After the Storyboard

Link to Storyboard

I believe my original hopes for our video were translated relatively well to our storyboard. In our voice overs, we included a lot of general information about the organization: where and when it started up, what their general goals are, and why they do what they do. Something new the group decided to include was interviews from those that support the cause. I believe this will help to add the personal touch that we need to truly make this video have an impact on an audience. Another thing included in the storyboard is an open invitation for others to join in and support the cause. I think this is a nice element to the video as it breaks down the fourth wall and opens the doors for communication. Admittedly, the storyboard does need a bit more work with the specifics. However, I will take some responsibility for these shortcomings as I was not able to contribute as much to this phase of the project as I would have originally hoped. With that being said, I look forward to the rest of this group project as I believe our intentions and our skill set gives us all the tools necessary to create something truly worthwhile.


Before the Storyboard

Before we started working on the storyboard, our group was still on the fence as to what we wanted to do. Our first idea was supporting NJPIRG. However, when Jess contacted them, she later found out that they already had a lot of people on board with their projects. So, as a group, we opted for something else. Eventually, we decided to help out St. John’s Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization that fund young, deserving scholars through college who wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.

For the form of digital media we wanted to produce, we chose to make a video. Our group members have experience making short films, editing, and actually have access to filming equipment. So, it seemed like the most obvious choice. For our storyboard, I’m hoping that our voice over includes two distinct elements. One, I would like it to include a lot of information that can educate the audience on what St. John’s actually is. Two, I would like it to include a more emotional aspect, one that is able to pull viewers in with emotions. I think this cause is one that can resonate well with college students, and our potential video has the capability to leave an impact.

Meme Analysis: Netflix and Chill

netflix and chill

The meme of “Netflix and Chill” started to become a worldwide phenomenon between the years of 2014 to 2015, and is still used in casual conversation to this day. Urbandictionary defines Netflix and Chill as “internet slang for inviting someone over to one’s home for sexual purposes.” The basis of Netflix and Chill is rooted in actual real life instances of sexual activity as a result of inviting somebody over for Netflix.

I believe that one of the reasons Netflix and Chill became so deeply integrated into everyday life is because it was such a common occurrence. A wide audience of people can relate to Netflix and Chill, which makes the meme that much more humorous. Also, because of how relatable it is, outsiders don’t feel as outcast from the trend and can more easily participate in the movement.

Also, the catchphrase of Netflix and Chill has become precisely that: a catchphrase. It’s a short, witty remark that encompasses a much broader idea and social custom. While it can still fit the visual aspect of a meme, it spread just as easily through non-visual outlets.

Below are a few examples of “Netflix and Chill” image based memes:

As such, a key component to a successful meme is its everyday application. It doesn’t have to be something totally revolutionary, but something that people can be reminded of daily. Also, memes, particularly viral memes, should have some sort of entertainment value. Most of the time, this involves some sort of comedy, but it could also tug at other emotions as well. Furthermore, and possibly the most important aspect of a quality meme, is how organic it is. A meme’s trajectory can’t be predicted, nor can it be forced. Yes, it needs to be shared by others, but it should be shared out of personal interest or with an intent to educate rather than sounding abrasive. Memes are fun, interesting, informative, and make a wonderful side dish to life’s main course.

Top 5 Midterm Sites

Paige Brizak

The functionality of this site is impeccable. The professional tone and output of the site lets the visitor know immediately what the site is intended to be. Paige’s decision to do a screencast of her linkedin profile was a good choice. It allows strangers get to know her in a professional view while also allowing Paige to show her charisma and presentation skills. I’m not very familiar with wix, and so I am unsure as to what the appearance capabilities are with it. However, as previously said, the strength of this site is in its functionality rather than its aesthetics.

