Institutions Project Update: Week 5

Today we worked on our project some more. In our group we worked together to go through all the work we’ve accomplished so far and collate it onto our site. It’s coming together rather nicely so far, all of the images and text are up but the videos of the interview, Rupert Murdoch, and my video essay are still to be completed and will be posted later in the week.

The site is really coming together, and even though when we first set out we imagined creating a clear platform dividing both traditional and new media in two, it seems as we progress through our tasks and we develop our ideas more, through this website based collaboration, that the two forms are blurring into one, as traditional media institutions aim to produce more viral and entertaining content and modern media institutions aim to produce more factual and credible content, effectively evening each other out and reaching an equilibrium.

We also created ‘learning graphs’, graphs which objectively assess how much we think we’ve progressed in our first semester. Basically, I just drew a bunch of squiggly lines heading up, because this whole semester has just been a crazily amazing learning curve, and I’ve loved every second of absorbing it all.

Institutions Project Update: Week 4

On Monday we got together during our regular class time (since Robbie wasn’t there) and worked together to create a video filtering a speech presented by Rupert Murdoch. Jess transcribed the speech so that we could work together to pick apart what he said and twist it into unique and hilarious sentences that all somehow worked to create a love letter from Murdoch to his institutions. Although we found it progressively difficult at times to edit the audio, it is always interesting to find ways in which to overcome such obstacles.

I also worked more on the biographies which will focus on seven institutions spanning both traditional mediums, such as print and television news media, and blogging/social media. These institutions which I am focusing on and which have a great deal of influence within Australia are: The Age, Herald Sun, Channel ten, SBS, BuzzFeed, Humans of New York and the YouTube channel; the VlogBrothers. These biographies will feature on our multi-media platform and will act as a way of showing our visitors the ways in which such institutions can influence the way in which we access information.

We also interviewed Philip Dearman, asking him a range of questions:

  1. What do you think is the biggest difference between traditional and new media?
  2. How do you think the evolution of new media has affected traditional media e.g. journalism?
  3. How do you think journalism has evolved in recent times?
  4. What kind of effect do you think media ownership has on the material produced in journalism?
  5. What do you think is the role of politics in sources? For example, newspapers and other traditional media using only government officials as sources.
  6. Could you talk about the (potential) difference in ethics between traditional and modern media institutions? e.g. traditional media institutions are run for profit, whereas some modern media institutions are not.

It was very interesting hearing from the head of journalism at RMIT and seeing what his perspective on the issues we presented were.

I hope to find information on the comparison of different ways in which news is presented on TV, such as discussion based, like Q and A and the Project, Current Affairs, such as A Current Affair and Today Tonight, and Regular Nightly News, such as SBS World News and Channel 9 news.

I also hope to find another journalist to interview, and hopefully gain another person’s interesting perspective on such interesting issues.

Institutions Group Project Update: Week 3

On Monday we brainstormed more ideas and concepts that we could use for our website, bringing together different threads to create entirely new content.

Alana will be writing an opinion piece on modern media and a timeline to show the evolution of both traditoinal and modern media side by side.

Jess will do a comparison of both traditional media institutions and modern media intitution, looking at how they filter and utilise information from the same topic, e.g. the earthquake in Nepal. Some chose to cover the devastation in Nepal which caused thousands of deaths, while others chose to focus on the trpped climbers, both sending drastically different messages. As well as the idea of the ‘trending news feed’ and the ‘hash tag’ and their recent evolutions.

I will create small biographies on a variety of institutions of varying political bend and form of address, from the Age, to the Humans of New York blog, to Channel 9 news. I will also find archival footage of Rupert Murdoch in order to create a filtered view of him, showing how the media filter everything they produce in order to produce a desired response. Through the edited piece we hope to achieve a different persona and view of Murdoch, creating a different image.

We also came up with a list of questions to ask Philip Dearman, ranging from ethics and ownership issues in traditional media to the evolving landscape of news media itself. It’s shaping up to be a very interesting project.

Institutions Group Project Update: Week 2

Today we handed in our bibliographies and worked in our groups to develop concepts for our big final project. Now, while I was absent today because I’m currently sick, I was able to contact my group and brainstorm some ideas.

We have created a website called ‘Institution Revolution: Traditional vs Modern Media’. Each group member will be an individual contributor and post various articles, videos, photos etc. to make an interactive platform.

