Reflection of DS106… A Learning Experience

This class has been one of the most rewarding experiences that I will cherish. This was not just a class but something that created nightmares, incredible amounts of stress, but also an enormous amount of joy. I learned things that made me cry and scream, dammit Audacity. That is a program that I will eventually love but still hate. I have learned techniques that have made me figure out at 40 years old what I want to do for a living. This was such a great experience and have learned more in the past five weeks about photography, audio, video, and making a website than I have ever imagined. I learned that programs existed such as Flickr, and Soundcloud, also how to use Twitter, which was new for me. This final project was the most enjoyable part, now that I have all of the tools to create a story using my beautiful daughters. We have all had such a great time, minus the tears, nightmares, and screaming getting through these past five weeks. You warned all of us, and you were entirely right on how hard this would be but would also be an incredibly rewarding experience. So, I feel like I did an excellent job on this final project, my kids in the hot sun was my worst part about it, and one fell and cut her hand. The one thing I would have changed would be I would have spent more time on Zoom with Dr. Polack to understand what was expected at the beginning of the class and always watch the weekly video’s first. I enjoyed the course so much and am walking away with so much more knowledge about digital storytelling than I ever thought possible. I enjoyed this project the most, as all of it was a project, but making videos and learning to make videos of my kids was the best part. It’s amazing what a $40 video program can do. Unfortunately, I did not have success with After Effects, maybe I will try again at a different time. Thank you for such a great learning experience.

Roger Ebert Analysis

In the article by Roger Ebert, he gives a great representation on how to read a movie and gave great examples on how camera angles give the viewer a different feels based on the visual the camera is providing, by creating a more positive view from right to left than from left to right. His representation helped me understand how to read a movie and the importance of camera angles and how they create the scene within a movie.

The first video that I watched was One Point Perspective by Kubrick found at https://vimeo.com/48425421; in this video, you can see that symmetry is the main focal point throughout the film. As Roger Ebert would have discussed that symmetry  and  lines create “symmetrical compositions that seem at rest.” Within this video, you can see that the center is the most dominant, and the sides are entirely symmetrical within the film. This creates clean lines and makes the film visually appealing. Therefore I feel that Ebert’s analysis of symmetry is correct for this film.

The second video that I watched was called From Below, created by Quinton Tarantino found at https://vimeo.com/3754050.  In this film, you see that the angle of the camera is looking upward at a low angle creating the feeling they are important and have a higher status as if they are Gods, centered in the middle of the screen with a slight upward view of the characters.

I feel that Roger Ebert’s techniques to read a movie were right on, as I looked at American Phsyco as well. His examples and advice on how the angle of the camera creates positive and negative visuals for the viewer was fascinating and helped me understand how to read a movie correctly. https://www.rogerebert.com/roger-ebert/how-to-read-a-movie

American Physco… Listen, Watch, and Analyze

American Psycho Camera work:

Movie clip begins straight and camera pointing slightly down at Jared Leto, the camera angles shift from the right of the screen from right to left, and Christian Bale moves right of the screen. As he enters a new room to the right, he is center and puts on his raincoat and takes his medicine and water with his left hand, which is right of the screen for the viewer. As he comes back into the room with Leto, Bale moves through the room from right to left, You can now see that the camera angle is centered on Bale as he stands behind Leto, and Leto is in the foreground of the shot. Still, Bale is the precise visual in this angle of the camera. The camera then moves to Leto center and down and then comes Bale with the Ax as Leto is featured still center and down in this camera angle. The camera then moves to Bale as he takes the raincoat off at the center of the screen, and then Bale moves to the couch center of the screen; the angle then changes to the right side of the screen as Bale sits to smoke a cigar.

Analyze the Audio track:

The scene beings with the click of the CD player, and Bale has a normal tine voice as he is just hanging out with a friend. You can hear him move from room to room, and his voice changes as if he is another person, and he sounds excited and happy. As he prepares himself, you hear the rustle of the raincoat as he snaps it onto his body, then the clang of the pill bottle and cup after the takes a drink. You then hear him move fast through the space as his feet drag across the floor. He stops, and you can listen to the metal of an object( the ax) touch down on the hard floor. Letos voice is now very sluggish as his voice appears that he is intoxicated and asks why the newspaper is on the floor. Bale in his creepy happy, weird voice speaks to Leto; you can hear the click of the CD player and the music is loud while Bale talks and then screams and then you can listen to the ax hitting Leto and fall to the ground after Bale continues to yell and scream during this scene as he is killing Leto and then the music continues, and you hear footsteps, the click of a lighter and the closing of the lighter and the scene ends.

