DS106 on the couch

Tag: video (page 2 of 3)

Our first Boring Gifachrome from a boring video

I am sleepy and DS106ed out. But when you have to do something you have to do something. I Just saw this tweet:

It contains this wonderful animated gif which combines two different creative ideas we have been playing with in DS106 – boring video and a new photo format Gifachrome. 

I woke up this morning, seems a lifetime ago in DS106 time, and came into my room to find my dog really stressed out at the start of his day…not. 

I remembered the daily create a few days ago that asked us to create a boring video. I thought this was my chance. I took my Vine app and recorded my dog snoozing…nothing happened in this video bar the news in the background and ever so slight movements as he snoozed. This wonderful man, saw the video and used it to create his (first?) Gifachrome animated gif! Thank you, Colin Dog is very pleased at all this exposure he has been getting. A dog can never have enough good photos. 

Forever is never long enough

Good Bye #DS106 Headless 13, hello DS106 #4life

Information is just information

Take 2 of Cory Doctorow’s photo remix invite from Jonathan Worth. The theme from a forthcoming book by Cory ‘Information does not want to be free’.

My first remix! So much I do not know about editing video. I wanted freeze frames, I could not get freeze frames. I wanted to slow down a clip, could not do it…so frustrating. Anyway, the theme comes from a forthcoming book by Cory Doctorow – Information does not want to be free.
I did manage to do a picture in picture thing, I did manage to edit photos in photoshop, and I did manage to create the short film to say that how we engage with information and who owns it goes beyond cliches and negated memes. Remixing the photos from Phonar’s challenge and then adding them to a video remix. I have not followed the form filling for submission – because I am not interested in that element of the challenge.

I just wanted to make a start learning about remixing. Is it a creative act? Where is the creative act? Is it in my choice of filters in Photoshop? Is it in my ordering of video clips? The special effects chosen? The idea that everything is a remix and to some extent has always been, strikes a chord and challenges the view that creativity is originality. The underlying assumptions in what we are reading/viewing this week seems to be that creativity lies in the process of bridging the use of a known set of elements to a new narrative or purpose. Much to learn and reflect on.

Exploring a great movie scene

In the definitive scene in The Matrix (1999), Agent Smith, a coolly sinister plainclothes entity in the computer-simulated world that is the Matrix, says to Morpheus, leader of the rebel group that has escaped it: “Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet. You are the plague. And we are… the cure." 

The quote above informed me I am in good company. It looks like my favourite scene in the film The Matrix is also the ‘definitive’ scene of the film. I read elsewhere that it was the best acted, the most dramatic, and all around a damn good scene. Certainly memorable and full of foreboding. 

In looking for facts about the movie as a whole and its genre, I remembered  I had heard that it was an allegory of buddhism. I went searching for data about that aspect of the film. 

It turns out that there is an immense amount of writing on the film generally and the buddhist allegory aspect in particular. I own a book on philosophical essays on the film ‘Welcome to the desert of the real’. There are many Buddhist sites that discuss the detail of the links between the dhamma (buddhist teachings) and the film. There are also sites that link the film up with other religions. There are academic articles dedicated to analysing the film’s relevance to both christianity and Buddhism. From the article I just linked to I take a quote from the directors of the film to illustrate their intention in making the film,

We’re interested in mythology, theology and, to a certain extent, higher-level mathematics. All are ways human beings try to answer bigger questions, as well as The Big Question. If you’re going to do epic stories, you should concern yourself with those issues. People might not understand all the allusions in the movie, but they understand the important ideas. We wanted to make people think, engage their minds a bit

Given this I feel that the film fits comfortably as mythical narrative in the science fiction genre. I have looked at how the film is categorised in different film websites and whilst all agree that it is Science Fiction some also categorise it as an action movie. I was surprised by this as I never considered it an action movie although there is a lot of action in it. I always felt the action was in the service of the larger themes it tackled and always thought of it as examining the big question of how we chose to live and the consequences of those choices. But then I see big questions everywhere!

