Sunday, 24 June 2012

Task 2/3

Photo by LiveByTheSun
Double Column script writing Kissing Cousins
I'll tell you what concerns me
I'll tell it to you quick
Headings, titles, common terms
the syntax of the script!
Under exam conditions
I cannot ask for help
disadvantaged due to shoddy software
in class my presence went unfelt.
Imagine being in cage
pushing at your bounds
trying to communicate and make your thoughts be known.
Now imagine that you're not at all
in a position to
the picture now is shown.
Each line a frame
you call the shots
you compose, you tell the story
through the camera lens.
Frame by frame was hard
but I had a template--
FOLLOW is a word I hope never to see again.
With diligence and patience
this I did get through.
Sadly friends, we are now
only at part 2.

Task 1/3

Screenwriting Kissing Cousins
It's just shy the hour of eight
my final assignment I see
I feel its time for me to watch
so I can begin writing.
A simple task it seems to me
it can be fin in no time.
The title risqué, the samples possible
little did I know I'd die inside.
A watch in awe the story unfold
from beginning to end.
Then I sit to undertake
the writing without pen.
At once up straight, at twice reclined, trice I am on my back.
I turn over and close my eyes, drifting through the night.
That is until the clock struck 1 and sleep I could no more.
"Rise," the task said to me "and tackle now for sure".
So up I sit to undertake the simple task ahead.
I listen and I transcribe words
rough draft is at an end.
Good now I start to write the film
to interest and grab
I catch myself I'm struggling
the words cannot be had.
Push on because after-all this is the easy part
just wait until you've shots to take
or words for ears and hearts.
The task is through
I've overcome
only this part is done.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Mass Media Writing Formats

I just spent a gruelling weekend writing a Screenplay, Double Column Script for Television and a Audio Script for Radio.  All I had to work with was a movie and limitations.  As I learned so will you.

The featured video today is Kissing Cousins. 
A "relatively" romantic comedy about a professional heartbreaker (and cynical bachelor) who teams up with his attractive cousin from the UK in order to fool his friends into believing he is capable of a relationship.

I adapted scenes two and three of this movie into the three formats mentioned using:

  1. Celtx; a free, media pre-production software 
  2. Screen-writing guidelines explaining how the different elements of a Screenplay are used
  3.  Double Column scriptwriting guidelines with Camera shots angles and movements.
  4. Audioplay (for radio) scriptwriting guidelines with writing for the ear pointers.

Essentially, I blindly walked into the project like the first day I went driving a Manual Transmission vehicle after only reading about the principles (true story--bad outcome).  It is fantastic to have the theory but hands-on, practical work is where you find out how much you have really learned.  I encourage everyone who wants to write for media to not just read about but do it!

Just a break down of how I went about adapting the two scenes to the different script formats:

* Adapting across media from audio/visual to audio is really difficult and takes diligence to remain true to the story being conveyed.  It spent 4 hours doing just this.
* Shot composition takes time due to changing shots for almost every sentence of dialogue.  People move a lot and the audience is always curious to to see general set layout as well as facial nuances.  Her went another 4 hours.
* Putting into words all that is seen and heard takes care and attention to detail.  I spent 2 hours just transcribing the scenes.

That makes a combined total of approximately 10 hours spent on 2 minutes worth of footage.

Here is the movie Kissing Cousins.  I scripted the scenes from Amir walking down the hallways in his apartment building until he woke in bed the next morning (3:21--5:21). 


Internet In Moderation

Today we'll discuss some of the pitfalls of Social Media.  In the previous post there I encouraged the use of the Internet and all its resources for getting your business and products out there.  In this post I guard against getting so wrapped up in the Inter-webs that you begin to forget and overlook people.

Our featured video is "I Just Texted to Say I Love You" by Elliott Yamin.  The title really does say it all!

When people begin to fully exploit the Internet and join the social communities online our "tech obsessed culture does everything possible to avoid face-to-face interaction". 

If you are a disciplined, organized person you will ensure that time spent on the internet is balanced with time spent being active and making human contact.  If you are like me then here are some proven pointers to 

Help You Moderate the Time Spent Online:

  • Be honest; look at how your time is spent and evaluate whether you need to limit your Internet usage
  • Prioritize your time; set reasonable limit on how much time you want to spend online
  • Write lists; know what needs to be done online and do them before you get distracted
  • Stick to your time limits!

The fact is that you are going to have to make the changes yourself and no one can control your time for you.  A very good software that can help you keep track of your time spent online is RescueTime.  Spot inefficiencies in your day and become better at self managing by signing up for free to take ensure everything you do is in moderation. 


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Advertising Using Social Media

Today we will talk about the awesome advertising opportunities that are online.

Traditional advertising has been making products and businesses known for the past 400-odd years, and it works.

How much attention do you pay to these signs anyway?
* television commercials
* radio commercials
* newspaper advertisements
* magazine advertisements
* flyers
* billboards ...

