Valerie Eldridge

Final Project

http://dtc-wsuv.org/dtc338-luers/veldridge-final/

Persons of Interest is a database narrative that tells the story of four young adults whose friend has been murdered and they were the last ones to see her. The story is told through police interrogation videos and occasionally shows flashbacks of what the friends are describing. The clips can be viewed in any order but are on the website in an order that clearly tells the viewers what happened and by the end it will be fairly obvious who the killer is.

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Video Essays and Final Project Idea

Video essays are a great way to combine language with images to discuss movies and television shows. When you are writing an essay about these topics it can be difficult to explain what you are talking about without being wordy. With video essays you can use a voice over or text while playing an example of what you are talking about to get your point across. Video essays use visual evidence to support their arguments and explore ideas. If you want to make a video essay, you must first know what you want to discuss. Then you should find visual evidence that supports your point. Writing a script of what you are going to say on a voice over or text and editing the clips in an order that matches this script will build a strong video essay.

 

For my final project I am going to create a story that has a database narrative using an HTML template. I am going to write my story about a group of friends that are being accused of a crime. The story will be told through interviews with actors that are being interrogated by the police. I really like the electronic literature piece Her Story and would love to make a database narrative myself. I will be exploring the modules on interactive cinema and interviewing, even though the interviews will be scripted and fictional. I have already found actors for my project and have found a location to use for filming. I plan on getting a portable microphone to capture the sound. I will also need to find stands for my light kit but I’m sure I’ll be able to get them this weekend.

 

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Interactive Cinema

Bear 71 is an interactive database that tells the story of a wild grizzly bear’s struggle to survive in Canada’s Banff National Park. This database creates context for exploration and discovery by placing the user directly into the map as a human that is visiting the park. The user can explore the national park by clicking on different animals and plants. A smaller screen will pop up within the database and will show a picture or a video will play. The videos are footage caught on trail cameras and they all connect to show how animals and humans are interacting with the environment. While users are exploring, bear 71 narrates the story by talking about her experiences. It takes 20 minutes to listen to the whole piece. According to Lev Manovich a narrative must have an actor, a narrator, and consist of a series of connected events that are experienced by the actor. (Manovich 227). By this definition this work is a narrative piece because it is narrated by the bear, who is also one of the actors. The actor could also be the human that is exploring the park. Both of these actors experience events that connect to tell a larger story. This piece uses cinematic techniques to tell its story, such as editing shots and arranging their order to fit the narrative. Bear 71 is a great example of how interactive databases are incorporating videos, pictures, sounds, maps and text to change the way narratives are told on the web.

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Job/Hobby Profile

For my job/hobby profile I interviewed my friend Tyler Summers. Tyler is a student at LCC and is studying automotive tech. In his free time he buys Toyota Tercels to fix up. When he works on these cars, he fixes or replaces nearly every part to make them mechanically brand new. He got into working on cars because of the bonding experiences it gave him with his dad. When I was at his house shooting this interview we spent almost 2 hours talking about cars and it was very obvious how passionate he is about mechanics.

 

 

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Networked Cinema

There are many different ways to determine if a web series is successful. Some people believe that having hundreds of thousands of views on videos makes an account successful while others think that subscribers are more important. According to Google’s Creator Academy, aspiring YouTubers should follow a few guidelines to help them find success. First you need to find a subject that you are passionate about and could make multiple videos about. If you can’t picture yourself making videos every week on the topic and having fun doing so than you should pick something that you find more interesting. You also want to make videos that people will want to share with their friends. If your videos are shared with others you have a chance of gaining new followers. Another way to gain followers is to form a connection with your viewers. By posting videos where you respond to fan questions you can show viewers that you are listening to them and care about their support. You can also form a connection by engaging with them on other social media sites. When you start getting fans on other sites it means that your videos are resonating with them and they want to see more of your content. Making money is also a way Google gages success for YouTubers. Vloggers can make money by letting ads play before or inside their videos. A good example of a YouTuber that follows Google’s suggestion is Jenna Marbles. Jenna has over 17 million subscribers to her account and posts every week. She has different series of videos that she makes, including reading open letters she has written, telling childhood stories, and listing things she doesn’t have time for. Jenna has ads on her videos and interacts with her fans frequently on social media.

