Category Archives: SP18-P6 Final Project

A Video About Computers

So I ended up getting this idea about computers and what they would say to us as a species if they were sentient/could communicate with us. After bouncing ideas off of a few people in class, this idea kinda ended up hitting me and I just felt really really compelled to commit to it.

I’ve always really enjoyed stories involving technology and how it integrates with humanity itself and the good and evil technology can be used to foster/spread. Be it ideologies/messages. Cyberpunk stuff especially has always been really rad and appealing to me. Stuff like Ghost in the Shell and it’s ideas of the human experience and what exactly it means to be truly human. Not saying this video is on par with something like Ghost in the Shell at all though haha.

Personally I feel like if a computer could really talk to us, it’d be pretty subjective on what it would say depending on the user using it. So maybe mine here is speaking due to the way I use mine? How would yours speak to you? How would someone else’s speak to them? I just really really like the idea of that. Computers are by design made for their user to manipulate to an extent, especially dependent on the OS used. So the concept of what it could say to people is really interesting to me.

Creating this project wasn’t too bad in terms of the production part, but post production became incredibly hard for me to finish on time due to the amount of other finals I had to worry about this term. Thankfully I did get it done, but my need to finish videos/my  perfectionism might’ve hurt me a little bit in the process. Just like to have my projects done and me happy enough with them before I fully give them to someone or upload them. I should really curb that habit at some point.

I really tried to go for more editing/after effects type stuff which I’ve only really used and experimented with in Time Based Tools. I feel like I could’ve and should’ve done more with it like maybe experimenting with more Z-Axis stuff but unfortunately ended up running out of time before I could really experiment or do anything with it.

I hope one day I can make more stuff like this in terms of themes. One of my personal dreams is to be able to make stuff to communicate ideas/themes to people, though I really wanna work on my writing a lot more as I feel a lot of this was very on the nose. But hey learning lessons and all that. I’m sure I’ll get there as long as I just keep trying and working on creating good scripts and content for people.

Thanks for watching and I really enjoyed my time with everyone here 🙂

Hopefully we can create more stuff in the future if any of you continue into media arts!

“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat”

Coming into this class as a student just about half way through the Multimedia program I decided to try and focus on getting better at the things I want to do that I haven’t had the chance to do in my other classes. One of these skills is stop motion animation. I have had dreams of possibly making stop motion films down the road, and it’s something I have always wanted to try my hand at. With our final project being as open ended as it was I decided it was a perfect opportunity to try my hand at some stop motion work. I knew that I did not want to have to worry about a lot of the creative aspects of making original content for this project, so instead I looked for something that I could recreate using stop motion rather than live action. There were a lot of considerations that went into my decision of recreating someone else’s work rather than making my own completely original material. The biggest being time and attention. I knew that I had very limited time when it came to the actual creation of content (something that takes an extraordinary amount of time when working with stop motion). Secondly I wanted to be able to devote absolute attention to the process of making a chunk of stop motion footage. I love working with audio and creating sounds, and I really enjoy being creative with camera work. But I knew that if tried to do all these things, AND stop motion I would run out of time. I limited myself to only the re-creation of an original pice, and used the original clips audio in hopes of giving myself maximal time to hone to skill I was focusing on for this project.

I have mixed feelings about my final product. On the one hand I learned so much about what goes into making a pice of stop motion media. It takes and extraordinary amount of time, and it can be very frustrating. I requires very precise actions, and acute attention to detail. Additionally the gear and especially the amateurs (in this case toys) are vital to making a good project. Moving forward, if I were to make this project again, I would start with better puppets. The toys I used looked great at first, but there are very old with loose joints and are anything but stable. I would use puppets with wire frames that would allow to control their movements precisely and with intention. It is also very important to have a reliable way to fasten them to your world. Each time one of these figures would fall over I would have to reset everything. And the figures falling over were only one of the many problems I faced in my approach. On the bright side, however, I learned so much. Next time I try to tackle stop motion I will have a lot more knowledge under my belt, and will be ready for many of the road blocks I faced this time around.

