Final Project and End of Course Summary

1. Final Project:

In and Out of Tune

2. Final Project Tutorials:

Final Project Tutorials

This class was quite a whirlwind. I was working more than 50 hours a week, playing on an adult league softball team and attempting to maintain a social life while exploring Lake Tahoe. Needless to say, I haven’t slept much in these five weeks, but I don’t regret any part of taking a summer course. Although there were times that I had to miss out on some of the fun things I had hoped to do, I spent it doing some incredibly productive things.
In this course, I really had to conquer a lot of challenges. I’ve always enjoyed writing, so that portion of the class was less intimidating than content creations. I was initially extremely worried about all the different forms of media I would have to become quickly acquainted with, especially since I would be navigating this course on my own. But I feel as if I have learned an exceptional amount of very useful skills. Not only do I have a much better idea of what tools are available to me, I am getting even better at using them. I think that even as this course comes to a close, I will continue to challenge my artistic side and create digital media when the mood strikes.
In addition to learning about media and digital outlets, I feel like my creative side has been rejuvenated. As a biology, chemistry and neuroscience student, sometimes I feel like I don’t have a chance to explore my creativity. Science is an incredibly creative discipline, but it engages my creativity in a non-artistic manner. I often feel as if I’ve lost my ability to be artistic throughout the course of my scientific studies, so this class was a wonderful relief from that feeling.
I think the most educational portion of this course was definitely during the design week. There are so many aspects of design in my life that I was completely unaware of, and yet I confront them nearly every day. In that week alone, I began to see advertisements and indoor decor much differently than I ever did before. It was at times a little frustrating to work through all the resources about design elements but ultimately I’m glad I took the time to read all of that information because I really learned a lot and was able to apply the information to my projects.
The most exciting project for me was probably my daily life in GIFs projects (A Truly Endless Summer). This project was meaningful to me because right now, my daily life is like a dream come true. I spend each day working with kids that are incredibly smart, funny and energetic. I get to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world with my best friend. To be able to create my own content that commemorates these moments is fantastic. When I completed this project, I was extremely proud of it, and it got me excited for the remainder of the course. Whenever I got stuck or frustrated on another project, I would revisit my GIF project and to remind myself that perseverance through whatever issue I was having would eventually result in some great artwork.
The only thing that I would change about taking this course, is that I would like more time to complete the work. Obviously, one of the attractive qualities of online courses is that they are compressed and that is one of the main reasons I chose to take this course online and over the summer. However, I have been working so much that it was a gauntlet each and every week to find the time and energy to create quality projects. However, because much of my creations revolved around my life here in Tahoe, I think that I actually gained a greater appreciation for the experiences I have had this summer. This course forced me to be more reflective of each day, and I was able to produce some content that will commemorate one of the best summers of my life. I think that is the most exciting aspect of this class, that I was able to make art from my daily experiences. It’s amazing what three credits really gets you.