We also came up with some ideas for possible content, such as an interview with someone in the media, or a part of the RMIT faculty who is involved in journalism. Survey people about issues around our topic and post graphs alongside the results. As well as many others. We hope to come up with many more ideas next lesson, in order to really make a move on this project and start developing our content.

Institutions Group Project: Week 1

Today we were sorted into our groups for our big final project, through the use of a deck of cards. I have to admit ‘pick a card! Any card!’ is much more fun than, ‘1, 2, 3… ok, 1’s over there.’ So now the project has officially begun and we’re working on the topic of media institutions, and the first thing we all thought of was traditional media institutions such as journalism and news media and how the landscape for such mediums has changed since such social mediums such as blogs and vlogs came into being. This gave us the idea for the entire premise of our project: traditional media vs. modern media.

Exploring the idea of traditional media institutions, one key figure immediately came to mind; Rupert Murdoch has a huge monopoly over the print media industry in Australia, England and some parts of the U.S. This case study of sorts led us to the question of ownership, political and economic agendas, and ethics, especially in traditional media, and how this contrasts to modern media institutions.

for the next part of the project, each member has to compile an annotated bibliography of five articles and we decided what areas each member will research. Alana will research social media institutions, I will research traditional media institutions, and Jess will research comparisons between the two forms, as well as a general overview that links all the aspects we brainstormed together. From this we will brainstorm further ideas and concepts to develop our overall project, which will be a multimedia platform, a.k.a, a website involving articles, videos, and any other pieces we can come up with.

Portrait Reveals: Dad Edition

Today we revealed our portrait of someone else, our final portrait projects. Film festival style as always. And a De Bono style feedback session after (as always), also.

This time, we all took on every hat as we pleased, and my feedback was actually really great to hear. Only getting feedback from your parents can only get you so far in a project.

My feedback

First off on the red hat (which also kind of blends into the yellow hat), my group thought that my dad was pretty cool, which I definitely have to agree with. the whole reason why I chose to do this project on my dad is because he’s the type of guy who you always ask to tell his stories, because they’re always so interesting and he is very unashamedly open.

They thought that it was interesting how 3D printing is a very creative field, even though it seems to be a very technical field, which I totally agree with. One of the things my dad loves about 3D printing is that it allows him to be creative with programming, two of the things he loves to do.

I really enjoyed showing that part of my dad and my group thought that I captured the creative side of 3D printing really well, as you could see how passionate my dad is about it, which I was really pleased to hear as I felt like I had done his creative mind justice.

The stop motion really emphasised the mechanical, step by step process of the 3D printing, which was great to hear since I wasn’t really sure what to put in that space until stop motion dancing Groot came into my mind.

My use of found footage helped to cement my dad’s history in their heads as it created an image not otherwise possible, such as in the day dreaming section.

The opening shot of my Dad’s work-space was good to establish the type of person he is.

They really liked the time-lapse of the 3D printer.

And although I noticed the clipped audio a lot during the editing process, they said that it wasn’t that noticeable or that big a deal.

Now time for the black hat. As good as the choice of found footage was, it didn’t flow very well between images of my dad being interviewed as there were very little links, so it didn’t flow as well as it could have, which now that I notice it I agree with completely and want to work on it.

They also thought that I should’ve somehow placed more of the 3D printing process into the piece which I also agree with, as it probably would have brought the focus more onto the printing itself.

They also mentioned that the section at the end on Thingiverse could have been done better, using more varied images and text to show the same thing, making the sequence more visually interesting. Yet again, I agree.

I really enjoyed making this project and utilizing found footage was very exciting and enticing for me, to the point where I feel I may have over used it in some areas and forgotten about the flow of the project. However, I do feel that I managed to capture the essence of my dad and his creative and enthusiastic approach to 3D printing. If I had the chance to do something like this again however, I would have limited my questions strictly to 3D printing as I find that the best solutions and ideas come from thinking outside the box. But how can you think outside the box when there is no box to begin with?

Jeremy’s Project

I really enjoyed this unique take on a portrait by Jeremy Costa, as it really captured the personality of his subject, Keegan Mew, through the views of others surrounding him and a unique and very uninhibited look into his daily life through his hair and poses for the camera only he could do. The use of found footage as a sort of shadow over the footage of Mew doesn’t over power Costa’s subject and simply compliments the mood and aesthetic he is trying to achieve. It finishes on a nice note, as Costa asks Mew to describe himself, as all of his friends have done. The only thing I’d suggest is, add in more found footage, just so that complimentary shadow like effect occurs more frequently to greater impact.

