Friday, March 30, 2007

What the Net seems to need.... a place for an emotional baggage check so they can leave all the excess issues at the door before they enter.

Some of the lessons I've learned from being online in the last 15 years is that no matter where you go, be it Forums, Virtual Reality or Art communities is that people always bring their problems with them whenever they interact with others.

Even if they have nothing to do with the topic of the place they're in they can't help but be filtered through their own perspective. As they say "No one is a villian in their own eyes"
That applies to another cliche also "Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one" So when you put them together most people have reasons and rationalizations for what they do but they rarely have respect for what other people do or give them the same tolerance they give themselves.

In some places they can start out with people cooperative and supporting each other for a while, but as the community grows it seems to lose that cohesion until it reach a point where it's only old grudges and bickering going on in it. Some places that happens faster like on YouTube and now Acceptable TV has gotten it.

It was a great experiment to see if an audience could do a better job of picking programs than TV producers. So far it's been a lot worse than even American Idol has been doing by voting for the worst. Maybe it just shows that the public isn't ready to handle unfiltered democracy since it depends on an informed populace.

I've been trying to get the members on Acceptable TV more informed by spreading the message in the tutorials on the site for example I posted this comment on this video with what I thought was a simple suggestion "It would help a lot if you took Jack Black's advice on what makes an Acceptable video" and including a link to the tutorial videos since it missed a lot of the guideline that were those tutorials.

But it wasn't recieved that way since bnproductions responded with "It would help if you hung yourself you pompus ass gamer bitch, your video's suck more ass than you do dick." I guess I was expecting too much from people since that's exactly the way one of the examples in the tutorials reacted to criticism.

and instead of watching that example and learning from it, they ignored it and reacted the same way as in the video "I'm going to my room and I'm going to write in my blog about how much Acceptable TV sucks!"

"After they were rejected Dan and Justin played video games for the next 3 years. Then Justin killed himself. Dan wrote a screenplay about it. Oliver Stone optioned the rights to it but never made it. Dan killed himself. James Cameron made a movie about their suicides that made 7 billion dollars in the 1st weekend. Then an asteroid hit the Earth and killed the entire population. Everyone got together in heaven and agreed that they had taken each other and themselves too seriously."

Although that's one way of taking care of the problem that emotional baggage makes, it's not all that productive. I'd still rather take karismo's advice after all Why Hate? Just Create?

Click to get T-shirts, mugs and hats

If you have this amazing opportunity to interact with people and get your stuff widely distruted on TV why would you waste in in petty bickering and cruelty? I made a video to try and express some of the points about emotional baggage that I put on YouTube.

I remember when the "La Bamba" album came out only being able to listen to Tommy Chong, now with this awesome tech we have to be able to virtually share a joint with him is so totally amazing, you would think being able to interact with people in this way, more people would want to show how creative and cooperative they can be and not waste it all on alll the competitive crap.

I'm sure when Jack Black was turned down for the pilot of Heat Vision and Jack, that he took it badly at first.

But he did bounce back to give a lot better performance in King Kong so he must've dropped the emotional baggage over it to move on with his career. The trouble is that there are a lot of different points of view that people have that make communication difficult since most people are looking at it from different perspectives. Ken Wilber goes into a lot of this in his this video.

And what he's saying applies to this kind of thing a lot since if you look at it from the exterior or the interior, you're not going to react the same way to what the other person is trying to tell you. I guess it depends on if you react defensively to criticism or seek approval from the group.

Maybe it'll settle out as the site goes on since it's only the second episode, but I have my doubts. I'm not sure if this is helping since WorstShowsHere is inflaming some of the people to hold onto their defenses with his emotional baggage, but he's also pointing out some of the problems.

Thing is that it's only half of it, since it does no good to tell people that their video sucks without also telling them where they can get help in fixing it. Pointing out the problem is no help witout offering a solution so he should be telling them where in the tutorial videos they can look to fix what was wrong.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Growing Pains

I was impressed. The show was a lot better than I expected from what I had seen all week on the site. I guess the producers and what Dan Harmon was saying about Standards & Practices added an extra layer of quality control.

I had been wondering since it's hard to know what VH1 will let on. They've had more raw shows like Web Junk 20, Shooting Sizemore and Breaking Bonaduce.

