For the Narrative Unit at Freestyle Academy, we wrote a piece of flash fiction in our English that had to be around 750 words or less. That story was then used in our other classes to develop projects. In our Digital Media class, we developed an audio book with music and SFX for the story. Along with that, we constructed a website that correlated with the themes of our story. Since my story takes place in a car, I designed my header images for my pages to look like wheels. In our Design class, we used the story for our illustrations. We had to create a fictional creature based on the characteristics of our story character and then illustrated a scene from our story. Throughout this website, you may be able to view the various parts and projects that I created all based off one little story!
For our Flash Fiction story, our first task was to create a character and then build a story from there. I took inspiration for my character, Matt, from some of the people that I have seen around the Bay Area. He is a very successful and wealthy lawyer, but isn’t happy with his life due to a trapping marriage. Once I had developed the character of Matt, I had to choose the setting of the story. For this, I choose to have the story take place in Matt’s car as he is driving home from work. Here he reflects on his day and the story proceeds from there.
The roar of the Maserati gives Matt his first smile of the day. He pulls out of the law office parking garage and drives toward the highway. Led Zeppelin quietly flows throughout the car as Matt joins the traffic merging onto the highway. Robert Plant’s raspy vocals cause Matt to reminisce on his day. The paperwork for the case has to be redone, he and the other partners had to fire David, and lastly, Cheryl called saying that he needed to make dinner tonight because her parents were coming in a night early.
Suddenly he was reminded about Cheryl. Matt reaches over and pulls his wedding ring out of his briefcase . Matt twirls it around in his hand as he observes it. The inner side of the band shines brightly as from the action of taking it on and off with routine. The scratches and dirt along the outside of the band come from the rings constant residing in the briefcase pocket. He throws it into the cup holder as he hopes to wait before he has to return to reality. He tells himself that he takes it off because he doesn’t want to get it dirty or accidentally misplace it. But deep down, Matt knows that he is just blowing smoke. This routine does turn a few heads at the firm, but only his own secretary, Lisa, knows the actuality of his situation. tt
Lisa is the only stable part of Matt’s life, in his eyes. After all, she has been with Matt at the firm longer than Matt has known Cheryl. She was there when Cheryl moved out for a couple months and she let Matt stay at her house for a bit so he wouldn’t be alone.
Matt finally gets onto the 101 and starts the commute to the hills as the sun comes down over the Hollywood sign. Matt shifts gears as he passes a mom with her kid in the backseat. He often wonders what his life would be like if had kids. He remembers the day that Lisa announced to the office that she was expecting. He was fascinated by how genuine and authentic the glow of her smile was that day. Growing up, Matt knew he wanted kids. He wanted a son to play ball with and a daughter to take to the movies. But Cheryl changed that. Cheryl and him have talked about it and Matt forces himself to lie at her through his teeth each time. Matt tells her that he doesn't really want kids and that the finances of raising children would be too much for them right now. Matt knows that Cheryl can see through the latter of the lies since Matt drives a Maserati to work from their house in hills and as she drives around town in her Range Rover, throwing their platinum card around. But why should she complain?
Matt wasn’t an idiot. He could see that his wife only really loved him for his position at the firm and the lifestyle that came with that. Lisa has often talked to him about a divorce from Cheryl but they both know that it will just end up cutting Matt’s bank account in half.
Poised with a wave of anger and with an open highway in front of him, Matt puts his foot down as the tunes of Zeppelin crescendo in the background. He dodges in and out cars as he continues to build up pace. But as he passes a navy blue Civic, Matt doesn’t see the pickup truck
on his left. The rear of his car clips the front bumper as the Maserati spins out and catches a flip.
Matt wakes to the white lights of the emergency workers as he is pulled from the wreck. He can’t move his left arm and he feels blood running down the sides of his slacks. As the paramedics scramble around him, Matt looks down at his left hand. Even through the pain and discomfort, Matt can’t help but letting a sly smile run across his face.
