Manipulated music mirroring Möbius-mannered movie

May 8th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Inception Music Comparison (by Cameron Whitehouse)

It’s been a while since I first saw this video comparing the most recognizable part of the Inception soundtrack with Édith Piaf’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.” But this time I did a quick search after watching and found an L.A. Times post with the following quote (emphasis in bold is mine):

“If you were to see this movie a second time,” Zimmer said, “you realize the last note you hear in the movie is the first note in the movie. It’s a Möbius band. But the next thing you hear over the logos is actually telling a story. You realize that the elements that we’ve extracted from the Piaf song are the way you get from one dream level to the next. When the movie starts, some action has already happened.”

From another LAT post:

Pieces of Piaf’s interpretation of the song were stretched, manipulated and woven into Zimmer’s score.

Möbius on my mind? Probably. I wonder what Hofstadter would have to say about this…

Live video and updates from Hacks/Hackers DC meetup: “The Tech Side of Argo”

October 19th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Update: A video recording of the event, archive of the CoverItLive blog (with curated tweets), Keynote slides and downloadable audio podcast from the event are available below.

After a successful first (joint) meetup with ONADC last May (see ONADC/Hacks & Hackers meetup tonight for coverage), Hacks/Hackers DC is back for good. Tonight (Oct. 19) at NPR we’re hosting a meetup and invited our WordPress DC friends to join as Marc Lavallee and Wes Lindamood discuss The Tech Side of NPR’s Argo.

I’m planning to stream the meetup here I streamed the meetup using Livestream. The archived video is embedded below. I apologize that there’s no audio until 5:30 — the shotgun mic was off, so you can’t hear my introduction and some of the participant intros. The presentation begins at 7:30:

Watch live streaming video from greglinch at livestream.com

And we’ll be using the hashtag #hhdc, which will be aggregated here I curated using CoverItLive. An export of those curated tweets is embedded below:

  Hacks/Hackers DC: (10/19/2010) 
7:04
Twitter
emerock: 

Stoked to watch the magic of ARGO at NPR. #HHDC [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:04 emerock
7:07
Twitter
portman_wills: 

At NPR excited for Marc to drop some ARGO knowledge on the room. And pizza. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:07 portman_wills
7:07
Twitter
lorig: 

Surrounded by fellow devs at NPR for #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:07 lorig
7:09
Twitter
emerock: 

Stoked to watch the magic of ARGO at NPR. #HHDC [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:09 emerock
7:36
Twitter
vbatts: 

Here at #hhdc. Glad I didn’t have time to grab food before hand. :) [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:36 vbatts
7:37
Twitter
tdgi: 

Currently at the #NPR #Argo meetup #hhdc. Should be interesting. #DC #Meetup [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:37 tdgi
7:37
Twitter
kev097: 

#hhdc meetup was today? Woops. Wish I could’ve been there — enjoy, nerds. [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:37 kev097
7:37
Twitter
rkellett: 

#hhdc with @acarvin and @annatauzin! [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:37 rkellett
7:45
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: Argo platform integrated @WordPress (3.0 w some customizations) w/ Django (ex: for content aggreagation app) on backend. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:45 greglinch
7:45
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lindamood: Maintainability (with their two-person team), flexibility and structure (creating content + aggregating external content) #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:45 greglinch
7:45
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lindamood: Goal was to make the blog seamlessly integrated with their daily workflow. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:45 greglinch
7:47
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lindamood: Lessons included to develop as little as possible and make platform modular + reuse code. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:47 greglinch
7:48
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lindamood: Without parent and child themes, we wouldn’t have been able to develop the sites in the required timeline. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:48 greglinch
7:49
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: They could accommodate many individual site customization requests b/c of flexibility of parent and child themes. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:49 greglinch
7:50
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lindamood: They designed the sites in a way to say, “Content is our brand.” #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:50 greglinch
7:51
Twitter
mjenkins: 

Shocked at how much I understand at #hhdc. Good thing Project Argo is based on the magic of WordPress! [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:51 mjenkins
7:53
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee showing how little code it took to create custom taxonomies (top) & photo cropping (bottom) in WP #hhdc

[via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:53 greglinch
7:54
Twitter
aaronjorbin: 