In and Out of Tune

I can hear the floor boards above me creaking, dust floats down in and out of the golden streams of sunlight beaming through cracks in the rotting wooden ceiling. Someone has pulled the door open and is walking down the stairs. I can’t help but feel a tinge of hope, it’s been so long since I’ve felt the warmth of full sunlight. How does a musical instrument pass the time when it’s not being played? Does he sit idle and dream of striking chords and harmonizing with his owner, or does he reminisce on the songs of his past? My, my…I’ve been stowed so long that my very own answer to that question has changed many times. Dust has settled into the smooth curve of my waist, humid air has begun to warp my neck so that it curves inward towards the wall I’ve rested on for so long. Age is etched into my delicate frame, but my strings, although they hang loose from years of going in and out of tune, appear fresh, almost un-plucked. They look like a streak of brilliant silver hair in the dusty, dark brown of this brunette basement.
I am not a good guitar. I was meant to send off my notes, gracefully drifting through the air to mingle with each other, twirling like the delicate fringe of a dancer’s dress. But my notes dart off in all directions, crashing into each other at rough angles, reverberating off of walls with great force and coming to rest in injured heaps of sour sound. I often wonder if I was meant to be something else, that in the process of being created, maybe there was an error. My pliant wooden body should have been the delicate earthy details to a great mantle above roaring winter fires, or perhaps the soft under belly of a formal dining room table. I can picture children lying on their backs under this table, staring up at me like I’m an ornate ceiling in their tiny castle, lightly gracing my unfinished surface with the pads of their small fingers pausing only to scratch their initials lightly into my skin, leaving slight scars that say I am theirs.
But even in error there is some purpose. I once, just once, sang beautifully with another soul. His callused fingers were hardened from age and the kind of grit you can get only from hard work. When he first touched my frame, I could feel the acquired ridges of his grip running over me, contrasting starkly with my sleek finish. His hands slid over my sides without any cling, rolling off my curves smooth as ice skates, leaving a brief impression that only I could feel. It lingered, like the soft hum of the prelude to a great sonata. He and I made music before ever striking a single note. And when he finally did strum my young strings, I sang out joyfully and my notes danced like they were always meant to.
I only ever sang once. Those hands never did return to me, though I did dance with many other pairs. They never held me as gently, and when they plucked at my strings it was angry, as if they were already filled with vengeance for the music they would never be able to make with me. So I was laid down long ago, to wait for the next pair of hands that would take hold of me and make me sing again. I couldn’t make music, but I have always been able to keep time. Common time, four-four time, five-eight time, whatever signature matched my stagnant tempo as I found myself sitting idle for years. My only company was the brief time I spent as a gift, given away by the man who could make me sing to a young girl.
I sat in the corner of her bedroom for many years before I was cast to the basement. I watched her grow, listening to her was like hearing a song play too softly in the distance, beautiful but with a longing to hear each note crisply and clearly. I overheard her talking about true love, she spoke of it as if it belonged only to humans, as if they created it. But I wonder if humans ever truly feel love, or if they only feel the urgency not to be alone. I am an instrument, a tool that is meant to be used and manipulated, warped into a purpose seen fit by my creator. Humans cannot enter into such a form of devotion, they cannot give up everything they are to the will of another. And isn’t that love? Maybe I won’t ever know what love is, but I’m certain I have heard it and felt it, if only once, so long ago.
A soft hand wraps around my neck, pinning my strings to my body so that they won’t scream out in an unmelodious outburst, and I’m carried, finally, into bright light once more.

I was never meant to be what I am, and now I’m the only unclaimed piece of garbage left from a garage sale of dejected toys. So now I’m useless as what I am, but maybe not in what I am composed of. So take apart what you find, pull it into its separate pieces, watch it fall apart to see how it once came together. Make something new with the junk that you see, make music, make art. Use these materials and build for yourself a kingdom of belongings. We are materialistic but we are so with a purpose, what comes from us comes from nature just as we do. It is natural to build and to create but even more so to break down. As much as we love to carve away at wood, sand it down and curve it to precise angles that will let vibrations turn to song, we also love to destroy. To unwind steel strings from their coils so that a gentle twang wafts as a non-melody through the air, to rip at wooden seams so that they fall like dense banana tree leaves, keeping their shape but losing their color as they detach. Destroy this failed, glorified music box and make something better. Make the music we’re all afraid to hear, the songs of endings and new beginnings. Take me apart, piece by piece so I can sing again.

I am complete but I do not feel whole. I picture myself as an series of broken images, brought together to roughly resemble the instrument I’m meant to be. In many ways, this should be beautiful. That so many warped pieces could still become something at all. But that does not change my brokenness. Even in the best light, in the most beautiful setting, I am still nothing but a fractured version of what I should be. And so I don’t fear my own breakdown, I welcome it. But when it comes time to be disposed, I am not destroyed. Instead I start out on a sojourn of rejection.

I dream as I sit waiting to be claimed by something, whether the elements or the garbage man, I thought of what else I could have been. All of us consider the alternative possibilities that could have been, but when lacking in true purpose these fantasies are addicting without having to be exotic or exciting. I can dream up an existence where I am simple part of a somehow even simpler wooden bench, and I will yearn for it to become reality. It may not be romantic or desirable but in that world I serve a purpose, I have a function. But there are times, too, when I dream of the unrealistic. If I can’t make music, perhaps I would have moved to it better. I imagine myself twirling with abandon, rhythm driving me forward as if these movements were pulled out of me rather than created by me. But I always dance alone in these dreams. Dancing alone seems as purposeless as a guitar that can’t carry a tune. The dream often devolves into a nightmare in which my wooden frame is stripped to become the soles of tap shoes.

