Project Two Presentation

Our group has chosen to analyse Art in The Streets as an example of online video practice. Art in The Streets was written, directed, filmed and edited by Julian Melanson, a young aspiring videographer based in Los Angeles, California. Julian is the artist behind the popular YouTube channel DRNTube and has progressed in the field of video production from originally making skateboarding videos with friends, to a professional level videographer. He primarily creates artistic videos and promotional videos, having produced material for DJ DIK, Harlequin, American Gentlemen Magazine, IVI Vision and many more. The footage for this particular case study was captured partly throughout the streets of Los Angeles, as well at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Art In The Streets was produced in June of 2011, commissioned by and Levi’s for display at the Museum of Contemporary Art itself in the Streets exhibition. For this reason, it was not specifically designed for online video but uses the network for distribution and accessibility.

In regards to form, Art In The Streets presents elements that correlate with the genre of skate video, however how brainstorming demonstrates that Art in The Streets is also not a typical skate video. Instead, contextualising this work indicates that Art In The Streets fits a hybrid form of skate video and informative documentary.

The piece intends to contrast two artistic practices: graffiti painting and skateboarding. This contrast highlights the similarities between the art forms in terms of the suppression the two practices receive, as they are both stereotypically associated with unlawful behavior. This contrast, along with other stylistic techniques also celebrates the compelling nature of both practices. Therefore the narrative form presents a celebration of graffiti painting and skateboarding for their artistic value, in spite of the stereotypical negativity the two art forms receive. Simultaneously, many aesthetic techniques are employed in the case study to create a non-narrative form particular to the unique hybrid form of skate video practice and informative documentary.

We have designed our 10 sketches to analyse how the case study functions as a hybrid form of skate video and informative documentary. Furthermore, 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 both a narrative and non-narrative structure.

It is important to note that BMX video form and culture relate almost identically to skate video form and so BMX riding has been used in many of the sketches as a substitute for skateboarding.


Presentation Notes:

Sketch 1 – Film Burn Transition

What makes a particular film burn more effective in regards to constructing a non-narrative?

  • Super 8 camera
  • Sporting + music videos
  • Blend two images for seamless appealing transition
  • Stereotypical in skate video – expectation
  • In case study – film burn is not narrative but aesthetic – form visual relationship
  • Non-narrative
  • Smooth flow
  • I’m interested in what makes a good film burn
  • So did sketch – can tell more active and variable
  • Disguise cut + create visual flow
  • More stagnant – no good – sped up active film burn


Sketch 2 – Transition Rhythm

How does the speed and rhythm of the shutter transition effect the form?

  • Middle of video – museum
  • Shutters + audio make rhythmic pattern – non-narrative
  • Shutter is too fast – no narrative connections
  • Aesthetic appeal through appreciation for rhythmic relationships
  • Interested in how its premised on non-narrative
  • What would happen if increase the length?
  • Explain sketch
  • Try to form narrative – sporadic unrelated – no narrative is formed
  • Relations are formed in skate video for non-narrative direct relation to rhythm – screen times


Sketch 3 – Acknowledgement of camera

Does acknowledgement of camera effect the form of the case study?

  • Standard skate video – camera observational
  • Creates realism – would of happened – designed for no camera influence
  • Case study being hybrid – interviewee – participatory
  • Intrigued to explore effect on form
  • Explain sketch – event filmed twice – 1 partic – 1 observ
  • Clear contrast simplifies relationship camera ackn has with narrative form
  • When camera acknowledged narrative realism is lost in the sense that it appears staged
  • Camera will always have some influence
  • But observational form is designed to appear as if no camera
  • Skate video is observational
  • Doco is participatory
  • Case study is hybrid
  • Parts that acknowledge camera structures the narrative through the lens of the camera man
  • Parts without camera acknowledgement structures the narrative around observation
  • Case study balances both to create unique form


Sketch 4 – Perspective of narration

Does the perspective of narration alter the form?

  • 1st person can be biased and misleading
  • 3rd person generally more accurate
  • Way the case study functions as a hybrid form of both perspectives
  • Adds documentary value to skate video
  • Through first person reliability is lost
  • Changes narrative structure


Sketch 5 – Hybrid Form

Does combining two different types of video together in one video (making a hybrid video) make the form more effective?

