Cover Letter

 

Bibliography for the book I’m advertising: Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. Print.

Audience: My audience includes a pretty wide range, since I’m trying to make it appeal to a variety of readers.  First, I’m trying to appeal to explorers with my multi-cultural and global view.  This includes cosmopolitans, tourists, anthropologists, and pretty much anyone else who lives for travel.  Second, I’m trying to appeal to lovers of fantasy novels and the sci-fi genre.  The book has a fantastical feel that’s really floaty and ethereal, which I think is an interest shared by people who like to read books about the strange and extraordinary.

Images: The images came from a Creative Commons search, so they’re pretty varied in their sources.  Some came from flickr, some came from a Google Image search, but basically I just used a few strategic search terms like “exotic” or “global” to get the feeling I was going for. I made sure to filter the search down to photos that were available for reuse and editing, so they’re all fine to be posted on YouTube.

Here are the images I used for the project:

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

Image 6

Image 7

Music: I found some independently produced music in a Jamendo search, and it’s available for remixing and reuse.  I took a chunk of the music with Audacity, and placed it on the video along with the narration my fiance recorded for me (that’s not my deep manly voice).  It was lucky I took a digital sound design class in high school, so I still remembered how to cut a chunk of audio from an existing music file!  That part was fairly straightforward, because I really got lucky with the perfect sound file.

Music source: SaReGaMa’s One Thousand and One Nights

Citations: All of the images and music I sourced for this project were available for remix and reuse under Creative Commons, and I linked back to all the original pieces in my YouTube post.

Steps:

  • Storyboarding
    • This included choosing the audio that would be read from the book, the style of music, and the style and tone of the images I used.
  • Image sourcing
    • I searched Creative Commons for giant resolution photos that would still look good once I zoomed and panned across them in the video editing software.
  • Music sourcing
    • Searched and searched and searched for the right track on Jamendo.  I listened to so many crappy Arabian ambient trance tracks that I thought I would die.  Finally, I found the perfect one.  It had exactly that exotic feel, with the Arabian background voice and flute that I was looking for. Also, it seemed to have a really appropriate rise in intensity that corresponds with the narration text I chose.
  • Narration recording
    • We have a sound booth at work for narration, so my fiance recorded the audio in one long chunk (timed very nicely) and I just layered the tracks in Windows Movie Maker.
  • Assembly
    • I used Windows Movie Maker for this project, so it was mostly a matter of choosing the effect I wanted for each slide and then putting them in the order I wanted.  The timing was pretty easy, because I evenly spaced the time spent on each image.
  • AfterEffects effect
    • For the final shot in the video project, my fiance found me a really cool video effect for the book title.  I watched an online tutorial and used After Effects on our work computers to add in the rock crumbling effect.  This was probably the hardest part, because I was learning a tool for After Effects as well as Windows Movie Maker.
  • YouTube!
    • I uploaded it to YouTube and included the citations for the voice, music, and images in the description section.

What I Learned: I learned the simplest techniques that Windows Movie Maker has to offer, some After Effects, and re-familiarized myself with Audacity to an extent.  Mostly I was using some really easy tools in order to create a simple but polished looking product.  I don’t know if I’ll be meddling much in the video production field again after this, but I’m pretty proud of the tone I put across with the video I made.

Scholarly Discussion: It’s hard to say how my process and product helped me to better understand the readings.  Because most of the articles I read in NMR were about interconnectivity and artificial intelligence, or rhizomes and hyperlinking, it was a little hard to relate the two.  I did find that I was using a little bit of the aesthetic styling and mapping that was discussed in NMD, but I didn’t really use anything but my own experience as a guide.  The Paik article in NMR was somewhat relevant, because Paik’s art was made in video format.  While I was using still images to create a greater art form, I didn’t really see this project as art in the way that Paik made it art.  I wasn’t calling attention to any greater social change or anything like that, so it was hard for me to justify its significance in the greater world of art.

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