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Riddle, Answer, Doofus

In which I look like a total dork for the sake of my final project. I definitely took my own spin on the Text + Diagram -> Into a Movie assignment, and instead of fining “a written explanation of a concept and a diagram that illustrates that concept,” I adapted the ideas of riddlery from McKillip’s work and illustrated it with an extended visual metaphor. Hopefully that counts!

I just want it to go on record that I spent over an hour rearranging furniture in my room, deciding on an outfit and jewelry, putting on makeup and pinning up my hair to complete this video. I also had to jerry-rig a ridiculous camera-holding device with the elastic from my tiny Molskein notebook and a pile of other books underneath so I could film myself drawing. Ds106 does weird, weird things to your life.

For this video I kind of ran with the spirit of the assignment instead of taking it literally. In illustrating the riddle-answer-stricture construction of all the riddles within McKillip’s work, I decided to go with the metaphor of a house, and literally draw it out as I explained how the structure of her riddles works. I’m not sure it’s as effective as it could be, but considering the narration was done with only a few sketchy notes worked out I’m pretty happy about it.

I decided that to open and close the video, I wanted to make it seem as if I myself was part of the Riddle-Master world instead of just talking about it as if it’s just a story. To that end I hung a tapestry behind me for filming and got all fancied up in vaguely fantasy-esque garb to help set the mood. The riddle I chose to read is also pretty important; it’s the one Morgon uses to win a riddle-game with a ghost locked in an ancient tower. Had he lost, he would have died, but in winning he not only won the crown of a long-dead king, he earned the right to marry Raederle, second most beautiful woman in An. That, for a guy from an island nation full of simple farmers, is a pretty huge deal, and kicks off the whole rest of the story.

Filming and editing were quite simple for this particular project—it was the setup that killed this time around. Finding the proper distance and angle to use to film myself (I ended up perching the camera on my bookshelf), sorting out how to hang the tapestry so it would actually show up and cover the wall, and then trying to work out how to film myself drawing… it was a hassle I really wasn’t expecting at all. But if ds106 has taught me one thing, it’s that you work with what you have and make awesome stuff anyway. While I’m fairly convinced that this could have been better (WRITING. IT’S ALWAYS WRITING. ARGH), I’m pleased that I was able to overcome those technical challenges and record the video I needed.

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