Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Ugh. Not again.

The thought invaded my mind as I laid on my bed. Yet another fight had broken out between my parents and my adopted brother, Jake. And of course, by “my parents” I mean my dad. I doubt my mom is doing anything except observing the byplay with a worried expression on her face, waiting to see if they’d break out into fisticuffs.

I rolled over, forcefully flattening my short locks of dirty-blonde hair against my forehead as I did so, tempted to simply pull my pillow over my head and forget the world. Being Finnick Elhan really sucked at the moment.

A few months ago, fights like the one I heard going on downstairs were non-existent. Occasional shouting matches happened, of course. You can’t live with your family and not have one of those every once in a while. But ever since Jake had an extremely unlucky series of accidents driving the family car last September, my dad has been constantly on his case.

I remember each incident vividly, unable to clear the images out of my head anytime a fight between Dad and Jake rears its ugly head. For two weeks of autumn, there must have been some warped kind of magnet stuck on our car, attracting every idiot on the road. Not a single accident was Jake’s fault – a massive rear-end by a truck totaling the first one on the highway,

Car Wreck #1

the replacement getting broad-sided at just the right angle in an intersection to unseat the engine and completely destroy it while it bounced around inside the engine compartment…

Car Wreck #2

…accidents like that kept happening to replacement vehicles, until before our family realized, four cars had been wrecked while Jake was driving. He was never seriously injured in any of the accidents – until the last one.

Two broken legs, a broken arm, a cracked skull, and a punctured kidney nearly left him dead, but he came through. My parents were as relieved as I was at his survival, but our family’s insurance company had predictably dropped us after the second complete wreck in a row, let alone the fourth, and already-extant money problems got worse as bills piled up from five car payments a month – four for the wrecks, one for the car we currently have, and no insurance to back us up. Adding the back-pay of the hospital bills was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back in a family that didn’t have many extra funds to begin with.

As soon as I realized exactly how dire our situation was, I went out and got a job to help make ends meet while attending High School. Even with me helping, the bills never seemed to end. All four of us were worn down by stress in the weeks and months following Jake’s recovery; Dad got angry much more easily, Mom started getting depressed, Jake himself was nearly constantly in pain and moody as all get out, and I was just utterly exhausted every week day after seven hours of school, five hours of work, and infinite hours of dealing with this crap.

At that point, I thought we’d all hit rock bottom, but then the fights started; explosive shouting matches that sometimes even got physical. It seemed unimaginable to me the first time it did get physical – I froze in horror as my Dad and Jake started hitting each other, vicious blows that made it look, at the time, like they were trying to kill each other. After Mom and I pulled them apart and they had the opportunity to cool down, they both apologized, but they never acted quite the same around each other after that first time.

The current fight, at least, seemed to have ended without coming to blows. Jake’s high tenor voice was no longer raised and my dad’s quiet footsteps retreated up the stairs and past my door in the hallway. Suddenly –

– WHAM –

The sound of a door slamming shut. I winced.  All this because of money? I sighed in disgust and turned over again.

There came a soft knock at the door. I wondered if I should ignore it, pretend I was asleep. I knew the person at my door was either Mom or Jake – Jake would need me to cool off his temper, lest he be tempted to go back after Dad to continue their match, and Mom would need comforting from the only non-pissed person in the household besides herself.

Groaning, I got up off my bed, glancing in my wall-hanging mirror as I crossed the short distance to my door. In my highly professional and unquestionable opinion, I looked like hell – green eyes bloodshot from lack of sleep, dirty-blonde hair unkempt and heading straight towards just flat-out dirty, rumpled shirt and jeans that were beginning to smell, and a distinct lack of anything resembling energy in my 5’7″ frame. I had a flat stare on my face as I opened the door, which rapidly became less flat when I saw it was Mom standing in the doorway. She looked worse than I did, in some respects – auburn hair and business casual clothes perfectly neat, but with green eyes, eyes that matched my own, downcast and shoulders slumped in defeat.

