Final Project – The Making of Stuck in the Gutter of Boredom
This is the story of Neil Stewart, an eighteen-year-old gas station clerk in the small town of Greenhill, where the hills are in fact not green but brown.
For both the Red Hound Poster and Newsletter, I started with blank pages in Canva. They were the size A4. First I decided on a name for the gas station and, for one reason or another, thought of Grey Hound Buses and went with that. I then decided to do that weird list that you sometimes see in gas station windows. No shirts, no shoes, no service. But I wanted to have the open sign as well, so I simply put shirts, shoes, and no weapons. It also ties in nicely to the story that I wanted to tell. Is a sledgehammer a weapon? Who knows. Then I added the sign underneath and added the box around to make it contained. It’s a new sign that gets reprinted every week. Why? Because what else is there to do? Might as well spend a few minutes in the back printing out a new sign when no one’s around. Neil probably did it a few hours earlier, since the last one probably got drenched by the rain.
The article, however, was on this beautiful background that I saw in Canva and just had to use. It reminds me of those weird newsletters that you find in a gas station, which is probably where Neil picked it up. I kind of let Charles rant for a bit, and, as you continue to read the article, you might start wondering about whether this is the actual article or Neil’s just that bored. I mean, there’s a picture of food, it has to be an article about a new restaurant opening, right? That’s why it’s called A New Trend. Technically speaking, the new trend is exactly what Charles is writing.
For the audio story, I decided to take the moment before the man with the sledgehammer opens the door. It’s just an ordinary day. The audio added was television static, a storm, yawning, sipping, papers rustling, background noises and, finally, a door chime. I made the sound thirty-one seconds because it is supposed to be just a small normal moment in life that he’s lived through. This takes place while he’s just reading the last of the long article presented above. He’s just drinking a cup of something or another, tired and ready to go home and do whatever.
I really didn’t have to do much except play with the dB on the left-hand side of both the television static and storm. Also, I played around with the Pan right underneath the dB to make it so he wasn’t really paying attention to the television.
I also copied both the sip and television to have them carry out the entire thirty-one seconds. The sip I decided to skip at random times, so it wouldn’t seem like he was following a pattern.
After the sound came our greeting card from Greenhill. By this point, I wanted to find a picture of a single house in the middle of nowhere. That’s what I think Neil feels like. They’re a tiny town, a pass through town. You know the ones. You might stop at a gas station for snacks and a toilet break, but you don’t want to stay in the hotel because it looks like someone might have died there and the people don’t walk around with enthusiasm. You want to leave as soon as you can and just get to your actual destination. There’s nothing appealing about this town, as Neil lists out, and that’s what the card would say. Bland. Bland. Bland.
And then we end with a choice. Neil, being himself, decides to engage in conversation. Why? Because why not? He’s got nothing to lose, or so he thinks. I decided to end it open-ended, because how would you want this to end? Would you want the guy to give a boring answer about coming to visit his cousin and fix a roof and he kind of just forgot about carrying it around? Is he here to do harm and Neil just got scooped up into a night of adventure? Is Neil going to die? Who knows. How would you want this to end if you were Neil? That’s the real ending.
And I guess that’s my process. We’ve made it to the end of Week Five, thus the end of the course. I’ve learned that through different media I can explore not only myself but characters and I plan to utilize what I have learned about storytelling to aid me in creating new stories. I already have used the audio to create different stories for fun and also to listen to what my characters may be hearing. I don’t think I would have done anything differently than I already did. It was enjoyable. This class was fun but difficult and helped me understand how to manage a blog on a daily basis. This was actually a goal of mine this summer, so I hope to continue this type of work in another form. The summer classes are over and the rest of the summer awaits for me to create whatever I want. It’s been a month, I guess. This is the last post, so I guess it’s time to finally use this: