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Alex Morano

Page history last edited by amorano11@austincollege.edu 8 years, 11 months ago

About Myself

One of the reasons I became interested in this class is because I needed one more media class in order to fulfill a requirement for my media studies minor. I am also interested in this class because it is different from other media classes I have taken here at Austin College. I feel like a majority of my media classes have focused on different aspects of media; however, this class allows me to put my knowledge of media to the test in creating my own works of media stories. 


The main technology I used as a child was the television. It wasn't until I was in high school when I focused a lot of my time on electronics such as the computer. As a child I was always interested in drama, mystery, and suspense type stories and most of the shows, movies, books, and even games I encountered focused on these stories. 


I feel like I am both an analog and digital person. I spend an equal amount of time watching shows on television and online as well as social media but I also spend a great deal of time reading books that aren't on an electronic device because I like to physically turn the pages in a book. 


Essential Narratives List

1. Greys Anatomy (2005-Present) 

This is probably one of my favorite television series. I started binge watching this series last semester and couldn't find myself able to turn the show off. They are up to 11 seasons now, and the show is still on air. It's amazing how the creators of the show are able to produce over 200 different story lines for the show in order to keep the audience interested. I mean honestly how many different medical emergencies can there be for the doctors to figure out? I like how for the most part the main characters have continued with the show for this long; however, their personal story lines have slowly declined over the years. I feel like we were bombarded with their personal lives for the first few seasons of the show and then all the sudden it stopped. 

Wikipedia Page

IMDb Page

Facebook Page

2. Dexter (2006-2013)

Like Grey's Anatomy, I didn't start watching this show until it was already on Netflix, but I didn't catch up to it in time in order to catch some episodes live on television. This is probably one of my favorite suspense/horror shows. I like how people can fall in love with the main character, Dexter, who is a killer, even though we have been taught our entire lives that killing is wrong. Throughout the show you find yourself having sympathy for Dexter and screaming at the TV for him to kill someone you don't like. The show almost makes you feel like you are Dexter wanting to kill a character but you have to take a step back and realize what you are saying is crazy and your not a serial killer! 

Wikipedia Page

IMDb Page

Facebook Page 

3. Gossip Girl (2007-2012)

This was one of my favorite shows that I watched in high school and continued to watch when I came to college. This show is about rich kids who live in the Upper East side of Manhattan and are constantly having their lives published on a gossip website by an anonymous person. While the basis of the show revolves around who is this mysterious person writing about these teenagers' lives; it also has a wide variety of different stories within the show whether its murder, drugs, marriage, divorce, etc. I enjoyed this show because it was a fantasy type show that every teenage girl wishes they could live in, but you could also find yourself relating to all the different characters, especially Serena and Blair who were two best friends who had their ups and downs as does every friendship. This show did a great job of keeping the audience engaged and on their feet with every storyline in each episode.

Wikipedia Page

IMDb Page

Facebook Page

4. Divergent (2014)

This is by far my favorite movie! I can't find myself getting bored with this movie each time I watch it, and let me tell you I watch it probably once a week! This show revolves around a girl named Tris who has to choose a faction, which is a class system used to maintain order within society, that she fits in. As the storyline goes, she chooses a faction called Dauntless which are the protectors; however, she is known as Divergent meaning her mind can't conform and works in a million different ways. She is the type of character who anyone could relate to because she has many different sides to her. I really like this movie not only because of her acting, but also for the flow of the story line, I have not read the books but I believe this movie does a great job of explaining every detail of what is happening within the film which is hard to capture those details in most movies that are based on books. 

Wikipedia Page

IMDb Page

Aptitude Test

5. Allison Brennan's Lucy Kincaid Series "Dead Heat"

This book is the tenth book in the Lucy Kincaid series. Allison Brennan is known for writing mindless murder mystery novels that are easy to follow along, which is why I love this series so much because you can set the book down and easily be able to pick up right where you left off. These series of books follow Lucy Kincaid who is a young woman that was kidnapped and sexually assaulted after she graduated high school. The story does not begin with her assault, but starts after she has graduated from college and gives brief descriptions about her assault. The story follows Lucy as she pursues a career in the FBI by attending Quantico and then continues on to her career as an FBI agent. I really like this series because each book will be based around a different character in Lucy's life (brother, boyfriend, etc.); however, Lucy is still in each book. I particularly like this book, "Dead Heat," because Lucy is finally out of Quantico and has been assigned to work at the San Antonio Violent Crime's unit and gets to start taking on her own cases. In the previous books Lucy has had to work under someone and never assigned her own cases; however, in this book Lucy gets to make her own decisions without getting in trouble for going behind her teacher's backs. 

Wikipedia Page

Allison Brennan 

Dead Heat


Workshop 1: "Thunder Road" 5 photo story 

After listening to Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road" song and looking at the lyrics there are multiple images that could be used to create a five picture story. The image I get after listening to the song and reading the lyrics is a woman leaving a man because she can't take the same every day routine that she has been living in and the guy is fighting for her to come back, promising that things will be different this time.

