Weekly Summary: Project Recap

My final project revolves around storifying the instructions from IKEA. I first introduced this idea back in week 4 and received a lot of good, useful feedback. Just a few weeks prior to first introducing this idea, I purchased a bed frame from IKEA and had a great deal of trouble constructing it. I eventually prevailed and I’m happy to say the bed has been great, but I didn’t forget how many times I had to look over those instructions just to understand where to put a couple of screws. When thinking of what else I could “Storify” the instructions popped into my head.

The sense I got from the feedback on my blog post from week 4 was to go a little wild on the story so after thinking of how I can “fix” the instructions or make them better, I came up with an idea that’s a little from “right field” if you know what I mean. My story contains a main character who, in his day-to-day life works as a well-respected constructional engineer. I tried to make the character seem as though no project would be too tough or challenging for him that way when the IKEA instructions come around, he hits a wall. This gives the perception of how tricky IKEA instructions can be, especially if a popular engineer can’t even figure them out. The story goes on by using videos to capture the main character’s struggles but also includes an encouraging audio track that ultimately helps the main character assemble his IKEA item and take his engineering career to the next level.

The climax of the story is the audio file. This is what helps the main character overcome his inability to construct the IKEA furniture item. My idea for this was to create something motivational and relaxing since its common that when people are in the middle of an IKEA project they tend to get frustrated, impatient, and potentially upset. The audio file (which is found in the IKEA box via a flash drive) is meant to be the resolution to the IKEA instructions, an encouraging and soothing sound that changes the customers thinking and attitude. I created the audio in Audacity using a soundtrack from youtube (see Sources section below) combined with a recording I did of myself using SoundCloud. In audacity I used some echo effects to make my voice come off a little more soothing, here is the screenshot..


As for the videos, I ran into some issues. I recorded the videos using my smartphone, however I had a hard time getting them onto my computer. I first tried uploading them straight to YouTube but they never loaded, staying in “pending” status. I then tried emailing them, but their size was too large to send from a phone. Finally, I was able to upload them to Facebook. In Facebook there is an option to download the video, but for some reason my computer was freezing up when attempting this. After a little searching I came across this site, which had me use Google’s browser, “Chrome.” Following the steps from this site I was able to finally download the video file, then upload them to my YouTube account!

My project fits the story spine format.  It begins with providing a background of the main character and setting up what kind of obstacle he may need to overcome. The story goes on to tell how the main character overcomes a problem and the subsequent results of what happened based on the learning experiences the character went through. You will notice that throughout my story, I have included some of the key “story spine verbiage” from “everyday” to “finally” and more. However, I didn’t want to be too overt so in some cases a changed how I introduced or began part of the story spine.


I googled search for several of my images.

The time machine image came from here.

I did a little extra research on other people’s perception of IKEA instructions.

 I used this soundtrack from YouTube for my project’s audio file.


Weekly Summary Week 6 and 7

Definitely the most interactive assignments thus far has been the past two weeks revolving around video reviewing and editing. This was a very informative week for me since previously I’ve had absolutely no video editing experience. In fact, when watching a YouTube video, for example, it never occurred to me how titles or credits were created. After using Windows’ Movie Maker, I realized how straight-forward it could be.  I also developed a keener eye for criticizing video/movies whether it is based off of Roger Ebert’s strategies on how to read a movie in which one of his underlying themes is how “movement to the right is more favorable” or based videos I watch on editing techniques like this one:

My work this week included breaking down Roger Ebert’s methodologies on how to read a movie, which I came to the conclusion that reviewing a movie is a lot more work that I could imagine. With all the different type of cinematography, editing techniques, and subtle effects, it can be tricky to find the things that make a movie great.

I then had the opportunity to break down a movie scene on my own! I chose one of my favorite scene’s from the movie Gladiator. I applied some of the techniques from Roger Ebert, such as the foreground is more dominant, rule of thirds, and right is more positive. I found that a lot of the way the Gladiator scene was filmed fell in line with Ebert’s techniques but I did find some areas where it didn’t.

Possibly one of the trickiest assignments in the class so far for me was the chaplin/foley assignment. It required us to take the chaplin short film and add the audio from our classmates foley clips in order to match them up. There were a lot of parts to this from organizing all the audio, familiarizing with video editing software, and determining the best way to layer everything together. Here is my take on this, as you can see, I also added in a soundtrack! Once I got the hang of Movie Maker, I was much more efficient but it did take some time for me to get comfortable. I foresee using this tool in the future, so I’m glad I took time to learn it!

