Category Archives: ds106

Radio Show Review! (Say that three times fast…)

So, for this post I’ll take a moment to discuss a radio show that wasn’t my own! Pretty straight-forward, right? Much like the oh-so wonderful production of the Edward Creepy Show! Right off the bat, the showrunners gave us a fright and I can honestly say that I never knew what was right around the corner. I didn’t think there were any glaring problems with it, either. Much like with my group’s show, there were moments that felt almost a little too quiet, but I could still hear it with my laptop’s volume cranked. It seemed to be well put together and I appreciated knowing that the group worked together ahead of time to create a script and then record individually– smart move!

I was particularly impressed by the voice modulation and the music that was used. It gave it a very genuine radioshow horror feel, which was definitely a good choice.

Great work!

Weekly Summary #8 — Radio Show = DONE!

(Apologies for the lateness. This darn post just didn’t want to be posted!)

This week was definitely work-filled. Like I said in my radio show progress post yesterday, that’s what I’ve been up to with my awesome group! We met twice and hammered out a lot of good material, with our final product found here! I look forward to hearing everyone’s shows and I hope you enjoy ours, too.

Other than that, I created some nice Daily Creates! I also did my best to leave some encouraging words on people blogs to let them know that they have support in their classmates! Honestly, with our prior audio weeks, I’ve come to understand just how time consuming all the work can be. However, I’ve also come to understand just how rewarding it is to put forth that much effort with groupmates that are equally enthusiastic. The feeling of pride when we completed our show was unsurmountable, to say the least.

Anyways, I hope everyone had a great week!

Planet of the Vampires – A response

One of the things that I immediately noticed was the shifting of camera angles during dialogues. Whenever someone spoke, the camera shifted behind whomever was listening to give a clear view of them. Something as simple as that seems to work effectively because it breaks the mundanity of remaining still for too long. This dynamic camerawork, in addition to decent editing, prevents any scene from feeling to stagnant.

Design, where the set is concerned, seems flamboyantly sci-fi in a great and cheesy way. Having been filmed in the 60’s, it very much fits the aesthetic that a lot of sci-fi followed during the time.

Another thing to note is that the lighting seems to be very consistently dark throughout the movie. The contrast between bright(ish) colors in dark light serves as an interesting juxtaposition.

Overall, I’d say that the film was fairly well-shot and I appreciated the cuts made in editing. I think they aided the pacing of the film. And I enjoyed the ending! This was an interesting take on the introduction of vampires to Earth– most routes are supernatural.


(A quick note: was the audio slightly mistimed from the video? That seemed to be the case throughout, so I just thought to ask– if you did or didn’t notice, by all means, go look)

Love at first shot

couple in love

They met during their junior year of college. He was shy and awkward at first, but she made him feel comfortable. With himself and with life.

His anxieties consumed him at times, generally in regards to social expectations, but his girlfriend was bright and calming.

“It’s okay to care about what people think, but sometimes you just need to worry about your own feelings. In other words, screw them!” – she’d say at least twice a day. She never seemed to grow tired of it, either. They were in love, everyone knew, but it was deeper than that. He needed her. And he was determined to let her know every day just how much she meant to him.

She loved the beach and always wanted him to go with her. For hours, they’d sit and stare at the waves, usually until the sun set. It was calming. There were no nerves, no worries, just the sound of the ocean and two warm hands, clasping each other for comfort.


I remember picking this image because it seemed familiar to me. Partially reminiscent of The Notebook, the image otherwise felt like a lot of other typical romantic beach scene. Even still, I think it was the contrast between the sunset and the couples’ silhouettes that I found most appealing. The odd textures around the border give me the impression that someone thought to make the picture seem older than it was. I wouldn’t say it worked, but it still created something interesting.

But a lot of this thinking was done through the process of writing the story that I included. It wasn’t something crazy unique, but I got the warm and fuzzies while I wrote it, partially because I identified with part of it.

What did I get out of this? Much of my high school and college career have been focus on writing creatively, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy or that it comes naturally. I stand by what I’ve written, though. I considered this assignment, like many others, to be practice for future writing. Every little thing just gets me one step closer to being better than I am.

Who am I?

This assignment revolved around expressing who you are in a single image. I find myself to be very complicated, so this took me a while. Most of the time actually went into trying to hone myself and accurately portray myself. As far as introductions go, I’d say this one was a fairly decent product. I found the images through Google and saved them directly to a folder I had labeled “DS106 WEEK 6.” From there, I uploaded the images into GIMP and spread them out.

This was honestly the most challenging and upsetting thing I’ve tried to do in a long while.

Anyway, after I’d compiled the images into one space, I tried to arrange them neatly (and went back and forth between Paint and GIMP to see what I thought looked best). I settled on GIMP because I’m a professional individual. And as an added bonus, I gave myself a royal purple background, as it’s my favorite color. To explain what each piece of the image means, however, look to the following:

J – The J in my name can relate to Josuke Higashikata, a character from the series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and the 4th (of 8) protagonists. He’s one of my favorite fictional characters and I feel as though I’d act a lot like him.

A – The A is for action. My life is packed with it and I’m always fighting crime.

M – The M is for muscles because I’m pretty damn strong. I’m sort of like a firmly rooted tree or a boulder in that sense. In other words, I rock. I also thought it would be funny to add the muscley torso to the explosion because an extremely jacked fire just sounds frightening.

E – Eagle. Two reasons: 1.) I’m a student at UMW, as are most of us here. And 2.) I’m just that fly.

S – Smooth. This is an image of Kazuhira Miller from the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Hopefully, I don’t have to explain why his visage evokes the meaning of smooth.

And last, but not least: TA-DA!


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!

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.