 

Thank you all for a great term, and I can’t wait to see you all next year as we work our way through this program!

Best,

Andrew Johnson

The Weight of Words

This project was, by far, my favorite! I had some hiccups in the beginning, like figuring out my story, but once I did, everything went pretty smoothly. I wanted to do something that had meaning, a metaphor about life, something pertaining to a struggle people face. I tried brainstorming about everything which moves me. I decided to do a video about women, because I am a woman, and touch on some of the everyday struggles we face. From catcalling, to snarky comments, to prejudices, and more. I wanted to convey how the idea of a “perfect woman” can weigh heavy on us, as well as how some of the negative things we hear have become a societal norm. I wanted to symbolize breaking those stereotypes at the same time as showing a metaphor for how women can cope with hearing them most, or even every day.

The hardest part of this project was coming up with an idea. It took a lot of holding my head in my hands fearing I wouldn’t think of something in time. Then it hit me and the rest of pre-production went fine. I was able to map out my storyboard and outline and I felt pretty good about it. I had a pretty solid plan. Luckily, I have had plans work poorly before, so I knew not to totally lose it when, as I got everything ready, had my actress at the location and was pulling out my camera, I realized I had forgotten my camera battery nearly an hour away at my house. I was a bit upset by this, don’t get me wrong! We had to reschedule production until the next morning, which worried me because I was running out of time and didn’t know what else might happen to throw off production.

I’m happy to write the next day went smooth. Desiree, my actress did an amazing job, and because she works night and had just gotten off work, it kind of fit the storyline anyway. At that point we just did every shot a bunch of times from different angles and I tried to make sure I had enough footage to choose from.  I ended up being very happy with most of the shots we got, except I wish I had gotten some clearer shots of the words. It was somewhat hard to shoot the words on the mirrors because of the reflection, but the mirror was key to my metaphor. It shows how she isn’t willing to let negative words and phrases she hears throughout her day, mirror herself. I hope I was able to deliver the idea, even with the somewhat blurry lettering.

Editing went pretty smoothly, as I really enjoy this part of the process. I’m still figuring things out with the Adobe programs but have been watching a ton of youtube videos, and with the help of everything I’ve learned this term, I think I will enjoy videography very very much.

Thanks for watching “The Weight of Words.” I hope you enjoyed it.

 

Amateur Cooking…

Over the course of this project I really struggled with what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to make a video that was funny yet cringe-y. Originally, I had thought of doing a sort of cooking show but as the editing process continued I realized squeezing in more than one person into a clip with a maximum of three minutes was going to be impossible. I had already filmed another “contestant” but decided to take a different route and make more of an at-home cooking segment using the lovely Hailey Cowlthorp.

Filming was quite an experience. Hailey continuously made me laugh or made someone in the background laugh and then we would have to reshoot that scene. Wasn’t the end of the world but it definitely extended the process. At least we got some good laughs out of it. I must say, there were a lot of improvisations (if you can’t tell) which was the style I was going for. I wanted the character Charlene to be ditsy and air-headed and Hailey was able to convey that perfectly. The entire video was supposed to be somewhat ironic and not make a whole lot of sense and I think that was accomplished.

Originally I envisioned an interview portion with each contestant in the style similar to the popular show “The Office” because I enjoy the fact that they are breaking the fourth wall. The interview at the beginning was supposed to be an introduction to give the audience an idea of what each character was going to be like but instead ended up with just Charlene introducing herself and although it did give the audience a sense of personality, it wasn’t what I had initially thought of. To be honest though, I think it works perfectly.

Overall, the video was turned out to be something that I didn’t initially expect but ended up being a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about the organization of the filming process as well as the tedious parts of the editing process which will be useful for future projects.

