Final Reflection: Ghosts of RMIT

There was a question that Rachel mentioned near the beginning of the studio about whether we had been noticing more to do with place and space and whether the concepts had seeped into our daily lives. I would say yes. I have learned to ‘notice’ and ‘see’ more and more the concepts of memorialization, place, space, memory etc. Even making the occasional joke of whether something is a place or space.

Throughout the course the concept that I was drawn to was the connection between memory and place and even memorialization. The Paul Gough lecture was fascinating as it talked about memorialization and even the negative sides of it which it not something I have explored a lot or though about. The lecture connected to one of my favorite readings this semester that was Shelley Hornstein’s Losing Site (2011). It explored if a memory could still be recovered if the place had disappeared. She wrote that when you thinking of a museum as well you don’t think of the painting inside but you get snapshot of the monument itself. Tying into that was the power of photography and our integral it is in recalling memory. These concepts of memory, photography and memorialization helped shaped my final project. I tried to almost pay tribute to Jennie Baine’s life through my work of curating past photos, objects, archives that relate to her combined with the presence of the place. Also to connect place and memory in the sense that the people’s first thought of the court place wouldn’t just consist of Ned Kelly and Squizzy Taylor but also of another story.

It was summarized in the final Tim Cresswell (2015) Reading, Place: An Introduction. “The very materiality of a place means that memory is not abandoned to the vagaries of mental processes and is instead inscribed in the landscape – as public memory”. It was interesting how Ned Kelly and various other stories had become part of the public memory and others had been forgotten or faded away. My project was a revival of what had faded away but also even a reminder that there are many stories within one building just waiting to be found.

While rereading it I reconnected with a previous concept of the “creative touristic intervention of curating place”. I am about to head off on a long trip overseas and itt was at first a bizarre concept that tourists, foreigners’ or people not native to the place could influence the cultural identity. I had this concept that identity belonged as an internal view but forgot to consider the external forces at play as well. We as tourists also curate through the sightseeing as we chose which places have cultural significance or hold importance to that place or personal significance to us to go visit them.

One of the challenges was learning to guide my own project without having as many weekly deadlines. Taking more ownership for my own learning. Before this class, I already thought I was a pretty independent learner and took initiative to get things done however it was different having to set my own standards for what I wanted to complete each week and having a very broad area of interest to explore was hard to narrow down as well. Compared to my other classes there are more regular set reading and tasks to complete however in the studio way I think there is a guideline but also a lot of room to go the path you want. However, this is also how it will be more in the industry (or so I assume), needing to meet individual deadlines and then greater shared deadlines when collaborating.

The studio was a new learning structure to me. I think that my creative practice needs more of an emphasis on pre-production. Also I recently went to an ad shoot through RMIT and they emphasized this as well. Having a shot list and exactly what you need to do written down. For them working with a bigger budget time is money. I love the spontaneity of filmmaking as well however I think it is aspect that I would like to build up as you don’t always have that freedom in time, especially with restrictions to building access like this time round.

I think a telling moment about my creative practice was in my editing stage where I hit a few roadblocks creatively. The repetitious and consuming nature of editing can leave you mentally blocked sometimes. Being able to have other people to offer a different perspective throughout the creative practice was a huge part of helping me complete the project. This media course emphasizes the need for feedback and critique amongst peers and then reworking based on that. I will continue to use that in my future creative practices.

I found that this studio “Ghosts of RMIT” informed me a lot about my own creative practice and parts that I want to improve. While it also delving into a new area of learning about place and space. This was definitely the most investigative class I’ve had in terms of focus on theories. I’m excited to see what other studios are next to further my learning.

Readings –
•    Cresswell (introduction)
•    Hornstein
•    J.E. Malpas
•    Mason
Site Visits –
•    State Library
•    Public Records Office
•    Melbourne Museum
Guests –
•    Professor Martyn Hook (& the reading associated with his visit)
•    Professor Paul Gough
•    Abigail Belfrage
•    Jeremy Bowtell
Briefs –
•    Brief 1
•    Brief 2
•    Brief 3 (with presentation slides) slides in shared Google folder
•    Brief 4
Work in progress posts
•    Individual project

•    Group project


Cresswell, Tim 2015, Place: An Introduction, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, USA.

Hornstein, Shelley 2011, Losing Site Architecture, Memory and Place, Ashgate Publishing Limited, England, UK.

Ghosts of RMIT

Mrs. Baines Goes to Court

This is my final piece for my Media Studio 3 Class “Ghosts of RMIT”.

Title: Mrs. Baines Goes to Court

Length (Including titles): 2:51

Synopsis: A stop motion mixed media film told through a poem about an extraordinary person named Jennie Baines who went to court.

Crew: Thank you to Rachel and Linh for helping out on the day

Intended purpose of the project: To explore memory in relation to building 20 using Jennie Baines’s case to highlight what history remembers and what history doesn’t remember as clearly. Using the remnants of photos and the physical site that it took place to create a piece to bring the memory and history of her back into the present day.

Technically, the stop motion varied in pacing however I quite liked the effect it had being more flickering and jolty. I think it helped with the theme of fading memory and how little history can remember sometimes with the past pace of the photos and stop motion. There were more smooth sections that was during the ‘breathing’ spaces in the film. I’m happy that I was able to try something new like stop motion. There was a lot of trial and error and test runs before the shot day. I researched online through tutorials and information about how best to shot my stop motion. Initially on the shooting day I was going to use a release cord however it didn’t end up being compatible with the camera.

