Everyday Media

An everyday blog about media by everyday blogger Louise Alice Wilson.

Tag: Project Brief 3

Video Feedback

This is a post all about feeeeedback, not musical feedback, which I do love, but video feedback, but not video feedback in the new wave art form sense, but literal feedback on peoples videos, well not videos, it is the 21st century, but feedback on their short films. We got there in the end.

Nicole Tsolakkis – Fatherhood


The first thing you notice about this creative portrait is the immediate impact it has; the close-up shot staring straight into the google eyes of the gorgeous Stella is a great starting point. It was a nice touch going from Stella’s happy eyes to the hard hitting story of Andy own’s childhood. This gives us great insight into his character as well as shows us the dedication he has to providing for Stella and making sure she’s happy. Andy says that the most important aspect of his parenting style is “just being there” and you can see that he really means it. As Andy talks about Stella’s interests we get to see shots of her ‘drumming’ and ‘playing tennis’ with an ironically, oversized tennis racket, it’s nice to see Andy bonding with Stella in this light hearted comical way. Andy then tells us of his family’s “Cypriot superstitions: when Stella crosses her legs it means she wants a sibling”, Andy then says “maybe one or two” then the piece finishes. All in all you really leave the piece feeling like you’ve got to know Andy and Stella which is ultimately what the piece set out to achieve.


Eve Gailey – Rennie: Conserving Our Natural Landscape


Eve’s portrait of Rennie takes after my own heart. Rennie is a young woman who grew up on a farm in the Northern Rivers of NSW. She speaks of her family farm and the days she spent playing down at the creek at the back of her place, suggesting to us that this is where her appreciation for the environment came from. My own mother grew up on a rural dairy farm in New Zealand and throughout my childhood  had a passionate relationship with plants (being a horticulturist) and always attempted to protect the environment in anyway she could. Eve’s portrait does a great job of exploring the elements of Rennie’s childhood that helped shape her into the person she is today and makes it clear that what we are exposed to as children often impact our thoughts as adults. Eve uses found footage well to illustrate the beauty of the natural environment that Rennie talks about, showing us as viewers why Rennie is so passionate. After viewing Eve’s creative portrait you get a strong sense of Rennie’s character; she’s an intelligent, passionate, well rounded person who’s attempting to undo the wrongs of previous generations.

Rory Pogson –


Rory showed us what he had so far of his creative portrait, which was an entertaining conversation with his grandfather detailing his life story thus far. Rory’s grandfather is the kind of grandfather you wish was your own. Rory did well to edit down a 60 minute phone conversation into a 3 minute video and you really feel that you got to hear all the best points. Some of the highlights include Rory’s grandfather getting a job as a jockey, then asking for a raise, being refused one and telling them to screw off, this was cleverly matched with some footage of an old dude giving someone the finger. You can really see that Rory’s grandfathers sense of humour has been passed down.. Rory’s grandfather also states “2 weeks is a long time in between drinks” as he reminisces on a drinking tale that explains how he got to Sydney in a random man’s beat up car. I really would love to see Rory’s completed project as I think it had great spirit and energy and I think he’s done a really great job so far.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

Sound on Sound

For all you music geeks out there I hope you picked up on my Sound on Sound reference, for everyone else Sound on Sound is also the name of a great music recording magazine, that I quite love.


“Sound on Sound is a creative portrait that explores one Melbourne musicians lifelong obsession with sound. From past to present this documentary touches on themes of obsession, dedication and a love for ethnomusicology that extends to exploring sounds very roots.”


The successful aspects of my piece were the creation of various visual montages that add rhythm and pace to the piece as well as the utilisation of interesting stock footage to visually display audio topics that keep the audience engaged. I think the piece was also successful in overall pacing and flow that provide attention grabbing interest at the start, mellow reflection in the middle and an inspirational ending that leave audiences on a high note at the end of the piece. The section in the middle of the piece (focusing on the instruments Chris plays and his recording space) features a simplistic piece of music; him strumming on his bass. This quiet, emotional piece, performed in his studio, underscores the fact that we have been let in to his life to see these private moments. I believe this creates has a strong emotional resonance with the audience as they get to see Chris as most people don’t get to see him. It’s also quite an informative piece that has the potential introduce topics like Jazz and Ethio-Jazz to audiences that would otherwise never engage with such a topic.

The problematic aspects of my piece are potentially that there’s too much going on visually, which could disrupt audiences from ‘truly bonding’ or understanding the central character, but I think we see enough of Chris to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Another problematic aspect is the poor quality of the stock footage that often appears grainy, but I think in a way this can add to overall charm as well as evident the fact that it is indeed vintage footage.

Key learning discoveries I made about creative portraits are that they are one of those mediums where you must define your through line, in order to know what questions to ask, shots to get, stock footage to find, music to add and edits to make. Creative portraits challenge you to be creative, if you don’t, they often end up dry and boring, however if you are creative you can create a truly beautiful and highly engaging piece. Creative portraits allow you to use abstract footage to illustrate aspects of a persons character or story that create a stronger representation of the idea than any real footage could, thus they have an ability to stir resonances within people that other forms of objective documentary making can’t. Creative portraits also allow you to focus in on a particular aspect of a person or their life, that they may not consider defining or that they may hide from most people they know. You can present this aspect in any way you see fit which adds interesting new layers to that persons define character.

More broadly I brushed up on my filming, editing, interviewing, typography and sourcing skills. I also learnt how to find the needle in the haystack and how to focus my ideas into one whole and complete image in order to make the best possible media that I can.

Project Brief 3 – Sound on Sound from Louise Alice Wilson on Vimeo.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

Sonic Narrative

I didn’t really think about following generic narrative structure within my creative portrait until we began to cover it in class, but I guess I would have accidentally attempted to do it anyway. Narrative seems to be one of those things that you become blind to because you see it too much, so it’s important to have guides like the one below that help you make sure your narrative is on point.

  1. What is the ‘controlling idea’ (Robert McKee) of your portrait?

My interviewee has been a musician since a young age. This passion for music has essentially consumed the majority of their life, thus leading to an obsession with music in general. My interviewee now plays in various bands that have completed world tours and has a strong passion for Ethnomusicology and more specifically Ethiopian music.

  1. How is your portrait film structured?

My film is structured as a past to present piece. We begin with the earliest aspects of information, then move to what the subject is doing currently. This builds somewhat in momentum and excitement as we get to more interesting parts of the narrative. There’s an overall realization or summation sentence at the end of the piece, that leaves audiences on a high note.

  1. What do you want your audience to make of your interviewee?

I want my audience to understand them as a person and most importantly possibly respect or admire their dedication. My interviewee is a kind of ‘old soul’ or an image of man that no longer exists, or at least doesn’t exist in the same scale that it used to: a musician completely dedicated to their craft rather than a person who happens to play music.

  1. How is your portrait being narrated?

My portrait is not narrated at all, there’s actually no other voice in the piece a part from Chris’s. I think this works to add to idea of ‘obsession’ or ‘dedication’. As audience members all we hear is “I’ve been playing music since..”, “I love jazz because.”, “I play a lot of instruments”, this constant information about music being supplied to us purely by Chris makes the audience think “oh I can see that he is definitely into this music stuff..”. If the questions, or if narration had been supplied I think it would undercut the idea of obsession, it would add almost too much structure to the piece, that could make it seem as if what we’re talking about is controlled by the interviewee or narrator rather than by Chris purely saying or choosing what he says on his own accord.

  1. What role will the ‘found footage’ play in your portrait?

Found footage will reinforce the points that Chris is making visually, adding clarity to statements as well as compound the visual and auditory message that ‘this guy is all about music’.

  1. Does your portrait have a dramatic turning point?

Overall there might not be one main dramatic turning point, but rather multiple, less dramatic moments of emotional intensity or revelation. First we hear about Chris’s life very generally at the beginning. Then second we turn to images of him in more intimate moments (like softly playing bass in his studio or reflecting on his love for various musical instruments). Then thirdly we go loudly headfirst into his love for Ethiopian music. Then finally end on a high note, where Chris talks about what continues to inspire him and his happiness with the state of the global music scene.

  1. When does this turning point occur in your portrait and why?

Overall we have about three dramatic turning points or points of emotional intensity, that occur roughly ¼, ½, ¾ of the way through the piece.

