The Mission of Semester 106

a digital storytelling adventure

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 7)

Explaining Everything

Creative Warning:

This blog post is the explanation the full on summary of everything, and I do mean everything (or as close to as possible) that went into the creation of the final project created by Agent Amari and I. So! If you haven’t viewed our final project please go do that first! Everything in this post will ruin the arch of the narrative for our story so you should head there first. So go to The Directorate’s Spy first.

Final Warning*

Everything from now on will explore how we created the story and the choices we made.

*SIDE WARNING: This is a very long post that values depth over brevity.

Congrats you participated in Agent Zero’s search for the mission to figure out how the Directorate infiltrated DS106 with a mole. Where you surprised? I’m going to start off by going over how this project started off with our ideas and then go step by step through the different media elements that I helped to create as a part of the project.

The First Idea

When I read through the summary of the potential missions we could play out in the two weeks I got to the third mission and had to stop and read it over again.

Mission 3: Several agents were appear to have been interviewed by The Directorate. We have a report that they know who all of our agents are. We know they have a foothold on campus. And we have a report that one of our agents has gone rogue and is secretly working for The Directorate. How shall we approach this situation? What can we do about it?

The Directorate of course was referencing Martha Burtis. Martha posed as a character in our course to help create interview questions for a video interview project. When reading through blogs that week I did notice a lot of people raised questions about just who the Directorate was, since many people had not met Martha. Being in charge of the Digital Knowledge Center (DKC) and working with Domain of One’s Own Martha could in fact know who all of the agents in the class really are. She does have a foothold on campus A.K.A. the DKC. But it was the last listed element that got me “we have a report that one of our agents has gone rogue and is secretly working for The Directorate.” I immediately got super excited about this because I knew exactly who they were. It was me. I am in fact a tutor at the Digital Knowledge Center and Martha is my boss. I was also actually there when she recorded her interview and listened to her brainstorm questions. Can you get more infiltration then that? When I realized I was the mole I was excited of course I wanted to play into this narrative and see how it could be revealed to the class, thats when Amari contacted me.

So I want to start with Amari is amazing she puts hard work and effort into everything. She originally asked to group up together when I put out a post about radio show ideas. After working with a great radio show group called Agents on Air, she asked me if I would be interested in forming a video group.  Then we had a awesome video group in Your Guide to Being a Spy. So by this point I knew she did great work. So when she asked if we wanted to team up together for the final I was in on the condition that we somehow involved the Directorate mission. She was game and we started a group google doc to brainstorm. We met up in the chat and discussed the mission and it was time for me to come clean to my first class mate. I explained I knew the answer to who the spy was and conceded it was me when she asked to know more. She thought it was great! We would play the narrative that Agent Zero was trying to solve the mystery of who the mole was and Agent Fawn was “helping” with the case. In the course of the narrative we would hint to the class who the mole was while Agent Zero would not find out till the very end. We were ready to get started we had our narrative.

Introducing the Directorate

I came up with a fun way to start off the project and introduce our fellow spies to the mission. Now we purposefully did not want to include a lot of information in last week’s blog post because we did not want to ruin this cool idea. Instead I suggested we create a intro video. The video would be of the mole going into the DKC and meeting the Directorate. I went and talked to Martha to ask if she would be interested in being involved and okay with us using her character, she was excited to help which was awesome. Since it is close to finals the DKC was very busy but on a quieter time I used my iPhone and recorded the scene. I then edited the footage changing the background levels and sent it out into the world.

A Ringing Call

After the intro video we created a follow up video of a ringing phone call playing over a walk through spaces on the University of Mary Washington Campus. Amari actually came up with the idea to create this transition, she thought it would be good to have a transition between the original video we released and the start of the phone call to make things more seamless. She thought it would be cool to incorporate campus in this part since it would lead up to the Directorate’s office in the Hurley Convergence Center. So I went ahead and filmed some walk throughs of spaces on campus and ended up using mostly outdoor shots. I next went to freesound to go look for a phone ring. I used a 1960s Phone sound recorded by cvp1965. I listened to a bunch of the ring sounds and decided to pick an older sounding ring because it felt a lot eerier and had a good pacing naturally with the ring. I edited the footage that I had taken and sped it up so that it flowed better and had movement.