Seeing her like this always made me angry – angry at Dad for not being there for her, angry at Jake for not trying to be less of a heel to Dad, angry at the world for wrecking four of our cars. I was used to this anger, burning hot in my chest, and shoving it down so I could make my mom feel better and not be just another ball of rage in her life, but something was different today. Maybe I’d finally hit my limit. Maybe I’d had an epiphany. My head was pounding, and it was all I could do to not slam the door in Mom’s face and start screeching and utterly shredding a pillow or five.

Taking a deep breath, I stood for a second as I let my emotions swirl around inside me, trying to find an equilibrium. That equilibrium came as a plan formulated in my head – a half-cocked one, to be sure, but I was done with this entire situation. Pulling my mother into a fierce hug, I muttered, “Stay here. I’ll be right back,” and turned and left my room.

I knew exactly where Jake would go after one of his fights with Dad – neither would be on the same floor of the house, so I immediately rushed down the stairs to the kitchen. There he was, resplendent in tan khakis and a red T-shirt, his face still flushed from the fight, fire in his blue eyes as his slight, 5’5″ figure shook with both rage and pain. His near shoulder-length red hair shook along with him as he clutched his lower abdomen, right near where his kidney had been removed. I walked, slowly and deliberately, and when I was within three feet of him he finally looked up. I spoke, “You, me, and Dad are going to have a talk. Right now.” It came out far colder than I thought I was capable of making my voice, but that minor surprise was filed away for later.

Jake’s face twisted. “The last thing I want to do right now is talk to that assh – ” I’d waited for him to have his complete attention on me before I threw the first punch, aiming very deliberately away from his abdomen, towards his shoulder and face. His eyes widening, he reacted in time to block my single strike using his free forearm, but in so doing instinctively shifted his body weight and stance to block more blows heading for the same place. I sucker punched him right in his surgical scars, and he doubled over, wheezing from the pain. I grabbed him forcefully under his arm and bodily shoved him towards the stairs, keeping a grip so he wouldn’t fall over. “I said, we’re going to talk to Dad. Now climb.” I hissed, the cold voice not my own returning as I started half-dragging, half-kicking Jake up the stairs.

Hearing the slight commotion on the stairwell, my mother had come back out of my room, surprised to see Jake in such a state as I frogmarched him down the hallway while making sure he didn’t fall over. I put on the most genuine smile I could muster. “Hey Mom, I’m still not done yet. Hold on for another second or two.” She looked rather taken aback as I grit my teeth and almost body-checked Jake to keep him both moving and off the floor. We passed her in short order as she gaped at us and then we were at Dad’s door. I called out, not really having to fake the strain in my voice, “Hey, Dad? Can you help me with this for a sec? Mom wanted that old box of tools down in the basement moved up here.” The fact that the box actually existed and she did want those tools moved, had talked about it, even, helped my case. Jake, still wheezing at my side, gave me an incredulous stare as Dad’s footsteps neared the door. When it opened, he barely had time to react as I heaved again, throwing all of Jake’s weight on him and shoving forwards with everything I had. Brown eyes widening beneath dirty blonde bangs, Dad collapsed backwards into the room in a heap of limbs with a hollered curse and Jake. I quickly sidestepped their mess into the room with them and slammed the door shut, locking it from the inside in one fluid motion. I turned to them as they started to untangle themselves, Dad doing most of the work as Jake was still gasping for breath after the abuse I’d heaped on him. Standing, he looked back and forth between me and Jake, shock on his face and a question on his lips, “Fin? What are you doing?”

At that question, my rage exploded again. “WHAT AM I DOING? WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING, YOU CHILDISH PIECES OF – ”

The next hour passed in a red haze for me. I don’t think I have ever been that angry, before or since. Apparently, snapping at that moment was a good thing overall, as both Dad and Jake seemed rooted, stuck to the same spot of floor throughout my lurid, seething, raving rant as I dressed down their actions for the past several months. Dad looked like he might be about to try to respond once or twice, near the beginning, and all I did was get louder. When I was done, voice hoarse and wrecked, them staring at me in stunned awe, I gave both of them one last contemptuous glare, unlocked the door, and walked out into the hallway, softly closing the door behind me. Predictably, my mother was there, holding a handkerchief to wipe her tears away as they fell down her face, but she was smiling. I gave a weak smile back, and croaked, “I think I’m going to bed now. See you in the morning.” Giving her one last hug, I did exactly that.

