Search

Strategic Presentation

Weekly Blog Posts by Samantha York

Consuming vs. Creating

As Henry Jenkins says in “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars? Grassroots Creativity Meets the Media Industry,” the Internet is changing the way we consume media. Fans are exercising their right to actively contribute to their own culture and getting into the mainstream industry. Jenkins explains, “…this new vernacular culture encourages broad participation, grassroots creativity, and a bartering or gift economy” (204). I agree, new technologies make it easier for amateurs to create their own content and the Internet allows them to share it publicly. Social media, in particular, provides a platform for fans to contribute to their own culture.

However, this poses a problem for the balance of power between fans and product owners. Jenkins addresses the media industry’s concern that “as fan productivity goes public, it can no longer be ignored by the media industries, but it cannot be fully contained or channeled by them, either” (205). Ultimately, product owners will have to give up some of the control to fans and allow them to participate in their own culture.

Additionally, Jenkins explains that fan culture is not changing; it is merely more public. He says “the web provides a powerful new distribution channel for amateur cultural production” and a vehicle for fans to fully participate (203). Through the Internet, there are now public platforms that allow fans to make their voices heard and their ideas visible.

I believe that the movie/parody “scene” has a bottom-up momentum. A popular Star Wars parody mentioned in Jenkins’ piece is George Lucas in Love. In this film, Lucas is portrayed as a regular college student. This depiction “helps to blur the line between the fantastical realm of space opera and the familiar realm of everyday life” (211). This parody created by amateurs became recognized in the media world and allowed fans to feel more connected to Lucas.


 

creating-culture-1
Image borrowed from ecocollectivism.wordpress.com.
1400185033000-g5
Image of George Lucas in Love borrowed from usatoday.com.
Advertisements

Post-Production

My group has been working together very well. We have collaborated on our storyboard, our script, and our video successfully. We were able to create the storyboard and the script on Google Docs – both were huge milestones for our project because they helped us organize our ideas. Having both of these tools to refer to while filming our video this week was extremely beneficial to us because we knew exactly what we needed to film once we got to the Career Services building and did not waste any time trying to figure shots out. We were able to get creative with focus changes and different shot angles. We used tight shots, wide shots, tilts, zooms, shot-reverse-shots, and match-on-action shots. I think the variety of shots we got will give our video a creative edge. Jenna and Kirsten appear in the video as students coming to Career Services for assistance, while I will be doing the voiceovers.

Our next step is to edit the video using Garageband and iMovie. We were told to use effects, such as freeze-frame edits and bullet points, to make some of our shots more entertaining, yet still informational. We plan on including those effects, background music, and various transitions. I think the two biggest upcoming hurdles we will face are: 1) editing the video in general, and 2) making sure that the video is entertaining to watch. We planned our video to be informational rather than comedic, but I think we managed to get lively shots that will impress our audiences and encourage them to keep watching.

We are all putting in a lot of effort to ensure that our edited video will turn out great and I do not believe our group will have any problem overcoming these hurdles next week.


shutterstock_131767742
Image borrowed from Google.

Creative Commons Search Engine

I spent a considerable amount of time looking on the Creative Commons Search Engine for different pictures, songs, and movies that my group could use in our project. I was able to find three pieces of media that could be useful to us.

I found a picture of a resume with glasses through the Flickr tab, which I thought could be used as b-roll in our video. One of the tools provided in Career Services’ “1-on-1 Career Assistance” is resume reviewing. iMovie has effects that pan over or zoom in on pictures, so this could be a creative touch in our video.

Image borrowed from Flickr.

Additionally, I chose the song “Smooth” by Matti Paalanen using the Jamendo tab. This song is upbeat, yet not distracting, so that the content in our video will be the main focus. I think the song will contribute to our positive portrayal of Career Services.

“Smooth” by Matti Paalanen

Lastly, I chose to use a NJTV News story as my movie. I believe that our group could use this resource for establishing shots of Rutgers and shots of students. There is a segment of the video (0:26-0:36) that shows students working together and looking at their laptops that could be useful in setting the scene in our video.

I agree with Lessig’s statement, “…the law needs to give up the obsession with the copy….I believe the law needs to focus on meaningful activity.…context will help us distinguish between copies and remixes” (164). I think people refrain from using techniques or shots that resemble others’ work for fear of being accused of copying. However, people should be focused on making their own work the best it can be and that can include inspiration from other work. When looking for a movie, I searched for Career Services videos on the YouTube tab. I found a video for Career Services at a different college, but their storyline was much like how we are planning ours to be. They had quite a few shots in there that are similar to the ones we intend to have. I was originally going to use that video as my movie resource, but I decided against it for fear that our video would look too similar to theirs if we used any clips from it.

