Caleb Stenberg

Final Project

Hey everyone,

Here is the link to my Final Project. I unfortunately didn’t account for server delays when playing videos, so the edits are very choppy and not the intended outcome. Playing the game through the file loads much better. I have uploaded the file into Slack as well. Despite this drawback, I have my artist’s statement:

This project was extremely fun to make. I combined hypermedia with video to create a narrative through Twine. The story follows roughly the same premise I had for the video anecdote project we did a few weeks back. I enjoyed learning twine while also working on my film making skills. I was inspired by many works throughout our time in this course, notable mentions include the Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge in terms of cinematography and lack of dialogue. I was also heavily inspired by the various Twine stories we looked at and their creative use of the software. I intend to tweak this work over the summer and into the future to correct the issues that arose during its upload. Overall, I am happy with the end result and hope the narrative comes across well.

Thank you,


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Hypermedia Project

Hey class,

Here is the link for The Slumbering Beast.

I hope you enjoy! If you have any suggestions for improvement feel free to comment.



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Week 13 Blog Post: Final Project Summary

Hey everyone,

I’ve decided to revisit my previous project concept involving video. I want to take it a step further and incorporate video with hypermedia, a twine journey involving choosing options that in turn will play a consequential video relating to that choice. It will be in the same horror/thriller genre about attempting to escape from an “alternate” who’s managed to enter your home. The goal is to include multiple endings, three is the aim, as a result of the choices selected. If time constraints arise, I will change the video incorporation to a visual one with still images.

Best of luck to everyone in their own creative explorations.


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Week 12 Blog Post

Hello class,

I was wondering when we would get to discuss video games in relation to digital storytelling. After all, the past two decades have seen an unimaginable sky-rocket of advancing technology and increased development of video games and the stories they tell. There’s a plethora of games that come to mind in terms of excellent storytelling, but I want to discuss a quick thought first.

Without trying to be too vague or too in depth, I feel as though gameplay ties directly into a video game’s narrative in the sense that it’s literally molded by the narrative and vice versa. Additionally, a video game could be lacking in one of these categories but really excel in the other that it still is considered an incredible game. So if a game’s story has incredible detail, depth, creativity, and imagination but lacks variety in gameplay, graphics, and aesthetics, there’s a chance that story may very well save the game in the long run. The opposite can be true as well, for games lacking in story but compensating in gameplay.

I suppose a video game’s success at storytelling depends on what story they want to tell. The game Destiny, for example, started out as a first-person-looter-shooter that had little to no story created. Destiny had engaging gameplay elements that kept players interested in a few months, but once the developers noticed their game gained and loss attention, they knew that a story had to be created to move the game along. Destiny makes use of cooperation and strategizing with other players to gain progress, both towards the narrative and towards the player. In this case, Destiny did a great job of challenging the player to uncover the story, albeit it was frustrating at first when there was no real story to uncover. A prime example of a video game’s challenging gameplay rewarding the player with bits of the story, making it feel as though they themselves were progressing the story along with their character. Shadow of the Colossus, Elden Ring, Dark Souls IIII, The Last Guardian, and others are examples of this concept.

If a video game can convey in-depth, detailed, genuine characters in their story that makes the player connect on a level similar to any novel they might read, that is another example of successful storytelling. Mass Effect, The Last of Us, God of War, Halo, Red Dead Redemption, just to name a few. Video games that give plenty of room to tell their story can and should utilize this idea of in-depth character development. Many RPGs follow this idea and some are more successful at it than others depending upon other factors such as gameplay, graphics, and functionality.

Thank you for reading,


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Week 11 Blog Post:

Hello class,

I never considered the vast implications of symbols until reading this article. Symbols, indexes, and icons have been part of humanity’s method of communication since the beginning. Specifically focusing on Peirce’s idea, that for each sign there is an object it represents.

”Of Peirce’s many ways of distinguishing signs, the symbol/index/icon triad focuses on the relations of signs to their objects: symbols have a convention-based relationships with their objects…” (Huening, paragraph 2).