Then they've had a lot more produced shows like My Fair Brady, Flavor of Love and The Surreal Life so I wasn't sure which it was going to be.

I noticed that
Dawn Cody uploaded a different version of Conjoiners and so did mathsfowussies of Speed Demonz then they both got in the Vote this week.

I'm doing this version to get it on TV since I already have the version I wanted myself on the web page so I'm not above taking constructive criticism and tweaking my work. I thought I could upload a different version of Chapter 1 since it's 20 seconds longer than the 2.5 limit they set.

I'm thinking of what was said about"You balance sexual tension like a master tightrope walker"
that I've probably fallen off the edge with only the second skin texture maps and it won't fly with the PTB in allowing it on since it's too close to nudity.

Plus with the quote
"bruises after the last orgy" I might want to tone down the dialogue and change some of the graphic depictions of the practices of Elysium especially since someone was asking what Grecian water sports were.

I guess I can find some other way of portraying the reasons why even if Elysium was a Paradise for some that the setup needed to provide that wasn't all that great for the people that did all the work.

I suppose I can find another way to show the motivation for Minerva to find a better job.

The thing I'm confused about is, that if the 1st episode didn't cut it, does that disqualify all the other episodes that didn't have the same thing? Maybe I shouldn't have taken
Wysol's suggestion and not uploaded them all so fast and waited until the 1st one went through more of the process. But I figured it would help it make more sense if people saw more of the story.

Maybe I should do the combination of the animation with the live footage like I did in my Angel's on Patrol video. It might be the best of both worlds

They seem to be doing better with producing the show for VH1 than the interactive part of the web site though. Maybe because they have more control over that production and it's more familiar territory.

I know it's a rough job and I'm sure that Fred Graver is doing his best in a tough situation trying to get the web site together, like he was saying he was having a lot of trouble with the influx of new members joining the site after the show aired.

Last week it was sorta like having a clam bed that produced a few pearls, not that many but enough to be worth the effort in looking for them. Over the weekend it was like dumping seaweed on the clam bed where you have to sift through a whole lot of obstacles to even find the clams much less be able to pick out the pearls.

There are some things that the site needs to grow since it needs to be integrated if the show is going to be effective at being interactive.

Some are the user friendly part like a status bar to show the progress of an uploaded video so you know how much is left until it's done.

Some are more user feedback like a discussion forums so the comments don't have to be spread out over all the profiles and blogs where no one can keep track of the topics.

Some are filtering like the most discussed list and most viewed list so you can find what you're looking for easier, or to promote more quality control before it even gets to the production people.

I'm not sure but they might've taken out some of the executive level membership filters like they had last week because of the volume. I guess it took too much time to sort through.

It certainly looked like the people that uploaded stuff over the weekend certainly didn't take that test or look at the tutorial videos. If they did then they certainly didn't pay any attention to them. That would be a shame since I thought they were very good at teaching the basics.

I think they should be required to be viewed and passing that test about them to be able to upload. That would certainly help in filtering out the stuff that doesn't belong. Several people have already made comments to that effect.

Most of the stuff uploaded over the weekend had nothing to do with story structure. They didn't even get to the threshold much less cross it.

Only a very few of them had any attempt at a script at all and those that did looked like they only did the first draft and none of the revisions that were suggested. You wonder why some future versions of themselves didn't go back to the past to do some genetic engineering so they would have the patience not to rush into uploading just anything.

I couldn't see much or any at all signs of editing in a lot of them since a bunch of them were 4 mins and some were a less than 1 min so I doubt they paid any attention to the suggestions.

I guess it all depends on a more informed audience if they're going to make a success of managing user content effectively. The trouble is that it's like the old saying "If you want to to a mule, the first thing is that you have to get it's attention" So putting pages on the site that people have to respond to like that test is a way to get them to pay attention to the principles they need to learn and be able to upload something worth watching.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

At least Sony was more on the ball

And probably changing the music helped get it approved faster, since it only took a week this time to get my commercial up on the Current TV site.

Now the harder part is getting people to vote enough to get it on TV. Maybe I should do more networking like with chatting programs. The trouble with that is that a lot of the people you talk to only have a very shallow connection and wouldn't put in the effort into voting.

