PSA: Creating Again, Part 1

27/04/2011 § Leave a comment

  • April 27 (Wed): Create iMovie file, choose which funny scenes, choose which serious scenes, decide what order your want them to go in. Add them in.

Today forced me to choose the kind of lineup I want my PSA to be. The final funny scenes that I’ve chosen are (in order): New York Times Best Seller, stolen identity, UFO, possessed-by-Satan, dying by food poisoning, and professional athlete. The serious percentage scenes that I’ve chosen are (in order): Women, Men, Asians, Race/ethnicity, and Skin colour. Of course the gay-percentage is going to be the final scene for everyone’s (in my group) PSA. I’ve been able to arrange them but I haven’t edited them yet. Also, I’ve managed to mute everything except one scene that needs sound (part of the UFO scene). All the clips are now in order, waiting for editing and the additional music. Nothing has really been hard, including all the uploading, importing, editing, rearranging of the order, muting, etc.

PSA: Planning Again

26/04/2011 § Leave a comment

As previously stated repeatedly in the ‘Designing Again’ blog, making the PSA won’t be excessively hard since each clip is small and all I really need to do is match scene-to-percentage, make a voiceover and clean up the movie (edit it). However, of course it’s much safer to have a plan.

The software I will be using is iMovie because I’m more familiar with iMovie. I understand how to make the different effects, how to add sounds, how to zoom in on a scene or to avoid zooming in, how to add transitions, text, etc. Basically, I’ve used iMovie a lot already so it wouldn’t be smart if I used a different piece of software.

What I will be using and what one will be seeing in my PSA would be multiple funny scenes accompanied by a clip showing the percentage chance of those scenes actually happening to someone. They would also hear a little upbeat tune (I’ll credit the song now, it’ll be “The Show” by Lenka) in the background that should go along with the fun-level of the PSA. (Lenka’s songs just FIT commercial/PSA types of videos.) The audience will also be able to hear the voiceover (recorded with the voice-recorder on the iMovie program) while they read the percentages and watch the scenes. There may be some transitions but they’ll be simple, like a fade-out somewhere to shift from the happy mood to the sad mood.

How I plan to do my PSA: basically, there’s no introduction and I start off with my favourite scene (I think I’ll use the UFO scene) and I’ll add the music by then. After the UFO scene, I add the rest of the funny scenes and after each scene, I also insert the appropriate percentage scene. After all the funny scenes is time for the serious scenes. We have a lot, so I’ll only choose the ones that will impact the audience more (impacting Asians, different skin-colours, religious people, etc.) and add those to the last part of the PSA. Finally, the music will have been adjusted so that when the gay-scene is playing, the quieter part of the song is also playing. Here, the percentage for ‘chances of discrimination because you’re gay’ on the cardboard will be shown (painted in purple, just for all the gay people out there!) in the PSA, along with the same, but quieter music. It’s supposed to be somewhat serious now. Afterwards will come a fade out and then a black background with the words, “Being gay is okay,” and then another fade out, then another black background with the words, “No hate,” and yet another black background (one can tell that these black backgrounds with words and text is the message of the PSA) with the words, “Don’t discriminate.” This is my entire outline.

And the schedule is as follows:

  • April 27 (Wed): Create iMovie file, choose which funny scenes, choose which serious scenes, decide what order your want them to go in. Add them in.
  • April 28 (Thurs): Edit all funny scenes, crop them, cut the length to just the right amount of seconds; remember not too long but not too short (enough for the voiceover).
  • April 29 (Fri): Edit all serious scenes, crop them as well, cut their lengths to just the right amount of seconds; shorter than the funny scenes because these are just percentages but remember – short enough for the voiceover.
  • April 30 (Sat): Add the last black-background text scenes (Being gay is okay. No hate. Don’t discriminate.) to the PSA. Afterwards, add the music, cut and edit music so that the funny scenes get the louder, happy music and the serious scenes get the quieter and calmer parts of the song.
  • May 1 (Sun): Add transitions. Edit.
  • May 2 (Mon): Show to a friend. Edit.
  • May 3 (Tue): Show to the same friend, ask if mistakes were fixed. Show another friend. Edit.
  • May 4 (Wed): Edit. Check requirements for PSA one last time, edit.
  • May 5 (Thurs): Edit.
  • May 6 (Fri): PSA due!