Splitting signs into these three categories, or as Perice coined it, the triad, it becomes easier to identify their uses in various forms of media.

I wish to discuss the work The Ordeal of Scentless and its usage of the triad, but more specifically index. There are a handful of scenes where blurred images of shapes are shown, such as the hearts and clubs of cards. To myself, this indicated a reference to poker or blackjack, typical card games you would find in a casino-like environment. Low and behold, the story at that moment shows our narrator in Las Vegas, describing their lack of emotion and feeling of numbness. On top of those shapes, foggy and opaque spheres appear alongside these moments of numbness that are either still or moving very subtly. For presentation purposes, these symbols add to the narrator’s feeling of numbness by appearing to clog up her sense of smell, acting as a sort of scent trail flowing past the screen. This leads to the next sign which this work utilizes very well.

The usage of index in the form of scent trails/tracks is where this work really shines. Colorful spheres appear in key moments of the story where the narrator is experiencing a scent that truly engages them, and they move at a greater pace seemingly coming from a source. Peirce explains this representation:

“Simply put, indices indicate. Indices always point, reference, or suggest something else… Tracks often have a physical, cause & effect relationship, but are not simultaneous with their object. Paw prints left by an animal are tracks; the lingering scent of perfume is a track.” (Huening, paragraph 5).

The title of the work speaks for itself, but the idea that these indices of spheres are representing a track of scent is genius, sparking curiosity for the reader as they wonder what’s creating that scent. I relate this concept to The Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski where the character of Geralt, a character believing he has no emotion, reacting just as intensely to the scent of Yennefer. The narrator follows this thread of curiosity by explaining their feelings when they encounter these scents, giving a deeper meaning for the reader as to why the spheres move in such ways, or why the sphere colors change rapidly in one scene compared to the other. In a sense, this index symbolizes the narrator’s emotions that could not otherwise be expressed in the story. A very interesting train of thought, nonetheless.

Thank you,


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Video Anecdote

Hello class,

Here is my Video for this week’s project.

I hope you enjoy!


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Week 10 Blog Post

Hello everyone,

The three works we looked at during break and into this week brought me all the way back to elementary school where I would constantly read Choose Your Own Adventure books. Indeed, each work should be considered stories.

For example, With Those We Love Alive is a story that requires the reader, or for better terms the person interacting with the story, to put the pieces of the narrative together. Much like how a choose your own adventure book would have you turn to the page of your desired decision, the webpage would “turn” to the consequential page of your chosen highlighted word. Similarly, in My Boyfriend Came Back from the War, the pattern of click destination is used to progress the story, once again requiring the reader to take each piece of information they are given and put together the story on their own. The narrative exists, but it isn’t quite as linear as How to Rob a Bank. That being said, How to Rob a Bank utilizes a more linear presentation of key presses to progress the story forward, much like a slideshow. The story still requires pieces to be assembled but aids the reader by handing out the pieces as the story progresses instead of having them seek out the information solo.

I found each work to have a certain level of engagement that partners with the linearity of the narrative. I’m going with this thought as a personal preference, as others may feel differently. Having the ability to progress, change, and choose the path a story follows gives another level of meaning to each work, with the reader becoming a part of the story itself.

Lastly, I want to quote Scott McCloud:

“Generally speaking, the more is said with words, the more the pictures can be freed to go exploring and vice versa”. (pg. 155)

All three of these works utilize pictures and words, some using one more than the other, to present a world for their story that the reader creates through each page, slide, and frame. A fantastic experience and quite the nostalgia trip.


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Week 9 Blog Post: Window Video

Hello class!

Here is my video for this week’s blog post.

Thanks for watching, this was an interesting project to create.


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Week 7 Blog Post: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

Hello class,

One of the biggest differences between written stories and their film adaptations is the number of details scrunched into a specified amount of time. This is very evident in many films that take key sections from entire novels or series of novels and recreate them into a 1:30 – 3:00 hour time slot, such as the Harry Potter series or The Hunger Games. When it comes to An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce’s short story reaches a length suitable for an film adaptation on the series The Twilight Zone at the cost of certain events that are only present in the written version.

