First, and most importantly, was the launch of my agency’s new website. There remains work to be done in filling out all of the necessary content, but I’m liking the aesthetic approach thus far. Failure, Our Muse, FOM Talent Agency, looks like it has a bright future ahead of it.
I turned to the mashup assignments with the new found freedom this week and completed a movie mashup between the Matrix and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s a bit more obvious than I would have liked, but it’s still funny.
I had way, way, way too much fun, and spent all too much time on Inklewriter writing a baseball-themed choose-your-own adventure/interactive game. It’s not even close to finished. I had too much ambition and didn’t realize what I was getting myself in to. This could be really, really cool if I find the time to finish it all out. The variables and different scenarios make it tough to go very far, even with multiple days worth of work.
I begrudgingly, and somewhat embarrassingly, posted my resume online for all to see. Yeah, I know, I know. I haven’t had much job experience for my age. Still. I’m finally finding some kind of success now with this agency, so eat it.
Another fun week with video, this time delving much further into my character, Jack Neff, than I had in the past. A number of the assignments from this week, especially the interview, started to flesh him out a bit more and make me understand him. I won’t lie, I like that the weird Nixon/Hunter S. Thompson/Rod Serling voice I’m doing helps me differentiate myself from my character, but it gets damn tiring and its hard to keep consistent. I’m noticing that radio show Jack sounds a lot different than the video Jack I’ve been doing. I should have gone with the Todd Sprinkle voice for my character. That was just too funny. Anyway, stuff from this week:
I used some crazy filters for the narrative ambiance assignment where I used a monologue from the opening of the video game Alan Wake. That whole thing is pretty creepy, but the palm tree does kill it a bit. The lighting just looked too cool with that filter to pass up.
The I am me assignment was another great way for me to flesh out Jack. I twisted up a little-know folk song from Sufjan Stevens to be more in line with the character, and even wrote an alternate verse for it. The visual effect going on in the video is pretty cool too, as the colors slowly fade in and out. I had fun with this.
Then in a bit of a funny how-to video, Jack teaches everyone how to properly pour a craft beer. He’s a bit of an alchy, so its not the sort of thing he takes for granted!
I created a compilation of Robert Deniro’s angry, repeating awesomeness from five different classic films. I love every Scorsese movie he’s ever done and more.
I did my video essay on the classic balcony scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious. Hitchcock is the absolute shit, so I was excited to see this film on the list. Vertigo and Rear Window will always be my favorites, and I still think I like Cary Grant better in North by Northwest, but it’s undoubtedly a cool film.
I tuned in to listen to the radio shows on Thursday night-disappointed to not hear my show, but I loved the Clue-inspired group. Funny stuff.
I organized into a radio group a on the later side, but am in the Noir Buzz group. We intend to incorporate darker tales of celebrity gossip into the lives of our characters. We’ll likely make at least some portions of our show a talk-show format with our characters. It should be an interesting mash up and I’m curious to see how it turns out. We haven’t accomplished a huge amount yet, but I think we have a number of good ideas that will grow. We’ve been bouncing ideas around and planning on a Google Doc. I made a promo bumper for the station that I think serves its purpose well.
The assignments this week were a good bit of fun. In particular, the dialogue mashup and movie voice machine assignments were good for a number of laughs. I’m liking the comment requirements to a certain degree. It’s certainly enjoyable getting feedback from other people who are doing the same work.
The last assignment I completed was the 800% slower assignment. I was amazed how long it took to process the whole thing, but I’m also inspired to try that on every song I know now.
Yet another interesting week with a bunch of fun activities.
I talked a bit about the Big Lebowski, “slacker noir,” and my personal comparison of the film’s similar political nature to Chinatown. I also love Blade Runner and Double Indemnity, but there isn’t time for everything.
The design blitz was a fun bit of time that got me scanning my eyes around the world a bit differently. I particularly had fun using an absurd Salvador Dali painting to discuss perspective and metaphor.
The assignments this week were a good time as well.
The four symbols assignment is a real fun activity that seems so much more obvious to the creator. I still think mine’s obvious, but I’ve received mixed signals.
