As we now approach the end of the semester, it is time to take a look back on how this course has affected me. I have come to the realisation that my approach to creating media content has changed. For one, I understand that it is best to be continuously progressive. You don’t just start at one point and end things there, no, you continue to build from that point and try new ways of delivering visual information across the network. I have also realised that form is more important than content, because giving a video its own “form” makes it different from countless of existing media content up on the Internet, which is a valuable aspect to have.
Near the very beginning of the course, we had to go through an exercise where we chose and analysed an existing online video practice. The video my group chose was a scenic, travel video of Italy made by Youtuber, devinsupertramp. During this exercise, James and I had to break down what travel videos were and how they were made. What we learned about the video was that it employed several camera techniques to show certain areas/objects of interests in Italy. I think that by analysing an already existing practice, we are essentially trying to figure out what the practice is down to its core by asking questions such as, “what does it do?” “is it promotional?” “educational?” “how was it made?” “what does it use?” By doing this, we get an idea of what these videos are and can finally begin to develop our own videos. Right after this exercise, we had to make 10 sketches. The 10 sketches we made heavily relied on techniques. I had understood too late that we were actually supposed to come up with different ways of making a travel video so, if I could have done this differently, I would have made a travel video review, or a travel video recommendation guide.
The sketching process was a completely new experience for me. It is a process that involves thinking up of several ideas and using those ideas to create something. I learned that it is an exploratory phase where ideas are tried out in order to see what we can find (what worked and what did not worked). The sketches made from these ideas are disposable which in other words, meant that there is no need for perfectionism during this process. This is why the concept of Satisficing is so important. We are encouraged to try out as many ideas as we can in hopes of finding something that has not yet been done before. Usually, when my group thought up of an idea we could use for a sketch, we would write it down on our list of ideas as a sentence. However, while it is fine to jot down any ideas that springs into mind, careful planning and consideration is still important when sketching. During Project Three, a few ideas had to be dropped because they were simply not feasible. If I were to do this again next time, I would draw out in detail what the sketch would look like . Then, I would plan it out to evaluate its feasibility or if it would look well as a video, instead of immediately setting out to do it. I can get a clearer picture of what I will make this way, too, even though it extends the time taken when brainstorming.
Presenting is an important skill to develop over time, especially when it comes to pitching out your ideas to the public. Every presentation, both inside and outside of university, is given a limited amount of time. In this course, we had to learn how to condense what we did and what we found in a clear and concise manner. I had also decided very early in the course that I wanted to improve my ability to present without a script to read out of. Our group did considerably well in our first presentation since we managed to deliver our findings within the time limit. However, I had also forgotten to mention a few key points. This turned out to be a reoccuring problem in the second presentation as well. To combat this problem, I tried memorizing what I would say in the presentation the previous day but this turned out to be counter-effective. In an attempt to recall the words during the presentation, my brain had switched its focus to remembering what I practiced saying the day before. In other words, my mind was so set on remembering them that I had forgotten the key points, instead. I have yet to find a solid solution to this problem, but for now, it seems that writing points on a note could help.
There was a lot of reflecting that had to be done in this course. In brief, we had to reflect on just about anything. I found that reflecting is a time for me to sit down and deeply think about virtually anything, and most of the time, I noticed things that did not immediately come to mind until I started reflecting. This includes problems that have arisen, which usually led to thinking of ways to solve it or ways to do it differently. I would say that reflecting does not allow my thoughts to be fleeting, but rather, it takes my thoughts apart so I “look” at them in different perspectives. I also found that reflecting on what you did before a presentation helps tremendously because if you do so, you will know what you’re talking about.
To sum up, what I’ve learned is that practice-based research involves asking mountains of questions which inevitably lead to new ideas. It is worth it to try any of these ideas, even if they’re bad, because they each have a chance to let you discover new things. Reflecting on them allows you to learn and understand on your own. It is certainly a creative approach to take as a media professional.