In this video, there are 3 different aspect ratios used. The first is 4:3 which is basically what videos of the old days used, the second being 16:9 which is what our society uses and prefers now, and finally cinemascope which is normally used for films.
To be honest, I think I shouldn’t have included the 4:3 ratio. It doesn’t seem relevant now since most videos don’t use this ratio unless they were trying to emulate 80’s-00’s media content. As for the cinemascope ratio, I found that it isn’t very effective here as it doesn’t make the shot feel cinematic. I think if the shot included people having moments together then it might have delivered it more effectively.
For this sketch, I wanted to see how a travel video would look like if a solid narrative was implemented. It’s about a traveler “teleporting” around Victoria Market.
The example followed a non-narrative structure. It’s non-narrative because a “story” isn’t presented, not quite. In other travel videos we’d normally see the videomaker talking in front of the camera kind of like a performative documentary.
In this video, the traveler teleports from her room and ends up on the street. She then proceeds to teleport near the market and finally walks into it. She explores the area while teleporting.
I decided to have the traveler “teleport” because it cuts out unnecessary bits that don’t need to be shown in the video such as walking all the way to the market. Instead of a simple cut and wipe, the teleporting effect allows for the shots to be tied together instead of it looking like random shots put next to each other.
The video looks extremely DIY because of all the shakiness and unbalanced framing. This makes it hard for the viewer to take in the scene. My poor editing skills didn’t make the teleport effect look like what I had imagined either. I imagined it looking more like a zoom, warp, fade in effect to a point of interest that both of the shots share. The first and last two shots was came very close to the idea actually. I believe if I had the proper gear like a GoPro then this wouldn’t have been a problem. Except then I wouldn’t be able to see what I was shooting. What a dilemma.
It was also difficult to find a similar “point” that both the shots could share to tie them both together. I also wished I used my hands and interacted with an object so it actually looks like it’s in first person. I had first thought about using music, but then I wanted to see what it would be like without it first since VicMarket has people playing music in public sometimes.
This sketch made me understand that the videos Devin makes are tremendously difficult. Maybe it’s because I’m a total amateur for this or maybe it’s because the time to do this project is short, I don’t know. Then again, people usually go on trips for about a week or so. In any case this stuff is no walk in the park.
The theme for this sketch was “What makes Melbourne CBD, Melbourne CBD” which is similar to the example’s “Things that remind you of Italy”. To help me with this, I secretly followed what tourists would take pictures of which were mostly statues, horses, graffiti, and old buildings with historical value. My route was A’beckett Street -> Swanston Street -> Flinder’s Street -> Queen Street. I also took a detour and went to film the lane with all the graffiti on the walls. When I was done I noticed most of my shots were taken around Swanston and Flinder’s Street. I had gotten shots of:
Uniquely designed Buildings
I filmed about 180 shots for this sketch. Only 12 ended up in the video. Most of the shots were different angles, frames and such. Some were failed shots because one: too much shakiness (I can’t let ol’ tripod out all the time), two: people got in the way, and three: things like poles and signs got in the way.
After collecting all the material I needed I proceeded to finally sit down and edit. However, I first needed music. I spent hours trying to find one that was evocative yet subtle. This was the result. Much to my surprise I had to eliminate most of the shots that were usable from the list because they didn’t “fit” in with the music. The music also had an influence on what shot should be in what order, the speed duration, and the duration of the shot itself. The 4 second black shot was also a result of it; I just didn’t have a suitable shot for that segment.
I’m beginning to suspect that most of the videos were planned before Devin goes into the field to start shooting. I mean, if music has a such a strong influence on how the video is structured, wouldn’t you first find a suitable music to use, imagine what the video would look like with that music, then start shooting? Now I wonder how this video would have turned out if I had the music first and not the other way around… Intriguing.
What I would change for this video: I would have gotten more indoor shots. It had only occurred to me at the end that I forgot about those shopping arcades in Melbourne.
What I learned from this is that most of the time buildings should be filmed in a wide shot. Objects on the other hand are usually in medium closeup or close up. This is because unlike a building, an object is relatively smaller and thus require less distance to observe/investigate. It is an exception when the object is part of a scene that needs to be taken in a wide shot.
There were a lot of day and night juxtaposition shots in the example which highlighted the day/night differences in the area of interest.
However, I didn’t want to simply shoot a building during the day and then overlap it with how it looks at night. Instead I wanted to do a 360 shot and the idea seemed fun to do at the beginning. Unfortunately, the result isn’t quite what I had imagined.
