Final Blog Post

Overall this class made me become more in tune with media and technology, and its affects on this day and age. The course started with the basics; each new project lead to a higher level of learning. The map project was interesting, and gave one a new look at how maps are used and can be used, especially in the design aspect. Maps are not only used to find places, organize locations, but they also have creative aesthetics. The next project explored sound.  A podcast was something I was familiar with, but I had never actually made one. It was interesting playing with sounds, interviewing, and editing sound to make the content come alive. I favored this project the most, due to the fact that the audience only uses their ears to fully take in the podcast’s material. I also found that 4-5 minutes was also a sufficient amount of time alloted for the audio, even though I went overboard and had 7 minutes of material. The next project was the video project. I’ve never been a fan of filmography in all honestly, so producing my project was not necessarily how I wanted to spend my entire weekend. The filming and acting was probably the hardest, while the editing took the longest. I effectively chose an interesting topic to work with, which was how music interacts daily with students lives and is greatly necessary. I enjoyed interviewing multiple sources. Overall this project was the hardest, because I did everything by myself with a small time frame to accomplish the project. This was not the case for the final interactive project. I could not have finished it without my fellow group mates, Ryan and Hope. They were terrific to work with. We spent as much class time as possible to get our material sorted out for our assigned Theory, which was Genre. We chose to work with Wix, which is an interactive website that our group created. We had to do a lot of research based on the material Amber supplied us with. We did a lot of work in a short amount of time. I had never worked with anything interactive before, so it was a great experience. 

All of this material and knowledge that I have acquired will be helpful in the future. I plan on working as a graphic designer for an advertising agency. Things such as podcasts, videos, and other such media will surely be used in this area of work. This type of class is great for a general education requirement, because of the fact that media is a large part of our culture and society. The work field cannot be without media. Advertising is everywhere. The internet is becoming more dominant and technology is continuously evolving. That’s why this course is so relevant to have as a college course. Many students will benefit from this knowledge and be able to apply it to their future careers.

Final Interactive Project

Here is the url to Hope, Ryan, and my wix site which delves into Genre Theory of the Blogging World 🙂
http://www.wix.com/katkowall/genre-theory

Genre Theory, with Hope & Ryan & Myself

When given the topic of Genre Theory my group decided to focus on Genre and Media because it relates most to the class.

Genre studies and approaches to literary instruction has grown rapidly, gaining variety and complexity.  The traditions are becoming apart of theorectical reformation, research, and application during this dynamic period. All regions of the world have recognized this. New media is causing communication that is benefiting our realm. Higher education is growing in more countries with genre concepts being implemented in education. Genre helps elaborate writing. It is given a linguistic analysis. Practices are in oral text and written text.  This curriculum explores many dimensions of genre to bring understanding into the classroom.

Genres have become crucial in how we understand ourselves and our roles in a knowledge and profession based world. Media fosters new genres. New technologies creates a need for rapid and deep transformations of genres.  Meanings and knowledge coordinate our actions and hold our institutions together. Here there is a mutual understanding that needs to be met.

In the four articles there was the common theme of media in our social contexts and how genre and practice and perspective come into play. Models are used as textual forms. We can gain clear understanding through media.  One that is relied on is visual stimulation. Focal points create immediacy and impact.  Decoding happens in lawyers.  Helen Caple in her article explains that image can ensue verbiage within magazines and newspapers. She then expands on the public sphere of television, radio, and the internet.  Organization is included in the discourse.  Article four then focuses on the concept of identity. It’s important as an explanation of social and cultural changes.  Mass media offers windows which we can understand certain models that pose as our identity. Article four says that media can be a personal account. Genre analysis focuses on roles played by genre in establishing social action/ interactions in social events. Media is shaped by life values in a given culture.  It is how we can define, explain, and understand ourselves and the world.

Interactive Media

Mini Cooper Advertising:

http://marketingsmallbiz.co/?p=51

Pretty sweet and clever!

Gotta love personalized signs!

Final Project Choices

1. feminist theory
-This large contemporary topic is constantly being commented and criticized, whether by males or females. I myself being a woman can relate directly to why women have been and are being degraded for looks rather than acknowledging skills and talents. Work ethic and the sexual sphere express that there is a balance that is trying to be reached so that women are looked upon with virtue of being equal to men. The question is will that balance ever happen in our lifetime?

2. genre theory
-It would be interesting focus on different genres. I am interested to expand upon this in other areas, seeing that I already did my video project on music. Music is full of genres that develop and change. It would be interesting to focus on perhaps “stereotypes” or film and how they relate to culture.

3. social networking sites and privacy
-Social networking is evolving fast, so fast that most do not understand their privacy control and what is available to the public. It originally for me started with xanga, then myspace, and now facebook. So many people have a facebook in this world. The next question is what is appropriate to have on the internet and what can give you lots of flack in the business world as well as people who could use information against you, aka blackmail.

