Joshua Jackson

Final Project

For my final project, I wanted to create a documentary on my friend’s hair salon, Glow, in the pearl district of Portland, Oregon but unfortunately, she was unable to do the interview portion which put me in a bind. Instead, I have created a video essay profile on myself and my struggles with PTSD after I returned home from Iraq in 2004. In Digital Storytelling, I created a project that was similar to this but only talked about one thing that happened, with this project I wanted to talk about everything I have been through. I used similar methods I used on the job profile assignment, but I had to film everything by myself which is why I chose to have my voice in the background. I have gone through so much since I got home from the middle east and I wanted to document these struggles because I feel it is essential to help myself become a better person and I do not want my past to dictate my future. Talking with people about my past has helped me become a better father and student, and I hope that I can reach other veterans that might be struggling and afraid to reach out. Thank you all for any comments or suggestions you give me as it helps me become better at this type of work. I also took the suggestions of editing the pace of my audio and without extra visual evidence to fill in a pause it wouldnt work out to where I could definitively say that that I was comfortable turning the  new video in for my final.

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Hypercinema Project

http://dtc-wsuv.org/jjackson18/hypervideo/

For this project, I went to the beach with the intention of doing some shots of my son and I surfing, unfortunately, the water was a little too cold for a guy pushing 40. Maybe I should get a thicker wetsuit? Anyway, I thought instead that my son and I would use the sand castle toys and kite to have some fun with this project. I used this assignment to try out my new GoPro Hero 7 Black. One of the things I noticed with my GoPro is that it seems a little curved, somewhat like a fisheye lens. Usually, there is an effect you can use in premiere pro but it only works up to the Hero 3, so Adobe is very behind. The great thing about this project is that I got to code a little bit which is something I am a bit rusty on so it was great practice for next semester.

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Video Essay Project

 

 

For this project, I wanted to talk about my second favorite video game, Titanfall two being my first. The only reason Black Ops 4 falls 2nd on my list is that it lacked a campaign, to get a feel for the game but is still a great game. The video essay is often described as a form of new media, but the basic principles are as old as rhetoric: A person makes an assertion, then presents evidence to back up his claim. Somewhat like writing a paper but also like giving a review but by using a camera and microphone. I think this was my favorite assignment this semester to do and I felt that this would make for a better product if the time constraints weren’t so short. I think that 3-5 minutes would be better for this assignment as I felt rushed to cram as much audio and video into 30-60 seconds. All in all, I had a ton of fun because I got to record myself playing this video game and because my spouse doesn’t like them, I got the day to myself to relax and play all day. I can’t tell you how enjoyable video games are when there is no one home to NAG you to death while you are trying to complete a mission with 5 of your other friends you served in combat with that are pushing 40.

 

 

 

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Blog 11- HyperCinema

As I scrolled through the list of choices I browsed through each, and a couple of the websites failed to load on my MacBook Pro which was weird, so the ones that did work I found very odd, and they bugged my eyes out. As I randomly selected each one to watch and I realized, oh hey PRY is on the list so since I have read this already and loved it I am writing about it. Initially, I loved the story because it was about three veterans from the gulf war. I love all the different ways you can watch this and read.

“Open or shut James’ eyes, pull apart his memories, or read his thoughts infinitely scrolling in every direction. Through these unique interactions, unravel the past and discover a story shaped by the lies we tell ourselves: lies revealed when you pull apart the narrative and read between the lines.”

The creators do a great job at using sound and vibration as well as using the pinch feature on iPhone to keep you involved in the story. At one point as I read this story, the creators have a portion of braille that vibrates and uncovers words of the story as you run your finger over it. This story is really cool and sometimes gets a little spooky as it flashes backs to earlier times in the lives of the people the story is about with some muffled audio. PRY is a must for any DTC student and is a really great story. This story combines text with video, stills, and tactile sensory for a brilliant piece of digital narrative. I think this app/story should be a requirement for certain DTC classes; it’s that good.