In my individual project I was working by myself mostly. I did get feedback from my peers along the way and crewing help on the day. The project starting with exploring place and space through a particular building. There was lot of initial research taken to get to the final product and even a slight detour just before the mid semester crits. My idea started to come together more clearly after we visited the public records office. I realised how much evidence and documents and history they had collected and was interested in exploring the less a known ones relating to building 20.

The process was very explore and then evaluate how it fits at the start. With my research, guided along by Abigail’s suggestions it took me down a path of exploring different avenues to find out more information about Jennie Baines, I was trying to collect all the left behind pieces. A lot of the paths came to a dead end and trying to collect what was left.

One important take away was that every project will have a different way you will prepare. This one was time consuming in the sense of researching and the actual technical stop motion. Usually in other videos and projects I’ve done there isn’t that much research needed and more in the creative development of it however this needed both and in detail. I found that a lot more time was spent on research however it was needed.

If I could improve it I think I would have tried to incorporate the documents and images into the building more. Having them more connected or intertwined would have added to the overall themes of fading memories and place.

Ghosts of RMIT

Ghosts of RMIT Virtual Tour: Melbourne Ghosts

Title: Melbourne Ghosts

Length: Depends on individual use, it’s a non-linear self-guided virtual tour

Crew: Jake Baldwin, George Downing, Linh Luu, Jackie Matthews, David Spencer, Marcus Pedrigal, Cassie Chiong and Steph Wu

The Intended purpose of the project: Showcasing our individual work in our studio ‘Ghosts of RMIT’ throughout the semester. The virtual tour is split into two individual tours for each respective building (Building 20 and Building 16)

My role involved doing some initial research, shooting building 20 with the help of Linh and Cassie and stitching together panoramas for the Virtual Tour. We compiled all our research and planning in the Google doc. Cassie and I mapped out the path way for building 20. In post production I ordered all the clips and stitch together the panoramas using photoshop.

The Virtual Tour hasn’t been completed yet and we still have to import in the remaining clips and panoramas. However I think that it was a great way to showcase our work and the building while also exploring augmented reality and place.

I found that this was a completely new aspect that I didn’t have much knowledge about. Definitely opened up my eyes to the work behind technology like virtual tours and how expansive media can be. Also the importance of having skills even if on a basic level in different areas.

In the industry I think there is room for presentation media like a virtual tour. For example in a gallery, museum or even schools use virtual tours. Also, what I didn’t think that much about beforehand was presenting media/projects because usually we just show them on our laptop or something more basic.  Although I think that aspect of presentation was emphasised more in this studio and put just as much importance on how it is displayed as well. For example needing to organise the end of semester presentations and but also through the virtual tour to display our work has been a great learning experience.

A lot of production houses or even individual/freelance media makers have digital portfolios to display their work. I think it say something about their aesthetic and style and there is more freedom to how their work is viewed opposed to just a YouTube/Vimeo account for people to scroll through.

I found the idea of augmented reality to very new as well. Finding out about things like Google 360 and even using the Google Cardboard was great.

I think the Virtual Tour combined with the website will showcase our work in a way that reflects the concepts that we have been discussing in class, our teamwork and our individual pieces in a cohesive fashion.


Getting a different perspective

I went to go to editing suites at school with the aim of finishing off my final edit today. It was day three/four of editing and I needed another opinion on my work. Being the only one looking at my work for several days straight I started to question the choices I had made and  I think I got stuck in this tunnel vision view of my work.
I knew Jess was going to be editing there as well so we decided to critique/provide suggestions/give feedback on each other’s work. It turned out being a very productive session as I needed to see if from an outsider perspective my work flowed and transitioned smoothly. And Jess needed some feedback on her narration.
I really needed to step back and look at my work as a whole cause I could get carried away on certain details and not be able to see the whole picture. Definitely getting anther viewpoint helped get a better view of the overall work.
The final edit is nearly done. Just a couple touches to the ending – putting credits in and Jess even suggested end on a photo or something that symbolizes Jennie Baines as a whole and her spirit. Right now I have just a tracking stop motion out of the building.

The Virtual Tour Set Back

We have another setback. The virtual tour 360 panoramas haven’t turned it as they were meant to be because we only did the 180 degree shot of them. Definitely these minor details or couple of images make a huge difference.

We are thinking of going in on Thursday so I hope it can all work out.

This is an example of one of the 180 Degree panoramas.



Editing: In progress

I am getting to the end of my editing process. I am a little behind schedule as I hope to finish off most of it today and to only have a couple touch ups to do up and till Friday. However I’m a little under the weather and its definitely taking a toll.

I am still thinking of cutting the piece down. The voice over is in a poem style and has a rhythm to it that fits to the mellow music. With the music it was hard to find the right balance because I didn’t want it to be melodramatic or sad or upbeat but somewhere in between. The music from my main inspiration (see below) was definitely a bit more sad than I would want my piece to be but it was a good starting point.

Inserting the photos into the video has given it more texture. Some of the stop motion isn’t perfect and as smooth as the other parts however I do prefer it with some flickering and jagged movements.

I’m not entirely sure how to end it right now, originally I had it to go in reserve down the hallway with the credits rolling. However I have changed the script and need to see if that still works.

There are still some parts of the voice over I might change tomorrow because its not always correlating with whats on the screen.

Getting to the last week of the project I’ve been reflecting more and more on the process. I definitely feel that it was something completely new for me and I’m glad that I tried it. I think my planning stage should have been more thorough though because I felt that I could have threaded more of the themes into the story using motifs, objects, metaphors etc.

Here was my main inspiration: