Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I caught the tail end of Jeremy's presentation which I sort of regret having caught this tail end. He was a very meek guy and very personable. I appreciated what he told us about learning. I had already completed a few lessons on the site he referred to codecademy.com, and I've found several other tutorial sites that will help me a lot. But that he was so honest about having to still cleave to google search and painstakingly try to figure out his way around programming issues. Issues that I'm sure are way more challenging than anything I can do. Yet. It sounds sappy but it was really encouraging to hear him tell us about being in the dark himself and pretty much that being the case for everyone at some point.

From having had to wear just about all of the hats he has a pretty solid understanding of every facet of his business and this must be a tremendous asset though sometimes a headache. But to be able to sort of troubleshoot everything and eventually manage everyone (in the event that the company expands personnel) must leave one with a very secure feeling about the whole thing. I guess its one of the perks of being your own boss.

Fashion's Collective

Elizabeth Schofield's venture, Fashion's Collective sounds like an interesting idea. It seems like its in a very young stage, and it was hard for me to sort of understand the sort of business model that she was going for, but I think that I kind of get it. Education seems to be her primary focus. I feel like the website is slowly morphing into an official publication, but I don't get the strong branding that you may find in a sort of tech news hub like cnet, wired.

I love the idea of providing a place for dialog between fashion brands concerning new media, social media, and marketing and such. I began exploring a projection interaction in the Interaction Design Studio this semester and my primary idea was to add a higher degree of visual interactivity to retail merchandising. Fashions Collective would be a great place for me to stimulate dialog about this and other fashion video marketing initiatives. The fashion video is sort of a unique hybrid of the short film and the editorial and in a way has a niche specific to this industry. Fashion's Collective would provide a place for me or other artists to engage brands with these and other types of ideas.

I appreciate that Elizabeth is so passionate about creating an educational resource. Classes anywhere are pretty expensive so I can imagine that there is a fairly solid business model for this type of work. Fashion brands are very lucrative and as Elizabeth told us they are on board with her vision of sustaining the new media dialog. I don't want to project on the cost of her operations but I can imagine that some of the brands that she works with would pay top dollar for the unique and insightful product that she is offering.

I did make it a point to speak with Elizabeth and intend to reach out to her to network. I am very interested in her career history and the progression of Fashion's Collective.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Project Reflections: Post Production

I'm a little obsessed with this project. I have two finals due friday I need to put this down and work on them but I can't.

So I'm easing into Final Cut After the war we waged on Monday! AfterEffects is still a little weird. But the youtube tutorial on iMovie really is helping me understand the logic of Final Cut.

You can link to one of the videos here. Here's a crude test if you're up for it. Play this video along with the album version of Snoop Dogg and Pharrell's "Drop it Like its Hot" and do a little tweaking with the play/pause and timeline. You should easily be able to match Krystal's movements with the beat of the song. I haven't synched the sound because I don't intend to attach the clip to its own sound but rather match the clip frame rates to a variety of songs in Max.

My next step should essentially be to loop the clips that I like. If I loop it then the clip will play seamlessly no matter how the frame rates change depending on what Max is telling the clip to do. I wish I had shot another house clip with a faster beat. And then there's the background. I'm a little confused about how to do this but essentially its just a matter of a clear and helpful tutorial.

Back to work.


Monday, December 12, 2011


I though that our trip to Playmatics was perhaps one of the most interesting yet. Nicholas's story of ascension to very real success in the gaming industry was incredibly inspiring. Again we find ourselves speaking with a young Liberal Arts graduate who somehow found the right mix of interest, intellect, gumption, luck, and community to catapult himself into a happy and successful new media career.

His presentation was very cut and dry and forthright. I appreciated him actually giving us his understanding of the emerging industry in cut and dry terms. His discussion of the necessity for work, sunk in and I was impressed by his real understanding of interactions and the sort of visceral ways that people react to being handled by unpleasant technological experiences.

I would be interested to take a gaming class to better understand interaction. Though it may not fit with my schedule. Perhaps the third semester. I really want to get a strong grasp of Interface and User Experience design! I do think that the nature of interactions is what really shapes technology. I was just checking out Bill Moggridge's Designing Interactions and in it he talks with, Douglas Engelbart, the inventor of the mouse. Engelbart describes how he basically invented the mouse by recalling a doodle that he wrote while bored once in a meeting, and applying the frivolous doodle to a real solution selecting and maneuvering between multiple selection items on a computer screen. The intuitiveness of good and bad interactions will always be a powerful force in the ways that we think about and develop technology. Nicholas seemed to be very bent on driving this point home to us in the end of his presentation. Technology should aim to be an extension of us. It should make things easier.

An example: How long have I yearned to be able to type whatever I want in the url form and have it take me to a page. One of my first instincts as a first time browser in the 90's was to just type what I wanted to search in the URL field. Today, I can type "what color is the sky?" in this google chrome URL field, and a live web page (not an error one) will appear. I may never use Safari again.


I enjoyed our trip to Vision Education & Media. You could tell from Laura's conversation that she is a very business minded person and is incredibly passionate about her business. Though she experienced the crawl during a different era, I am still inspired by her ascent up the ladder to success. It makes me appreciate the sort of in the dark feeling that I have been having through out my first semester at Poly. Laura, like some of the other people we met this semester (Cindy from Kickstarter and Nicholas at Playmatics) seems to have been able to adapt to a media calling sort of on the fly, developing, skills, expertise and networks organically as work was completed and experience gained. This sort of Darwinian experience of adaptation and career survival is a little indicative of the new media industry. It is a vast sort of progressive, evolving business and requires people who can survive in such an environment.

