The artistic side of engineering

Latest

This I believe. Fine Draft

Oops forgot to post this a while back. From a couple weeks ago so only about half the footage is edited in it.

 

Module 3: Reflection.

Process: From the beginning I was planning to do a video that would be a little more philosophical/internal. When we were brainstorming in class I kind of was set on doing the idea that every action changes your future. My idea didn’t really change from this original theme as I started filming and whatnot. I ended up filming all of my footage on three different days. I filmed the inside scenes on one day, outside scenario 1 on another, and outside scenario 2 on one of the last days. I did this because I took a lot of shots so I couldn’t fit it into one day. Also, I wanted it to be the same time of day for the two scenes so it would look more like two parallel worlds. Then I edited in two big chunks, one for each scenario. Breaking it down like this was a good idea because by getting each scenario done at one time allowed me to focus more and get it to flow better while distinguishing a difference between the two. During the editing I had some input from my roommate who helped me film because he knew about what I was going for and gave me some good advice on how to edit. All of these led me to create my final piece that still followed my original idea even though I changed up minor things. In the end I did get my main point across and hope that it made the audience think about it and consider this view on life for themselves.

Feedback: I really liked the feedback I got in class. Everyone had quite a bit to say about my project and it helped me to learn what the audience likes and dislikes. The class was very sincere with what they said while giving me honest advice for the future which helped me the most. While commenting on other peoples’ work I noticed that everyone kind of fell into two categories, one with narration and talking to the audience, and one with interviews, some even did both. I think most people did this because it is one of the easiest and clearest ways to get an opinion across to an audience and inform them of what is going on. The most helpful feedback I got was the audiences opinion on my narration. I wasn’t exactly sure how much I should narrate or if what I put in was the right amount. Everyone agreed that my amount of narration was good because it helped illustrate my idea and then I cut out my narration and added in the music because then the audience focuses on what is happening on screen more. They also said that beginning and ending it with talking was good too.

Self-reflection: I mostly stuck to the same things I found in my previous projects. I prefer to plan out my shots beforehand and have a good visual idea of what I want. I never really go into filming just going to film everything and see what I want. For this project I had my roommate film me and he really understood what I wanted and got the shots I imagined so it worked out quite well. The majority of the work in my opinion is getting the shots. Once I get everything on camera the rest is pretty easy. And I still prefer in big chunks or doing things all at once as far as editing. Overall I’ve kinda stuck to the same guidelines and ways that I had when I started with picking up a few things here and there. I do however find that I don’t like working under pressure and I usually end up doing last minute editing the night before which I want to try and avoid from now on.

Future: I can see my video just being a motivational video that gets people to really think about what they do everyday and how their actions change the world around them. After making it myself I felt like I should really take advantage of what I have and never take it for granted. I should go out and live my life the way I want because I’m in complete control. Afterwards I really thought about where I am now and how I got here and realized that it’s because of what I’ve done with my life, how hard I’ve tried. It wasn’t destined or anything, it was because of what I did and who I’ve become. I can see my video potentially being considered in religion too even though that wasn’t what I had intended because religion almost always deals with life, death, and afterlife. And whether what we do affects where we will go or if it is already written in stone from the beginning. I mostly only see my video as one on YouTube that some people will enjoy and really relate too which is really all I wanted to begin with.

Final Question: I don’t have a final question or comment about my process for this project. But overall I learned a lot in the class and really enjoyed how it was taught. I have taken a film studies class before but this was more in depth and really made me pay attention to detail in films and understand the underlying meaning. This has by far been one of my favorite classes I have taken and will undoubtedly take a lot away with me.

This I Believe: Final Draft.

Module 3: Post-production.