My rejection never ends. It always takes me to new places but it always feels the same. Whether the sun is shining on steamy summer days or the earth is cold and still in winter, the mood of rejection never falters. It is a feeling of pain but without sting or surprise. Rejection is always foreshadowed, it can be predicted but we deny what we sense. So when it hits us, what we experience is not pain but catharsis. We are letting go of the emotions we held hostage within our denial. We only say that rejection hurts because nothing else we have ever experienced in life resembles this feeling. Its like falling, but it’s so much slower. You can feel yourself slipping towards the earth but you don’t worry about the impact because at least you know what it feels like to be hit hard. You can only worry about what you’ve lost, what you fell from. It’s a lamenting fall where time unfolds as lazily as crumpled paper, forcing you to be fully present in this moment.
I have fallen like this so many times, it is always the same. As I sit here, I imagine the world in different lights, with colors dripping in saturation and brand new hues peaking through the distance but it all feels just the same. It felt the same in my last place of repudiation and it will be this way in the next. I have been chosen and discarded again and again and I have felt nothing new. The only change comes in the form of diminishing hope, each time I am picked up again I feel only a tinge of optimism. Just like all the others, these new hands will be unable to make me sing and they will eventually give up on me.

I have drifted from so many places; some beautiful, some otherwise. But when I came to rest in view of the lake and the mountains, I imagined myself as a piece of driftwood. In a way, I’ve always been driftwood. I’ve always floated passively, bobbing up and down on waves of meaningless time, swept away by random currents taking me to the next place where I will serve no purpose. So to drift along this ice cold, crystal clear lake would feel no different but the scenery at least would be nice.
As I sit, imagining the ebb and flow of the tiny waves, a brand new pair of hands grasps my neck and picks me up. I feel absolutely no excitement, once again I am in the hands of someone who will leave me. I feel angry, that someone would still try to make me sing, after all that I have been through. So when he carries me to the end of the dock and his callased fingers run over my frets, I begin to resist. He twists and turns the tuners of my strings but I fight back, I don’t want to sing for him, or anyone. I don’t want to sing at all, I can’t remember what those songs sounded like anyway.
But he is incessant and pulls my strings taught. I fight him, feeling the full strain of my resistance in each of my delicate strings. He never gets frustrated, he isn’t even perplexed as to why I refuse to be tuned. He continues to gently pluck, leaning in close to hear my reserved sound. I want to keep fighting him, giving in will only result in the same sour sounds and eventual rejection that it always has. He’ll abandon me like all the others have, and I’ll go without my song once again. My strings are pulling tighter and tighter, I can feel the tension extending from my strings to the frame of my body, threatening to rip me apart, useless once more. I can picture the end to my story, a single string hanging loosely from my body, uncoiled and limp in defeat. Surely then he would abandon me, surely then I would be finished.

But my string doesn’t break. He gives my tuner a final twist, and seems satisfied. He pauses for a moment and I release my anger, the tension that had mounted within me recoils slightly, but my strings remain taught. Delicately, he places weathers fingers along my frets, his hands contorted unnaturally in a pose to press down on my strings. He takes one soft breath and begins to strum. What comes from us is simple, but melodious. I am singing, a song that isn’t quite sad but is lamenting and hollow. I would not believe that this music comes from me, but I can feel my frame shiver with the vibrating waves of sound as they emanate from my body out towards the setting sun, undulating with the waves. I am singing in the arms of someone once more. I want to sing out to everyone, indiscriminately bringing music back into the world. But in this moment, my song is soft, the waves of the lake over power it and the only one to hear my notes is the one who helped me create them. So we sing together, utterly alone.

Final Project Tutorials

Tutorials for my final project:

In and Out of Tune

Story Time Fun Time!– Tell an audio story, use sound effects and music. This project is worth 3.5 stars.