There were some issues that surfaced when I did this. One being finding a good spot to shoot a 360 shot that can really show how the city lights up at night. Another spot I could think of is the pedestrian bridge over South Yarra river but that one has high pedestrian traffic. Imagine me, sitting on the middle of the bridge. That’s narrow. I’d just be a nuisance. Most people are really polite. When I was on my shooting rounds, many would stop in their tracks to avoid crossing in front of my camera’s gaze on the sidewalk. And besides, even if I did shoot on the bridge, people who do cross would just obstruct the view.
Anyway, this sketch was not easy. What I had imagined was a 360 day shot that would seamlessly transition to a 360 night shot. What do I mean by seamlessly? I would include an object that obstructed the view, say, a pole. Then with my wizardly awesome editing skills (*cough* that was sarcasm if you didn’t catch on *cough*), when the pole comes into the frame, I would overlap the other side of it which on this video would be the left, with the night shot. However such a feat was not possible because I didn’t shoot the 360 night shot at the EXACT same spot and angle. I wasn’t going to sit there for the next 2 hours staring off into the distance doing nothing. I didn’t even bring a book to read with me. So again, lack of preparation was a problem.
I couldn’t even fix it by overlapping the frame with the F sign in it during post-production because the difference between the day/night pole’s appearance was so glaringly obvious.
Another problem was the lack of smoothness over the camera’s rotation. The video in the end seemed a bit choppy and at some point it looks like it was rotating a bit too fast for the human eye. This is largely due to my tripod’s inability to rotate smoothly. I got it for cheap though so I guess that’s fair. Thinking back on it now, if I shot this in 60FPS instead of 25FPS like I did here and slowed it down, or used a warp stabiliser in post-production, it may have looked better.
In summary, 360 shot needs a wide area to work with. Lack of preparation was an issue. Pole botched editing solution. Camera rotated too fast and choppy, I blame my tripod. Need high quality gear.
Timelapse shots are surprisingly not as easy to make than I had thought.
While exploring the city I found that the best locations for a timelapse shoot in a city tend to be places with high traffic and days with blue skies (best served with clouds). This is because if I were to shoot a stationary object with nothing moving in it, it would just be a…well…a picture. For this sketch I have juxtapositioned 2 timelapse shoots. Looking back on it I wish I shot the first one during the night as the scene seems very bland during the day. A problem with this is that I shot this in RMIT Bldg. 80 on the tenth floor, and I assume that it would be closed come night time. This means that access to certain locations with good shooting value can be restrictive. Or maybe I’m just not very good at finding high shooting spots like rooftops with free access in the city. So if you’re gonna shoot something in timelapse, find a place that’s open to the public at all times. It also didn’t help that there was a glass wall in front of my camera which resulted in the birth of that annoying light reflection flare in the video. Thanks to that I had to rely on my camera’s AUTO function be which meant I had no control over how the scene looks.
For the next shoot, I chose a nice quiet spot next to the South Yarra river. I had to move the camera several times in order to find that sweet spot (good angle, good framing, no obstructing objects) and this took a good 15 minutes. I had originally planned to shoot this part of the video as it transitioned from day (more specifically during sunset) to night. Unfortunately, my camera was on the verge of dying as its battery sat on its last bar of energy. This is totally due to my lack of preparation. Which brings us to the next part of why timelapse videos aren’t easy to make; they’re time consuming. Unless you’re shooting it in a private space or you’re not worried about letting someone nick your camera when you go to the bathroom, you absolutely have to sit next to it during the whole shoot. Of course, this is only if you’re by yourself. So if you ever plan to shoot for an hour or two, bring along a friend you trust.
A question that came to mind when I made this; why not just speed it up by increasing the speed duration? Why timelapse? I’ve done both to answer this and simply put, timelapse is better for long duration shots because it’s much, much faster than when sped up.
Narrative-wise, timelapse scenes such as the ones in my video are great as exposition shots. This is because they are framed in a wide shot as opposed to a close-up. The viewer can more or less get an idea of where they are and just how busy that area can be. It’s very important to consider how a shot is framed for a timelapse as well as how long you want it to be at the end. In our example, the timelapse shots usually go for about 5-7 seconds so I’ve chose 6 seconds as the minimum for the video.
After much deliberation, James and I decided to choose devinsupertramp’s Italy Takeover! Rome, Pisa, Vatican City in 4k as our online video example.
We would describe the example as a travel video that highlights scenic locations in Italy. For this project, we will produce 10 sketches which analyse the narrative/non-narrative form of this online video practice. Each of these sketches will focus on different aspects of the work as a way to understand how it has been made and how relations have been formed between shots to create a narrative/non-narrative structure.
