Through The Looking Glass

Reflection: Look, Listen, Analyze

When I watch a movie I never take into account the audio or the camera work involved. This assignment was a little trickier for me because I would zone out and begin watching the movie instead of doing the assignment. So I decided to keep myself engaged I had to pick an action packed film. The film I chose to analyze was The Matrix Revolutions. In this particular scene the protagonist, Neo is fighting the antagonist, Mr. Smith.

Camera Work

So first off let’s discuss the first scene, the epic walk-in. When Neo walks in he is shot from below, bringing the attention to the puddle of rain and his feet. The camera then changes of a shot of his back. In this particular shot you can see the center-left Rule of Thirds (watch until 0:24). From 0:39 until 0:57 you have a mixture of center shots and below angles. The perfect example of Rule of Thirds shifted to the right is when Mr. Smith makes his entrance and begins his dialogue. The middle and the end of the clip also includes all of these different techniques. The new thing they included was the camera angle of looking up from below.

Audio Work

Something that The Matrix does really well is the background music. I listened to the clip without watching and I could tell from the music that the scene was building up. The would always increase it or it would get faster when the climax of the scene was approaching. Here are two good examples, one occurred in the beginning (listen until 0:52) and the other at the end (listen until 6:15). Dialogue was very spaced out in this clip because it is an action scene. The first words weren’t spoken until 0:50.


Together, the audio and footage compliment each other relatively well. Some may say that this clip doesn’t have enough dialogue, but for this particular scene a lot of dialogue would almost be unnecessary. Something I noticed that the audio and footage both worked together in, was the climax. When the scene would be building up, the camera would start to move around a lot to get all these crazy angles and the music would start to intensify.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Reflection: Learn How To Read A Movie

According to Roger Elbert, filmmaking takes more than just picking up a camera. To him it’s all about what you do with the camera that makes a film special. In his article, How To Read A Movie he discusses how important angles are. Angles are essential because they can influence a positive or negative influence on the scene. He also reintroduces us to the “Rule of Thirds” in filmmaking. Just like photos, the Rule of Thirds is when the subject is in 2/3 of the video. However, Elbert goes even further by explaining that wherever the subject is located can suggest different things to the audience. For example, if the subject is located center-right it looks the most ideal, if it is dead center the object seems objectified.

Another piece of information I learned is if the subject is located on the right it has a positive influence. If it’s located on the left it has a negative influence. He breaks it down further by dividing the camera lens and explaining what has more dominance. The angles that are more dominant include: right over left,  top over bottom, foreground over background (unless the camera is diagonal, movement over stillness, etc.

The second portion of this assignment involved observing three different videos. The videos I chose were: The Shining (zooms), Tarantino (from below), and camera and angle techniques. The first two were absolutely mindblowing! I’ve previously seen The Shining and I thought nothing of the zooming technique, but after it was pointed out in this video I feel like it made the movie. It gave it the eerie aesthetic. When watching the video, I also noticed that it had a lot of the dead center camera shots that Elbert discussed. I also enjoyed the Tarantino video because I’ve seen some of his movies and I never noticed his from below shots. His technique is a very good example of Elbert’s ‘godly’ effect. Elbert suggested that filming fro below made the subjects look like gods. After observing Tarantino’s video I agree with him! The last video I observed was based on camera and angle techniques. It demonstrated how action shots are normally taken. It also reinforced Elbert’s main idea, that it’s all about the angles!

Based on all this new information I think that all of the suggested techniques work! The Rule of Thirds in cinema is definitely aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I also feel that the different dominances are also correct because very rarely can a shot from below be more appealing (unless your Tarantino). A technique I wasn’t sure about was zooming. The first week of class a suggested technique was to move your body rather than zooming in. So, I was surprised when it was suggested. However, in The Shining it worked out perfectly!

Uh oh…

Daily Create #13

Today’s daily create involved chosing a classinc piece of art and transforming the way people view it by giving it a scenario/caption.  For the artwork I decided to pick American Gothic by Grant Wood.  I used the website provided to download the image. In regards to the caption, I chose it because I think it speaks for itself. You have what appears to be a couple and the wife looks irritated, while the man has a blank face.

Link to original tweet tagged in ‘Daily Create #13’

Home Sweet Home

Daily Create #12

Today’s daily create involved customizing your personal map. The place I chose was Scottsdale, Arizona because I was born there. Also because it’s one of my favorite places to visit! I personalized my location by using the website provided. At first, when I was using Map Stack I had some issues. I didn’t know how to layer my map to give it an awesome effect. However, I watched this tutorial that guided me through what each icon meant, and how to add different layers to create new effects.

