Google Hangout Discussion S4E10

From 8pm-9pm on Tuesday (Dec. 2), Jonathon, Nicky, Lauren, Nicholas, and I had a discussion about Season 4 Episode 10:”Misgivings” of The Wire. Jonathon started the discussion by sharing some screenshots of scenes from the episode that really struck him. On in particular was when the  (asshole) police officer caught the boy who is really good at stealing cars. Instead of arresting him, the cop decides to break several of this kid’s fingers. We all agreed that it was completely wrong from the cop to punish the kid like that, and several of us had a difficult time watching it. Nicholas mentioned that this show has elements that reflected news events happening currently, but just all agreed and decided to not get into the issues of today. That led into Lauren’s point about how gruesome it was to see Michael’s dad murdered by Chris and Snoop. That was one of the most difficult scenes to watch in the series yet. (Although after watching this week’s episodes…i’ve decided this entire show is just the saddest thing ever.) I also then brought up how it was interesting that even though nobody actually said what Michael’s father did to him, we all can assume what it was (molestation, assault, abuse) and so even though his death was very brutal, I personally was glad to see his character go. Nicky also shared some screen shots, particularly all of the camera shots with tables in them. There was quite a lot of them, and we discussed how the lighting, and the position of the people at that tables symbolized different things. For example, when the lighting was dark, it was because it was a serious moment, and when it was lighter, it was supposed to be a more inviting moment. Furthermore, whenever the politicians were sitting at the tables, they were always on the opposite end from where the camera was. This could symbolize how politicians are not always in tune with the average citizen (aka the audience member, the viewer). We also noted how when it was politicians around the table, there were a few of them, and that meant that a few amount of people make decisions that affect many, whereas the scene where the school administrators are around a table, there’s more of them, so the decision is better represented.

I tried to record our video discussion, but unfortunately I used the wrong google hangouts. I did not use googles hangouts on air, but instead, regular google hangouts. I tried to also use a software called Snag It that I had downloaded in order to capture the audio and video from my screen but the application kept crashing and not saving what it had recorded before crashing. I have some pictures to prove we did talk together online (below), but nevertheless since I volunteered to be the point person, it’s entirely on me that I don’t have the actual video of the discussion.

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 3.37.23 PM hangout_snapshot_0


Much Swede.

Maggie and I decided to so our swede on Season 3, Episode 11 of The Wire. We wanted to try to include as much as  the plot as we could, so we broke the episode down into 13 main scenes. Next, we planned out the days we’d shoot, the times, and the locations. We even asked DTLT and fellow DKC tutors to help with being extra parts. Maggie created a Google Doc that had all of swede planned out and she wrote the script. We used my camera, but we edited it together. We tried to make sure we each played the same character(s) throughout the scenes to provide some continuity. This swede was for the assignment, “Swede a Scene” worth 4.5 stars.

We tried to make some of our props/costumes fit the characters, such as Omar’s trench coat, and Brother Mouzone’s bowtie and blazer. Once we got all of our clips, we imported them into iMovie and trimmed down all of our outtakes. We also got some footage for our title sequence and added that to the swede as well. Lastly, we downloaded the intro and credits songs and sped them up to fit our swede.

Here is our final product!!


Omar Little-Pumped Up Kicks

I made a music video for the song Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People that features scenes with Omar Little from The Wire. This assignment was worth 5 stars. I found a compilation of scenes of Omar on Youtube that was originally fourteen minutes long. I downloaded it as well as downloaded the song “Pumped Up Kicks.”  Then I imported both of those into iMovie. Next, I went through the compilation to cut out the parts that I didn’t think were as intimidating as some of the other parts. I had to basically cut out ten minutes of the compilation in order for it to match up with the length of the song.  After I found the clips I wanted to use, I try to make some of the parts sync up with the lyrics. I couldn’t do this very well for the first two verses of the song, but I got the bridge to match up nicely with the clip I chose. For example, “run, run, run, run” with the boys on the street running from Omar, the whistling in the song matching up with the scene where Omar actually whistled, and “bullet” as the last word lines up with Stringer being shot. What I thought was going to be a somewhat easy assignment turned into slightly a pain to work out, but I’m glad I stuck with it and tried to make I envisioned happen!

