Panel Presentation

In presenting brief 3, I believe we improved A LOT in our presentation skills between presenting to our class and then to the panel. I worked really hard in trying to organise our thoughts, reflections and possible remedies for brief 4 into a coherent but also cohesive powerpoint presentation.

Overall, our presentation went for a little longer than it should have as the speech was organised so we would be speaking for approximately 10-12 minutes, not quite realising that the whole time was dedicated for feedback from the panel also. Oh well, like everything else in this brief, its all been a massive learning curve for brief 4.

The panel said they were really excited about our concept of female cycling, however were unable to see how Cara solely fit into the idea. It was explained that it was quite confusing for the audience to try and understand female cycling through the scope of one individual, no matter how detailed the profile k-film. They also suggested some ideas to add interest or perhaps professionalism to our recording, suggesting we use an iPhone but then also a zoom recorder. We posed the idea of a camera and lapel mic, but were told an iPhone shouldn’t be an issue, and may add more realism, when used correctly.

Coming into brief 4 wee are definitely going to take both pieces of advice on board. We are going to add some more female voices to the film, perhaps Bridgette’s grandma who has been cycling her whole life (to juxtapose life as a female cyclist between her grandma and Cara) or perhaps I will ask some women at the gym I work at if any of them cycle as a main form of transport. The only difficulty may be that I live further out of the CBD than Bridgette, so most people do use a car as a main for of commuting.

We are also looking at ways to improve our recording, both visually and aurally. The way we will do this is trying some different shooting styles on the iPhone, such as tracking, or getting a small ‘tripod’, otherwise we may move to using a camera and lapel mic.

monday back after break

Bridgette and I got a few minutes with seth for some feedback.

he said a lot of our presentation to the panel will be justification of how can one singular individual, be a representation for young, female cyclists in Melbourne rather than a large group.

– because Cara is ‘quintessentially Melbourne’ urban cyclist. she doesn’t do the for the ‘look’ of a vintage bike- but genuinely as her main for of transportation.

– we can pick up on all her mannerisms and idiosyncrasies and develop her as a character in a more in-depth way. the audience will learn more about her background and why it may be thats she’s come to hold the views that she does.

Week 5 Summary:

  • what makes a star ‘a star’? charisma, screen presence etc… someone who ends up being a ‘brand’. and reflects the ‘time’. e.g. we like Jennifer Lawrence now because she’s relatable, Marilyn monroe was popular because she was beautiful and charming.
  • star persona: not even talking about the human itself, were talking about the text that is her stardom- located in multiple places (like genre). we also encounter the ‘star’: advertising, publicity, promotion,
  • stars are like a genre: located in multiple locations


  • stars are an integral part of the hollywood economic system because they drive people to see a film. ‘they’re a text thats bigger than the film: they bring all info bigger than the film to the film”- alexia. Important because they drive profit. they are powerful.
  • comutation test: take the star from he film and replace with another star… would it make it different? helps to understand what the original star brings to the table. (new dynamic)
  • gentlemen prefer blondes: if scar jo played marilyn… how would it be different? lower register, raspy voice, different acting style, fact that she’s done ‘smart roles’ shed seem more cunning
  • reading: ‘so successful because it could give something to everyone’… sexist and feminist (she’s asserting herself as someone who knows what she wants) optimism and pessism, grotesqness and beauty, rewards characters and spectators equally to give every body what they want.
  • what else contributes to marilyn as a star text?: relationship with men, girl next door figure without the family/ who’s worked hard to get to where she’s been (different to grace kelly with the family and pedigree… marilyn is a made made woman, she’s got this animalistic sexuality, not that refined).
  • richard dyer: used semiotics (study of symbols and signs) and said that stars should be studied as clusters… monroe as a star is different to her as a human, her as lordly its produced from a number of different things.
  • according to Dyer:
  • PROMOTION (press conference): controlled and orchestrated aspects by the studio
  • PUBLICITY (sex scandal): the other stuff that goes on around the star (crosses over with promotion…’charity work’….functions as promotion.
  • Stars are used based on these things…..
  • selective use: will take certain aspects of a star and use them for the film
  • perfect fit:
  • problematic fit: casting that pushes back against the star

gentlemen prefer blondes: ‘everything for everyone’ spectacle, flashy, powerful for women, feast for male gaze, both genders etc etc…….the women are agents and drive the narrative themselves, their not in the sidelines. the film is constantly flipping between the positions: bras and gaz… vs the women driving the narrative. the end frome of the film shows the women.




