Next Semester Advice

What should you know coming into this course?

Honestly nothing. The less you know the better and you will get the most out of this course not knowing anything coming in. If you have spent a lot of time doing image editing, audio editing/mixing, and video you will be bored and it will just be a drag unless you try to push yourself but realistically that won’t happen because everyone is lazy.

What do you wish you knew?

I wish I knew someone coming into this class. Yes we all are connected on twitter but it an online class and most people like me would like to keep it that way, so interacting with other students is taboo. Had I known someone better, I would have been able toss around some more ideas and stayed on top of the assignments.

This is The End

The end is here and I can’t believe I made it through. I tried to have fun with this project by making a short film with my character Agent Roberts.

Project Inspiration

It is not often that I have the opportunity to make a video, so I decided to really geek out and take what I learned from the class regarding setting up a scene and the overall shot. Having a budget of exactly $0 and a little less than a week to get this project shot, edited, and published, the story line would have to be pretty simple.

It starts with Agent Roberts going about his normal day, entering the library and taking a seat at his usual cubicle. He is contacted by another secret agent and is told to check the headlines of newspaper. The article reads about how there were Russian sleeper agents inserted into the UMW campus. After having read the article, he arranges a meeting with the contact and his boss in order to learn more information. From there are an unlikely turn of events.

Production

I tried to make sure that no frame in this video is wasted, taking tips and ideas from the channel Every Frame a Painting that was analyzed earlier in the semester. It may be difficult to spot, but it was supposed to be subtle, is that the contact can be seen in the scenes leading up to their confrontation in the book aisle.  The contact can be seen at 0:06, 0:17, and 0:24 second marks. I wanted the audience to actually see the contact stalk the agent, no matter how subtle it may be. This is also a form of dramatic irony, where the agent is not paying attention and doesn’t realise he is being stalked, yet the audience can see it. This also helps add to the tension and secrecy of the film.

There is no music for the film because it distract from the seriousness. The beginning is purposefully bland and quiet because that is his everyday routine, no one has theme music playing for their daily routine so why should this part? It would also take away the ambience of being in a library since libraries are supposed to be silent.

The website that the agent looks at was created by using X-Ray goggles. However the finished product did not want to publish, so here is a screenshot instead.

The final scene of the meeting was purposefully chosen at a park. So many meetings in spy movies are in public parks it should be its own stereotype. It happens so often it was featured in the most recent Bourne ending, seen here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsOtoij98Uc&t=19s

and even in real life in the movie Breach, based on the true story of Robert Hansen, where he made dead drops to his soviet handlers at parks in Northern VA.

The final phrase pays homage to the popular comic seen below. It is also a commentary on this course, since after all it is an online course theoretically anyone could be on the other end of the computer. And why would the dog not be able to be his boss? After all a dog was voted mayor in Minnesota.

 

This final project allowed me to spread my wings and create a video that I actually enjoyed making. I always watch movies and see the parts and scenes I like, and then think that I can do it just as the professionals.

Next Semester Advice

Here is the assignment about advice for next semester’s students

 

Final Project Outline

This is an outline of what my final project will be and a direction that I will take it. For this assignment I will be using item 1 and item 2.  The overall format of this project will be a video, and throughout a video the agent (me) finds different pieces and clues from media to find the double agent.

Video Outline

  • The agent is minding his own business in the library and begins to find strange abnormalities.
  • He goes to the bathroom and finds writing a note left for him that tells him that there is something important that needs to be told, but in private.
  • He then meets with another agent that tells him to search something online.
  • Using the xray goggles, a news site is changed to show an article on espionage and how it is increasing.
  • He then stumbles up more randomly dropped notes, and a usb drive with audio files on it saying that there is a meeting with the double agent and the boss
  • He then confronts the perpetrators.

Outline is still subject to change

This assignment would be using video, audio, and web. Video is quite obvious with how it is being used. Audio is both being used by trying to capture quality audio while filming, and creating the audio track that the agent uses. The web is being tied in by using x-ray goggles to edit the webpage and finding other clues.

Summary

The only thing there was to do this week was the twitter poll and that post is here.

 

Poll Results

On monday I was tasked with creating twitter poll a secret agent. The agents I could choose from were Ben Aggos, Charles Finch (Rubiks Tilbit), Mac Plaia (Cobra), Kate “The Marksman” Jones, and Lynn Harris (Agent Reveal). I chose to make a poll about Ben Aggos. His agent profile shows that he is a lawyer that goes undercover to take down some of the most dangerous crime syndicates.

Here was my poll

With a whopping 3 votes cast, the verdict is former KGB arms dealers. The idea for that option was that during the break up of the Soviet Union, many militaries no longer had anyone to report to, and weapons were left in giant warehouses unused. This position was ripe for the clandestine activities of arms dealing.

