TV Seminar Self-Assessment

Television (Self Assessment)

I will say, immodestly, that our seminar was a raging success. Our set-dressing and quality of host, presentation and guests (most credit here to Lauren B, Conor and Jess) were excellent. However, to return briefly from Uranus, we were by no means perfect. The quiz portion (which was my own devising) fell a little flat in sections. Though it was an excellent way to break the ice, we definitely could have gone without the word-association segment. This was very much my instinct but by the time that had really hit home, we were 20 minutes from starting and had to go with it. The opening sketch worked really well. It was written by Rob and Conor then work-shopped with me for clarity.

Jason K was head of filming and the results were very pleasing, however, Jason should have been more proactive about getting the lighting right – which did turn out to be an issue. Still, no harm done and he ended up with some excellent material. Rueben took care of the poster, which is his mandate, owing to the highest level of photoshop proficiency. I was not 100 percent on it’s final iteration but time constraints proved to be one of the deciding factors here.

In my opinion, what made our group so effective was that we functioned excellently as a team. Everyone knew their roles and performed them to an incredibly high standard. Jess and I probably led the workshop discussions, but we were by no means the sole reason for our success. Rob and Conor were admirably restrained in their theatrics. Jess, Lauren and Michael organised some excellent guests and some even better set dressing. Evan and I took care of the quiz and I took care of the sound, which was more or less satisfactory, but significantly assisted by Dave from the B9 tech office.

One drawback was that it really put me off working in TVā€¦ Too many people telling you what you can’t do. šŸ˜‰

I played a role in almost every aspect of this seminar, for better and worse. Therefore I feel, deserve a reasonably high mark for my contributions. I think my largest contribution was in helping simplify seemingly complex scenarios, when group discussions began to wander, as well as the sound and assisting in set dressing. I hope other, key, group members are equally immodest in the personal assessments, for it would be well deserved.

87/100

 

MI2 – Seminar Critiques

Documentary

The seminar was very enjoyable, if a little slow. The CONTENT was highly relevant. The guests spoke with real panache, joy, experience and encouragement. Points about self-reliance and the just do it no-matter-what anyone says attitude, were very much after my own heart. Hearing those sentiments confirmed by people who are producing really high quality work was inspiring – getting to see samples of what they’d done was also encouraging and ignited my own desire to tell stories through audio-visual media. Their attitudes to work speak volumes for hard work and imagination.

The APPROACHĀ was a little too linear and perhaps the host could have more actively drawn out the guests. There was a certain awkwardness to having the four guests sitting in such a symmetrical way, less formality might have made everyone more a little more comfortable.

TheĀ THEMEĀ was Wanted for Exposing… Fairly safe, not too much to report.

TheĀ STAGINGĀ was quite well done, although I think it really lacked aesthetically.

TheĀ PROMOTIONĀ was adequate. Nothing to report either positive or negative.

Overall, I enjoyed the seminar a lot and found it inspirational and encouraging. One minor criticism was the hosting and aesthetic quality of the presentation.

74/100

Ā 

 

Women

Obviously, being male, this week’s CONTENT was slightly less relevant to me personally, but I went in hoping to get a good understanding of what it means to be a woman working in a predominantly male dominated industry. Especially an industry with so many female future graduates.

TheĀ THEMEĀ was relevant and important.

There was some interesting content in the beginning, a kind of quiz where we were asked about statistics on female participation. Somewhat predictably, the answers didn’t reflect the diversity that a modern society would aspire to. I found the guests wholly under-utilised and although one of them held up the tone very well, I felt that theĀ quality of questions left a little to be desired. I would have liked to see a much more fiery discussion of feminism and I think the quite sensible option of playing it safe by the seminar team, stifled the debate somewhat. Therefore, theĀ APPROACH could have been a little more audacious, especially given the subject matter. Ultimately, I think they failed to make a point beyond “women are grossly under-represented in media”. What did come through loud and clear, and to their credit, was “don’t be afraid” and “you don’t need to ask for a hand up, just do it”., which of course is good advice for everyone, male or female. If I was going to nit-pick, I would say that the guests were a bit too safe. Perhaps they didn’t aim high-enough, in terms of finding women who were truly ‘killing it’. (like Nadia Tass or Jane Liscombe)

In terms of STAGING, I liked the film-noir vibes a lot, but they were let down by the quality of discussion. There were a few sound problems too, combined with the slightly overloaded quiz.

TheĀ PROMOTIONĀ was perfectly adequate.

68/100

 

Film

And now the one we’ve all been waiting for… Firstly, where was Nadia Tass in the feminism discussion? I think I could watch her all day. She is possibly my new hero, for reasons I will explain later.

This was far and away the worst prepared seminar as the STAGINGĀ and general production values were verging on woeful. Why did they have three cameras? What possible purpose did that serve? The sound was terrible and the powerpoint almost pointless. The extremely high-powered guests and overall quality of the discussion were wonderful.

