Final Project: An Interview with Callen Zelrich

See the Poster featured for our radio show below.

Don’t forget to take a moment to thank our sponsors.

If you have any further questions for Doctor Callen Zelrich, please direct them to his Twitter account @CallenZelrich and be sure to check in on his Q&A there!


So, there you have it everyone, above are the three parts to my final project! As I said in my brainstorming for this project last week, I wanted my final project to focus entirely on my character (a vampire who is also a surgeon) and his perspective. The story told through this project is one that comes from him, and continues the story as told through my last radio show story from DS106 radio news, which was that of different people being interview about my character.

This time, the first portion I created, as an audio portion, is an interview by my character, finally giving him a chance to defend himself and discuss his thoughts on revealing himself as a vampire and recent events relating to his release from custody by the police. This was by far the most time-consuming and difficult part of the project for me. Just to write up the questions and answers (since I am always terrible at improvising anything) took a very long time! I wanted to be sure I told the story I was aiming for, and the end result ended up being even longer than I thought it would when it was all finally recorded, which was awesome for the final product since I think it turned out to become a meaningful story.

This one was pretty tedious to edit in Audacity since I recorded each question and answer seperately (for the sake of my breath and any mistakes I’d make). My Audacity project got pretty full in the end with all the audio tracks, but I’d recommend recording things like these separately so you don’t have to record the entire thing at once. Again I used this tutorial to change the pitch of my voice for Cal’s parts, trying to not make it as deep as I did last time because that sounded odd. Finally, I added in some copyright free music from soundcloud, faded it in and out, and I was done with that editing marathon. Even though I’m getting used to Audacity some of its functions are still not as intuitive as I would like, especially when there are so many tracks you’re trying to sort through (But it’s free so we don’t doubt it too much).

Along with my radio show, I wanted to include a visual element (or possibly a design element depending on your perspective), so I created the two posters you see above, both using canva online. The first one you see is a poster advertising the show’s interview, as a more classy design, which I found fitting to the theme. The second is a more humorous addition, as an advertisement for Vampire Repellent that sponsors the show, which is an ironic sponsorship. At this point I think the vampire repellent is becoming an easter egg in my blog, appearing in so many different projects, and I just had to give it a chance in for Visual Storytelling in an advertisement. Canva is very easy to use, as you can chose a template and add images/text boxes of your own, as well as easily change existing elements of that template to your liking. I really enjoyed using it once again. The vampire logo I used can be found here, and the vampire repellent image is from the amazon page I edited for web storytelling earlier, found here.

For the final part in my project, as Cal mentioned in the radio show, he opened a twitter account that he is using for a Q&A. I thought this would provide a less professional avenue for developing his character with a lighter tone. Additionally, Twitter is such a common and unique form of Web Storytelling used now, and this was the most fun I had in the final project by far. It was fun designing the page as I imagined Cal would. For the questions, mostly I tweeted them to Cal using my own account, though some did come from my friends (who didn’t have a Twitter account, but wanted them to be included, so I passed them along through mine). Additionally, Professor Bond Tweeted many of the questions I sent to him, so a big thank you to him for that! I think this really brings the character to life in a way other forms of storytelling cannot, and I do wonder what anyone passing through Twitter and finding that account might think if they were to see it.

So, that’s it! It’s been a hectic week, as an understatement, and a surprisingly short semester! I really enjoyed interacting with all my classmates this semester and I wish you all luck on your projects and everything else you’ll be doing in the future!

Final Project To Do List

The plan for my final project has changed significantly throughout the week, as it originally started as one idea and now it’s turned into another. I’ve decided ultimately I want to continue my character’s story, specifically the story I started in the last group project, in which my character Callen, a vampire who is also a surgeon, was arrested and accused of murder. In that radio show segment, I focused on interviews of people commenting on him, but for the final project, I want to show Cal’s perspective.