Argo uses Custom taxonomies and custom menus for the featured posts and “Don’t Miss” navigation #wordpress #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:54 aaronjorbin
7:56
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lindamood: They made 17 post types — for link roundups, audio, posts, etc. They also used @WordPress shortcodes for ease of embed. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:56 greglinch
7:59
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee showing how little code used to create the audio shortcode and the handler for audio shortcodes. #hhdc

[via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 7:59 greglinch
8:00
Twitter
greglinch: 

They’ll be open-sourcing Argo platform so anyone can use it (primarily intended for member stations). #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:00 greglinch
8:03
Twitter
greglinch: 

Modernizr is a JavaScript library they used to detect HTML5 and CSS3 features, rather than write their own checks http://bit.ly/b0pYHT #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:03 greglinch
8:05
Twitter
laurenmichell: 

Cool tools I’m learning about from @npr’s Argo talk: HTML5 Boilerplate and @modernizr #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:05 laurenmichell
8:07
Twitter
greglinch: 

@dimensionmedia Overview of the Argo network and links to the 12 sites http://n.pr/dq0auJ #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:07 greglinch
8:09
Twitter
greglinch: 

Watch live video from @hackshackersdc meetup at @NPR. @lavallee and @lindamood discussing Argo http://bit.ly/HHDClive1010 [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:09 greglinch
8:09
Twitter
jeffsonderman: 

CMS needs to bring in Twitter, Flickr, Delicious items and make them workable elements for the blogger. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:09 jeffsonderman
8:10
Twitter
mjenkins: 

Love the Delicious link roundup integration into Argo’s WordPress theme. Looks very quick, easy – and actually looks nice. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:10 mjenkins
8:12
Twitter
greglinch: 

Q from @eyeseast: Do you have a style guide for saving links? A from @lavallee: different orgs/bloggers have different practices. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:12 greglinch
8:14
Twitter
greglinch: 

Did a rough count and looks like there are ~46 people here for @hackshackersdc meetup at @NPR, w00t! #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:14 greglinch
8:16
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: If blogger uses certain tags, links automatically appear on specified pages. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:16 greglinch
8:16
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: All external content lives in one database and can be used multiple ways. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:16 greglinch
8:18
Twitter
greglinch: 

@rossk Yup, streaming here http://bit.ly/HHDClive1010 and recording locally on my video camera (better quality), which I’ll post later. [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:18 greglinch
8:23
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: Sites are hosted in the cloud using Amazon Web Services EBS (like a hard drive) and EC2 (elastic computing instance). #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:23 greglinch
8:25
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: Also use Ylastic http://bit.ly/cUNB6n. Overall, not much time spent on system administration because of their AWS setup. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:25 greglinch
8:28
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: @WordPress 3.0.1, one multi-site instance for all 12 blogs, 1 child theme for each; Domain Mapping + Unfiltered MU plugins #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:28 greglinch
8:28
Twitter
mthomps: 

Sitting next to @greglinch. He multitasks like a Hydra; awesome watching him work.

#hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:28 mthomps
8:30
Twitter
greglinch: 

Hahaha… RT @mthomps: Sitting next to @greglinch. He multitasks like a Hydra; awesome watching him work.

 

#hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:30 greglinch
8:30
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: Process includes wildly stripped down Agile, continuous deployment, Git/Git Hub, training + support #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:30 greglinch
8:32
Twitter
greglinch: 

This is true. But not so many cookies anymore. RT @ryansholin: @mthomps A hydra powered by chocolate chip cookies and the hunger of youth. [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:32 greglinch
8:32
Twitter
greglinch: 

Argo team exists to support the blog network and platform. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:32 greglinch
8:33
Twitter
greglinch: 

.@lavallee: Argo platform will be open-sourced under GPL (maybe MIT for Django app) and available on GitHub. #hhdc cc/ @dimensionmedia [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:33 greglinch
8:34
Twitter
dimensionmedia: 

@greglinch thanks. that’s pretty cool, and i like the solid WordPress setup they have. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:34 dimensionmedia
8:38
Twitter
mthomps: 

My colleagues @lavallee and @lindamood are wrapping up a terrific look at the dev side of Argo. Happy I was unspoiled for this. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:38 mthomps
8:38
Twitter
davisshaver: 

