The Godzilla Controller is an interactive video piece that utilizes user audio input to directly manipulate the content of the video.
For this assignment, we used the program Max7. I had missed the class where we were introduced to the program and learned the basics of it, and felt a little behind when beginning the project. When playing around with the different tools and functions of Max, I found a lot of interest with the microphone, and using the microphone as a controller. I had been watching some of the old Toho Godzilla films then, and for some reason I was compelled to incorporate Godzilla into this assignment.
I felt a great amount of difficulty at first with coming up with a clear conceptual background for this project in particular; rather, I found a way to utilize the tools of max in a way that was enjoyable.
Whenever Godzilla attacks a city in one of those old films, the sound of the screaming bystanders is impossible to avoid, and I couldn't get this sound out of my head. I wanted to show two different views of Godzilla's destruction: one with Godzilla plowing through a city, with only the sounds of his path of chaos playing; and one with the sounds of both his destruction and the screams of the bystanders. The switching between the two audio sources would be changed by the user/viewer screaming as Godzilla annihilates the city. The idea of someone screaming at a screen as footage of a man in a lizard suit destroys a miniature city seems funny to me, and I felt that the user screaming could find it enjoyable too.
Understanding the different ways to achieve similar results in Max took a long time for me to recognize, as well as just basic stuff within the program. I had built patch after patch after path, trying to get all of the tools to work; never seeming to get it right. It was only when I showed my concept Gabe that he as able to show an incredibly simplified version of my idea that was working just as intended.
It was only after finishing this assignment did conceptual views of the piece come to mind. I was partly feeling things toward our current political climate, possibly feeling guilt towards the fact of believing that we as citizens we need to get up and speak our mind, and once we do we will be able to hear everyone else as well. There is definitely more work to be done on the conceptual aspect of this piece.
On the actual use of this as an actual video controller with a microphone works generally well, although I would like to add a bit of a delay to the response of the audio on this specific piece.