Living the Dream (Ds106 Final Project)

Living the DreamPoster

In a world where magical ponies roam free over the land and soar through the blue, cloudless skies, one speedy pegasus strives to be better than the rest. This is a story of blood, sweat, tears, ambition, and a mare’s determination to become the next legendary Wonderbolt, a protector and athlete of the skies. Amber E. May presents “Living the Dream” a Rainbow Dash story.

This is a story about how a blue pegasus named Rainbow Dash grew up constantly dreaming about becoming the next Wonderbolt, which is a team of pegasus ponies who train day and night to protect the skies of Ponyville. (They’re sort of like the Air Force.) Rainbow has trained her whole life, honing her speed and agility skills in preparation for the moment when the Wonderbolts finally recognize her. This video outlines the training she has undergone and it highlights some of her finer adventures. It includes a scene of her as a young filly performing the very first Sonic Rainboom in Equestrian history. However the video also shows a few of her slip-ups, proving that nopony is perfect.This pony has sadly been told countless times that she wasn’t going to become anything in life and that she should give up on her dream. Despite the endless bullying and putdowns though, she kept training in her air obstacle courses until she finally went down in history by saving ponies from an accident during the young flyers competition; also winning the competition in the process.  She was even praised by the Wonderbolts for her bravery and quick thinking. This video is only the beginning of Rainbow Dash living her dream.

This video was made in Final Cut Pro in a little over a week. Of course what one notices first is the immense amount of effects. If I named all of them, it would take up this whole post, but the main ones I used were the “Ultra Wide Screen” effect, color filter, “bad film” filter, desaturated filter, and the multiple screen effect. There were also places where I was able to fit up to 4 different video clips in the same viewing field. To do this I just make each separate video screen smaller. Another noticeable thing is the overlays and how they are used to simultaneously show 2 separate occurrences. At around 1:38 these overlays are used to act as Rainbow Dash’s thoughts as she’s performing the Sonic Rainboom; thoughts of her intensive training and the ponies who said she couldnt accomplish anything. I used all of these effects 1. to make the video as explosive and exuberant as possible and 2. to match Rainbow Dash’s quick paced personality. The music, entitled “The Wonderbolts Take Flight”, adds to this effect because it is meant to remind people of a high speed race. The music also plays a role in the timing and type of effects that should be used (a good example is at 2:04 when DJ-Pon3 is DJing and the music keeps her on beat. Another one is at 4:09 where Fluttershy’s eyes are dizzied after watching Rainbow fly in circles.) The song for the end credits is meant to further show Rainbow Dash’s passion for wanting to join the Wonderbolts. It is the solo she sang during the song “At the Gala” from episode 26.

This video is an example of a mashup because it is a combination of many episodes of My Little Pony and it includes a song from another source. As I said in last week’s post, I’d been creating remixes and mashups for years without even knowing it, and now that I realized it, I started using this media to focus on telling stories and evoking emotions from them. I feel like the emotion one should exhibit while watching this is support and empathy; wanting to cheer on the eager pony as we see her fight the odds. All of this emotion is brought out from just music, video, and special effects. It’s truly amazing what editing can make a person feel at that moment.

If this video doesn’t show you how badly Rainbow wants to be the best of them all I don’t know what will. She has spent her whole life preparing for the moment where the crowds will cheer when she soars overhead. I think she beyond deserves everyone’s recognition! This is a great capstone for Ds106 because it pretty much wraps up what we’ve been learning all semester; that you dont need words on a page to tell a story.

“The Wonderbolts Take Flight” (Final Project Sneak Peek #2)

If I give away anything else for the final project, I’d give away the surprises before it comes out! Here’s the 2nd sneak peek for my final project, a song by the name of “The Wonderbolts Take Flight” by Kristen Cooper (Aka “Dj Beats Point”)

Sounds catchy right! This is going to be the backtrack for the Rainbow Dash “Living the Dream” video. It’s upbeat, energetic, and practically SCREAMS the name Rainbow Dash! The song seems boring right now because there’s no words or no visuals, but that’s why I picked it; to show how 2 plain pieces of media combined can become something powerful. I’m going to have the video not only playing over this song, but the video is going to run with the mechanics of the song; when the trumpets start playing at 0:45, there will be visual trumpets, 1:00 the video will sync to the beat, the crazy sounding synth at 1:50 will be enhanced by some kind of repetitive effect ect.