The Tutorial-

All sound was recorded using the Voice Memo app on the iPhone. Sound bites were then imported to iTunes and converted to MP3 files so that they are compatible with Audacity.

All sound bites were edited using Audacity, unwanted content was cut out and sound effects were added.
Sound effects were downloaded from Free Sound, sound effects used included “Outdoor Party” by Dobride,”Happy Birthday Crowd” by Theuned and “Acoustic Guitar” By Franky Boomer.

Event Advertisement- – create a poster advertising for an event, in this case a garage sale. This project was worth 4 stars.

The Tutorial-

To complete this project, I simply copied and pasted a picture of the guitar to a PowerPoint slide and selected the design and fonts that I wanted for my poster. I then took a screenshot of the slide in full screen.

 

Hockney- make a collage of photos that resembles the art of David Hockney.  This project was worth 3.5 stars.

 

Tutorial-

 

This project was made using Collage Maker  a website that allows you to take multiple photos and compile them into a single picture. First, I took pictures of the guitar, changing the center of the photo by a few inches with each new shot so that I ended up with about twenty pictures of different perspective. Then I uploaded those pictures to Collage Maker and overlapped them so that they formed a single, disjointed photo.

 

Caught Mid Action- Take a photo of an object in motion to alter its appearance. This project is worth 2 stars.

 

The Tutorial-

To create this photo, I simply took a one-handed photo with an iPhone while making the guitar twirl in my left hand.

 

Switch up the Mood– Alter hue and saturation to change the mood of a photo. This project is worth 2 stars.

The Tutorial-

To complete this project, I opened my photo using the Windows Photos App and used the editing options the program has to change the filter, hue and saturation of the pictures.

 

Self Documentary- Make a video about your own life, here is the self documentary as told by the guitar. This project is worth 4 stars.

The Tutorial-

All videos were filmed using the iPhone 7 and were then uploaded to a macbook. Videos were edited in length and sound to achieve desired duration and content.

Music was added using the site Free Music Archive, the song selected was “One More Round” by David Szesztay

 

5 Second Ending- An alternative ending to the story of the dejected guitar. This project is worth 4 stars.

 

via GIPHY

The Tutorial-

This animated GIF was made using GIPHY and then embedded into the wordpress post.

 

Week Four-Video Storytelling

Reflections-

1. Reflecting on Roger Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie” and several videos on movie-making.

Perspective, Perspectives

2. Reflecting on a scene from “American Psycho.”

A Triple Take on American Psycho


Daily Creates

1.

2.

3.

4.

Video Assignments

1. Self Documentary- This was definitely my favorite assignment of the week, summer camp is a big part of my life at the moment and it seems to be the only thing I really talk about anymore, it’s something I want to share with the world. This assignment was worth 4 stars.

Summer Camp Matters

2. Time Lapse Activity- In this assignment, I finally fulfilled my dream of cleaning my room up at super sonic speed, ain’t technology amazing? This assignment was worth 4.5 stars.

Your Room is a Mess

Comments:

1. https://jbelodeauds106.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/kelly-oubre-jr-is-the-g-o-a-t/comment-page-1/#comment-35

2. http://smcsally.com/assignments/instant-replay/#comment-57

3. http://ds106jake.jakobwaterman.org/blog/assignments/video-crack/

4. http://simplytellingstories.com/assignments/the-not-so-exciting-life-of-me-video-assignment/