But with the public becoming more educated about inflated, misleading advertising tactics used -- how long will they continue to influence?

The beauty of the internet is information at your fingertips. Social Media allows search engines like Google and Bing to give you the opportunity to find what you want as well as reviews sites like Yelp and Angie's List that help you to know beforehand the quality of the products you want. These cannot be done if you simply see a product on TV and walk into a store to purchase.

Benefits to the consumer (That's YOU!)

* You get the product you want not what the business wants to sell you.
* You get reviews of the product from industry experts, other customers and your trusted friends.
* Business are forced to ensure a quality product or they will get bad reviews.
* You are not misled.

Businesses that understand these concepts have decentralized to reach their customers on the Internet. One very ingenious business that will be featured today is Acute Boutique.

This business based in Jamaica did not allow limitations. They are the "fashionable angle that caters to people who want current fashions and set fashionable trends." But how did they become this? Their store is wholly online with a Facebook and Twitter account.

The business structure allows:

* casual browsing by anyone online
* easy word of mouth advertising
* reviews from customers beside each article of clothing or shoes
* serious customers can call or email the store
* the store comes to you at a time of your convenience for fitting and delivery

The business model works! I hope you have been inspired to get your message out there using social media.


Saturday, 16 June 2012

Setting the Mood Music

Today we continue speaking of video production.

Photo by Kevin Labianco
In a previous post you were introduced to Casual, a webisode series about the relation of 'a Guy and a Girl' .  We spoke about how impressive the quality of the production was, even more so because of the low budget with which it was done.  Viewers get pulled into a story that has them feeling as though the characters are friends and the situations are their own.  How is this done?  By setting the mood.
The mood is the emotional tone of the video and the emotions conveyed to the audience after watching the video
The mood of a video can be influenced by many things including the dialogue, the lighting/ colouring of the video, or the choice of music.  Our emphasis will be on setting the emotional tone of the video using music.

A relatively simple way to set the mood for your video is through use of music.  Carefully chosen 'mood' music takes into consideration:
  • lyrics
  • beat or rhythm
  • mixing down the music with dialogue
  • mood of the scene; happy, sad, scared ...
Watch this episode of Casual to hear how much difference well-chosen music can make in a scene.

I know that you are now convinced and will go off to try all you've learned but please ...

Keep it legal!
So let's say you find a song that you think is perfect.  The first thing to do is ensure that you have permission to use it.  Copyright is a serious matter and overlooking your legal responsibilities only proves that you are not very professional.  

This is all I leave you with until next time.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Quality Production with Limited Resources

Hey guys today we will be talking about Video Production.

and Action!
Image from Behind the Scenes of Casual
The project we will focus on to bring across key points is Casual a webisode series that is based on the 'casual' relationship between "a Guy and a Girl".  This series is an outstanding example of how having 'limited' resources does not put a limit on quality.

Casual has a few strengths that every video needs. These are:
One added bonus:
  • Beauty-Full locations

In the words of the Director, Jay Diaz and Cinematographer, Tony Joun the shooting style was "dirty" or "guerrilla" to portray a realism or feel of the audience spying on the relationship.

The production has been described as "low budget" with a lot of:

In spite of these limitations the quality of the series cannot be denied just watch this series trailer and you too will get sucked into the the drama of Casual. 

After the critical acclaim of Casual the series it was made into a feature film and is now on the Film Festival Circuit!


Saturday, 9 June 2012

Making Mass Media Social (Part 2/2)

Welcome back

Today we will continue the process of converting newspaper articles (mass media) to blog posts (social media).  To see the previous post please click this link.

The second pick is the Jamaica Gleaner's Entertainment article titled "50 of Caribbean's Best Designers on Show" published Saturday June 9.

Things we saw happen in the previous post:
  • The story is a lot shorter.  
  • Some of the information was cut for continuity between title and content.  
  • A video of the race was added. 
To judge effectiveness of the changes simply ask yourself the question; which story interested you more?

The Choices

Social media is online.  It is mostly unlimited access to information.  This contrasts with buying a newspaper or sitting to watch an entire newscast.  As a consequence to easy access to specific information the person who uses social media must grab the attention of viewers instantly.  In order to keep their attention the must be able to get all the information they want and be interested!

Now I will attempt to grab and keep your attention by making today's article more Internet friendly.

50 of Caribbean's Best Designers on Show

Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW), originated by Pulse Model Agency, is celebrating its 12th year by showcasing 50 of the region's best designers.  Why 50?  This year, 2012, will mark the 50th year of Independence for Jamaica as well as Trinidad and Tobago; the two countries which have contributed the most to CFW.  Ultra-talented designers like the Cedella Marley, Meiling, Mushroom, Mutanga, Tiger Lilly, The Cloth, and Pulse's very own Nell Robinson will be sending their works down the CFW runway.

This year they have brought in international recording artists Brian McKnight, Estelle, Konshens and many more.

