Author: Elena DeLuccia

Assignment 5 – Elena DeLuccia

With the SparkFun listed Single Lead Heart Rate Monitor, I thought that maybe it would be interesting to see what different types of music or specific beats do to your heart rate. When people listen to EDM music and go to raves, they get adrenaline rushes. What other genres could this happen in, and how often during a song does your heart rate raise? Is it specifically when the beat drops or is it the buildup, and what brings it back down?

With this specific monitor, it magnifies the heart beats even if there is enormous background noise, which is where I thought this experiment could come in handy.

Another idea was to see when someone with social anxiety has their heart rate elevated to determine a possible medication or coping mechanism plan.

Vision Paper – Elena DeLuccia

Sleeping used to be so easy before the project. It’s supposed to change everything. I didn’t know what to expect when I signed on; most of us just needed the money – I know I did. It sounded like a luxury, too. All this power at the blink of an eye, literally. It seems, however, that we might have taken on a bit more than we were capable of.

It’s been about a month since I became a part of the project. They offered a bi-monthly pay of $11,000 to a dozen individuals who had the proper amounts of time, intelligence and stability. We will get our pay once we’ve spent two months following the instructions to a tea, and reporting all of our experiences. Other than that, we simply live our lives. I haven’t seen the others since we got implanted. We met, talked about how intrigued we were, danced around our hesitance, and exchanged contact information, in case the manual confused us. They told us that the manual will get smaller the more reports the test subjects give. We’ll be the ones to figure out the tricks to making it work. The manual now consists of pages upon pages of the neurological make-up of each section of the brain. Which neurons are supposed to fire where, what they mean, why they might do the things they do, and how we know it all. After this month, I’ll have only scanned a few pages at random. There are no guides in the manual about what to do when your intrusive thoughts kick in and lead you to videos or articles of someone driving off a bridge, or punching someone in an office.

Every thought needs to be controlled lest the computer catch on to that specific thought and bring you to some obscure part of the internet. I’ve unintentionally watched countless videos of people on bicycles crashing into things because when I see someone riding a bike I think: Hey, what if they just hit a patch of sand and ate shit. Lo-and-behold, hundreds of videos, articles, pictures, of hysterical and/or horrifying bicycle accidents. There are also, of course, the contacts that pop up. Aunt Sandy, Shithead, Patches Barber Shop. Aunt Sandy is the hardest to get off the phone. Shithead is an old boyfriend of mine whose number I was never ready to get rid of. He doesn’t ask too many questions when I accidentally call him since I’ve done it a fair few times. The first time I ever called him was the day I got home from the implantation. I explained to him the project so he wouldn’t think I was just the creep who calls their ex-boyfriend two years after last speaking. I had been spreading mustard on a sandwich wondering how much mustard a person would have to eat before their shit turned yellow. Then I thought about how disgusting it was that I always have involuntary thoughts about shit running around my head, following which, the ringing began. I reached to my back pocket for my phone which wasn’t there anymore. They took everything I had on my phone and transferred it to the chip, so it would feel the same: photos, videos, saved web pages, games, contacts, apps. I still technically owned a phone, it was just in my head. The ringing continued and I realized I had made a phone call, not knowing to whom.

“Hello? Hello? Devin? Why did you call me? Hello?” He took no time between each question, breathlessly moving from one to the next. I rolled my eyes and hoped that this wouldn’t trigger some Google search for ‘irritated looks’ or ‘sarcastic responses’. His voice sounded from the inside of my ears. It felt as though someone was whispering into my ear from behind, the sound circulating like wind through a tunnel deep within in my ear canal; I almost felt the sensation of breath down my neck, but there was no one around. What’s most unsettling was that I could have just as easily been having a conversation with myself. I had to constantly remind myself that he was real, and hearing me too.

“Yeah, um, hi. Sorry I didn’t mean to dial you.” No one said anything for a moment.

“The last time I checked you had me in your phone as ‘shithead’. How do you ‘accidentally’ dial shithead?”

“It’s just this whole thing. I’m sorry. I’ll go.”

“Okay, bye.”

Hang up, I thought, but I still heard the buzz of sound from the other line. Hang up. I thought louder, but still the buzz, and a few quiet breaths. I wondered why he hadn’t hung up yet. I began to blink ferociously and shake my head back and forth to get the phone call to end.

“Dev? Are you still there?”

“Sorry yeah. I don’t know how to hang up so can you please?”

“New phone?”

And so began the conversation where I explained to him everything. How I was selected out of hundreds of applicants to have a chip inserted into my brain that would pick up the electrical impulses from my neurons as they fired. The chip has all the capabilities of a computer; I, and the 11 other people selected, simply had to learn how to control it. The research goal is to get our thoughts organized enough to control an entire computer with our brains, thus giving us limitless knowledge and constant access to the rest of the world. Someday, the chip will hopefully sell with the ferocity that the iPhone does.