This song isn’t just going to be a background song, it’s gonna work with the visuals and make the whole video “20% cooler!” <— (rainbow dash’s motto)

The “Ultra Wide Screen” Effect (Final Project Sneak Peek)

This is a small sneak peek at my final project. I recently learned how to make my video clips have sort of an ultra widescreen appearance. This means that the edges look as if they’re so wide that they extend toward the audience. It sort of gives it a panoramic, almost 3D effect, like you can watch the scenes from 3 different angles.

Ultra Wide Screen

How I did this in Final Cut Pro was that I used a distortion filter called “Droplet” which is normally used to provide a ripple effect. Then I went to the Droplet settings and turned up the Radius scroller to the max and the Thickness scroller to 0. I stumbled upon this trick completely by accident as I was ironically working on another My Little Pony music video. I ended up clicking the wrong filter and I ended up making my  video clip look like it had just gotten rained on. So I decided to toy with the scrollers to see if this filter had any other use, and sure enough it did. Although I still have no idea what the terms “Radius” and “Thickness” mean in this effect, I still find the system useful!

Don’t worry everyone! “Living the Dream” will be out by the end of this week! It’s the minor details like these that are making production take a while, but I promise it’ll be epic!

Created Assignments

Through DS106 I created 3 assignments for the world to complete.

How I See You

First one was a visual assignment called “How I See You”. This was a task in GIMP where people took a picture of somone they know and draw them behind a pair of glasses. Through the glasses they should see how they actually see that person (whether literally or figuratively.) 0 People did this assignment. Guess it was too complicated to figure out. :(

How I See You


A Capella With Yourself

This next one was an audio assignment where people had to create at least 3 tracks of them singing with each other for 15-20 seconds. (This one was my personal favorite. I wouldve done more than one if I could.) 7 People did this assignment; I guess people like singing!

Vocal Instrumental Mashup

The last one I made was a mashup assignment that was a bit tougher than the previous 2 assignment. It called for 2 songs to be put together, but only the vocals of one song and the instrumental of the other. This was a bit of a challenge for even me to do, and I’M the one who made the assignment! But I got it to work with a Paralyzer/Take Me Out mashup. I’m the only one who’s done this assignment so far, but maybe there will be more next semester since it’s pretty fun.

Exploring Pulp Fiction Even More! (Facts and Montage)

As a continuation of the last Pulp Fiction post, here are 3 interesting facts about the movie. Later I have a montage demonstrating these facts.

Fact 1: “Pulp Fiction is most known for its nonlinear storyline.”

What this means is that the sequences within the story are out of chronological order, but are still connected to one another. Tarantino has some element of this in a number of his movies, such as Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill. He connects the “chapters” of his stories by introducing placards in between scenes explaining what the new segment is called. This unique style of storytelling, among other things, helped Pulp Fiction gain 7 Oscar nominations in the 90’s and later influenced other nonlinear styled movies.

Fact 2: “Tarantino wanted Travolta to reclaim the charisma he had flashed onscreen in “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease”.”

Tarantino knew that the audience would’ve loved to see the “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease” star hop back onto the dance floor. He’d originally told Travolta to do the twist in his scene with Uma Thurman.

Fact 3: The F-word was said 265 times in the whole movie.

If there were an Oscar for “Most Potty Mouthed” I think this movie would be easily nominated. According the the Wiki article above, 265 instances of the word being said in the 154min film is equal to someone saying it 1.72 times per minute. Holy f**k!!