Put it All together:

When watching this clip, I notice the camera angles move from right to left, which Roger Ebert states that it makes a favorable experience for the viewer. He not only moves from right to left throughout the camera angles but also on the screen. The use of having the camera move down and to the right shows that Leto is “sliding perilously int their future,” which is his death based on Ebert. This is how it is viewed when the angle appears to right and down. The room is bright and white, with Bale in is transparent/white raincoat to kill Leto, which he dominates the screen. The sounds throughout the screen create a sense at the beginning that two buddies are just hanging out, and then it changes and becomes uncomfortable. Bales’ voice changes to a completely different person, and he becomes uncomfortably happy and excited. The part of the scene that I did not notice until I listened to it without watching was the click and close of the lighter; I thought that the music covered up this sound since the music was so loud. This clip was a great representation of the ways to read a movie that Roger Ebert discussed in his writing.

Audio Story…The Truth…Third Party

I listened to the stories from the Truth, and one stuck out more than the other two. These stories used techniques of layering sounds, creating a sense of place by using voice inflection and sounds by stacking audio and sounds together. The first story, called Thrid Party, which I enjoyed and feel had these elements used erie music while discussing a serial killer creating a feeling of dread and fear throughout the story. You can visualize the group talking about the serial killer with the police. They describe what they will do to protect Mike from the serial killer. Mike, the target of the killer sounds very concerned by the tone and anxiety in his voice. This story uses a lot of music that creates an enormous amount of fear and dread because you know that something is getting ready to happen. They use the same sound throughout the entire story. Mike moves on to an interview directly after speaking to the police and needs to stop the discussion due to the anxiety and fear that he is feeling, you can hear this in his deep breaths and the cracks in his voice. The next part of the audio story tells the story of Mike being home with his wife and decides that getting his gun is the best idea or protection. You can hear the loading of the weapon, cocked, and ready to use. Hid dog suddenly disappears at night and he looks for his dog that has disappeared into the darkness of the night, and you can hear the concern and fear in his voice. His dog is missing and MIke comes to find out the neighbor has found his dog with the mark of the serial killer, which is a button. The next scene has everyone in the office with the workers, and you can envision everyone in an office while Mike gives a short speech about running for office.  While you can hear in the background the cheer and reactions of the employees during the speech.

This story provides a great sense of fear, dread, and anxiety as they build up to catching the killer or if the killer will catch Mike. The overlay of sound and voice create a picture in your mind of precisely what is happening and the reactions of the people within this story.  They use a series of different ways to develop the officers’ voices as they are talking over a police radio to one another while arresting a man they believe to be the killer. Mike believes that the man has been caught, and you can hear in his voice and the tone the relief and sense of calm he now has. Then they find out that they have, in fact, not found him. Mike is home with his wife, and he can hear noises throughout the house with the music now of dread and the concern along with Mike’s voice and breathing that captures that he is very concerned for his life. Then the fight scene happens, and Mike struggles with a man. You hear the loud noise of a gun being fired, and the killer has been shot. With the ambulance’s sounds, you can listen to and visualize the killer is on the way to the hospital.

 In conclusion, this story created a great representation of how the layering of sounds, voice inflection, stacking audio, and moving sounds can create a good story and how music can create suspense. It created an entire visual image in the mind of the listener, and I felt that removing all distractions made the visualization of the story even more lifelike. This was a great representation of how to use audio techniques to have a story come alive in the minds of a listener.

Moon Grafitti… A Reflection on Audio Storytelling

This audio story created several real aspects that would or could have happened the day that we first landed on the moon. At the beginning of the story, they begin with sounds and background noises that create a very realistic situation. The loud sounds of explosions and give a sense of imminent danger and fear that the astronauts were lost. The astronauts survived a gave a great description to the listener of what the scene looked like after the crash. They use sounds techniques to create a scary and intense scene as the astronauts are trying to assess the damage of the spaceship. There descriptions of the dust and what it does when they kick it makes us visualize what it could look like along with the sound effects as he kicks the dust. As the astronauts discover that they are going to be unable to return to earth due to t the damage and want to communicate with their wives and kids, the sound effects create a sense of desperation. They know that they will only have two hours of oxygen left, so they take a moment to plant the flag and capture the spirit of the American astronaut with knowing they will be dead soon. The ending creates a feeling of complete fear of death and never seeing their families again. This story uses several audio overlay techniques along with the astronauts talking through their suits, also the tone that they are creating in their voices of concern and fear. I see that in the story that it connects with he talks with Jad Aburmad and co-imagining, you can be given images and sound effects through storytelling that can create a picture of the story within your mind.

