Spielberg’s Secret Revealed

Magazine Cover Edit


                                                           November 24, 2015

Exclusive eyewitness accounts and hidden camera video reveal a secret that Steven Spielberg has kept from Hollywood and the world.   Earlier this week, Spielberg was seen entering Esmerelda’s Chamber of Truth located at 100 Cemetery Lane. Our eyewitness followed him in and has provided a detailed account of what happened.  TIME Magazine has confirmed Spielberg’s visit to the Fortune Teller. According to our eyewitness, Spielberg was there seeking a crystal ball reading from Esmerelda, the Fortune Teller.  He requested the crystal ball reading to help him cope with a fear that has been haunting him for years.  If you dare to uncover the truth of his secret for yourself, you can read the eyewitness account and see video of the actual crystal ball images seen by Steven Spielberg and captured on hidden camera footage.  WARNING:  VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES.

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Final Project Idea

I spent all day yesterday trying to find some software that would allow me to create an awesome comic strip for the final project.  It was a big waste of time.  I spent all day signing up to use software that I could not figure out how to navigate only to have my mailbox fill up with marketing mail from the sites.  Ugh!

My host character was originally thought of in the form of a comic cartoon character, but I have also used another image for her so I don’t have to stick with the comic idea.  So then at the end of my rope I took the advise of Gabi and looked back at what I have already done.  I was inspired . . . so here’s the story idea. My host character, Esmerelda is a fortune teller . . . so it hits the news that Steven Spielberg visits a fortune teller and an undercover camera catches the crystal ball images that are revealed to him.  Below is a news magazine cover that I found and edited as my first element for the project.

Magazine Cover Edit

Once I Googled Steven Spielberg and found this image the story unfolded in my thoughts and I was able to write the story I would tell for the assignment.  The hook is he is seeking a crystal ball reading because he is afraid of his TV and he wants the fortune teller to help him understand why.  The irony is that Steven Spielberg, as most of you know, is a writer and director of many films and is well known for his horror stories.  For him to be afraid of the TV would be big news.  As Steven and Esmerelda (the fortune teller) look into the crystal ball the first images they see are horrifying sights and each time they look again it gets better until they are seeing cartoon characters dancing and singing in the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  These are all images from Steven Spielberg movies . . . the images that fill his thoughts, of course.

Here’s the run down of the movie images they see each time they look:

The Ring – a movie about how watching TV can kill you.

Poltergeist – a family haunted by super natural demons who use the TV to communicate with the small child in the house.

No wonder he is afraid of his TV!

JAWS – a man eating shark attacks people enjoying a sunny day at the beach.

Indiana Jones – no where near the beach and sharks but a man is being chased down by a giant boulder.

Fievel Goes West – a cartoon movie of a mouse traveling.  Better but he is still met with turmoil along his journey.

We’re Back – a cartoon movie with dinosaurs dancing and singing in the Thanksgiving Day parade.

Success!  Steven Spielberg is now seeing only non-threatening, happy cartoon characters.  But wait, does that mean Steven Spielberg will never create another horror story?  Is this the end of a legend as we know him?  Esmerelda, what have you done!

I do like this idea.  Picking a fortune teller for my host character has proven to be a good idea.  I did give some real thought to how I would use a host character to introduce stories.  The concept of looking into the crystal ball and seeing the story unfold there seemed like something that would work.

Once I had the story idea it came together quickly because it was building on things I had already done.  We had already used horror films as a review for our radio project.  Luckily I kept good notes on the sources used for that in our shared Googledoc; so I just went back to that data and got links to the movie clips which were Steven Spielberg films.  That is where it all began to fall into place.   I am hoping to spend time with my family next weekend so the more I can accomplish this weekend the better.

Have a great Thanksgiving Day everyone!

Week 13 Summary

Well so far I see four people have posted ideas for their Final Projects.  So I gave them each a shout out but since they seem to know what they want to do for their project I didn’t have any advice for them.

I have been struggling this week to figure out what to do.  Here’s my Idea Post.  I think I might go back to the library and see what other software options they have.  I will be sending the rest of tonight looking at the assignment bank for inspiration.

Good luck everyone!

Project Ideas

I should leave this a blank page . . . because that would sum up my project ideas.  I hope it will all come together this weekend.

My host character Esmerelda the fortune teller was made in the image of a comic character.  I take a class at the UMW Stafford campus on Thursday nights where I saw a sign for a software available in their library for making comics.  Great I thought . . . so I went in yesterday and took a look.  Nope not gonna help.  This software is simply for colorful posters or something.  Oh well onward I go; wandering around in the dark!

Week 11 Summary

This week we continued with our video creations. I started the week by reading and watching film clips about movie making.  This week we were required to do video assignments and use our host character in some way in many of them.  One of the assignments in the assignment bank was to take an audio you had already made and put a video with it.  For this assignment I took a commercial I had previously made for the radio show which was advertising my host character, Esmerelda the Fortune Teller.  I added still pictures which I made on bitstrips.com which told a story that went along with the audio and then converted it in a movie.  My Esmerelda Fortune Teller Commercial turned out pretty good.

