Video Project

After talking with Marianne, in terms of safety as well as my poor memory, i decide to upload this video again. Guys, just ignore this.



My first reaction upon the making of the film was a bit uneasy, because I did not have any idea of how to plan for the film. However, thanks to my group members (Nancy and Maddie), we have come up with an initial idea of a story  that involved quite awkward and hilarious situations after a hangover. Nonetheless, as time passed, our film ideas evolved into something very different due to circumstances: a roommate to roommate situation that involves death. We also modified quite a lot of the panels around the beginning and the end of our storyboard.

I acted as the protagonist of the film, and I also modified and corrected most of the sounds that were recorded with film. I modified some of the movie in premiere as well. Madeleine and Nancy worked as the cameraman and sound recorder person during the shooting of the film, and they did most of the editing job in the making.
In the end, I was quite satisfied with the results, and I experienced many new things (such as frustration and self-achievement) — I think my group did as well — that were unknown to me as a newbie in filming.

To complete this video project, team work is really important.
First, since when we started doing the project, it was during midterm period, so everyone was busy that time. But we figured it out finally. Maddie and me did the first version of story board. And considering about the danger of shooting fight scenes, after I discussed with Billy, we had the second version. And of course, we changed our plan during shooting to ensure a more reasonable and also exciting story.
During the shooting, Billy acted as the main character and leading. And Maddie and I were responsible for shooting, lighting and recording.
And for editing the film, Maddie did a major part of editing videos and I was responsible for music editing and re-editing the video for adding some scenes we shoot later. For me, to find right songs, which can make the story more impressive, was hard but also interesting. And I was very happy that finally I made it.
Billy modified the whole video at last to ensure everything is ok.
I learnt a lot from this project, not only how to make a video but also how to work with team buddy. We did have some schedule problem, but we made it at last, and when we shooting, we had a good time, especially in familymart. :)
Thank to my team member!

Having never worked with Premiere before, this project was a challenge, but also very fun. Our original idea was slightly different, as Billy mentioned, but after reconsidering, we changed the storyboard in a way that helped tighten up the film and make it better.
Finding time that we were all available might have been the hardest part – especially after coming together one night and deciding that using only one LED light to simulate daylight just did not work out – but in the end we were able to find daytime hours that suited all of us. Once this happened, the filming came together nicely; Billy and his roommate acted and Nan and I filmed and managed lighting and sound. Billy was also able to help us set up the shots, as well as review them with us in the camera and recorder before moving on to the next scene.
One we shot all the scenes, Billy worked with the sound to clean it up and remove room noise, Nan found and integrated music into the film, and I edited the shots together and color corrected them where needed, then added the cleaned up audio. Nan also added a few scenes we shot a little later, and Billy and I did final small tweaks just before and after the critique.
The overall process was very time consuming – as was expected – but very fun and entertaining, and it was great to see it all come together in a video that the class seemed to enjoy.
*We took into account the critiques from class and lowered the volume of the plastic bag in various shots. However, we chose to leave the sound out of the transitional door closing scene because of personal style preference, and kept the roommate hidden until the final scene in order to maintain the air of mystery and hold the curiosity of the viewer.

Responce to Sita sings the blues

The first thing I realize is the copyright issue of Sita sings the blues. When I opened the website, I saw a letter Nina Paley wrote to audience. One of the things in the letter is the copyright thing. “Some of the songs are not free and may never be”. This let me realize that although Nina Paley wanted this video to be spread over the world and also spread free culture thoughts, the songs did cause some problem, which is one of the controversies.

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Let’s come back to the story itself. It tells us two stories in four expression styles. One is The Ramayana, the other is a contemporary fds. Both of them tell us a love story, in which women are the biggest victims. Here Nina Paley is talking about kind of feminism. And especially the Ramayana will raise many questions to people nowadays. Why must a woman be pure all the time? Why men care about purity issue, while themselves can have several wives at the same time? Why in literature or religious works, women are always thinking about love? What if she thinks about war, business, instead of love and children?

In addition, I really love the way Nina tells the story. She uses four styles, obviously, and I think it is because different styles can tells the story from different angles. To me, I like the the shadow puppet part, since this part focused more on telling the story from other people’s perspectives, and also, this way is more fun.

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Besides the story, I also find a lot of philosophy in the whole video. I can’t deny how surprised when I heard Sita singing “if you want a rainbow, then you have to have the rain”.

Finally, controversies. After searching it online, I also find after the video was released publicly, was met with outrage by some Hindus and, according to Nina, a number of academics also. I think here, the religious issue also comes out when we think about freedom of art.