PSA: Designing Again

26/04/2011 § Leave a comment

By now, the initial part of making the PSA has been complete. My group and I have designed a group PSA but now it’s each of our turns to put our existent or nonexistent technical skills to use and make our own individual public-service-announcements. The audience that I intend to target this PSA towards is a very wide range. Both genders, of course, are targeted, as both males and females can be homosexual and gay. The style, however, of the PSA that our group created is more targeted toward a younger audience, specifically in High School. During some of our very first discussions at the start of this project, Yurika, Kevin, Shunsuke and I debated whether to make a serious PSA or a funny PSA. We knew that, yes, a serious PSA could manage to get a message into the audience’s hearts if it were directed well and if the actors do a splendid job of being dramatic (and if the music was serious enough). However, we also knew that if a PSA was fun, catchy and easy to follow (enjoyable to watch), and if there was a sudden shift from happy to sad, then the impact of the message would be greater. Thus, during those first conversations, we decided to make a fun PSA that switches into a serious tone at the very end and could therefore make a bigger impact and plant a message into the minds of our audience.

The message we’re trying to get across to our audience is that, overall, discrimination is unacceptable, no matter who the victim is. The catch phrase we came up with is “Being gay is okay!” and even “No hate. Don’t discriminate.” could work in the PSA. This PSA is carefully planned to state the chances of ______ (different chances of doing so-and-so) and ending with the chances of all types of discrimination because of who you are, what you look like, and your sexual preference (which is last). After watching the PSA, we hope that the audience will remember that differences are wonderful and that no one should be berated for where they come from and who they are.

In relation to some of our first research at the beginning of this project, I think my group has kept some of the background information and guiding questions at the back of our heads to guide us during the planning. We’ve been so focused on finishing the PSA exactly according to how we planned it to look. However, we did follow most of what we planned during the very first meetings. For example, we wore purple, we created a PSA exactly how we pictured it that first time, we got people to help us, and we were able to include almost every student in the class (except CA Tung).

How I will actually make this PSA sounds like it’ll be rather simple (it sounds like it will be but will probably be harder than it seems). My group purposely filmed many different kinds of scenes (8 to be exact) with their matching percentages plus the serious percentage scenes (7 to be exact) so that we could have varied and different PSAs. We made a lot of scenes; so much that the PSA would go over one minute if we were to add everything. Therefore, each member of our group is forced to use only a selection of funny scenes, a selection of serious-discrimination-percentage-example scenes but must include the gay-discrimination scene. Some of our chosen scenes might be different or similar but basically, the one constant in all four of our PSAs will be the gay-discrimination-percent scene.

I’ve already chosen a soundtrack to go with the PSA and all I need to do now is choose which scenes I want in the PSA, how to transition each scene, what final message I might want to add at the end of the PSA and record the voiceover to narrate the PSA.

There aren’t a lot of choices I can make in order to have different ways to make the PSA; our group planned the ENTIRE process at the beginning and before we actually started filming. We started from what topic the PSA should be; what kind of PSA (happy/sad); what the story/plot of the PSA would be exactly; how we would film it/where we could get our information/what kind of information; what scenes exactly/where to film/when to film/who would act in each; and to when everything would be finished. Throughout that entire process, we simply figured out that each person would need to make their own voiceover, choose their own music, choose which scenes they want to add in their video and that would provide enough diversity between all four PSAs. Essentially, each of us has to:

  • choose which scenes they want
  • make the voiceover
  • choose their background music
  • fiddle with the transitions/volume/details
  • add any last titles/text-scenes
  • clean up the movie (edit it)

PSA: Create, Day 4

24/04/2011 § Leave a comment

On Friday, our group had our last day of filming (all according to plan). We filmed one last sign-scene and three other scenes. Yurika and I brought purple clothing to show our support for gay-lesbian people and Shunsuke and Kevin were also supposed to bring something purple but they either 1) forgot to, or 2) “couldn’t find anything purple” so Shunsuke borrowed Asuka’s purple scarf and was able to stand in the clip while Kevin filmed it. It was filmed just like all of the other sign-scenes, in the atrium and showing the upper half of the people in the scene.

