My Remix Rough Draft

http://www.steph.composingdigitalmedia.org/students_2012/melissa/On%20Video.html

You might want to listen with headphones because the sound is pretty bad on some of the clips, I still need to fix it in Audition. I think my intent is pretty self-explanatory, hope you all like this *very* rough cut of my remix video! 


Meanwhile, in his parent’s basement…

Sadly, this awesome trailer is clearly a mash-up of various television and movie clips, not an actual movie trailer. I’ll be happy with The Avengers and am totally stoked for it to come out, but if someone doesn’t get on making a Justice League (Superman and Wonder woman! Come on!) movie soon, I’m going to start writing letters.

Until Hollywood realizes their mistake and makes a real Justice League movie, I’ll have to settle for fan-made trailers, which are conveniently a very nice example of the remix video genre we’ve begun work on.  This trailer expertly pulls from about 20 sources and arranges them to form a budding narrative: the world is under threat and it’s up to the epic team of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman , Martian Manhunter, and Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) to save everyone. While the “plot” is fairly unoriginal, it is appropriate for the genre of movie trailers. The audience will presumably be more interested in a movie plot that doesn’t horribly mess anything up than an overly complex storyline.

Overall, this video is highly effective because it mashes together my favorite superheroes and explosions, so the 12 year old boy that permanently lives inside me is happy, which is essentially all I want out of a fan trailer. This clip further demonstrates all of the fun that can be had with remixes, we can make anything we want and the possibilities are as endless as Justice League’s badassery.


What that button does; or why I am not Kennedy

I’ll admit, this post has very little to do with the late great President Kennedy, but I’ve spent a lot of time with Cold War presidents tonight (History gen-eds FTW) and since this post IS about what a very small but very effective button does (not unlike the Hollywood image of the red button that blows Soviet Russia up) in Adobe Premiere.

I don’t know about you, but I like to click on things. It makes me feel powerful and risky, especially when I’m clicking on things in Adobe and I KNOW there is a “Self-destruct haha eff you” button hidden somewhere, the stakes are especially high. Tonight I found a nifty button in the Timeline panel that looks like this:

DisplayButton

Does not destroy all human life. Probably.

This is called the “display” button and it changes what you see in the frame boxes in your timeline, which is DEAD useful when editing clips and you’re wondering what’s in them. For example, you can see things as showing only the “head” still from a shot:

Or all of the frames:

Good Luck!

 


Putting Up

Although “putting” my website on the Internet is something I did without a problem from day one, putting the entire thing up when I wanted to was a task I did not master until recently. I used to simply click the “up” arrow to put my site, but I was frequently frustrated in finding that only part of my site was making its way to the Internet. It turns out that a much easier and thorough method is to “synchronize” the site using the double arrow icon at the top of the folders panel. Though it takes a little longer to load, it saves a lot of headache later when you’re wondering where half your site went.

 After clicking on the double arrows, change the “synchronized” from “local files only” to “entire site” then click “preview” and “okay” after the dialog box with a list pops up. Make sure that every item is selected to “put” and voila! You’re done! 


Love Corner! Get in love with excellent filming.

Life as an American College student brings certain life changes. A high school fondness for pop tarts evolves into pop tarts constituting lunch, a former knack for procrastination is now a full-blown shitstorm of last minute activity, and the occasional YouTube video binge becomes your regular source of entertainment (because you don’t have cable TV, sucker!).

Charlie bit my finger picture

This nibbling SOB is better than anything on TLC anyway!

Like a junkie and their first hit, I remember the first YouTube video I ever watched like it was yesterday. It was the summer of 2007 and young Melissa was just learning how to be apathetic. The video was called “The Love Corner,” and it was intended to be a rough piece of a TV pilot for a comedy sketch show that either never aired or is lost in the netherworlds of media. I frequently re-visit “The Love Corner” any time I start to forget my time-wasting roots.

Open Scene Love Corner

Every time I see this opening scene, a snarky voice whispers "It all began with me, child. You're welcome."

Each time I pay homage to my YouTube gateway drug, I notice more and more how generally well done it is.  This 5 minute video tells the story of two friends who stand on an urban roof on a beautiful day and watch as people on the street corner fall in love (or not fall in love). Conflict arises when one manages to meet someone and the other is jealous. The whole tone is dry, tongue-in-cheek about the notion of love at first sight, and uses simple but effective filming technique.

