Category Archives: Final Reflections

Who Is Horace Hunt? – Final Project Reflection

Originally the plan for the final project was to make a series of historical documents with the use of this fictional character Samson created called Horace Hunt. When I joined Samson, we were in the works of figuring out exactly how we would execute his original intentions, while creating a storyline, as writing was something we both needed to do in order to get things rolling. We had a tough start in the beginning. It had appeared to be a lot easier than it actually was. We needed that little push in the right direction that would help to get our juices flowing.

I was delegated to do majority of the writing while Samson did majority of the editing of the things we created. We generally worked together on everything overall however. Every Monday and Friday we met for about two hours and just worked, and anytime in between we could meet we did. We exchanged ideas and pretty much played off of each other to make the story as successful as we possibly could after getting a bump in the right direction from Professor Smith.

Overall the project was tons of fun. We went through a lot of trials and tribulations as even some of the things that had changed originally like the entire storyline itself, other minor things changed as well once we examined some of the resources we had available to us.

We spent most of the semester making things that could be edited in photoshop until we had a revelation at a part of our story where video would definitely work best.

Reginald Rodgers (Samson Seligson) and Quinn McKenzie (Me) had made an attempt to get the temporal modificator from RuPhs after Rodgers had already gotten kicked out. In our process we discovered that James Junior (Dwayne Pierre), the Society President, had been heading into the past, the year 1955. Following this we set out to find him, and that’s where our video making began.

Unfortunately it wasn’t as early in the semester as it could’ve been, however I do believe we did a great job with the videos that we did get to do, once we realized how great of an idea that was.

Samson got to put a lot of his humor into the story that way which was something he wanted to do from the jump, but we just couldn’t figure out exactly how.

We did a lot of green screen work this semester, as well as used photoshop and aftereffects. I learned a ton of things about green screen editing working with Samson so it was to my benefit and I’m really excited about it.

The green screen was necessary to put us in places we never actually were since our project took a direction where it took place in the past in London, England; as well as since we were going to places like a pub.

We used aftereffects to edit our videos, and photoshop to edit our images.

We posted all the videos to youtube, for easy access and embedding into our tumblr page and we created a tumblr page of course which hosts all of our work and hosted as the space in which we told our story. The link is below:

http://reginaldrodgers.tumblr.com/

 

The only thing I would change in this process is having gotten an earlier start with videos, other than that I think everything went great and I’m really happen with what we were able to come up with. Especially after the struggle at first. This helped me to free my mind a little more so I was able to write in a way that was good for our story, and I got to learn more about green screen in the process.

 

Here are all the works we’ve completed thus far:

The RuPH Life

The Letter

The Future’s Past Pub

The Temporal Modificator

Episode: Inconsequential

1955

Overall this was tons of fun, and this would definitely be something I will want to continue.

Samson Seligson – Reginald Rodgers – Semester Recap

Introduction:

Reginald Rogers is a Trans-media story. It is an episodic series using written words, images, and video. It is written and developed by Samson Seligson (me) and Renae Cumberbatch. Much of the story is through the assistance and consultation of Michael Smith. Much thanks to him.

And thanks to Dwayne Pierre for his dedication to his role as James Junior and helping us out when we needed an extra hand.

The story is about a Member of a distinguished historical society, Reginald Rodgers of RuPHS, who seemingly gets fired by his overbearing boss James Junior for creating a fake history about a man named Horace Hunt who through minor actions saved the world multiple times. According to Rodgers the proof was destroyed in a freak fire accident, but it soon becomes clear that Junior was to blame, and is obviously trying to undermine years of Rodgers’ work.

Now Rodgers makes it his duty to prove that Hunt existed by any means necessary, while Junior makes it his duty to destroy whatever evidence Rodgers once had. Even if that means going into the past and killing Hunt himself.

 

Characters:

Reginald Rodgers– Portrayed by: Samson Seligson

  • The name Reginald Rodgers was conceived with the aid of Alaisia Laureano. The base task of making the decision, was to choose two similar and nerdy sounding names.

