Thursday, December 21, 2017

PBA Performance Task

As our final project for this class, we are doing a project based assessment (PBA). A PBA can count towards CTE Honors when I graduate. The PBA is kind of a way to show off what I have learned throughout my years in digital media. It's goal is to showcase the skills and knowledge that have been gained. As a part of the project, we had to do a technical writing piece in which we researched about the history of the type of video we were doing. For my project I am working with Keegan Kessler and we chose to do it on video art. We chose to do this topic because video art encompasses a lot and it is really just up to your interpretation. For the video we wanted it to show off the colors of the world. We wanted to use paint and ink, along with shots of nature to convey that the world can inspire one's imagination. Our video is more on the abstract side and can mean different things to different people.

Below is our presentation about our PBA:

Here are some behind the scenes pictures of our filming...

The most challenging part of the PBA was the editing process. We had all the footage we needed, but putting it all together and making the video sync with the music was difficult. We needed to figure out exactly how we wanted to pace the video. At certain points, we had some clips going way too fast and some that were too long. We were especially challenged when it came to figuring out the beginning and the end. We couldn't quite figure out how we wanted to start and end the video. Through a lot of trial and error we were able to find something that worked well. It was difficult to make the video flow because of the varying shots that we had. However, we tried to make a pattern, so that the everything would piece together. The critique went a lot better than I anticipated. I wasn't quite sure how good our video actually was, but was pleasantly surprised when I saw our critique results.


ALD 5.1 Design a targeted digital media message or concept that addresses the needs of a client.

ALD 5.2 Plan and construct a digital media product from budgeted resources that addresses client needs.

ALD 5.3 Assess the collaborative process for its impact on the design, planning, and production of a digital media product.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Public Service Announcement

Public Service Announcements have the potential to make big impacts on people. They are able to move audiences, present something to think about, and convey the importance of certain issues. PSAs present important issues in a new light and help people to understand certain issues better.

For my public service annoucement I am working with Mikela Griffin and we are doing it on phone addiction. We chose this topic because it is quite a widespread problem. Majority of people in the U.S. own a smartphone and so many have become addicted to them. It has become such an issue that 40% of the population have what is known as nomophobia, the fear of being without your phone. Through our PSA, we want to make people aware of how phone addiction can really affect our lives. We often don't realize how much we can miss while we are on our phones. One of the issues we highlight in our video is that our phones can replace our social interactions with others.

Here's our PSA storyboard:

We plan on entering our PSA into the 2018 Olelo Youth Exchange. Olelo is a community channel that focuses on strengthening and advancing community engagement with media. They provide numerous opportunities for youth to learn about media through their programs. For the contest that we want to enter there are rules as there is in any competition. Some of the most important rules include that all entries must depict an issue that affects our community, state, or the world. Today, there are so many opportunities for us, as media students, to enter into contests and earn awards. I think this could be because, as a society, we are becoming more and more technology focused, so many organizations are realizing this and develop these contests to help support the cultivation of media. Through these competitions, I think the main ones who benefit from it are the students and the audience. I think both of these two groups of people benefit equally from these. Students can gain so much from just participating in contests. They help students learn how to manage their time and meet deadlines and students can also learn from others through these contests. The audience gets to see the work of students and see issues from their perspective. Their work can make huge impacts on the audience.

From our rough cut, our PSA changed a lot. In the rough cut, we had audio levels all over the place, poor sequencing, and little to no natural sounds. Some of the suggestions we got were to cut and pace the voiceover, film sequences that matched the voiceover, fix audio levels, and get more nat sounds. We considered all the suggestions and made adjustments. Over the weekend, we filmed sequences of someone taking pictures, crossing off dates on a calender, and an alarm clock. We got a lot more nat sounds to add to our video. We also used some color isolation techniques to make the person who is addicted to their phone in black and white. Addressing these problems and suggestions was definetly worth it. Our video got so much better after making these changes and I think after the changes, our video was more contest worthy. In the cirtique, our highest score was in production value, meaning that our video looked professional and well shot. I think the best compliment we got was the one that complimented our graphic match cuts and the increase in our production value. 

Here's our critique results:

ALD 2.1 Assess the evolution of digital media as it affects and is affected by society.
ALD 2.2 Assess changes in technology and markets as it affects digital media designs

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Photo Challenge

Recently, we conducted a 15 day photo challenge in class. In this, we chose a variety of topics that we were to take pictures of in the assigned photo composition. For example, one of the days had the theme, water, and the picture was to be taken at an unusual angle. So, we would take pictures everyday and the next day in class we would critique each persons photo and there would be an assigned person leading the critique. I led the critique on the day in which the theme was fall. The CAPS for that day was forced foreground, so that means that the subject of the image should be well focused and seem closer to the camera and the background should be compressed. As we did these critiques, I learned more about how to properly compose a picture and about the different things that I should be thinking about when taking photos. Now, I think I am a bit more mindful when I take pictures and my skills have overall improved. In general, I think I really benefited from this photo challenge and would like to do another one in the future.

