Experiment. Screen. Sensation

RMIT Media Studio 2019

“I” dir. Yi Liu

This semester, we are fortunate to take the course ‘Experiment. Screen. Sensation’ taught by James Thompson. The goal of this studio is to experience ourselves and our surroundings by creating unique pieces for the screen. The lenses through which we explored these notions are varied and enabled us to express our ideas through the screen.

Throughout the semester, we have the opportunity to work together as a group in project 1 and experiment with our personal project in project 2. In addition to these programs, we were also assigned to create our own personal media blog page, that publishing several different blogs(film reviews, practices, inspirations, technique solutions, etc, …) constantly. The purpose of these media blogs is to reflect and demonstrate our research on the project. This process has become very practically meaningful for us because we have the opportunity to experiment with several small projects during the period, we can discuss these small projects on the blog and then get feedback from James. Every time before we start our project or submit the project, James lets each of us stand in front of the whole class and ‘sell’ our work. The pitch or the presentation, this is an important part of this class as well, because it trains our communication and presentation ability, which also helps us to construct a clear understanding of what this project during the procedure for ourselves. There is no doubt that in this studio, we have gained a lot of freedom in our work and projects, which is very remarkable. This course is tailor-made for our students, that the focus is on all of us to experiment with what our interest is and to create an experimental and passionate film.

Project 2 is to create a short visual media piece, no matter what the genre is. Since most of us chose to work collaboratively with others in project 1, so this time most students spontaneous take the opportunity to work individually and do something completely different. Whether it’s taking the path of an experimental film or creating a short film of a type they have never done before, it is clear that we all had a really good time doing so and created something that we can all be proud of.

During the screening, I’m amazed by all the works created by this class. Whether it’s a visual diary, a music video or an experimental film, I can see that everyone has put a lot of effort into it, and they have communicated their ideas well through the lens. Which caught most of my attention was Michale’s film, Existential French for Beginners. This film explores the nature of life and our place in the world as individuals, finally presents this view through an interesting editing style. In addition, I was attracted by Emily’s music video Deprived, whose movement choreography strongly expresses the core idea of the struggle that the content is intended to express and the photography used in the film is very accurate and professional. The combination of the middle shots and close up shots make the audience more aware of the protagonist’s expression, movement, and emotion, thus to convey his inner struggle. The strange thing was that when my work was shown on the big screen, I noticed that it had so many flaws. For example, two of the clips lacked video transition, the volume of the sound can be a little louder, and the color can be added with more hue. However, the most obvious flaw I noticed of other works from the screening was the volume of the sound, and the volume in some of the videos was not controlled to under 12bpm, which caused the sound to be too noisy.

Speaking of the feelings about this screening, I think this was a great experience for all of us gathering together and sitting in the huge auditorium and enjoying the works of everyone. Of course, as one of the MCs, I may be more excited than others. Personally, this course has taught me a lot and gave me the opportunity to create and experiment with things I like. So I am very honored to represent the class as the MC of the final exhibition event. Sitting in the audience, I also felt very nervous when I appreciate others’ work because my work was about to show. Everyone has put a lot of effort into it, so when it is finally presented to everyone, we all would expect it to be liked and will be overwhelmed by applause. Just like this opportunity and experience, when all the works are finally shown on the big screen, you feel that all the contributions are worthwhile. When I see other people’s works, I also reflected and motivated myself, that how should I improve myself.

jamesthompson • November 12, 2019

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