Friday, April 29, 2011

And My FAVORITE! Personal Video

Further and Beyond

The personal video was my favorite video to make. Being the third video I made, I had had more practice with working with Imovie. So, it was a lot easier to make and because this was my own experience I was so excited to share with others the things I have learned here culturally, educationally, and personally. I used Spain’s motto “Mas Alla” because it was most appropriate for my life here in Barcelona. “Mas Alla” means “further beyond”.  While studying abroad I have gone “further and beyond” any other experience in my life. I have seen things that I never thought I would get the opportunity to see. I have completely immersed myself within a different culture. I have eaten some of the most delicious meals ever set before me. And I have met people who have inspired me, touched me on a personal level, and have opened my eyes to new and different perspectives about life. There are honestly, no words that can completely describe the feelings I have felt throughout my journey, nor the things that I have experienced. Like I mention in my video, there aren’t any pictures that can completely capture the memories made. “Further Beyond” briefly shares my story abroad and what it has meant to me. 

Provided is the link to my youtube video for this project.
And that is all folks! 

Culture Issue

Catalan is “Not” Spain?
This video was inspired by my personal experience with the Catalan culture. Naturally, having to adapt to a new way of life was going to be a challenge. Having to adapt to the Catalan culture though, seemed even more challenging than expected. One, I am from the south and getting used to the fast pace lifestyle of a big city was an experience in itself. Everyone is always on the go, people keep to themselves, and they don’t seem nearly as friendly. Two, I had to get used to my inability to communicate well with others. Asking for directions and getting around the city was not so difficult, but trying to ask for the things I wanted and/or needed at times seemed impossible -- they don’t have Wal-Mart’s, and targets, and just your normal general stores that I am used to. Every store here serves a particular purpose. For example, the grocery stores are simply just for groceries. At home grocery stores also sell toothbrushes, toothpaste, makeup, deodorant, and other everyday necessities. So in order to get these items I had to go to another store. And three, I had to get used to being the minority. I found out the hard way that Catalans take great pride in their culture because of their fight to restore it after Franco got rid of Catalan. People were very rude, and especially to Americans. They were short when talking to us. When we tried to speak to them in Spanish they would immediately switch to English, and this eventually became insulting. They would even charge us extra at restaurants because they knew we didn’t know better. Finally, after asking my teacher about the issue, I found out that Catalans believe that Americans are here in Barcelona just to have fun. They don’t think we appreciate their language or culture and that we are intruding on their lifestyle.
Every day I am constantly judged for being an American, and that is all so new to me. Usually, it is the other way around – it was interesting to see how it felt to be a minority. This is why I chose this topic.
This was my second project that I attacked and by this point my video making skills had improved just a little bit, but I was definitely more confident in completing this task. Since this was a cultural issue, overtly I felt it necessary to show my perspective of Catalan. I did this video similar to that of a documentary because it was a more formal issue.  I included pictures that I have taken here all throughout my experience and included personal stories to make the video seem more real.
I like the product of this project, however there is still a part of me that wishes I could have shown my audience exactly how the Catalans have treated us Americans by including some conversations I have had or even just by filming a casual walk down the street. I know this would have been difficult to do because the only way you can truly understand the problem is by experiencing it. I will admit that I may be exaggerating a little about how “bad” Catalans are, but it is an issue that I have constantly dealt with and I hope others will be able to better understand the issue. 

