Lights Out in Atlantic City: Only A Memory

Introduction:

I live in a beautiful beach town in New Jersey called Margate.  It is just 10 to 5 minutes away from Atlantic City.  I love Atlantic City and all of the fond memories I hold with it.  From work to play to family vacations I always love it and always created wonderful memories.  But, Atlantic City is not what it used to be anymore.  There are fewer tourists, fewer casinos, more unemployment, and more vacant buildings than ever before.  As I was driving through Atlantic City, I thought to myself, “How sad, people will never experience Atlantic City the way I experienced.”

I saw a sign that read, “Welcome to the World Famous Atlantic City Boardwalk” I looked around and saw no one, no tourist anywhere.  This leads me to the point of the photo essay. It is to show people what will happen and what is happening to the world famous Atlantic City.  The lights are dim, the buildings are losing its shine and the streets and boardwalk are empty. During the summer I worked in Atlantic City where many of my customers were very displeased by the surroundings in Atlantic City and said they did not know if they would be back.

I want people to understand that if everything keeps closing and shutting down, Atlantic City will become just a memory. I chose to make my photos look old to give them a vintage feel.  Making the photos look old will allow the audience to view them as if Atlantic City was just a memory. I hope these photos make people more aware of what can happen to Atlantic City if we do not support it.

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Lights out in AC

I have been thinking a lot about this photo essay and what my topic should be and what my subject should be.  Since I will be home for Thanksgiving break, I thought it would be a good idea to think about places near my hometown I could use as a subject.  I live in Margate, NJ, a small beach town located 5 minutes from the historic Atlantic City.  I thought it would be a great idea to use Atlantic City as my subject.

There is much news concerning Atlantic City and its fight to stay alive and thriving.  Through 12-15 pictures, I want to capture how Atlantic City is suffering, both the city itself and the people.  I think it is important to take these pictures so people are aware of how serious this is.  Atlantic City is an historic place that holds jobs and memories for thousands of people.  Atlantic City should be nurtured and fought for to stay a live and thriving but sometimes it feels like it is not.

I will be using my iPhone 6 with various filters and applications for these pictures.  I want to give my pictures a dark vibe so the pictures look dramatic.  I also think that using a dark colored filter will highlight how the city is suffering.  I want my tone to be, not somber, but serious.  Although I want my pictures to have a dark vibe, I want some of the colors in the pictures to be deep and rich.

What’s Beauty? Mash Up

Reflection 1:

For this video mash up I worked with Sony Vegas Pro 11. It was my first time using this technology to form a video of any sort.  At first, it was difficult to use Sony Vegas Pro 11 but I got the hang of it and it got easier as I kept using it. Using this type of forum for wiring was like learning a new genre of writing for the first time, you must keep practicing to understand it and make it perfect.  Like traditional writing it was hard to brainstorm my ideas for this assignment.  It took a long time to get my ideas together into one cohesive thought.  Just like traditional writing, I wrote down my ideas for this mash up.  This helped me because it allowed me to get thoughts down in an organized way.

Researching for this video was a little more difficult than I thought.  When researching for a traditional research paper, it is way easier because you can easily find multiple sources on the specific topic you are writing about.  When searching for an article, I usually type the topic or words about the topic and the search engine will pick up key words and find articles.  When looking for videos, it was difficult because Youtube did not pick up key words that might appear in the video.  This made the research process a lot longer than I originally thought it would be.

Like writing, this video has a beginning, middle, and ending but the way it is presented it not straight forward or orderly like traditional writing.  This was hard to get out of the habit of doing.  Once you are taught to always have your writing and thoughts in an orderly fashion, breaking out of that is challenging.  I really had to think about not placing video clips where I would normally think to place them.  This is also the fun and beauty of video mash ups though.  Putting your thoughts into an abstract order is really fun to do!

I really liked making this video mash up. I think it is a great way to get across a message to a large number of people.  I mean, I would much rather watch a video mash up than read a 10 page research report.  Just like traditional writing would discuss, this video mash up shows a serious social problem and ideas surrounding that problem.  While this mash up uses video clips and not words, like traditional writing would, I think its message is just as if not more effective than it would be in a traditional writing piece.  I think having your ideas represented by an image, either still or moving; can give a very powerful message.  Using video allows people who would not normally choose to read an article the opportunity to get educated, and that is powerful!

