Category: DS106 Assignments

December 9th, 2015 by admin

Kaito and Aoko may have only known each other for the past two years, but they had already formed a close bond through their friendship. It didn’t hurt that they were also next-door neighbors, and that Aoko’s father, Inspector Ginzo Nakamori of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, knew a thing or two about responsibility. That can’t be said of one’s offspring, however, as they would all find out one night, when a “family game night” turned into a fight for one child’s life.

Kaito Kuroba, Age Seven

Aoko was excited to have won a game of Cluedo for the first time, after successfully guessing that Miss Scarlett stabbed Dr. Black to death, using a dagger she found in the mansion’s library. Kaito, himself, was just happy to see Aoko smile for once, considering that last week’s outing, in which they got to see a magic show starring his father, Toichi Kuroba, nearly resulted in him and Aoko ruining it with what was, in retrospect, a really petty argument. Luckily, Toichi calmed Kaito down by letting him spend some time after the performance to watch his dad play some Texas hold ’em, before teaching him one of the finer points of stage magic: the use of the “Poker Face,” which allows magicians to keep their emotions inside them, to make themselves seem stronger than they usually are in front of an audience. Little did anyone know that this conversation came in handy sooner than expected.

After the mystery was solved, Ginzo told the kids to get ready for bed; they agreed, and made the long journey to the upstairs bedrooms of the Nakamori estate. Before they got to the room they would share for the night, Aoko noticed a glimmering light emanating from her father’s bedroom. She turned on a dime, and headed straight for the dresser mirror, noticing the glow underneath it. Upon further inspection, Aoko noticed that the object was a carrying case, which someone left wide open for anybody, including her father, to retrieve whatever was inside it, which seemed to resemble the image of the revolver from one of the weapon cards she saw during Cluedo that night.

The Inspector's Bedroom
DESIGNCEPTION

Curious, Aoko picked up the revolver and took it to her bedroom, believing her father would know what a gun was doing in a police officer’s bedroom, especially in a nation where next to no guns were allowed whatsoever. Entering her bedroom, just as Kaito had put on his night clothes, Aoko tugged at one of Ginzo’s pant legs to get his attention, before telling him about the gun she found on his dresser, showing it to him in the process. Ginzo, shocked at this inadvertent reminder of his daughter’s to keep the carrying case to his revolver locked at all times, yelled at Aoko to return the gun to the case immediately. This, in turn, left Aoko in her own state of fright, as she had never seen her father act this way before. It was during a second round of shouting matches that Aoko would make the biggest mistake of her life up to that point: Her finger on the revolver’s trigger, she looked to aim at her father out of self-defense, fearing that the worst was yet to come from him. Ginzo, however, saw past this and tried to forcibly slap the gun out of Aoko’s hand. The only problem with that is that not only did Aoko’s grip on the gun tighten as a result, said grip caused it to go off. Kaito, not wanting to see either his friend or her father get hurt, ran as fast as his seven-year-old body could possibly go, and jumped in front of the bullet, hitting the ground limping.


From a distance, Tokyo residents heard a sound that wouldn’t have seemed out of place in screenings of the House movie from a few months ago, as Aoko screamed at the sight of the bloodstain on Kaito’s shirt, and of the gaping wound in his chest, slug and all. Kaito, while equally as stunned as the Nakamoris were of this turn of events, used the “Poker Face” to great effect, making sure to keep calm, and continue to take deep breaths, until the ambulance arrived. Ginzo told Aoko to make sure things didn’t worsen for Kaito, while he contacted the hospital. Authorities arrived minutes later to make sure the retrieval of the slug and the subsequent recovery were both done as safely as possible, even if that meant they had to keep Kaito in the local hospital overnight in order to do so. While there, Kaito was given several “get well soon” cards from classmates, including Aoko, and even got another visit from both his parents, who were thankful that the damage wasn’t too much for their son to handle, especially at his age.

