Tag Archives: ds106

5 Second Film: “Please sir, could you spare me a chip?”

For one of my final video assignments of the week, I decided to complete 5 Second Film! This assignment is simple, asking you to make a short, 5-second film capturing a joke, special moment, etc. I do not believe it should be rated for 4.5 stars given that there isn’t much video editing involved, so I rated it lower. However, this assignment now rounds my total stars up to 19.5 stars for these past two weeks.

I decided to take a video, yet again, of my pug. She is such a character, and I knew that I could capture a quality moment in her life worthy of film. This particular movie showcases her expert begging-skills. Notice how her eyes expertly follow the chip, never breaking eye-contact. [Not pictured: We ended up giving her a chip. What kind of pug mom would I be if I didn’t share my food with my best friend?].

I just recorded this video on my LG G2 phone and uploaded it to Twitter. Also, thanks to the new statistics tracker implemented on Twitter, I can now see how many people have viewed my Tweet and directly interacted with the video. Thanks Twitter for making me more aware of my social media presence! ūüôā

Name that Book!

For one of my last video assignments over these two weeks, I decided to complete Name that Book! I was very excited about this one, being an English major and lover of books. Now I finally had the chance to title my very own book, that maybe I could possibly write someday..do you sense my hesitation? Just the thought of sitting down and writing an entire book is daunting, however it’s something on my personal bucket list. Here is what the assignment specifically asks you to do, for 3.5 stars.

For this assignment, use the app Vine to visually create a book title. Find objects, landmarks, or think of some other creative way to verbally or physically represent a book title. Then record them in quick succession using the app. Then upload the video and have your classmates guess the book title!

Can you guess the title of my book?


Back story: The book I’ve always wanted to right is more of a personal reflection/memoir to my late mother. She passed away from cancer my freshman year of college, and it’s such a pivotal moment in my life and transition to adulthood. Her life and death literally made me the person I am today, and for that she is my hero. Someday, I would like to write a book, no matter how short or long, documenting our relationship and the power and strength she displayed until the very end. She’s my inspiration always. The title of my book comes from her Life Verse in the Bible, Philippians 4:13. There’s your hint for the title! Maybe someday this dream will become a reality, but for now I have the unending memories of her life on repeat in my head until I set them to paper.

A Christmas Pug Miracle!

Another of the video assignments I completed this week was What Do You Love? for 3.5 stars. {Choose something that you love and make a video of it! You can take pictures or videos and combine them into one final video. Try to find music that has to do with the thing you love and add it to the video. Make sure to add a title and give credit to those outside sources! }

Many people, hopefully, can already tell from my other blog posts that i LOVE PUGS! Literally, they are my life, so obviously I had to make a video showcasing pugs and they’re little curly tails. However, in an attempt to tell you all something new about myself, I decided to include elements of something else that I love which is CHRISTMAS! It’s my favorite holiday/time/season out of the entire year. And yes, I am one of those individuals who sports the Christmas gear and decorations directly after Halloween. Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving too, but Christmas is just something special all by itself. If I could make it Christmas every day, I honestly think life would be perfect. So given now that you know I love pugs and Christmas, here is a video I created showcasing my two favorite things. Enjoy these little puggies dressed in their Christmas best!

I found all of the images for my video through Pinterest, and credit is given at the end to each Pin. I used a Christmas song found on Youtube which I converted to an mp3 and then uploaded to Windows Live Movie Maker. The entire video was assembled and edited via the Movie Maker.

I think this video tells a great story of Christmas joy and pug smiles. I honestly got all giddy and happy inside when I watched the final product! It reminded me not only of my pug back home, but of the coming Christmas season and the great joy I feel being around family and friends during my favorite holiday. I hope that you all got similar feelings and are looking forward to celebrating your respective holidays with those you love most!

Signing Words

For one of my first video assignments for Weeks 10 & 11, I completed Signing Words for 4.5 stars.