7 Tropes that Show How Pulp Fiction is a Crime-Thriller-Comedy Film

1. Gorn: “The movie shows gore and blood, not to frighten or upset, but to excite and thrill.” (This is basically the whole movie.)
2. Running Gag: “A joke that is only mildly funny the first time, but becomes funnier each time it is repeated.” (Whenever Vincent goes to the bathroom, something bad is always happening when he comes out.)
3. Enemy Eats Your Lunch: “Take their food. It’s a step beyond just invading personal space, and it shows who the alpha dog is.” (Jules takes the guy’s burger and drink at the beginning to show who’s in charge now.)
4. Dropped a Bridge on Him: “a character is permanently written out of a show, especially killed off, in a way that is unexpectedly anti-climactic or mundane.” (Vincent is show instantly when he comes out of the bathroom, not even having a chance to respond.
5. Groin Attack: “seeing someone get struck in the crotch is usually just plain funny.” (Marsellus shoots his rapist in the groin. POW!)
6. Hypocritical Humor: “A character accused of engaging in a certain behavior or activity denies it before being immediately depicted engaging in the very behavior.” (Jules tells Vincent not to use the Lord’s name in vain, yet he himself does it the ENTIRE movie)
7. Lethally Stupid: “This character accidentally causes a disaster because of a stupid idea” (Vincent acidentally shoots Marvin and splatters blood everywhere in the car. way to go…)

Basically whenever there is any sort of gore or bloodshed in this movie, it usually involves a humorous scenario, hence why I call this movie a Crime-Thriller-Comedy film. (The rest of the Pulp Fiction tropes can be found HERE. They’re really fun to read.)

Nooooow I shall present my montage, doing my best to show the 3 facts from earlier.

Here are the 3 videos I used to create the montage, hope you enjoyed it!
1.“Pulp Fiction Chronological”
2.“Pulp Fiction Dancing Scene”
3. “F**k Pulp Fiction”

You Might Want to Keep Your Receipt: Discovering Personal Information Online

Your Life
Ah…that dreadful time of year where you have to buy all of your expensive textbooks for classes. At the end of the year, you end up either stuck with them or selling them for prices that are much less than what you spent on them. However, there are those, such as myself, who take a wiser approach by renting their books from reliable websites like Chegg or College Book Renter and returning them when classes are over. This is not only a cheaper method, but it is also a way to not end up with a pesky stack of books at the end of the semester. However, there is always a few risks with this procedure, such as not getting the books on time, damaging them to the point where they cant be returned, having to re-rent them if their due date is before the semester ends, or worst of all, accidentally leaving personal information inside the book when you return it.

When I arrived back at my apartment, I sat down, cracked open my newly rented textbook, and began studying. A few pages later, a folded piece of paper fell out into my lap. I nosily opened it and realized that it was a receipt containing the name and address of the previous renter. I disregarded this revealing item and continued reading. As I read, my concentration was continuously being broken by thoughts of the receipt. Leaving a bookmark in a book is one thing, but leaving something private such as a full name and address?! Who KNOWS what could’ve happened if it had ended up in the wrong hands! I suddenly remembered one of my class assignments last semester was to Google the student sitting next to me to discover how much could be found about them online.  I looked at the receipt in the trash and thought, “I wonder how much I could learn about this person if I happened to be a threat to them…”  I put down the book, snatched the receipt out of the trashcan and opened Google.

It was now time to pretend to be a professional stalker, if such occupation exists. The experiment began with me typing in their full name. Within a flash of a second, dozens of websites that contained her name popped up! Her Facebook, Twitter, Youtube channel, and even her university blog that included her back story was now in front of me. This may not seem like anything significant, but I’d now discovered a new piece of information, her consistent username. If I were a genuine stalker (which I’m not!) I would utilize this username to find out every website she was active on. This was already getting scary because I’d found a good amount of information about her without even typing in where she lived yet. I hesitantly typed in her address, being afraid to see the results. In an instant, her home flashed on the screen, but that wasn’t all. Occupations, military records, past schools,  parents’ names and occupations, pets, sexual orientation, churches, family obituaries… I now felt extremely sorry for her–more so than when I first discovered her receipt–because she made this too easy for anyone to discover. I quickly shredded the piece of paper and tossed the scraps back into the trash.

I thought about sending her a message on Facebook telling her about the issue, but then I DEFINITELY would’ve seemed like a creeper. I just hope she doesn’t make this mistake again, or things could get dangerous for her. Just goes to show that sometimes all it takes is just knowing the first 2 numbers of a combination to open the locker.