State of the Project: Getting there

I’ll be off to Brooklyn in the early hours of next Monday morning, so I’ll miss class on Nov. 24, when we would be presenting our third projects. That means I’m both fortunate and unfortunate to have to do it before I leave. On the plus side, I’ll be forced to get a head start on it (I know that if I weren’t leaving, I’d be scrambling around to put it together late Sunday night). But it also gives me a little less time than everyone else.

So here’s what I have so far: I created a rough storyboard of my “30 for 30” documentary trailer. I selected the interview footage I wanted to use off YouTube and learned how to import it into the video editing software. I arranged the footage where I thought it logically should go. And, of course, before doing all this, I had to become familiar with the format, so I looked at a couple of old ESPN ones to learn how it should look.

Now comes the final stretch, but also the toughest part: I actually have to do it. I’ll be going to a lab soon to start cutting video into the documentary format, and I’ll have to come up with some narration too. I’m in a race against the clock, to some extent, but I’m really enjoying all of the new experiences I’m having in this project.

Project III: State of the Project

Prior to my meeting with T, I was pretty worried about Project III. I was concerned about what content to include and how to make it all meaningful without explicitly shoving the “meaningfulness” in a viewer’s face. After meeting with T, I had a better definition of what I was going for, but it was still going to be a challenge.

This past weekend, I travelled 4 hours north to my hometown to conduct the video interviews that will make up the bulk of Project III. Presently, all I have is the raw material – 75 individual videos. I decided to record questions individually rather than capture an entire interview because I plan to mesh it all together, with the 4 different people I talked to coming in at different points throughout. I’m not sure if that was the best method to take. If it happens to cause problems when I’m attempting to put everything together, I will have to call it a rookie mistake; I’ve never done something quite like this.

Without having a chance to review the videos yet, I am still concerned about putting them together in such a way that there is a cohesive beginning, middle, and end to the final product. Also, I haven’t decided what to do when it comes to music and still images. I think they could be supplementary, but I have a limited amount of time to cobble this together. There is also the business of interjecting my own voice in at points. I think I definitely need to include a voiced over introduction. It may be necessary to jump in throughout the project as well. But what will I be showing when I’m talking? And should I physically appear or just have my voice?

There are many question marks that remain as far as this project is concerned, and with everything else I have going on right now, I’m bracing myself for a stressful week.

Stressed

A rocky start, but hoping for smooth sailing ahead.

Much like the beginning of my Project 2, the beginning of my Project 3 was neither easy nor timely. It took me a very long time to decide what to do. However, after nearly a week of brainstorming I’ve finally outlined my plans for the project, and have even begun to work on the substantive portion of the work.

Since I could not decide what to create for Project 3, I began by reviewing my Project 2. This project was concerned with the concept of American-ness and whether it is possible to truly become an American. I explored the topic through the use of my Grandfather as an example of an American who is still very much out of place in the US, despite having become a citizen decades ago.

During workshop for Project 2, some classmates made an interesting comment about my article – that while my grandfather is clearly different from native-born American grandparents, there are many other grandparents who don’t fit the mold of the “typical” American grandparent. This observation ultimately informed my Project 3 topic.

For Project 3, I plan to create a video documentary that explores the experiences of others who have these atypical immigrant grandparents or parents. The aim of the documentary will be to uncover whether others who share my “family dynamic” share experiences similar to those I’ve had with my grandfather. In order to create this documentary, I will conduct recorded interviews with those who fit the criteria and ask them about their relationships with these grandparents/parents, as well as their memories and feelings about the atypical things their parents or grandparents do.

I chose this medium because I feel that it would be a nice complement to my long-winded and somewhat dense article; the video medium is more passive and easygoing, while still maintaining depth of messaging and high information density. As such, I hope to retain the same audience – socially and politically active readers of a forward magazine, such as the New Yorker. I chose to remain focused on the same audience because I see Project 3 as a type of “digital supplement” to my Project 2.

At this point in the project, I have outlined my plan for the final project and arranged for interviews with documentary participants. In addition, I have begun to draft the interview questions I will ask the documentary participants. These questions address biographical, experience, and perception questions about the experience of growing up in a “multi-cultural” household.

Next I plan to record the interviews, after which I will tackle the challenge of learning to use iMovie to assemble the documentary. I expect that this will be somewhat difficult to produce – gathering the interviews will be very time intensive. Furthermore, I am not well acquainted with iMovie and will probably have difficulty with it. Nevertheless, I think this will be rewarding and educational.

