Week Four Summary: Audio Storytelling

Upon seeing that this week was focusing on audio and noir, I was intimidated by the task initially. I usually don’t create any audio things in my free time and I never used Audacity before, so I really thought this was be my hell week. But the first post I wrote, which was my personal reflection on audio, the readings, and the opening scene of Touch of Evil (restored and non-restored), made me feel a bit less stressed about the week ahead. Writing this post made me a bit more comfortable with the audio tasks coming up since I recognized that I could analyze sound choices well in film since I’ve had prior experience doing that in my class last semester (http://janellegelino.com/thoughts-and-ideas/week-four-audio-reflection/). In the post, I started off reflecting on the last time I really analyzed sound in film and that was last semester when we had to pick a sequence of shots for Coppola’s The Bling Ring and sound was on of the elements we had to address. I started realizing then that sound almost-subconsciously affects the viewer; subconsciously because some sounds are so subtle, yet they help create a tone that we can sense.

A few days after, we had to do a tweet-along assignment as we listened to the ds106 radio. This was on the radio show called “Double Indemnity,” a noir mystery that involved a couple planning the death for her current husband. Below are the tweets I posted as I listened to the radio station. This was a fun way to interact with noir and I would do it again. I loved seeing what caught others’ attention as they listened to the same station (especially how Janaye and I both thought of “Gold Digger” for Phyllis). It was interesting to see that “Moon Grafitti” was featured on the radio station the following day and I had written about that podcast during week one since I really liked it. It was interesting to see what others thought about the podcast as I watched on Twitter.  Below are the comments for my “Double Indemnity” tweet along.tweet fourtweet threetweet twotweet one

Next, I completed 4 audio assignments, including the one for our character. The first one I did was the line remix, where you took a famous line from a film and combined it with others to make one cohesive audio post. I chose a line from Grease to start with and this gave me the idea to make it a graduation-type speech, so I found other famous lines to build upon this (http://janellegelino.com/assignments/audio-assignment-line-remix/). I really like how it came together to give one inspirational message for those who are graduating or really for anyone that feels unsure of themselves going into the future. I feel it encourages someone to live their live to the fullest extent and those are the kind of messages that usually strike me whenever I stumble upon them. Which leads into my next audio assignment: remix a song with some speech. For this, I knew right away that I wanted to use Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement speech as the skeleton and have a song that really fir well behind it. The song “I Lived” (Arty remix) by One Republic gives listeners the message of taking every moment in life by the horns and living every day as though it were your last. This fit so well with the speech since they both allude to the same inevitable thing about our lives: the notion of death. They both address that it is an unavoidable thing and no one has escaped it, but they use this to encourage listeners to take joy in every moment they have left since that is already uncertain (http://janellegelino.com/assignments/audio-assignment-remix-a-song-with-some-speech-4pts-steve-jobs-and-i-lived/). My favorite part was how the lines literally spoke back to each other. I’m pretty happy I had the opportunity to combine of my favorite speeches and songs together for this assignment and I wanted it to be a tribute to the life of Steve Jobs’. My other audio assignment I completed was my car chase commentary. This was extremely fun to make, except for downloading the YouTube video (almost got a virus from this!). I originally started off just having the audio of myself commenting on the video of the static cone, but I decided that I wanted to use my movie maker to make it resemble a real breaking news story. I added a breaking news YouTube video (which again was scary to do) and recorded myself talking to my webcam to give the appearance of a newscast. This was very fun for me and I did get very into the narration as I stared at the cone; it became more real to me! Here is the video link to “The Heroic Cone.” http://janellegelino.com/assignments/audio-assignment-car-chase-commentary-3-and-12-the-heroic-cone/. My final audio assignment was the sound story for Sebastian Crane. I chose to show some characterization through him on his car drive to work and in my head, I pictured this as a scene from a film, so the whole car ride and walk into the building wasn’t seen but assumed. I usually end up thinking in things in terms of a visual presentation or really a film and I tried to express this in that manner since it is hard describing a whole car ride while revealing things about the character. I deliberately chose to use the moment where he changes the love song to Elvis to show his disdain towards love after his big heartbreak from the past and I wanted the “Hound Dog” song to be his thoughts about Margaret and since it is so upbeat, it makes me link it to someone being confident. With this post, I wanted some things to be taken about Sebastian: his annoyance with love, his confidence, and somewhat establishing that he is a working man, but I would have to make a different audio for him in the office. I chose not to focus on him in the office because I wanted to chose a moment that could really bring out things about how he feels. (http://janellegelino.com/assignments/audio-assignment-sound-effects-story3-and-a-12pts-sebastians-drive-to-the-office/).