ALD 4.1 Evaluate diverse processes of forming and conveying a targeted message.
ALD 4.2 Compare and contrast how various audiences perceive digital media to anticipate desired reactions and responses.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Digital Manipulation

The Surrealist art movement originated out of the Dada movement in the 1920s. This movement focused on releasing the unconscious mind and utilizing your imagination. It was started by Andre Breton through the "Surrealist Manifesto." For my first surrealist concept, I wanted to create an image of a stick hitting a drum and water rippling on it. I wanted to communicate repercussions always take place and that music is fluid. For my second concept I wanted to make an image of someone with flowers and leaves covering their eyes. As for my third and final concept, I wanted to make an image of two arms with plants growing out of them. With this image I wanted it to communicate that nature runs through our veins and that we should take care of it. I think my third concept presents the most powerful message because with my other two images, I was kind of stuck on what I wanted them to convey. However, with my final concept, I knew right away what I wanted it to say and I think the message that nature runs through our veins is something that applies to everyone. For each of the concepts we had to present our idea to the class. Through the presentations I was able to  know exactly what I wanted to create and how to do it. The feedback helped a great deal and I think if we didn't do the presentations, I would have had a lot more issues in the editing process.

Left: Concept 2, "Embrace nature"  Right: Concept 1, "Music is fluid"

When we are looking at images on a computer, we usually don't think about the specifics of the colors we see on the screen or how we can see what we see. So, I did a bit of reading about web colors,  different file formats we frequently use in digital media, and a photoshop technique that could potentially be used to make surrealist images.

Hexadecimal colors are the colors typically used on the web. They are the colors in which our computer displays are made up of. When we deal with things on the web our computers use RGB and when we print things the printer uses CMYK colors. Lossless file formats preserve a file's original data whereas lossy formats tend to lose some data when converting file formats. Some examples of lossy formats are GIF and JPEG formats. Some lossless formats include PNG and RAW files. Raster and vectors and the two main types of image files. Raster images typically more blended together as images are composed of pixels. Vector images need to create a different shape for each color that is used therefore having a blockier look. Dithering is using two dot of color to create a third color between them. This technique can add an artistic look to images and can be used to blend colors or even to create optical illusions.

Concept 3, "Nature runs through our veins"
Images I used to make concept 3: 

Digital media is directly affected by technology and productivity. I think that with technology we are able to become more productive and work more efficiently. Without computers or digital media, I think surrealist images would be made mainly by painting, drawing, or by cutting out pictures and gluing them together. These ways of making surreal images definitely wouldn't come out the same.

For this surrealism project I think my best image was my third and final one. To improve the image I could have taken more time to fine tune my cutouts, especially on the flowers. When I look back on the image, I can see many of the imperfections in the cutouts. The biggest thing I could have improved on, I think, was overall blending the whole image together better and making everything look unified. The picture definitely looks surreal, but I would like to make look a bit more real as I think that it would make it look more striking. My critique results kind of atest to the fact that I could have made it look more real.

Here is my screencast showing and explaining how I made my concept 3 image:

ALD 1.1 Assess how mathematics is used to create and manipulate digital media.
ALD 1.2 Assess how changes in digital technology affects the creation and manipulation of media content.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Hiki No Video

Our Hiki No story is about the Warrior Credit Union and how it is helping to increase financial literacy within our school. With this story we hope to shine a light on financial literacy and why its so important. In our story we show how our school is taking steps to improve financial literacy and we address some of challenges that come with the Warrior Credit Union.

Our rough cut wasn't the best it could be. Our whole team was out of school the day our rough cut was due, so consequently, we had to scramble to finish our rough cut. We recorded voiceovers in a hurry and put together whatever b-roll we could. However, for the b-roll, we didn't have enough applicable sequences, so many cuts in the interviews were exposed and most voiceovers didn't have b-roll over them. For the critique, we got the lowest scores on editing techniques and sequencing of b-roll. We knew that our rough cut wasn't really finished, so we were not very surprised at the scores we got. After the rough cut, we planned out some more b-roll sequences and went out and filmed them. We also revised our story and took out parts of it that were unnecessary or repetitive. This helped us to reach the time limit of around three minutes. As we reevaluated our story and fine-tuned it, you could really see the improvements and the difference between our rough cut and our final.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a copyright law with the purpose of bring U.S. copyright law into compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances Phonograms Treaty. This law also increased the protection of an individual or company's intellectual property. Copyright infringement is the use of any copyrighted material without proper permission of the owner. The consequences of copyright infringement ranges from fines to time in jail, depending on the severity of the crime. To get permission to use copyrighted material you must determine if the way you intend to use the material is in violation of a law. You must then identify the rights you need and from there you can ask permission from the owner. Fair use is copying copyrighted material and using it for "transformative" purposes. For example, if you wanted to comment on or critique a book, you would be able to reproduce some of the copyrighted work. Another example would be doing a parody of copyrighted work. In this you would be using some parts of the original work, but ultimately changing it to be your own.

It is essential to gain permission to film on location because everyone has rights to their privacy and you need to ask someone if its okay to film at that certain location. Video release forms ensure that someone is okay with being filmed or has given permission to film at a certain place. These are mandatory for professional video production because everyone needs to consent to being recorded as some people may not want to be on tape.

