5 Seconds To Tell a Story

5 seconds can truly tell a story, but creating that story is the real challenge. This week was all focused on taking video and learning about the different utilities that can be used through this medium. To challenge our knowledge, we embarked on the 5-second video challenge which entailed groups of people to create two 5 second videos based off assigned secret words. Our group happened to have blue-tooth and stripes as our secret words. After doing the challenge, it taught us how to truly think outside the box and that creativity is the key to roping in the audience’s emotions.

When given our first word, blue-tooth, we had an interesting way of developing ideas. As soon as we broke up into groups, Emma, Lauren and I threw out potential ideas that we could utilize and then we were off into town to immediately record our ideas. Although on our way into town, more ideas started formulating including the fact that we could use a blue gummy and put it on our teeth to trying to get the public’s attention through the use of a blue-tooth headset. We had many ideas to implement but it still felt like the video was missing the comedic factor. As soon as we reached our destination and walked around the area, our idea instantly popped into place when we passed the pharmacy. Our final decision was to make blue-tooth a disease and ask the pharmacy desk worker if he had anything for “blue-tooth.” The desk worker acts confused and says “you mean one of those things you put in your ear?” and then the real suspense and comedic quality happens. Using an extreme-close up, another person comes into the scene and says “No! Blue Tooth!”Our group wanted to be creative and I feel that we accomplished the comedic effect as well. Going on location and walking around truly taught us that you can be inspired by anything.

With the second video, we kept with the comedic theme. Taking another walk around the grocery store, our second idea instantly formed when we reached the bread isle. One of the group members, as we were walking past the buns, said “nice buns” and that ultimately gave us the idea for our second video. Lauren would be innocently shopping in the bread isle when suddenly we go to a close up of a man saying “Mmm, dem bunz.” The next shot is of Lauren and the man both looking at the buns and the men goes in to grab a package although by using a medium shot it looks like he’s going to grab Lauren’s butt. Coming up with the secret word to go along with the video was the ultimate challenge mainly due to the fact that we didn’t want it to be too obvious. During the time of recording, Lauren was wearing a striped shirt and we took advantage of that by making our secret word “stripes.”

We chose to go off campus for both of our video’s mainly because it would give us a new setting to work from plus there would be more people to work around when recording each scene. Going to the Top’s supermarket in Penn Yan truly benefited us because going there gave us both props and more actor’s to work with. Our group knew that we wanted to go for the comedic effect for each video and generally disturbing the general public can be humorous but working off that idea we ended up having some people ultimately help us with creating each of the videos. I think that using a different setting than Keuka’s campus was helpful because it helped draw the audiences senses into where the videos were actually taken and was a familiar place that they could recognize.

I think the main difficulty that we had when it came to creating these videos was the potential ideas and keeping them in the five second time slot. We had so many great ideas but some of them would never fit into that time frame. Along with this we wanted to be creative with each of our videos so that gave us even more of a challenge when executing a final decision. After several trial and error efforts, we finally came up with both of our ideas and kept them within the time limit; thanks to the wonders of video editing software.

One thing that went well for our group was the setting. I think that our choice of going off campus and working within a grocery store helped us in many ways including the fact that we had many props to work with, we could choose from a variety of people to help us with our videos, and it was a completely different location from Keuka’s campus. We benefited well from what Top’s had to offer that evening. Another thing that went well for us was the group dynamic. I think that if the challenge was a single person challenge the videos wouldn’t be as creative and humorous.  Lauren, Emma and I worked well together as a group mainly because we accepted each other’s ideas and were open for critique because we had the same common goal.

As I stated before, I feel that working with only five seconds for a video was the true challenge that we faced. The group that I was in came up with many great ideas but we ultimately couldn’t use many of them because they were longer than the time limit. This caused some frustration within our group but we eventually made it work when we played around with the setting that we were in. I think that having the secret word benefited us mainly because it narrowed down the possibilities. Leaving something like this open ended could be even more challenging because it would be hard to discover a starting point and develop a creative idea.