Create a Crime Scene

As for Kaito, he was eventually released from the hospital on a clean bill of health within a week of the incident, despite the scar that had now formed where the wound was. Kaito was grateful that he had friends and family who cared for him during these troubling times, and the lessons his father gave him regarding his “Poker Face” worked wonders throughout the recovery process, allowing him to show no fear during something that would traumatize most kids for the rest of their lives. While Kaito was thankful for having survived everything – the resulting throngs of crowds welcoming him back to school was a personal highlight of his – he couldn’t shake off the feeling that, when Aoko first asked her father about why he needed a gun now, when he didn’t need to before, she was making a point. Kaito never wanted to admit it, especially with his whole life in front of him, but between his father’s impromptu magic lesson, and this controversial moment, he was starting to suspect that his life was about to change very soon, and that it wouldn’t be for all of the right reasons.

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November 26th, 2015 by admin

Original Assignment
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, created by Stephanie Englman
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Quite often we see pictures on different social media outlets. They are funny, awkward, or beautifully portrayed moments but we don’t know what led up to that point in time. Your task for this assignment is to find a picture and write a background or short story for it. It can be a photo you took yourself or found on the internet. This story could be based on a true event if the picture is from your personal collection, or completely made up if you are using a funny picture you found online. Be sure to tag it properly!

Remix Card: “Cancer Sucks”
You’d have to look long and hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched by cancer. Patients, survivors, family, friends, role models. For me, I’m pretty attached to my breasts, but I don’t want to die for them. Take an assignment and give it a cancer awareness message. Make it a general cancer sucks message or pick a specific cancer close to your heart and create a way to convince others to get screened, raise money, or simply support the cause. Save the ta-ta’s or save a life. Spread the word.

Tate

One of the key assignments for this particular grading period is how well we tell a story using a “remix.” In this case, I had to choose a photo from another person’s site regarding the original assignment, “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words,” and try to promote a cancer awareness message with a story involving it. Unfortunately, I can’t really do that, given the seriousness that comes with the theme of this particular remix, especially one that hits as close to home as it does now. However, now seems to be the right time to try, because by the time this post goes to press, families across America will have celebrated all of the things they are thankful for in their lives, as part of the annual holiday tradition of Thanksgiving. With that in mind, I can safely say that I’m thankful for my grandmother, Alice, who survived her most recent cancer scare earlier this year.

This is actually the second time that my grandmother, who I’ve affectionately called “Grandma Fella” since I was young, has been sent to the hospital for cancer treatment in my lifetime, the first occurring around the time I started kindergarten. Either way, it still broke my heart to see another of my relatives end up bedridden, after losing one of my grandfathers, Isaac, to Alzheimer’s shortly after I turned thirteen, and my other grandmother, Hazel, to natural causes in February of 2014.

The truth is, I know what the madman in the brown coat meant when he said that he didn’t want to go. I know what the nameless narrator meant when he prayed that his wife wouldn’t have to go, and what the woman with the heart of the ocean meant when she told a homeless man that she wouldn’t let go. Alice, if you’re reading this, I just wanted you to know, right now, that I will never let go.

This is to honor my wonderful grandparents, both those who have passed on and those that are still with us. The picture I sampled, of the character of Tate from the first season of American Horror Story prior to a high school shooting that he was a part of, is from a previous assignment by Brittany Raze entitled “The Noble War.” The picture may be taken out of context from the episode it was spliced from, but the fact of the matter still stands: Be it in realms of fiction, or the greatest story ever told – that of real life, as it occurs – nobody likes death. They hate it now, they hated it back then, and honestly, I thank the doctors for keeping health care debates out of the emergency room.

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November 24th, 2015 by admin

This assignment in pretty simple, yet very powerful. Mash-up your own work! Take at least 3 things you’ve done this semester, and combine them together to make one cohesive thing.

My third and final mashup assignment for this grading period is worth four stars exactly at the time that this post goes up. Entitled “Mash Thyself, Before Ye Trash Thyself,” my entry for this challenge consists of five separate audio clips created over the course of this semester. The clips in question are my article on wedding rings; my “Egyptian” bumper; my “Trump Nektar” commercial; a second ad, which updates the “How Many Licks” ad campaign that immortalized Tootsie Roll Pops in the eyes of kids for 45 years now; and a second article – on dentures and dental implants – cobbled together from the recordings I sent to my teammates during that particular grading period.

As for the story of this remix, it’s a makeshift episode of the Wacky History podcast I wrote a portion of the script for, as part of my mid-term exam for DS106. Basically, I wanted to provide an abridged version of the podcast I was a part of, the way I, for the most part, originally envisioned it. The first half of my “minisode,” on wedding rings, remains untouched, as are most of the clips in this remix; in fact, the only real edit I make here is cutting my short monologue on dental implants to make room for the unedited George Washington follow-up, before closing both the segment and the entire “podcast” with the remaining audio from the aforementioned “Implants” portion.

