Final Project: Alex Ovechkin’s Quest to 700

What the Washington Capital’s were able to accomplish to win the Stanley Cup in 2018 was remarkable. A city and team who had gotten so close for so long, finally got their championship. Their star player, Alexander Ovechkin would have 15 goals alone in the playoffs that year. He deserved this trophy the most, after being drafted as the first pick in the 2004 NHL draft, he worked so hard to get the team here. So many years I thought we were wasting his potential with bad coaching decisions but they did it. There is only one achievement left for him to fully cement himself among the greatest hockey players of all time. The NHL all time scorers list…

Prior to the 2019-2020 hockey season its all Capital’s fans were talking about. There was an energy in DC just like the energy felt when they won the Stanley Cup. Alexander Ovechkin was on a quest to inscribe his name on the greatest hockey players of all time list. After 14 seasons completed and one Stanley cup later Alex had a whopping 658 goals. He had played a total of 1084 games and had 658 goals. In case someone doesn’t know too much about hockey, these numbers are insane. 658 goals was enough to put him in position 14 for the most goals ever by someone in the NHL. But he wanted more, the next big milestone was goal 700. With a city behind him cheering him on, its all he wanted. Fliers with their season schedule started to fill the city along with a very special additional flier. This additional flier had been titled, “Countdown to 700…”, the people were so excited to see him get it, its all we wanted.

As you can see from the poster’s they produced, Washington DC wanted Alex to get 700 goals putting him in exclusive company. There were even people in interviews asking him about his goal of getting to 700 goals. They were even asking his teammates to comment on Ovechkin’s quest to 700 goals!!

The fans started to worry if this might even begin to become a distraction for the team overall. No one wanted him to get 700 if it meant throwing the entire season away for it.

Fast Forward Six Months Later (Jan. 31st, 2020)

Jan. 31st, 2020 – Washington Capitals Vs. Ottawa Senators

The Capitals would win this game 4-3 in regular time. Alexander Ovechkin had scored two goals alone in this game. Putting him at a whopping 695 goals in his career. Was it possible? Could he really do it this season? After all the stalling out in the start of the season, the hype finally died down and they got back to just playing hockey. At this point in the season, Alex Ovechkin had 11 goals just in his last five games. With this kind of pace, he was bound to his the huge milestone very soon.

Nearly One Month Later (Feb. 22nd, 2020)

Feb. 22nd, 2020 – Washington Capitals Vs. New Jersey Devils

Alex Ovechkin was at 699 goals going into this game. The quest was so close to being over. I think that personally, even he was ready for this to be over. He just wanted to get back to player hockey. Here is a commentators point of view from that night…

It was truly a special night for Washington sports. Finally after almost 15 season’s of hockey Alexander Ovechkin achieved what 99.99% of hockey players will never even get close to doing. You can even tell by how much celebration goes on after the goal takes place, time seems like it stops. This wasn’t only for Alex, but for his team, coaches, and city that he represents.

March 12th, 2020

The NHL announces that the rest of the regular season will be suspended due to corona virus. The decision came less than a day after a flurry of game cancellations and season suspensions from all over the sports world. Rightfully so of course, they made the right decision. This just meant even more because Alex was able to reach his goal before the season abruptly ended. That means that next season they can leave all this media attention behind and go back to playing hockey. And hey, the season may be over for now, but it sure is great seeing the Washington Capital’s first pick of the first round of the 2004 NHL draft on this list, now at a whopping position 8. (His jersey number is also 8, coincidence? I think not.)

How To Guide: Best Sports Play (Final)

This post will be dedicated to going over how I created the Best Sports Play type gif for my final assignment. I wanted to make a gif from the play where Alex Ovechkin scored his 700th goal. A major achievement in the hockey world that allowed him to move up to number 8 on the all time scoring list. I wanted to turn this play into a gif to show people how much this meant to the team, you can clearly tell this goal celebration was like no other. The guide will be below the gif. If I happen to miss anything, please feel free to let me know down in the comments. Here is the final version of the gif:

How To Guide:

  1. First, I needed to download the YouTube video that I wanted to use. I did that by going to this website. All you do is plug your video link in and then it will download it for you!
  2. Once I had the video, I trimmed it by right clicking the video and hitting “edit”. I knew I only wanted from 11 to 27 seconds, so that is what I trimmed it down too.
  3. Next, all that was left was to take all the screen shots. I let the video play as I took several screenshots a second.
  4. Then, I opened GIMP and put all the screenshots on top of each other by just dragging in one after another.
  5. Finally, all that was left to do was click “Export As..” and then choose “Gif”.