Omar Music Video from Jessica Reingold on Vimeo.


Wire Buyers Radio Show!

I used Audacity to put together all of our audio tracks. I simply downloaded the tracks from SoundCloud and then imported them in Audacity. I put them in order and cut out any of the silent parts of the various tracks.

Division of Duties:

Maggiespearheaded the group idea, created commercials

Imran- commercials, radio bumpers, dialogue

Jess- commercials, final editing process, dialogue

Lauren- commercials, “Way Down in the Hole” mashup

Kriscommercials, suggested a song to use

Alison- commercials, google doc organization, radio show outline, dialogue

We also all created promotional posters for our show.

The Radio Show broken down:

Dialogue: (Start with tail end of discussion about product placement)


1: “…and there are so many companies that use popular culture to display and market their products. 


2: “You’re so right. Product placement is such an opportunity for companies and this type of marketing has infiltrated so many shows we watch today.


3: Now for a few words from our sponsors…” Part 1: 3 seconds





-McNugget’s Commercial (Maggie-1:18)

-Kodak Camera/ “Kodak Moment” (Jess-0:41)

-Avon’s call–”Avon Calling” parody (Maggie-1:35)

-KFC (Kris-2:16)

(5:01 minutes)


Bumper: (Imran-0:29)



Dialogue: (introducing song)


1: “And what would you like to hear?”


3: “Way Down in the Hole.” Part 2: 1 seconds


1: “Which version?”


3: “All of them.”  Part 3: 1 seconds

(0:15 seconds or so)


Song:-Way Down in the Hole Mashup (Lauren-5:36)


(5:36 minutes)



-The Great Gatsby (Maggie-2:22)

-Diners (Lauren-0:35)

-Games (Alison-2:22)

(5:19 minutes)


-17:55 so far-


Middle Bumper: (0:24)



1: “Stay tuned for our discussion of product placement with The Wire producer David Simon.”



-Jameson commercial (Alison-0:58)

-Men’s Wearhouse Suits (Imran-1:58)

-Prop Joe’s store (Kris-1:57)

-Orlando’s Gentlemen’s Club (Kris-0:53)

(5:46 minutes)


Music: I Walk On Gilded Splinters by Paul Weller (Kris-3:39)

(3:39 minutes)



-Housing (Lauren-2:00)

-Demand A Plan To End Gun Violence-(Imran-3:07)

-Dunkin donuts (Jess-0:57)

(6:04 minutes)


Closing bumper:


TOTAL: 33:35



It’s a Kodak Moment in the House!

Since my radio show group is doing a backwards radio show, in that the main content is commercials for products in The Wire, I made one of my commercials for Kodak cameras. This also fulfills an assignment Maggie made called TV Product Placement Radio Ad, worth 2 stars. Kodak cameras were featured in Season 2 Episode 3: Hot Shots. Ziggy specifically references a “Kodak Moment” as Nick and his deal with Double G is working out well.

To make this commercial, I took the audio from the scene where Nick and Ziggy are discussing the camera deal with Double G and the audio from an actual Kodak Commercial and combined the two in Audacity. I moved the introduction part of the music in the Kodak commercial to the end of the commercial audio to serve as background music for when Ziggy is talking about the Kodak cameras Nick and him are stealing for Double G. I cut down the audio from The Wire scene to just the specs and pricing of the cameras, as well as Ziggy’s “Kodak Moment” line.


