Film of Dreams
Stephen Tatum, Wake Forest University

Creating this digital poem was very easy for me because I chose a subject I am very passionate about: the sport of baseball. The poem describes a base-running situation, one of my favorite aspects of the sport. So I got out my old baseball uniform and went to the field to snap some pictures. My friend Jamie actually took the pictures of me after I had framed and positioned the camera. Some of the shots were quite difficult to take, such as the one of me diving head first into the bag, for multiple shots were needed at the expense of plowing my face head first into the dirt. Other pictures I scanned onto the computer and edited in Photoshop. My favorite picture in the entire sequence is the one of me holding my bloodied knee as I wince in pain. That wound and that blood are actually real. I injured that knee in a softball game that day and as I stared at the blood, I realized it would look good in the presentation and help convey the "dramatic" message of the poem. I edited all of the pictures in Photoshop using basic techniques. My favorite method was to alter the shades of the colors, creating a very retro, powerfully-colored look to them. Some I gave a scratched texture and made black and white to signify the past.

The sound file I made myself using a program quite similar to ACID, called Hip Hop Ejay 2, a mixer that provides samples and loops to be mixed together. The man reading the poem out loud is a freshman at Wake Forest named Paul Mayer, and he happens to be the actual announcer for Wake Forest baseball games. Luckily I know him well, and he was more than willing to share his voice. While revising I learned how to fade different pictures in and out, an action that helped to smooth the choppy feel of the presentation dramatically.

This presentation gave me the opportunity to express my passion for the game of baseball, something I had not previously been able to do all too well. I love movies and the big screen, so I treated this project as sort of my directorial debut, which made the process even more enjoyable.

The only frustration that comes with this kind of project is being able to keep the usage of the software at the same pace as your creative drive. It is sometimes hard to create exactly what you see in your mind, for the software can be tricky sometimes. I found that the best way to learn how to use it is just to play around with it, experiment with different buttons and such. Sooner or later you will do something right, or create something by accident that you end up loving. Either way it can only help. I have already created another film honoring my second semester of college. I created it in about two hours and I am impressed with my own creation. The knowledge to create multimedia presentations has most definitely expanded my capabilities as an artist, and provided a new medium of expression for me to explore.

About the author...

The author's digital rendition of Richard Eberhart's "Ball Game." (~6.7 MB)
Requires Shockwave plugin.

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