PoLkAdOt MaGnOliAs

My Digital Storytelling Experience

527 Eldon Street

March 25th, 2010

Here is my Google Maps project that I used Jing Project to capture for me. I actually captured a couple more videos too, because I was playing around with how to navigate around on the street view. I thought 5 minutes was going to be plenty enough time for me to talk, but I kind of wish I had more time. The more I was experimenting with capturing my navigation around my grandparents’ neighborhood, the more memories kept popping up in my head of stuff I wanted to talk about. However, I ran out of time. I believe I am even cut off a little at the end of the video as well. Oh well. I think you get the gist of the location and how it is important to me because of all the time I spent there “growing up.” This was a good project. I really enjoyed doing it. I think this could even go along with and be a part of my digital story. I have some footage I took with the flip cam of my grandparents, which is appropriate since this is their house and their neighborhood. I think it would be kind of cool to provide the insight into the people actually living in this place. After all, it’s the people that make the home out of the house, right?


Old Time Instructional Video

March 24th, 2010

This video was put together by me, Brandy, and Dolly! I believe Brandy has already posted this on her blog, but when I tried viewing it, it wouldn’t let me! So, I just decided to take it from YouTube and put it on my blog just in case others were having problems viewing it on her blog too. Of course the editing is not perfect, and it probably could be shorter, but we were just experimenting… 

Another Video Journal

March 21st, 2010


March 18th, 2010

Ok, so I actually did this video journal the beginning of last week. I would have posted it sooner, but I needed to do a little editing on it, and plus it was too long for me to put on YouTube so I had to split it up into two parts, which still took forever to upload. This is just my first video journal for my digital story, and I am sorry that it is so very long. Well, at least it seems long to me! I just discuss what I am going to be doing and many of my thoughts in general about my future and school. I have other footage from the FlipCam that I took over this past weekend plus some audio from one of my meetings last week, all of which I still need to go back through and edit. I will post those soon though, I promise!

My Uninteresting Story

March 17th, 2010

Here is a story I got my grandpa to tell me when I just visited home over this past weekend. I listened to the audio and some of it sounds a little distorted, which is weird because it sounds perfectly fine in GarageBand! I’m not really sure why that is, but I don’t want to edit it and change things now that I already have exported the file as an MP3 and uploaded it to the my Cpanel File Manager’s public_html file.

Anyway, I hope it is still somewhat enjoyable. I think it probably needs a little more editing, but it’s pretty decent overall. To make the story interesting, I incorporated different sounds throughout in order to enhance what he my grandpa is talking about…check it out by clicking on the link below!

http://polkadotmagnolias.info/My Song 4.mp3

Story through Sound

March 15th, 2010

Sorry that this audio clip is so late! I was having issues with making the audacity file an MP3 even when I downloaded and installed LAME. Anyway, I figured it out, and hopefully it works now! I just uploaded the file straight from my computer and inserted it into my post. I hope it’s ok that it is a link as opposed to a clip that can actually be played on my blog page. Just to let you know, Dolly Suarez and Brandi Harris were also involved in the making of this simple little story. Hope you enjoy it!

Down the Aisle

A Change of Plans

March 9th, 2010

I know that I already submitted my proposal for my digital story a while ago; however, I was thinking about how I wanted to start with my project and I was getting a little too bogged down with the details. I had all these ideas and I wasn’t sure how to organize them and put them all together into a coherent story. Plus, I don’t know if I really have enough time to write a script each week, film it, and then edit all the footage I take. Even if I didn’t do video every week, I feel like my ideas are all too lofty and overwhelming for me to carry out well. I was really excited about storyboarding, writing, filming, and editing, but I think now that I am going to go in a different direction with my ideas. I know I should have had my idea nailed down before Spring Break and have already started working on it. However, I feel like my new idea is much more feasible and personal to me.

