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EL 405: Project 2 Proposal

For my final term project, I would like to use the new media tools provided in Flash to create an interactive poetry package. I want to incorporate several poems I've written and enhance them by adding sounds (perhaps music or narration), animated images, and other special content.

While I might revise poems I have already written for this project, I think it might also be interesting to work on a few new poems, keeping the Flash product in mind. I would like to experiment and find out how my writing process is changed or refined by the added consideration of the new media tools.

I'm not entirely sure precisely how I want to organize the poems within the Flash package; it's something I hope to get feedback on from the class. But I do have a few ideas.

I could organize the poems into a web-like environment, where certain keywords in a poem bring up pop-up windows with short poems inspired by those words. In this case, it might be neat to have the short poems demonstrate a contrast between the meaning of the keyword in the original poem and a fresh meaning from a different perspective. For instance, in a poem about the sea that describes the ocean as a calm, peaceful place, I could create a few pop-up short poems for keywords like "waves," "ships," etc. that show it in a different light (describing, perhaps, a stormy sea with tremendous waves that carelessly capsize ships caught in their path). Or, I could create short pop-up poems that accentuate the meaning of the keywords used in the original poems. An example would be a short pop-up poem spawned from the keyword "pain" in a poem about a painful experience that reinforces the meaning of the word with a brief but powerful extended metaphor. Of course, either way, I could include animated images and sounds that enhance both the long and short poems.

I could also do a similar thing, highlighting keywords in the poems, but instead of bringing up pop-ups, clicking on the keywords could cause certain images on the screen to play an animation, or perhaps cause appropriate sounds to play. For example, in the poem about the ocean described earlier, clicking on the keyword "waves" could cause a rush of waves to roll across the screen, or cause an audio clip to play the sound of waves crashing against the shore.

Finally, my last idea was to use one long poem to tell a story, and use animations, sounds, etc. in the format of a Flash movie. The movie would not be as interactive as the web-like structures I've presented for my last two ideas, and thus I'm not quite sure how much I like this idea; I want users to be able to explore the content at their leisure, rather than prescribe a specific path for them.

Hopefully, after receiving some feedback on these ideas from my peers, I will be able to narrow my scope down to just one of these ideas. Personally, I'm leaning towards the first idea, simply because it sounds like the most fun and it would probably be the easiest to program within Flash. It could be enriched equally by my writing and by the features of Flash.


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Thanks for your input, Leslie. I've actually gone down a different path for my second project since the proposal (I'm making another IF game), but I will keep your suggestions in mind--I'm hoping to work on this project over the Christmas break to keep me busy and help me learn some of the intricacies of Flash. It sounds like the sort of program a journalism major like myself should know something about, especially if I hope to get into a new media career, in particular.

Chris this is a great idea. I was thinking you might want to categorize the poems by type (Haiku etc..) I can def see you making a poem that tells a story, and I would be interested to see any pictures you could incorporate there as well. I am sure that you have many photos from your various shoots. I agree that a Flash movie would me most effective to make this idea come to life.

That last idea does sound, interesting, Dr. Jerz.

But, I will probably end up scrapping this idea altogether and just expanding my CST project for project 2.

Actually, forcing the reader to click in order to keep a particular page displayed, and changing the page to a simpler one if the reader isn't doing anything (zoning out, perhaps) might be an interesting experience.

The long poem with animations and sounds might be interesting, but would reading the poem become more about the animations than the poem itself. Maybe that is how poems would be when interactive however. It's always interesting to see how mediums transfer over to other mediums. The static text would probably not be the most alluring part in a Flash movie.

Maybe timer controlled events, http://www.actionscript.org/resources/articles/103/1/Timer-Controlled-Events/Page1.html
Or "onSoundComplete" might be able to help actions happen at interesting times. So the reader doesn't always have to just click everything to make it happen. But it could also become problematic for slower or faster readers.

If you figure how to click something and make a movie/video clip pop-up I hope you can share that with me in class for my final project.

Good luck

Chris, that sounds like a fantastic idea.

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