This video is a lighthearted comedy video about me trying to finish a song that I am writing, and all of the things I try to do in order to make that happen – complete with a little teaser at the end for when the song may actually be posted to my main channel.
If you saw my first rough cut for this project, you would know that coming up with an idea for this project was a huge struggle for me. I would say that I have been burned out creatively for around a year now – and as someone who loves to create things, that has been incredibly frustrating. However, I somehow got inspired last minute for this project and ended up with this video that I am quite happy with.
I wanted to create something more fun and lighthearted than I had previously planned because I thought it would take my mind off of how stressed I have been. I also wanted it to serve the dual purpose of being a bit of a teaser for my main YouTube channel – in fact, one of the things I knew going into this project was that I wanted this video to be good enough to go on my main YouTube channel as my first video. I had it in my head that my first video would be an original song, but the song I wanted to post was not fully written yet – so, I thought, why not make a video about trying to finish that song, and end it with a little teaser about it coming out in another video early next year? Therefore, this storyboard happened:
Overall, I am very happy with how this video turned out, especially considering how many times I started over and made something completely different for this project. It gave me the kick-start I needed to finally start my YouTube channel and get in the habit of creating again. Hope you enjoy!
Draft of Final Project (will post final version later today)
December 11, 2018
Hey guys, just thought I would post a quick near-final version of my final project before posting the final version later today! The only thing missing is some more audio (there will be a bit of cheery/comical background music here and there) and adjustments to the audio that is there.
You’ll notice that this is a completely different video/concept than my last post – somehow, I managed to get inspired to do this last minute. It still comes from a similar theme of being frustrated and not able to create, but more from a comical standpoint (and a hopeful ending).
Really Bad Rough Cut
December 5, 2018
My final video will be a lot better than this (and this is unfinished clearly).
I wanted to loosely emulate surveillance cameras which is why the loops are edited the way that they are. I also played with the idea of someone following this person around while they sneak around campus and placing cameras everywhere, or finding the footage somewhere in an abandoned building.
Who is this voice speaking to you? Did the narrator find the footage or did they take it themselves? Who is this “they” that the voice is speaking of? The narrator is almost more concerning than the videos (hint: watch the title of the tab).
The interesting thing about a narrative structure such as the one I chose for mine is that because each video can be hovered over at any time, the videos can be watched in any order. And not only that, but the videos do not have to be watched all the way through, which could lead to completely different interpretations of the story. The user could even get different “endings” depending on what order they watch them in. Multilinear storytelling is great for stories that are meant to be more up to the user’s interpretation, which can vary depending on how each user explores it.
November 7, 2018
Pry explores the life of James after his experiences in the Gulf war and how that war affected him in the aftermath (he has PTSD because of losing his vision). This is well suited to the medium it was made in because an interactive app allows the user to live through James’ eyes and mind by being able to physically open and close his eyes. Being able to “look” into his mind as well allows us to watch his flashbacks in his mind and lets us choose what parts of the story we are going to experience – this makes it possible to experience Pry in a number of different ways rather than just having a single experience. This is something that would be difficult to accomplish in another medium. As a YouTube video for example, this would not work nearly the same way and the experience would be lost due to the fact that it would break the story apart too much, even if it were split into multiple YouTube videos. Having an app be the medium is the best way for this story to be experienced.
Digital stories such as Pry as still cinematic because Pry still does have many video elements. The rapidly changing words inside of James’ mind, the flashback videos, and even the scene where we are staring at a ceiling are all video clips. It is the act of accessing these videos, i.e. the opening and closing of the eyes, that is the biggest factor in creating this unique experience. There is even a bit where you have to draw your finger across Braille on the screen and it manages to make you feel as if you are actually reading Braille. Overall, the interactivity is what makes the story.