We talked about how he was my first phone call. How it was triggered by an uncontrolled thought about shit. He asked me to tell him what the 62nd number of pi was and what the capital of Uzbekistan is, two things he was positive I didn’t have in my repertoire of knowledge. It didn’t take long for me to figure out how to conduct a proper Google search in my head. Some thoughts are louder than others. I can close my eyes and see that the capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent, and its neighboring cities are Urtaaul to the west, and Yalangach to the northeast. I’ve even mastered conducting these searches with my eyes open, although I haven’t yet learned how to focus on the person I’m talking to and conduct a search at the same time. Everyone now knows that I’m scrolling through Facebook or Twitter when I check out of a conversation. Last week I visited my parents to update them on the progress I was making with the chip. My dad raved about the government’s involvement in my thoughts and how this was the stupidest decision I had ever made. My mom still wants to talk to me about work and how my life is going. While my mother tries to explain to me the plot of the most recent book she’s read and my father tries to talk over her about the government knowing when I’m watching porn, I find something else to do.

“… but only in the third act of the book does she realize that he was poisoning their daughter all along and that’s why he stayed…”

“… every time you’re doing nasty things to yourself the government knows it because they’re probably off somewhere checking your temperature and sperm count…”

I’m already logged in. I can still hear my parents talking, but it’s just like looking down at your phone and honing-in on whatever you have pulled up on your screen. It’s easier to pay attention to that.

“Nadine just give me a second to talk to the boy.”

“He’s heard it all before Alan just let me tell him about my damn book.”

I’m staring intently into my mother’s eyes as she talks giving her the idea that I’m engaged in her words but I’m looking at the most recent engagement picture on new news feed. Samantha Litto got engaged to this huge man with a perfect beer belly despite his young age of 27. The picture is of them on a boat standing next to each other, him pointing to her hand and her holding out her ring finger prominently. The bottom of her fiancé’s hairy belly is poking out of his t-shirt and I’m disgusted by it.

“I know, terrible, right? Guts everywhere and not a clue who did it, but I know it’s going to be the step father, obviously.” My mom continues, reading the disgusted look on my face as a reaction to her story. I tune back into her but the photo is still in the fore front of my mind and I have trouble getting it to close. My mother keeps talking as I mentally track the mouse to the ‘x’ at the top of the screen. Unfortunately for me, my mother gasps, remembering a new bit of information from the book, causing me to click on a video. The volume is already up way too loud, as I last had audio playing during the shower, where I need it turned up.

“AGH” I cringe and clutch my ears; my parents start to talk to me in a panic and I put my head between my legs with my hands still up at my ears, which doesn’t help at all, by the way. With my eyes closed though, I can concentrate. I can focus not on my environment but on getting the mouse to click ‘pause’, and then to move it to reduce the screen. The song stops and my surroundings become clear instantly. I slowly take my hands off my ears and my parents are dead silent. All I can hear now is the sound of the dishwasher running and leaves rustling outside of the glass door at the back of the dining room.

Slowly looking up, I see my father standing there, arms crossed and smug. My mother’s eyes are wide and she is clearly coming down from a moment of sheer panic watching me settle myself. I take a breath and look at them. My mom speaks up:

“Was that the government?”

Field Test – Elena DeLuccia

I had an interesting time with my field test! I originally planned to go to Ithaca’s gorges and get a one-minute 360-degree video at each, but with the very, very limited time I’ve had with finals, projects, my job, etc. it just didn’t work out. So, instead I decided to take the Nikon KeyMission 360 to New York City with me on my apartment search and make a quick stop at my favorite place: Lincoln Center. I wanted to go on top of the awesome grass field that rests above one of the buildings because that’s absolutely the best place, but it wasn’t open for the season just yet so I stayed in the main plaza.

In New York City, there are no tripods allowed without a permit. I tried to swing it but got caught by the cop that roams the premises – and I have the 360 video to prove it. I quickly decided to leave the camera resting on the fountain (under careful watch) in order to get a shot of the entire plaza. I know that height is a huge consideration when doing 360 video, so it’s unfortunate that I had to leave the camera at a child’s height, although I still think it gives you a cool look at the plaza.

I had a little trouble getting the camera to agree with me and record, but after a few tries I finally got it to work. I have two full takes that worked really well, but I just uploaded the first one since the plaza looks a little better.

When I got back home, I uploaded the video into Nikon’s KeyMission Edit Application that I downloaded for free on my Macbook. I actually edited the sequence down on there and since it had a function for saving the video in the correct format for YouTube, I uploaded right after. I decided not to add any background music because I wanted the audience to hear the natural sounds in the city to feel like they’re there, on 65th, sitting on the fountain with people surrounding them.


