Take your lollipop

For this blog post, I have reviewed Take this Lollipop, Hurst and The Wilderness Downtown, on the basis of their funstionality, visual design and structure.

Take this Lollipop

Probably my favourite of the lot, Take this Lollipop is designed to be an interactive horror film which uses information from the viewer’s Facebook Profile.

Functionality:

This short film has no real reason other than entertainment. The functionality is very simple. The site has been built using HTML5 and is a short sequence of scenes which have been shot prior to posting. These scenes remain the same. All a viewer has to do is connect his or her Facebook page to the website. There is no further direct interaction. It turns into a personalized film which I particularly think is very cool.

Visual Design:

Visually, the film is shot with very good quality which makes it more cooler. The visual design is done with HTML5 and the effects like the lollipop with the razor inside on the homepage are really cool. The visual design goes hand in hand with the functionality.

Structure:

The structure as mentioned before is fairly simple. The website first asks you to connect with Facebook, from where it then uses information to screen a personalized film. It is a short horror film, where the sequence has been shot beforehand and does not change with different profiles. It uses photographs and location from the facebook profile to tell the story of a staulker. In the end it chooses a friend of your list and calls that person the next victim, hence asking you to share the media.

Hurst

I enjoyed Hurst a lot because it was very different. The author of this story used tweets as a way to communicate the story, hence uploading bit by bit every few hours. I think it is an amazing feat due to the character limitations on Twitter. We have seen diaries come alive as books before but how cool is it that she did the exact same thing with an online diary of sorts, as we treat Twitter.

Functionality:

I wasn’t very moved with the functionality of this story because to me it is quiet a task to go through so many tweets if I decided to read it through. It works only as a one time read, if you come upon it while she is tweeting. A later read also takes away from the spontaenity and excitement of a story. The overall working is simple, scroll to the bottom of her tweets to the very first and read up. Plus it’s free and on a huge platform like Twitter so the reach is amazing. It is very interactive as a lot of conversations are built as per tweet and she gets everyone’s feedback almost instantaneously.

Visual Design:

There is no visual design as such in this digital story. The entire story is told using Tweets and inserting photos or videos using Frog or Youtube, respectively.

Structure:

The structure is very linear, telling one story using three platforms – Twitter, youtube and frog.

The Wilderness Downtown

Awesome. My classmate showed this one to me and I fell in love with it because of the music, the simple concept and the nostalgia it created. I might change a few things personally, but it is fun, even though the real message is lost in all the hype.

Functionality:

This website is easy to use. The first page asks for your childhood address after which a song and a few windows open up. A man is jogging and he is heading towards your given address. The Google maps street view has been used to do this. The reason of planting trees is lost as it becomes an entertaining video in the end and nothing more. It lets you write a letter to your child self in between the shots but this is also pointless. I wish it could have been to your future self and maybe an option to get it posted in real.

The functionality from the viewer’s point of view is great but not from the makers.

Visual Design:

The visual design is very interesting in this particular project. Use of film to show a man jogging to the music is interesting and adds a nice element to an otherwise bland setting. The use of google maps street view to find, jog and walk around the location provided acts as nostalgia inducing effect, which is absolutely cool. The animation of trees sprouting up and birds in the sky are cool but stretched out for too long. The website design is really good with amazing animation happening. It is also made using HTML5.

Structure:

As mentioned above the structure is fairly simple for a viewer but has obviously taken a long time to develop due to it’s various elements. All a viewer is required to do is enter an address into the box and sit back an watch as a man jogs on the streets around that address. After a while of this, the viewer is asked to write a letter to his former self, which is a little pointless and distracting. Once this is done, trees start sprouting up as the man jogs, bringing us to the long awaited end.

From the above projects, I tried to join ideas into my own digital story project. I use Twitter as a platform to pull my clientel. I got the importance and the amount of reach of Twitter by going through what was made possible by Hurst. Using HTML5, I built my own website, using a lot of modern technology, great visual design, functionality and simple usage which I learnt to do from the other two projects.

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Review of a few projects

In this blog I have reviewed a few of my peers’ projects. Our CMWP projects were based on India and the culture there. It is really interesting to see what other people have come up with specially as our class is so multicultural.