November 7, 2018
Cinema – Writing
October 31, 2018
Video essays can be used as a powerful tool to communicate information and ideas to a large audience. The combined use of imagery and voiceover/text helps to drive the point home more than a traditional essay due to the fact that it can actually show you what it is talking about. As an example, if someone makes a video essay on how women are sexualized in films, they can show examples from those films as evidence rather than just writing about it like they would have to in a traditional essay. The loose definition around video essays also opens up the door for people to make all different styles of video essays outside of the confines of written essays. In my opinion, text in visual essays can be a bit busy sometimes, especially when used over visual evidence – I think that voiceovers are usually much more effective because it allows the viewer to listen while watching what is being discussed. If I was making a video essay, I would start with doing research and gathering as much visual evidence as I could and let that steer where I go with the narration.
For my final project, one of my ideas that I currently like the most is to make a spatial montage of me playing a song using a variety of instruments, in the same vein as this video by Paul Dateh:
I would either choose one of my original songs to do this with (which is what I’d rather do) or write an arrangement for a different song that I like.
This would be a 3-4 minute video, and would explore both the module that discusses spatial montages and the module on post-production.
I would probably film this in my house, but there’s also the opportunity to film in different locations if it fits the song. It would depend on the song. As far as equipment goes, I would use my DSLR and my Shure SM57 mic.
Interview – Final Cut
October 31, 2018
October 24, 2018
The beauty of web series’ such as SKAM is that they often allow for more interactivity between the fans of the show and the creators than most typical shows do. A unique thing that SKAM does is that the characters seem to exist outside of the show on Facebook. The main characters have Instagrams that are making posts in real time along with things such as current events, and this makes the characters feel more like real people. This is actually one of the reasons why YouTube is so popular – viewers love being able to get that personal connection with the person making the content. The makers and ‘main characters’ of YouTube vlogs break down the barrier slightly between creator and viewers so that they feel more like a friend than a character on some TV show.
Another win for web series’ such as SKAM is that they stay current on events happening in the world. SKAM does this by filming the episodes soon before they air, so that not only can the directors get feedback right beforehand and use it in the show, but they can also focus on current events, which is something that young people are very passionate about.
If I was to create any sort of show, one of my main priorities would be to make it so that the audience can be as involved as possible in the show. I would want the barrier between the creator and viewer to be as broken down as possible while still giving the show a good direction and feel. One idea which I think would be cool would be an interactive who-done-it mystery show where the viewers can vote for things such as who on the show they want to investigate, back stories they want to know more about, etc. It would allow the viewers to become the detectives rather than having to have some sort of star detective that just does everything for them and be a lot of fun for the community of people contributing to the show.
Newest Rough Cut of Interview
October 24, 2018
Here is the newest rough cut of my interview! I haven’t added background music yet (and there’s a couple of pieces of visual evidence I could add).
October 16, 2018
For this video, I decided to film my typical evening in about 6 different videos, and then combine them all together with some weird visual and audio effects.
Rough Cut of Interview (no visual evidence)
October 16, 2018
This rough cut only has the edited interview footage (no visual evidence).
The audio isn’t great in a couple of places because of the road noise (this is after being heavily edited in Audacity), but this is the basic structure of the interview regardless of whether or not re-filming will occur.
Green Screening – In Class Assignment
October 10, 2018
Throwing memes with Katelyn and Kara
October 9, 2018
playdamage.org presents an interesting look at digital cinema due to the use of video and audio loops, as well as the ability of the user to click through them at their own pace. According to Manovich, he says that by allowing the viewer to click through loops such as these, it makes them a sort of “untraditional” editor of the work. In the case of playdamage.org, the player is in charge of how long each loop lasts, which according to Manovich is a form of editing done by the user.
The space in this piece is difficult to define due to the fact that each page with a loop has its own “space”, but the pages with the loops are also all connected by hyperlinks. It is also true that because they are webpages, each one technically exists at the same time as all of the others, even though actually clicking through them is fairly linear. All of this makes the loops in playdamage.org “…a multitude of separate but co-existing temporalities.” (Manovich)
This differs from traditional cinema, which is just capturing “live footage” of the real world, because playdamage.org has a sense of timelessness. It is not clear what the concept of time is, nor do the loops have much resemblance to the real world other than in their emotions and metaphors. While traditional cinema is straightforward, abstract digital cinema pieces such as these leave more up for interpretation, as well as opens the door for user manipulation of the cinema.