  1. How does your portrait gather and maintain momentum?

As discussed above I think the flow of topics discussed adds momentum to the piece. The piece also builds up momentum by revealing exciting details such as Chris’s tour of Africa, his inherent passion for Ethiopian music and his excitement regarding interchange within the global music scene.

  1. Where will your portrait’s dramatic tension come from?

I think the dramatic tension in the piece comes from the gradual exploration of an overall topic.

  1. Does the portrait have a climax and/or resolution? Outline them.

The portraits climax is halfway through the piece when we learn about BJX and Chris’s tour of Africa and the resolution comes right at the end of the piece where Chris talks about his excitement regarding the current state of the global music scene.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson


Louise Turley gave a great lecture on “The Art of the Interview: The 5 W’s” so I decided to use it as a template  to guide me before, through and after my interview:


1. Do they have something to say?

Yes, they have a lot to say, often too much. So i’ve ended up editing a lot of it out in order to stick to the criteria. I have found though, that I can help direct them in the right direction and keep their answers brief if I guide them on what is most relevant.

2. Are they credible?

Yes, they have years of experience as a musician, a teacher and a lecturer and they’ve also completed an undergraduate and are currently completing their honours on the same topic.

3. Can they deliver on camera?

If i’m supportive, provide the right energy and can prompt them in the right direction, then yes.

4. Are they good ‘talent’?

Yes. Sometimes too good. They play multiple different interests, so there’s almost too much good material.

5. Who is my audience?

My class members and anyone with a general interest in music or short expository films.



1. What are you going to ask them?

  • When did you start playing music?
  • Where did your parents meet?
  • What instrument did your dad play?
  • What instruments do you play?
  • What do you love about these instruments?
  • What do you love about playing music?
  • What do you love about music in general?
  • What are your favourite types of music?
  • What types of music do you play?
  • How did you get into Jazz?
  • How did you get into Ethiopian Jazz?
  • Why are you controlling your honours thesis on ethnomusicology?
  • How was your recent tour of Africa?
  • What was the best part about playing with Ethio-Jazz legend Mulatu Astatke?

2. Research – reading, speaking, observing:

I’ve known this person for a long time, so I know a lot about their musical history, experience and interests.

3. Write questions: simple, as short as possible, open ending, check wording (bias).

Check. As seen above.

4. Practise

Check. I wrote out a list of potential questions prior, informed my interview subject of them, then conducted a rough interview. After the first interview I conducted a second interview, that was informed by the positive and negative parts of the first interview. This gave the video short an overall clarity and level of professionalism it may of not otherwise had.



1. Location – home? work? other? why? permissions?

At-home recording studio, M.E.S.S Studio, The Horn Ethiopian Cafe & various street locations.

2. Things to think about: light (is there enough), sound (background noise, interruptions), background (what does it say, will it change, artworks).

All four locations have interesting light, the first two are well suited to sound recording, with the latter having a decent amount of background noise, the background in all four locations are dynamic and engaging.



When you are interviewing your subject remember:

1. Brief the subject: clothing, questions & answers, repeat your question in their answer.

Non-disruptive t-shirt, and comfortable everyday clothing, that represents the interviewee. Subject briefed on questions and was great at repeating the question in the answer.

2. Maintain eye contact


3. Listen (use nods and facial expressions not ‘uh-huh’s and mmm’)

Check. I followed this advice explicitly during recording and I’m glad I did because I heard a lot of other people spent a long time editing out mhmm’s and yeah’s.

4. Be flexible/adaptable


5. Be respectful and show empathy


6. Stay focused


7. Be quiet. It’s not about you!

Check. Can hear my breathing in some takes. Creepy. Right? Haha. I didn’t end up using these takes of course..



1. Why did I interview this person?

Because they are interesting and obscure.

2. Why was the interview good/not good?

Good: I learnt new things and explored someones passion/obsession which was fun.
Bad: Learnt how long it takes to put together even a short piece of video.

3. Why did I ask this question instead of that one?

Generally speaking, because it was more specific and would more likely explore what I wanted covered.

4. Why did they respond in that way?

Generall speaking, because that is there general understanding and experience.

5. What did I learn from this interview?

  • How to be a better interviewer.
  • How to pick out the good from the bad.
  • How to encourage an interviewee to give better, more fleshed out responses.
  • How to construct a narrative from random pieces of footage.
  • How precious light is.

Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson

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