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A Design Example: The Guild, Episode 1

The web series The Guild is now in its third or fourth season, and has a hefty audience.  Still, its an atypical format for storytelling, and you might be wondering what tools they used to develop it the comic based upon it and what steps were involved.

They’ve got you covered over at Darkhorse Comics, with this pretty awesome little webapp that shows some of those behind-the-scenes details.

Good Machine is Dead! Long Live Good Machine!

Just saw this short piece on Good Machine, my first real employer, from 1997, just a year after I was working there.

I posted some thoughts there in the comments about it, but it doesn’t really capture all the strong memories and feelings I have for that office on West 25th.  I guess it tells me something about the power of a concentrated experience in one’s life to shape and inform so many of the experiences that follow.  I soaked up so much of that year and a half (not even) I lived in NYC, and now I carry them around with me constantly and they really do shape things I do on a daily basis.

Perhaps that’s because I teach production, but it’s more than that.  Good Machine was, for me, a company that stood for something, a company with ideals that wasn’t afraid to work hard to try to achieve them.  To see men and women incorporating a healthy idealism into their day to day work was inspiring to me at a level that runs deeper than the specifics I learned about production practices.  At some level, I became a professor because I knew that’s what I wanted to do most.  Knowing that people like Ted and James were finding ways to do what they wanted to do most, even if they were sacrificing other things they knew they could have, was important knowledge to bring with me that helped me through some reasonably crappy times.

Good Machine was Good Times.

Blog Story Round 3 (Drama): “Subtlety and Subtext”

The sitting room was alive with Catherine’s dulcet tones.  She sang a lovely soprano tune, accompanied by the Captain on the pianoforte. The assembled guests had been variously invited, bribed and cajoled to attend the event on that fine autumn evening by her father, Philip Rumblage.  It was, after all, the only way he could find an acceptable suitor for his daughter.  Everyone in Berkshire parish knew he had squandered his own ample if not abundant wealth on land speculation in the Colonies years before, leaving them without any dowry to speak of.  He loved his daughter even more because she never spoke of it, but he knew how his carelessness had severely curtailed her prospects.   If he had been doubtful before, seeing the assembled guests watch her with such rapt attention and obvious appreciation told him they might yet succeed in this quixotic endeavor.  All the eligible bachelors in the parish were there.  Alasdair Bainbridge, Cornelius O’Boyle, Oliver Horn, Loudon Windsor, even Stratton Brownsmith had arrived by carriage just after the party began.  Catherine’s voice was in rare form as she began the final refrain, but as the Captain reached the penultimate phrase, the minor chord he played reflected the deepest feelings in his heart, for he was both the one man in the room who loved her most dearly, and the one man with whom she could never be.

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What an Awesome Idea

This guy uses Google Street View and Snapz Pro to capture a virtual walk through his childhood neighborhood.  I remember doing this kind of thing, live in person, with my wife, as both of us had lived abroad in Germany when our fathers were in the Army.  We have no opportunity to return there (at least not any time soon), but Google let us approximate this virtual trip and share something a bit more personal with one another.

You might want to check it out as a possible element of your final class project. (Thanks to Jim Groom for the link; I would have used his stab at this but his video wouldn’t play on my machine for some reason).

Another Video Capture and Edit Tool

For those in the class who may be:

1) Burning the midnight oil tonight to complete your project, and

2) Still not satisfied with the procedure for converting media using Video Downloader

Take a look at Damnvid (via Lifehacker).  It is cross-platform and apparently does lots of conversion work for you.  This might become especially useful as you begin to think about your Mashup project, as that will also entail a fair bit of download and conversion of found media from the web.

Tips: Making Videos (Especially Online)

Here’s a useful wiki page on video capture and editing with a heavy emphasis on online video (digital storytelling, mashups).

Several of these links are helpful, especially the blog post on .flv editing.  Because Youtube and most other sites use .flv for their embedded videos, any aspiring mashup artist would surely benefit from some of these resources.

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