Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gutter Phenomenon

Well. I finally managed to pull myself away from Mass Effect for five fucking minutes. That game is so good. And it picked such a bad time to come out, what with finals and projects and whatnot all rearing their ugly heads.

Anyway, I'm at a loss as per things to do for my final project. My initial disposition was to try to recreate the Five and a Half Minute Hallway, as I am a film major after all (which oddly enough wasn't one of the "nerdy" degrees according to Lance, so I guess I get the last laugh). Then I realized that I don't really have the money to go through the trouble of building a set, even if it is just 10 feet of hallway. Building is hard, too. So that one's out. Mine would have been better than that...thing Charlie found on Youtube, anyway.

My next idea was to rehash good old Choose Your Own Horrible Demise from the midterm project. Make it all full of new death and adventures. But I decided that I probably wouldn't get a very good grade o that, because it's not really a new project. You (usually) can't just turn in your midterm essay for your final essay and call it a day. So that's out, too.

That brings me to right now. I'm absolutely floundering to come up with some sort of project to do, and I've written enough papers this week to make me want to forget English, so I think my only option is to fall back on the idea I had before I decided to go the choose-your-own-adventure route.

My idea is a pretty even blend of narration and technology. I'd like to pen a little story (which is somehow different than writing a paper), and put it on the web. But it wouldn't just be a block of words on a webpage. It'd be broken up into pages, except you don't get to choose the way the story goes, only I do.

I'd like to throw in a bunch of neat little tidbits like maybe having hyperlinks on some of the relevant words that bring up a related picture (created by me). So for example, if you're reading my story and someone got a speeding ticket, you might click on the words "speeding ticket" and a new window opens with a photo of the ticket with the appropriate (in relation to the story) details on it. I could also make jumps off from there. Say a character in the story finds a book. Click on the word book and you get an excerpt from the book. Click on something from there, and it takes you to another section in the book. Like House of Leaves, the way you read it or the amount of work you do is up to you.

There's also the large amount of formatting and music I could use on the web that would make things cooler. I don't really have anything planned for that right at this moment, but I'll probably get some help there when my good friend Jack Daniels comes over later on in the week to visit and help me write. Think colors. Words in random places. Words in shapes. Words that disappear. All kinds of fancy stuff.

I think it should be (I hope it should be) pretty clear how my idea connects with the class. The narration, in its base form, is ultimately the same as in a printed medium, but with the use of technology, it allows the reader (should he or she choose to do such) to access the material in a wholly different manner than they are accustomed to. Footnotes? At the bottom of the page or in the back of the book. My idea? Opens in a new window right next to where you need it to!

One of the websites I was looking to for inspiration was the site for the film Donnie Darko. Yes, I know, Donnie Darko is a cliche film to bring up in college (but it's okay for me to talk about it, because I saw it before you'd ever heard of it, and no, it isn't as deep as your crackpot theories make it seem), but the website is fucking awesome. It won't make any sense if you haven't seen the film (nor will it really change anything if you have), but it's an awesome little bit of web design, and creepy as hell at night, to boot.

Check it out, http://www.donniedarkofilm.com.

One other thing: I'm sure we have some folk (Doctor Johns I'm looking at you, as you used to be a programmer) who know HTML around these parts. Anyone gonna be available for my incompetent ass to bounce questions off of? I know nothing about it.



A. Benevent said...

goddamn, that was long.

dear me:
shut up.

Emily said...

if you need help with html you're more than welcome to ask me. I had to build a whole freaking website for one of my projects in my engineering class freshman year.

If you could get ahold of it, Adobe dreamweaver is a pretty sweet program to use for writing html too.

LSack said...

Notice how I did not include my major (English Writing) in list of nerdy undertakings-- and I happen to feel that since Film Appreciation (or studies, if you feel like being scholarly) isn't a far leap from that... we're intrinsically nerdy. We all take a class that relates video games to novels and examine some of the literary routes and psychology behind it-- Yomi could become a rap-star and still be a total nerd.

That being said, I don't know how you can start your post by saying "I'm floundering on what to do" when I'm reading this thing and think to myself "Uhhh... this dude's got more of an idea than I do." Go with what you've got so far, I have no suggestions or criticisms.

Tim said...

Although it would be cool to see your depiction of the Five and a Half Minute Hallway, I doubt you would have sufficient time to get it all together.

Umm, I don't know what to say. If you made something similar the Donnie Darko site that would be pretty awesome. Hopefully it wouldn't be as confusing and damn near impossible to figure some of the stuff out (I swear when I tried to navigate that site a couple of years ago it took me at least twenty minutes to get past the second page. But that could be a lie.)

I don't know. Your ideas seem pretty sweet. Oh, as for what you were saying about helping me out... any help from anyone would be awesome. Maybe if you couldn't come up with anything we could work together. I don't know how Adam would feel about that. But, perhaps I would take a page of the story and say... the mood of this page is x and the music needs to make it x-squared. (Do I make any sense?) And then you could do your thing with the guitar and bass (LOTS of bass) and in the end we could work together to write an essay detailing why the music was done the way it was.

I don't know... it's nearly 3:30 am, and I can't even remember why I'm still up.

Nik said...


Canibus did this "new" thing called Poet Laureate Infinity where he did a 1000 line rap. I found it more than a little bit pretentious of him because all he's really saying is "nobody's ever done this and I'm awesome," but that's how I feel about a good deal of rap. He makes a lot of esoteric references and even though his rhyme scheme was awesome, I'm still like "mrr." Anyway, though, there's a website that has all the lyrics and there's links to all the references he makes.


ALSO, if you wanna see something of the awesome that has to do with infinite linkage:


It's pretty much people thinking. A lot. In words. And every single word has a link on it to another page of people thinking about that subject. It's insane. And awesome.

If you could do something like that, it'd be interesting, or a mix of the two. Not necessarily for rap lyrics or for just insane randomness, but if you did do it with the story you wanna write, the links you provided could link to OTHER links that would be other parts of the story. That'd be of the awesome.

Did any of that make sense?

Yomi said...

I acknowledge your reference to me as an attempt to dramatize your point that we all are nerds. Having said that, you could have said I could be a pop star, a rock star, shit even a sports star (lol not football or basketball though); but you chose to perpetuate a stereotype. I applaud your efforts despite the searing ignorance of your comment.

Adam Johns said...

What do I say, other than to endorse the idea? I don't, by the way, know HTML very well - I mostly got paid to write C and SQL code, back when I got paid.

Regardless, Emily's comment is probably the most important one - if you're not an html guru now, using _some_ kind of program to assist you is probably going to be pretty vital here.

Beyond the Donnie Darko site (which is awesome), you might do some googling to look at some hypertext fiction, although most of that is (sort of) multiple choice, and it sounds like your won't be.

Other than that, I'm kinda wondering what the story will be _about_. But I guess that will need to wait for the draft.

A. Benevent said...

I applaud your efforts despite the searing ignorance of your comment.

Burn of the century!

also dr. johns who knows what it'll be about yet, I sure don't, but it'll be one sweet ride.