Hey guys, we’re almost done with this class, I can’t believe it!
I got the inspiration for my final project from the movie “I Am Legend”, starring Will Smith. In short, the basis of the movie follows Will Smith as he tries to survive a “zombie” apocalypse and searches for a cure.
I’ve decided to go through each of the storytelling elements that I used in this project, category by category, and explain my thought process, editing if there were any, explanations for each, etc.
I knew I wanted to start off this project using audio because I felt it was the best way to begin providing information about the plot of my story. I could have used video, but I think audio created a mental picture that I would then continue to add on to as I went along with the story. I used audio clips from Youtube, such as the newscaster clips you hear, a few clips from the movie “I Am Legend”, where you hear at the beginning a woman talking about her cancer “cure”, and recorded my own voice as well as my sister’s voice towards the end in a conversation. The music I played in the background was also from Youtube. I put everything together using Audacity and it took about two days to get all the clips I wanted and put everything together.
This part of the story took the most time, and it was done over the course of the week. I love writing, but this part was definitely the hardest for a few reasons:
One, there’s no underlining of words when they’re misspelled as you write, like on a computer. I made a lot of mistakes and even a few times just started the journal entry all over because my grammar was pretty bad. Sometimes I left the writing messed up, or words scribbled out because I felt that added a certain element to the story and my character; she’s in an apocalypse, her writing isn’t going to be perfect!
Secondly, sometimes I would write and read it back over and wish I had included more details or re-worded it differently, which is an easy fix on a computer but not so much with handwriting.
Lastly, it was honestly a bit hard to get into character. I think it’s way easier to write about things you’re familiar with, or have had some experience with, but obviously I’ve never lived through an apocalypse. My character was a doctor, and I tried my best to sound like an older, well educated young woman, but it was hard to portray that.
It was also hard to write about the symptomatology of the infected. I thought about coming at it from an actual doctor’s POV and include the actual medical terms (for example, tachycardia instead of rapid heart rate) but since my character was leaving this information for anyone to find, if I were in her situation I would write it in a way that anyone with any sort of background could understand the terms.
I took pictures of my journal entries from my phone and edited them using PicsArt, then emailed them to myself before I put them in my blog post. I edited the pictures using an effect called “Stencler 5”. To me, it gave them a run-down, dirty look. I don’t think it would’ve made sense if the journal looked picture perfect, especially when my character was living in an isolated woodsy area.
I hope that with my last journal entry, the reader is able to imagine what happened! I edited the blood splatter on with PicsArt as well.
I absolutely love polaroid pictures, and I knew they would be perfect for this project because my character needed some type of simple photography device. Every photo I took was within ten minutes from my house, I live in the perfect area to base this story! I took the majority of my photos in the area I found where I based my character’s home, and this gives me a quick segway to talk about that…
The area that I photographed (and videoed) was about ten minutes away from my house. By the looks of the photos, it looks like a very secluded area (which was perfect for my character for obvious reasons). Yet in person, what lay in front of this area was actually the main road in my town. I was very happy when I came across this area, and most likely was not supposed to be there (there were many “no trespassing” signs) but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from getting my perfect footage. When I shot the photos, it had just rained and it was actually really beautiful. I mainly chose this place for my character because the house was secluded, it had a field in the back area where she could ideally grow food, it had a source of water nearby, and many buildings that she could use to hold certain items and use as her lab.
I also tried my best to take photos that fit the story. For example, the run-down supermarket (which was actually right down the road from the home of my character and hasn’t been open since I was a kid). I also was pretty excited I had my Hunger Games phase in middle school, which allowed me to take the picture of my bow and arrows (I took up archery years ago).
The photos that were not polaroid were shot with my Canon Rebel T5, and also edited with PicsArt to give them a lower quality/vintage look that also fit the story. I enjoyed taking these photos and think I executed them well. Upon exploring my character’s living situation I came across an old newspaper in the grass. I had to crop it because the top of it said: “Virginian Pilot” and my story is based in New York, but I think the following caption of the paper suited the story well.
The picture after that took about five minutes from my house, on a plot of land where construction of some houses was never finished. To me, this image looked like a mass grave of some sort, so that was the reasoning behind that photo.
All of this footage was shot at my character’s “home”. I also shot it on my Canon Rebel T5 and edited it with Filmora. I grabbed the green screen VHS overlay, which coincidentally had the year 1985 on it, so that’s how I incorporated our 80’s theme into this project. I added a vintage filter as well as a VHS overlay to the video so that it looked like it was shot using a camcorder. I didn’t do anything else crazy with the video because I felt it just wasn’t needed or wouldn’t have made sense.
I typed up the script for this on my computer and once I was satisfied with the speech, I recorded it on Audacity using my laptop. It took a few tries to get it to where I was happy with how the emotion in my voice sounded. I added a radio static background noise to it, seeing that it fit the story.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with how I executed the story and I think it all flows in a coherent way. The only part I wish I had included was some video clip of her doing a lab or research of some sort, but I didn’t have the resources/props/tools to do that at home and none of the videos I saw online fit with the story (they looked out of place, too picture-perfect). I was happy to create everything on my own (besides most of the audio elements), because I think that really tied it all together and made it a true story.