Category Archives: Winter 2016

Maker Expo

maker expo

For my X4-Professional Practices assignment I attended the Maker Expo: See & Do at the Eugene Public Library. The Eugene Makers is a non-profit community focused on introducing technology, science, art, and culture to everyone ages 1 to 101. Really, they want to include everyone, and they want to build an environment where like minds come together to collaborate and contribute. They have a home base in the warehouse district in West Eugene, and every Tuesday and Friday from 6pm to 8pm they host an “Open Hack” night where anyone can bring a project to work on or share.

When I attended the free expo at the library I had no idea what to expect. First of all, I had my 4 and 1 year old with me, and you never to know what you are getting into with them tagging along. Most the time it is great, however, a change in the wind direction can cause unprovoked fits of terror. After walking into the conference room, I could not believe what I saw. There was a 3-D printer, green screen photo booth, synthesizer, embroidery machine, littleBits customizable electronics, wood working tools, robots, and so much more. My 4 year old immediately spotted the Eggbot art robot and asked if we could get one to decorate our Easter eggs this year. It was super cool, but for $195 I told her we would be decorating our eggs the old fashioned way.

Honestly, at this point I could not believe I had never heard of these people before, especially as a multi-media major. They offer so many resources for learning and networking and it’s all FREE. Not only do they have the main home base in West Eugene, coming spring 2016 the Eugene Public Library will offer Maker Hub rooms with access to a digital lab with state of the art audio, video, design equipment and software, and all you need is a library card. How cool is that?

Unfortunately, I did not get to speak long enough to any one person representing the Maker’s due to chasing around little ones, however, I did not need to. The conversations I did join in and picked up on made it clear that this fantastically diverse group of people came from all walks of life. Students, professionals and hobbyists, all innovators and creatives wanting to contribute and expand their own knowledge. They are a wealth of information and very friendly and interested in your thoughts and ideas. I never once felt out of place, even with the kiddos running around. In fact there was so much going on, the girls were having a great time. The “Makers” had something for everyone, even my 1 year old was encouraged to be hands on with the robots. I look forward to visiting their main headquarters soon and can’t wait for the new facilities to open at the library this spring. I highly recommend anyone in the Multi Media field to check them out and make some time in your schedule to pay a visit.

http://eugenemakerspace.com/about_us/


Intrview With Barry MacGuire – By Karl Reindel

20160206_143334It was my pleasure to interview Barry MacGuire for Exercise 4, in my Introduction to Media Arts 101 class. I caught up with Barry while he was working at a Mardi Gras event, acting as the Master of Ceremonies and DJ. I had prepared a list of questions, many of which he answered in the course of our conversation without me asking directly. I have listed the question asked directly, and in parentheses are the related questions that were also answered.

 

What got you started in audio? (What got you interested in audio? What got you started in being a DJ? What got you interested in being a DJ? How long have you been doing audio work?)

Barry is originally from Vancouver Canada. In high school, he wanted to be a dentist. But after taking the classes that were related to that field, he decided that dentistry was not for him. In considering his options, he thought about what else he might like. “I like radio, I like sports. I originally got in to radio to be a sports caster.” He attended Columbia School of Broadcasting, in Los Angeles for a year. The first job available after broadcast school was in music radio, up in Bellingham Washington, where he commuted 30 miles across the border for 6 months. “I have been doing music ever since.”

Barry has worked in San Jose, California, Redding California, Shyanne, Wyoming and for the last 21 years or so, in Eugene. The first 13 years he lived in Eugene, Barry was at KDUK, 104.7. For the last 8 years, Barry has been doing the afternoon show on KOOL 99.1.

Barry MacGuire also owns his own company, BMAC Productions, offering services such as master of ceremonies and disc jockey at events and weddings.  “It includes two other radio DJ’s and myself,” Barry explained. He went on to say that they are very good at working with the microphone and working with the public. In this way, his company is a bit different from other disc jockeys in that they are used to “MC’ing” large events. “It’s easy to play the music and press the button, but it is very tough to get on the mic as Master of Ceremonies and keep the audience interested. It sets us aside from other companies.”

 

What types of jobs have you done with audio? (What do you do now at the radio station?)

