Friday, April 6, 2018

Practice Story

GOAL: Create a 60-90 second mini profile story about a person in your Hiki No team that showcases high quality interview composition, clearly recorded voiceovers, natural sounds, stable and well composed 3 shot B-Roll sequences, L & J-cuts, balanced audio and smooth progression of the story.

BLOG POST: 
First, explain how you chose your interviewee, settled on your topic and assigned the team roles of writer, interviewer, reporter, director, cameraperson, and editor. Discuss how everyone either stayed committed to their specific job or how they shifted as the production process progressed. Did this help or hurt the outcome of your story and why? (6 sentence minimum)

Then, describe why safety is your number one priority during the production process. What 3 safety concerns should your entire team be aware of while filming? Conclude with a reflection of your critique results. Please address the three largest words for improvement on the critique graphic. Provide specific examples of what you could do to create a more compelling story, both written and visually. (6 sentence minimum)

Last, add your visuals: 1) Embed your practice story from Drive at the top. 2) Insert a screenshot of your script between paragraphs. 3) Add the visuals of your critique results after your final paragraph.

TAGS:
ALD 6.1: Anticipate potential health and wellness concerns while operating computing devices in order to enhance workplace safety.


VIDEO

We chose our interviewee by asking who wanted to have the role. Dawson wanted the role the most so he got it. We settled on the topic of singing because Dawson preferred it, since he was the interviewee. Kala'i and I then chose our separate roles because he wanted to be the interviewer and I wanted to learn more about how the camera works. We mostly kept to our roles, though I'm not the best at using the camera, so I had Kala'i help me in areas I couldn't understand or didn't remember. This mostly helped us because, now, our film won't have errors that I would have made very easily.



Having a safe work environment should always be the first priority of any work area because the safety of others has a much higher value than a few minutes of film in a video that, to be honest, many people won't see. 3 concerns that come to mind with the highest priority goes as follows: Communication, Prevention and Inspection. Communication is key because, anything ranging from someone leaving the set to use the bathroom to someone performing a stunt, should be acknowledged by at least one other person to prevent any worse-case scenarios. The more we understand, the better. This lets us prevent the bad things. Wearing proper clothing, for example, is a way we can prevent heatstroke if we are filming on a sunny day. With some communication, everyone will have proper clothing, water, etc., which will prevent any injuries or sicknesses. This is where inspection comes in. This can happen before filming or after filming. Considering the "before" aspect, we focus on the location, the weather and let that weigh in on our judgements for filming later on. For the "after" aspect, we should inspect each other, inspect the equipment, see who's tired, look around for any dangers we may have left behind or created, and make sure everyone gets a ride home. This is more of a "leave it better than how it was before you came" but it's also making sure no one has any injuries they are hiding and making sure we are safe after we stop filming. After having our critique, it was assuring to know that most of our peers found our work acceptable, although we could definitely improve. One of our biggest quote-on-quote "problems" was interview composition. Having better positioning for our interviewee Dawson in multiple shots could have made things a lot more comfortable and fluid. Another problem we had in general was our audio. We have problems with sound being too high, strange pauses, and white noise. I'm not too good with audio, but if we listened to it better, we could have probably saved some If we had more time with proper equipment and such, I would probably have some better footage with the first B-roll (friends scene) and redo the last B-roll (ending scene) with fixing the noise and focus in the first B-Roll and dealing with the awkwardness, cliché ending and over-sequencing in the last B-Roll.




I'll fix this after I promise.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Interview Composition



The difference between a reporter shot and an interviewer shot are their locations and where they face. Most interviewer shots have the person in the front of the camera without alterations and usually face off camera. Reporter shots are more rare, since we don't want to focus on reporters, and so they usually stay off screen. They also speak to the interviewer and the audience. The background is composed so the person being filmed is the main focus and there are no distractions. A flat angle should never be filmed because it distorts the footage via the fish-eye effect, a consequence of filming too close. It also looks unappealing and amateur. "Look room" is the area the person being filmed can look as so it doesn't look strange or unappealing to the audience. People use "The Line" to make sure Look room is given properly and to prevent profile shots by keeping everything at eye-level and prevent choking shots.
The most important part of shooting a interview or having an interview in general would be the information you get. If you have an interview about toys and you get a bunch of extremely formal answers, the interview itself is going to give a strange vibe and is probably not what you want. If you have a relaxed conversation with good, accurate answers and credible sources, that works greatly in one's favor. Yes, if the film is really bad or shot in an unprofessional manner, it takes away from it being a good video, but the information is nonetheless valuable. Even in a interview without footage and only text, it would be extremely valuable for those trying to research the topic. A strategy, so to say, to make sure everything goes well is to be relaxed. Let the shoulders drop. There's no need to be extremely proper. Having the camera a bit more farther in a way it can easily be forgotten is also nice. Another way is to disguise the questions so they don't feel uncomfortable trying to answer every question given. Having a few ice-breaker would be nice too.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Under The Blood Red Sun

