Blog Posts Weeks 2 – 11

Week 2
  • Organised and created a facebook group for the steering committee to stay in touch with each other
  • Started talking about our strengths, weaknesses, preferences for work
  • I suggested my own strength in graphic design and offering to handle setups and moving physical stuff around
Week 3
  • We settled on my main role as graphics/visual design
  • Started work on a basic poster design, wanted to focus on an image that evoked a feeling of triumph
  • The first being a teaser poster with minimal info and a big logo to establish a visual clue
  • This logo will be used throughout the semester’s media campaigns, and on other groups’ posters to tie them together
  • Worked on the beginnings of a main, informational poster to go up around the Uni
Week 4
  • Made finishing touches to main poster, referred to group multiple times on design and for final tweaks
  • We settled on final design and did test prints in Building 8 specialist printing
  • Began a poster run on weekend for main poster around Uni buildings, mainly 9 and 8
Week 5
Social Media
  • Seminars beginning this week with Social Media
  • Did another poster run for our final poster.
  • Covered cafe in Building 8 and the stairwell and library, swanston street entry to building 10, more in building 9, and building 94
  • These posters were A2 sized and provided much better visual coverage than A3
Week 6
  • Not a whole lot, pretty quiet week
  • Started designing a larger poster for printing to better display the event each Friday
  • Designed a taller, thinner version of the poster to get it printed on an X-Banner stand from Officeworks
  • We plan to print both of these this week
Week 7
Women in Media
  • Printed huge posters in lieu of X-banners, much easier and cheaper
  • These were A0 size and made for a great visual signage to show off the seminar
  • Put them in Building 80 just prior to seminar on main entryway and glass doors
  • Helped Women in Media group bump set pieces in and out
  • Picked up some gear for the group during bump in when they had left it behind
Week 8
  • Another quiet week
  • Considering further poster runs, to confirm availability with others
  • Helping bump in and bump out
  • Checking on remaining groups’ visual designs prior to their own poster runs
  • Advised on these posters to try and ensure a more cohesive visual design was completed
Week 9
  • Couldn’t make it to seminar this week
  • Stayed in touch with group, but not much I could help out with as most upkeep was taken care of
Week 10
  • Not much needed to be done without seminar in the week
Week 11
International Jobs
  • Helped bump in and advised on seating layout
  • Began discussing brief details for Week 12 presentation and what we will speak about to the cohort

Brief 3, Week 7

Working Title
(YouTube Annotation Map)

This piece plans to use photographic images and audio within YouTube, using it’s hyperlinking annotation feature, to create an interactive user experience that explores the visual presence and timelessness of the Former Magistrate’s Court, now known as Building 20.

Users will be presented with a starting point image on the corner of Russell and LaTrobe Street, and from there be presented with hyperlinks to investigate architectural details, or move around and into the building’s interior.

Ever since moving to Melbourne I’ve always been fascinated by the timelessness of the buildings, and the anachronistic atmosphere set by the contrast of old and new.

This project is one that is concerned with memorials, and remembering. It focuses on the presence of architecture, and how it acts as a kind of temporal gateway. Walking through the streets of Melbourne you can tune into the vastly different design paradigms and styles, and experience a kind of temporal schizophrenia; time doesn’t seem to have a strong grasp on how the city continues to grow and be refurbished.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 12.13.48 pm

Building 20 is simply one example of a structure that still stands after some 90 years, and has the privilege of being considered a Heritage building, and hence refurbishment by local architects, maintaining it’s facade while also keeping it fresh.

I plan to research further into the refurbishment of this building, particularly on the details that architect Peter Elliot considered before taking out the refurbishment.

Draft images, an audio mockup, and video simulation of what I plan the final product to look like can be found in this google drive folder.

Current targets for research and recording further material include:

  • Further investigation into the final platform, YouTube’s capabilities and limitations, and whether alternatives can be considered: April 25th – 26th
  • Research into the architectural influences of the building and pertinent details to focus on: April 25th – 26th
  • Research into court cases significant and otherwise for further context: 28th April (State Library, online), 20th April (Pulic Records Office)
  • Research into refurbishment, and Peter Elliot (architect) including potential email to ask for clarification in details of his approach to the design: 25th – 26th April
  • Confirm that courtrooms are empty for second shoot for extra photographic and audio material: April 25th – 26th
  • Second shooting day: May 2nd – 3rd (weekend if possible), if not, 5th or 7th
  • Further processing of images: Coming weekend, days following
  • Compile first drafts for uploading  May 9th – 10th

