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Subject: FLASH: "Submariner" Flash poem
From: Edward Cossette
Date: Fri, 28 May 1999 17:00:35 +0100

Wow! Thanks so much to those of you who took the time to check out my URL
(http://www.evolute.org/poetry/submariner/ ) and send me some incredibly
helpful suggestions/critiques. I'm glad I got over my recalcitrance to send
work out to the list for review.

Here are some responses to the major points people made regarding

1. Colors

"Why not dark blue for background (even gradient dark
blue over darker blue) since you are under the water and for the feel
of the color."

"My only concern was that I did want to see some of that blue
that the poem talks about, perhaps blue becoming black/"

"Black background white text, black and white photo, then a coloured
photo. This is not the perception I get from the poem. Midnight blue,
heat, pression/oppression I would have gone along these lines."

Yes, you're so right. A big "Duh!" on my part for not thinking of this.

2. File size

" . . .the file size seemed rather large, and I am trying to figure
out why. I have to assume that it is probably due to the sounds? (took me
a good minute to start streaming on a 56k 244 G3)."

I, too, was dismayed at the total file size. I created/reused symbols
throughout. There are quite few sound files (5 of whale songs alone), but I
painstakingly changed the sample rate and compression on each one to get the
minimum file size at decent quality (usually 5kHz mono at 3bit ADPCM) for a
resulting file of 12-20% the original. I did this within Flash on 11kHz
mono wav files I imported in. Perhaps this was not the best way to get
smaller file sizes?

3. images

"The picture seemed really lossy."
"Submarine that came in (I think that was what it was) was very
dark and hard to make out"

I was generally going for a "ghost" or "dreamy memory" effect with the
images, so I reduced the alpha and/or brought them in at reduced quality.
In the case of the submarine image, the graphic is really awful and if you
saw it at 100% (or in a larger version as I'd really like to do), you'd
really laugh! I need to find a better image. (It sure would help if I had
any skills at all at drawing.)

"Didn't understand the need for the crosshairs with the
mushroom cloud to move. (Maybe a mask moving across the cloud to
indicate the periscope moving was what you were looking for?"

Man, what a fantastic idea! I'll definitely put this suggestion to work.
(Thanks Kevin Jackson!)

4. spelling error

Oops. I'm actually astounded that so many of you noticed this error. I was
worried that viewers wouldn't have enough time to grasp that it was a "Dear
John" letter, but y'all actually had time to proofread it. Thanks mucho!

5. the "ping"

"That dang whistle kept scaring the crap out of me! Maybe I would lower
it's volume a bit, unless you don't mind scaring people. (There was this
nice BG noise, relaxed feeling with the ocean sounds, and then BAM!) (But
that could just be me!)"

I kept going back and forth on whether the sonar ping was too loud or not.
I do want the effect to be jarring for a couple of reasons: . The speaker of
the poem has put himself in an ironic situation by wishing to be on one of
the most deadly war machines ever created believing, as he does, that it
will "cure all his heartache" so to speak. The ping is meant to snap him
(and the viewer) back to reality. Also, the ping on a submarine is kind of
the underwater equivalent of "hey, over here, look at me" and that is
similar to the tone of the "woe is me" voice in the poem.

Thanks again for all your suggestions and positive comments. I'm really
anxious now to revise the movie. I'll send you word when I make some
substantive changes, especially the part about working with a blue


Edward Cossette

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