With regards to scheduling, the “minisode” opens with my segment on wedding rings, before cutting to a “commercial break” consisting of my “How Many Licks” parody, followed by “Trump Nektar;” we then hear the “Egyptian” bumper before completing the abridged podcast with a segment on dentures and dental implants. Once again, I basically took old footage from this last semester, and spliced them together using Audacity to make this “minisode,” mostly by aligning the various tracks so they all start the second the previous one stops, but also by cutting out any excess footage to make the final product run as smoothly as possible, something that was especially true when I edited my segment on dentures.

This mashup was made with the central goal of showing my intentions for the mid-term – providing listeners with the zany backstories of household objects – as well as showing how versatile I can be in terms of editing, as the audio goes from Radiolab in the first half of the podcast to This American Life in the second. Overall, the sudden shift in tone definitely provides a feeling of unpredictability within the podcast, as everything in life, including history, can and will be unpredictable.

This project, as bizarre as it is, is an experiment on two different styles of editing, to see which one worked better for me, and to make a long story short, I think I like both. This is essentially a split of personalities for me: I tend to keep things straight and narrow for dentures and implants, and I give my listeners twists and turns for wedding rings. The final product is a work of modern abstract art, something that really has to be seen – or heard – just to be believed.

As always, once I was satisfied with what I had, I saved everything the way it was, exported it as its own MP3 file, and uploaded it onto my SoundCloud account, for a total of twelve stars this grading period.

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November 22nd, 2015 by admin

Make your own song using other lyrics. Complete this assignment by combining the lyrics from at least 5 different songs in order to make a song with flowing lyrics. This song should be at least 2 minutes long.

My next mashup assignment was my toughest one to date, worth four-and-a-half stars at the time of selection. Since this was yet another case of a task that’s exactly what it says on the tin, I decided to go for an a cappella number. For those of you that called yourselves “Gleeks” during the first half of this decade, you can probably understand what that term means; for those that didn’t, I basically had to sing my lyrics without any instrumental accompaniment of any kind – only my voice, and nothing else, could be carried over to the final project.

I also decided to push myself further, and do everything in one take, much like my infamous “One-Man Play” from earlier this semester, and use a form of storytelling that wasn’t used in a song before. Since Bob Dylan just left the verses out of order when he recorded “Tangled Up in Blue,” it meant that I had to pull off an illusion previously used by the likes of Christopher Nolan and Jason Robert Brown.

In both Nolan’s 2000 film, Memento, and Brown’s 2001 musical, The Last Five Years, the central storytelling mechanic was that half of the story was told from beginning-to-middle, going forwards in time, and the other half was told from end-to-middle, going backwards. For this story, I went with a street performer being increasingly heckled by rowdy patrons in the first half, and the performer getting his revenge on the perpetrators in a violent bar fight in the second, with the point where the two acts intersect being when the performer locks the door to the bar, so that the hecklers can’t escape.

The songs I chose were a mix of classic rock and country music, including “Who Are You” by The Who; “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash; “We Will Rock You” by Queen; “Hypnotize” by System of a Down; “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers; and “The Stranger” by Billy Joel.

After finding the lyrics I needed, and setting them up for the desired effect – a key example of this was reversing the order of the verses sampled from “Hypnotize” and “Coward of the County” to raise tension for when the door was locked – I recorded everything in one take, saved it as it was, and uploaded it to my SoundCloud account.

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November 21st, 2015 by admin

You’ve probably seen those videos where people take a photo of themselves every day for a year or seven years or some crazy length of time. Make a DS106 version! Take a photo of yourself every day for a week (7 days, 5 if you’re lazy), and put them into a video. Try to make your face line up in the video for a seamless transition.

