Category Archives: Assignments

Final Project Jaunt (and some advice)

This was without a doubt the funnest final project I’ve ever had to do.  I loved the freedom we had, it really allowed us to express our own creativity.  Although it took a lot of time and effort, it was so much more enjoyable than a normal final project or test.  It was interesting to me because normally I dread final projects, and put them off until the last minute because I really just don’t want to start them, but this one I was excited about, and had fun with so it really did not seem much like work at all.  The First assignment that I chose to do was my own creation, since my theme was the tv show “Pawn Stars” (please ignoree wikipedia asking for money), and because that is a family business, I figured that I would remix the introduction theme song to use my family.  I thought it was a cool first assignment to do since it’s the intro to the show so i thought it would make a good introduction to my project.  I used iMovie to create this, I downloaded the theme song music, and played it behind me speaking as Rick does in the show, and I used pictures of my family.

The next assignment I chose to do was the audio assignment ds106 rap.  I really liked the idea of doing a pawn stars commercial, so I thought this would be an ideal chance to make one.  Since its audio instead of video, it’s probably a better radio commercial, but I like how it turned out nevertheless.  Without further adieu, take a look at the first single released by Lil’ Eric.  Certified platinum material, I know.  I used audacity to complete this assignment, it wasn’t very difficult, but it was enjoyable none-the-less.

Pawn Stars Rap

The third assignment I chose to do was the video assignment joining the conversation.  I find this clown hysterical, he comes into the shop selling Pez, expecting thousands of dollars for it.  The fact that he is so insulted and his great accent make it even better.  I thought that this episode was absolutely perfect for me to voice the guys because I imagine myself just slapping the guy for even being serious about it.  His track suit and fedora just top it off.  I used iMovie for this one too, I downloaded the episode from youtube, then cut the scene up into bits that Tracksuitman (hes gotta be a Mets fan, just from the accent) was speaking, and that Chumlee and Cory spoke.  In the parts where Chum and Cory were speaking, I deleted the sound, then voiced over them.  I think the audio sync turned out pretty well for this one.  “Its an insult to the Pez community! Those chooches!” lol.

In the show, Rick often calls in an expert when he is unsure of the value or authenticity of an item.  For this assignment, I chose to do the video assignment modern marvels with kind of a twist.  I took the place of an expert that Rick was talking to.  I sold knives over the summer (real cool, I know) so I knew a lot about this particular knife and I figured that it would be a good idea for it.  Of all of the assignments, this is probably the one I am the least happy with, but the experts are such an important part of the show, I thought it would be a good idea to include them in my project, and this gave me a good opportunity to do so.  All of the experts introduce themselves in the same way “Hi, I’m (Sean Rich, Mark, Dana, etc.) and I’m an expert in (Antique arms and armor, I’m the curator of the Las Vegas Museum System, American History, etc.) so I wanted to use the same format.

As somewhat of a conclusion, I chose to use the video assignment ds106 fave moments.  I made a video montage of my top 5 favorite pawn stars moments, with a mix of actual items and just funny things in the show.  Although I was disappointed that I couldn’t fix the audio sync issues, this is the assignment that I spent the most time on and am most happy about.  I wish I could have had good quality clips for each pick, but unfortunately youtube didn’t have the best options.  That said I am still very happy with how it turned out.  I downloaded each clip from youtube, then used iMovie to cut out some parts and put them all together.

With regards to future ds106 students, I need to stress not to wait until the end of the week (like me) to start the assignments.  Although a few can be completed in a day, the majority can not be, and you will end up with sloppy work.  This is important not only so that you get your work in on time, but if you have trouble, it is much easier to ask for help earlier rather than later.

Common Every Day Object Tutorial

ny redskins 2

The objective of the assignment “Common Every Day Object” was to take a normal, everyday object and manipulate the colors.  My roommate Tim is a New York Giants fan so I decided to have a little fun at his expense.  The first thing I did was to take a picture of his beloved Giants poster in our room.  Next I imported it to the Color Splash Smart app on my computer.  Color Splash allows you to take all of the color out of an image, then recolor it back.  I used it to first, take all of the color out of the picture, then recolor everything except for the helmet itself.  I then saved the image and imported it to the app Colorstrokes.  Colorstrokes is similar to Color Splash except that it allows you to change the colors of the picture, kind of like paint.  I used color strokes to recolor the normally blue and white helmet to a more suitable red and yellow.  It was a pretty simple task but I had a lot of fun at his expense.

Silent Drive Tutorial

For the assignment “Return to the Silent Era“, the object was to take a movie trailer and edit all the words out to make it like a silent movie.  I chose the movie Drive, because it did not have a whole lot of dialogue to begin with, but also because I liked the movie a lot.  The first thing I did was to use keepvid.com to download the movie trailer from youtube.  After it finished downloading, I used Mpeg Streamclip to take the sound out of the clip.  All you have to do to take the sound out is import the clip to the program, then go to the edit tab and click delete audio track, then save the new file (with the deleted audio).  Next I used iMovie.  The first thing in iMovie that I did was create a new project and import the new, silent trailer clip from my files.  The next thing I did was to break the clip down into shorter scenes so that I could add the text.  I highlighted the part of the clip I wanted, then dragged it to the top left so I could edit it.  Once I had the part of the clip I wanted, I clicked the little “T” in the middle right side, to bring up the text options.  I then dragged the text I wanted to the piece of clip I had selected, and typed in the text I wanted to have shown.  I then repeated these steps, highlighting each bit of clip, dragging to the editing box, selecting text, and adding the text I wanted to show up for the entire clip until I had given text for the whole trailer.