Phone Call Audio

So the majority of the audio we produced for this project was our agents talking to one another on the phone. To get started we met up in a google doc and co wrote the dialogue. Amari started off with her introduction and I responded and we live wrote the dialogue so that it would feel like a real conversation. Once we had the dialogue written we got together to record everything in Audacity. This was actually our very last step in the project. We met up Friday and Amari first recorded all her lines then I recorded mine. Ironically the microphone we used was a headset mic from the DKC. I then stitched all of the audio together in Audacity. Each set of audio was put together as it’s own file so that the dialogue would be properly spaced throughout the project. I also went back in and used the same audio of the ringing phone and click to start off the second call for consistency with the narrative. Background sound was added to each side of the call to create atmosphere behind Agent Zero was General Traffic sounds by arnaud coutancier that created a feel of movement, while for Agent Fawn a emptier background sound was used with the sound Original Ambience Sound Unaltered by SeanSecret.

Mailbox Movie

Amari was in charge of designing the first clue and footage. She decided to make the clue a movie of her walking to a mailbox to receive the clue. Then a video of her opening up the clue for all to see. She then sent me the videos she took. I stitched them together in iMovie. As a part of this I also added in the background music that plays throughout the different clip videos in our story.  The song titled Spy Over There by The Ocean had a nice recurring beat that hit well with the story we were lining up. The agent involved in giving Zero the clue references Agent Reveal a character in the class narrative. Reveal was actually a agent we worked with on the radio show so someone we had already worked with previously and who Zero therefore had an established connection with.

Name Tag Hint

One of the early idea’s I had in incorporating media was using a name tag. As a actual DKC employee I have a official name tag that says UMW and everything. I decided to take a photo of that name tag and edit it to be a name tag for my agent. Of course the reveal could not be that easy! Using GIMP I clone stamp tooled out my name and put in the name Agent Fawn.

I went through a few versions of how to make it hard to see but still actually have the real name hidden. At first I actually pulled it into a program called Skitch. One of Skitch’s editing tools is a pixelating tool and I tried that but it just was not with my vision. I also tried erasing the name slightly and then pixelating but still not what I wanted.

Instead I played around in GIMP to see what my options were. Ultimately I decided to use the smudge tool and smudge a slightly erased version of “Fawn” while leaving “Agent” easier to read. If you really focus you can sorta see “Fawn.” The name tag then became part of our clues that the class could maybe get more than Agent Zero did.

The name tag of course leads Zero to think that Agent Jones is trying to frame Agent Fawn. Agent Jones was another member of the original radio group and was a part of the video show group so again she was another character that Zero had an established connection with and might have been willing to trust. (We also talked to the agent to discuss with her about the accusation of her character.)

Written Sections

I was also in charge of writing some of the text transitions between our media. We found that writing was a good way to switch up the flow and explain the story in moments where other medias made it a bit difficult. I wrote up these sections and shared them with Amari for approval in the google doc before we used any of them.

The Accountant Section

So the idea to use the Accountant in our narrative actually came by an accident. Last week when we were setting up our missions I ran into fellow DS106 student Cole on campus and we talked about the course. Cole asked if he could accuse my character as being a mole because he knew about my job at the DKC. (Which is when I realized a few people in the course might have been able to find that part out.) When we were talking he said my group was free to use his character if we needed. So when we were laying out our set of clues and needed a third arch we decided to use his character. Since he actually knew I was the mole already it would be playing into the element of truth in this whole project.

We decided as a part of this clue to have “Agent Zero” or the camera walk up to the Accountant at night sitting on a bench. To avoid having to inconvenience Cole for our filming I had my boyfriend sit in as Cole because from afar in the dark they have enough similarities that it was fine. I then filmed up to the bench he was sitting on and later went back in and edited the speed and then the background music.

The accountant’s physical clue was the next part. We wanted to see if we could incorporate another element of media in the project so I decided to hand make the accountant’s message and then photograph it. I wanted to to be clear and easy to see so I opted for the all caps and red letters. (Don’t all spy things have red somewhere?)