There are two main techniques I noticed and should be imitated. First, the concept and design are very minimalistic. Less is more, and this one scene sketch definitely embodies that tried and true expression. There are no elaborate effects or sounds or layers, and this keeps the viewer in the mindset that this really could (almost) happen. However, multiple camera angles that change every few seconds keep me interested in the action and makes the video more professional looking. The camera does not swing to follow the actors, something else that prevents an amateur look.

Blair Witch Pic

Hear that, Blair Witch Project? No one likes a swingy camera. Or a crying man.

I also really appreciate the music. The same cheerful little tune is used in various places throughout, generally to show two people meeting and hopefully falling in love. I like the continuity that adds to the minimalist theme. However, although the music itself doesn’t really change, it always adds to the mood of the video. For example, when two people meet and the main characters think they’re about to fall in love, the music intensifies. But when something bad happens, the music stops suddenly, paralleling the crashing disappointment that comes with an unfortunate incident on a beautiful day.

This clip also uses a lot of implication. For example, at the end of the clip the character in the stripped hoodie is stabbed by a young lady on the Love Corner. However, we never see him get stabbed. One scene ends with them hugging and the next features him in a hospital room and his friend remarking “I can’t believe she stabbed you.”

Stab girl pic

Face of a killer


I hope to employ all of the methods used in “The Love Corner” in my video. I would like to have multiple camera angles to keep the scene fresh, simple music to quietly enhance the tone, and cuts that are obvious enough to fill in the gaps of what I do not explicitly film. So while “The Love Corner” may have been a gateway into a horrible downward spiral of staying up late and getting nothing done, at least the cinematography set a good example for my future endeavors.


Beauteous Borders

Since our third photo essay has to be a montagey-collagey creation that I suspect could easily turn messy, I thought adding a border would be a nice way to give the illusion of cohesiveness. Or, you know, enhance the cohesiveness your Photoshop skills naturally create =)

I’m starting with a picture of one of my beloved dogs from home, a Doberman lab named Beowulf. Here, she had the misfortune of being too close to my friends and I a few New Years Eves ago.

 

The mighty Beowulf gamely sports a party hat

Adding a border is really easy and essentially only requires you to know how big you want it and what color. First, go up to the “Image” option on the top menu and select “Canvas Size.”

 

Note "Image"

Make sure that the “Relative” box is checked, which puts the values in the “width” and “height” boxes at 0.

In those boxes, type in the size of your desired border, normally range from .25-3 inches, depending on how radical you feel. I went with a solid .75 inches.

Alternate colors available in the drop-down menu

And then you can do sexy things like add another boarder for a matted look. A word of caution, however. Do not try and do anything that changes the size of your picture once you’ve added a boarder because the canvas size changes again, effectively ruining or flat out deleting your border. This is purely a finishing touch effect to polish your masterpiece up! Good luck!


Why it is nice to be as rich as Neil Gaiman; or Why Neil Gaiman makes a pretty website

Considering that Neil Gaiman is not only a god of words, but also creates decently kickass graphic novels, I thought his website would be an appropriate example of a well-designed website that blends images and words together to make a deliberate seeming website.

Does anyone else immediately think of this CD any time someone says "images and words"?

Gaiman’s site offers a variety of venues—examples of his work, tour information, his personal blog, and information about him. I very much like how the navigation options are at the top of the screen, but don’t like how smooshed together they are, I sometimes have a hard time reading layout that is cramped like this. However, each link is a different color so that makes it easier to navigate and I’ve seen plenty of sites get away with this as well as Gaiman does so I’m sure this complaint is more of a personal gripe than a design error.

His color choice is intriguing and I’m convinced that he chose the grays because they reflect his dark sense of humor and imagination. Color is extremely important to me and his scheme of white, gray, and black is professionally straightforward as well as easy to read. Like the color of your bedroom, the color of a website reflects who you are and I wonder if his house is similarly decorated. Some further probing might overturn more potential similarities between interior design and website design, but I suspect that’s not what I’m supposed to get out of this assignment.

This page is especially relevant because it uses the icon design that I plan on using in my own humble website. That’s pretty straightforward though, so I’ll move to a more interesting idea than clicking buttons as links. (Though as a side note I’d like to say that my website will hopefully enlarge the buttons when the mouse hovers over it.) While his page is divided into 4 sections (including the 2 boarders), the middle two sections are not the same size. Rather, the third area is a good bit smaller than the others, which is technically appropriate since it is only a picture of him and his cat, but different than other sites. I guess this is due to the fact that there are no ads here, and other sites generally have them on either side of the text but most often on the right.

If I were as rich as Neil Gaiman I wouldn’t have advertisers on my website either.