{This assignment requires you to take a video of yourself or someone else and finger spell a word or a phrase in Sign Language alphabet and let others guess what you have spelled. Make sure you do a word that is bigger then 5 letters so you can learn some of the letters.}

I didn’t have much experience with Sign Language before making my video, however, at my church the pastor’s wife signs the entire sermon and worship songs for those in our congregation who are deaf. Because I witness this every week, I’ve always been interested in trying my hands (literally) at Sign Language, though I’ve never had the opportunity. This was a fun assignment to complete!

For this assignment, I recorded myself signing the MYSTERY word (Do you know what it is?!) and then uploaded it to Windows Live Movie Maker. From there, I customized the transitions, title page, credits, etc. I hope you enjoyed it! Also, here’s a picture of the American Sign Language Alphabet in case you would like to decode the word I spelled above. And sorry in advance to anyone who is extremely proficient in sign language, I had no idea what I was doing!

Punkin Adventures- October 30, 2015

For my first video assignment of the week I decided to complete Selfie Story. [Narrate a story using selfies. It can be any story you’d like (crazy night out, movie night with friends, just the average day, etc). You can use a combination of selfie clips or pictures, it is all up to you. Create a 1-2 minute video montage of all the selfies to tell the story. Try adding music or effects to keep it interesting.] I already take plenty of selfies, and Douglas complains constantly about my need to capture the moment on my phone. However, since this was for an assignment he obliged to my recording our pumpkin carving adventure via Selfies. It was so much fun, and I think (as per the assignment) that the video itself tells the story. Here’s our Punkin Adventure!!

I made this video with Windows Movie Maker. The pictures were taken on my LG G2 smart phone, and then I downloaded them to my computer and uploaded them to the movie maker. At this point, it was a matter of adding transitions and background music. I used transitions that had sharp edges and triangle-shaped features because I thought it resembled the triangle-shaped eyes of the carved pumpkins. For the background music, I used an instrumental mp3 of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” I figured this song was appropriate given the spooky holiday feelings!


Look, Listen, Analyze: The Joker’s Pencil Scene in The Dark Knight

I viewed this classic scene of the Joker in The Dark Knight, looking closely at its visual cinema techniques as well as listening to the deliberate audio choices. Here are my findings and reflection on the effects of these cinematic choices.

Camera Work: The angles of the camera in this scene are fairly consistent throughout. For a majority of the scene, the camera alternates between shots of the Joker talking to the faces of those he is talking to. The characters are shot directly centered in the screen, showcasing their reactions to what the Joker seems to be saying. The lighting is dark and obscures some of the details surrounding the conversation. The camera seems to be making a deliberate choice, forcing the audience to pay attention only to what is being said by the Joker and the other men. At the end of the scene, the camera pans out and shows the Joker leaving at a greater distance than when he was talking. This is one of the few points in the scene where the camera is not focused solely on one character’s face.

Audio Track: Like the visual component, the audio elements of this scene are solely focused upon the conversation at hand. Much of the audio comes from the dialogue between the characters at first, and then it becomes much more focused on the lines given by the Joker. As the scene progresses and the Joker becomes more engrossed in his monologue, suspenseful music begins playing in the background. This background music begins to increase in volume as the scene moves forward, becomes more intense. Along with the music, the speed and volume of the dialogue between the characters grows and increases as the scene progresses to some sort of climax.

All Together: Having the audio and the visual components together gave this scene so much more depth and intensity than before. The building background music combined with the back and forth conversation gave myself as a viewer an emotional sense of suspense and unease. I felt this viewing the audio and visual separately, however it was with greater intensity that I felt the suspense building as the scene progressed.

Many of these elements were discussed as well in Roger Ebert’s article on how to read a movie scene/shot. Seeing that all of the people shot in this scene were villains in the movie, I did not notice much emphasis on left/right character placement. As I said before, many of the characters were shot head on, like a mug shot as put by Ebert. This shot of their fully faces accurately depicts them as the criminal characters they play in the movie. The build of the music in the background and the growing intensity of the dialogue between the characters also helps move the story element along. The scene seems to be rising, approaching a climax as the music builds in the background.

