DS106 on the couch

Tag: iMovie

Dear Committee,

Urgent! You need to take action immediately. It seems that my video notes about the research have been stolen. I managed to take down the video in You Tube and for now our other location is safe. Somebody infiltrated the hospital secure ward and stole my materials. 

I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive my mistake and not choose to terminate me.


Behind the scenes

It all started with me setting out to do the daily create. We were meant to explore boundaries in a video.  I thought about it all day and decided I wanted to focus on social boundaries. What happens when these collapse and we end up airing our dirty linen in public without intending to? I remembered about the idea of context collapse as described by Michael Wesch amongst others. 

Re-read the paper and it also explored what happens one step beyond contexts collapsing for us in our virtual lives. We imagine and prototype of ‘the public’ but this overwhelms us. So we hide  in an ‘ideal private’ that is context free as we broadcast ourselves to the world (potentially). All that is left is the echo of ego in the mind. 

Context collapse takes on a new dimension in which the
collapse of infinite possible contexts, what we might call a virtual “ideal type”
of “the public,” itself collapses with the individual’s construction of an ideal
private outside of all contexts. The scene exemplifies what Anthony Elliot and
Charles Lemert (2005) describe in The New Individualism as the “disappearance
of context” in which “we have replaced the old contexts of tradition and custom
with a focus on our individual selves” (p. 13).

Mike’s  paper is about You Tube Vlogging and how it can be used to develop self awareness. I figured I could turn this inside out by using to tell the story of Dr M who is looking to find ways to ‘get residents to give information’ in the fictional village of The Prisoner.

It was of interest to me that in the prisoner the psychological torture is always about deleting contexts. A sense of claustrophobia develops as you watch as the psyche turns inwards. In that case physical and mental. In the case our online lives, contexts collapse via social media. Is there a way that context collapse may affect our mental health? This led me to the idea of spiritual narcism.

Spiritual narcissism is the feeling or thought that 1) I´m a spiritually advanced being, enlightened, third tier etc. and 2) because of that I deserve love and respect.

In the series, N6 has only himself. Can he trust himself? Does this drive him mad? I am reminded of the idea of being an ‘un-mutual’ in one of the episodes. Compliance in that case is forced by the threat of complete isolation. As N6 walks around the village, everyone turns away. It made me wonder if this ‘idealised private context’ we create when we engage in open online activity is to some extent driven by our fear of becoming ‘un-mutual’. Feeling suitably dystopian after #prisoner106 work today. 

The daily create turned into a whole day’s exploration. Boundaries and what they mean have always interested me. Perhaps I should have kept to physical spaces….my front porch?

I cannot even start to offer information about the making of the video. Nothing worked as planned. I was going to be a ‘quick’ iMovie pull together a few fun things to take the story forward and explore boundaries. Let me just say it was not that. I ended up having to find and relearn the old iMovie. There was ScreenFlow, there was Audacity, there was Quicktime, there was Freesound.org and a stiff neck from sitting here all day making this ‘quick’ daily create. In the end, I was reminded of the simplicity and ease of the old iMovie as well as had much fun thinking about human boundaries collapsing, us becoming overwhelmed by the whole of life being accessible online and that driving us mad. <insert suitably scary loud laughter sound here>

Well, DS106 made me do it…again.

We have been watching noir films and forgive this quirky mind but it got distracted with these matches all the flawed heroes in the films have. What were they? I had never seen them. No box. Just the match and it lights up. I asked on Twitter but nobody cared about noir matches ( I wonder why…) I started to think about a commercial for these matches. First I needed to do some research. (Have I lost all my friends, yet?)

So they are called friction matches, but the famous brand is Strike Anywhere Matches. And yes, there are other eccentrics out and there is a web site with the history of matches

Then there was the matter of the script. I remembered one line from Double Indemnity that started my current obsession ‘They always explode in my pockets’. I looked at various scripts and then decided to adapt the Double Indemnity dialogue:

I bit off the end of my cigar and put the cigar into
my mouth. started tapping my pockets for a match,
as usual I can’t find one.
I hear some smart alec in the distance:
They give you matches when they sell
you cigars, you know. All you have to
do is ask for them.
Heck, I know I say. I don’t like them. They always explode
in my pockets.
In truth I just don’t know how to light them.

Strike anywhere matches. Extra Thick for longer burn time
….but you need to know how to light them.

And yes, somebody has uploaded to You Tube instructions for how to light Strike Anywhere Matches. This is what I like most on the web, I can always find someone who seems more eccentric than I am! So, we download that via Clip Converter. Then pop it into MPEG Streamclip to remove the audio and trim it. 

New iMovie is pretty cool. But before that, GarageBand to the rescue to change my voice and record the script. It does female to male, deep and soulful, but there was no femme fatale…

Then, audio and video into iMovie, via an image of the matches. And yes, I think I need to get a life. I had such fun though. I plan to record this for our Radio show as a radio commercial but I am going to ask for help with the voices – Dogtrax does a mean noir hero voice, I need to get my femme fatale though. Any nominations? She just needs to record the last two lines.

Learnt about matches, about how you can find any script movie online, learnt a few more tricks in iMovie. Getting the style right is interesting: black and white not enough, you need high contrast. The transitions matter, I remembered seeing the circle open/close transition in some noir films. Used that. And others details I will bore you no further with.

…and I still laugh when I watch it. Never underestimate the value of a daily smile!

It had to be done. I am so sorry.

It started with a DS106 daily create, of course. I then saw this precious little gem from Kathy Onarheim which reminded me of Brian Bennett’s excellent ‘Roll it Baby!“ and then I remembered ‘The most boring mash up ever’

The scene was set. The most boring plumbing commercial ever had to be remixed. I have been giggling for the last hour whilst making it, worth the smile I reckon.

So the nag was on! And yes, I will do anything to stop that video being played again 🙂

So here is my story of open in the shape of an iMovie Trailer and if you would like to hear the back story then knock yourself out. I made a special podcast ‘The DS106 Shrink Story of open’ where you can hear the details. But the trailer above may be all you need.

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