Everyday Media

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

Tag: Workshop (page 1 of 2)

Life Of Brian

Life Of Brian is a 1979 comedy film written by British comedy group Monty Python

Jokes.

After spending the last couple of weeks organising our audio essay, today within the workshops we were given feedback from jesus christ Brian Morris. Up until this point our audio essay is essentially a written essay that is being read aloud, much in the academic style. After listening to a number of other groups audio essays it was our turn. We dragged our laptop over to Brian, him sitting on one side of the desk, us sitting on the other “much alike Charlie’s Angels” I joked, Brian said “it feels more like an awkward job interview”, we all laughed. As Brian listened to our essay, we looked awkwardly at one another, each time that person was speaking, they’d have a funny face on as they listened to themselves. We all kind of had the feeling that: this audio essay is good.. but still pretty lame, Brian however was much gentler on us and gave us some great advice as summarised below:

  • It might be nice to mention that Disney has made an attempt to ‘change’, as there is a lot of talk regarding ‘the new Disney films such as Frozen and Tangled’.
  • Even if you don’t agree with that statement, you could set it up as “A lot of the discourse surrounding Disney films suggest that Disney has made an attempt to reconstruct it’s highly gendered narratives, but is that really the case..?”
  • Don’t keep it too neatly wrapped up, you can state that Disney has made an attempt to change, without it undermining your argument.
  • State your argument clearly and round it out by the end of the essay.
  • There’s a nice opportunity in the intro to add in the Disney princesses voices saying “I’m Jasmine, I’m Ariel, Hi I’m Cinderella” enhancing the idea that Disney keeps doing the same thing over and over again.
  • You can have scenes play out at a lower level in the mix, therefore you don’t have to waste time listening to an entire scene by itself.
  • A Ted Talk or an online version of an academic speaking could replace the tradition interview.
  • Add more texture to the intro and the conclusion sections, whereas the body can be the dense info.
  • There is a high pitch noise in the recording, that seems to come from the recording environment, therefore you should try and edit it out.

Receiving this feedback from Brian was great, I think he touched on a lot of points that we were secretly worried or thinking about, so it solidified to us that these parts need to be worked on, before the final version. Based of off Brian’s feedback we decided to re-record our audio in order to eliminate the hum, but we will also re-word it to make it sound more like a casual three dimensional on air conversation, much alike a podcast rather than a dry reading of an essay. We also want to reference the point that Disney has indeed attempted to change, but rather that it has not been enough, hopefully adding enough to our argument to convince the listener of our point of view. We will also hopefully find a good Ted Talk to use as well as go through our Disney clips in order to find some appropriate sound bites that will add texture and add emphasise to the arguments we will make throughout the audio essay.

Coming back to the Life of Brian aspect (even though I did only make that pun based off the similarity in names, haha), but I guess for us students, lecturers and tutors become a kind of messiah, or touchstone. A person through which we get to receive valuable words of wisdom, through learned experience. Often within other courses (such as my Psychology degree that I studied previously) I never really got to interact one on one with lecturers, or the people who shaped the course I was studying. So I think it’s really great that we get the opportunity to have our tutors and lecturers listen to our work. It also really allows us as students to make sure that were on the same page as the tutors and lecturers, regarding expectations for assignments and the coursework in general. So I really hope that receiving feedback and interacting with our lecturers will continue throughout the rest of the course.

Also if anyone hasn’t watched Life of Brian, you definitely should!!

 

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

 

La-La-Louise-Land

“Sometimes I prefer to drift off into la-la-louise-land”.

Within this weeks workshop we had to present our ‘work thus far’ on our Project Brief 4, which essentially is a summation of the resources found and used within our annotated bibliographies. I thought this was a pretty brilliant way to engage the class with other students ideas and topics.

As we went around the room, one group presenting after the next, we learnt of each persons individual influences as well as the direction of the upcoming audio and video essays. After each group presented, each group listening had to ask at least one question. By the time we got to the group whose topic involved video game play, I couldn’t think of a question, but instead thought of  a statement: Have you looked into how video game platforms have come to shape other platforms such as Zomato or Urban Outfitters, by copying their model used to encourage audience interactivity and engagement? I was really interesting in their topic and I wanted to know more, I wanted to add to their project. I really like this process; coming together as a group, discussing each others ideas, being told about influences and influencing each others back. I think it fits perfectly within this new mode of Media Studies 2.0 as well as new conceptualisations of ‘audiences’ and audience engagement.

