DS106 on the couch

Tag: video (page 1 of 3)

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.

This is relevant to my #artonthecouch project. What did I think of this episode? It was [fill blank with overused superlative of choice] I will write more on this soon. I wanted to post it here so as not to lose it. Some kind soul on Twitter directed me to it, but I found it in a tab at end of the day. Thank you whoever you were. You were…I can’t even…literally…

Vi Hart on Net Neutrality debate as she explains the key issues using a metaphor about postal delivery. Read her blog post for script and key links to act now!

A warning: This game will only make sense to DS106 participants

The daily create yesterday asked us to:

Design and draw your own board game about DS106.

I set out to do it for Ben the son of one of our hashtag classroom DS106 participants.

I started looking for a template for Connect 4 that was going to become Connect 106. Lost in the google for hours: Millionshort search, Duck Duck Go and more. Eventually I found this resource of templates for games if you are short of ideas there is a little treasure in there. A little dated perhaps, but fun. The editable template for this game is there and I downloaded it. 

It was meant to be a quick cut and paste job. Well, it wasn’t. 

I created the game from the template. It seemed meh in Powerpoint. Ah! I could make a movie. Then, Ben and Family could sit and play it just using the pause button. I did a screencast with QuickTime. Sound was off, looked terribly unfinished. Perfectionism won.

I will do a quick fix in iMovie. That was yesterday afternoon. Since then, I have been through different versions, new music to make new soundtrack, a DS106 Radio surprise was added at the end and Boom! Now it is ready for use. iMovie was not playing ball and I tried to edit a version ( just trimming) on YT editor yesterday only to wake up this morning with the thing stuck and still processing. Note to self – don’t do that again.

Without further ado, I give you:


And here are the rules:

Rule 1. Lots of ice-cream (or other favourite food) for Ben before playing

Rule 2. Lots of beer for the grown ups before playing

Have Fun, Ben!

Update: Some people asked about playing the game and all I have is the Powerpoint presentation. I have uploaded it to SlideShare.

Experimenting with a new toy by John Johnston:

We are designing a new #DS106 Assignment and wanted to experiment with the tool. Here was the brief we discussed on the twitter:

Play the PechaGif once only and record video 
Think of a topic for a presentation
Record and audio track of the ‘presentation’ 
Use the animated gifs you recorded as your slides to talk from!
Have fun!

The worst part of it is that I have been plagues with techno glitches today. It has taken forever to get the video on YT. I tried to upload to Tumblr and failed. I recorded the voiceover and it did not record. Blah!

All that said it should not take long to do. 

I set the delay in PechaGif to 5 seconds. Promised myself I would use the first take – no cheating. Used Quicktime Player to capture video. Imported to iMovie. Created the voiceover as an improvisation exercise – the idea was think of a topic and wing it using the animated gifs that appeared as your slides. Todd Conway made an awesome example. John Johnston kicked us off with this example, where he used the tool to explain the tool! Get him all meta meta 🙂

Awesome tool to engage our creative improvisational brain!

“Wake up! Use Pechagif the best tool there is for a DS106 assignment” says John. Thank you for making it, John. I do not think it is silly at all.

Those of us who understand the psychology of creativity know that the type of exercise this tool forces on us is a desirable difficulty if we want to keep our creative muscles toned. Improvisation is not joke, says CNN.

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.

I have been desperate to try week 2 assignment to break down a commercial in 5 seconds increments – I did not even look at the list we were provided as I had a commercial in mind. 

I used Vialogues to break it down and make notes. As Christina Hendricks says in her post about this activity, it is not only fun but really revealing. if you want to join me in Vialogues and make your own notes on the commercial you are welcome. I made it public so anyone can comment. 

I have seen this advert/commercial many times and it is an all time favourite. I never stopped to ask why or what was the shape of the story. In week one I explored the story spine technique through a video I made. A series of unconnected images that seemed to come alive in a story just by the addition of the story spine structure. This was fascinating to me. How humans add stuff that is not there, just to make a story even when there isn’t one. 

