Thinking Critically

In Jenkins’ article “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars” he talks about how Star Wars fans made their own parodies and versions of Star Wars , and how consumers eventually became a part of that brand. He then expands on how that ties into how consumers  that start as fans become a contributing part of the media industry.  The internet has changed the way we consume media because with the internet we are more participatory and influential now in what is produced from what we like. I feel like with platforms such as Twitter, product owners can see directly how the masses react to their products and then move accordingly from their reaction. Because of this, the fans have just as much agency as the product owners if not more because in order for their product to sell they have to listen to the consumer. I can think of a recent example of this recently with the brand Shea Moisture that is a hair brand that caters specifically to African American hair. They recently released an ad with the center of attention being a white woman as well as changing the formula to cater to other races than African Americans, which received  backlash because black women felt one of the few companies that was for them was turning their back on them. In two days, Shea Moisture released a statement apologizing and assuring the consumers they were not changing the formula. Jenkins wrote about how Star Wars fans wrote their own films and plots using Star Wars characters and even one of them got hired to write Star Wars comic books. Examples like that show how fan culture is changing because fans now being able to distribute their own versions of whatever they are fans of, can get them enough exposure to get them careers .

 

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Post Production

So far, I think our project is coming along well.  To be honest when I initially saw we were assigned a group project, I was not looking forward to it. I know everyone has busy schedules in college so I know it might of been hard to schedule times to meet, and also working with others in college, you never know what type of student you can get. When my group formed in class and we did the short assignment in class i knew i had a group that would work well together.  We decided to do a mock interview video for career services, and our creative process went smooth. We each valued each other’s ideas and input on what the video should be about, from the story to location and more. I think for a team to work together well, it is vital everyone’s input is valued equally.

Although we’ve had a relatively smooth process this far, every team accomplishing a goal is bound to face obstacles . Two obstacles i anticipate we may encounter is first during filming. I’ve worked on movie projects before and there are always unexpected deterrents that we’ve had to solve. Whether it was a camera problem, or something with the script and acting it out. A second obstacle is in the editing process because editing is a lot of trial and error. Two milestones we overcame accomplished was being able to settle on a time and day to meet, and the right location. The week we initially planned to meet we couldn’t ,but the next week we went over in class a clear time to meet. Another milestone we overcame was when we chose mock interview, we didn’t know that it was not with another real person, so we had planned an idea for the video that was completely wrong. That week in class we were able to adjust our idea to the proper concept of a mock interview without having to switch far from our original plan.

Gathering Material

Now that the project is coming together, any piece of media that can help make our project better is valued. An image I found that can be helpful was a picture with job interview tips. Since we are thinking of doing a mock interview, the interviewee can find those tips useful and maybe we can implement the image into our video. Especially for viewers who are just getting into the workforce or learning about career services here at Rutgers , knowing how to prepare for an interview or mock interview is useful. A video I thought can help for out project is this video i found thats about campus life- living on campus vs off campus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDnymMsJ7HA is the link for reference.  We can draw ideas from the locations and scenes they used in this video for our own. The angles used in the video to interview people can help us as well when we need ideas of different shots or angles to use in our video as well.  We have the place we want to film , as well as a general overview of what we’re doing in the video. Being that our focus is on mock interviews after our video is watched the viewer should have a full idea of what a mock interview is and how to prepare for a real job interview. unnamed-1

Before Storyboard

When working in a group, having a mutual creative direction is key to succeeding. My group and I are still in the preliminary stages of our project, but we already have a strong start and we are doing a good job of communicating . In class we make sure everyone’s ideas and opinions are considered and valued. Out of class we communicate via text as well as Google Docs where we brainstorm and answer important questions to further the progress of the project. With Jeffrey being a filmmaker and Mark’s creativity I know our project will come out great.

With all of us having such varying schedules, creating a storyboard together is tough. We’re each going to have a personal storyboard and then take components from each when we complete our final storyboard. I’ve wrote scripts for movie projects but never prepared by drawing a storyboard so I’m excited to try my hand at this . I know my group members will have interesting and creative storyboards so I know I can’t be lazy about this and really put thought into it. Once we view each other’s storyboards and combine them together I know we will have a great movie in our hands.