“Mostly working in radio, that’s my main job.” Barry MacGuire is the Program Director at KOOL 99.1. Being Program Director involves daily scheduling of the music, dealing with staff issues, commercial promotions such as give aways, or whatever they are doing at the time. He also does quite a few commercials at the radio station. It is an 8 am to 7 pm job, as opposed to the typical disc jockey who begins at 2 in the afternoon and is done by 7 in the evening. It’s a pretty long day.

Then there is the work Barry does with BMAC Productions. “I got involved with that, so that my wife could be a stay at home mom,” with their two young children. This choice was very important to his family. BMAC is a good second source of income for them. “I really like it, it’s a lot of fun.” Barry says he really enjoy working at Sweet Cheeks, Bennett’s, King Estates, Paradise Springs, … lots of the vineyards, “…they are really fun.” “I enjoy weddings the most. It’s a positive event, everybody is there to have a great time.”

 

What is your training? Formal and informal?

At Columbia, Barry says that they did not learn a lot about the technical side of things, “the focus was on the content and delivery of what we were doing.” He learned commercial writing for 30 second spots and 60 second spots, and how to deliver that commercial. It was more about voice work.

 

What advice do you have for those of us starting out in the field?

“Best way to get in to a field, this or any other really, is to volunteer some time, … intern. That way you are getting hands on experience and seeing if you like the industry.” When Barry is looking to hire a prospective person, he considers three things.

  • Being outgoing, not afraid to get on the microphone and entertain the crowd. It doesn’t have to be too crazy, just as long as you are a good communicator, that is what counts.
  • Being responsible, showing up on time, looking presentable. A lot of times those two things (items #1 And #2) don’t always go together.
  • “Having some music knowledge, know the music that you are playing. You need to know your audience, like if you have an older crowd, or a younger crowd, just kind of know how to cater to those people and play the songs that they want to hear. Keep them on the dance floor. Same in radio, cater to the audience.”

 

I asked Barry about his technical set up, what does one need to know about the hardware?

Barry said it’s pretty basic, plug in the speakers and turn things on. “Computers do it all, play list and all.” Barry uses Virtual DJ. He controls the laptop with his control board (like an old school control board). He uses a SURE microphone. It’s a cardioid type of microphone.

At the radio station, they have two engineers, who work with a number of radio stations. Once they come in and set the levels, “we don’t do much to change them.” The engineers also fix things that break. They generally visit monthly.

In working with the commercials and editing sound, the station use Cool Edit Pro. However, Barry said that what we are using at Lane Community College, Pro Tools, is the industry standard. Most people in industry use Pro Tools. The station is switching over to Adobe Audition (who bought Cool Edit Pro), but Pro Tools is what most people use. Barry records and edits all the commercials and is responsible for the sound effects as well.

Barry invited me to stop by the radio station sometime to look around. We discussed the possibility of my doing some volunteer work with him editing commercials over the summer. I really enjoyed my time with him. He is a very nice person and easy to talk with. I look forward to seeing him again sometime soon.


Filming the Fight

photo01

Room 111 in building 17 was transformed into a stage complete with foam mats, microphones, cameras connected to giant screens and about 3 dozen chairs lined up in rows. This room would serve as a stage for former Marine, stutman, theater director and master of fight choreography Chris White. White came prepared with a well organized powerpoint that was equipped with definitions, examples and videos. He started off by talking about the different kinds of fights. There are comedic fights (ex. Austin Powers), artistic fights (ex. Blood & Bone), Realistic (ex. Oldboy), and unrealistic (ex. Anchorman 2). White went on to discuss different actors across world who are known for participating in fight scenes. From the western parts of the world he talked about actors such as Douglas Fairbanks, John Wayne and Bruce Willis. From the eastern parts he talked about Akira Kurosawa, Bruce Lee and Ika Uwais (The Raid).

Once he managed to introduce us all to the basics of on-screen fighting, White walked us through how to create a successful fight scene. The first thing he stressed was how vital storyboards are. When writing a fight scene, the writer must establish a clear beginning, middle and end. He suggests keeping the scene high concept, in other words, the scene should be able to be explained in a sentence or two. This keeps the viewer from losing interest or getting confused.

The next important part to creating a successful fight scene is to establish the choreography- the movement of the talent, the movement of the lights and camera. In order to save time and money, White advises to always test your footage before getting on set. He told us to make sure to consider the costumes, the props and the CGI, because these all affect the choreography of the actors. The one word he mentioned more than any other was “rehearse”. He showed us a behind the scenes video of a fight scene where the female actress was smashed over the head by the weapon of her scene partner, because one of them moved just the slightest bit incorrectly. Speaking of weapons, White stressed how important it is to research your weapon before you include it in your film. He talked about the unfortunate accident with Brandon Lee on the set of The Crow and made it a point to stress the importance of gun safety on and off set.

