This project was inspired by a Sklar brothers bit that I heard on the VA Beach AM comedy channel the other day. An edited and condensed version of track 16 is here.
Now on to the assignment . . .
Take any video.1 Add your voice over as if you were a local TV news anchor attempting to provide color commentary without stating anything as a fact or with certainty. Add all the hedge words and banalities that exemplify this kind of coverage.
If you’re looking for the DS106 tag/aggregation for the assignment go here (AudioAssignments, AudioAssignments1085).
The basic idea is this is almost the opposite of what we want students to do with writing. We want them to be specific, to eliminate hedge words, to make a strong argument, and to take a specific stance. In a class, I might flip it both ways. Have one understated version with no definite statements and then do another version which overstates things (like this Daily Show clip description which I may dig up the video for at some point). Or you could simply give them the option to either understate or overstate the commentary.
This is a quick and dirty example where despite my efforts I accidentally say a few facts. For instance, there’s no way I could really know that humanoid is small, nor that the utensil is plastic. Allowing for an editing cycle based on other people calling out facts might be possible depending on time.
1 The worse the video, the easier this is. Look for something with virtually no action. If it’s exciting, you’ll never keep up.
Embedded below is a simple example of a choose your own adventure story using the branch logic options in Google forms. It’s a little hard to keep the pages straight at first but it gets easier as you go. Were I doing something large, I’d probably have to map it out first.
It has taken me quite a while to get to 19. Clearly, I tend to do this project in fits and starts and I do much better when I leave town. Because the Universe has a sense of humor, I will be in Las Vegas for BlackBoard World and I’m hoping that will result in some interesting opportunities.
Despite the practice, it still isn’t an easy thing for me to do. I’m always fairly awkward asking although I think I recover better than I did initially.
It is interesting to look at the gender, age, and race of the subjects. It probably says quite a bit about me. I’ve only been turned down three times. 86% is a pretty decent success rate. One of the rejections was from a police officer who “got in the habit” of refusing to have his picture taken when he was in an elite military unit1.
In any case, I’m glad I started this project. I intend to finish all 100.
My try at a minimalist movie poster. All1 sorts of people have already done it. Although most don’t seem to be tagging with visualassignments572 it so that it aggregates under the assignment on the ds106 site. That’s going to make it harder for Jim to count every assignment by hand when he does the big data infographic design fest at the end of the course.
I had a number of ideas. Most of them centered around putting the tux bow tie around things like the Walther PPK. I did that and didn’t like it. Things looked too cheesy.
To get the tux look, I started with a still from a Bond film and then ended up using the Polygonal Lasso Tool to trace the outlines. In the end I made the lines more angular and iconic. I added in some of the defining lines (to help define the bow tie and to illustrate the shirt split).
This little girl was at a birthday party for some family friends. She alternated between closing her eyes and sticking out her tongue (in a non-annoying way that made me like her more) and that real smile.
Her older sister was there too but she was old enough to pose. She smiled but it wasn’t real. She said she didn’t like her smile. That was a pretty depressing statement for an 8 year old to make. Already self-conscious.
This picture was taken in the computer lab in the building where I teach night classes. Tien Shu (spelling? seemed rude/stalker-ish to ask) is a math major. She seemed fine with having the picture taken but there might have been a communication problem. I asked her a few small talk questions but all I got were smiles and nods . . not sure if it was a language issue, or just too much time in the computer lab. It was not as satisfying as a number of the other shots but I do like that she manages to smile with just the lines on her face. Her lips remain completely straight.
It is interesting for me to look at this series all together. I wonder if the closeness of the photographs relates to my comfort level or that of the subject. I need to go back and see how much cropping I did on these. I think most are full frame.
It’s also worth noting that I chicken out on a lot of these potential photographs. I find excuses not to bother the person or whatever.
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