Challenge 5: Filter Bubble

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After watching a couple of talks on the TED website which is http://www.ted.com and it stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. We watched videos about various different topics by various different people but we watched a presentation by a bloke called Eli Pariser all about something called Filter Bubbles which got us as a class talking, which lead to this assignment.

What are Filter Bubbles, that’s what I would be asking myself if I had just read that last paragraph. Well, A Filter Bubble is what companies use to personally tailor searches to specific users. Google used to display the results of the most popular link first but it now displays results in accordance to the users browsing habits so most peoples search results are different. This is also how adverts that appear on websites such as Youtube.com are usually things that you would be interested in. Also social networking website Facebook.com uses a similar thing to google where it displays things in your news feed relevant to who you communicate with the most and various other criteria. Its is basically giving people what they want to see and hear and sometime not necessarily what then need to see or hear.

When asked about it, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, said ‘A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa’.

So now knowing all this that I didn’t know before. I am going to perform an experiment which will be to take 3 different phrases “Rubber Duck” “Gun Slinger” and “Bin Laden” and type them into Google on two different laptops belonging to two different people, my own, and my fathers. Due to the difference in interests and browsing habits of two different generations I am expecting the top three results to be different.

My Google Search Results

Dads Google Search Results

As you can see from the three different searches there are some Identical results but neither computer has given the exact same results which goes to prove that the Filter-bubble is a real thing and that we are indeed being monitored and our every click recorded, in-fact I wouldn’t be suppressed if somebody was recording every single keystroke that I am making, meaning that every spelling mistake I make or any sentence I delete or change is probably being stored somewhere on the internet, maybe nobody will ever sit and read it but it doesn’t mean that it will never or isn’t currently being recorded.

Challenge 4: Stone Camera

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When we were first given this task to complete it was to link two completely unrelated words to come up with the Idea of a product to advertise. So we were all given the same two words so that it was fair to everybody, these words were “Stone” and “Camera” which confused the hell out of quite a few people but there were some good ideas floating around the room. I however could not think of any ideas what so ever. So I left this project and worked on a couple of my others.

When I came back to this project and too a fresh approach to it I thought of an Idea almost straight away. I had been replaying an old video game from my childhood, Pokémon, lately and done another project using recycled childhood knowledge so I decided that I should stick to what I know and again decided to use Pokémon as my initial idea.

So I was looking through a bunch of rock Pokémon on the internet and tried to get a camera to go with it. Eventually I came out with a “Golem” holding a camera, which looked pretty cool in itself but it had no real function or purpose. So I decided to go back to the drawing board.

I then tried thinking of some other Ideas that I could use Golem for as I like the Idea of incorporating Pokemon into my work. But alas, no came to mind. However I did then go back to looking through different Rock Pokémon and I found another that was called Ryhorn which brought a brilliant Idea to mind. There is enough space on Ryhorn’s head to mount a camera so I could turn him into a Ryhorn Webcam!

I then went onto looking for just camera lenses, not the entire camera, just the lens. at first I founds a couple of ones that would have been good but they were pictured from the wrong perspective so wouldn’t have worked the way I wanted them to. After about 10 minutes of looking I finally found one that looked the way I wanted. Still the perspective wasn’t 100 percent perfect but it was the closest I was gonna get.

After I found and created the Idea for my product I then began work on my poster to advertise the product. It took me a while because to get the desired effect I had to trawl the internet for some new photoshop brushes because the standard ones wouldn’t create a texture that I was happy with.

After I created a background I was happy with then I started to build it up slowly, adding a couple more colours which are faded into the background before adding the detail to the poster.

It was time do add the detail so I then added my product, then the titles and information about my product and decided which fonts to use.

If I was going to do this project again I think that I would definitely try to take my own images so that everything was original and consistant. and all the perspectives were correct but I also wouldn’t want to combine the words Stone and Camera ever again either.

Challenge 3: Little People

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For this project we looked at an artist called Slinkachu and his “Little People” project which can be found at http://little-people.blogspot.com which started in 2006. The project is where the artist has placed little people in different scenarios and taken photographs of them from 3 different distances.

I then started to look on the internet for some more inspiration and ideas to do something similar and stumbled across something similar by a different artist. His work can be found here at http://www.lookclosernexttime.blogspot.com

I also found a similar project done by a Photographer called Stéfan who has created a series of photographs called “Stormtroopers Day Off” his work can be found at http://bit.ly/jXxH61

This project is basically where the photographer has taken a couple of Stormtroopers from the film “Starwars” and has placed them in various different situations that are all comical in their individual ways. 365 pictures for 365 days.

Im sure there are more projects like this out there on the internet but these are the three that I came across.

After looking at the work of the other artists it took me a while to decide what I was going to do so that I wasn’t copying what they had already done so once again I decided to fall back on childhood knowledge, much like I have done with some of my other projects where I have used Pokémon references. This time however I decided to use Lego mini-figures, as I spent alot of my childhood playing with Lego and building things.

So after deciding to use Lego Mini-figures, I went to dig them out of the box in the Cupboard. After sorting them all out I decided to use the Lego City Construction workers because I had more of them than I did of anything else.

Now I had one picture scenario, the others were a bit more tricky. One Idea that I had was hanging them on the washing line, but then I realised that it didnt have much to do with construction. So I decided to photograph them trying to lift a car wheel up and also trying to save the foreman from drowning in soil.

