Modern Day Rapunzel (Click on this link to view my video on YouTube.com)
To start off this reflection I just want to say how I think this is one of the most fun projects that I have had to complete in school! I loved how I had the creativity to pick a story that I have a connection to in some way and putting together a video of something that I am passionate about. I created this video for teenagers because they are constantly on twitter and social media and will be able to relate to what Rapunzel tweets. But if they cannot relate to what she is saying than I guarantee they have someone that they know that tweets like that. The purpose for doing this was to mock how people abuse social media but in a fun way that is entertaining to watch. I decided to do a video because I am a multimedia communication major so I enjoy creating videos, being on camera and editing them together into something fun! I thought this project would be a great way to utilize my skills as well as learn about a program that I am not really familiar with.
Making my movie about Rapunzel turned out to be a lot more work that I had originally intended on it being. The very first thing that I did after I picked the story about Rapunzel was create a storyboard (which is attached on the bottom of the page.) It is always easier for me to make storyboards because it is a way for me to organize my thoughts and stay on track. I always keep a digital copy on my computer of my storyboard because that way I am able to update it whenever I decide that a change needs to be made on project. After I solidified my storyboard I had to create a fake twitter account for Rapunzel. This was not that difficult to do, but it was very time consuming because in order to make an account, I had to create a fake e-mail and verify it with Twitter so I could have it up and running. After I finally created the Rapunzel account, I decided that I wanted to act as Rapunzel because I am blonde and it would be a funny way to add another multimodal aspect to my project. This way I am able to give Rapunzel more personality rather than just having her tweet. After I created the tweets I needed to import them into my computer so I could start making a timeline of the movie.
I recorded the scenes on my phone when I was in my apartment but for some reason the quality came out really horrible so I had to re-shoot the whole thing. I was able to go into the library during one of the times our class was meeting and re-record everything with the help of some friends. After I re-recorded the scenes, the audio came out a lot better so when I imported them into my computer there were no issues. Once I was able to import them into my computer I began to play with the different effects that iMovie offered (such as audio, transitions, graphics, etc.). After I began editing the project I realized that I needed to create an actual direct message between Rapunzel and Cole. In order to do this I needed to create another fake account for Cole to message Rapunzel off of. So yet again I had to go through the process of creating a fake e-mail, finding a photo, and successfully authorizing the new twitter account. I had some difficulty doing this because in order for them to speak with one another over twitter they needed to follow one another. I did not realize this until I tried to send the messages back and forth and it kept saying “error” and that the message did not send. Once I finally got the messages to go through to one another I had to screenshot them and import that onto the iMovie. Nevertheless another difficulty aroused because whenever I would drag the screenshotted photo of the tweets into the timeline I could not get them to properly fit the screen. After some trial and error and help from a classmate I realized that iMovie was set under a setting called “Ken Burns” and I needed to change it to “Fit” because that way the photo would fit the screen rather than move across it.
My next step was finding audio that was not copy written and appropriate for the project. The songs that I decided to use were “Where Were You (Instrumental)” by Silence is Sexy-This Ain’t Hollywood and “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepson. “Where Were You” acted as the background music for the entire video because I felt as though it was light and subtle sounding so it did not take away from what I was saying in my project. I added “Call Me Maybe’ because it is a more recently produced song that the majority of people know. The reason I chose this song is because it is known to be very annoying and people only listen to it as a joke. Considering my whole project is mocking my generation and how we interact with social media, I felt that it was a perfect fit. (If you have never heard the song, I recommend that you listen to it and it will give my project more context!)
I consider recording myself, as a sassy Rapunzel was a huge risk to be taken because the response from my audience can either go one way or another. I also needed to figure out how I wanted Rapunzel to act and if someone doesn’t know about twitter or understand my sense of humor than they will not enjoy watching the video. Recording myself was rather difficult because I had to memorize the lines I had written for myself and then recite them to the camera in a way that would captivate my audience. Once I recorded them I had so much fun putting them into the computer and moving them around to make the story come to life. I also needed to make graphics for the project because I wanted to make it seem more like a movie than just a project that someone threw together.