 

The Staircase

So as a part of building the tension we have a audio recording of Agent Fawn running up a staircase. Meaning I ran up the staircase at the HCC (something that I have to do sometimes anyways) and recorded the audio of myself. A weird fact I had always kinda wanted to make some sort of audio recording of footsteps in that particular stairwell. It has a interesting hollowness to it that most stairwells on campus really do not have. Plus it is usually completely empty leading to an eerie quiet feel. It is also the correct stairwell to lead into the final scene of the project.

That Ending

The ending went through several media changes and plot changes between our original idea and the final product. Originally it was going to be a series of audio clips around the video in the DKC, however Amari suggested making it all one video including those audio bits in a dark space. We decided that worked best for the story and went with it. She recorded chasing me out of the stairwell. I then went back and edited the footage to add the quiet constant background music and connections to all of the elements. I also then added in the audio we had recorded to follow after and the video for the reveal. The ending was intentionally left as open as we could make it. The exchange of names and cut to the music leaves exactly what Zero is going to do about Fawn up to a bit of debate and purposefully so.

Overall

Ultimately this project was so much fun to create and enjoy and Amari and I both really loved working on it. It took a lot of work and we were perhaps a little ambitious at times but I hope the result was something that everyone appreciated and had fun watching.

The Directorate’s Spy

Agent Zero is on a mission. Director Bond of DS106 Headquarters asked Zero for her help in finding out who has been spying on the DS106 agents for the Directorate. The Directorate recently interviewed DS106 agents and concerns sparked that she had a secret mole among the operatives. Agent Zero enlisted the help of Agent Fawn to search out and find who really is working with the Directorate.

Later that same day Agent Zero received an envelope from Agent Jones whom she had previously teamed up with on a mission. Inside the envelope was a faded name tag from the office of the Directorate.

Even with Agent Fawn’s offer to take over finding leads about Agent Jones, Zero could not help herself from continuing her own secret research. That was how she found the accountant. The accountant claimed to have the name of the Directorate’s mole. He had been closely monitoring other DS106 agents as a part of a mission he was on to catch any agent leaking information out of the agency. He agreed to meet Zero in person under the rule she showed up alone.

The accountant did not stay long he pointed to a envelope under the bench. He then stood up and left without a word. Zero opened up the envelope when she got back to her office to avoid any secrets being exposed.

Three agent’s she trusted now had come to Zero claiming Agent Fawn was the mole. But Zero knew if it was true she would have to catch Agent Fawn in the act so she set a trap.

Zero got to the Center of Convergence earlier than the time she had told Agent Fawn. She knew if Agent Fawn was really the mole she would come early to and try to assassinate their supposed contact. As she walked through the doors of the building she spotted Agent Fawn. They made eye contact. They both knew. Suddenly Agent Fawn took off into a stairwell and Zero knew she had to follow.

Zero’s training paid off and she was able to catch up to Agent Fawn at the top of the staircase and confront her.

 

Tips, Tricks, and How to DS106

Advice any future DS106 student should know

The number one advice any future DS106 student should know is that you should never underestimate this class.  Now I mean this in a few ways, in terms of time,  in what you can get out of this course at the end, and in terms of commitment.

Let’s start off with time. When a professor warns you their class is going to be rigorous sometime people have the leaning to say to themselves “ehh it’ll be fine I can get it all done day of.” Let me warn you right off just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Also if you can somehow finish all your DS106 assignments in one day chances are that work will not be stellar. (Also Daily Creates are daily if you have three assigned in a week you can’t just do them all late.) Almost every week of the semester in DS106 is a new type of media you have to work with, meaning you are taking on a totally new project and learning new skills. Those new skills might take more time to learn than you estimate. The quickest way to struggle is to underestimate the time the weeks assignments take. Start early and start strong. DS106 is a rigorous course when the instructor gives you your bootcamp warning take it seriously. No one is trying to trick you this class is a lot of work but the pay off is amazing (more on that later). To survive and thrive in DS106 make the commitment to schedule time throughout your week to work on assignments and give it your all. That leads me into the next part, what you get out of it.

DS106 has a unique opportunity that you really do not get in most college courses. Each week this course challenges you to learn different ways to use digital tools that you might never have used otherwise. You have to lead your own crash course in video, audio, and image editing but that is the beauty in it! Always thought design was cool? Congrats your homework is to learn how to do it. Too often people feel like audio and video and the like are too difficult or something they could never do. But in DS106 you have to do it which means you finally get to learn those skills with no excuses. Treat DS106 as part of your own crash course in learning every type of digital storytelling element imaginable and you will walk out of this class with so many new skills and ways to understand storytelling.

Now you might be asking yourself why didn’t she put what you get out of it last, but stick with me because commitment is the most important aspect of the not to be underestimated. Yes you need to careful and thoughtful of time for this course, and yes you can get great skills out of this course but neither of those are possible without commitment. DS106 asks a type of commitment different then most 100 levels course you expect. Namely because DS106 is far more than just a course. its a community. A community that extends beyond the college campus into the open web and world. Anyone can join DS106 and DS106 has famously coined itself as” DS106 4Life.” If you really want to get the most out of DS106 you have to throw yourself into the community. You and your character both should try to interact with your classmates and the larger Twitter community. This is something I wish I knew earlier or fully understood because once you start it becomes so much fun. You should also commit to your class narrative and to your character. Get into it and into the canon of the class narrative is fun and it is a uniquely DS106 experience.  You also should commit to your projects. Make things you are proud of and that you think are cool it makes working much more fun!

Ultimately you have to never underestimate DS106. When you put in the time, the commitment, and the effort you will learn more skills than most classes ever. This class is ready to teach  you a lot and force you to learn new things you just have to jump in with an open mind. If you do that then DS106 will be a fun and compelling course unlike any you have every taken or will ever take.

 

So welcome to the DS106 community it’s amazing your gonna love it

Polling Polls

This is a post about both making and taking polls this week. I was excited about the idea of shaping narratives about the class characters with this weeks polls. I’m going to start off talking about then talk about the ones I took part it and then talk about the five polls I made for Wednesday.

I tried to take part in every single one of the polls I could fine on both the #ds106poll tag and the #ds106 tag. I wanted to get in on experiencing all of those polls. It was cool to see the different ideas people had about potential character aspects or how they might react in certain situations. I was interested to see what class mates would guess about my character but unfortunately no one ever made a poll on her. Some characters did get a lot of polls on certain days and other’s none which was a little weird. Agent Zero particularly got a lot of polls though people disagreed on what gender they identified Alex or Zero with. When answering the polls I tried to think what I knew about the characters from their bios or interviews and then answer based on that, because it was more like building on the character already in place not just picking at random. The more open ended polls were what I enjoyed taking. When I made my polls I tried to make sure they were not the same as the previous polls and could offer something new to the class dynamic.

The final results were:

Everyone knows Agent Viper loves bikes how could they involve bikes in their next mission? Mode of escape

Agent Bongo has been involved in some top level coverups lately what is likely his next PR campaign? Cover Up Agent 106

Agent Zephyr always tries to blend in to gain their targets trust. What was their last food service blend in? Taco Trained Killer

Agent Soap has to make a quick flee from a mission and needs to know who to trust for intel. Who should he trust? (This one was a tied vote) Either trust no one or talk to the gnomes

Agent Smith claims to never get detected but what could be their fatal flaw that causes them to get caught? Unable to use baby hands

 

When I went to make my polls for Wednesday I went through a process to try and understand each of the characters that the poll would be about. To do this I read through their character bio’s then tried to find their interviews. It was kinda hard sometimes to figure out whose blog was which character because they did not always say their name in the interview, but by hunting through their blogs I was able to figure it out. In some cases people forgot to tag their posts with the interview tag so I would go through the blog feed to try and figure out more about their character. It was kinda hard sometimes but worth it to figure out and represent their characters more truthfully. I did this for each of the five agents for that day and I tried to write poll questions or answers based off what I learned from their interviews. For instance in my poll for Agent Viper I could not find a lot about the character but they said they loved working on bikes so I decided to theme their poll on bikes. Then for agent Bongo I used their job as  PR person as the backdrop of their poll. Agent Zephyr was hard to find information about at first but going through their posts I found that they like to pose as food delivery workers to gain trust and be in disguise. After learning that I tried to think of ways that a food delivery person could take on a mission. I found sometimes I had to reword my polls because I was exceeding character limit with my poll answers, so I tried to keep the answers pithy. For agent Soap I combined facts about his military career and answers to his interview where he mentioned gnomes would make great surveillance tools. I also did a poll for Agent Smith this poll had answers pulled from his interview questions. Since his character bragged to be infallible I tried to extrapolate from his interview where it could be possible to trip him up. So he could not answer the question about baby hands or feet, and he found garden gnomes terrifying so those questions in particular lead themselves to working as answers. Unfortunately I totally forgot to tag the agents name in each of my polls but I did remember to fully write it out each time at least. It was fun to write the polls and researching people’s characters more deeply made you think on how characters in this class have developed since everyone first posted their bios at the semesters start.

