Multimedia StoryTelling

By the students of MCJ300 at The University of Southern Mississippi

Author Archive

Model Makeover: Interactive look at the women behind the makeup

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I found an interesting interactive article on The New York Times online in the women’s fashion section. The photographs taken by Greg Kessler were interactive.

Basically the interactivity allowed the user to drag the mouse slowly across the image and watch the model transform before their eyes. It was a very interesting and fun way to show the transformations of the models before and after their hair and makeup. There was not much text which accompanied these pictures, except to say that it was at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York in November.

Over all it was interesting because it allowed women to see what the models really look like, under the pounds of product it turns out that they are actually real women too.

Who knew?

Kaitlin Aas

Kaitlin Aas

Kaitlin Aas

Kaitlin Aas


Living on the Roof of the World: The Kyrgyz of Afghanistan

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This video was absolutely wonderful. It is exactly the kind of work I would like to do after finishing school. It dealt with a group of people known as the Kyrgyz who live high in the Himalayas and are a nomadic people who travel with their herds to new food sources to keep them alive. Obviously it is frozen most of the year where these people are so the living conditions are very difficult.

One thing that struck me about these people as I watched this remarkably made video, was how similar they are to the Mongolian peoples I met last December. Last Christmas I had the opportunity to travel to Mongolia where I spent two weeks and went to many of their country schools and met children of nomadic herders. I was also able to travel out to some of the nomadic peoples’ homes known as, Gers.

Baruun-Urt, Mongolia December 2011

Baruun-Urt, Mongolia
December 2011

Gordon Parks

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“I chose my camera,”as a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all forms of social wrongs.” But he went on: “the camera is not meant just to show misery. You can show things that you like about the universe…. It’s capable of doing both.”

-Gordon Parks

I love this quote by Gordon Parks the groundbreaking American photographer, as well as many other things. The man understood journalism and he did it well, but above all, he knew that it was about more than just showing the problems in the world. Every now and again, just sometimes, you have got to give people hope. He knew that. He knew that there was a lot of hate in this world, he saw it and recorded it first hand. However, despite all he had seen, he knew there was a whole lot of love too.

Too often in media today we focus on the negative and leave very little room for stories which encourage or bring hope. In these cynical times we quickly write off good news as fluff. This quote served as a nice reminder that there’s a lot more to news than violence and hate.

Written by jamiecw

December 5, 2012 at 9:18 am

One powerful picture. One lost life.

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In an article I read recently the story was startling, and held my attention well enough, but it was the picture that stuck with me.


John MacPhersonReading Between the Lines

John MacPherson
Reading Between the Lines

Initially I all but ignored the picture, scrolling past it to the text. But as I read the text my brain began to make sense of the picture which accompanied it. The text dealt with a man named Owen Jones who was talking about his experience of being on  a train when it collided with a suicide victim, and the impact it had on himself and everyone else on the train. He talks about the importance of those in positions of power to share their own experiences with depression, to make it more acceptable for people to come forward when they similarly struggle. He calls for change saying:

“I don’t know whose life ended under the train I was on, and neither do I know the circumstances that drove them there. I do know that, unless we address the stigma, the ever-declining support, the economic causes, and the sheer lack of voice, many more will take that last, lonely journey.”

The picture then became riveting then in its stark contrast and I could make out the figure of a train rounding a bend coming down the tracks. It was a tragic symbol, yes, of the suicide this man had experienced. However it was also a symbol of hope and the ever moving forward nature of life.

You Will Be Safe: Eating Disorders at a Glance

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In the riveting audio slideshow by Simona Ghizzoni, called Odd Days, images of barely there females fill the screen. Image after image of women whose bodies have been ravaged by eating disorders play in a seemingly endless cycle. This is particularly powerful for a few reasons.

1.) I am a woman, and in fact a woman who once struggled with an eating disorder. I understand the realities of this disorder and how it gets into your head, and this slideshow hauntingly shows just that.

2.) It is very powerful to see a media example of women with eating disorders as many of these disorders could be linked to the media itself and the influence it has on young women. Women are constantly bombarded with information as to who they should be and how they should look. When they fail to live up to a false standard they begin to resort to terrible methods to achieve “beauty”.

3.) The photography was beyond wonderful. Every picture was powerful, not a single shot felt wasted or out of place.

4.) The soundtrack was both interesting and effective. It was a sound loop which repeated things like “you will be safe” and “you will be loved” over and over again. It was so powerful because you were not sure what the voices were meant to imply. Were they telling the girls they’d be rescued? That they would no longer need to mutilate their bodies in this way. Or were the voices encouraging the girls to continue, saying if they did they would be safe and loved? It’s uncertain, but thought provoking.

Written by jamiecw

December 5, 2012 at 8:13 am

Beautiful Cinematography and its Ability to Captivate an Audience

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In Daniel Mercadante’s multimedia series titled Routines we see a beautiful example of the impact of good cinematography and how much better a story could become when filmed well. His series deals with taking fairly mundane everyday things and briefly filming them in beautiful and interesting ways. Even things like teeth brushing and doing laundry. Although many of his short videos may be a bit too avant-garde for typical use in the news there is still much to be learned from his work.

The following video in particular is both grotesque and powerful, and it’s all about a chicken! The ability to take average things and make them visually interesting is vital in this multimedia age. Journalists need to know how to find, and write good stories, but also be able to capture them in watchable ways.

(Speaking of watchable ways, you may want to avoid this video if you’re a vegetarian or work for PETA.)


Written by jamiecw

December 5, 2012 at 7:50 am

Radical Faerie Sanctuaries: Examining life in Idyll Dandy Acres

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Recently, while reading through stories on Multimedia Muse, I came across a brief summary and picture that was so intriguing that it led me to America Recycled and their piece on a small town in Tennessee that does things… differently.

Idyll Dandy Acres is one of the first radical faerie sanctuaries in existence. They were started as a sort of safe haven and community for homosexual men who have taken the term often used derogatorily, “fairy” and given it a new spelling and a new meaning. These men see themselves as somewhat different from other homosexual men and the rest of the LGBTQ community.  The article states:

“Faeries would go to gay pride and the gay men would just be horrified,” remembers Phil. “They didn’t want to be associated in any way with these people who were so wacky looking and cross-dressed. They wanted gay people to be perceived the same as the straight community. There was a conscious effort by the Faeries to shove it down mainstream gays’ throats that being gay isn’t like being straight except for being with other men. It is inherently different. And it’s really cool and really fun.”

The video was very interesting and gave a very unique view of a very unique community.