Mr. and Mrs. Tim and Mardi Savage are the director and associate producers in the film "Under The Blood Red Sun", a movie that was inspired and based off of the book of the same name by Graham Salisbury. Mr. Savage's role as a director means he has to choose his cast members, the production design, and the creative aspects that allow the movie to be bought to life. Mrs. Mardi, on the other hand, is an associate producer, or AP, and assists the Producer in creating and putting the film itself together. This includes anything from simple jobs like writing and editing to bigger things like pitching story ideas and assisting with promotions of the film. They did their jobs wonderfully in their film "Under The Blood Red Sun", in which a young Japanese boy that goes by the name "Tomi" lives with his family and friends and goes through the initial events of the Pearl Harbor bombing on December 7th, 1941. He then has to live with the discrimination as people call him "Jap" and the arresting of his father and grandfather for being old enough to be suspicious of treason against America. It is up to him now to continue with his family and be the man of the house, all while being a 13- year-old boy and constantly being harassed.

The first question I asked was more or less an icebreaker to start of the conversation of the movie. I asked, "What kind of budget did you have to work off of to make this film?". Mr. Savage, being the humble man he was, was slightly hesitant to give an answer, but admitted that he wouldn't if his producer was here. He said they worked off of a budget of $500,000. This I find impressive since it is an extremely low budget compared to actual movies. I then continued asking about the improvisations they had to make, whether or not they used actual audio from the original radio broadcast from the Pearl Harbor Bombing and whether or not it was difficult creating everything as if it were the mid-1900s. They gave a flurry of answers, saying how they usually had to film 10 scenes a day and film a whole scene very quickly by doing the scene and just moving the camera. They also talked about how they were inspired by the actual audio from December 7th and found it easier to make new voiceovers instead of using the original audio. They also used small details like increasing the contrast and changing the lighting in the film to give an older vibe. My final question was whether or not they would continue with the rest of the "Prisoners of the Empire" series, in which they replied with an unlikely statement, as many people didn't watch their "Under the Blood Red Sun" movie, even though it had millions of readers and was the most famous book out of the whole "Prisoners of the Empire" series.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Public Service Announcement



PSA stands for public service announcement. To have the ability to enforce a message to an audience that is powerful could cause mass change. It could spread awareness of something many people didn't know. It could reinforce an idea that is rarely talked about. It could bring up a topic that no one wants to realize. If it is taken properly by the public, it could definitely make a change. I believe a PSA can make a change because it only takes a few words to turn someone on their head. I am hoping to change the hearts and minds of many by showing that children ARE affected by their parents when it comes to any form of abuse. The data shows that, yes, kids that are in abusive households are twice as likely to show signs of abuse when they have their own families and that there are 10 million of them annually. I am hoping to use children as a middleman to show families that their kids ARE WATCHING and will copy how you act. This should be a common concern of any wise parent, because the last thing we want in this world would be destroying a child's innocence. Some children would mature and believe that their parents raised them wrong and turn a new leaf when they have their own families, but for those who don't...well, that's why I'm making this. To show that abusive households are real and you shouldn't be like your parents if they were abusive. Strict? Maybe. Disciplinary? Absolutely. But, abusive? That should never be a word that has a connection to children.


As for the contest behind these PSAs, it it known as Olelo Community Media (OCM), and they are hosting the Youth Xchange Student Video Competition 2018. They set up these competitions for kids around the world to express a topic from the sheet they have. They must also follow a set if rules, the most important including: The topic MUST focus on an issue that affects the community, state, or world., the work must be produced, written, shot, etc. by the students and the students ONLY, and all video/photos must be taken within the timeline of March 1st, 2017 to February 28th, 2018. Failure to follow these rules will usually be followed with a disqualification. This is a very large time scale for a PSA, so it gives plenty of opportunity for those willing to grasp it. And this is only one of many different types of competitions that are given to the public. They likely give us so many competitions to give us chances to make work and compete against others while also giving us the ability to judge our own work and watch others. It gives us a chance to make a video that gets actual feedback from others. The prizes they give also help inspire people to continue making work, like cameras or large sums of cash to spend on their own. I think this makes the students benefit most because they earn a type of prize and learn to improve and create videos of their own. They are rewarded after being creative, and I believe that is a great way to encourage and inspire others.


