Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Continuing to see progress...

I don't have too much concrete information to share, but it should be noted I'm making big strides in my project and I'm seeing it develop into something better every minute I spend with it. The interviews with my dad are gold, and I can't wait to finish this thing and see what the final product looks like.

Right now, I'm toying with the idea of starting the whole thing slow with a journal entry. As Sandy said, it would give the whole project context in 20 seconds, and then from there I can jump into the marathon and the rest of the story. The only thing I'm struggling with is how long I can keep the journal entry going before people lose interest immediately. I'm thinking 10-15 seconds at the most because after that people might not watch the rest of it. You gotta reel 'em in early.

I'm planning to have the project in really good standing (about 90 percent done) by Thanksgiving so I can show it to family and get their feedback. Then, I'll finish it in the remaining days after vacation and present on Dec. 2.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Interview Success!

Last night I conducted three separate video interviews that should greatly improve my project. Two interviews were alone, one each with my dad and I telling our own stories and memories of the marathon, and then one together where you can see the chemistry between us and we talk a little bit more about running and its affect on our lives through the marathon goal set in January. I think they went very well and I can't wait to see them on screen to see how they look...fingers crossed that the tape transfers perfectly over at Parker Media Lab!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Taking the Plunge

Well I've got a little less than a day to finish up my rough draft and compile all the photos, videos and audio clips into a coherent draft of something. There's hours of work left, but I'm confident that it will all be worth it once the project is finished.

I'm blogging today not to track my progress because I'm going to delve into that full-time tonight, but I've decided that I want to try and find some old pictures of me running in middle school and (hopefully) of my dad running when he was much younger. I think it would add a different memory element to the project and I hope my parents have some photos that I can use for that purpose.

More than 500 pictures to sift through...let's do it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pictures Pictures Pictures

If pictures are worth 1,000 words, I've got a million-inch story to write. I missed blogging something on Friday (whoops!) but I spent a little time getting my project started in iMovie over the weekend and boy, do I have a ton of pictures to sift through. Good ones, bad ones and ones that don't even feel relevant anymore. So, that's going to be a problem in the next few days as I try to work my way towards a first draft of the project. I definitely wish I'd spent more time last week working on it (especially considering my underwhelming verbal score on the GREs), but it just means more work over the next couple days to finish the whole thing up.

I like all the different features in iMovie, so I plan to use that as the medium to put together my final project. The main problem I see going forward is that my audio is only OK, and the guy from the Telegraph was saying that the audio is the key part of any multimedia project. So while I have lots of amazing pictures and some great B-roll, I need to pick up some more good interview audio to keep the story moving along.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ideas on Structure

So I promised something useful today, and I figure I better deliver since the past couple days have been meaningless. I didn't do any actual physical editing on my project today, but I have been thinking more about how to structure the project so that it doesn't have to fall into the chronological format. Here's a couple things I've been considering...
  • Start with a series of images of my dad and I crossing the finish line at the NYC marathon, and soon after break into either a text slide or a piece of an interview with me talking about how I had never really run before January. I can work into the story with anecdotes from training and then finish with race day and the post-marathon stuff. It's still mostly chronological, but it could be cool to hook the audience with a "Huh? How did he do that if he never ran before January?" kind of moment. Hmm.
  • I was also thinking it would be interesting to alternate scenes and anecdotes from race day and from training. It could provide a little suspense -- will they finish it? -- and at the same time still be a cool way to set up the project. The back and forth seems to work with some popular novels and movies, so it's certainly a possibility to think about. It could also make for a great lead, if we're in the middle of the race or something as the final project starts.
Other than chronological order, those are the only two ideas I've come up with. Hopefully that constitutes "useful" and comes through on yesterday's promise because I've got nothing else. We'll see what happens this weekend.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!

A day off is still a day off, right?

I swear I'll have something serious to say tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Nothing New

I didn't work on my final project today. That's basically the gist of it. All of the same things I said yesterday are true, and they're not changing today. I don't think that means this blog post is completely unnecessary though, because it still keeps me thinking about the project and running through different situations and possibilities.

But yeah, nothing new today. I might work on it tomorrow but with my severe procrastination and the GREs inching steadily closer, the odds are good that this post will be eerily similar to tomorrow's. Hope that's not a problem for all you readers out there.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Making Up for Lost Time

Ah, so I was supposed to start these daily entries about my final multimedia project last Wednesday. Whoops. I'm a few days past the mark, but here's a quick look at what I've got so far and what I still need to put together:

What I have to work with:
  • About 500 photos from my weekend in New York City, perfect for quick transitions and showing lots of imagery in a short amount of time
  • About 15 audio clips: six or seven are voice recordings I did of past journal entries to show the slow incline in the long months of training, a couple are interviews with my dad and I and the last six or seven are all from during the actual marathon. My favorite one is a great sound byte of all the water and gatorade cups dropping on the ground as we ran through one of the 20 or so refueling stations. All of these clips will probably be early on in the project...first couple minutes or so.
  • A few video clips of my dad and I running in the marathon, but I don't have as much video as I want.
From that I think I can have two-thirds of the project finished with a couple days worth of work. While I don't know exactly how I want to set up the final product just yet (I'm still playing around with ideas in my head), if the story ends up in chronological format, I'll be able to do the pre-marathon and race-day stuff now. The only thing left is post-race and final thoughts to take away.

What I still need to get:
  • Over Thanksgiving (the next time I'll be home), I'm going to sit down and do a video interview with my dad. I'll have both of us talk through our experience with the race and discuss our future plans. Before we do that though, I want to do a short video of both of us -- one at a time -- telling the story of race day. I'm sure we both have different thoughts and different memories so it'd be great to run through that day from two perspectives and tie them together in the actual project.
  • I also need a few more photos of us running together as if we were training. I know it will be after the marathon and the photos will make it seem like it was before the marathon, but I just need pictures of us running together with the fall leaves and all that. I want a picture of my dad on the scale too because I think that could add some cool lighting and another side to it.
That's it for today. I haven't done much in terms of editing the raw materials yet, but I've continued to narrow down my focus and ideas and I should be able to start really honing in on the project after I take the GREs this weekend. For now though, that test is dominating a major portion of my time.