Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BLOG POST CINCO: DS106 Assignment B: Breaking Bad: The Trading Card Game

     I made a set of Breaking Bad trading cards for my ds106 assignment b, using an empty template of the Pokemon trading card game. The information on the cards explore specific aspects of the characters while still providing a fun read for others.
Creating them was a relatively simple process. I took photos that gave a good impression of the characters' presence and distinctness, resized them to fit the template allotted. The basic template was of the design used for the Walter card, I used Photoshop cs5 to change the colors, insert the appropriate symbols, and add text in the appropriate font. Each one took about 40-60 minutes to make, not challenging, but it did get a little  tedious at times.
 I chose the three most complex characters of the show: Gus the kingpin, Walter the master chemist, and Jesse the troubled criminal. When making this assignment, I thought of ways that students can analyze characters from literature and film in a very specific, yet fun manner. They have to fill in the moves section of the trading cards which will demonstrate their insight into what they would be reading.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

BLOG POST NUMERO DOS: I believe in the horror club: log, essay, and video

August 29, 2012
    I decided today on what to make my video about. Since the professor seemed to imply that the essay itself does not have to be exactly like my video, I decided to make it about the club I am currently leading with my friend. I contacted my friend on which programs to use and how to make a video efficiently. He suggested I used Adobe Premiere and offered to guide me as I concocted my project. This took away a huge weight of my shoulders, I have never made a video before, and knowing very well how good my friend’s video skills are, it allowed for a much smoother creative process.

August 31, 2012
     Since my computer is a piece of garbage and I do not have too much time in my hands to be at the library, I had to settle for making the entire video project at my friend’s place. This might seem cumbersome, but since he lives right around the corner from my apartment, it did not bother either of us. He tells me that he has a good range of visuals that would complement my own, so I guess I have nothing to worry about.

September 5, 2012
    I decided that the essay would be the last thing I would make, since the tone of it is starkly different from the video itself. I am trying to make the video very light-hearted. Poking fun at the clique-esque nature of this University I have noticed during my past two semesters here. I already have an art direction for the video and music choices, all that is left is for me to find the clips I want to use and edit them myself.

September 10, 2012
     Everything that is needed to make the video is in place. Jon and I make the montage first and pooft! It got erased! This incident happens three times! We almost lose our minds and contemplate switching programs, but our plan is too premeditated to change our vision.  My friend records me in the late hours of the night (bad hair and all) as a surprise appearance in the video. I despise how I sound and look on camera, but he insists on having me perform (probably to his own amusement.)
September 11, 2012
We almost lost all of my video footage! His phone decides to go haywire and not let us merge the clip to Adobe Premiere. We are so lucky we made a back-up of the clips after the incidents with the montage, if not we would have had to start all over. We pretty much have everything edited and placed in the right order. We figured the sources are not formal at all to really function in an MLA setting so we decided to insert them into the end of the presentation. We added some last minute ideas like using the Chroma key trick to incorporate my footage into another video, which only took about two minutes of clicking and merging, and some voiceovers from him to start the video.

September 12, 2012

After all the smoke cleared of the maelstrom that was making that video, I finally get the chance to write the essay for NPR. It only took about forty-five minutes to write it, especially since it explores very different aspects of why I made the KSU Horror Club. The voiceovers from the beginning really helped tie the two compositions together, so glad my friend came up with that!

     Kennesaw State University is an institution that wishes its students to express themselves. When my friend and I first arrived here, we were impressed by the variety of groups of people.  We checked out the clubs the University had available, but none of them suited our quite particular tastes.  Out of this frustration with the options for extracurricular activities, The KSU Horror Club was born.  For almost the entirety of the 2011 fall semester, my friend and I fought to get our club off the ground, with many false starts and obstacles in our way, it seemed like we were never going to be able to achieve our goal. All our efforts did pay off in the end; we managed to secure room and funding for our screenings and activities in the spring and we have going strong ever since. This silly little tale was written by yours truly not to be just a stupid piece of propaganda for my college club, but to inspire others to create their own groups as well.
     As an individual in my fourth year of higher education, the University landscape is not unfamiliar to me, but to many freshmen it is an eye-opening experience. I see many young students walking around with a bewildered look on their faces, as if their vision of a College was not realized in the one they attend. In many ways, this was the same for me, had it not been for my co-founding member to truly push for our crazy idea, I would have never truly enjoyed my college experience.  Universities offer funds to any student who gets their club approved; they guide and assist them in all ways possible. If a student cannot find a group for his/her particular interests, they are more than welcome to make their own. There will always be people like you to cooperate and make your vision come true.
I put all of the credits at the end of the video. The credits consisted of the clips, music, and assets that were incorporated into it. None of them were used in the essay itself.

HERE IS THE FINAL BEAST (in case you missed it above) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81SXuO-SaH0

Reflection on composition
    At first I thought working on this assignment was going to be rather trite. It was not until I realized that I had to not just inform the audience but also entertain them that my creativity appeared. I used the essay as a way to ease the audience into the overall message that I was trying to convey with joining or making a club at KSU; the video was there to show the final outcome of it all.
This sort of assignment is very compatible with students in a high school setting, since by then they already have established tastes and know how to properly communicate them with personality and energy. It also allows for the students to explore aspects and interests of others on a level that a written piece just cannot achieve. This assignment also alleviates the stress from writing a paper on a composing standpoint; since the student is writing about something they are familiar with and are exploring it in the way he/she wants.