1. the first picture would be an image of a front porch with a screen door and bags packed on the front porch. This picture gives the viewer the impression that someone is leaving. This image goes great with the lyrics because the song has a country aspect to it and sounds like a girl is leaving a guy.

2. The second picture would be of a guy sitting in his house either at a kitchen table with dirty dishes everywhere, or in the living room on a couch with beer cans everywhere. This picture would give the viewer the impression that the guy is a slob (or had a different issue) and the girl wasn't happy with him.

3. The third picture would be of a girl sitting in a coffee shop or on a bus looking like she is pondering her thoughts of what she wants next in her life.

4. The fourth picture would be of a guy sitting down with her at the coffee shop or at the bus stop with flowers showing that he wants the girl back.

5. The final picture would be of the two of them in a car driving on a dirt road with dust in the wind, indicating that they have gotten back together and things will be different this time. 


Gif Stanky Leg (Bridesmaid) 


This image shows Meghan (Melissa McCarthy) in the film Bridesmaids showing Annie (Kristen Wiig) that she still has great hip movement. In this scene Meghan explains to Annie how she was on a cruise ship and pin balled down and hit a bunch of railings and broke a lot of sh*t. My intention for this short clip was to have Meghan continuously move her leg in a circular motion. I named it the "stanky leg" because it looks like that is what she is doing. If anyone has seen this film then they know that this character is extremely hilarious in her acting. You can almost make out Annie’s reaction to Meghan as she is looking at her. As with Annie’s reaction, I think that the viewer will also demonstrate the same reaction "oh what are you doing?" My other intention was to capture a moment of comedy from the film and put it into one small clip. I feel like even if a viewer hasn’t seen the film they are still able to capture the comedic aspect of what is being portrayed. 


5 Photo Story


My idea for this five photo story was to capture the effects of what happens when you don't use the proper sunscreen or no sunscreen at all. I captured this story by showing tanning oil (not lotion) in the first picture, the hot burning sun in the second picture, the clock represents the time that someone decides to lay out in the sun, then I found a meme that says "7 hours later" which is a reference from Spongebob, and then the last picture shows a sunburnt Will Ferrell. 


Digital Networked Narrative Critical Review

A digital networked narrative that I have recently become interested in are web series. Web series are scripted videos that are usually episodic and released on the internet. A web series I have become interested in is Web Therapy starring Lisa Kudrow. This series is part scripted and part improvised and is about Fiona Wallice (Lisa Kudrow) who is a therapist and does her therapy sessions via a webcam. This series originally aired on LStudio in 2008 and then was picked up by Showtime in 2011. Web Therapy is presented on what looks like a computer screen where the viewer is able to see iChat of both Fiona and the client. Fiona believes that the traditional 50 minutes of therapy a person receives provides them with too much time to think especially about irrelevant things. Fiona believes that by shortening her time with patients this will make the therapy sessions go quicker. Web Therapy is a comedy with much of the humor coming from Fiona herself as we see in each episode where her self-interest and boredom overshadows the clients and their issues. Each episode has a guest star that features a number of famous actors such as Conan O’Brien, Courtney Cox, Selma Blair, etc. 


Web Therapy attracts an older audience that is familiar with Lisa Kudrow from Friends as well as the guest stars that are featured on her show. I believe this is an example of a successful digital network not only because it was once a web series and is now a television show, but I also agree with Robert Bianco who wrote an article in "USA Today" that the show was able to get the point across that in order to be an expert in something, a therapist like Fiona, all you need is a computer and the internet and you are able to do research without skill, talent, or experience. I believe what USA Today said relates to the Web Therapy  audience because as technology is advancing we are starting to rely more on it. I think this show is a great example of how we are switching from face-to-face and moving more towards technology in order to communicate with each other. I think USA Today also helps to get the point across that we as humans are obsessed with getting things fixed quickly or to the point, as we can see with the short Web Therapy episodes and how Fiona usually solves the person’s problem in 30 seconds but makes the rest of the time about her. Through this show it makes the audience wonder how the changes in technology, such as iChat, affect things such as therapy sessions.

Although most of the humor is dependent on Fiona and how she reacts to the patient's issues, the audience is able to see how therapy on the web can also become a distraction. In an episode of Web Therapy, Conan O’Brien was the guest star on the show. When the therapy session begins Conan O’Brien tells Fiona who he is; however, she acts as though she is unfamiliar with him or his talk show. In this episode as Conan begins talking about his feelings you can hear the clicking of the mouse on Fiona's end of the computer. Conan then asks Fiona what she is doing and she responds by saying, "Oh can you pause for one second. I'm googling you, I think it would be nice to know who I am dealing with." As an audience we can see how this is unprofessional of a therapist to do, but we laugh because she has to google who Conan O'Brien is. This is one example of how the audience can see that web therapy is a distraction; the therapist is acting unprofessional by searching on the web instead of paying attention to her client. However, this is what is comedic about the show and attracts an amused audience. 