Overall, I truly enjoyed participating in the 5-second video challenge and recommend it for future media classes to participate in. I think that doing the challenge can help students get out of their comfort zone and develop creative ideas by going out into the field rather than staying on campus to write an essay about a generic topic. With this, I also think that it teaches students to use their right side of their brain and gives them a break from interpreting things analytically all day. This activity was truly enjoyable and I hope that everyone has a chance to participate in such an activity when taking any media class.

Links To Videos:

Blue Tooth 

Dem Bunz

Twisted Self Portrait

image

When given the assignment to create a self portrait, I was at ease because of all the background that I have with multiple different forms of art. Although our teacher wasn’t going to let us out of class quick enough without a twist on the self portrait assignment. The guidelines that we were supposed to follow to complete our self portrait;

1. We could not be in our portrait

2. Things that we own could not be featured in the picture.

3. People that we knew could not be in the portrait as well.

After given these three simple rules to follow when engaging in the project at hand, we left our class completely stumped as to how each of us would represent ourselves without physically having things we own, our friends, family, and even ourselves in the portrait. Taking a week and a half to brainstorm what could possibly be a creative and new way to represent myself through a portrait, I got the idea of outlining myself on a chalkboard or a dry erase board in one of the classrooms in Hegeman or the library.

 After researching through Google images and Pinterest, the idea came to me to outline myself and to borrow note cards from my roommates to embark toward completing the portrait with a twist. I asked several of my classmates, friends, and collages to put their four favorite things about me onto brightly colored post it notes. These man

IMG_2465y nice sayings would fill in the outline that would eventually be created; these post it notes would represent me as a whole although aren’t thoughts or things that I own. Once I had gotten enough people to fill out note cards, I had my room mate, Devan Curtis, come and help me finalize the entire portrait. I explained to her what the guidelines had to be and then we got right to work. Devan, also having a creative background, outlined my upper body on a chalkboard and then helped me with drawing what I pictured to be the outcome of my self portrait. Having the thought and speaking bubbles were an important addition to the portrait to show the many note cards that describe some of my specific personality traits and good qualities that my friends think that I portray. Finally, Devan decided to add her own touch to the piece by putting swirls around the outline of me and the bubbles to represent my creative side as well as the volleyball and kitten that represents two of my favorite things in my life. In the end, I am proud of what my self portrait ended up looking like and in the beginning wasn’t expecting for the final result to be this creative and artistic.

Here are several other photos that represent my self portrait and have close up view of the post-it notes that were a major part of the picture:

IMG_2474

IMG_2469

IMG_2468

IMG_2466

Photo Challenge Opinion

Last week our digital storytelling class participated in what is called the “ultimate photo challenge.” Each of the class members pulled out a challenge from a hat and had an hour and a half to complete the task with the medium of photography. Equipped with our challenges and IPhones at hand; we were off to accomplish each of the tasks. The challenge that I had to accomplish was to take as many pictures as possible that represent love.  When going into the challenge, I ultimately learned that this was an entirely new learning experience. My classmates and I were unaware of how difficult some of the tasks were until we got out onto campus.

When finding as many things that represent love and displaying them in a photograph was a totally new thought process especially since I took it in two separate directions. The first way that I interpreted the task was that I was supposed to take several things that represented love for me including volleyball and reading although after taking another look at the task at hand I realized that there could be another outlook to the challenge. The second approach that I took when taking on these endeavors was taking photos of the motions and symbols that portray love which ranged from the American Sign Language symbol for “I love you” to two people giving each other appraisal through the act of a high five. This taught me that many things can be interpreted differently especially with such broad guidelines; the word love could mean anything to anyone especially when it comes to the international students. If someone else was to receive the same challenge as I did, then the pictures could ultimately turn out completely different from what my interpretation was.

There are many important lessons that were taught to both the class and I were through not only the aspect of photography but some tangible lessons that we can use in the business world. Several of my classmates and I decided that we learned several important things from this activity and a few of them included:

  • The aspect of thinking outside of the box; developing a creative picture that clearly represented the solution was a extreme challenge for many people among our class.
  • Having a creative balance but still accomplishing the challenge at hand.
  • Many people have multiple different interpretations when it comes to general topics including love and something borrowed.
  • Finding beauty in everyday items.
  • Opening yourself up to accomplish the challenge and get the photograph.
  • Photography is more than just an art form.
  • Evaluation of what’s in the picture and what’s behind the camera.
  • Having clear perceptions of your surroundings.

