[CREATION] Looking for Alaska – NINJA TAKEOVER!

The book I chose is Looking for Alaska by John Green. Side note, Alaska is a name, the name of the female main in the novel.

The style that I approached this teaser is different than the book. I took on this project in a ‘ninja’ themed ‘fan remake’, inspired by Japanese manga Naruto. The original style of the novel would be too bland if made into a short teaser, that is why I took a completely different approach.

The themes from Looking for Alaska such as “coming of age”, “coping with loss”, “personal growth”, “adventures of the teenage life” connected me to Naruto, as they are two very similarly themed stories. However, just to clarify, the teaser does not involve any references from Naruto. Therefore the audience does not need any context from either Naruto or Looking for Alaska to understand my teaser.

I used a lot of ninja themed elements in my teaser and the main colour palette I went with was purple, white, black and brown. Purple seems like the odd one out to show the mysteriousness that the book had. And also in connection to Alaska, purple is conveying the mysteriousness of her character and her leave.

I experimented a lot with the camera movements and object positions when I made this teaser. “Traveling” through part of the labyrinth was the hardest to do, since I had many layers and I had to animate in virtual 3D space.

I wanted to show the speed, teleportation and flight in the transitions of the objects and text. Important references from the novel are used in the process, such as the labyrinth, the white daisy and the “vanishing of Alaska”. I also added in some ninja elements like the Japanese traditional doors, “poof” effects like ninja “teleportation” and the ninja throw knife.

Overall, I tried to synthesize the basic plotline of going through the labyrinth(confusions of teenage life) to cope with loss(white daisy symbolism) and find Alaska but then to realize she’s gone forever(the poof at the end).

-Mich

Dec 4.15

 

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[WEEK 9] AE Motion Graphics Final – Looking For Alaska….NINJA TAKEOVER!!

Hey there! Welcome back to my blog~ 🙂

This week I’m going to talk about my final motion graphics assignment that’s created71pmd9rdkql-_sl1500_ in After Effects! It’s a 10 second teaser for a book that I really like: Looking For Alaska. It’s getting a movie adaption next year but technically it’s not “created as a movie” yet, soooooo…I’m using  this book for my motion graphics.

A small overview of this book and its story:

So the story basically follows main character Miles “Pudge” on his new life journey in a boarding school called “Culver Creek”. He goes by the life motto of “I go to seek the great perhaps” as he meets new, unexpected people and events. In particular a peculiar girl “Alaska Young” caught his attention the most and had a huge influence on him during his time at Culver Creek. 2 things that Alaska talked about the most before her tragic incident (sorry if I spoiled) are white daisies and the way out of the “labyrinth” (of life). But overall it’s a touching coming-of-age story following Miles dealing with a YOLO teenage life and coping with loss.

Naruto-characters-naruto-15115348-500-375So in my 10 second teaser, I took this story and took a ninja inspired approach, since the ideas of the “labyrinth”, “seeking the great perhaps” really reminded me of mysterious and cool ideas of ninja pop culture, very inspired by NARUTO. I just imagespersonally thought that “Looking For Alaska” could very much be like a coming-of-age ninja adventure like Naruto. Just to clarify though, I’m not doing a cross over of “Looking For Alaska” and “Naruto”, my audience doesn’t need to have any context of either of them to get any references. I just wanted to take a ninja themed approach to “LfA” since the story styles/themes of “LfA” and “Naruto” are very similar, I was just simply inspired by “Naruto”. Discovering and learning about life while encountering deep/mysterious concepts of life yet having the story be fun at the same time.

Since the original concept is kinda dull to work with, I’d like to say that my ninja themed take-on is a “fan spinoff” from the original, like how stories have “fanfiction”. (Like how Sherlock is set around early 1900s and is remade into a modern day series etc)

I made sure to include the significant symbols from the book like the white daisies and labyrinth in my teaser. I also added in some ninja elements like the Japanese traditional doors, “poof” effects like ninja “teleportation” and the ninja throw knife.

mhanitijo_1mhanitijo_2mhanitijo_3I incorporated some effects of speed, teleportation and flight in the motion transition20151111_152016-1s of my graphics so far. Here’s some of my rough storyboards on the side…

I hope by the end of my project, I’ll be able to incorporate all the ideas I want to use in it smoothly and effectively in 10 seconds. Like adding some cool camera layers and experimenting.

