Final Project Submission

It is finally finished. For the past seven weeks we have been working tirelessly to make this project to the best of our ability. There were many setbacks, but also a couple of lucky breaks that spurred us on to produce a project that we can all be proud of. In the pre-production phase I would have never thought that the film would have turned out this way as it is quite different from my initial first draft. That is what happens when you first pen to paper, but when you actually get the actors, locations and equipment together there is a degree of improvisation that is needed to capture the best possible footage. The long days spent in the editing booths alongside the editors to supervise the process from having raw footage to polished finished product, both fun and challenging. This allowed us to reflect on the work we have done up to that point as each clip has a story behind it. My choice to enroll in this class was justified by this rewarding experience. When other classes’ assignment began to pile up, it proved to be a challenging time, especially these last few weeks. Thankfully all the theory for Story Lab was completed by week six as the rest of the semester was dedicated to the project which allowed us to do a better job.

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Project Documents Link:
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Week 12 Story Lab Post

The last couple of weeks have been quite hectic but it’s almost at an end with the final week left to finish the project. We are now currently at the editing phase where we go through all the sound and footage we have gathered these past weeks and select the best ones for the film. In the Thursday class we spent some time reviewing the rough cut of several scenes and made choices on what to keep, what to take out and what to add. Having the whole group there was really helpful as it gave a chance to talk face to face about our ideas and discuss them further with each other. Since most of my work has been in the pre-production and production phase I still have been able to help out by giving notes and going through specific sequences with the editor when he had trouble remembering the order. We are planning to meet up again next week at an editing suite so we can review the footage for a final time before we export it. If we do happen to make a change it would be much more time effective to make it before it is exported since rendering is very time consuming.

Week 11 Story Lab Post

This was a tough week for the group as we all worked hard to finish shooting the all the required footage for the film. Originally we had planned to film the previous week, but scheduling issues prevented us to do so. This did set us back a few days but we anticipated to have these sorts of setbacks, which is why we are still on target to have it comfortably finished by the 7th of June. Right now we are in the editing process so soon we should have a rough cut done by next week so we can see if we need to do any re-shoots with the little time we have left. We have also had the liberty to take photos with the actor playing the protagonist so that we can make a poster for the film. The poster will most likely be displayed on the 11th of June as part of our showcase of the project. The Facebook page will continue to be updated though out this time so by the time the film is released with the link to the page there will be a lot of content for the audience to read.

Week 10 Story Lab Post

At the start of the week I had no idea what to write about in my blog post that was until I started watching the seventh episode of Higurashi: When They Cry. The silly title aside the first six episodes of this show were relatively interesting. You had a young protagonist that recently moved into this peaceful, rural village and it seemed innocent enough until he uncovered a string of murders and disappearances. These tragedies starched back four years and all of them occurred on the evening of the Watanagashi Festival. One thing leads to the other and he finds himself the target of several attacks until on episode six when he dies. Needless to say I was surprised that the main character was killed off this early so I was curious as to how the story will progress from that point on. What was truly surprising was that the story just reset. I thought it was going to be retold from the perspective of another charters but as I continued watching some the events didn’t add up. This story was not the same story as the one I have seen before and that confused and intrigued me. The arc ended in a gruesome death and the episode after that the same thing happened again. The only consistencies I had found are that they all take place in the village and that they are all set after the Watanagashi Festival. I decided to do some research about the show and then it all made sense. The show is based on a choose- you-own-adventure game by the same title. Each arc represented a play though of the game with different choices resting in different endings. I have not yet finished the season and there is a second season so hopefully at the end it will all come together and make sense.

Week 9 Story Lab Post

Upon closer analysis of Reinra Gambarato’s reading there was a section that had me reflecting on the role of the audience in a transmedia project. The Giovagnoli extract where American filmmaker Lance Weiler claims that the audience is dead and that they should be considered as collaborators of the media project caused me to rethink about the sheer variety of transmedia projects that exist. That statement may be true for deeply immersive projects that rely heavily on the interaction and the engagement of its participants, it is no way true for other types of projects. This over generalization of what transmedia projects are is why this claim only applies for a certain type, as there are others that give consumers a much less active role in their narrative. My project for instance is essentially a short film with a footing in social media in the film’s universe. Now this sounds vastly different than say Dr. Troy Innocent’s one as his one was much more focused on participation and didn’t have a explicit narrative but they are still both transmedia narratives so it is an oversight by Weiler to not consider that variety of transmedia projects that are out there, one being completely different from the last.