He had finally lost his ring.
For this assignment, we were to take our Flash Fiction character and create a list of their respective characteristics. From that list, we were to pick animals that matched those characteristics. Our goal was to create a creature that represented that was a combination of these various animals and characteristics. After a few sketches, I searched the Internet to find images of the animals that made up our creature. From there, I took those images into Adobe Illustrator. In Illustrator, I traced the animals for their respective parts. After that, I pieced them all together to create my creature. After creating our creature-character, we were to also draw a scene from our story with some form of linear perspective in Illustrator. We have recently learned the style of drawing of linear perspective and this is why we tried to apply to it our background image. This part would prove to be challenging, but it ended up making the overall image much stronger. From the start of the project, I was skeptical because I was not a very good freehand drawer. But with through the new tools and techniques we learned, I was able to create a well-rounded cartoon.
The first step in the process of designing our creature was to write out a list of characteristics our story character. From that list, we’re to match those characteristics with an animal and or animal part. After we correlated the characteristics with animals, we drew initial sketches of our creature. One of my initial sketches can be seen to the left. After these sketches, we took the project into Adobe Illustrator.
To prevent our creatures from looking unnatural in whatever action or position they were in, we took photos of ourselves to have references for various positions. That way, we could see how a person actually looks when they are doing that action or are in that position.
The story that this illustration is based on is about a lawyer. The lawyer, Matt, lives a morose life in Los Angeles, despite being a very successful and wealthy lawyer. I took inspiration for this character from some of the lawyers and adults that I have come across in the Bay Area.
My first step in the development of my illustration consisted of brainstorming the different parts of my creature as well as sketching the background and the creature itself. The background proved to be quite challenging as our background had to incorporate linear perspective drawing. This is a style of perspective drawing where the relative size, shape, and position of objects is determined by imagined lines convening on a point on the horizon. After initial sketches for both my background and character, the project went into Adobe Illustrator. In this program, I traced images of my various animal parts, colored, manipulated, and then pieced them all together into one creature. My final creature consisted of a basset hound head, hawk body/wings, bullhorns, and bear legs. The basset hound head was chosen because, in my opinion, it went well with Matt’s sad and depressed characteristic. The hawk body represented his desire to fly away and leave his current situation behind him. The bullhorns represented Matt’s hidden and deep down anger. Lastly, the bear legs represented his resilience and strength when faced with adversity. I also drew a suit onto my character to demonstrate his profession. The scene I choose to illustrate is one where Matt is looking out to the city from the hills after a long day at work. Overall, I think that the illustration turned out well but if I had more time, I would have liked to illustrate his car and add more to the skyline.
To accompany our Flash Fiction story, we were to produce three pieces of music. For each piece of music, I would read over the section of that the piece was accompanying and then try to recreate that vibe through the music. One of my inspirations for my music for this project was Hans Zimmer. The production that he did on the Interstellar soundtrack definitely influenced my own style for these pieces of music. Also, each piece’s respective cover art, I selected to match what section of the story that it was for. Overall, I believe that each respective piece of music helps curate the vibe that the rest of the story is trying to portray.
This is the first piece of music that I created
This is the second piece of music that I created
This is the third piece of music I created
As well as producing music for our stories, we also had another music production project. For this project, each of us was asked to create an 8 bar portion of a electronic dance music (EDM) song. Each of our portions had to be 120 beats per minute and only use the white keys on the keyboard. That way, all of our portions fit together nicely into one song. The portion that I produced is from 1:04 - 1:20 in the song below.
This is our class EDM Production. My part is from 1:04 - 1:20
My audiobook consisted of the music I produced, a recording of me reciting my story, and sound effects. The part that I believe added the most overall enhancement to the story was the music. Without the music, the audiobook loses the aura that I was trying to create. I knew from watching movies that the music was going to be extremely critical, so this was also the part of the audiobook production that I spent the most time on. My final audio book is below.