I feel that the ultimate photo challenge is a good way to get people outside of their comfort zone and to open their minds up creatively. Photography may have seemed like a simple art form to several of my classmates and I although after going through the entire process  many of us brought back important lessons that we could use in our future with both schooling and in our careers. For me thinking outside of the box is an important element that I need to master since I would ultimately like to go into advertising and working for their creative department. Being able to have a creative mind that stands out from the “clutter” of advertisements in magazines and commercials can be an advantage throughout this business. Being a part of the ultimate photo challenge truly taught me many important things and featuring the challenge in a classroom setting changes the pace of teaching. Many other students should be involved in this challenge ultimately due to the learning experiences and challenges that they go through to finish the task that they receive.

Net Neutrality: Should the Internet Be Regulated?

net neutrality1Our government has been in a heated debate over what is called net neutrality, what exactly is the issue at hand? Major cable companies including Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable are proposing that the Internet should be regulated and be a paid utility because of the 98 percent of broadband access they have acquired. While the Federal Communications Commission is against these broadband companies taking over the speed and accessibility of the Internet, they propose that net neutrality should be the ultimate decision in this issue. This states that the Internet should overall be free and equally accessible to small or large businesses, the lower to upper class societies, and the young to the old. Ultimately the restriction of the Internet is frowned upon by many large search engines and website including Google,

Yahoo!, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, and so many more because giving the Internet a price will lead their high viewer accessibility numbers into a hole since customers will ultimately refuse to pay for a once free utility.

When interviewing students and staff about the issue at hand, many people become frustrated with the entirety of the situation. Rachel E Dewey, communications specialist, and Chelsea Townsend, junior criminology

ropepullmajor, were outraged after hearing about the fact that there is an argument currently going on debating whether the Internet should be regulated and paid for or should everyone have free and equal access to this utility. Dewey, a former reporter, stated that jobs similar to hers could face inference if news from certain websites could not be picked up. Today, many reporters search for news leads or potential sources based on comments from “regular” citizens on Twitter, Facebook or other real-time social media sites.  “Citizen journalists may now be one of the most important entities when it comes to today’s news writing and broadcasts because they are the ‘little guys” providing input on the issues that are going on around the community.”  Without access to certain websites including independent blog forums, social media, or sites run by small non-profit groups, many news writers and anchors may not have the ability to get the views of the general public.  Anchors and news writers wont have the ability to get the views of the general public. Chelsea was extremely concerned with the issue. As a criminology major at Keuka, she said that without access to Google many of her assignments for her classes wouldn’t be accomplished. “Through my major Internet access is an important thing because we constantly use government websites. For white-collar crime I would be fucked.”

Although one question made several of my interviewees think about the other side of the issue based on net neutrality. When asked “Do you think United States citizens would benefit from the regulation of the Internet,” several of them set aside their frustrations and truly thought about the benefit of this. Reaghan Wirley, senior unified childhood major, stated that this could be a benefit because constant control over the access to certain Internet sites that children use wouldn’t have to be monitored so closely. There would be limited access to many websites that would feature porn or use graphic images because they would be restricted by the major cable companies. With this she added that this could be a stepping stone for the Internet because it could teach student what websites are credible for research and information. “No longer will student’s have to be confused on the information read on Wikipedia and other sites because the less credible sources will be restricted anyways. As a teacher this could be beneficial when it comes to teaching about researching using the Internet.” Large companies controlling the Internet with capital could have other benefits as well, Brett Williams, Keuka College’s digital media specialist, said “If the four major ISP companies continue to grow then the more technology and new products can be introduced into our society.” Even though several of the interviewees gave beneficial information based on the regulation of the Internet, they were still frustrated with the fact that a free entity like the Internet could cost money in the future depending on what the government issues.