Because I am graduating soon, I thought it would be fun to document my life in college over these last couple months of school. I can video myself talking about what I need to do in order to plan for my future (looking for jobs, my ideas about what I want to be and how I can get there). That way, I won’t have to worry about getting actors and figuring out a time everyone can meet each week. This way, I can sit down in front of the computer every week when it’s convenient and record my thoughts about my college experience. I can talk about how I met some of my college friends, interview them and see how their college experience has been for them, see what they hope to do in the future, etc. I can even just take a camera with me when I go out to a party, hang out with my friends in my apartment, visit my parents at home, work at a school I volunteer at with children with disabilities, prepare for Psi Chi (the psychology honor society) events, and any other activities that go on in my daily life. I don’t know if this would really be interesting to anyone else except me ,to be honest. That’s ok though, because I think it would mean a lot to me to have some tangible documentation of my life for me to look back on one day when I’m older. To look back on and see where I was and how I have progressed or maybe how I haven’t progressed. It would be a good end to my whole educational career. I wish I would have thought of this idea a little earlier. I feel bad that I am changing up my plan of action especially since I was so into my whole “Twilight Zone” idea. I feel, though, that with this new idea I can still experiment with video, but I won’t have to worry about writing out scripts. I can even still have fun doing some editing, but there won’t be as much pressure to edit beautifully. I think it would be great to have nice raw footage of my life. It will be much more real and less contrived. My ideas, my opinions, my memories, my average life as a college senior about to graduate and enter the big bad world of reality, haha.

As far as what I do each week, I guess it will all just depend upon what I have going on that week in terms of activities, parties, and other events. I think it would be fun to do at least one short video every week. I feel like I can do that because my videos are not going to require a whole lot of planning and editing. If the video is not of me and my friends, parents, parties, etc. then I will try to at least do a video of myself talking about, again, what I have going on for the week, my general college experience, etc. It will be like a video journal, so to speak. I will have at least one video journal every week unless I have videos of other events or interviews with friends. I may even post videos as a response to an interview I do with friends. Besides interviews, I may make slideshows of pictures I’ve taken with friends over the years. Then I could blog about what the pictures mean and what my friends and I were doing in them. I’m not sure if I can plan out exactly what I am going to do each week, because my life changes from week to week and from day to day, and although there are some events in my life that I know are going to be happening, there are also things that are just as interesting that I have no idea will happen or don’t plan on happening. My story will be a little sporadic and maybe even random, going from something people may find dull and boring to something that may be a little more exciting. We’ll just see what happens. I want to track the things going on in my life and whether people think it’s fascinating or not, it doesn’t really matter. Going through and looking at my college experience over the years and looking at how I want to continue my life will help me think a little bit more about who I was, who I am right now, and who I want to become in the future. I know that probably sounds really cheesy, but I think it’s true. I think this project will be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to starting it. I know it’s not as involved as my other idea, but hey, what I’m doing is a story– it’s my story during a certain time of my life, so there’s no right way to do it and there’s no pressure for it to be a certain way. All I have to do is be myself and have fun doing it.

Experimenting with Feed Plugins

February 25th, 2010

Ok, so I have experimented with installing and downloading WP More Feeds and Flickr Feed Gallery. The only problem now is that I have no idea what to do with them now. I tried making the Flickr Feed Gallery a widget in my sidebar, simply to show some more of my favorite pictures on Flickr. However, it just displays “My Favorites” (because that’s what I named it) in the sidebar with no images underneath. I tried putting the RSS feed into the sidebar as a widget when I tried subscribing to the feed on my favorites photostream on Flickr. I went to the “Settings” option on the side and went to “Flickr Feed Gallery” where I put in my user id for my flickr photostream. However, after I did this and saved the changes, I didn’t see any kind of result, so I didn’t really know what to do after that. I tried inputting the code for the “Flickr Feed Gallery” into my theme code. Of course, I didn’t really know where to put it, and it doesn’t really matter, because nothing happened anyway. I’m a little lost, and I feel kind of silly trying out all these things that are obviously wrong. I just wanted to simply put some of my favorite Flickr photos in a sidebar. I know that it can’t be that hard!

