I originally chose the windowfarms website as one of my second storification assignment https://cookiesuponwhichtomunch.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/week-2-storified-and-non-storified-content-part-deux/. Upon visiting the website, I was happy to see that the window farming project had grown and matured to the point where they had a wall of links to online reviews, had formalized their design, and formed strategic partnerships with nurseries to feed into a more “businessy” operating model. That said, I was also bit irked (though I understood the drivers) by story told by the website www.windowfarms.com. From my three-years-later perspective, the story, as experienced through the website, read more like “Look how cool this thing is, here’s what people are saying, and here’s how you can BUY one yourself.” The message used to end with “and here’s how you BUILD one yourself.”
I used the story spine framework to create a rough outline of what each part of the story was going to embody. I expanded the story spine framework to allocate audio/visual components to that particular part of the story. I used that story spine frame work to speak and record the narrative. This recording would serve as the foundation for the flow of the story. I laid out the images and video to the beat of my voice, so to speak.
Bits and Bobs
I roamed the city over the weekend, taking video and pictures of concrete, metal, asphalt and many, many fire escapes. Something about fire escapes in this town fascinated me, especially the way the shadows and colors play against the backdrop of brick. Ultimately, I decided to not have a human character, rather, I went the route of the images of a 3D rendered man I found online. That became “Bob,” my central character who would live the story of the audience excluded by the $179 price tag. I collected random images from the web and blended them along with some of the imagery and video that I took around town.
Everyone Loves Music
I decided to pull some mood into the story using a few hip hop tracks that tied to two sections of the story. The first half of the story outlined the background and the challenge Bob faced. For this, I chose Tribe Called Quest’s “Everything is Fair (when you’re living in the city)” both for the meaning embedded in the chorus as well as the repetitive nature of the sound in the background. In my ears, this set a tone of concrete monotony, mixed with struggle and resignation. In the context of Vonnegut’s story shape, the car screech sound marked the low-point for the character, after which there was nothing but a positive trajectory for Bob. Bob then continues down a path of realization and empowerment all to the backdrop of Nujabes’ “Feather,” a song that uses a feather as a metaphor for upward and positive trajectory, fluid in roll of a gentle hip hop beat. Both songs worked well, playing in the background to the narrative and the imagery.
I blended the audio and visual content in the storifying blender that is VideoPad Video Editor. I made use of the Fade in/Fade out features of the music tracks along with the Split tool to splice the sound bites. This tool was also useful for cutting out miscues on my narrative recording. I used the Crossfade feature to create the transition between slides. I used the Insert Text feature to create the opening title as well as the closing credits. I made sure the first closing credit pointed the users to the actual windowfarms.com website.
Story Spine & (Rough) Media Mapping
- Bob’s Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFmoERj_CSM
- Windowfarm images: www.windowfarms.com
- Bob images: http://freestockphotoz.blogspot.com/2013/01/
- Pesticide image: http://civileats.com/2013/01/17/parkinsons-and-pesticides/
- (No) GMO: http://www.celestialhealing.net/monsanto/GMO_free_foods.htm
- Monopoly man: http://blog.crimsoncircle.com/2011/10/the-eyes-of-a-master/
- Produce: http://www.mustardseedmarket.com/market/produce/
- Cityscape: http://www.dreamstime.com
- Nujabes “Feather” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9jqZbD-UBg
- Tribe Called Quest “Everything is Fair” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlsRQn0SG7g