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Blog 10-Cinema Writing

The popularity of “video essays” has been growing in the last few years. Film critics and bloggers are building careers around well-crafted video essays. By examining the videos this week, we see that the people producing these, Work with very High-Quality Footage. As expected, a large part of the workflow is spent on finding and uploading the highest quality footage. Pulling footage from YouTube is also an option in a jam, but is not as likely to be the highest quality. Vimeo is another resource to consider because of its quality. You can find lots of YouTube download plugins or websites which include, Hexotic, VideoGrabby, and ClipConverter.cc. You also want to create or use Music That Plays into the Theme of the video essay. When creating a video essay, you start by putting together a composition of shots. To add a further dynamic to a piece, you can opt to put in music which plays a huge role in the film’s theme. The next thing is you need to structure the video like a film. The video essay is an educational and well-structured piece. The concepts presented in the videos are more than little tricks for YouTube videos. They’re some of the essential residents of storytelling and structure that apply to videos. If we want to create content that has a flow and a narrative arc to go along with exciting images, then we need to understand the concepts presented in the videos.

For my final project, I am going to shoot a film at my friend’s salon in the pearl district that is an educational/informative style film that she can put on her website possibly, to let potential clients know what her business is all about. I will use the job profile and montage to explore this short film that I think will be 1.5 minutes to 3 minutes in length. I have already secured permission with real clients she will be working on, and I will have 4 hours to shoot, interview and gather anything else I will need.

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Job/Hobby profile Project- Final Cut

I had a hard time making this mainly because my wife and I disagree on everything. I hope that I hit all of the points I needed to make for this project. I used everything I know about sound to try and get the humming or echo out of my audio but I couldn’t figure it out. anyway, I hope this will be good enough.

This article has 10 Comments

  1. Some quick comments:
    • Do you have the in camera sound from when she introduces herself? It seems a bit unnatural now but with more of an in camera and less voice over sound I think it would help.
    • There is a strange cut to black at around 44 seconds that could be fixed.

    I think it seems more commercial and less documentary. It seems like there is no interview aspect. But overall I really like your camera work, music choice and the flow of the story.

  2. I really liked the shots of picking the ingredients in the flower field! I liked how we followed the soap making process roughly from start to finish because I got a sense of what all goes into the process. At 0:15, when Bethany is introducing herself, the lip syncing felt a little off. I think it’s because she’s never really talking in the first person while she’s on camera, so it feels strange to see her address the camera directly when she doesn’t do so for the rest of the video. It think you could keep the audio but instead have a different shot of her doing something else and it would serve the same purpose. Also it’s sometimes a little difficult to hear her over the music, but I do like the music choice.

  3. Great job with visual evidence. The first scene of your wife talking seems like the audio is slightly off. I’m not sure how you could fix this because its mostly perfect but still seems a bit off. Sorry I don’t have a recommendation or solution.

  4. Hi Joshua!

    Nice job on this video, it turned out great!
    I thought that the audio was fine actually, and the music went along well with the theme of the video too.
    I also thought that you had really good visual evidence – it was cool to see the soap-making process!
    If I had any constructive criticism, I would say that the very end is black for a bit too long and takes too long to actually end/fade the audio out. Maybe just 2 or 3 seconds shorter at the end would do it?

    Great job!
    Katelyn Lindsey

  5. Joshua,
    The images are great. And of course this is visual evidence. However, the voice is not from an interview, but scripted. I think the commercial value actually goes down when it is scripted and inauthentic. But an interview would get more of real person behind the soap. So, if you can, you can just shoot an interview – almost a conversation about the process, feelings and thoughts that go into making the soap. You don’t have to, but it would make a better video.

  6. I really like the shots you have where she’s out in the field. It shows visual evidence and also creates a unique environment for an introduction / interview (plus the close-ups of flowers/ingredients is really cool). While the viewer gets an idea of who she is and what she does, it feels more like a commercial rather than an interview.

