Creative process

Working on this project has been an interesting experience for me. The group dynamics are actually really interesting, because the four of us are each in a different year of college. As the senior in the group, I would say that I am arguably the laziest. That being said, all of us want to get it done and have roughly similar motivation levels.

During this process, we’ve had a number of successes, but there are also future issues that we will need to contend with, and I will detail some of these successes/issues here.

Our first and most important success was determining the overall vision we had for our project. We had a number of good ideas and it was tough deciding how we wanted to go about making the project both doable for us as well as entertaining and unique for its consumer. Ultimately we settled on using a mix of webcam shots and screen casting of facebook message conversations.

The next success was completing our script. As I write this, almost the entire script is complete. There is still one scene left: the one where my abuse of Sarah is so over the top and extreme that everything breaks. We put a good amount of work into the script thus far, and it captures the emotions we are trying to show very well. This last scene is difficult though, because the original abuse was fairly extreme, and we need some collaboration to complete it.

Another major problem we are having is coordinating our schedule to find good times to meet up. It will be tricky to do the filming and overall work of putting it all together since we all have very different and busy schedules. I generally have the most free time, but I seem to be busy on the days everyone else is free. This will be a challenge but we’ll be able to figure it out and make it work somehow.

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Creative Commons

I have found the creative commons search engine incredibly difficult to use thus far. I’ve been searching for things relevant to dating abuse, but almost everything that comes up is not particularly applicable. For example, when I search for man hitting woman, pictures of couples appear. Definitely not what I’m going for. A search for battered women also doesn’t have anything useful, as with several other searches. So here is a picture of a crying woman in the foreground with another concerned looking on in the background. I think it’s about as close as I will find. Maybe we can somehow tie this in with a scene involving Sara trying to console or give advice to Sarah after she has been abused.

In my search for a song to play, this┬áis the only one I came across that had any relevance whatsoever. It isn’t very good. At all. We definitely shouldn’t use it. But it is about online dating, so it could somehow get thrown in if we change our plot around a little bit. We do plan on doing some facebook chat message scenes for our video, so it could be played in the background, but I’m sure there are better songs out there for it.

As for a relevant video, I figured I would include a video that I was involved in senior year. I already mentioned it earlier in this blog, but it actually does work here. This video is about different forms of rape. The scene on acquaintance rape would actually be a common thing for an abusive relationship. Since rape is any non-consensual sex, even if it is forced from a man on his wife or girlfriend, that could be included in a dating abuse scenario. I don’t know how we could possibly tie another video into the video that we will create though, so I don’t think it will actually be all that useful for the purposes of this project.

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Final Project

First off, our group is great. Everyone is contributing something, and we have come up with a lot of good ideas. We’ve put a good amount of effort into brainstorming, and I don’t anticipate knowing what the final product will look like until its actually complete.

That being said, we do have a general direction we are following for now. Our idea is to have a comparison between a healthy relationship and an abusive relationship, as shown through a series of facebook messenger conversations. We plan to start with a major hook. It will start from the end, with the abusive boyfriend doing something horrible, and then the girlfriend wondering how things got to this point. Then we go back to the start of the relationship and see how it became abusive.

For some reason, there was a group consensus that I should play the abusive boyfriend. I don’t know why this is, but I hope I don’t get typecast as the asshole for the remainder of my acting career. This unfortunately seems to be happening, since I’ve actually played the role of date rapist in my sex ed project in high school. By the way, I got a 100 on that project, so I guess I’m a pretty good actor.

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They see me blog-rollin’

For the midterm, I used my blog Feel Happiness, a project that I have been wanting to work on for a long time. As an avid reader of personal development literature, I have noticed some problems with most of what I read out there, and I wanted to make improvements. For example, most personal development information is just fluff designed to make you feel better about yourself for a few minutes, but doesn’t give useful strategies and tactics for actually improving yourself in the long term. I decided I wanted to write about increasing happiness, but I wanted to make sure its scientifically backed and has exercises for how people can apply the information.

As far as the design of the blog goes, I didn’t have many thoughts regarding the aesthetics. The main thing that I wanted was a blue background for its relaxing effect, but I’ve noticed that makes it harder to see the links I put in, so I might change it around. Other than that, I wanted a cool nature type picture or trippy picture for my header. Regarding other aspects of the design, I haven’t put much thought into it. Ultimately I plan on making it much more aesthetically pleasing, but putting up some good content is a much higher priority. I will probably start improving the look sometime after Dance Marathon is over and I feel like I have more time.

My “creative process” probably applies more to generating content than the blog design, since content is a bigger strength of mine. I spent about a half hour brainstorming topics to ultimately write about, and I came up with around fifty that I have saved for future posts. Then I went online and started looking for scholarly articles on these and other topics, and found even more stuff to write about. Not a very interesting process, but that’s what I did!

Anyways, onto my reviews of my classmates blogs!