 

 

How to find a Agent: a book remix

For my second remix of the week I did the Mashedup Children’s Book remixed with Turn Up the Cheese. Now I know we were supposed to try and have a remix or mashup using previous work done in the DS106 and I tried to do that. However it felt really uncomfortable when I tried it. Kinda like I was mocking what someone had tried real hard on. I think maybe I just wasn’t finding the right assignments or remixes to combine but I really was not getting anything that felt like a valuable re-edition to the DS106 world. So I decided that I would just try to create a new remix because I really never found a good balance that didn’t feel like an issue.

When I started this assignment I felt like this remix was a good combination because people often feel like children’s books are already kinda cheesy. (Not always but often.) So I set out to make a super cheesy over the top example of one. I decided to make it in Canva which is usually used for info graphics and the like because I wanted it to be as overly bright as possible. (Also cause this week was a real GIMP heavy editing week and I needed to switch things up a bit.)

I decided to try and incorporate my character and the class theme into this cheesy remix. I made a children’s book cover for a fictional guide to finding a agent. I tried to play on how children’s books usually have animal characters with my character’s name of Agent Fawn. So I put a cute little overplayed deer and had a magnifying class watching over her. (I feel like this is where it could have gotten dark but cheesy is not that so I tried to avoid that.) I went with bright red for the background because red still felt creepy but also overused. I also went it a in your face font size that dominated the fictional book cover.

How to find a Agent

3 movies 1 poster

My final mashup of the week was the Mashup Those Movies mashup for 3 1/2 stars. For this assignment you needed to take 3 different films and put them together in a believable movie poster. At first I started by just looking up spy movie posters to see what the general trends were and how I would approach it. While I did that I came across the poster for the Spy Game.the spy game poster

The cool thing about this poster is it had that middle divided part with the film title and primary actors. It gave me an idea what if I imitated the style of this poster keeping the middle division and used two different close ups of different spy film posters. By keeping the name of the one film and it’s actors it was kind of a joke to see how much people pay attention. I ended up selection two posters that both had similarly dark color schemes and blue tones, because I wanted the images to have enough connection that they looked feasibly similar not just purely randomly thrown together.  I used a poster from the Bond film Casino Royale and the poster for the film Tinker Tailor Solider Spy.

 

 

 

 

 

I decided to use the top half of each image focusing on the face shots to mirror the way faces worked in the original poster. I brought all the images into GIMP to put them together. I had to scale down the images to make them fit naturally and well into the top and bottom sections. I also had to cut out the middle section of the Spy Game poster to place between the two images. I am pretty happy with how the final product came out. I think at first glance it looks like it all belongs together. The brightness of the red starts to give it away a bit but it still helped create  a strong dividing line on the poster.

3 spy films

How to combine video

Tutorial Time! This is a tutorial for the mashup assignment Two Movies, One Line. I am going to go step by step with images to explain one way to tackle this assignment. (Fully acknowledging that there are other programs and options at your disposal.) I am also using a Mac for this tutorial so my video editing software is iMovie a Mac specific program. (If you attend UMW on the Fredericksburg campus iMovie is available for free on the computers in the Hurley Convergence Center.)

This first step in this assignment is to find and download the video clips you plan on combining. I will not be going into detail on downloading from youtube or other sites in this tutorial but there are different options available to you such as ClipConverter.ccFile2HD4K Video Downloader, or KeepVid.

Once you have downloaded your video it is time to cut out the lines you want to mash together. To do this I recommend the software MPEG Streamclip, it is free to download and works on Mac and PC. After downloading open up the program.