By the time it was our turn to speak I was so into it, when I finally spoke I was like “blah, blah, blah” and “this author said this, and pointed out this connection, which is crazy because.. and I never had any idea it was so serious”.. I answered every question thrown at me, like I was desperate to inform ALL to inform EVERYONE as deeply as I could about our topic. I kinda realised on reflection that I’m really into this.. and I’m really into sharing, which is pretty cool cause sometimes I prefer to drift off into la-la-louise-land.

This was only heightened by my group members strong engagement with the topic, adding just as much material as I did to the conversation and probably even more, answering questions in depth and covering issues i’d missed. Sometimes things just work and I’m glad that with something as stressful as your final project for one of your main courses, that I feel this engaged, heres hoping this continues.. haha.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

Smashing It Out

Last week we were put into groups for our Media 1 final assignment: Project Brief 4, and I must say my group is pretty damn good.

Within the first couple of days after being put into our group we had already decided what our assignments would focus on. Via Facebook chat Camilla linked us a video essay about representation of women in Disney princess films and it only took myself and Holly the five minutes it took to watch the video to realise that this was something we really like to delve into.

This has been especially helpful considering that next week our annotated bibliography is due. I know a lot of groups are using the annotated bibliography as an ‘exploration phase’ but having decided on our topic, this enables us to find really great articles, that are specific to our area of interest, that we hope to utilise within our video and audio essays.

Currently in the workshop we’re all working on finding great articles, we already have about 10 linked in our google drive, as well as a bunch of ‘cool resources’ that we deem relevant to our topic. I’m pretty excited to go forth and delve into the Disney princess franchise, from the articles I’ve read so far there’s a lot to discuss. I’m also someone that never grew up watching much Disney, especially the Disney princess films, I spent more time skateboarding with my twin brother and eating mud. So it’s interesting to read about and see the effect these films have had on the children, who grew up on a steady diet of Disney films and the way that has effected their understandings of gender.

 

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

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

http://www.mediafactory.org.au/nicole-tsolakkis/

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

http://www.mediafactory.org.au/eve-gailey/

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 –

http://www.mediafactory.org.au/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

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

A Tutor A Day

A tutor a day, keeps the anxiety away?

Having a tutor, is probably one of the best elements of the Media 1 course.

In the weekly workshops we usually discuss the weeks readings and lectures as well as complete workshop activities that often get us to practically engage with the content we have learnt about that week. All these things about workshops are pretty great, but I think the best thing about the workshops is having a tutor, and not just any tutor, but a great tutor, we have tutors who are engaged, have a load of media experience and knowledge and are always available to guide us when we need it most.

This week within our workshops we got the opportunity to talk about our project brief 3’s with our peers and tutors. As my tutor slowly made her way around the room, going from student to student, talking to each person about our own intricate problems and inspirations, I began to realise that I was anxious. I was so anxious and nervous about my project brief 3, that as she made her way around the room, I literally sat staring at my computer, to anxious to work, just waiting for her to get to me.

This was an interesting experience for me, being someone that often just ‘get’s on with things’ and doesn’t really stop to think about how I’m feeling. I came to the realisation that if this opportunity hadn’t presented itself to me, I probably wouldn’t have asked my tutor for advice or help, I probably would’ve just sat down and got on with it, but when I got given the opportunity I realised that I really wanted the opinion of someone exactly like my tutor.

As she slowly made her around the room I mulled over the questions I was going to ask, and the problems I would present:

“I’m not sure which direction to take it..”
“Well my subject is into this, this, this, and this.. I’m not sure if I should focus on this or this, or that and this?”
“But where is my three act structure? What can be the ultimate resolution?”
“Is this topic relevant?”
“Should my stock footage explicitly relate to what I’m saying?”
“Is it daggy if I mention this?”
“Do you think this setup looks good?”

As I slowly got my questions and problems out, she began to calmly answer each one, writing her notes down on a piece of paper, then handing it to me at the end. It was like a helium balloon, tied down by a string, nervous anxiety, and being set free with the cut of string, calming reassurance.

I know where I want to go and I know what I want to say but I’m so glad that we have tutors to calmly point us in the right direction.

Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson

Blue

University students are a funny bunch of people. For the most part, they’re a funny mix between adult and child. We’re in that halfway stage between; home & moving out, amateur & professional, easily distracted & focused and exploring what we want and finding out. In ‘BLUE’ I attempted to explore this tentative balance between the considered, focused university student and the sociable, explosive and random inner kid. A link to the video can be found below:

BLUE from Louise Alice Wilson on Vimeo.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

 

 

RMInTerview

The main reason we do workshop activities is to improve or skill, or to be exposed to new concepts and technology that we may have never encountered before. This was definitely the case for this weeks workshop, I could feel my brain doing things it had never done before. For this weeks workshop we had to do conduct an interview with a fellow student about a particular topic area, ours was: What I like about RMIT city campus. For my interview I was partnered with Jocelyn – http://www.mediafactory.org.au/jocelyn-utting/ – we had a pretty great time together and managed to complete the entire activity.
The first problem we faced was finding a suitable location for the interview. We decided to head to building 80 to find a nice quiet place, to ensure our audio wouldn’t be tainted by other sources of audio. We managed to find a quiet room and began recording pretty quickly. I decided to be the interviewer and Joss decided to be the interviewer, which makes sense as she’s a great talker with a bubbly personality.