Digital Networked Narrative Critical Review (2)

A digital networked narrative that I became interested about a year and a half ago is a novel series called the "Lucy Kincaid Series" by Allison Brennan. There are currently 10 novels in this series out today and 2 more are due to come out before November. In this series it follows the story of a woman named Lucy Kincaid who was kidnapped after her high school graduation where she was held captive, tortured, and raped. The novels flash forward six years after her attack and begin their story in the first novel, "Love Me to Death," where Lucy is working at a victim's rights group where her job is to go undercover on the web and lure sex offenders in order for the police to arrest them. Lucy discovers that her rapist has been murdered and is upset because those closest to her knew he was let out of jail and didn't tell her. Throughout the rest of the series Lucy wants to become an FBI agent and sends in an application to apply at Quantico for FBI training. She ends up getting into the program only to find that there were people along the way who helped with her application process. A love relationship begins to develop between Lucy and Sean, her brother's partner at his cyber crime company. Throughout the novel series you see Lucy's faith in loving someone restored as her romantic story with Sean progresses throughout the series. Throughout the novel series, Allison Brennan not only tells the story of Lucy Kincaid, but also those who are closes to her. Brennan does this by giving characters a certain amount of chapters in each novel to give background as to who they are, their relationship to Lucy, and a story about them. In each novel Lucy finds herself unable to stay out of trouble and finding herself with trying to solve crimes, with a little help from her family and friends. 

I believe that the "Lucy Kincaid Series" attracts a young adult to adult woman audience who are interested in romantic, mystery, and drama series novels. My mom was actually the person who introduced me to this series and at first I was a little worried because I didn't think it would be a book I could relate to at my age. I'm more into those teen drama books. However, this series turned out to be one of my favorite and I read the entire series in one summer. What's great about this series is that you can honestly pick up any novel, you don't have to start from the first one, in order to understand what is happening in that particular novel. This is what I did, I picked up novel 6 without having read the previous ones and with a little background help from the internet I could follow along. I actually found myself back tracking and reading the previous ones once I finished the series. I feel like an audience will also love this series because it keeps you on your toes with each story. It follows the life of Lucy Kincaid through where she is at whether it is a program training at Quantico, the FBI headquarters, or whatever state she might be in. It also follows the love story between Lucy Kincaid and Sean. The series not only tells the story about Lucy but also those who are involved in Lucy's life. I feel like this series is able to cover so many different stories in order to attract a wide audience that you can't possibly get bored! 

Remix Video: High School Horror


Here is a video that I have created that takes clips from High School Musical and suspense music and makes it seem like a trailer for a horror film. I originally uploaded a video; however, the quality was awful. This is the new updated version and it looks 10x better. I have also taken Brett's advice and changed up the words that appear before something is about to happen, I have now made the words appear simultaneously as the action is happening. I have also added in some eerie music that helps make the trailer look for horror like.

I have always enjoyed watching videos on youtube where people have taken a comedy film and taken clips and audio to make it seem like a horror film. I decided to give it a shot!For this trailer I picked out a bunch of clips of Gabriella and Troy and focusing on the clips that made Troy look like he was stalking Gabriella. I then added in the two different soundtracks, one is a calm suspense background music while the other is more eerie and jumpy music which gives the video the horror aspect and to make Troy seem mysterious. I decided to leave some of the commentary from Troy because it helped with the creepy and obsessive demeanor. Lastly, I added in the text to highlight what makes Troy seem like a stalker. I had a lot of fun making this video! 


Ideas for Portfolio Project 2/20

As I was working on twiner I started building a story line revolving around the show CSI. I thought it would be interesting to try and create a game incorporating criminal justice. My idea was to have a main character who could specialize in forensics where they investigate homicide. The story would start out with your character riding in a car on the way to the crime scene. While you are in the car you are given the details of the crime scene such as the victim, how the victim was murdered, and anything interesting to point to who the killer might be. Once your character gets to the crime scene is when you get to take over as the character. The character is able to examine the body of the victim, examine the room in which the victim was found in order to collect evidence, take pictures of the crime scene for future reference and ask questions to any witnesses or possible suspects. Once the evidence has been collected the character can then go to the lab in order to run tests on what evidence has been collected. Throughout the game their will be clues given along the way and a list of 3-4 suspects which one of them is the killer. The character will get to ask the suspects questions relating to the crime in order to determine who the killer is. 


Crime Scene Investigation: Miami (Interactive Fiction)

CSI- Miami Interactive Fiction.html

Here is my interactive game CSI Miami. My goal was to use twine to create an interactive fiction that people could get interested in be immersing themselves in the world of solving a murder. I based this game off of an episode from CSI Miami called "And How Does That Make You Kill" so if you are familiar with this particular episode then playing this game might be pretty easy. I decided to make the game flow together by giving an introduction to who you are as a character and then giving a story/background of the murder. I decided to list out what the player finds at the crime scene instead of having them find the evidence themselves because when the player is unable to actually see the crime scene that can be difficult. Once the player chooses to go to the crime lab they have the option to choose which piece of evidence they want to learn more about and find out what was determined from the tests that were run. The player can choose how much or little of the evidence they look at which will help them in solving the murder. The player is then able to question suspects based on a list given to them. If the player has not looked at all the evidence, then when it comes time to question the suspect it might be difficult to follow based on what is said by the suspect because the player might not have looked at the piece of evidence that is connected to the suspect. After the player questions all the suspects they are then able to follow through to the end to find out who the killer is. Good luck with the game! 