Video Storytelling

This week was even more fun than the audio storytelling week. In comparing the power of visual storytelling to that of just audio storytelling, I can easily understand why movie video has prevailed over just about every other form of storytelling. In my own projects, particularly the Self Documentary assignment about my job as a camp counselor, my story came to life so easily because of all the senses that the media accessed. It didn’t hurt, either, that I was using my roommate’s high quality iPhone 7 camera.
Creating the content for this week’s assignments went smoothly. I had expected at some point to be very frustrated with editing, but the projects I chose did not require a lot of alterations to the footage I collected. I did struggle somewhat with the iMovie tools and was unable to splice a sequence of film the way that I wanted to but the final project came out the way I had hoped.
My reflections and movie reading attempts were extremely enjoyable. I have always loved film and I want to learn more about producing it and analyzing it. I hope to one day take a film study course, but until then the advice of Roger Ebert was very insightful. Although I found his writing a little difficult to follow, the lesson on intrinsic weighting was very useful, and I immediately recognized its effects in the movies that I have watched since. I think that I will probably approach film much differently than I have in the past now that I have learned a little more about the analysis process.
In the future, I would love to spend a little more time on video production, I may even want to attempt to create scripted videos. I hope to invest more in the audio portion of film, working on a musical score and adding in some sound effects. I think that my projects were effective and are enjoyable to watch but I definitely wish I had planned a little better for my documentary project. I had a general idea of what I wanted to capture, but I was not prepared for what the project entailed and in the end I think the project had a lot of potential that it did not fulfill. Nevertheless, I am proud of what I produced this week and I am looking forward to incorporating what I learned through video production into my final project.
With this course coming to a close, I want to revisit my projects that I have produced so far and find some points that I want to improve upon, and use those as goals for my final project. Although I am not planning on following a fictional character, I may want to incorporate and aspect of fiction into my work. I want to start early since the assignments will be due sooner in the week than usual, to ensure that I still produce high quality projects. Ultimately, I’m hoping that by combining the four topics we have worked through during this course, that I can produce a compelling and exciting final project that would be interesting to all consumers. At this point in the course, I feel like I have learned an exceptional amount of skills that I will be able to use in the future, and I’ve also regained some of my artistic instinct. I’m excited to see where that will take me next week for the final project, and beyond.

Your Room is a Mess

Activity Time Lapse-Make a time lapse video of yourself doing a task.

The Story Behind the Story-

When I was in elementary school, we were often given an assignment in which we had to come up with an idea for an invention, something not necessarily practical but definitely useful. I always invented some variation on a machine that cleans your room for you.
My machine often took on those classic names like “the amazing clean-o-matic.” There were modiels that were like mechanical fishing poles, programmed to hook objects lying on the ground and identify their proper location. Even more spectacular was the model that made you more efficient as a cleaner, you would work at super sonic speed, racing around the room, folding socks in a blur. I remember so many summer days foiled by my mothers demands that I clean up my pig sty of a room, she would shout that it looked like a tornado had come through, that it was a fire hazard. It always got so treacherous in the summertime when there was much to be done. During the school year, there is plenty to procrastinate on and my bedroom was typically clean and tidy. But in the summers, as my room slowly descended into chaos, I could always sense when my mother’s breaking point would hit, and eventually the tension that only clutter can cause would boil over and I’d be ordered to clean. As I spent what could have been time outside playing kick the can and capture the flag with the neighborhood kids, I lamented in my torture wishing that my inventions could just become reality. I vowed to one day become an inventor who could actually create a room-cleaning machine to rescue the summer days of the children of the future.
Years later, and my room still becomes consumed by clutter in the summers. This summer, I have a roommate and he and I are particularly unkempt. We each work more than 40 hours a week and try to pack as much adventure into our days as we can, so our extremely small bedroom is easily overrun by dirty clothes, stained coffee mugs and sandy beach towels. I chose to complete a time lapse video of us cleaning up our room, to try and satisfy my past self who always wished she could clean her room at super sonic speed.I was inspired now, and as a kid, by Loonette’s Ten Second Tidies from the children’s show The Big Comfy Couch:

Tutorial-

All of the footage for this video was taken on the iPhone 7 using the time-lapse setting. We had to create a mount on the wall using electrical tape so that we could get a vantage point that showed the messy floor of the room. The timelapse was then uploaded to a macbook computer and uploaded to iMovie.

The entire video was shot in a single take, so no editing of the footage was necessary.

Music was then added to the clip in the background, the original video did not have any audio.

The music used was “Camp Song (reprise)” by Fantastic Swimmers from the website Free Music Archive a site that provides music free for download with no copyright infringement.

The movie was then exported to a file acceptable for upload, although the file was too large to be uploaded to Vimeo or to be directly uploaded to my WordPress blog, so it was uploaded to my YouTube account.

Once the video was uploaded to YouTube, it was embedded in this WordPress blog post.

Summer Camp Matters

Self Documentary-Make a mini documentary about something in your life.