My Top 5

My classmates did a great job with their midterm blogs so choosing a top 5 was hard but here it is (in no particular order).

  1. https://beautybygerri.wordpress.com/

I really enjoyed this blog as soon as I opened it because of the inviting design. The color scheme seemed to fit a blog made for hair and makeup.The  header even is even personalized to the title of the blog “Beauty by Geri”. The way the menu and pages are setup is really user friendly as well. Her posts about hair and makeup, especially with the video were very professional. Her blog looked like the type of blog my sister would visit for hair tips.

2. https://fireflyfest.wordpress.com/

This blog was really well put together and Lorena being the brand ambassador- she did a great job promoting the Firefly Music Festival. The idea for the blog is original and even the background pictures fit the blog topic and overall vibe. The page topics were different and all really helpful if one wanted to attend this festival. My favorite part of her blog was the artist playlist page. Usually festivals have flyers that have a huge list of the acts performing, but the way she set up this page was interactive and creative.

3. https://robbysfoodblog.wordpress.com/

Being a food lover, once I saw the name of the blog I was engaged. When I saw it was a blog about sandwiches specifically I was even more intrigued because as said in the about page – who doesn’t love a good sandwich?  The blog was really professional and I liked how there were pictures of the sandwich talked about. The first post seemed more relatable since it was a sandwich the blog editor ate . The other posts are also food places in New Jersey, so it was not just posts of sandwiches I could never get to try, it was actual places  that I could possibly go to and try the food.

4. https://thecollegefitnessblog.wordpress.com/

This blog’s concept is a great idea because staying fit in college is a struggle i deal with and I’mm sure other students in our class deal with as well. Exploring the pages I could tell how much thought was put into the blog , for example : the recipes dropdown bar with recipes not only for breakfast, lunch, and dinner but for gluten free and vegan diets. The fact the editor tried a guide to stay fit and posted her results and steps in the book showed she really wants to help the person looking at the blog. For anybody who cares about their health in college this is a blog they need to follow.

5. https://happyandhealthy365blog.wordpress.com

When i went to this blog , the design immediately caught my eye. The blog page with different photos for each topic was really well put together. As i said previously fitness is a big part of my life so blogs that help people live a more positive lifestyle I really enjoy. The posts were well though out and really helpful if you want to live healthy. Reading the posts on the blog  gave me a comfortable layback  feel too.

Midterm Reflection

When I saw the midterm assignment, I wasn’t sure which topic to choose for my blog. After some contemplation it was a toss up between Manchester United (my favorite soccer team) or hip hop, and i chose hip hop. I figured that most people wouldn’t be interested in a soccer blog and music is something that everyone enjoys. After drawing that conclusion it was just a matter of creating the blog and the direction I wanted the blog to go towards.

I did not want to waste to much time debating on a name, so the first thing that came to my mind I chose to stick with which was “handmetheaux” but that was taken, as was “givemetheaux”. I kept thinking of titles but givemetheaux was still my favorite so for the URL i simply added blog to the end since givemetheaux.wordpress URL already existed. I started with the basic design before thinking of the content. I used pictures of hip hop legends, concerts , and other music related photos to head different pages. Once I finished the design of the blog I was pretty content. I had minimal problems constructing the pages but I struggled placing the widgets where I wanted them to be which was frustrating.

Last thing to do was add the content in the blog. Since it was a hip hop blog I added a first post with song suggestions, and new music to look forward to. I wanted givemtheauxblog to have something different that sets it apart from other blogs, so for the video portion of the midterm i chose to make it apart of a video series that the blog will have. I figured a monthly video series would actually interest people visiting my blog and give incentive to check back again for more updates.

When it comes to group projects in college I’m really not a fan. I feel like group projects are fine for highschool but in college I feel projects should be a solo effort because members are busier and it is way harder to get together with different schedules. Hyde’s “What is Collaboration anyway” was interesting because it showed me how much goes into the concept of collaboration. Something I could relate was the problem between group identity and individual identity because in groups previously whether it was for school work or for an extra curricular, when working in a group there is always the possibility of some type of sacrifice someone may have to make for the group to accomplish their goals.