Great success! Our K-film actually worked!

I must admit, it took a lot of effort on the day, but we did it. Turns out there were some browser issues on my laptop, but after downloading Firefox, those issues were resolved- which I am rather happy with. This project was quite challenging, especially in relation to using ‘K-film interview techniques’ for our subject Dusty rather than a traditional approach and also in the making of a non-linear work itself.  However, I am happy with the feedback we received.

We were praised on our ability to create stand-alone granules, that could be watched in any order and the story of the K-film would not differ. We were told that we were beginning to think along the right track in terms of the film design, which was fantastic to hear. As a group we realise that we had some sound difficulties which could be simply resolved by utilising a lapel microphone next time and also needed to flesh out our subject more in order to create a substantial character profile.

For future projects we aim to (create more granules for a start, that can then be sectioned off into themed clusters) focus in on our topic of a young, female cyclist/commuter with more depth.


Today Bridgette and I met up to plan and shoot footage for our cycling project. We first sat down and came up with a list of questions that we’d like to ask our subject, Dusty. (We decided to focus on my friend Dusty and her use of biking as a highly useful form of transport. In line with this we planned to ask the positive and negatives of cycling in Melbourne, as she is from NZ). We then planned some specific cycling shots that we wanted to capture around the city.

We decided to shoot people riding bikes, parked bikes, trams (and other forms of transport including cars and walking) as well as traffic lights/ signs to do with cycling. We chose these shots as we believe it will illustrate the reality of cycling in Melbourne as a mode of transport, and will help to form a more complex portrait of dusty as a cyclist rather than just simply showing shots of her.

The biggest difficulty we ran into was finding any cyclists at all!!!!! It was the middle of the day when we hired the Sony MC50 from RMIT, and it would have probably been better for us to do most of our filming earlier in the morning, or at night as we both realised so many more people are actually using bikes as a form of transport at that time!


Cinema Seminar Summary #3

  • today were focusing on classical narrative: style than comes from the classical hollywood system
  • A (prestige pictures) and B pictures
  • classical hollywood narration: system in itself. still most dominant today. was developed in 1920s, and all films are a variation of this. presents plot in a way that we’ve seen before, e.g. boy meets girl. and it draws on repetition and then variation.
  • CHN: audience are active, constantly trying to work to make sense of the story. the way it cues us on how to interpret, is in a very clear and instructive way. they don’t drawn attention to itself i order to do so (not reflective usually except sullivans travels). we can say its engaging because it gives as cues, and were drawn in but not as hard to understand as some. easy to watchh. clear actions, clear resolutions.
  • if we don’t have clear action, resolution etc… its more ‘arthouse’. doesn’t happen in classical hollywood film, except if information is withheld to generate suspense. CHN is only one way to tell story.
  • pleasure comes from audience working out how the film will resolve its instructions. situation > problem > resolution (most basic level). basic driving force moving through this structure is: psychological drive of individual characters, characters that are goal oriented.
  • things lead to each other using cause and effect. cause and effect helps to build plot and often linear (chronological and linear) in CHN. flashback sequence takes us out of this, but is made clear to audience that a flashback is occurring through film form.
  • whole goal of narrative is about clarity. motivations, goals, space, time
  • Casablanca story (doesn’t begin at the map): when Ilsa is 18.
  • Plot: starts in casablanca, ends in casablanca…
  • using the plot we construct the story
  • Syuzhet = Plot: everything thats explicitly presented to audience in the film. audience uses the plot to understand story. (non-diegetic sound, narration etc.)
  • Fabula = Story: everything thats explicitly presented and also inferred. director uses plot to tell the story. story is generally larger than plot.
  • usually 2 story lines:
  • (casablanca) romance: heterosexual
  • (casablanca) political/war
  • Bordwell says not only does film have this, but also each scene has elements of both lines.
  • each scene looks forward to the next: helps to maintain clarity across structure

Casablanca scene:

  • Establishing: establishing shot: were at the bar, its closed. sets up the geographical location (we’ve seen the bar before). the papers are important, were actually seeing them exposed (sense of tension). the guy quickly puts them back in their envelop (approaching deadline: the score builds up to a sense of urgency). over the shoulder shot: like secretive, were watching the valuable info. ‘secret’ on the envelope, clarity is build through the film form in multiple ways.
  • established the space of where he is sitting, entrances and exits (spacial awareness) repetition of over the shoulder shot, like a surveillance camera. the lack of people foreshadow the fact that he’s leaving and ’emptiness’ and ‘this place will never be the same without you’.
  • ‘sams piano shot’ very set up to explain CLEARLY
  • score implies that something will happen, also tension is built by letting audience know where everything is before the ‘big moment’. all the ‘players’ arriving and placing themselves in the scene. a setup of characters. the mise en scene is setting up everything.
  • medium close up shots so we pick up all info.
  • climax: actors move to the side, very choreographed so we can see.
  • resolution: not a complete res, must leaving hanging in order to move to the next scene.