PJ & SB Goods

I did the assignment The Ultimate Merger, worth 3.5 stars. I wanted to make this Wire related since Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell are in a deal with each other now. So what I came up with is a “package” logo, featuring both of them. I found a package icon on The Noun Project, and I found pictures of Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell. I made the package icon cardboard color on Pixlr, and ran both the Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell pictures through a black and white filter on Pixlr. Then, I cut out Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell’s heads and free transformed them as well as free distorted them to make them go in the direction of the sides of the box. Then I added the text to the box. I wanted to keep their logo somewhat vague since that’s how they talk about their products. In a way Proposition Joe and Stringer Bell are the ultimate merger since they are both very powerful drug dealers in Baltimore with many connections to all kinds of people.

Image Citations:

Package designed by Mahmoud Bachir from the Noun Project

Stringer Bell by HBO

Proposition Joe


A Bag, A Duck, A Purse, and A Barrel…

I chose to do one of the recommended assignments which is One Story / Four Icons, worth 2.5 stars.

I knew I wanted to do my icons based on The Wire Season 2, Episode 9: Stray Rounds since I thought there were some iconic objects in that episode.

I used Pixlr to put together my icon story and I used The Noun Project to find icons. I thought the four most iconic objects from Stray Rounds were Ziggy’s duck (RIP), McNulty’s european man purse, Bodie and Stringer’s duffel bag, and the barrels of paint chips that were actually Columbian drugs. So I searched The Noun Project website for ducks, purses, gym bags (duffel bag wasn’t the best keyword), and barrels. These are the four icons I ultimately picked.

Icon citations:

Bag designed by from the Noun Project
Bag designed by Erik Wagner from the Noun Project
Barrel designed by Karthik M from the Noun Project
Duck designed by Isabel Martínez Isabel from the Noun Project

To make my icon story, I downloaded the four icons and imported them into Pixlr. Then, I created my background for the story by using the paint can to make the canvas blue and using a small radial white gradient on top of it. Then, I used the water swirl filter to make the background have a slight wave. The background is supposed to represent how the whole season is taking place down at the docks on the water. Next, I edited the individual icons. I filled in the duffel bag to be red like the one in the episode, I inverted the colors on the duck icon so the duck would be white instead of black, like the real duck, I filled in the purse to be brown and black, since the real one was brown, and then I filled in the barrel to be a silverly grey, also like the real ones. The only icon that gave me trouble was the purse. I had to manually make some of the pixels on the purse wither brown or black since the paint can wasn’t picking up all of the purse pixels.

Lastly, I selected all of my icons, copied and pasted them onto the background, resized them, and then added my text stating which episode these icons are representing. Even though it is a simpler assignment, I tried to make it more interesting/complex by adding in the different colors.


Minimalism Takes Detail

I love minimalistic designs for basically everything. From posters, to jewelry, minimalism is just really cool to me, so naturally I was drawn to the assignment, Minimalist TV/Movie Poster which is worth 3.5 stars. This assignment presented the perfect opportunity to make my design Wire related and that is exactly what I did. I made my poster a TV poster for the The Wire that draws in an element from Season 2 Episode 9: Stray Rounds.

To make this poster, I used Pixlr, per usual mostly because I don’t want to have to restart my laptop into Windows to use Photoshop or go to the ITCC or Library just for Photoshop. I set my canvas to 768 width 1024 height, which is one of the many presets, just rotated 90 degrees. I knew what I wanted my text to say, “The Wire is spot on.” which is not only a reference to McNulty’s code word the episode, but is also a very simple tagline for the poster. So in order to kind of play on the word spot, I played around a black and dark grey radial gradient in order to create a literal spot on the poster. I also knew I wanted the two lines of text to be diagonal from each other, so that is how I situated where I wanted the gradient spot to be. Next I played around with the text. I ended up using the font “Superclaredon” since I didn’t think a sans serif font would do the intense drama that The Wire is, justice. The color of the text is copper, or #b87333 (according to ColorHexa, which is my favorite site to find color hex codes) because on the The Wire they do a lot of wire tapping, and although i don’t quite know how that works, I do know that old telephone wires (as some today used by the Feds) were made out of Copper. So the text color is an homage to the old telephone wires.