Comparing the two works, it’s clear that the film adaptation took direct scenes from the short story and recreated them in live action. One such scene describes this from the short story:

“He looked a moment at his ‘unsteadfast footing,’ then let his gaze wander to the swirling water of the stream racing madly beneath his feet. A piece of dancing driftwood caught his attention and his eyes followed it down the current.” (Bierce, I).

The film depicted this scene by holding a looming shot aimed at Peryton’s feet while the rushing river was displayed in the background, while a swivel like pan gave a strong sense of vertigo for the viewer. In this case, the film managed to successfully translate the effects of the story without the use of words. This use of unique shot composition aided in many other scenes as well, such as the slow moving soldiers with pitched down voices, the shots of Peyton’s bloodied hands, feet, and neck as the “reality” continued, just to name a few.

One of the biggest differences from the film and the short story is the short stories inclusion of a background arc that describes more about Peyton Farquhar and his reasoning for being hanged.

“Peyton Farquhar was a well to do planter, of an old and highly respected Alabama family…” (Bierce, II).


“ ‘Suppose a man—a civilian and student of hanging—should elude the picket post and perhaps get the better of the sentinel,’ said Farquhar, smiling, ‘what could he accomplish?’ “(Bierce, II).

We don’t see this “flashback” scene in the film at all, which leaves the viewer free to imagine what exactly Peyton has done to deserve such a harsh punishment.

All in all, I enjoyed both works in their own respective. I appreciate the film sticking with so much from the short story, as I feel many modern films tend to forget their source material in favor of monetary gain.

Thank you,



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Week 6 Blog Post: 5 Photo Story

Hello class,

In theme with Valentine’s Day, I created a story about attempting to rekindle a lost relationship between two individuals. The story follows the creation and eventual send off of a handwritten letter. I chose to order these photos in this direction to mimic the flow of the letter’s creation. A shift to the left indicates a setback, like the crumpled up letters. A shift to the right signals progression, like the mailing of the letter in the mailbox photo. In reference to McCloud’s panel-to-panel transitions, I made use of subject and scene. The first three photos reflect a subject-subject transition shown by the photos depicting different objects within the same environment. The last two photos show the scene-scene swap with the letter next to the mailbox in the fourth photo then reappearing in a bedroom in the fifth, signifying the two separate environments.

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Week 5 Blog Post: Understanding Comics

Hello class,

Never did I imagine that there was so much creative ingenuity and artistic expression composed in comics. Nor did I think to incorporate those elements into other forms of literature. However, after reading Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, I believe I’ll be equipped with some useful tools that’ll help tailor my stories in unique ways.

“…I’m using the world ‘icon’ to represent a person, place, thing or idea” (Comics, pg. 27).

One of the biggest takeaways I gathered from this book was McCloud’s definition of “icon”. This one word defines an endless amount of content that creators and authors convey their messages through. These icons can be manipulated to the creators will in a way that could either directly show their meaning, such as a picture with a thought bubble, or an abstract image that must sit in the readers mind for a moment before the meaning becomes clear. In my own work, I can use McCloud’s idea of the Pictorial Vocabulary in my designs to determine the style of my digital storytelling.

“The phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole has a name. It’s called closure.” (Comics, pg. 63)

I found this piece of information regarding closure very interesting as McCloud explains how we experience closure through so many forms of media. The concept that our mind takes two or more separate images and connects them based upon their context. Furthermore, McCloud takes closure and explains 6 different types of transitions that allow for closure to flourish. He explains the differences between eastern and western comic culture and their usage of specific transition types. With this information, I can utilize one or more of these transitions in my own work to create an opportunity for the reader to create closure. Especially based on what type of story I want to tell, these transition types could be further simplified, especially for our upcoming slides story, to depict mere shapes and words.

“The durations of that time and the dimensions of that space are defined more by the contents of the panel than by the panel itself.” (Comics, pg. 99).