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Hybrid Space

For my video I combined The Beatles’ music video for Strawberry Fields Forever and a video of a sky changing color. I used the color key effects to make the sky in the music video transform into the sky in the other video. For certain scenes I had to crop where the color was showing through, this way I made the sky change color without it bleeding into their clothes and faces.

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Hybrid Cinema – What is Digital Cinema?

In Lev Manovich’s “What is Digital Cinema”, Manovich describes how digital cinema has created new aesthetic for video. Like Flora petrinsularis, one of the pieces we viewed this week “realizes the possibilities contained in the loop form”. Playdamage.org consists of many different pages that contain loops of audio and visuals. Some of the loops are long while others are short and are very obviously loops. Another piece that we viewed was Star Wars Wars which shows all 6 Star wars movies at once by layering them on top of each other. This piece shows how digital cinema mirrors some of the aesthetics of avant-garde films. The spaces in these pieces and in most hybrid art are not “filmed physical realities”, meaning they are produced digitally. They were not real spaces that were filmed, they are imaginary. In Star Wars, and in other fictional sci-fi movies, the “indexicality” is altered. The worlds in these movies do not exist in real life but they look very realistic. These movies do still capture images of bodies in a three-dimensional world but it challenges traditional cinema by placing them in an imaginary space. I think hybrid cinema is fascinating. I love how pieces like Light is Waiting take piece that is well known and alter it into something completely different. I would love to make a piece like this, which takes advantage of the new aesthetics that digital cinema has created.

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Movie Trailer Remix

For this assignment, I remixed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off into a horror/thriller. I used clips from different scenes and trailers to make Principle Rooney look look like he was trying to murder Ferris and his sister. The song I used is from the scene where his mom comes home to check up on him.

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Visual Evidence

In Barry Hampe’s book “Making Documentary Films and Videos”, Hampe explains the difference between A-Roll, B-Roll, and visual evidence. A-Roll footage shows “the reporter on camera talking or interviewing someone who is talking, B-Roll carries “the ‘visuals’ that illustrated the story the reporter was talking about.” In other words the B-roll illustrates what is being said but is not evidence. Visual evidence “tells the story in visual images”. If someone is watching the news without the sound on, they rely on visual evidence to tell the story. This is why it is important to have visual evidence, and to have B-Roll footage to keep the story interesting.

If I was making a 5-minute story about the Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia Gorge, I would want to showcase its impact on the community by collecting clips of the events unfolding. For my A-Roll footage I would interview residents that are being forced to evacuate. I would supplement that with visual evidence by showing them packing their belongings into their cars and driving away from their homes. For my B-Roll footage I would show fire fighters battling the flames. I would also s send a helicopter or drone to a safe distance and shoot the hillside burning. While talking about how much of the land has already burned I would show slow motion close-ups of the burnt trees. Lastly, I would want to interview a health professional to talk about the health risks the smoke poses on the community. I would support their claims with visual evidence of people wearing breathing masks and changing air filters in their homes.

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Cinematic Gifs and “Time Frames”

Cinematic gifs are like silent panels in comic books. It isn’t always obvious how much time passes in these images but they have a sense of timelessness. In “Time Frames” Scott McCloud states that in comic books “such images can set the mood of a sense of place for whole scenes through these lingering timeless presence.” The gifs that I found express scenes that are calm and peaceful and seem as though they could last forever. If digital comics start using cinematic gifs in their panels they could be used in scenes to show how much time has passed. If a writer wanted to convey that there is a long pause in a conversation, they could include a gif of the character pausing before speaking. Loops such as cinematic gifs have a lot of potential to change the way comics are written.