The scene I picked is a chilling scene. Our hero Morpheus is in a bit of a sticky wicket and at that point with not much hope for a rescue. Whilst he is clearly in physical pain, it seems to me that the scene is set up in close up in order to show the emotional pain that Morpheus feels as Smith describes human behaviour in such a sickening way. What adds pathos to the scene in my view is the aptness of Smith’s comparison. I fancy I can almost see Morpheus crying in recognition of the truth of what Smith is proclaiming. I have not zoomed into the computer screen you can see to the side of Morpheus but it seems to show a virus multiplying – I wonder if it was a purposeful choice to add unconsciously to the content of Smith’s monologue or it may just be a brain scan. I have done a breakdown of types of shots in the scene elsewhere and also an analysis of the audio. The overall sense I am left with after this exercise is the precision with which the interplay between audio and video is used in the service of creating the chilling crescendo to the end of the scene ’ we are the cure’. The sound and the video both give the same message, but in a staggered fashion – silence is used to highlight a close up, a cut used to emphasise a word. Striking also is how music (in the form of teeth grinding dissonant sounds that increase in intensity and volume as scene ends) is absent for most of the scene, but sends a chill down the spine when it is used at the end. 

I never imagined that the process could be so absorbing and I am starting to wonder if one of the things that DS106 unknowingly teaches us is purposeful synesthesia in the service of art rather than as a neurological condition. The little film I edited includes this scene and a couple of others as the assignment requested.  It shows the idea of  slow and slow, which suddenly changes to fast and furious. This ebb and flow seems the trademark of the whole film with great use of silence to add to the sense of foreboding.

My first editing job with iMovie is complete! No themes, no trailers, just a few scenes, me and iMovie. I went to the Apple how to pages watched a few videos there, and then just got on with it. I am at a loss to know if it sucks or not as I have no sense of the criteria that may make a good editor. I watched films, I know what I like but hell they say that Sergei Eisenstein made great films and I hated my university boyfriend for taking me to see his films – I failed to appreciate his genius.  Then there is my failure to appreciate Citizen Kane, so may be I will never make a good film critic or editor. Still, I enjoyed my fledging attempts at film editing. I will just keep making stuff and one day I may develop a set of criteria to self-assess my work. Meantime, I will just keep watching films and now at least I am starting to understand the secret language of reading movies.

Been playing with Shadow Puppet as more than just short commentary on photos. I re-did my design safari photos as a Shadow Puppet story. I had some issues uploaded the larger file but Carl now has released a new version of the software that allowed me to create, upload and embed the story easily. 

It is a really elegant and useful solution to putting audio and photos together – can be used to create educational presentations very easily now that the 4 minute upload limit is no longer a problem. 

Reading movies – The Matrix audio only

I have followed the same idea as with the video only part of the scene and put the audio on Soundcloud for anyone to add to. I read somewhere that this is thought to be the best acted scene in the whole of the movie. This has to be in no small part due to the quality of the sound – it is like an audio story in itself even without the powerful visual input. Like an opera dialogue of sound between good and evil! Get me the movie critic after reading the first scene in my life…This could become an addiction like animated gifs if I am not careful. Enjoy!

Reading silent movie scene – The Matrix

I created a Vialogue with the scene and my comments in case other Matrix fans may want to play and add observations to the scene as per our week 10 assignment. 

In Italian there is an expression ‘troppo buono’ meaning an experience is just so good that it is almost ‘too good’. Well, moving on to video weeks is almost too good – so much to learn and so much fun.

Week 10 – ‘New’ You Tube Genre

Well, it is not new. It is the type of thing that first got me interested in digital stories: Stick people animations generally and the stick man fighting the computer in some way

My example is a classic I first saw many years ago – I have not had a chance to research its origin. I have added it  into the shared genre document for DS106. A trip down memory lane. Update: I asked some question on Google Plus and hat tip to Kevin Hodgson who found me the original video. I can ow report that the author is Alan Becker and that he has other animation on the same theme and more on his own site. You can also read the story and how the video has had millions of viewing worldwide. Alan has even made a set of tutorials to help us learn how to make the animations and I have put them on my list of extra DS106 jobs to do after Headless 13 finishes. 

My justification for this as a unique genre? I used a quantity criterion, there are many of these in You Tube and all you need to do is search for ‘stick animation’. If you make it more specific ‘stykz animation’ then you get stuff generated with Stykz software. I like the simplicity and the creativity that emerges from the constraint of the medium. 

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