Final Course Reflection

I’m not sure what I expected coming into Media 1, but the content covered and the assignments I’ve worked on have definitely surpassed anything I could have predicted. Over the course of semester, I’ve had the chance to develop my skills in a range of areas, working with new technology, learning to engage with the filmmaking process from conceptualisation to the finished product (and all the filming and editing in between), collaborating with others and conducting academic research. This learning experience, punctuated by my work on each of the four project briefs, has been very rewarding, especially in the moments when I finally saw my work coming together.

I experienced a change in thinking when I was editing my work for brief 3. I was watching the half-finished video I had created, and thinking about the different filming techniques and transitions we had discussed in class. I realised the difference this new knowledge made in being able to visualise how I wanted the final video to look and in putting into words the features I wanted to highlight in my work. Since then, I have been noticing these elements in commercials, television shows and movies and reflecting on the effects of each of these stylistic choices.

I have discovered this semester that I learn best by doing. At the start of the semester there were times when I was stuck for ideas, but just by getting started on something, even if it turned out that the something was later scrapped to start again, at least I had something to work from. This is what sparked ideas, and it was an amazing realisation to have about my own way of learning and working.

Given my very limited experience filming and editing, the most challenging aspect of this course was translating my ideas into film. There were times when I knew exactly what I wanted to illustrate on screen, such as the concept of yin & yang as the basis for my self portrait, but I did not yet have the technical skills to edit towards that visual. At times, this was quite frustrating for me, but I managed to work around it to produce a final product I was proud of. I hope that as I grow as a media maker I will be able to find creative solutions to the challenges I face.

In Media 1, I discovered that filmmaking is a very personal activity because I’ve seen my personality come through my work. I also realised that my creative practice involves working towards my original ideas, and weaving in new ideas as they arise. For example, I had a concept for my self portrait, but as I was editing I saw gaps in my work so I thought of new ways to illustrate key aspects of my personality. I believe these “afterthoughts” are the best features of my work, because with them I targeted what was previously missing.

I look forward to learning and overcoming new challenges next semester!

Brief 4 Final Reflection

On the day that we formed groups and were assigned the task of creating a “Media Artefact” for Project Brief 4, I have to admit I was quite lost. It took me a long time to wrap my head around how we were going to use academic research to produce something that was both creative and meaningful. The media idea “texts” is inherently broad, and while we thought this would serve as an advantage, it actually caused us some confusion. On the bright side, there were also a lot of interesting topics for us to explore that also happen to be incredibly relevant to today’s changing media climate.

At the beginning of the process, we had several ideas floating around and not much direction for any of them. After further research and working to improve and combine these ideas, we finally settled on a topic we were all excited about: textual adaptations. The next challenge was narrowing down the topic area, which was still too broad. We attempted this in several stages, each time taking out some aspect of the work until we whittled away our topic to a core that we could explore in depth. I think that strangely the most successful aspect of the creation process was revealed when someone in the group was having trouble. This prompted us to ask questions to clarify what we were working on, and this not only helped us to come up with new ideas and better approaches to our work, but also highlighted the collaborative strength of our group.

Once we had a solid idea of the work we wanted to include, it was a little problematic deciding how we wanted everything to be presented. We were concerned that we would not be able to efficiently present our learning through a video or audio, so we eventually decided on a website. I think our final work is strong and demonstrative of the hard work we have put in over the semester. The only area I think we could have improved upon is the overall cohesiveness of the final website. There are three core branches we focused our work on: texts, leading into adaptations with a focus on Romeo and Juliet adaptations into a range of mediums, but we could have tied everything together more clearly.

I think the major success of our final artefact is one of the things I was most concerned about at the beginning of the process; the effective integration and application of references into our work. This element of the work fell into place as we watched the different Romeo and Juliet adaptations, and thought analytically about these works. The sources we used provided a highly relevant framework upon which we were able to substantiate our ideas.

As a group, I think Lucas, Rob and I all worked really well together, supporting and expanding on each others’ ideas and ensuring everyone was tasked with something that they had a personal interest in. I also learnt a lot from working with these two talented up-and-coming media practitioners, especially in terms of thinking about and following through with creative ideas. I especially respect the work Lucas and Rob did in filming and editing the adaptations interview with professional dancer Maddie.

