Today, we had to present Project 3 to a panel. I seriously don’t know how people who present without a script can deliver their presentations so naturally. I’ve decided at the start of this particular course that I wanted to try presenting without one too, because to me, these presentations are like pitches and not an academic presentation. As usual, my nervousness decided to screw with me and caused my mind to blank out again which unfortunately made me cut what I had to say short. As a result, I forgot to mention what I’ve discovered (though to be honest I don’t think it should be considered a “discovery”). What I’ve discovered is that what we’re doing is best suited for sampling. Sampling as in allowing people to “have a taste” of a traveling experience. I can’t quite explain it very well but it’s very similar to Jonathan Harris’s The Whale Hunt.
To tell the truth, I decided to at least practice what I was going to say for the presentation the day before. I would say the same thing over and over until I was sure that it was stuck in my head. Unfortunately, it seems that doing that doesn’t actually help in my case after what happened. So I decided to do a bit of research and I learned that doing this will instead make you FORGET what to say because your brain is switched to memorization mode. In other words, my brain was so set on trying to remember what I had to say (word for word, or at least similar to it) that I wasn’t thinking about the key points I had to make.
I guess next time I’ll just write down the points on a memo and use that to help me remember. I’m still not cured from the anxiety/nervousness you get before a presentation though.
For this sketch, I was planning on using Periscope or Meerkat. Unfortunately, these apps were not fully developed for the Android so I couldn’t quite explore this idea with my Samsung S3. So I went with another app called Stre.am which I recently learned was developed before Periscope or Meerkat, but didn’t quite take off. Anyway, in this sketch, I streamed while walking around a lane near Flinder’s Street that’s a popular destination for tourists because it is known as Graffiti Lane. Think of it as a street art museum. After I finished streaming, the app didn’t provide a playback of what I just streamed. However, I anticipated this and selected the option to save the broadcast into my phone.
Personally, I knew that in order to engage with the 3 viewers who were watching, I had to talk…to my camera. Because this is what most streamers do and why most people watching streams, because they engage with each other (the viewers can leave comments so they can “talk” to the streamer). My mind knew this but since I’m a self-conscious person, my heart found it hard to do it. I was afraid of getting looks from the people in the lane, and there were a lot of them. So the result is quite….sub-par. If only the location had no people. If only.
Following up from Sketch 1, we wanted to see what would happen if we shot short videos in 10 minute intervals and use them to make a video.
Honestly, I think as a video, it doesn’t work very well because it seems too haphazard for a video to me. I couldn’t really get a definite sense of place. I think if we were to turn them into WebMs, which is a new and better versions of .gifs because they have sound, and put them into a library then it would turn out better. Unfortunately, this format is not supported by a lot of websites, so I could not test this out.
This sketch had more to do with a different way of taking a video of your journey. I found that holding up a DSLR to record is very tiring and can potentially cause sore arms. Using your phone instead would avoid the problem however, you wouldn’t be able to personally experience the journey because you would be focusing on your phone. A Go-Pro would be a better alternate but what if you couldn’t afford it or didn’t want to get one? I could also get a small body camera but since I didn’t want to get one specifically for this project, I went with the next best thing.
Introducing, Pocket Phone! Simply activate your phone’s video recording function and put it into your breast pocket. Don’t have a breast pocket? Well, tough. Issue number one there.
Another issue is that it’s vertical. There is a lot of stigma attached to videos that were shot vertically because they aren’t as visually pleasing as videos that were shot horizontally. This is because the field of view is very limited.
This method of collecting data and documentation is hassle free since all you have to do is just leave the phone recording in your breast pocket. However, because it’s shot vertically and it’s very shaky, I highly doubt that it would be a success.
I’ll be honest and say that I have a poor memory when it comes to remembering places I’ve been to during my travels in other countries. My recent travel to Hokkaido, Japan, for example. I can only remember specific points during that journey. Sure enough, I could have brought a journal and wrote down the places I’ve been to and what happened there, but what if I only wanted to know where I’ve been to and have photos or videos to help me remember those places?
This brought us to Moves, an app that acts as a tracker and uses GPS to record your movement. For this sketch, I walked around Melbourne with the app active while simultaneously taking photos and videos. The app doesn’t actually record the places you’ve been to, I actually had to input them myself. I also found that the app doesn’t record the steps taken and times accurately.