Link to original tweet tagged in ‘Daily Create #12’


Just Keep Swimming

Weekly Summary #3

Audio week has been an adventure! At first, I was nervous because I hate recording my voice, but everything turned out alright! My week started off with a little background information. This included Ira Glass and Jad Abumrad’s storytelling advice and techniques. I learned a vast variety of material from their videos, from the building blocks of a good storyteller to ‘coimagining’ stories. Abumrad also contributed to the TED Radio Hour segment, which allowed me to apply my knowledge from the previous reading to this audio. Once I became more comfortable I took in some key pointers from ScottLo,. To make sure I understood everything I listened to Moon Graffiti, which I loved because it had all these different sound effects that made the story engaging for the audience. All of these different articles, audios, and videos guided me for the audio assignments segment.

The next task I completed were the audio assignments. I absolutely loved doing all of the projects I picked this week. I thought that the program I used, Audacity was super user friendly! I had absolutely no issues with it, whatsoever (and that’s a big deal for me)! My favorite assignments were Blast From The Past and Hearing Double. I loved completing these two assignments because I got to play around with different songs and see how each of them affect one another. I was also the most proud of these two assignments because they were both rated four stars! The last two assignments Puppy Power and All ‘Fig’ured Out dealt with sound effects. I had fun creating these stories with FreeSound, but I thought they weren’t as interesting as my other two.

The third item on the checklist were the Daily Creates. Even this week’s Daily Creates were phenomenal! I thought they were creative and fun! They were all very different, which I also enjoyed. It allowed me to test my previous skills in the class. For example, Latte Meowcchiato was based on photoshop, which was last week’s lesson. Drop Down & Give Me 20! Was based off week one’s visual design. The last two Obama Out! and Flower Power were based on social media and design. All of these were beneficial because they refreshed my memory on previous learned material!

The only thing that gave me issues (in the beginning) was commenting on people’s blogs. I became nervous because I would only find the same people blogging and we were supposed to comment on five different blogs! Here I was thinking to myself, there is no way that is going to be possible! It wasn’t until later that all the comments started flooding in! Another challenge I faced was changing the ‘admin’ name I had, until one of my commenters assisted me. In the end everything worked out and I got all my five comments! You can find the comments here!

Overall, this week was my best week (I think)! I learned a lot from the material, websites, and program that I used. I’m excited to see what this next week has to offer us! And I hope that my triumphs from this week pass over to next’s!

To Give Is To Receive

Comment Feedback

This week was different than most because we were required to interact more with our other classmates. At first, I was nervous because I’m not one for social interations over the internet. However, once I completed my first couple comments I became more comfortable. I thought that this week was better because in a sense it broke the ‘awkwardness’ because more than one person was commenting. Below are screenshots of each interaction I had this week. Each of the images have the name of the blog below it!

Flower Power

Daily Create #11


It was for love and bloody peace. It was a fabulous time. I even get excited now when I realize that’s what it’s for: peace and love, people putting flowers in guns.


Have you ever thought of peace and wondered what songs best portray it? The quote above is what Beatles band member Ringo, had to say about their song, All You Need Is Love. This is the song that I chose for today’s daily create assignment. Today’s instruction was to find a song based on the concept of peace. And based on Ringo’s quote above I think I picked a valid song. I chose All You Need Is Love, because I think The Beatles is a crucial band to include in a playlist like this. The message in this song also contributed to my decision because it is so powerful.

Link to original tweet tagged in ‘Daily Create #11’

All ‘Fig’ured Out

Audio #4: Onomatopoeia!

Rating: ☆☆

Who doesn’t love a good  joke combined with an onomatopeia? I know I do! And if you do too then you’ll absolutely love doing this assignment! This project involves finding a joke, riddle, etc. and pairing that joke with sounds to fill the background. The hardest part was finding the perfect joke. I spend an hour or so trying to find the best one! Unfortunately, when I would find a really good one there weren’t any sounds that went well with it, so the search continued. I ‘fig’ured it out in the end by finally finding one that I liked! I hope that you all can enjoy it just as much as I do!

I hope you all enjoyed my joke! If you didn’t, maybe if you listen to my reasoning behind picking it you’ll enjoy it a little more. My top three reasons I selected this particular joke are as follows… First, I have never heard that joke before, so I thought it would be refreshing compared to more commonly known ones. Second, compared to other jokes that I liked it flowed  better with the sounds that I chose to form my onomatopoeias. And my last reasoning is that I found it genuinely funny and wanted to share it with you all!

I selected this assignment for a couple reasons. First off, I love onomatopoeias! I think they form a good relationship between the storyteller and the listener because it allows them to ‘coimagine’ the story together. This website provides excellent examples of onomatopoeias! The second reason I chose this assignment was because not a lot of people have done this assignment, according to the assignment bank. If you want to do an easier assignment I would recommend this one! The instructions are located below. Good luck!


Part 1: Audacity

Step 1: Open Audacity and select the microphone. When you do this a drop down menu should appear, select the ‘start monitoring’ option.

Step 2: Once you select this the microphone will turn on. To start recording press the record button and begin recording your joke.

Step 3: Once you record your joke set it aside and import your other audio files that you downloaded from FreeSound. These audio files included the following: knocking, crowd laugh, doorbell, and playful music. To import these files go to the File tab, scroll down to import, and select the audio subcatergory.