The Story Behind the Story-

When I first got my job as a summer camp counselor, I was worried about a few things. First of all, I don’t like kids. Even as a kid I didn’t really like kids. I could be found on the bench at the playground talking to the parents of all the other kids who were playing tag or hide and seek. I just don’t quite understand kids, so they make me nervous. I try to recognize the agency and individuality they possess but in all honesty they seem like very tiny, intoxicated monsters. In their eyes, you can either be a fun punching bag or the evil teacher out to ruin foil their summer adventures, there is no in between.
My secondary worry in taking on this summer camp was that I would be working with extremely privileged children. Not that I don’t want to work with privileged kids, but I feel a little guilty that I am not devoting my time to some kind of “cause.” I figure that if I’m going to work with children, maybe it should be with children who need summer camp. But who is it that needs summer camp? There are plenty of kids out in the world who don’t receive enough love and attention and positivity in their lives, if I’m going to be spending all my time with children, I may as well work as a force to improve the lives of a few of them.
But I’ve found that despite this affluent location and the number of kids that are dropped off each morning in a Range Rover by their French au pair, many of the children I work with still suffer some serious deficit in their lives. For a lot of kids, this is the only place they don’t get bullied. Others don’t receive any attention from their parents or are watching their family become fractured by divorce. I have spoken to one mother who said that summer camp is the only place her daughter has found a positive male role model, a young boy walked me through the horror of watching his grandmother succumb to ALS. Several children are experiencing the beginning of a brand new life having been taken in by foster parents with vacation homes in Tahoe, a stark contrast to the lives of many children in the foster care system.
All of the children at camp, even the ones that might be a little spoiled, are reaping something great from this. I can’t help but feel amazed that I am watching these kids find their way, even if they’re only in my care for a week. Children are malleable, they’re changing from day to day, so even in the small time I have with them I see them grow. So many children go from being shy and invisible the first day, to outgoing and borderline obnoxious by the end of the week. No child is ever what I expect them to be on first sight, I always try to guess which kids will be the most mischievous and I’m nearly always wrong.
Summer camp matters for a lot of reasons. It’s more than just fun, it’s where kids get to be a little less self conscious, maybe try something they’ve never done before. But it’s just as important for me as it is for the children. Since becoming a counselor, I’ve started seeing children differently. They don’t roam in packs like wild animals without conscious thought. They are autonomous individuals with agency and even though they often lack to resources to carry out the plans they make, they’re undoubtedly moving through the world with a plan. Even though they can be cruel, exhausting and unmanageable, they have also given me some of the most profound lessons I have learned in my entire life. When we camped out on the beach under the stars, I got to hear their excited whispers and see the brilliant night stars reflecting off their glossy, wide eyes. I’ve been able to sit in the last rays of the setting sun and watch the kids dance and sing and play, a scene that was so perfect I was unwilling to let it go, so I recorded it here:

via GIPHY

Summer camp has mattered so much to me, I can only hope that these kids will go on feeling as connected to this place and time as I have been.

The Tutorial-

All the footage from this mini documentary was shot on the iPhone 7 and then uploaded onto a macbook for editing using iMovie.

Once uploaded to iMovie, the frames were edited to exclude any unwanted footage and music was added.

Using the ds106 Handbook, I was able to find a site that had free music that could legally be downloaded without copyright infringement.

The music used was “Old Ways” by John Armistead from the website Free Music Archive .

The movie was then exported to a file acceptable for upload, although the file was too large to be uploaded to Vimeo or to be directly uploaded to my WordPress blog, so it was uploaded to my YouTube channel.

Once the video was uploaded to YouTube, it was embedded in this WordPress blog post.

