Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Filming a movie is much harder than it looks!

As the title says, filming a movie is much harder than it looks. They are so many preliminary steps that need to be completed before the actual filming starts. Screenplays, scripts, and storyboards take a lot more time than the filming. Then after the filming, editing the raw footage into a smooth movie takes forever.

My class just had a video project where we had to follow the directions of the professionals. These things stated above were most of the things we covered. Each student filmed and acted in a movie. Initially, I thought we would breeze through this project but I was completely wrong. It took us weeks to have smooth movie that could be watched.

The main editing tool we used was Apple's Final Cut. This program makes film editing easy. Music, effects, and many other things can easily be added without any hassle. Raw footage is uploaded to a hard drive from the camera. From there, the footage is split up into sections. After cutting up the whole film, it can be pieced together into a smooth movie. Transitions between scenes can be used to aid in the smoothness.

Filming this way is time consuming but very worthwhile. Every day people watch film either through the TV or the cinemas. After this project, I have a better appreciation for the people who film these programs that I watch.

Photo source, from the Flickr photo stream of ventriloblog: http://flickr.com/photos/ventriloblog/145650598/

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Over the past few weeks, I learn how to make games through a program called Scratch. Scratch utilizes a simple interface to make learning extremely easy. Many of the commands are self-explanatory like, move five steps, turn 90 degrees, etc. One of the great features of scratch is that you can add, edit, or make pictures/sprites/animations for any purpose. This allows anyone to use pictures as backgrounds or main characters in their game.

Though scratch is easy to use, it is hard to master many techniques. During the course of this project, I attempted to make three games. The first two, a mario knockoff and pac-man, failed miserably. There were just too many scripts required to make those games and in no way would I be able to finish in the time frame. In my final game, Crazy Maze Challenge, there were a few things I had trouble in. One of the problems was that I couldn't get the sound working properly for awhile. Sounds were playing over each other and causing massive ear bleeding. And even when I fixed it, some of my classmates ask me to make a mute button! Then for awhile I couldn't get the background to change correctly. All these problems were fixed by making your own variables(which sounds difficult but is relatively simple).

Crazy Maze Challenge is the most challenging and frustrating game you will ever play. Quoted from a comment, "This is very hard. It's not fair how the thing can go through walls!" Have fun and don't break your computer screen!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Video Games: A Virtual Reality

David Perry at TED talk discusses the idea how video games are evolving. In the beginning, games like Pong were simplistic dots moving across a television screen. The games were linear, all one had to do was move a control stick back and forth until another person makes a mistake. But as video game technology progressed the games became less linear and more complex. Now if you pick a popular video game, the graphics are all realistic, the game play simulates real life, the sound and music makes you fill like you are really in the game, and the story are becoming more believable. When you play one of these games, you actually feel like your in the main characters shoes.

The David shows a short video that one of his students' made for the talk. The video displays how video games change the students' life. He states he has become addicted to video games and believes that video games can offer an emotional experiences similar in life. He has a difficulty realizing what is real and what is virtual. He states in the future, video games will be able to simulate life and allow players to go through emotional experiences in life.

As a video game player, I do not believe what the student says about video games. Life lessons or emotional experiences can not be learn through video games. One has to experience those things in life. Video games allow people to open their imaginations and do out their fantasies/dreams. Examples of this can be found in a variety of games. Take Guitar Hero; its a very popular game that allows people to be rock stars using a guitar controller. There is a chance that same person might become interested in learning how to play the guitar and become a successful guitarist. That game could have opened his imagination into the possibility of playing a guitar in real life. The idea of video games simulating real life will never become a reality. Life is just something that cannot be reproduced on a TV or computer screen.

Photo source, from the Flickr photo stream of jeffmcneill: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffmcneill/2621861504/

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Is education killing creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson, a world renowned education innovator, questions the old education systems around world. He believes education today is the exact same during the industrial revolution. Back then creativity was not even considered a subject in school; The two main subjects were Mathematics and Science.
After viewing his interview on this subject, I do not totally agree to what he says. Not everyone is "creative" in the arts(music, drama, art) but are creative in math and science. To accompany everyone, schools should give more choices to their students. Give students around the chance to develop their natural abilities but do not force it on them.

From the Flickr photo stream of
cuellar: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cuellar/370663920/

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Think by Charles Leadbeater

The video "We think" shows the benefits of the internet. Back in the 20th century, the purpose of people was to consume products like cars and boats. It was the time of mass production. But now in the 21st century, mass production turns into mass innovation. Now anyone in the world can share their ideas and let anyone make those ideas into a reality. Examples of these ideas, are Wikipedia and Linux as stated in the video. Anyone can edit, use, and even share these programs without paying!

Businesses use a pyramid scheme to receive money just for money's sake. These new ideas are designed not to make money but for everyone in the world to use. Anyone can take them and just change a tiny piece of the program. But over time if many people leave their piece it becomes a greatly improved idea. Hopefully people around the world see this mass innovation and use it to everyone's benefit.

Photo source, from the Flickr photo stream of tmartin: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tmartin/32010732/

Monday, September 15, 2008

Shift Happens: The Rapid Developement of Technology

In the video Shift Happens, various technological statistics are presented to show how fast technology is progressing. From these statistics, predictions were made of the future of technology. A few years from now, a supercomputer will surpass the human brain in computing capacity. And about forty years later, a common household computer will surpass the computing capacity of the entire human race. These facts are not only frightening but also astonishing.

If you could go back in time to when the first computers were built and told scientists about these predictions, they would probably call you insane. Hopefully, all this new computing power will be able to benefit humanity.

Photo source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Eniac.jpg

Friday, September 12, 2008

Writing Technology and Teens

After reading this article, I am astonished to learn that there are some students who write in computer talk. Why would anyone use "LOL", "ROFL", "LMAO" or many others in a paper is just beyond me. If children do not learn how to properly write and if there only source of writing is electronic writing, how are they supposed to function in a job later in life? If someone writes in their college application or job application, "i r good prsn" or something like that, then are they going to get into that job/college? Children need to learn to write correctly to become successful person.

Photo source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Lolcat2.jpg