Quite quickly we managed to come up with some great questions and some interesting responses. We had some pretty successful recordings for the formal interview, the most successful actually being the first one. The audio for the formal interview can be found below:

For this first interview we placed the microphone close by on a table situated between myself and Joss, we did a test run for the levels, making sure that weren’t clipping then we began recording. We listened back after each take to ensure that the levels were a-okay and that there were no interfering sounds. Overall it was quite easy to achieve good sound quality, as the space was pretty well suited towards it. We then decided to leave the quiet room and interact with the campus to obtain interesting soundscapes for the non-formal interview.

To obtain interesting soundscapes we decided to conduct the interview while heading towards the elevator, to continue the interview while inside and to continue it further once we were out on another level. We thought this was a great way of making the campus, it’s accessibility and great design a physical element of our production. It also gives a great feeling of movement, energy and lax attitude that matches with the vibe of us and other university students. We wanted it to feel like a recording done by uni students for uni students and we think this was achieved. Our most successful recording for the non-formal interview was the second one, but I combined elements from the other recordings to round it out and to use certain lines that I preferred over others. The audio for the non-formal interview can be found below:

For the second interview it was slightly harder to get good clean sound as we were going around and talking. The background audio (i.e. general hum of noise in the background) varies slightly when changing from outside the elevator to inside the elevator, to outside again mainly because of the acoustic differences in the spaces as well as the number of sound sources present. It’s also harder to keep the mic at a similar distance from myself and Joss as we were both walking, thus bobbing around. Overall though I think we managed to get a pretty good recording and I really liked the sound of students and general campus sounds in the background. It helps to underline the premise of the interview as well as clearly distinguish that we are in fact at the RMIT campus.

Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson

Premiere Pro Is A…

Premiere Pro is a… great editing program? annoying as all hell? brilliantly made? annoyingly formatted?

I think i’ve thought all of these things about Premiere Pro and probably all within the same editing session, but here’s hoping that me and Lynda can make it through. And by Lynda I don’t mean my imaginary friend, but rather a helpful online learning tool that provides video tutorials guiding you through almost any topic you can imagine.

For the last three weeks during the Media 1 workshops we’ve had to use Premiere Pro to work on our current project briefs. Originally this started with me struggling through the download process, but then getting it, then struggling with the first stages of sequencing, then getting it, then struggling with the first stages of editing, then getting it. So hopefully if I continue on with this trajectory I will slowly get everything about Premier Pro even if it’s an arduous process at first.

Currently I’m attempting to delve deeper into colour correction so as to further enhance the visual beauty and balance within my shots for Project Brief 2, I have a rough understanding of it, but could definitely be a whole lot better. It seems like each of the people within my workshop understand a different thing about Premiere Pro, maybe thats means if we all combine we can make one good editor?

Hopefully by the end of this year we’ll make twenty three good editors rather than one?

Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson

Beauty Inherently Lies

Haiku’s by nature create art through the fusion of dissimilar themes. I wanted to show that urban spaces do this to. People often see urban spaces as ugly, disparate, concrete spaces. So within my Haiku video I decided to focus on the vivid; colour, beauty and art inherent in urban spaces.

My Haiku video consists of a string of fifteen shots, each lasting for just under two seconds. The transition of each shot is in sync with beat two in the music, which is highlighted sonically by the snare drum. Every time you hear the crash of the snare, the shot transitions to a new image of urban beauty. Each of the shots focusses on a specific element whether that be the interplay of colours, compositional complexity or unintentional art.

The haiku itself is presented through on screen text reading:

Urban sprawl invites us
Colour breathes life into space
Beauty inherently lies

HAIKU from Louise Alice Wilson on Vimeo.

This project was extremely interesting and rewarding as it allowed me to further explore the notion of beauty in the everyday or beauty in the most unassuming places. I now feel slightly more comfortable with Adobe Premiere Pro, however it’s still a bit quirky, so I look forward to using it more in the future. Getting used to the notion of becoming a regular media maker is hard, but also extremely rewarding, I feel that my mind is more on the lookout for possible things to film, or possible new projects, due to this constant engagement with creative activities. So I wonder what my next project will be…

Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson

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