Francis and “The Chord”

 

Up to this point in my media arts classes I have been focusing on one aspect of a project at a time. This was my first attempt at creating my own video utilizing all the editing techniques I have been learning. This was by far the most enjoyable project I have worked on seeing as I had complete control of the story, casting, filming, music selection, and editing options. These steps were broken down into 3 stages including pre-production, production, and post production.

The Pre-Production stage of this project was the most difficult for me to get past. I was flip-flopping back and forth between different ideas for my video. It wasn’t until I had typed out my pre-shoot outline and detailed schedule for my project that I realized what I had settled on may have been boring to view, not to mention not all that fun to create. I decided to find some actors, present my overall idea, and let the improvisation begin. After many different takes, I had amassed enough footage to begin piecing together a timeline.

The actual filming or Production stage of this video was without question the most enjoyable. I had a good time directing the actors, expressing my story ideas, creating costumes, and filming the action. I was fortunate to find a cast of actors who were open to my story vision and who added their own flare to the overall experience. We did this all with very little rehearsal or mishaps. The only scary moment in the filming process came in the original take at the end of the movie where one of my actors was twirling around in a dress. This was filmed in a yard during the night with very little lireeght. She couldn’t see where she was going and accidentally tripped over a garden box and fell into a couple of large tomato plants. She was not injured however I cannot say the same for the tomato’s.

In the Post-Production portion of the project I had a hard time deciding which clips would remain untouched, which would be shortened, and which ones, unfortunately, I would have to exclude all together. This was all due to the 3 minute time limit for the film. I made an effort to edit in footage that corresponded with the narrative. This helped with the time restraints and seemed to give the story a better flow. My soundtrack music was chosen to give the story a feel of creepy mystery while the narrative was meant to be sarcastic yet possibly believable.

After I finished with the final Post-Production touches, I was already starting to plan out my next video shoot. More time will definitely be dedicated to the Pre-Production portion that I had such a hard time with on this particular film.

I found the creepy music called “Dead People Play” here> https://www.dl-sounds.com/royalty-free/dead-people-play/

Final Video Project

Creating this video was quite an experience. I learned a lot from the last video project. I had a better understanding of premier and what I had to work with so that definitely helped me with this project. It was a lot of fun going out and shooting the scenes. There was a lot of trial and error working with angles and different things and I probably would have done some of the shots differently now if I had more time but overall I’m happy with the finished product. My sister Sophia and my friend Brandon are the two actors in the film, they were great to work with and helped me in my creative process. The hardest part was probably coming up with a concept. This is sort of the first time I’ve messed around with videography and cinematography so I did not really know what I was trying to go for at first. I was working on a spoken word poem that I was going to record and that is what the video is based on. However, I did not find the time to sit down and record it due to my other finals and things. So, I asked my friend Chad who is a musician if I could use his song in my video because it has ghost symbolism in it and the basic premise of the video is that this couple broke up but she is still haunting him metaphorically in his mind, so it worked out great. Most of my shots were in my yard where you see Soph in the white dress representing the metaphorical embodiment of the spirit that is haunting Brandon. The rest of the shots I got just around downtown. I really liked this project and this class in general. I loved learning all these skills I wasn’t too sure if media arts was for me but Mel made this term an enjoyable experience and I plan on furthering my study in media arts next term.

The Worst First Date EVER.

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For my final project, I wanted to make something funny and cringe-worthy for the audience. I feel like this whole term has been a roller coaster of emotions when it comes to school, so ending it on a good laugh seemed like the best idea to me. I understand it may not be funny to some people (it may not be funny to anyone really), but I had a ton of fun making it, and I am very proud of what I have produced!

This short film is about two young individuals seeking love. The two initially met off of “Farmers Only.com” which is a dating site made specifically for men and women who are looking for other singles that are just as deeply infatuated with the farming trade as they are. Here we have a small-town farmer boy in search of  a sweet woman to make his wife. When his date finally arrives, he is shocked to find out his potential suitor is a stuck up city girl who claims she is capable of getting a little dirt under her nails. Will this love last, or will the two worlds collide and end in heartbreak? After all, the heart wants what the heart wants….