AFTER: Post Storyboard Creativity Critique

When we first began storyboarding, I was not sure whether our group wanted the entire video to take place in the Career Services building or only have that be a part of the video. However, our group decided that filming the whole video with Career Services would be the most helpful for our targeted audience. Our group successfully collaborated on the storyboard and we each added several different shot ideas to make our video more interesting to watch. Our group’s ultimate vision for this project is make students aware that Career Services offers “1-on-1 Career Assistance” for them. We want to attract students to this service and represent Career Services well.

In REMIX: How Creativity Is Being Strangled by the Law, Lawrence Lessig explains the ideas behind copyright and remixing. Remixing is a way for people to legally use outside material in their own creations. Lessig states, “Anyone can take images, sounds, video from the culture around us and remix them in ways that speak to a generation more powerfully than raw text ever could” (160). As he explains, there is a difference between a person simply using someone else’s work, or a person taking someone else’s work and making their own creation from it (164).


Image borrowed from http://www.rock-your-world.org/writing-and-developing-storyboards.

BEFORE: Personal Thoughts on Group’s Creative Direction

My group chose to focus our final project on “1-on-1 Career Assistance.” Through this assignment, we plan to show how Career Services helps students choose their majors, develop their career plans, hunt for jobs, and land internships. We want to appeal to the young college demographic and I think we can be very creative with our digital presentation.

I want to reach out to Melissa to see if we can get a pan shot of the Career Services building, so that we can set a scene for the viewers. I know that natural lighting is much better to shoot in than the fluorescent lights we have in the school buildings, so I am hoping that most of our shots can be outside. I do want to have a shot of an advisor sitting down at a desk with a student and discussing her resume (prop). That will have to be an indoor-shot. This shot could be a shot-reverse-shot, where we show the back of the advisor’s head and the front of the student’s head, then reverse the view.

I think our digital presentation will be more attractive to viewers if we include varying shots, such as tight shots, wide shots, low angle shots, high angle shots, tilts, and zooms. I have an SLR camera and a tripod that I am hoping we can use, because then our shots will be steady and we can adjust the focus.


Image borrowed from http://rutwist.com/blog/2014/12/03/senior-advice/rutgers-career-services/.

Creative Experience with Midterm / Thoughts on Group Project

I enjoyed making the midterm project, because there were so many opportunities to be really creative with it. I liked that we had the freedom to choose our own topic to focus on and that I was able to showcase my own pictures. It was entirely up to me to make my blog exactly what I wanted it to be. I chose a color scheme that I liked, a theme that resembled Pinterest (a site that my target audience, college women, go to in order to find crafting/designing ideas), and a header that I felt highlighted the title of my site. I wrote posts that were categorized by different aspects of designing a school dorm/apartment – such as color coordination, curtains, lighting, storage, and carpeting. I made sure to include many colorful pictures, because I wanted to grab my visitors’ attentions and make them want to continue to look at my blog.

After completing the audio and video homework assignments, I felt confident making my midterm video. I knew how to adjust the volume of my background music and I knew that instrumental music (without words) sounded better if I was going to speak during my entire tutorial. Additionally, I was able to use my camera to shoot footage of myself making the DIY No-Sew Curtains and I combined that with some of my own pictures. Once I was working on iMovie, I experimented with different pictures, videos, movements and transitions until I was pleased with the way it came out. I made this video with much more ease than the last one and I felt comfortable enough with iMovie to take a few creative risks. Overall, I am happy with how my blog turned out and I am excited to continue working on it throughout the rest of this semester.

Looking ahead to the final project, I prefer to work independently on assignments. However, I understand that being able to work well in a group is a valuable skill to have for the future. Personally, I stay aware of upcoming deadlines by writing all due dates down in my planner. I usually end up being the leader in group projects, because I always want my projects to be perfect when I turn them in. In that regard, group projects can sometimes be a challenge because people do not put in the same effort. As explained in “What Is Collaboration Anyway?,” “We cannot assume a completely shared identity and equal characteristics for every group member just by grouping them together” (59).

Google Docs is a great platform for group projects and I have used it for every group project I have completed in the past few years. As shown in the YouTube video “Google Docs in Plain English,” it allows all members to see the same document/powerpoint and collaborate together. It helps balance the workload for the most part. I have also used Facebook messaging and texting to stay connected with other group members.

My group for the final project has already exchanged phone numbers and emails, friended each other on Facebook, and created a Google Doc. We have begun communicating about schedules and project ideas. I think we are off to a great start so far!

We have decided that our project will focus on “1-on-1 Career Assistance.” We want to show how Career Services helps students decide on their majors, develop their career plans, and search for jobs and internships. Therefore, it is important that our project/video is appealing to a young college audience.