“A Week in Five Frames,” my first official foray into the world of mashups, is an example of “A Picture A Day,” which is exactly what it says on the tin. After taking five photographs of myself from November 16-20, I edited them together to make a seven-second video, where every frame, including the opening and closing credits, lasted for precisely one second, and no longer. Thankfully, the pictures I chose kept a specific theme of moving the camera slightly, while my eyes still kept their focus on the lens as it moved. Since some of the assignments we’re allowed to take part in include recycling old footage, I decided to use the drumroll intro from my Morse Code Challenge as the basic theme for my video. The timing of the cymbal crash, with the final photo’s reveal, makes everything worth it for me on that front. The illusion of the camera moving while the shots are counted off was also my idea, as it really felt like a stop-motion version of a home movie, with the pan-and-scan “effect” coming along nicely, to say nothing of having the eyes stay focused on the lens at all times, like a modern-day Mona Lisa. After the editing process was completed, I saved it on Windows Live Movie Maker, and uploaded it onto my YouTube channel, for three-and-a-half stars.

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November 16th, 2015 by admin

The biggest test of my editing skills to date has come and gone, as today, I premiered my “Five-Word Book Club” segment as part of DS106. Inspired by the “Five-Second Movies” of Doug Walker and, by extension, yours truly, my final video assignment for this grading period is an abridged parody of Internet review shows in general, as I summarize three classic books or plays – all in the public domain, as of press time – for the audience’s viewing pleasure. As for the reason why I started this post by describing this video, and not the challenge it was based on, that can be summed up with what the challenge itself, worth five stars toward our final score for these two weeks, was. As pointed out in the assignment bank, the challenge was doing the following:

Have a conversation with yourself! Film yourself talking, then change clothes, hair styles, etc., and then film the other half of the convo. Edit this in any movie editor program (I used Pinnacle movie maker) To overlap the two scenes so that you are talking to yourself! Play around, to figure out the most efficient way! Also, timing is everything in this! Make sure when talking to leave breaks for your other self to respond!

The shots were done in one take on my iPhone, with the only real costume change being my choice of shirts. The script focused on a one-minute episode of the show, in which I “reviewed” Robert W. Chambers’ horror anthology, The King in Yellow; Romeo and Juliet, the timeless tragedy from William Shakespeare’s First Folio; and George Barr McCutcheon’s comedy of capitalism, and the subsequent errors thereof, Brewster’s Millions.

Pre-production started – by which I mean, the script was typed – a day in advance of filming, and the editing process was quick and painless, or as much as you could imagine it to be. Since Windows Live Movie Maker didn’t include a function where you can seamlessly splice two videos together, I settled for the next best thing, and downloaded VideoPad by NCH Software for my editing purposes.

Once I had uploaded the footage onto my computer, I watched through the available footage on VideoPad, looking out for any moments of silence I could cut out, so that the story was told in a much more effective manner. Alternating between the two videotaped versions of me, I completed the set hours ahead of schedule, making sure to save everything as its own MP4 file when I closed up shop.

From there, I added in the usual set of opening and closing credits on Movie Maker, complete with the “Sabre Dance” from Gayane playing in the background. After that, I saved everything in full, and uploaded the final product onto my YouTube account, to wrap everything up for these two weeks.

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Posted in Digital Storytelling (#ds106), DS106 Assignments Tagged with: , ,

November 12th, 2015 by admin

Having already earned eighteen stars in the form of my last four challenges, this last one does seem rather pointless in retrospect. Then again, both this and my mandatory assignment are all that’s left to do before Kyosuke’s birthday this Sunday, and the latter is also going to be the toughest task I’ve had so far, as I attempt to pull off a visual trick worthy of David Copperfield in his prime. With that in mind, I would like to present to you my warm-up act for this weekend’s proceedings.

Create a supercut montage of overused dialogue, themes, motifs, film-making techniques, etc. for a particular character, TV show, film, and/or public figure. A supercut is a “fast-paced montage of short video clips that obsessively isolates a single element from its source, usually a word, phrase, or cliche from film and TV. Supercut.org collects every known example of the video remix meme.” For examples and descriptions of supercuts visit:

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/supercut
http://supercut.org/

It was during a visit to the latter site on this Video Assignment post that I saw the inspiration for my penultimate bit of editing this week, as someone managed to find all of the times in the first thirty episodes of the animated series, Darkwing Duck, where a variation of DW’s signature entrance is used in one form or another. Naturally, the basis for my supercut would be the next thirty episodes of the show, at least according to when they aired as part of The Disney Afternoon in the early 1990s. Before I get things started, however, it should be noted that there is a reason why the “Supercut” challenge was worth five stars at the time I chose to do this particular task. That’s because the footage you’re about to witness at the end of this entry is the direct result of two whole days of trimming non-existent film reels, just so I could find more of the times Drake Mallard told anyone within earshot of him that he was “the terror that flaps in the night!”

