Posts Tagged ‘ds1064life’


Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I was part of the in[SPIRE] creative process. After a month of hard work and the tireless energy from Martha, Linda, and the rest of the ds106 clan the grand masterpiece is finally finished.

Initially, when developing my final project for ds106, I wanted to tell its story. I wanted to do this because ds06 had taken over my life, my twitter feed, and my homework. Yet, few people knew what I was talking about and never seemed to fully understand the jokes (ds106 newbs).

That’s when I had the idea to create a simplified way to share the connections, stories and inspirations from and within the ds106 community.


The design process snapped together quickly. I met with Linda who had the genius idea to design an interactive part cyborg, part human brain. However, we needed this idea to leave our brains and communicate it with the rest of the world or at least the rest of ds106.

Immediately the ds106 clan saw gold. Specifically they envisioned an independant site to feature the work of other ds106 pioneers and create a space for people to interact. BAM. In[SPIRE] was born.

From there, most of our meeting were figuring out the technical aspects of it. And when I say we, I really mean I watched Martha in awe as she buzzed around complex code until everything was just right. Without Martha, the submission form would still be a tedious and inaccessible.

For the last week I have been reliving good art and submitting my own inspirations. Now, the story of ds106 will unfold and continue to do so for future classes.


Life Lessons

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Life Lessons is a powerful film.

First, it’s a Martin Scorsese film, and who doesn’t love Marty?

Second, it’s an eighties film (1989), the best era for film.

It is also a provocative film about a middle-age painter and his young, discontented girlfriend, Paulette. From the very first scene we rarely get the feeling that there is anything still and contented in the soul of our hero, Lionel.

He is verbally clever but emotionally uncertain. It is not a story of love. It is a story of power and discontentment.


Here is a shot-by-shot analysis of the second chapter the best reveal the nature of Lionel.

 Shot 1

I. Mise-en-scene

A. Setting: Onset in Lionel’s studio apartment.

1. Props: cassette, cassette player with paint stains, and some pieces of                                            plastic are missing, suggesting the tape player is well-used and old.

B. Lighting:

1. Ration: low ratio/high-key lighting.

2. Quality: soft, less detail.

3. Direction: There is an overall illumination of the cassette player, as a result it is difficult to discern the exact location of light, however, we can assume a standard 45 degrees, considering there is no specific effect created on the cassette.

C. Costume: Only evidence of main character is his hands, which have long, dirty                                                 fingernails.

D. Behavior of Figures:

1. Lionel’s hand appears from the left-hand side of the screen. He inserts the                                     cassette then hits the play button on the cassette player.

2. Cassette tape rolling.

II. Cinematography

A. Framing

1. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

2. Camera position: Straight on, tilted to the left.

               3. Framing distance: Extreme close-up on cassette and cassette player.

4. Camera Movement: Steady/ no movement.

III. Editing:

Shot 1 ends with a close-up of the cassette player then cuts to Lionel standing in front of the large canvas. We can assume that there is a time lapse from when Lionel inserted the cassette tape to him standing in front of the canvas, because we do not witness him walking away from the player to his position in shot 2. It is also an establishing shot because every time Lionel begins to paint he plays music fitting his mood.

IV. Sound

B. Noise: We hear the sound of the cassette being inserted into the player. Then, the             sound of Lionel pressing the play button on the player.

        C. Music: Diegetic music from the tape player.

Shot 2

I. Mise-en-scene

A. Setting: Lionel’s studio apartment.

 1. Tables with paints, buckets of brushes, canvas, painting in the background, basketball hoop, stacks of books, stacks of sketchpads, extension cord, kitchen chairs, lamps, easels, mirror, paint buckets, paint stained newspaper, magazines, large white stretched canvas with black sketching.

B. Lighting

1. Ratio: Low ratio/high key.

                        2. Quality: Soft, less detailed.

 3. Direction: Brighter back light illuminating his hair and his right arm and right pant leg, left rim of his glasses with standard 45 degree angle.

C. Costume

1. Dirty, loose-fitting blue thin striped button-up collared shirt with paint stains, top few buttons undone.

                                    i. Loose fitting beige cords with some paint stains.

ii. Greasy medium long graying hair.

iii. Large rimmed glasses.

iv. Old, worn black sneakers stained with paint.

D. Behavior of Figures:

1. Lionel stands a few feet away from the large stretch canvas with the black                                     markings.

i. Looks in awe and concentration onto the canvas with his head                                                             slightly tilted to the right

 ii. Moves his right arm twice, as an attempt to move it towards                                                            the canvas.

II. Cinematography

A. Framing

1. Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

               2. Camera position: Straight on.

3. Framing distance: Starts as long shot, eventually moves into a medium                                                close-up.

