Eastide: Jerry = i”m a Transition Junkie in need of rehab!

What a week! I should have stuck to some of the building block assignments. #noir106 was doing character assignments, so I decided maybe I should use Jerry and learn some Final Cut Pro and video editing. Early in the week it sounded sensible to do an overview video for future expansion of his story.

First – when you can start from scratch on a story and have all the artistic license I think it is easier. I struggled with using the facts, but not trying to over sell. I also found out how much isn’t collected or saved like you thought. It really makes me appreciate those who take a photo a day for 10 years or document over time effectively. So how does one apply those thoughts to new projects? Story telling needs planning, thought, direction, and collecting and creating. Or – making do with what you have and filling in or in some ways leaving parts of the story out.

The next challenge was in trying to condense 76 years into a short time period. As I worked – I realized there needs to be chapters and this would be more of an overview and have gaps. I was dependent on photos that were already scanned (not all in good quality) and many years of gaps. Jerry was not one who was friends with the camera and the little video there was has him in the background or non-existent aside from the pieces I used. I was very pleased that I did have the video – it actually is a very insightful piece of footage and genuine to who he was.

Uploading was another issue. The Share feature clocked at 4+ hours and timed out and failed. It was using something called the compression app. Second time I exported as a Quicktime movie – but quality dropped and frames dropped as well. It only took 10 minutes to export and 20 minutes to upload to YouTube. It looks great on my iMac, so-so on my laptop. Now I have to read about configuration settings on exports.

Here is my draft video. It is not a finished product at this point. IGNORE THE TIME stamp– it has 8 minutes of black space when it is finished for some reason – another tweak to be done! It is long in internet terms- but comes in at about 6 minutes with credits.


I skipped the template based software to learn more about manipulating the content. I used Final Cut Pro 7. While my project was large for my skill level it was not huge. But the sheer quantity of photos and pieces got overwhelming. And just when you think you are about done – you hit a key and all goes out of whack or something disappears!

I set up 3 folders: Photos; Audio;Video; and imported them to the tool. I chose songs by the Ventures for the music from YouTube – it was one of his favorites. I had done some voiceover, but it seemed like too much and did not help the story – so that time was practice. I separated the video audio and had to make sure it stayed in sync so linked the video and audio for that part only so that it would not move or alter. I had to extract some photos from other sources and they became of lesser quality. Photos were organized and named for easier placement and moving around. As chapters go on, one solution may be to make the older ones have an older theme overall to look intentional.

From there it was learning to use the viewer and canvas. I watched some tutorials from Lynda.com on the software which helped see the built ins and how to maximize time with keys – really a timesaver!

A key lesson was understanding that going forward the more organized and prepped the content is earlier to creating and editing the better. The feeling of wanting to get to the video and create has to be delayed. Making sure all the content is fixed, edited, logged and named correctly prior will make this easier and probably result in better outcomes.

I ended up creating a monster – 13 video tracks and 9 audio tracks in layers. They probably could have been condensed – but after losing some work, I began to lock layers so I didn’t alter them as I worked on other portions.

With so many still photos and looking at them for so long, it seemed necessary for transitions and not abrupt cuts. I WENT TRANSITION CRAZY! DON”T MAKE THAT SAME MISTAKE! In hindsight – this is one of the tweaks on the next iteration. Getting rid of transitions and equalizing the length of shots overall. The readings for the week were good – and transitions discussed – but once it was uploaded and watched outside of the tool – I don’t like so many of them. I had initially thought consistency would be better than too many ones – but again – that is not how it turned out.

Because of the content – the time was fun and meaningful. I will be remiss if I don’t go back and do this right or better. This being the first story of the family should not mean it is the roughest. I will continue to polish and improve in his detailed chapters.

While I was in the midst of all this – I did a short project in iMovie putting my audio assignment into visual format. The details are here. The video is below.

All in all – it is learning and video has a short shelf life in most cases – so on to the next one and making it better.

Hot Man of Eastside



Design work for Unit 6/7 – Create a Poster/Logo for character and radio show

Working on a design poster for announcing the audio creation of learning units 6/7. My audio event will be a part of the story of my character – Jerry. Location of the story is on the Eastside of Milwaukee.  I chose this photo for a few reasons – he looks handsome and alluring – who wouldn’t want to tune in? It helps keep this short chapter of the story somewhat in a #noir theme. Something about cigarettes isn’t it?