VEM has been able to find a unique niche in the sort of childhood education/camp/babysitting realm. I asked Laura if she ever got feedback from other parents on ideas for curriculum and what not and she said that most parents are just glad that the kids are doing something that they don't even worry about it. Laura and her colleagues demonstrated to us the design process of the curriculum. It is a good thing that they are encouraging children to be more involved with practical and modern science and technology.

Though I am not spsecifically interested in careers in education, I can see the real need for innovation and attention in this area.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wallflower Metronome Production Reflection

So I shot today. I was incredibly nervous but I don't even know why. I love working with continuous lights! My model did not. My apartment is typically very warm this time of year and the lights did not help at all.

There are a whole range of contingency issues when shooting anything I've noticed and they seem to be a little exaggerated when you're shooting video. I can understand also why I keep hearing that sound is so important in film. I would be very particular about the sound of my film, and would be interested in taking a basic sound design course to understand this sort of editing. I need to take a video editing course before the sound editing one!

I also need to get my hands on a 7D. I can't imagine shooting a HD film with multiple lenses! What if every photo I took could become an HD video moment!? I guess I'm just caught up in the wishful spirit of the holiday.

Krystal did a pretty good job with the filming. I think that I can get some good clips.

I think she suffered from boredom a bit but I definitely got some scenes that look pretty good. The stripes in her dress do interesting things to her silhouette. I also love the subtle personal nuances like pulling the dress down and tripping up the beat, it adds character to the person.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Production Notes: Wallflower Metronome Narrative

With this idea I want to create a projection that will interact with party goers or patrons at a social or nightlife gathering. This sort of installation could also translate in a fashion environment (Is it clear that I want to apply this idea to styling and fashion?) In any case, I would like to film a sexy party goer and project him or her on a particular wall in the space to sort of create a virtual flirtation. My virtual wallflower would function as a sort of metronome, oscillating or gyrating minimally to the simplest beat of a song. I would use Max MSP to sync the playback of my projection with the beats of the song to sort of create the illusion of my wallflower interacting with the space around it. This sort of installation would not only be cool, but would also provide a sort of self reflexive moment for the shy party goer who would gravitate toward the wall.

This is the idea that I will be completing for my final test. It is more feasible to complete than the fashion installation idea given the time that I am working with. I am beginning to understand more and more the logistics of installing something so complex, and I haven't yet researched the exact insurance cost of installing expensive projection equipment in a public or retail environment. I can also imagine that I may need to construct a semi elaborate stage to implement my retail idea.

For my wallflower metronome, I want to try to shoot my model "dancing" to a variety of types of beats. I am particularly in love with Beyonce's newest single "Party" right now so I think that I will use that one as a slower hip hop themed beat. I will also shoot to the beat of a more uptempo house music song as well, to see exactly how the video may work if say the DJ decided to suddenly mix a slower track with a more upbeat one. Could I mix my video on the fly simultaneously and seamlessly!?

I will probably use a female model for this project. I would want to use a male model for a similar project but one that would explore the male form, not so much the styling. I think that it would be more tasteful to have the men more exposed than women in a public display anyway. There may be more negative repercussions to intoxicated men viewing virtual nude women as opposed to men or women viewing scantilly clad men. There aren't nearly as many women in their panties on signposts in the city as there are men in tight briefs, and for good reason.

I am excited about this wallflower metronome. Though I have much experience with photography, I have never shot a video before, though it is a seemingly small task, I am excited about the floodgates that this experience will open!! Im certain I don't have the budget to fall in love with shooting HD video right now. Although I think that is precisely what is going on!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Production Notes: Retail Narrative

This particular narrative would have been too difficult to achieve as a final but I am very much attached to the idea of creating this sort of projection interaction in a retail setting. I think that it coule be a very powerful marketing tool for designers and for myself as a photographer (or filmmaker I guess given the nature of this type of production), interaction designer. Though I don't have an advertising background, I would be interested to explore the sort of branding opportunities that are available when you attempt to expand the space of advertising in such an intimate way as I am proposing with my projection idea.

This photo by Erwin Blumenfeld sort of exemplifies the motion that I want to initiate with my projection, and the sort of high fashion editorial nature of the idea that I am proposing. It is the striking editorial image that inspires a desire to seek and find the coveted item. If we could incorporate this sort of engagement with motion and sound at the point of sale, there is a chance that sales may increase, and the work of the producers of editorial spreads could be put to further use beyond the printed page.

I am attempting to illustrate how my installation would work in the crude drawing above. Juxtaposed with the rack of cloaks, is a mannequin wearing said cloak. The clothed mannequin would be placed in relief from a suitable screen. The projection would begin with the model, posing in the exact pose as the mannequin, in the same outfit, under the identical or similar lighting situations, being projected onto the mannequin. The shopper would watch as the mannequin came to life as it were, and the rest of the screening area was filled with her dramatic display of the cloak. At the end of which, the model would return to her initial position, that of the mannequin.

This idea springs directly from Michale Naimark's installation Displacements. And I think that the ramifications of such an engaging display could be utilized feasibly for marketing purposes especially in an environment like fashion, design, furniture architecture etc...whose consumers appreciate and often demand complex and beautiful aesthetic interactions.