The Finale

Here they are! My final projects! I hope you all enjoy :o)

Professional Video

Different People, Different Tongues
“Different People, Different Tongues” was inspired by the various perspectives I gained here in Barcelona, about being bilingual and even multilingual. As Americans we are never forced to speak a different language other than English, therefore learning another language has never been a priority. However, after talking to my new friends who come from all over Europe, I learned that it seems almost necessary to speak other languages. Due to their culture backgrounds and educational experiences they have learned that being bilingual offers greater opportunities. What I have also understood from speaking to them about languages is not only will being bilingual greatly benefit them on a professional level but also on a social level --this ability enables them to confidently meet others of different backgrounds. Also, people living all over Europe seem to encounter different cultural backgrounds every day, which is not as common in America. This is why most Europeans perceive Americans as “ignorant” because we show no interest in other cultures other than our own. Personally, being bilingual will help in my field of study (English with an emphasis in writing and public relations) because I hope to work for a company internationally, and Spanish is one of the most spoken languages globally.
This video was my first attempt at completing these projects. I had written down all my ideas, wrote out what I was going to say, and had all my interviews planned out exactly how I wanted them. When it came time to actually piece this thing together, all my plans fell through. I realized this was going to be a bigger challenge then I thought. At first I was going to do several interviews, and have each one of my friends say “hello” in their primary language and then incorporate the rest of the interviews with each other throughout the rest of the video. However, I quickly learned that my skills at cutting/trimming film was not up to par for this idea so I had to completely rethink what to do. I thought back to the Social Revolution video I had posted on my blog earlier in the semester and figured statistics about languages would be interesting! Also, since my multiple interviews did not seem to work for me I stuck with one – the one that had the most influence on my views about this topic. Alex’s perspective about being bilingual is bias but I believe is one that Americans should really consider -- we do have a limited perspective about learning another language and/or culture.
This video was my “trial and error” video with cutting, trimming, doing voiceovers, putting in music, transitions and actually getting the music to go with each particular idea. The point I wanted to make in this video was made, but not nearly as effectively as I had hoped. I wish my video making skills were grade A, but I have done the best I could with what I know. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Fried computer. GR.

Hello everyone! I have not written or gotten around to my assignment because my computer F R I E D. Yeappp, BLEW UP! This has not been a great week for me...Not only did my computer fry but my friends and I were robbed on the beach. We were tagged team -- as one guy distracted us by asking for directions another guy must have snatched the purse. So Im homeless, poor, and have no means of communication with people across the pond. Okay, that is an exaggeration but I need my computer and my credit cards...Jeez I sound materialistic. Anyway, lets talk about the project and sounds and interviews and where I am at with the final projects.

So I have talked to my friend Peter about this class and loves the idea of us having to blog and learn about different aspects of visual media. So, he wants to make a video himself and help me with mine so that he can show his family and friends what he has been doing here as well.

So I am going to go with the themes that I have chosen from my last post for each video:

Personal: "Mas Alla" based theme. I think I want to show my journey from Clemson to Barcelona and compare and contrast the culture and lifestyle in the south to the culture and lifestyle here in Barcelona. This will include my everyday life style such as going to school and the food I eat and the things I use around the house that are different. And then I will include my experiences here such La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, Port Olympic, the mountains, the sea, Monuyc, and more.

Professional: The importance of being bilingual. For my professional video I was going to interview my conversation professor, Pedro, but we just found out that he will be leaving and going to teach at another school tomorrow. So I have one last class with him and then I won't see him that Idea is out of the question. Im not really sure if any of my other professors know English as well as him but I am going to look into it. I would really like to Interview someone who is bilingual. I do have a friend here in my group that is actually trilingual so I might interview him as well as maybe one of my API directors.

Culture: The "Catalan" culture, facts, and personal views. In the beginning of the video I am going to spit facts about the Catalan culture and give a brief background about how it is and why it is so important to the people of Barcelona. And then I am going to give my personal opinions about my perspective of the Catalans and their culture. And boy do I have a strong opinion about their culture (o:

This is what I have so far. I have a lot more planning to do of course. I will continue to write and keep everyone up to speed with my project in hopes for some feedback from yall!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

TropOS and some VideOS

Everyone has heard about the devastating news about the Tsunami in Japan. I have read articles about the tragic incident but I have yet to take it upon myself to look up any news stories and really see what it is all about. Seeing something as opposed to reading about news or events definitely is more effective for viewers...I mean for me at least! Not that I watch the news anyway...I know Im 21 years old and I don't keep up with current events...such a terrible habit...BUT in completing this assignment I figured I would take advantage of it and look up videos about the Tsunami! From watching the following video I now have a better understanding of this natural disaster.