McCloud follows up his work on closure and gutters with a deep dive in time perception in comics. The perfect example appeared on page 95 of the book where McCloud takes a long, still frame and breaks it up into sections to depict time passing. Yet, the image itself was one whole, how could time be passing through a single image? McCloud explains how other aspects of the story aid in the readers mind to perceive time, such as the use of sounds and the order of words being spoken by the characters. Something that I noted, it’s as if McCloud is providing a correlation between the reader’s time spent on the specific frame with the time allegedly passing in that specific frame. That might be putting too many words on a simple thought, but I did my best to create my own understandings of McCloud’s work so that I may utilize his thoughts in my work more efficiently. Regardless, this section of the book gave me ideas on how I can use imagery to depict time, such as specific spacing, blank space, and words.

I love this book so far, I’m eager to read and discuss the thoughts you’ve all come up with.



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5 Short Story Summaries

Hello class! These are my 5 Short Story Summaries:

  1. Classical Aristotelian:

A Cherokee Native American named Water Fox returns home from a three-year trip with the Light Horse Guard. He discovers his entire village is empty and finds evidence of federal soldiers being connected with the village disappearance.

This beginning will set the story off as Water Fox attempts to track and find his people along with those responsible for their disappearance. He will meet a variety of characters on his journey including other tribes of Native Americans, both friendly and hostile. Water Fox will recruit some of his friends from his Light Horse Guard to go along with him.

The middle of the story follows Water Fox finding his people in federal custody and in a much smaller number than he remembers three years prior. He will discover that the federal government took control of his people’s land and are relocating them to Oklahoma. In a surge of emotion and pain, Water Fox will seek out vengeance on the leaders responsible for carrying out the order to relocate his people.

Leading into the end of the story, Water Fox will find the leaders responsible for executing the migration order and will spare them as a show of mercy, knowing his people wouldn’t want more to die at the hands of this tragic event. This historical fiction takes place during the Trail of Tears, a dark period in Cherokee history where Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands, and relocated to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). This tragedy resulted in the death of thousands of Native Americans and the loss of their homes and communities.


  1. Kishōtenketsu

This story takes place in a small town where a hardworking blacksmith named Fae and a creative florist named Mo reside. The town is divided in half, with one side displaying a passion for botany and the other displaying their love of metalworking and weaponry. Fae and Mo lead separate lives, each following their own routines, with Fae constructing magnificent buildings and Mo decorating the town with flowers from his vast garden. They’ve barely acknowledged each other, passing by one another day after day. However, one afternoon, Mo approaches Fae and asks her to build him a metal arch for his garden.

Fae and Mo work together to create the metal arch, but they soon find themselves at odds over their design vision. Mo wants the arch to symbolize tranquility, while Fae believes it should represent power. This conflict reflects the division within the town. They argue for many hours and even days, eventually discarding both of their project visions.

Years pass, and the two cross paths once again. To their surprise, they find that their project visions have combined over time. The metal arch is now covered with a mixture of metal and greenery, and both Fae and Mo realize that this is the perfect arch for the garden. They apologize to each other and express their gratitude and appreciation for each other’s passions.”


  1. Episodic Structure:

In the year 2570, the PNW Dominion is a technologically advanced society ruled by a corrupt band of leaders named P, N, and W. A band of rebels, consisting of the fearless leader Ana, the tech-savvy hacker Luka, the former government agent Jinn, and the skilled marksman Kai, sets out to overthrow the leaders.

Mini Plot 1: The rebels steal a military hovercraft and use it to infiltrate the government headquarters. They soon discover that the hovercraft is equipped with a self-destruct mechanism and face a race against time to disable it. With time running out and not wanting to blow their cover, Luka sacrifices himself to ensure the mission continues by flying the hovercraft out of blast range.

Mini Plot 2: During their infiltration, Jinn is confronted with a dilemma when they come face to face with his former colleagues who have been brainwashed by the corrupt regime. Instead of helping his fellow rebels, Jinn turns against them and captures the rebels to have them interrogated by the government leaders.