For the beginning, doors will appear and slide out revealing a path to the “labyrinth”. The camera movement will then go forth and slowly pan down while going backwards to reveal the whole labyrinth from a top view like in the first thumbnail.

And then the camera will then dash forwards into the middle of the labyrinth and all will fade to black. The middle of the daisy will pop up and the petals will spin out one by one from behind to form a full single white daisy as seen in thumbnail 2.

Finally, doors will slide back together while the petals “fly” away and some will reassemble themselves to form the title “Looking For Alaska”. Then everything other than “ALASKA” will fade to black. “ALASKA” will remain and float upwards and then disappear in a puff of smoke. A ninja blade will fly out while a release date fades in.

I’m going to explore the different effects within AE as well to help improve what I have!

And yeah, that’s all for this week, I look forward to what I’ll have as a finished product and thanks for tuning back again!

See you next time~^^

-Mich

Nov 13. 2015

**Disclaimer**

I do not own any of the pictures, copyright goes under their rightful owners.

Links:

http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/naruto/images/15115348/title/naruto-characters-wallpaper

http://wallpapercave.com/naruto-wallpapers-hd

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Looking-For-Alaska-John-Green-ebook/dp/B0084WTGII

[WEEK 8] STORYTELLING & TRANSMEDIAAAAA!!

Hey there, welcome to my blog!^^

This week we’re going to talk about storytelling and transmedia, and this blog post itself is also a story that I’ll be telling you while I reference my lecture this week~12184285_897875780298180_1212602946919476907_o

So since stories are around us all the time, I’m going to tell you one that I’ve encountered this week and it’s a story that I encountered on Twitter, a controversial discussion of a popular artist that I really like, her name is IU. My tlist literally blew up about this discussion and there are disappointed fans, protective fans, betrayed fans, and also confused fans like me. IU has always known as having a very cute/innocent image and sweet voice, and always makes very adorable/mellow/lovable songs.

Recently, she came back with a new album and she experimented with song/lyric-making a lot this time. However, through her experimentation, many of my 12184274_895700753849016_5570502464937295892_ofriends and netizens found that many of her lyrics of songs from her new album are very suggestive in a very uncomfortable way, as they possibly connect to ‘Lolita‘ themes. Many are very taken back by her alleged ‘Lolita‘ approach and are simply just terrified that an idol they loved so much has done something so “sickening” and “distasteful”.

We haven’t heard from IU’s side about these comments yet but yeah, this was a story that was in the back of my mind this week. I seriously imagine this story being made into a podcast episode since it stirred up so many people’s minds. It’s very controversial at the moment so if it’s made into a podcast, we’ll probably have a lot to talk about, from different perspectives and standpoints, maybe even some further analysis of her songs and images that she’s portraying from her album art/photobook. Maybe there can even be a parody performance from a comedian.

Anyways, I personally appreciate transmedia storytelling very much. It’s a very engaging, entertaining and fun way to extend a story and let the audience continue a “fan experience” in different ways. I wish I can be more engaged in those live “scavenger hunt” like games like what we saw in lecture like the “pre-Dark Knight” city experience and “I love bees”.

So far, some experiences that I have with transmedia would be games (Pokemon, Barbie, Tomagochi – while I was growing up though), apps (for Youtubers like Superwoman, EatYourKimchi; Dumb Ways to Die; Fan apps for music artists I like), podcasts, YouTube video parodies, fan-made sequels, exhibitions. 531668_587763327902838_2012978558_nThe most memorable one that I’ve experienced is the Harry Potter Exhibition that I went to in NYC while I was there for vacation. As a Potterhead I was just so in love with things that extended my experience from the movies and books that I loved while growing up. Also, going to the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London England for “The Making of Harry Potter” is still on my bucket list beasts-ew-1389-cover_459x612soooooooo that better happen soon in the future…..>.> I HOPE.

