Unit 12 (Final Project)

For this post, I wanted to sum up my experience with DS106.

Definition of Storytelling

First of all, my definition of digital storytelling (and storytelling in general back in Unit 3) was that it’s an effort to convey the experience or a kind of firsthand account on behalf of the storyteller. I still believe that, but I’ve been introduced to a number of new tools for doing so, which I think is – at the end of the day – the point of this class. I never would have known how to use Movie Maker or Popcorn or Audacity or the photo editing programs or any of that if I hadn’t taken DS106. I guess that my definition of storytelling has become a bit broader since Unit 3 in that I think storytelling can be simply a function of creativity, meaning that it doesn’t have to be quite as targeted or focused and can be more open-ended , allowing the viewer (or reader) to determine the value of the story as opposed to the storyteller defining it.

Media Project

Here’s my project.  It is the product of many hours. The concept was to mash up two disparate film elements (because I was most comfortable with Movie Maker).  I came up with the idea of trying to mix the Three Stooges and the “I’m a Clown?” scene from Goodfellas. The initial portion was relatively easy – download the audio from the scene using a youtube MP3 downloader. Then I had to sift through a number of YouTube videos of the Stooges to find clips where either the lips kind of matched the audio or the images reflected what they were talking about. I intended on using the whole scene (about 4 and a half minutes) but realized that that was entirely too long. Also, much of the later half of the scene – where Pesci is laying into Ray Liotta – includes a lot of silence which was difficult to cover with other scenes. I clipped two pieces together, quickly blending audio out at one point and then marrying it to a second piece of audio.  I actually went back in at a couple spots and relaid video which meant I had to do the math to fill the clip spots so as not to pull the video out of sync with the audio (i know its in sync because Moe in the bed is pretty close to the lip sync and Curly (dressed as a woman) slaps the guy on cue.  I decided to bring back the original film at the end to wrap it up, but added audio of the Stooges theme song at the end. The first image on the movie is of my own creation. I used the Lunapic program to overlay the image of the Three Stooges over the Goodfellas movie poster, using black to cover the actors names.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sjRD8YZtTF4“>Enjoy

Two New Assignment Ideas

1 – A thought for a possible DS106 video assignment is called Car Chase!  The assignment is to use existing movie footage and reconstruct a car chase from beginning to end – for example, start with Frank Drebin telling the driver to follow that car, then build your car chase until it comes to some sort of an end.  Bonus points for unusual music – make sure to add a title page that sets up the chase.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Tx2XpCvH1S8“>Here’s an example:

2 – A thought for a possible DS106 visual assignment is called Road to Nowhere. The assignment is to take a picture of a road and then put something that doesn’t belong – be it a destination or a person or an image – at the end of it. Bonus points for writing a title or caption that explains the absurdity.

Here’s an example:

NYCpterodactyl

Contributions to the ds106 community

I fully admit that I am uncomfortable with tweeting and haven’t exactly been knocking the doors down when it comes to commenting on other blogs. However, I have weighed in a handful of times (and got comments that others are as uncomfortable about tweeting as I am – so that counts as communication!!). One of my projects (my riff on Lunchables) actually got a comment from another ds106er and my name ended up in the ds106 twitter feed, so that was interesting. That said, in person, I contributed fully to all discussions and projects and both in helping organize our sound clips into a radio show and during our discussion of how to use Popcorn, I was the one that figured out how to use the programs and demonstrated it for the rest of the class.

Previous projects 

All of my images and stuff like that are on my ds106 blog.  I believe my best work was definitely in the Unit 10 category where I learned how to use Movie Maker and created the Mystery movie with my family and also the Mariano Rivera highlight reel. To me, this medium is the easiest to manipulate and the tools in Movie Maker are pretty intuitive. I enjoyed this the most and feel that going forward after ds106, the video editing part of this course is the part that I am most likely to continue using in the future.

Pay it Forward

https://www.youtube.com/embed/lUeNcbKx_Ps“>Here’s my advice

Final Thoughts

This class was both challenging and frustrating, which I believe was the point. On the one hand, I have never taken a class that relied on a remote curriculum like ds106. It was difficult in the sense that the blog had dead links, was unclear at points and didn’t always match up with what our professor was asking us to do. I am still concerned that I’ve left key pieces out of my work simply because I missed them or misunderstood one (or more) of the assignments. I liked the fact that we were forced to come up with answers to problems on our own, although at points I felt like we were left a little too far out on the ledge. I am creative for a living, so the conversations about the nature of creativity and storytelling were interesting, but for me, this class was less about the cerebral piece and much more about the practical skills that I learned. I think that I may get to the end of my time at Kean and look back and realize that this was the class in which I learned the most in terms of skills that I can carry with me through life.  As previously mentioned, the Movie Maker/video editing skills I feel arergeatly beneficial and as a musician, I also enjoyed learning how to use Audacity (although it is less intuitive and more complicated than Movie Maker). In all, I was definitely challenged by this class, somewhat frustrated at times – but in the end, it was worth it.

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