Even my sister was the only one in my family to actually sign up and vote for the Loreal commercial and you would think if blood was thicker than water that they would show more support than anonymous people you meet online.

I do seem to be getting a bit more feedback from Acceptable TV most of it is positive.

dawncody said: wow...just wow. i wish i could play this like the sims. you should make a video game

Wysol said: I want to see what happens in CHapter 2. Maybe you should upload a bunch of chapters at once. That way, people don't have to wait.

leg said: that dance scene was brilliant

I don't know what that means in getting my videos on the show but it sounds like a good sign that maybe there is a chance they'll do it. It would be a great thing to put on my resume and got more exposure from it.

If it's a hit on the site and the show that would certainly give me a lot more motivation to finish it since I'm still stuck halfway through the 4th chapter. But knowing that it's appreciated by some would certainly provide more stimulation and having a deadline to upload it would give me more impetus to get to work on it.

I had a lot better indication that I'm making progress in getting recognized on that site, a writer for VH1 Best Week Ever named Alex Blagg sent me an email and wanted to interview me as a contributer. Some of the questions were a bit out there, but most of them were cool.

1. How old are you and where do you live? I'm 47 years old and I live in Oroville California

2. Where did you get the idea for "An Angel's Destiny"? I originally had the idea after I watched the movie"Weird Science" I figured they could've done the sequence where they make a woman on the computer a lot better and more reasonable with a particle accelerator so I brought together a geek at Lockheed with access to a supercomputer with the resources of the Stanford Linear Accelerator.

I thought that the Lisa character had a lot in common with Guardian Angels so it would be interesting to tell the story from her POV and how she got the training to become good at her job.

3. How do you design/animate the show? I use a 3D rendering program called Poser to animate the figures and models. Then I output the frames as .png files add some effects and backgrounds in Adobe Photoshop. Then import them into Macromedia Flash to put the comic balloons and text onto the frames. I export the movie clips as .avi file from Flash and import them into Adobe Premiere and put them togetherwith sound effects and music that I've made in Cool Edit. Then I export the movie with Premiere into Quick Time to be able to be uploaded to Revver.

4. Let's talk plot. What's going on here? Basically it's a romantic comedy with Minerva going through a journey to gain experience and training as a Guardian Angel and find love with Chris Amestrly. They both have obstacles to overcome. Minerva with the demands of her job and Chris with trying to fit into her world.

5. You balance sexual tension like a master tightropewalker. Will we ever get to see the any magical boobies? Well technically they were already in the first chapter but I covered them with tattoo texture maps and the demon also had them with tattoos. Hopefully the fact they had some decorations on them will fig leaf them even if they didn't have clothes like Minerva.

6. What inspired you to create this series? I've always been a big fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I wanted to create stuff like I've read in books and seen in movies. With a message about the evolution and growth of consciousness. It's my own journey in finally finding my soulmate after decades of searching that really inspired me.

7. Can you give a hint towards what you have in store for these beloved characters? Like the best romances it has a happy ending, they do go through a lot in between trying to get Minerva's wings back and Chris being betrayed by his boss at Lockheed.

8. Do you take drugs? In the past when I first had the idea for the story or now that I've been turning it into an animated comic? Let's just say I've had enough experience in my lifeto benef it from it and avoid the nasty side effects.

9. What do you do when you're not concocting psychadelic fantasy romance videos for the Internet? I do a lot of graphic design, banners for street lights, door coverings, web pages, T-shirts, novels, comics and commercials for Current TV

10. Where do you come up with the names for your
characters? Mostly from Greek, Roman, Norse and Babylonian

11. Is this entire story some kind of existential
metaphor for the meaninglessness of our existence? Actuallly it's quite the opposite. It's a metaphor the order and purpose of our existence. I've been using a
lot of Ken Wilber's work on Integral Psychology to show the different stages of consciousness and the developement through them.

12. Where do you get the music for these? Revver is very sticky about copyrighted music and since it's for broadcast I've mostly been doing instrumentals in Garage Band so I have the rights to them myself.

13. In episode one, when Minerva mentions her "bruises
after the last orgy", what's that about? That's part of her job description as a houri in the Elysium Paradise that she serve at the pleasure of the heroes in the feasts and celebrations they have there. One of the reasons that she strives for a better job as a Guardian Angel

14. How do you feel about being on Very good, it's quite and opportunity to be able to be part of a show with such potential to show the talent
that the audience has to make and decide their own TV programming.