Bernadette Corpuz

Just like Paige’s site, this is another site done with the intentions of furthering her professional career. Bernadette also decided to do a screen cast. However, instead of presenting her resume or linkedin profile, she opted for a screen cast that displays her skillset with HTML. I thought this was a good choice, as it provides concrete evidence of her abilities that recruiters may like. Additionally, I approve of her choice in header image. Although she didn’t particularly edit it, it is a very professional looking photograph and leaves a good first impression on visitors of her web site.

Kristen Ma

This site is a very good example of an ideal first impression. The collage of desserts in the header image, along with the well framed title, is both aesthetic and functional. Kristen’s blog is one of the few to go past the minimum required for this project, as she uploaded a number of images showcasing different desserts. Also, I really enjoyed her youtube tutorial of how to bake peanut butter cookies. It’s apparent that a lot of work went into this project, both in the website itself and the subject matter of it. All in all, this is a quality wordpress.

Amanda Crystal

Amanda, like Paige, chose to design a wix rather than a wordpress. What caught my eye immediately was the header image. It is very well designed and includes the actual title of her site in it. Aesthetically speaking, everything on this site is well done. Even the font choice is very simplistic, and this brighter, minimalist approach helps her colorful DIY images stick out (in a good way). Her tutorial video is well done as well, and it suits the overall tone of the web site. The video isn’t too long, and it only includes the second step of the DIY process, which I found to be perfectly fine.

Hanna Choi

The visuals of this wordpress are amazingly eye catching. From the title, to the header image, to the overall color scheme; it all matches together perfectly. As somebody who tried to make his wordpresses as visually pleasing as possible, I am very impressed with Hanna’s design choices. As for the functionality of the site, I think everything works together well. It has all the components necessary for a successful web site. It is apparent that she is very passionate about the subject of this site and it shows in her podcast. A job well done!

Creative Process

When the midterm project was assigned, I originally was not sure what type of web site I wanted to create. I wanted something professional, something that is still applicable past this class. However, I did not want the site to be robotic; I still wanted a touch of my own flavor in it. Ultimately, I decided to create a poetry portfolio as its potential allows me to take the best of both worlds. When I decided to make a poetry portfolio, one of my main concerns was keeping it aesthetic, but also visually different from my class blog. So, I decided to try to incorporate brighter colors, or just brighter visuals overall on the web site.

With the visuals came the header. For my header image, I knew that I wanted to create it myself since I enjoyed making the header for my original class blog. So, I used a photograph that my friend took of me during one of my spoken word performances. When I decided on the image, I edited it slightly on my phone using the mobile application VSCOcam. After, I put it through the web program we used earlier in the semester: Pixlr. Using pixlr, I tried a mirror image to see how it would look on the site, and honestly I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

Then came the actual content of the web site. As a poetry portfolio, I knew, obviously, that I had to incorporate my poetry in some way. Eventually, I chose to create audio posts rather than generic text posts. This would allow me to portray the performance element of spoken word, while also being able to apply the skills I acquired previously in the podcast assignment.

All in all, making the site took a lot less time than originally expected. It was a good chance to apply all the skills I learned throughout the semester, and in the end, I am very pleased with the result.

Screencast Experience

My experience making a screencast came with much less stress compared to previous assignments. This is mostly because screencast-o-matic is such a user-friendly application and was very easy to get used to. On top of that, the tutorials provided helped fill in what little gaps I had or things that were a bit more difficult to pick up. Otherwise, this was a relatively smooth process, although there were some minor difficulties along the way.

One trial I had to face was making sure my laptop microphone was functional. For the podcast, I used my phone to record the audio, but I learned that laptop microphones are a bit less reliable. Eventually, I got the hang of it, although I am a bit disappointed with some of the audio levels.

Also, for some reason I found talking for a screencast much more challenging than for the podcast from last week. A part of this was simply because I was talking about something I was less passionate about. After all, we all love talking about things we enjoy (not to say that profiles aren’t important or something not worth talking about).