Mini Plot 3: Ana and Kai eventually escape their confinement and search for the leader’s location. At last, they run into P, N, and W where a battle ensues. They manage to take out all three leaders until Jinn stands in their way. Refusing to let his once rebel friends continue their mission, Jinn activates a button and is then taken out by Kai.

Mini Plot 4: Ana mourns Jinn as their victory is short-lived. They realize that button Jinn activated released an advanced AI system called Dominion that assumes control of the government. Ana and Kai fight their way out of the headquarters and are about to leave via the government leader’s personal hovercraft when Ana is struck by a bullet from soldiers rushing to their positions. Ana orders Kai to leave her and escape, telling Kai to let the other rebels know what has taken place at the headquarters.


  1. Surrealist or Fantastic:

This was one story plot that I had the most difficulty creating.

Elo is a college student who works at a movie theater. Despite her busy schedule, she doesn’t pay much attention to her schoolwork or job. One night while cleaning a theater room, she finds a pair of glasses next to a note that reads, “Take what you need, put it back when you don’t. It knows if you still have it.” The glasses allow her to view a blank white room with a table, and whenever she needs an item, the glasses flash white, revealing the item on the table.

Elo initially uses the glasses to cheat on her schoolwork by requesting papers that will give her an A, but she soon realizes that she must return the papers when she no longer needs them. This becomes a problem when one of the papers is so well-written that it is sent off to be published, and Elo can no longer return it. The glasses start to behave strangely. The table shifts positions each time she wears glasses and there’s an eerie sense that Elo is being watched, leading her to realize that the “it” mentioned in the note is coming after her.

Elo goes on a journey to find the paper, and she discovers that the glasses are controlled by a mysterious entity. In a race against time, she must find the paper and return it to the glasses before the entity can punish her. In the end, she succeeds and narrowly avoids the punishment. She then destroys the glasses ensuring whatever it was coming for her cannot find her again, and is left with a newly forced work ethic that will never allow her to take the easy way out ever again.


  1. Personal Anecdote:

This story is based off of a trip my family and I took to Arizona in 2021. My girlfriend was an animal magnet the entire drive to and during our whole trip.

Mel is an adopted boy of Margret and Hudson, with a unique gift that he’ll soon discover as they go on vacation for the first time as a family. With each stop, Margaret and Hudson each notice at different points strange occurrences happening with their adopted boy Mel. These instances involve Mel interacting with animals.

Starting from the drive to their first stop, Hudson notices a flock of crows flying directly above and to the side of their SUV that hold their position with each lane change and U-turn. Next, Margaret catches Mel sitting with a pack of six reservation dogs when they stop for food. Mel behaves almost exactly like one of the dogs, from the tilting head to the panting and barking. Lastly, when they reach their vacation spot and unpack, both parents find Mel sitting in a tree surrounded by a dozen or so cats with collars and name-tags meowing to each other into the night.

Margaret and Hudson sit down and talk to each other about what they’ve seen on this trip about their Mel and decide to confront him to understand what’s going on. Mel reveals that he was raised by animals and has been gifted the ability to communicate with them. He has been hiding for years from scientists who want to experiment on Mel and discover a way of communicating with animals for themselves. Both Margaret and Hudson must deal with protecting Mel from those who wish to take him away and use Mel for their own personal gain.


Thank you for reading! Here are some links to sources I used for these summaries:

These works are of my own creation with the assistance of ChatGPT to ensure they followed their relative plot structures.

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Week 4 Blog Post: Diagrammatic Storytelling

Hello everyone,

This week’s story titled Great Rock n’Roll Pauses utilized a digital slideshow to tell a touching story. This slideshow wasn’t simply text in boxes formatted like a regular book. Instead, each slide conveyed emotion and ideas through design elements and positioning of text and shapes. This story is one I’ll be recommending to those I know would appreciate it’s creation.