It’s always the quiet ones.

When I first started making this, I had no idea what it was going to end up looking like. I originally had a bunch of notes I’d gotten from just typing at the screen in free thought, and then threw most of those out the window by the end of two hours. I made the conscious choice to build a narrative first and then make media to fit the narrative – I’m much more flexible with words, character descriptions and moods than I am with the kind of digital media we’ve been experimenting with for the class, so this made sense to me.  The 2 visual pieces I included in the story weren’t really inspired by any ds106 assignments to my knowledge – it simply seemed like a good fit to put images of wrecked cars into the reader’s mind when describing exactly how they got wrecked. If I were more of an artist, I would have likely drawn the main character at the very least to provide a visual of the one person giving the narrative.

Second image came from here. I had the link to the first image, but my computer crashed in the middle of editing and I hadn’t saved the text document that contained it yet.

As for the audio story in the assignment, it details the hospital trip Jake takes, though by necessity it skips very quickly through his recovery phase and has him in a car and headed home by the end of it. I tried to make this entire family of fictional characters come to life instead of just the one dictated by the assignment, and even though the digital media portion of the narrative suffered for it, I’m more than satisfied with the result. The list of audio effects I used are as follows:

Car Crash


Heart Machine (steady to flatline)


Automatic Hospital Bed (moving around recorvery room)


Hospital Waiting Room


Operating Room sounds








Dorm Door:


Car Door Open/Close:


Car Revving:


Beyond that, everything else was original – I thought up the characters, the scenarios, the sequence of events that lead from A to B, and I arrived at B with my head intact, mostly. I originally thought there was going to be no happy ending, and I was right – even though my main character Finnick Elhan forcibly patched things up with his family, they’re still in an economic morass the way that I’ve set up the story. One can hope they make it out with hard-fought solidarity now.

– David

Tutorial 2 – Time Lapse

The time lapse assignment in the video assignment bank is one I had some fun completing, and I notice that it has one tutorial already posted for it. That tutorial, however, does not cover trying to screen capture video from a computer to use in the time lapse, so that is what I covered here.

Before starting, the student must have Camtasia 8 or later installed on their system and possibly Audacity with LAME, depending on how crazy you want to go with audio tracks.

First, pick a task you can complete on your computer in 20 or more minutes. For me, I chose my Hyjal daily quests in World of Warcraft, because those dailies tell a story all their own in their isolated part of the game, and take a while to complete. Note that this has to be a decently long task, because when you take 1 frame per second instead of the usual 24-30 to create a video and then speed them up, you get maybe 1 minute of video total out of 20-25 minutes of frame shots. Anything less than that, and you’ll probably struggle to find a story you can tell in so few frames. If you can think of something, more power to you, this is simply my recommendation.

Next, open up Camtasia to a clean project window so that it looks like this:

Screenie 1

Click “Record the Screen” in the upper left-hand corner. Once you do, this little tool will pop up on your screen:

Screenie 2

Click the drop-down menu on the “Audio” button, and select “Options”.  In the window that pops up, navigate to the “Inputs” tab. At the top of this tab is a field labelled “Screen capture frame rate”. Click the drop-down menu and select “1”.

Screenie 7

This sets the program so that, when you record the screen, Camtasia only takes one photo of the screen per second instead of 10 or more, which is perfect for a time lapse. Click “Okay”, and then click the drop down menu next to the Audio button again to turn all audio recording OFF for the video. You’re going to end up speeding up the video to at least 1000% of normal speed, and audio recording in this case would be pointless.

Once the audio recording is off, get ready to do your task on your computer screen and then hit the big red “rec” button. Camtasia will give you a countdown timer until it starts recording, and then do your task as normal with the recording running in the background.

Once your task is finished, remember to hit the stop button on your recording, and then click the “Save and Edit” button that Camtasia gives you after finishing any screen recording – this button is on the lower right-hand side of the screen. Camtasia will automatically put your new video file into the clip bin and stick the video itself onto a track in the editing timeline.