Cinema Techniques

In order to gain a further understanding of some cinematic techniques in film, I viewed three other videos going deeper into some of these specific techniques. The videos will be embedded below with short descriptions on the techniques discussed or shown.

  1. Kubrick // One-Point Perspective– This video shows the art of the one-point perspective in film. The one-point perspective is a cinema technique where the frame is centered around one specific point, creating a balance and symmetry in the shot. By reading some of the comments below the video as well, I appears that the one-point perspective elicits a specific emotional response from its audience. Viewers often feel tension and unease when looking down narrow, symmetrical hallways, or similar shots.
  2. Example of a Match Cut- 2001 A Space Odyssey– A match cut in film is a cut in film between two different objects, characters, etc. The two different objects match “graphically” establishing a consistency and continuity between the two shots. In this video, the bone and the weapon match each other, creating a continuity between the two different shots.
  3. Hitchcock loves Bikinis– In this video, the cinematic technique of cuts is shown. By placing two very different shots in between the two shots of the man looking on and then smiling, the audience will have different perspectives of the character of this man. In this case, the man is sweet for smiling at the woman with her baby, but he then becomes a dirty old man when they replace the shot of the woman with her baby with a shot of a woman in a bikini. Simply by switching up the film cuts, the character of the man drastically changes.

Reflection on Roger Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie”

In the article “How to Read a Movie,” Roger Ebert gives a brief discussion on the various rules of thumb used in movie and video production. Many of these he states are not absolutes to be followed in film production and review, but rather “tendencies” that nearly ever producer and culture adhere to in the thousands of clips he has viewed.

I appreciate the fact that Ebert gave us these “rules of thumb” in simplistic terms. I felt that myself and others lacking film knowledge could understand what was being discussed and some of the techniques utilized in film production. I found Ebert’s discussion on placement within the film screen to be very convincing. Generally, the right side is favored over the left side. I could think of many other films where this is so. Often, in movies with superheroes and villains, the “good guy” will be placed on the right side of the screen, where the “bad guy” will be placed on the left side of the screen. For example:

The Avengers (2012): Loki (the villain) is on the left-hand side of the screen, where the Hulk (the good guy) is on the right-hand side of the screen.

I also thought that Ebert’s description of screen tilt’s and the emotional response within the audience was highly convincing. As Ebert states, “[t]ilt shots of course put everything on a diagonal, implying the world is out of balance.” As a movie-viewer, I can say that points where the screen is off-balance and tilted, are emotionally uncomfortable and jarring. Mentally, I need everything to be set straight and in the correct place. For example:

Transformers: In this shot, the screen is tilted to the right. Ebert states that tilting to the right suggests the characters are “sliding perilously into their futures.” This could not be more true for the this movie as Sam (the main character) has a conversation with Optimus Prime about the “impending doom and battle” to come later on in the movie.

Overall, I found Ebert’s article to very informative and interesting. When viewing movies and film, I had never realized that I was unconsciously being affected by the techniques and choices of the producers. I will take many of the tips provided by Ebert to heart as we enter into this week of Video Storytelling.


Mandaalynnn the Eagle

For my final Web Assignment of the week, I am completing the required assignment Storytelling Within The Web:

From the Spring 2011 ds106 class came the idea of changing up an existing web page to tell a new story” you will be intervening in the code and design of a website of your choice to tell a story. You are not to photoshop the design of the site, but rather intervene in the actual html and CSS of the site‚ÄĒthough you can photoshop particular images on the site. Essentially you alter the content of a web page (content, images) to make it tell a new story. Originally we recommended doing this using the Firebug extension in the Firefox browser, which does work, but is unfortunately easy to lose your work. We currently recommend Mozilla Hackasaurus — install the X-Ray Googles in any browser and use it to re-cast the content of any web page. When you blog it, include both a screen capture in your post, but you will also need to upload the web files (HTML and media files) to your own site so it can exist as a stand alone URL. (see our olderFirebug Tutorial) Consider using news sites, social media profiles, product pages, movie review pages etc. The simpler the design of the page, the easier it will be (think Craig’s List).