               4. Camera Movement: Tracking shot to the right and circling around Lionel.

III. Editing: Shot 2 ends with Lionel standing then it cuts to a longer shot of Lionel standing. These shots show continuity of action.

IV. Sound

A. Speech: N/A

            B. Noise: N/A

C. Music: Music from the tape player.

Martin Scorsese utilizes the first five shots of chapter two in Life Lessons as establishing shots into Lionel’s character. Key elements of mise-en-scene create drama and tension, emphasizing Lionel’s repressed sexuality towards Paulette. This is demonstrated by the low-key illumination and backlight in the scenes. This lighting creates darker shadows and establishes an intensity and anxiety in Lionel. This intensity is witnessed in Lionel’s actions as he stares deeply at the large, empty canvas. Lionel attempts to move his hand toward the canvas but as the camera changes position to a long shot of him at a high angle and downward, it emphasizes the long distance between Lionel and the canvas. This adds to the audience’s understanding that Lionel is overwhelmed. This suggests that Lionel is preoccupied with thoughts of Paulette, as a results it crates a link between Lionel’s anxiety and the aloof Paulette.


Dead Man’s Chest Movie Poster

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

I’ll be honest: I don’t know much about graphic art. I’ve seen it. I’ve spent a lot time wandering the rooms of the MoMa looking pensive, and ds106 is currently producing a lot of hot art. But nothing has made me appreciate graphic art more than designing a minimalist movie poster.

With this assignment I wanted to experiment with texture and shape. It took me a while to figure out what movie I wanted to do, but I finally settled on the Pirates’ movie Dead Man’s Chest. Second, I needed to watch the movie again (very necessary). While I was watching the film, I was drawn to the character Jack Sparrow’s face painting as the Cannibal King.

It is a key scene to the film. The character Jack Sparrow is found on a remote island but is in a bit of a tight spot. This plot twist means that the character Will Turner (Orlando) must not only escape from the island himself but must also rescue Jack from the Cannibals.

The Design

I wanted to poster to look like a ghostly pirate treasure map. First, I search for an image in The Google for a photo of tea stained paper. I found one easily and downloaded the imaged into GIMP.

Next, I found an icon of an eye in the NounProject. In GIMP I altered the color of the eyes from black to brown. Next, I needed to draw the lines. In order to draw straight lines in GIMP select the paint brush tool, hold down shift key, and click the spot where you want to line to end (keep holding that shift key).

Next, I added the text to the poster. Last, I uploaded the image to Picnik in order to alter the tint of the color. I added a green color filter to achieve to the ghostly effect.

The Results

DS106 has produced a lot of fantastic designs for this assignment. Some examples can to found here, here and here. I did fret for a long time trying to get the lines in the design to be perfectly symmetrical. There are close, but not perfect. Overall, I am pleased with my work.

1 Narrative/ 4 Small Icons

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

I have some news. I am in love. With the NounProject. It is a fantastic site full of simple yet dynamic icons that are for public use. It has inspired me to start designing my own icons but my roommate likes to remind me that I still have real homework pending.

So, I indulge myself with ds106 ‘homework.’ I became fascinated with this assignment, which called for creating a narrative with only four icons. It’s a brilliant challenge!

The Clues

I focused on a movie that was iconic to my childhood, because it seemed appropriate. And no it’s not those films of wizard boy wonder. I remember this film once terrified me when I was young(er) but now I just laugh at the cheesy 80’s special effects. It’s raw adventure, and promotes that smart people can be cool too.

The Process

I wanted each icon to represent a key climatic moment in the film that followed an intuitive chronological order. Or in other words, the first icon is for the first quarter of the film, etc. Next, I hunted in NounProject’s site for a symbol that matched to what I wanted to communicate. Next I uploaded the images into Chogger, because it such an easy site to get access to neat, little boxes.


Now it’s your turn, name that movie!

Don’t Try Too Hard

Sunday, February 12th, 2012


I have never heard of the demotivational poster meme before I saw this assignment. This assignment was easy once you found the right site like this one. My goal was to take a traditionally valued quality and turn it on its head.  

Despair, Inc. is a nifty site and is super user friendly. This site enables you to upload images straight from your computer and type into a prefab template.

I selected a photo that I took over the summer. My favorite part of ‘old school’ motivational posters were the National Geographic quality photos. They always featured a stunning shot of some type of wildlife juxtaposed with some insipid catchphrase. So instead of cliche I made it real.


Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Flickr Challenge: ‘Take a photo of a tattoo”                 I may not have any tattoos to brag about but these are my beauty marks!

The Scene of the Crime

Saturday, February 11th, 2012












Flikr Challenge: “Take a photo that emphases the human hand.


Our hands handle a lot every day, and it’s easy to forget how important they are. Especially when you are burning yourself trying to kill a kitchen fire. Then you suddenly you have a really get idea for the Daily Create Challenge.