Pitch Notes

  • What is the idea?
    • A meditative photo essay studying the visual significance of the Former Magistrates Court, now known as Building 20. Meanwhile, audio pieces will accompany the images to illustrate the timeliness – or rather, timelessness – and historical significance of the building by invoking sounds of last century and the modern city.
    • Interactive elements will allow a user to navigate through the series of images & audio and view them at their own pace.
  • What will it look like?
    • Images will be tightly composed and considered to display the most pertinent features of the building’s exterior and interior.
    • Photography will use a mixture of wide and tight shots, to focus in on architectural details.
    • Emphasis will be put onto processing the images to bring out particular colours and shapeliness of the design, final images will not be so much realistic as embellished to better appreciate the visual presence of the heritage structure.
    • Audio will be minimal, and will aim to primarily create a mood for each image or section of images. For example, aural details such as horses and carriages, and trams will help place the image in time, or perhaps throughout it’s time, by mixing sounds both old and new.
    • Contextual information for each image may be included as a part of the image’s description, or perhaps as a part of each images aesthetic. This textual information would be minimal however as to not draw too much attention away from the visual aspect of the final piece.
  • How will this style be achieved?
    • The equipment being used is simple and nimble: Canon 60D with an 18-55mm & 50mm prime lens. The zoom lens provides wides, while the prime offers excellent frames for detail. A H2n zoom recorder will be used to record available sounds and foley, which will complement public domain and archival recordings in the audio pieces.
    • Software will include Adobe Lightroom for image processing, and Adobe Audition for audio editing and mixing.
    • While sound will be restrained in it’s execution, images will be processed to bring out the colours, textures, and shapeliness of the building’s architecture.
  • What platform will it be hosted?
    • Currently I am considering drawing on a quirky use of YouTube’s annotation system wherein each image can be rendered with the audio as a video, and sections of interest in each image can be highlighted as hyperlinks. By uploading images as these videos a private network of videos can be created so that users can navigate all of the videos like a virtual space.
    • YouTube makes for a lightweight and widely appropriated platform too that can be embedded and shared very easily and hence is very well future proofed as a perk. Embed settings can remove the title and playhead to make for a cleaner experience also.
    • This approach can however be clumsy in it’s execution, so other gallery/audio websites are being considered such as a blog that allows for full screen images and autoplay sound such as the more graphical blogging platform tumblr.
  • What work has been completed so far?
    • One location shoot has happened that yielded 80 photographs to be processed, of which a handful have gone through a first draft so far. Some areas of interest such as the courtrooms were being used during this shoot so a second trip will be organised when these spaces are free to photograph the remaining areas
    • Some sample audio has been looked over using (a very useful website along with for user generated public domain material) to accompany images, but the bulk of the sound will be picked once more photographs have been processed to match them.
  • What research is required?
    • More investigation into the capability and limitations of YouTube, and other blogging platforms, is needed to determine what the final platform will be.
    • Some further research into the Romanesque architecture that the building was designed with in mind is required, to provide myself and users some context of the style and type of architecture being viewed.
    • Details of significant court cases trialled in the courtrooms will be fleshed out to provide further context also.
    • Some research on, and if possible a short interview with, the architect Peter Elliot who carried out the refurbishment of the building to garner more details on how he approached the refurbishment, and how it respects the significance of the original building.
  • How will it address the theme of places and spaces?
    • I want to address the question of “Why do we remember?”. As Paul Gough came and spoke to use he talked about why we build memorials, and I’d like to, with this project, explore the beauty and significance of heritage design and the history that takes place within it. There is a strange timelessness to buildings such as this one, especially in Melbourne, and to consider that it still stands with all of the history that took place in and around it astounds me, and in a way, I hope this project will also in it’s own way memorialise the building.

Analysis Reflection #5, Question 2

Overall I am happy with what I’ve learned this semester. The main thing I feel now is that I didn’t feel as inspired to make the documentary as when I started it, whether that came from the time constraint, the challenges involved, or the idea itself I’m not entirely sure. From the outset the idea was meant to be experimental and a little left of centre, so the chance to play around with ideas was definitely enjoyable. I think if I were to take something from this project it would be that I’ve learned how important pre-production is, particularly in terms of themes and visual direction. We had a good idea of these things, but I think we weren’t immersed in them enough to end up with a fully cohesive final product.

During the process though I’ve had plenty of ideas for other documentaries, lots of short ones that I’ll put together in my own time with some ideas I didn’t get to fully follow up on in this project.

