The Girl with the Yellow Beanie

Dannielle O'Sullivan Digital Humanities, Literature, Video Games, Data Visualization

Data Visualization - Movies and Colour

Movies and Colour

The use of colour is very important in the film industry. Colours intensify the drama, define a character and are used as symbols. White is often used to symbolise purity and black symbolises death. Colours also can convey emotions such as red with anger, and blue with sadness. In the Pixar animation of ‘Inside Out’, the Emotions are each represented by their corresponding colours. Visualizing the colours of movies brings more depth and understanding to the movies’ stories. [1]

Movie Barcodes

Over the last few years, a blog on Tumblr called ‘Movie Barcodes’ has been making barcodes of movies. [2] The blogger takes every frame from a movie, crops it down to the width of a pixel and lines them up in a row, creating a barcode of the entire movie. Films like ‘Aladdin’ (1992), ‘Edwards Scissorhands’ (1990), and ‘Macbeth’ (2015) have been moderated into barcodes. Observing the colours, the viewer can clearly see what’s happening on screen if they are familiar with the movie.

Aladdin (1992)
Edward Scissorhands (1992)
Edward Scissorhands (1992)
Macbeth (2015)
Macbeth (2015)

Taking a look at the ‘Bambi’ barcode, several scenes can be made out by the colours. The browns and greens of the forest stand out at the start of the film. The light blue in the middle shows the ice skating scene. The dull greys and blues following that sequence are the winter scenes and the death of Bambi’s mother. At the end of the film, the deep reds are the forest fire. [1]

Bambi (1942)

Harry Potter

The colour palettes of different movies can show the general mood of the film. The barcode of the ‘Harry Potter’ film series gives a much deeper understanding to the films’ plots. Similar to the ‘Bambi’ barcode, the colours describe each scene of the film. The warm brown colours in the ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ represent the colours of Harry Potter’s house, Gryffindor. The dark shades of blue and green in the ‘Chamber of Secrets’ shows the characters entering the dark lair. In the ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’, the scene that takes place in Hogsmeade during the winter is evident by the bright blue colours in the centre of the barcode. The character of Dolores Umbridge is very vividly seen in the barcode of the ‘Order of the Phoenix’. Her pink attire stands out amongst the dark tones of the movie’s barcode. The bright frames towards the end of the ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ is clearly the white King’s Cross Station scene.

Harry Potter series (2001-2011)

Observing these scenes shows the shift in the colours and how the tone of the series becomes darker and darker towards the end. The barcode begins with bright colours of red, orange and purple. These colours represent Harry Potter’s childhood and his innocence to the horrors that are to come. The colours gradually become darker. This shows how Harry’s world is being torn apart by evil forces. His innocence is taken away from him as many of his loved ones die. It’s clear by the dark colours that Voldemort is claiming control over the wizarding world. However, the strip of white at the end, the King’s Cross Station scene, is the light in a dark time. The white symbolises the place of peace. This is also where Harry’s story began when he was an innocent eleven year old, and where his story ends.

In the film industry, words are irrelevant and images are more dominant in narrating a story. Visualizing each movie into barcodes shows the story with each frames’ colours. Colours are used in many ways in a film. They set the mood of a film, intensify the action, define a character, and are used as symbols. Examining the colour barcodes, it is plain to see how the storyline of a film shifts and progresses through time.


[1] http://www.cartoonbrew.com/ideas-commentary/movie-barcode-compresses-entire-movies-into-a-single-image-84607.html

[2] http://moviebarcode.tumblr.com/

 

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Horror in the Darkness: Review of an Interactive Story

Telling a story

In my migration from reading traditionally to reading digitally, I became transfixed with websites for young adults, such as An Archive of Their Own and Wattpad. With a smart phone constantly in my hand, I had many stories at the touch of my fingertip. These stories are written by the young, creative minds of teenagers who crave for a story that isn’t too long, too deep or too boring with information. As a teen, I found the internet published books to be fast moving and exciting on every scroll of the screen.

I’m not a teenager anymore. Having just turned twenty, I now see these stories simply as very cheesy. My mind is far more mature than what it once was.

The lectures I attended for my Digital Humanities modules have given me greater insight to the stories that are out. The books I would not dare pick up in Waterstones – for fear it would be too boring – are now being made into something more engaging.

 

Interactive storytelling

It’s a new and exciting way of now sharing the many stories that are waiting to be discovered.

In a state of boredom late one night, I felt like reading. Five years ago, I would have spent hours scrolling through pages to find a decent story to read. Now, I think of that process in disdain. By chance on this night, I opened the Play Store app and on the home page, a certain application was recommended for me: ‘Horror in the Darkness’.

Curious, I pressed the icon and examined the description. It is “a short exploration and puzzle solving adventure game inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.” Lovecraft. A name I would turn away from in any book shop.

As my course encourages me to try out new things, I decided to give the app a shot.

 

First Impressions

The game began with a clear description of events – the protagonist received a letter from the widow of his friend who he served with in a war. She is asking for help and the protagonist agrees to travel to an island off the coast of Maine to assist her. 

When he arrives there, the player is met by a group of commands on screen, such as open, take, look, and walk. There is also a description of events above the commands. By reading this, the player can decide what to do with what was relayed to them.

At first, I was unsure with how to effectively use the commands. It took some time to figure out, my decisions made the protagonist die once or twice but the game brought me back to the last save. The more I interacted with the commands, the easier they became to understand. By simply reading the description, I deduced what commands to try out. With every interaction with the commands, I grew more used to them and I figured out how to progress with the story more quickly. 

For example, at the beginning of the game, the player arrives at a gate. All the commands are available for them to choose.

 

By selecting the ‘open’ option, another appears for them to choose what to open.

 

Having chosen ‘gate’, it opens and their progress has been saved.

 

The map that was available helped me to retrace my steps and showed me the rooms and areas that were available for me to explore. Clicking the ‘read’ command at an time, the option for ‘(map)’ will appear.

 

The more areas the player discovers, the bigger the map becomes. I entered rooms several times whenever I found a new item from another location that could lead with a new discovery.

It felt truly like a puzzle solving mystery game. There are no visual effects, just words to read and choices to make.

I completed the story in just over a half hour. As my first experience into an interactive storytelling application, Horror in the Darkness is entertaining, scary and stimulating to solve. I am eager to continue the story in its sequel, Horror at Innsport – which is promised to be a larger world and plot.


Here’s the link for ‘Horror in the Darkness’ app on the Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nz.co.karmicshift.horror&hl=en

 

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About the girl with the yellow beanie

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Hey everyone!

My name’s Dannielle. I am the girl with the yellow beanie and can be spotted around the campus of UCC. I’m studying Digital Humanities and Information Technology with English as a minor.

My main focus for this blog is the very broad topic of digital humanities. I’ll have a few assignments from my digital humanities modules, and some posts of my own interests.