Creativity Course assignment 4

This is part of a series of blog posts in regards to the online class, A Crash Course on Creativity offered by the Venture Lab at Stanford University. Click here to check out the entire series.

Lecture 4 is about connect and combine. Combining ideas or objects that might seem like they have no relation with each other. This TED video was listed as one of the additional resources.

The best part of the video is in the last 30 seconds. It’s absolutely brilliant.

Our creativity comes from without, not from within. We are not self-made. We are dependent on one another, and admitting this to ourselves isn’t an embrace of mediocrity and derivativeness. It’s a liberation from our misconceptions, and it’s an incentive to not expect so much from ourselves and to simply begin.

The assignment is more far-fetched than the last one about a loaf of bread. The requirement is to use two household objects to create a new sport. Several ideas came to mind immediately but they kept leading my mind to the TV game show, Minute to Win It. I even checked out the full list of challenges from the show to see if they would spark any new ideas. I wanted to create something that resembles a sport, not a game. The falling leaves got me thinking about the leaf blower. My initial idea was leaf blower soccer but I have no idea if a leaf blower can propel a soccer ball. I decided to use balloons instead. Next step is to come up with a name for this new sport. I was thinking the sport kind of resembles badminton and came up with “blow-minton”. That didn’t sound quite right. I ended up with leaf blower tennis.

The format of the assignment submission has to be in the form of a slideshow or video. I am not particularly fond of slideshows after checking out plenty of submissions from my classmates. Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of impressive ideas buried in all the Slideshares and Prezis but those formats don’t really generate much spark. I opted to create another video. And I started thinking about a storyline as I was picking up balloons from Rite-Aid. When I was searching for sound effects for the last assignment, I came across a newscast intro sound effect. It sounds so real that I had to use it for this next video.

Who will play the news anchor? I thought about filming myself. But then the toy aisle at Rite-Aid got me thinking. I can use a Barbie or some other kind of doll as the news anchor. I got none of those at home and buying a new one would cost over $10. I could have tried Goodwill but I might not find one that has the right clothing. It later dawned on me that I have a Winnie the Pooh in my Christmas decorations at home. He has a Santa hat and all. From that point, I wrote a script based on a newscast coming from Santa’s workshop. I had a little trouble again with naming the TV station. That was resolved rather quickly.

The last video was my first try at using the VoiceOver Utility on the Mac. It’s kind of tricky to use. There are adjustments for pitch, speed, and intonation. The voices keep producing some kind of stutter, repeat of words, and sped-up at random places. I didn’t have much time to play around with it for the last video. I tried harder this time. I came up with three presentable voices but none of them is as good as the real thing although I think their sounds match well with the characters in the script. Anyhow, I was running out of time. Here’s the final outcome:

Update (Nov 21, 2012): The peer review period for this assignment ended last night. I received 5 reviews from classmates that reside in Germany, Canada, Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, and the US. The geographic variety of classmates is the best thing about this course. Hearing the opinions of folks from other countries is very refreshing although my Santa’s workshop theme of the video did not make sense for one person. The final scores are pretty good considering 9 is the highest score for each category.

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