For this particular task to work, I started by signing up with another website: KissCartoon, which focuses on Western animation, yet still allows users to download episodes for free, much like its sister site, KissAnime. After finding and saving all of the necessary files on my computer, the hard part kicked in, as I spent countless hours on Windows Live Movie Maker, finding and editing every last clip to the best of my ability. To help me find the clips faster, I decided to watch the separate episodes, while editing the footage, on my computer. As soon as I found the footage I needed while watching the footage, I would locate it on Movie Maker, split and splice accordingly – for no less an important reason than making the final product as presentable as possible – and delete any excess footage once the edits have been made. I kept everything in a chronological order, according to when each episode was put up on the site, and thus premiered on The Disney Afternoon. There is no background music playing this time around, as I wanted to keep everything intact for this piece.

After doing this for thirty episodes’ worth of material, despite the later revelation that some of the episodes I chose didn’t even have the phrase be said at all, I made my opening and closing credits using the closest color scheme possible to those of Darkwing’s signature domino mask – purple, with sky-blue for the eyes. As for the font, I settled with Showcard Gothic, since it seemed to be the most accurate of the choices I had, regarding a matching font for the show’s logo. The lynchpin of the entire piece was a post-credits stinger, from the episode, “Slime Okay, You’re Okay,” when DW’s sidekick, Launchpad, essentially tells his friend to “work on a shorter intro.” Once I was satisfied with the combined product, I saved everything as is, exported the footage to a separate file, and uploaded it to my YouTube channel to conclude my broadcast day.

To sum up, once I crossed the sixteen-star threshold, I felt like the only real challenge left was my mandatory assignment, which I’ll get to next. However, this one was my toughest assignment to date, and I think it may have been for the best. I now have a lot more respect for editors in general, and the movie industry as a whole, through a task that tried to help me identify one of the most prominent clichés in all of cinema, and for that, I couldn’t be more grateful. Overall, these twenty-three stars of mine were definitely well-earned, and now that all my efforts can be seen on both my YouTube and Vimeo accounts, it won’t take long to see why.

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Posted in Digital Storytelling (#ds106), DS106 Assignments Tagged with: , ,

November 11th, 2015 by admin

I actually turned in my fourth Video Assignment for the week on my YouTube account six minutes before midnight yesterday. This, more or less, explains why the date on the video is November 10th, instead of November 11th. However, since there’s one other project left for me to do before I can really put myself through virtual boot camp, it only seems right that I try to explain how The Modern-Day Midnight Rider was made.

The assignment in question, worth yet another four-and-a-half stars, is what’s referred to as a “selfie story,” which is exactly what it says on the tin – a short story that’s told entirely through the self-portraits that people make on their cameraphones. Considering how good my previous efforts were, with regards to editing, this looked to be one of my better performances on paper. To be more specific, I had to do the following:

Narrate a story using selfies. It can be any story you’d like (crazy night out, movie night with friends, just the average day, etc). You can use a combination of selfie clips or pictures, it is all up to you. Create a one-to-two-minute video montage of all the selfies to tell the story. Try adding music or effects to keep it interesting.

I took ten of these pictures the night of November 10th, 2015, on my way to and from that night’s Newsgathering class. Since Daylight Saving Time ended last week, we’ve basically entered the part of the calendar year where I’m essentially taking glorified night school lessons. This made my choice of song for this particular project all the more fitting, especially since my teacher for Newsgathering is also a fan of the band who plays it. As if the title alone didn’t give it away, the song playing in the background of this video is none other than “Midnight Rider” by The Allman Brothers Band, the same group behind the seminal Southern rock classic, “Ramblin’ Man,” as well as “Jessica,” the instrumental theme to the long-running BBC motoring show, Top Gear.