Been enjoying tweets from #hhdc tonight. Argo platform sounds awesome. Can’t wait to check out the code on git… I’m all about @WordPress. [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:38 davisshaver
8:39
Twitter
greglinch: 

The model they’re creating is more important than the platform, which could be thrown out eventually, says @lavallee #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:39 greglinch
8:44
Twitter
greglinch: 

Q about SEO. A: Structure, plus content-to-code ratio were biggest points of focus for that. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:44 greglinch
8:45
Twitter
greglinch: 

Q from @eyeseast: Do you have an API. A from @lavallee: De facto API, but not ready for primetime. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:45 greglinch
8:46
Twitter
acarvin: 

Didn’t realize the Argo Network just rolled out pubsubhubbub. Must ask them about that. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:46 acarvin
8:49
Twitter
emerock: 

Visited clouds and the Amazon, pressed words and spoke django tonight. NPR is the best. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:49 emerock
8:49
Twitter
greglinch: 

Q from @joshkorr re pushback. A: “much of the pushback is implicit,” says @mthomps — you can see if they don’t use a certain tool. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:49 greglinch
8:51
Twitter
greglinch: 

Q from @joshkorr re pushback. A: “much of the pushback is implicit,” says @mthomps — you can see if they don’t use a certain tool. #hhdc [via Twitter]

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:51 greglinch
8:53
Greg Linch: 

Thanks for watching/reading!

Tuesday October 19, 2010 8:53 Greg Linch
8:56
 

 

 
 

If you have any questions about Argo, feel free to leave a comment or — during the event — post it in CoverItLive.

Slides from the presentation:

You can also download a podcast of the audio below.

ONADC/Hacks & Hackers meetup tonight: NYT’s Derek Willis on journalism + data + coding and walking through Toxic Waters

May 4th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

For this month’s joint ONADC/Hacks & Hackers meetup, Derek Willis of The New York Times interactive news technology team will discuss data + coding + journalism and walk through the award-winning Toxic Waters project.

You can watch live (archived video player embedded below) or follow along the Twitter by searching ONADC. If you’re in town, there are still spaces open to attend in person at American University (RSVP here).

Watch live streaming video from onlinenewsassociation at livestream.com

Also, here’s a CoverItLive blog where I plan to take notes, chat with anyone following along and pull in any choice tweets.

Thanks to David Johnson at AU for co-organizing and hosting the event, as well as the always magnificent ONA DC co-organizers: Laura Cochran, Tiffany Shackleford and Matt Mansfield.

Also, thanks to Burt Herman, Rich Gordon and Aron Pilhofer — who run the larger Hacks & Hackers — and Sherry Skalko of ONA.

Special thanks to Ethan Klapper, who will be running the live video feed.

Rethinking our Thinking

April 23rd, 2010 § 10 comments § permalink

As someone who started out as a primarily “print” reporter, my mindset — and, more specifically, my thinking — as a journalist continues to evolve after nearly eight years in the field, starting as a high school sophomore.

Computational Thinking visualized

Computational Thinking visualized by Carnegie Mellon using Wordle. (Creative Commons)

That made me wonder on Twitter:

How would you characterize the relationship between mindset and thinking? Which one is derivative from the other?

More specifically, I’d say that I’ve long had an open mind(set) in the journalism realm. For at least a couple of years, I considered this one of the most important characteristics for a journalist — along with passion. I still think this is true.

Recently I’ve become fascinated with “computational thinking” (more on that later) and wonder if my mindset is informed by this “new” way of thinking or vice versa.

As Lauren Rabaino (@laurenmichell) and I discussed on IM early this week, my tweet was something of a chicken-and-egg question. As Lauren said (and I agree):

your mindset impacts thinking which impacts mindset which impacts thinking… etc for infinity

So why am I thinking about this now? Well, for one, I’ve proposed a session (with the same name of this post) for Saturday’s BarCamp NewsInnovation in Philadelphia: Rethinking our Thinking. The description:

Journalists often discuss the need for evolving skill sets. On a deeper level, we sometimes talk about mindsets. What I’m interested in currently is, “How can we reshape our thinking?”

Computational Thinking

That idea formed because I’ve been reading, watching and listening to a lot of insightful things lately, including material on computational thinking (first found via Daniel Bachhuber). For example, check out:

Finally, there is the Center for Computational Thinking at Carnegie Mellon, the university where Wing worked when she wrote the original article.