October 3, 2018
A spoopy interview by Kara and Katelyn
October 2, 2018
The Consequences of Procrastination
For the spatial montage, I decided to have two videos on the screen that start out the same, but then one bad decision causes the stories to go in two different directions: the path of actually getting homework done, and the path of procrastination. This may or may not have been inspired by personal experiences.
October 2, 2018
If I were to create a documentary on the Eagle Creek fire aftermath, I would focus on one or a handful of small businesses that were affected and their recovery (especially financially). In order to do this, I would first have to show visual evidence that the fire actually happened and caused devastation. This is because an audience may not be aware of the Eagle Creek fire or what it caused (Hampe). A drone shot that shows the burnt landscape followed by various shots of destroyed trails and buildings would help with this. Narration during this part would also be helpful, but as the visuals are what tell the story, the documentary should not have to depend on narration in order to make its point (Hampe).
From this, I would focus on one particular small business building and the actions being undertaken to recover from the fire, and then transition into an interview with the owner about the fire. Throughout the interview, I would show visual evidence of what they were talking about (Hampe), such as footage of what was happening during the actual fire if I could get it. This would help drive home the idea of how devastating the Eagle Creek fire was for smaller businesses due to the huge drop in tourism. Afterwards, if I did the documentary on multiple small businesses, I would interview other owners of small businesses, though I would not require the same amount of background knowledge or visual evidence, having already established that in the first interview.
From here, I would venture out to get shorter interviews from staff as well as community members to get a few different perspectives on the fire, again with visual evidence of what was being discussed. Hopefully, I would have the ability to continuously follow the progress of the small business or businesses until they were recovered or at least on their feet. Much of the rest of the visual evidence would be by chance rather than planned, which can often be better anyways (Hampe). Once the business or businesses were back on their feet, I would wrap it up by reflecting briefly on where they started and where they ended up (perhaps in another interview), show some visual evidence both of the recovered business as well as new growth in the surrounding landscape, and words both from the business owners as well as community members on their thoughts on the recovery of Eagle Creek.
September 25, 2018
*Note: For all of the loops, right click on the video and choose “loop” in order to have it repeat. YouTube loops slightly smoother (but still not completely smoothly) than using (video src=”url” loop=”on” autoplay=”on”)
Continuity Loop – Writing a Song
Montage Loop – Gaming
Perfect Loop – Water Running
For the continuity loop, I decided to show myself writing the accompaniment to a song using multiple shots. It also is a near-perfect loop because I wanted to emphasize how much time it really takes to write music (hint: it takes a long time). The pause on the close-up on my hand as I was playing was intended to make the time stretch feel even longer.
For the montage, I filmed objects and actions generally involved in gaming to show what goes into it. I wanted it to be nonlinear so that it felt like time was going by in a blur (which often happens during long gaming sessions). I also made the shot of me actually playing the game (Guild Wars 2) longer than the rest of the shots in order to make most of the importance rest on that one shot, as well as stretch time.
Finally, I went with a cinemagraph of me running a bath for the perfect loop because I wanted to mess around with masking. The only parts moving are the running water and the water in the tub. I decided to keep me pouring in the bubble bath “frozen” so that it was more noticeable that the water was the only thing moving.
