Final Project- Finding Daddy

For this project I took the picture collage story I made about how my daughter found her dad. My Daughter was happy to tell her story and was excited to help me with it. Together we wrote her a script to record for the video I made. I wanted the story to be from her perspective so I asked her questions about the story and wrote the script, then she approved it haha. She also helped me pick the background music. This story is very important to her and I, plus it is one that too many people can empathize with. Below is the link to my video called Finding Daddy.


Blog Post 8: Symbol, Index & Icon

After exploring all the works for this lesson I am still very drawn to How to Rob a Bank, by Alan Bigelow. I chose to use this piece to look into deeper for the symbols, indexes, and icons. Focusing on the icons of this piece, there are many throughout the story that clue in the reader to the mindset of the characters. The images the reader receives are sensory qualities to replace elaborate text. Take the google searches, each one starts off with a few words and the auto-generated suggestions which give the reader a sense of imagination as to what the character is looking for. Then the text is finished and the search is done, not the reader gets a feel for what the character doesn’t want and what they select, indicating who this person is. There are multiple different websites that he goes to, how to pages, a morality quiz, the baby names, all represent who this character is and what personality they have. There is also a screen that pops up a few times about how much the character needs to retire at 25, this shows the characters low wealth and young age. The color schemes of the chapters are also icons in that they represent the gender of the characters, flashing back and fourth between the male and female and also yellow to indicate Sarah, the new female identity as she shifts from lover to mother. All icon imagery helps the reader get a sense of who these characters are from start to finish and how they evolve over time. Ted is a broke young adult who needs money fast, decides against his moral code to rob a bank, becomes distant after the baby and no bank robbing, and then goes back to the adrenaline rush of robbing. Lizzy on the other hand wants nothing to do with Ted, gets a thrill from the love of a bad boy, runs off with him, changes as Ted ignores her and she has the baby, then reverts to her love for Ted and begins robbing again to keep him. None of this was spoken or written, but it was there in the way this story used icons.

Blog Post 7: Hypertext and Hypermedia

I chose How to Rob a Bank, by Alan Bigelow and With Those We Love Alive, Porpentine for this blog post as both of them pulled me in. How to Rob a Bank was very interesting and the author gave a great story in multiple parts. The choice to read different chapters in any order was great, I chose to read it in order but the way it was delivered any order would  have made sense. The linear sequencing was evident, however any choice to take the story in a non-linear fashion would have ultimately delivered the linear story. It is complex and simple all at the same time! The story was clear and the delivery of color combinations helped to visualize who was talking/on their phone. There was also the delivery of story in different forms, news in the Huffington post articles, the texting, Google, interview, and the police scanner. There was a span of time that was very clear because of game play, notes and research. I was able to visualize the entire story-line with all aspects given without long sentences seen in books. With Those We Love Alive the reader gets a completely different experience. I do not understand the title to be completely honest as there is nothing in the story that eludes to it. However, this story gives a great expanse of a world outside of our own. I found myself wanting to explore more of this world and what it is all about, who is this mysterious creature who brings you to her realm? What is the purpose of being brought there? With that being so open it leaves the reader to imagine combination of answers to those questions. I found myself wanting to do more and wanting to explore every aspect that was given. There was no linear sequencing, but it could easily be added by the author and with so much mystery I would be intrigued to explore every new addition/expansion to the story.

Blog Post 6: Cinema Language

The first thing I noticed was changed for the movie was the location of the plank, in the story the man would fall between two railroad ties as in the film he would fall off the side of the bridge. This was changed out of safety I believe because the actor falling in such close proximity would create more chance of the actor being harmed. It did not change anything about the story so it would not cause the film to lose any significance. The next part that was changed was what distracted him from his final thoughts of his family, in the film it was one of the military men yelling another name to take his watch, but in the story it was the sound of the ticking watch itself. I believe this was changed because it was easier to create and because it would be easier for all audiences to understand from the get go. The entire second section was also completely removed from the film because it was back story in the character as to how he was sentenced to hang, but it was not necessary in the film as the main plot of the story would remain. The mention of grey eyes in the marksmen, which meant he never missed a shot, was reminiscent of his own eyes mentioned at the beginning was also removed along with him being shot. Both of these scenes would have been hard to recreate in the film when it was made, and leaving them out did not change the story at all. However, the gunshot wound was done in the film in a way by showing that his hand was dark with blood. When it comes to translating the effects of the story into the film, the producers used a series of small scene shots. For example, there were many few second scenes of the nature around the stream to show what the man being hung was seeing (the spider, the leaves, etc.). There was also the use of different parts of the stream going down rapids to show how he was slowly moving at first and then his escape became faster and faster. The way this was shot and clipped together for the film was in smooth succession. The scene where the man was struggling in the water after being hung was one of the best parts of the film because of how they used imagery to express what was written in the story. The shots jumped between him sinking, the cut rope, his hands fighting to get free, then him struggling to swim, back to his face with wide eyes needing air, and then to his hands pulling his legs free. The way they took cut-scenes of this occurrence was very well done because it captured the struggle and surprise in the actor that not only was he cut free, but that he had a chance to get away if he fought. Then at the very end, instead of being able to hear that he felt the pains in his neck, right as the wife looked into his eyes they flashed to him finishing his fall and hanging still at the bridge. This gave the perfect imagery of how the story ends.

