A place to indulge an affliction


If the Ayasofya was on HGTV…

Create a video taking us on a tour of somewhere you love or hate, providing commentary that points out the unusual in a tone distinct from most “tourist” videos.

I made a slight modification to the guidelines for the Sardonic Tours video assignment. Instead of narrating the video I made, I inserted captions instead. I must admit that the execution of this assignment was different from how I imagined it to be when I was planning it.  The video clip as well as the still photos included were taken during my 2012 birthday trip to Turkey, during which I visited the Hagia Sophia twice.  I could not tire of taking photographs inside . The 00:38 video clip was my starting point for this assignment and I supplemented it with some of my favorite photos.

Originally, I had thought to do an annoying voiceover of an interior decorator casting a critical eye inside the Hagia Sophia. However, I was in a time crunch and adding captions to the Windows Live Movie Maker project seemed faster. I found instrumental Turkish classical music by conducting a Google search for “Turkish classical music instrumental free download.” I downloaded an MP3 audio file from Stafa Band.  The music video is below:

Completing this assignment has made me realize that I need to review and edit those countless video clips I take during trips. If only I had the time to do it…



Darwin Award Honorable Mention

I repurposed this 02:55 clip from Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 film “The Circus” to create an anachronistic story about a mime who missed the ultimate Darwin Awards top prize. The criterion for the Darwin Awards follows:

“In the spirit of Charles Darwin, the Darwin Awards commemorate individuals who protect our gene pool by making the ultimate sacrifice of their own lives. Darwin Award winners eliminate themselves in an extraordinarily idiotic manner, thereby improving our species’ chances of long-term survival.”

Darwin Awards Honorable Mentions recognize individuals who survive their misadventures with their reproductive capacity intact.

I used the recommended site to download Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus from YouTube.

One of the challenges of this assignment was finding the appropriate foley for each segment of the clip. My method was to turn down the volume on the Chaplin video clip and then listen on SoundCloud to each of the submitted assignments to see if it married well with the segment.  To find the submitted assignments, I followed the tags listed on the Week 6 & 7 page. However, I found  that some of the SoundCloud submissions were not set to be downloaded. I found the fourth segment, 01:31 – 02:00 to be particularly challenging, as some of the submissions either did not have any sound or were not set to be downloaded.  I also discovered that while I had tagged my WordPress assignment submission, I didn’t apply the correct tag to the SoundCloud file, so that when it came to the fifth segment, I did not see my assignment listed. I immediately applied the correct tag (chaplin-lion-05), so it now shows and can be downloaded.

I saved each downloaded audio file with the segment in the file name (e.g., 0000-0030.mp3)

00:00-00:30 from klasalata

00:31 – 01:00 from mbutlerr

01:01 – 01:30 from dylangott1

01:31 – 02:00 from cbedross1

02:01 – 02:30 from cwyrough

02:31 – 02:55 from Kaitlyn Crotty

I used The Tokens’sThe Lion Sleeps Tonight” as the main soundtrack, which I downloaded from MP3Skull.  Because the entire song was shorter than the video clip, I supplemented it with several  trumpet audio files that I downloaded from FreeSound.  This was a good review exercise for using Audacity and working with the timeline and layers. Below is my Audacity screenshot:


The foley does not match up perfectly with each segment, but given that this is the first time I’ve used this application, I am satisfied with the results.

After finalizing the Audacity project as an mp3 file, I added it to the Windows Live Movie Maker project. I then added captions in select areas of the video clip. Below is a screenshot of the Movie Maker project:

Windows Live Movie Maker  screenshot

Windows Live Movie Maker screenshot

In keeping with the travel theme of this blog, here is a slideshow of my own Darwin Award-worthy lion encounter in southern Africa in 2011:

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You can’t handle the truth…of what happened to these characters!

For one of the video assignments, I thought it would be fun to complete Where are they now?

“Don’t you hate how some movies just leave you hanging!! Do you ever wonder what happens to the characters next? Well this is your chance to let the world know where they are today! Choose a movie and then create some type of video update on the characters current life. Use pictures, video clips, drawings; whatever you want and compile them into a video.”

I chose the end of the courtroom scene of A Few Good Men, although the video clip does not show all of the characters for whom I created a “where-are-they-now?” story.

I used to download the A Few Good Men video clip from YouTube.  Then I searched for photos and videos using Google. I selected the actors that I knew had a diversity of work post-A Few Good Men. This made it easy to make up a “where-are-they-now?” story.  See matrix below:

Actor Character Where are they now? Movie/Video Clip Source
Kevin Bacon CAPT Jack Ross Became an astronaut and flew with Forrest Gump to establish first colony on Saturn Apollo 13
Tom Cruise LT Daniel Kaffee Couldn’t contain his happiness at being exonerated from “..f+++g the wrong Marine” and jumped on Oprah’s couch. Decided to become a rock star Oprah and Rock of Ages
Demi Moore LCDR Joanne Galloway Had an affair with an enlisted sailor and was kicked off the Navy JAG Corps N/A
Jack Nicholson COL Nathan R. Jessup Still in jail and mad for not being able to “piss on [Kaffee’s] dead skull.” The Shining and Batman
Kevin Pollak LT Sam Weinberg Became a professional poker player N/A.
Keifer Sutherland LT Jonathan Kendrick Bitten by a banana rat and became a vampire. Feeds off detainees in Guantanamo Bay. The Lost Boys

Before I went on my first trip to Guantanamo Bay, I kept getting asked whether I had seen A Few Good Men. I had only seen it once before and the first scene that always came to mind is Jack Nicholson yelling, “You can’t handle the truth!” For this assignment, I wanted to pick a different clip, not that one. I’ve seen the movie a few more times and it is inextricably linked to my memories of Guantanamo Bay. Here are a few of my favorite photos:

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