Analysis Reflection #5, Question 1

Still 1_Original

Still 1, Original

Here is the first still, of the upper half of a window on the Northern facade of Flinders Street station.

Still 1_B&W

First I simply put a black and white filter on the clip. Like a lot of the clips in the documentary, it is a still one, and the purpose of the black and white is to draw attention away from the iconic colour of the facade to encourage focus on the shapes and lines of the image.

Still 1_Bold


The second grade increased the saturation a bit, and mainly altered the lighting effects. Bolder, darker shadows help accentuate the lines, particularly the joins in the stucco, as well as the curves of the curly bits above the windows. The colour is preserved a slightly intensified to keep the iconic feel of the facade.

Still 1_Colour


The intensity of the colour in this third grade was intentionally a bit over the top, just to see what effect it had. The red and the yellow stand out, but more interestingly, the green of the window frame becomes more prominent. Greens on the structure are usually connoted by the dome, but rarely other parts of the structure as the yellows and reds usually dominate, as they still do in this still.

Still 2_Original

Still 2, Original

Still 2_Bold


This first grade, like the lighting grade in the first still, was a simpler one of making the shadows deeper and more pronounced, and while the saturation is increased I focused on bumping up the green in particular using the colour corrector to try and accentuate the patina of the dome.

Still 2_Saturation


Like the saturation increase in Still 1, this still was a bit silly but had some interesting effects. Unlike the yellow and the red of the facade, the blues and greens of this shot are brought out, and it acts as a refreshing contrast to the otherwise warmer colours of the other shots.



Analysis Reflection #4 Question #4

I liked some of the points in Jeffrey Ruoff’s essay on sound in Documentary. Even in the opening paragraphs he points out that location sound “makes discrimination between sounds difficult, if not impossible.” This is something I’m interested in experimenting with in the documentary I’m helping make this semester, and rather than relying on location sound I’m interested in building soundscapes that speak more to the thematic concerns than the visuals. So far, no location sound has been used at all. This works primarily because our documentary is one that is more concerned with the abstract.

The section on music also seemed very relevant to this. He explains how music “comments on the action, providing an editorial perspective for interpreting the images.” Music is a very powerful tool, especially when it comes to documentary and images that we can more readily identify with as real. Of course the copyright concerns can complicate things, but the option to network with independent musicians and producers is a fun option as it gives you a chance to explore music communities too.

We’re going to be using a friend’s track in our documentary, which saves any copyright issues, and has allowed us to learn more about local music producers which is far more interesting than simply paying for a copyrighted song.


Analysis Reflection #4 Question #3

This clip made me think immediately of Man with a Movie Camera. I noticed some recurring shots, such as the man handing out tickets to people. The editing seems fairly random, as is the footage which looks like it was shot on the fly. It’s interesting that people don’t seem to care as much about the camera despite looking directly at it, as people today would be wary of a camera filming them.

Like Man with a Movie Camera it seems to be getting at the rhythm of city life, or life on a particularly busy street. I think the camera was used with such abandon to depict the street as it felt, without much structure or direction, and with attention that darts around as much as the people do. The editing helps achieve this too, by cutting with no concern for continuity or spatial awareness.


Analysis Reflection #4 Question #2

The Ripple Delete option using Shift + Delete is very helpful when putting together a rough cut to remove chunks of footage without having to move proceeding footage around as it pulls everything in front of it backward to cover the area deleted.

I’ve found the use of the Arrow Keys andShift + Arrow Keys very helpful when fine tuning the positioning of a video clip or image in the preview monitor.

Control or Command + N is handy when a new sequence is needed quickly, usually if I want to experiment with an effect of clip layout without risking the original sequence.

Control or Command + U is helpful for saving edited clips in the timeline as separate clips to be used later on, as a way to save stages of edits in that particular part of a clip rather than hunting down for effects or part of a clip later.