Visual Narrative

I created this visual narrative in illustrator and saved it as a PDF but the file size was too large so I had to take individual pictures of my story. This story is a very important one for my 10 year old as it is the story of how she found her Dad. When she was a year and a half, her biological father decided to move across the US. Since then he has repeatedly distanced himself from her, despite my attempts to keep him around. Over 8 years he has chosen not to be in her life and does not keep any contact even though she has had her own cell phone since she was 6 just for that purpose. For the past 4 years I have been with my boyfriend who has taken over the father role and according to my daughter, he is her real DAD.


Blog Post 5: Visual Narrative II

For this post I decided to use the moment to moment transition while my daughter feeds our floofy rascals. I have taught our three cats to sit for food as Harley (the middle tuxedo) eats too much and they all need to be restricted. The idea behind this is that I call the cats, have them sit in their spots, and give each their portion in order of who remains sitting. Stella (the Siamese on the left) is often fed first as she sits patiently the longest while Axel (the black cat on the right) is first one there and first one to get up. I used to be a dog trainer and I have used some of those skills with my cats here, but now my daughter wants mom to teach her how to train animals. This moment happens twice a day and is always very entertaining as I am now trying to teach my 10y.o. how to manage 3 opinionated cats at the same time. With covid restricting my contact with the outside world I decided to use the moment to moment transition to show a little fun in my daily routine. A silly side note: the pictures are all from a different angle as the cats and my daughter kept nudging me out of their way, and notice how Harley decides she wants belly rubs in the middle of dinner.

Blog Post 4: Visual Narrative I

McCloud’s book Understanding Comics the Invisible Art gave me a whole new perspective on how we read and experience things. I have been a big fantasy book reader for most of my life and very briefly dabbled into comics and manga a few times. I had never realized how comics engage the reader or how time and space were conveyed. It is such a natural instinct for humans to engage in the gutter and to move through time in the various ways that were described. This weeks readings have really opened up my creative mind in that I want to play around with a new story’s time-lapse and use of imagination gaps. At first I was thinking of taking the same story about how I got my cat Stella from the first assignment and turning it into a visual story rather than typographical, but now I am thinking of playing off my love for fantasy and seeing if I can use that genera to create an emotion through images and space rather than words. If we are able to fill in the gaps between frames, what emotional responses can be issued to the audience without them being told? I want to explore this in that I will use imagery and gutters to allow the readers minds to explore how they feel about the story unfolding. I am feeling like I may take a concept from one of my favorite books and exploring how I can get the readers to feel what the character is feeling. I anticipate that one of two main feelings will occur, either fear or excitement, however I am fully aware that there are a broad spectrum of other emotions will happen occasionally.

Blog Post 3: Typographic Storytelling

Diagrammatic Writing and Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses inspired me to look away from the formal and scientific writing I have learn in schooling so far. I struggled with all the academic writing styles because they were so boring and for me lacked my own voice. Even in high-school, over 10 years ago now, I could never get myself to enjoy writing assignments. There was one exception to that, which was a creative writing class I took in 2005 as an elective. However, even that class had so many regulations and expectations that I felt took away from the creative process. This lesson has given me a new energy in wanting to create my own art piece, rather than just a bunch of words and now I am sitting here wondering which idea I should explore as my mind fills with so many. The Great Rock n’ Roll Pauses work was very interesting as it told the story of her family in such a unique way, which was even mentioned by her mother in the story. I found myself able to read each slide in multiple ways with the same message coming across to readers. I want to create a similar feel to mu typographical story, one that has a main plot, but also one that does not have to be read in typical fashion. Depending on where I go with my first project, I will keep in mind all of the shapes and patterns of writing that was used in that story. Both pieces of material we looked at for this lesson explore how to create a new structure and rhythm with typography alone. utilizing the workspace, fonts, sizing, colors, and arrows even, can create a new way to tell a story that could otherwise be bland. placement of the words with different sizes can direct the reader into a new flow of reading than the normal left to right top to bottom. I am excited to play around with the workspace to create a fun twist to a little tale that I choose. Now I just need to pick from a few stories I want to use for this project