Video Editing

Making the screencast and editing it for this week’s assignment was… not my favorite assignment thus far to speak lightly. Recording the screencast was truly a struggle because I kept on having to do multiple takes . There was a 2 minute time limit and to get everything I had to say in the comparisons of the eportfolio was tough. Besides having to get my points off, I had to make sure i was giving a proper tour of the eportfolio I was talking about as well so I felt my brain was moving a mile a minute trying to get all my words out. I kept stuttering, coughing, or just pausing too long in between takes so I had to redo it about 5 times. Even my final product was not how I really wanted it to sound, but at that point I was defeated and it was the best take out of the 5 so I ran with it.

Bogust in the article “Playing Politics: Videogames for Politics, Activism, Advocacy ” discusses how videogames can have a political impact and convey a message to the player.  He explains how games puts the player in political positions that they would of never experienced.  Being someone who used to played a lot of videogames ,I can agree . Games that involve war , like Call of Duty calls for the player to sometimes make decisions that favor a certain agenda or point of view. I recall playing a game on the computer where there was a virus killing the population, and I had to make the right decisions in order to keep everyone alive. Sometimes I would win and save most of the people, and other times the whole population would die due to my actions. By learning environmental practices through playing that game, I felt as though I gained meaning as Bogust put it.

Podcast Reflection/Editing

candid picture of me making my intro.

candid picture of me making my intro.

Creating the fictional podcast introduction was actually pretty cool. Working in Garageband, I felt like I was an important music producer or something.  Producing the podcast was a fun process for me because I wanted to make sure the song choice fit well and it was just satisfying when the fade came out like I wanted to.  One thing that me cringe was hearing my voice on the recording. I HATE the way my voice sounds recorded so when I listened to the final product,  my voice ruined the enjoyment of the assignment for me .

The video I watched was a review of the Power Rangers Mega Battle video game.  For the most part the video showed gameplay with commentary from the reviewers, with video of them in the top right corner.  To do this, the producer must of recorded their tv with a game capture device such as an Elgato game capture. After they recorded the game footage, and the footage of themselves  , in a movie editing software they matched up the game to the real life footage. I’m sure IMovie or Sony Vegas is satisfactory to be able to do that. There was also a segment where one guy would review them playing the game , and behind him clips of gameplay would play to his left. I think they did this with some type of green screen in order to get the gameplay behind him. Another reason I know he was using a green screen was that the scene that was behind him (next to the game footage) was not real. I’m not sure what it was but the background was not placed in reality it was edited to match the theme of the game and the whole video game vibe.  Making that video probably wasn’t that hard to do if you’re proficient at editing.

 

 

Audio Editing

For my upcoming assignment in my Strategic Presentations class, we have to edit audio. I’ve had minimal experience editing audio. The only time I’ve done so was in iMovie for school video projects.  I added music and sound effects to certain scenes to make the movie better. That being said , I look forward to learning the ins and outs of audio editing because it may come useful in the future.

I’m not sure exactly what my career path will be, but I know I want it to involve media and music. Whether my job be a mix of the two, or it be one or the other I know audio editing is a skill that will come in handy.  Creating content for a brand such as a video ad or any type of movie, knowing how to edit the audio in the video is very useful because i would not have to rely on another person to edit it for me. I plan on possibly starting a podcast or an interview series in which I interview local artists, and hopefully maybe grow my platform to where I can interview bigger artists. If i want to do so I will need to learn how to edit the audio in a podcast/interview whether it be cutting certain parts, censoring, and adding special sound effects.

Besides using audio editing on a career level, audio editing can be used for fun. I have multiple friends who make music and produce. If I ever wanted to become involved in their process, audio editing is vital. If I become proficient at GarageBand and other audio editing softwares like Protools , I can help them edit their songs, and maybe even learn to mix and master them.

A microphone often used in podcasts. I got this picture from LiveNation.com

A microphone often used in podcasts. I got this picture from LiveNation.com