Using Audacity was very tricky in the beginning, especially figuring out how to have two audios play simultaneously. I would upload one and the other would delete numerous times, but I had to press “import” to make all the sounds stay together. I did look at YouTube videos for some specific tutorial things for Audacity, but once I figured out how to maneuver around, it was more enjoyable to use. I had a problem converting my files to MP3 earlier this week, but I had to download a program titled “lame” (how fitting since my computer was being a bit lame) inorder for the audio tracks to be exported as MP3’s.

I had fun making my radio bumper titled “The Predator and the Prey.”  I wanted it to showcase the femme fatale by having her become the predator at the end of the bumper. The footsteps mixed together as well as the heavy breathing created this suspenseful effect for my bumper and made the setting pretty clear. I actually got the idea to use the wolf and the Game of Thrones theme song when I saw that an art class here at UMW had a shirt design with Game of Thrones on it. It is a suspenseful show and many people have seen it, so I wanted to appeal to a wide audience by using this to my advantage while also keeping the suspense of noir in mind (http://janellegelino.com/assignments/audio-assignment-ds106-radio-bumper-predator-and-the-prey/).

For my daily creates, I did the following:

1. Ruin porn- https://www.flickr.com/photos/janellegelino/16427406151/. An abandoned asylum photo I titled “Madness Inscribed on the Walls that Held Me.” I wanted to pick an abandoned place that would be interesting yet chilling to look at. An asylum definitely did that for me and it kind of reflects how I wouldn’t want to personally venture into one myself.

2. The “I’m sorry” post- https://www.flickr.com/photos/janellegelino/16435916451/in/photostream/. Who doesn’t like a Disney reference here and there? I took this in San Francisco (or better yet, I made my sister take the picture and she thought it was silly-stupid, but no negativity allowed in my book!).

As for my brainstorming for my radio ideas, I am honestly stumped. I think it would be fun to use something that would involve my character’s voice, but since I am not a man, I don’t think that idea would work. I thought of having one that could play music that could relate to noir, so that could apply to music we have today. After the song would play, I could talk about how that song could relate to noir or create a noir mood. I am very uncertain as to what would make for a good radio show, but I think I would want something that shows how noir can be found in every day things. I’m trying to let the inspiration hit me, but I may need a bit of guidance with how to do a music station one if I end up doing that idea. I was using this site as guidance as to what to come up with, but making it a noir themed one is where I think I’m struggling. http://1490wwpr.com/how-to-radio/radio-talk-show-topics/

Here are some of the comments I posted on others’ pages:

http://calabashnebula.com/assignments/radio-bumper-did-someone-just-die/#comment-50

http://ahowlan2.com/uncategorized/bumps-and-bruises/#comment-42

http://slhendo.com/assignments/audio/radio-bumper/#comment-69

http://ds106.jnemeth.net/jim-sardic/audio-log-the-puncture/#comment-11

Also, during the week I put most of my audio assignments on my Twitter for followers to check out.

On another note, Enigma Color Guard had their first competition for this season and we got 3rd place! It was a great moment we all shared and we have come a long way to reach this and I’m really happy we proved to ourselves that we have what it takes to go far.

“If the sky comes falling down, for you, there’s nothing in this world I wouldn’t do.”- Hey Brother by Avicii

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