Remediating Theory Rationale

The final project is a remediation and demonstration the understanding of Scott McCloud’s comic theory through a transition from the real life video to the traditional comic strips. We would like to remediate the main point of McCloud’s theory, the transition from real to iconic abstraction. Therefore, we firstly shoot the video of our live conversation at the coffee shop, transformed the first live video scenes to the milder form of comic tropes by applying Facebook app called ‘Bitstrips’, and lastly employed simpler and more animated versions of ourselves. Since we thought that comics are highly visual, we chose to use the film method to remediate McCloud’s theory. We thought film would be better starting point to illustrate our main point than podcast, graffiti and other ways.

For the film part, we went to the union basement and shoot the wide shot of us standing in line and discussing some ideas for our remediating theory project. An iPhone was our primary means of capturing our live footage. In the beginning part of the film, I suggested an idea of transition from real to iconic abstraction by introducing app ‘Bitstrips’. When I introduce Bitstrips to Michael and Andrew, the close up scene of Bitstrips app on my laptop comes up and my voiceover for explaining Bitstrips. We then took those stories and transform them into comics by making our own avatars for Bitstrips. According to the comic theory of McCloud, when we abstract an image through cartooning, we are not so much eliminating details as we are focusing on specific details (McCloud, 30). It was really important part of our transition because we wanted to show that simplification does mean something essential; that is, we can amplify the meaning in a way that realistic life cannot show. Also, the music played in this stage was really powerful so it helped translate Bitstrips images more lively. The third stage of our transition is line drawn animation. We tried to emphasize that our images reduced to the most important details. During this stage, our Bitstrips avatars become simpler images by line drawing and they transform to whatever they said. As long as they keep tracking and identifying themselves, the different forms of them can be easily following. Details became more abstracted and even the live audio was replaced with comic style speech bubbles with texts. I liked really much of the speech bubbles because they hugely help make our scenes more comic and animation like. Lastly, we come back to live action video part to show how we feel about the experience of getting into Bitstrips images and simple line drawing images of ourselves.

I think we did nicely on showing the stories from the real abstraction to more comics and then to more iconic abstraction in order to illustrate the shift between real and iconic features. Also, our plan of keeping the scenes simple worked well for us much easier to make the subtle transition to cartoon iconography. I think that the most important word of our project is that we are not necessarily losing details from the video as much as we are trying to focus on specific details of each scene. I think we had a creative and entertaining account of McCloud’s comic theory. 

Advertisements

Video Editing Rationale

For the video editing project, my group decided to take a lot of video footage of Kevin Roche who is one of my group members. We tried to make a story of college student’s two different life styles.

Our smaller group, Michael and I liked to provide a video representing about a student who was originally good and straight but fell into a bad student when he started to drink with a bad crew. Our goal with this video project was to make class mates more aware of the bad influence of alcohol. The interesting point of this project is that we represent our video in two different ways while using mostly the same footages. When I reminded Hampe’s article stating that sound, music and narration can help support a film and help the audience interpret it, I decided to use all of these functions to differentiate clearly from another group’s. Hampe also stated that only a small fraction of the footage makes the final cut which means that I have to cut and edit the parts where nothing happens. Therefore, we eliminate a lot of footage to make more concise and clear piece that can be easily understood by audiences. It helped our piece be more simple and easier to watch.

We also tried to focus on arranging order of footages in order to make difference from another group that we could easily show how easily the main story of two videos can be changed. The footage was mainly composed of Kevin’s daily routine in the campus including sleeping, studying, and hanging around with friends around the campus. Michael and I decided to remediate the concept of 1950’s public service announcement so we reviewed related videos on YouTube. We firstly edited all footages into a black and white view and found the font style which is closer to what is used in 1950s. Even though Michael and I have never used the video editing program before, we could easily master of using most of its functions including slow motion, filtering, sound effect, repeating and adjusting the speed of footage. We also had a voice over of Michael because his voice sounds really similar to the voice we hear from the 1950’s public service announcement. The narration helps a lot for understanding this piece and provides the humor by adjusting his tone waggishly. The background music is really well matched too. The first half of our piece represents when Kevin was a really good student so we decided to play bright and positive melody. It really seems that Kevin enjoys his school life. We actually changed his name to Billy in this video because it feels more appropriate. I do not know why exactly but yeah it feels more familiar. The second half shows the bad influence of consuming alcohol. The background music at this time plays in depressed and gloomy way. Billy’s life also becomes disorder and dropped out of his good school life. I really love how Billy’s life can be differently shown by playing different music, font style, tone of narration, and rearranging footage order. I hope everyone gets a lesson from the perils of alcohol and do not follow what Billy did in our video.