A Portrait of my Dad

For our most recent project (and the most recent iteration of the portrait saga), I chose to create a two minute portrait of my father. For this project, as there has been with with each one previously, there has been a unique ‘catch’, found footage must be utilised throughout the project.

As with each project there has also been a reflection required, so here’s mine;

Looking back on the piece I feel that the found footage I chose to match with the audio really linked together to create an entirely new meaning, a more childlike hope and sense of wonderment, as I felt that was the essence of my father that I was trying to capture. I also feel that the photographic components worked really well in the piece and aided in creating this mood drastically. This was the first time I created a timelapse video and utilised stop-motion to create movement on a large scale, and I think that both processes worked really well.

The most problematic aspects of the project for me were the audio and the interview process. I found it very difficult to edit the interview I did with my father as he is a very fast talker, and generally didn’t leave me any space to cut the audio cleanly, which made some clips sound rougher and more clipped than others. I also discovered very quickly into the interview process that some of the questions I had written down were too open ended, as answers would stretch on for around ten minutes each. This gave me around an hour and a half of footage to edit for the interview, which was very difficult to break down to just two minutes of material.

I found that the use of found footage allowed me to take the essence of the piece to the level and the attitude of my subject, allowing me to hopefully instil the audience with as much hope and enthusiasm for the future as my father has.

While I did borrow and use the Zoom H2N recorder to record the ambient noises around my dad’s work area, I later discovered, after returning the device, that the recordings were not very useable without alteration, and also realised that just my father’s words by themselves were powerful enough, so I decided to let his words and the imagery speak for themselves, as opposed to over-saturating the piece.

Through this piece I really wanted to experiment with the linking of the visual and the auditory, creating meaning through these created links, as well as cuts between footage. I really wanted to utilise match cuts to link the two parts of the ‘story’, so I matched an image of a rocket flying with the 3D printer, printing a rocket, which was a new idea for me but I think worked really well. I feel I really achieved my goal of creating a new meaning through editing, and brought through the essence of my dad’s persona.

Zoom H2N Sound Recorder Practice

Today in our workshop we practiced with the Zoom H2N Sound Recorder, moving around the uni to try and capture all different sound qualities. The list included lovely locations such as, a bathroom and a large hallway, and various nature sounds.

It was very interesting to hear the variation between room types and to hear what echo was like close and far away from a subject. Emily Mitrevski and I experimented with echo as we had a conversation in a small, echoing room. We pointed the microphone towards and away from whoever was speaking during our conversation, noticing that one person’s voice was echoing while the other wasn’t.

Also, in the bathroom, I experimented with sound by placing the microphone faraway from the sound and then close, creating very different sounds each time.

I also put a Zoom recorder out a window slightly to record the sounds of the outdoors. As I securely moved it from side to side of the window, the glass slightly blocked the sound and dulled the noises, especially the wind, creating a kind of kaleidoscope of sound , as it changed drastically from end to end, scaling down in the middle.

Through this exercise I’ve discovered a lot more about the capturing of sound and how the distance at which you capture it from can create a unique versatility thought unique only to the visual image.

Camera Practice on the Sony MC50E: Shaking Hands Three Different Ways

On Monday for our media 1 workshop we did a camera practice on the Sony MC50E HD video camera, in which we had to show two people meeting and shaking hands then parting ways. We also, somehow managed to create a coherent and flowing narrative with a beginning middle and end. So enjoy this very random story of, shaking hands.

First Shot: Alaine Thompson
Second Shot: Samantha Antolini
Third Shot: Oliver Clark

This practice was very useful to not only get used to how to effectively use the tripod and video camera, but it also opened up my eyes to visual composition. Through each sequence it was easy to see, especially since we actually gave each its own meaning within the sequence of shots, that the way you present the action within the shot can give your story an entirely new meaning, allowing for a filmmaker to really have great control over the overall feel and flow of their film, simply by adjusting the composition of the shot slightly.

Self Portrait Reveals: Video Edition

Today we watched everyone’s self portrait videos film festival style. It was really interesting to see just how much people had done with only one minute of editing together bits and pieces of themselves. Every single one was its own unique, coherent little narrative. It was really nice to see.

It’s so interesting seeing how many different ways a one minute video can be told, so inspiring too to see how unique every person’s idea was. It gives me hope, even if it is a naive hope at this point, for the future of the narrative, because there really are infinite possibilities.