Quinn McKenzie– Portrayed by: Renae Cumberbatch

  • Created by Renae, the name was meant to express knowledge, nobility, and righteousness.

James Junior– Portrayed by: Dwayne Pierre

  • It just sounded cool.

Horace Hunt– Unknown

  • A play on the name Forrest Gump, the project was originally titled “Gumpy,” because when I (Samson Seligson) first developed the idea for this project in my mind, the project was going to be a simple life and times of “Gumpy.” Gumpy was this guy who, using myself as the model, would be placed in all kinds of famous mid-1900s situations through the magic of Photoshop and green screening.

 

Context for Story:

Tumblr Website: http://reginaldrodgers.tumblr.com/

  1. 7 posts from October 1st. Most posts are solely and/or include written words explaining how the story continues. The website is a public forum where outsiders can follow the story and share elements of the story to a larger audience.
  2. This was the first major element of the project to change my original project ideas, to what it became over 4 months later.

 

Works Completed:

Photoshopped Documents:

  1. “The Ruph Life” (Element REMOVED):
    1. Faux newspaper article by Reginald Rodgers explaining the beginning of the story.
    2. Originally created with a photo counterpart, this blog post was changed to fit a changing story and therefore we had to scrap the image.
    3. How I created the image of a fake newspaper article. Using a photo of my hand holding a peace of paper tightly as a model, once the article was completed I used the Puppet Warp tool on Photoshop to bend the page in the same manner. Then using simple image adjustment techniques I gave it an old brown paper look.
    4. “The Letter:”
      1. Photo is found footage in a Google search for “wooden door.”
      2. The hand and Letter image was green-screened using green paper. The green was subsequently removed in Photoshop, and a mild color correction and feather was applied to the layer to make it seem natural to the warm backlighting of the background layer.
      3. It was used as a twofold catalyst for our story. It was first used to introduce the idea that Rodgers would be able to go back in time with a time machine and meet Horace Hunt in person and prove his existence and how he saved the world. It was also used in a secondary way in the story to introduce a new character, who would later become Rodgers’ partner, Quinn McKenzie. She writes him this letter, included with time machine schematics, because she believes in his cause and because she knows that Ex-Boss James junior is up to something with his own Time Machine.
      4. “Temporal Modificator Schematic:”
        1. This was a sketch rendering of the Devon Tread 1 wristwatch, with minor changes to be used as a portable time machine, where the wearer of the item would need to run 20 mph to achieve temporal modification. (Similar to the 88 Mph of the Delorian in Back to the Future)
        2. Originally it was meant to be printed in 3D and used in the second video “Back to England.” But unfortunately the our 3D printer was out of service.
        3. It would later be exchanged for a gold-necklace that would be wrapped around Rodgers and McKenzie’s hands. (Similar to the Time Turner used by Hermione Granger in Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban)
        4. “Security Cam:”
          1. This was a 4 part Photoshop job First adding ourselves to a bar scene through green-screening, then adding TV scan bars and desaturating, then adding security cam time and channel stamp, and finally highlighting the heads.
          2. This was used in the story when Reginald Rodgers and Quinn McKenzie unexpectedly cross paths in a bar after the latter was sent. It gave them a chance to discuss a game plan. They decide that they will steal the top-secret time machine, which James Junior is constructing. Unbeknownst to them, Junior is creating the machine to return to 1955 and to get rid of Horace Hunt.

 

Videos:

  1. “Catching James Junior:”
    1. The first video of three (technically two) depicting Rodgers and McKenzie’s race against time to catch Junior before he completes his machine. Unfortunately as they get to his secret lab he punches 1955 into his number pad and disappears in flashes of smoke and fire.
    2. The scenes of Rodgers and McKenzie running were shot in a York College hallway, staircase, and Library basement, while the James Junior scene was shot in the CT studio, using a the Panasonic Lumix mirrorless camera and a tripod.
    3. Juniors lab and costume were made up using completely random equipment from the “building and hacking” classroom. His Time Machine is an outdated Sony TV camera. At one point you are able to see the name Sony, but in the next shot the name is covered.
    4. The smoke and disappearing effect was achieved by layering a luma-keyed smoke bomb (found on YouTube) over Junior laughing. As the smoke rises the layer is scaled out until the smoke covers the screen, at that point the clip of junior is switched with a shot of an empty couch.
    5. Originally the effect planned for the disappearing Junior was going to be the Star Trek Transporter effect, but due to lack of footage the disappearing affect could only be achieved by covering the screen (in this case with smoke) and changing the clips.

     

  2. “Back to England – Part 1:” (Version 1)- Explained in #3
  3. “Back to England – Full”– (WARNING: Spoiler Alert)  —  This video would be the final created project put together during the fall semester. It begins by recapping all of the previous elements of the story (even though it doesn’t quite explain what really happened in the story). It then continues where the story left off. Junior had gone into the past, now using a “temporal modificator” of their own, Rodgers and McKenzie go back to 1955. They realize that Juniors plan is stop Hunt from introducing the game scrabble to J.W. Spear the owner of a large gaming company. (Explained in the post: “He Got Away”). They go the company and meet with the president, who of course is Junior himself. — The video ends with a photo of Junior in a room with random white people and famous black celebrities from the 20th and 21st century with text on the bottom saying “James Junior – July 4th, 1955”. This is a slightly comical play off of the final scene in The Original “The Shining” 1980, where the line “You’ve always been the caretaker” comes to life and  Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) is revealed as being in the 1921 picture of the July 4th ball. I left room for interpretation.

Process:

Tools I used:

Photoshop

  • I definitely used Photoshop the most of all the tools. If it weren’t for a picture element that would be posted to Tumblr, it would be for a picture with one or a number of layers for use in one of the two videos.

Premiere

  • The two videos that I produced were developed using Adobe premiere as the video editing software.

After Effects

  • AE was used solely for its Keylight color key generator. Nearly all of the green screen keying was done using Keylight since it is a stronger keying generator than the standard color key in premiere.

Google Images

  • Many times I would use Google images to find anything from faces and every day items to full screen backgrounds to use behind or with green-screened actors.

YouTube

  • The worlds cheapest library of Adobe tutorials and found footage, such as the 1940s England video background used when Rodgers and McKenzie see the game company in “Back to England”.

Lumix Camera & Tripod

  • Used to capture footage for video and photo shoots for most photo projects and both video projects.

Green Screens

  • To give the illusion that either the characters were in some other place (other than York College), or to make it easier to select an item when photoshopping.

Props

  • To give life to certain scenes such as Junior’s secret lab in “Catching James Junior.”

 

Expectations and Revelations:

The projects did not necessarily work the way I wanted or not the way I wanted. They just happened differently than initially anticipated. Since the majority of the Final project was writing, much of what I had in mind at the outset of the semester was either scrapped or heavily altered. Therefore, I would say that the preparation before the semester was a foundation for the work that would be done this semester, and as the semester moved along elements were developed and of course the story came to life around those pieces of writing.

It would be nearly halfway through the semester that the storyline began to have serious cohesion. Before that the story line included vague characters with no real life and vague ideas for elements to create the story with.

 

Contributions:

As I said before the heaviest part of the project in all was the writing. When Renae joined me in late September/ early October, we decided that she would do as much writing as she could, while I would do the majority of the element development (hey, that rhymed!)

That’s not to say that we did things separately. In fact, just about every Monday and Friday, at least 2 hrs would be dedicated to working on and developing further whatever trans-media element we were working on at the time, and developing the story just a little bit further.

 

Reflections:

If you want to see where this all began, you have to go back to a couple of posts that I made a semester ago in portfolio class. I started making these Photoshop documents where I would be a fake sports personality called “The Wimp.” I created a story around him and how he became the wimp and he would never win anything if he didn’t stop being a wimp.

Anyways that turned into an attempt to develop a character like Forrest Gump, who moves through the mid-1900s in this historical fiction world.

Over the summer the characters changed, the story changed, and soon it became a story about some guy who’s name sounds like Forrest Gump, Horace Hunt, who lived at the same time as Forrest Gump, but nobody has ever seen him. Now it became my job to create clues as to how to find him.

That didn’t last very long, because before I knew it the story had changed again. Now it became a story about a guy who had already figured out the secret of Horace Hunt, but the work got destroyed, gets fired from his job, and he has to find new ways of proving his existence.

And that is basically the development from the “Plan” to the “Actuality.”

After all the semesters work, I learned to never settle on something right away, always give it more thought, because the moment you settle on a story idea, a better one shows up the next moment, and sometimes you cant go back. So its better to work on the writing until you have something quite tangible and workable before you being the production.

And that’s what I think I would have done differently. Had I known the direction I would’ve ended up going in even a little earlier, I don’t know that I would have began the story the way I did. In fact I may not have ever ended up doing a trans-media project. I like the video work we ended up doing late in the semester.

Final Reflection

Final Reflection

1. My internship plan is coming together, however it is coming together very slowly. I have a contact that is actually an amazing contact that Id hate to see slip out of my hands. I don’t want to say who it is in fear that it might fall through (that tends to happen to me a lot), but he owns a very well known company that is known for all kinds of designs whether it be websites, clothing, urban sportswear, or art in general. I’m currently still waiting on an email response from the last time we spoke but he seems to be a very busy man. My friend who knows him personally plugged me in and vouched for me, so my chances at this point seem pretty high. The only question is…..when. I originally had planned to do this for the spring semester but at this point it doesn’t seem very likely and I might have to do it in the summer.
2. My final project plan is set in stone and im pretty confident about it. I have completed a draft of what I want to do and need to have it reviewed.
3. I began to work on my digital presence first by weeding out what I don’t want to show up when I google myself. I then plan to taking old work and new work that I have done and aggregate them into one big collection. I made a new vimeo account to upload some videos, and on myyoutube account I am trying to figure out how to change my handle to better suit me.

A work in progress, completed – Final project reflection

This has been a weird semester for me because for final project nothing went as planned. There has been countless setbacks that prevented me and my group from doing the original pitch that we presented. The very first pitch was a trip to Ecuador following “Ket” and “Lady Pink”. It was to do a Museum documentary on Ecuadorian graffiti. But that plan feel apart due to no funding for the trip. Now after that we wanted to create a series of episodic short documentaries on three graffiti writers. But we soon realized with time that this pitch was not possible. The project feel apart once we realized that our connection to the writers was too busy (Ket) to be available for the original pitch. So we could not get in contact with the rest of the writers because we personally did not know them. Now that Ket was not available to help us because of his schedule, we had to come up with a back up plan that was achievable and something that related to the original pitch. Since we were able to meet “Part”, we were able to think of a new version for the project. This idea was to do a theme project based on the teaching of graffiti. So the new idea was graffiti in the class room.

Now that we had a basis for our project. We began a search to find more graffiti writers to be part of our project. Part one was a choice for the project because we were able get footage of him with his after school graffiti class. With that being done we needed more writers that fit the criteria. A few weeks went buy and we were introduced to Ryan Seslow. He has a background in graffiti art and was also a teacher. He was another perfect candidate for the project. Now with time running out we had to make sure we were able to get as much footage as possible. This became somewhat of a hassle because of scheduling but in the end it came together. We were able to get enough footage to tell a consist story. Throughout the whole project my roles were a cameraman and graphics.

The project was coming along but since we started a little late we were behind on our editing schedule but it worked out somehow and we able to finish the edits in time. A major lesson learned from this project is that you should never solely rely on one individual to achieve anything in general. It becomes unnecessary stressful when things does not play out as you thought it would. The follow up situation is not a good one to go around scrambling to figure out how you will get the problem solved.

 

Lyrical Graffiti – The best final project in CT History (Final Reflections Post)

This was an interesting semester for me both academically and personally and perhaps the toughest I’ve ever endured in my time at York College. However, it was my final project that kept my spirits up. I was thinking of something interesting that I could have done for final project that was fresh, new, exciting, and different. While anybody can shoot and edit videos or photoshop old pictures, I went with something that not only was different but spoke to who I am as a person. Hence Lyrical Graffiti was born.

My final project was a radio show that was broadcasted LIVE (yes LIVE on air in real time) every Saturday night for two hours on Mixlr.Com/lyrical-graffiti. The show was a showcase for everything hip hop, from old school and classic golden era songs to the most popular rap tracks of today. The show ran every week from the last weekend of August til present. The only on air personality was myself. However the show was completely interactive. Listeners could write in their comments on Mixlr, and they had the ability to call in via Skype.

Initially, I had several expectations. I didn’t expect anybody to call in or even listen for that matter. I later realized that my target audience were people my age who either worked or went out on Saturday nights, so that was one contributing factor to the lack of ratings. I did make up for this by creating a tumblr, which got exposure for the show. Some other challenges I faced were live on the air. At times, I lost my internet connection which meant that listeners had to wait until I came back online to hear my show. Then sometimes callers who called in via Skype were very explicit in their comments and at times I had to do damage control. And other times my itunes software froze.

There were several tools I used over the course of five months to complete this project. I had my laptop, a Yeti Pro microphone, and four different softwares: itunes, Mixlr, Skype and audacity. I could have not completed any part of this project without any one of them as they were all equally important.

As far as the plan for this project goes, I just wanted to share some really great music with people all over the world. Every song I played on my show was directly from a physical audio cd as my long time hobby has been collecting hip hop albums since i was ten years old. There were several remarkable experiences on my show. The amount of feedback I got from folks on twitter was overwhelming. I also got a call from a listener in Australia which proves that people all over the world can catch my show no matter where they live. Overall doing this project was a great experience and I don’t think anybody will ever think outside the box and do a project like this ever again.

Show website with archives to older broadcasts: Mixlr.com/lyrical-graffiti

Tumblr: lyricalgraffitiradio.tumblr.com

Final Project Post Tattoo8tee.com

For my final project, I have created and designed a website for the tattoo shop Tattoo 8 Tee in South Richmond Hill. The website URL is www.tattoo8tee.com. The website consists of 13 pages, which was originally supposed to be about 6-7, but as the project progressed, we saw it more fit to add pages to separate content. The pages range from bio’s and galleries, to contacting and walkthrough’s / videos.

I used a WordPress back end to build this website due to the fact that it is very easily customizable and easy to use if ever I would deliver the site to the customer instead of maintaining it myself. It is a great tool to make websites while organizing and showing the content, as well as transforming into any type of website the shop might want to change it to later in the future. Things pretty much went the way I wanted them to, the only thing I would’ve changed was the photography which was raised in the bi-weekly meetings during class. But other than that, I think everything went smoothly and according to schedule.

The plan for this project was to build a website, have the content given to me and that’s it. But that is never the case. What happened was I had to write some content myself, twist some arms for the rest, and gather images for the galleries (basically organizing the social network accounts they are being pulled from) to complete the website, which is ok because nothing really never goes to plan. The only thin I would have changed would be for them to have all of the content ready before the build of the website before we began anything, after going through this. But no major complaints. Writing content won’t kill me now, nor in the future. I learnt much more about dealing with customers and their wants over what really would work better, and having to go that route even though you know it might not work or look good, which I did not expect. Because they can tell you to do what you want, and after they see it it is a different story, but no biggy. It was a wonderful project and I am very happy with the outcome as is the customer.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.40.01 PM

From Ket to Slow- Final project reflection

What started off as a project documenting the lives of various artist ended up becoming a project on artists who are also educators. This project has been somewhat of a pain in the ass because of a few set backs, but the way I like to see it is that the set backs happen for a reason because the story molded itself into something with more meaning. It’s been a project that started early summer and has recently met it’s completion. One of the biggest mistakes that I believe myself and my group did was relying on an incredibly busy person who was going to grant us all this amazing access. It was too good to be true that we had all this stuff going only for us to have this major bump where he all had to re direct our trajectory to another course.

Originally, the very first plan was to follow Alan Ket to Ecuador for a grand opening of this museum that show cased other writers (graffiti artists). It seemed like an exciting and amazing venture that would result to something new not only in the world of Video, but to our major and our lives as well. Unfortunately or fortunately the plans didn’t fall through. I always thought personally that as amazing as the idea was, it was too vague and not concrete enough; although I had no doubt about the access and credentials Ket has. The project then molded into keeping Ket as the center focus; or host, of a short web series where he exposes the history and different styles of writers in different cities. For a while it seemed like a go, we had connections and a ridiculous amount of access to this world but after a couple of weeks the schedules just weren’t working out and then we came to the realization of how severely mistaken we were relying on someone else for the scheduling and project rather than doing it all ourselves. We were at the mercy of extremely busy individuals.

During the summer we already shot some footage of a writer called ‘Part 1’ and this program he has become involved with where he was teaching kids on developing their own writing identity. We decided to follow up on that story during early fall and complete it and steer the project on artist who give back to the youth. Although we had a vast amount of access and footage on Part, we felt we needed atleast another artist to make the project stronger. We had the honor of then meeting Ryan Seslow through our professor and asked him if he’d be ok if we’d document him. He happily agreed and we had the ball rolling again. Although we were incredibly behind on schedule because of certain inconveniences,  we picked up steam rather quickly.

As a co-director I had the responsibility of scheduling everything as soon as possible and be there on every shoot we had to make sure we had what we needed. I feel like we all pulled an equal amount of weight and got some great stuff that we’re excited to present. Lesson learned is to never rely on someone, it’s one of the reasons why I don’t enjoy making documentaries because it’s all based on the availability of your subject and to their convenience. Hopefully the headaches and set backs will result into a project worth while; I really believe so.

Finishing Trophies for Everyone!


cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by terren in Virginia

For Portfolio students, we’ve spent time on three things: internship preparation, final project proposals, and digital presence crafting.

1. Internship Plan – Semester you plan to complete the CT 490 or CT 491 class. Have you identified an actual location or not. If it’s next semester or the subsequent (spring or summer) is the contact confirmed? Have you made arrangements with Daniel between the location supervisor and him?

2. Final Project Plan – Have you drafted a plan using the syllabus I attached? Have you had it reviewed by Prof. Smith? Do you have a semester in mind to complete your final project?

3. Digital Presence Plan – You were supposed to have written about your ‘ego surfing’ (googling oneself), and from that you were supposed to have thought about how you’d like to frame yourself online. This is not only a big decision, but an ever evolving process – domain of one’s own? Social Networks? Aggregating to another space? Pseduonymetry?  Try to articulate where you are with your digital presence and what you are doing to change it or plans for change. Are you intentional enough with what you are putting online to frame yourself academically? Professionally? And even your personality?

Final Project Post for students completing their final project. You should talk about the the work completed during the semester as well as reflecting on intentions and process.

1. Work Completed – You must give a detailed description of what you made as well as hyperlinks and embeds of the work. The description should include details about quantities, length, characters, content, locations, etc…

2. Process – What tools did you use and why? How did things work the way you wanted or not? If you were part of a group project, you must specify your particular contributions. You should be respectful of the group process, but try as to single out your individuality and how your contributions affected the direction of the project.

3. Reflection – What was the plan and what actually happened? What did you learn from the project you did not expect? What might you do differently from the beginning knowing what you discovered in making what you made?