Me and my Robot

So, for this assignment, I remixed one I had done before, and I added some twists. In the original, I just made a digital copy of myself. For this one, I was going to make a video of the same, but the tool I found that lets me make a video avatar of myself had a robot that gave me an idea. I used the robot and let him have my normal voice, and then I made my reply and I turned my voice into a robot voice, or at least I attempted. The tutorial I used, the guy was far more soft spoken than me, so my results were not as good.  I recorded both videos, and stuck them together in Movie Maker. Then I opened the video in audacity to work on the audio track. I triplicated the track, then made my edits to the portion I wanted to sound like a robot. I changed the pitch and tempo of the various tracks and added echoes.  Here is the result.

How to Embed a StoryMap

So, for this tutorial, I am more interested in embedding the StoryMap on a WordPress site than on creating the storymap itself. This is something that I spent a bit of time investigating, so I just wanted to simplify the process for anyone interested. I tried the plugin, and it did a lot of really odd things, none of which were successfully embedding my storymap. So, if you would like embed your storymap, you can do the following:

1. Go to your Dashboard on your WordPress site.

2. Click the link in the tab on the left to go to “plugins.”

3. Click add new, then search for “iframe” and you will see a plugin called iframe shortcode.

4. Click install, then click activate.
5. Now, the once forbidden iframe codes can be displayed on your site. (this means more than just storymap embedding, by the way.)
6. So, for the plugin, you replace <iframe     > </iframe> with [iframe   ] The final version of your url will look like this,

iframe src=”your full url, do not remove the quotes” frameborder=”0″ width=”100%” height=”800″

Yours will need brackets around it, though. I had to remove them here so it would not try to embed here.  The final product will look like this,  although your storymap is likely must prettier than mine.

Leonardo’s life in the spotlight

This assignment used the same basic idea as one I did last week. The emphasis here, though, was to show the age progression in the character and not just highlight some of his interesting roles. I chose Leonardo Dicaprio as the focus for this assignment since he has such  long film history and most of his roles were big enough to make getting good footage easier. I tried to use his best roles, but many of them were left out as I found that I wanted to use the clips themselves to tell a story inside the story, inception story style, fitting for the subject.  I start with Leo getting your attention, an interview with him as a young man talking about his Oscar prospects, and them move though his career. I tried to make the clips flow with one another; I move from his anguish over his mother’s death in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape to his own anguish and death in Romeo and Juliet. Then, he is on the titanic talking about waking up and not knowing here he will end up, then he is on a plane in Catch me if you Can. In the inception clip, he is talking about wondering how “we” get here, then I cut to the climactic end clips of Wolf of Wall Street and Reverent. After that, he is giving his Oscar (or maybe it was the Golden Globes but he did win an Oscar) acceptance speech for Revenant where he is talking about the story of the journey in Revenant, but I frame it like he is talking about his life and career.  In each of the clips, where possible, I tried to cut on his face or really near to it so that his age progression is noticeable. Also, in the sections where the camera spends a long time focused on someone other than Leo, I use a blur filter to make it clear the importance of his face.  Also, to make it smooth, the only place I fused two scenes facing him together, I used one of the movie maker transitions to make it not choppy.

Benicio del Toro Montage

So, for this assignment, I made a montage of Benicio del Toro clips from various movies. I tried to include something from all my favorites, although somehow Way of the Gun was left out. Past that, I tried to isolate the a few intense moment from the scene; the whole thing is supposed to be between 30-60 seconds. It was actually harder to cut it that short than it would have been to leave it long. The last thing I tried to do was make the clips sort of flow together and create the sense of a really abstract story. Intro at the beginning, confusion ensues, the action reaches a crescendo, and then it all falls with him going down at the end.

More than a gambling man

For this assignment, I did more voice acting for Merrell Shale. The instructions were to make a public service announcement, so I just thought of someplace that Merrell’s voice might be useful and decided to make a video about gambling addiction. I added a slide with some stats, but I could not find enough useful stats to fill it out as well as I would have liked. At the end, I switch from the information slides to a few images I thought fit what was being said better. I recorded the voice with audacity, then added it to movie maker. I added the pictures and captions to the audio. Then, I found a song that fit the mood, and I made sure to add credits again to give credit to freeplay for the music.

Morse, bet you cannot figure it out.

For this assignment, I created a video using old fashioned playing cards to create some Morse code. I used a few different playing cards to distinguish consecutive dots and dashed, and I used transitions to split things apart so it could be deciphered. Highlight the section between here (The right side up cards are dots, the sideways cards are dashes, and the transitions indicate new letters) and here if you want to know how the cipher works.  After I arranged the images, cut them to the times that I liked, I found some appropriate music. Then, I added some credits to include my twitter handle and attribution for the song that I used. If you don’t want the take the time to figure it out, highlight between here (the answer is Merrill, my characters first name) and here. Likewise, you can click the link in that invisible section of test my mousing over it for a hint that really spoils the answer. I wanted to keep it short, just one word, so that it doesn’t take long to decipher for anyone so inclined.

Week 11

So, I spent the first part of this week recovering from a hard drive failure. I had only partial backups, so it took some work to get back to square one. Then, I tried my hand at video editing with adobe premier, but although it seems to have more useful features, it is not nearly as intuitive as windows movie maker. I will try again another time. So, the first assignment I did this week, with movie maker, for 5 stars was a review of a few powerful moments in film.

My next assignment for 4.5 stars was a montage of Benicio del Toro, one of my favorite actors. I tried to emphasize both his range and his intensity.

For my first 5 stars involving my character, I made a video of a Morse code puzzle of sorts.

For my final assignment for another 5 stars with my character and a total of 19.5 overall, I made a service announcement.

My Daily Creates are here. The one I particularly enjoyed this week was making the surreal image from the photo of the valley. I say some interesting ideas for surreal photos that I might play around with in the future if I have some time.

3 Inspiring Video Moments

So, for this assignment, I made a video of a few really powerful and influential scenes. The one from Band of Brothers and Pay it Forward instantly came to mind when I saw this assignment, but I had to put a bit of thought into coming up with the third. Accordingly, as I viewed the scenes while making the assignment, the former 2 still, repeatedly, inspired quite a bit of feeling. The scene from Band of Brothers is really a great moment in film and in history, since the event actually took place. The scene in Pay it Forward, however, has a significance all its own. I delve into some of that in the video, but it really made a lasting impact or at least coincided temporally with a period of drastic change in my life. The last scene I included because of the single line that actually made me want to see what was really a sub-par movie in the first place. I waited the whole movie for that scene, and I can’t honestly say I was disappointed when it came. The line, “canceling the apocalypse,” gives me goosebumps when I think about it.
To create the video, I added the three clips together in movie maker and then extracted the full audio with audacity. I used audacity to lay my audio over the audio from the films, then I re imported both the audio and original video into movie maker.

Week 10: Whats in that shot?

So, for this week, we turned out attention to video where I realized that despite having seen more movies than almost anyone I know, I know almost nothing about the film making process that guides them or what makes them good. In watching the “Every Frame a Painting” my owns were pried open to recognize some of what separates a bad film from a good one other than superfluous explosions. I watched a few that were not assigned, and now I am curious if he ever does a show on Guy Ritchie, my favorite film maker. So, after learning what needs to be learned to start the week, I made a video essay to reflect on Django Unchained.