The good, the bad, the weeks 6 and 7 summary…

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This week was about finally getting (just a little) bit more used to Audacity, appreciating Movie Maker’s simplicity and then wishing it had more editing power when it came to audio (or that I knew more about audio editing in Movie Maker) and making peace with “good enough”.  First though, the fun stuff (at least for me)- viewing and analyzing movies.

First, we looked at a way to analyze film using Roger Ebert’s ideas about film.  I enjoyed finding a good clip to analyze and also exploring how different ways to shoot film really add to the story itself.   The way a video is shot can tell as much as the plot does if done well.  I think Ebert’s ideas are just one school of thought and don’t universally apply, but in general there is some truth there, and he acknowledged that there is no one size fits all.

Next, I experienced a movie a scene in three ways- audio, video, and then combined.  I chose a scene from “Casino”.  This assignment made me appreciate how much work goes into visual media (or what we think of as visual media).  There’s the sound that goes with the visuals, the visual object we are looking at and HOW we are looking at it and then the combined effect of them all.

Last, the crucible.  This is what taught me about “good enough” (even though I don’t like it).  I skipped the original Foley Chaplin assignment, so first had to reacquaint myself with what was first done (thank goodness for the kindness of fellow classmates and professor who posted their clips to soundcloud- I’ll repay the favor someway, I promise!).  Next, I had to meet my newest frenemy Audacity to lay down the audio, which included a new background song and the six 30-second clips from classmates.  Thankfully, things went a little bit better this time, although the selection tool and I don’t really get along.   Then Movie Maker.  At first I was pleased with its simplicity.  How hard can it be, right?  But I quickly became frustrated with the interaction of video and audio.  Why can’t I layer sounds in Movie Maker?  Why can’t I mute sound in Movie Maker?  (maybe I can and I just didn’t figure it out).    Why can’t I find any new media that conveys what I want it to?  I had originally budgeted 2 or 3 hours for this assignment and it took me literally all day.  Sounds like a case of misplaced expectations all the way around!!   But hey- let me look on the bright side.  I survived.  I know Audacity a little bit better now.  Movie Maker and I have become acquainted.  I even got to use Pixlr to doctor a photo I inserted into the video.

I did not do the two other assignments (more evidence for me to get kicked out of the honor society), for pure time management reasons.  My weekday nights are very busy for me and I struggle to find enough time to get in the “zone” to do work for school during the week.  I also have commitments next weekend that mean I will not be able to lock myself in my home office and do the final project.  I also work  better if I can leave some time for things to “marinate” rather than cranking out something all at once.  I have enjoyed doing the other assignments and they always teach me something, so I know by not doing it I am taking a risk in not giving myself more opportunities to widen and enhance my skills.  But I am taking the chance and devoting this day–Sunday May 4–to my final project to hopefully save myself some sanity later in the week.

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