An obvious issue is that you need to have an Internet connection for it to work, so that could be a potential problem when you’re overseas and couldn’t connect 24/7. This brought about a question though, what if it could document the journey offline by having the user manually input the data? In other words, they use the app to help them easily document their journey. They’ll have to input the times themselves, and if they wanted to, the method of travel (e.g. walk or van).
The video above is an example if the app could make a video narrative out of it. However, considering that I only took a few photos and videos, I did wonder about the problems this would have if the volume of photos and videos taken was larger. Would it scroll up faster? And if it did, would viewers be able to follow it? If they couldn’t then we’d have to design a different approach. Maybe instead of a video, you could touch/click on the location icon and a library of the photos/videos would pop up. Or maybe all the photos/videos would be in view (like in the video), they would automatically play like a slideshow, and the user can scroll down to see it.
During my travels in other coutries, I found that I would rarely ever take photos of my journey. Instead, I would choose specific points in the journey where I found something interesting to take a photo of. This brought about a question, what if we forced ourselves to take photos?
We were also inspired by Jonathan Harris’s The Whale Hunt, who documented a traditional whale hunt by taking photos that “more or less matched the changing pace of [his] own heartbeat”. So for this sketch, we were wondering what we could produce if we were to take a similar approach. Instead of taking photos at the pace of a heartbeat, we decided to take one photo every 5 minutes while walking around Melbourne.
Initially, since we were inspired by Harris’s work, we wanted to make it so that it could be “sampled, where users could choose a certain point in the journey instead of putting it all into one video and not giving them a choice.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve been living in Melbourne for 2 years now but I truly believe that if I were actually travelling, be it hiking or having a tour schedule in another country, this would’ve been a lot more interesting.
I found setting up the “one photo every 5 minutes” rule to be really restrictive because during my walk I had a few instances where I wanted to whip out my phone and take a photo of something that looked interesting like a busker or a scene.
Seth showed us a video that explained the concept of “Satisficing”, a play on the words sacrificing and satisfying. It meant that you would sacrifice a bunch of ideas because you were satisfied with one that is “good enough”. Rather than focus on one idea and making it good, Seth encouraged us to think up of a bunch of ideas even if they were terrible and were likely to fail. I quite liked this emphasis on focusing on quantity because this meant that a lot of our ideas don’t have to get thrown out of the window even if they had implications or weren’t “good enough”. So, a lot of pressure has been taken off.
Try and fail, again and again, only then will you find success. #AdviceforLYFE. #NoSeriously. #CouldIGetAnyMoreDeep. #soawrigeenull #SHUTUPKIM #okay…
One issue that arose with Project Three is coming up with three ideas based on our first sketches and properly fleshing them out. We often wondered whether we were on the right track. It would be problematic if we went off course and made sketches that weren’t relevant for the project. Personally, I think we’re struggling because we focused on deconstructing Devin’s video into camera techniques and emulating those for Project Two to better understand how it was made, rather than focusing on experimenting with its form.
While I’m very happy about the fact that we managed to finish our presentation within 10 minutes because that was our main goal, I can’t help but lament on how I missed touching on a few points. This being our first presentation, I was actually using it as a way to test a different way of presenting from how I would usually present. Usually I would prepare a script to read off of during the presentation, but this time I wanted to see how I would do if I just remembered the main points and go off on that. I guess it’s a combination of nervousness and lack of preparation because in the end I did miss explaining a few points since my mind would very briefly go blank. One example: I forgot to further explain how the timelapse video I made wasn’t effective. It’s because, in my opinion, there’s nothing of value to watch in it. If I had shot it while it transitioned from day to night, it would be more interesting to watch how the scene changes. That’s what I meant by an “effective” timelapse.
Well, no use regretting over it now, it did make me learn that I should bring a note full of those points or something. The only problem is, I would most likely take a glance at it and go into a pause to try to collect together my thoughts. *sigh* Hopefully I’ll get better at it.
About where we’re going with Project Three. It’s pretty obvious that most of the sketches James and I did focused a lot on techniques, rather than on form. So for our next project, maybe we will somehow find a way to use those techniques to create a new form.