Reflection: Now that I have my footage most of the work is done. Because of how I shot my footage there won’t be a lot of transitions in the editing so it is done for the most part. The only part I have left is to record me talking over the footage so that it flows well with what’s on screen. Filming this video taught me that it takes a TON of reshooting to get the footage I need for a creative piece like this. I came across a few obstacles along the way, like lighting and timing with other people in the shot when I filmed outside. And probably the most tragic was getting the perfect shot just for the battery to run out…the one time I didn’t check it. But nothing too serious. If I were to do it again I would probably do everything at the same time of day because even with a half hour difference or so the lighting won’t be the most consistent.

What I have:

  • Alarm close up/turning off
  • Getting out of bed
  • Hitting snooze repeatedly
  • Mirror shot/brushing teeth
  • Toilet
  • Shower/getting dressed
  • Keys/Wallet/Headphones
  • Walking out door
  • Reaction to waking up late
  • Rushing to get ready
  • Walking out back
  • Saying hi to someone
  • Tree shots! (favorite)
  • Crosswalk/getting stuck at it
  • running to class
  • getting stuck in crowd
  • Walking to quad/to Noyes
  • Shoes shot (intro?)
  • Walking towards and away from camera (intro/ending?)
*Stuff in green are shots to definitely use
**Stuff in red are kill shots

What can I say:

  • To show how one decision can affect the rest of your day. This is a simple way to show my philosophy that every action affects a person’s future. I’m almost positive this is the direction I will end up going.
  • I could also show how time is a major determining factor in our lives and how we live it. It is basically what causes us to do certain things and the reactions and anxieties that come with it. I could also go this way since my footage focuses on time management and whatnot. Now that I think about it, this way could work really well too.
  • The only other thing I could use my footage for that I can think of is to show the importance of being punctual but I don’t necessarily have a cause/effect for being on time/__________ so I most likely won’t go this way.

Reshoots: I am planning to reshoot the shots of me rushing to class because I want the lighting to be as consistent as possible with the two scenarios. I will need to reshoot me exiting the building, getting stuck at the crosswalk, and then running on the quad. But it shouldn’t take too long. In addition, I still need to record myself talking over the footage. But I am not going to do that until I have the entire length of video edited how I want, and then create and rearrange what I want to say according to the sequence of video so it flows nicely with a good introduction to my idea, middle to explain it in a simple matter, and nice ending to sum it all up and keep the audience thinking about their opinion.

Evolution: Overall, I’ve stuck to my original idea. At this point I won’t be changing my idea because it follows my philosophy on how I think and live my life and that won’t change so my overall point won’t either. If anything changes, it will just be the shots that I use to get my point across. I’ve taken more shots than I need and some can be a little tedious so I will take some out to shorten it up a little. It’s evolved into a more precise idea that I want to get across, but I will still try to leave it off in a broad sense that everyone can relate to.

Timeline: My rough draft is just my unedited footage in a logical sequence so that I can explain my focus of this video and my group gets it. The fine draft is a mostly edited version of the final product, minus the “late scenario” because I am going to refilm it. I also don’t have the intro and ending that introduces my belief and ends it but that will come at the very end. The audience will be able to follow my fine draft quite well. For my completed project I will add in a 30 second or so intro and ending and clean up some of the editing. I will also lay my speaking over the video and balance out the sounds so it comes out clean and professional. I am not showing my film until the last day so I have extra time to work on this but I am planning to be done for the most part by the end of this week with just a few minor tweaks to fix over the weekend.

What I have so far.

As of right now I have about half of my footage. There are two main parts to my film, inside my dorm, and outside. I have filmed everything I plan to film inside my dorm and now all that is left is to get the footage of me going to class…twice. So the rest of it isn’t hard, it’ll just take a little while, maybe a couple hours and I plan to do that this weekend. Last night I started editing a little bit for the beginning and a new anxiety came up for me. Because of the way my video is going to be laid out I want to have a split screen with two things happening at the same time. And although this has worked out so far, I think it’ll be more difficult later on to get both things on the screen and at a size that works well. It will just take more time to figure out than I thought but hopefully won’t be a huge obstacle. My initial idea hasn’t changed all that much from what it originally was, just adding and taking out a few shots is all.