At the same time, I was also able to showcase my strength in research and use this to improve the academic rigour of our artefact. Working on this assignment taught me a lot about the characteristics of positive collaboration, and how this can create a platform for elevating individuals’ ideas and highlighting everyone’s best abilities.

During the weeks I spent working on this assignment, I was able to refine my research skills, in particular learning how to use the RMIT library resources. I also developed my ability to perform meaningful analysis on media texts, learning to recognise conventions and techniques in particular works to expand my understanding of media as an area of study. Finally, I discovered a lot about intricacies in the field of media adaptations.

I think that everything I learnt and the skills I developed during the brainstorming, researching, creating and editing stages of this brief will help to inform my future work and studies in media. I believe this is significant because texts are constantly evolving in the fast-paced media industry, and to have a solid understanding of this strand of media is invaluable.

The Next 3 Years…

After 6 months at university, I feel like I’m in a better place now to make judgments about my expectations and goals for the rest of my degree.


  1. This is very broad, but I want to improve my organisational skills. I realised this semester that a lot of my assignments fall at the same time, and I could have made life easier for myself by looking ahead at the assessments calendar and planning accordingly.
  2. I’ve started to work on this already, but I want to continue developing my group work skills to ensure everybody works equally and communicates well to produce quality work.
  3. I have had a taste of working with film equipment and I hope to continue learning through experience.
  4. I plan to improve my editing skills both on iMovie and FinalCut. I think this is mostly a matter of practice, watching tutorials and experimenting with new ideas and techniques.

This semester I have been thinking a lot about how I can make the most of my experience at RMIT during my degree. I think one of the most important opportunities provided is the work attachment scheme and I have already been thinking about what I’d like to do for mine. I’m going to work to find as many relevant attachments as possible over the course of my degree and I hope this will set me apart when I graduate.

Backpacking and Other Traumas – Project Brief 3

I chose my best friend Lucy as my subject for this brief and I knew immediately that I wanted to focus on her sense of humour. After brainstorming ideas, I decided to interview her about our recent backpacking trip because I knew that not only would it provide funny material, but it was an important experience for Lucy (and myself) in becoming independent. I believe the most successful aspect of this portrait is that I was able to capture and produce a snapshot of Lucy as she is now.

I attempted to change the colour balance in each of the clips so that they all matched. I think this is one of the problematic aspects of the work, as there was only so much altering I could do with my limited editing experience. If I could redo the project, I would also film a wider range of shots of Lucy in her surroundings, as this would have given me more to work with as I was editing.

I learnt a lot during both the filming and editing processes, from how to operate a Sony MC50 camera to working with multiple devices simultaneously, asking questions to gain useable responses and incorporating appropriate found footage. The most useful discovery I made in terms of producing a media portrait is that an anecdote can provide deep insight into a subject’s personality, not only through the story they tell but also the way they tell it, their body language and the spin they put on different situations. More importantly, it’s my job to tease that story out. This was how I managed to portray Lucy’s humour, and it was a particularly useful approach for working within the strict time constraints of the brief.

In relation to broader applications of my discoveries, I think I’ve taken steps in the right direction developing my editing skills. With every brief, I discover new tools, such as overlapping two videos and adjusting opacity. Watching other people’s work also gives me inspiration for different skills I could learn and then apply, in a different context, to my own work.

Editing Experimentation

In class, we learnt about the following four transitions in preparation for our second project brief, a one minute edited video self portrait.

The transitions:

1. Cuts  – if you notice the editing, you come out of the world for a brief period of time

– Straight cut, contrast cut, cut on graphic matching, jump cut; cuts can disguise (e.g. when an interviewee rambles, a cut can be used to shorten the edited interview – cut to a shot of the interviewer/the interviewee from another angle)

2. Dissolve – shorthand that audiences recognise as a passing of time, but can also smooth out shots that are clunky

3. Fades – fade up from black, fade to flack, flash frame of white

4. Wipes – not used in most media production but can be used as part of the aesthetic of a piece if established early on (exceptions: infotainment, Australia’s Funniest Home videos, etc.)

More to consider:

  • 25 frames/second = cinema (makes smooth and realistic action)
  • Humans do not perceive frames but rather see movement for anything over 12 frames/second
  • Sound can also be used to create a transition from one idea to the next (can change before the visual changes to create an interesting effect – foreshadowing what will come next)

This is my first attempt at editing based on the techniques from our media tutorial. The focus is on shape.

“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.