  • (at end of film) instead of closure: closure effect/pseudo closures….
  • casual agent in the CHN system are the characters. its what they do but also their traits which cause things to happen.


Heres some notes I took whilst listening to Seth’s Document Design Manifesto:

  • Many media platforms were conceived through a design approach and Seth argues that documentary can be thought of in the same way.
  • Interactive documentary can also look to design for solutions to keep up with the constant technological advancements.
  • In this studio we’re experiencing interactive documentary… and then aligning theory to this. Not the traditional way, but Seth’s idea.

What is a doc designer required to understand? (Manifesto)

There are 4 categories

  • Interactive media
    • code
    • users
    • tools
    • cross platforms
    • ephemeral
    • When work becomes interactive media, its completely different work that just uploading a doco to the Internet. I doc requires it topic to be presented in different way on TV and cinema.
    • Linear is exactly the same every time you look at it. Every scene is glued to each other. (Maker of Korsakow) (critiques)
  • Affordances
    • How we interact with objects we use.
    • Granularity, remix, index and spatial montage.
    • Granularity: sketching granules, like we did on phone. Figure out how to have meaning in a small granule, and still have it be self-sufficient / independent alone. Has to be able to join but also be single. Degree of granularity (number of granules) affects complexity (granularity). Number of relations is higher and will make a more complex piece of work.
    • Remix: work is no longer static and fixed; the remix allows the user to remix the content (to create varying combinations from content).
    • Index: key wording, assigning metadata to the content. “Formal tagging”. Classify video for access and retrieval
    • Spatial montage: provides opportunity to collage shots together in space and time.
    • Design temporally and also SPATIALLY, e.g. the interfaces
    • Multi window (like when you use internet)
  • Web of relations
    • Describes how associations are formed between the multi linear shots.
    • Non-narrative films: use classification and effect creating a linear web of relations.
    • Bordwell and Thompson explain docos as either: linear narrative (cause and effect), linear non-narrative, multi linear narrative, multi linear non-narrative (structure not necessarily guided by cause and effect) (one were using this this semester).
    • No set duration to final work, can shoot 20 hours, and can use all 20.
  • Design methodologies
    • Designer’s processes.
    • Artifacts are propositions that are ideas. Not common for idea to come through the artefact (in design: can make the work then theorise from the makings… can do in hours. Or can do a thesis without making a work).
    • Design thinking can be applied to anything, whether tangible or intangible.
    • Dealing with complex problem, design is a good way to work through the complexity. We are learning to change our practice in a way, that we understand that a problem is occurring and working to solve this problem. Seth is teaching us problem-solving skills. It is integral to our practice as media practitioners.
  • Making us flexible as media practioners (that Korsakow might not exist in 2 years time… but you take what you know to the next new media practice)
  • Need basic knowledge of basic html
  • Phones: understanding the affordances… learning the constraints and also the benefits (it’s connected to the network etc.)
  • Must think about user, and design so it is usable. Aesthetics are important but must be easy to use.
  • We are co-authoring the work with the user, for someone else to realise the work. WE WANT OUR USERS TO FEEL CONNECTED, FOR THEM TO SEE PATTERNS AND MAAKE CONNECTIONS.



Connecting the dots

I now feel like I’m beginning to understand New Doco a lot more. After today’s studio, a lot of things have fallen into place for me. I’m so used to being given all the theoretical information first then applying it towards a project, however having Seth explain that we were making the work and THEN understanding the theory helped me to get why I perhaps felt a little thrown in the deep end to begin with.

The whole studio seems to be focused at developing ourselves as flexible media practitioners. From the way we set about the project process (in a different way than some of us may have in the past. What did was just started making the digital product, then received feedback, then went back to the drawing board to re design- a real continuous design methodology), to the fact that Korsakow may not exist in 5 years and we’ll need to take our knowledge to new forms of media, it appears that looking at interactive documentary as a design process requires us to think in new ways and constantly adapt our ideas.

Tried to ‘re-make’ Korsakow, including all my SNU’s, keywords, media assets etc…. And the program STILL won’t work on the web for me. Help.