Assignment 4 – DeLuccia

Drones are way more intense than I thought after seeing yesterday’s demonstration, but I know that they’re such an important part of my industry right now! As a film and TV production manager, drones are actually super important in my line of work. They can replace the immense expenses of a crane for certain shots, or even helicopter sequences to get an overlay of a city or landscape. Even though drones are expensive and so are the operators, it costs at least $20,000 less than a crane would – saving studio executives and producers like myself a LOT of money. This leaves more room for VFX, shooting time, and maybe even bigger key stars. The downside to this would be that audio issues may occur because of the sound of the drone, if it’s close enough to the actors and if the scene has dialogue. There’s always ADR (recording the actors’ voices later, in postproduction, to match their mouths) but we try to avoid that as much as possible.

Even in corporate work, filming with drones is almost essential now to get shots that you wouldn’t have been able to get in the first place. It boosts your resume and gets you hired on the next job, although it might pigeonhole you a bit.

Lynda Requirement – Elena DeLuccia

This was my first time using Lynda! I chose to do the “Data Visualization Storytelling Essentials” since I really loved this course. Even though it most likely won’t play a part in my career in film and TV, I just liked being able to create different data visualizations. I find going through data and creating a story from it so interesting. So this was definitely a great thing to do.

I loved that they suggested drawing out the visualization before anything else. As a graphic designer, this is something I often do – but not something I thought of doing before creating visualized and interactive data. I thought that this was really a way to innovate and improve my skills. When I was doing my final project on women in film and TV, it was helpful to draw out what data I thought should be included to coincide with my story and improve the experience of readers. This also tied into the Lynda lesson of having your visualizations interact with your story. Maybe my readers would want to learn more if they actually saw the data – so that’s what I aimed for! Insightful tables and graphs that tell the user “Go, learn more about this!” without blatantly shouting at them – that was the goal. The lesson that stuck with me the most though was the instructor talking about making your visualizations aesthetically pleasing while also keeping everything factual and learnable – or what they called Eye Candy. I tried my best to keep everything like that, although it is a perfectionist tendency on my part for them to be that way regardless, just because that’s how my brain works being a film and television person.

Overall, this was a really interesting course, and I think it helped me for future data visualizations that I choose to do! I have one coming up in my social media course, so I’m really excited to show my new skills.


Assignment 3 – Elena

My chatbot is made to answer any questions that people may have regarding coming to Newhouse for the graduate TRF program. It has AI rules to answer specific questions people may have about tuition, living situations, financial aid, and program issues.

It’s called test page for now because my bot wouldn’t connect to the other pages I created! I requested the change though, so it should be Newhouse TRF Grad Program soon.

Assignment 2 – Elena DeLuccia

So I’m a big Star Trek fan (yes, I know, I’m a dork) and there was this thing called the Replicator, which could make items appear out of thin air. They used to kind of just materialize on a pad in front of whomever ordered the item. This is a piece of science fiction that pretty much came into reality when 3D printing started. We’re now able to make something materialize into an object (of course, not as efficiently as in Star Trek) out of what seems like thin air.

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As for technology I’m interested in, I’d really love to do my field test with one of the 360 cameras (preferable the Nikon) in order to take a 360 video at each of Ithaca’s Gorges and make a catalog of them. I see that no one has done this yet, and I think it would be really great for Ithaca’s tourist population. I’d love to submit it to when I’m done so maybe they can be published. Check out the gorges here!


Personal Project Proposal – Elena DeLuccia

I hope that I can show the issues that women face in the entertainment industry regarding the wage gap, sexism and other challenges. I’ll highlight women working behind the scenes, women onscreen as well as female critics in the film spectrum.

I plan on using data acquired San Diego State’s Center for the Study of Women in Film & Television, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, and Variety to put together charts through Highcharts, infographics through infogram, as well as an interactive chart through nvd3. Each will show the three different aspects of the industry that I mentioned.

I have written a personal essay to go along with the data, which also provides more factual info. This would be more of a personal piece with journalistic aspects.


Assignment 6 – Elena DeLuccia

With the failure of Republicans to pass a new healthcare plan, I thought it would be interesting to see how Obamacare has helped the population with insurance overall. I took the population census’ from 2011-2015 and then took the average of those populations (they were listed per month) and compared them with the percentage of uninsured Americans to get a final number for the total uninsured.

I think this chart shows the significant amount that the number of uninsured Americans has dropped and how much Obamacare has helped to get Americans insured.


Assignment #1 – Elena DeLuccia

I was really intrigued by the Makerspace – it’s amazing and I wish more students knew about it! I found the software a little clunky at first, but I eventually got more familiar with it. It’s definitely a challenge to keep the 3D version of yourself accurately at proportion. Sketchfab is pretty convenient, I’m really surprised it’s free!

I made myself into a trophy because, honestly, it was the only thing I could think of to add when you have a statuesque version of yourself.