Module 3: Production.

Authorship: I am going to play two roles in my video. Because it focuses on my belief and why I believe I will both be the main person in the film as well as the narrator. Most, if not all of my clips will be of me doing various things or going to class. And I will narrate over it talking about a more general idea and relating to what is going on in the film. I want to inform my audience of my belief that every action changes a person’s future and how it affects my everyday life. Not only how I consider things and what I think about but also the mood that I am in because of it. My main goal is to get the audience thinking about it and leave them knowing what I mean while pondering over what they believe or if their opinion has now changed. The best way for me to do this I think is to introduce my idea more generally and then show clips of how a small action (waking up late vs. on time) can change the outcome of your day and possibly even later on. This will provide a simple example of my idea while my narration will get the full picture.

Content: I would like to include my viewpoint on fate vs. free will clearly at the beginning of my film. I plan to have a short introduction to explain what I mean and have it transition into the main body of the film in which I can relate what I am saying to what’s on screen. I definitely plan to narrate at the beginning and end but am not entirely sure about in the main chunk, depending on the content I have and if it would just be better to let music play or leave it alone with just the sounds of the film. As well as information someone needs no know to understand, I suppose just know what they believe and compare it to what I say. Since I am going to build up my belief from the beginning they won’t really need to know much. Other than narration, there will be little to no conversation in my video. I am also not going to have an interview so there will be no questions to ask someone.

Shots:

Need

  • Clock changing times and alarm sounding (close up)
  • Me waking up and getting out of bed/hitting snooze and falling back to sleep (medium shots at same position)
  • Opening door(cu), turning light on(med), brushing teeth(vary), shower(cu), getting dressed(cu), putting shoes(cu) on [daily things]
  • walking out the door casually/running out the door late for class (medium to far, again at same position)
  • walking/running to class [various shots, not planned out specifically yet]
  • getting to class [opening and closing door] (far)
  • taking test in rush/calm and collected (close up)
  • receiving good grade and poor grade [conclusion] (medium)
  • and my reaction (close up)
Want
  • walking down the stairs/running down stairs to burst open door (medium)
  • getting stuck at crosswalk and having to wait impatiently
  • running across quad to make it to class on time (far)
  • the “almost hit by a car scene” but seems too dangerous…
  • missing the bus?
–The three places all of these shots will be filmed will be at my dorm, on the way to class [Daniel] or in one of the buildings on the quad, I’m thinking Noyes. All of them will show my general schedule for going to class when I have time versus when I wake up late. I need my actions to be a little exaggerated too in my ‘rushed’ clips to illustrate the lack of time I have and emphasize the effect it has on me.

Anxieties and Obstacles: The only anxieties I have are getting certain shots, like in the classroom and running across the quad. This is mostly because I will look kinda like a fool doing this. But then again, if it makes the film then I’ll do it. Also I will need to remember to wear the same clothes and work fast so it looks like they are at the same time of day since I pretty much have to do it on the same day. Alternatives would just be to get other footage if I can’t go through with certain shots. There’s so much I can film that there won’t be a lack of footage for a 5-8 min. video. Other than that, there isn’t very much because I don’t have to set up interviews or anything so it will all be on my own time, whenever the weather is nice out. And for that I’ll just have both pairs of clothes with me and watch the weather, nothing to stressful.

Module 3: Pre-production and Research.