    If you had to go back and change any aspect of this, I would recommend something along the lines of:

    Interview shots = out in the lavender field
    visual evidence -> footage of soap making / gathering ingredients

    1. Thanks bro, this is the best advice I have received on this. Unfortunately, there are events that happened where I couldn’t redo portions to make this better, such as my actress refusing to further help. thanks,
      Joshua

  7. Josh, well done. I liked the visual evidence provided, as well as the flow of the piece. The process of making soap was really interesting. I also like your choices in shots as you highlighted the colors which really popped. Excellent

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Blog 9 – Networked Cinema

The Series SKAM has cast actual teenagers in its starring roles. SKAM’s creators did not require teens to have any prior acting experience. The first videos launched on the Facebook’s Watch page for the show and across the characters’ Instagram accounts suggest a show that is very interested in what it is like to be a teenager growing up in Austin, Texas, but that will no doubt exceed its specificity of place and demographics by the strength of its storytelling. One of the most commented-upon aspects of SKAM’s design is its unique transmedia and release strategy. Rather than airing as a conventional television episode, SKAM was released in real-time clips via its official website. The story was supplemented by in-universe social media accounts for its characters, which were also updated in real time. SKAM Austin will follow the same strategy.
While I think the relative uniqueness of this transmedia, real-time strategy tends to overshadow the other, considerable strengths of SKAM’s storytelling, there’s a reason why it’s so commented upon. As an industry, Hollywood hasn’t been so good at representing how we use technology versus how we used technology 10 to 15 years ago—this is especially true for how teens use technology, which tends to be different in certain ways. I think these types of webisodes are great for reaching broader audiences. I feel that a type of this I would like to explore would be like how to videos for skating or surfing or possibly to teach kids techniques for hitting and pitching in baseball.

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Hybrid Space Project

Hello Class,

One of my favorite things that are getting harder and harder to do, due to aging, is skateboarding. I have been riding a skateboard since before I could ride a bike. I started when I was 5 and still do it to this day, so to put an age on myself, I have been a skater for 33 years and now I get to teach my 6-year-old and some day my 16-month-old how to do it. For this project, I took 4 skate videos ranging from 1985-2015 and layered them on top of each other. I moved the opacity around to try and capture each video, somewhat like the Starwars video we watched in class. I then added a pulsing glow effect in the background to play with some light and give this video a kind of 80’s vibe. I hope you all enjoy.

Cheers,

Joshua

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Blog 8 – Hybrid Spaces

As I looked at each one of the links I noticed that mainly the same thing was happening with this thing we call hybrid spaces. I found the aesthetics in most to be glitch and eye irritating. I am not sure if I would ever look at something like this if I wasn’t in this program which brings me to wonder what I was looking at. Lev Manovich notes in “What is Digital Cinema?”, that the popular discussion around digital cinema has focused on the prospects of narrative interaction. Manovich argues that this focus on narrative only talks about one aspect of cinema, which is not essential to the medium. The challenge of digital media extends beyond the subject of narrative to the very identity of cinema. anything can be simulated in a computer with time or money, decreasing the filming of physical reality to just one of many options available to filmmakers. Manovich Also suggests that the resistance between animation and cinema defined the moving image culture in the 20th century. An animation is more aligned to the graphic, viewing its characters and admitting that its images are mere representation. Digital cinema attempts to erase any hints of its own production process and is more aligned with the photographic. Manovich’s answer to the question of defining digital cinema is that it is a specific case of animation which uses the live-action footage as one of its many elements.

“Cinema was born from manual construction and animation of images; the animation was pushed to the limits only to reappear as the basis of digital cinema. Shot footage is manipulated raw material in a computer. Production has become just the first stage of post-production.”