Things to look for as you play:

1. Is the story interesting, clear, easy to follow?

2. If the story is unclear - where does the story become unclear and do you have any suggestions of how I can fix it?

3. Do you find that you are able to make choices, as the character Officer Williams?

4. Choices - are there too many choices, and if so where and how do you think I could limit the choices? 

                    are there enough choices to where you feel like you are playing a game? If not where do you think choices need to be added and what kind of choices?

Let me know what you think, and also if there are any suggestions, comments, questions to help me improve this interactive fiction let me know! 


DNN Final Project Proposal 


The idea I had for my final project assignment is to create a story based off of the show Without a Trace using WordPress. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this show, each episode starts off following a character a few hours up to the time that they disappear. The detectives then track down the last events the victim did before they disappeared. My goal is to create a blog story that will be title “Vanished” about a young girl who writes blog entries about her day and what she has been up to, almost like an online diary. Im not quite sure how many blog postings I plan on having but I want to make them consistent; a blog post every day, and then have them slowly space out between days and then the blog posts will slowly start to stop, which will make her followers wonder where she is. In each blog post their will be a clue to help track down where she is, so for example maybe one entry will say “Today I decided to stop for a bite to eat with my friend Peter at the local diner across from school before going to volleyball practice.” Already in that sentence we have numerous clues; however, I will select one key clue that is important and bring the reader to another source as another way to tell a story. For example, say I think the diner is an important fact, then I’ll select it and connect it to a location using google maps. In a way this story will be an interactive fiction because the reader is the one who gets to click on different things in order to find out where the girl vanished to. 

I intend for this story to be for a younger audience because the character will probably be a girl in college which will attract that type of audience. I plan on using a blog, online sources, and video to tell the story of “Vanished.” I don’t have any specific texts that I want to use other than video, but possible using a story that Without a Trace has already used and turn it into a story through a social network such as a blog. 

Design Prospectus:

Designed Category: Search Story

Description: This is a type of digital narrative that is told through the use of Google. Through the searches that are being made, the audience can pick up on the type of story that is being told. This project would need to be centered around an idea, for example: robbing a bank. What are the things that would happen after you robbed a bank? After our class discussion of the google search stories I thought it would be interesting to make it into a portfolio project idea. For those of you who weren't in class that day or don't remember what this was here is a link to the example we looked at in class Parisian Love

In this assignment you should create a story using Google search. The searches should follow a story and have a problem and resolution within it as well. The project should be at least 1 minute and 30 seconds. 

Along with your Google Search Story you should create an authors statement that addresses your goals for this story. This statement should be about 100 words in order to give a clear explanation to the viewer about your project. 

Evaluation Criteria: You will be evaluated according to the following:

- Does the overall project create a story using images and audio

- Does the product indicate a considerable degree of care and attention to detail

- Is your author's statement clear and concise as well as elaborate on the piece 



Here is my google search story. I created a search story based upon someone who is interested in SNL and wants to audition for the show. The person searches Kristen Wiig because she is probably the funniest person ever and wants to aspire to be like her. The person searches for auditioning for SNL and realizes that they need to know how to be funny and searches for an acting school nearby. The person searches for the SNL location hinting that they are either going to visit or try and audition. You then see the person trying to find directions from their hotel to the studio location. Then you see the person trying to overcome stage fright. I let the viewer interpret this how they want. Either the person got the job or they are auditioning for a part in SNL. Whatever the case may be, the last scene is of the person finding an apartment near 30 Rockefeller which gives the viewer the impressing that they have nailed the part! I added in Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York" because I felt it was appropriate for where the person was going and because it is a "welcoming" song into their new job at SNL. 

Fail Badge

Something I failed at this semester was fully understanding the point of the Interactive Fiction project assignment. I want to say for about the first two months I was under the impression that we were actually creating a video game with scenes, dialogue, characters, etc. I thought the entire time we were using Twine as a story board and then using our ideas to create the game. This is why my interactive took me a very long time to finish. The first time I created my interactive fiction using Twine I literally wrote out every detail that would be needed when I created the game - what the character would look like, who the character was talking to, specific dialogue, what the player would need to know for that scene, what things the character could or could not do etc. When I finally realized that I wasn't creating the actual game, I was supposed to create a story that the player could follow along with and make choices I then felt like an idiot. This entire time I was waisting my time and putting the project off because I thought I was going to have to eventually create it into a game. Now I know that is not the case and that the Twine is the actual interactive fiction game. From this fail I learned the importance of fully reading the instructions for a specific project as well as asking for guidance when I am unclear on what I should be doing. Since this is a form of media that I am not particularly familiar with I should try and pay closer attention to what it is that I need to do and to make sure I understand the project. I learned that it is better to ask earlier rather than later that way you aren't procrastinating even longer when you could have understood the assignment and had it complete early on. I also learned the importance of knowing how to do the assignment right from the start that way you don't have to go back and re-do the entire project which is what I ended up having to do. 

