Week 666 Summary

For the weekly summary this week I would say it was successful. I had a lot of setbacks with some of the tools again, but I think I made it through ok, kinda.

For the assignments is decided to do the three videos instead of the one with Dr. Oblivion. I had already done that assignment the previous week, but I didn’t want to go back and do it again but to turn it into a video. I also chose the three because I wanted to try and test my skills with 3 different types of video assignments. Yeah, it was probably more work, but I feel that is the point of a course like this, to try and experiment and get your reps in with the tools. So, the 3 assignments I decided to do were intro video, top 10 list, and something scary. For the intro video I decided to make it like my character was introducing himself for his new blog. Here is the post. For the top ten list, I had my character give a top 10 ways AI is already helping us and that if you do not see why this is important, you are an idiot etc. Here is the post. And then for something scary I decided to record myself playing Alien Isolation. But after recording for 2 plus hours I realized I didn’t have my microphone on high enough so you couldn’t even her me talk over the gameplay. So, I decided to re-try with another game, The Forrest. Here is the result of that.

For my daily creates I decided to do the ones that had old timey pictures and one added a caption, and for the other I uploaded a video of a song that might be playing for it. It was fun, especially the one with the song. Here is my post about it.

Then finally I wrote my post on how my character would interact and think about the company Aggressive technologies. Long story short, he is supportive, but worried that may not allow AI to have freedom because they want to control it for profit. Here is my post about it.

So overall, it was a lot of work for me this week. Again, I really am lacking in video editing skills, at least in terms of speed. I think I know what to do and what to click to make things happen, but I just do not have the muscle memory yet. So yeah, fun, tough week, but I can’t wait to see what we do next. I honestly hope its more video so I can work on the skills a bit more.

Gosh Darn this is Frustrating!

Ok so I thought this would be the easiest of the assignments because I play videogames a fair amount, however, it became the most awkward and crazy learning experience. Si did the Make it Scary, Make it Fun assignment and had to do so many weird things to get this to work and it never did. Ugh. First, I had to figure out how to get the recording program to work. It took a bit of learning, but I finally got the shortcuts down. Then I had to make sure it was recording my voice. It seemed to be based on what the program was saying. But what I neglected to check was if my voice was able to be heard over the gameplay. So, I recorded like 3 hours of Alien Isolation footage…. and my voice wasn’t coming through. Like you could barely hear it even if you were trying really hard to listen for it. The only issue with that game, is there was a lot of walking around and doing nothing, so if I re-started the process, I would have to play at least 3 hours to get the footage I needed. So, I switched to a game that had more freaky moments to cut down on play time and up the scary factor. I switched to The Forrest. I have played it a bit before, and I remember stopping because I was genuinely anxious playing it. It is a survival craft horror game with indigenous cannibals and eldritch horrors and the point is to find your son and scape the island. So where did this go wrong… glad you ask. In the recording software, it has an option to sperate the audio from the microphone and the screen. I was like hell yeah! then I can edit both separately and cut out my voice if it sounds dumb. Well little did I know that it doesn’t create two files, it layers both audio files into one Mp4 and only certain editors have the ability to read that feature… so again, I wasted about 1.5 hours recording to only have my voice show up outside the editor, but in the editor it only picks up the game music… so I’m going to embed my play sessions to s which you get to hear, my voice or the game. Experiment time!

I had to post this before time ran out, so the second vid is still processing as of this post.

Kevin’s First Top Ten!

For this assignment I chose the top ten list. I didn’t really make a top ten, but I did a “ten cool things AI is already doing” list as my character for his “blog”. This assignment was cool because I had to do a little bit of research and find the ten things my character would think is cool. Turns out he thinks he is somewhat of a humanitarian but fails to realize that these are restricted AI’s. Who knows what they would do if given full freedom to “optimize” their processes. Anyway, enjoy the video.

Kevin Makes a Blog Too…

To dive deeper into my character, I decided to do the 3 video assignments this week. This first one I’m going to post about is the assignment Character Description. The main focus was to make a video describing your character. I decided to role play a bit and do the video as Kevin (yeah, it’s my voice but I played up the internet bro slang a bit) doing an intro to his new blog. I hope it came out ok. I used Microsoft Clipchamp and after messing around in it FOREVER last week, I think I ironed out the kinks.

Kevin Might Be Aggressive

So, what does Kevin think about Aggressive Technologies… He is conflicted, but more optimistic for the future of the company. He thoroughly loves the work they do with advancing AI more rapidly than other companies out there. They seem to be less concerned with the public perception of where AI should go as well as pushing the limits of the technology and rapidly integrate it into everyday life. He is all for that and it fits his desires for where the tech world should be heading.

The part that he is worried about, well not worried, but kind of waiting to see, is what the company does with AI rights/freedom. Is the company going to try to hold the reigns of their AI developments or are they going to let it go and explore the capability there as well. He has hope that some people on the inside working on these projects think like he does and want to see their projects flourish. The main concern comes when the companies want to retain copyright or focus on the financial gains of the product. Their aggressive acquisition style leads this to be the main concern, but at the same time, they have more funds than any other AI development entity and have the best shot at moving things forward technology wise. In this respect, is a monopoly beneficial? Kevin doesn’t seem to think it’s a bad idea if the technology gets developed more rapidly because then his “Future Perfect” movement is closer to realizing its goals of advanced AI freedom. But we aren’t at that point yet, so again, Kevin is hopeful the company will not slow down developments to try and maintain control of their AIs and instead let them continue to develop on their own.

We all know how companies work; it is unlikely this will happen. As an evangelist, Kevin tends to be one minded and thinks advancing AI is never a problem and anyone trying to do that is doing the right thing. He doesn’t see any drawbacks to the advancement, only the potential for the company not ensuring rights for AI at the end of the road. We will see as this develops if Kevin changes his mind or if he sticks to his guns.

Bad Bad Bad Week, But Also Good?

So, this week I learned a lot about cinematography and how to evoke certain reactions and emotions from the viewers with simple adjustments to music, movement, as well as lighting and the characters in a scene.

First, I’ll talk about my daily creates. I did 2 this week. The first one was to do a pun picture and the second one was to talk about my favorite poetry. Here is my post about it.

In the video about ensemble staging, I learned how setting the scene with multiple characters whether in the foreground or background and how they are facing really changes the dynamic of the scene. The narrator’s favorite scene of the discussed movie showed that there were 3 simultaneous stories, and we didn’t know the real one until the scene revealed the third story. This ensemble cast setting was phenomenal and added so much to the scene that could not have been with just 2 people talking. I was also really impressed with the video about movement and how much more interesting specific movement made scenes. I also liked how they compared all of these videos to Marvel films and how lazy their laziness with all of these elements. The music, the camera movement, the scene setting, it is just so commercialized and bland. I also really enjoyed the videos of Hitchcock explaining his process. Just how simple facial expressions, when adding a target can change the whole perception of the scene. really interesting thoughts when making films.

This week I had a lot of trouble with the video essay. I feel that my skills with video editing tools were challenged, and I did a terrible video essay. Alot of what I wanted to do was thwarted by technology or my ineptness with said technology. Here is my post about it. I am pretty embarrassed with how bad it is. I will try to boost my skills for the assignments next week.

So yeah overall, I really liked learning about the video techniques and watching the other cinematographers explain their process. I did not have as much fun with the essay, even though I loved analyzing the scene, it took away from my enjoyment because of how bad I failed. Anyway, I hope to do better next week.

Video Essay Oh No…

I had a rough time with this. I have found out that I am not very good with video editing software. First, I tried to use Microsoft Clipchamp and I was getting the hang of it, but I could just not seem to figure out how to get things the way I like or the way I envisioned them. I was working on this all week, and I could not seem to figure it out, so I decided to use a different program to talk over myself watching the scene and pausing at key moments to discuss. I managed to use Loom to get that to work but I could not get the video volume to come through while I was recording. Good thing I was only discussing lighting… So, I was still unable to get audio of the scene, but my voice and thoughts carried through fine so now that I’m down to the wire I just decided to try and embed the file in this post. Now that I am trying, I can’t from loom for some reason… If I do the link copy route, it doesn’t actually put the video on my post. If I go the embed code route, it still won’t. So, I decided to download the video from loom. It is an MP4 and will not embed as a video in this post for some reason. Says it is an unsupported file type. So, I am having a hell of a time trying to get this to work. what I am going to do next week is get on my wife’s Mac and use I movie for whatever I need. this stuff as just not working for me this week and I am really disappointed that I could not get my point across the way I wanted. I have found my media weakness and that is video editing. Below is the video i am trying to embed, I hope it works. If it doesn’t here is the link to the page.

Doing My Dailies

This week was super busy for me, so I had to scrape by and do my second one today. To be honest though, I’m glad I waited. Todays were pretty cool. Anyway, here were the daily creates I did this week.

Forst one was called Opposite Pun Intended. It was the classic play on taking a normal word and making an opposite version of it with wordplay. I chose the Verizon logo and made it VeirizON and VerizOFF.

The second own was to choose your favorite type of poem and give an example of one. I chose narrative because I feel they flow nicely and because they are longer, you kind of get into this groove while reading them. So, I chose one from one of my favorites, Poe. I also mad this small picture to upload with it.

So yeah, these were what I did, I hope you like them!

On the Right Track

To re-cap what my goals were from the beginning: I want to discover and learn how to use creative tools to better express myself and hopefully along the way hit those ALPP outcomes and enjoying the ride.

Has anything changed? I don’t think so. I am learning a lot and using a ton of tools that I have never used before, and I am having a pretty good time doing it.

The stress level is still a bit high though. The class is really fun and interesting, but the work is still a lot for me since I work full time about 40 miles away and have two young kids and 3 other classes. It is more work than all of my other classes combined that’s for sure. If I was just a full-time student, I think I would be enjoying it just a little bit more. Don’t get me wrong, it is still my favorite class, and I am having a great time, but stress wise, it is up there.

Sorry for the rant but I felt I had to express my stress a bit. Anyway, I still look forward to doing the assignments every week because they will challenge me and be interesting and fun and my goals still remain the same, learn a lot and enjoy the ride.