Take it all in...and now lets get on with analyzing the video:


The choice of subject is obviously self explanatory -- the Tsunami that hit Japan is a devastating current event. It was predicted that there might be possible after effects on other countries making this a world wide news coverage. The coverage captured the tsunami from a camera that was in the air. Viewing and capturing the tsunami from this angle allows us to encompass the entire event -- you get the full effects of the damage that it has done. If this were filmed at ground level the audience would not get the full effect of how disastrous and huge this tsunami really was. In this video the cameramen included showing cars, boats, and homes being carried away by the water. Showing this allows the audience to see how many of these peoples lives were taken from them - these people lost everything and showing that and the devastation of it all can touch viewers, in hopes that others may reach out to these people. This clip helps tell the story of this event and how quickly our lives can change.

AND the big hype about Charlie Sheen - This is just for you Dr. Nichols! This is because of your comment you made on my last post! Everyone has been talking about how Charlie Sheen is going down hill and how he's gone crazy and I have yet to check it out! So Allison told me to look at the Interview of him on ABC news. The subject of the video was chosen for again reasons that are self explanatory -- Charlie sheen is the new hype of all news/media networks. The angle of the camera a majority of the time focused on Charlie Sheen during the interview because well it is about him. The camera does change angles throughout the video which makes watching it more interesting because viewers are able to look at facial expressions when questions are asked and answered. The interview takes place in a nice room...which is kind of ironic when interviewing Charlie Sheen now however it is a formal interview so it is appropriate background for an Interview conducted by ABC. This clip overtly is covering the craziness of Charlie Sheen and allowing us to get the inside scoop of what is going on with his life!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Playing Catch up! Adventure number 1 - La Sagrada in Barcelona!

     Yes, I know I have been promising you guys so much about my experiences and all these places that I have seen and I have yet to write about any of them. Inconsiderate I know. So day trip number one with a few other members from our API group. Okay, so I'm going to have to admit to you guys up front when it comes to history and geography and things of the IQ seems to drop quite a bit. So seeing all of these Cathedrals and I mean just anything relatively historically important is unbelievably impressive. One more thing -- our first day here we went on a walking tour with our entire group and well we saw at least three cathedrals (keyword "at least") and seeing one after the other after other makes each cathedral start looking the same...we all know what I am talking about. So, of course the friday that we visited La Sagrada Familia I am borderline tempted not to go -- more tall ceilings, more beautiful pictures of Saints and Gods, more stone arches, more intricate tiled floors, MORE OF THE SAME STYLE ARCHITECTURE! Contrary to these uninterested thoughts I motivated myself to going and am so thankful I did! And so begins the day, camera in hand, euros to spend, and anxious thoughts running through my head, we bordered the metro and went two stops on the green line to La Sagrada Familia.
     I mention the metro just for the sole fact that I get to tell you all about my new found love for what used to be such a foreign type of transportation. Being from the suburb's of South Carolina it should not come as a shock that I have never seen a metro/subway/train station, let alone been on one. Well this love for the metro came one night when I had to get home from class. It was already a miserable day -- sick, pouring down rain, soaking wet from previously walking to class in the rain, and no money for a cab...Just one of those days. So being completely desperate and over the whole "Im going to get exercise  walking to and from class" notion for the day, I asked David for money to get a metro pass and also well instructions on how to use it. Instructions were free. So we get to the metro station and at this point Im just so over it...If I end up an hour away from home then mehhhh at least Im not a walking rag. The first stop David and I are still together. Then we part ways and I am thinking to myself, "Oh goodness here it goes." But NO the next thing you know I am at Diagonal which is the metro stop five minutes from my apartment. MADE IT! And from that moment on I have used the metro to get anywhere I need to go! Bam. Okay, now back to La Sagrada Familia...
     After walking a block from the station the unfinished cathedral pokes its tall cathedral head out to where we could see just the top of it. When we finally got into full focus of the church I was slightly confused -- this was not what I was expecting but then I again I'm not really sure what I was yes, confused. We round up the troops after waiting outside for a good hour and make our way inside, but not without admiring the beautiful handcrafted scripture that decorated the entire front door. The door is made of stone and is absolutely HUGE. The scripture is carved into the door and there are ZERO spaces between the different lines of scripture. It of course, was in another language, unknown to this onlooker, but the door made its point. 
Walking into La Sagrada Familia, eliminated all those indifferent thoughts about cathedrals running through my head. Completely different than the first handful that I got to see. Although this is an older building the architecture on the inside seemed so modern in comparison to any of the architecture that I have seen here in Barcelona. Inside the sunlight beamed through the red, blue, purple, yellow, and green stained glass windows, illuminating the entire room with brilliant arrays of color. Im so glad we decided to go on such a beautiful day! The entire atmosphere of the church would have been completely different. As for the rest of the church I provided a video that I took inside! I could try and sit here and explain detail for detail the feelings I felt and the beautiful architecture I saw but there would be so much to tell -- each corner and each part of the cathedral held its own distinctive traits! I hope you enjoy! 