1. Highlighting places/things of interest in Melbourne + Background music.
2. Aspect ratio – how is the video any different when put in a 4:3 and cinemascope aspect ratio?
3. Slider shot
4. Syncing cuts to music
5. Colour grading
7. Stabilised shot
9. Day/night cut
10. Warping/Teleportation – With the magic of editing, the traveler can teleport! Shot in first person perspective.
The video example we chose is different from the case studies we presented to the class. It’s a scenic video highlighting places of interests in Italy shot with various camera/editing techniques such as timelapse, glidecam, and slow motion. The video heavily relies on places or things of interests instead of a narrative.
Following the case study we chose to follow proved to be challenging when thinking of areas to shoot in Melbourne as there aren’t many places and point of interests to film, and the ones that are tend to have high pedestrian traffic. The lack of space to shoot these places was an issue as well because it didn’t allow certain angles for the video to be shot in and it didn’t help that there were many objects present that obstructed the view.
I found thinking up ideas that were relevant to the video example to be slightly difficult and restrictive. This is because most of the ideas that I did think up of were an original concept of its own that does not tie-in with the example’s non-narrative structure and its style. Trying to follow the example’s shooting style was also hard to do because we didn’t have high-quality, professional gear to use. This resulted in a lot of shaky movement in the videos I shot as opposed to the example’s smooth, gliding movement. However, instead of lamenting over that issue, I decided to have the shaky movement as a part of the sketch. Rather than have smooth gliding movement, I decided to have a sketch be shot in first-person perspective. The main point of both the example and the sketch is to show off the place or thing of interest.
I mentioned it before in my previous post that right now, I’m not so sure what exactly is an online video. The best way I can describe how I think about it in my head is that it’s not a completely clear picture…it’s still quite blurry. Like this picture below. I can’t tell where this photo was taken, if there’s a lot of people, and what kind of shops there are in it.
So I think this exercise will help me make the “picture” of online video in my head a bit more clear.
According to the instructions for this project, I’m to set up my own framework of 10 criteria for my chosen case study. I had to revisit a lot of the videos I’ve watched before when I was a chronic Youtube video consumer in the past to get a good idea on how to do this so after much deliberation, here is my criteria.
1. Something you can and MUST watch
How do I put this… There are many “videos” online that are just songs with a still image on them. However, I wouldn’t consider that a video because I can just listen to it while I focus my attention elsewhere.
2. Is audible and visual I know this is very similar to 1 but I thought it deserved to be its own criteria because most videos have both visual and audio content that depend on each other. Two halves make a whole.
3. It’s on the internet and it can be viewed by other people
Public or private, as long as it’s on the internet and other people can watch it, it’s an online video.
4. Original content
This is the most important thing to consider for any type of online video. Or any type of thing that involves creative art, i.e. written works and jokes. The point is, it has to be something new. Sometimes it can simply be a different spin of something that already exists, like a remix. Another example would be the,
“[insert number here] [types/kinds/things/signs] [of/that (if necessary)] [insert verb here (if necessary)] [insert subject here (if necessary)]”
“10 Things that Make an Online Video, an Online Video”
These videos are all the same in its purpose to tell the audience what the person or the group of persons in the video think are the subject’s characteristics. The only difference is how it’s delivered and what kind of subject is being used.
5. Good Quality The ones I can think of from the top of my head are video resolution and lighting. Even V-loggers spare no expense in getting a good webcam/camera and ensure that the room they’re filming in has good lighting. Those that do care about quality are more professional about the way they make it and those that don’t are probably still new at it. Videos that aren’t made professionally like CCTV videos still need good resolution and lighting so people can understand what’s going on in the video.
6. Engaging Once you’re able to get a person to watch your video, the next challenge is to keep them watching after 15-30 seconds. Is the video interesting or engaging enough to make the user stay until the end? HOW is it engaging? WHY would I engage myself with this video? Again, I think this applies to almost every creative art form out there. The videos that I know are engaging tend to be thought provoking or comedic in nature. Just knowing what the video-maker is thinking about the topic they’re talking about is interesting as well and videos like these tend to feel more informal and personal as though it was face-to-face.
7. Prepared and/or Properly Edited What degree of professionalism does the video have? Was the video was carefully planned in terms of script and how the information was delivered?
8. Educational/Informational Online videos don’t have to be educational in nature like tutorials. They can be educational if you can take something from it and make it into knowledge.
9. Promotional/Commercial Is the video promoting a product? Does it have a commercial purpose?
10. Relatively Short Length Most online videos go on for about 3 to 10 minutes. Depending on the type of content it may go on longer than 10 minutes but the typical video goes on for about 3 to 6 minutes. Micro videos are extremely short, with a length of seconds instead of minutes.
My chosen case study: I chose BriTANick’s videos because I really like watching sketches. And because they make me laugh.
