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Week Four Reflection

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This week in DS106 was a very fun week! I spent a lot more time on the individual assignments than I had done in prior weeks, however I suppose that this is to be expected as the medium is itself more challenging. Overall I think I did a pretty good job of completing all of the requirements for the assignments. I actually created an assignment I am pretty proud of this week, however more on that later. I think it was great that the amount daily creates was scaled back a little bit as to allow more time for the other assignments, I thought that was actually very helpful.

Quite a few different things gave me trouble this week. Mostly, iMovie, in my opinion the interface wasn’t the best. I spent way to long just trying to move a clip a few seconds to the right, I never could figure out how to actually do that with iMovie, so instead I ended up cutting the scene in half (where it was black), and then just slowing that down, this effectively moved the later scene to the right, however it was pretty counter intuitive in my opinion.

A lot of the assignments I enjoyed, however my personal favorite was muting the pulp fiction scene and then syncing it with music. This was the result. I really enjoyed working on the assignment! The best feeling was how the music lyrics really went well with the scene itself, at the best times! I really don’t like the type of music at all, however I did think it worked very well overall! I also learned a lot about using iMovie, even though if I was going to do any serious editing I know I would just use Adobe Premiere.

Overall I think I learned a lot of theory behind film, however I also learned a lot of technical things, especially in regards to iMovie. I do think the biggest take away form this week though, was how to analyze a film, before when watching a film I felt as if I was in a passive role, however now I have tools to feel engaged with the movie on multiple levels. This I think is a very powerful thing. So in that respect I very much enjoyed this week’s content.

I wouldn’t do many things differently. I would perhaps have downloaded some other software instead of iMovie, because I really did hate working with it at first, cause it felt really dumbed-down, however in the end I think I learned a lot, and I suppose it is good to be able to use the simple software especially for creating simple things. The only other thing I would have done differently I would have played back my videos a few more times before uploading to youtube, because twice I had a video uploaded, and then noticed things that needed to be changed…. Very frustrating, however now I know I really do need to be more careful, and check my work a little better.

As far as questions for this week, I really don’t have many! My biggest question is, do we have at UMW have a film class that analyzes films like Ebert discribed. I know we have a Japanese Film class, because one of my good friends took that course, however I don’t think they did anything like Ebert suggested.

Over this week I think the largest issue surrounding my work was probably Pulp Fiction… I don’t really know why, probably because I did enjoy the movie, and there were many interesting scenes to work with. I found myself constantly referring to that piece of work. Perhaps I am just really into post modernism, what ever that means.

Overall I think this week was pretty awesome, it was very interesting to be immersed in film. It was also great not just being a passive watcher, but to be actively engaged, and then to take it a step further and to actually be a part of the process, and create my own videos! Very motivating stuff!

1. Reading Ebert’s ideas was a very rewarding experience. I found myself thinking more critically about movies, and trying to understand why certain things were done in certain ways. You can read more about my thoughts on Ebert’s ideas here.

2. After having read Ebert’s ideas I felt very ready to tackle the next assignment, applying those techniques to actual footage. I very much enjoyed doing that! It was great seeing those clips that illustrated many of his points also, made them feel more concrete. My full experience can be found here.

3. I created two video assignments, each worth four stars. The first one I created was simply a vlog, in which I addressed a sixteen year old version of myself. Much of that video concerns advice regarding college. When creating that video I really tried to have an interesting backdrop, and to maintain a good camera angle, however I found it very difficult.

The next assignment I created was to mute a scene form a movie, and then play a song over it. I found it to be a very cool assignment. Here is what I made. I found the whole thing very compelling! I worked very hard on getting the music to sync just right, and I found that I really liked the result! Overall a very cool assignment that I enjoyed doing so very very much!

4. I created my first very own DS106 assignment this week. I very much enjoyed the brain storming process, and then actually typing up the assignment was pretty fun too! I tried to come up with something creative, but something still doable! I think it turned out pretty well! it focuses on capturing what the world looks like through someones personal perspective.

5. I also created my first tutorial! I thought it would be quite fitting to create a tutorial for the assignment I myself made. I opted to use screen shots in my tutorial, because I found that getting to do the screen recording on the mac was a little annoying. Also I really didn’t want to download any freeware, that wasn’t open source (paranoid yes). However I do think that the tutorial came out pretty nice looking!

6. I commented on quite a few peoples blogs this week. I always tried to add constructive feedback! I refrained from simply saying things like “That’s cool” or “Great job”, because those comments are truly useless. You can find my comments here, one and two.

7. I also created three daily creates. This week I really focused on trying to get my daily creates done in about twenty minutes. In previous weeks I would probably spend about an hour on each one, however I know that isn’t really in the spirit of the daily create. As I understand its supposed to be a little spark of creativity that should help ignite you for that day, it isn’t something that should be so time consuming that is soaks up all of the creative juices like a sponge. Here are the results of my daily creates: one, two, three. The first daily create address how language is constantly changing, something I find very interesting. The second daily create looks at a very cool Non-Euclidean geometry, the math behind which I am very familiar with thanks to a directed study I did in Differential Geometry. The last daily create is a simple stylized poster for Pulp Fiction that I attempted to convey additional meaning about the story line through.

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