Korsakow FilmKorsakow  is a type of intuitive and free software that enables a user  to create and interact with a non-linear cinema or database video narrative referred to as a Korsakow Film (K-film). A K-film is made up of “smallest narrative units” or SNUs. In this database cinema project my 18 different SNUs create slightly different narrative characterizations depending on the order in which the user chooses to click. The multiple ordering configurations of the SNUs creates different paths of change in my personal character.

For my K-film (“Loss”), I created a non-fiction narrative involving myself and my two cats: Peaches and Tybalt. My favorite cat, Peaches, died suddenly of cancer in May and there have been emotional extremes during the grieving and healing process which I juxtapose in my film. There is also an underlying theme of reflection as both metaphor for existential and emotional questions, and as a physical component to symbolize the loss and memory of a counterpart.


Production-wise I used a variety of equipment including a Canon 35mm digital camera, a smaller Sony CyberShot 6 MP digital camera as well as a Panasonic handheld video camera with tripod. I edited my footage and photos using iMovie, FinalCutPro, LiveType, Photoshop, GarageBand and Windows Movie Maker. Additionally, the voiceovers were recorded on professional podcasting equipment and the media I used included a combination of regular video, a  traditional drawing, and still shots. My content is spliced with text as well as creative commons music and media for thematic enhancement.

While his theory is that “database and narrative are natural enemies”, this K-film project helped me fully define the dynamic relationships within Lev Manovich’s concepts of paradigm (database) and syntagm (narrative)


What I contributed this past week: In addition to providing feedback on the video, I printed out the physical envelopes for the hard copy of the St. Joseph Graphic Standards Manual, provided Sean with our original thought process on the first storyboard I helped develop and sent my raw Illustrator files to Joe for inclusion in the digital version of the Graphic Standards Manual. I also printed out labels for the final product CD of the Graphic Standards Manual as well as the final hard copy of the Services Video DVD for St. Joseph Services.

What went wrong? Nothing, but we are working up to the minute, which is a little stressful.

My take on Basecamp as a platform? Personally, I give it a thumbs down. It made me just as crazy as BlackBoard and with the myriad of different “topics” to comment under it was difficult to find my posts and files. A communication platform should not be that complex or involved in my opinion.


Tonight we present our project in its finality to both the client and the rest of the class. I am pleased with how well our group pulled together on all of the sub-projects to produce a cohesive and polished final product to turn over to St. Joseph. The video is impressive and achieved the technical, mission-oriented and emotional goals of our revised storyboard. Group member Brian Cicirello went above and beyond in our group (to a ridiculous level) and project manager Amelia was on the ball each week. The size and scope of talents in our group created a successful end product. In reflecting on this past quarter’s group project, I will say that the sheer amount of traveling and meeting outside of the classroom, as well as the quantity of time and hassle with the CDM cage in the Loop for equipment felt like a second job. It was a difficult class in terms of frustration and chaos levels, but in the end, our group got it done. We all deserve solid A’s in this class. That is my answer.


What I contributed this past week: In addition to giving input on the rough video, I created a branded folder for the in-class presentation and into which we will put the hard copies of the items we will turn over to the client for the graphics standards manual. The folder is labeled on front with the logo and “Graphics Standards” and also has a label with all of our group members’ names as DePaul contributors. I also included brand-coordinated CD labels for the web files, photos, audio, video, logo and color palette we will turn over to St. Joseph Services.

My concerns at this point: I wish we had the full use of all of our group members. As of now, one or two of our members keep getting stolen away from our group during class time to help the other group learn how to edit video. While I have no problem with lending our members to assist the City Farm group with their project, there are less of us than there are them and we do need 100% all of our people for input and production each week during the precious amount of class time that is left to complete this project. This is not the fault of our group member(s), just an obvious logistical / technical issue which should have been addressed early on.

To complete this upcoming week: At this point we need to get the final editing and audio optimization complete. We also need to get the correct spelling of names and titles of all those in the video and work on a lower thirds graphic overlay for the video. I believe we will be discussing this in class on Thursday amongst our group members.

What I contributed this past week: Last Thursday I attended the St. Joseph’s video interview held at the Austin location. During this process, I helped arrange the background of the shot as well as recorded all the audio. On Sunday, I co-hosted the viewing of all the footage at my South Loop loft because the promise of securing a room in a Loop CDM building was not followed through in a timely fashion. Many in our team project group attended at which time I took notes on the best parts of the footage and submitted the notes to Brian C. for the rough cuts. I also submitted to Basecamp a #10 envelope and letterhead design as PDFs for our Graphic Standards Manual for St. Joseph’s.

My concerns at this point: We found out that the logos were not entirely well-received by St. Joseph Services’ Board so some members in our group refined some of the logos to resubmit to the board for viewing at their meeting this Thursday. If they cannot agree on one with gusto, we all decided it would be best to submit their old logo to them in a vector format (which they did not have) along with the video. Giving them something they can work with in the future is better than nothing and we can all still be proud of the work we have done. My chief concern at this point is focusing on the editing of the video. There are two more last-minute interviews today and tomorrow that St. Joseph’s insisted upon. Worst case scenario is that if the video is not completed in its entirety we can still submit the raw footage to them for their future use.