Mary Kate and Nan’s sound project version 2

Mary Kate:

Bringing together elements and being able to create this horror-movie type sound piece demanded a very meticulous process. Using the tascam field recorders and microphones to record some of our sounds and learning about the different programs available for us to use to edit sounds, all the knowledge gained built up to producing this sound piece which I feel that Nan and I really did our best and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

The most difficult part I found was to ensure that all the sounds followed the particular story line, and that they merged and synthesised well with one another. It was also important to play with the amplitude of each particular sound to deliver the effects that we desired, but at the same time, ensure that all sounds could be heard clearly. I think that was the most challenging part, after having all the sounds in a particular sequence, now adjusting the tones and pace of each piece of sound in the larger piece. We had some difficulties with the ‘wind’ sound and tried to diversify it as best as we could. We had to introduce some ‘breathing’ sounds in order to make the character walking through the grass more real and to create a relationship with the listener as well. The breathing was pretty tricky because we had some heaving breathing that we had recorded previously and what we had to do was cut it shorter, extend the time for one breath but also adjust amplitudes at specific points in order to make it more natural. This was also the case for all the other sounds that we used in the sound piece and it was really a learning and perfectioning process, adjusting the sound, then listening with headphones on, then adjusting again and listening with the eyes closed to feel the effects.

I think playing with sounds requires a lot of time, and commitment, and I think people who create sound are really amazing because I believe they go through a much more thorough and meticulous process. It demands a lot of attention to produce the desired effect. But I am very happy with the first sound piece that I have ever created, I think this project gives me a good base and experience to now be able to create other sound pieces of my own. What I really liked during the presentation of the piece to the class was the feedback given, our sound piece was very abstract and was open to different interpretations. Another important note to take out from doing this project is to always listen to your sound piece through speakers as well as headphones to ensure that the effect is equally as great when played out loud in the room.



Now we get to playing with sounds!

At first, we just came about the idea of making sounds about a horrible story. Then we tried to imagine every sound we can think about, such as the wind sound, the owl sounds, the stepping sound, the gate, etc. And when we were thinking about sounds, the story was shaping. We made it two scenes, one is outside, the other is inside, and the character is seeking for someplace safe outside, and she saw a big house, and then she stepped into the house, which is still very terrifying.

Because it is better and more convenient to do with one laptop. So basically we worked together on class or after class together. Also, the difficulty to us is to make everything fits well. Sometimes the sound of wind is too loud, and the character’s sound is too low.  We need to adjust the volume of different sounds. We also spent more time on adjusting the “breath sounds”. And it took a bit time for us to figure out how to slow down or how to higher the pitch. Finally, we decide to make the story no ending, since horrible story always needs unknown thing to attract people’s interests.

The reflection is quite helper. As beginners, both of us didn’t aware of the importance of testing our project not only on headphones but also on speaker. Playing sounds is interesting and needs cooperation. I think I have learnt a lot from my own experience and also on others’ projects. Maddie’s group of creating a cool sound by combining two sounds.


Response to the ecstasy of influence and everything is remix

Although The Ecstasy of Influence and Everything is a Remix are shown in different ways, and focus on different fields of art, they are pretty similar to each other. Both of them are talking about copy, creativity, remix.

After reading their works, I think the creativity without being accused of stealing others’ work depends on many factors.

For example, when talking about calligraphy in china, the style we used comes from other artists. However, in this field, if we write something in this style, no one will say you steal something from other. Also, if you use certain terms, which have specific meaning itself, from other artists’ work, people will just say you use it for reference, because you use this term yo create a new scene of poem. But when talking about novel, like the one in The Ecstasy of Influence, if we use the famous sentence, or make use of some plots, will it be a problem of plagiarism? It’s hard to say. 

Therefore, the standard of copyright, creativity, … really depends on which field you are in, whether you create or combine something new, and the degree of what you have created. But its true that everything, every work we do in on the base of other’s achievement. The development of society is literally based on the history, what we have created, what is good, what is bad, what can be better, etc.

To Everything is Remix, i do believe that “create” is just combine what we have already had.  But this, we add our thoughts in it. Like the part “The song remains the same”. Can we say they are really the same? Of course no. For instance, in the first movie of The Hobbit, the dwarves sing the song: misty mountain in the movie. the sone is slow, deep and melodious. And the ending song in the movie is sung by another singer. Actually, the two songs re almost the same, not only in the melody but also in the lyrics. But the ending sone is faster, and added some modern elements like jazz. They copied, without fundamental change, but they do give the movie new tongues of song.

Stealing can motivate creativity, I agree that. But when we talk about stealing others, we agree that. When we think about being stolen, we will definitely disagree that. In today’s society, it is reasonable that a lot of stuff we create are measured by the amount of money. And if we are stolen, it means our own stuff is somehow losing its own value. And also, human being are self-centered. Therefore, we need copyright to maintain the society. But to me, I think the creativity of “stealing” will never stop, since we need to improve and to see something new.

comic comic!

i can say that i was a big fan of Japanese comics. i really enjoyed reading it and loved the characters in it. I haven’t realize that I was influenced so much by comic and be tricked by the artists until I read this book.

First, what I think is very interesting is that this book on comic is expressed by comic!  For example, let’s just take a look on the introduction. it’s only one page long, but it contains all about the main idea of this book by telling us the conversation between the author and his friend. Also, Scott often used himself as an example in this book. like in the chapter of icon and cartoon, he used his own glasses to tell us that the simpler the icon is, the more information it can bring and be sent to us.