Blog Post 2: Narrative Traditions II

The short films that we watched for this lesson were very interesting because they did not follow Aristotelian plot structure. The first short film, Meshes of the Afternoon, was difficult for me to understand. I got the sense that it was almost a thriller since there was a time loop around her possible death. I was confused with the plot and what it was supposed to convey, it seemed as if there were multiple animations of that day all intertwining with the rose, key and knife symbolizing her death.

I connected with Small Deaths more than the first video because the plot was delivered differently. I got the impression that this video was about a girl who had witnessed bad situations throughout her life. First with her father leaving, then the dead cow, and finishing with a nasty overdose prank. The plot was more linear, but it did not have a central conflict or a climax, it was more of a few memories.

    She and Her Cat was interesting in the way of it being a short story with no clear purpose. The cat was talking about his first love, his owner, and I think that she left him in the end. It reminded me of a nursery story that has a small message hidden in a cute tale. I did not fully understand the message behind it, but it was cute.

The last film, 160 Characters, was the most emotional for me as I can completely relate to what happened. I too was left to raise my daughter on my own and no matter how much I tried to keep the father around, he chose not to be involved. I wont get too much into that, but I really felt that film as I knew the feelings she felt all too well. This story was a recollection of how Victoria ended up as a single parent to her son.

All of the short films had a linearity that told a tale about a past event. There was a conflict in each film, a possible murder, hard life events, the love of an owner, and parenting alone, but they were told in a linear fashion set in the past rather than the present/future. The first film had me extremely confused for a day (I am only now figuring it out), the second reminded me of some of my past, the third was cute but sad, and the last had me teary. There was also narration in all of the films, with the first and second using visualization rather than words. I still caught the narration because in Meshes there were multiple layers of the same story, much like canon or round singing. In Small Deaths  the story is told by watching the events as one would in a memory.

Blog Post 1 for 6/25/2020

Fargo follows Aristotle’s criteria for a tragedy as it shows the main character, Jerry Lundegaard, as a higher type of man. He is first seen as a likable hard working family man who is trying to make a better life for his family. This criteria was described by Aristotle as

an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament … in the form of action, not narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions.

Fargo falls under this ideology as Jerry decides the only way to get himself out of debt is to arrange for his wife’s kidnapping and ransom. Jerry is a relatable guy because throughout the movie he can be seen trying to make business deals to put his family financially ahead, then watching as Wade constantly demeans him, making him feel inadequate. Thus establishing a sense of fear for the viewer that they too could end up in this situation.

Fargo uses a drama, or action rather than narration, to tell the story of Jerry’s decision to have his wife Jean kidnapped. The plot of the movie follows as Jerry meets with the kidnappers, tries to back out of the deal, finds his wife missing, juggling the kidnappers and his father-in-law, meets the chief of police, runs from the chief, tries to recover control, finds his father-in-law dead, and is eventually arrested. This chain of effect is all unified under his first decision to scam his father-in-law Wade out of 1 million dollars. The kidnappers, Gaear and Carl, and Chief Marge add different information to the same unfolding plot. Each of the three perspectives is given in tandem to one another while the plot unfolds thus this movie is also fractal seeing as it jumps between each perspective.

Aristotle defined a complex plot as

one in which the change is accompanied by such reversal, or by recognition, or by both.

There are many complications throughout the movie from Carl and Gaear killing multiple people, to Wade taking his own action, to Marge’s investigation. Each of these complications causes a reversal to Jerry’s perfect and safe plan to get Wade’s money. As the climax comes to its peak before the reversal, Carl has some recognition in that Gaear’s involvement, which was his choice, may cost him. This can be seen in his facial expression during the police and witness murder, and later when he argues with Gaear about the car and is shot. Alongside that Marge experiences recognition of how her “boring” husband and life are actually great. As she is finishing the case and arrests Gaear, she is seen laying with her husband at night and she expresses how good of a life they have. Jerry on the other hand has many chances to see the error in his plan, but continues to find other people to blame. Even though Jerry purposely avoids recognition, Marge and Carl’s recognition adds to the complexity of the plot. The final resolution is the downfall of the likable Jerry as he is seen throwing a tantrum as he is arrested by two officers.