I brought the Eastside colors in thru use of orange and gray/black. Enough to add some punch, but still keep the black and white feel of the photo graph. I used the heavier saturation for the large E to balance out the orange block on the other side. The lower edge of the E is eye level with the subject to take the viewer’s eye from title to face. Teh eye then should travel down the arm to the ds106 radio tag. Any feedback on placement effect or tweaks welcome.

jerryposterfilterednoiseThis next shown version I added a noise filter to soften the photo. Playing with filters yet as another extension of PS. May need to go in and brighten the orange again for this to work.

Prior to feedback from others, the poster had a halo effect and still looked a little choppy and should we say – “photoshopped”. Using some input from others I was able to go in and use more tools, broaden my depth into PS and come up with the poster at the beginning of this post.

Here is the first keeper that was put out for feedback.

Hot man of Eastside - ds106 poster

Another version I considered was to make it bold and use a stronger background – but I am leaning towards the above example as more effective. Some edge work needs to be done to clean up if the one below would be used. I abandoned it at this stage and began work on the above option when it didn’t feel like it was working.

ds106 Poster

Now time to start focusing on audio. Intro and exit bumpers and theme song.

Jerry – (Character Dossier)

As I work in ds106 alongside noir106, assignments sometimes are based upon a character that was developed in the first weeks. Character themes are not a requirement for open course participants and there are plenty of ways to complete assignments or choose assignments from the banks without one.

Looking at the archives of individuals who have worked this framework, a theme seems to have a positive edge for cohorts. There was Wire – looking at things thru a TV show, summer trailers, and other themes that seemed to help participants move thru with a thread and build skills within a parameter so that you didn’t eat up your time thinking of a new angle, but the actual work.

Spring 2015 UMW students are using the theme NOIR films. I am now in week 5 and can see if I had a character, some of my work would be more part of the group and be easier for feedback purposes.

My target is still to gain skills to be able to begin to use all the content I have from family. So in that thread, I am going to use my Dad as my character. He had a great way of looking at life and the things that happened in his life. He also lived during times that were different than mine and his stories of how things were seem fitting as “character” material. As I use him, his life will be a foundation of my character  – with some truths and some elaborations.


My character is my Dad – but with creative license to embellish the truth for the purposes of creating in ds106.

Name: Gerald Elmer Gruenewald –
Nickname: Jerry
Birthdate: May 30, 1937 (Memorial Day)
Place of Birth: Milwaukee Wisconsin, USA
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer
Marital Status: Married
No.of Children: 2 daughters
High School: Senior Picture


2009 (4 years before passing away)

Granpa of the Bride


Jerry is a handsome man at every age. He never had to have school supplies in high school. The girls were more than happy to make sure he had what he needed in class when he needed it – whether it was pen, pencil. paper or other. His mother was of Polish decent and his father German. His father passed away when he was 16 from cancer and Jerry became the man of the house for his mother and brother Bryan – 7 years younger. He fell in love with DixieLee at the age of 18 and eloped at age 19. They were married for 52 years before she passed away. He was a star on the high school football team and popular in his class. He started as a machine apprentice out of high school and continued to learn and perfect his skills. While he had some college credits, he never entered a full program or completed a degree, but he became the first Wisconsin state certified professional engineer based on his proficiency and expertise over the completion of a college degree. He built 3 homes, loved woodworking, cars, and especially family. He was a Green Packer fan.

Favorite Food: Pretty much anything with lots of flavor. Seafood – fresh was a favorite later in life.

Favorite Drink: Whiskey on the rocks. There were those Manahatten times in early years.

Favorite Color: He said he didn’t have one because he was color blind. – But it seemed to be blue.

Favorite Book: Loved books on local history

Favorite Movie: 

Favorite Posesion: License Plates of every car he drove, his vinyl record albums

Personal Motto: Fantastic!

I can already tell this might be helpful – there is so much about a person we take for granted or think we know, but never really asked them. This will be good for looking into the rest of our family as well as capturing some of these things from those of us still around.




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