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Spatial Montage Project

I created this because it was the only way this weekend I had access to an actor in which my son made out with a set of legos. I wanted to capture him playing a game while viewing him at multiple angles simultaneously.I used two iPads and two iPhones to capture the videos at the same time. So three tripods on top of laundry baskets and another phone zipped to a chair and we were able to capture all of this at once. I think the challenge with this class is not having a crew or actors to film especially since the majority of us are beginners in cinema. Trying to get certain shots are near impossible when you are trying to get a kid or an adult that has no experience whatsoever to do what it is you need them to do.

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Blog 7 – Visual Evidence

Given the task of producing a short documentary, I think I would do it from the perspective of hikers who use the area for recreation. I think I would concentrate on hikers and local homeowners from the area who have a better idea on how bad the fire really was and we could also interview the firefighters who battled this blaze. For visual evidence, I think it would be good to have some B-roll footage of the area before and after the devastation and also have footage of the highways leading in such as I-84 and footage of the Columbia river gorge. Having footage of before and after would give people some insight as to how harmful playing with fire is during a really dry season. Forest rangers could also be great for sending this message as they are always out in the area and can provide entail on safety concerns.

Thanks ,

Joshua

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Loops Project

I created this series of loops to show what my favorite things are on a day to day basis. The loop of me standing in the hallway is the only shot I could get of my family since they were out of town. This loop project was seriously the most challenging for me , I literally had no freaking clue what to loop since we didn’t spend much time on this in class. Anyway I hope I was able to follow the rules of the project and I hope to never do loops again, LOL.

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Blog 6 – Post-Continuity Editing

Run Lola Run is a film that has broken away from the norm and uses a new aesthetic called New Punk Cinema that follows the same principles as punk music. The stylistic trend which refined a certain amateurism by juxtaposing various film genres. One aspect in Run Lola Run How they demonstrated the tricks in classical narratives that deceive viewers to make them think the story being told is true, and involves real characters, in our everyday lives. The movie gives us an idea of the time that is embodied in both temporal and spatial images, emphasizing the importance of the time she has, and the spiral staircase she continuously runs down throughout each scenario. time is experienced and manipulated through the subjective model and memories of the past, perceptions of the present. The sound is equally important as visuals when it comes to the theme of time in this film. The sounds of clocks ticking and fast-paced techno music constantly reminds us that time is of the essence and is used to create anxious tension. Without sounds to accompany the visuals, time would not be considered as much of an importance, as this film is a multi-scenario narrative, the audience needs a constant reminder to keep the feeling of anticipation. Run Lola Run with its chaotic scheme maintains continuity and order through Temporal Editing which transforms the story into the narrative, expanding or compressing time, creating flashbacks or flash-forwards.

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Blog 5 – Loops

 

 

GIFs or loops allow for simple, low-resolution animations to be watched on the internet. These animations were outrageously popular on early websites and have continued for over a quarter of a century. The history of GIFs as digital zoetrope’s that can be used to study moments of time as suspended, looping movement. GIFs have evolved into a kind of universal mini-movie, entirely native to the personal computer and the internet, they are the purest expression of the democratic web and along with JPEGs and PNGs comprise its most authentic visual language. Animated GIFs distort the limits between still images and short films as well as between art and non-art. GIFs and loops offer great mediums for storytelling. They can visually describe specific aspects of the stories being told, while still remaining relatable to the watcher by emphasizing the human experience, regardless of time or place. Regardless of time or place, these are emotions the majority of people can relate to in various ways.

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Temporal Montage project

For this montage project, I created a series of events in my day to day life that are depicting an average day in my life. I say average because usually I do more than this but I couldn’t fit it all in under 30 seconds. I am a stay at home dad and a full-time college student. I watch the kids and take care of there needs while my wife works full-time in downtown Portland to provide our second income. This project was challenging since I had a hard time figuring out what to do for it. Hope you all enjoy.