Evolving Interests

All of this comes in the larger context of my interest in learning more coding, an ongoing process that I started taking to the next level last summer with JavaScript. I put that on hold as I focused on a project using a JavaScript framework and then picked up back up for a bit before moving on to PHP and MySQL around the fall/winter. I used a little PHP for a small side project and mostly put learning that on hold too.

In February, as you might remember, I guest moderated a #wjchat (web journalists chat) on journalists and coders.

More recently I’ve stepped back and am looking at coding from a broader perspective. This coincides both with my role in helping to organize the first Hacks and Hackers event in DC as part of the May 4 ONA DC meetup at American University. Also related, is last week’s launch of the Hacks and Hackers forum, where I serve as a community moderator.

So, basically: Whereas before I was interested in teaching myself some coding languages to enhance my skill set, I’m currently focusing more on learning about the fundamentals of programming and computational thinking (with the practical skills on the side for now).

Is this an essential step in learning to code? No. Has it been and will continue to be helpful? Most definitely.

The discussion of the “programmer-journalist” (can we find a better name?) arguably started middle of last decade, so what has lead me to this point? I plan to delve into that with another post.

Also, I’m considering writing another post before BCNI Philly (and one after to synthesize the results of the “thinking” discussion). The pre-Philly post would be more focused on different types of thinking and why they’re important. UPDATE: Heres’s my follow-up post: Rethinking Our Thinking, part 2: Computational thinking and the new journalism mindset. Also, check out these notes and this mindmap from the session.

In preparation for that post and the session, I need your help.

As I asked in the Hacks and Hackers forum, what has most shaped your thinking? As a journalist — heck, as a person. Let me know in the comments.

Interesting Reading

For now, I leave you with some valuable selections of what I’ve been reading — I recommend reading them all:

Videojournalism brain dump: Some advice I’ve picked up over the past few years

August 10th, 2009 § 14 comments § permalink

Poynter College Fellows win again, this time on video. Seriously, that e-mail group is inspiring me. And, yes, I was asked directly. I don’t just randomly spout off like this. Ok, not THIS much. Thanks #pcf09 kids.

This is in response to a request for advice on teaching a video workshop for high school journalists [Update: to clarify, they already have some video recording and editing experience]. One earlier point I made in the thread was about Web vs. TV. And with that...

Ok, so in general, mostly big-picture tips for videojournalism. Quick follow-up, I shouldn’t have said “Web video” before. I consider this advice more in the non-traditional broadcast style because “Web video” should scale to mobile, TV, Hulu, iPhones, pocket watches (wait, what?), whatever (h/t Chuck Fadely re scaling).

I’m biased toward a documentary-style videojournalism, so here it goes:

  • The story rules. If it’s all pretty pictures, make me a slideshow.
  • You’re making a video — not taking a video (h/t Kenny Irby, who really brought it home). It’s not yours. You’re just helping the person or people tell their story or stories (h/t Rich Beckman).
  • Lexicon is important (h/t Kenny). Just like with making vs. taking, you’re not shooting, killing, chopping anything. And you’re not a shooter. Words matter. You’re better than that.
  • Video for Web can’t suck just because it’s online. As Rich says, it should be better because it’s primarily being viewed at a smaller size, which enhances your sense of imperfections. But it can also be viewed full-screen, on TV, etc.
  • Shorter = better. But there’s no rule for length. It should be as long (really, as short) as it needs to be.
  • You’re not doing soundbites — you need to ask subjects questions so you have them telling as complete a story as possible [Update: As Eric noted in the comments, and I almost included here the first time, this includes making sure you have full sentences. Also, I’ll add that you need to the proper context. How? Awesome questions.], which leads to…
  • Avoid narration (way too many people use it as a crutch, both on Web and TV). It should be your absolute last resort. Only reason to use it, I think, is if the story suffers without it. Also, somewhat related…
  • Ditch standups. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to hear you. I’m watching your video because I care about the subject — not you. Sorry.
  • On that note, I don’t really want to see them talking either. More so if it’s just them sitting in a chair, in a boring office, with their boring talking head. The less talking head, the better. If I only see a talking head once, I’m happy.
  • Get it in the field, the first time (h/t Jim Virga). Yes, technology allows you to clean up sound and color correct video, but it’s still not going to be as good, it can be very time consuming and it’s lazy [field work]. In that vein…
  • There’s a saying that audio is 70 percent of video (h/t Miami Herald vjs). Most people are more forgiving if the visuals aren’t great, but if the audio sucks, they’re probably saying see ya. I can’t emphasize audio enough.
  • Headphones. Always. It shouldn’t even need to be on here. And they’re not your be-all-end-all. The audio meter to see levels is your bestest friend in the whole wide world.
  • Have the eye of a photojournalist making pictures when you aim the camera.
  • Get tons of b-roll. There’s an 80:20 “rule,” which basically means get a lot more footage than you need. Which ties into…
  • You may only have one chance to get everything you need. Don’t take anything for granted in terms of interviews and b-roll.
  • No canned shots or b-roll. If you ask someone to repeat something they’ve done or do something they plan to do, you’re making stuff up. Sorry. Not good journalism. Any re-enactments, simulations, etc. should, first, be avoided at all costs and, if you must, be clearly disclosed.
  • Record mostly in the range of medium and tight, but be sure to get establishing (wide) shots.
  • Record sequences.
  • Story. Just wanted to make sure you remembered.
  • There’s no formula.
  • Try interesting angles and approaches (h/t Mike Schmidt). Break outside the “safe” zone (h/t Jim). If it doesn’t work, don’t use it. If it does, cool.
  • Your goal should be to use as few (ideally, no) automatic settings as possible (go manual with exposure, white balance, sound and focus) once you’re comfortable with the gear (h/t Jim). I want you to say, “This is my camera. There are many like it, but this one is mine.” You need to explore all the buttons and menus and settings. You need to be able to troubleshoot any problem that you could possibly troubleshoot. When you’re a professional, you can’t make excuses (h/t Jim Virga). No one will want to work with you. If it’s really beyond your control, then it might not be your fault, but you still don’t have what you need. (This is more a problem on deadline.)
  • Just because you can create a video full of narrative, doesn’t mean you should. Sometimes, you just need to let the pictures do the talking. If the video can show it better than a person can describe, just leave that out.
  • There is no perfect video. It can never really be finished (h/t Jim Virga). You need to accept and embrace that it can always be better. That’s why it’s so important to knock out as much as you can as early as you can. The more time you have to edit and re-edit and re-edit again, the more time you have to get feedback, the more time you have to sleep on it, etc., the better.
  • How’s that audio? Just checking.
  • Send it to everyone who’s opinion you value or can give you constructive feedback. That’s good for several reasons; namely, it’ll will make you better and it will help get your work/name out there.
  • Show your video to the subjects. If they have e-mail, send them the link. If they don’t, go to them with your computer. Again, it’s not for you. It’s for them and your viewers. (h/t Rich)
  • There’s no magic. It’s not something you’re born with. It’s almost all skills you can learn with practice.
  • You’re doing an important job. Keep at it and kick butt.

Non-attributed parts were learned along the way on my own or by some combination of by lessons from professors Rich Beckman and Jim Virga and professionals (check out their stuff online): Chuck Fadely, Travis Fox, Brent McDonald, Garrett Hubbard, Ricardo Lopez and other people I’ve seen speak. Also from articles and blog posts. Just trying to give proper credit.

Speaking of Travis, some great advice: Ten Golden Rules of Video Journalism.

And great resources:

  • NewsVideographer (plus anything in her blogroll)
  • Newspaper Video
  • Documentaries are great sources of inspiration [we watched parts of several in Jim’s class]
  • And, of course, video journalism on news sites (NYT, WaPo, MediaStorm and the like)

That got a little out of hand again. Sorry. I wasn’t trying to be comprehensive, so there may be some points left out.

Everyone: What would you add/subtract/take the square root of?

Good luck, sir.
Greg

PS. Yeah, I’ll probably blog this one too. You guys are good, inspiring me to write!

Same question: What would you add/subtract/take the square root of?

Update: I’ve made some minor grammatical changes.

Update 2: People in the e-mail thread have added great insights, such as understanding video for different platforms at a conceptual level, how to plan, how to improvise, etc. Interviewing is huge too. After doing videojournalism for a about two years, I can say without a doubt it has made me a much better interviewer (and listener) after being primarily a text-based reporter for the five years prior.

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