RXemix

Hey guys –

     Can’t quite make it to a lab to use Dreamweaver to upload the video to my site, so here’s a link to it on Vimeo. Please feel free to post comments, critiques, and recommendations!

http://vimeo.com/40009687


Darn you, Disney.

In approximately four months, I will begin my employment at the Happiest Place on Earth. Working for Disney had always been a dream of mine – not just a silly childhood wish, but an actual ambition, so much so that I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else after college. As both the primary shaper of a lot of my childhood and my employer, I hold the utmost respect and reverence for the organization – that’s why watching RiP! and learning about Disney’s staunch opposition to copyright infringement was really conflicting for me.

When the Remix project was first brought up, doing something Disney-related immediately popped into my head. However, after watching RiP! and looking around at various remixes online, I realized that I simply wouldn’t be able to. I would find links to ‘RLy kEWl DizNey ReMixeZ!” and then click on it, only to discover that YouTube had taken it down…due to copyright infringement. What I had wanted to do as a sort of tribute to Disney could not be done – it just wouldn’t be allowed.

for real…?

But when combing the interwebs for Disney-related remixes, I came across one that hadn’t been taken down (yet), and happened to be quite good. Codi mentioned earlier about the remix artist Pogo – I believe this is one of his creations. Reading about how it came to be, Pogo said that the audio was mixed using Adobe Audition, while Sony Vegas was used to make the video portion. Really cool that two different software programs were integrated to create something so seamless.

So, in conclusion – Disney, you yourself remixed history as you saw fit to create stories that dazzled my generation and many before and after it. Please don’t oppose remixes that transform your timeless material that continue to entertain the people who grew up on you – it’s like reliving the magic again.

Also, see you in four months.

 


Don’t Forget the Credits!

As soon as they flash onscreen, 90% of theater occupants immediately get up, grab their belongings, abandon their popcorn, and dash for the exit. They aren’t at all interested in reading the words scrolling before them. However, after spending a summer working at a movie theater, I’ve learned to appreciate the credits. I would patiently wait for everyone to file out before I slipped in to clean up their messes, left alone in the theater, just the credits and I. I couldn’t help but watch them.

Adobe Premiere doesn’t give you a lot of options for adding credits to your video, but there are several ways you can get the information you want tagged onto the end (or shown in the beginning) of your video. First, go to the top-most tool bar and click “Title.” There, under “New Title,” you’ll see options for Default Still, Default Roll, or Default Crawl.

Image

A still is what it sounds like – just a shot of a frame of words to pop up in your video for however long you need it to. Roll and crawl animate the words, with roll having the words go vertically and crawl, horizontally. Upon choosing a method for displaying your text, you will then be taken to a screen called the Titler, where you can choose more options for your text.

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Some options include text font, size, style, timing of display, whether you want it to start on-screen or off-screen, and more. Another important option to remember is that you can display your text on a plain, solid background, or you can also have your credits displayed over your video footage.

In conclusion, I believe Adobe Premiere could have more options concerning credits (just think of all of the movies that have sweet opening credit sequences where the words are involved with the video and such), but the options they do have are simple enough and get the job done. So go forth, and give yourself some credit!

 


Been There, Done That, Bought the T-Shirt – But Let’s Re-Visit

In class, it seemed as though most of us could not wait to move out of the ‘Sound’ inkblot and onto the next project, ‘Video.’ We had just wrapped up with ‘Image’ – it was so much fun taking pictures, manipulating them, showing them to our friends – and next we get to do that with moving pictures! But sound seemed almost like a little pothole in our digital media highway. As was mentioned several times in class, it was difficult for us to talk about sound – it was just something that we weren’t used to.

So although we have (for the moment) moved on from focusing on sound in class, I want to touch back upon it, because though sound might not be the sole focus of our digital media from here on out, it’ll still play a very important role in our last several projects.

So why was it so difficult for us to talk about sound? Why is it that we are so eager to show friends our image and video projects, but not to have them listen to our podcasts? (this was the case for me, hopefully not for everyone.) What was that awkwardness with describing sound, something we hear practically every second of every day? To answer these questions, I want to (briefly) explore our relation with sound to our relation with music.

Think about it. We seem to have a much less awkward relationship with music (whose medium IS sound) than we do with sound itself. We listen to music to make us feel; when we feel something, we listen to music. We use music to express, we use music to communicate, we use music to connect, we use music for many, many more reasons. If we are so in tune (excuse the pun) with music, than what is the jump when it comes to sound? After all, as was stated, music is sound. The elements of music (pitch, tempo, timbre, etc.) are exactly the same as the elements of sound.

