Milestones and Hurdles

Given the limitations of the project, I think my group has done an excellent job in creating a video that caters to everyone’s wants, entertains, and conveys a message. It’s been a collaborative effort so far, one in which someone presents an idea and everyone else comments on and tweaks it. I think our video idea turned out well because we believe in the tool we’re essentially “selling.” Focus 2 is genuinely useful—something I wish I’d had when I was picking a major back in high school. If you believe in the product, you can sell it with confidence. The first milestone we’ve accomplished is coming up with a solid idea; in my opinion, that’s always the hardest part. Once you have an idea of what you want to do or say, the rest comes naturally. The second milestone is that we’ve started filming. Everyone’s been so busy lately, especially now that it’s finals season—it’s been a challenge to find a time where everyone can meet. Still, we’ve got something on film; that’s most of the project done already. The first hurdle we still have to cross over is the editing; luckily, we have someone who has significant editing experience, so that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Second is the essay. 15-20 pages sounds extremely daunting, but once we’ve split up the work, it should be fine. The most important digital tool that we’ve been using in class is probably iMovie/Movie Maker. Because we’ve all learned how to edit videos and have at least a bit of experience now, any one of us could take on the role of editor for this project. Also, we’ve used the Creative Commons Search Engine to find the video’s background music. The feedback we received on the storyboard was, for the most part, positive; the only suggestion was that—instead of using a Screencast—we could film someone using Focus 2 on their laptop from over their shoulder. I think this would be more visually interesting than having a full screen of a Screencast, especially with that obnoxious watermark in the corner.

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More Copyright

When I was searching for pieces of media to use, I was surprised by the terrible quality of the results. For example, I tried looking for a picture of kids playing Frisbee to match our ending scene, but could only find a few blurred pictures—most involving dogs playing instead of humans. In the end, I found this picture of a guy (who looks like he could be a Rutgers student) giving a thumbs up, as if to say “Career Services is A-OK in my book.”

Image result for group thumbs up

The other two pieces of media were much easier to find. The song I found is called “Margorp Deviver” by 60 HZ FQ. It’s a quirky, peppy little ditty that I think would fit nicely as background music for our project. Lastly, the video I found is titled “Rutgers Ban on Greek Parties Expires.” Ignoring the morbid context of the video, I think we can extract the footage of students walking around Rutgers and include it at the beginning of our video as a nice establishing shot. In last week’s reading, Lessig mentioned that “the laws need to change, but so do we. We need to find ways to chill control-obsessed individuals and corporations that believe the single objective of copyright law is to control use, rather than thinking about the objective of copyright law as to create incentives for creation. We need to practice respect for this new generation of creators” (165-166). In order to “chill” those who would immediately flag/take down videos containing copyrighted material, my group and I plan to use the Creative Commons Search Engine in order to find free pieces of media. By doing this, we’re adhering to the law and showing respect to creators who—by copyrighting their content—are trying to protect their products. Using the Creative Commons site, my group can avoid any potential legal issues when it comes to what media we choose to include in our project.

Storyboards and Copyright

I had a slightly different idea for the opening of our video, but upon further reflection I realized that my teammate’s idea was better (easier to film). At the moment, there’s nothing that needs to be added; perhaps that’ll change once we actually start filming. The process of storyboarding was relatively simple—draw a panel, describe what’s going on, and repeat. It’s tedious but necessary. As I’ve stated in the previous post, my ultimate goal for this project is to produce a well-made video that meets everyone’s standards. Ideally, it won’t be mind-numbingly boring either. Maybe we should make the dialogue so cheesy that it’s funny. As for copyright, Lessig states that the problem is “that the laws governing quoting in these new forms of expression are radically different from the norms that govern quoting from text. In this new form of expression that has swept through online communities that use digital technology, permission is expected first… If you want to publish a [copy], you need permission from the copyright owner” (160). Unfortunately, sometimes it’s impossible to receive this permission; usually, it’s music that creates the most problems. If you want to use a song with copyright, you’re only allowed to use a very small portion of it before you risk having your video flagged or taken down entirely. Luckily for content-creators, there’s music that’s free for all use. I’ve used it in my midterm project and, if need be, am prepared to use it again for the final. It’s as simple as Googling “free music.”

Kinda-Great Expectations

I don’t exactly have expectations for my group’s “creative direction,” given the final project’s prompt. Perhaps I’m just being narrow-minded, or maybe my brain is officially fried due to months of academics-based abuse, but I’m not sure how we’re supposed to take a tool from Career Services and turn it into an “entertaining” video. Don’t get me wrong, I have total faith that my group and I will create a well-done video that caters to both the professor’s and Career Service’s demands, but don’t expect The Godfather 4 over here—hey, I’m just keeping it real. Hopefully, we can inject some humor into our skit (watching me attempt acting should be hilarious enough, if not utterly horrifying—either way, you’re entertained). Maybe, as we discuss how to use the “Focus 2” tool to choose the major that’s right for you, we can include some Michael Bay-esque explosions. That’d be totally rad. As far as I understood, the storyboard doesn’t include dialogue; therefore, the humor won’t be in it. We’ll also have to check our budget for those explosions. In all seriousness, I’m planning on having my storyboard be relatively bare-bones; given the amount of time we have to create this storyboard and to do the actual project, I think it’d be in my group’s best interest to keep the video short, simple, and informative. My storyboard will reflect this.