In addition, I don’t really know what WP More Feeds does either. I read the description, and I didn’t understand it. I figured it allowed me to feed stuff into my blog. Although, again, I didn’t really know where to go when I installed and downloaded it. I went to the “Settings” option on the side and then to WP More Feeds. I didn’t know what to put in the spaces where you could write text. I didn’t see a place to put the code for sites I wanted to get a RSS feed from. Feed plugins are confusing for me, and I definitely don’t think I understand any of this as well as I thought I did.  :*(

"The Daily Shoot" Challenges

February 23rd, 2010

An old adage in photography says if you want to improve your photographs, move closer. Fill your frame today!     












Backgrounds are tricky. They can make a subject stand out or distract from it. Make a photo with a good background today.    












Squares and grids surround us in our built environment. Focus in on some squares today and make a photograph.   


Monochrome photos don’t have to be the result of processing or desaturation. Find a monochrome composition and shoot it.  










My Proposal

February 23rd, 2010

As for my proposal, I have been thinking about what exactly I want to commit to every week. I have decided that although I would absolutely love to come up with a brand new “Twilight Zone” episode each week, I don’t think I have the time to commit to it. Instead of creating different episodes, I was thinking that I would create one full episode over the next ten or so weeks of class. I would complete a section of the episode, and each week “my viewers” would get a continuation of the story from the previous week. Because videos can be very time-consuming to make, I was thinking about possibly having some weeks where I post videos while other weeks I could present pictures to continue the story. Because my story is going to have characters that develop throughout, I could even blog from their perspective about their experiences with being stuck in a particular channel on the tv. It would be kind of like in the format of journal entries, if that makes any sense. So “the viewers” would not only see what the characters are thinking and how they are acting through the dialogue in the video and in the pictures, but they would get to learn more about what the characters are thinking about and what they are going through internally that might not be outrightly revealed in their dialogue with others.

I know this is supposed to be a formal proposal, but I think that I am going to play around a little bit and experiment with what I would like to include in this story before I commit to anything else completely. I love the idea of working with videos, but I definitely do not want to limit myself to this medium. I would love to experiment with sites such as Twitter and any number of the tools that Levine used to create his story the 50 different ways. Along with doing some longer videos for my project, I could combine some of the tools I just mentioned to tell a little more each week. I’m not too sure which tools I am going to use off the bat, but I feel that as the story progresses, it will become clearer as to the types of resources I want to use.

Integrating each section of the story, which I mean to tell through the use of various tools, into a comprehensive, complete episode is the trick, though. Hopefully, I can figure out a way to connect the dots, so to speak. I don’t want my story to be difficult to follow because there are too many things going on. I need to organize it so that one part flows nicely into the next. I think my story lends itself to that fairly easily, though. Basically each week, my characters will get stuck in a different genre of film, be it a western, a romance, a reality tv show, etc. I may just create the essence of these genres through movie images or clips already out there and create montages of some kind, with the characters commenting about the montages or the story through the use of journal-like blogging or communication with each other via Twitter. I also might actively place them in the actual genre, put them in a dating game show from the 70’s and have them follow a basic script that conveys not only their development as characters but also conveys an accurate representation of the genre being highlighted that week. These are all possibilities of what I hope to explore. I can not really give you a complete and direct outline of how this story is going to work out or tell you the exact plan I have for each week right now. I am just going to wait and see how things develop as I go.

I may, besides going through the different genres, have my characters get stuck in a trailer, a music video, or even a commercial. I could even have the characters get stuck in a mini “Twilight Zone” episode one week to add to the whole “Twilight Zone” feel of my overall episode. However, there are limits to what I know about filming and editing. I will always experiment and see if I want to add them in as extras later on. I hope that’s ok.

I know I am not doing a “Twilight Zone” episode every week, but I think that doing one large episode consisting of smaller segments (and smaller projects) over the rest of the semester is a feasible plan for me. I’m sorry I am not more definite in my plans. I am having a little difficulty figuring out which tools I want to use first in telling my story, but as I get my story going and as I figure out what works and does not work, I should have a better idea. I think just diving right in might be the best move for me right now. Because when I get too bogged down with all the details and logistics of the story and character development, I get too overwhelmed. Therefore, I will start off doing a segment each week and will add anything extra that I see fit if I have some extra time and energy to work on the story.

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