Posts Tagged ‘cantstopwontstop’

Kill Bill in 1932

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Film editing is difficult. Anyone to tell you otherwise is just showing off. I have worked on this project for far too long and I am beginning to hate it. The goal of this assignment was to transform a modern film into a silent film.

 

 

First, I decided to take on Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill vol. 1. I felt that this film was an appropriate choice because it portrayed archetype characters, typical  for silent films. Plus, I just really like the film too.

The Process:

My first hurdle was learning how to download videos from Youtube. Initially, my research revealed a program called, Youtube downloader. However, to get the program for free you had to sign-up for another on-line service (e.g. Netflix). I knew there was something better so I called upon the DS106 community, and my friend Tim Owens showed me a bookmarking tool that was super easy to use. (Sorry Alan, but I have clue what to do with script text.)

Next, I downloaded the official Movie trailer for Kill Bill. Originally, I tried to make my own trailer but I soon realized that it was a formidable task and not necessary (3 hours later). Then, I needed to mitigate its 21st century feel.

The original music was hip and cool. So it needed to go. In iMovie, I muted the original soundtrack then added my own with iTunes. I picked a sassy jazz piece that fit perfectly with the time frame. Yes, technically the song is from 1938 and not 1932 but let’s play pretend.

Next, I need to do away with the shiny colors and HD quality pictures. First, I muted the saturation to zero. Good-bye color. Next, I messed with the brightness and contrast levels to make it look more grainy.

Last, I uploaded it to Youtube. Ten minutes later, I was ready to upload it to Artisfier, but I was unable to make it work. I tried various privacy and quality settings and Artisfier still could not upload my clip. So, back to the drawing board.

Once again in iMovie, I tweaked the color setting to make it look more silent film-esque. There is a slight issue with some of the actresses’ black hair blending with the dark background but I figured it’s 1932 and we can’t win all of the fights with movie editing.

I tried creating a more time period appropriate credits intro, so I designed a minimalist poster and added it to the beginning of the trailer. However, after doing so, I worried that I was infringing copyright laws so I deleted it. It did give me the opportunity to play with transitions between scenes. So, one point for learning!

Overall, after struggling with different aspects of film editing, I feel that this was a great way to introduce myself to the art of editing. There are still a lot of things I want to do better with, like making it look more grainy and less shadow-y but I am excited with how it turned out.

 

 

Rap Battle

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

(Skip to minute 4:00 for the best example that smart kids are cool too.)

For those of you lucky enough to be in DuPont this evening you will have the chance to hear me rap too.

A key part of the A-MC-X radio show or any radio show are their commercials like the Super Bow(els). To keep things fresh on A-MC-X we are honoring our Alan Levine with a rap promoting his work and DS106.

First, we needed to find words that rhymed with Levine (at least he is not named orange). Here is our first list:

green
lean
mean
bean
cuisine
automatic teller machine

This proved two things: 1) I am not Dirt Mcgirt 2) The online rhyming dictionary is a blessing. Though, I did try to find a way to include automatic teller machine in our rap.

Here is a small preview:

Mr. Alan Levine the DS machine,

He is steppin’ out into da scene,

Later tonight we will be pairing my rap with the glorious Annie Belle’s beat boxing. It’s only day three but already we have a commercial. Slowly, Slowly, A-MC-X is weaving together an awesome radio show!

 

UPDATE:

I present to you the final cut of a rap battle beat down.

 

OneShotStory

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Enchanted

 

The goal of this assignment is to take a photo that can be chopped up, rearranged, and formatted to tell a story. I wanted to tell the story of two lovers (re)encountering each other.

The Process:

I took this photo while hiking on a very bright afternoon. First, I used a black and white filter to suggest a dream-like narrative. I altered the exposure on the image of the trees to create the ‘tension’ of a nightmarish state. Last, I used the cropping tool to focus on different aspects of the photo. All of this was accomplished with simple editing tools featured on iphoto.

I used the tool Chogger to achieve the comic book feel. However, finding Chogger was my biggest challenge. When I first approached this assignment I knew I want to use PikiStrips but I soon discovered that site is down. Boo PikiStrips. However, I persevered aka used the Google till I stumbled upon Chogger. This site requires you to register for an account but it is freeeeee.

After I register I clicked the green ‘Build A Comic Now’ Button.

 This brought me to its main set up page.

 

To add images you can either draw one into the white boxes, take a photo from your webcam, or upload a photo from you computer. I already had my altered images to use so I clicked on the ‘upload’ button. I did not like the size of the default boxes but thankfully Chogger enables you move, add, and delete boxes, so did not have to distort my images.

 

This is where it gets tricky. After you publish your comic its filed away into Chogger’s database of doom (think of a less organized Flikr). To find your photo again you will have to search its title. In addition, there is no explicit embed feature but you can just grab the image straight from the site.

Let me know what you think! For those of you who are curious about the original assignment, check out the ds106 site under visual assignments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slowly, Slowly I Embrace the Internet

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

I like to keep the Internet at a distance. I like to watch it at a safe distance and hope my ‘fight-or-flight’ instincts do not start to kick in. However, this semester I sought to change this behavior.

So, I enrolled in Digital Storytelling  (DS106) with instructor Jim Groom for my final semester of undergrad. I expected to learn a few tips and tricks about blogging and that’s about it. Honestly, I was expecting an easy ‘A’. What I did not expect was being left on an Internet island of doom with a domain name and no map.

Now, I am in the driver seat with a steep learning curve ahead. In the last week I was able to successfully connect my domain name (mc-guirk.us) with a webhost, installed WordPress (most proud of that one), and successfully installed a WordPress theme. Easy.

Not easy: learning why the next day it all disappeared. Network caching is a horrible, horrible thing, but my to-do list is slowly getting accomplished.

To Do:

1. Install Akismet API key, check.

2. Subscribe to Comments, check.

3. Install Titter Tools, check but still working on it too.

4. Get JetPack, check, still need to learn more about what it does.

Currently, I’m working on the sites look, how to customize its font, and where my blog posts go (don’t judge). In short, Jim Groom, fellow ds106 pioneers and my parents, I look forward to embracing this new challenge and seriously would love any tips you can throw my direction.