Editing in MPEG Streamclip

Step 1- In the top menu bar go to File, then choose “Open Files”. A window will then pop up where you can select your video file once selected click “Open” to open the file.

open files

 

Step 2- To select where you want your clip to start move the cursor in MPEG Streamclip to where your line starts. (If you need to get fine detail you can use your arrow keys to move frame by frame.)

Step 3- To select the start of your line go to Edit and choose “Select In” (shortcut is simply clicking I on your keyboard.)

select_in

Step 4- Now move the cursor to where the line ends. From here go to Edit and choose “Select Out” to cut your frame. (Shortcut is “O” the letter on the keyboard.)

select_out

Step 5- Now that you have your clip selected go to Edit then choose “Trim.” This will cut your video down to just the line you need.

trim

Step 6- Now that you have your completed clip go to File and choose “Save As.”

save_as

Step 7- I would suggest saving the file with the line from your clip to help remember it. When you are done click “Save”

save_and_title

Step 8- Repeat this whole process for the other clips you want to combine.

 

Putting clips together in iMovie

Now that you have your video clips it is time to put them together. You’ll need to open iMovie. Once iMovie is open you need to create a new movie.

Step 1- Click the plus and select Movie to create a new Movie.

select_movie

Step 2- Click one of the two down arrows to upload the clips we made.

import

Step 3- In the import screen select those clips you made and click “Import Selected.”

import selected

Step 4- Now you clips should appear in the upload area of iMovie, if not go back and re-upload the clip.

clips_in_thing

Step 5- Now it is time to bring the clips into the bottom section where the clips go.

drag_clips_down

Step 6- Drag and drop all the clips you plan on using for your mashup.

both_clips

Step 7- To export your video go to the top corner and click the export button.

export

There are several options on how you choose to export your clip I will be exporting it straight to Youtube because it tends to load faster.

select_export

 

Step 8- When you upload to Youtube change the file name, and summary from the default. Then click “Next” to export it.

export_to_youtube

In the top right corner of iMovie a little circle will appear when the circle completely turns white it means that the movie is fully exported.

circ

Step 9- Check to make sure your video has properly uploaded to iMovie to Youtube.

exported_video

Step 10- Grab your Youtube video url and paste it into your blog! Do your assignment write up and you are done!

 

Now you should have all the steps you need to go through the Mashup assignment Two Movies, One Line. The same basic skills in iMovie and MPEG Streamclip are also usefully in many other DS106 assignments.

 

 

A mission bond mashup

One of the mashups I took on this week was the Two Movies, One Line for 3 1/2 stars. I was excited by this one because it had a cool premise about combining different films. (Also I knew the person who originally put out the assignment so I thought it’d be fun to try it out.) While working through this assignment I thought it was a good example of different editing tools so I decided to go back and recreate the assignment when I was done and create a tutorial on it.

One of the harder parts of this assignment is deciding what you want to do for it! I decided what I needed to do was just go out and watch a bunch of youtube trailers for spy films to get inspiration. (Also wanted to stay on the class theme.) I went through and listened and tried to find interesting phrases by different characters. Whenever I found a phrase I thought could be useful I would download the video. Trailers can be hard because they only give you short bursts of dialogue (especially for action packed spy films) so I had to find moments where the trailers had dialogue and quiet backgrounds. Another part of my aim was to make sure the two lines really felt like they could flow off each other and that there was not over powering noise to distract from that.

Ultimately I went from a clip from  the first  Mission Impossible trailer and from the James Bond film Skyfall. (Mission Impossible is like a sub-theme for this weeks assignments.) I wanted to pull out the line “it’d much worse than you think” from Mission Impossible and “you must be joking” from Skyfall. I felt like these phrases went well together and actually regardless of placement could create different connotations in dialogue. It could either end in an exasperation of Bond or the smug look of Hunt. I actually decided to make both versions to show how context of dialogue really can change the perception of story. Who we think is in charge of a conversation or how we perceive dynamics often has a lot to do with the exchange of dialogue and body language.

To create the clips I downloaded the trailers off Youtube and then used the program MPEG Streamclip to trim the videos down to just the lines I wanted to use. After I had the lines down I brought both clips into iMovie to combine it. In iMovie I combined the two clips to make sure they went together well before I uploaded them to youtube. The clips were a little short in the end but that works in terms of the pacing of a conversation and also into the fair use of copyright material. (Since videos are supposed to be less then 5 secs borrowed when possible.) After that I was pretty much done doing both versions of the dialogue. I think the two scenes both try to capture frustration that occurs in a lot of spy films. Where agents are left in the dark or brought into unforeseen issues.