I think the hardest part would have to be dealing with the audio. This is something that I have struggled with all term, and i’m sure that if I had better equipment I would have been able to produce something with a little better sound quality, but I think it works well for the most part. I wanted to portray the character’s as polar opposites, who in the end hopefully find love. My main purpose was to make sure that the date went in the wrong direction as much as possible.

I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to give the story away, so if you’re interested check out my video down below!

Sharing Endorphins

 

Group fitness and my gym family is highly important to me.  I wanted to showcase it in the video that I created because not only has it been a part of my life that has had a huge impact for my physical health but also for my mental well being.  The relationships that have been made have cultivated and nurtured me through difficult moments and became a constant in otherwise chaotic times.  Working out, initiating and promoting higher levels of endorphins is an amazing thing in itself but sharing that experience with others is even greater still.

This project started out with an idea that morphed and changed along the way, as is the way, and should be, with the creative process.  One of the lessons that I learned is that your idea is only as strong as the skills you have in using programs to put that idea into fruition.  Having to lower expectations and narrow your focus based on your personal skill set is humbling.

I shot for three days with a person that was generous enough to give me her time, feedback, ideas, excitement, commitment and encouragement.  Even when I had to let go of some amazing footage of her story and some elements that where taking my project into a direction that deviated from what I could do with with the perimeters of time that I had to showcase it and my abilities in using Adobe Premier Pro.  I hope to someday do her justice and hone my skills to the point that I can share the portion of my footage that I had to leave out.  Shout out to Ellen DeWerd, I feel extremely grateful and blessed with her generosity of time and overall excitement in helping me with this project.

That being said, this class is about building a foundation and gaining fundamental basic of learning how to use programs at their base level.  I’m glade that I had no choice except to use Adobe Premier Pro because my MacBook Pro is a glorified word processor and died slowly and painfully during the last few weeks of this class.  I pushed forward and spent many hours in the Independent lab and Library Adobe Lab overcoming my frustration with my laptop.  Again, I’m glade I did.  It can be very overwhelming with trying to make a program work for you when you don’t exactly know how the program works.  Youtube was a huge resource for me on how to’s for Premier Pro and I feel way more comfortable with the program after this project and with video altogether.

Another valuable piece of knowledge about Adobe Premier Pro is that it pulls your media from one source.  You must be extremely conscious and organized in where your media data is.  Being a serial saver and saving your project in various locations does not work.  Your media is linked, not saved to your work and it is very frustrating if you don’t have this tidbit.  I am speaking from experience but I learned a very valuable lesson because of it.

Lastly, Editing.  I was overwhelmed with the amount of footage that I had and had to look through.  Editing is a time consuming process.  More enjoyable once the knowledge of the program you’re using increases.  In the end, it was a huge advantage.  Having so much footage to cut and crop became my saving grace.  It  allowed me to keep focus on what I really wanted to share, even though I didn’t use a huge portion of what I shot I was able to use lots of smaller pieces.  It allowed me to put together something cohesive in a concept that I had to compact and keep to a time restraint.

I’m proud of this piece.  Not because it really showcases what I thought I could create but more importantly of what I was able to accomplish with the tools that I’m learning.

 

 

All About Books

The final project, the home stretch, the pièce de rĂ©sistance, and I go with books. I suppose this was bound to happen considering I had been stuck on getting an idea for a week, so that’s on me. The project turned to be fun though, going out and recording video, that got lost by the time of production, taking photos, in which only few had been used from my camera, and gathering audio, most of which hadn’t been used in the end due to an annoyance in the sound chosen. Yea, things got hard, but I pulled it off well for the troubles I had from the very start.