Editing everything together on Windows Live Movie Maker was rather tricky, especially the opening and closing credits, to the point that it sometimes felt like the mouse, alone, had a mind of its own. Even the pictures were rather tough to deal with, at least until I noticed two “rotate” icons that helped me straighten each of them out, one at a time, and all by hand. From there, I found another button, “AutoMovie,” that pre-selected a series of transitions and effects on my behalf. After a round of further edits, with some of the selections being switched out for others, I downloaded my copy of “Midnight Rider” from SaveClipBro.com; uploaded the MP3 onto Movie Maker, uncut and unedited; saved the entire product as is; and, along with your usual round of paperwork, uploaded everything onto YouTube, with less than six minutes to spare before the twelve o’clock deadline.

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November 9th, 2015 by admin

Create a short video – about one-and-a-half to two minutes long – that describes a character. Use about 3-5 short clips that describe the character’s personality, that portrays what they will be like in the story. Basically you are just taking a closer look at a character before you begin the story so the audience can get to know the characters better.

Make this fun, and interesting, create a story in your blog with this character.

This was, without a doubt, my favorite Video Assignment of the bunch, and while it does add another four-and-a-half stars to my total, I personally think it was worth the full five, if only because of the effort that went into this.

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For starters, I went to the Kiss Anime website, and looked up episodes of Kimagure Orange Road to base my video on. Once I logged on, I was given permission to download whatever episodes I needed, for free, by right-clicking the respective “480×360.mp4” links, and saving my findings on my computer’s hard drive, proper titles and all. To give myself more of a challenge, I only stuck with the original anime series – all forty-eight episodes – that aired from 1987 to 1988. That meant I couldn’t use any of the OVA footage from 1989 to 1991, much less anything from the two full-length movies released to theaters in 1988 and 1996, respectively.

albumkyosuke

The character I chose to focus on is the male lead, Kyosuke Kasuga. Kyosuke’s the oldest child, and only son, in a single-parent family who has had to move to a new town seven times in his life prior to the start of the series. The reason why they move is rather simple, to the point that it’s revealed in the first chapter of the manga and the first episode of the anime: Every member of Kyosuke’s family – on his mother’s side, at least – is an “esper,” meaning they have the ability to teleport, use telekinesis, and use their minds to do various activities, depending on the situation they’re in.

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Once my footage was uploaded, one by one, onto Windows Live Movie Maker, I had to wait several times over to cut the footage at the right time, not only to fit the time limit mentioned at the top of this post, but also to make sure I had enough material to tell a story with what I was able to get. By shear coincidence, the five clips I ultimately chose were all ordered by the release date of the episode they’re respectively found in: Kyosuke’s younger sister, Kurumi, sending him flying across the room with a cabinet was in Episode 1; the family conversation about Kyosuke’s indecisive nature was from Episode 25; Kyosuke’s daydream about his two friends, Hikaru Hiyama and Madoka Ayukawa, fighting it out for his affections was in Episode 32; Kyosuke using his esper abilities, known in series canon as “The Power,” to travel back to the morning before his classmates’ Christmas Eve party was in Episode 38; and the final sequence, where Kyosuke uses “The Power” to scare off a group of bullies harassing a younger Madoka and calling him an alien, was from Episode 47, the first half of the show’s two-part finale. The second half, Episode 48, was referenced in my “Five-Second Anime” tribute, when Kyosuke uses “The Power” to shatter a concrete wall that he was tied to.

The opening and closing credits – red lettering amongst a sky-blue background, was a minor nod to the second set of opening credits from the anime’s original run; this also provided a stronger case of continuity between the two projects, as I already used the first opening in my “Five-Second Anime.” The song that plays throughout the piece, however, has no connections to the franchise at all… well, almost no connections.

Its prompt rejection back then paved the way for the next series he conceived, “Kimagure Orange Road,” an instant success that came to be known as “the Bible for Japanese teenagers” throughout the 1980s.

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Between this, and the constant comparisons – in canon – between Kyosuke and Superman, I had to choose a song that summed up that revelation, en masse. Ultimately, I selected “Superstar,” the title track from Jesus Christ Superstar, to sum up the central gimmick for Kyosuke’s character development, in general, let alone the show as a whole: Although there might be someone among us with paranormal, and even god-like powers, this doesn’t change the fact that, to coin a fitting phrase, even immortals have mortal needs. While I did plan on having either Jay Laga’aia – Captain Typho from the Star Wars prequels – or Murray Head – the guy who went on to sing “One Night in Bangkok” for the Chess soundtrack – sing this one, I knew that there were no clips, involving either of them, that could be cut down to two minutes, at most. On the other hand, there were not one, not two, but eleven other people willing to perform it in their place: the finalists from ITV’s 2012 talent search, Superstar.