A Triple Take on American Psycho

Visual Only-

The opening is simply a shot of the man sitting on a chair, there is little action occurring but the scene is well balanced. Everything seems simplified and clean, from the mans sharp outfit to the empty bottle and unopened cigar on either side of the man. Although his expression and slouched posture give the impression that he is uninterested, the scene seems very sterile and tense.
Even as the main character looks over to someone out of frame, the camera and focus remains on him. The full view of the second man in the room is delayed slightly during the take, creating minute suspense. When the second man comes into view, he appears confident and his movements are quick, appearing contrived and planned. The man’s confidence is even more clear as he watched himself in the mirror.
Several times in the clip, the camera pans so that it focuses directly on inanimate objects. First on the CD case, then the glass and prescription and then again on the shiny metal ax head.
Without dialogue, it’s difficult to understand the context of the scene, but the man with the ax seems to be shifting between moods. He is confident in the beginning, then suddenly he dances around the room, seeming jovial but slightly insane. As he begins to wield the ax, his presence becomes somewhat threatening, his demeanor is suddenly much heavier and intense.
The choice to show only the killers face as he murders the first man with the ax was a powerful means of showing both the man’s insanity as well as the intensity with which he carries out the action. His face is full of rage, and each motion is deliberate.
At the end of the scene, the killer is positioned so that the blood on one side of his face is completely hidden, giving the audience the view of a seemingly normal man. I assume that this was to further convey the impression that the man shifts from murderous to normal member of society rapidly and without warning. In the final angle change, the murderer is shown sitting in an armchair just like the victim had been sitting in moments earlier, smoking the cigar. The camera angle is from below, looking up at the murderer from the dead body. While the murder is casual and calm, the view from the dead body instills an overwhelming sense of dread.
Interestingly, the murderer is always in the background whenever he is in the same frame as the victim. According to Roger Ebert, this conveys a dominance to the victim. However, when the killer is alone, the camera angles are mostly focused on his face, there are not many elements surrounding him preventing distraction from his intense expressions. During the actual murder, the camera angle is shot from below, similar to the style often seen in Quentin Tarantino films, giving the audience a point of view that lies to the left of the victim as he is murdered.

Audio Only-

The first and only sound of a CD player in the clip precedes the first voice, a confident and optimistic sounding man that is a stark contrast to the second voice which sounds lethargic and tired. I assume that the confident sounding man is the murderer. Just as he appears in the beginning of the video, the murderer’s dialogue seems very much scripted and unnatural, though confident.
The sound effects are limited to the natural sounds of the scene (which I’m sure were enhanced by a Foley artist). The sound of the CD going into the player, the case being set down and the footsteps of the murderer are very clear and loud, taking up as many decibels of volume as the dialogue seems to. Interestingly, the scene goes on with a discussion of the musician on the CD without the music playing. The sound of shuffling feet and a jacket being pulled on competes with the clarity of the other sound effects from earlier on.
As the murderer continues speaking, his pace quickens and he sounds more and more excited. The interchange between the two characters is brief and the victim does not sound worried, rather he still sounds tired and slightly perplexed. When the music starts playing, the murderer sounds increasingly unnatural in his speech, and his footsteps are still clearly audible over the music. It is unclear whether the scream came from the killer or the victim. The sounds of the ax hitting the victim are dull but have a very visceral effect, the sound of blood splatter is not excessive allowing the whole scene to remain realistic.
Finally, when the man is dead the murderer can be heard returning to his seat, again the small sounds like the click of the lighter and the exhale of cigar smoke can be heard over the extremely loud music. The song that played throughout the duration of the scene is jovial and fast paced, contrasting with the severity and darkness of the scene that just unfolded.

Audio and Visual Together-

I did not expect the combination of video and audio to give me a new and distinct interpretation of this scene from American Psycho, but there are several aspects of this film that were not apparent to me until the two media were united.
As the movement and the dialogue of the murderer are put together, he seems to lack seriousness. Everything again seems pre-coordinated and he seems even more frightening.
I did not initially recognize that the victim isn’t tired or legthargic, rather he’s intoxicated. I should have been clued in by the empty liquor bottle in the scene, but his movement is not clearly drunken and his tone simply appears tired.
By bringing together audio and visual I also realized that the murderer moves his hands in unison with the breaks between words. He moves and speaks emphatically in coordination, emphasizing his excitement for what he is about to do.
Although it’s now clear that the murderer was the one who produced the scream at the end, I still can’t fully discern what is said immediately after the first strike of the ax. The only word I can hear clearly is “extortion.” When the sound of the ax is combined with each strike against the body of the victim, the murder is even more disturbing and realistic.