This video editing project also became my great experience. I had no idea how to edit my video at the beginning. However, Windows Movie Maker was even easier to use than I worried before and it offered so much functions that allowed me to become a professional editor. At least, I personally felt that I was being professional. Michael and I both are really happy with the result of our piece. Next time, I believe I can provide a much better one without any one’s help. 

Film Editing Analysis

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCy5WQ9S4c0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSjUZfNYIfc

I found two official trailers for the film, ‘Titanic’ I saw when I was eight. Each trailer has different way to sum up the movie attractively. Both trailers just reminded me of my feelings for the movie. This movie was about a romantic disaster with shipwrecks including a fictional tale of a poor man and a rich woman who meet on the ship. The first trailer is about 4 minutes and the second one is about 2 minutes. The first trailer is longer so it contains more fundamental stories about how the movie starts. I tried to consider what my impression of the film might be if I were not already familiar with this trailer. I think that being familiar with the trailer will increase my impression of the film because this trailer just made me to think about how the story will be made. The second trailer is shorter one and it uses narration at the beginning of the trailer. It gives brief information about how the movie starts, instead of containing one minute long scene for explaining how the movie starts.  Both trailers focus on two main characters, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet who are the loved ones in this movie. Both trailers are spectacular enough to encourage viewers to watch this movie right away. Also, the soundtrack for this movie was really sensational when the movie came out to the world so the background music for the trailer also built up the story. The different kinds of music were used in different parts of the trailers. At the beginning of the trailer, it shows the magnificent view of the Titanic with grand music which is matched nicely. It also increases its tension with increasing the speed of the music. I think that the first trailer really made me to think that I just watched Titanic in 4 minutes. However, it will not give the same feeling to people who have not seen Titanic because the important plot of this movie can be found only in the whole movie. If the trailer gives all the important plots of the movie to viewers not yet watched, they will just end up their interest by watching the trailer, not watching the whole movie. The second trailer was 2 minutes long which is very short so it really focused on two main characters’ love in a tragic situation. Therefore, I think that the first trailer’s degree of completion was higher than the second one.

If the opportunity for re-cutting these trailers is given, I would approach differently in some parts. For the first trailer, I would take away the part that the old Kate Winslet’s flashback because I think it is unnecessary for the trailer. I personally think the main point of Titanic should be the romantic and tragic relationship between DiCaprio and Winslet and the spectacular feature of the ship, Titanic. Therefore, I would focus more on the spectacular scene of the movie and the romantic line between two main characters. These days, people are easily fascinated by fancy and splendid features of the movie and the story line. Therefore, I would like to focus more on them to attract more viewers. For the second trailer, I would take away the narration part and instead show Titanic’s grandiosity and play grandiose soundtrack longer at the beginning. All the music played in this movie are still memorable and whenever I listen that music, I can remind this movie and its story too. I would like to eliminate the unnecessary parts of the trailer and focus more on the spectacular features of the Titanic to attract more viewers. If my job is to make trailers, I will focus mostly on grabbing more viewers’ attention.

 

Visual Evidence

  1. In the article, Hampe strongly stressed the importance of the visual evidence. He mentioned that narration or other sounds in the documentaries can provide better interpretation of the piece but cannot be replaced to or more effective than the visual evidence. Do you agree with his idea or not?  Which one do you think more important in making documentaries?
  2. There are two different video genres such as documentaries and fiction films. Based on this article, which one do you prefer? Are there any noticeable differences between them?
  3. There are so many advanced technologies in the modern documentation. Recent computer and digital technologies can provide images of everything, making unreal images. Besides these modern technologies, what others do you think important in making documentaries? Skills of taking shots, narrations, good stories, etc…

Podcast

Podcast Rationale

I have been frequently asked “how was your military life?”, “how did your service in military change you?” and other questions about military service in Korea. For my podcast project, I wanted to share my military life in a short story; however, it was really hard to sum up 2 years of military service in about 5 minutes long. Therefore, I chose to give more detailed information and share some episodes that are fresh enough to grab attention.

The script starts with my brief introduction and followed by the current law statement about military service in Korea, a training process, a different length of each branch, two representative episodes of Korean entertainers, rare cases of exemption from military service, and my final thought about military life I served. For the story’s diversity, I added specific episodes of Korean entertainers who tried to evade the draft and were finally punished. For the part of rare cases of exemption from military service, I wrote my friends’ anecdotes. I used Korean entertainers’ episodes of not wanting to be drafted to arouse sympathy from audiences. It represented my own feelings and states of mind right before entering the army. Using friends’ anecdotes was intended to make audiences laugh. I thought my friends’ effort gaining weight to be exempted from military was an interesting story.

The first task of my podcast was creating the script I want to talk about. I wrote down the script and read aloud it with measuring time. The script should be more conversational style, not a formal essay to be read. Therefore, I tried hard to sound more natural not just reading it. I also paid attention to my reading pace to make it close to five minutes. After I finished typing my script close to five minutes long, I tried to record my reading of the script and I listened with my friends. Everyone and I felt that the story sounded too weak. Therefore, I tried to adjust my tone and speed to be heard more clearly; however, the script even after the modification was still sounded weak and not really impressive. In Shipka’s reading, Val Musolf explained how place could be boring. She mentioned the government room and said “this place did not have any music because it was supposed to be dull… because there was no background music; there was not a possibility of trying to entertain oneself.” To avoid this happening in a podcast project; I started to think of impressive ways to use background music.

I chose to play two songs that I liked to listen a lot. I used the intro music from Kanye West’s ‘Jesus Walks’ to grab my audiences’ attention and used the background music from Acoustic Café’s ‘Long Long Ago.’ Heidi McKee stated, “of all the elements of a soundtrack, perhaps music is the one with which most people are familiar, particularly the use of music to establish tone and atmosphere and the music we listen to is shaped by and shaping of our moods.” I thought that the beginning of the podcast should grab my classmates’ attention so I chose Kanye’s famous music Jesus Walks which can be familiar with a lot of people. This song starts with a man’s shout followed by the sound of crowd who are chained. The sound of chain represents well enough about the military service. I tried to use this music to describe people who are being drafted and I thought it worked really well. After about 10 seconds of intro music to grab attention enough, I played Acoustic Café’s soft jazz for the background music to convey my story more conveniently and smoothly. I think these songs are successfully added to my script.

I am so happy to finish my third big project. I was not able to become a perfect speaker with fluent conversational tone, but the first experience of using my voice as a main tool for the project was really interesting and successful to me.

 

 

Sound Engineering Questions

1. In the article, students were asked to correct or redo their works. Do you think is it more beneficial to educate them how to use a multimodal approach in this case? If yes, how does it improve their works? so are they responsible to use this approach for their works? If yes, the original way of teaching students should be changed? What is the core importance of using a multimodal approach?

 

2. If there are only two methods of creating projects such as a text-based project and a sound-based project, which one do you prefer to create your own project? If you can mix or use two methods at the same time, how do you expect your project’s result? will be better or not?

 

3. If an opportunity to use sound is given, how would you use it to your projects that you have made so far? Do you believe the use of sound can make your projects better or not? There are some characteristics of the sound such as volume, pace, rhythm, tone and so forth… how do you manage these characteristics on your projects? 

 

Sound in Multimodal Webtexts

I chose two poems including Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries’ “The Last Day Of Betty Nkomo” and Robert Kendall’s “Faith” that were the most interesting two poems I saw. The rhetorical impact of sound in each piece has different result. The first reaction when I saw “The Last Day of Betty Nkomo” was simple but strong. Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries only used black and white for the text for visually simple but the text was combined with jazzy and different language sounds. The text and music was rapidly paced however the text and music was synchronized so I could really concentrate on this piece. I think that the most impressive part of this piece was that the rapid language spoken and music slowed down and finally became silent at the end of the piece for showing Betty Nkomo’s last day.

The second poem I chose was Robert Kendall’s “Faith”. This piece was kind of pretty and soft pace that I loved to follow. The text was appearing and fading to change the whole meaning of the sentences. I could remember the sentence “logic can’t bend this” which was appeared at the beginning. I thought that this sentence could be a good summary of the topic, faith. Kendall tried to stress that logic cannot replace faith. The word “leap” was also really impressive that it really leaped out at the center of screen at the end of the piece. I think he tried to emphasize the leap that people take with faith. Finally, when I click next on this piece, the word “faith” falls down to the screen. The last sentence “just to sum up: Faith” left and I was impressed once more that this piece was really short but pretty sound effect and thoughtful sentence can grab my attention enough. I would like to use these poems to develop my story telling better in the future.