September 25, 2018
One of the techniques that Run Lola Run uses is nonlinear editing. First off, there are three different endings to the main sequence of events, which is achieved by having the story of Lola running to Manni happen in three different ways, including the stories of the people she passes by. When she runs into certain people as she is running, a series of photographs is shown detailing a part of their lives. As an example, for two of the different main sequences, the older lady pushing a stroller is first shown in the series of photographs as being a child kidnapper in the future, while the last one shows her winning the lottery. This way of having multiple endings in the same film is nonlinear and also raises the question of which ending is true, if any of them are at all. “In Run Lola Run, the several different versions of the same event tell the story not only of Lola and her boyfriend Manni, but of the process of nonlinear editing itself, whereby shots and sequences are pieced together in potentially endless configurations, each one telling a slightly (or drastically) different story.” (Rombes) By editing this way, the film manages to demonstrate how small differences in actions can drastically change the outcome, which resembles how real life works.
The reason this technique worked for Run Lola Run has to do with the flashbacks at the end of the first two endings which gave a reason as to why it could not end that way. It made it seem as if by sheer force of will, Lola and Manni were changing the ending to the film so that they could be together. Without those flashbacks, the nonlinear editing would not have worked nearly as well.
Another technique Run Lola Run uses is time-shifting. By going back and forth between the past and the present with the flashbacks, it not only helps to glue together the story, but it also makes the story make a lot more sense. The skipping all the way back to the beginning so that Lola can “redo” the ending makes the film more exciting as well as makes us question whether or not she will ever succeed to save Manni in the end. Time-shifting also emphasizes how determined she is to save him as it made her panic feel nearly tangible. All of these techniques made the film more understandable as well as more interesting.
September 16, 2018
A metric montage of how I usually make tea.
I decided to make the first sequence with each shot at a little over one second, and then repeat the entire sequence again at half of that length for each shot in order to make it more interesting. I also tried to time all of the sounds so that they would happen somewhat rhythmically.
Loops can be used to emphasize a short event or make you notice more and more things in an event due to the fact that you can watch it multiple times. It can also be used to alter time by making an event seem infinite, rather than having it happen again and again (where it is not seamless). A good example of this is the first loop I posted, which is a cinemagraph. In a cinemagraph, no part of the scene is moving except for one or a few things, such as the waterfall in this one. This is achieved by masking. It is an interesting juxtaposition of time because time seems to be standing still but also moving infinitely in the same scene. It makes that moment in time seem timeless.
The next loop I posted is a perfect loop in which the scene seems to be happening infinitely. This seamless type of editing makes it feel as if time is continuously passing even though the same action is happening repeatedly. The one I chose is particularly interesting because she appears to be both the one doing the stabbing and being stabbed herself due to the editing, and this makes the concept of time in this loop purposefully difficult to understand.
Finally, I chose a loop that is simply a repeating action. Loops like this are good at emphasizing a single action or event. The one I chose features a person who multiplies when pushed, and if you watch the loop, you can notice more and more details, such as the expression on each clone’s face and the reaction of the girl who was pushed. All of these types of loops can emphasize points and play with time in different ways.
September 12, 2018
A remix of October Sky and Close Encounters of the Third Kind
by Kara and Katelyn
September 11, 2018
I decided to do a video showing how I usually make the top of a felt cactus plant. I tried to choose a variety of shots in order to keep the video more interesting. Overall, I would say that I am happy with how this video turned out. (Though one error that I did not notice until I was editing, and that can be seen in the thumbnail, is that I accidentally forgot to move my tripod out of the background for a couple of shots.)
Most of my transitions were good apart from a few at the end because I was running out of time – the original edited video ended up being about 1:22 until I cut it down. As a result, there are a couple of edits at the end that look a little more like jump cuts (especially between the last shot and the shot before it). I am particularly happy about the transition between the first and the second shot though as it looks quite smooth. When I was filming the video, I watched back the previous shots whenever I was about to film so that I could get the hand positioning as close to it as possible, and I think that strategy went well. The shots that still bother me though are the ones that are of my face as I am sewing – I think I could have shown my hands a bit more during them to make the transition look a bit smoother. The reason I did those shots was so that I could transition between shots of sewing that was just starting to sewing that was almost done without the jumps being too extreme, but I think that those shots really needed to be a bit longer in order to make that timeline more believable.