Next, left-click the video track so it is highlighted in blue, and then right-click it and select “Clip Speed”. You will get a menu like this:

Screenie 8


I recommend speeding the clip up to at least 1000% percent of original clip speed – that’s 10 frames per second, which equates to a horribly laggy gaming experience. I ended up with my own project speeding up to only 1400%, since I felt the frames were moving too fast for people to have any idea what was going on. If your task is suited for it and you have enough video, you could even speed it up to 2400% and have the standard 24 frames per second in the video like many TV shows still have – whatever suits your content.

Once that speedup is accomplished, you need to add audio to the video. I can only make the general recommendation that you pick some music that fits the general mood and tone of the story you’re trying to tell with your task, and your audio editing itself might be anywhere from a single song import to multiple hours of splicing things together – that part is up to you, and depends entirely on your skill set and preferences. I spent a fair bit of time picking apart Kamelot’s March of Mephisto for my own project, using Camtasia’s Cut and Split tools to mess around with the audio and have appropriate music loop without a hitch.

That’s it for the guide since the audio is so open-ended – the screen capture itself is easy. Have fun!

– David

The Last of Us – An Amateur Game Review – Do Your Own Assignment

This game is one I got bundled with my Playstation 3 when it arrived in the mail a few weeks ago, and I went into it knowing very little – merely that it was a triple-A title and highly recommended by pretty much anyone who had played it. After playing it myself, I feel most every one of those recommendation was justified – the plot absolutely blew me away, if nothing else. I’ll get into the criteria from the assignment page:

Gameplay – 8/10

As a survival horror game, gameplay focuses around just that – surviving a horrific world while hampered by being human, running constantly low on supplies that must be manually gathered by the player and using those supplies to accomplish goals.

By “being human,” I refer to the little things, like the fact that you are not given instant, perfect steady aim like a player might have in Halo, you don’t get any sort of heads-up display, you never have any idea when your enemies will run out of health in the form of an HP bar (though you do get an HP bar yourself), and you are easily killed by any enemy in the game if you can’t run away or kill the enemy first, no matter how far along in the game you are. This is in contrast to games like World of Warcraft, where character progression dictates that you don’t really take damage from lower level enemies. This facet of gameplay means you must always pay attention to what is happening – one slip-up, and you could die and have to restart the encounter you died on. This adds a sense of tension and immerses the player in the game world, which is a very good thing in today’s gaming market, where players often have short attention spans for anything that doesn’t immediately grab their attention.

Gathering supplies and using them in an intelligent fashion is the other main part of gameplay. Running low on supplies is par for the course in survival horror games – when you are first tossed into combat like a sack of potatoes, you are armed with only your wits, your fists, and 4 rounds of 9mm ammunition to kill 3 Infected Runners. Gun ammunition in particular drops believably scarcely while still giving the player enough to get by with if they use it scrupulously. Other items are dropped that can be used to craft utility items that let you take down much larger enemies than your fists or even guns can, and you can upgrade your character by gathering Survival Supplements scattered throughout the world, granting useful bonuses. Looting these items takes up a fair chunk of gameplay, simply because if you don’t, the player can count on running out of supplies and getting stuck.

I gave this section an 8/10 because it is well-executed but slightly tedious in some parts. The gameplay forces you to think, “Where do I go to approach this fight in the easiest way possible?” “Can I take this group of enemies and live?” “Can I sneak around the enemies and avoid them entirely?” I find gameplay like that very interesting and fun, since it punishes you for making bad decisions and rewards you for making good decisions.

Plot – 10/10

Gut-wrenching. Engaging. Mentally stimulating. The plot of The Last of Us is incredibly easy to spoil in the telling of it, so I’ll try to avoid that as much as possible. Mostly, the plot focuses on two characters – Joel, a smuggler who did (to put it nicely and extremely lightly) morally questionable things to keep himself and what remained of his family alive for 20 years after a pandemic of human-compatible cordyceps infected the vast majority of the population and led to society’s collapse. The other main character, Ellie, is a young girl born after the cordyceps has driven humanity into relatively small quarantine zones within easily defensible cities, and knows only the screwed-up world Joel had to see come into being. These two unlikely companions get paired up when Joel is tasked to smuggle her across the US – and the US is a very dangerous place indeed in this world.