 

End of Week 12

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Didn’t realize that so far I have made over 70 posts on this blog. Here are the posts from this week that contributed to that number.

Daily Creates

Mash Up Assignments

The weeks are coming to an end faster and faster, making it seem like all this work just piles up and comes out of nowhere. This is also crunch time for the all the classes so it is getting pretty hectic out there in the real world. It’s strange, but these assignments forced me to actually look up a few things online on how to use GIMP, and what some of the different features are. Some things in GIMP aren’t really intuitive, such as figuring out how to use layers. Whenever I need to Google something that’s a good sign, that means I’m learning.

How To Tutorial

This is tutorial on how to make a product review. Here is my original product review.

This assignment may seem a little difficult if you think you need to do everything with one take and talk in front of the camera. Good news! You don’t have to. This assignment can be broken down into two parts, the Video, and the Audio.

Video

What You need:

  • A plan of what you are going to say, and what features you need to showcase
  • An idea of how long the dialogue would be
  • An eye for design and filming, rule of thirds still applies here

Make sure to capture more video than you think you may need, you never know how much “filler” you may need.

You need to then stitch together the clips you now have into an order that makes sense in a movie making software of your choice.

Audio

What You Need:

  • The video clips put into a general order
  • A script
  • Voice capturing and editing software

This part is easy, just watch the video at the same time you read the script. At this point nothing should be perfectly edited. If you record in audacity, take the time to edit out the unnatural pauses and “uhhhs” from the recording.

Editing

Now it is time to edit.

This is the home stretch and all you need to do.

  1. Import your recording into your movie making software.
  2. Edit your clips to follow your narration

It is ok if you need to split your recording to allow for more film space where you don’t have any commentary.

And like that you’re done!

Poster x Waldo Remixed

In this remixed assignment I took an older post of mine where I made a minimalist poster and then hid waldo somewhere. The remix details can be found here, while the original poster assignment can be found here.

Because this assignment was minimalist, it is very hard to hide something, let alone a man dressed without camouflage. I decided to hide waldo in between the letter ‘n’.  Here it looks as if he is hiding underneath a structure, to hide from viewers from the top. Too bad he doesn’t know how a 2D image works.

I used GIMP to hide waldo. I downloaded a photo of waldo and used the bucket fill tool to fill in the white space around him as the same color of the poster.  I then cropped his image as much as I could so that I could fit him underneath. Changing his shape is then the final step, as I had to scale him to ridiculously small. In the end he’s only like 40 pixels tall.

I Unironically Used Comic Sans

This remixed assignment can be found here. I had done the assignment on poor font choices previously and that can be found here.  This was to take it up a notch and create a presentation that breaks all the rules. It was heartbreaking.

This is the presentation

The presentation was made on google slides so that it would be easy to share. Because its a remix of one of my old previous assignments, I obviously had to include Comic Sans anywhere I could and it made me blind. These slides break so many rules, pictures that don’t have anything to do with the topics, photos are too large, terrible font, terrible font colors, no consistency, too many words on the slides, and improperly done citations. Instant failure. Except this one time.

Making this was straightforward. Copy in images, and splatter garbage all over the screen. Done.

 

 

Movie Mashup

For this assignment, worth 4 stars, I had to choose 6 movie clips and stitch them together into a single video. Now it’s your turn to watch this and guess which movies/ tv shows the clips come from.

 

—-Spoiler Alert—-

The answers in order are:

  1. Hot Fuzz
  2. Top Gun
  3. 2001 A Space Odyssey
  4. Bullitt
  5. Blazing Saddles
  6. Trailer Park Boys

I messed with the rules a little bit though, the clips were only supposed to be no more than two seconds long, however I felt that it didn’t allow sufficient time for a character to say an important quote from the film.  These movies and one TV show are some of my favorites, with Hot Fuzz earning its respective spot as number one in both this list and my heart.

Making this movie was pretty simple. The I got the clips from YouTube using the FireFox Video DownloadHelper tool.  These clips were then stitched together using iMovie. A transition was then added between each clip to help make it flow a little smoother.

Close Ups Are Awkward

This assignment, found here, is worth four stars and required me to use a dramatic close up of someone’s face, and then place it over a scene or landscape. Here is what I came up with.

Some people may recognize this face, but if you don’t it’s ok. This is the face of the ultra violence. This face is from the movie A Clockwork Orange, by Stanley Kubrick, and it belongs to a man named Alex. Alex and his gang of droogs go around and commit terrible atrocities, thus the name ultra violence.

It only seemed fitting to place his face over an image of flames, as he is an evil human being. Fire is often used as a symbol for pain and death so it was appropriate. It could be said that he also carries within him a burning passion for violence.

Like all the other images I manipulated I used GIMP. I took a photo of Alex and pasted his face over the fire. I then resized his face, cropped the image so it looked proportional, and then blended the corners of his shoulders so that it didn’t look so forced.