Radio Reflection

I chose to reflect on Wednesday’s western show, Tombcast radio. I thought Josh, James, and Mason did a great job. Their musical selections, bumpers, and commercials kept me very engaged. I thought they were hilarious and entertaining. My favorite commercial was the siren for horses. I thought it was clever, well written, well spoken, and that it contained good audio placement. I also loved that you had the song “Wild Wild West” by Will Smith in one of your commercials. I don’t know what it is about that song that I like, but it makes me laugh and makes me want to dance. Ha!

On your actual radio show content, I liked how you guys took a different spin on inputting your characters. A lot of the other shows put their characters in one giant story and you guys told individual stories about each one, which was a cool way to mix it up, also the cyborgs? Lol! I think some sound effects in the actual radio show could’ve spiced it up a bit, but all in all it was great show! Nicely done!

Design Blitz

Here are my four pictures representing design elements!

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The first is a representation of dominance. This dominance is in the size of the word faith. The quote is about allowing your faith in something to be bigger than your fear of it. The creator of this sign literally made the word faith bigger. All the words are consistantly the same size, and then faith is emphasized in really big letters. They were successful in emphasizing their point.

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This is a representation of proportion. The picture of the three women’s basketball players is in the center. Then there is an equal amount of men’s basketball players and swimmers on each side.The athletes are a little off-centered, but the red blurb of information makes them look more centered.

 

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This is a representation of balance. They are leaning on each other from both sides of the movie poster from opposite corners. It makes the visual balanced but also the actors are literally balancing on each other for support. Then the actors name are in the same sports on both sides. The balanced look makes it very pleasing to the eye.

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I absolutely love this representation of color. There’s a lot of commotion that’s all in black and white, busy streets, cars, people, but all I can focus on is her outfit. It’s very retro. It reminds me of Rosie the Riveter, which is a cool flashback look. This poster wanted to make a statement by honing in on two articles of clothing, and it did that using color. It’s the best way to draw attention to what you want the audience to pay attention to. You can’t help but look at her clothes because they are the only parts of the picture with any pigmentation.

 

Western Design Thoughts

I noticed a lot of general themes in western movie posters. They almost all contain carton-based illustrations. I also noticed big block letters in red for a lot of the titles of the movies, perhaps to draw attention to the poster.

In the movie screenshots of the title, the titles take up the whole screen. I think this expresses the importance of visual power and dominance to the creators of these movies. The type is bold and clear and leaves no room for wondering about the premise of the movie or what the title is.

In the bullhead skull drawling’s by Georgia O’Keeffe, I thought the element of design of appropriateness from The Vingnelli Canon was relevant. It defined appropriateness in design as “borrowing something and transforming it by placing it in
a different context.” I think a bull represents fear and power and strength. The skulls are painted soft and surrounded by flowers to give off a soft delicate vibe.

I think design is so powerful, because with all these pieces of artwork you can truly have an impact. You can skillfully create things so that attention may be drawn to them. It’s a connotation that a bull is a big scary animal, but designing it in a softer light makes the audience want to know more, it draws people in. I think the movies and other artworks I researched from the West and western themes excelled in having that “eye popping” element to pull people towards it.

Vignelli Canon Relfection

I have never seen a booklet like this. It’s cool to see art design represented in such an array of objects. When I go to church on Sundays, I never think of the pews I am sitting in as a piece of artwork. In the booklet, pews are used to represent appropriateness, “transforming an object by placing it in a different context.” It is inspiring to take simple seating arrangements that I would never look at as art and arrange them in a symmetrical formation that is seen as beautiful. It highlights how often I miss the beauty in simple objects all around me.

It also shows me that the “supporting cast” of the artwork, aka the text, is just as important in capturing the significance of the piece. For example, on the page about syntax, an ordinary subway map is displayed. And it appears as if there is nothing more to it than that. But when you read about how each little piece (the grid, the headlines, the texts, the pictures) works together as parts of a whole to create this structurally designed masterpiece that is useful for getting around the city, you realize the value of the city map in an all new light.