Set to this backdrop, the story follows Joel and Ellie’s journey, and all of the terrible things happening in what’s left of the world.

I gave this part a 10/10, simply because it managed to completely suck me in – I hung on every bit of dialogue, stopped for every possible conversation, and watched in rapt horror as events unfolded, things going from bad to worse.

Music – 10/10

There actually wasn’t a massive amount of music for this game, the entire soundtrack sitting at just under an hour in total playtime, but they use it where it counts. You don’t really hear any music during combat – honestly, I as a player was too busy concentrating on the fighting and all other outputs and inputs while that was happening to pay attention to the music. Instead, most of the music is concentrated on creating atmosphere directly related to the plot when cutscenes or other plot advancements come up, to hit the player harder with the dawning realization that “Why yes, that just happened.” I give this a 10/10 due to their execution – I never noticed when music wasn’t playing, since the rest of the game had me immersed, and when it was there, it was there, setting the mood and the pacing for the scenes playing out. It never seemed like anything was missing, and it was never overbearing or inappropriate to the scene.

Graphics – 8/10

There was incredible artwork for this game across the board – enemies, environments, objects, all top notch. Some of the animations and scene transitions were weird, but those mostly shone through during combat, when the system is busy making a million other calculations and you hardly notice them anyways. The problem was that, when you did notice these discrepancies, they happened in a big way. I counted at least twice where characters instantly teleported or spawned where I was looking, and that breaks immersion in a big way and makes scenes lose emotional impact with obvious, distracting glitches or things that break the rules of the story world set by the creators. If not for this, I’d give it a 10/10.

Overall – 9/10

This is just to my personal tastes – it had an engaging story and very few flaws to distract me from it, and if I died it was usually because I did something stupid. The game rewarded good decision making and diligent looting of supplies, and absolutely blew me away with plot twists and It Gets Worse moments. I recommend it.

- David

Tutorial 1 – How To Chipmunk Voices

This tutorial goes over one possible way to do the Chipmunk Video Assignment, which I found incredibly entertaining when completing it myself. It’s not a very difficult assignment with the right tools.

Before you begin, you need to have Camtasia 8 or later – I haven’t seen Camtasia 7’s interface and I’m not sure how different it is. The trial version can be found here. You will also need Audacity installed with the LAME plugin, or you might encounter weird behaviors in the course of making the project.

Camtasia lets you export just the audio in a project even from a screen recording, which is why it is such a useful program in this case – you can Screen Record the video clip using Camtasia, export the audio, edit it in Audacity, put the Chipmunk’d voices back over the same exact video track, and silence the audio from the original clip.

Here’s the step-by-step:

First, you open up Camtasia – it defaults to a blank format if you don’t open anything:

Screenie 1

Next, you pull up the video of the clip you want to record for Chipmunking in your favorite video playback software (I used CCCP) and put it on pause right where you want to start recording.

Then, go back to Camtasia and click on Record The Screen in the upper left-hand corner. This will instantly minimize the camtasia window and bring up an options menu for recording that looks like this:

Screenie 2

Next, you can click on the drop-down menu next to the “Audio On” button to turn off your microphone for the duration of the recording if you need to.

Hit the big red “rec” button, and Camtasia  will start a countdown to the recording start. Bring up your video that you want to record, full-screen it, and then let the clip run.

After you have recorded what you needed, stop recording by going back to the tooltip from Camtasia and hitting “Stop”. Camtasia’s full window will automatically pop back up after this. Click the “Save and Edit” button in the lower right hand corner that Camtasia now displays. Save your file with a descriptive file name.

Once that’s done, Camtasia will automatically put the new clip into both the clip bin and the track window at the bottom of the screen and return to the main project. Edit your screen recording using the Cut or Split function so that you have only the video clip to be Chipmunked – likely, there is a little bit of extra video at both the beginning and end of your recording, since you needed to pause the video clip to be recorded before starting and stopping the recording. Mine looked like this after the minor edit, with the beginning at the exact point I wanted the Chipmunking to start:

Screenie 3

Next, in Camtasia, go to File -> Produce Special -> Export Audio As
and make sure you save it in the .WAV file format in the dropdown menu, as this is one of the only audio file formats Camtasia will recognize when you have to port the audio back from Audacity after editing.