Unfortunately, I do not have the answer to this question, although I can provide my opinion. I feel like this might be more of a personal question anyway, something each person should mull over and decide why it’s like that for them. For me, I feel that to be better able to talk about sound, I have to think about sound more musically. Re-listening to my podcast of Rivers Casino, I began to think about the tinkling of the slot machines as a beginning rhythm, a semblance of a beat – this beat was punctuated by the staccato laughs and cries of the people in the casino – the blending of voices and background music came together as a sort of harmony at the forefront of this soundscape. Thinking about it more musically allowed me to connect with how it made me feel, which made it easier for me to think about how I would discuss it.

So, if we ever happen to return to the concept of sound (and only sound) in class, my advice would be to think about it musically. Cheers!


“The New Tenants” – Mirthful & Macabre

Turning to a past Oscar-winning short film for a post on a good narrative video might seem like a cheap shot, but the 2009 winner “The New Tenants” is one of those videos that just sticks with you. It’s a wild and powerful story told through extremely well-written dialogue and some creative characters, all in the span of roughly one-fourth the length of a regular, full-length movie.

 

 

This short film is about a couple, Peter and Frank, who have just moved into a new apartment that was previously resided in by a man who was recently murdered. As they sit in their new apartment and discuss death, a torrent of visitors come to the apartment, and the new tenants come to realize how the old tenant was murdered, and why.

I don’t want to give too much about the plot away (because it is an excellent film and should be watched!), but I can carefully talk about several features of the film that I thought really made it unique. First of all, as I mentioned in the title, this film toes the line between being outright hilarious and absolutely unsettling. The whole story is centered around the murder of the former tenant (which is rather gory), but the dialogue is witty that it makes it all rather comical. For example, the story opens up with Peter and Frank talking about death (brought about by Frank telling Peter that his cigarette smoking will kill him). Peter goes into a funny monologue about how “nobody gets out alive, everybody buys the farm at some point….usually in the least photogenic manner”, which sets the stage for the rest of the plot to unfold.

Another rich thing about this film is that the way the story is mostly told through the various visitors to the apartment is pretty genius. Most of the visitors begin with, “Oh, you must be the new tenants” and then launch into whatever they came for, oblivious to the fact that Peter and Frank just want to relax and their new apartment and not be burdened with the dealings of the former tenant. The ending of the film really ties it all together as well.

I’ve included a trailer for the film since it is a bit longer (like 20 minutes), but if you want to check it out, just type the title into YouTube and the entire film is on there in two parts! Enjoy!


Another Web Site to Waste Time On!

So instead of teaching you all how to do something specific, I wanted to open you up to a magnificent resource that I stumbled upon. It’s all about doing it yourself, right? Anyways, I was combing the internet for tips on how to build a web page that changes certain content whenever you refresh it (does anyone know how?!?) when I came across…wait for it…

http://css-tricks.com/ ! This website is basically a resource for those who are trying to learn the nuances of Cascading Style Sheets, such as ourselves. Some great features of this website includes various ‘How-To’ articles, interactive forums to learn from others, a gallery of neat web pages that people have built, and even downloads so you can do neat things with your own site (although learning it yourself is necessary!!!) Perhaps my favorite thing about this site are the videos – they are so well done and easy to follow that they seriously remind me of the Adobe tutorials that we are required to watch for class.

Relating back to the topics of last weeks’ posts, not only does this website contain amazing content that is helpful to aspiring CSS masters, it’s also very well-designed and easy to navigate. I encourage everyone to check it out!


Wrong Lulu’s, Right Site Idea

    Last week, I was really craving some delicious noodles & decided to pop online to see if Lulu’s on Craig Street was still open. I absentmindedly typed ‘Lulu’s Noodles’ into Google and clicked on the first site that came up. It took several minutes of browsing through the menu to realize that this was the website for a Lulu’s in Kansas City, Missouri, but the website was so fun and intriguing that I stayed on it anyways.

   This Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop website is very simple – one main-page ‘hub’ where a hungry browser can simply click to expand on the various menu items to read more about them. At the top of the page is the restaurant logo as well as ways to connect to the restaurant (via Twitter, Facebook, or by mailing list), followed by various headings that can be expanded for more information, such as “Noodle Dishes”, “Lunch Menu”, and more. The bottom of the website is just a short paragraph describing the restaurant and its values.

Main Website 'Hub'

 

Expanded View of Menu

I encourage you guys to check out the website at http://www.lulusnoodles.com/ for its sheer simplicity and usability…and it doesn’t hurt to check out their amazing-sounding menu items. Mmmm…happy browsing!