  • Case study combines skate video with graffiti art
  • Although stereotypically associated with each other this forms different areas of video practice and the combination creates a unique hybrid form.
  • Excitement of bmx riding with vibrancy of street event creates a powerful representation of celebration
  • And creates a new hybrid form that alters the appeal of the skate video form
  • Developing an alternative aesthetic form unique to hybrid video practice



We have learnt that the case study employs many particular aspects of video production such as the film burn transition and the shutter transition to create an appealing aesthetic and rhythmic relationship between shots that is grounded in non-narrative form of skate video. However, simultaneously the case study can now be understood to present a unique hybrid form through the way camera acknowledgement is experimented with, the perspective of narration is varied throughout the piece, as well as the way a combination of skate video and informative documentary form have been utilised to structure the narrative form, whilst creating a unique hybrid form of video practice. Our group is particularly interested in the way the case study has redefined the structure of skate video as a particular example of online video practice, as well as how a hybrid formation of video form can be such as powerful practice of online video. For project three we will most likely explore hybrid forms of online video more specifically, however not necessarily in regards to skate video as we are more interested in where we can go from here if we extrapolate our discoveries from project two into other areas of online video practice.

Sketch 5 – Hybrid Forms

Does combining two different types of video together in one video (making a hybrid video) make the form more effective?


Thus far, it is clear that Art in The Streets employs elements that do not necessarily align with the conventions of skate video form. Furthermore, the important presence of graffiti art video and documentary conventions highlight that the case study does not function as a typical skate video but rather a hybrid form of skate video and informative documentary as noted before. Interestingly, the form of the video is greatly manipulated through this process and a unique narrative structure arises through this combination of video form.

Similar to juxtaposition, combining one type of video with another creates a whole new meaning that is often more powerful and engaging than either standalone pieces. Juxtaposition is about comparison, whereas to create a hybrid of two video types means the two forms combine to make a powerful structure and aesthetic. In the case study, the combination of graffiti art and skateboarding communicates a narrative structured around a celebration and appreciation for the two suppressed art forms. However more interestingly, the hybridisation of skate video and informative documentary pose a unique form that holds aesthetic value.

I was intrigued to explore the result of combining skate video with a completely new type of video. Thus, this sketch explores the hybridisation of skate video/BMX video and event promotion. This combination surfaces a new form as the skate video becomes illuminated by the addition of the street event footage. The excitement of the BMX riding is combined with the vibrancy of the street event to create a sense of celebration and community in both the form of the narrative and non-narrative. Moreover, the narrative form becomes structured around notions of community and friendship, whilst simultaneously the celebrative qualities and vibrancy of the street event contribute an additional element of non-narrative; the connected narrative can also not be the intention but rather the aesthetic appeal of an exciting and celebrative non-narrative structure. Therefore the case study has implemented a hybrid form to not only add artistic value and aesthetic appeal, but also expand the form of the video to extend the reach of this example of online video practice.

Sketch 4 – Perspective of Narration

Does the perspective of narration alter the form?


In video, narration can be found through many aspects including but not limited to the way shots are ordered and presented, as well as how sound is manipulated. However the most traditional form of narration is speaking conducted by a narrator. Art in The Streets features a first person perspective narrator in the form of an interview with a local graffiti artist in Los Angeles. The graffiti artist speaks of his passion for his art work, which comes across in a relatively boastful manner. I began to think about whether the content of the interview was reliable and if a first person account of events is more trustworthy. Extrapolating from this, I start to think about what a third person perspective might do to influence the form of the narrative. For this reason, this sketch presents two contrasting examples of narration from a first person perspective, as well as a third person perspective.

Normally, if somebody is to tell a story about himself, they have the opportunity and natural tendency to be biased and exaggerate. Conversely, the third person perspective involves a distant narrator telling the story, which is conventionally more likely to be more accurate. So in regards to the case study, the form of the narrative is structured around the content of the interview. This means that although the interviewee may appear a suitable character to narrate, through the first person perspective the content can be distorted and reliability is lost. Without reliability, the narrative threads become loose as the narrative form is structured around bias.

To illustrate my point as clearly as possible in the sketch, I chose use a different script for each perspective so that the exaggerated differences between the two perspectives could not only illustrate the potential difference between first and third person, but also highlight the unreliability of the first person perspective.

Sketch 3 – Camera Acknowledgement

Does acknowledgement of camera effect the form of the case study?


Another aspect of skate video form that I noticed when analysing the case study was the acknowledgement of camera. In the form of standard skate video the camera often operates from an observational point of view, refraining from participating with the situation but rather capturing the events from a ‘fly on the wall’ perspective. This functions as an element of realism as it would appear as if the captured situation would have occurred regardless of the addition of a camera. In other words, the camera does not influence the cause and effect chain of events captured. Regardless of the amount of camera acknowledgement in any video example, the cinematographer and camera will have an influence on the situation to some extent. However observational video form is designed to disguise any presence of camera. Being a hybrid of two forms, the case study also features elements of an information documentary, where the subject directly addresses the camera and the presence of the camera is therefore participatory, as opposed to strictly observational. This indicates a contrast between the two forms and intrigued me to explore what effect this technique had on the form of the video.