We are introduced to a table of contents if you will depicting 4 distinct acts of the story. Next, we are introduced to the characters of the story including our main, Alison Blake. The story contains a handful of conflicts that are at first hard to distinguish which one is the main conflict of the plot. Alison being annoyed with her mother, Sasha, at just about everything she does, indicated by the “annoying habit #number” she puts in the slides, is indicative of one conflict. Drew Blake, or Dad, and his drinking problem that’s attributed to past trauma and his current work life is yet another conflict. Even Sasha refusing to talk about her previous life experiences with Alison is another smaller conflict. However, it appears that the main conflict comes from Drew and Lincoln’s (Alison’s older brother) communication barrier.

We see in the story that Drew has a hard time understanding the way Lincoln communicates his thoughts and feelings, in this case Lincoln is fascinated by the pauses in popular rock and roll music. In slide 16, we see that Alison has created a flow of text to describe the thought that Lincoln intends to communicate and what actually comes out in words. To further the idea that this is the main conflict of the story, it’s the only conflict that gets resolved at the end of the story. If we follow the classical pyramid structure of plot, the outburst that Drew has over Lincoln’s response represents the climax of the story, or where the conflict becomes clearly identified. Then, following the pyramid structure, the scene back at home where Drew asks Lincoln if he “hears” the pause of the outside world, we see that Drew finally understands how Lincoln’s mind works.

“Okay. I know.”

Considering the explanations of Diagrammatic Writing by Johanna Drucker, we can see where Alison Blake incorporated the use of special awareness to draw the attention of the reader. For my own story, I have a much better understanding of how to use a pages space for my benefit. I can really get creative when it comes to conveying my ideas, but not too much so that the reader is left confused or unsure of where to go next.

“The space of a page is finite” (Diagrammatic, pg. 11)

Through the proper utilization of the space of a page, I can experiment with size, shape, direction, color, order, and text style to generate pace, rhythm, and flow for the reader to grasp. I’m eager to see where these creative thoughts will take me in cultivating my story.

Thank you.


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Week 3 Blog Post: Narrative Traditions II

Hello class,

This week’s short films depicted interestingly complex stories that differed from Aristotle’s definition of plot structure.

“…Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude… A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end.” (Poetics, pg. 14).

Whereas Aristotle described stories having a core conflict that creates the story, these films dive much deeper to where the audience might question what the story is trying to tell. They do, however, maintain the ability to tell detailed stories in a fraction of the time.

Meshes of the Afternoon was the first film I chose to watch, and boy was it a mind-bender. This psychological thriller of sorts depicts a woman navigating her own thoughts in a dream loop that ultimately ends in her demise. This short film makes use of visual storytelling through repeating scenes. There is no dialogue and no clear description of the central conflict. On top of this, there are elements of a narrative structure in the form of Freytag’s Pyramid. Throughout this story, there seems to be an internal struggle with the woman as she wanders through these time loops in her dream. Each loop adds another piece to the puzzle, or another step up and down on the pyramid. At one point, there are three different versions of the woman sitting around a table, occupying the same space. Each version appeared to be a personality type of the woman represented by their hand/facial gestures as the camera focused on them. This scene solidified my theory that this woman is facing an internal battle. A knife is shown throughout the film as well and it progressively gets closer to the woman to where she’s seen holding the knife in various loops. When a man is introduced, assumingly a partner to the woman, she stabs the man with the knife who in turn changes to a mirror, shattering to pieces on the ground. This scene could represent the climax of Freytag’s Pyramid and it seems to suggest the idea that she’s a victim of domestic abuse, or at the very least extremely unhappy with her relationship. Lastly, leaning towards the catastrophe of the pyramid, the man comes home to find the woman passed away on a chair, surrounded by mirror shrapnel. Each of these scenes utilize visual elements to progress the story without any sort of dialogue to guide the audience, in turn it makes the story unique in that it’s really left to the audience to decide on what’s happening.

I found the film 160 Characters to be immensely interesting through its combination of text, narrative, and visual storytelling. The utilization of these elements evokes emotions from the audience while we interpret how the main character is feeling as she narrates her life through her texts and interactions with J. The conflict too comes from these narrations and text messages as we learn J is primarily leaving V to deal with their, but really her, newborn son.

Thanks for reading!