TheĀ THEMEĀ was almost non-existent and didn’t really come across at all. Failure.

In terms of CONTENT, guests and discussion, I cannot rate this seminar highly enough. Learned a lot and came away very inspired. The world of grants is intimidating, but the world of DIY is full of possibility. Making a feature film seems like the modern version of a resume. The man in the middle did seem to ramble on quite a lot. I could have listened to the people on either side of him for considerably longer.

TheĀ APPROACHĀ was a little flat, but saved completely by the quality of guests, who almost took the whole thing into their own hands. I found the host to be a little bit presumptuous with the questioning, too many caveats and long winded build ups.

TheĀ PROMOTIONĀ was perfectly fine.

If not for the production values, this would be an 88. Unfortunately, they’ll have to deal with a respectable,

72/100

 

International

TheĀ CONTENTĀ of the seminar was equal to the film seminar. Really top quality advice and inspiration from a variety of sources. Engaging from start to finish.

TheĀ STAGINGĀ was also pretty good. It looked very professional but there were a couple of mishaps at the start. The dual hosting format was also odd, but it allowed for a greater variety of questions. Ange and Simon are both quite awkward šŸ™‚

APPROACHĀ was done very well, and Ā I think they really benefited a lot from going so late in the semester. The questions really got right to a quality of information that other seminars stumbled upon, rather than owned. The hosts did an excellent job of thinking on their feet.

THEMEĀ was very confused and got a little lost. Airline? What does that have to do with the powerpoint slides about crime? Very off.

TheĀ PROMOTIONĀ was terribly over-saturated. WE KNOW ALREADY.

But you can’t deny quality…

82/100

 

Digital

The CONTENTĀ of the digital seminar was mostly entertaining, but rambled on a little bit. Unlike the international seminar which seemed to so diligently pick apart the questions from previous seminars, to get to the core of what people wanted to know, this one seemed to blow about on the wind a little. Guests spoke for too long or too short a time and, this is not the fault of the seminar-ers. but failed to cover any new ground, with so much having been said already.

I liked theĀ THEMEĀ very much. It was camp and silly and consistent all the way through. Appropriate choice of music too.

STAGINGĀ was very professional. The way they blocked out the light showed that someone had really been paying attention to previous groups. Light was a persistent problem for nearly everyone, but this team definitely pulled it off. Further, the sound was probably the best quality yet. Choice of microphone and sound-system were entirely appropriate. The cheesy graphics of the guests that were projected behind them were great.

The APPROACHĀ was quite good but, as stated, the host didn’t really drive the show with much conviction.

PROMOTIONĀ was fine.

76/100

Critical Statement – ‘I, Object’

http://themediastudents.net/themediastudents.net/im1/projects/iobject

 

Daina Anderson s3435325, Kim Olney s3327843, Ed Goldsmith s3432151, Simon Toppin s3327537

 

ā€œIt is possible to organise an entire film around colours, shapes, sizes and movements in the imagesā€.
(Bordwell, Thompson. 2013, p11)

 

CONTENT

 

The Korsakow project entitled ā€˜I, Objectā€™, attempts to take non-linear, non-narrative based theories to their logical conclusions. To this end, we deliberately avoided trying to tell any kind of story and used six household objects; chairs, mugs, fascinators, textas, clothes and lamps, presenting each object in ten different colours across the spectrum; red, yellow, pink, green, purple, orange, blue, white, black and grey. The film is a list within a list, where everything is neatly categorised and understood. Everything is only what it seems and the disparity between the objects and the rigid order of the colour system attempts to subvert any emergent narrative or subtext within the work. This attempt at authorial invisibility speaks of ā€œinfinite possibilities in combining and making connections across a networked field of elementsā€, (Frankham. 2013, p138) where the seeming randomness of the objects in the list, and their adherence to a colour code means that they are in themselves meaningless ā€“ literally any object of an appropriate colour could be substituted to replace them.
Like the medieval perception of time, ā€˜I, Objectā€™, runs on an infinite loop. By embracing the list form totally, the film aims to reduce itself to ā€œsequential notations of temporal events with no meta-historical, narrative prefiguration. So, we get a glimpse of a way of processing cultural experience that does not need storiesā€. (Ernst. 2003, p42) However, in a 20th century obsessed with stories and comprised of individual, marketing assisted narratives, this glimpse must remain fleeting.