“I am against the imagesissue of diminishing net neutrality. It’s the worst idea ever, next to Obama care,” stated Townsend. With the opinions of the interviewees, I feel that the idea of regulating the Internet should be ultimately avoided. Being a communications major with two minors in graphic design and marketing having this utility limited could ultimately slim down my potential career path. Having large broadband companies like Verizon and Time Warner Cable controlling the accessibility and speed of certain websites can potentially hurt small businesses ultimately limiting the access that they have for future customers. These businesses might not even have a chance to advertise to their consumers depending on the prices and rules based around the regulation. Their sites may run slowly and their customers may become frustrated; ultimately giving up on the companies services or products offered. Being interested in advertising, public relations, and marketing this issue could hurt college graduates. Without the advertising capabilities of a website accessible through the Internet, digital design students are at a loss since small companies are potential start-up career’s for these students.

With the issue of small businesses not having access to build a website to advertise to customers, many people and start-up companies could possibly not obtain enough capital to pay for not only the Internet but other important costs to keep a company running ranging from salaries to building usage. Aside from businesses, the lower and middle class citizens could cut the Internet usage out of their lives depending on the cost of the utility. Many people in these classes use the internet to access other mediums including television, newspapers, books, and plenty more to cut down on other costs. Having the Internet as another cost could leave these two classes without access to any media. These large corporations proposing that the Internet should be regulated are only looking for more revenue plus forget how it would affect the “little guys” throughout our society.

Personally, I am against Verizon, AT&T, and Time Warner Cables proposition to regulate the Internet. This is an issue that shouldn’t even be discussed by the government. The access to the Internet is important to people all over the world and limiting it could be a disastrous situation. Being a junior communications major, I couldn’t imagine my life without the access to CNN.com to independent news blogs. Without these essential websites my education about not only whats going on locally, nationally, and globally could be impaired but gaining knowledge through broadcast and news writing could be limited. Accessibility and speed of the Internet should refrain from being discussed by the government especially  because there are more important issues that could be covered including the decisions based on Obama Care and regaining the millions of layoff that happened due to the government shut down. Danielle Alred is pro net neutrality and will continue to be this way till the issue is ceased to be discussed.

Resources:

Informative Video Rachel E Dewey Suggested to Watch: http://www.upworthy.com/its-cute-that-they-thought-we-wouldnt-notice-them-trying-to-rip-us-off-10

The Ultimate Photo Challenge

To describe the goal of participating in the ultimate photo challenge I realized that having a central theme to an assignment through photography can be very difficult and participating in this teaches you to think creatively. Thinking outside of the box was a challenge for me when I received the challenge that I was to partake in. My guidelines were that I was to take pictures that represent love, as many as I could think of. Love could mean many different things, I took two approaches when thinking of things to capture. The first approach was taking pictures of things that I loved to do specifically and then the second approach was capturing symbols or physical motions that represent love. Overall I felt that there could have been more creative thinking involved in the process taken on when doing the challenge but being crunched for time truly disabled my abilities to think of love that was out of the box.

Image

Starting off with the first method that I used by taking pictures of things that represent love in my life, when I got the challenge I immediately thought of volleyball. This picture represents the one thing that I truly love and I am committed to in life. It really shows that when thinking of the word love that a sport instantly comes to my mind. I am truly passionate about participating in volleyball especially here at Keuka because of my team mates and coach.

ImageThe second picture that I captured that represents love in my life is the activity of reading because of the places that it ultimately takes me. When being engaged in a book can take you into a million different worlds never imagined before. I truly love reading and using my imagination to picture characters and scenes the way I would interpret them rather than watching a movie and already knowing what these aspects look like.

Image

The third picture that I took that represents what I truly love is a picture of the word “life.” I really enjoy what I am doing with my life and all the people that are involved in my life. Being involved in my major in the communications world, having a specific role on the volleyball team and various other clubs/activities on campus, and surrounding myself with overall positive people makes gives my life something to appreciate and look forward to everyday.

