I’m glad we had two weeks to complete the video assignments, because I need that time (and more) to not only make sure I had all the necessary tools but that I also knew (or remembered) how to use them. I did not realize until last week that I never had Windows Live Movie Maker installed in my laptop. Fortunately, it was a quick download from the Microsoft site.
I found the inspiration video, Ken Burns: On Story thought-provoking, particularly, “Truth is, we hope, a byproduct of the best stories, and yet there are many, many different kinds of truths. And emotional truth is something you have to build.”
Until this course, I had not thought much about cinematic techniques. After viewing the various examples of camera angles and techniques, my appreciation for cinematic techniques increased.
Spurred on by Ebert’s How to Read a Movie, I did a comprehensive analysis of a clip from Pearl Harbor (2001). It strikes me that the movie was released a few months before the terrorist events of 9/11/2001. The audio of a foreign-accented male voice talking about sacrificing his life to serve his country by attacking the United States resonates across generations. The sentiment expressed was as applicable in 2001 as it was in 1941. The audio and video in the clip both contributed to effectively telling the story of how America was caught unaware by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
I was initially intimidated by the Chaplin foley assignment, since I could not think of what story to re-imagine the video clip into. As a result, I procrastinated on it. I finally decided on using the Darwin Awards angle, having been inspired by the assignment posted by a former DS106 student. At first, I was overly concerned about lining up the foley to each segment of the video clip. That took a lot of time. Then the lightbulb came on and I realized that this assignment is for a Digital Storytelling course, not a Sound Editing course. So, while the foley sounds don’t exactly line up in my assignment, I did come up with a possible, if not anachronistic, explanation for Chaplin’s actions in the clip.
I enjoyed completing the two video assignments because it allowed me to think of new stories. For the first assignment, I picked actors in A Few Good Men (AFGM) who are still active in the entertainment industry to create a “where-are-they-now” story for each of them. I avoided using the obvious (e.g., Kiefer Sutherland in “24;” Tom Cruise in “Mission Impossible,” etc.) so that their post-AFGM story was a complete departure from their AFGM role. I am pleased with the stories I created for these characters. I am less happy with the second assignment, because I imagined it differently than what it turned out to be. Using the video assignment prompt for “Sardonic Tours,” I created a video of a tour of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, from the perspective of an interior decorator working for HGTV. I suppose I could have been more creative in this if I wasn’t under a time crunch. One idea that came to mind is similar to what I did for one of the visual assignments, the historical selfie. I could’ve had one of the Byzantine emperors time travel to the present and marvel at the changes in the Hagia Sophia. Maybe next time…
I’ve enjoyed reading classmates’ blogs. Because most, including me, tend to submit assignments at the end of the week, feedback provided and received also comes later. Feedback provided by classmates are helpful in spotting things I may have missed in the final review process. As you know, when you’ve been looking at something for so long, you tend to miss certain things. It’s always helpful to have someone else’s fresh eyes. The feedback I’ve received from the professor as well as other classmates have been positive and motivating. They are what spurs me on to spend time on each assignment and create a good product.