 

ā€œAssociational formal systems suggest ideas and expressive qualities by grouping images that may not have any immediate logical connection. But the very fact that the images and sounds are juxtaposed prods us to look for some connection ā€“ as association that binds them togetherā€. (Bordwell and Thompson. 2008, p363)

 

The tension of list vs narrative is expressed, again literally, through the choice of soundtrack. The industrial and largely atonal electronic soundscape is intentionally aggressive and challenging, contrasting the domesticity of the objects in the film.
The grinding progression of the music accompanied by the infinite loop and eventual ā€˜living deathā€™ that takes hold of the film prompts the viewer to try and forget themselves, to become one with the never-ending progression of objects, to be absorbed self-consciously into an ā€œinstitutional matrix represented in timeā€. (Frankham. 2013, p139)

 

PATTERN

 

The pattern moves through a sequential progression of colours. Starting as a solid block, six different objects sit next to the previously selected object of their triggering colour.

 

A gradual decay in the lifespan of the individual films comprising ā€˜I, Objectā€™, alters the Korsakow viewing space until the form becomes repeating and static. By observing this, it would be easy to infer metaphors about the de-humanising narratives of consumer capitalism, planned obsolescence and the commodification of spaces, but this was not an intention of the film. Closer to the mark, the film is a kind of parody, expressing doubts about what Bogost calls, ā€œthe jarring staccato of real beingā€, (Bogost. 2012) that assumes ā€œreal beingā€, whatever it is, has no organising principle and therefore narrative. In other words, we dispute that any notion of story is itself a false and ā€˜humanā€™ construction. Were humans to suddenly evaporate from the planet, cause and effect would still occur, whether we are there to observe it or not, so to this end, this film is a self-conscious attempt at falsehood, acknowledging the inevitable attempts of the viewer to create meaning, while disavowing any interpretation that goes beyond the colours of the banal objects. This is highlighted through the close up shots that ā€œisolate the objects from their everyday context in such a way that their abstract qualities come forwardā€. (Bordwell and Thompson. 2013, p12)

 

INTERFACE

 

There is a limited amount to be said about the Korsakow interface that hasnā€™t been somehow addressed in the ā€˜Patternā€™ and ā€˜Contentā€™ sections. An initial test suggested that users are encouraged to follow each separate object through its ten different colour iterations. Thematically, this is encouraging and supports Frankhamā€™s claim that, relationships are formed through ā€œconceptual alignment, emotional impact, visual similarities and territories of gestureā€. (Frankham. 2013, p138)
We selected the decay rate of the videos based on what we judged to be their aesthetic value. Pens and fascinators, being the most interesting, are infinite, lamps have two lives and mugs, chairs and clothes have one life each. This will create a degree of controlled randomisation in the way that the interface is expressed. Unless the viewer follows exact paths, the interface layouts will be inconsistent ā€“ in line with our intentions. One potential drawback of the film is its replay value, and may not prompt the participant to explore the work to its end, yet this in itself may not be a problem, as the film can be started or finished at essentially any point.

 

CONCLUSION

 

Our film is very high concept and deliberately conforms to the machine-logic of modern media studies. That is, the logic of fetishized transhumanism that eschews narrative and expects that in a computerised age, humans must by necessity now resemble machines internally – as silicon based Monads – impersonal, democratised nodes of existence. ā€˜I, Objectā€™ attempts to convey the aggravating nihilism of this approach, while simultaneously acknowledging the beauty in pure aesthetics.

 

However, ā€˜I, Objectā€™, remains aware of the impossibility of removing completely either the viewer or the author from the equation, and expresses this through the juxtaposition of harsh electronic noise and boring household items. ā€˜I, Objectā€™sā€™ passive rigidity goes against both notions of randomness and narrative, (a story in itself?) yet retains the potential to tell whatever story the viewer desires. Our cataloguing of images ā€œhelp to describe part of external realityā€, (Bogust. 2012, p42) although what reality this is exactly, remains unspecified.

 

Ultimately, in spite of our attempts to subvert narrative and meaning, ā€œif the filmā€™s formal organisation has been created with care, the similarities and differences will not be random. There will be some underlying principle that runs through the filmā€. (Bordwell and Thompson. 2013, p12)

 

1100 Words

 

References:

 

Bogost, Ian. (2012) ā€˜Alien Phenomenology, or What Itā€™s Like to Be a Thingā€™. Minneapolis: University Press of Minnesota. Print.

Bordwell, David, and Kristin Thompson.(2013)ā€˜Film Art: An Introductionā€™. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill.

Ernst, Wolfgang ;MĆ©choulan, Ɖric (Editor) ; Cisneros, James (Guesteditor) ; Garneau, MichĆØle (Guesteditor) (2003) ā€˜Telling versus Counting? A Media-Archaelogical Point of Viewā€™, IntermĆ©dialitĆ©s, pp.31-44

Frankham, Bettina Louise. (2013) ā€˜Complexity, Flux and Webs of Connection. A Poetic Approach to Documentaryā€Æ: Discomfort of Form, Rhetorical Strategies and Aesthetic Experienceā€™. PhD Dissertation, University of Technology Sydney.