Aaron Siegel - Advanced Digital Video

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

Monday, December 13, 2004

....As Expected

As I stated earlier, I was afraid that the low size and compression quality would result in a lossy image, detracting credibility from the work. Nevertheless, I have all the fineprint arranged in a horizontal strip/non-linear fashion (which I would ideally create in something like flash so as to load clips semi-randomly to replace others).

After reviewing the initial video, I like the results that I've gotten out of it. I will try to tie in the initial fineprint at the end so when it repeats itself it is less obvious. Once I have accomplished this, I will burn all my projects onto the final CD.

Todays Progress

I was able to copy all my raw recorded clips over to the scratch disk in order to work with, and got over my difficulties with rendering. Now I have 2 minutes and 40 seconds of fine print, which I'm now using garbage masks (actually, I just found that there is a crop property to each clip, and it's much easier for me to use as I don't have to set the points) to crop down on so that I can show multiple instances of fine print on the screen at once. By displaying an over abbundence of information at once, the video is being critical of the absurd amount of print we're expected to read in such a short amount of time.

This will take me a while to crop and overlay, so I will post my progress when I am done.

Technical Difficulties Regarding Final Video

After having attended the Edward Tufte "Presenting Information and Data" conference in Palo Alto last friday, the idea of details directly tied to credibility is evident for this work. That's why I'm dissapointed in the quality of video I'm able to get through my cable box and tv tuner. The cable box unfortunately does not have S-Video out, so I have to use a regular RCA video cable. Needless to say the image is quite lossy, even though it's digital cable. Also, my compression has been too high to pick up details on the fine print used in commercials.

Anyway, I went to work trimming out the excess commercials around all the excellent fine print I found. I tried to copy my first CD worth of recorded video (I have 3) to the hard drive, but even though it says I have 15gb left in my quota when I log in, it states that there's only 108mb left in my directory. After having edited with the files from the CD, and trying to get the files from the next CD, it states that the media was taken out. I'm trying to correct this problem by copying all the CDs contents to the scratch disk, and then relinking the final cut media to that.

While on the lookout for fine print and reviewing what I recorded, I have noticed certain trends in fineprint as it's associated to the content of the commercial. This project would ideally be more effective if it were a series of looping videos on display in a gallery. Each one displaying fineprint from a genre of commercials (ie: financial, automobiles, medication, foodstuffs, etc). This would leave the viewer to come to their own conclusions as to which genre fit which video display. Ideally the video should be captured with as much detail and clarity as possible, so as to show off how camouflaged and intentionally misreadable these prints are, no matter how clearly seen on the viewer end.

As for this project, I will continue to work on it today and hopefully come up for what would be a low resolution example of the more detailed project above, encapsulating a wide variety of commercial types to show more contrasting examples of fine print usage.

I intend to either finish this today and turn in my CD, or wrap it up tuesday night and turn it in wednesday so I can work on my animation final tonight.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Refined Methodology

Horizontal bars of video only displaying the fine print from commercials. Only print that is not read audibly by the narrater will be used. All audio is cut out and all that's left is the visual. If the print is originally too small, the video will be enlarged to make it readable, and if it appears and disappears too quickly, then the video will be slowed down to make it readable.

I want to critique the legal obligation of corporations to include information in their commercials, specifically when the "information stuffing" is done via fine print at the bottom of the screen. I believe this technique is used to camouflage unsavory information, or merely information that the corporation wishes to hide in order to further their agenda. By revealing the print at a larger scale and for a longer duration of time to allow people to read and absorb the information, it negates the advertisers efforts to hide it.

Interesting links on the topic:
Federal Trade Commission Advertising Enforcement: Disclosures in Advertising
Advertising Law: Frequently Asked Advertising Questions