After you have practiced the GIF making process on a clip of a western movie you like do not care about, now you get to make a similar set using a YouTube clip you select. But the topic for this one has to make a statement or represent metaphorically the NetNarr course theme of This Digital Life.

So think about our discussions and your views of Do Not Track, the resources in the Referencium, or even a revisit the Black Mirror Nosedive episode we studied through memes. Get creative on how you might represent your viewpoint on these issues through an animated GIF.

Try to develop some metaphors or associations with movies or shows you know that might have possible clips in YouTube. Zero in on a clip.

For example, you might be thinking about the idea of being watched; perhaps the Hitchcock movie Rear Window where Jimmy Stewart’s character was obsessed with what he thought he saw his neighbor doing while spying on him with a camera. This clip has a lot of scenes of the character looking through the camera:

Again we use the Giphy GIF Maker to create a This Digital Life animated gif.

After finding the clip you want to use, paste in the GifMaker form field. In the next screen use the controls to select a portion of the video to make into a GIF. You can select up to ten seconds of any video clip to generate as a GIF (3-5 seconds is a better length to keep the file size smaller).

For the Rear Window example, there is a great sequence of Stewart’s character’s eyes looking up, as if he might be wondering if this is the right thing to be doing… but he cannot stop himself.

Picking the start point and duration in Giphy GIfmaker

Use the bottom slider to select the start time of the GIF and the bottom one to pick it’s length. The preview will show you the loop for just this selection. Aim for the shortest length possible but also that makes use of the looping point to emphasize something important in the clip.

Click the Continue to Decorate button to add a caption or message to this GIF.

Adding a caption

When you are satisfied, click Continue to Upload to generate your new GIF. Review, maybe add a netnarr tag, make sure the public option is on, and click Upload to Giphy.

Once your GIF has been created you will see it has its own URL (example) and a set of options for downloading or sharing in social media. Make sure you use the URL of your creation when you enter your response to this Make.

Now go back, and make a second one but in this GIF, do not add any caption text. What can you suggest or indicate with the looping video only?

In the vein of being watched, there is a clip of Eyes Wide Shut where Tom Cruise’s character walking down the street notices he is being followed.

We can use that clip in GifMaker to pull a part of the scene that suggests this but of paranoia.

In your response share some of the reasons that you chose a segment and what you imagined happening. What are you able to communicate? Use either GIF link for the example in your response, and make sure you include the URL to the second GIF in your response.

This example has done two different GIFs from two difference movie clips about the theme of being watched:

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It’s easier to be more literal with a caption; which do you prefer?

Example for "This GIFfed Digital Life":

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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7 Responses for this Make

  • One like closer to that A!
    by Vanessa Castrillon (@nessacastrii))

    This gif shows our expressions when working hard on the blogs and DDAs and someone actually likes them. It shows your doing a good job and its a step closer to an A!

  • Fingers Crossed!
    by Vanessa Castrillon (@nessacastrii))

    Don’t we all want an A in Netnarr? You never know until the end of the semester, but all we can do is keep those fingers crossed and be positive!

  • Don't Get Too Tripped Up
    by hailey (@stryii))

    Twitterchats are all fun and great sources of intellectual back & forth… that is, until you miss Q3. Then they can become a real… drag.

  • Spongebob Uncaptioned
    by Marissa Candiloro (@rissacandiloro))

    This GIF segment is from just seconds before the captioned GIF that I selected. It’s not as evocative as the first, especially not without text, but I like it because Spongebob and Patrick are talking about technology, much like we do every week in Netnarr. The short clip ends with Patrick gesturing to the computer, more… »

  • When the Netnarr checklist never ends
    by Marissa Candiloro (@rissacandiloro))

    I love this scene because I think of it every time I have a technological issue. In a lot of ways, Spongebob defined my generation’s childhood, because if I reference this to most people my age, they’ll get it immediately. I thought it was funny when combined with some light trolling at our class, which more… »

  • Data is Always Watching You
    by Tiffany Santos (@tiffsanto))

    My clip is based on the movie by Shia LaBeouf. I chose this clip to represent how you are always being watching online. You’re every move is recorded and looked at. Someone knows what you are doing at all times, which is kind of creepy. Yikes! If you like being online, you can’t escape the more… »

  • Selfies for the NSA Agent Assigned to You~
    by helterskelliter (@helterskelliter))

    Big Brother’s got to know my angles, right??? Lol My main gif here plays off the idea that out online activity is always being monitored. Specifically, I’m referencing the ongoing joke online (since the Snowden thing???) that all American citizens have an NSA/FBI agent assigned to watch them. I used a clip from the mockumentary What more… »

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This work by Alan Levine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


  1.  Week 6.0: Reading GIFs is Fundamental – #netnarr

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