Storytelling from the Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad… Main Points

In the discussions from Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad, they discuss the importance of telling a story, on radio, or just telling a story without pictures but creating the images by using voice to create images in the mind of the listener. Jad Aburmrad discusses that the human voice is the engine of everything that we do. An essential part of storytelling is to create images for the listeners by the tone and changes in the voice, from lower tones to inflections. 

Ira Glass discusses the importance of two basic building blocks, first is antidotes and what a story is in the purest form. The antidote gives you a series of events, even in the most boring story ever. Still, during the sequence of the events, it can now become more exciting and grab the listener in their imagination, and you can feel that the story has a destination. The second building block that he discusses is the need to have a moment of reflection. This is the moment to tell the listener why you are telling the story. In a good story, you need these two parts to create an interwoven collection of events that show a series of exciting events and create images for the listener to enjoy the story, whether exciting or boring.

 The two presenters show the importance of storytelling and how there are successful ways to bring your story to life. The discussions give a good representation of what it takes to do it right and also how to do it wrong, as failure is the only way to real success in the storytelling. The two discussions brought light into the importance of storytelling and how powerful the human voice is in creating a story for listeners to use their imagination to bring themselves into what the storyteller had created.

Ted Talk Radio and ScottLo…

Ted Talk Radio Hour

The TED radio hour clip was fascinating. I didn’t know what to expect but ended up finding a lot of good points and tips from talk about a robot seal. This story from the TED Talk gave a story with structure, flow, and different sounds to understand what is being discussed when discussing a robotic seal.
The video created a sound that was relaxing and was a perfect way to introduce the Ted Talk. The use of sounds during the talk made the story come together, whether by using squeaks from the seal robot or the sadness in the woman’s voice.
Using the different sounds created a good story that I could create images in my mind while I listened.

via GIFER

ScottLo

ScottLo gave a great podcast with some great advice on storytelling, especially some exciting tips and tricks about audio editing.  He released this as a podcast and discussed tips that he had discovered with audio editing and also his passion and obsession with audio.  He gives some great tips on creating assignments on the DS106 site. He used an example of a storm story by Crystal, which was a great representation on the story that she was trying to tell, he made a point to make sure that you listen to everything that you have done even on headphones. The listener should not need to adjust the volume when listening to a story, and having consistency is very important in a story of sounds. His tips on editing and creating have given me many ideas for possible assignments to do during this class. I also now know that the first assignment that I created was a learning experience. I would re-do it because I now know I could do better, but it was the assignment that taught me to use audacity. It’s very far from good or perfect, but I learned a lot while making it.

Reflection on Vignelli Canon…

Mossimo

Massimo Vignelli was a famous graphic designer who designed numerous iconic signage from the early sixties until the late nineties and most would call a superstar of the design world. He created a design firm with his wife based on his work that concentrated on modernism and simplicity. He did this because his primary focus was geometric shapes, which can be seen throughout his work, with fonts, signage, calendars, maps, and furniture. He also had many other designs that spanned throughout his career for many decades. In his book, he discusses the need to help other young design students with his knowledge and in the hope of assisting them to become a better designer and hone in on their design skills. Vignelli believed that creativity was essential and wanted to be one that supported and helped others to be able to carry out their creativity as best as possible. He created and an array of works throughout his career and was very accomplished with his designs from airliners, subway maps, and many other designs he created.

Vignelli contributed so much to the world of design throughout his life and still provides this after his death. The design and art that he created during his lifetime is something that we still use every day. If it is a particular font on our computer to a sign or map we use to get from point A to pot B; His contributions to the art world were enormous. His need to educate others to make them better designers even makes his legacy more crucial. He has also shown that even though people can have design skills, they do not have an overall style. Uncomplicated works could be regarded as graphic design art, which gives designers or just people the sense that anyone can create art, primarily through simplistic design. He was a genius of his time, who still has effects on millions of people around the world every day. Having the ability to learn about his accomplishments and art of design that still affects us today was an honor.