I may have gone a little overboard on the Recycle the Media assignment. At least, I FEEL like I did. I probably spent… five hours? Six? More? trying to get this video to congeal and do what I wanted it to do. My problem was that I was inspired, and that always gets me in trouble. Oh well. I figure that since I’m including this in my 7 stars of remix assignments I have an excuse.
For this assignment I had to take at least five pieces of media, representing at least two different types of media, from our recycled media repository and tell a story with it. As I was browsing through the images and sounds a simple narrative began to take shape in my head, and I ended up downloading eleven pieces of media instead of the requisite five. I ended up only using three sounds and seven images, but you can see what I mean when I said I overdid it. In the tradition of the First Rule of ds106, I also generated my own content, the voice you hear at the beginning and end of the video, using the AT&T text to speech converter. That’s probably as close as I’ve come to “cheating” on a ds106 assignment, now that I think about it, since my original content is what ties the whole video together instead of the recycled media. But what’s done is done and if you think I’m going to go back and change it NOW, you are crazier than I am.
The first step in crafting this video was taking the sound clips I’d downloaded and crafting a soundscape in the indispensable Audacity. I realized too late that I’d made the soundscape too long for my visuals to be entirely effective, but at the time I was focused on conveying the sense of memory, loss, and a digital intermediary to both through sound alone. I used some of Audacity’s built-in effects to make all of the music sound like it was coming through a radio or a telephone. Again, its overall effectiveness might have been greater if I had use the effect more strategically and given some more contrast between sharp and radio-fuzzed music, but by the time I realized that I’d already chopped, faded, arranged and rearranged all of the music to suggest a tranquil, loving beginning and a growing tension leading into a panicked crescendo. I garbled the already-warped voice recording I’d downloaded to suggest the trope of a computer or some other digital intermediary sifting through human memory, and then added the computerized voice at the beginning and end of the recording.
Last but not least, I imported all of my media into Windows Movie Maker and proceeded to bash my face against the keyboard for several hours until I had a passable video to upload. HAHA NO, IF ONLY IT WAS THAT SIMPLE. In reality I arranged all of my images into the order I’d had in my head so they would tell a story, and then went absolutely batshit crazypants with animations, transitions, effects, colorization and the length each image showed up. It was particularly tricky to manage that last bit, because there’s no way to visually edit the length of clips or images in Movie Maker, and instead you have to fiddle around with a drop-down menu and enter the number of seconds that each image shows up. This grew desperately frustrating rather quickly, but I pushed through and I think—I think—I managed to convey something of a story in the process.