Reflection 2

This mash up video represents the idea that society has an effect on the way people think about and see beauty.  Through the use of commercials, ads, and toys, specifically Barbie, women of society are trained and taught to look a certain way, because that is what beauty is.  In order to represent this idea I used many beauty and Barbie ads.  In addition to that I used many clips and theories to represent an idea or feeling.

One idea that is very important throughout this video is the idea that commercials affect the way women view beauty.  To get this point across I used multiple makeup commercials.  Every commercial is essentially the same, the makeup is shown, the model puts it on, smiles, and the makeup is shown again.  “How is this equation possible?” is the theory I used to get across the message.  The signifier in each commercial is a person, specifically a model, the linking notion is beauty, and the signified is makeup.  The message that these commercials send is that in order to look like that model and to be beautiful you need to wear this makeup.  I also illustrated this idea through the use of a montage, showing that each commercial is essentially the same and gives the same message.

Another important idea that I represented is the thought that society and commercials have power over beauty and the way women see beauty.  I illustrated this idea by incorporating the video clip of the string on the doll being pulled.  The pulling of the string is a metaphor to show this idea.  I placed this clip throughout the video, usually after commercials of makeup or Barbie showing that the commercials are controlling us just like the person pulling the string is controlling the doll. I also showed this idea by inserting clips of the girl being strapped in the chair and being made over by various people, the puppet, and the girl being manipulated to look like Barbie on a computer.

I added video clips of various little girls throughout the world that represented their idea of beauty.  I put these video clips after or before commercials of Barbie or little girls putting makeup on.  I placed these clips after or before them to contrast, or juxtapose, the different ideas of beauty.   In one clip we see a little girl in Africa being force feed to make her gain weight and having her fingers clinched to make stretch marks this is very different than the “American” idea of beauty and is not shown through most commercials or ads.  To show the difference I placed it right before a little girl putting makeup on and a commercial of a Barbie doll in a beauty salon.  This contrast the different ideas of beauty little girls grow up with.

Another clip I used to illustrate a concept is the skeletons.  I placed the skeletons to illustrate the concept that we are all the same inside.  We are all essentially the same with the same skeleton on the inside.  I hope through the use of the clips I chose to use, the social problem of what beauty is, is being represented.

Body Image Mash Up

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Excuse my terrible drawings.  This story board will form the first 30-40 seconds of my mash up.

Scene 1:  The first scene will be an extremely skinny model walking down the runway.  She will be walking back and forth.

Scene 2: In the second scene, there will be a teenage girl lying in bed looking at a magazine.  The magazine will have beautiful, skinny girls in bikinis.

Scene 3: Will be an extremely skinny model posing for the camera during a photo shoot.

Scene 4: Will be a curvy old time actress like Marilyn Monroe or Sophia Loren posing for the camera during a photo shoot.  This will show how body image has changed through the years.

Scene 5: This scene will show a teenager measuring her waist. This will how media affects girls.

Scene 6: Scene 6 will show a skinny girl working out hard, looking extremely tired and stressed.  this will show that girls are doing anything they can to be skinny.

Scene 7: This will replay the runway model walking back and forth.

Scene 8: This will show a girl throwing up in the bathroom.

Scene 9:  This will be a movie clip of Marilyn Monroe stuffing her face with food.

Scene 10: Will show a clip of a girl looking disgusted (like she is disgusted that Marilyn is eating).

Scene 11: Repeat video clip of Marilyn.

Scene 12: Repeat video clip of disgusted girl.

Body Image

For my video mash up I will be focusing on the issue of body image and self esteem.  As a 21 year old young woman there are many images in the media that make you feel like you must always look a certain way.  Your hair must be perfect, your makeup must always look good and your body must always be in shape and lean.  Magazines, social media, TV shows, and commercials always have beautiful and skinny woman who portray beauty and a skinny body.  These images put pressure on young woman to be skinny and to be perfect in every way.  It can also cause them to feel unworthy, ugly, fat, and cause them to go into a depression or develop an eating disorder. I will put pictures of and videos clip of women like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren and compare them to the body image that is considered beautiful now.