Image borrowed from http://computing.schulich.yorku.ca/6-collaboration-tools/.
Image borrowed from http://faithislamicacademy.org/PE-blog/?p=15.

My “Top 5” List of Midterm Blogs

Gabriella’s Secret

  • This blog stood out to me because a lot of effort was put into the design of the site. Gabriella’s color scheme is a balance of pink, purple, black and white. She filled the “white space” with colors, but her site is not cluttered. Her blog has a professional feel to it. She used vibrant pictures on her post that grabbed my attention and her video was very good. I think other people who are interested in learning how to do their makeup should look at her site because it is clear that she worked hard on making a site that walks visitors through the makeup process step-by-step.

SJC Makeup

  • This is another blog that immediately stood out to me. Sarah Jo’s header, font and color scheme caught my attention and made me want to read more. Her first video focuses on an affordable way to get Kylie Jenner lips and she walks her visitors through the process. She also includes all of the products she is wearing underneath the video so that her visitors can achieve the same look. Other students should check out her site, because she added an artistic flair to it and I can tell that she will continue to post on this site in the coming weeks. I am excited to see what other makeup tutorials she posts.

Fit and Fabulous

  • Kirsten’s blog has a clean, warm, and inviting feel to it. She has a large header and simple theme, so visitors do not feel overwhelmed as they search through her site for fitness tips. Her video displays two exercise apps and she did a great job editing it – her voice is clear, her background music is the right volume, and her tour of the apps looks very professional. She wrote detailed posts, so visitors can relate to her workout habits as college students with busy schedules and discover their own workout schedules. If you are a college student looking for a site that will help you stay on track with healthy eating habits and working out regularly (especially for the upcoming holidays!), check out Kirsten’s site.

Holiday Baking Made Easy

  • Anna’s blog was one of the first midterm blogs that I saw. I think the combination of her header with her title really stands out to visitors, because it looks clean and inviting. I also thought she put a lot of effort into making a great video. The instructions she included in her video were easy to follow along with and she had good footage of herself preparing the cupcakes. She did a considerable amount of editing, which held my attention as I was watching. With the holidays approaching, I think this is a great site for other students to look at. The only thing better than the holidays themselves are the holiday treats we eat!

Artpopology

  • This blog is on my “Top 5” list because it is clear that Johnathan put a lot of effort into editing his header and his video. The header grabbed my attention immediately because it is large and he did a considerable amount of editing on it. All six celebrities were layered flawlessly into the picture and he also managed to fit the title of his blog! Adding to this, I thought his video was great. Viewers do not hear Johnathan’s voice, but he combined various interviews, performances, and other footage of Nicki Minaj. He cut from shot to shot, added new music and told a story within his video. I am very impressed with his editing and I urge other students to check out the work he did.

Image borrowed from http://dartongroup.com/mr-manager-and-the-top-50-project-management-blogs/.

Midterm Blog

Please check out my midterm blog!

Designer Dorm


IMG_3881

Video Assignment Experience / Game Politics

I had more difficulty working on this week’s assignment than I had with last week’s assignment. Rather than solely working with audio, I also had to work with pictures, transitions, and movements within pictures. Once I situated myself with iMovie and discovered the different editing tricks, I had a lot of fun playing around with my screencast. I look forward to learning how to design a game for next week’s assignment.


In “Playing Politics: Videogames for Politics, Activism, and Advocacy,” Ian Bogost summed up the relationship between games and politics well when he said, “Videogames afford a new perspective on political issues, since they are especially effective at representing complex systems. By understanding how games express rhetoric in their rules, we not only gain a critical vantage point on videogame artifacts, but also we can begin to consider how to design games whose primary purpose is to editorialize, teach, and make political statements.” A game might be able to convey politics by spreading support throughout networks, building communities, informing players about the history and policies of the U.S., and creating an experience for players to perform in. In December 2003, Bogost partnered with Gonzalo Frasca to “co-design the first ever videogame endorsed by a U.S. Presidential Candidate. The Howard Dean for Iowa Game was commissioned by Dean for America to help fencesitter supporters understand the process and power of grassroots outreach.” Their creation opened a new genre of political videogames. The game reached more people and gained more political support for the cause.

Designing a game that conveys politics can be tricky. As Bogost stated, there has been controversy over some games, such as JFK Reloaded, Kuma\War, and 9-11 Survivor. I think a good, safe idea for a political game would be to experience the 2016 political campaign virtually. Players could watch previous debates, learn stats about candidates, and raise support for their favorite candidate. This game would get younger generations involved in politics and make them more eager to vote, while also getting more support for candidates.


Image borrowed from http://www.supercheats.com/jfk-reloaded/screenshots/.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