I also continued to document my work on my blog even after we did not have to make any more posts because I felt like it kept me on track. (You can see these blog posts on my Blog). If I got lost in project and didn’t remember where I left off I am just able to check my blog and know exactly what I still need to work on. After I showed the class my project it was nice to get some feedback from my classmates and continue to edit my project. If I still had extra time there would definitely be some parts of the project that I would. For example: I would add a few more scenes into the project so it would make more sense what is going on for my audience, especially towards the end. During this project I would continually send updated versions of my project to my dad because he always has good input for my projects. I also showed my roommates because they are brutally honest and know how to critique me to make me work harder. I just would like to make a side note that I attended every class and constantly would ask questions in order to make my project the best that it could be. This project may not show the troubles I had with creating it, but it definitely was a lot more difficult than I anticipated it to be. I know it was a stretch to make a video and change my voice in certain parts to make myself sound like a boy, but it was a risk that I am glad that I did!
My Project’s Rhetorical Situation:
Who is the intended audience for this piece, and what rhetorical moves does the designer make to appeal to these readers/listeners/viewers/users? What suggestions do you have for further strengthening this approach or for better attending to the target audience?
- The intended audience as mentioned before is teenagers or adults in their early twenties. I think the fact that I made a video and incorporated the latest social media in my project will appeal to my viewers. I also incorporated the latest music and a “meme” from Step Brothers (one of the funniest movies in my generation) so the audience can relate.
How well is the purpose of the project conveyed through its organization/navigation? Is there a coherent message for the audience to follow? Do the authors offer some kind of commentary (the so what of the argument or story) What suggestions do you have for adding or deleting content for the sake of clarity?
- I think the purpose of my project is conveyed rather well because it is a chronological story on how Rapunzel met Cole over Facebook and then they finally met in person when her mother wasn’t home. I do think that the ending got a little confusing and if I had more time I would have added more scenes to make it clearer to the audience. I also liked the stylistic technique of narrating the tweets as they appeared on the screen because it gave a stronger connection to the audience.
How credible do you find the sources used for the project’s argument? Were there any sources you found problematic? If so, which ones and why, and what would you suggest be used in their place?
- I find the sources very credible because the stories that I researched were the original tale of Rapunzel as well as the most recent Disney movie called “Tangled.” “Tangled” is another modern example of Rapunzel, but it is a musical and fun to watch Rapunzel as a flirty teenager.
Are the design choices (emphasis, contrast, organization, alignment & proximity) used in this project appropriate? If some seemed inappropriate in relation to the rhetorical situation what suggestions would you make for revising?
- I definitely think that all of the design choices that I chose are appropriate. I decided to make a movie because I figured that would be the easiest way for me to convey my message and get involved with my project. Making a video also incorporated all of the multimodal tools that we have learned about throughout the course of the semester. I think that all of the choices that I made were appropriate to the success of telling the story of Rapunzel especially organization and alignment. As I mentioned in my reflection I did have some alignment issues with the tweets, but I ultimately fixed that.
Do the mode and media choices contribute to the overall purpose and meaning conveyed by the project? Are there any you would add or delete, and if so, why?
- I would definitely add a scene where Rapunzel is leaning out the window calling to Cole, but I just did not have enough time or enough assistance to pull off a scene like this. I also would add a few more pictures of Rapunzel taking selfies because this generation of kids loves taking selfies.
Does the project match expected genre conventions? If not, does it break those conventions in productive ways that serve the text’s rhetorical situation?
- I do think that my project conveys the expected genre conventions because I was very sassy while acting out Rapunzel. I felt that I needed to display the same amount of enthusiasm as I did on-camera as I did while I was jus narrating the tweets. By doing this is made my project flow and connect all of the scenes. I also think the music in the background added to the project rather than take away because it was very upbeat and fun.