“The Magic of Editing” – week 4 lectorial

In this week’s lectorial, we heard from two guest speakers, Adrian Miles and Liam Ward, who spoke about theory & practice and editing, respectively.

I found Liam’s explanation of editing particularly interesting, as he brought up a completely new way of thinking about this process that I had never considered. He asked us to think of the editing process not as “fixing” the filming work, but of “breaking” the work, taking existing material and smashing it. He mentioned this in the context of creating meaning between elements, including the false illusion of movement and causing audiences to question what is surrounding the shot and what happened before/what will happen after the clip. Thus, according to Liam, “what is important is not what’s in the shot but what’s not.” He argued that humans bring historical and social context to everything they see, and it is in this space that creators infuse meaning, through connotations and attribution of meaning.

It follows, then, that Liam also suggested that “magic happens in the gaps” of media. The challenge for viewers, similar to poetry, is piecing together the different parts, which have been broken apart. This whole concept was fascinating to me. I knew that the editing process was important, but I had previously thought of this in terms of making sure each clip flowed on from the previous to create a cohesive whole. I had not thought about the spaces between clips, and how certain jumps could subconsciously plant associations in my mind. I hope that as I progress through this course, I can improve my ability to incorporate these techniques effectively into my own work in a range of ways.

This is Me: An Edited Self Portrait

The concept behind my self portrait was to demonstrate the different environments, people and experiences that have shaped who I am. I wanted to illuminate numerous aspects of my personality by creating a juxtaposition representative of how people may perceive me on the surface and how I see myself. During the editing stage I realised that a couple of my media creations didn’t portray ‘me’ in an effective way, so the process itself fuelled my creativity.

Each of my images is connected, as they all give me a sense of “home” when I look at them. My sound recordings are quite varied – city noises representing my adjustment to Melbourne culture, me singing an original song both because I love to sing and because the lyrics resonate with where I am in my life now, and nature sounds because being outside and closing your eyes, you can feel at home anywhere in the world.

My first video shows where I have come from (Shanghai) and where I am now (college in Melbourne). The video of my sister sitting in my Grandma’s dining room writing a Chinese character brings together my family and my life experience. In the walking video I am on my way to college so this is symbolic of my new life. The reversed video of me drawing over my scars is supposed to illustrate that I like to be creative and have fun, but that when this is stripped away I am also strong (I think this video in particular is the most successful part of my work).

Editing these elements together gave me a sense of piecing together different parts of ‘me’. I wanted to create an abstract representation completely undefined in terms of time, so I mostly used blur and cross dissolves to build seamless transitions and create a fluid effect throughout the video. I think the least successful part of my work is the opening title, as it doesn’t completely connect with the rest of the elements in my video. For future projects I also want to work on my soundtrack layering skills.

Self Portrait: What Comes Next

The following is the feedback I received from my classmates on my Self Portrait (Project Brief 1) within the framework of Edward de Bono’s Thinking Hats.

– Black: one video was landscape and the other was portrait

– Green: a lot to work with in terms of editing to show more of my personality and my life (this will be helpful for Project Brief 2)

– Red: happy, felt like home, pleasing, optimistic, sense of belonging to Shanghai and Melbourne

I was pleased with the feedback I got in class. Before presenting, I was anxious that my ideas wouldn’t translate through the media I had created, so it was reassuring that my group mates seemed to understand what I was going for. On the other hand, I was hoping to gain a little more direction in terms of improvements they thought would make a difference to my self portrait. I hope that as we progress through the course, we all become more comfortable giving detailed, constructive feedback. As we’re all still new to this, it is challenging to give feedback because we’re worried about suggesting ideas that don’t quite fit the task or take a project in the wrong direction.

Having said that, I will definitely take on board the feedback I did receive. I’ve also been continuously brainstorming new ideas and thinking of ways to build on the media I have already created. I’m really excited about where I’m taking this, progressively more and more in the direction of how “home” reflects an accurate portrait of me. I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone else’s products and hearing about what inspired them/how they interpreted the task. In particular, Maggie’s take on the task really impressed me. She looked at the task as a way to portray her life and personality as a movie producer would if they were to create a movie about her life. This was a concept that had everyone in our group laughing from the very first element of media we saw. Everything tied together so well and I felt that I gained so much insight into who Maggie was from looking at her work. This is something I will be striving for as I piece together and edit my self portrait for Project Brief 2.

Self Portrait Feedback Session

In our tutorials this week, we presented our self portraits to a small group of people, who then critiqued our work using four Edward de Bono’s thinking hats from his Six Hat system.

We utilised:

Yellow hat, characterised by positive and optimistic thoughts (highlighting what worked well)

Red hat, which relies on gut reaction and telling the creator your initial feelings

Black hat, pertaining to things that aren’t quite working (presented in a constructive way)

Green hat, which offers alternatives and creative ideas.

For each person in my group, I offered my thoughts from the yellow hat perspective.


Concept – create a collection of media that portray her personality, through what is seen in images/videos but also the composition of each element.

