The Nature of a City- A Korsakow Film

 

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CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY K-FILM!

The process of creating my own interactive Korsakow film, which I have entitled “The Nature of a City”, made up of the small scale ‘sketches’ I’ve been completing throughout the semester has proved to be a great learning experience. Reading David Shields’ “Reality Hunger: a Manifesto” I became aware of the similarities between collage and interactive media. Shields’ idea that “the very nature of collage demands fragmented materials, or at least materials yanked out of context” (Shields 2011); became the foundation for what I wished to produce. My goal was to allow each video stand individually whilst still contributing to a linked collage of videos.

 

Looking at my seemingly random, fragmented sketch tasks I noticed two key reoccurring elements throughout my videos. One being the beauty and the naturalistic quality of nature and the other being urbanized life and man-made items. I decided rather than having a narrative based story which would be hard to control with the inability to govern viewers’ decisions, I would aim to create a cycle indicative of the progression of nature in all its beauty to its gradual destruction as man and city-life move in and take over.

 

To emphasize my thread of the deterioration of nature to the hands of man, I have utilized text. The text I have chosen to use, a poem by Edgar Allen Poe entitled “Forest Reverie”.  The poem in its lyrical rhapsodic nature, fit perfectly to my theme, discussing how the beauty of the natural world has been tamed and subdued by men, but truly encapsulating the splendor of nature at the same time. The other thing I loved about this text was how its construction too was collage-like, which meant I could deconstruct it placing single lines on each of the videos. Not only did this enable my videos to have a link and solidify the thread, but also each line was able to be associated directly with the video it was showing in its own context.

 

To achieve the cycle of progression so central to my theme the construction of my k-film was extremely crucial. I decided I would have four separate interfaces for four separate stages of the decline of the natural world into the urbanized world. I created four distinct backgrounds using Photoshop and two creative commons images, which all related to each other and had an essence of continuity. The first interface is representative of nature in its prime a bright green forest. The second interface, which shows the metaphorical dying of the natural world, uses the same forest image with a brown gradient subduing half of the image. The third interface would then show the same ‘dying’ forest but this time city buildings will have taken up half the frame, indicative of the city beginning to take over. The final interface is the same image of the city, but now it takes over the whole screen displaying the dominance of the city and city life over nature. Seeing as these backgrounds were so detailed, I decided to keep everything else within the frame very minimal and simple so to not distract from the videos themselves and overwhelm the screen. I used a very simple large legible font; bolded so it stood out and I also ensured my previews always remained the same size in the same place.

 

The four interfaces then became the four in and out keywords for my snu’s to make the cycle flow. The keywords linking either one step forward in the cycle or one step backward in the cycle, so eventually the viewer will arrive back at the beginning. I decided to begin with a video I entitled ‘lone flower’ in the nature interface; this video displaying the beauty of nature yet having a sad essence at the same time as it is the sole flower amongst a bush, almost foreboding the rest of the cycle. This video would then link to videos in the category “nature dying”, progressing to the next stage. I decided to make each SNU looped having infinite lives, to ensure the cycle itself was continuous and never-ending and add to the random collage-esque quality of the piece. Thus in giving each video infinite lives, I had to be careful with my out keywords to ensure that every video would eventually show up and also so that the cycle would get back to the start, back to nature and not remain in the city. This was a bit of an issue seeing as I had many more “City” videos than “Nature” ones, however, this almost played to my advantage indicative of the rarity of nature in an urban world.

 

Overall I believe that I have created a rather successful piece, which truly encapsulates my theme of the move from the natural to the urbanized world. I am really happy with the use of different interfaces to emphasize what section of the cycle each video belongs too, and the simplicity of the composition of my interfaces. Although I would have loved to have a slightly more structured and controlled piece, I think the random quality and the free flowing cycle effect is quite effective. It is an endless loop, just the same as the cycle of nature; despite being constantly tamed and destroyed at the hands of men to make way for cities and material possessions, nature continues to grow and bloom and provide beauty to our world.

 

I have learnt a lot from the completion of the task, which will not only be useful in other aspects of my life. Although learning to use Korsakow was an interesting and new experience; noticing the little things in my world and learning to find threads between random objects and scenarios, were the most important things I feel learnt from the task. The piecing together and threading of elements a key process of editing, which, will continue to help me within the media industry. It has truly challenged me to think more creatively and in a non-linear fashion.

 

References:

Shields, David. “L: Collage”. Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. Vintage, 2011. ebook.

I K E A

IKEA from Lauren Burgueno on Vimeo.

Because IKEA is a place.

In the creation of this video I wanted to focus on creating a montage through a series of quick cuts which would match up to a suitable soundtrack.

Prompt: Place

Taken on Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA9 Camcorder

Edited with Adobe Premier Pro

Music: Shopping by Limando

Johnathon F. Portly, Amateur Photographer – A Digital Story


Shortly, Portly…

“I’m freaking out, I’m almost positive that I’m being followed. 000 is already dialled in. Seriously I’m a little worried. Maybe I’m crazy..?”

-J.Portly via Twitter


Shortly, Portly: The Synopsis

Johnathon F. Portly is a typical student and amateur photographer, who has recently started a blog to get his photographs out in the world!

But what happens when a mysterious figure starts appearing in his photographs?

Is it just a mere coincidence? It has to be, doesn’t it?


Characters

Johnathon Portly – Student and Amateur photographer

Get to know him better and follow his story through his blog or via his twitter!

Melissa Del Toro– Best friend to J.Portly and Aspiring Fashion journalist

Get to know her better through her blog or via her twitter!

Continue reading “Johnathon F. Portly, Amateur Photographer – A Digital Story”

E-Books- Revolutionising or Destroying the Literary world?


E-Book
noun /ˈē ˌbo͝ok/
e-books, plural
An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a personal computer or hand-held device designed specifically for this purpose.

E-books are a new technology revolutionising the way we read. Electronic versions of almost any book, available from the convenience  of your smart phone, i-pad or e-reader. But does this mean that the days of hard copy books are over? And if so is it for the better?

so what are the pros of e-books?

  • They are easily read-able having the ability to zoom and make the letters bigger.
  • They are easily portable and you can carry more than one book on the one device! Perfect for when you have only a few pages of a book left, or you are a super speedy reader!
  • They are much more environmentally friendly, no trees killed in the making or ink used at all.
  •  Lighting conditions never a problem, the e-readers having their own in built, adjustable light source.
  • It is perfectly ideal for covering up the fact you are reading books of the “50 Shades of Gray” variety while in public places, saving much potential shame!

so wait, then what are the cons?

  • They are useless without an E-reader of some description
  • You have to worry about battery life.
  • E-books are not always readily available, and not the most robust of tools!
  • Copyright Laws can be a worry even though you purchase the digital book, you do not own the rights to it, which can be an issue when trying to share the eBook with friends and family.
  • Less broad variety of books available
  • Formatting Issues can cause trouble, as different providers distribute different formats of eBooks, which may be incompatible with certain brands of readers.

Overall, there is no denying E-Readers are a huge technological advancement, that may eventually lead to the depletion  of hard copy books, especially as the technology improves ever so rapidly. For now however, I will admit I do still enjoy my books as paperbacks, no batteries required able to be read everywhere. Perhaps there will always be a nostalgic sense about paperback books. However, I do see the benefits of E-readers and I guess at the end of the day despite the pros and cons whether it be paperbacks or e-books each medium allows you to do the same thing… read a book!

Gnomeadic Island: A Reflection

The process of making a game even what I though was going to be a simple choose your own adventure one, turned out to be much more complex than I ever imagined.

In order to allow the player to have a choice in their adventure, there had to be at least two choices for them to pick and then each of these choices had to lead onto an alternative scenario. The final decision tree of all the choices through-out the game ending up looking like this:

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Decision Tree of All Decisions Within The Game

I encountered some difficulties with trying to figure out how exactly/ what order to publish all the posts in order for them to exist and be linked to the choices in order for the game player to progress through the scenarios. Deciding that I should publish the final post with the ‘treasure’ last so it becomes hidden among the other posts, and the post outlining the game-play and linking to the beginning of the game last, so it would be the first post seen on my blog.

The thing that I feel really worked  most about my game was the ease of the gameplay, and the simplicity of it. The player just having to decide which choice they wanted to make and then either click on it or scan the relevant QR code to move onto the next scenario. I also think the use of visuals in particular the map made according to the destinations within ‘Gnomeadic Island’ the story world, was an effective part of the game play.

The things that I feel didn’t work that well were that initially some of the links didn’t work, which brought the whole game-play to a halt; a problem that was easily solved. Another thing I think may not have worked to well, is having the ‘Treasure’ post located on the blog, as it can be accessed without playing the game if you are aware of its  existence. The last thing I don’t feel worked too well was the way I incorporated twitter, as in order to reply to the user with how to get their prize, I would have to constantly be monitoring the hashtag which could become an issue. The prize also most likely a let down in the end to, but what were you really expecting from a game modelled through blog posts? Really?

Overall, the making of a game which allowed its users to make decisions proved to be an interesting, much more complex process than I could have every imagined!