DNN Final Project 5/11/15

I decided to change my project idea from my original plan. What I originally was going to do was make a blog post based on a mystery about a girl in college who vanishes. However, I decided to change this idea a little bit. For my project idea I want to keep the story line of a girl who has created a blog site and writes blog posts about her experience as an incoming college student who “vanishes.” But, the twist with this new project idea is that it’s not a murder mystery story; instead, the twist is that she has “vanished” from college to pursue her career at a culinary institution. The story line will start out with the girl writing blog posts about her semester, but after a few posts the reader will be able to tell that the girl is unhappy by her not focusing on talking about school. The girl then decides to use her blog post as a place where she talks about cooking, recipes she has tried, and some of her favorite restaurants she likes. Throughout the posts about cooking, the reader will be able to see her passion for cooking develop. In the posts the girl will be giving hints about where she has vanished to, which will be a culinary school (location TBA you’ll have to read to find out)! 

Im hoping the audience who views this blog post will just have fun with it! It’s not supposed to be anything serious, but instead offers a story about a girl who discovers her passion of cooking while away at school. I think the audience will be able to relate to this because we have all been in situations where we might feel like we don’t know exactly what we want to do with our lives. I think this blog post will show the audience that it is possible to follow your passions. I used a variety of digital networked media within this blog post project. Not only did I use a blog, but within the blog I provided pictures, a video, longitude and latitude connected to google maps, and maps in general. I feel like these different networked medias provides the audience a variety of different things to look at. Not only does the text create a story but the different forms of media do as well. 

This blog is similar and different to three other existing digital networked media: “Project 1968,” John Snow’s map of the cholera outbreak, and 5-photo story. 

  • Project 1968


- This blog was created by Laura Axelrod. In this project it is a blog documentary/novel which follows two young women, Janine Stephenson and Amy, who are on their way to the Democratic Convention in Chicago. This blog was to show what happened day to day during this time for these two young women. This has had an impact on digital networked culture because it is a different form in which a story is being told. Instead of this story being told as in a novel, it is being written as if it wore journal entries; however, it is ironic that it is on a blog now! 

- My project is based off of this idea and is similar because it uses blog postings in order to tell a story. My project is different from this because I provide different forms of media to help tell the story, where as Project 1968 is solely told through text. I think my project adds something new because it uses different forms of media to tell a story. For example I give the coordinates of a location and in order for the viewer to know where the girl is, they need to plug in the location in google maps.  

  • John Snow’s map of cholera 


  • This website especially under “Mapping the Results” and “Focus on Broad St.” shows a map of Snow’s findings with red dots on the locations of homes where the number of deaths occurred due to cholera. 
  • Although my project had nothing to do with marking the number of deaths. I used something similar to the idea of using maps in order to tell a story. In my project I provided images of maps that pinpointed a location of where Isabelle in order to continue the story. 
  • A difference between John Snow’s maps and the maps that I used for my project is that I didn’t only post an image of my map to letter the viewer interpret their own story. I typed out what I wanted the reader to know and then had the maps as references to where in location Isabelle was.  
  • 5-Photo Story


  • Stories can be told using simply 5 photos. Within 5 photos a story can be formed through a problem and resolution. 
  • My project is similar to a 5 photo story because if you were to take away the text in the story and rearrange the images (add and delete some as well) then you could probably tell what Isabelle’s passion is. Maybe you wouldn’t be able to tell she was at college, unhappy, went on vacation, and then moved. But you could tell that she has a passion for cooking and wanted to pursue that career.
  • My project is different from a 5 photo story because obviously I did not tell a story using only images.  

Two concepts or ideas about contemporary digital networked culture I drew from and used in my project were spatial affordance and encyclopedic affordance found in Murray’s articles. Spatial provides the reader with what they are able to navigate within the blog. Encyclopedic provides the reader with what kinds of information is provided to them. I used spatial affordance by using longitude and latitude coordinates for the reader to be able to plug those coordinates into google maps and find where Isabelle is. With encyclopedic, the reader was provided with many forms of media such as images, videos, and maps. This information was provided to them based on what information they needed to know. 

Keep it Saucy Blog 

I didn't know how to put them in opposite order so you will have to scroll all the way to the old posts!! 


Comments (Show all 42)

Brett said

at 10:27 am on Feb 25, 2015

Re: Twine Story - the link doesn't work on my machine; usually you have to create an html file that you would upload to the wiki and link to from there. Here's one from a previous class http://acgm14.pbworks.com/w/page/73261295/Rick's%20Labrynth (the first link on the page).

