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Interaction in Action

Comment Feedback

This week’s blog feedback was very successful! With each week it becomes easier and easier to comment on other people’s work. I commented on four different blogs and replied to some comments that were left on my blog, PLUR. Below you can find this week’s (6/11-6/18) interactions.

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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

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.

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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!

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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!

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Space Bound

Reflection: Moon Graffiti

The Moon Graffiti audio has been my favorite audio, thus far. It did a very good job of painting a picture for the audience. It included the teachings that Glass suggested. It had a very good storyline and it also included the moment of reflection.

The effects in this story were phenomenal. The sound effects made it more realistic and it gave me a more vivid picture. Something that personally stood out to me was how they dramatized some scenes by using sound effects. This occurred in the beginning where the astronauts were having difficulties (1:00-1:07). They would also build up to the climax of the story, by abruptly ceasing or raising the background music (4:25). After that each time they get to a different part of the story they que the music or they change the music signaling to the audience that they’re about to tell another part of the story. An example of this is 2:00 and 4:25. They both are different tracks. One is for the narrator and the other one is associated with the astronauts.

Link to assignment is tagged above in ‘Moon Graffiti′

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Low Down Radio

Reflection: TED Radio Hour & ScottLo

The audio for the TED Radio Hour was interesting compared to ScottLo. The TED Radio Hour had all these different elements within the audio. For example, the  different tone of voices was a brilliant thing to do because it keeps the audience engaged. Other things that I noticed included when the background music began, so did the anecdote. When they reached the moment of reflection the music abruptly stopped to dramatize this scene. They also used different tracks throughout the audio that led to good transitions within the story.

The ScottLo audio tapes weren’t as useful to me. He just made suggestions on what audio assignments to do. He also gave examples of each assignment, which I thought was nice. The audio that I thought was the most beneficial was ScottLo episode 10 because he gave examples and explained how those examples had transitions, which will probably my biggest challenge for this week.

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Radio Magic

Reflection: Glass & Abumrad

If you ask several millennials they’ll probably tell you that the radio is not as relevant as it once was. This is because now-a-days many use other applications that provide them with what they want to listen to at that particular moment. However, hearing Glass and Abumrad talk about the radio with so much passion can give one a different perspective.

Glass says that in order to be succesful at storytelling there are two things you must include. The first one is an anecdote and the second thing is a moment of reflection. Something new I learned is if you have these two items the next task is being able to delete and reduce your recordings. While Glass talked about the building blocks of storytelling and the essential steps you must take, Abumrad discussed the uniqueness of storytelling. Something that Abumrad said that stuck with me was that the human voice has such a great potential to tell a story, and he’s right! I like the way he described listening to a speaker. He said it was as if it was the storyteller and his audience being ‘coauthors’ and that they ‘coimagine’ the story together.

Another thing that I learned through the way that the different videos were filmed is that you don’t have to be a great public speaker. When I watched the Glass videos he was so jittery to me that I couldn’t focus. However, when I saw the Abumrad clip I was very tentative. Granted Abumrad’s video was polished and Glass’s wasn’t, but this put Glass’s teaching in perspective. You don’t have to film or record perfectly the first time around because you can always go back and perfect it by cutting sections out of the clip.

 

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Exposed

Vignelli Reflection

I thought that The Vignelli Canon had insightful information. I learned new things such as, the three main principles of design, appropriateness, grids, and that the U.S. has 28 different paper sizes! What I enjoyed about this reading was that I could apply it to the layout of my blog. For example, in the type size relationship section Vignelli explains that the font of the header should be twice the size of the font of the body paragraph. Initially, when I started blogging I just chose a random header size but now I know there’s a specific ratio.

A key idea that I should take into account more often is his theory on white space.  When selecting a theme for my blog I was trying to pick the ones with vibrant colors. My reasoning was that I wanted the audience to be lured in to my blog just by looking at it. After reading Vignelli’s white space section I realize I made the right decision with the Panoramic theme. However, Vignelli states that white space is essential.

After reading this article I think that it will make me become more alert. I will be able to recognize more of these features in different types of media. And by trying to incorporate Vignelli’s ideas, it’ll transform me into a pickier photographer for this course.

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End of Bootcamp?

Visual Storytelling Reflection

For week 1 I did a total of 5 different visual storytelling assignments. These assignments included Shadow of Doubt (2.5 stars), Create GoT House (3 stars), Room Tour (3 stars), Bucket List (3.5 stars), and Spubble (1.5 stars).  Each assignment challenged me in different ways. For example, Shadow of Doubt and Room Tour tested some of the photography tips learned this week. The last three exercises allowed me to familiarize myself with different websites that edit photos.

My favorite visual was probably the GoT one. That assignment was more challenging for me because the website that was recommended wasn’t working at first. It wasn’t until I reopened my browser that I got the ball rolling, but then I hit another road block, which was the idea. It took me forever to come up with a house name. However, after I came up with it I was very pleased.

Something I would have done differently in regards to the visual assignments would have been to count how many stars each assignment had. When reading the instructions I thought we were supposed to have 10 stars total for the visual assignments of our choice, plus the Spubble. It wasn’t until after I did the Spubble assignment that I realized I made a mistake.

Overall, I enjoyed completing each of these assignments and I look forward to seeing what next week has to offer!

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First Timer

Commentary on Social Media & Blog

There’s a first time for everything! This week I tested the waters with setting up all of the social media required and setting up my own domain. The social medias I had never used prior to this week were SoundCloud and Flickr. Once I set up the account and explored the websites it wasn’t all that bad. It was just time consuming setting up each of the accounts.

After setting up the accounts I decided to play around with the layout of my blog.  The WordPress default theme is called twenty seventeen. I loved it from the very beginning, but as instructed I decided to keep an open mind and scroll through other themes, no luck. The twenty seventeen theme was just too pleasing to my eye.

I began customizing my blog with the default theme, but I felt like something was missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it, so I decided to take a look at example blogs and I realized that my initial blog was too bland. I went back and perused other themes, after a total of approximately an hour I finally found one that I loved. The theme of my blog is called Panoramic.

Although this theme has a minimalist vibe I enjoyed the little features it included such as, the image header, the taskbar, the widget sidebar, etc. I also felt that the name of the blog, PLUR looked better with this type of design rather than twenty seven. As the week went on I expanded my blog from visual assignments, daily creates, etc. to being able to comment on other people’s posts. Hopefully as the course goes on there will be more comments add! Below are two screenshots of these comments.