AND AND AND. THE HARRY POTTER SEQUEL(PREQUEL ACTUALLY) IS IN THE MAKING AND COMING OUT NEXT YEAR I’M SO- I- JUST- *sinks in feels*

But yeah, that’s all for this week, thank you for tuning back in, and I’ll see you again next week! 🙂

-Mich

Nov 5. 2015

**Disclaimer**

I do not own any of the pictures, copyright goes under their rightful owners.

Links/To read more:

http://www.allkpop.com/article/2015/11/netizen-points-out-possible-lolita-themes-in-ius-new-album

http://www.allkpop.com/article/2015/11/my-sweet-orange-tree-also-has-a-problem-with-ius-interpretation-of-zeze

http://www.ew.com/gallery/fantastic-beasts-where-to-find-them-jk-rowling-gallery/2366628_clone-all-crops-ew-cover-1389-fantastic-beasts-and-where-find-them-2015-eddie-redmayne

[WEEK 7] YOUTUBE RED?!?! WHAT EVEN–

Hello there! Welcome back to my blog^^~

This week I’m going to talk about the new “Youtube Red” subscription service as it’s creating a big uproar on the internet. Many people are not happy about Youtube’s “grand” idea. 😦

What is it?

To be simple, it’s basically an ad-free version of Youtube with a monthly subscription fee of $9.99. It lets you multitask, so if you’re a subscriber, your content can be played in the background even when you’re doing other things on your digital device. It’ll also let you have access to exclusive Youtube/Youtuber content as part of your subscription fee. It’ll also allow you to download the videos you like to watch them offline. Lastly, it’s somewhat connected to Google Play music, so it let’s you enjoy a lot of music content as part of your fee.

You can check out the ad that Youtube made for Youtube Red and wow…the amount of dislikes is insane:

Why are people not happy?

A lot of content are being held as private/blocked and/or taken down already.

Why are we paying a fee for the exact same content we consume, just without ads?

Why are we paying to download videos when we can download them externally with online converters?

I personally think Youtube is turning peoples’ passions into business. If people need to pay to watch our content and vice-versa, our viewers are just going to decrease and eventually, both the creator and our audiences will switch over to more reasonable video sites like Vimeo/Dailymotion etc.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.40.47 PM

At the moment, this Youtube Red service is affecting the Asian Pop community the most. Personally, most of the music and MVs I watch are from Youtube, and I’m a very heavy consumer of Asian pop. Now that Youtube Red appeared, it’s blocking some companies’ videos as they have yet to agree with a new “terms” with the new Youtube Red thing going on.

Apparently it’s going to affect are mostly Americans since Youtube Red is just starting up in the US and have yet to spread internationally. And so, millions are pissed off and saying that Youtube Red will be the end of Youtube.

BUT. It’s actually NOT what people are thinking! 🙂

I know there are people starting petitions and stuff but honestly, it’s really not what people think and what we’re panicking about.

NO ONE is needed to pay anything, neither the creator/subscriber/viewer.

You only pay IF you WANT to have access to ad-free/exclusive content and features.

EVERYTHING will still be free for those who don’t pay!

Just that for those who do, your fee is going to Youtube, and Youtube will split that income between themselves and the Content Creator to replace the “Ad Revenue” that Youtubers are earning their income from.

Everything is still free, no one NEEDS to pay and the videos that are taken down/blocked etc. are due to the Content Creators who have yet to agree to the new terms with Youtube Red.

A video made by a Youtuber explaining the whole idea of Youtube Red:

On the broader side of the Internet…

The internet has enabled us to do so many things, even if a certain function of online media is limited, how many other alternative choices of media can we use to substitute? Nowadays, there are so many ways to go around what we can’t do and enabling us to do even more, how can businesses in media strive online? It’s quite controversial but there’s really no way to stop it. Just like torrenting, even if we can’t watch something, we can always find it somewhere else.

And to be really honest, starting a while ago, I’ve realized that a lot of the videos that big Youtubers make aren’t even that “fresh” anymore, like they used to be. So many ideas recycled again and again, I wonder how the new Youtube Red service would even make their viewers’ experience any different if their contents are just staying on the same level(or go downhill)? How will our Youtube culture be affected?

But yeah, that’s all for this week, thanks for tuning back and I’ll see you soon! 😀

-Mich

Oct 29. 2015

[WEEK 6] MOTION GRAPHICS MUCH YAAAAAAAAAS

Hello and welcome back to my blog!!

