Storyboard for a Promotional Video

Comm Lab - Video and Sound

Group Members:

Amena Hayat

Stephanie Paige

Ayal Rosenberg

We decided to take up the Promotional Video option and jumped right in, sharing our own first ideas and in the end, deciding to incorporate each into what we hope will be a humorous, inspiring infomercial for an amazing product that you all would want to get your hands on.

Our infomercial is going to promote a magical device (a wand, to be exact), that you can code to cause paranormal-telekinesis instances to occur. The overarching idea – the product – is the purest combination of all of our visions for this assignment (a paranormal product, Harry Potter, creating an evil twin).

The general idea of our project is to reflect daily problems of the average ITPer, and how to resolve those issues with the wave of a wand. We are including “P5 coding” in the concept to provide a realistic side to our made up product.

We thought of the daily problems and which of these were interesting enough to cause for the need of a device like ours. From here, we discussed how these could be solved and how/why our device works. Then, how our timeline and storyboard would look. Get ready for the magic below:

Scene 1:

Presenting the first problem : An instructor asks if you did the blog post. And you’re all embarrassed. The instructor is disappointed.

Scene 2:

You are learning Chinese from a book and then go to a group of people and say stupid stuff in Chinese. They look at you in shocked faces. You are embarrassed.

Scene 3:

You are walking down the street and there is a couple holding hands and they’re blocking your way. Next frame – you get to class and you’re late.

Scene 4:

“Introducing – P5.fricking_magic_wand!!” the wand appears at the front of the picture.

Scene 5:

The scientist explains how it works and what is the secret component. A brief frame of someone writing code and uploading it to the wand.

Scene 6:

Going back to the class with the homework. A brief shot of the computer screen with a funny line of code (“map(shiffman, memory, 0,0”);   Then there’s a shot of the Instructor confused and carry on with the class.

Scene 7-8:

Same as 6

Scene X :

“Warning – infinite loops can cause the creation of  an evil twin”

The protagonist’s so called evil twin is making mayhem in the lounge.  


~Sketched by Amena~

Soundwalk: Our Commute

Comm Lab - Video and Sound

Group Members:

Alice Sun

Amena Hayat

Elizabeth Ferguson

We were tasked to make a 5-minute Soundwalk for Communications Lab, and we chose to do one with a journey in mind. We imagined a route across the globe, with our hometowns as stops, which ended in our new home; New York City. With nostalgic sounds of each of the places we hail from, Busan in South Korea, Lahore in Pakistan, and San Fransisco Bay Area in the US, and a refreshing, hopeful ending with sounds that immortalise New York City, our soundwalk is an emotion stirrer.

The soundwalk was planned on a Google Sheet:


–  Sound edition for Lahore, Pakistan in Track 1-Journey
–  Sound edition for entire Track 2 -MTA (Train) and Track 3  -Home (NYC subway and street)
–  Story narration for Lahore, Pakistan

–  Sound edition for Bay Area, US in Track 1-Journey
–  Story narration for Bay Area, US
–  Production of the map inside Tisch School of the Arts at 721 Broadway

–  Sound edition for Busan, South Korea in Track 1-Journey
–  Sound edition for Intro
–  Story narration for Busan, South Korea, Intro and Ending
–  Remapping and combining of entire tracks

We used Adobe Audition to edit sound, this is what the formatting looked like:

And the soundwalk also incorporated an instructional map:

Here, have a listen!

The Ecstasy of Influence – A Plagiarism by Jonathan Lethem

Comm Lab - Video and Sound

Jonatham Lethem’s article on “plagiarism” and its versions draws many comparisons between artists’, scientists’ and other public figures’ work and criticises the ownership of ideas. It explains with various examples, like that of Bob Dylan’s greatest hits, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Martin Luther King’s sermons, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, since all were inspired by other artists before them, that the originality of the works of art and science with the greatest contributions to contemporary human history is in the assembly and the rearrangement of ideas.

Loss Aversion 

Collaging, Lethem explains with the words “the cut-up method”, is an art itself, and there can be true originality there. It is what teachers would call plagiarism, but when done right can invoke the profound effect intended by the artist. For me personally, inspiration did awaken what I consider my previously hidden talents, and my career shift from engineer to fashion designer was heavily influenced by the work of Indian couturist, Sabyasachi Mukherjee. “Like a memory never before experienced” I designed, incorporating bits and pieces of his vision into my work, and the results snowballed into designs that were my own but which borrowed his ingenuity.

I instinctively agree with the notion put forward by Thomas Jefferson that some things are say, sacred enough to never be commodified. Although he did consider copyrights “a necessary evil”, promoting the mentioned culture that everything of value must be owned by someone, ideas, like sex, can not be property. Lethem is right when he calls them “government granted monopolies.” Ideas are both personal, yet they belong to humanity as a whole, like airspace.

Gift Economy and the Commons — “You can’t steal a gift.”