 

 

 

 

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Continuity Video

For my continuity video I recorded my sister Melissa as she decorated cupcakes for Halloween. While shooting, I included many different frames including a long establishing shot, medium shots, close ups, and extreme close ups. Every time I would change the angle and frame of my camera, my sister would stop what she was doing so I could record the whole process. I ended up cutting out a few of these frames because I had too much footage when I was editing. I needed to include the most important clips so that I wouldn’t lose any of the continuity. Unfortunately, I lost the frames that were longer, which added a different perspective to the project.

I found that certain cuts between actions worked well for telling this visual story, while others did not. A lot of the process is lost in the video because the video could only be 30 seconds long and this activity took nearly 30 minutes to complete. I had to take out the clips that showed my sister preparing for the next step, such as setting the cupcakes down and filling her piping bags with icing in order to shorten my video. You can still follow where the video is going without these scenes but they would have helped show the continuity. I also shortened certain steps, like only showing her icing a few of the cupcakes instead of all 18. This really helped me cut down my video without skipping too many steps.

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  1. Valerie,
    This is a good subject for continuity because of the repetition of movements. You exploit this in the beginning and then with more detailed frosting it becomes more difficult so you use jump cuts. You could show the face of the “froster” and get some POV shots.

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Who Dunnit? – After a Game Night

For my 30 second “Who Dunnit” framing video I decided to film the aftermath of a game night. I used long shots, medium shots, close-ups, and extreme close-ups to show the elements of the scene. I decided not to go for the typical horror approach to this video and instead filmed the result of a fun night coming to an end.

 

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Narrative Spaces – Favorite Scene in a Film

I have picked Ferris Bueller’s Day off to analyze narrative spaces in a scene. This movie is about three friends who skip school to play in Chicago. The kids take a car owned by Cameron’s father without his permission. In this scene Cameron, Ferris, and Sloane are trying to reverse the mileage on Cameron’s father’s car by putting it in reverse while propping it up on a jack. This scene is composed of nearly 60 shots which capture all of the characters reactions as the events unfold. Cameron is very angry at his father and begins kicking the hood of the Ferrari. By the end of scene the car falls off the jacks and flies out the window of the garage. At first Ferris and Sloane look worried that Cameron is becoming angry. They soon become scared by Cameron’s outbursts. When the car rolls out the window they are all stunned and are left speechless. This movie is written and directed by John Hughes. Much like his other films, each scene has many different shots. Most of the action scenes have shots that are very short and are close up.

  • medium close-up

  • medium long shot
  • pans to focus on Ferris’ and Sloane’s faces

  • medium long shot

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  • motivated POV shot

  • extreme close-up

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  • motivate POV shot

  • long shot
  • shot pans to follow the car as it crashes to the ground below

  • medium close-up

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What Was Cinema?

One of the automatisms of digital video today is that recording videos has become a part of everyday life. Today almost everyone has access to a camera and are capable of recording even the most mundane activities. Anyone with internet access can upload their videos and share them with the world. Before, if you wanted to share your video with friends, you would have to make copies of your film or even give someone your only copy. It has become so common that people don’t think about the process. In other words it has become an automatism.

I use digital video in my life to share memories with my family members and friends that I don’t see on a daily basis. I love to take videos of my pets or concerts that I go to. I also like to record special events and share them with my friends who couldn’t attend. To me digital video is a great way to strengthen human connection.

Video as an expressive form has changed tremendously since become digitized. When film was a standard medium for making videos, people had to have a well thought out plan before they began shooting. Since they were limited by the amount of film they had they could not afford to waste it.  Film made you slow down and made video production a more thoughtful process. Now that people have the technology of film making in their pockets, taking digital videos has become the author’s definition of automatism, “mechanical, unthinking routine.”

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Valerie Eldridge Introduction

Hey everyone! My name is Val Eldridge and this is my second semester here at WSU. I have some experience with the Adobe video editing software and am looking forward to learning more. One of my favorite YouTube videos is a fan made trailer which depicts Harry Potter as a teen comedy. I really like this video because it takes clips out of their original context and adds music in a way that completely changes the tone of the movie. This video shows how big of a role editing plays in making a movies, which is why I want to go into this field.

 

Harry Potter Spring Teen Comedy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_ubmjE21SY

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