Week 8 Story Lab Post

The reading by Reinra Gambarato was quite interesting as the section where an ideal transmedia story will unfold across multiple platforms, with each text being distinctive as well as being able to combine into one big pervasive story. When you look at a transmedia project it is apparent that different parts of the narrative are broken off into separate sections but they are still related and affected by one another. Cohesion is difficult to achieve especially if there are a multitude of mediums that share the same universe. This would require checking back and forth between these platforms to ensure that the stories they are telling matches up with the overall narrative of the project. The use of cross referencing is a good strategy to link back to the overarching narrative as it may reference events or characters in different parts of universe to show a level of awareness between these platforms.

Project Role

I’m excited for this project as I feel that we have a strong character driven narrative with people that are technically gifted. My role within the group is as the creator and writer of the script as well as co-directing when shooting begins. I wanted to be as open as possible when it came to story so I listened and took notes on suggestions from others in my group, which ensured that we would all be doing a project that we are passionate about. We as a group shared responsibility to location scouting in order to find the best possible spots to shoot. I am also responsible for writing up the risk assessment form as well as aiding on the day of the shoot, be it as a boom mic operator or any other task that need to be done. I as the rest of the group will watch the rough cut of the film and give notes on it to see we need to do any re-shoots or any other changes that need to be made. In the transmedia aspect of the project we plan to have the characters interact with the Face Book page, so we are hoping that the actors will give us consent to use their image as a profile picture. If they happen to say no we are prepared to use a stock image of something that would be if interest instead. I will also be contributing posts on the page as well as another member and if we do in fact receive permission we will have staged photos such as an “employee of the month” with the actors and other typical corporate events to keep up with our parody of the typical corporate culture. I have never done a transmedia project before so this is also a good learning experience on how to expand beyond just making a short film and actually use other mediums that are available to me. The fact that the same Face Book page that will appear in the film will also be the very same that will be available for the audience to visit is an exciting prospect. It has immense narrative potential as the characters from the film as well as others that will be introduced through the page will interact with each other right before the audience’s eyes. Filming should commence soon as all the locations have been confirmed and the script written. The lead has also been cast, which only leaves the two supporting roles. Everyone seems to be committed to the project as I feel confident that the final product will close to my original vision. It is true that there had to compromises due to logistics or creative differences but that was one of the rules that we set ourselves to abide by so I was prepared. I just hope we can keep this level of enthusiasm till the end of the film because working on such a project can be quite tiresome but in the end our hard work should bear fruit.

Week 7 Story Lab Post

My group went up first so it was nerve braking but also fortunate because that way we could calmly listen to the rest of the pitches with the relief of being done. I found it difficult to look at my notes on a tablet because it kept turning off the display and make me lose y train of thought every single time. That’s what I get for trying to save the Amazon. I felt that we were a little under prepared since half of the group came to the Wednesday class for rehearsals. The feedback we received was actually quite insightful especially about the suggestions about the transmedia aspect of the project. The fact that we should have started with the synopsis was brought up by the panel as I have to agree as in retrospect they have no idea what the story is and we talking like we expected them already have an idea of the narrative. That created some confusion among those listening so I will be taking a note of that. I also hope to have a number that the audience can call up and interact with the main character since he does work in a call center as was suggested by the panel. It was so obvious I actually feel kind of silly that it never crossed my mind.

Week 6 Story Lab Blog Post

What stuck most with me from Troy’s lecture was at the very end when someone asked him if Troy was ever tempted to have a prize attached to the game as an incentive for people to play the game. His response was interesting as he said that it was an internal conflict of interests as his artistic side wanted the game to be a reward in itself but risked having less participants while his logical side this made sense since this will attract more players but risk having players that are only there to win the prize rather than the experience the game. He opted to go with his artistic side and participation was less than it would have been with a prize but the majority of players joined the game for the fun of playing, whatever their method is. Although this decision has reduced the popularity of the game it, the players where all playing for the sole reason of playing which is arguably the whole point of a game.

Week 5 Story Lab Post 2

It was interesting but not at all surprising that marginalized characters would find such a comfortable home in the realm of the internet. The internet that for a while has been the collective voice of the people (that have an internet connection) would be the logical place to find narratives that focus on charterers that aren’t ‘mainstream’. Shows such as Starting From…Now that we viewed in class would find it hard to find a network to back up a project with such a niche audience. As a fan of The Guild and Video Game High School that center around gamers would also face the same difficulty but to be honest I would rather they stay where they are. The type to watch these shows don’t necessarily watch TV shows live on TV but rather binge watch in a few sittings on a laptop. That is how we are staring to consume media and the arrival of Netflix and other on demand content providers is a testament to that.