First up is the blog of the venerable Nate Weiss. This is probably my least favorite blog because somehow his media component was great despite not even including a single picture of me in it. What did I do to deserve this, Nate? But seriously, this blog is about one of my favorite topics, Dance Marathon, so how can it not be awesome? It was actually really interesting to read through the entries and find out more about the history of your involvement with DM. Lots of interesting stuff and loads of good pictures and media in general. You get an A-…it would have been an A+ if I played a more prominent role in the video montage.

Next up is Sarah Wexler’s blog Intern Guide. The first thing I noticed is of course the header. When I looked at this one the first time it was like BAM! Definitely a sweet pic. I like your post about food and event planning which had some really interesting information in it. And of course, the pictures of the food would have made me ravenous had I not just devoured three rolls of sushi. I also think the choice of topic is unique, which is a huge plus in my opinion.

Now I’m going to take a look at The Lazy College Girl Guide, a blog by Sara Pagliante. While I like the name of the blog, the topic is almost totally irrelevant to me. On the other hand, I did really find the whole blanket coat entry amusing. I don’t appreciate you trash talking snuggies. They are so comfortable (although now rivaled by the even more fashionable Forever Lazy, haha). Anyways, despite not being particularly interested in women’s fashion (the models themselves are usually more interesting to me), I think this blog is very well done and has lots of posts too.

Naturally I had to talk about Good Eats Diary, the blog of Daniel Jung. Why did I have to talk about it? Because the first post is about sushi, of course! Dan, I’m very happy that you’ve discovered sushi…I hopped on that bandwagon in November 2010 and never looked back. I’ll have to check out that Sushi Cruise place sometime. For your benefit, you might want to consider going to Sushi Palace in Edison, which has $20 all you can eat, and a place called U-Yees, which has the cheapest and best rolls all the time. Whenever I go there, I’ll get four special rolls for about $20, and then brace myself for the mouth-watering, belt buckle loosening euphoric experience.

Last but not least is Comfortable Calories, which is Melissa Repke’s blog. I’m a big nutrition nerd, so I love the choice of topic. In fact, I was strongly considering doing something similar. Doing a screencast on reading a nutrition label is an absolutely brilliant idea. Most people just don’t understand how to do that, but it is such a basic and necessary skill. While we probably don’t agree on what exactly makes a food “healthy” (I tend to side with the more paleo-diet crowd), I definitely appreciate how you said dieting and eating healthy shouldn’t be difficult or frustrating. It is generally a matter of making a few simple substitutions, as you said.

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What have I done?

I have created the most realistic Michael Davidson Life Simulator of all time.

http://www.pictogame.com/en/play/game/4VM2Xq5lab4J_bodybuilder

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Audio Attempt

Click Here for Podcast!

It was actually an interesting experience creating this file. I spent the whole class period attempting to splice a remix by Adam K and Soha called “Need to Feel Loved”, which is a great song. However, the progressive house rhythms and lack of chorus were too much for me to handle, and I failed at finding an adequate place to splice the song.

When I got back from class, I decided to experiment with Ableton Live, a program I have wanted to use for a long time now. After about three hours of finding out cool things about Ableton but nothing relevant to this assignment, I decided to save that experimentation for my own time. Ableton, you are awesome, and I will be back.

Today, I decided to go back to the computer lab and finish this assignment once and for all, with Garageband. This time, I decided that I wanted to use songs that reference or are about people named Mike. Fitting. Anyways, my selections are “Pool Party” by The Aquabats, a ska super group, and the classic “Paul Revere” by none other than the Beastie Boys. Best lyric ever: “I’m Mike D. and I get respect. Your cash and your jewelry is what I expect.” Sounds like something awesome to put on one of my shirts…

Anyways, I spliced “Pool Party” at a part that I thought appropriate, even though its not quite seamless. I really like the effect I have of crescendoing through the splice and then the big band chorus coming in, followed by the crossfade into “Paul Revere”. The song just becomes audible as they introduce Mike D., the uber-badass in the heist that is detailed in the song. All in all, I’m pretty proud of myself.

There were two things I didn’t like about my audio. The first is that right in the beginning of it, there seems to be issues with the audio quality. A higher quality version of the song probably could have reduced that static sound in the beginning. Second, my voice over is really quite. I assure you I am not that timid, but I didn’t feel comfortable yelling at the screen with fifty people around me in the computer lab. Not going back to the asylum, not this time.

I hope you enjoy!

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First Post!

Overall, it has been a pretty easy experience setting up this blog. WordPress seems to do most of the work for me, and all I really had to do was choose a theme that looked cool. The one thing I had trouble with is figuring out how to put a different picture on each page, and I’ll work more on that later.

From Memebase

 

In the meantime, I think the picture I have for right now is more than adequate, if I do say so myself. I like how easy and intuitive everything has been so far, but I feel like there is a lot more advanced stuff to learn over time.

From knowyourmeme

 

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