Next, I knew I wanted to add in an audio wave, and make it blue, like it is on the show’s theme song sequence. So I used the drawing tool to make lines freehand and then color in the shape. I then duplicated the layer with my audio wave shape and vertically inverted it to make my audio wave have waves on both the top and bottom. After that, I added a noise filter and a scanlines filter to the whole audio wave to give it some texture. However, some of my audio wasn’t showing up blue after filling it in, so I decided to add a gaussian blur to the whole wave. Lastly, I thought my gradient background needed some texture as well so I added a square pointinize filter to the background since I thought that made the background slightly resemble the caging in the back of police cars.

And that’s how I made the poster! As you can see a lot of detailed work went into making a minimalist poster, and I will admit that I played around with more effects but I didn’t mention which ones since I did not end up sticking with them. I find that personally when I just play around with different tools or filters or effects I end up stumbling upon what I was trying to convey or what I envisioned from the beginning.


Guest Stars From the Reality TV Show, The Wire

When brainstorming ideas for a radio show that relates to The Wire the first thing that came to mind was to treat the show The Wire as if it were a reality tv show (so the events are actually happening) and have the different characters be guests on a radio show in the real world. For example, the whole show is really just like a reality show where people with cameras are following these cops and criminals that have signed up to be a part of the “Documenting Baltimore” experience. This also kind of ties into how The Wire  is actually supposed so be shot kind of as  a documentary, as we learned in the Jennifer Ralston interview. So how the radio show would be set up is that the show would be having their “Weekly Guest Stars” and this show has the guest stars from the reality tv show The Wire (remember that the guest stars are actually the characters). I was thinking we could have McNulty, Stringer, Greggs, Daniels, and D’Angelo. They would all be there in the same room talking about what happened during what we know as the various seasons of The Wire, but what to them has been the past year(s).

I’m not sure if that’s too complicated to hard to understand, but I thought that idea would create an entertaining radio show and that it was thinking “out of the box” a little!


So Many Feels on The Wire This Week.

The Wire

Episode 10:

The Cost This episode was jammed pack with all kinds of developments!! Wallace and Omar are staying at the top of my list as McNulty continues to annoy me. McNulty just bothers me because although I know he is probably a good cop and will eventually bring down the whole Barksdale gang, when he isn’t working, he just seems so scummy. He was a bad husband, isn’t a great father, and gets wasted so much that he ends up sleeping at the office. Wallace and Omar on the other hand, are actually trying to turn their lives around and do right. We see Omar helping the police by wearing a wire to Avon’s parlay with Stringer and then we see him leaving town to start anew.

Wallace who is unfortunately still using drugs, is apprehended by the cops and when he is brought in, he tells the cops almost everything they need to know, especially more information about Stringer. I thought it was nice of him to protect D’Angelo from the blame and I think it showed that he is still loyal to him even though he does not work for him anymore. By not turning D’Angelo over, it also shows that he really did appreciate D’Angelo letting him out of the game. The whole idea of Wallace being able to be let free and go live with some relatives outside of the projects really brought some positive light to such a dark show. I like how the writers made sure that we didn’t forget how much this kid needs a new start though, and so when he asks the Lieutenant what “that sound” was (they were crickets chirping) it just reinforces the point that the kids growing up surrounded by the game don’t know anything else.

Bubbles is also at the top of my list,  because he another troubled character that is trying to turn their life around. I like how Whalen and he show the other side of the game, which is all the addicts who are buying from these dealers. Bubbles and Whalen also show that it IS POSSIBLE to get out of the game without ending up dead or in jail. I particularly like Whalen’s quote to Bubble, “gettin’ clean’s the easy part. And then comes life.” That also reinforces that people who are caught up in the game don’t know any other life. In thinking about the title of the episode, which is “The Cost,” we see many different instances of what it costs to be in the game this episode. We see how it’s cost Bubbles his family, we can recall it’s cost Wallace his education, it’s cost Omar his boyfriend, it’s cost Orlando his life, and then at the very end, we see it even costs the cops. It potentially costed them Kima’s life. There was just so much to this episode, that I chose to summarize this one for the GIF assignment.