1. Audio: layering of music and sound effects gave listener a sense of being in the room with her – clear she was studying whilst other things were going on around her

2. Text: published her words so they were set out in the shape of a person – added another dimension to the words as we read them and says that little bit extra

3. Included both abstract and realistic pieces of media to give a fuller picture of her personality and the reality of her life


Concept – (parody) “I’m not that complex a person. I took the idea of a person making a movie of my life that really wouldn’t be that interesting.” She explored production elements of this film as her self portrait.

1. SO CREATIVE. The vision for the self portrait flowed through every element – the concept said more about her personality than each specific element did and this is hard to do.

2. Text: (cover of a film script) perfect jumping off point tying all other elements together, funny, said more than just what was written on the page – gave context to the work

3. Audio: Maggie winning an Oscar for her work – demonstrated her aspirations, not only what she is like now


Concept – demonstrate multiple sides of his personality to show as much of himself as possible. In a sense, he portrayed himself as an outsider looking into his life at the same time as the audience.

1. Photograph: one image presented a metaphor for his personality rather than anything directly connected to his life – interesting concept

2. Video: filming his music editing felt like we were finally getting inside his mind and his world – contrasted anonymity running through the rest of the work nicely

3. Audio: even gave the clip a name – “Joke Time With Daniel,” laughed at his own jokes – perfectly demonstrated a sense of humour

Each person in my group had their own unique approach to the task, which I found quite interesting. I also discovered that everyone was willing to share a different level of their personal life and of who they think they are. As we were presenting we often apologised for our work, like we were embarrassed to show what we had done, but then we all presented something that was praised by the other members of our group. I think what I’ll take from this is that the fact that we need to own our ideas and be proud of our own unique interpretations of each Project Brief.

“Blood in the Gutter”

“All of us perceive the world as a whole through the experience of our senses, yet our senses can only reveal a world that is fragmented and incomplete.”

I found the whole concept behind this reading, as well as its presentation as a comic, incredibly creative and thought-provoking. I had never thought about the associations that form subconsciously in audience’s minds when they view edited media or read comics. I’d simply thought about the stories told and the techniques I could see. I think the most interesting part about “Blood in the Gutter” was the theme that “elements omitted from a work of art are as much a part of that work as those included.” As was explained in the reading, in comics, this was the space between the frames, and in edited media it was in the cuts and in thinking about everything that was happening outside the view of the camera. This is especially important in thinking about what to show in edited media (visible), and what to imply (invisible), because both aspects play a key role in the interpretation of meaning by audiences.

Some other techniques mentioned in the reading – particularly fragmentation and rhythm – made me think about my own editing and how the consideration and incorporation of these techniques into my work could be the factor that draws a project together or gives it a particular charm. Finally, this reading taught me that the “phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole has a name; closure.”

I find the whole idea of gaining meaning from ” the gutter,” or the space between the panels to be such an incredible process. I’m excited to learn more about how specific editing choices produce certain effects, particularly through my own editing successes and failures throughout the course.

My Self Portrait

My aim for this project brief was to capture my environment, which I believe reflects the newness and change in my life now. The underlying theme throughout each piece of media is the concept of ‘home’. This influenced my self-portrait because the places I’ve been lucky enough to call home have shaped who I am and how I see the world.


This Was 18: people, charms and moments that bring back memories of who I am when I’m happiest

Home Away From Home: when people ask where home is, I tell them what they want to hear

Tourist In My Hometown: I’m from Melbourne but the city is still novel to me

My New Life: college is my newfound independence

Audio Recordings

– City Trams: I am immersing myself in the city of Melbourne to get in touch with my Australian-ness.

– Move On: I love to write and I sing all the time; these are my outlets.



– Walking home: my new routine and a new sense of normality in my life

– Skype calls: the only way I see my family for months at a time. Staying close with my family is hugely significant to me.


澳大利亚 (ào dà lì yà) Australia
爱玛  (ài mǎ) Emma
家 (jiā) home
– juxtaposition between the words and the language they are written in to demonstrate two important aspects of my life
– words I live by


In our week 3 lecture we learnt the about basic copyright laws, both in Australia and internationally. Essentially, in Australia copyright is automatic and this then means your work (in material form; ideas themselves are not included) is protected overseas.

According to Anne Lennox, the basics are:

– whoever created the work owns the work

– the work is protected by copyright for the duration of the creators life, plus an additional 70 years

– after this period, there are still moral rights (academic integrity) that require you to recognise that the work belongs to somebody else

– rules for work shared within closed environments (e.g. blogs that are password protected) are slightly different to public sharing

Of course, there are exceptions to each of the cases above and each instance may be treated differently depending on a range of factors.

A key point that was brought up concerned websites such as Pinterest and Tumblr, where people “reblog” or “pin” things they like, adding them to a page of their own. Given that user-generated data is often created with the intent of sharing, the workings of the law are quite complex in this situation.

A few more examples where the lines may be blurred and there are complex laws in place include: fan art, an fiction, Facebook sharing and Youtube videos (e.g. people at home creating and uploading covers of famous songs). Thus, today it is immeasurably important to adhere to copyright laws specific to the medium you are working in.

