Advice on Brief 4

Last week, Rachel made some suggestions for how we could best progress with our final project brief.

  • Make sure that everyone is asking the same questions of the texts they are analysing (this prompted us to create a list of 3 questions to focus our work)
  • Keep the focus narrow so you can increase the depth of the work
    • Take out side ideas – remixing, Space Odyssey
    • Left with: Texts > Adaptations > Romeo & Juliet
  • Extra ideas for looking at Romeo & Juliet
    • Look at soundtracks separately from the films as this is a whole different medium
      • E.g. original soundtrack composed for West Side Story
    • Book of West Side Story

This advice was helpful for us as it gave us a better idea of the direction we needed to go in for our brief and helped us clarify in our heads the work we still needed to complete.

The coming week…

The next week will be busy in terms of working towards completing a polished draft of our media artefact. There are a number of things that still need to be done, which include:

  1. Watching each of the films and productions I will be analysing
  2. Researching academic interpretations and critiques of these texts to cement my own analyses in theory with a sound understanding of the context of each
  3. Answering in depth the three standard questions we are asking of each text
  4. Working on editing the aesthetics of the blog
  5. Adding to the “texts” page of the blog using information from further research
  6. Keeping track of new sources and write brief annotations for each

Aside from the project, I also need to write some more blog posts!

Brief 3 Screening

In Thursday’s Tutorial, we had a mini screening of everyone’s portraits. Once again I was taken aback by how different everyone’s work was even though we were all given the same brief. I think that says a lot about the range of creative people and ideas in our class.

The following are the notes I made on the portraits created by my group-members.


  • Yellow: loved the opening and closing titles with the casual conversation and subtitles (looping back tied it all together too), 
  • Red: subtitles a signature for Ali’s work
  • Black: I didn’t always understand the connection to found footage (bright-coloured cartoon towards the end)


  • Yellow: Comedic, interesting connections between animals and subject (creative take on the concept of a portrait), subject’s actions and the filters on the shots matched up well with found footage clips
  • Red: felt a little sci-fi mixed with the wild
  • Green: could lower the opacity to see the shot of the animal and your friend at the same time
  • Black: the planes seemed out of place amongst everything else (have subject mention this in the interview/voiceover to make it clear)


  • Yellow: there was a great integration of original and found footage, pacing was good
  • Red: the black and white film created a very personal atmosphere, felt closeness to the subject
  • Black: music volume was a bit too high, so sometimes it was hard to hear the speaking

I’m also really thankful to my group for the feedback I received, both good and bad, because it gave me a clearer look at how my work was received, which I could then compare to my goals for the project.

  • Yellow: found images focused on what the subject was talking about, sled footage was dark (symbolically representative of the traumatic experience), colour balance was good (not too harsh or cold), sound levels edited well, subject looked natural in the shots (not like she was trying hard to avoid looking at the camera), cuts between handheld and tripod cameras worked well
  • Green: show more about subject’s interests and hobbies (mixed opinions: another group member said they liked how everything was cut down and stripped away to something bare – ons story)

On a final note, I also particularly enjoyed Daniel’s portrait of his younger brother. The vibe of the video was very aspirational and the closeness between Daniel and his subject was evident in his brother’s demeanour, which is so important. The content was interesting listening to his brother talking about his dreams of becoming a music producer, and the video was edited together well.


A Terrible First Filming Attempt

In our week 5 tutorial we worked very briefly with the Sony MC50 camera, learning a few of the basic functions and then filming our own short hand-held, still and pan shots.

We were also asked to think about aspect ratios – the dimensions of a film recording – and to make sure that each of our clips had the same ratio, or that we incorporated different ratios in a creative manner or switched for a specific purpose. Next, we talked about zooming, and how it is very uncommon to see zooms in shot; it is much more common to cut from, for example, a mid-shot to a close-up shot. Finally, we discussed colour balance and temperature in film clips. The colour balance can have a profound effect on the viewer, as it changes the whole atmosphere in the shot. For example, blue creates a cold feel that may be associated with a hospital, while yellow is associated with warmth and afternoon light, which can feel very homey.

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.

Our First Media One Tutorial

I worked on setting up my new blog today in my first tutorial. It’s still very new but I’m looking forward to using all the available features to document my progression through this course.

It was nice to finally be in a more relaxed setting and to talk to others in the Media course about their interests and what areas they hope to work in after finishing their degrees. A lot of people seem very interested in film, which is different from my main interest (written communication) so I hope I can learn from them this semester and beyond. I also think that the diversity in our class will motivate us all to think in new ways and expose us to techniques and functions of media we had not previously considered.

After we were given the first project brief, I started thinking about how I could best represent myself through different forms of media. I am currently brainstorming the most important aspects of my life and how I can creatively depict my personality.

I have also been thinking a lot about the recent changes in my life and how these changes have affected the way I will approach this task. For example, I moved back to Australia from Shanghai – the place I refer to as my “home” – only two weeks ago, so my aim is to portray how my experience living overseas influenced my life. I’d like to have this theme running through a few of the media components in my work as influenced my upbringing, my beliefs and my understanding of the world.