How has my practice changed over the duration of the semester in this studio? What have I learnt?
Our aim for Online Video Experiments was to explore how tutorial videos are constructed and see if we can create a non-linear tutorial video that would both entertain but can still be used by the end user to complete a particular task. Secondary to this we also tried to make our final project light and fun with an emphasis on the humour similar to our case study on The Katering Show (The Katering Show dissects trends in the food industry in a humorous way as well as teaching the viewer how to make certain types of foods).
We also looked at the web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Jerry Seinfeld takes a fellow comedian for a cup of coffee in a classic car and records their conversations) specifically how mundane things can be made into an event when viewed on video. In the end however our focus switched towards The Katering Show as we felt there was a greater need for further exploration in regards to tutorial video and out of the sketches we had completed throughout project two the stronger ones seemed to have originated from elements from The Katering Show.
The sketching process we adopted over the course of the semester was split into two key aspects:
- Project Two: We explored the comedic aspects of tutorial videos and with an emphasis placed on making a spectacle out of everyday mundane activities.
- Project Three: Having explored most of the content side of things we focused on the way in which a tutorial could be presented and what online services are available to do so as well as their respective strengths and weaknesses.
Once we got to Project Four/Prototype our focus was on presenting the information and how we could tie the knowledge gained in the previous three sections into a non-linear way of presenting information to the user in a dynamic way.
In the end we created the interactive mind map which consisted of a central hub video with linking videos coming off this main video explaining how to complete a particular task using the online service/presentation medium that is the most appropriate. We used YouTube to achieve this as we felt it was a moderately well-known service, has good user interaction, and allowed us to link the videos together in a quick and easy manner using annotations. By using multiple videos in various styles, this seemed to keep the viewer visually stimulated but at the same time kept the videos simple enough for the viewer to follow the process. Our use of light-hearted humour and upbeat music prevents the videos from becoming too confronting and serious and allows the viewer to focus more on the process being presented and how they might emulate that process.
From completing this project the two main things I have learnt over the duration of the semester are
- To be flexible not just in letting the idea to evolve but open to criticism even if it does not follow my image of what is right or wrong
- The idea of Satisficing which relies on creating as many ideas as possible to work out a possible solution rather than creating one idea and constantly refining it
I feel like these two concepts would be beneficial in future projects as many times people would suggest things to change aspects of my project and I would tend to dismiss them saying that it required too much work/effort rather than exploring that avenue. Also satisficing helped me to think of the project from a different angle so instead of exploring the same concept in many different ways, it allowed me to explore many different concepts without fear that they would not be correct or necessarily be perfect.
One of the areas I have found I was a bit lacking in was in the creation of blog posts. My main issue was trying to find time to post on the blog every week. I tended to keep putting it off rather than just posting in the moment. Also I feel like more of our group process should have been put into the blog rather than just stored on my laptop and written on pieces of paper such as small notes and other possible ideas that we did not implement.
Another area that I feel we needed improvement on was our organisation in regards to presentations. Although we got our concept and ideas across, I felt we could have prepared more in the way of notes as many times we improvised dialogue, relying more on memory rather than cue cards. Also our PowerPoints could have been more informative, containing additional information and imagery rather than just links to videos and slabs of text.
On reflection I feel if I were to do this project again, I would put more emphasis on creating sketches rather than constantly refining the same idea. Throughout the sketching process many times my aim was to reach the required number of sketches rather than just trying out new ideas/concepts to find out what works/does not work. I also feel I could have explored more online services other than the well-known ones and tried to use these services in a more un-conventional manner making our project more unique.
Overall I feel like I managed my time fairly well, reaching nearly all of the deadlines by their respective due dates. The final concept that we created, I feel, could be useful to others in the future, as it allows for a more open ended tutorial process and acts as a mind map on how to achieve a desired outcome. Linda and I also worked well as a group throughout the project both in distributing the work as well as bouncing ideas off each other. We also tried to incorporate our respective skills into the videos with Linda’s videos having more of an artistic element and my videos having more of an emphasis on comedy and camera techniques.