When I think of art and design, I think of structures and paintings in a museum, when it’s actually all around us in real life. Ordinary objects, like newspapers and airline tickets, are specifically designed to draw an appeal that subconsciously we are drawn too, but I just never took the moment to actually think about how skillfully certain sizes and fonts of texts were selected, as well as color schemes and illustrations.

 

Audio Thoughts

I was in awe when I actually thought about the impact of audio in a story. At first thought I felt as thought it served its purpose as background noise, but then I dove in deeper. I contemplated a bunch of things in my head until I realized how impactful sound is on a piece. Why are the scariest scenes in horror films so scary? The music, the screams, the sounds of shattering glass or tree branches, or the slamming of a door. It’s the sound that truly makes the impact.

This video I found on YouTube demonstrates the effect in which audio can have on the telling of a story.

The gurgle in the scary movie inflicts fear. The engines on the motorcycles insinuate how fast they are moving. Sounds are as important to captivate meaning as visuals are.

Even accents from characters can tell you what time period they are from, what geographic region they are form, and how educated they are. You can gather so many details from sounds. It’s incredible. Like in the western radio assignment, I didn’t even have to know it was western, I could tell by their country accents.

In “Moon Graffiti,” the sound created the entire ambiance. The eerie music in the background foreshadows something bad happening. As does the haunting monotone in the narrators voice, which is obviously the point of the story, since it’s a deathly twist on the trip to the moon.

I think it’s interesting how the choice of music can really make or break a scene in a movie or tv show. It can also tell you a lot about the story without seeing anything or even hearing people talk. It’s a powerful thing.

 

Brainstorm Sesh.

Hmmmmm brainstorming ideas?!?!

I don’t really have set in stone what I want to do yet, but I do have some ideas.

  • My first idea is to construct a radio talk show on western couture and fashion. I could talk about the latest hot brand of cowboy boots and the coolest style of cowboy hats, and all the popular looks for cowgirls and cowboys, and an array of different characters.
  • When I think of western culture I often go down the route of country and country music. That’s why my second idea is all things country music. Who’s dating whom in country entertainment? Who is coming out with a new album? I’ll do the latest news in country music.
  • My last idea is like a food show filled with recipes!! Since my character is a homesteader’s wife, I could be her on the talk show and share homemade recipes for southern food like cornbread. I can research western culture foods and saloon drink recipes.

Stagecoach gets reflected.

I watched the movie Stagecoach to construct my cinematography reflection. Being a part of a 21st century generation, I am exposed to intense color and high definition when I watch movies. That’s why it may make me a little bias when analyzing a movie that came out in 1939.

Since the movie is entirely in black and white, there was no real structure with a lot of the important photography points in the article, Becoming Better Photographers, or if there was it was hard to depict. It’s difficult to pinpoint lighting techniques and contrasts with black and white besides darker figures and lighter figures. These aspects aren’t really chosen, it just depends on the actual pigmentation of the thing being filmed. The foreground/background was very dull and blurry and didn’t allow you to hone in or focus on a particular object in the shot. The scenes themselves weren’t exrememly powerful and emotion packed to me picture wise. It was the plot of the story with them traveling on a warpath that sold it. The storyline and what the characters said set it up for me better than the actual picture.

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I think the close ups on the characters showcased the deepest emotion in me. It offered a change of perspective as well as some extra depth. Seeing the characters faces so close up helps get a feel of their emotion by being able to analyze the lines in their face and the intensity of lack of in their eyes.

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While it seems I was judgmental of this piece, it’s all about perspective. For me this movie didn’t stick out as strong in the cinematography department but this movie came out in 1939!! The first movie ever created came out in the 1890’s, not long before this movie. The first movie with sound didn’t come out until 1927, so to even make this movie was a huge accomplishment in itself. I think the reason I was so “harsh” is because we are more technologically advanced now and we can do so many more different things with it then they could then. I think the advancement of technology plays a huge role in how much emotion and imagery you can create.

