Posts Tagged ‘VideoAssignments’

Coffee Is, My

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Inspiration is a fickle woman. If she calls you at 7am for with an awesome idea for an assignment, then you just have to follow it. Plus, your alarm is set for that time and you should get up anyway.

The goal of this assignment was to create a narrative without dialogue. My inspiration was to dramatize my daily routine. The order to my morning is like clock work: get up, open blinds, make coffee, drink the coffee, water plants, check email, shower. The most important part is the coffee, always the coffee.

The Process:

Since it actually was 7am, I had to play cameraman, director, and actress. I experimented with camera angles, lighting and framing. Please note the really cool coffeepot handle moment. In iMovie, I edited down the 30 minutes of film into 2 minutes. Which was difficult considering I tweaking out on five cups of coffee. The fun part was picking out the song I wanted to incorporate. I finally settled on ‘Her Disappearing Theme’ from Broken Social Scene.

Overall, I loved working on this project and I am little attached to what I created. So be nice and enjoy!

A Walk to REALLY Remember

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

And that’s a wrap folk. Thirty stars are finally finished. For my last video assignment I decide to tackle ‘Redub the Audio‘ but give it a twist.

Sure, I could have recorded my own voice over the video but that’s too easy and I’m not funny. Who is funny, Quentin Tarantino. I decided to rip the audio from the opening scene of Pulp Fiction and apply it to a less appropriate video. Say, a religious romance film like A Walk to Remember. Suddenly, a sweet flirty conversation on a school bus is now debating the ontological crisis to robbing people of a living.

The Process:

First, I ripped the audio using MPEG from a video clip that I downloaded from da Youtube. Next I uploaded the video of the bus scene in Walk to Remember to iMovie with the newly ripped audio from Pulp Fiction.

Next, I spent time cutting up the scene to match the audio better. There are a few weird spots but at least no one is moving their mouth when they are not speaking.

Most of my time was spent matching audio to video. It was especially difficult considering  Jamie, the female lead, only talks twice during the entire scene, but in the audio clip I needed her to speak three times.

This is No Cat Fight

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

This is a 5 second drama. It starts and finishes before you have time to think about what you are seeing.  This is the fastest narrative ever, not counting Maura’s 1 second simile.

For this assignment I decided that the more successful 5 second films would be the ones that are quickly understood. I filmed myself watering plants. Not only is this something I do frequently (I do have a lot of houseplants), but we have all seen a watering can, plants, and understand the concept of watering plants. It does not take a lot of mental energy to figure out the setting and props. This ensures that no one will be lost during the super short drama sequence.

I shot five minutes of film and from that I picked out two 2.5 second clips: Filling up the watering can, emptying the watering can. In iMovie, I deleted the original soundtrack, add a quick music track from Broken Social Scene, and adjusted the saturation to black and white. Film in black and white always looks more elegant.

Overall, I think the clip at the faucet can be cleaner but it is all one complete narrative in only five seconds. Who knew that my plants would one day be famous?

Kinetic Dangerfield

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

I hate this assignment. Worse, I hate the finished project but considering I spent nearly 8 hours on this assignment I needed to show something for it.

I should have know when I saw that no one had completed this project that something was up, like its a pain in ass. I was fooled in the beginning into thinking that I could do this.

The Process:

First, I downloaded a Caddyshack clip from da Youtube using PwnYouTube. Next, I opened it in MPEG in order to rip the audio from the clip. Next, I listened to the clip and typed out a transcript of Rodney Dangerfield making snarly comments about the Club’s food.

Now, it gets tedious.

At first I thought I wanted to make individual images for each word in Pincik then upload them in iMovie. However, while creating the first word ‘hey,’ I realized that it would look lame and decided to change directions.

Next, I got the horrible-not-so-brilliant-idea-in-hindsight idea to use Prezi. I needed to be stopped. I never used Prezi before because I think it is a horrible tool for oral presentation and I refuse to use it. So, while I was learning to use Prezi I was also creating a framework for the transcript.

Then, after completing my ‘presentation’ I tried to use Jing to capture the presentation. One huge flaw, it also captured my mouse moving around and the quality was poor. Boo.

After spending hours trying to make Prezi work, I decided it was time to move on. So, I cheated. I was angry and frustrated and I hated the project.

I used the command->shift->4 technique to capture the images from the Prezi and uploaded them into iMovie. Next, I timed the images with audio clip until it was seamless.

So there it is. The short summery of how my ambition crashed and burned in front of my eyes. I am sure there is an on-line tool that is better suited for this, but I did not find it. Ugh.

Play-by-Play: The Hangover

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Bam! I finally stopped tweaking and posted this play-by-play humor analysis of the Wolfpack Speech scene in The Hangover. This go around I stated playing with transitions and incorporating music.

The Process:

First, I downloaded the video from da Youtube and opened it in iMovie. Next, I added my analysis via the voiceover by pushing the microphone button in iMovie.


During this process I noticed that the longer narratives were dull and needed a little spice. So, I added some mood music. In order to ensure that the music did not fight with my voiceover I tweaked the music settings.

Click the box next the ‘Ducking’ while the audio that you want dominant is selected as well. This is will allow the other audio file to be present but play in the background.

Last, click on the ‘Normalize Clip Volume’ button to mitigate the feedback noise.




The main challenge for this assignment was making the audio seamless and clear. Overall, I enjoyed working on this assignment and hopefully Youtube will not mind that I ‘borrowed’ some of my material.

Taxi Driver: Film Essay

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Taxi Driver is a Scorsese masterpiece with one of film’s most powerful protagonists, Travis. It’s Travis’s many contradictions that makes him one of the great characters in film history. In my film essay, we will be watching the final shootout scene in the brothel. During this scene we will be discussing how editing techniques reveals Travis’s disjointed state and decent into psychosis.

The Process:

I ripped the film from Youtube. I have the original DVD but I could never get MPEG to convert the files into .mp4 or any form really. Next, in iMovie, I was able to add my voiceover audio with a push of a button! I drew up a script and recored myself.

The main difficulty was normalizing the audio. The is a strange echo during the scene with Travis talking to the Pimp. I struggled for hours trying to play with audio settings but I was only successful in mitigating it but not fixing it. For the other scenes it seems to be fine but those scene already had distorted sound.

Real movie editors have tough jobs. Hours of tedious work that only realizes small successes. It’s tough work and I cannot say I will be applying for any of those positions any time soon. or ever.


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.