Category Archives: Video Assignments

Jack Teaches How to Pour Beer

This is the how to tutorial assignment worth 3 points.

If you’re not drinking scotch or bourbon, you must be (or better be) drinking beer. More specifically, you’d better be drinking a real beer. Nothing with the word “light” counts here, folks. We’re looking for full-flavored craft brews. Real quantities of hops, malt, and brewer’s yeast, nothing watery and metallic. Look local if you don’t know better. Nowadays though, good beer is everywhere. That’s why we need to learn how to pour em’, to get the full aromas and frothy head that makes a beer look, smell, and taste amazing. Today I’m pouring a Hop Hash-Infused double IPA (India Pale Ale) from Sweetwater Brewery in Georgia. Learn well and enjoy the craft. There’s nothing like a real beer.

A Song for Jack

This is the I am me assignment worth 4 1/2 points.

This is an altered version of the song John Wayne Gacy Jr. by Sufjan Stevens. Only the lyrics from the first verse remain from the original song. The rest, even some of the guitar licks, have been changed for this version of the song for myself. I’ve always been struck by the opening lyrics. “My father was a drinker, and my mother cried in bed.” It’s always struck a chord in me, no pun intended of course. Being the writer I am, with the childhood I had, with the father I had, this song resonates greatly.  Yes, of course, I understand that this song was originally about the notorious, clown-dressing serial killer, John Wayne Gacy. But it concerns his childhood, his upbringing; what made him a monster. It’s something so many of us wonder when we find ourselves to be capable of actions and thoughts we can hardly believe. How did I become this way? How did I become this monster?

What Makes a Good Story is the Rhyme

This is the sound to visual assignment worth 3 points.

I was messing around with visualizing the collaboration I did with Spencer’s character, Donnie Rawley, and I really liked the calm, striking visual effect I was able to get with these filters on Movie Maker. I think it fits perfectly well with the “zen” feel of the music. The water drops in particular looks so damn cool; almost like a moving sketch.

My Name is Jack Neff. I’m a Writer.

This is the narrative ambiance assignment worth 4 points.

I took this monologue from the horror video game Alan Wake by Remedy Entertainment. Just to be clear on a few things, the Stephen King quote ends after the line “the poetry of fear.” The rest is the monologue from the game. Also, where the original line is “My name is Alan Wake. I’m a writer,” I inserted myself, Jack Neff.

DeNiro in All His Angry Awesomeness

This is the favorite actor/actress highlight reel assignment worth 3 points.

Robert DeNiro is so angry. And he loves repeating himself. This is a pretty cool collaboration from one of America’s greatest actors, taken from my favorites of his filmography. I’m just now realizing that other than the Godfather Part 2, all of the films here are from Martin Scorsese. We have Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Casino, and Goodfellas from Scorsese, and the Godfather is obviously Francis Ford Coppola. Its a nice array of his films where we can see him skinny, young and pissed (Taxi Driver, Godfather), and older, wiser, but still pissed. I love the guy and his movies, so I couldn’t pass this one up. I forgot the video was only intended to be 30-60 seconds, but the scenes are just too good to cut up. It felt like a sin to break them up more!

Black Bird Visualized

This is the sound to visual assignment worth 3 points.

I’ve wanted to do more with my Blackbird self trio since I recorded it and people seemed to take a liking to it. I decided I would finally record the guitar accompaniment and set it to simple visuals. I found an awesomely simple black and white, sketched-look video of a flying bird and I took it apart to guide the music. It’s simple but I love the peace and calm of it all. I also considered making a video for the collaboration audio I did last week with Spencer’s Zen guitar piece. It would have been cool to see that grow in three different places but I thought my Blackbird recording gave me a bit more to work with. I had a bit of trouble aligning to timing up for some reason, and it definitely shows with the guitar in the beginning, but it picks up.

Slow-mo Beer Pour


This is the play it backward, Jack assignment worth 2 points.

This was actually much more cumbersome that I originally thought. I figured Windows Movie Maker would have some feature for reversing video files, but alas I spent 20 or so fruitless minutes getting angry until Google told me it was a useless effort. Naturally however, there are a number of apps and things that make the process fairly easy. I found one on my iPhone called “Vid Reverse” that did the job quite nicely! I wanted a really foamy head on my beer pour for the video, but I kinda over-did it a bit, leading to the mushroom cloud and eventual dripping down the sides. It looks great for the video anyway. Cool stuff!

This isn’t a direct relation to my character, Jack Neff, but it is definitely in line with this personality in terms of alcohol consumption. However Jack is more of a hard whiskey/scotch man. He stays away from the beer. Doesn’t do enough for him. He gets too full before he feels the buzz.

By the way, if anyone is curious, the beer there is an imperial IPA from Flying Dog brewery in Maryland. It’s called HBC-431, in reference to the brand new hop strain it uses. It’s absolutely delicious.