Below is Version 2 of our team’s mini documentary. We have provided a copy to our main contact at the Olympic Medical Center. We are hoping to get some really good feedback. As we reviewed this version earlier today, we found more items that could be tweaked. In the meantime, please see below the latest version.
This week’s assignment: to write about my perspective on a documentary film called “Login2Life”, directed by Daniel Moshel. It is a documentary about people who are deeply immersed in virtual life in the online virtual world called Second life. The movie combined scenes of people in their ‘first’ or real life as well as scenes in ‘second life’. Beware, there are some serious virtual nudity and sex in the film.
In second life, individuals are represented by a digital persona called avatars. The avatars are created by the users so it can be viewed as an extension of the person. The avatars serve as a means for users to obtain the physique, attributes and looks that are impossible or unachievable in real life. It could be great for people with disability to imagine themselves without their infirmity but it may also lead to unhappiness or distorted view of reality for some.
A virtual relationship could be a solution for people who are lonely and alone. It’s great to connect to people from all over the world, but, only to an extent. As the lady in the film said, “she needs to go out and have real relationships in the outside world”. I am also uncomfortable with the idea of married people who also have a wife/husband or seek relationships in second life. Call me old fashion, but for me a relationship is a commitment of the mind, heart, body, and soul.
We live in a changing world, that there are opportunities to learn, build, connect, make money in the virtual world is great. It can also be an ideal place for some, where they can find acceptance, friendship and a sense of belonging.
Here’s the first version from my team, consisting of me, Donna Geer and Jack Cote. This is truly a team work. We ended up interviewing/filming 12 people and one dog. Once we have the clips, we chose the best parts of the interview to be included. Donna is our lead editor and she is really doing a fantastic job at it. There is still work to be done but this is a fun, exhausting, educational, eye-opening and really gratifying project.
Making a film or any project requires 1) time or schedule, 2) scope or features/requirements and 3) cost or funds. Let’s imagine (over-simplified example) that we have an idea for a great film. Requirements (scripts, storyboards, actors etc.) are lined-up as well as the schedule but we have no funds. Don’t despair, there are ways to obtain funding.
Grantspace provides funding information and resources available to artists of all types. The site lists helpful links on writing grant proposals, sponsorships, and other information that individual artists may find useful.
An article I read from Forbes lists several ways to raise money for an independent film. They are: equity, pre-sales, Loans or bridge financing, Tax credits , Crowd-funding and Deferred payments. Do you think sponsors were lining up to fund the Coen brothers first film? Read the full article the answer may surprise you. It also provides explanation on each method.
Getting funding is not easy, but there are a lot of ways to get one. Resources are available on the internet to help search for the right fit. If you dream of producing a film, don’t let anything stop you from making it a reality.
Sometimes you really have to read the instructions thoroughly before you take action. This week is a great example. I quickly read the heading and scanned the texts. What stood in my mind was ‘Shared Experience Video’ and ‘create a 60 second video’. I totally missed the next two words…PROJECT STORYBOARD. Never mind that the subject was clearly labeled PREVIS!
So what did I end up doing yesterday? A storyboard AND a shared experience video from our last field trip. Duh! Really, I just had to add more work on my plate. Anyway, since this video is finished you might as well view it. So below are my storyboard and shared experience video.
For my shared experience project I chose to focus on the Star Trek Exhibit. The exhibit is very well done. It is amazing how much influence the show has on our lives. What’s even more amazing is that the things that were imagined by writers in the story are now real! As you read this on your personal computer or tablet or smart device, are you just not in awe? Hope you enjoy.
This week’s topic is Edutainment. How can we educate an audience at the same time keep them amused? I believe this can be achieved by making a creation that is exciting, relevant, and FUN! It should be a good mix of stunning imagery that tell stories. Coupled with audio such as a clear narration and music that is suitable to the story. Some good examples of educational entertainment are TV shows such as Planet Earth, National Geographic, Sesame Street and Magic School Bus. They are so entertaining, we almost always forget that we are learning.
The internet is a gateway to other forms of educational entertainment. On YouTube alone there are numerous to choose from. Channels such as VSauce, GCP Gray, Smarter Every Day, Sci Show are just a few examples. They also utilize audio and video but most rely on digital animation to enhance their presentation. These are fun ways to learn tidbits of new knowledge or facts.
And then there is radio, more accurately digital audio files or podcasts. This form of edutainment are increasing in popularity. This is purely audio so a really good storytelling is essential. I believe some of our favorites podcasts do just that. They are: Invisibilia, a show about invisible forces that control human behavior and 99% Invisible a show about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about. And last but not the least is my favorite of all, not sure this is made for educational purposes but I think we can learn a lot from the experiences of others. The show is called How I Built This. It is a show about entrepreneurs, innovators and founders of some well known companies and brands. In the show they share their stories of success and failures. A few of my favorites were on Sara Blakely creator of Spanx, Herb Kelleher the co-founder & ex-CEO of Southwest Airlines. In reality all the show’s guests are really inspiring and have amazing stories to share. Do give it a listen.
There really is no shortage of educational entertainment, it is finding one that suits our tastes and interests that could be a challenge.
When it comes to perspective widening experiences in a cinema, performance, production, social media, gaming, and immersive media there are several I can think of. For cinema, I must go back a long time to the first movie that I so, so, love. It wasn’t in 3-D but it was immersive enough for a 6 year old me. The movie was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As a kid, I remember how much I enjoyed cartoons. But this was beyond cartoon, it has a great story, lots of colors, talking animals, and there’s singing too! I spent many days, day-dreaming about that movie. It transported me to a magical place where the everything is right and people and animals are in harmony. A place where people whistle while they work. I don’t know about you but that’s my kind of place. Now I still sometimes whistle and sing while I work 😊. Thanks to Snow White.
I’ve seen several performances which are all quite amazing and very entertaining but the one that gave me a great appreciation for theater is Phantom of the Opera. Also not in 3-D or 4-D. Maybe because it is the very first Broadway show I have watched that made it so unforgettable. I never knew a live performance could connect so well with an audience. It is even more powerful than movies because as an audience you are drawn to observe, feel, and watch what is going on in the stage that you are totally captivated. There are no other distractions, well maybe nowadays the smart phone will. But that wasn’t the case back then so I want to remember it that way.
Gaming and immersive media can be a fun shared experience to a point. I remembered playing games with my boys when they were growing up, games such as Mario Kart, tennis, or golf on Wii. But we also made sure that we exposed them to the real thing. There is no substitute to the feeling of joy when you hit the golf ball straight down the fairway or the dismay when it goes down the pond. Balance and moderation is the key. I believe it starts with the parents and they have to set the limits.
4-D is a form of entertainment when they combine 3- dimensional (i.e. something that has width, height, and depth (length) with physical effects in harmony with the film. Effects imitated in a 4D production may include water droplets, blowing air, smell, and vibration. Disney has been using 4D in their theme park shows. According to the story below, 4D has been used for over 30 years now! My family experienced the 4-D show “It’s a Bug’s Life’ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It was very entertaining. We stood in line because of our kids but I must admit most parents appears to have really enjoyed it too!
What a fun project! We are featuring the Northwest veterans Resource Center. It is really eye-opening the struggles some of our veterans have to undergo. It’s really incredible that we are planning this 2 weeks ago and now we have Version 1. Working with my team mates Jack and Donna have been such a blasts. We also have been so lucky to be working with the cooperative staff at the Veterans Resource Center as well as Peninsula College’s staff and students. So here’s Version 1. Looking forward to your constructive critiques.
The focus of this week’s post is the power of advertising during the Super Bowl or other highly watch broadcasted events. I am in trouble! You see, we don’t watch TV, we have no cable, stream or even an old fashion antenna. We just happen to not enjoy television any longer. We still own a television for my karaoke, hey a girl’s gotta sing sometimes 🙂 . So I turn to the ever popular YouTube for help. The Ad for Bai caught my eye. It features Christopher Walken and Justin Timberlake. Let’s watch it first shall we?
It seems at first that Walken is fed up with consumerism and ‘buy, buy, buy’, that is, until you see Justin Timberlake. Then you realize that he was simply reciting the lyrics to Timberlake/InSync’s song ‘Bye, Bye, Bye’. (For those unfamiliar with the song here is the link.) Then the drink appears…Bai. Three words that sound alike but with different meanings. Pretty clever use of homonyms!
The Ad is 30 seconds long and we are learning how to make effective short videos. So it’s exciting to see a great example in use.
Selling products and services are what the ads are for. Most of it are for a shiny new item. I can’t appreciate it because of what is going with a lot of people. This article from Business Insider on how America’s Consumer Debt is Piling Up states that “45% of Americans have to spend up to half of their monthly income on debt repayment.” In other words they are ‘debt slaves’. I have been there and can recall how stressful it was to worry about paying debt. So as a media creator, I will try to go the opposite direction. Instead of shiny new stuff (and debt) I will highlight simple, free but meaningful things. Items that are available to everyone and doesn’t require spending money. We all have a choice…money or life. I choose life.
Here’s a video that might inspire you. It features one of Washington’s best selling author Vicki Robin.