Aaron Siegel - Advanced Digital Video

Art 105 - San Jose State University - CADRE Laboratory for New Media

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Possible Project 4 Methodologies

So, seeing as how we were supposed to bring in a piece of text to work with, I thought of bringing in one of my favorite novels; 1984. I had the idea to make a more calculable solution by working with phrase searching utilizing python data parsing. I want to compare the occurance of long string phrases between 1984 and state of the union speeches during the last presidential term. The difficult part is selecting what phrases to search for, as well as interpreting the resulting data in a video. I could always do that by overlapping or mirroring (cutting between) audio/video of the state of the union speeches and the film version of 1984 (or a narrated version of the text).

I was also pondering an idea the past week, not related to text but text on television. I would record all commercials and then crop them in final cut to show ONLY the fine print at the bottom of the screen which reveals the details on the product. The viewer would have vague reference to what the commercial would actually be about, but they would have an enlarged and readable view (as well as perhaps extended duration) of the text. I believe this would reveal interesting characteristics about commercials regarding their directness of information and honesty.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Calculated Chaos

So, overlapping the audio to create a smooth escalation of energy is not a simple task. I've got a pretty good base to work from but I'd like each clip to transition smoother, since you have sharp noticeable changes between background music and narrators, and I really don't want that kind of cutting until about the last 10 seconds to bring it to an apex.

I'm going to sleep on what I have and come in tomorrow morning with a fresh perspective and hopefully wrap it up for critique at noon.

Rack em, Stack em, and Pack em

I'm working on pulling out the calmest audio and putting it in first, but I want to keep it free of being brand specific, and I want to smoothly layer and transition other audio so as to build up the energy level of the information being transmitted to the viewer. My main tools are volume and speed of playback, but I can see what kind of audio filters I can put on it to make it more dynamic. Although, I'm trying not to dress it up with effects.

I can work on it a little longer but then I have to go to my animation class and then 103 right after. I will work on it a bit after that, too.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Video Today, Audio Tomorrow

I got my video in and arranged fairly specifically to how I want it (given some minor tweaking), and tomorrow I will add in the audio to suit. I have been playing around with overlapping effects and color keys to create different moods via transition. Since I want the energy of the piece to escelate towards the ends, the transitions and cuts become quicker, as well as the movement in the clips.

The audio will be most dificult in the beginning because prescription medication commercials are not as ambient as they used to be, but as the energy grows so will the layering and intensity of the audio.

I've got tomorrow before figure drawing, tomorrow after 103, and wednesday before class to wrap it up. But right now it's fried chicken and potatoes time.

Progression through technique

So, I believe I'm making quite good progress now. I was able to finally get the zoloft clip to convert to .mov for use in this project, which is good because it has lots of good material. What I've done is spliced the clips into sections, and put the particular clips into their own bins in the browser. The different types of clips are calming video, "talk to your doctor" audio, side effects audio, and brand slogans. These are good for a basis to start editing with. I will soon add soothing audio (which is difficult to find, since there's most always narration), stimulating video (has lots of color and movement), and I believe symptom audio, although there is not much to select from and work with (and is sometimes not as literal and direct as it should be. [ie: enzyte])

I will combine all of this data that I have organized and form it into a progression from soothing to chaotic and overwhelming, emulating the growth of direct-to-consumer advertising over broadcast media.

I will be keeping this video under a minute to keep it similar to the commercial context from which it came.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

*sigh*... murphy's law?

So I was converting clips to .mov so that they'll be readable by final cut (zoloft unfortunately won't convert), and I was editing out the excess clips of trailing commercials, and when I tried to save I was unable to because the server had crashed. I restarted, and was unable to log in, leaving me with access to no network file system and no applications. After a while I decided to blog what was going on, but low and behold... blogspot decides it's a good time to malfunction and not let me edit or post to my blog. I'm hoping that since I was able to change the font size of the previous post I should be able to post this now.

After that ordeal I just left and went home to move the rest of my stuff into my new room. It is more spacious, and has greatly improved my feng shui.

I'm going to be in the lab as soon as I wake up tomorrow, coffee in hand.

Video Editing... Concepts and Techniques

So now that we're so close to the due date (tomorrow, that is) I am into the editing stage of my piece. I've been sitting here in the Cadre lab converting my mpegs to mov files so that final cut pro can read them without a hitch. I'm troubled by the fact that I didn't get many commercials recorded, and the ones I did see often were recurring, and pointless to re-record (a lot of enzyte and ambien). What I probably should have done is logged the events, times, and channel of commercials and what medication and pharmacuetical company it is. This would begin to build a database of one persons exposure to direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription medication. Unfortunately, this idea came to me long into this.

Now I'm focusing on what can be done with the clips I have to illustrate my methodology. I want to piece them together somehow to express the growing trend of direct-to-consumer advertising on an exponential scale, and ideally tie in an expression of the resulting funding into research and development (although this would be extremely dificult to accomplish).

It's my natural instinct to begin with audio, but if I can find some really good visuals in the commercials, I may want to work those in earlier and plan out a progression of images.

I will most likely have more posted later.