Monthly Archives: October 2013

Business Card Templates

If anyone is interested in augmenting their professional ethos (as you think about how to promote your object documentary), I would suggest designing a unique business card.  Here are a bunch of free templates you can use in Illustrator.

Documentary Shorts

I just stumbled upon this incredible online collection of award winning documentary shorts.  As we discussed in class yesterday, the elusive intuition associated with invention might be augmented by experience.  In other words, watching some good short films should make your film better.  As you watch, I urge you to take some simple notes (on a scrap piece of paper or as a blog entry) to which you can refer when you are writing the reflective portion of your project.  Think about how you might imitate these production techniques.  Here is the link.

OCT 15

In class blog:

Look back through the headers I’ve used for this class blog.  Pick one of them and leave a comment that describes how you think it works (or not) and why.  A few of you have already responded!  If so, pick another and give some more thoughts!

Go to this website and practice your kerning.  Practice until you can get 100% on each screen.  Take a screen capture (as a jpg, proving you got 100%) of the last screen and post it as an image on your blog.  Along with this image, spend a few sentences thinking through your experience with intuition.  In our reading for today, Paul Rand defines intuition as “a flash of insight conditioned by experience, culture, and imagination” (15).  Do you agree?   What is the relationship (in your experience) between intuition and research?  Between intuition and laws or principles?  Relay an instance when intuition played a role in your life.  If you have experience with graphic design, frame your ideas of intuition in these terms.

For Next Time:

(no class on Thursday)

Bring in (digitally and/or physically) AT LEAST 3 VISUAL ‘TEXTS’.

1. An Album Cover – Go through your cds (or vinyl) or your itunes.  Sites like this have interesting collections of useful material.

2. A Movie Poster – I’m a huge fan of MONDO (image search ‘mondo posters’).  Also peruse IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

3. A Print Advertisement – Go through your favorite magazines and notice the full page ads.

The rationale you use for picking these texts is up to you, but you might take into consideration the relative difficulty of the production of the design.  Next week, we will embark on an imitation exercise using these images so simplicity and a minimalistic style may be appropriate (depending on your experience).

Watch the rest of Helvetica.  Pick one designer who is discussed (Vignelli, Huber, Brockmann, etc).  Find some more information online and write a blog entry describing your interest (or lack of) in her or him.

We’ll be (hopefully) working with Adobe Illustrator next week.  Take a few minutes and watch some introductory tutorials if you have never had the experience working with vector graphics software.  Here is one of a myriad sources for tutorials.  As you look for images and watch the film and tutorials, be brainstorming, collecting, gathering, and sifting for ideas in two broad categories associated with your final object documentary: the design WITHIN the film (the title screens, etc) and the design of the promotional materials (dvd cover, promo poster, website, etc) ABOUT your film.

Now that you have spent some time with a proposal for your final project, you should transition quickly into gathering media about your object.  For some of your projects, going home for fall break can provide an opportunity to gather documentary materials, so keep that in mind over the break.  As always, think reflectively…don’t stop at just gathering media, think about HOW and WHY you gather what you do.  Make notes as you go.  I’ll get my thoughts about your proposal back to you by next Tuesday.

Have a great break.

OCT 10

Audio Production Day

Finish your audio composition and upload to Sound Cloud by the end of class.  Then link that page to your blog.

Audio Compositions should include the following:

-Length: 2-5 minutes

-Some spoken discourse (with YOUR voice)

-Some music

-Some sound effects

As far as the content of this recording, it is up to you.  I will grade this only for completion, so use this opportunity to stretch your knowledge, play around with some tricks, take some chances.  I would suggest thinking ahead and using this exercise to create a rough draft of your Response #2.  As I explained before, one option is to upload a literacy narrative to the DALN.  So this could be as simple as you telling a story about your own experience with literacy.  You might also use today’s exercise to get some audio together for your final project.

Hint, make sure to fade your 3 (at least) clips of audio together smoothly…here is a tutorial on CREATING A FADE IN AUDACITY.

If you are like most folks and hate the sound of your own voice, CHANGE it.

Reminder, the second review is due at the end of October. If you aren’t interested in the DALN, you could review the Selfe or one of other readings in the Audio or Design folders on Db.

For Next Time:

Read the Design Studies Introduction (on Db).

Spend some time on the Resources page and think about an aesthetic that might appropriate for your final project.  We’ll be talking about BOTH title sequences within your film AND promotional/packaging materials for your film.


Today we begin with Audio.