**Okay well I specifically took this video for this post...but an error has occurred. Ill try posting the video again tomorrow! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Final Projects...usually make me cringe...not this time!

Where to start? Where to start? Barcelona's culture is so rich and overtly different than the American Culture that I am used to. The personal video should not be too hard to do although focusing in on one main theme seems to be quite challenging. I am thinking maybe use the title of my blog "Mas Alla" and do that idea to incorporate my experience here. Maybe I'll use my "Toto I have a feeling we aren't in Kansas anymore" post to help me explain my time here in Barcelona. It would be kind of neat to compare life back at home to here and use pictures from home and pictures from BCN. And that would include food, places, people, education, language, shopping, weather, time, etc. Sounds good! This post will seem like I am talking to myself because well I am. I have not put that much time into really sitting down and putting all my information and pictures together. I have things categorized though so sometime soon I will sit down and lay it all out! I do have ideas in mind but none that are really grabbing my attention...nothing that SCREAMS yes this is perfect for your video! I do however really like the theme of "Mas alla". For my professional video I know I will do something about the importance of being bilingual in the US and for many job opportunities. Spanish is really making its way in the US and a lot of spanish speakers live there. So yes it is important. Especially for my industry. I want to work with a large make up company and so many of these companies work internationally! Also I know I can interview my Conversation teacher here! He's bilingual and is working on his dissertation in both languages. Also a fellow group member is Trilingual and he is in international business so he definitely understands the importance of being able to speak and communicate in other languages. And the Video where I have to talk about a major issue here in Barcelona Im pretty sure I am going to talk about the Catalan language itself. Because in 1970 Barcelona suffered the Regime of General Francisco Franco and had to overcome governmental attempts to erase the Catalan language and the culture altogether. The Catalan culture is something they take great pride in especially their language. It would be neat to do the entire video in Catalan BUT the chances of that are slim considering I can't speak Catalan. Or I just had an Idea for something to put in about culture in the Personal video. Since Barcelona is considered one of the top cities to visit for night life and fun I can hit on that topic. Most tourists come to visit Barcelona just for the hype about the night life here in the city. It starts off with a performance around seven...catch a late dinner afterward...and then hitting the bar or club scene until early early in the morning! A lot of the fiestas are also culture related like Stiges on Fat Tuesday...and Soccer Games...and there are tons tons more!


-Personal- "Mas Alla" theme incorporating all aspects of the culture.

-Professional- The importance of being Bilingual.

-Culture issue- Preserving the Catalan language and culture.

I know this is short for now but I am still thinking. Im just not completely sold on these ideas yet! Hmmmm any help? I greatly appreciate any advice or help! Thanks guys!