We also filmed three scenes for the PSA. The president scene, the four-leaf clover scene, and the food-poisoning scene. The president scene consisted of me and Kevin wearing black, formal shirts in the auditorium. I played the president and thanked the “crowd” while Kevin stood by in Ray Bans sunglasses and acted as my bodyguard. The filming of that was simple but Yurika bent down a little to capture the scene from below, looking up at us.

The four-leaf clover scene was simple. We had Kevin and Shunsuke sit down outside on the grass of the park (outside the cafeteria). I’d told Kevin to make a gigantic four-leaf clover out of green construction paper before Friday (and he did) for our prop. Basically, he and Shunsuke were “chilling” on the grass and just hanging out and suddenly, Kevin reaches behind him (he feels the presence of something) and takes out a four leaf clover. Shunsuke and Kevin are surprised because it’s lucky enough Kevin found a four-leaf clover but it’s incredible that he found it on his first try. I filmed this scene and made it simple; I just filmed them while standing; I looked down on them.

Lastly, the food-poisoning scene was the most interesting that we filmed. In the cafeteria, we borrowed a bowl and a large bottle of tabasco sauce. Using the paper from the four-leaf clover we had just used as a prop, we cut up a piece of the green paper, drew a skull on it, and taped it onto the tabasco bottle. Filming this scene took two takes because Shunsuke died too fast and I wasn’t able to get the skull on the camera. The second take was much better.

The clips and scenes that we’ve filmed throughout the entire two weeks have all been saved into at least one computer (either mine or Yurika’s) and by Tuesday, at class, we should all probably have all of the files in our own computers. That’ll give us about two weeks to make our PSAs, which should be sufficient enough for each of the members in our group.

PSA: Create, Day 3

19/04/2011 § Leave a comment

My group accomplished a lot of work today and everyone was focused. Last class, we finished making all of the signs we’d need for our PSA so all we were focused on doing today was finishing the filming with all of the signs. Unfortunately, no one wore purple (we hadn’t planned to and it wasn’t part of the schedule anyway) so the group was only able to film the following sign scenes: Women, Men, Race/ethnicity, skin colour, and religion; basically, the rest of the necessary film scenes. The only one we’re missing now is the Gay sign-scene.

Throughout the entire class period, our group kept pulling in people from other groups (of course, only when they were free and available for filming) and bringing them in to film the sign scenes. We filmed all of the sign scenes exactly how we filmed them in the past two classes. The camera only shows the upper bodies of all of the people in the scene, with the sign-holder in the middle of the group. The camera doesn’t do much and neither do the people, because the voice-over that narrates and reads out the percentage takes care of everything.

Speaking of the voice-over; we decided today that for our individual editing, we would voice our own narration for our PSA (because we don’t know which scenes each group-member will use).

After we finished filming all of the hold-up-the-sign-and-stay-still scenes, the group proceeded to film all of the funny scenes. Today, we still accomplished a lot and filmed the NY Times Best Seller scene, the UFO scene, the professional athlete scene, the possessed-by-Satan scene, and the stolen identity scene. Some notable filming details to notice was scene during almost all of the scenes. For example, during the NY Times Best Seller scene, I filmed Yurika as the author but instead of just staying in one place, I tried to go around her just a bit as she showed off “her” book. For the UFO scene, later, our audience will notice that, at first, all they can see is the “UFO” flying in view and then the scene changes. Once the scene changes, the camera doesn’t move at all and two people (Kevin and I) are running after the “UFO” entering the scene from left and exiting from the right. This creates a slightly comical effect. Finally, during the professional athlete scene, we wanted to make Shunsuke (our professional athlete) look ‘pro’ and ‘awesome’ and ‘epic’ so we stood him up on a bench out on the balcony of the atrium and filmed him from below. That is, the camera looked UP at Shunsuke, making him look awesome and professional. Luckily for us, we did two takes and both turned out incredible. The first take caught the sunlight and has a sparkle-effect that only the sun can give but the second take, we were lucky enough to have a lot of wind, and it looks like Shunsuke is so epic, his hair and clothes are moving all on their own.