I think our final cut critique went pretty well. We definitely had things to improve on, but overall, we had a decent story. We had some audio that was too high and made it hard to hear the interviews. We also needed to improve on b-roll. I think that b-roll was our biggest challenge in this story and we could have definitely improved on it. Even though we went back and got the sequences that we needed, we still found ourselves unsatisfied with some of the sequences in our story. Although we did have some sequences planned, we didn't completely follow our plan. In the future, I think we need to be more prepared with planned out sequences to film so that we will have exactly what we need.

ALD 3.1 Evaluate the relationship between digital technology and criminal activity for its affect on the digital marketplace.
ALD 3.2 Evaluate legal and ethical behavior related to the creation, use, and distribution of digital content that minimizes the risk of legal or moral consequence.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Practice Story

As a precursor to our Hiki No project, in teams, we produced a short practice story. We did this to of course practice, but also to make sure we're all ready to make our news stories and so we all have a good idea as to how the production process of a story goes.

So we first had to come up with an idea for our practice story. We had a hard time figuring out who was going to be interviewed and what our story was going to be until it was suggested to us to do a behind the scenes look at our actual Hiki No story. We decided that I was going to be the interviewee for this story because I was the one who came up with our Warrior Credit Union story. It was also decided upon that I should be the cheif editor. The director and interviewer was Mikela and the writer and camera person was Keegan. As we progressed in making the video, we all contributed in writing the script and we all had some sort of role in the editing process. So, we didn't strictly stay true to our assigned roles, but just helped our wherever needed. I would say that this overall helped the story come along because if we had not strayed a bit from ur original roles, I don't think the story would have come out that great.

While filming our actual Hiki No story, safety is going to be a huge priority. Staying safe while filming is really important because we obviously don't want to get hurt ourselves or get any of the equipment we use damaged. One safety concern that we may have while filming is other people. So we have to be aware of other people while we are filming our b-roll and make sure that we don't get in other people's way. We also have to be careful with all the equipment, just making sure that we don't damage any of it.

When all of us in our class finished our practice stories, we did a critique as a class. For our story, the three biggest things we needed to work on were b-roll, lighting, and audio. We didn't have very authentic b-roll as we hadn't started filming our actual Hiki No story yet. So we had to rely on "acting" and reenactments of filming. I think the lighting was a very fixable issue because the problem was only in the interview shot and could have easily been corrected. Overall, I think our practice story came out pretty good and I think we were definitely able to prove that we have the ability to make a decent news story.

ALD 6.1: Anticipate potential health and wellness concerns while operating computing devices in order to enhance workplace safety.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Interview Composition

As our next project is making Hiki No stories, we are doing a lot of reviewing about interview composition and how to conduct a successful interview. So here are some things that are helpful to have when conducting an interview. 

A host or reporter shot usually has the reporter in the center of the frame and looking directly at the camera whereas, in an interview shot, the interviewee should never be looking at the camera. In both types of shots you would need to be very conscious of the background. An interview shot should not have the subject placed up against a wall or a flat surface as it, in most cases, is not relevant to the story and is not visually pleasing. The shot should be in a place where the background has something to do with the story. For example, if the story is about a teacher, you could shoot the interviewee in a classroom. In addition to these things, the background is usually compressed and the shot is focused on the interviewee. To achieve a compressed background, you would need to be zoomed in to at least fifty-five millimeters. That just ensures that the background is going to be blurred out. 

Another thing essential to the interview shot is using the rule of thirds. The interviewee is placed in one third of the shot and is looking off the frame. They should be have a reasonable amount of look room, which is the space between the interviewee and the end of the frame. The interviewer and the interviewee should be placed directly across each other at eye level with one another, in a comfortable position for both of them. From there the camera is set up so only the interviewee is in the frame, with the correct interview composition.

Shooting a successful interview involves a lot of different elements. I think it involves being a good director, making the interviewee comfortable, recording high quality audio, getting a good shot, and asking follow up questions. Out of these things, the first thing to do would be to make sure the interviewee is comfortable. After that is done you can proceed with the shooting aspect of the interview. As you set up the camera, as stated before, it is very important to have good interview composition. Once a good shot is established, it would then be time to test the audio, and following this you are pretty much set to start the interview. During the interview, it would be beneficial to listen carefully and come up with follow up questions to really dig deep and get good sound bites for the story. To make the overall interview process easier, I would say that one would just need to be fully prepared for the interview, so that there is a better chance that everything will go smoothly.
Do not leave too much headroom

Part of the background is overexposed
This image is leaning more towards a profile shot

ALD 5.1 Design a targeted digital media message or concept that addresses the needs of a client.
ALD 5.2 Plan and construct a digital media product from budgeted resources that addresses client needs.
ALD 5.3 Assess the collaborative process for its impact on the design, planning, and production of a digital media product.

PBA Performance Task

As our final project for this class, we are doing a project based assessment (PBA). A PBA can count towards CTE Honors when I graduate. ...