I am very excited about creating my Project 3. While I’ve had a rocky start, I hope it will be smooth sailing from here.

 

How I felt while navigating Project 3

 

Resolution and Production

So far I am really enjoying the process of creating project 3. For this project, am recording an mp3 of the song lyrics I wrote for project 2, as well as making a music video. This video consists of a series of slide shows (the versus) and a video narrative (the intro, choruses, refrains, etc). I am having one major struggle with each of these aspects. First, for the slide show portions, I am having trouble with the resolution of some of the images. These images are coming across slightly pixilated and blurry. I replaced some of them with better resolution image, while leaving others because I liked the graphic so much. There are a couple pictures that are so great I didn’t mind forgoing the pixel quality. The main issue I am having with the video is matching the motions I make (guitar, lip syncing, etc) with the words and rhythm of the song. I plan on re-cutting some of the videos to avoid lip syncing because I feel like it does more harm then good, even if executed correctly. Overall, I think the project is coming along nicely and I’m looking forward to sharing it with the class!Woodstock-1969

http://deepjams.net/23-hours-of-peace-and-music-woodstock-1969-in-its-entirety-only-on-deep-jams-radio/#.VGkPElfF8_4

 

Project III: Baby Steps

When I decided that I was going to make a video for Project 3 I was super excited to see what I would create. I decided to ask four of my friends and family who love Gilmore Girls a few questions about their experience with the show and their relationship with Rory. However, although I knew that making a video was going to be an ambitious task, I did not realize how long the entire process would actually take. As of now I have collected footage from my four interviewees. They have sent me videos of themselves answering all the questions I provided them with. Now, I am beginning to go through the footage on iMovie and so far it’s going okay. I have been playing around with iMovie, but it is a lot more complicated than I anticipated. Currently, I have attempted to cut all of the interviews and roughly put them in a specific order for my video. I still have a lot of work to do though. I need to add music, transitions, clips from the show and narration. I plan to try and work on these aspects during the rest of the week and then go to the Tech Deck for help.

 

I am still struggling to come up with what exactly I want to say in my narration, but I know that as I continue editing and working on the video I will be able to see my clearer vision. I am also still deciding what I want to title my video. I plan to work on this a lot in the next few days, so hopefully by the end of the weekend I will have a little more of a concrete plan for the rest of my video!

 

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 4.40.33 PM

Here is a screenshot of what I’m working on in iMovie.

 

Project III: It’s Coming Along

For my third project I am remediating my mock article for The New Yorker into an informative Pinterest board. Even though Pinterest is commonly known as a way for people to browse and explore their interests–for example recipes, home decor, and fashion–I still think it will be a great platform to showcase elements of my Project II. My true inspiration came from a common occurrence I recognized among a few pinners who I follow. In particular, two of my older cousins are teachers and they are constantly pinning ideas, tips, and examples of how to improve/innovate their teaching. These pins about things like name tag designs, games that foster learning, and printable worksheets gave me the inspiration I needed to create a Pinterest board that offers useful information about cover letters. Although my cousins’ boards are more for their own use, I still think it is possible for my board to act as a reference for my followers to utilize as well.

I decided to title my board “Cover Letters 101,” in order to convey a light yet informative tone and make it clear to my audience that it includes a wide range of information about cover letters, just like an introductory course that has “101” in the title. I have begun creating pins of links to sources I used in Project II, as well as a pin that links to the actual project itself. I plan on making pins for all my sources from my second project, and then doing some more research to find any and all relatable websites/images to pin. My one concern at this stage of the project is whether or not I will have enough content for my board. One beauty of Pinterest is that each user has the creative freedom to make their boards how they want. But, I still want my board to look and feel as real and natural as any other board I have created in my own time. Additionally, I want this board to be useful and relatable to my audience, and I think it will be interesting to see if any of my current followers “re-pin” elements from this project!

 

See...Pinterest can be educational, too!
Learning doesn’t need to be boring…

So How About That Project 3.

I told myself I wasn’t going to put off Project 3. I was going to start it way in advance because, too often, I have experienced the pain and self-disappointment of starting something the day before it’s due. So this is me pledging to start this project early. Even though it’s due in less than two weeks.

So.

actual
Actual photo of me listening to my voice recorded.