‘Shaped By Time’ | Korsakow Film & Critical Statement

Shaped By Time by Anita Ganju, Thomas Hatchman, Alan Chiew, and Jake Baldwin 
Download via Dropbox link (FTP server unavailable from University network)

Critical Statement

This Korsakow film is a conceptually driven piece, which aims to explore the human experience of the aging process. Shaped by Time uses mini-narratives that follow unidentified characters to portray a fatalistic attitude that, with age, people are gradually confined into their lives – socially, physically and structurally. The film adopts elements of a traditional three-act structure in the sense that the audience is obliged to experience each act separately, and in chronological order. However, due to the database structure of the Korsakow program, the film does not rely on the same cause and effect chain that a conventional narrative would. Ultimately, Shaped By Time has aimed to present an alternative linear narrative within the database format, by embracing the “absence of plot” (Shields 2011, p.324) that can be experienced with interactive documentaries. According to creative nonfiction writer David Shields, a lack of storyline “leaves the reader room to think about other things” (2011, p.324), which hence describes Shaped By Time ’s intended engagement with its audience. Whilst Shaped By Time embraces the “collage” (Shields 2011, p.314) structure within each act, the overall linearity and strict chronological structure of the film contradicts Shield’s concept of the “literary mosaic” (2011, p.334). This is accomplished by forcing the user to experience the film from its beginning to a predetermined end, thus enforcing the “resolution and conclusion”, which according to Shields, is “inherent in a plot-driven narrative” (2011, p. 318). This has been achieved through the technical manipulation of the SNU rating of each clip as well as the key words used. In keeping with the film’s central theme, each act represents a specific age range, with transitional clips that serve as abstract ellipses so as to not disorientate the audience with the jumps in time. Similarly, each act relies on its own pattern and design elements, whilst maintaining overall pattern-based consistencies such as the sole use of close-ups, the limited 10-15 second time limit of each clip and the visual focus of each clip on shapes – as the film has assumed a perspective from the experience of shapes in everyday life, thus symbolizing the idea of our lives being ‘shaped’ by time.

The audience is guided into act one of the film with the first transitional clip of a hand flipping through pages of sketches that each depict certain stages of life, until stopping on a simple sketch of a child. The contextual significance of all of the transitional clips is their reflection of the conceptual impermanence of life and the inevitability of the ageing process. The symbolism of both the faint, apathetic sketches and the fast flipping of the pages, represents the evanescence of life, as each clip shows a transient progression into the confinement of old age. In terms of pattern, these clips are vital to the structure of the piece and subsequently the user’s awareness of the film’s linearity. These transitional clips also add texture to the piece, as they are colourless, static shots that use basic shapes to depict the figures of a human – from birth to old age. This was done so to separate them from the primary content, yet to also draw the audience’s attention to the significance of their role within the film, thus allowing users to experience the film as one collaborative piece. For example, the final clip of a sketch of an old man in a wheelchair being torn from the notepad is used to end the film. These clips represent the driving concept of the film and keep the audience on a chronological track. Moreover, from a technical standpoint, the transitional clips have been used to move between thematically determined in and out key words that lead the user through the predetermined three-act-structure.

Thus, it is evident, that the initial transitional clip alerts the audience to the point in the narrative’s life span that the first act is exploring. Youth. Users are free to explore each clip in this act. 10-15 second clips have been taken from the first person perspective, outdoors in a playground and indoors in a playroom. The content of the clips are based around the idea of leisure, as the character explores the narrative spaces around him with liberal camera movement in brightly lit, colour-saturated environment. The cinematographic qualities of these clips have been matched through the use of the ‘Maven’ filter that was applied to the clip via the image sharing application ‘Instagram’. This application was used to constrain the sizes and overall format of all of the videos used in the film, so as to maintain the collaborative nature of the work. When observing the patterns within the ‘Youth’ act, it is evident that each clip, within the playground scene, is initially based around abstractly shaped playground equipment. Through the manipulation of key words within the film, the audience is allowed the freedom of having a great number of options to choose from in terms of progressing through the scene. This structural liberty aims to compliment the concept of spacial and social freedom that is embodied by the clips. Similarly, a variety of shapes, such as rectangles, squares and circles have been used when designing the thumbnails of clips that surround the SNU, to again reflect the creative freedoms of childhood. This is further supported by the interface design, which clearly lends itself to the aesthetic presence of the film and correlates with the interactive user’s intangible experience. More specifically, this refers to the clips being scrambled and potentially overwhelming, which in conjunction with the variety of shapes, aims to create a sense of boundlessness for the users, as each clip seems to be “competing for a place” within the scene (Shields 2011, p. 316). The second transitional clip to guide users out of the youth act has been given the lowest SNU rating in order to allow users to experience all, or at least the majority of the clips from this section before moving onto the second act; a technique that has been applied to each act.