The lighting is something that I did a lot better with this time around by shining a couple of bright lights at the ceiling above me. Also, the variety of camera angles and framing variations I did make the video a lot more interesting to watch, though I wish I would have varied the distance in my shots a bit more. My tripod was limiting due to the fact that I could not get it physically closer to my desk than it already was, which made close-up shots difficult. There are a few shots in which there is more in the frame than there needs to be and they could have benefited from having more of a close-up, such as the fifth shot where I am tying off the cactus once it is sewn up the middle. It would have been nicer if that was much closer so that the intended focus of that frame would have been more obvious. The second-to-last shot also does not have the best framing because my hand ended up being the focus and taking up most of the frame instead of the cactus, which is supposed to be the focus. However I think my framing in the shot afterwards is interesting, and I am glad I used that framing more than once in this project. This video turned out almost exactly as I imagined it, minus a few hiccups.
September 11, 2018
There are multiple techniques for creating a sense of time and space in comics that could work well for video if applied correctly. Such as on page 7, comics use long distances and implied space outside of the frame to create a sense of timelessness. Unlike comics, scenes in video almost always continue outside of the frame, but this technique of using far away shots to make scenes feel timeless would work well for video. The strategy of moving through the scene with a dynamic shot in film to show the passage of time is also similar to what they do in comics from left to right. Film however has the advantage of actual movement and time passing to really enforce this, while comics depend on the movement of the eye.
Transitions also play a huge role in how time is perceived both in film and in comics. In a comic, space between panels and how they transition can affect time, whereas in film, longer and shorter transitions, as well as how they are edited, can affect time. A jump cut is an obvious difference in time, whereas continuity editing makes time feel continuous. Shots that cover more physical distance also tend to feel longer than shots that are more static. This is different to comics as shots that imply more movement (such as different angles on a scene) actually make it feel as if it is moving faster. This is most likely because you actually experience the passage of time during dynamic shots in film, which does not happen in comics.
How the size and shape of panels in comics affects the perception is similar to how framing in film affects perception of the scene. Comics can use panels shaped like explosions to enhance explosions, while video can use dramatic framing and angles to enhance explosions. Both film and comics have ways of showing the passage of time that help them progress in a logical way.
Framing for Visual Evidence
September 4, 2018
A New Sharknado
For my video, I decided to show the aftermath of a Sharknado made by stuffed sharks and suggest how this particular event happened. I wanted to show all of the destruction first with a variety of shots. Once it got to the end, I wanted to show how the sharks flew in in the first place, so I “boarded up” the window minus a tiny gap in which one last shark was dangling through. The efforts for one of the stuffed dogs to finish boarding up that gap are suggested by the hammer and nails next to the dog closest to the window. Alas, the dog could not get there before that last shark flew through the window.
One of the problems I had not anticipated to be a problem was that the room I was filming in was completely pink, which made the video very pink and orange due to all of the reflection. The light from the window also darkened the rest of the shot when it was in shot, and because of this, it was difficult to get good lighting during this entire process. Any strange looking shadows are due to my attempts to add in lights so that everything could be seen.
I like the variety of shots that I did, but if I did it over, I would want better lighting and some movement in the video (as well as maybe some dynamic shots).
(In order, the types of shots are: ELS, CU, M, LS, ELS, ECU, MLS, LS, MCU, ELS)
September 4, 2018
The above video (a short film by KickThePj) is what I took the below screenshots from, from 1:26 to 2:05.
For this film by KickThePj, the reason all of the shots come together as a cohesive narrative is that the way each shot is framed and was edited makes the shots seem as if they are connected even though they are multiple different shots. As an example of this, in shots 4 through 8 when the Bunchow is stealing Pj’s book and eating it, even though these are multiple shots edited together, the scene seems as if it is happening in real time, even though that is all through editing. This is continuity editing. The close-up of the Bunchow when it is shown eating the book in shot 7 makes the scene feel like an even bigger event, which is an example of good framing, and this helps drive the narrative throughout the film that the Bunchow is taking over Pj’s life.