Another assignment where I was able to incorporate my host character was to make a short DIY Commercial.  I used this assignment to explain how I created Esmerelda on bitstrips.com and you can do it too!

For my final host character assignment this week I created a Special Person Montage video and added the host character at the beginning to introduce the video.  My special person is my grandson, Patrick.  He is the only grandchild I have so far so he is the ruler of my universe.

The last assignment I did was a requirement for everyone in the course; I did not use my host character in this assignment.  The assignment was to make a Mini Documentary.  I made a video of my daughter’s boyfriend in my basement laundry room.  Kyle is a music major in college and he help me out with this assignment.

And last but not least I created the Daily Creates required for this week.  I love the cracked sidewalk art the most!







My Special Person

One of the assignments in the Video assignment bank was to create a “Special Person Montage”.  This was a great assignment because I got to make a movie of my special person . . . my one and only grandbaby.  What’s a grandma to say ~ I had plenty of material to work with!  For this video I used photos and video clips and just did a random arrangement.  It was a wonderful and emotional day when he was born.  Our Patrick Adam.  I can’t tell you what it feels like when he comes in the door and yells, “Grandma” and runs to me.  It doesn’t get any better then that.  Patrick is only three years old, but he has truly brought sunshine to my life!




One of the assignments I did this week was to take the audio commercial I created a few weeks ago for the radio show and adding a visual element to it. This assignment allowed you to use still clips and arrange them to go along with the audio that was already created.  The trick was that the audio could not be edited.  This was a great assignment for using my host character since the audio commercial from the radio show was for Esmerelda’s fortune telling services.

Esmerelda was originally created using bitstrips.com where you can create a comic strip using their pre-loaded scenes, characters and props to build your own comic strip scenes.  A neat feature of this site is the ability to layer up or down the characters and props you insert into the scene.  For this one I was able to put the man seeking fortune telling service outside of the door looking in by picking the scene, inserting the character and dropping him in front of the door, then I selected “layer down” and it popped him just outside the door.  To make my comic into a movie I created each comic scene and saved each image as a picture.  Because the bitstrip picture had a title bar at top and bottom of the scene I opened each image using Microsoft Paint and then used the fill bucket to make the title bars a solid black.  Then I uploaded each image into a movie strip using Windows Movie Maker and added some animation movement.  After the movie clip was arranged I added the audio clip, a title and credits page and saved the movie.  Again I uploaded the video to my flickr.com account before downloading into this blog.  I think it turned out great!  Take a look.

Commercial Take 2



Mini Documentary

This weeks video assignments included a must do mini documentary.  My video for this features Kyle Hvisdash telling us about his favorite band of all time.  The mini documentary on The Sun City Girls is a story of an eclectic style band so to make my movie in keeping with this I used a movie maker feature to make Kyle look like a pencil character come to life.  Kyle does a great job with his audio story and his body language.  Kyle is so excited to tell us about he band that it is an interesting story.  I filmed Kyle in the laundry room in the basement of my house and used Windows Live Movie Maker for editing.  For edits I used a few album cover images for the band and I added a title and credits slide.  I also added sound clips from the band which I recorded on Audacity.  After all the edits are done you simply save the movie and that’s it.  Once again in order to get the video to load into the blog I first uploaded it to my flickr.com account and then downloaded here for your viewing.  Hope you like it.  I have to admit after hearing Kyle tell his story I was interested to go listen to some of the bands music.  No my taste really but it is an interesting story about how this band traveled to India and incorporated sounds they discovered there into the music.

Mini Documentary Take 3


The Creation of Esmerelda


DIY Clip

This week is video work and we are to use our host character in our work as much as possible.  I chose to do an assignment that was to create a 45 second to 1 minute DIY commercial.  So I did one on how to create your own comic strip cartoon character on bitstrips.com.  This is the website where I created my host character, Esmerelda, the fortune teller.  My short clip tells you to go online to www.bitstrips.com and points out how you can select characters, scenes, and props to build a comicstrip story.  I am not a fan of being filmed myself so I simply walk through how to create a comic showing the computer screen while navigating the site.

Turning it Up

This week we are continuing with video and incorporating our audio as well and utilizing our host character.  I started out the week reading the unit on making movies.  I watched the film clip by Ken Burns where he discusses the intent for manipulation in storytelling.  I was extremely moved by the sharing of his story about his mother and the realization that we are all trying to avoid the wolf at the door.  This is all too real for me since my father passed away just this past labor day weekend and now my mother is ailing too.  Storytelling is such an emotional journey.  I poked around but did not find any information about movie credits and more complex audio and write ups; but I think I am doing okay.  I am a novice and do not intend on doing anything too complex.  In fact, since my computer was infected by a virus when I was downloading something for this course I lost everything.  I am therefore not willing to attempt another download so I am using very basic tools that I have at my disposal already.