Nearing the End

Not Quite What I Expected

Actually working with video this week did not turn out like I expected it to. I have realized that I am a far better photographer than videographer. While I did get a trial download of Final Cut Pro and watched some basic tutorials, I still used QuickTime and iMovie to do my assignments for the week. The learning curve for the advanced video editing programs seems steep, and I felt that I needed to focus on my content and getting the basics down before trying anything too fancy.

Also, by the end of the week, I felt drained of inspiration. The past few weeks have been tough: finding images, making designs, splicing audio, and now recording and editing video have taken a toll on my sleep, work, and sanity. Again, I think back to Dr. Polack’s “fair warning” and thank my wife for recommending that I not take this class during our anniversary trip like I had originally planned.

Ebert Style

Analyzing video with Roger Ebert’s method was not the most difficult task that I have completed this semester, but creating the video tutorial for the assignment was particularly difficult. Though I had used Soundflower for an assignment last week, this week I had to use the Audio MIDI Setup app to both make the assignment video and to make the tutorial. Also, the tutorial was more of an instructional video showing how to put the assignment together, since there is not much to explain about watching and commenting on a video. However, to do the tutorial, I was making a screen recording with QuickTime about how to make a screen recording with QuickTime. Because of this, I had to insert some screenshots to fill in places where certain options were not available while recording. To assemble the tutorial, I used Final Cut, but as stated above, I did not feel very confident using it, so I kept the edits to just inserting the screenshots.

The Dark Villain


The assignment that I had the most fun with was the Vintage Educational Video. This I feel is where my inspiration ran out. Putting the clips together took me a while, and getting re-acclimated to iMovie was a process in itself. I had used iMovie some years ago to make a Valentine’s Day video for Meg, but that was nowhere near as complicated as the educational video I made.

If Only It Were That Easy

Tying in the Weekly Question

I did not follow my original plan for the question of the week; without access to the green-screen (you have to make a reservation) I was unable to pursue my idea for continuing coverage of Steam World. Instead, I opted for more cat footage, selecting the What Do Pets Think About assignment. I made a short skit with Dina having a flash-back-like moment when Meg tells her that they are going to the vet. While the concept was good, if I had more time to work on the assignment, I feel like I could have made both it and the corresponding tutorial/work-along much better.



Grey Area

The assignment description for this week was a tad sparse. Usually, there is a checklist spelling out the daily creates and all the required blog posts, but this week, it only stated that twelve stars of video work and corresponding posts were required. However, the syllabus states that end-of-weeks have summaries (thus I bring you this one) and participation comments, and in the past, two Daily Creates were required as well. So, I still did my two Daily Creates as well.

Before midweek:

After midweek:

Spreading the Love

Again, this week I honed in on Creative Destruction for some good reading and watching. I left comments on three of his posts: Q&A&D, I React!, and Video Replay Instantly!

Going Forward

Maybe for the final week I will be able to return to Steam World. I was excited to continue the tale of my fictional Hollis and Meg, and I hope to find some outlet for their story. Week five approaches.

Caffeine Required

What Happened?

Last week, I said that I would be trying to cut my soda intake in half. While I was able to manage the first half of the week with only one late night Dr. Pepper, this last stretch kicked me in the teeth. Over the last forty-eight hours, I have drunk four Dr. Peppers, two cups of coffee, and one NOS (presently). I had some late-night sprints at work that kept me from doing much school-work during the week, leaving me just enough time to do my Daily Creates and brainstorm for the main assignments.

Taking it Slow

I have already covered my first two Daily Creates in another post, but I have embedded them here for your enjoyment.

Focus on the Important Things

For Thursday’s Daily Create, I had to share something that I wanted to teach the world to do. Lately, I have wanted to make other people learn to put their phones down while driving. After narrowly avoiding a car-accident with a distracted driver on the way home from Sheetz earlier this week, the sight of people using their phones behind the wheel causes me great distress. Using Canva, I combined an image from Unsplash as the background along with a red layer and text to create the design.

What I Would Rather be Doing Right Now

As cool as writing blog posts can be, I would still rather be cuddling my cat, Dina, right now. I feel that is self-explanatory. Again using Canva, I dropped the transparency of an alarm clock from Unsplash overtop of a black background, then overlaid a pie chart and some text to create the graphic.

Everything is Connected

All my assignments for this week tie into the question of the week from week two, where I chose to create an alternate history in which the internal combustion engine was never invented. This week’s stories continue in the modern day following the downfall of Detroit from my billboard post last week. To really appreciate them, I recommend checking out that post below.

Keep Our World Wet

Mini Story? No, MIDI Story

The first assignment I completed was the Auditory Illusions assignment for five stars.  The assignment itself was fairly simple, but the hunt for a suitable song and software was difficult. In the end, I was able to locate a MIDI file converter online and download the Mac version of MIDITrails. My post and tutorial turned out well, but I wish I had been able to find a more main-stream song on Free Music Archive.

The Story of a Plant Worker

Next, I completed the three-and-a-half-star Story Time Fun Time assignment. While I do not do so often, I enjoy telling stories off-the-cuff, and this assignment was perfect for that. My wife, Meg, and I set out on an improvisational endeavor to tell the story of a married couple living in Detroit having an argument about whether or not to move away from the city. I gave her some hot-points to mention during our dialogue, setup a microphone, and started recording. It was eerie how much like one of our real fights the one we recorded was; if the two of us were really in that situation in my fictional Steam World, I would be able to imagine that exact fight happening. My post goes into the details of the story leading up to the dispute.

Does this Spell an end for the Happy Couple?

I had been brainstorming my three-and-a-half-star Sound Effects Story response before recording the fight between fictional Hollis and Meg, but it was not until I had finished the recording of that assignment that I knew the story I wanted to tell with effects. Since I had focused on the environmental concerns of Steam World last week, I wanted to bring the inhabitants of my alternate reality to a climax of conflict between the industries relying on steam and the eco-activists seeking aggressive action to end pollution. It turned out that Hollis should have heeded the bad feelings Meg had the evening prior and not gone to work that fateful day. Since the bombing and raid of the Detroit power-plant, Hollis has not been seen. Only a few hours have gone by in Steam World, and the rescue crews are still locating and interviewing survivors in the rubble. Meg has just heard the news and has driven to the scene in shock and terror. Did Hollis survive? Will Meg’s dear husband be among the patients receiving medical treatment for steam burns and other injuries from the building collapse? If we revisit the topic of alternative history for future assignments, you may get to find out.

It all Comes Crashing Down

Spread the Love

This week for peer-review, I got hooked on Creative Destruction. After reading the summary post, I just wanted to go read that blogger’s individual assignment posts.  I commented on the weekly summary, the sound-effect story, and the alternate-history story-time. Overall great work, but there were a few elements in the posts that needed improvement. I took screenshots of my comments.

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#ds106 #comments #peerreview #participation

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I Fear for What is to Come

Next week, I believe video is the topic for our studies. Visual, design, and audio were all intense by themselves, so I cannot imagine how difficult video will be. Will our assignments be mostly about editing video or filming fresh footage? I do not know the answer, but I am sure that I will find some awesome stuff to do for my responses.