Here is the story spine for my advert:

Once upon a time there was a cat that saw life as ‘meh!’
Every day passed with cat just lying there whilst the world passed him by
But one day whilst lying bored on the sofa he had a thought that changed his life. Why be so cat?
Because of that he ran outside in the sunshine
Because of that he started to do all the things that dogs do
Because of that he felt full of life and ready to Carpe Diem
Until finally he was accepted by a pack of dogs as one of their own
And ever since then he lived happily ever after!

Is this what you want for you own boring life? Then join the O2 cell phone network.

Is it a contagious story?

Contagious Awe?

Yes, to all the above. It opens with a usual enough sight, a cat lying down in a kitchen. The voiceover soon tells us that it is ‘the cat thinking’. We cannot hear cats thinking normally so this is mysterious. We pay attention. 

Who has not experienced the feelings cat is describing? Boom we have empathy.

It all seems to be going downhill to clinical cat depression and then the surprise. Cat gets an idea. 

The idea reveals to him that life could be different if only he could be more dog! As Flash Gordon music starts to play and he flies out of the cat flap, we want to be Cat, we admire his courage and feel more and more astonished at what Cat can do, culminating with Cat ‘becoming’ a dog represented by him running with the pack and then in the back of the car. 

Contagious awe turns out to be a key emotion that makes stuff goes viral. I do not think it is far fetched to say we (I imagine only if we like animals and can empathise with protagonists) as viewers are awestruck by this clever little cat that decides to carpe diem – it must get the oxytocin and the cortisol going. The cortisol when we see his dead end life at the start, and the oxytocin when we see it grab life by the Frisbee. 

If you want a non-animal version of this same advert, you can watch the film below. The video has the same pattern: compares boredom with awe and tells us why humans will do anything for a bit of awe!

The Daily create today asked us to write a poem about our birthplace. I felt I could not write one as the tango sung by Carlos Gardel is the definitive ode to my birthplace. I love it. So I entered the lyrics at the website and felt like I was cheating…so I made a video about it all! It has been so cool, to visit my place of birth, listen to a favourite tango and even found a photo online of the hospital I was born in and (unbelievably) the door of the neonatal unit in that hospital. Ah, this web of ours.  

Searched for photos, clips in YT, found best recording I could of the song, used new iMovie to put it together – detach audio on clips, add my audio, mess around with the clips, transitions, etc. and upload to YT. Used a few new filters and I am getting to know the new iMovie and it is not bad.

I still struggle with credits – I cannot find a smooth workflow for those. 

I wanted to have the lyrics in English dancing on the screen…but I did not know how to even try to do that. 

Huize Heyendael – A spine chilling tale 

This week at the DS106 Open Online Participant Offices (OOPO) we have been exploring the structure of story in different ways. Inspired by one of our co-workers over at GMU I decided to play with Ken Adams story spine idea. In his blog ‘bcodelson’ (I do wish our colleagues at GMU gave us a human friendly name to call them) wrote a sweet story spine about ‘The shape of the sneetches’ . Ron over on Google Plus has been creating some lovely atmospheric photos, animated gifs, videos using the Diana App. I thought I could put some of this stuff together into a video story spine. I called it ‘Huize Heyendael – A spine chilling tale’. I found this simple frame for creating a story helpful – there is a child-like quality to it. It feels like a game we can play the kids and make up lovely stories. I like that.  

It is also a helpful checklist to remind us that the spine of the story never contains all the details:

The Story Spine is not the story, it’s the spine. It’s nothing but the bare-boned structure upon which the story is built. And, that’s what makes it such a powerful tool. It allows you, as a writer, to look at your story at its structural core and to ensure that the basic building blocks are all in the right place. Now, of course, turning your Story Spine into a story is a whole different topic…

Brief for this assignment was:

Make a Movie that Abruptly Changes Its Setting

Did I get it? 


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