Author Archives: ARNoack

Family Ties in Florence

Celebrating Independence Day and Birthdays with the Gibson Family in Florence, Oregon. Small-town America at its finest.

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Editing Critique: The Ninth Floor

While watching “The Ninth Floor” I was struck by how effectively Dimmick uses sound, text and blank frames of black to convey emotion, especially the depressing nature of the subject’s lives. The parts of the multimedia package that I found particularly emotional were not the heart-wrenching images of the drug addicts themselves, but the moments when the screen goes completely black while the dialogue/voiceover, sound effects and background music play on. I’ve never seen anyone use blank space so effectively. Dimmick also matches transitions (mostly cross fades and cuts) and text entrances and movement with the beats of the music, which creates a heightened sense of emotion and intensity. Toward the end, as a glimmer of hope appears, Dimmick allows the images to remain on display longer and the transitions seem less abrupt while the music becomes lighter and happier. Again, very good blend of transitions, sound and blank space to evoke a specific emotional response from the viewer.

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Multiplatform Storytelling with Josh Tyrangiel

Josh Tyrangiel’s Tips:

  • Think about your customer or viewer.
  • The experience of the event trumps the details, video conveys the experience best.
  • Putting interactions of writer and subject on video creates more depth.
  • Sometimes you have to “pause” the story to get the full picture.
  • Communications is making it very difficult to run a repressive regime these days.
  • Tell your stories as efficiently as possible.
  • Maximize the richness and quality of multi-platform storytelling.
  • People like videos of snakes.

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Differentiating Good Images from the Mediocre Ones

Images surround us and even bombard us on a daily basis, especially in the form of advertising. Out of the thousands of images, both moving and still, that we encounter everyday, what makes some images capture our attention more than others? First, something about the image/video must capture the viewer’s attention. This attention-grabbing aspect can come in many forms, such as the familiar face of a celebrity, use of color, beauty, text in the image, a peculiar setting or subject, interesting facial expressions or body language, and composition. Second, composition is key to an effective image. Framing makes a subject stand out or divides the image into separate scenes. The rule of thirds (and/or ground thirds) creates images that are more pleasing to the eye and direct the viewer’s focus. For video and multimedia packages, sound is a way to support the visuals. Sound creates a  sense of emotion and provides added information to the visual information provided by the video. It also gives a better sense of setting (e.g. traffic sounds or music from a concert). Here is an example of an effective image that captures the viewer’s attention with color and celebrities’ faces and employs good composition techniques: Disney Parks Ad Campaign. Here is an example of an effective video that uses sound and different types of shots to convey the event and setting well: Inside Time Attack.

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Spezify – The Multimedia Search Engine

Looking around on notcot.org I discovered Spezify.com. It’s basically a multimedia search engine that brings content together from a broad range of sources, including blogs, video, images, news, reference sources, microblogs, online retailers, other search engines and more in a visual format. In a world where information is available in a broad array of media forms, it makes sense for search engines to look for information from multiple media at the same time and display them in one place. This concept is very different from the way Google and other search engines conduct searches, dividing searches into different media types like webpages, images, video and news. Here’s a sample search on Michael Jackson.

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The NOTCOT Empire

When I’m working on a design project sometimes I need a little inspiration to get started. In my search for design ideas I came across the NOTCOT empire, a group of blogs designed to provide “ideas + aesthetics + amusement.” The main site (NOTCOT.com) features posts about all sorts of things that might spark the imagination from art to fashion to technology, while NOTCOT.org is for individuals to submit things that inspire them, “the studio bulletin board gone digital.” Other NOTCOT blogs include NotCouture, a fashion blog, Liqurious, a blog for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and NotLabs, a site with info on the experimental web projects NOTCOT is developing. Check it out!

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Multimedia vs. Print

I found an article on the New York Times website about creating geothermal energy using a new method near San Francisco, California. The accompanying multimedia piece was an “interactive graphic,” basically images, animation, and narration wrapped in a video. The idea behind this new energy production process is to shoot high-pressure streams of water into two-mile-deep holes in the earth where the water turns to steam and then returns to the surface to generate electricity in special power stations. However, in December 2006, after many small earthquakes caused by this process occurred near a geothermal power station in Basel, Switzerland, a magnitude 3.4 earthquake struck the city. For the next year, Switzerland and neighboring countries experienced 3500 earthquakes ranging in magnitude from under 1 to nearly 3.5. Despite this fact, the Department of Energy, the California state government and various corporations are going ahead with their plans to tap into this new energy source.
At first I found the print article more interesting than the multimedia package. The article has a very intriguing lead about the earthquakes in Basel as a result of this geothermal process and kept my attention for the first page of text. Then, once I got to the second page (out of 3), I lost interest. While the multimedia piece does not play up the danger aspect of the story as much and isn’t as captivating, it does explain the process of extracting geothermal energy more clearly and focuses more on the direct effect the new power stations will have on the surrounding region and the nation as a whole. Overall, the print article does a better job at initially capturing the reader’s attention and providing detail, while the interactive graphic does a better job at providing the essential facts and clearly explaining the science of geothermal energy production.
Print Article, Interactive Graphic

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