Topic: The topic I want to do for my video is a kind of meditation/reflection one that we talked about in the reading. I want to express my thoughts on the idea that every action a person takes changes their future rather than the idea that we have a predetermined fate. I was thinking about doing this topic because I’ve recently focused more on it and it’s basically how I live my life; conscientious of everything I do, and balancing living in the moment vs planning for the future. I am planning to film two scenarios that start at the same spot but end differently based on my actions. And I want it to be fairly simple (like waking up late for class vs on time) because I want to talk over most of the video and have what I’m saying (more generalized) to play into what’s on screen. My plan for onscreen is to show a student(me) waking up late for class and waking up on time like in a parallel world. And show how that action can change my other actions and eventually lead to a different outcome for the day. I also want to talk over the video maybe just at the beginning and end to just say my belief and why I think this way. I definitely want to steer clear of saying thinking another way is wrong though. I want to just throw the idea out there and say some things to maybe sway the audience’s opinion. I also don’t want to relate this back to religion, just explain how and why I live my life this way to get other people thinking about it too.

Characters: Because the theme for my video is mostly internal I either plan to only have myself in the video (doing the actions while someone films me) or film one of my friends or roommates. I’m not entirely sure which way would be better because I want to do the filming myself but obviously can’t if I’m always the one being filmed.

Locations: What I had in mind was show two “parallel worlds” so to say of me waking up for class on time and waking up late. Most of this filming would be done on my way to a class so it will be outside. My main locations I have in mind are in my room, in the hall waiting for the elevator, lobby, and the street to the quad (specifically the intersection of 4th and Daniel to show me catching the light and not catching it). If it lasts for longer I could also show me getting into the lecture hall when it’s empty and when it’s full so it’s hard to get a seat, but that would be more complicated.

B-roll: Begin by showing my alarm clock, one going off and me getting out of bed, the other me hitting snooze and waking up late. Also show me waiting for an elevator calmly on time and waiting in a hurry and eventually running to the stairs in the other. leisurely walking to class with headphones in vs. running to get there on time. Catching the light vs. getting stuck waiting again at the corner. In between locations I was planning to take  closeups of my shoes (running) to kind of move the film along to new locations. When I finally  get to class I wanted a close up of my face too to illustrate the stress that it caused.

Take Away: I want my audience to understand what I mean by every actions changes my future and contemplate whether or not they believe that it is true and agree or believe otherwise. I personally would like to hear from others that believe in something else so I can hear what they have to say.

Summarize: I believe that every action someone takes has an effect on their future. I want to illustrate this with a short/simple story of a student going to class on time vs. late and show the differences that an action can have. I will talk over the video for some if not most of it too to really get my point across to the audience. In the end, I want them to understand my view and have this film get them thinking about their views, possibly changing someone’s opinion.

Plan of Action: For this plan I really only need one other person to help me film, which will be my roommate. So I just need to find one or two good days outside to film along the few blocks to the quad. I plan to do this over the weekend after Easter or the one after that. Other than the camera that I usually use, I am going to try using the built-in mic on my PC to record audio and lay it over the video. If this doesn’t end up working well I will rent out another mic from the Art and Design building.

Research

— http://www.dreamcious.com/2009/06/fate-vs-free-will/

  • Basically a whole website on the matter. Most views from the east believe in fate while in the west most believe in free will
  • “…hope dies the minute we conclude that something is ‘fixed’.”
  • “Any invention ever made is always a result of free will powered by the supreme spirit”
  • “Fate or free will – what we believe in will be true for us”

— http://www.unlimitedchoice.org/blog/power-of-choice/free-will-vs-destiny-fate-karma/

  • “I live my life as if I have free will but I understand that events arrive to me often without me having any say in them.”
  • Many people have the same view where they believe in free will but also say there are things that they couldn’t change in their life

— http://www.drsvoboda.com/fate-or-free-will.htm

  • “…believe themselves to possess so much free will that they can pretty well change anything just by deciding to change it. And while this is indeed true for everybody; to some degree, it is true for some people to a greater degree than it is for others”
  • Whatever you set your mind to you can do…for the most part
  • If something happens that you don’t think you could have changed, it could have been different if timing was different

— This one is kinda different, but it’s about the show Lost which does cover fate vs free will — http://lostpedia.wikia.com/wiki/Fate_versus_free_will

  • This idea is just one of the main points of the show, found it interesting.