What’s more, I just found the connection between comics and interactive media. Because both of them are about interaction! In comic, i start to understand that why i was so excited when i was reading a comic book like One Piece.(a famous Japanese comic) It’s because I put myself into the character, imagining that this character is me and I was experiencing the whole story. This time, i was actually communicating with the author of the comic book.

Also, as a person who like drawing so much and even planned to be a comic drawer, this book really gives me a lot of professional guides, such as time frames, the invisible of comics and so on. i still have a feeling that this book will be so helpful on my later filming project!:P

fun with Photoshop

Dani: While editing and creating the image on Photoshop, I found several tools to be very useful and more used than the others. I found the magnetic lasso tool to be the best for selecting and cropping as well as the eraser tool to be the best for smoothing over mistakes or unwanted sections. In regards to the group editing/passing along process, I found the Layers feature to be extremely helpful. Being able to see exactly what layer was created and which layer came before another aided in adding in other images and details and editing. Personally, I think I would need a lot more practice to even begin to understand Photoshop because there is just so much to the program.

Nan: On my part, since on the original picture, the family fills almost all the space, i think it is hard to add things on it, so i cut the family and moved it to another big and beautiful view. Also, i think it is quite interesting to put them on the water. I made the reflection on the water. What’s more, I thought the sky was pale, so I changed the whole sky with a more interesting and more blue sky. I also make the tree more red because the original ones gave a feeling that they were so grey. At last, I added a boat on the picture, since the family should use something to get the heart of the lake. 🙂 It’s quite fun!

Nicholas: My Reflection with photoshop

After playing “exquisite corpse” using photoshop, I realized just how much work this medium required merely to alter any image. I have divided this experience thus into three quantitative groups: issues, triumphs, and an overall conclusion of what I learned.


Well, despite the training, Photoshop is still a challenge when one has a specific task in mind. For me, this task was replacing the water with lava. Not only was this challenging because I had to discover a method to make the lava fit into the image, but also because I didn’t understand how to make a solid layer of lava.

Triumphs; In the end, in my opinion at least, the lava looked magnificent. I say this because I was very happy with the lava’s end result

What I learned: I still have a way to go with photoshop; I have much to learn yet. I say this because I realize that in order to become better at photoshop, I need to practice more. Moreover, I am convinced that doing so would greatly improve my skill and knowledge.IMA comm labRound Lake, Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville, New York

Response to On The Rights of Molotov Man

After reading On The Rights of Molotov Man, I feel like it is related to what we have just read this week, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. The latter tells us that mechanical reproduction is about the creation, the great user experience brought to us, which is good as well as exciting. However, this reading tells us a story which is also about reproduction, but bring problems and questions.

First, to a piece of work, it is easy to have a reproduction on it, thanks to the technology and amazing internet. Also, there are also many ways to do it. In the reading, we can see that the original work has been transferred into several styles with photoshop, such as the mirror style, Joywar and so on. Therefore, it is also difficult for us to define whether a piece of work actually violent another’s copyright, since maybe the work is different from the original one not only in ways but also in the emotion it brings.

Further, what I have just discussed lead to another problem. Just as Susan has said, “Joy’s practice of decontextualizing an image as a painter is precisely the opposite of my own hope as a photographer to contextualize an image.”, because her expectation is to do what she can to respect the individuality of the people she photographs, who owns the rights to this man’s struggle? This question is also raised by in the reading for us to think about. Therefore, it is not just about the painter and the photographer, but also the people in the work we should consider about.

To me, I think if we think too sticky on this question, it will be hard for us to create something. Creation itself is about put something together and create a new one. Honestly, everything in the world is on the basis of the previous ones, so it is difficult for us to tell whether an artist is creating something according to an original one. I think the meaning can even be destroyed, like the aura can be destroyed to create a new style. It all depends on our mind and imagination. Maybe sometimes the law will not allow us to do it, so it brings another question, which is also raised in this reading—can copyright law, as it stands, function in any way except as a gag order?


Reflection on The Machine Stops

After reading The Machine Stops, what first came to my mind are the Matrix and Wall-E. All of them give us the scene that science and technology control us not only physically but also mentally, which sounds shocking and unbelievable. This story may not really happen in the future and we also may not really become extinct. However, we need to learn something from the story, to have a consciousness on technology, which I think is also the aim of the author — to call for rethinking on technology and science.

Why we invent and develop technology? This question raised when I was reading this story. Probably, because we, human being, are lazy. We want something help us making our lives more convenient. In the past, we had light to make the night bright. We had steam train to enable us go to other places faster. Nowadays, we have internet, which makes it possible for us to chat with friends even what they are really far from us. Also, our technology on robots become more and more  advanced, like we have robots to clean room for us. But what about the future? Are we going to be controlled by the technology instead of control it? Are we treating what we have invented incorrectly?

More over, these issues leads to the problem which exactly in the story that people become crazy and believe in machine, which makes me think about Orwellian nightmares. In his vision, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think. Just as the mother in the story, she prays the Machine almost everyday, like this artificial thing comes from the nature, which is definitely wrong.

All in all, we may question our attitude on what we create and reconsider it, to let it help us make the life better, or let it destroy us in the future.