With your newly saved .WAV file in hand, drag it into Audacity’s editing window from where ever you saved it. Highlight the entire clip using Audacity’s Select tool. Then, go to Effect -> Change Pitch in the upper menu, and in the window that pops up from Audacity, there
will be a Percentage entry field. I upped mine by 40% to get the chipmunk effect:

Screenie 4

Listen to it to make sure it has the desired effect you want it to. Feel free to go for a higher or lower frequency depending on how much Chipmunk you want. Based on the sound track of the clip you’ve selected, the background noise besides character voices will sound a bit distorted.

Next, go to File -> Export, and export the file as a .WAV file once again.

Back in Camtasia, click Import Media and browse to your new file with chipmunk voices. This adds it to the clip bin, where you can drag it onto the tracks. Once it is on a track, drag it all the way to the left of the timeline to line it up with your video. It should match the length of your video clip.

Next, remove the original audio if you haven’t done so yet by clicking on the track containing your System Audio, right-clicking it, and hitting Delete. This is usually the lowest track in Camtasia, and I have highlighted in red where it declares the track as System Audio:

Screenie 5

Play the new video back from the beginning to make sure you have your newly-Chipmunked scene.

Click File -> Produce and Share, and select the format you want to export it as. For DS106, this is most likely a 720p MP4 file:

Screenie 6

When it’s done rendering, upload it to Youtube. That’s it, you’ve now got a nicely chipmunked scene. Thanks for reading!

– David

Milk, Tea, and Alcohol – Doing Your Own DS106 Assignment

VisualAssignment Image

Didn’t edit this one much except to trim the edges and make the lighting a bit brighter in GIMP, for which I followed the instructions from here. As I posted the assignment as an ice-breaker sort of assignment, feel free to take it in any direction you want – my only requirement was cups in a triangular formation, but you can do other interesting things. Like one commenter suggested, you could use the photo-editing software of your choice to make the objects a uniform color.

These three drinks are from what I had on July 4th – family and friends both came to visit that day, including my aunt and uncle, older sister (who moved out to Richmond a while ago) and her husband, and a friend of the family who I’ve known since very early childhood. I’m purposely vague with descriptions, here, since I don’t know how much of their information they’d want me to put online without their consent, so I’m going with a default of “nothing”.

When I got up on that day, it started with my aunt, uncle, sister, and her husband arriving  – I was sleeping for much of the morning, so when I got up there was a scant hour before they arrived. We all had a very light lunch together, which is where the blue plastic cup in the picture comes from – I had milk. Good ol’ 2%. We kept it a light meal because we instantly started cooking the next meal after lunch and ate again less than 3 hours later for an early dinner – everyone visiting lives over an hour away and no one wanted them to have to drive back during rush hour in I-95 traffic. During dinner, I had a generously poured cup of Sake in the glass on the left of the picture, which, unlike normal wine, has an ABV of about 15%. I didn’t have anymore to drink after that, lest I get more than a bit tipsy. Once the family left, our family friend came to visit for tea and talk mostly. I didn’t have any tea then because I was still stuffed from dinner (delicious burgers and brots).

Later in the night, I grabbed a Diet Snapple from the 24-pack our family often buys – for being diet, the peach and raspberry ones actually aren’t that bad. I nursed that while playing video games, mostly.

It was kind of strange to have no fireworks of our own on the national holiday, but neither me nor my parents really had the energy left for them after spending all day with guests. It was just a quiet evening afterwards.

– David

Rapping on a Table – Chaplin Foley

Or at least, I’m sure that’s what a lot of people did for this assignment in some way, it wasn’t too difficult to set up once I had the list of things I needed to add sound effects for. My final list looked like this:

Footsteps entering onscreen
Horse gets up and starts running (overlap footsteps)
Footsteps stop
Snoring lion
Sneaky footstep sounds
Thump as the door locks from the outside
Lion fidgets

I recorded the track in Camtasia using my headset microphone, and several of the parts gave me difficulties.