Weekly Summary

What is a Remix?

Actor Transformation

Recycle the Media

Remix the Assignment

I think that remixing is really entertaining, both remixing things myself and watching/listening/enjoying other remixes.  Very often I look for remixes of some of my favorite songs for example, much of the music I listen to is a remix of something.  Borrowing from Austin Kleon’s idea, I think you could make the argument that every song is a remix, a mashup of a bunch of ideas that came to the artist.  Kleon’s idea that everything is a mashup really got my mind thinking throughout these assignments and really just in the past few days in general.  I think it is an extremely interesting point and I will most definitely keep the idea in mind for a while.  I also think that copyright laws make remixing tough to do.  I realize that the prospect of a lot of money can change people’s ideas drastically, but I think copyright laws should be taken a little less seriously.  Andy Baio’s tale “Kind of Screwed” really made me wonder how greedy someone can be that they would sue for as much money as Jay Maisel did.  I can’t believe that it was that a few thousand dollars on top of the millions he already has would cause him to want to stop a really clever, charitable work that Baio created.  Then again, money changes a lot of things.

Recycle the Media

The goal for this assignment was to take the media we posted in the ds106 phonar as rough drafts that weren’t good enough to be the final pieces of assignments.  I expected there to be a lot of pictures, which there was, but the small number of other media made it hard to create a story with 2 media types.  I ended up using 7 pictures and 2 audio pieces.  I created Tom’s first beach trip using pictures that I found, and two audio pieces to help flesh out the car accident they came across.  All in all I thought this was a pretty clever and interesting assignment idea and I thought mine turned out pretty well

Actor Transformation

The goal for this assignment was to take an actor, and show him getting older, as sort of a metamorphosis or transformation (hench the title).  I chose Christian Bale for this assignment because I know he has done movies at 3 pretty clear stages of this life, child, twenties, and now mid thirties.  The movies I chose were “Newsies” where he is 17, “Metroland” where he is 23, and “Dark Knight Rises” where he is 38.  I like the way his face has really clearly aged in each clip.  I completed this assignment by downloading the three movie clips from youtube using keepvid.com, then cutting them down in Mpeg Streamclip, and finally putting the clips together in iMovie.

What Is a Remix?

What is a remix?  I think to put it simply is a mashup or combination of a bunch of similar, or different things to make a new thing, usually some sort of new story.  I really liked Austin Kleon’s idea that everyone is a remix.  Everyone is a mix of the influence’s that you let into your life.  I watched the Star Wars Call Me Maybe mix, the Buffy/Twilight mix, and the Don’t Tase Me Bro/Can’t Touch Me mix.  All three of these take elements from two other topics, the Star Wars movies and the song Call Me Maybe, various clips from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight, and the Can’t Touch Me music mixed with the Don’t Tase Me Bro video, to make a new song or story.  I personally thought that the Buffy/Twilight mix was the most interesting because of the way the creator made it really seem like Buffy was talking to Edward.  It was amazing to me how perfect the words and reactions lined up with eachother.  I thought that the Can’t Tase Me mix was the funniest and I thought that the person who made the Call Me Star Wars video has wayyy too much time on his/her hands lol.  I think all three were extremely creative and clever however.  I don’t think that any of these videos break the copyright laws because it only uses a few minutes of each thing, and they are not used for commercial use.

Make a Scene from a Horror Movie

I was not very happy with the end result of this one.  The goal was to recreate a scene from a horror film, so I immediately thought of “The Shining” and hereeee’s johnny and all that jazz.  Well I had originally intended on having some friends help me with this, so that we could do it with real people, but apparently my friends don’t like me enough and wouldn’t do it.  I tried thinking of other ways to do it from me doing all the parts myself (I tried it, it was terrible), to making like a picture slideshow, but I didn’t like how any of them turned out.  Luckily I acquired some legos and I figured that they would make a good idea, as kind of puppets I guess you could say.  I filmed it probably 20 times because of a combination of me messing it up and my computer not cooperating.  I guess it’s kind of clever to not actually use real people, but I still think it would have turned out better had I done that instead.  Just to make it clear, the guy with the axe, hacking away at the wall is Jack, and the girl with the knife jumping around for dear life because she is terrified is Wendy.

Return to the Silent Era

This might be my new favorite assignment this year.  It was certainly challenging, and time consuming, but it was a blast to do.  I thought the idea of “Drive” was a good choice because the main character “Driver” hardly speaks at all in the movie.  In fact, he has maybe 10 more lines in the entire movie that aren’t said in the trailer.  I didn’t want to simply use the same words from the trailer, so I used most of the same ones, with a little comedy added in.  The movie itself is pretty serious, and in my opinion there are a few unnecessary gory scenes such as a girl getting shot in the face with a shotgun, but overall I really do like the movie and I think its a good watch.  The biggest issue I had with this assignment was the the timing of the scenes.  It runs a little faster than I wanted because I couldn’t get them exactly right, but I still think it turned out pretty well.

Play by Play

The goal of this assignment was to give a short play by play of an everyday activity.  Well as most of you know by now, I love football and I love the redskins so I knew I wanted to do a play by play of the skins game.  Unfortunately, they were on by last week so I had to wait until this Sunday to do the assignment.  My roommate is a Giants fan so we always mess with eachother during the games, but we killed the Eagles this week so it was a great game to watch.  I often do some joke play by play during games so this was not anything different than usual for me.  I think I’m a regular Al Michaels, what do you think?  Don’t be surprised if you see me in the Super Bowl booth in February. 31-6 baby