To complete this upcoming week: Video editing and refining of the items we have collectively done as well as sound bed and photo optimizing. It would be great to get these things completed in class. We will hopefully receive word back about the logo(s) from St. Joseph’s in order to lock in what will be finalized and submitted.

My specific contributions to your project team this week:

  • I took all of the refined logos and color palettes and put them into a single PDF for submission to the client.
  • I also am attending the Austin video shoot today to conduct duties as Video Art Director.
  • I provided support to the Project Manager to facilitate communications.

What’s going well:

Our team feels solid and our communication is free flowing. The logos were refined and sent over, things are slowly getting accomplished bit by bit.

What is not going so well:

Thursdays in class do not provide nearly enough work time for this project. It is difficult to commit another night a week to work on this project as a working professional. St. Joe’s is slow to respond and we are awaiting their logo selection(s). I find frustration in both the limited class work time as well as the client’s inability to respond in the time we had hoped. We are getting down to the wire time-wise and my concern is that we will not complete our project and end up turning over what we have to St. Joe’s.  But maybe that will be acceptable to client.

Goals for next week:

Ideally, if this tape can then get logged on Friday, perhaps Monday night the St. Joe’s group (or at least the video portion of the group) can reconvene to watch both film rolls and take editing notes, as  Since St. Joe’s expressed that the logo will need to be decided on by a board and it may not happen in a timely manner, our group needs to discuss alternatives and hypotheticals as well as a decision on the music bed for the video.

What resources or help do you need from your project team, class, or instructor?

As it was discussed last week, I do not think that I would have enough content to fill a 10-paper final paper for this class. If each person in our group wrote a page or two on their personal experience and responsibilities of this project, incorporating the theoretical connections required by Michael Moore, perhaps we could turn in a collective and complete report that covers everyone’s perspective in addition to presenting our project to the class. It would be great to re-discuss the final paper situation and get a solid decision so that notes and outlines can begin to be constructed.

The Humboldt Park St. Joseph’s visit went well last week. We met with Lisa and Mickey and discussed their needs and what file types and deliverables we would ultimately turn over to them: a disc with the editable film files, the files of all the collateral and print and a standards manual with their new logo.

The B-roll footage had been conducted at the Austin location, but we will need to schedule the actual interview at Austin once Brian C. talks to the ladies today, as it is filming day for the St. Joe’s Humboldt Park facility and interview of Lisa Sullivan there. Unable to attend this filming, as Video Art Director I posted a PDF of points to the Basecamp wiki for those people to take with them. The film is tentatively scheduled to be logged by Sean on Friday as he has the time to get to the lab that day. Progress is being made, slowly. With only 5 weeks left, I foresee a tighter schedule being given to us from Project Manager Amelia for deadlines, which she has done a great job overseeing.

My concern is that we will not be able to utilize our class time editing and getting this video together outside of class if we are required to be there for attendance and discussion each week. Not everyone is available to collectively work outside of Thursday nights and so striking a balance between “agency worker” and “student of this class” is tenuous at this moment.

In class this Thursday, we plan on narrowing down the logo choices to 3 – 5 drafts to e-mail to St. Joe’s. We hope they will make their selection ASAP once this happens to that we can get the graphics and standards manual team – not to mention the website graphics folks – rolling on their individual projects.

I look forward to pinning down an Austin date for filming and then I will feel better about the timeline of this project. The sooner things get done, the better. The client has virtually given us carte blanche with regards to designs, but I hope they are decisive enough to decide which logo they like the best — and soon.

As the Video Art Director for the St. Joseph’s Services project, I created a rough storyboard, which I brought to the last class and which everyone graciously gave input and collective group changes were implemented (removal of certain frames, re-arranging the order slightly). I uploaded the storyboard to the class Blackboard (view the storyboard here.) On Sunday, a few people from our group visited the Austin location and took photos.

This week (Thursday) the St. Joseph’s group is visiting the Humboldt Park facility to meet with the director and square away some video time, as well as photograph the facility and get a feel for the overall project in order to tweak the storyboard and get moving on filming.

What is Going Well? As a group, we seem to be able to communicate well outside of class using Blackboard. The volunteers who went to the Austin location went on a Sunday, so we have people going above and beyond, which is great. I think our Project Manager, Amelia Noyes, is doing a great job by posting task lists and keeping the questions rolling.

What’s Not Going So Well? With a single project like this, my concern is that there are so many of us involved that there will not be an equal distribution of work for everyone to feel “fully immersed” in this project. I think as far as criticisms, we all feel an overt sense of politeness as to not upset the apple cart. This may change as the deadline nears. We all don’t seem to be on the same page as far as time and bullet points to cover in this project, as there are so many points to cover, but I have faith that the most important points will surface during editing.

My goals as Video Art Director for next week is to have a filming schedule in place and a more refined storyboard to post.

I think if project team continues to communicate their thoughts via Blackboard (or wiki, which is preferable) for Thursday so that we can all get organized for the trip over to St. Joe’s, we’ll be good. It may take a couple class times to complete filming and then time will need to be spent editing. As far as editing goes, I am wondering if it might be possible to have a projector available so that the designated editor can edit while the project team gives input during the editing process.