Step 4: Once you insert all of your files you will need to do some editing. Let’s start with the voice recording you did. We are going to split the voice recording into two files. Highlight the section of the audio you want to make into another slide. Once you select he portion of audio click the scissor icon.

Step 5: Now paste the audio you just cut into a new slide. It should look like the screenshot below.

Step 6: Next is organization. We want to organize the audio files so that they don’t overlap each other. Except for the background sounds. Select the ‘Time Shift’ tool to move the audios into place.

Step 7: When you organize all of your audio files work on the background music. For the background music you don’t want it to be louder than your own voice. To decrease the sound of the music go to the far lefthand side of the screen (circled below in pink). The next thing you’ll want to do is make sure the music fades out, so that it doesn’t end abruptly. Highlight the portion of the audio you want to apply the effect to, go to the Effects tab,  and scroll down to Fade Out.

Step 8: You’re almost there! To save your work go to the file tab and select the ‘export audio’ option


Part 2: SoundCloud

Step 9: Go to SoundCloud, sign in, and select the upload option. Select the ‘choose a file to upload’ option. Once you select your file your screen should look like the second screenshot below. Hit save!

Link to assignment is tagged above in ‘Audio #4: Onomatopoeia!′

Obama Out!

Daily Create #10

This daily create allowed us to create our own talking Obama! I used the website provided to make the following video. I wanted my message from Obama to feel personal as if he is in our DS106 class. So I thought to myself, “what are key Obama phrases or gestures that everyone knows?” Well everyone knows about Barack and Joe’s friendly bromance, his famous “Obama out” speech closing, and his signature moment when he sung Al Green. So I decided to include two out of the three in my talking Obama. In case it is hard to understand what Obama is saying, I posted a screenshot below the embed tweet.

Link to original tweet tagged in ‘Daily Create #10’

Blast From The Past

Audio #3: Music Mash

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Has anyone ever asked you, “if you could be born in any other decade what would it be?” When I get asked this question I always say the 80’s. I love the clothes they wore at the time, the movies they made, and the music that was written (for examples of each click the links). For this particular reason I decided that for this assignment I would do an 80’s mashup. This assignment involves taking songs that are similar and creating a conversation with them. See if you can discover what the conversation is about in my mashup below!

For copyright purposes I wasn’t able to post the following mashup to SoundCloud.

If you couldn’t crack the code on what the song was about, then it’s time for me to spill the beans. The songs I used in order of appearance were: Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astely, Every Rose Has It’s Thorn by Poison, Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper, I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock of Seagulls, Tainted Love by Soft Cell, and Love Is A Battlefield by Pat Benatar. The conversation I made with these songs is between a boy and a girl. These two individuals were dating, but as time went by the girl wanted to break it off.

To break the audio down further, the conversation commences with the boy telling the girl that he’s Never Gonna Give You (her) Up, which she replies to with Every Rose Has It’s (his) Thorn. I incorporated this song because I wanted to send the message that the girl finds a lot of flaws in their relationship, but the guy replies with Time After Time. The clip I used from that song is supposed to display the guy’s commitment to the girl. However, she is not convinced so she replies with I Ran (So Far Away). After failed attempts into trying to convince his partner, the guy’s mood changes with Tainted Love. I wanted to end the conversation with a powerful song, so I chose Love Is A Battlefield. This last song is said by the girl to the guy letting him know that relationships come and go, but in the end it’ll be alright.

In order to do this assignment all you need is Audacity. If you do not have the program you can download it here. In the section below you will discover how I created my mash up by following the step-by-step procedure. Good Luck!


Step 1: Open Audacity and go to the file tab. Select the import option and click the audio subcatergory. Upload your first song. In this instance it would be Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astely.

Step 2: Next, highlight the beginning of the song that you want and select the trim audio tool (where the mouse is located on the screenshot)

Step 3: Repeat step 1. The next song that should be uploaded is Every Rose Has It’s Thorn by Poison.

Step 4: Once your second song is uploaded repeat step 2.

Step 5: After you’ve selected the section of the song you want you are going to move the audio of the second song, so that it plays directly after the first. This can be done by selecting the time shift tool (shown in the second screenshot)

Step 6: Keep repeating steps 3-5 for each song. The list order for the songs should be as follows:

  1. Never Gonna Give You Up
  2. Every Rose Has It’s Thorn
  3. Time After Time
  4. I Ran (So Far Away)
  5. Tainted Love
  6. Love Is A Battlefield

Step 7: For Love is a Battlefield (or for your last song) you want to make sure that it ends smoothly, if you didn’t pick the ending of the song to be your final audio clip. What you want to do is highlight the last snippet of the audio (shown in screenshot below), go to the effects tab, scroll down and click on fade out.

Step 8: Go to the file tab and select the export audio option.

Step 9: When saving your new song double check that you save it as an MP3 file. If you do not have the option to save as an MP3 go to this website and download the plug-in for Audacity.

Link to assignment is tagged above in ‘Audio #3 :Music Mash′