The second section of the film introduces users to a less fragmented world of structure and detail. It is clinical and restrained, and the shapes are sharp and direct, there are also less of them. These aesthetic patterns aim to reflect a loss of freedom from the last act, with more definitive occupational and recreational focuses that indicate the stage of life that is now being depicted: middle-aged adulthood. In contrast to the first section, where the shapes are larger and rounder, here they are smaller and more detailed. The film is now indoors, and footage frames life with a sense of confinement. The shots in this section of the film are office and apartment based, focusing on shapes that are thematically focused and aim to convey a sense of structure and control. For example, the office-based videos focus on office items such as circular posters, square calendars and computer keyboard buttons. The reduced pace of this act creates a controlled rhythmic pattern, which works with the interface design to symbolize a significant loss of freedom. For the user, this is experienced through the content as well as the actual interaction, with the reduction of thumbnail options provided on the interface. The juxtaposition created between the shots in the first act and the second act is vital in expressing the overall meaning of the film as a montage (Shields 2011). The reduction in vibrancy of colour contrasts, pace of film, thumbnail options and spacial freedoms all work to emphasize the film’s idea that we become confined into our lives with the passing of time.

In an attempt to further this concept, the third act explores the final stage of life. Old age. This act has a more focused narrative then the previous acts, representing the idea that life has slowed down. Suggestions of confinement and entrapment can be identified in the scene located in a chemotherapy day unit. Cancer, as a chronic illness, in conjunction with chemotherapy treatment are both associated with repetitive routine, restriction and an intangible slowing down of life. Cancer is commonly associated with the ageing process, and Shaped By Time has honed in on the psychological, social and physically imprisoning experience of such an illness that is often felt by elderly people, to emphasize the key concept of the film. In terms of pattern, clearly defined shapes and the intense focus on simple moments within each clip aim to limit visual exploration, yet heighten the abstract meanings being conveyed by each clip. Similarly, the choreography of each clip creates a measured rhythm with carefully considered actions, presenting a limited perspective. For example, the clip showing the elderly man’s hands opening the packaged sandwich uses a simple action to express the character’s sense of entrapment and inability to function freely within his controlled environment. This restrictiveness is further emphasized through the user’s interaction with the film. The interface design, in this final act, restricts the audience through the limited number of thumbnails that appear with each SNU. The user is also encouraged to feel a sense of depletion through the image of the dying tree in the background of the third act. Again, the meaning of this image is founded through the juxtaposition through the images used in the first two acts. The audience is presented with a saturated image of a healthy tree in the first act, which was reduced to a more trimmed back tree in the second act, and thus allowing this final tree serves to indicate to the audience the key notion that age limits any living creature’s inability to interact with the world around it as freely as it once could. Each clip in the third act express their messages metaphorically, more than thematically, as they are representing a stage of life, yet are also indicating to the audience that this is the finale of the narrative – this is the emotional and conceptual place that Shaped By Time will leave its audience.

“By incorporating materials that are inextricably linked to the realities of daily life, the collage artist establishes an immediate identification, both real and imagined, between the viewer and the work of art” (Shields 2011, p. 364). Shaped By Time has aimed to frame the human experience of ageing within typical social and physical environments in order to create a relatable experience, for users. The actions and visuals of each clip represent Shield’s notion of the ‘real’, yet it is the orchestration of this linear collage that aims to express the imagined –the theoretical ideals regarding the intangible experience of ageing from the perspective of western modernity. It is interesting to note, the perspective we took, as filmmakers, did not involve our current stage of life. Consequently, the film portrays a subjectively, and thus potentially distorted, interpretation of an age that has been (youth) and the ages that are yet to come. This distortion of reality through the “assemblage” (Shields 2011, p.359) of each act, intends to encourage the interactive user to actively engage in a contemplative manner.

Shields, D 2011, ‘Reality Hunger: A Manifesto’, Vintage, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, New York

Weekly Response | Week 5

Rascaroli’s article on the film essay was intriguing, but seemed to be a little narrow minded citing only ‘major’ films and legendary directors. The film essay – I assume that is an essay in video form – seems like it could apply to much more than simply 90 minute films.

I regularly watch videos on YouTube – of lengths varying from 8 to 15 minutes – that explore an idea in a logical and musing way. Two particular channels are Vsauce , and PBS Idea Channel.

The presenters cite many scholarly sources for the ideas they present, as well as non-scholarly ones, to follow a line of thought that doesn’t always necessarily reach an end point, but thoroughly elucidate each point.

While these are not peer reviewed pieces, they seem to have a strong affinity to what the traditional essay aims to achieve, that is, explore and share new knowledge, or restructure existing knowledge to propose an idea.