My favorite assignment for DS106 was one of the assignments I created for the class (yes, I am very narcissistic). This assignment was a mashup assignment where you take at least 3 pieces of your own work and combine them together to make one cohesive piece. I enjoyed it because it gave me an excuse to go back through my other works and see how I’ve progressed. Also, I used elements from different areas of creativity to form one really solid piece. I got in a little writing, I got a spooky ambiance sound track, and I got to read a home-made poem in the middle of it all. The remix of this assignmet was to play it backwards, so here’s that too.
Truth be told, I made a bunch of mash-up content to practice. This just happened to be one of the pieces, and I thought it was so good and experience so valuable to me that I would share it as an assignment for others. It really does help to pull elements from different genres of creativity into one project, because you get to make something with a much higher production value than time normally allows for these assignments.
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 things. For example: I took all my host character work related the his haunted mansion, and turned it into a single piece. It’s a poem, read over a haunted mansion ambiance track, with a little blurb about the mansion underneath. All 3 pieces were separate assignments, but they mash-up into one cohesive piece.
Spooksy’s mansion is the happiest place on Earth! There’s candy, and XBOX One, and all the toys you could possible ask for. More toys than you’d ever have time to play with, even if you played with them for the rest of your life… And you just may play with them for the rest of your life. Or at least, until he shows you the basement…
So apparently I made some things this week people really liked. Got a few re-tweets and mentions on things, which always makes me feel good. I stumbled a bit this week as well. In particular, I did one assignment completely wrong, but it turned out really well, so I dunno whether to call that a win or lose. I guess I’ll decide when I see my grade. I played with movie maker more, and some of my classmates had some great helpful comments on how to use it properly, which helped me out a lot. I recommend the Spooksography, it’s my favorite from this week.
The long awaited Spooksography. I want to keep Spooksy a bit mysterious, so I kept this pretty light. From the beginning I had in mind a picture of a baby eating himself, because that’s just so Spooksy. I wanted to touch on some of the parts about Spooksy that I wrote up when I initially created him, but haven’t been able to do much with, so I wanted something in the video about the war he never fought. A few of the things I wrote about Spooksy haven’t been introduced in any of my other work because they don’t translate well into non-video formats, so it was nice to be able to touch on some of those. I wanted to show Spooksy, but this came with the challenge that I have no picture of him in my mind, so I just went with the creepiest dude I could find on google images (I searched for fat beared old man). This was also a good chance to touch on the mansion, which I’ve mentioned a few times, but never been able to visualize. My initial concept had some crayon drawings Spooksy did as a child, but I ended up cutting them, as I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just say, they offered some great character exposition. I hope they get a chance to show up later.
When I started writing the script for this assignment, I was having a conversation with myself, like the assignment intended. When thinking about the challenges associated with the filming I said to myself, it would be easier if I had my girlfriend read one part, why didn’t I think of that before? I wrote the rest of the script, filmed it, and then looked back at the assignment and realized… I made a mistake, because I was supposed to play both parts. But… the video was really good. The story was good, the feeling the video had was good, and it really worked the way I made it. So I’m left with a choice, do I submit something that really isn’t even the assignment anymore, but is in itself a better story? Or do I re-film it and turn in something that’s more technically accurate, but of a lesser quality? I’m putting myself out on a limb here, and betting on the story. Technically, this is not what the assignment was, but I think it’s better for it. I said in one of my earlier posts I don’t want to directly associate Spooksy with the horrible things he does yet because I want him to be likable. Once we see him hurting someone, that goes out the window. I think one of the scariest things about him is you could see yourself hanging out with him, even though he’s a monster. Because of that, I wanted him to get a little more creepy, and elude more to his bad side, without ever quite making it real to the audience. I set out to make this lovable funny Spooksy, but also very unsettling and creepy. I wanted to elude to some behind the scenes things he has going on that motivate him to be who he is. I wanted to do all that, but still have you think he’d be fun to hang out with. I think that’s very much what I’m turning in.
So I did a few new things with this video, I used Open Broadcast Software to record an active computer window (free program, easy to use, would highly recommend), and I added a title and did narration in movie maker. The title was super easy, I’ll probably use that again, unless I decided to create a title plate in paint.NET, but the narration wasn’t so great. It was difficult to work with the file after the narration had been done. Every time I wanted to cut a scene, it tried to delete the whole audio track with it. I eventually realized you have to split the audio track separately in order to delete a scene, which is a bit cumbersome. Also, the quality is HORRIBLE. Yes, I’m using the built in mic on my laptop for this assignment, but I’ve used it before in Audacity and it sounded much much better. There’s a big hissy white noise sound going on in the background, and it picked up a bunch of ambient noise. I may have to look into recording narration A) with the better microphone, or B) in audacity and importing, which I’m not even sure it possible. Movie Maker is also starting to feel a bit limiting too. It’s not as feature rich as I would like it to be, and I felt my cuts could have been more precise than the software allowed me to make. I guess you can’t complain about a free video editing software though. As for the content, originally I wanted to find a show with a child cooking and comment over that, but the whole idea seemed a bit too creepy. I’m not opposed to making people uncomfortable, in fact, I think it’s a great device for story telling, and I enjoy it very much in the media I consume, but I am walking a thin line when it comes to creating content for a class. While no one has set any specific limits that I’ve seen as to the content I create, it just seems like it would be a bad move to stray too far beyond the boundary of good taste. Also, I enjoy the fact the Spooksy is very likable, despite his bad habits. I feel like if I make those habits too real, he’ll lose a bit of the rapport he’s built. If I’m going to do that, it should be in Spooksy’s final appearance.
I liked this assignment because it was right up the alley of everything I’ve done previously with video editing, which is editing competitive game footage of myself into montages with musical accompaniment. This video is one of the first ever videos I made, and I’ve learned a lot from the mistakes I made making it. That’s why I think it’s a good subject for this assignment, because when I made it, I thought it was the best thing in the world, but now it’s hard to watch because I see all the things I could have done better. When I uploaded this, I didn’t even know how to put things on YouTube in HD, which is painfully obvious. I’ve since learned their formatting and time restrictions for HD upload, and my newer videos benefited greatly from it. This video is also very looooooong, and most that have viewed it say it doesn’t hold their attention the entire way through. This was hard to hear at first, as my highlights are like my children, but it taught me this: Just because you like it doesn’t mean other people will. Others don’t have the personal connection to the moments in this video that I do, and thus can’t appreciate it on that level, to them it’s just minutia. While I love this video, it would have been much better received if I had trimmed it down to about 4-5 minutes of the very best I had to offer. I got too emotionally attached to this work, and it suffered for it. Also, I think commentary with music in the background would have gone a long way to enthrall the more casual viewers who aren’t familiar with the game, and probably have no idea what is actually going on in some parts. I also could have credentialed myself more at the beginning of the video to entice people to take it seriously. I was, for a time, one of the top ranked players in the world. I have attached screen shots below showing me in 4th place world squad score, and 5th place world obliteration wins. I had these screen shots then, why didn’t I include them?