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After finding a clip of the fourth episode of the mini-series, that tried to find someone to play the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s UK arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, in which the newly-revealed finalists perform the title track of the musical, and the show, I uploaded the URL over to another website, SaveClipBro.com, which let me save the audio file in MP3 form. After that, I uploaded the file onto Audacity, cut out all but the necessary two minutes, saved everything, exported the audio as another MP3, uploaded that onto Windows Live Movie Maker to start the same time as my edited movie, save the combined product following some minor edits with the credits, uploaded everything onto my YouTube account, and completed my third official Assignment of this grading cycle.

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As for the story this tells, the scenes I selected represent individual character traits attributed to Kyosuke over the course of the franchise: He’s always caught in the crossfire whenever something goes down involving his family or friends; he’s indecisive to the point of being obsessive-compulsive; he doesn’t want to see any of his friends or family members get hurt, physically or emotionally; he isn’t afraid to break the family rules to keep anyone and everyone he knows, including himself, out of harm’s way; and finally, when he does have to resort to using “The Power” to keep his loved ones out of trouble, odds are the end result’s going to serve as quite the shock to those in the vicinity.

When you put them together, though, that’s when you see the maturity of Kyosuke Kasuga, from boy to man, in the vein of those Charles Atlas ads you used to see in magazines decades ago. Early episodes and chapters exposed him as nothing outside of a scrawny weakling, despite having countless superhuman abilities in the family bloodline. His developing friendships, and subsequent love triangle with Hikaru and Madoka, combined with the wacky hijinks triggered by the rest of his mother’s side of the family, allowed him to increasingly gain confidence in his abilities. It isn’t too long before their lives are directly threatened, by which point Kyosuke is now able to save them all, to great effect, by using “The Power” for self-defense. Overall, this was an exciting day for me, and with only two-and-a-half stars to collect, and two Assignments left to earn them, I’m thinking that things are only going to get better.

Posted in Digital Storytelling (#ds106), DS106 Assignments Tagged with: , ,

November 8th, 2015 by admin

I’m not too sure of this assignment myself, but with four-and-a-half stars at stake as of press time, I really need to speed things up for the big finish this time next week. So, for today’s task, I have to “strip or mute the music out of the modern music video,” and “layer the classical music on top.” To make a long story short, it’s Music Appreciation Day at DS106! Again, I might be grasping for straws, depending on what can properly be described as “modern” and what can not. However, I’ve got one week to turn this grading period around for the better, so it’s time for me to show – and tell – exactly how I’m going to do just that.

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This was a rather simplistic challenge, all things considered. For one thing, finding the necessary video and song to edit in time were both relatively easy, once you did a quick YouTube search of them. Specifically, I went with the music video for Fall Out Boy’s hit, “Uma Thurman,” and the finale of the “William Tell Overture,” which is also known as the theme to the Lone Ranger franchise. After that, I used a downloading site, SaveClipBro.com, to download one in WMV format, so I could edit it more effectively on Windows Live Movie Maker, and the other in MP3 format, so I could use Audacity to see what could be done to trim the fat, if it needed to be trimmed at all.

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From there, it was all over but the credits sequences, referencing the traditional music video credits on the bottom-left corner of the screen for the opener, and using the same cinematic roll-up as before as my closer. As an added bonus, I decided to have the song start again, from the beginning, right as Fall Out Boy’s “assistant for a day” entered a tank to run over a truck.

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The biggest problem of all, however, was which site I ultimately decided to upload to. While my use of the “William Tell Overture” finale was blocked in some countries – but not in the U.S. – according to YouTube, the fact that I used the entirety of one of the Universal Music Group’s videos in my entry was all it took to receive a copyright strike. My Vimeo account, on the other hand, was able to get my entry up and running, half an hour after I uploaded it onto their site.

While little effort was needed on my part, it was still one of the better experiences I’ve had at this point in the semester. I can only hope that things turn out just as well for me in the next seven days, as they have been in the last seven.

Posted in Digital Storytelling (#ds106), DS106 Assignments Tagged with: , ,

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