I got a bit frustrated with my DS106 wallpaper assignment, but I still think the final product is cool, even if it’s not as slick as I wish it could be.
The budding entrepreneur assignment is one of the goofiest things I’ve done yet. Literal German-accented wine, Hitler, Nazi’s, what’s not to like? The whole thing is bizarre; I can’t believe it came out of my brain.
I’m really happy with the overall look of my scene poster assignment. The color palate is exactly what I had envisioned. I won’t stop the Taxi Driver party.
Yeah…this isn’t a bloody wrist, but a jelly bracelet. It was as gross as it looks.
This is a clip of me playing Dark Warrior off of internet arcade. It’s just like so many other games of its type.
I played around a bunch with Taxi Driver for my assignments this week. That was a ton of fun. I love that I was able to act out the famous “You talkin’ to me?” speech for the line remix assignment, of course substituting “me” for “him.” I also used the film’s theme music as the basis for my radio bumper, something I knew about but didn’t realize had a name. I’m not a huge fan of my speaking voice, so it was a little eerie hearing myself talk, especially with the dark shtick I was going for. It’s still fun to listen to. I love Hermann’s score in that film; really an underrated aspect. But enough about Taxi Driver.
I really enjoyed both the sound effects assignment and the solo vocal trio. The latter I’ve played around with a bit in the past, but I’ve never attempted to tell a story solely with sound effects. It was a bit of an eye-opening experience realizing how important silence and pacing is in creating mood and atmosphere. I want to continue to play with that idea and incorporate more deliberate pacing in my music and storytelling, which I think has a tendency to fly off of the rails.
Crazy times for me are finally at an end. I think I’ve driven more the last two weeks than I have my entire life. I can’t wait to have a fresh week.
Anyway, I did have some interesting, fruitful discoveries this week that involved quite a bit of personal photography discussion. My favorite bit was the photo safari. I love playing with shadows so that project was gravy for me. I’ve fallen in love with the moonshot above my house. It’s awesome.
I also had fun remixing the Dark Side of the Moon cover. That’s something I’ve thought about doing for a while, but never saw any real reason for it. I’m happy I finally played around with it.
The bag contents assignment was a great way of continuing to flesh out my character, Jack “Settig” Neff (by the way “Settig” is “Gittes” backwards). I’m having a ton of fun with this altar ego/mentally crazed writer idea for him. I’m looking forward to seeing just what kinds of mysteries Jack Settig solves at night after Jack Neff is done with his job at the grocery. I’m already thinking of awesome stuff.
The “stenciling” assignment was a fun one. I learned that GIMP’s idea of stenciling is not what the project called for. I found a few new GIMP toys in the process here that will surely be useful in the future.
I’ve been reading Emerson lately because it’s one of the only books I’ve had access to at different points this week, so I used a quote from him for the visual poetry assignment. I probably put too much time in boxing with GIMP to get what I wanted and I still didn’t even get close. Regardless, there’s something to like there I think.
An absolutely crazy week for me, I didn’t have nearly enough time to do the work I wanted, but I’m all geared up to be right there starting next week. I had fun reading through more examples of noir. In particular, I was thrilled to read through Robert Towne’s Chinatown screenplay. I’ve heard for some time that its a “perfect” screenplay, and it’s always been one of my favorite films, so I’m glad I finally knocked that one off the list. I have to be honest though, while it’s certainly a sound work, I’m more drawn to Polanksi’s direction and style than the core of the plot. Also, you can never beat actually seeing Jack Nicholson with a huge splint on his nose.
Anyway, in other news, I’m still working on getting this blog site to look how I want it. I don’t want anything too flashy, just something clean, professional, and accessible. I’ve done a few of these now, so I’m trying to stay away from using the same themes and layouts. I want to think a little bit more out of the box.
I particularly enjoyed the writing assignments this week. I was able to work with a number of topics and things that have been on my plate quite often recently, so that was enjoyable. I’m always pumped when I get a chance to do some video game reviewing, so that particular assignment was probably my favorite. I also love that I turned back to There Will Be Blood for my alternative ending assignment. I’ve always thought that film begged for just something a little different there at its conclusion. I definitely jumped off of the wall a bit with where I took it, but it was a ton of fun to write.