After looking over the comments and working with the weather, my PSA had to change vastly. One of the first changes I had to make was timing. In multiple areas of my video, I had to shorten my video because some areas were too long, showed nothing too long, and was usually boring. To fix this, I obviously shortened the film. Easy as that. Some areas I added speed ramps to make with flow smoother, but hopefully this final cut is better. Since the weather was bad the whole time I tried to get more footage, most of the footage was low-quality or even worse than what I had. This means I trapped myself with the footage I had from my original rough cut. This made my final cut less-than desirable, as I could only change so much. I added a hotline to the National Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline and the CFS (Child and Family Services) but, all in all, I'm amazed the grade I got was higher than I expected. In my critique below, I had scores that are literally the middle. I didn't improve too much on my video and expected a 1.5 tops. For the value and impact, I also expected equally low scores. If I had to re-do the video, I would probably change the location of my video or do a different topic. This weather was not the most pleasant, though I know that I could have made progress if I wanted to, instead of blaming the weather for my short-comings.



TAGS:
ALD 2.1 Assess the evolution of digital media as it affects and is affected by society.
ALD 2.2 Assess changes in technology and markets as it affects digital media designs.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Cinemagraphs



Cinemagraphs are still photographs in which a repeated movement occurs and can give the illusion that the viewer is watching an animation. They require a very still video. The steps required to make a cinemagraph are simple.

The first step is to prepare your environment. You need a nice place that won't interfere with your still video as well as a place that doesn't have too much activity. Having too much activity will usually cause a hard time in your editing and a watchful eye to make sure nothing looks weird. The second step is getting your video and sending it to an editing app/software. Getting the video is easy; just record what you want and make sure it looks nice. Next is exporting onto the appropriate software. For this cinemagraph, we used Final Cut Pro. We imported the videos we took on our smartphones onto our computers through Airdrop. Next is actually editing our video. By using Final Cut Pro, we downloaded the video, made a freeze frame of the part of the video we wanted, adding a mask to show us only the actual video, which, in this case, was the flag. After making the video look somewhat unnoticeable and adding a tool that made the video repeat, we now had a video which could technically be called a cinemagraph.

Finally, we exported the video using an export called "Drop to GIF", which allowed us to download the video as a GIF. By using the lowest resolution and size, we exported the file into Finder. The video now consists of what you see above. In hindsight, it looks nice. Until you see the mask interfering and the flag bobbing up and down. This means the table I was using as a stable area to record was not stable. This means I should have kept an eye on my video and, ifI noticed something, move or stop my surface from moving.

In my next cinemagraph, I'll be recording the curtains in my room at home. I hope to catch some kind of image that allows the curtains to moves but the rest of the room sits still.



In my second cinemagraph, I had a LOT of problems. My biggest problem was SHADOWS. Shadows took up a large part of the screen. The reason my first trial was a huge failure was because the original video had too much wind blowing, making the curtains extremely erratic. Since shadows are literally a 2D image of whatever is blocking the light, it made the shadows go everywhere too. I also kept messing with the sides of my cinemagraph after I split it, making it more obvious that there was a cut of some sort. It was slowed to make the curtains give more emphasis and so it wasn't too fast that it looked weird or photoshopped.



Continuing on, this is my third cinemagraph. In this, I tried to have the tree on the left move its leaves in the wind while the background froze, which was difficult, because I had people, trees, and the clouds moving with the wind. It came out better than I imagined, though when it repeats is obvious if you look. I believed this to be my best cinemagraph out of the three, and I really enjoyed making. After looking at the critique, it seems that it was my highest score as well, with a 3.2. It looks really cool, which is half the purpose behind the cinemagraph. It's also a new modern art-form, which pretty much animates a still picture. It gives more detail and information to the picture without catching every single movement. It's also a GIF, which allows for easy access and quick loading, something a video can't really do.



With the critique results above that I was given, I'm intrigued people thought my cinemagraphs were high. Most of the votes were higher than I anticipated and I think some scores should be slightly lower. Since I was near the end of the presentations, the first cinemagraph became repetitive, as well as poor in performance. The next two were more unique in ideas, though they were still in poor quality, with obvious loop and slightly unstable camera shots. Still, though, I'm happy with my work and, even though I personally think my work is overrated, happy with my critique.

TAGS:
ALD 4.1: Evaluate diverse processes of forming and conveying a targeted message.
ALD 4.2: Compare and contrast how various audiences perceive digital media to anticipate desired reactions and responses.