This is a YouTube video that I followed along with for my first gifs. I was able to take what I learned from this video and apply it to this assignment.

How To Guide: Commentator’s POV (Final)

This post will be dedicated to creating an in-depth tutorial on how I made the “Ovechkin Hits 700!” Soundcloud audio in my final. At this point in my story it is time for the climax. Alexander Ovechkin finally hits 700 goals and the team can get back to just playing hockey. They won’t have to be bothered by the constant looming of achievement on the horizon. I felt that using the commentator’s audio would show the listeners how much this meant to the team and to Washington DC. Here is my final product, the guide will be below the audio.

  1. First, I needed to find the audio that I wanted to use for my commentator’s POV audio.
  2. Once I had the YouTube video that I wanted to use I copied the link and went to this website. I then plugged in my YouTube video so that it could convert it to an MP3 file.
  3. I took this MP3 file and dragged it into Audacity so that it could be further edited.
  4. I increased the volume on the clip using the slider on the left and also trimmed the audio by using the cut function in Audacity.
  5. All that was left to do was export it as an MP3 file so that I could open it in Soundcloud to upload.

If you guys think I missed any parts in this guide please feel free to let me know in the comments! Thank you for reading! Below this I will link the YouTube video that I got this audio from to use in my final assignment.

How To Guide: Event Poster Part 2 (Design)

This post will be an in-depth guide on how I created my second event poster for my final project. I wanted to create a second poster that would be fliers that are posted all around DC and in their stadium. I wanted these posters to be his countdown to 700 goals that would be changed every time he scores. I think that this is important for my final project to show how much people wanted this for him. After all he has done for our city, he deserves his own place in history. Here is how I did it:

1.My first step was pretty easy for me because I already had all the resources I wanted from my last event poster. If you don’t have your material yet, you will need to download all the images you plan on using for your poster.

2. Then, I opened a new GIMP project and made the first layer all red for my background. This can be done by using the “Paint Bucket” icon from the main menu and choosing the color red.

3. Next, I dragged in all the pictures that I wanted to use for my poster. This included the Capital One and two different Capital’s logos. Once they were in the correct position on the poster I compressed all the layers down. This can be done in the “Layers” section of the menu.

4. Next, I added two different text boxes. One would be at the top as a title and then one in the middle of the poster. The title would be “Countdown to 700…” and the center text box will say, “Goals until 700: XXX”. The number will constantly be updated until he hits it.

5. Finally, all that was left to do was export and save the picture. I did this by clicking “File” and then “Export As…” to export the picture as a PNG.

In conclusion, I think this poster will be effective in completing its mission of keeping the public informed on his coming achievement. Here is the final product:

Here is a YouTube video that I used for inspiration to create both of mine:

How To Guide: Event Poster (Design)

This post will be an in-depth guide on how I created my event poster for my final. The idea that I had to make this is because my story is all about Alex Ovechkin’s quest to 700 goals. So I wanted to make a poster that would show the entire schedule of the upcoming season. I thought this would help because it would give the audience an understanding of whats ahead. Here is how I did it:

  1. My first step was to find a picture of the schedule for the 2019-2020 season. This can be a bit hard because in hockey season’s last a minimum of 82 games. So I need an image that fits all of the information I need in a tight space.
  2. I then opened a new GIMP project and made the first layer all red for my background. This can be done by going into “Layer Settings” at the top.
  3. Next, I added two text boxes above and below the picture. This was done by selecting the “Text Box Tool” from the main menu and then dragging boxes where I wanted the text to be. The top box will say, “2019-2020 Schedule” and the bottom box will say, “Get Alex Ovechkin to 700 Goals!!”.
  4. I also downloaded two images that are often found on Capitals banners. That is their logo and a “Powered by Capital One” image. I found these on google images and just right clicked them to save them. I then dragged them into GIMP where I wanted them to be.
  5. Finally, all that was left to do was export the picture as a PNG. I did this by going to File>Export As… and then choosing PNG.