15. Is there anything else you'd like community to know about you?Well most of my ideas I've been putting in my blog and if they want tosee more about the story they can go to the web page.

I hope that means that I'm getting on the show, but I'm not sure which show since when I looked at what he was writing and it was for the In Case You Missed It segement, so is it for Acceptable TV or Best Week Ever that the interview was for? It might have been just for the blog on either site I'm not sure. I guess either way it's more exposure but probably less if it's for the blog than the show.

After watching that video of what goes behind the scenes I guess I got off easy, since he only asked me about drugs and magical boobies instead of licking balls. I guess I might not be as out there as I thought if they do that kind of stuff on a daily basis. Hopefully they'll be well rested when they do the show on Friday after all that recreation and relaxing.

I figured out a way to get my videos on the front page of the search at YouTube. All I have to do is make all my other videos as responses to one of them and it'll be put near the top of the Most Responed list. It worked for the Hero video and the 1st chapter of Destiny, they got more views and comments in the day I put them at the top of the list.

I did another experiment in getting noticed with a video called Princesses Gone Wild in hopes of getting all the perverts to pick it up in the search. I'll put it on the Most Responded list tomorrow and see how it does.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Could be a cool opportunity

I saw on the Revver blog that there was going to be a new show on VH1 called that was going to “Together, the TV show and the Web site will create a community where the audience helps content creators make better, funnier, short-form TV by either voting for what professionally-produced contents airs, or by creating their own content for on-air consideration. The site will also serve as a forum and community for those who want to watch, make, and exchange ideas about how best to merge TV and the Web to create content that incorporates the best qualities of both traditional TV and the internet. Through profile pages, community tools like video-sharing and varying levels of “membership,” the site encourages the participation of dedicated audience members and dedicated content creators”

I figured that might be a good way to get more exposure for my story Angel's Destiny if I could get it on that show. I signed up and uploaded the 1st chapter.

They also had a bunch of cool video tutorials on the site.

That had Jack Black covering the film school 101 topics in an entertaining way

They covered a wide range of topics

From using sound effectively

To editing techniques

The basics of lighting

Creating a believeable illusion with props and special effects

Even handling rejection if your video doesn't make the cut

From what I've seen on the site so far a lot of people haven't paid enough attention to these, hopefully it will filter out in the process.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Ups and Downs

I made some progress today, but also had some setbacks. I got the storyboard and video done for the Sony HD Life Dennis liked it and the only concern he had about it was that the titles were out of the safe range on the screen but he checked them and they were inside the zone.

I tried uploading it to Current TV but they busted me on the music. I tried to tell them "I put a digitally synthesized rendition of themusic called Also sprach Zarathustra, op. 30 which isa symphonic poem by Richard Strauss, composed in 1896 and inspired by the book of the same title byFriedrich Nietzsche, I figured that it was in thepublic domain since copyrights don't last 111 years." But I doubt they'll go for that so I went with what Dennis suggested and got some scratchy gramophone music for the beginning, some swing music for the the middle and reggae music for the end to show how music has evolved like video has. Hopefully they'll accept that.

As I expected I didn't get into the Revver Head of the Class since when I checked the Revver blog I found that the top video had 866 views and the bottom had 163 views. I was off in the lowest number I thought I needed by 13 views since that was more than last time. At any rate my Money Changes Everything only got 20 views so I wasn't even close. I'm not sure what I could to do get the views up but it's a good lesson. Maybe it depends on your priorities, Do I want to go to extremes to get the views at the expense of how good the work is? Do I want to have a true representation of appreciation for the work? Do I just want the money from the views no matter the methods? Do I want a clique that views them for the person that upload them regardless of what the work is?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Designs in development

After about 25 tries I finally got the design Dan liked for the door. I'm not sure if I have the room number and the class that it will go to but I can change it to another. I wonder if they're going to ask Ron Pickard what he thinks about it or just put it on there.

I also did a rough composition of the banner design but it didn't go over so well.

Dan liked the border and the text but he didn't like the gradient or the way the graphic elements were arranged on the banner, he said that they were floating all over the place. He did give me some suggestions on how to fix it so the element were grounded to the sides in the border.

