point of the importance of a place and the collateral damage of extracting resources. She had good pictures but nothing really provoked anything. The music was slightly depressing which worked for her message. I wasn't blown away by it, but I liked it and got the message.
I chose to watch the short Sofas. Initially I was drawn to the title as it seemed so innocuous, what could be so interesting about a sofa. I found myself loving the way that he creates this real connection to something inanimate. He talks about how sofa's trigger very specific memories of our past, usually of comfort and warmth. But what makes the sofa so inviting is the home it is is, and the juxtaposition of Sofa's on street corners where the homeless sleep is very effective in reminding the viewer not only of the plight of the homeless on the streets, but also of the memories that they have of themselves being in a warmer, more loving place. I think the uses of still photographs is effective for the most part, though I think there could have been some video added to break it up a bit as well as convey a bit more urgency as photos sometimes tend to feel a bit distant. I do however like the voice over, and the first person perspective of the "narrative" and think it does add some of the urgency that the images may not entirely convey. Mostly I love that something so innocuous could end up as moving as it does.
I chose to watch Common Ground by Scott Strazzante, a digital story about the change from farmland to suburban development. The story is published on the Web site Media Storm, a site solely made to publish digital stories. The Web site is very, very interesting. (If you are on the site, I recommend watching the "Love in First Person story). For Common Ground, Strazzamte, a photojournalist, began documenting the farmers, Jean and Harlow Cagwin, at the end of their life on the farm, and continued documenting the same land as the Grabenhofer family moved in. The story is extremely compelling, as it offers a look into the urbanization of America, and in a way, a reminder of the circle of life. The story itself is told in many ways. It features side-by-side photo comparisons, video of both of the families, voice over's, and short bits of written text. All of these elements come together to paint the story of the land, both good and bad.
One of the best things about this piece is that there is no clear good or bad. This story isn't meant to decry the loss of natural land, nor is it meant to showcase the wonder of family homes in suburbia. Instead, Common Ground offers a look into a singular change from farmland to neighborhoods in one small area.
I really liked the photos, so here are some screen shots from the piece:
I watched The Talking Tree by Surya Govender. It's a digital story about Surya family, who were Indians living in Apartheid Africa. The central figure in the story is the "talking tree", a tree in her town around which people told stories about daily life.
I thought the video was effective. It has a very personal point of view, as Surya is talking about her family and more specifically her father. The video is a first-person narrative, Surya "voicing over" for the duration of the video.
She uses the sounds of an Indian raga at the beginning to symbolize her heritage; in the video, when she explains that the new Apartheid legislation had forced them out of their home (it was in a declared "white zone"), the raga stops as if to symbolize this separation from home.
I thought the film was well put-together; it moved by at a good pace, not fast enough that parts of the story were lost, but fast enough that I was never bored. The video was also fairly economical, as defined by the Digital Storytelling Cookbook. I think some of the images could have been edited out, there were points where the images moved too quickly to really appreciate their value.
The story has a great plot for being only about four minutes road; it starts with the question about why Surya's father does not tell stories, and gives a possible explanation, tying back in the end to this question and the Talking Tree.
Surya's storytelling voice was warm and confident; she seemed like a reliable and relatable narrator.
I have always been, and always will be, a nature-lover. Unfortunately, I don't get to interact with nature as much as I would like to because I have been raised differently. I grew up in a family which is driven by success and obtaining wealth. My parents did a great job, don't get me wrong, but I didn't get to do a lot of camping, or boating, or exploring as I grew up. That is why this video seemed intriguing to me.
The video I watched is called "The Mountain" (this link brings you to a different video for whatever reason, but there is a link to "The Mountain" right below) and I found it on the Center for Digital Storytelling site. Amy Johns revisits the place where her family had been living for generations and where she grew up playing and exploring. The place was the mountain and it was destroyed by coal miners a few years ago.
I thought she did an excellent job of evoking emotion with the imagery she provided. The beginning of the video contains photographs from when she was a small child. She has pictures of herself climbing on trees and jumping on rocks. She included beautiful images of the landscape and the many wonders of nature it provided. Later in the film, she shows pictures of bulldozers and a massive hole in the ground that was left after the miners were finished.
She also did a really good job of narrating her slideshow. She included a personal touch, which made me feel sorry for her and her family. She talks about the past (her great-great-great-Grandmother planted flowers on the mountain), the present (there is only a small patch of trees left nearby her home), and the future (her young niece will never get to see the majestic beauty of the land that used to be).
Finally, she chose a perfect song to play in the background. It was a strong-voiced woman singing in a soft tone. She kept repeating, "All I see is the mountain." I thought it was fitting for Amy's story because she looks at the hole in the ground and all she sees is the mountain and the memories it provided her and her family with.
I watched "The Secret Life of Paper." It was very good and engaging--I watched it twice.
The short film begins with an initial problem: the U.S. consumes more paper than any other country. This gives us our first hint at the dramatic question, something to the effect of "How can we fix this?" As the story goes on we are let into the creators' minds (point of view) and motivations for the story. They are hoping that this video can be a helping hand in reducing paper usage in the U.S., saving the environment (forests and water), and reducing greenhouse gases. Throughout the film the creators list things that both people and industries can do to greatly reduce our paper use and they quickly reiterate them at the end. I find the final reiteration more effective because a little reminder that is short and sweet tends to stick into peoples' minds longer than one that is drawn out.
The emotional content works here as well. The creators of the film show a pile of paper used by a family of five in the U.S., and then go on to show that same [much smaller] pile for a similar family in England and then in Mexico. Furthermore, one expert interviewed in the film talks about how we only have twenty percent of our ancient forests left and that twenty percent is currently being cleared out faster than ever. How could anyone not feel a bit emotional about that?
The voiceover is a rather mundane guy, which doesn't work too well unless he was trying to sound depressing. The people interviewed added a personal bit to the story by adding their ideas and grievances.
The soundtrack was a toned-down instrumental type that allowed the story and images to stand out. It worked, but there may have been a better choice (although I am not exactly the person to come up with it).
Lastly, the economy of the story and the pacing also worked in the film. The visual and auditory stories played off one another well and the pacing wasn't too fast but not nearly slow enough to be boring.
Overall, the story/film was enjoyable. I really liked it, even if it brought to my attention that we are using 100 year-old trees to wipe our bums...
I also watched "Bits and Pieces--A Short From Jordan." I liked it a lot, too. Hearing peoples' ideas and thoughts on a series of fairly random things was lovely.