Editing was essentially not an option for this assignment, which made initially recording kind of difficult. I didn’t have the luxury of editing out bad takes and awkward pauses, so there are more of those in this week’s post than last week’s.

All in all, I don’t regret this experience. Screencasting is a skill, and like every skill can get developed overtime. Eventually, I wouldn’t mind doing another one of these, but maybe over different subject matter.

Stay aesthetic, guys.

Podcast 1: What ‘Aesthetic’ Means to Me

Podcasts certainly aren’t easy. For one, I’ve never done one before and when taking part in creative presentations like these, I tend to gravitate more towards the ‘behind the scenes’ rather than the spotlight. So, you could imagine that even talking was a bit awkward, and it showed in the final result.

Recording the actual body of the podcast wasn’t too difficult. I have Garageband on my phone, which wasn’t too terrible as far as recording the audio. I tried to go through everything I wanted to say as seamlessly as possible, meaning that I tried not to use too many cuts to keep editing to a minimum. However, I still ran into some issues with Garageband itself because this was my first time ever using the program. I used to dabble in video editing software, such as Final Cut, so piecing together parts of the audio based on just how the soundwaves look isn’t something new to me.

That’s not to say that this process wasn’t challenging. Editing was difficult and even just uploading it to wordpress took a bit of time as well. Eventually, I figured that Soundcloud was the best option as it had the simplest step (and it was free!).

The subject matter of the podcast wasn’t too straining though. I knew pretty quickly after we were told to make a podcast what I wanted to talk about and where I wanted it to go. As for actually delivering with it and following through? Well, it was much easier said than done. But I will say, thank goodness it got done.

The Grand Header Adventure

As with everything involving WordPress, making a header has been an (incredibly lengthy and time consuming) opportunity to learn. I already put a header image before, but when I was told that we would be making our own, I thought this would be a good opportunity to challenge myself. I’ve had some minimal experience with Pixlr before, but I’d never used it to make any sort of graphic or header image. Also, trying to come up with possible images to use for my header was a relatively large creative roadblock for me. I knew that I wanted to use more than one image, but I didn’t want them to be too similar. Originally, I thought about incorporating images from nature, or generic images that fit my hobbies and interests. Eventually, I chose neither of these, and decided to go for something with a bit more of an edgy appearance.

The three images I picked are photographs of a man wearing trendy street wear apparel, an urban view of New York City, and a man with an edgy looking undercut hairstyle. These three pictures encompass the direction I intend to go on with my blog while also including images similar to my introduction post. As such, this header is a good followup to what my followers are hopefully expecting from me.

Also, I decided to edit all my pictures with a black and white color scheme, along with some minor edits to exposure and contrast. I thought doing so would add to the color scheme already established on my blog while also fitting the overall tone of the page. In the end, despite the lengthy learning process and times of me sitting in silence thinking “what in the world am I doing?” I am pleased with how it all turned out.

Round 1

Admittedly, when I was told to start up a WordPress blog, I was completely clueless. Sure, I had a blog previously on Tumblr (if that could even be considered one) but I had never taken the time to truly market myself as a person. With my Tumblr, it was about 90% stupidity; I would simply reblog anything that I found humorous or that would appeal to my nerdy tendencies. Now, here I am making my first post on WordPress and all I can say is: Challenge Accepted. 

My thought process when creating this blog was akin to trying to fit a fruit salad through a bottle neck. I enjoy a lot of things in my life, all of which I would love to share with the entirety of the world’s population. But the question remained: How could I narrow all of these passions down into one creative title?

Then it struck me. I’m a person who, at my core, enjoys experiencing things that I find aesthetic. I’m not restricting aesthetics to a visual or a musical sense, but rather anything or anybody that could be put in front of me and have me say “Yes, I enjoy this.” And so, that brings me here. I aim to share my memories, my experiences, my friends, and my stories with any of you who would be willing to be called my audience. So, to give you all a sneak peek of what’s to come, here are a few things that I enjoy.