As you can see from the title, I’m very excited about motion graphics just because I’m quite passionate and I watch a lot of motion graphics stuff!

Below are some of my favorites:

The opening of Monster Inc. is definitely one of my favs. It gives a brief overview and foreshadows the movie without giving away much, keeps the audience watching with the interesting visuals. No matter how many times I watch it, I still can’t predict what scene comes next. It’s just so fun to watch!

This is one of my favorite K-pop music videos, it’s from K-pop artist Mino’s “I’m Him”. It incorporates visual rainbow graphic motion which is really cool to watch. The graphics are very refreshing and adds extra context to the video footage underneath to convey the meaning of the lyrics from the music. The flow and transition between one visual to the other is so fluid and smooth, even though the shots of the music video change every few seconds, the graphic motion help connect and lead the audiences’ from one scene to the other >> as you can see from 1:40 to 2:10 of the MV (which is also my fav part from it)

The next one I’m showing here is a Google promo video, I find it really awesome, also because all the visuals blend and transition so well with each other. The flow of the whole thing is just so unbelievably smooth while being very informational at the same time. The whole thing keeps audience retention and  The graphics are really bubbly and cute as well, so I really like it.

Some other ones I like:

Also, we are going to do a motion graphics prototype assignment in class in After Effects. We’re creating a 5-10 second teaser for a movie/book. I think I’m going to do a teaser for the movie “The 40 Year Old Virgin“. It’s one of my favorite movies and as a comedic genre, I think I can experiment a lot with the colour palette to make it fun an bubbly. I’m also thinking of doing some abstract art animations with some movie references to symbolize the main character Andy Stitzer. I’ll probably have to experiment with frame-by-frame animations and tweens in AE!

In conclusion I think I really like it when motion graphics are used in MVs haha!

Anyways, that’s all for this week, I’ll see you again soon~ 🙂

-Mich

Oct. 23. 2015

[WEEK 4] My Digital Footprint!

Hello! Hope you are well and welcome back to my blog 😀

In this week’s lecture, we learnt about our digital footprints and how it reflects us with each layer of information required on different digital platforms.

5b3d007c-559a-42d9-822a-92be1888b53dI discovered and realized that we develop our digital footprints even before we are born, through our parents, grandparents etc. Also, different digital platforms require constant attention to keep us updated with current trends and technology.

I’d say my digital footprint would be different from other peoples’.

I have Persona A which I go with online, and I have separate emails, profiles, accounts for that persona. With that persona, I communicate with people with similar interests and hobbies as me, for example liking a genre of music, a style of clothing, a type of dance etc.

On the other hand, I have my usual Persona B which is mostly used for work and keeping in touch with classmates/schoolmates/colleagues. I keep the two personas quite separate and don’t let them crossover often. Some of my close friends are aware of my 2 personas but I usually keep my active online persona very lowkey unless people recognize me (as I make videos online).

digital-footprintAfter this lecture, I think I’ve just become slightly more aware of where my infos go and circulate online, but I already have good understanding of the things we learnt this week as “Digital Identity/Footprint” is a common topic that I visit very frequently.

social-networks-v2I think one’s digital identity is pretty important in this digital age we live in and also in the future. When we put information online, invasion of privacy is unavoidable so I really don’t try to avoid anything. You can’t expect to put something online and just say that ‘Oh I’m sure no one will see it and it’s just for myself’. Even for our own personal computers, I’m aware that there are many hackers that go through them everyday from all over the world. I feel like if you feel like sharing content and you’re firm about your choice, no matter how big/small the choice is, publicizing your identity is kind of a given, and a thing you’ll need to “sacrifice” to catch up in the society we live in.

And I guess that’s all for this week! Thanks for tuning in once again and see you next week~ 🙂

-Mich

Oct. 1 2015

**Disclaimer**

I do not own any of the pictures, copyright goes under their rightful owners.

Links:

http://isys6621.com/2013/01/29/the-paradox-of-social-media/

http://effusiondesign.com/blog/2013/06/what-does-your-digital-footprint-look-like/

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/?sm=JrY0yjZhhJKVmTe1YNO%2bIxVWCvVHoU93IDkjUuhjmvg%3d