He also said that using a gradient too much only shows that you know how to use the tools in Illustrator or Photoshop. I'm not sure if he meant that when art directors look at it that's what they'll so they'll dismiss that design in your portfolio. It's the only way that would make sense, because I'm pretty sure if someone was walking by that banner hanging up on campus they wouldn't think that.

The other thing is after that I did walk by the posters they were using to advertise the art show and they were just black text on plain paper anyone could make in 5 mins a wordprocessor that showed no design at all. I figured that if that's what they wanted to use then why bother to go to all the trouble of making a good design?

Both Dennis and Dan were ashamed of that especially being used to promote an art show that was a nightmare of design in it and had harldy any art in it all. They wanted someone to do a better go since it reflected very badly on the art department, but apparently they weren't in charge of who was responsible for running that art show.

I worked on it for most of the weekend and I got the Sony video for Current TV. They wanted a video that showed how life was better in High Definition so I went with Dennis suggestion that I do an evolution from a line drawing to a blurring paninting to the full resolution and used the theme from 2001 to emphasize it. I hope it gets the point across. I still have to clean up the 30 second version and add the audio to it with the correct balance and fade to it.

I got a lot better resolution on Revver for the Angels on Patrol video, it shows off the titles and the composite but the while the soundtrack is bubbly it doesn't add as much as the one on YouTube. Plus it's over a minute shorter so I had to cut out some of the end that I was able to get on the other version.

The Chasing Cars song does and a lot to the tempo of the angel flights and I did work some of the lyrics into the titles so it fits better, the resolution is not as bad as some of the others. I might be getting better at what kinds of compression settings to use.

I've had to fix a lot of the videos on my blog today since a lot have been taken off of YouTube. They seem to be taking a big hit from Viacom and Mark Cuban suing them for copyright infringement. They've gotten tougher about policing videos since a lot of them are being pulled faster. It's a shame since I really liked using them to make points that would've been harder without visual examples to illustrate them.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A new perspective on Journals

I got a call from my sister and told her about my blog so I could show her my door designs. She asked about the link to Peter Pan Projects Portfolio so I told her I'd put it on here. That's one I did for Art 95 and I'm still in progress of redesigning it for Art 37. I tried using the portfolio of david despau as an example for that one, but I'm not sure how well that has succeeded since I haven't had very good response from it so far. I'm not sure if that's from the layout of the portfolio or the lack of corporate or business designs in it. I've been trying to work more on getting some more professional looking content in it this semester.

I'm not sure how much of the whole blog my sister would be reading but, it did get me thinking about the nature of feedback since I have been getting more comments lately. 4 comments in 4 months and none in the 8 months before that. Would I be putting different stuff in this blog if I knew it was going to be read more? Probably not much.

I did put a bit more personal stuff in the bound book with the blank ages that she gave me for a present, but it was also a different more turbulent time in my life then. The only other person that read what I wrote in the paper version was Krys and I'm not sure how much she got out of it since she never said that much about it.

Some of it might be because I've got terrible handwriting and the editing in pen on paper makes a lot harder to be coherent with more difficulty in making it understood by an audience. That's why blogs are so much better since you can use a lot of different media to get your point across for people to understand in different ways like that video I saw on YouTube.

It showed how hypertext, video and images combine in different ways to link people together to share ideas and the growth of those ideas will reshape how people think.

My sister was saying how she wasn't organized enough to keep her ideas in a blog but I think the nature of the editors they have today make it a lot easier to do so even if you aren't a rocket scientist like she was for Lockheed. It's a lot easier to put your ideas in something like this and just send the link to people so they can see what you've been doing.

I saw and was very impressed with the skill of painting in Photoshop they had. My sister could do something similar the show what she's been able to do with her work since last time I was at her place I think she was doing stuff with Painter.

I showed it to Dennis and he thought that had used SnapZ to capture screenshots while they were working on it in Photoshop and then put them together to make the video. Maybe he'll show it in his class an example of what can be done with the program.

It almost made me think I could do something like that by watching the techniques and tools they used closely. If someone made a step by step tutorial on how the layers were built up I probably could learn how to and maybe from there how to do it with a pencil.