Slow Subterranean Blues


Think that I might need some credits this week as I need some digging tools from the store. So I had a look through the assignment bank and found this:
ds106 Assignments: Sound to Visual with 3 credits.

Using creations you have already completed in #ds106 – select an audio project you were happy with and build upon it to create a video. Do not change or add any audio. Challenge yourself to create the images your sound story conveys. Use the sound effects story assignment or an audio commercial from your radio work. Use found or created video and stills that tell your story. Push it a step further and show how sound may not always convey the images you think it represents (extra stars).

The challenge is to use some audio already created to make a video. I decided to up the anti/or make it easier by using images I’d already made from The Prisoner too.

I’ve been weirdly captivated by both the stretched sounds and strange images I’ve found in The Prisoner. To an fevered imagination they might hint at the dark side of the shiny sixties exterior. Unless I am miss-remembering the TV of my youth The Prisoner explored some deeper territory than, say, The Man from Uncle. Perhaps this video hints at that.

I’d already got the audio and had generated a lot of images layering and mixing stills from some episodes. I decided on using Hammer into Anvil – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia as the psychological battle seemed fitting.

Creating the ‘movie’ was simply a matter of previewing the images and choosing some (from thousands). Dragging them into iMovie along with the MP3 and doing some editing.

I am not wholly convinced about the improvements in recent versions of iMovie. I like the move at around version 7 or 8 away from the original style but think my favourite was 9.

Anyway to edit I really only did a little rearranging, sped up the slowed down sound at some points changed the images order and Ken Burns panning and inserted some transitions. I’d say the end effect is reasonably disturbing is a slow sort of way. The effect I was hoping to make.



So at the start of this week I though I’d get back into the headless course and do some video assignments. I spent a while looking through them but this one looked like it would be fun:

Download different scene clips from one movie to create a short commercial for DS106. Clip, trim and remix them to let people know what DS106 is all about and how they can find us at Challenge yourself to overdub the audio to have the characters saying DS106 where it would be appropriate.  Also try and add the DS106 logo onto an object in a scene. You can find an example at The DS106 Matrix

from: ds106 Assignments: Mash A Movie For DS106

Looking back at the description I see I’d completely forgot about the logo bit, I also didn’t dub the characters. Rochelle’s example is great and I started looking for some sort of SF connection, but somehow ended up in Brigadoon. Perhaps because cogdog visited Scotland last weekend.

Also because I only read the assignment once I got it into my head to make a trailer. I found the Brigadoon trailer on youtube:

Mt first idea was to find the clips used in the trailer without the text and recreate it shot by shot with new text and voice over, of course I could not find the same scenes on youtube. I did find a few clips and decided to go with the timing and titles from the trailer with different scenes behind.

I expected to do the editing in iMovie but quickly realised that its titling was not up to the zooms and swings on the original. I switched to Screenflow as I knew it could do nice transitions of text. There I found that the text could be animated nicely but not curved. So I opened up Fireworks to make transparent titles which I could animate in Screenflow.

By now I’d spent a fair bit of time on this with nothing to show so I only spent a few minutes realising that recreating the text accurately would take more time than I had. I just found a vaguely similar font and used that. I also used a brighter yellow that the original.


The workflow was, copy a frame from QuickTime of the original trailer, paste into Fireworks. Add text, messing a little with the spacing. Then aligned the text to a path if I needed a curve, dropped a shadow, grouped and gave a quick blur. Hid the scheenshot layer and exported as a transparent png. I hide all the layers, added the next screenshot a did the next bit of text. All the graphics from one document for laziness.

Back in screenflow I edited the clips, animated the overlay and added a voice over. Screenflow is a pretty nice tool for this sort of thing and would be good and doing the animated typography sort of movie too.

This took a fair amount of time, if I had ben willing to spend more time it would have been less rough, the text could have been better, the voice over I just used the first take with my macs inbuilt mic as I did that bit at lunchtime in work. I had to extract audio from different bits of video and move it around, again I did a fairly quick and dirty job of this, trying to balance time and fun. THis is the final effort:

You might notice that some of the characters are aligned weirdly or rotated a bit, this was first due to accident, I could have cleaned up the path they were aligned to in Fireworks but left them in and made some more for extra klunky charm;-)