A photo doesn’t make you a photographer.

I take pictures like it’s nobody’s business. I am one of those people that take pictures at every event. I document everything. Collages of photos of my family and friends consume my dorm room wall.

That’s why when I received the email that I was on the “photo team” I was thrilled. I already take photos of everything anyway. What I soon realized is that taking a lot of photos doesn’t make me a photographer. I am able to recognize bad lighting and other factors easily accessible, but I never thought of the contrast between lights and the subjects in my photos, balancing the subjects out, using different lenses (I usually just use my Phone), and several other key factors that take a photo to the next level.

Giving myself the benefit of the doubt, I have always just taken pictures for fun and not taken them to convey a message or put a new perspective on things. With that being said, I have a lot to learn about taking intricate photos for this class. I am excited to hopefully develop this skill during the semester, to make someone look at an image and not just look but feel.

After reviewing the resources, I again have a lot to learn. I like how in the video, Jason Eskenazi talked about how photos have a grammar and a language too and that they can tell a powerful story. I think it opened my eyes to the fact that a photo can tell just as much information about a story as a written account of it can. I think my best tactic to adding this wow factor to my pictures is learning how to work with an actual camera, adjusting lenses, zooming in, zooming out, and all the other cool tricks they can do that I don’t even know because I always just use my Phone.

Story Shape

I think looking at the “shapes” of stories can give more insight into a reading than what first meets the eye. It shows the highs and lows and the ebbs and flows of the story, like if there was a dramatic ending or a big climax. You can comprehend a little bit of the story before even knowing the name of a character or the setting it takes place in.

I am going to describe the shape of the story “Ice Man’ by Elmore Leonard. The picture below is the shape I envisioned for it. It starts off really high. The main character and bull ride, Victor, is “the man.” He tackles riding thee bulls and him and his friends think they are just too cool.

The story stays steady for a while after that. They go to a bar to drink and celebrate. They are just having a good time and reminiscing.

It begins to go downhill when Victor and his friends have a little altercation with a man that works for the government. He first accuses them of being illegal aliens and Victor fought him back on it. Then he accuses them of drinking underage, which they too combat. Then it takes a huge drop when he arrests them for “mouthing off” but it was really for being Indians.

I guess the shape could be reversed also if a reader found it more entertaining when all the bad stuff was happening. Depends on your preferences.

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Learning about Western

When I think of Western I think of all the clichés of the Wild Wild West, the saloons, the cowboys riding horseback shooting guns up in the air, wild animals, and many more. From what I gathered from these resources is that all these imageries are not too off based.

In the “Words of the West,” article on Legends of America, there was a constructed list of popular lingo from that time. I noticed a lot of the quotes were about death and fights. One the first list over half of the quotes include death, guns, fear, and or mobs. Some examples are “Never run a bluff with a six-gun.” – Bat Masterson and “They say I killed six or seven men for snoring. It ain’t true. I only killed one man for snoring.” — John Wesley Hardin. They also seemed to have a good sense of humor revolving around death and shootings like Hardin did in the quote above.

In the “Ice Man” the characters weren’t fighting people but they were fighting bulls. Victor, the main bull rider, and his friends also end of fighting with the law, a battle which they do not win as they do the bullfights. In the Gunsmoke sound archive there’s a plethora of snip-its dealing with guns and vicious fights like “Busted-Up Guns,” “Dangerous Bath,” and “Reluctant Violence.”

Clearly the theme that sticks out to me in all this is the violence. Which makes since if you think about movies like The Lone Ranger, where there is a battle between cowboys and Indians and drunken men firing away shots and aiming them at beer cans. I think the writing styles, as similar to The Lone Ranger (Sorry, it’s the only Western movie I’ve seen), have a somewhat humorous twist to the battles and takedowns. It always seems a little light hearted and entertaining.

I am starting to see that fighting is the “main idea” of this Western culture. There is always an outlaw or a deputy or someone breaking the law or trying to kill someone else. It is definitely an action pact genre.