Another aspect of successful fight scenes White talked about was camera movement. He spoke about the importance of how lighting works in a scene. If your scene is too dark, it usually implies that you don’t want your audience to see the poor stunts. The facial expressions of the characters are always important to consider. They affect the mood and the hierarchy levels of each character in the fight. White gave the example of having a character wince after being punched in the face and asked us what would happen if the character chose to smile instead. Those two facial expressions each convey very different feelings.

The last important pieces of advice for filming a successful fight scene were all about the editing, which Jackie Chan claims to be the most important part of the process. White taught the audience about the difference of cutting between action and cutting on action. He talked about how removing frames from a video makes the action seem quicker paced. One of my personal favorite things he said was about timing. White said that the audience doesn’t realize there’s a beat in a fight scene until it’s gone. It’s like a dance, and the whole crew must be dancing- the cinematographer, the talent, the editor, etc. He wrapped up the powerpoint by talking about sound and how no music can sometimes make for a more realistic looking sequence, but well-chosen music can add to the drama. Foley can really make or break a fight scene, because those hits must make impact and that illusion usually is created with sound.

After the powerpoint, White opened up the discussion to questions and gave students the opportunity to come up on stage and practice. The audience was able to see on the giant screen just how the action would look if it were being recorded. It was very interesting to see just how far a person’s fist can be from their partner’s face and still have the hit appear real on-screen. Throughout the workshop White continued to remind the audience that we have the potential to make great fight scenes and he quoted the incredible Jackie Chan who said “you can do it! Except, do you have the patience?” The most important lesson I took from this workshop was how necessary storyboards are. Before you start filming, your storyboard will establish your rules and create an all around smoother filming process. Overall, I really enjoyed the workshop and felt as if I took a decent amount of knowledge away from the experience. All I want to do now is film people getting beat up. Thank you to Chris White, LCC and the multimedia program for putting this together. I am looking forward to more workshops in the future.

Photo credits: skeeze, Pixabay – CC0 Public Domain

5 Ways To Get To The Driver Seat

This project was really fun! I didn’t really allow myself enough time to work on what I originally wanted to do so the outcome was this. Although I didn’t get to do what I originally wanted to i’m happy with how this video turned out. I’m glad that Teresa gave me some pointers and some ideas to work with that ended up tying everything together in my video so that was awesome. Basically this video is about me climbing through every door in my car just trying to get to the driver seat. I wanted to make this video kind of funny for the viewers and make it look like I was really struggling in some spots that was my goal here and I think that I achieved it somewhat. For this project I used my GO PRO hero 3 and just set it on my dashboard. I shot at 1080p with wide angle because thats all it allowed me to do but I still think it was alright. For the final project I hope to utilize all that i’ve learned so far to tie it all together and make the final project a banger! Hopefully I can make that happen.

It is Five O’ clock Somewhere- By Karl Reindel

This was a fairly fast paced assignment. I believe this is why the instructions were “to keep it simple.” So, that said, what I was trying to accomplish was to come up with a piece of work that was fairly well done given the time frame in which I had to do the work. I vacillated between making something using five ingredients, to making a video about some aspect of wine that included the number five. I settled on the wine idea and made an advertisement about a local wine tasting room where I know the owners.

What I tried to accomplish (my goals) in my project was to make a short ad that educates the viewer about the various featured wines, and their characteristics, that Bennett’s has to offer. I wanted the feel of the ad to be casual, yet have a sense of class. I aimed for “appealing pretty pictures” of the wine, and the containers. The dialogue was meant to entice the viewer to consider the product, appealing to ones’ sense of smell and taste. “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” was my way to invite the viewer to consider what follows.

My experience with this assignment was mixed. I had a lot of frustration with computer issues. The shooting of the footage went well. I found good resources for the video of the wine being poured, which I credited on my YouTube posting. There were some challenges using the “effects” in Premier, and my understanding is that this will get better with practice. I know there are some issues such as smoothness in some of the panned shots and dialogue. I had to shuffle parts of the dialogue to match the order in which the wine was filmed. In all, given the fast turnaround, I think I am content with my resulting work.