GIFs from my GIF assignment depicting Episode 10 of The Wire.

(See actual GIF assignment post for the process and a brief reflection.)

Avon slides his pager to Stringer Gettin' clean's the easy part. Now comes life. You wanted to be in the game. Now you're in the game. Stay free. McNulty is trying to see if Kima is alive.

Episode 11: The Hunt

It was refreshing to see some of the higher up cops doing work out in the field instead of just giving orders from their office. Nevertheless, two key moments in the episode really stood out to me. The first is the very short scene of Kima’s girlfriend sitting on their couch in their apartment. You can tell she’s trying to calm down and process Kima’s condition, but then she sees the blue mark from Kima’s highlighter on the cushion. I loved how the scene zoomed into her fingers reaching out to feel the blue mark, as if she were reaching out to Kima herself. Although the scene was very short, I thought it was very poignant since it allows the audience to realize that there are also more minor characters in the show, and just because they aren’t focused on right now, it doesn’t mean their plot line has stopped.

The other scene that really stood out to me in this episode was the seen where Bay takes D to his house. D is absolutely terrified because he has no idea where he is or what Bay is doing. When D nearly breaks down in the dark room of Bay’s place, I thought that signified how terrified of the game D really is, and how much he doesn’t trust the higher ups like Stringer Bell and his uncle to not just “off” him someday. Right as Bay turns on the lights, however, the tone of the scene dramatically changes. Instead of finding himself in some creepy abandoned place, D finds himself surrounded by beautiful and well kept fish tanks. Bay doesn’t seem to understand how much he freaked out D and continues on to tell D about how he needs to look after his fish while he is away in Philly. It was wonderful to see another side of another one of the gang members besides the side we see in the drug game. Bay’s concern for his many fish, that he knows by breed and name gave him a much more personable element, especially since we know he was one of the shooters who shot Kima and Orlando.

Episode 12: Cleaning Up

This episode definitely stayed true to its title. “Cleaning Up” meant many different things depending on who was cleaning up and how they were cleaning up. Avon and Stringer not only literally cleaned up and packed up Orlando’s club but they also cleaned up their men and flushed out anyone they felt they couldn’t trust. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see them order Bodie to kill Wallace and then to see him get shot and die. The deputy was trying to clean up the Barksdale case and told Lieutenant Cedric’s team to bring in Avon on anything, even if it isn’t all about being the leader of a drug ring.

At the very end of the episode, there are two important camera shots that tie together everything that happened in the episode with the title. The first is the police’s bulletin board where they have been tying together all of Barksdale people and his locations. The board does not appear to have any loose ends left, has an “arrested” index card under Avon and it all nice and tidy, or “cleaned up.” The second shot is back at the courtyard where D’Angelo and his crew usually hang out. In this shot, all we see is the empty orange couch out in the middle of the courtyard where it usually is. There is nobody near it or on it, it is just the couch. Avon and Stringer have successfully “cleaned up” the courtyard and got rid of anyone they can’t trust. The biggest question I have now since this wasn’t the season finale, is “now what?” I know the McNulty and the rest of the team he has been working with cannot be happy with only bringing in Avon without Stringer. Furthermore, what is Stringer going to be up to now that Avon has been arrested and a good portion of his crew on the West side has either been sent away, killed, or arrested?

Daily Creates

9/2/14 If great scientists had logos….create your own logo

9/3/14 Represent a Well-Known Story as a Transit Map

9/4/14 Draw Your Own Map of the Internet, Show Your Home

9/5/14 Mashup the pieces of 2 unrelated games into a new game.