Brett said

at 8:54 am on Mar 20, 2015

Re: Bridesmaids GIF - It still needs an Author's Statement. :)

Brett said

at 6:39 pm on Mar 31, 2015

OK, better. One thing, though: the part that includes Annie's reaction is *very* short. So short that we can't actually see the reaction, but long enough to be just a little distracting to the "stanky leg" (memorable name :) - part that is the main focus. Try another cut of this, either with more of the reaction included, so the viewer can get it, or with the reaction cut out completely so Melissa McCarthy just "stanky leg's" forever. Keep working on this.

Brett said

at 9:06 am on Apr 15, 2015

The rewrite of the Statement does address the editing more directly, so I'll count this. But going forward, be sure you pay attention to little details: they have a tendency to stand out and even overshadow the work's primary objective.

Brett said

at 8:23 am on Apr 8, 2015

Re: Required elements - this is very close. One more essential text with its links should do it.

Brett said

at 11:21 am on Apr 8, 2015

OK, I see the fifth text now. But: it's not a text! :) I see what you're saying about Brennan's books, but for this assignment I'd like you to focus on specific texts (that way you can look to them as examples as you're producing your own material. So for example, you link to one book, Love Me to Death: is that a book you particularly enjoyed, one of Brennan's that you would recommend to a friend if you were trying to get her interested in Brennan's stuff? I'd like you to identify one particular book you enjoyed in this way and use if for your fifth Essential Text.

Brett said

at 9:05 am on Apr 15, 2015

Better. Count them. :)

Brett said

at 12:35 pm on Apr 8, 2015

Re: Project Proposal - A solid start, this proposal outlines a specific project idea that still is open enough to allow for a wide range of directions in which you can take it. Given the nature of the story itself, I wonder if you considered using real-life locations as hiding places for clues, so readers/players would have to physically travel to specific places to find answers and continue the story? You might be able to convince a shop-owner or two in the area to participate in your project if you limited what they needed to do (like "if anyone comes in asking about Annie, please give them one of these") and how their involvement would help improve your project. It might be worth a shot. :)

Tyler said

at 10:24 am on Apr 20, 2015

Your Prospectus seems to have all of the required elements, and I don't see a problem with the schedule. I really like the First Idea, but agree it would be time consuming. A bonus of doing the project the second way is that it would be more suited to people who come to your page in the future, if that is something you want. As far as revealing where she vanished to you could have a secret way to access the answer on your blog.

Brett said

at 8:03 pm on Apr 21, 2015

Re: Design Prospectus - This document offers a clear image of how the (two) project(s) will progress. The schedule for each is feasible, though the first one would require a clear outline of what will be included in each post and how it will track along with the story that leads to her disappearance, while the second one is less clear about exactly how all the pieces will fit together. This could have used more detail in terms of the specific elements of the narrative as they will play out across the individual posts, but overall it is a coherent document that should serve you well once you choose an option. (For the record, I strongly prefer the first option, but again, you will really need to have a handle on when each moment in your story arc will be hinted at/revealed in which post, *before* you start the first one, to make it work.

Brett said

at 8:09 pm on Apr 21, 2015

Re: High School Horror Remix - This is a great start: the individual clips you've chosen progress nicely from the same beginning as the film to something more murky and maybe sinister (discovering him on the balcony was truly terrifying!). But you're right, the quality of the clips is very poor - where did you capture these from, and do you think there is a way you could recapture them from a higher quality source? If you have a DVD or know someone who does, you can use Handbrake as we discussed (I think - Disney has been taking some pretty serious steps to try to thwart ripping), or check online if you've forgotten, to get better quality clips.

Also, in general the text leads the image a little too much, such that by the time I'm seeing the beginning of the clip, the text that preceded it has spilled all the beans about the story. Consider rewriting some of those textual elements so they're a little more vague: then when the clip comes up, we fill in the detail that was missing in the text.

Finally, I'm not sure the music track is quite creepy enough, but that could just be me. You might ask some friends or the class for their thoughts on that.

Keep working on this - it's a solid start.

Brett said

at 11:45 am on May 4, 2015

This is much better. Count it. In this version, the placement of text ahead of most clips allows you to shape our perception of what we're looking at in the context of each text screen, and it makes it much more fitting with the soundtrack. There are still some places where things could have been trimmed or removed for pacing, but overall this works.

Brett said

at 8:11 pm on Apr 21, 2015

Re: 5-Photo Story - Count it. Simple, to the point, with a memorable image for the kicker that brings a chuckle. :)

Brett said

at 2:30 pm on Apr 29, 2015

Re: Student-Designed Proposal "Search Story" - This is a good start, but its missing a few pieces, especially the evaluation criteria. Take another look at the Portfolio Assignment: you can even just cut and paste the Remix Assignment and then rewrite the portions that are relevant to your assignment idea. Keep working on this.

Brett said

at 11:58 am on May 4, 2015

OK - it's close enough. Count it for Badge credit. I've moved it over to the class assignment document and made some changes to the wording.