I was also fascinated by the fact that even if you gain permission to use a person’s work, the original creator can still ask you to remove your own adaptation from a public space if it is seen to reflect badly on them.

At the end of the day, according to Anne, “something must stand up in court as being creative enough” for you to argue that it was your original work.

It was very helpful to have all of these things outlined for us so early in the course, both so I am aware of how I will be expected to credit others, and so that I know what rights I have as a creator myself.

What I took away from this lecture was a better knowledge and understanding of things I need to look out for when I create something that builds on or incorporates others’ work. This is key within the context of the Media course and in my everyday life (e.g. Tumblr posts, background music in my edited videos, etc.).

Silence – John Cage

The scariest thing about silence, at least to me, is that it is so foreign. I don’t believe that I have ever in my life experienced complete silence. Even if I am home alone I can hear the sound of the fridge humming or the washing machine running. In the distance I can (faintly) hear cars, traffic, sometimes voices. The times when I’ve been away from the city I’ve heard the ocean or animals; the sounds of nature.

I struggle to think of a time when I have sat in silence and not heard something – real or imagined – in my own head.

To me, the idea John Cage had is a disturbing one. I am particularly frightened of silences when I am with others. If I am alone I can make noise or listen or just focus on my own thoughts, but when others are around (especially people I don’t know well) I feel I have to fill the silence with conversation.

Placing a theatre full of people in this position – and particularly without warning – is an interesting social experiment. We tried this (knowing exactly what was coming) in our week 2 Media Lectorial and even 33 seconds was slightly uncomfortable. I started, even in that brief period, to pay more attention to the sounds filtering through the windows from the street and faint noises in the classroom. I also started to withdraw into myself and concentrate on my own thoughts.

Silence is a fascinating tool in audio, theatre, public speaking and the art of prosody (stylised vocal utterances). I’ve found it can be particularly useful to punctuate an important point because it abruptly calls for attention.

I don’t recall whether I’d heard about John Cage’s performance before we discussed it in our lectorial, but I am now curious about the significance of the title of the performance (4’33”) and the original concept behind it. There could be any number of aims behind the piece – exploring awareness, human nature, social relations, societal norms or perhaps just silence itself.

Week 2 Reading – “The Discipline of Noticing”

This reading was particularly interesting to me because it discussed the everyday experience of noticing your surroundings, the people around you, what they say, etc. in an academic concept.
The Levels:
  1. Ordinary Noticing – e.g. seeing something but not paying much attention to it until someone jogs your memory, at which point you can recall what you saw
  2. Marking – e.g. seeing something and starting a discussion about it, recalling specific details
  3. Recording – e.g. making a note of something you saws you can look back and remember an experience long-term
Since I read about the breakdown of levels of noticing into the three categories above, I have started explaining the concept to others. I’ve spoken to friends about advertisements we walk past but don’t really think about until they’re brought up in conversation, introducing stories about things I experience each day, and documenting funny things people say or moments/ideas/instructions we want to remember.
Simply reading about the levels of noticing has brought the act to my attention and made me much more aware of what I’m doing. It’s important for me to remember that scientifically, my memory will not serve me as well as I believe it will, so recording is crucial. This is especially true when it comes to noting down due dates, task requirements and creative ideas in the moment before things slip my mind.

“Noticing” – Week 2 Lectorial Task

Up High
  • Chiming clock

  • Fitness First & Hoyts branding
  • Hanging LED screen rotating still and video advertisements for different brands
  • Lit up screens with digital artwork
  • Signs with train departure times
  • Signs pointing to food outlets, e.g. Hungry Jacks
On the Ground
  • Shop opening hours
  • People texting & carrying branded shopping bags (another form of advertising)
  • Mini screens at the cinema playing trailers and actor interviews for current showing movies
  • Larger screens with short video advertisements
  • Artwork – painting of a woman with wild hair; hand-painted Nike advertisement
  • Banner with brand information and a QR code to scan for more information
  • Warning signs on escalators – required for safety purposes
  • Stores: Coconut Revolution, Batsanis, Jolie & Deen, Peter Alexander, Mimco, etc.
  • Posters around large poles advertising different bands’ new albums and tour dates, a comedy show, etc.

  • Branding on people’s handbags and backpacks
  • Directory signs (what’s on this floor)
  • Background music playing in some shops
  • Galaxy Note, Virgin advertisements on screens dotted around Melbourne Central
  • Movie rental machine
  • Witchery Man: mid-season sale poster in shop window

  • Personal shopping link (melbournecentral.com.au)
  • ‘Filling the Mould’ installation #fillingthemould

In Your Hand
  • Taking photos and videos of the media I saw – iPhone/iPad
During this exercise, I thought about the obvious and the more subtle ways the media creeps into our daily lives. The more I looked around Melbourne Central, I noticed some form of media in every corner, in a range of different forms. I realised that there were some things I noticed straight away, and others that took a minute to consciously register in my mind. This is a fairly clear and simple demonstration of the three levels of noticing. I usually walk past signs and advertisements without thinking twice, but in this instance I purposely sat down, thought about, discussed with my group and made note of my surroundings.