If there are any steps you think I missed please feel free to let me know in the comment section below! I will embed a video that helped me to create this poster at the bottom. Here is the image that will go in my final project post:

Here is a video that helped me to create this poster using GIMP:

Supercut It!

For my second assignment of the week I chose to do the Supercut It! assigment. For those who don’t know what a super cut is: A Supercut is a fast-paced montage of short video clips that obsessively isolates a single element from its source, usually a word, phrase, or cliche from film and TV. For my personal assignment, I decided to make one about President Trump’s obsession with the word “billions”. There will be a guide for how I made this video below the embedded video. So, here is my final creation:

How To Guide: My first step was finding the video clips for my topic. I did this simply by looking on YouTube for my subject matter. Next, I would download all the footage I wanted to use for my video. Finally, I would add all my finished supercut clips into Movie Maker. All that was left to do was add a title and credits slide. This assignment was a lot easier than I thought it was. I would for sure recommend everyone try this out! I used a Vice news video and a comedy central video for all my material.

Observe Something Grow: Riley

This week for one of my video assignments, I have decided to try the Observe Something Grow assignment on my dog Riley. My family and I got Riley a little over one year ago. I thought it would be fun to go back through my phone from the day we got him and compile some of my families favorite pictures/videos of him growing up. It’s almost hard to believe that in one year he can go from being so small to almost 25 pounds! If you would like a tutorial on how I did this, one will be available at the bottom of this post. Here is what I came up with:

How To Guide: This was one of the simpler assignments that I have had to create for this class. I chose to use Movie Maker 10 to create this video, it is a free app available on all windows systems. First, I downloaded all my clips and pictures and put them into one file on my desktop. Next, I opened a new project in Movie Maker and added the Title/Credits slides by using the “Add Clip” button, and navigating to Title/Credits. This allowed me to write whatever I wanted on these slides and when I was finished I simply saved my changes. Next, I inserted all the media from my folder by simply dragging and dropping every picture/clip into Movie Maker. Once I had all my footage, I clicked on the “Arrange Clips” button in the main menu. This leads you to a screen where you are able to completely choose the order the pictures/clips are shown in. Just like before, when you’re finished simply save your changes. Finally, I added a soundtrack by clicking, “Edit AudioTrack” in the main menu. Here I was able to bring in my own MP4 by simply dragging and dropping it in. All that was left was to export the video and name it. If you have any questions or if I have missed anything feel free to let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Look. Listen. Analyze.

This post will be dedicated to reviewing a scene from the movie Hulk (2003). Here is the clip that I will be going over:

Camera Work

This short clip is full of magnificent camera work. The scene starts as Bruce Banner is eating dinner with his ex-girlfriend Betty Ross. We can see Betty on the left or negative side on the screen completely clear but Bruce is on the right or positive side of the screen blurred out. This could be because the director wants us to focus on Betty at this time. The audience can clearly tell as she is listening to him that she is very concerned about him. The blurriness could also show how much Bruce is currently going through at that moment. As Bruce begins to describe his vivid dream the camera swaps to a close-up of his face. The camera stays this way for the entirety of this monologue. The director wants Bruce to make you feel how he felt during the dream. As he begins to break down the camera swaps to just Betty this time. She watches him as he begins to lose touch with reality whilst thinking about the dream. The camera angles/transitions play a big role in guiding the story in this scene.

Audio Track

The audio track from this scene stays fairly consistent across this scene other than at one point. When he starts to recall the way the dream made him feel he describes his heartbeat going, “boom…boom…boom”. I think that this was left in the scene because these long pauses without audio help the audience to understand how traumatic this experience was for him as Betty watches in horror. Other than that particular part, the actors keep very soft voices because they are in a one-on-one conversation. At the start of the clip the audience can hear some sounds of silverware hitting the plate but as the characters begin to speak it is cut off immediately.

