Reflection Essay

How has my practice changed over the duration of the semester in this studio? What have I learnt?

Over the duration of this semester, my approach to the work in the studio Online Video Experiments has altered as I’ve began to better understand the method of sketching and the benefits of practice lead research.

In particular, sketching was a process I was completely unfamiliar with, and at first couldn’t understand the value of as to how it would aid me in understanding a concept or an idea. This is where the practice lead aspect comes in, as I now understand that in working through my ideas by actually creating and reflecting, I could actually learn a lot more, not only about the idea I was exploring but about my own methods and how I might improve on them. This allows me to improve not only as a media professional in terms of my own personal style and approach to tasks, but as a student within this course attempting to understand the narrative form of various online video genres through deconstruction and parody.

This process started with a case study. The case study analysis I did initially was for a video vlog by YouTuber Jack Howard (, and although it was useful to pull this video apart and understand where it fit as a part of the online video spectrum, when my partner and I joined up we picked a new case study that fit into the genre of online video review, and decided that we would pull this case study apart in a different way. What we did was pick out ten aspects that we thought were key to the genre, and figured out ways to parody them. The idea was that by sketching in this way, we would be able to make discoveries about the narrative form of the genre, since parodying is a very self-reflexive process (

A good example of how my approach to the work has changed over the course of the semester stems from how my group initially approached the task. Although we ended up with ten aspects to sketch from, initially my group planned to make ten more extensive videos exploring ten different genres. Upon reflection, we realised that this was too big of a task to take on, and so we chose the case study of online video review and worked from the script we had written out for that video ( to create the ten sketch ideas I talked about above. For us, this was a huge step in understanding the process of sketching and how it would help us to understand the probe we then set up for the next project (, and that the point of the videos was to experiment and discover and not merely to create for the sake of creating.

Even my approach to reflecting has changed. At times, especially towards the beginning of the course, my reflections were very much formatted as per a formula since I was concerned about getting the whole process wrong (, however it soon became much of an organic process and one that really did help me to move past issues we faced in generating ideas for our sketches and finding the best way to explore the probe we had created. In fact, even the probe itself required extensive reflection to finalise (, however soon enough we had a finalised probe that would aid us in determining the direction of further sketches. A lot of help here also came from reflecting on the feedback I got after presenting, something I took more and more seriously as the course went on as something that would really determine the direction my group ended up heading in ( Not only did I improve on taking on board feedback, but I do believe that my group’s actual method of presenting improved as the course went on, something I do believe is exemplified by the write up of our presentation for project three (

Naturally, the course included more than just practice based research, as there was theory that must be understood in order to inform the practice that was happening. Notes I took earlier on in the course ( ) are not so extensive as notes taken later on (, and it’s clear how my attitude towards the importance of understanding theory had altered over time. It’s also interesting to note that where in the earlier post I have simply taken notes on anything of interest from the class, the second post shows me focussing in on key words and definitions that will help me to understand the big concepts arising through the practise lead process of the sketches.

Of course, there have been times where it’s been difficult to move forward, whether as a result of  confusion as to where the task should be headed or in difficulty finalising an idea. These are the times where reflection has been crucial in finding the best way forward. Often this would include a reflection on notes from Seth (, correspondence with Seth ( and or even a reflection on the difficulties that have arisen through corresponding with Seth ( In whatever case, the reflection on how these ideas and circumstances have panned out have helped to distance myself from any feeling of confusion that may have been making it hard to move on and come to a clear and well-thought through conclusion. This is something that also improved as the course went on, as a majority of my reflections surrounding shared ideas, confusion and feedback have come with the latter part of the semester.

What I’ve learned from this course, is that reflection and practice lead research can be very valuable things to understand as a creative, and as a future media professional, and they are skills I will take with me as I venture into my third year of university, and beyond that into the workforce.

Other links to reflections:


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