 

Disaster and Impossible

For 4 stars I did the Ready for my close up mash up. I’ve been going real strong this week with keeping assignments on theme for the class so I wanted to continue with that trend.

So I know that this picture has been used a lot since it turned into a meme but I wanted to use the so called disaster girl photo as my reference for a close up. The picture is well known because of her expression which looks menacing and made people assume she started the fire. (She didn’t the photo has an article all about the image’s context and history.)

So even though it has been referenced by different people I thought I could do something pretty cool with it so I decided to. I brought this image into GIMP and cut out the girl then erased around her any left over pixels so she stood alone. Here I was cleaning up the pixels in the process of editing it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/135407162@N08/33843488632/in/dateposted-public/

I next thought about what to put behind her. I wanted something spy themed again to stay on topic with how close I have been doing this week. I also wanted something explosion related because it connected back to the origin of the original image but twisted it in a new way. I decided to go with an explosion scene from the 3rd Mission Impossible film. (Yes I have used mission impossible films a few times over the course of this semester but so far I have tried to avoid repeats since there are 5 films.) I went with this dramatic image.

Next I brought the image into GIMP I cropped out the black lines and rescaled the image so that it fit better into the way I was setting it all up. I also had to figure out where to put the girl. I decided to scale her down and keep her in the bottom right corner so that she seemed to be behind the car. This way she would be theoretically kinda shielded by the car and able to actually be turning back not looking as concerned as she should have been. It also didn’t break up the scene as much and left the context of the explosion.

So with this image I decided that the story behind it was that the young girl had played a role in the explosion being set off.  Getting out of another car out of frame but on the road she was looking to admire her part in the explosion and turned around to get away from the impending chaos.

disaster-girl mission

 

Mission Remix

So I remixed the Movie Mash up with the 106er’s remix style. Originally I had just been planning on just doing the mash up version of the assignment but while I was doing it I had a sudden idea and decided to remix it.

So when i started the movie mash up I wanted to combine spy movies because then it still stayed in the course also stretched ideas on how to make it. Unfortunately a lot of spy movies have single large shots of one individual which made it a bit hard to find something that worked well. So I looked around and I found this poster from Mission Impossible. It was more dynamic and had a space around the plane I could play with for editing the context.

After that I tried to think what would fit into the background and thought about parachuting. The film Kingsman another spy one had a parachute scene so I decided to incorporate that into the background. The films are not as similar as the mash up suggested them to be but there are some commonalities. I found this picture from the film to sub into the background.

Next I started to combine them. I put them together in GIMP as separate layers. I decided to erase out the background around the three figures. I am very picky about pixels so I went into great detail to try and get rid of all the blue pixels from the background.

pixel erasing

One I had done that round of erasing I placed the figures near the edge of the wing of the plane. Next I decided to remove the text below the film’s title like the release date and such. To do this I used the clone stamp tool and repeated the pattern of the grass in vertical stripes. Trying my best to blend it in correctly with short spurts.

text rid

Once I had erased out the bottom text it still felt eh, so I decided Rogue Nation and Tom Cruise were phrases that needed to go as well. I repeated the same process as before using the clone stamp tool to remove them from the image. Then I thought I was done.

first version

Once I had made this image I was pretty happy except I realized I could incorporate it with a remix! I had flipped through some of the remixes and knew about the DS 106 one for remixing the course into the mash up. I thought when I saw Mission that it would be a perfect fit! Because it included not only DS106 but also missions and spies the theme of this particular section. So I messed around with creating a DS 106 in text and played around with getting the perspective to match up with the top lettering. I wanted the lettering to try and go together.

perspective

While I was working on it I thought about it and the Impossible part of the title just didn’t make any sense. The point of DS 106 is after all that nothing is impossible. So having that in would not make sense at all. I then used the clone stamp tool to get rid of the “impossible” and played around with perspective with the text till I got it right. With that I was done! I combined Mission Impossible and Kingsman into an ad for DS106 in a really fun remix.  So I really enjoyed creating this one.

MISSION ds106

 

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