BriTaNick specialize in making comedy sketch videos. Most of their sketches are very well-written. Compared to their past videos, their recent videos have higher production quality despite it being made with a group of friends. Even though it’s an online video sketch it has a high degree of professionalism in the way it was shot and edited. It’s definitely something you must watch and listen to as both the audio and visual source depend on each other. It’s also visible to others on the internet. The content is original because I don’t believe a similar video like this was made before it came out. It is not semi-original because it’s not a remix of something that exists. It has very good quality (1080p). The lighting is nicely done, we can see the actors/actresses’ faces and it also fulfilled its role in establishing moods in the “film”. The only thing that’s missing is the cinemascope format (the two black bars above and below the video). It is engaging because it is entertaining. It is comedic in nature because it’s a sketch. It is educational in a way since it gives you ideas on how to make a trailer professionally. It is not promotional because the film does not exist. It is 3 and a 1/2 minutes long so it is short in length. Most sketch videos are about 3-6 minutes so I think it’s appropriate.
I don’t think doing one video is enough because there are different types of videos I watch so I’ll do another.
Here’s one of SourceFed’s videos:
SourceFed specializes in the delivery of news but in summary form. A news digest, if you will. I think the material they used is not original because it’s news. However, how they deliver it is. The hosts can be quite entertaining in their delivery and that makes me want to watch the video instead of just listening to it. They would sometimes switch between the typical news anchor delivery form and then act informally by presenting their opinions and acting in skits. This also makes the video engaging. It is shot professionally with good quality as evident by strong lighting, good video resolution, and the fact I can see the white in their eyes. It is properly edited together because there are no awkward pauses and there are a lot of jump cuts. It is informational because I learned that a zonkey exists. It is not commercial in nature because there is no product to sell. The video is very short, going on for 2 minutes.
Okay, where to begin…
Seth talked about how important it is to reflect because it basically processes your thoughts into a form of words so that myself and others can better understand what I did, and what other people and I thought could have gone better after conducting an activity. We’ll be doing a lot of reflecting in this course because it is actually a skill we must develop as future media practitioners (and it’s part of an assessment too). We’ll be doing what’s called “practice-based research” which is a process of doing and/or making something, then recording the results and thinking about it in all kinds of angles. I think it’s exactly like conducting science experiments (keyword here, EXPERIMENTS) and it’s becoming really obvious to me now seeing as the course is called “Online Video Experiments” *slaps forehead*.
…And I’m describing things.
I have two reflection models to follow – Gibbs and Driscoll – which I’ll be using alternately because it’s more fun that way.
I was and am still curious about what this course is all about. Right now we’re only scratching the surface in understanding what exactly is online video, which by itself is actually quite broad and difficult to define. Unlike traditional media where the first things that pop into my head are, “the news”, “discovery channel”, and “T.V. shows”, it’s hard to put into words what online videos are because there are so many different types and I think most don’t have their own categories or at least, ones that I know of. This also shows just how flexible online video is because you can basically put anything together and call it a video as long as you can watch it. But isn’t that what a video is, anyway? I think it’s also because there’s so much more freedom with the internet seeing as there aren’t any limitations besides copyright. I mean, you don’t have to pitch your idea to a bunch of executives to greenlight something, you just make it, then upload it on some video sharing website and wait for people to judge if they like it or not. Another reason why I think they’re distinctive from each other is because traditional media is more formal and new media, which online video is under, feels more informal. This is because some online videos, such as V-logs, are more personal by connecting and interacting directly with the audience. Some web series like “Honest Trailers” by Screen Junkies create their next trailer video based on what their viewers recommend in the comment section.
Seth also touched upon using a “polyvocal” approach in our essays. Breaking the word up, poly means “many” and vocal means “voices”. However, Google suggests that the term does not literally refer to “many voices talking at the same time” but rather, different interpretations of a certain text. This only brings up a question, how would I be able to do this with my essay? Unless it’s a group essay, I don’t see any other way other than to clone myself and hope each of them thinks differently (but cloning is actually pretty freaky so I hope I don’t have to resort to that). Joking aside, I can think of a few ways, but I’m not sure if they’re considered polyvocal. I guess I CAN research and use the opinions of other people/professionals but isn’t that more like referencing? Can I, or rather AM I supposed to use the opinions of my classmates and reference them in my essay? Perhaps I’ll learn more about it in the coming weeks so I’ll wait and see.
Overall, I learned a lot about what we’ll be doing in this course and what online video is about especially during that mindmap exercise. The one Seth put together with the class was really informative and I only wish there was more time so that it could be completed. If there’s anything I could do differently for the next class, it’s to ask questions. The only problem with that is, I can’t think of any during class.