1. 7 Days of Yoga

This blog page, created by Cassie, Shane, Peter and Tessa is a really interesting read. Having gone through it, I really enjoyed it. Yoga being such a great part of our culture, it’s really cool to see people all over the world embrace it. https://7daysofyoga.wordpress.com/

Some positives for me in this project were:

1. The content does not only revolve around the 7 basic stances that you can do to start learning yoga. I love that there is so much content about the history, what to expect upon doing yoga and the objectiveness of it all. I like how varied it is and I think a person can access this blog even when they are not just looking to add some basic yoga to their lives. I think it is very thought through and more than you would expect to find.

2. I love the photographs. Cassie is so beautiful and her poses are perfect. Just seeing these photographs can push someone to start yoga. They can be intimidating but at the same time, the one’s at the beach add to how yoga ca be fun and not just about spirituality.

3. It is simple, purposeful and fills out every aspect of our project. Most of the other projects have really gone out and done up their look and aesthetics more than the actual content and this project does stand out in the crowd.

Some weeknesses according to me were:

1. Aesthetically though simple, which I liked, I realized just how much you have to scroll down to view the blog and there is no simple way to access certain things. The site being about yoga should be made in a way where the reader can stay calm, if that makes sense.

2. The blog design itself, I would like to subtract the amount that’s happening there. I would have liked to see something around how Cassie’s original blog page is. That is beautiful compared to this. I understand how much content went in but it would have been nice to see some aesthetic components.

3. I would have loved to see some video’s to show me how to go about stuff as well as a great marketing image. Though photo’s have been used to pull people on various social media, a campaign or slogan or a more proffessional approach could do this website wonders.

I think I would just change the website design here to enhance what I want to sell and try to get one marketing image instead of using various shots.

2. Difference is beautiful

A trailer made by Francez, Dominic and Olivia, Difference is beautiful is well, beautiful. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqrC2Bo0NTI&feature=share

The strengths:

1. I love the aesthetic quality of the video. It is beautifully executed. The animation is perfect and colourful to keep you interested. The music is lovely. Overall, Aesthetically and technology wise I think this is a very high class production. I have posted a poster of an actual Indian film below, a blockbuster, which this trailer reminded me of. To be able to do that is amazing.

Band_Baaja_Baaraat_poster

2. I love the idea itself – Difference is beautiful. Being in a new country, it is really this difference which brings us close and I love the idea of it for a film.

3. Good editing mix.

Weaknesses:

1. The content was not enough to satisfy my curiosity, do justice to the idea itself or even pull an audience. It was lacking a storyline which would entice someone to actually watch it. Could have been so much but was sold short and generating only a one minute video was definitely not enough. I would have liked more with a deeper story there.

2. The gestures used were silly. Could have been more thought of. The story runs differently from what is actually happening on screen which wasn’t too cool, I would say. More structure would have been nice.

I would definitely want to do more research on simple Indian or Chinese gestures used. Even go into more in depth general gestures. An idea would be to use elaborate actions and maybe even drawings. I would also try to make my shooting background more colourful to give me less contrast when switching between the animation shots and filmed shots.

3. A taste of India

This was just hilarious, a good way of forming an ebook/comic strip. http://www.booksie.com/literary_fiction/short_story/taste_of_india/a-taste-of-india

What I liked:

1. Easy to upload on any device. Good Technology, which definitely makes it stand out and you don’t mind giving extra time to read it. I think booksie is a great platform and would definitely like to use it in the future. I read it on my mobile device which was great.

2. I think the way it was handled, it is really comical. I had a really good time reading it and laughing with my friends. I think that’s a really hard thing to do and every little thing added to it. The photos, the cut outs, the slangs and the absolute bizareness.

3. I also really like how indepth the knowledge of the Indian culture, traditions as well as relationships are to the group. It shows through the story.  I think it is great for an Australian audience. Being able to make a story about one culture and sell it to another is commendable.

Weaknesses:

1. Horrible cut out’s. Could have been smoother.

2. Some of the slangs were really wierd and I did not really understand.

I would maybe do more research on India and definitely explore my skills with using tachnology more. Though that might take away from the comic value that they seem to be aiming at now, I would like to be more perfect with my job.

Well, these were the three I saw and decided to comment on. Looking at all of them helped me add to my own project because I wanted to be as in depth as 7 Days of Yoga, as colourful and Indian as Difference is Beautiful and for an audience from different cultures like the Taste of India. I have tried to achieve that and am looking forward to what other people think about my project.