Week 15: Finalizing the Moving Monologue

After the in-class critique, I added more green to my type, fixed the empty space in the very beginning, and in general made the timing of incoming type and graphics more exact. That is probably the hardest part.

Also: I worked for quite a while both last week and this week to add a seesaw effect to one part of the video, but neither I nor another student could figure it out. I think it’s fine as is, though, because it adds to Vanessa Redgrave’s halting, fraught pause.

Week 14: Moving Monologue Cont.

This week I finished completing the After Effects video for my monologue. In those times I ran out of inspiration (“which typeface am I using here?” or “how should this type enter the screen?”) I chatted with a good friend, Vania, who gave me lots of ideas, most of which I was able to create. Below are a few screenshots of my progress.

Week 14: Shark Tank

Last night I attended MU’s Shark Tank event, and six student teams presented. They all did exceedingly well, and I was thankful I wasn’t doing the judging. The nice thing is that even the students who didn’t win got to hear some great advice from the judges (Crystal Weaver, Prince Street Cafe and Passenger Coffee, a smart-looking man involved in Music for Everyone, and one other very fine older gentleman whose position and name I can’t recall). After the students presented, the judges all had spot-on questions.

I was most impressed by CommonGeek‘s presentation, which I suppose is not a surprise considering the student presenting is already an entrepreneurial journalist. (Also, I’m a journalism student and so I’m slightly biased.) Although he didn’t have any detailed slides on budgeting and/or fundraising, when asked about it afterwords, his answers proved he had certainly considered his plan. What I liked best was CommonGeek’s branding — there was clearly a lot of effort put in there (which is important, considering all the journalism sites out there). Overall, CommonGeek definitely seemed like a viable business venture.

The other venture that seemed most viable was the wrestling student’s plan to open a wrestling gym/studio, or perhaps join forces with another ordinary gym. Although his powerpoint was dreadfully scant, his presentation was very interesting. A place for wrestlers to practice (when there are practically none around, especially where he lives in NJ) is a need. The student knew his stuff, too — “PA is the nation’s leading wrestling state,” he said, and I noticed even the judges were surprised to learn this. His plan was also relatively inexpensive compared to the other students’.

When I attended the original 60-second pitch, I thought the roller skate/ice skate combo was the best entrepreneurial idea. But after hearing the extent of the team’s budget needs (which I ought to have considered in the beginning), I became skeptical. Patents are indeed very pricey, as are lawyers. But how long would the turn-around be for a project of that scope? Very extensive, it appeared.

I’m glad I attended the event — it reminded me once again how important money is and how avoiding it is a completely unsuccessful idea…

Week 13: After Effects Cont.

This past week I primarily completed the After Effects exercises by watching the Adobe videos and following along in the application. Only over the weekend did I have a chance to really begin working on my project. So far it is going pretty slowly for me. I have a tendency to lose my place in the series of key frames. Also, as a general statement, I find it very difficult to create what I visualize. Hopefully this week I will be able to better find my legs.

Interestingly my moving graphics monologue will likely look quite a bit different from my print monologue, simply because when things are in motion you see them differently than when everything appears at once. You can be more creative with motion!

Week 12: Moveable Type at Thaddeus Stevens

On Tuesday of this week, we visited the “print shop” at Thaddues Stevens. I suppose my favorite parts were:

1) Obviously, the fact that we were using (as if it were nothing) antique presses that cost no less than $15,000
2) The fact that the print workers were all very elderly — apparently they graduated from Millersville in 1969

It was interesting learning about workers living even as recently as the early 1900’s, whose only job was to set type and routinely check the grammar and spelling of every single line. Workers were paid by the line, which is a fact I stored away to tell my Dad, who has fond memories of picking tomatoes and getting paid by the bushel, or putting up fence posts and getting paid by the post.

I also thought it was interesting how the California Job Cases we used (named California Job Cases because the original two-level, two-sectioned job cases didn’t travel well across the rugged landscape to California during the Gold Rush, and so a new one-level, three-sectioned case was designed) contained so many different spacers, or blocks of blank type used to separate characters (called em quads, en quads, etc.). In order to center my text on my composing stick, I had to use several spacers of various sizes. I loved it. One can get very particular with this sort of thing.

The press that I used worked quite easily. It didn’t take long to get an efficient system going, slipping the paper into place, moving the lever, removing the paper while sliding in another, and onward. It often seems like workers with one job like this, all day, had it hard. But I think it would actually be easier than we think, if everyone else was doing it.

I decided to print my first and last name in green ink on white paper. Looking forward to its delivery…

A Look Back: 60 Second Pitch

Several weeks ago on March 1 I attended Millersville’s 60 Second Pitch, a micro-pitch showdown where each participating student has only 60 seconds to sell the judges on their entrepreneurial venture. The finalists (I believe there were around five) moved on to the Shark Tank competition, where three winners will receive funding for their venture (happening April 29). It was certainly a fast-paced competition.

The judges were Miki Agrawal, Steve High, and Mike Monteiro. Agrawal, whom I blogged about previously, is a Social Entreprenuer who has created padless, completely ordinary-looking underwear for “women with periods” (called Thinx), and a portable bidet that can be installed on a normal commode (called Tushy), among other things. High owns Aspire Ventures, an investment company that supports technology made to help change the world (honestly, I don’t really understand it…) Monteiro owns Wylei, a direct marketing company.

I recall Professor Robinson explaining that Mike Monteiro had received his B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Harvard, which was most impressive, and had me once again fantasizing about studying Literature at Harvard for the rest of the night…

At any rate, I enjoyed the event more than I thought I would. I didn’t know anyone who was presenting and was only going for the extra credit. But I found myself silently voting for certain students. Primarily for the two-person team who hoped to create interchangeable skates — rollerblades one minute and ice-skates the next. Their idea seemed like a no-brainer; it was almost difficult to believe it hadn’t already been made, which was clearly a good sign for them. (They won first place, in the end.) I also liked the team because they reminded me of my Mennonite cousins.

It was a good learning experience, overall (how to present well, how to look relaxed and professional at once), and also motivating. It was a great extension to Agrawal’s talk because not only were students given their own chance to be successful entrepreneurs, but there were three, older-and-wiser entrepreneurs there to prove that it’s actually possible. I also loved hearing that, although Monteiro studied mathematics, he ended up running a marketing business. It is always nice to know that one is not indefinitely stuck with what one studied…

Week 12: Monologue Booklet

For the monologue booklet, I purposefully smudged many of the pages and trimmed some of the pages unevenly. This I did to correlate with the theme of handwritten notes, scribble marks, old typewriter font, and the story of a woman trying to patch together a fictionalized story that atones for her sin.

My favorite part of the physical book is the look of the typewritten characters on the grain of the slightly yellowed paper.


Week 11: Monologue Project Cont.

This week I updated much of what I created last week. I greyed out the typewriter font and the black pages, because in print the black was simply too black for something meant to look somewhat old and faded. Unfortunately in slide 6 below, the grey square is too light – although this has been changed in my Illustrator document, I don’t have a png of that slide.

Monologue Project_3_Page_1Monologue Project_3_Page_2Monologue Project_3_Page_3Monologue Project_3_Page_4Monologue Project_3_Page_5Monologue Project_3_Page_6Monologue Project_3_Page_7