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Week 2 Blog Post: Narrative Traditions I

“Aw geez!” may very well become a common phrase used in my vocabulary after watching the film Fargo. A film with quirky characters, graphic scenes of violence, and a creeping sense of dread as some characters continued to fall further down the tragic rabbit hole. After reading and noting Aristotle’s Poetics and being able to compare his ideas about Tragedy and Comedy to the characters in Fargo, it’s clear his thoughts remain prevalent to this day.

Character Driven Plot:

The spark that would ignite the plot of the movie can be narrowed down to one character’s action, that of Jerry Lundegaard and his sketchy deal with criminals Carl Showalter and Gaear Grimsrud. As a reversal, each character in the film must react around the situation they find themselves in because of Jerry.

“…for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves, and these – thought and character – are two natural causes from which actions spring…” (Poetics, pg. 11).

Aristotle’s idea is perfectly depicted in the plot of Fargo with one character’s action causing the rest, including Jerry himself, to respond. In doing so, the audience is exposed to the flaws, strengths, and transformations (or lack thereof), of the characters. We instantly see the flaws of Jerry for setting up a deal to have his wife kidnapped for some money. Scheming, apathetic, and selfishness are characteristics that instantly come to mind. We see the two criminals, Carl and Gaear, vaguely like Jerry but much eviler. Marge and Norm throw our character expectations out the window with a pair of seemingly nice people. As the plot continues, we see that these characteristics of Jerry remain the same with worsening progression. The same goes for the two criminals, whose actions drive the plot in a darker direction. Marge uses her actions to steer the plot into its resolution, tiding up the tragic decisions of the criminals and Jerry.

Tragedy / Comedy

According to Aristotle, what would be the best way to describe this film?

“… Comedy aims at representing men as worse, Tragedy as better than in actual life.” (Poetics, pg. 4)

Fargo can be seen depicting both concepts through its characters. You have the Comedic elements of the two criminals who are despicable and the bottom-of-the-barrel when it comes to imitating a normal human. One could also place Jerry in this pool of characters as he two isn’t the best representation of a good person and never quite gets to his goal. Although Jerry could be seen through a tragic lens, having a good standing as a husband with a child and wife, respectable job, and a home. And through the tragic events he loses all of that to achieve his selfish goal. Through these examples, I feel that it’s reasonable to say Fargo is a tragic comedy.

Thanks for reading!



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Week 1 Blog Post: Self-Introduction

Hello there!

It’s very nice to be learning with you all. My name is Caleb and I’m pursuing a major in DTC with a double minor in business and film studies. I am a transfer student from Clark College, but I took about a 6 month break between Clark and WSU Vancouver to work and gather some income. I live in a coffee shop that my parents started themselves nearly 12 years ago.

Regarding storytelling, I’ve noticed that my interests fall in line with a lot of others in this class. I primarily enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, psychological thrillers, and comedic stories whether it be on paper or on screen. From the works of Jordan Peele, James Cameron, JJ Abrams, and Christian Nolan to J.R.R Tolkien, Timothy Zhan, and Octavia E. Butler. These people have created some of the coolest stories I’ve ever seen/read. An interest that I’ve found over the past few years is that of storytelling through images. An increasingly notable author and artist by the name of Simon Stålenhag, who has published various art books with his “kitchen sink sci-fi” aesthetic, are now some of my favorite books that I own. While only his first two books do this, I enjoy his simplistic writing that leaves the audience to place the pieces together themselves of what story his artwork is conveying. His later works follow a linear storyline which is no less intriguing.

Video games are another platform of storytelling I engage with. The genres I play are pretty much identical to the films and novels I read. If a game has an interesting story that can hook me in with a trailer or clip, I’m sold. I think of God of War, The Last of Us, Halo Reach, Red Dead Redemption (1 and 2), and Spiritfarer just to name of few. I believe that video games are just as important of a storytelling platform as both books and film, especially in our current time.

I’m extremely stoked to read, hear, and watch the stories this class creates and hopefully gain some new skills myself in the process of becoming a better digital storyteller. Thank you!


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