First, I’m going to be creating a radio show interview as another segment from DS106 Radio news. This will be an interview of Cal and his perspective on the whole project, to tie together that story and give him a chance to defend himself and for everyone to hear his side of the story. Since I enjoyed making the interviews before, I thought this would be a good idea. I’ll also be using visual storytelling to create a poster/advertisement for this radio show interview, since it’s so highly anticipated in the community in Cal’s world.

For an alternate style to that interview, I’m going to next involve web storytelling a bit more. I plan on creating a Twitter account for Cal and allow him to have a Twitter Q&A session with people on Twitter. I expect this one to have a more humorous tone than the radio show interview, as I could have people ask some funny questions. I’ll see if anyone from the class wants to give him questions, otherwise I’ll use my own Twitter account to ask the questions, and maybe I’ll edit the web page so that they appear to be different people and not just me, it depends on how that works when I get to that point and how much time I have on my hands.

This week, I’ve just been working on starting to write up a script for my radio show. I really hope that I can record the show and get started on the other portions, so that I can finish this project early next week so I’m ready to focus on my finals. Can’t wait to see what everyone else has thought of!

Weekly Summary Week 12

Is it really week 12 already? Where has time gone! Anyway, I enjoyed doing the assignments more this week because I didn’t have too many assignments in any other classes so I could focus on this class mostly. Most of the mashup assignments I’ve done ended up involving more video editing, since I really enjoy video editing. It’s time consuming sometimes when you don’t have inspiration or know what to do with it, but after you learn how to use your editing program it becomes much easier.

First, I did 12 stars of mashup assignments. First in another assignment guessing game, I had you guessing my favorite TV shows from a mashup of no more than 2 seconds clips from each show. Could you guess any of them (answers in the video)? This was my favorite assignment this week. This was worth 4 stars.

Can you Guess my Favorite TV Shows?

Next, for 4.5 stars I created a mashup featuring the evolution of Hannibal Lecter throughout various movies and TV shows. This was the most difficult of the assignments this week because it was the most time consuming and difficult to chose clips for each movie and to edit them together in some way that was cohesive.

The Evolution of Hannibal Lecter

Finally, I added an inappropriate laugh track to the Evil Dead for my last 3.5 stars. I also chose to do my tutorial this week on that assignment, so check that out too!

The Evil Dead: The Sitcom

Adobe Premiere Elements: Laugh Track Mashup Tutorial

Next I had to do two remixed assignments. It took me a while to understand how to access them on the assignment pages and what they meant but I eventually was able to understand and produce two. First, I remixed my favorite sounds from earlier in the semester with an interesting twist.

My Favorite Sounds… And Where’s the Waldo Transition?

For my second I created a terrible PowerPoint presentation about Google drawing, which I’m quite proud of actually, considering I was to purposefully make the PowerPoint terrible.

Google Tried: A PowerPoint Presentation

Finally, here’s a link to my post with my daily creates for the week. I hope everyone had a great week!

Daily Creativity Week 12

Adobe Premiere Elements: Laugh Track Mashup Tutorial

For my tutorial this week, I’m choosing to create one for this mashup assignment, where you’re tasked to add an inappropriate laugh track to a movie scene to transform its tone. I did this assignment already today, which can be seen here.

Firstly, you need to think of which movie you’d like to use! I chose a horror movie and perhaps you wan’t to chose one like that, horror, drama, some other serious movie, as long as it isn’t a comedy movie itself. That way you can transform the media, be creative! Then you need to search for a scene of your movie on YouTube. Make sure you’ve downloaded the 4K video downloader. Then simply copy the url of the YouTube clip you’ve selected.

Then open the 4K video downloader app and click the ‘Paste Link’ button with the little green plus scene. Simply wait for the video to parse then select the quality, click ‘Download’ and your video will download as seen below!

Next you’ll need your laugh track audio! Here you need to visit freesound.org and search for a laugh track or laughing sound that you like. Here you need to make an account on the site or sign into your account and then click the yellow ‘Download’ button, the wait for your download to complete!

