Category Archives: Thoughts and Ideas

Look, Listen, Analyze

I decided to do the Look, Listen, Analyze assignment on a scene from The Wire season 3, episode 9, when Prez shoots another cop. I thought it was a great scene because it is really intense, but doesn’t actually show him shooting the cop, so as a viewer you are not quite sure what happened, just like no one else in the show knows.

Look- With the volume muted on the clip, the scene was just as intense as the first time I watched it. The cameras jump quickly from one shot to another, creating the atmosphere of fear and adrenaline as the cops chase someone through alleyways. The darkness of the scene also helps to create these feelings. Nothing is completely lit up, because the lighting is all though street light and from lights from buildings.

Listen -  I didn’t notice this when I watched it the first time, but McNulty and Prez’s radios are giving extra commentary to tell the viewer what the guy being chased down is. I also find it interesting that neither McNulty or Prez ever announced their assistance in the matter on the radios so that the other cop knows they are there. I have a feeling that if they had done that, the scene could have turned out differently. The lack of dialogue besides the police radios also make the scene more suspenseful.

Analyze-  The only way I really know how to describe this scene is suspenseful and intense. The camera work and the audio both lend to suspense, and when the camera zooms in on McNulty and his gun, the scene becomes more intense. I honestly thought McNulty was going to do something really stupid in this scene, but it turned out to be Prez.

Radio Show Live Stream

Yesterday, I participated in the live streaming of the TDSN Radio Show. I thought live streaming it and tweeting it was a really cool idea for a way to engage more of the class together. Instead of picking a show and listening to it on my own, I got to respond in real time with classmates and take part in twitter conversations with them. I also thought getting to hear the thoughts of the students who made the program was cool because I got a heads up about what exactly I should be paying attention to (although the gunshot sound effect still scared me). As far as the show goes, I thought it was fantastically done. The sound effects, and the addition of music made the show more entertaining than it would have been if it was just people sitting around and talking. I also liked the premise of the show. It was really cool to hear the answers to the questions they were asking about the show’s plot and characters, and the questions were thought provoking so the show was never boring.

Inspire – Classical Rap

The second assignment that I added to the inspire page was Carmela’s Classical Rap mashup. I really loved this mashup because I thought the combination of Mozart and 99 problems was hilarious and somehow worked. Before hearing this, I never would have thought that these two songs could go together but apparently they do. This was definitely a great example of thinking outside of the box.

Inspire – Sketch a Screenshot

The first post that I remembered being inspired by was Lauren’s Sketch a Screenshot assignment.

I really like this post because the sketch was so well done. If I had done this I would automatically done the sketch by hand because that’s what I think of a sketch. Lauren did hers on the computer though, and it turned our beautifully. The sketch looks like it has depth, and it captures the powerful emotion of the scene.

Vignelli Canon – Response

The Vignelli Canon was interesting, even though some of it was outdated. I think the theory behind the method is still good though, even if the technology for making design is different. It is obviously still important to utilize his three aspects (Semantic, Syntactic and Pragmatic) when making a design. Semantics is the search for the meaning of the design, syntactics is sort of how all the elements fit together in a design, and pragmatics is the understanding of the design. Even though most of us don’t utilize this language when designing, they obviously still play a part. We all think about what a design will mean and  convey, how we will make it, and what it will look like to convey the meaning. We  are all subconsciously doing all of this, Vignelli just put definitions to it.

We Are All Artists – Response

I found Tim Owens’ talk to be really interesting, and weirdly inspirational. The idea that art is all about practice, is something that I was always told growing up (because of dance), but I never thought about applying it to what we do in this class. I assumed that over the course of this semester that I would get better at the assignments, but that was more about learning how to use the programs. I never thought about the fact that I was practicing a form of digital art. The bit about being more creative when we are uncomfortable was interesting. I’m not sure how much I completely believe it yet, but it is something that I will be paying more attention to from now on. He also gave very good resources, some of which I already knew about, but some of which I didn’t, so I will make sure to use those in the future.

Jen Ralston Interview Thoughts

So I finally got a chance to listen to the interview with Jen Ralston, from The Wire, and I really enjoyed the interview. There was some things that she talked about that I had simply never thought about before, like portraying silence in a show or movie is done by having sounds that would usually be quiet not by having silence. I had honestly never thought about it, but every quiet scene in a movie or tv show that I can think of does this instead of having actual silence, even if it is just a bird chirping. I also thought it was really interesting that The Wire doesn’t really use music cues. I think they definitely use them more in the second season than in the first, but that might have something to do with different characters (for example the music in the bar that dock workers hang out at). I am definitely going to be listening to the sounds in tv shows differently from now on, especially in The Wire.

Project Brainstorming

For the ds106 radio project, I think it would be really fun to explore the use of different technology in The Wire. What would the first season have looked like if the drug crew was using text messaging instead of pagers? What about if they didn’t have anything and were using human messengers? I think the hypothetical what ifs about the technology in The Wire would make a great project because there is a lot to explore there

Web 2.0 Reaction

I found the Web 2.0 chapter to be very interesting, but reading it was very strange. I don’t know quite how to explain it, but I think what he was trying to explain and then prove through examples was a argument that anyone who has ever used the internet understands on some level, even if they are do not use the same terminology for it. If you run a blog, or have a Facebook, or twitter, or tumblr, or anything else, then you understand that you are using these sites to tell a story, even if it just your own story. From my Facebook, a stranger can see every city I traveled to this summer, that I have an internship with NASA, and that I am the proud (sometimes obsessive) owner of two very cute guinea pigs. That’s not much of a story, but my Facebook and other sites are telling stories, just like every other website in existence.

The Scenes from The Wire tumblr page, I believe, is a good example of telling a story through a website. The website is set up to automatically take scenes from The Wire and make gifs with subtitles. This is obviously not a complete story with just one gif, but an entire site of them really does manage to tell the stories of the characters, scenes, and show, one scene at a time.

The Facebook page for The Wire is also very interesting as storytelling device, but in a different way. While the tumblr page is continually telling the story of the tv show, the  facebook page is telling the story of the aftermath of the tv show. Although the show ended in 2008, there is still an official Facebook page for it to advertise the show and the merchandise associated with it. As a consumer of and on the web you can see how there is probably still interest in the show by fans and interest on the part of HBO of selling the show. Those are both stories.

I think all websites have the potential to constitute digital storytelling, because the information that you can both learn directly from the site and the things you can assume from the site tell you something about it.