Joshua

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Hello Joshua,

    I really liked your subject matter. I get the sense of routine of the day passing from task to task. The fading at the end of each cut really gives a sense of time passing. The composition of each frame is really good too. One thing I did notice was the frame rate, maybe? It looked like it was something else other then 24 fps. I don’t know if matters or not, but it was just one thing I noticed. Good job.

    Brendan

  2. Joshua,
    Sorry that I hadn’t commented on this montage. First comment is – please don’t add the dip-to-black as a transition. It can be effective for certain cuts, but it actually works against this exercise. One of the ways a temporal montage works – and by this I mean a series of discontinuous cuts that portray the passage of time – is by creating a sense of progression or narrative. A subject doing something or going somewhere. In this you have daily life as the subject – but because you are shooting your own POV it is harder to establish a narrative with a subject/character. There is coffee, shower and kids in bed – but no movement or sense of an action. It would have been better to focus on your kids activities, with good framing, and varying the angles of shots that follow a logical progression: waking, dressing, eating breakfast, our the door . Also, each shot should hold its own – that is show something distinct in the chain of events.

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Continuity Project

Hello Class,

For this assignment, I documented a process that my wife and I use for making organic goats milk soap. We started this as a hobby about 5 years ago and currently, we are trying to get a few booths locked up at farmers markets to sell our products. Who knows maybe it will take off and get into grocery stores someday. Anyway, One of the things I really had to think about when filming this is how to tell the story without talking and making it interesting enough without sound so I could keep everyone’s attention focused without boredom setting in. I shot around an hour of footage and proceeded to chop it up in Premiere. This was a bit challenging but then I decided to take a break from editing and draw up a storyboard so I could get my ducks in a row. While shooting I tried to incorporate different framing techniques to capture the audience’s attention and I hope it worked. Soap making is a very relaxing process in which you can really use whatever you want from nature with a little research on plants and oils. I believe after viewing the final product of my video that I was able to keep continuity to tell the story without and written steps or verbal messages. I think someone who has never created soap that might want to start this awesome hobby could view this and have an idea of the soap making process with a little education on making the base. Once you have created the base layers you can essentially add what you want to. Thanks for viewing my project and if anyone has any questions feel free to ask me.

Thanks,

Joshua

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Joshua, although this doesn’t show continuity (continuous editing through cuts and such) it is a good montage. I don’t think you need to fade in and out between the cuts. If you had some upbeat music, this would be a great commercial for your soap.

  2. Josh, Most of the edits in this are discontinuous. The cuts jump from one scene to another in the process of making soap. This is fine – though I would not use the dip to black on these edits. Continuity comes into play when you are following a subject’s action from one shot to another , without spatial or temporal gaps. Sometimes you can have fake continuity when you use continuity principles to connect shots that are clearly of a different time and place. I will go over this again in class.

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Blog 4- Narrative Time

 I really liked the way this book is put into comic form. After reading textbooks for the last 3 years of college I was happy to see this when I opened the book. I have read comics all my life but I never quite grasped the intricate way they tell stories. Comics for me were always a way to get away from the yelling and screaming of my parents growing up. I would grab my Walkman, throw on my headphones, put in my favorite cassette tape (NOFX Punk In Drublic) and open up whatever comic I was reading(Wolverine) and enter that world. I never took the time to actually think about time, panels and the space in each bubble of words until now.

McCloud talks about the passage of time in a frame. Usually, everything in a frame happens in an instant. While reading it from left to right, everything is occurring over a few seconds, rather than all at once. You can see that as you scan the comics sequence left to right. Various characters that you notice when scanning right are reacting to things that have happened before them on the left side.

 With the addition of different types of motion lines, you can show the speed of something moving. McCloud demonstrates this in the book. He has a panel that merges different ways of showing motion. A person’s insight might be changed of how something is moving and how fast it is moving whether it be the background or the object being shown.

 The last idea that really jumped out at me was panel sizes I like the way the book talks about how panels of different sizes can give the impression of passing time. I like how he uses the difference in panel size because it can give off emotion or feelings on what’s happening in each scene you feel a lot more emotion as larger and additional panels added.