For the editing portion of this assignment, I used Adobe Premiere Elements 15. You can obtain easily a free trial version of this program (which will have a watermark on in when you upload a video, I believe, though I’m sure your professor would be understanding of that). Otherwise you can get a student discount and buy the program if you’re interested in video editing! I have a purchased copy of the program and its a powerful video editing tool, so this will be a short tutorial on the basics for it to get this assignment completed. Open your Premiere program and start a new project. Before you start, make sure you’re in ‘Expert’ mode to allow you full control of editing, by clicking the ‘Expert’ tab in the upper middle of the screen. Then you’ll want to import your video clip and your laugh track audio. To do this go to ‘Add Media’ and then ‘File and Folders’. Then you can select the file from your computer to add to the project. You can do this twice to add both of your media.

After adding the media, you should see both the audio and the video clip in the ‘Project Assets’ Section. Now you have both of those ready!

First, you’ll want to add an intro title to your project. Text and titles can be found in the right side of the menu with the little ‘T’ icon on the sidebar, under text that reads ‘ADD’. Clicking on the ‘T’ icon should bring you to a selection of titles you can chose from. Personally I like to chose a simple one as I find the complex ones somewhat cheesy.

Then, simply click the title you want to add and drag it into the timeline, in the ‘Video 1’ section. A menu should popup on the right that allows you to edit the text of the title in the ‘Text’ attribute, as shown here.

Next, you’ll want to add your movie clip. To add it simply click and drag it from the ‘Project Assets’ Section into the timeline below right after your title.

Now, you’ll want to figure out where you want your first laugh track to be located in the clip. Once you’ve chosen the location, simply drag your laugh track audio into the ‘Voice’ section (or really any audio section you’d like) in that location.

In my case, my laugh track was a bit too long for what I wanted to I trimmed it down. Here’s how you can trim something in Premiere Elements. Drag the little cursor bar to the portion of the video you want to cut. Then, make sure you’ve clicked on only the section of media you want to remove (audio, video, etc) so you don’t also cut the video along with the audio. Then click the little scissors icon on the red cursor bar. This will cut the clip, separating it at the cursors location.

Then you can right click the section of it you want to remove and click ‘Delete’ from the menu there. I used this to trim my laugh track audio to be as short as I wanted it to be.

Next you’ll want to duplicate this laugh track in other locations. To do this you’ll want to copy the part of it you’ve already placed in the timeline. This will copy the cuts and edits you’ve made to that audio portion as well. To copy the laugh track right click it and select ‘Copy’.

Then, find the next location in your movie clip you want to add the laugh track to and move your red cursor bar to that location. Press ctrl+v (or command+v on Mac) to paste the clip in the location of the cursor.

You’ll want to copy and paste your laugh track in every location you want a laugh effect, so repeat that step as many times as you need until you have all your laughs added. You can see all of mine are added below.

If you want to lower the volume on some of your laugh track you can do the following steps. First make sure the whole audio track is showing by clicking the little white down arrow next to ‘Voice’ or whatever audio channel you’re working on.

Now, do you see that little yellow bar in the middle of the audio clip? That represents your decibel level, now at the default for the clip. To lower the volume simply click that little yellow bar and gently drag it downwards a few decibels. You can drag it upwards to increase the volume, similarly.

Next, you’ll want to add closing credits to your video. These can be found in the same text/titles section as the intro title was found, by clicking on the ‘T’ icon on the right of the screen. I recommend the ‘Classic Titles’ > ‘General’ tab for this, to fine the ‘Default Roll’ title, because that one gives you simple scrolling credits.

Simply drag your selected credits text into the timeline after your movie clip.

In the Default Roll for example you can type your text directly into the main video screen in the center.

To move the text if it gets off center you need to look at the option under the Adjustments panel to see the ‘Mode’ selection. Here you can select the pointer tool that looks like a mouse, which allows you to move the text anywhere on the screen you want to move it to.

You can select the Mode ‘T’ for text to start editing text again. Note that on this Default Roll there’s a lot of ‘Add text here’s that are off screen so you’ll have to use arrow keys to move your cursor down there and backspace all of the ‘Add text here’s you don’t need. Now you can play your rolling credits!