To be honest, I was completely confused and scared by this assignment, so I saved it until today to complete. However, I found this incredible tutorial created by Daniel Adams, a past DS106 students. He made a video on his blog that is simple and easy to understand, which perfectly explains how to complete the assignment. I completed the assignment given the instruction he provides in the tutorial video.

In honor of Homecoming Weekend and school spirit, I decided to alter the content of my Instagram profile web page to resemble that of our new school mascot, Mandaalynnn the Eagle! Below is the original web page and then the altered webpage.

Screenshot 2015-10-25 at 3.27.43 PM

Screenshot 2015-10-25 at 3.36.42 PM

I made several changes to my original web page in order to achieve the final product. I will list them below:

  1. Change profile image to that on our Mary Wash eagle mascot.
  2. Change username from “mandaalynnn” to “mandaalynnn the eagle”.
  3. Edited the¬†About Me/Bio¬†section to reflect the new name, important dates and info. (1908- Year MWC/UMW was founded;¬†Pro Deo Domo Patria– UMW’s motto; UMW main website)
  4. Alter the number of posts and followers (1908 total posts, and 5,000 followers for the approximate number of undergrad and graduate students that attend UMW).
  5. Change the three most recently posted images to UMW appropriate images (university seal and logo, Lee Hall).

The Google Maps History of Anne Frank

For my second Web Assignment of the week, I decided to complete Google History Maps Story¬†for 3 stars. This assignment asks you to tell the story of a literary or historical figure through Google Maps. The map itself, from its locations and directions should tell the story of the person/character you are talking about. It’s not a super complicated process, but I will give detailed instructions on how I created the Map below. I decided to tell the history of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl killed in the concentration camps of Germany during World War II. Most of Anne Frank’s life is described through the popular diary that she kept which was later published in the United States after her death. I have always respected the great courage and sacrifice she gave as such a young woman in the concentration camps. Here is the map I created, detailing her life from birth to death in Nazi Germany. The¬†green location is the starting point, Anne Frank’s birth, and the¬†yellow¬†location is the place of her death. The red locations represent different moments in her life. You can follow these different moments via the lines which are labeled¬†Line 1, Line 2,¬†etc. Each location also has a detailed description of what happened to Anne Frank at the time that she was in this location. By moving from one point to the next, you will get a story of the short-lived life of Anne Frank.

Here is how to complete the assignment:

  1. Go to Google Maps.
  2. Go to¬†MenuMy Maps–Create Map
  3. At this point, you can title your map what you please and give it a description.
  4. Add locations to your map, documenting the life of the person you’ve chosen.
    • Search for the specific location in the search bar (e.g. “Frankfurt, Germany”).
    • After finding location, click¬†Add to map.
    • Edit the title and description of the location, as well as the icon/symbol and color to desired setting.
    • Repeat step 4 until all desired locations are on the map.
  5. Add lines to your map, connecting all of the locations.
    • Under the search bar, click on the symbol that looks like 3 dots connected by a line.
    • Start with the cursor on the first location in the timeline (e.g. “Birth”), and drag the line to the second location.
    • Press¬†Enter¬†on your keyboard. You will then be given the option to customize the appearance of the line as well as it’s title and description.
    • Repeat step 5 until all desired lines are on the map.
  6. Drag your set locations and lines to the desired order via the left bar on the side. (I chose to place each line in between the separate events/locations.
  7. Your map automatically saves, so at this point you’re done! Congratulations on creating your own Google Map!