Brett said

at 11:34 am on May 4, 2015

Re: Web Therapy Critical Review - This is a solid start: the opening paragraph does a good job explaining the concept of the series, and the final paragraph begins to address the assignment prompts regarding audience. However, the latter is somewhat thin: for the next draft, consider expanding the argument you're making in that third paragraph by pointing to specific scenes - like the one described in the second paragraph perhaps - that provide evidence for that argument. Keep working on this.

Brett said

at 3:22 pm on May 6, 2015

This is better. Count it. (However, you should change your references to "USA Today" to the author's name.)

Brett said

at 9:48 am on May 5, 2015

Re: job Search Story - This is moving in the right direction: there's a core sequence here, and most of the searches are clearly presented (ie, readable). However, there are a few issues. First, and perhaps most importantly, it's not clear yet what the central problem is. Of course there is the job search, but it is vague and undefined: notice how specific the romance in Parisian Love gets - "impress a French girl" leads to "chocolates," "truffles," and "who is truffault?" - so we have a better sense for what is concerning the invisible protagonist. In this one, just as the viewer is starting to imagine what each search might entaiil in terms of a new conflict within the story - interview questions, energy drink, taxi - the story moves on quickly to the next one, so there's no time for the viewer to develop a sense of surprise, suspense, concern, or question about those conflicts. For the next cut, consider including multiple searches related to each conflict so some question is raised *and* carried to the next search.

Also, the quality of this video is again somewhat low, especially the first couple of searches we see, but it is quite fuzzy throughout. Since you have a Mac, though, it is pretty easy to get high-quality screen-video by using the built in "New Screen Recording" option in Quicktime (open quicktime, choose File, New Screen Recording). Do a few dry runs first to get the hang of the interface, and then re-record the video using that tool instead of shooting the screen with a phone. :)

Keep working on this.

Brett said

at 7:36 am on May 15, 2015

Yes! Much better. The way the video keeps adding searches this time, it is much less clear what will happen, and when we see the search for an apartment, we realize she must have gotten it. Nicely done. Count it.

Brett said

at 9:50 am on May 5, 2015

Re: Fail Badge - A good start, this provides sufficient description of the "fail." Now, look at the assignment again and make sure you provide adequate reflection about what you learned from the fail that you can take with you into the future.

Brett said

at 12:55 pm on May 11, 2015

Now you've got it. Count it. Sounds like you learned a few things.... :)

christopherrahmeh@... said

at 8:40 pm on May 5, 2015

I love your five photo story. I think that the images you used were humorous and effective. I like that you don't have to have any knowledge of the memes or shows you are referencing to understand your five photo story but if you are a fan of Spongebob or Will Ferrell there is a little something extra for you. I've done something similar to this where I accidentally put on suntan lotion instead of sunscreen. The Will Ferrell image isn't that far off of a depiction of what happens... I'm sure people who have accidentally done that or have had some tanning disasters will also chuckle at your story.

Craig DaCosta said

at 7:39 pm on May 8, 2015

Student feedback for remix video, High School Horror:

I really liked your remix video! It was all cut together really well to tell a nice story, and the twist at the end got me, where you lead the audience to empathize with Zac Effron's character for a short time right before you reveal him standing right behind her on her deck. I really thought it was cut together well, and generally the editing was pretty smooth and the resulting cut easy to watch. I also particularly liked that you spent some time showing the characters meeting and falling for one another, giving a nice basis for juxtaposition with when he appears to be stalking her.

In terms of substantive or constructive feedback, I don't have too much to offer. The narrative was clear and well-iterated, your clips were all relevant, and the music added to things. I guess if anything, I did notice a few jumps in the music, like little bits had been cut or split every now and again. And sometimes I felt the text was irrelevant, but that is partially because your cut was so good.

Craig DaCosta said

at 7:46 pm on May 8, 2015

Student feedback for DNN critical review, Web Therapy:

We just got done watching this exact episode in Erin's class the other day. I thought your review offered a well-rounded depiction and analysis of the show and the way it uses the (appearance of) an entirely different medium from TV in its aesthetic. A question we discussed in class and may be worth examining is whether or not the show converted well over to television, given that some may find 22(ish)-minute segments focused on a fake desktop could be annoying or unentertaining. This question could also be addressed in terms of the affordance of DNN digital videos or "web shows", in that they allow for shorter narratives that don't adhere to typical television or film standards.

Ali Center said

at 11:18 am on May 12, 2015

I really enjoyed your critique over Web Therapy. It's kind of funny because in my other media class last week we actually watched the episode with Conan O'Brien that they did. Lisa is so funny and all of the things she says is so uncalled for and catches the audience off guard but we can't help but laugh. I like how you mention that actual web therapy is not idealistic because anyone could do it and a computer in itself is a distraction for someone. For example, like you mentioned how Lisa must google Conan because she says she does not know who he is. Good job on this critique! It's a really funny series.

Brett said

at 7:25 am on May 14, 2015

Seems like you enjoyed it. :) Now: what constructive feedback can you give Alex so she can improve this kind of work for next time?