Image

For the second approach that I took through this challenge which includes the symbols and physical motions that represent love in the United States and other countries. I started out with acknowledging the several motions that many people in the United States recognize as the action of love. The first image captured is the idea of holding hands with a loved one. Many people in the United States that are in an a relationship with a significant other find this some physical attribute a sign of affection and love. This is a public way of showing that you love someone throughout the US and other international countries.

Image

The second picture that I captured is the hand symbol that translates into the world love in American Sign Language. I felt that this was a clear and very recognized symbol of love to many people. When communicating with many of my friend on Keuka’s campus, we use this sign as a symbol of departure with good intentions. Several of my girlfriends and I from a far will use this sign to show that we know of their presence and that we appreciate that they are in our lives.

Image

The third image that I captured is a symbol that many people in the United States and around the world know very well that represents love and this is a heart. When someone thinks of the shape of a heart, several words instantly come to mind most prominent of the words includes love. Learning about this symbol starts as early as preschool and knowing what it represents almost comes natural.

Image

The final image that I captured to represent love is the simple motion of giving a high five. Athletes and other may find this as a form of love when a job is done well or you receive a point during an important game. The act of giving a high five is simple but can be a positive thing for someones overall outlook on their day. During volleyball games, receiving one of these when either making a bad or good play can go a long way because it is encouraging and shows that your teammates really love and support you during critical points during a game. Even getting a high five due to a good grade or appreciating the same thing as a friend is a reassuring and fun way to show someone that you have love for their actions or personal opinions on television, food, celebrities, etc.

This challenge was a good thing to partake in ultimately because it took one subject and forced us to think outside the box to capture as many photos representing a certain characteristic. It shows that photographers and other artists experience hard work like this everyday to creatively show a character trait or other aspect through different mediums. I have a new appreciation for photography and the different representations of love through the actions taken during this challenge. When partaking in the specific guidelines that were chosen for me, I wish I could have had more time to brainstorm about other symbols and physical movements that represented love. Brainstorming could have a huge advantage in this challenge being more accurate and having more results. Overall I think this is something that everyone in a digital design, photography, or any art class should participate in since it truly helps with the creative process of getting ideas to represent one subject or characteristic.

“A Picture is Worth 1000 Words”

art

First, I have to explain why I chose this picture to “evaluate.” I have recently picked up a minor in graphic design and ever since elementary school; art has been a passion of mine. Any form of art helps clear my mind from all the stresses of school, friends, volleyball, and all the other daily encounters throughout life. Going through Pinterest, I found this image and I was immediately drawn to it because of several aspects including the fact that it shows that someone can be beautiful inside and out and not to judge anyone on their outside appearance. When looking at this image there are many things that come to mind including:

  • beauty
  • art
  • photography
  • model
  • drawing
  • inside and outside
  • digging deep
  • serenity
  • peaceful
  • torn apart
  • contrast
  • black and white
  • visual
  • appealing
  • ying yang
  • braid
  • young adult
  • modern
  • bold
  • eccentric
  • out of the box
  • different
  • hipster
  • creative
  • desirable
  • wanting
  • interesting
  • wonderment
  • destroyed
  • broken
  • pieces
  • longing
  • statement
  • colorless
  • skeleton
  • wild
  • lighting
  • shadow
  • fancy
  • elegant
  • autumn
  • warm
  • fragile
  • weak
  • scared
  • relaxing
  • museum
  • focus
  • concentrate
  • advertisement
  • visually appealing
  • sugar skulls
  • Day of the Dead
  • Mexican holiday
  • fashion
  • celebrating

When only looking at one image, you can truly tell that different people can see many different things. When talking to my roommates about the image that I chose, they had a completely opposite interpretation than I did. Art and pictures are a powerful thing that is taken for granted by society today. Appreciating simple art forms like this picture and many other pieces could ultimately save the creative culture that was once prominent in our world. A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Christmas Time Blues