Article Day 7.

Giving Women the Access Code

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/giving-women-the-access-code.html?ref=science

What intrigued me?

— When I saw the headline I instantly related this article to engineering here at UIUC. A vast majority of my classmates are males and there are only a few girls in each of my engineering related classes. It also said that the percentage of women in computer science is dropping which I found interesting because I had been thinking it was going up like the other fields. Also, the main picture was of Bill Gates so that caught my attention too.

How does it impact me?

— Because of the lack of women in the field, colleges are attempting to show them them computer science isn’t all about computer programming. In addition they are coming up with scholarships for women to attract them to the field. I’m not entirely sure how UIUC is doing compared the the national averages but there will probably be an increase in women in computer science here within the next few years. And this might even lead to an increase in similar majors too. The one downside I see to this though is that I am in the majority, white male, so these scholarships that are being made are not applicable to me, which doesn’t seem entirely fair. But there are other scholarships out there.

Important points?

  1. The percentage of women in computer science has dropped from 37% in 1985 to 22% in 2005. Now it’s down to 18.2%
  2. Some colleges are even changing their programming language from Java to other ones that are more user friendly to attract more students
  3. This was done in 2005 and since then the colleges that implemented these changes have seen a good increase in the percentage of females
  4. After seeing what Harvey Mudd has done, other schools such as Stanford are working to do the same thing

Everything is an Argument.

Religion is a choice

Inform/Convince — I would argue that although there are many types of religions on campus we are all similar to each other. I would find people of different religions and just film clips of their everyday lives to inform that no matter what religion or no religion everyone is a good person at heart

Every action changes my future

Convince — My argument would be that we don’t have any predetermined path and everything you do has an effect on your future. So I would film the same scenario at the start, for instance waking up for class on time versus waking up late. And show two “parallel worlds” where things just escalade and cause a sort of chain reaction that will eventually lead to two different outcomes. This is the idea that I am planning to go with I’m pretty sure.

Your mood affects how you’re treated

Inform/Convince — This is one that not a lot of people would be on the opposing side of but I could still argue that your mood affects others and will ultimately change how they treat you. I would film how people treat me when I am in different moods and compare the two.

This I Believe: Fine/Final Draft

Religion is not a necessity in life, it’s a choice. However, there are people out there that think religion is necessary to be a good person.  Growing up I was always taught to follow what I believe regardless of what others say. I needed to respect what they believe but under no circumstances had to change what I thought because they said so. My parents taught me and my sister about what is in the bible and their personal morals but never told us that we should believe it too. We were able to make up our own minds on what was right and wrong. There was one particular moment with my father though that changed my outlook on life.

My dad has always been my hero and ever since I can remember he has always been the one to help without payment or even thanks. Lending things out to those in need, fixing relatives’ appliances free of charge, even once giving a homeless man enough money to get back home to Minnesota. I’ll never know if that man actually spent the money to get home, but when I asked my dad why he gave this stranger the money he just said, “That money is more valuable to him than it is to me. I hope he’d do the same in my situation”. That’s my father, doing the right thing without a second thought. I had recently been talking to him about our family’s views on religion and, for the first time, my father told me that he is an atheist. During his childhood, my father was raised Christian but as he grew up my dad said he found out that he no longer relied on religion and didn’t need to believe in a god to do the right thing. He said that his motivation to do the right thing was because by helping others he thought it would allow them to help him later on. Karma.

Ever since then, I realized that it doesn’t matter what religion you practice if you practice one at all, you should be a good person because it’s who you are, not who you want to be seen as. I don’t need the idea of a god looking over me to do good deeds, I do them because I want to make myself a better person and hope that others do the same.

~I never quite realized until now how thankful I am for how my parents raised me. They helped me become who I am today. I am extremely proud to be their son and hope they are proud of me as well.