Wednesday, December 12, 2012

the solar constant

I hope that sharing my digital story from Chiang Mai as you work on your stories will prove to be helpful. Take a look and read the notes following the clip for some advice and tips on your stories.

A few things to keep in mind and notice:

The four elements: 
  1. Text- a narration
  2. Images- well composed photos
  3. Video- to help move the story and give it life
  4. Music/sound effects- to add texture and possible narration with lyrics
I chose to create a poem from the Wikipedia page on The Sun as my narration.

The Solar Constant

The Sun formed about 4.6 billion years ago
from the gravitational collapse of a region
within a large molecular cloud.

Most of the matter gathered in the center,
while the rest flattened
into an orbiting disk
that would become
the Solar System.

The Sun
is the star
at the center of the Solar System.
It is almost perfectly spherical
and consists of hot plasma
interwoven with magnetic fields,

She is currently traveling
through the Local Interstellar Cloud
(near to the G-cloud)
in the Local Bubble zone,
within the inner rim
of the Orion Arm
of the Milky Way galaxy.

Sunlight is Earth's primary source of energy.
The solar constant
 is the amount of power
that the Sun deposits
per unit area
that is directly exposed to sunlight.

Earth's ultimate fate is precarious.
By the time it is an asymptotic giant branch star,
the Sun will have lost roughly 30%
of its present mass due to a stellar wind,
so the orbits of the planets will move outward,
The Earth will be swallowed by the Sun owing to tidal interactions

I contrasted this scientific story with random text narration to add a sense of universality and wonder. The next layer were the lyrics from the song Hard Sun. I wanted to add texture and deeper meaning to the running narratives (follow the research to see the connection to this film) By using the sun poem, the random bits of text and this song, I was trying to tell three stories at the same time:
  1. Scientific
  2. Cosmic
  3. Lyrical
The main theme of my story was the fact that the sun is a part of everything on earth. It is a part of us. I felt that the lyrics showed how we are under her power:

There's a big, a big hard sun
Beating on the big people
In the big hard world 

I could have had Eddie Vedder sing the song, but I wanted to give it a try myself. I know I am not the best singer, but I think there is value in trying. I wanted to model for you that you don;t always have to be perfect or great to share a talent and a love. I love to sing. I love music. I love this song and I wanted to give my voice a chance.

I chose soft images to contrast the idea of a hard sun with the reality of a meaningful and tender one. You can find the whole set here. I added video to help move through different parts of the story: 
  • Rising sun (Dawn)
  • Moving leaves
  • Cat
  • Caterpillar
  • Drive from nature to city
  • Butcher
  • Drive to village
  • Buddha statue
  • Sunset
I hope that helps. I do not want to give away too many secrets and hidden intentions. What do you think? What did you notice? What ideas did you gain? What questions do you have? Any feedback? 


  1. Mr R,

    Can I just say that this video was amazing, and is a great example for our upcoming projects, and projects like this that you are able to make constantly inspire me.

    1. Thank you Rohan. You guys inspire me too. It is a two way street. We will talk in detail about your projects on Friday. Just get that brain working and thinking. That is all it takes. Care, attention and thought. The rest is just experience and practice. Oh and you need a little love in there. Love always helps.