One of my favorite assignment thus far in the course has been my play-by-play video on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. With this I found a youtube video, removed the audio, recorded myself doing commentary, then added in a background audio track. I also got to practice my skills on creating movie titles and credits. Although still very basic, I was happy with the result!

Weekly Summary – Week 5

Very hectic week, a lot to learn and keep up with. However, the assignments were interesting and I feel like the tools we learned and practiced with will be useful in the future. This week started out with creating a SoundCloud account then recording your first audio file. I created a short news story about raining hamburgers! I found SoundCloud to be straight forward and thought the recording tool was very easy and convenient to use. I then worked on the Sound Effects Story assignment which required the use of an audio editing tool, I used the tool Audacity. Very neat tool, easy to grasp, and definitely powerful. My sound effects story revolved around “relieving stress” and I used a composition of 8 different sounds. The next assignment, which I found to be the most difficult yet intriguing, was adding foley sounds to a segment in a charlie chaplin film. It was difficult because it’s tricky to “stay in sync” with the video you are making the sounds for. It’s important to anticipate what is about to happen. I created sound for a 30 second clip from marker 1:31 to 2:00. One of my favorites assignment this week was the radio commercial! I needed to advertise something that a TV show or movie character could have used. I chose mobile phones for the characters in Seinfeld.  I wrapped up this week with another item to “Storify,” by choosing my 20 year old Acura Integra. My devotion to keep it running over the years, the money spent on it, and all the places it has taken me certainly has a story behind it all.

I look forward to the feedback on my blog. Because we are in an asynchronous class feedback isn’t immediate and its sometimes difficult to bounce ideas off one another. That’s why its important to give and receive feedback not only so that we are given ways to improve our content but also it helps with thinking dynamically for future assignments. Seeing, listening, and reading other classmates’ blogs has helped me see the approach others took to the same assignments I work on.



Week 3 – Summary

There was a lot to get done this week, but I enjoyed my experiences in many of the assignments. I particularly likes Flickrs five card story game, I thought it was cool to create your own story using a bit of imagination. Here is mine. I also got experience with the free online photo editing software, Pixlr. I had never heard of this before and not only was it an easy tool to use, I can see myself using this in future projects. It makes it easy to “cut out” items in an image that you don’t want. I completed two assignments using pixlr’s editing software: One assignemnt called chimeratic composition (which I am happy with my outcome, check it out!) and another called A Whole New World. For the photo blitz activity, I chose my living room, and my experiences gave me a different perspective of how difficult it can be to capture exactly what you need. One of the first things I did this week was take some pictures using the techniques we leanrned, such as the “Rule of Thirds” or “Framing.” See my results here. Finally, I thought about another item to “Storify” and I am happy with this weeks idea – Ice Hockey Skates. See my reasoning in this blog post.

I am enjoying comments from other ds106 participants as they help me look at things in different perspectives and have influenced the way I approach snapping pictures or “storifying” certain items.

Week 2 – Summary

Some very engaging content this week starting out with the video of Evelyn Glennie explaining the importance and value of listening well. I thought it was very intriguing and I thought her accent added in keeping me in tune the whole way through. This week I broke down a fictional radio show by “The Truth” titled “falling.” I found it very interesting to hear how they combined simple audio elements to make a story go from boring to intense. I also selected a commercial and broke down the elements of said commercial by 5 second increments. It was a good experience to appreciate the subtle things the marketing directors add to a commercial to make it work. Finally, I brainstormed another idea for storifying, this time recalling my time coming across one of Oscar Mayer’s wiener mobiles.

Meanwhile, my navigation skills and level of comfort with the WordPress site is coming along well. At first I was a little overwhelmed by all the functionality, but now that I have a sense of my whereabouts at any given time, it makes it easier to find the posts I want to read and comment on.

Week 1 Summary – cbedross1

I thought the opening week of our Digital Storytelling course was very informative, interesting, and challenging. The videos were very creative and were easy to follow and at times, very suspenseful. The main point of the week was to introduce what storytelling is, but I like how we were never really given an official definition, rather, it was left up to us to decide. Getting my WordPress blog set up was pretty straight-forward but learning how to edit things was a bit tricky for me. I’m sure in a couple weeks I’ll be much better suited with navigating through the site. Some things I liked: The live video of the family in the NY three-story apartment, Vannegut’s video, and the notion of “baiting” the audience to keep them engaged to a story. This was all about constantly asking questions and answering them along the way. Some things I was challenged with: Figuring out how to navigate around in WordPress, figuring out how WordPress is structured and what features apply to my work, and viewing the NY times article as well as the touchcast video. Looking forward to the rest of the course, particularly adding digital elements, and should be fun to see how our pages develop.