Archive for Giant Stories Tiny Screens

Giant Stories, Tiny Screens midterm

// March 25th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Giant Stories Tiny Screens

the figure 8

I have put together a first iteration of a project I’m working on called The Figure 8. As this is a project I will be continuing to work on, I will break down where I am so far and what I still plan to do with it. To start, here a few different descriptions of the project:

Short Description
The Figure 8 is a database film that explores the connections between stories and the people that tell them.

Long Description
The Figure 8 is a database film that explores the connections between stories and the people that tell them. Created using the software Korsakow, the film presents a collection of personal stories that allow for viewers to navigate the database while exploring the connections that create the paths between them. The structure of the database draws upon the idea that there are only eight stories in the world and all others are a derivative of those eight. The people in the film were asked to share any story they would like to tell, with the only constraints being time and that they tell a personal story of their own. These stories are then tagged with which of the eight plots they relate to and connections are then made with other stories in the database that share those same tags. Through these connections viewers are able to construct a narrative path more suited to their interests.

The eight basic plots:

  • Sacrifice
  • Rise and fall
  • Transformation
  • Revenge
  • Chase
  • Quest
  • Romance
  • Competition

Manifesto:

  • A personal story
  • No other narrative constraints or suggestions
  • Told by by someone else
  • 30 seconds to 3 minutes each
  • One shot
  • No cuts
  • Source audio only

Problems encountered in this version:
The filming of this was all done using equipment I don’t have much experience with. As a result I had some audio issues to work through. I have since worked through all of these issues and will have to reshoot some of the material. I also encountered some hurdles with Korsakow. Mainly some compression issues that caused a few problems but I was able to work through. The one thing I couldn’t figure out though was how to create a lead in and have that move on to a starting clip. Ideally what I would like is for a title sequence to play (without the thumbnails at the side) and then randomly pull a clip with an associated start tag to follow. Not sure if this is possible yet.

Things to do:

  • Film more stories
  • Create promotional material to give to storytellers
  • Reshoot the stories with bad audio
  • Look into using conditionals and try to work text/tags into preview thumbnails
  • Create new preview thumbnails with rollovers
  • Create a new title sequence that includes a more in depth explanation of the project
  • Create other pages for the site (about, manifesto, credits)
  • Integrate links to other pages in the interface
  • Integrate title in the interface

View the Project

The Figure 8

// March 3rd, 2010 // No Comments » // Giant Stories Tiny Screens

korsakow For my midterm in Giant Stories / Tiny Screens I’m going to be putting together a project using the Korsakow software.  The content is going to be very general in using the structure of database film to it’s strength.  The database of clips will be short (1-3 minute videos) of people telling stories to the camera.  The constraints of which will purposely not be much more than that.  I don’t want to influence the telling of their story or their choosing of which one to tell.  In doing so I am drawing upon a few thoughts.  First, I figure that everyone has at least one interesting story.  As well, I feel that most people enjoy telling stories.  On the other side of things, I find that people are often just as interested in the person telling a story as they are in the story itself.  This is why I don’t want to interview people and simply just ask people to tell me a story.  Leaving all of the decisions to them, I feel lets the story come from a more sincere place.

The next thought that all of this led me to was how I can connect all of these stories in a meaningful way.  This brought me back to an idea I had heard before.  Various people have written how they believe there are only a few amount of stories in the world and all other stories are just derivatives of these.  This concept is something I’m still doing more research into, but I’ve already found one of these references that works really well with what I would like to do.  Nancy Kress wrote an article on how she believes there are only 8 stories.  She listed them as follows:

  • Sacrifice
  • Rise and fall
  • Transformation
  • Revenge
  • Chase
  • Quest
  • Romance
  • Competition

The other thing that I really like about this list is that it falls into 8.  I like how the figure 8 encompasses all of the basic plots, yet as you turn the figure on it’s side, it represents the infinite possibilities of all the stories these 8 basic plots can be turned into.

Taking these 8 plots, I plan on tagging all of the stories I enter into the database and using them to draw the connections between all of the clips.  Ideally, the more stories I can enter into the database the better.  Once I have good amount of videos to start with, I also plan on opening the site to encourage others to submit stories they’ve filmed themselves (whether it’s of themselves or of others).  In this sense I like that the piece becomes stronger as the database grows.