Conclusion

In conclusion, after breaking down this scene from the two different perspectives of Audio and Camera. I feel that I have a much better understanding of what the director was trying to accomplish. It was only when I focused on one particular perspective that I was able to really derive meaning out of them. When the scene is watched normally it is hard to separate all of the camera/audio techniques going on. This scene required me watching it at least ten times. One thing I would not of noticed without paying attention to the audio track is the dinner noises that stop as soon as the scene begins to get serious. Minimizing your senses while watching a scene can give you so much more information at a time than watching it at face value.

Reflection: Robert Ebert & Cinema Techniques

Robert Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie” takes the reader through various different cinema concepts that we have all seen before, whether we knew it or not. Concepts like the golden ratio or the rule of thirds. If you aren’t sure about these two concepts here are two Wikipedia articles: Golden Ratio & Rule of thirds. These are techniques that we have seen all around us our whole lives. Ebert explains in simplistic terms that, “Right is more positive, left more negative”. This is why you will often see the main character shot on the right side of most scenes in which they intend to draw contrast. For example, they could have the antagonist on the left part of the screen in the background while the protagonist is on the right side of the screen in the foreground. Another method noted by Ebert is that, “Extreme high angle shots make characters into pawns; low angles make them into gods”. This method makes complete sense to me, it is easy as the reader to picture this. If the camera is pointed way down toward a character it minimizes them into some character just taking part in the game. If the camera is from a low angle it exaggerates their frame making them so much more powerful than they actually are. Here is an example of an excellent low-angle shot:

Here is an example of a well done high-angle shot:

The difference between these two picture is drastic. In the picture of the Joker, you can tell he is in control. This type of shot carries with it a very specific visual language to the audience. It is powerful. Now on the other-hand, the high-angle shot is done to minimize the characters. It is showing that even though they are super heroes they are vulnerable, just like everyone else.

The Shining – Zooms

As the scene starts the camera is zooming along with the car, almost as if the director is drawing the audience in to the next part. It seems that in The Shining zoom is mainly used in order to build suspense for the audience. A zoom outward or inward in combination with suspenseful music can create quite a spooky atmosphere. They often use zoom to do one of two things in this movie. Firstly, they start very close to the subject an zoom outward until you’re able to see the entire environment. Secondly, they start in a big landscape and slowly zoom into the subject. A good example of this is to watch every zoom on Dick Hallorann.

Tarantino – From Below

This is a great example of the low-angle shots that we were referring to earlier. Quentin Tarantino is a master of the low-angle shot. He is forcing the audience to think of the subject matter as strong or powerful. This technique is very effective at building characters in movies.

I learned a lot by reading Robert Ebert’s “How to Read a Movie” and reviewing some of the techniques in the videos above. I had no idea how prevalent all these concepts are in nearly every movie. I think I will come away from this week with an new appreciation for good directors that are able to do so much with only cinema techniques. It is a way for them to communicate with the audience without outright just telling them information. It makes the audience feel like they are coming to the conclusion themselves.

Create A Place

For the Create A Place assignment, I will be trying to depict a very busy New York City afternoon. Some sounds that I want to use to convey this to the listener are traffic, horns, maybe someone yelling, police sirens, and maybe even someone trying to call for a cab. All the sounds that I will be using in this assignment can be found at freesound.org. After working on several other Audio Storytelling assignments for this week, I don’t think this one will take too much time. I will be using Audacity as my audio editing software. There will be an in-depth guide on how I made this at the bottom of this post. Here is my finished product:

This picture of New York City was what I used as my inspiration in making this sound. I think I did a pretty good job of conveying this type of atmosphere to the audience.

How To Guide: The strategy for this assignment was very similar to how I have approached past audio assignments. First, I brain storm about my idea and what sounds I’m going to need to make this idea come to life. Then, I went to freesound.org and downloaded all the sounds I wanted to use. Next, I dragged all the sounds into Audacity. Once I had all the sounds, all that was left was to move them around where I wanted them. I did this simply by copying and pasting portions of each track on to my first sound. I also, tweaked some of the volume levels using the slider on the left side of the window. Let me know if you guys have any questions!

Here is a video I found helpful on some advanced tips for using Audacity: