Five Image Story—>Five Image Gif—>Full Blown Zeega

I started this project as a five gif story idea instead of a five image story. I had been thinking in these terms when Dogtrax suggested the same idea. So knowing I had an audience of at least one I began fiddling with the idea of retelling the iconic drag racing scene from “Rebel Without a Cause”. Serendipitously, I discovered a neat, gif generating tool, Loop Findr, that is able to take video files and convert them into potential gifs.  As proof o’ concept I downloaded a short clip from the Futurama (“The Problem with Popplers”) website using Download Flash and Video.

I am not actually creating much of a story here so much as experimenting with Loop Findr and exploring how zeega can work with it. I think that I discovered how limited the five image story is. They might be a good tool if you are trying to get younger learners to imagine the pictures into a story as an exercise in the imagination, but I would think that those training wheels would have to come off quickly if you don’t want the five image scaffolding to have a permanent place in their heads instead of their own ideas. My next move was to find another way to do this five gif thing. Below is a five image story–>five image/five gif story–>reply with added gifs and music. You have to go past the silent stuff first to get to the music stuff.

Having gotten to this point, I was inspired by the idea of Hollywood’s treatment of cars as sacrificial icons. That led to James Dean and Rebel Without a Cause. I found the “Chicken Run” scene on YouTube, downloaded it, ran it through Loop Findr, pulled off gifs there and uploaded them to zeega along with other gifs from the same scene. Below is a first draft of this emerging theme. I found some music that fits the emotional feel of the theme on Soundcloud and voila, we have a beginning.

My purpose here is to see how messy I can make the five image story until it becomes what I want it to be. I think that the five image story is a way in, but a very limited way in. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself, do you want to teach ways in or do you want to teach students to find their own ways into story. I worry about the excessive scaffolding inherent in templates. By all means use templates, but be very wary–they might just end up creating what Max Stirner called “wheels in the head”, somebody else’s and not their own.

Now I think I need to put a little more Easy Rider, Christine, and DeathRace2000 in this,  and…..

Random Is Unacceptable/Meaning Is Inescapable: 5 Image Sorties

When my children were still in the nest we used to play a game every day, sometimes several times a day:  “Three Stories”.  We would pull down a dictionary and randomly pull three words from it or perhaps each of my children would come up with a random word.  The game required you to create a story with those three words.  Magic.  There is where we all discovered the wonder of weaving words and imagination.

I feel that 5 image stories are similar, perhaps a bit more cumbersome.  I have experimented with Kim Douillard’s images here.

First I put all five into a zeega with just those images and no music, gifs, or filters of any kind.

Watch it and you will see not much more than a horizontal version of Kim’s  blog version.  The medium isn’t really that different from photo to zeega.

Next, I added a few animated gifs and some repetitive photo elements to give a little dramatic weight.  Weight for what you might ask?  At this point in my experiment,  I am still trying to come to figure out the meaning and just testing around the edges for the narrative thread.  I also replied to this zeega here:

Please note that the first slides in the zeega directly above are the additional gifs.  Then you will notice a reply.  That is when the music starts, NRBQ.  I chose NRBQ because they are, even more than the Beach Boys, the epitome of summer music (at least from when I was younger).

The music becomes the first narrative thread for me and as I listen I realize that summer=cars.  I thought of all the summer movies with cars in them.  That’s when I change abruptly the tone of the zeega.  I think my zeega is now about the life and death of the American Dream.  Mebbe.  I have had so much fun playing off of Kim’s initial riff.  What did my experiment reveal? I didn’t find the meaning until I created it for myself.  Meaning is layered and intrinsic first.  Writing is a way to make it seemless and extrinsic.  Or something like that.