Write some notes on your conception of literacy.  Think of how you learned to write.  How was writing defined?  When did you feel ‘literate’? What do you make of Cynthia Selfe’s suggestion that “the history of writing in composition instruction, as well as its contemporary legacy, functions to limit our professional understanding of composing as a multimodal rhetorical activity and deprive students of valuable semiotic resources for making meaning.” (1)?  What is your opinion of studying AUDIO in an advanced ENGLISH class?  Can you picture (as it were) a role for audio production in your chosen career?

Literacy Narratives

“A literacy narrative is simply a collection of items that describe how you learned to read, write, and compose. This collection might include a story about learning to read cereal boxes and a story about learning to write plays. Some people will want to record their memories about the bedtime stories their parents read to them, the comics they looked at in the newspaper, or their first library card. Others will want to tell a story about writing a memorable letter, leaning how to write on a computer or taking a photograph; reading the Bible, publishing a ‘zine’, or sending an e-mail message.”  (From the DALN website)

By the end of class Thursday (OCT 10), you need to link a literacy narrative to your blog.  Use SOUNDCLOUD to post your audio file (between 2-5 minutes long).  The file should include your narrative as well as music and at least one sound effect.  You can think about this short assignment as a rough draft for your second response (due OCT 31) that you will upload to the DALN.

Diegetic vs Non-Diegetic Sound

The following quotes may be helpful:

Diegetic—Pertaining to or part of a given diegesis and, more particularly, that diegesis represented by the (primary) narrative.

Diegesis— 1. The (fictional) world in which the situations and events narrated occur. 2. Telling, recounting, as opposed to showing, enacting.

—Gerald Prince, Dictionary of Narratology

And this succinct definition from Claudia Gorbman:

“Diegetic music: music that (apparently) issues from a source within the narrative” (Unheard Melodies, 22).

These quote are sourced from an excellent blog called Hearing the Movies.  Anyone interested in more information about audio and cinema should spend some time here.


Hopefully you have spent some time familiarizing yourself with audacity.  There are plenty of tutorials.  I want you to teach YOURSELF how to do this.  Here is one of many examples that might help.  Spend the rest of the class today composing.  You will need some audio of yourself (reading a narrative or telling a story), some music, and a sound effect to fulfill this assignment.  Remember our discussion of file management.  Create a single folder for this audio project.  Make folders within this folder for ‘archive’, ‘music’, ‘voice’ etc.  Save your audacity files within this folder as well.  Keep a copy on the desktop, but MAKE SURE TO COPY THIS FOLDER IN ITS ENTIRETY TO YOUR HARD DRIVE.

For Next Time

Bring some audio and be ready to get something recorded by the end of class.


Fair Use


Go to Stanford’s excellent fair use website, here.

Read through these cases of Fair Use and pick one that catches your eye.  Write a blog entry briefly describing the case.  Then find some more information about it and provide some links.  Next, re-link your USC/UNC video. Then, using the terms of Fair Use protocol, describe several (at least 3) pieces of media you used for the USC/UNC film.

In other words: are you vulnerable to prosecution under copyright laws?  Why or why not?

(Refer specifically to the reading for today.)

Note on hyperlinks  Make sure to artfully link sources in your blog.  Avoid linking like this: ””.  Instead, use the linking tool (3 links of chain in the toolbar) and create hypertext.  If you need some more instruction, try here.


As we watch through RIP again, pay close attention to the production quality.  Where is the camera? When is the cut? Where is the sound coming from? What kind of graphics are used? When are copyrighted materials used, and how?

As we watch, Tweet (or blog briefly) about some aspect of the production of this text.  What especially works?  What doesn’t? How is the ethos of the filmmaker impacted by the production/editing choices? Use #harmon460 and #fairuse.

For Next Time:

Regardless of your experience with audio production, I would like everyone to spend some time with the links on the resources page under ‘Audio Production’.  Take some time with the examples of literacy narratives on the DALN and think about your own experience(s) with literacy and how you might articulate it.  If you need some more information about the concept of ‘LITERACY’, check out the Daley pdf on Dropbox.  If possible, install AUDACITY and become familiar with its interface.  Watch some tutorials.  Learn how to record some audio of your own.  Most phones have a recording feature, and there are a plethora of apps for recording audio.  Here is one.  Come to class on Tuesday with some plan for recording audio.  Something like this could also come in handy.  You will also need to source some archived audio.  There are many places to find such open source audio material, the most extensive is probably ARCHIVE (dot) ORG.  Spend some time on this site and find some files that interest you.

Read Selfe’s The Movement of Air, The Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing (on Db)

I’d like to suggest that your second RESPONSE be wrapped up with Cynthia Selfe’s ideas and the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives.  In other words, one option (encouraged) for your second response is to upload a literacy narrative to the DALN.

Lastly, check out the new website for Indie Grits…our local film festival…accepting submissions now!