Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Metropolis the Assignment - comments

On the one hand, I think this is pretty cool. 


I’ve written my paper, I found my clips some days ago, and now it’s time to integrate them. It’s not shaping up satisfactorily (more on this later.) Worse than that, I want to confirm my clips to make sure I use exactly the right one (admittedly, I clipped more than I knew I’d need), and now I’m staring at the screen waiting for the buffer to finish. Somewhere Moloch is laughing at the irony of me writing an essay about the loss of our time to mechanized culture – losing my time to an aspect of mechanized culture. I’m not laughing.

Ok, having gotten the clips all in, I was able to watch it, and it is pretty cool after all. Clips act like punctuation marks – peppering the words with a bit of extra emphasis. As I tend to write as if with a soundtrack, the inclusion of a video track as well brings something new to it. 

I wonder though, about the integration of them. We read, and then have to leave the words, and pause to see the images. That back and forth is somewhat stilting in my view. I love being able to use the clips, but I’d like to see greater synergy between them and the text. This is where I’m thinking like a comic book maker. Image and text juxtaposed together – an act of simultaneity. And I’m thinking how much fun this project could be in comic form. Easy to say for someone who makes them, but the little bit I’ve seen of Comic Life ( would make it an easy, fun tool, perhaps for non-comics folks to present their information. (To this end, I did a lot of research and writing last semester on comics as a means of presenting research.) Of course, the other alternative is to go all video – string together clips from various sources, webcam our own narration.

Metropolis as source material is ultimately a blast. Running through clips in my head, I think of other directions I could go with scenes and things we’ve read. The possibilities are pretty wide open – and I wonder about someone identifying a theme and passing it to another classmate to turn into an essay. Might produce interesting results. (On the note of possibilities not-traveled, I’d intended to connect Captain Hook’s replacement hand to Rotwang’s, and the crocodile who swallowed time constantly on his tracks. Seems like it should’ve worked in somewhere.) That’s it. (I decide to look over VITAL one last time, and am stuck waiting for endless buffering. Trying not to succumb to rage against the machine – that in itself is another essay…) – N 

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