My favourite quote in the article: “Don’t pirate editions, plunder visions.”

Her Long Black Hair – A sound walk by Janet Cardiff

Comm Lab - Video and Sound

The soundwalk, Her Long Black Hair, was an immersive physical and psychological journey. It merged the world around me, into the world of history, both that of the park and the people who have walked it, and of a woman with long black hair, who is seen in a series of pictures at multiple locations within the park. She uses these pictures as a portal into the past, to evoke emotions and questions and to look at the mundane in an artistic way. She says in the very first track, “Its loud here isn’t it? When you’re in a city like New York, you have to think about the sounds like there is symphony. Otherwise you go a bit crazy”. It was difficult to tell which sounds were coming from the recording and which were there in the present surroundings. Both were equally real when the senses combined.

Started the sound walk on a breezy Sunday. It was warm in the sun, cool in the shade: Perfect weather.

It wasn’t my first time exploring Central Park, but in a way it was. Listening to Janet’s intimate yet instructional voice, sometimes soft and empathetic, at other times commanding, I was made to use all of my senses while my imagination ran wild. Her Long Black Hair got my attention at first, by its near perfect matching of sounds and experiences. Some were set in stone, like physical landmarks, locations of tunnels according to her map. But on several occasions, the words coordinated with sight; baby strollers, a man reading a newspaper, ice cream (or pop-sickles at least), and somehow they were exactly where she put them in her sound walk. These moving entities seemed to be permanent in time.

“Notice the strollers..”

The park was alive with people enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon, but I was consumed with the history —  real and imagined — that Janet spoke of. Real histories were those of civil war soldiers and things that weren’t a part of the park anymore, like the mention of a polar bear or the fact that people used to shoot stray pigs and goats there.

Trees in the “Enchanted Forest” — “with their roots going all the way into the rock, the same trees that soldiers from the civil war walked next to.”

The fanciful history was about imagined characters; their personal histories to their relationships, and what it reminded Janet of. It sparked concern for the woman with black hair, and made me wonder about her life. It made connections with other fictional characters and their personal histories, wiring together bits and pieces of human sentiments and prompted me to somehow connect the dots.

The woman with long black hair.
Why isn’t she smiling?
What does her expression say about her relationship with whoever took this picture?

Janet induces agitation about the fact that she does not turn around in this picture, and never can.

The point of disquiet in this picture is highlighted by a story told, a Greek myth of Orpheus. His lover dies of a snake bite, and he travels to the Underworld to make a deal with Hades, for love. He is allowed to get her soul back but with the condition that he must not look back at her till they are back on earth. “But of course he had to look back,”  comes to mind when the woman does not. Does that represent a lack of love?

Another story which puts one at unease in relation to the woman is that of a passerby who asks Janet to take a picture. He comments on the pictures in her hand and states that his mother had the same hair. He then tells the story of how she left them when he was seven, making his family incomplete and his father a miserable alcoholic, before realising the time and running to his wife. This little widget added another bit of mistrust associated with the woman, or maybe evidence that she is not well understood.

Perhaps Janet wanted to arm her listeners with the power of being behind the camera. She helps, probably to embody the person taking these photographs. As she comments how she loves photographing her own sleeping husband; “the unconscious observation”, “the one sided attraction” and how the subject is at the “mercy of the viewer’s lens” — maybe she wants her listeners to understand that this woman they are following through out the park has been powerless against what has been captured of her.

“She’s ready to pose but the picture took too quickly.”



TED talk: Embrace the Remix by Kirby Ferguson

Comm Lab - Video and Sound

Kirby Ferguson, in his Ted Talk, explains why we are not (and not supposed to be) entirely self made when it comes to our creativity. Instead he proposes that the raw elements of creativity is to copy, transform and combine.

I agree with him — it is the transformation and the combination of the influences in one’s mind that lead to uniqueness of ideas, but on a certain level, all ideas are influenced. We as humans share our social, natural and psychological worlds with one another, and this fact has allowed to collaborate for better results. We have, over thousands of years, evolved to depend on each other.

When Isaac Newton said he was able to see so far because he was standing on the shoulders of giants, he acknowledged the works of Copernicus before him. Nothing and no one can take away the work Newton did, and its profound effect on the path science took after him, but we have to recognise that ideas are meant for humanity. Science and art are meant for humanity. The promotion of the progress of useful arts should look better than a bunch of lawsuits with people owning ideas to maximise profits. Legal assaults like this, as Ferguson pointed out with the example of a young Steve Jobs against Xerox, can bar creatives with limited power. Moreover expecting too much from oneself at the beginning of an artistic journey can put a lock on the freedom and confidence that innovation requires.

If patents are to exist in order to minimise the loss aversion of those who’s ideas are mimicked in the business world by those who choose not to transform and combine them in their own way, they should be more complex than the ones that exist in the world today.