Christmas Time Blues

Even though you may see just a pair of underwear when you immediately see this image, there is a precious story that comes to mind when it comes to this particular picture. My family has this huge Christmas tradition where we play this gift exchange game called the Chinese auction. In this game, every family brings wrapped presents for the amount of people in their family. These gifts can be completely random, useful, or have a meaning to them, for example one year I received a hot dog maker and another year I got scratch off tickets. This is a really special occasion for my family and we take it very seriously although one year my aunt proposed that to save a great amount of money that we do an auction where we exchange old items that have been used once or twice around the household. When I was told that the auction rules were going to change I was extremely upset. I called my aunt and told her that this was one of the worst ideas ever and that someone was going to ultimately bring a used pair of granny panties. Well come to Christmas time, my aunt used this phone call to her advantage and I was unknowingly under her trap. After drawing numbers that Christmas, I received the entitlement of picking the first gift. My aunt told me exactly what gift I should choose, not knowing anything of her tricks, I picked up the gift and I pulled out a pair of silky, tan, extra-large grandma underwear. I couldn’t believe it! Everyone was hysterically laughing and I was just embarrassed. I couldn’t believe that my aunt remembered that phone call. After my whole family had a good laugh, she pulled out the real gift that went with the underwear which was something that I had been craving to have. A Snuggie! Although this picture may seem bizarre and random, it reminds of such a great time of year when my family and I all get together for one special evening. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year because of this tradition and I hope that when I have a family in the future that I can pass this tradition along to them. Knowing my family Christmas 2013 is going to have many more surprises in store for not only me but the rest of my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

Storytelling is Powerful

Learning about story telling and using audacity has truly given me a different view on the idea of sharing information through different mediums and other important aspects when it comes to telling stories. I learned that there are many differences when it comes to telling our own personal stories versus reiterating someone else’s personal story. When it comes to telling your own story, it’s an easy process since you’ve been through the experience and have a clear image in your own mind of what should be said and what can be left out. Basically, telling your own person story is an easy process because you know all the important details through clear vivid memories of the particular time being mentioned. Whereas telling someone else’s personal story can come with some difficulty and less detail. I feel that telling another person’s story can be this way because you didn’t experience the event through your own eyes. Interpreting another persons story through your own eyes with words can cause for some disparities in information throughout the process ultimately giving way for less exciting and informative story telling. One way that this was demonstrated was through the process of interviewing and repetition of stories during class time. Hearing one person tell their own personal story compared to their partner telling the same story gave me the realization that original source for any story is going to the most accurate and appealing to others. Getting as much detail as possible when it comes to story telling is the key to being successful and being a credible source for information. Through these activities, I am going to keep in mind that accuracy and excitement are the key to keeping interest in any type of story. 

When it came to editing different stories, I found that when it came to editing my own story, I was able to easily distinguish which information was important and what facts I could completely disregard from the story. When it came to editing another persons story I felt that this was a difficult process since ceasing to be in the situation personally and deleting crucial information can take away from the stories exciting aspects. Along with this it was hard to avoid adding other details to make their story more exciting for the audience to hear. Being as accurate as possible when editing their story was the main goal for me but it came with several challenges since I wanted to add and create a more exciting situation for people to hear although I had to keep in mind that I didn’t personally experience the situation at hand. In my opinion the biggest thing to consider when it comes to editing someone’s story is to be accurate and keep as much detail as possible. You don’t want to edit someone’s story so much that its a completely different situation from what has been previously told to you. Keep as many details as possible and avoid adding anything that truly didn’t happen throughout the person’s story. Relying on your personal notes from the interviewing process is a good way to keep your accuracy when it comes to sharing someone else’s story.

Finally when it came to audacity, I found that this is a new and exciting way to share any type of story. When interviewing Shadavyia I would have never expected all the possibilities I had to enhance the audiences senses when they were encountering her childhood story. While keeping her story as the prominent factor being heard by the audience, several things could be added to the piece to enhance the overall experience of the story included a whimsical musical piece and several sound effects. Text based stories have a disadvantage when it comes to digital audio stories because several details have to be left out to keep the audiences attention and without tone of voice the mood of the story can be interpreted in several different ways. Digital audio should be utilized by more sources including newspapers, magazines, and textbooks when it comes to telling stories and sharing information to the masses. Would the world have different insight on stories if newspapers and magazines were created in ways that the story was ultimately audibly presented rather than visually? In the future would newspaper and magazine businesses utilize such an advantage in story telling?