CFW is a calendar event that has focused the world of fashion and international attention on the region while generating business for Caribbean designers.  

CFW has longstanding partnerships with other regional professionals to bring about an event that is being described is "amazing"!  Is there any question of where you'll be this weekend?

For more information visit PulseFashionJa on Facebook or Twitter.


Again, which is your preferred source of information? This blog post or the original newspaper article?  Integration of the different platforms; video/audio/images or social networks is what gives this execution of media the edge, Use it!


Making Mass Media Social (Part 1/2)

Hey guys, today we delve into creative writing for the Internet by converting newspaper (mass media) articles into a blog post (social media).

The first pick will be the Jamaica Gleaner's Sports article titled "Bolt's Late Show" published Friday June 8.  Yes, the link is to an online edition.  No, it does not effectively use social media; they just placed everything that would be printed on the Internet.  There was no real utilization of the what the Internet has to offer like hyperlinks to videos of the race or interviews of the participants.

Points to note when writing for the Internet include:

  • Attract the eyes.
  • Give viewers hypertext links to get more information.
  • Reduce your text; most Internet users won't read everything that is written, they will scan for points.
  • Keep your pages (stories, articles, videos) short.
  • Use a hook to engage your viewers.
  • Write for an international audience.
Now I will use these points to make the story more Internet friendly.

Bolt's Late Show

Men's 100 metres world record holder, Usain Bolt, sprinted to a win in the last 20 metres of the Diamond League Bislett Games in Norway on Thursday June 7.

The Jamaican set a new meet record of 9.79 seconds, surpassing his compatriots Asafa Powell who finished in 9.85 seconds and Lerone Clarke who closed in 10.10 seconds for third place.

Usain Bolt had this to say about his race, "The starting reaction was good, but I did not have the flow in the first metres like in Rome.  Overall, technically, the race was not as good as in Italy, but I showed I can compete well under pressure."

Usain Bolt now has the three fastest times for the year and is set to run the 200 metres race in Monaco on Friday July 20.


When using social media it is important to remember that your audience has many other choices.  It is your job to bring together all the information that they need to ensure that you are the preferred choice.


Friday, 8 June 2012

Write What...?

Hey guys, today we will focus on choosing and telling the story.

So I have spent hours these past few days watching what I described on my Facbook as a "car crash" in the making. What happened you may ask? The Rolling Stone's magazine article featuring John Mayer, 34, talking about his feelings toward Taylor Swift, 22, is what happened.  The two were thought to have been in a relationship back in 2010 after some song collaborations.
John and Taylor performing at z100's Jingle Ball in 2009
Now this was all exciting stuff for me because I happen to be a huge fan of John's music and a passable-know-every-song fan of Taylor's.  Nevertheless... if you don't care a wit about either of these two skip to right here.

Creative Writing is many things to many people but what you will hear very often is that the key ingredient is a good story.

The question is "Write what?"  What you know? What inspires you? What interests you?  Let us take Taylor's song lyrics for Dear John.  Here a few points we notice about this song:

  • Passion--it is her story that she lets the world (and arguable John Mayer) know about her thoughts and feelings.  Writers do not want to bore their readers/listeners so the story better be interesting
  • Story telling--the song does not simply say "I hate you and you shouldn't have hurt me"; there is a picture painted of what the relationship was like and why she chose to leave.
  • Literary value--the very title of the song is a pun that plays on 'Dear John letters' and on the name of the alleged subject John Mayer.  Readers need to be intrigued and have a burning desire to find out what happened next, or you could be plain and spell it all out...Which would interest you more?
If you are in love with the story and your friend (good friend now and preferably one who is well read) is in love with the story then you have just successfully written creatively!

Take some time to look at how Taylor presented her story with passion.


Thursday, 7 June 2012


Good Night all :D

Welcome to this brand, spanking, shiny, new blog.  Really quickly just so you know what we will be doing here; I will outline the Aim of the blog, the Inspiration behind the blog, and a little bit About me.  Not sure if the time of publication will be shown so I will say it is now 03:06 hours and I am so pumped about this soooo, lets go!

Inform people interested in the Media (social and mass) on some key principles that will give their work the edge over the competition.  The emphases will be on:

  • Video production 
  • Audio production
  • Creative writing
  • Plot development

and geared toward students of the craft, teachers of the craft, and producers of the craft.  The very concept of New Media is unlocked right here because knowledge is not just for the people with money for school.

NewMedia Origins

"Enjoy work: Maximize the time spent doing non-schoolwork relating things."

About me:
I am a student.  I am pursuing a bachelors degree in Communication and I have had countless hours of experience doing television and radio production.  I also have a vlog on YouTube and voraciously use social networking sites.  What else qualifies me to disseminate information like a big know-it-all?  Drive.  Desire. Inspiration.  An awareness of where new media is and can go; I just want to push for everyone to have all the opportunities I have so this industry can benefit.

So that is it.  Next time we will be learning and I will be sharing my nuggets.