At least I have an idea. I plan to take my topic from Project 2 (which was a New York Times Op-Ed piece) and turn it into an NPR-style radio piece. I’ve been listening to an unhealthy amount of NPR lately in preparation for this project, which has led me to become more politically and culturally informed as well as made me feel like a 65-year-old man listening in his Buick on the way to Bingo Night. This “research” is welcome though, since I have always enjoyed listening to NPR when I can. Hooray.

There’s still a lot I need to get done in the next two weeks. I’ve gotten the audio content for the interviews and transcribed all of them, now I just need to write and record my own commentary. I’ll probably look at what I had for Project 2 and maybe repeat some of the same ideas, but I hope to present something new as well. If I can write and edit it all this weekend, I will be proud of myself for actually being proactive for once.

Actual footage of me trying to figure out GarageBand.

Then, I’ll just have to record it. This will be exceedingly difficult since I cannot stand to hear the sound of my own voice. Seriously props to all of you who have been forced to listen to me speak, because I think I sound like a nervous boy going through puberty when I am recorded. In desperate attempts to dispel my anxiety, people have told me that I “sound nothing like” my recorded voice in real life. But there’s no way for me to know this for sure. Can’t trust ’em.

ANYway, I will stick it out and record myself reading the piece in a way that would sound similar to NPR. I think the real challenge will be in editing the audio. I’m not technologically-gifted and have never worked with GarageBand. So this will be fun. But really, I will try to watch some online videos and talk with people who know what they’re doing to get this done.

It’ll be fun…right?

Project III…Help!

Project III- remediating I have chosen to remediate my prject II, which was the last unofficial copy of Jet Magazine, into a video. I want to show the world we live in from different perspectives ranging from light to dark skinned. I will include a video interview with myself as the narrator.  I want to go into places like the drug store and look or color palattes and see what it is like to try someone elses skin tone on for size. Then I want to have a portion where I go home and make up half of my face with makeup that is not consistent with my skin tone. Next I want to go into the interview portion of the video. After I have shown at least 5 different view points I will then switch to myself again and speak about all the information I have been able to gather. I need to get: -camera from ISS -interviewees -storyboard finished -editing practice   I am also thinking about the e-portfolio slightly. I want to find my connective tissues. About me- I want to obviously reveal my demographics (age, gender, race, major, hometown ,etc…) Then I was to have a picture of me as a dancer, fashionista, and then just a normal picture. This will help to show the different interests I have. I also want to talk about the way my life as a dancer connects to being the token identity in the room and then how that has informed my decision to write about being brown.  I kind of want to create a timeline to show my journey of accepting and realizing and finally appreciating my brown skin and my accomplishments about rasing awareness about colorism and empowering others to do the same! 2012- trip to italy and realizing brown -college essay 2013-Michigan and realizing that I am the token identity in many of my classes and one of few in my department 2014- PBG Maybe this timeline can translate differently in my eportfolio but I want to show some sort of journey and then my connective tissue will be the idea that each event inspires the next and the next until finally there is a girl proud to be Brown and wants others to be proud of who they are! More later on both of these projects.

Project 3 Already?

I can’t believe it’s already mid-November. It seems like this semester was just beginning and now there’s only about a month left. Which means this course is slowly creeping to an end…but not without a few more assignments. It’s finally time for project 3: remediation. I had a lot of fun with project 2, repurposing a past essay about my dad into several comic strips. Now, to remediate that comic into a new platform, I came up with a couple ideas. At first, I was thinking about creating a Buzzfeed quiz that would build off of my comic, Superdad. The quiz would have been titled, “Which Superdad character are you?” and would lead quiz-takers to a certain character from my comics based on their answers. But after talking with T about my options, I decided this was not the way I wanted to take this project. I didn’t think it would be very useful since my comic isn’t actually published anywhere and no buzzfeed users would actually take the quiz.

I decided I needed to go with a plan that was more broad and would be relatable to a larger audience. After looking at different kinds of buzzfeed posts, I decided to create a post that illustrated all the of things that dad’s who have only daughters have to go through (because that was the general idea in my comic strips). As of right now, I think the title of the article is going to be, “Things That Dads With Only Daughters Have To Go Through.” I know I will be able to take some of the ideas out of my comics, such as having to watch girly movies, and incorporate them into this post. I plan on creating a post with a format similar to this one: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lenovo/how-visiting-home-changes-during-the-college-years

Like to the buzzfeed article I linked to above, I want to find gifs that work with my writing and aid in the messages I’m trying to convey. Again, I think this project is going to be very fun and I’m very thankful to have a dad worth writing about.

giphy-15
Thanks for the inspiration, dad!