Note: Be sure to credit the freesound.org user and the movie you used!

Personally, my rolling credits moved to fast to be read so I made them longer. You can do this by clicking on the edge of the credits in the timeline and dragging it further to the right, very simply.

Now you’re finished editing and ready to export your video! Simply go to ‘File’ then ‘Export and share’.

You can most likely use the settings from ‘Quick Export’, they should be fine! Just name your video and chose a download destination (it will default to saving your video as a .mp4 I believe). Click ‘Save’ to save the video to your computer.

Now all that’s left is uploading the video to YouTube, which I assume you know how to do at this point in the course! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I hope it could help you in some way!

The Evil Dead: The Sitcom

For my last assignment this week I chose this one for my last 3.5 stars. The assignment here was to transform a movie clip by applying an inappropriate laugh track to the clip.

I really love this assignment because I’m always the one who finds inappropriate scenes in movies funny, whether they be serious or scary, for some inexplicable reason. So, I’m always that person laughing at inappropriate times in a movie, which is why I thought this assignment would be fun for me. For this I decided I wanted to chose a horror movie to add an inappropriate laugh track to since I thought that would transform the meaning of it most drastically. Then, I thought of the Evil Dead, which is a ‘serious’ horror movie that often has me and my friends laughing so much when we watch it, simply due to its strangeness and interesting acting choices. So, I thought the movie would be perfect! I wanted to insert as many laughs as I could after picking a scene of the movie from YouTube and I hope I didn’t end up adding too many (there can never be too many, right?). I think the final product turned out pretty good!

Rather than briefly describing my process of creating the video, I instead chose to make a tutorial for this assignment for that requirement this week, so please go check that out here!

Daily Creativity Week 12

Week 12 already everyone! Hooray! This week I had fun with the daily creates, as usual. Particularly I loved the one in which we all had to caption an amusing comic strip, because I loved seeing all the different and clever things people had come up with. The best part of the daily creates is always seeing the awesome things everyone else made that you’d never think of yourself. Anyway, here are mine!

Google Tried: A PowerPoint Presentation

For my second remix this week, I chose to remix my google draw assignment from the beginning of the semester. The remix I created is at the following link. The task here was:

When I saw this pop up while reloading the remix for this assignment, I instantly became excited because I love designing PowerPoint presentation. This was my chance to create a terrible one! Personally, it always bothers me when people break the PowerPoint presentation rules – e.g. using too much text, too many pictures, bad fonts or designs, etc. So, I created my worst nightmare here. Overall, I decided to take a more comical approach to the remix description and went with create a PowerPoint presentation that describes and advertises my version of the assignment and encourages others to read it. Basically it is my entire assignment description from my blog post of the assignment, except in Terrible PowerPoint Format.

I tried to violate all possible PowerPoint rules when designing this presentation. I used Comic Sans for every font in the presentation and I used random different colors and sizes for the text, so nothing was consistent. On one slide I wrote too much to fit on the slide, and often I used more white space than necessary on others. Often, I allowed text and images not to be formatted or sized properly so you couldn’t read/see either the text of the image clearly because they overlap awkwardly. On the second slide I inserted far too many pictures in a terrible layout, and I added a poor/humorous graphic, ‘I dont even think you tried at all’, to make fun of google for not guessing that particular drawing. The graphic is from google images and can be found here.

Overall, this was an extremely fun assignment! I’d highly recommend this remix (and the original assignment, if you can’t tell from the PowerPoint’s encouragement). I think there is a true art form to creating something purposefully bad, in that it becomes something good/humorous in the end. PowerPoint is the perfect tool for creating funny little presentations like this, which I think is a unique form of digital storytelling in itself.

My Favorite Sounds… And Where’s the Waldo Transition?