If I was to do this again then I think I would buy a better camera than the little point and shoot that I was using. Also I would put them into more scenarios and do a wider range of images of them rather than just three.

Challenge 2: Story Boards

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For this assignment, we had to choose a short clip or a scene from a film and draw a story board depicting it by drawing 20 story board squares and keep it a secret so that the rest of the class could guess which film it was that I had drawn when they were all finished.

When it came to choosing a film to draw i found it really difficult as I cant draw at all, if I’m completely honest, a five year old could probably draw better than me, however i started looking on the internet for some inspiration but just ended up watching viral videos for a couple of hours so I decided to take a look through my DVD collection to try and find something that would be easy to draw.

 The first one I picked out was Iron Man 2, I started to scan through the film to find a scene that would be easy to draw, found one and then tried to draw the DVD cover and failed horribly, it just ended up in a scribbled mess so I gave it up as a bad job because drawing people is one thing but drawing robots and actually making them look like a robot rather than just a weird looking person with a light coming out of his chest is really just out of my skill set.

This is the point where I moved onto working on something else for a couple of days and took a fresh approach to this assignment.

I then started looking at other films and I decided to go with one of my favorites, The A-Team, the remake with Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper in it. I turned it on and just started sketching the first scene out, did it camera shot by camera shot, everytime the camera switched to a different angle I switched to a new piece of paper and started drawing the next one. It took me a while, but eventually my scribbles actually started to bare some resemblance to the scene that I was drawing.

It took a while and Im still not completely happy with how the drawings actually turned out but still its done to the best of my drawing ability.

If I was to do this project again, i think I would spend more time learning to draw which might take a while but atleast the final product would turn out looking much better rather than looking like somebody gave a small child a box of pencils and told them to go nuts drawing whatever they see coming up on the screen.

Having said that I dont think ive done too bad for somebody that has no artistic skilll with a pen or paintbrush.

Conversation

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In this post I will be talking about Conversation and how the Internet has revolutionised how people communicate with each other.

With the creation of the internet came email, electronic mail, which allowed users to send letters to one and other instantaneously using the internet rather than having to pay for stamps and wait three to four days for regular mail to get it to its destination. After that came Instant messaging and social networking which allows friends to chat to each other with great ease. This is all well and good but then Video Chat was introduced and it re-revolutionised the way people communicate, using a webcam and microphone, people can not only use have conventional voice conversations but they can also see each other while they are talking, this has helped people greatly, holding long distance relationships or soldiers that are away at war being able to contact and see their loved ones even if it is only an electronic image it still raises people’s morale and helps some people through the day. It has also helped revolutionise business, because holding video conference calls can be beneficial in so many ways such as companies not having to waste time and money by sending people on business trips to meetings abroad and such like when it can all be done online. This also means that if people aren’t travelling long distances for meetings it is also contributing to saving the environment. So programs like Skype and Apples Face Time are massively popular.

Also, voice chat on its own had added a new element to video gaming online, being able to talk to people on your team over Xbox Live or using programs on the computer such as Ventrillo for chatting when playing World of Warcraft. Sharing tactics and talking to strangers has become the norm for online gaming and one that im sure will continue.

Research into Adverts

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The goal of this Challenge is to make an advert that is a maximum of 32 seconds long. The product I am going to be advertising is Pasta, yes thats right, of all the interesting products in the world, we are avertising Pasta. I started off by looking at a few different types of adverts, not all of which were for food but they still gave me an idea of different styles of adverts. One of the main ones I noticed that quite alot of adverts have is Celebrity Endorcement. The “X, Y and Z people are using this product so therefore you should too” way of thinking. There was also things like Stop Motion Animation adverts and demonstration style adverts where they show you different uses for a product.

Linking back to the Celebrity endorsement, Mr. T, famously known for his role in The A-Team back in the 1980’s is now endorsing things like World of Warcraft, the massively successful MMORPG and also Snickers Chocolate.

One of the styles I really did like is the style of advertising that Apple use when they are advertising their product which is having a white background with nothing else on it other than the product. This means that the product is the main focus and there is nothing to detract from that.

Taken from the Apple iPod Nano Advert

I think this is that style I am going to go for when creating my video, However there is still a few other styles to look at such as the Waitrose supermarket adverts that have the likes of Delia Smith and Heston Blumenthal giving demonstrations of what can be made with the Waitrose products. This is much the same as Jamie Oliver and Sainsburys supermarket.

Taken from the Waitrose Advert

Magic…

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Today in Christines session we looked at how camera trickery was used to portray magic.

First of all we looked at some different videos that were put up on http://www.200ml.info and looked at what kind of camera techniques had been used to create what can be concieved as magic.

Starting and stopping the filming, playing it backwords, stop motion, putting things out of proportion, that kind of thing.

We then started thinking about making our own video using the same kind of theme. We came up with a video using a paper plane, videoing somebody making a paper plane and throwing it across the room, and somebody picking it up, screwing it up and putting it in the bin. But then if we reverce it, it would look asif somebody is taking a screwed up ball of paper out of the bin, unscrewing it into a plane, then the plane is taking off backwords off the floor, landing on the table then getting smoothed out into a regular A4 sheet of paper ready for someone to write on.

We are planning on filming this as soon as we have access to a working video camera.