First was the footsteps and horse galloping – I had to practice this one for about 15 minutes straight to get the gaits correct and match them up to each other, and then stop at just the right moment in the recording – slowing down the main character’s footsteps was probably the most difficult part to sync to the video, and I actually missed a footstep at the end of it, when he realizes he’s stuck in a cage with a lion. Those two effects were accomplished through me rapping a plastic bottle cap on the surface of an also-plastic table for the footsteps, and rapping a PS3 game case against the side of the same table in a galloping pattern, with a little stutter at the beginning as the horse gets up.

The snoring lion was just me snoring while awake. I couldn’t seem to get the tail-swishing sound in the recording correctly, so I ended up cutting it out in my final recording attempt. The sneaky footsteps sound was me clapping the first three fingers on each of my hands together softly while watching the video carefully, since I knew those wouldn’t be full-sound footsteps like before. The sound ended up being really faint, so I actually had to jack up the volume in Audacity for that one part of the clip (which was my only edit to the clip). The sound of the slat locking the door was a pair of pliers against the same plastic table I employed earlier in the audio. For the last camera pan back to the lion, I just made a heavy breathing noise instead of another snore, since it seemed more relaxed during that phase of the video. I don’t think the last bit of the scene, about 1 second or so, where the main character looks furtive, had much of a sound effect track going on, so I left it alone. Here’s what it looks like matched up to the video:

– David

The Crossroads – Daily Create #19

The intersection was deserted as I stood there, wondering. How did I get here? One second I was eating breakfast at a diner, the next – standing. Here. In… apparently Arizona, unless that shop front was merely advertising the city. I’d seen plenty of that kind of thing before, but it was also hot enough to be Arizona. That still didn’t answer why I was standing here now. Maybe aliens? Nah. Couldn’t be.

Well, first things first. I pulled out my phone to check the time and date. After all, displaced in space as I appeared to be, I was possibly also displaced in time. To my relief, the time was still the same, plus ten minutes as I had stood at the corner of the intersection staring into space, and I still had service. The weather app on my phone even indicated the correct local weather, a dry-as-hell 102 degrees. Oh, I bet my parents weren’t going to like this… at least my phone had a fully-charged battery.


Thought it would be a funny idea, that someone just randomly gets teleported there for no explicable reason.

– David


No Name Post – Weekly Summary #4

Couldn’t really think of a good title for this blog post, so I kind of copped out. I’ll dive right into the assignments:

TDCs – Well, I managed to just straight-up forget the daily creates six days out of seven this week – I went on a nocturnal sleep schedule, so I’d go to bed right before the daily creates were posted at 10AM and then wake up at 6PM and not think about picking up assignment work until something like 1AM, which was after the time I could post a create and still have it count. Just wasn’t on the ball. My one TDC does fit the theme though: Daily Create #16

Video Assignments:

Chipmunk Edit
Hyjal Dailies

These were fun to complete, though the Hyjal Dailies one ate up my time. I don’t think I learned anything new from these – I used the same audio editing function I did when recording my Audio Reflection last week. Turns out video takes a lot less time to edit than audio when you have a clear direction to go in.

Other Weekly Assignments:

Look. Listen. Analyze.
Reading Movies

These two assignments taught me how to look at films a little differently, put them in context in different ways – having seen all the visual effects and camera angles I looked at for the Reading Movies assignment in media without knowing their names made it easier to talk about them in terms of generalities, but I still have no idea when exactly it would be appropriate to use one in something I created. I’ll figure it out this week, I guess.


8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 , 20, 21

I’ve been getting mostly positive feedback for what I’ve posted weekly, and I’ve seen some pretty good stuff. Haven’t commented on much to speak of, because it never feels like I have anything constructive to say. I spend too much time taking in media rather than analyzing it.

Assignment Creation:


The assignment I created was an easy one, meant to be more of an ice-breaker than anything strenuous. I did give room for creativity to happen, though, and it’d be entertaining to see what others come up with since my own completion of the assignment was kind of lackluster.

– David