Retrospectively looking back at my attempts for Project Brief 4 while I did encounter some technical issues that ultimately shifted the outcome of my piece, I am overall proud with the quality of work achieved. Initial my intention was to release an animatic storyboard of between the length of 3-3:30 minutes that would provide a tangible vision of how my script may look, and given the reliance on some visual and physical gags for my piece I believe this was the right approach, however due to some lost documents resulting in some already completed being lost and the deadline within view I decided to create a storyboard on paper rather than through Adobe Flash. I did manage to find some middle ground by scanning my documents into Flash and create a “moving” storyboard that cycled through the images on paper but that was more so as a means to show my work for either the upcoming presentation day or just for class peers and the teacher to give some variance in how the outcome can be digested.
Though my vision from a technical and presentation standpoint changed, my artistic and vision of the world did not, and ultimately I believe that it became more realised during these final stages as by making the storyboard I ended up being able to reevaluate my script several times and make some changes. One of the main points of criticism during our in-house table reads was that the rhythm of flow slightly diminished towards the end of the piece and taking this to heart I made it a big effort in the final stages to make the ending feel more resolved and elevated, however choosing to focus more on pathos and emotion rather than comedy for the final arc. I believe that this approach makes the piece feel more natural and the characters and world more accessible.
As someone who comes from a background of usually constructing worlds and narratives that are overly layered and large in scope, the most immediate examples coming to mind being my weekly Dungeons and Dragons group in which we create a communal narrative in a high-fantasy world, it was refreshing and in some ways challenging to construct a world far from what I’m usually used to, especially as I was trying to layer a political statement and allegories within it through satire and social commentary both in the narrative and the world itself.
Thursday’s presentations was a great way of highlighting to me the direction of where to take my project and in many ways, contrary to what I expected, there was not a large amount of points made by the Lucy, Michelle and Stayci, assumably accredited to the fact that my presentation was towards the end of class and at that point we were all just rushing to get everyone’s presentations fitted in. With this in mind, in some ways having less points to focus on was a blessing in disguise as it meant the feedback I did receive were obviously things that required longer attention to address or develop, my feedback has become key in helping me find my direction and will assist moving forward in focusing on particular areas people found most interesting/engaging about my presentation.
The main point expressed across all three of the assessors board was that my “piece had a large amount of originality” (Lucy) and the idea itself and “the world in which [I] had created seemed very unique and not a carbon-copy of any existing worlds” (Michelle). In many ways this was exactly what I was hoping to get out of the presentation as while I did have source material that in some way inspired my piece, most specifically the CollegeHumor webseries; “If Google was a Guy, the intent was to go with something expansive and original that allowed for me to pose questions and explore real-world issues through the lens of my piece. I was very pleased to hear that they were perplexed as to “why the idea hadn’t been done already” (Lucy) , a clear compliment highlighting the quality of the piece, and while I understand that it can be very easy to be caught up in ones own vanity with compliments, I am happy that my piece received more praise than it did persecution.
“If Google was a guy, College Humor, an insight into how computers might sound if they were seen by real people based and interacted with like real conversations, however in this case it is one sided and we are forced to feel as if we are Google in this scenario, an outsider looking in on web culture.”
As far as taking what I was told from the presentation and using that information to adjust or edit my direction, the main point for me is that I will play somewhat more on the comedy aspect, as it became increasingly obvious throughout the presentation that jokes that I made, which I expected to not garner any kind of response, still managed to entertain the audience , giving more confidence to feature more of this in piece. Interestingly, expanding upon this, it seemed that the presentation itself gave me an equal amount of insight and feedback as the post-presentation feedback did, especially from how my peers were watching me and the screen and at what moments they looked most engaged from my perspective as I presented to them.
A specific moment pointed out after my presentation which seemed to resonate well with the audience were the images of “literal emojis”, the best example being the crying emoji with someone having physically taped balloons to their eyes to replicate tears, this was exactly the response I was hoping for as I really wanted to learn whether or not the physicality and visual-humor of my piece would be an area to place at the forefront of the short film, or something that is shown once or twice as a gimmick, but based on response, I know feel far more confident that it would be damning not to focus a lot of my efforts into playing out this physical side more than initially intended, meaning I now intend to have more of these moments written throughout my piece to keep up audience engagement.
Expanding upon what I have mentioned above about the correlations and balancing between humor and my vision of politicizing my piece to have a deeper meaning, particularly in the vein of Bertolt Brecht’s “Epic Theatre” as mentioned in my piece, I feel that based on responses from the presentation it may be wiser to have the piece feel like a comedy trying to explore a deeper message through satire rather than a deep exploration of communication with comedy as an element. While this might seem like a subtle shift in direction on the surface, this has been a choice that has not been made lightly and will have large consequential effects on my production process and style of the piece.
With the intention of moving onto my script for the piece, I think now is the time to begin focusing on the story of the narrative now that I have established my world, this was a deliberate intention as across the semester it has become apparent that many students have fallen into the trap of writing synopsis for stories within a world or about characters in a world rather than first understanding and establishing the world. This has been a clear point made by Stayci that even during presentations some people didn’t fully adhere to, my main intention for presentations was to see how people responded to the world and the world only, I was mostly interested in how the audience understood my constraints to the world, how it operates before moving on to a story. I believe I took the later of the two approaches well and in doing so I could truly gauge my audience to see if their response is positive or negative as especially in a piece with a scope such as mine, a lot of the ideas I want to convey to my audience will be lost if i don’t fully understand the world myself and how it differentiates itself from the real-world both figuratively and literally.
“Most Common Chat Abbreviations”, one of several videos on a list I have comprised to help myself delve as far into the extremes of digital language culture as possible.”