As said, I had trouble coming up with an idea. I kept going over things like gaming or music, but nothing seemed to be going right with either option. I had no idea how to start on either and it left me in the dust of my peers. What saved me, however, is when we met as a group to share our ideas and the instructor came in, checking on everything, and reminded me that I have a love for books that could be used for this project. And thus, All About Books was born. Well, not quite.

While I had my idea, which was more like my instructor’s idea, I still had no idea how to go through with it. I kept going over how I would go over books. Would I go over my favorite series or would I tell a tale of my favorite characters? It was hard to decide and I got in a stuck mindset between the two options, leaving me at a standstill for a short amount of time. Then I finally got my idea, I would go over my personal history with books.

As soon as I was settled on my idea, I was able to get my pre-production plan set up with confidence. Sadly, the plan failed straight from the get-go. I had planned to start my work the Tuesday after getting the plan finished, but due to appointments, I was unable to do so. That forced me to change my dates around to allow me to get what was needed to be done. The following Friday, May 25th, I had finally gotten the recording software needed, but it hadn’t been charged, which lead to me having a dead camera on the day I was to finally record video. After that Friday though, everything recording-wise fell into place, which was a relief. However, getting it into Premiere Pro caused much more difficulty.

When I finally got everything ready to create the final outcome, all of the video I had recorded vanished from my hard drive, leaving me with no B-Roll. Myself and three others, one of which was the instructor, couldn’t figure out what had happened, so I had to move on without video. Once I got through all the images I had, there were too many gaps that it felt stale to the ones I had asked to review the supposed “final creation,” so I had to result in finding free video online, which turned out to be very helpful and lead me to the final result.

Overall, the project was enjoyable. I got to go out, do new things and actually record my voice for the first time, which isn’t something I like to do. I do wish that I still had my video, but I won’t complain if the result is the best it can be as is. I’m definitely going to continue this blog after I leave this class and I’ll make sure I try to use what I’ve learned more often so I keep my skills up.

Until next time!

Jewel

So..What Is Constitutional Carry?

2nd Amendment

So first off, I would like to talk about the video itself, and why I decided on this topic. I chose this topic over others because it is very important to me that I be able to protect myself and others that may need help when no one else can be there for them. I personally like to avoid conflict if at all possible, as I think it is useless. It provides no benefit to either party and only causes pain physically and emotionally to be healed with time you could have spent focusing on other more important things in your own life, instead of worrying about the others. That is, unless you’re a bully, then I hold no sympathy for you. People think all weapons can do is hurt others, but that’s not true. They can provide enjoyment for those who enjoy shooting in a recreational manner. But more importantly, they can prevent conflict altogether. As the video explains, 3/5 convicts won’t even mess with you if you’re armed, where as they all would if you had nothing to protect yourself. They don’t care who you are or what you do, just that you have something they want.

A weapon inherently is not dangerous, the person wielding it can be. No matter what you do, criminals don’t listen to the law anyway. This is why banning does not work and has never worked. Think back to prohibition, where companies themselves were sneaking instructions on how to make wine right on the side of the barrels. Think about any drug ever, cocaine, methamphetamine, and how they are still in 2018 YEARS after being illegal are still produced and sold all over the world, in multi trillion dollar accounts. Criminals, or addicts in the case of drugs and alcohol, will find a way to get what they want regardless of what you or anyone else says or tries to prohibit. Haven’t you ever stepped on the grass even when the sign told you not to?

In conclusion, this video meant a lot to me and I spent a lot of time perfecting it. Though not EVERYTHING is perfect, looking at you line I had to retake after the fact because I said 3 OF 5 instead of 3 OUT OF 5, sheesh did that give me plenty of problems, it was still a great project and I am proud to share it with my class and the world. I think information like this should be more readily available and people should embrace that which is and always will be in existence, rather than attempt to make it go away, which they never will.

Studies show that weapons are over 80x more often used to save or protect life, rather than take. Simply by getting training and owning a weapon, you are THAT much safer.