With all this work done, the schedule is going according to plan (the goal is to finish all filming by the end of this week) and we can start our individual editing this weekend. All that’s left for us to film is: the four-leaf clover scene, the president scene, the food-poisoning scene, and the hold-up-the-gay-sign scene.

PSA: Create, Day 2

12/04/2011 § Leave a comment

Today, our group accomplished a lot. We finished all of the sign props that we’ll need for the entire project. These signs were made with cardboard that we found last class and during the first part of today’s class, Yurika, Shunsuke, Kevin and I resumed painting, cutting cardboard and making the percentage fact signs for the ‘hold-up-the-sign-and-don’t-move’ scenes. We took the first ten minutes retrieving the cardboard from Yurika’s and Shunsuke’s lockers, the paint, brushes and scissors from the art room, and a cup of water (to keep the paint watery) from the cafeteria. We continued painting the signs (in black paint) in the atrium and before we knew it, all the signs were done. Yurika and I decided that because the voice-over would essentially be saying everything, there was no need to paint signs for categories so we completely abandoned that idea and task, making our lives a whole lot easier.

[Actually, before we all started painting, we helped Ayushi’s group – Ayushi, Asuka, Scott, and Aditya – with some of their last few scenes and in return, they would help us whenever we required any extra bodies/people. Basically, we spent a few minutes in the beginning of class also forming an alliance with their group.]

Afterwards, our group started filming all of the sign scenes in our finalised location: right in the atrium. I chose the location because I figured the many flags that represented multiple nationalities and accepted cultures at CA would help emphasise our point that discrimination is not acceptable (especially at CA) and differences are good. We were able to film most of the sign scenes until we started running out of time. We then grabbed Ayushi’s group and filmed one of our serious sign scenes in the atrium. Admittedly, it was a little hard because staring at the camera without laughing for more than 5 seconds proved to be harder than it sounded. After maybe four or five tries, we got enough footage for a PSA. Each sign scene was filmed close to the people holding the signs. Treated like an advertisement or commercial, the camera films the people’s upper torsos and nothing below so that only the faces and the signs can be seen. I think in our next meeting, we could finish all of the sign scenes by grabbing and borrowing classmates here and there whenever we needed them (each scene only takes a few minutes, if the people in the scene could stare at the camera without laughing for ten seconds).

PSA: Create, Day 1

08/04/2011 § Leave a comment

Today was the first day that our group spent some time working on the PSA. Today, we’d planned not to do any filming because we needed certain props to be able to do smooth filming. My group and I therefore decided to make the cardboard signs that we need to paint on. Since the class today was only sixty minutes and we still had to figure out where to get all of our supplies (even if we had a small idea) so the first ten to fifteen minutes was spent searching for proper cardboard or construction paper. Yurika and I searched for cardboard at the accounting office where we found loads of cardboard boxes to use while we sent Kevin and Shunsuke to check for construction paper (if we couldn’t find any cardboard to use). Afterwards, Yurika and I brought all the cardboard up to the chairs at the atrium so that we could start the painting. Meanwhile, we had Kevin and Shunsuke go to the art room (Mrs. Smailes’ classroom) to pick up some paint, scissors, and paintbrushes. The colours we needed were black paint and purple paint. They came back with black, red, and blue paint. (We were supposed to mix the red and blue together to make purple).

Together we all cut up the cardboard by their folds (Yurika cut up the big pieces of cardboard into smaller parts) to make the pieces that we could hold up. Afterwards, we started painting the percentages first because Yurika brought up the idea that we might not even need the categories (race, men, women, fireworks, etc. – all mentioned in my previous blog) for the PSA since the voiceover would say the category before the percentage anyway.

Altogether, with the 5-10 minute talk at the beginning of class, the 10-15 minute search for supplies and then further working, cutting, paint-mixing and painting, we were able to paint 8 of the 16 percentages so we’ve finished 50% of our percentage sign-painting. Next week, I plan to either finish the cardboard on my own (all of the other members are busy with getting ready for APAC) either at lunch or after school on Tuesday if I have to. Actually, I will most likely have to finish the paintings during lunch on Monday so that my group can start filming during class on Tuesday. We’ll be required to film as fast as possible so that we don’t fall behind, what with APAC softball and soccer in the way.

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