 

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Framing Project – 9/4/18

I attempted to create a sequence of events that flow together and provide clues as to what is going on. I hope everyone likes it. This project was a challenge this week as my wife and I had a death in the family.

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Beautifully done Josh. Great framing. Two comments: please, for now, don’t add the music because it is important to get across story, emotion etc. in just the shots. And I think it works without the music. Also, the last shot leaving with the suitcase – there a slight pause before leaving – this pause could be a little longer (hesitation?) or cut later on the action of leaving (more decisive) . Right now it seems like the pause is waiting for the shot to begin.

  2. Well done. After seeing your other video I think maybe it’s just your style to fade in and out of every shot, but you definitely dont NEED to do that, you’d be fine without it. This was beautiful overall. And I’m so sorry for your loss.

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Blog 3 Narrative Space – 9/4/18

This is my favorite scene. I chose this because of its truly realistic nature.

Shot Type-ECU

Shot Type-Wide angle

Shot Type-ECU

Shot Type-Wide angle

Shot Type-MCU

Shot Type-MCU

Shot Type-CU

Shot Type-M

Shot Type-CU

Shot Type-Wide angle

Shot Type-MCU

Shot Type-M

Shot Type-Overhead/High

Shot Type-ECU

Shot Type-M

Shot Type-Overhead/High

Shot Type-CU

Shot Type-ECU

Shot Type-ECU

In this scene the filming is held together frame by frame to give the viewer a feeling of being in this fight. I personally as a person who has been trained in combative

style can say that this scene holds true to a real world fight for your life. I absolutely love this scene and believe that although it is shaky and a bit of Hollywood thrown in it remains true to the intentions of the film. As i went frame by frame exploring each part it made the scene even better for me as i truly experienced the scene in more of a slow-motion feel.

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Blog 2- Pocket Cinema

More and more today it seems that all of us that are trying to shoot film are doing so with pocket devices simply because of cost and the other fact that most phones shoot 4k at 30-60 frames which makes for beautiful scenes being filmed. I think that iPhone movies are doing almost a better job at capturing moments. Big Hollywood pictures rely on green screen and stationary cameras and its great but you do not get that feeling of realism.

In the short film “Detour” by Michel Gondry, I got a sense of being there and it as the tricycle was a real character, like someone you wanted to help. The movie gave me the same feeling as watching a big production, homeward bound type movie. I was rooting for the tricycle I had a connection with it.

I would have to say that some “automatisms” of digital video today are that of speed ups and slow motion time-lapse sequences that jump to shaky scenes somewhat like having a seizure. I tend to make scenes filled with a smoother approach, although in some scenes filming people skateboarding or surfing it is necessary to get a 1st person view or POV which can be a bit shaky.

After watching the short clip for “Tangerine”, I came away with the idea of it being a really crappy take on a reality tv show, but I could be wrong. “Starvecrow” seemed more of a big motion picture with areas of the film being able to distinguish that they did indeed shoot the film with a smartphone but overall seemed as if it is a very good production.

I think digital video wants to be better than big motion pictures by giving you a real experience rather than a, I know this was well choreographed and shot in Hollywood type of feel. If we want to be effective creators in our complex world, we have to learn how to create using these different platforms, and we have to understand what such forms allow, disallow, and require.

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BLOG 1 – Digital Cinema / Introduction

I started making movies when I was a kid in the late 1980’s. My brother and I would take my parents extremely large camcorder and film each-other skateboarding and doing tricks on our BMX bikes while rocking Operation Ivy on our boombox. I think making those home videos with my little brother is what got me into documentary style films. Since I have come to WSU Vancouver I was introduced to 60 second docs and it has since inspired my filmmaking. Below is a sample of one of my favorites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIXW8Z3-iLY I believe these short documentaries can be very useful since our attention spans are not quite there anymore.

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