For my first remix this week I chose to remix this assignment I did previously from audio week, where I compiled a track of my favorite songs. I received this instruction from the remix generator after a few tries of finding an appropriate remix:

To do this assignment I pulled out my trusty Audacity program and loaded in the audio I’d created for my previous version of this post. I recorded myself whispering ‘waldo’ once to add the Waldo element to the assignment. Then, I decided to put Waldo in more than one place in the audio, and it turned into using ‘waldo’ as a kind of transition between my various favorite sounds, as you can hear in the resulting audio.

As a kid, looking at Where’s Waldo books was one of my favorite pastimes, since my Grandma always had so many of those books and I’d always read them while going on various trips and vacations with my grandparents in their motor home. So, Waldo, to me is full of great and adventurous memories. This video however, transforming waldo into an audio medium ended up becoming a bit creepy. Since I’d whispered waldo for maximum effect, using it as a transition between my favorite sounds gave the overall experience a slightly creepy and ominous effect. So, consider the original product transformed, then?

 

The Evolution of Hannibal Lecter

For my second assignment this week I chose to do this one for 4.5 stars. The goal of this assignment is to create a video featuring the evolution of a particular character through multiples films/appearances as so often we see so many remakes and films featuring the same character presented in a different way.

This was certainly a challenging assignment! I thought it was interesting when I saw it since I like video editing, and I tried to think of a character that’s represented in multiple movies, and I thought of Hannibal Lecter, a character that was first created through novels and adapted in many movies and a TV series. To find out how many there were and the titles/dates for each movie because I didn’t remember them all I checked out this Wikipedia page and discovered there were even more movies than I thought there were (I hadn’t ever seen Manhunter before). The movies/shows shown in the video are from the following:

Manhunter (1986)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Hannibal (2001)

Red Dragon (2002)

Hannibal Rising (2006)

Hannibal (2013-2015)

After this, I searched YouTube for some clips to use with the 4K video downloader, finding a few I liked. Then I used Adobe Premiere Elements 15 to edit together the video that you see adobe, adding the appropriate titles and credits that listed each movie/show used and the song I used in the video. The most difficult task here was editing the clips together and choosing which ones I wanted to include. I noticed that there were so many scenes of some character, either Clarice Starling or Will Graham, visiting Hannibal in his cell for the first time, as he is often a character introduced from someone else’s perspective, so I decided to mash those together in the beginning, then in the second half of the video I chose scenes that featured Hannibal himself more prominently. I also chose the song, which is Bach’s Aria of the Goldberg Variations, because it is a song featured in both NBC’s Hannibal TV series and in Silence of the Lambs, as it’s supposed to be a song Hannibal enjoys. I hope you enjoy the video!

Can you Guess my Favorite TV Shows?

For my first assignment this week I’ve done this one for 4 stars. The assignment is as follows:

Create a mashup of 6 video clips (either TV or Movie) no longer than 2 seconds each. See if anyone can guess your favorite films!

Please watch the above video to see the clips and guess what TV shows they are in the comments below! You can pause the video before the answers are given at the end, to see if you were right!

I absolutely love the assignments like this which involve commenters guessing the story you’re trying to tell, as it gives the assignments more of an interactive nature. The story of this video however is simple, as it contains short clips (2 seconds each) from 6 of my favorite TV shows! The challenge here was picking out 6 favorites (I love a lot of TV) and then choosing only 6 seconds of them from available YouTube clips. I tried to chose scenes that were not necessarily iconic or well-known to make it more difficult and yet, if you like the show involved and you see the clip, you should be able to recognize it easily. Anyway, I supposed already one or two of the shows aren’t as well-known so I’m not sure if many people will be able to guess them all! Surely you all can at least guess a few of them?

To to this assignment, I used the 4K video downloader to download clips of the scenes I wanted, then I used Adobe Premiere Elements 15 to edit the clips down to the 2 seconds from each and create the mashup of all the clips. I added background music, which is Wrong by VYEN from YouTube’s copyright free music section. Additionally I added a title and some text at the end of the video that reveals the answers to what TV shows are shown.

Did you get any of them right in your guesses?