Video Editing Project-Homework.

Ah, at it again with another post all based around homework.

 

I promise that I’ll get back to cameras and lenses… eventually. But back to the topic.

This was a last minute ordeal. Too much work and too little time management skills on my part really ruined a good opportunity. Then again, it also lent me a gratifying illusion: free time. Taking this assignment as an excuse for a break from everything else and exploring my campus as a personal project, I simply shot what I see everyday in the pattern of five. Five flowers, five modes of transportation, five signs… you get the gist.

Honesty, all I wanted to accomplish with this project was to complete it. It sounds bad, but all I really like about video is the compilation/editing. I personally think that for an editing project that the project should be based around an established video and edited. For example, taking the epic The Ten Commandments, and editing it down to five minutes with a coherent storyline. That, to me, would be closer to the point of the assignment. But I do get how creating content is key to becoming a better media artist.

All in all, it was simply a nice break from everything else. It’s certainly not video heavy, but then again, it’s not my forte.


P5 Image Editing

 

For my project 5 I did a top 5 touchdown celebrations. What I was originally trying to accomplish was just a very basic video that counted down some famous touchdown celebrations. Once I got everything filmed and started editing I realized I don’t have a lot of variety in how I filmed. So I decided to make the video as cute and funny as humanly possible. I used my son as the actor and I found that was a huge pain. He did not want to do it at first because he is very shy. Once I got him in front of the camera he was fine, but then there was the issue of teaching him these iconic dances. He had a lot of trouble picking them up. This was both bad and good. It was bad because it was very frustrating. The good in it though was that is “version” of the dances I think made the video better in the long run. The editing of the film was definably the easiest part for me. The sound and titles took a little more work. They weren’t necessarily hard it was just difficult getting the sounds and text to match the dances. Overall I had a lot of fun making this video as dorky as I could and was a good learning experience.

Brief Continuum – P5

 

This is my video for P5 Image Editing. I wrote this song just for the video, and had a lot of fun doing so. The song itself is a bit slow and sombre, but I feel it was a subconscious thing in the writing process. I guess I’ve been in a bit of a depressive mood lately and this song kind of reflects that. I’m just happy it came together the way that it did.

The song uses a 5-string bass to coincide with the “five” theme of the assignment. The other video clips within the video that aren’t of bass-playing are shots of things in my backyard and house. I feel as though they get a bit brighter (or “happier”) as the song progresses and resolves. “Brief Continuum” is an oxymoron in the same way of saying something is a “contained infinity,” but it may also be a subconscious thing; depression doesn’t typically last long, but it feels like an eternity.

What I was trying to accomplish with this was a sense of emptiness in the beginning of the song (maybe not in the very beginning of the video), as it’s just one low, slow instrument playing. It then picks up a little bit with drums and a second bassline, then resolves with a long, low root note, fading to a shot of sun and flowers. I just wanted the song and video to be a reflection of how things can seem grim, but will always be brighter in the end.

by Ryan Scott


5 Gifts to Give Your Sweetheart this Valentines Day

This is technically my first real video project and I had so much fun creating it. Honestly, comedy is not something that I have any experience with, especially visual comedy. So I figured I’d challenge myself with this video. I surveyed at least 20 people and asked them what they would like to receive for Valentines Day and then I took a couple of those gift ideas and made jokes out of them. Writing out the storyboard took up a ton of my time, so in an attempt to ration my remaining time, I cut out the idea of any dialogue. By doing so, I avoided writing a script, checking out a snowball mic, fixing levels, etc. On the other hand, without dialogue, the video relies entirely on the props to make the jokes. Acquiring the props was one of the best parts. Imagine a giant pair of underwear, ketchup and Die Hard in my shopping cart. Shoutout to my partner Keasey who was a great sport when I forced him into a robe on camera. This was actually quite a lovely, little Valentines Day activity for us. Apologizes to Teresa for starring in my own video, but I was all I had at the time. The most difficult part of this process for me was staying within the 2 minute time limit. I had between 6 and 9 shots for each scene (I went a little overboard, but passion for videography will do that to you). After a great deal of time, I finally managed to whittle it all down to exactly 2 minutes. Another aspect I struggled with was the music. Each song worked out alright, but they weren’t exactly what I wanted. Besides a little couple challenges, I had such a great time. There’s nothing I would love more than to do this for a living one day.