Something similar happens from shot 9 through 12 and is also an example of good framing. Pj realizes that the Bunchow has stolen one of his sets of keys and is watching it eat them. He appears to be looking at the Bunchow even though he probably is not in real life, which means that his line of sight was kept in mind while filming in order to make it appear as if he is actually looking at the Bunchow in that scene. The angle at which the Bunchow was filmed in shot 10 helps this line of sight as well as it appears to be a close-up of Pj’s point of view (or what Pj is focusing on in that moment). Editing and framing such as this is what helped the film to feel complete rather than segmented.
Trailer for Skyfall
August 29, 2018
A trailer for Skyfall that focuses on Moneypenny instead of James Bond.
August 28, 2018
iPhone movies are not trying to be traditional films, but rather create another genre of film by using the unique characteristics of an iPhone. iPhones themselves usually belong to one person, and as such are personal devices. That makes footage that is clearly recorded by a handheld device like a phone, an example being the Tangerine trailer, feel a lot more personal as it looks like it was taken by the people that were there rather than a crew.
iPhones also allow for a closeness that cannot be acheived by traditional movie cameras. In the Tangerine trailer, the shakieness of the camera as well as the proximity to the speaker makes it feel as if the person watching is there filming it, or watching a livestream of it happening. This strong sense of realness is unique to iPhone and phone movies, and has the potential for the people watching to resonate with the people on screen on a more personal level.
Digital video today is much more accesible to a variety of people because of smartphones, as well as a constant stream of new online content. This ability to so easily access content is an automatism of digital video today. A person can go on YouTube and expect to be able to instantly watch something that they have never seen before, which is in contrast to when people would have to wait for a movie to come out or the next episode of their favorite show to come on. Online video has caused users to be used to constantly having access to new videos to watch at all times.
Now that platforms such as YouTube exist, video has become a lot more personal as YouTube allows for creators to connect more to their audience. This is why YouTubers and YouTube fans often refer to the audience they are a part of as a community. Rather than YouTube having one big audience, it is many different audiences that each group around one or two YouTubers, and it is not uncommon for the viewers in that community to become friends with one another. While “fandoms” exist around various traditional movies and actors, the personal connection a viewer feels to their favorite YouTuber is unique to online video. These days, digital video is used as a way to connect with other people by creators giving viewers a window into their lives. This could evolve into even more real and raw content that helps those who watch it feel like they are a part of it rather than looking at a screen.
August 21, 2018
Hi everyone, I’m Katelyn and welcome to my blog! My major is Digital Technology and Culture with focuses on both storytelling and sound design. I love to tell stories! Since I was a kid, I have been writing stories and making music, and I still do the same now. My experience with making videos in the past has been limited more to editing rather than filmmaking in its entirety, but I aim to change that this semester.
Video and filmmaking is important to me because I have been a huge YouTube fan since 2010. Some of my favorite YouTubers include KickThePj, AmazingPhil, and DanielHowell. Here is one of my favorite KickThePj videos:
This video is a perfect example of the kind of tone that I would love to set with my videos. Storytelling in any shape or form is something that I am passionate about, especially when it is told in such a unique way as in this video. I am also greatly interested in sketch comedy videos and music videos (not typical professional music videos) as long as they tell a story. One of my favorite videos of original music is Burned Out by dodie:
Her editing style is one of my favorites on YouTube because of how simplistic yet beautiful her videos turn out to be. The way the lyrics appears on the screen and the font she chose are perfect for the song, and the lighting and camera angle fit the mood of the song. Even the size of the text contributes to the mood of the video, and this attention to detail only enhances what the song has to offer. In this class, I would love to find a way to create videos with this degree of storytelling all while developing my own filmmaking style. If I can achieve this, I will finally feel ready to officially start the YouTube channel I’ve always wanted to make!