Scary Sound Effect Story

This assignment was a lot of fun! I went through and found some clips that fit what I wanted to do with my story. From there, I placed them into Audacity and changed some things around. With some of the shorter clips, I decided it would be best if I rearranged them or had to occur more than once to keep with the rhythm of everything else. For the longer ones, I mostly left those alone in order to establish some sense of continuity and balance. Having said that, I feel like I treat this story more like a song and I like the way it sounds!

Imagine a man. He’s sitting inside his living room, scared. Outside is a ghostly wailing he’s all too familiar with, followed by the thud of a spectre banging against the wooden doorframe. As the man sits there, cold and afraid, he can’t help but scream when realizing the depth of his terror. Chains rattle around the door as the ghost continues to bang. Bang. Bang. Until finally it breaks in! It whips its chains around the man’s neck and snaps it! All that’s heard is the ghost’s banging and one final scream.


The assignment was to create an original poem, but I took it one step further. I decided to improvise the entire thing!

Now, I do actually write poetry and I wouldn’t call what I did here anything special. BUT I do think this was an interesting challenge for me. Maybe later in the semester I’ll continue to mess around with audio assignments like these. I used my computer’s audio recorder to pick up the sound and, honestly, this took about 5 minutes to complete. I gave myself a couple of tries before I settled on the idea of improvisation, which ultimately lead to our final (beautiful) product.

Here it is!


I shouldn’t even have to explain why I did this assignment, but I will. Simply put: because I’m real. The realest. Like 100% farm fresh dairy, no pasteurization required… yet. Fresh grated cheese kind of real. Homemade yogurt real. I can call up Ben & Jerry for a pint of ice cream at 3:00am real!


… Now, I just want dairy.

Anyways, here’s my tagline. I think it speaks for itself.

Weekly Summary #5

I had a lot of fun messing around with audio projects this week. To be completely honest, though, I was dreading the thought of it all. But, I’m happy to say that by powering through it, I had a great time and learned how to better use Audacity (and plenty of file converters…).

The toughest of this week’s assignments were the Stars. We had 10 to do and I decided to focus on these three: the original poem, the low speed car chase commentary, and the “Real Hosuewife” tagline. For these, I simply used my laptop’s audio recorder and gave myself a couple of takes to make sure that everything sounded okay before I wrapped it all up. I was originally going to submit one of the singing assignments, choosing not to out of respect for my audience’s ears.

Next was my sound effect story– something that was beautifully simple, yet effective. I found some sounds and knew what I wanted to put together before I was sure what my story would be. Once I’d combined them in Audacity and done some housekeeping, I took what I had a brainstormed a short story to accompany it in the post.

I had some substantial comments to make about the idea of audio in storytelling here. And shared some brainstorms here for consctructive additions.

My magnum opus of the week: my radio bumper. It’s almost as if I have a voice that was made for radio! This took me much longer than I expected, but the reward definitely met the effort. Check it out!

And while you’re at it, look at my daily creates for the week. My personal favorite was today’s Talk Like A Pirate one (soundcloud link here)Here’s Thursday’s and Tuesdays!

Audio in Storytelling

Truth be told, audio is an extremely crucial part of storytelling in my opinion. Why do I say that? Ambience. When I imagine someone telling a story, some concepts are better perceived when heard. For example, someone’s voice can sometimes give insight into their character through intonation, inflection and pauses while speaking. In addition to that, music and sound effects work well to create atmosphere. Hearing scary or eerie music will definitely give someone the expectation of something scary.

Sound is powerful. Now, imagine simply reading a book. Without hearing anything, it can be just as powerful, that much can’t really be argued. But for every experience that one can have in life, imagine how much scarier or emotionally effective something is when it feels that much closer to you. Your imagination may play a large part in the process, but some may feel that saving you that trouble is that much sweeter. However, that’s a debate for another time.

Some great examples came from tonight’s radio show! The first story was a little difficult for me to hear (I don’t currently own any headphones), but from what I could pick up, there was a great sense of care in the delivery of the actors’ lines and the music/effects were well placed. If anything, I suppose that my point is that audio in storytelling adds a new layer of depth to something already great. And movies add yet another! Anyways, that’s enough musing for now.

Until next time!

Radio Show Ideas

A couple of ideas that I had for my radio show include:

Myself, playing myself, as a host that introduces scary stories or people who’d like to tell them. Simple, but effective. I could spend a part of the week looking up stories to read and practicing before shows with groupmates.

Another option might be to use my host persona to do the same thing which would require me to better characterize the host as a character. Maybe the show could be a dialogue between the host and a guest as the two (or more) report on some creepy happenings that have taken place locally.

Or maybe these happenings can take place DURING the show? None of these ideas seem to grand just yet, but they’re a start. I’d like to have someone bounce some more off of me so I can sort of gauge where to go from here.

My Weekly Summary (#4)

I enjoyed doing this week’s work. While having very limited experience with photography in practice, I’ve studied it before and forgotten most everything that I’ve learned. However, I did find it interesting that this week focused more on it. To that end, I also enjoyed doing this week’s assignments. The first one that I tackled was the Photoblitz. I was walking around my office looking for interesting things to take pictures of and tried my best to compose images (I should probably hang around in more interesting places than business suites…).

I then wrote a post about my experiences with photography, talking a bit more about what I’ve done and learned before.

For my star assignments, I did a total of 4 for a grand total of 12 1/2. Of these, my posts including an edit of a one dollar bill, an edit of my face onto that of MLK, Jr. (a poor one, admittedly),  a collage of my bucket list, and an attempt at making a bottle cap seem larger than life.

For those interested in spooky photos, I found a cool app on my phone that allows you to add spooky specters and ghastly ghosties called Paranormal. Here’s my final result and a short story to go with it!

And for a brief review of some well-done aspects of The Shining, go no further!

This week’s process involved more thought that the previous ones and I get the sneaking suspicion that this will be a continuing trend.

The Shining, an analysis by James Rives

This movie is an excellent example of horror for many reasons. As such, I want to take my time and explore some reasons that explain why.

The first of these is depth. One great example of depth in this movie is one of the hallway scenes following the child on the tricycle. I say that it has a great sense of depth because of the symmetry of the hallway and the hallway’s narrowness. That same symmetry also gives us a proper sense of balance. The uniform nature of the hallway is repetitive but visually appealing. In addition, the length of the scene itself plays a role in giving the viewer this feeling of longevity. The fact that it’s aesthetically pleasing also works in its favor. On top of that, I think it’s important to note the use of perspective here. Following the view of the child here, we’re left wondering what’s around every turn almost as much as he (probably) is. This is successful because it’s a more passive method of adding suspense to situations.

an example of depth

Another well-made scene that plays off of the idea of lighting and balance is this one:

aesthetic value

Here, we see the same idea of symmetry and balance with the walls of the hotel. It’s also worth noting that there’s a juxtaposition of that symmetry with the chaos of the scene itself. Something that seems as though it should be ordered and neat obviously isn’t. The fact that it’s littered with two corpses and the walls are covered in blood just make the entire ordeal frightening. All in all, I’d say it’s an effective use of material to display the gruesome nature of the move in one of it’s less subtle displays.

This movie was rich with detail and, to avoid an obvious example, I wanted to refrain from using the class, “Here’s Johnny!” scene. But I think that very scene works in its own way, again, by displaying a grand sense of the foreground/background. A close-up of Jack Nicholson’s face as he smiles while Shelley Duvall screams her head off, one close and the other, far.