Reflection of Video Project

I myself am not super savvy as far as making films. However, for this class I enjoyed choosing my own topic, which was about how music is essential for the students here at the university. The only pressing issues were getting the proper footage that I needed and then editing that work with found footage. I enjoyed the variety of footage I included in my project (hopefully the class did as well). I tried greatly to make my point across to the audience while trying to instill some emotion after my project ended.  I wanted a lasting effect. Communication threw video is quite effective because not only to you have sound but the visual aspect to video is the most compelling. However if sound and the visuals do not coincide then there will most likely be failure to get your point across to the audience. I most challenge I faced was trying to be professional with my cinematography.

The Robbery @ Expresso Royale @ UIUC

Crime Alert! Crime Alert!
So when I first heard about the robbery I wasn’t surprise seeing that theft and crime happenings seem common down here on campus. Then when I heard more about it I learned that the person’s ipad was taken right from the table he was at. Soon enough my friend played the video captured by one of the nearby buildings kiddy corner of the coffee shop. To my amazement the robber just walked out the door and snatched it basically right from his face practically. The man who seemed to be older went to chase the thief however his accomplice showed him a gun and ran after his buddy. The former ipad owner stayed in his seat and did nothing.
I couldn’t even imagine that happening to me. Bringing a gun to steal an ipad at 4pm in the afternoon, broad daylight, public afoot and nearby. Who could imagine! Also the fact that this camera was in plain site and captured the illegal act, blows my mind. It’s quite good quality as well. Might be interesting to see if it was even higher quality so you could see the criminals faces. I wonder what they were thinking when they said “hey lets steal that ipad and run.”

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Hampe Response

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF9-sEbqDvU%5D

That’s a flash motion animation video. It takes awhile to document all the movements, and animation of the mouth of marcel the shell also takes time to create edit and finalize. I greatly enjoyed the detail and elements of film style and composition. The dialogue as well made the film interesting and worth while to watch. Cartoons usually need a sense of humor applied to them, which I applaud this artist for doing so.

Technology has progressed so far for us to see things we do not normally see with the naked eye. I’m amazed by space technology, the film industry, and computer and phones in general. All of this technology when used right can be powerful and leave a mark on a viewer. I’ve seen many films and photographs that have been significant enough for me to remember. Such things as effects, narrative, quality, characters, and other such elements bring me to remember the most appealing works of film. Quality such as the most intriguing action shots, still shots, clarity, and balance of the camera are clutch.

The video I posted had a little hint of all the things I mentioned above. It’s just a short film with an intriguing character, some artistic shots, dialogue and talented workman ship of the camera.

I haven’t watched too many documentaries in my life. However the ones I have have had intriguing camera work loaded with information. Interviews are a large part of them as well. The ones that keep my focus are the ones that show more than tell. Being an artist, I guess I am more of a visual learner. I like to be shown things. Seeing the physicality rather than imagining is something I find to enjoy more. There’s a short documentary that I watched last year in one of my Time Arts classes (time based media class, mostly films) that I will ask my professor about and see if I can find a link and post it. It was beautiful. Amazing quality shots.

Ah!

And here it is!

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/9696215%5D

 

Thoughts on Ira Glass’s Story Telling

The first topics Glass brings up is the building blocks. No don’t just go with standard high school policy, that’s not real-world broadcasting. It’s executed differently by a flow of events from one to the next. This keeps the listener content and compelled as to the story line. The audience needs to “feel like they are on a train with a destination.” Glass spoke of that if you continue by raising questions and keep raising questions yet also answering them you will keep your audience interested. Then Glass says with all of this flow you need to have a reflection. A reflection should basically recap, give a point, basically say “this is why I did this and why I’m wasting your time.” You need to have a meaning to your facts so that the story is “larger than the sum of its parts.”

Glass also says that finding a good story is half the battle. The other half is actually making it work yourself. You need interesting people to create emotions, humor, and actual dialog that can fit into your script. Then you need a volume of work to choose from. There’s always a lot of crap that comes with the good material. You need to stumble upon the good material too and ignore and “kill” the bad/ unusable junk. If you aren’t a “killer” then you won’t be able to get out of the phase of mediocre boring work.

Of course you are your own worst critic and you know when your work is good, better, best, or just downright awful. Just strive for doing something memorable and special. Create a deadline, talk like yourself, and do a lot of work. You have to try and retry. Failure leads to better work. Be interesting, be interested in the world. It’ll show in your story how much time you invested.

Sound Matters

McKee lists four elements of sound to focus on:
1. vocal delivery
2. music
3. special effects
4. silence

As I was listening to one of the podcasts from “The American Life,” I found myself very into the audio right from the beginning. The crispness of both of the voices intrigued me and there was no extra static that distracted me from the message they were trying to get across to the listeners. The background audio never overpowered the voices in the foreground. The side sound was intriguing and did not leave the listening at a dull moment. The addition of music correlated well with the subjects and themes being discussed in the podcast. The music was also varied to not infringe on copy write issues. The flow was nice and easy to follow with varying topics and facts that kept me interested. The more silence there was the less interested I became, because there is no visual imagery to take its place. I was greatly impressed with the podcast on Penn State being the Number one party school. Mostly because the subject relates to me the most and it had some humor and interesting points of the college life that were a concern. I enjoyed the outside sources they used.

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