Ali Center said

at 3:08 pm on May 14, 2015

Something that you could have done to fix the critique however is to discuss maybe how the show has changed since it used to be a short online episode and is now a television series. That way we would have known the differences between the two and it would help us better understand your critique and help it go into more depth.

Ali Center said

at 11:19 am on May 12, 2015

I don't think I have every laughed so hard as I did when I watched your High School Musical remix video. It really does look like a scary movie trailer but I would have never thought to put those scenes in the particular spots you did. But, it really all tied together and looked like it was a completely different movie than High School Musical. Too funny! I'm sure you worked hard on this and it shows. You have a true talent for the remix videos!

Brett said

at 7:26 am on May 14, 2015

Seems like you enjoyed it. :) Now: what constructive feedback can you give Alex so she can improve this kind of work for next time?

Ali Center said

at 3:09 pm on May 14, 2015

One thing that you could have done to make it even better though is to maybe have a voice over with the text speaking. It would make it feel even more like a trailer and more engaging for the audience. If you had the voiceover then it would be more of the new movie type that you are trying to get across.

amorano11@austincollege.edu said

at 1:13 pm on May 12, 2015

Brett -
I think I made 5 comments on people's pages for the cal laboratory badge. Let me know if those work.

amorano11@austincollege.edu said

at 10:34 pm on May 12, 2015

Brett -
I finally uploaded my IF

Tyler said

at 5:51 pm on May 13, 2015

I have play tested it if you need another one

What is/are the goal(s) of this game?
To figure out who committed the murder.
What are the main game verbs/mechanics in this game?
The main game mechanic was links that transitioned from scene to scene to help
the story progress further.
What makes this game fun? Explain.
The freedom to choose which path you take to the end. I like that you can choose
which pieces of evidence to test and which suspects to interrogate.
Is anything confusing about this game?
I found it pretty easy to pick up and play. It seems pretty intuitive that you
should click the links.(It helps they are a different color) I must have interrogated
the suspects in a weird order because I was asked if I remembered interrogating
a lady but I had not yet chosen to interrogate her yet.
How could this game be improved?
I would have liked to have had the option to go back to the lab or interrogate
more suspects after each interrogation. The first one gave you this option but
not the rest. It almost seems like you are suppose to click the buttons in order.
Other than that, great game. I didn't expect the murderer to be who it was.

amorano11@austincollege.edu said

at 11:04 pm on May 12, 2015

and a new critical review

Tyler said

at 10:13 am on May 14, 2015

I found your CSI IF to be really fun to play. It reminds me of a lot of the CSI'esque (did I spell that right?, CSI'ish?) phone apps that have been coming out lately that do something similar. Give you a story and the tools to solve it and let you progress through it at your own pace. My only critique as I said in my play test review, is I would have liked to see the "Go to Lab" and "Question another Suspect" buttons more. This would just keep the viewer from having to keep clicking back to question someone else or test another piece of evidence.

christopherrahmeh@... said

at 12:14 pm on May 14, 2015

Play test for CSI IF:

The goal of this game is to figure out who murdered Chelsea Marsh by collecting evidence and interrogating suspects. The main mechanics were being given a variety of different choices on each screen and being able to use those choices to eliminate suspects and evidence in order to figure out who the killer is. The game is made fun by the creators attention to the dialogue and ins and outs of the show. All of the evidence and suspects were very well described or had good dialogue written for them. It was easy to see how some evidence was relevant and related to other evidence while other evidence wasn't. There wasn't anything very confusing about the game. It was very straight forward to pick up and play. I liked how the author described your position and how to eliminate evidence and suspects so you had a clear idea of what you were supposed to do. I feel like the game could be improved by adding more endings and choices. It would be interesting if there was a separate ending for being wrong or if you could accuse other suspects of being innocent or guilty besides the actual killer. I feel like those kinds of choices would open up the game more, making it more player choice oriented, and adding a bigger consequence for failure. Other than that is a very fun and well made game.

dgraham11@austincollege.edu said

at 4:34 am on May 15, 2015

I really like your five photo story, its a very funny and simple series to understand. I especially like the seven hours later photo that im pretty sure is from sponge bob. It really got me thinking about going to the beach and when you get burned being out all day in the water. I was wondering if you intentionally got that from sponge bob on purpose or if it is just what you found cause i feel like it added a whole other dimension for me to relate to the dame story from.

Brett said

at 8:07 am on May 15, 2015

Could you offer some constructive feedback on how this might be improved?

Brett said

at 7:23 am on May 15, 2015

Re: Lucy Kincaid Analysis - This submission does a good job laying out the plot of the novels, but it is not clear here how this is a digital networked narrative and not just a standard narrative. Perhaps that is because this submission does not provide any details about the form of the narrative other than to refer to it as a series of novels. Is there a clear connection between the novel series and the digital networked media we discussed during the course?

Brett said

at 8:46 am on May 15, 2015

Re: CSI: Miami IF - Count it. Some of the feedback offered here is useful - the option to return to the lab and/or suspect list on every screen would have opened up the narrative (and probably made it harder), but overall it is a solid piece of interactive fiction, especially for a first time out.

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