To do this, I made a sketch which contrasts two examples of the same event, captured once with the camera being clearly acknowledged and thus having a presence and participation in the event. As well as captured from an observational point of view, without any acknowledgement of camera. This clear contrast between the two clips simplifies the relationship camera acknowledgement has with narrative form. By acknowledging the camera, the situation becomes staged and any sense of narrative realism becomes lost. It instils doubt in the viewer’s mind about whether the events seen on screen are a result of the cameras influence and to what extent this alters the cause and effect unfolding of events. This is an important factor when considering the form of documentary video as it completely redefines how a narrative is communicated. Moreover, whether the acknowledged presence of the camera influences the form as opposed to an observational account of on screen events.

This sketch explores the dramatic difference between the effect created by the camera having a participatory as opposed to observational presence. Without acknowledging the camera, the footage appears more realistic in the sense that it wasn’t purely performed for video capture. This observational perspective correlates with the stylistic form of skate videos, however to address the camera suits informative documentary style. As the case study exists as a hybrid of both forms, this sketch explores how both methods can be used to create narrative structure. For example, it is clear that by acknowledging the camera, the narrative becomes structured through the lens of the cameraman himself and the influence of camera becomes the integral factor of the form. Whereas without acknowledging the camera, the narrative is structured in accordance to an observation of events. This creates a form undisturbed by the presence of the camera and appears as a more ‘real’ representation. As a hybrid video, the case study balances both techniques to utilise the effective elements of both styles.

Sketch 2 – Rhythmic Transition

How does the speed and rhythm of the shutter transition effect the form?


During the case study, a segment in the middle of the video features a collection of footage presenting the museum of contemporary art. These images are transitioned by a shutter of 4 – 6 x 0.2 second long clips in between each shot. This transition, in combination with the audio used creates a rhythmic pattern that also functions as an element of non-narrative form. The shutter of images is too fast for each image to be identified or understood, meaning a narrative cannot be formed by creating connections between the imagery. Instead they present an aesthetic appeal that constructs a non-narrative form for the viewer to gain an appreciation for rhythmic relationships between shots.

I was interested in the way this transition was distinctly premised upon a non-narrative formation due to the speed at which the shuttered images filled the screen. This got me thinking whether or not increasing the length of each shutter image would have a direct effect on this non-narrative form. To explore this, the sketch employs a variety of narratively unrelated recorded clips in between shots of somebody skateboarding. The sketch involves presenting those shuttered images at a similar fast pace to the case study, as well as using the same images played at more than double the duration. This meant that the shuttered images were now visible and able to be viewed and understood by the viewer. The effect this created was that the viewer would attempt to associate the images together to build a narrative. Being so sporadic and unrelated a narrative could not be formed, meaning the sketch presents an interesting example of how relations are formed between images in skate video practice for aesthetic non-narrative appeal directly in relation to the rhythm created through the amount of screen time.

Sketch 1 – Film Burn Transition

What makes a particular film burn more effective in regards to constructing a non-narrative?


There is a multitude of different film burn effects, I was interested in what components of the film burn define its effectiveness and how that may alter the presented non-narrative. To explore this, I captured footage of my friends riding BMX bikes and used post-production editing techniques to insert a standard film burn effect template over the top of the footage. The effect template was designed by Dean Bryant and distributed through YouTube with permission for non-commercial use without copyright restrictions.

The film burn is a popular transition technique that originates from the way super 8 camera film would burn during a malfunction. The transition has been used in sporting videos and music videos for decades as a way of blending two images together for a seamless and appealing transition. The use of the film burn effect in skate videos has become increasing popular to the extent that the film burn can be viewed as a stereotypical technique of skate video. Moreover, the film burns presence in skate video is so grounded that is has become somewhat of an expectation in skate video. In the case study, the film burn does not contribute toward the narrative form of the video, however it functions as an element of aesthetic appeal. The way it blends two separate images together to form a visual relationship creates visually appealing results. By doing so, the film burn functions as an element of non-narrative, where the narrative connections between the transition and other aspects of the video are not the intentions of its presence. Rather, the film burn not only appears pleasing but also creates a smooth flow between images.

After using two different film burns between three shots, visual analysis indicates that the more active and variable film burn created the desired effect more succinctly. In other words, the film burn that moved around the most was more effective. This is because the movement in the film burn can be used disguise the cut between two images and creates a flow as one image is woven and washed into another. The more stagnant and less variable film burn is not as effective at producing the intended aesthetic. I further emphasised this discovery by increasing the playback speed of the more active film burn so that it would also move quickly and emphasise the contrast between the two film burns in regards to the flow created.

Friday 27 March Studio (Week 4) The Four R’s

In todays studio, we put into place the four R’s (RRRR) reflective practice, previously mentioned in another blog post, which correlates to one of the set readings. It was interesting to notice the degree to which the method deconstructed a particular issue. The method encourages the person writing the reflection to succinctly identify an issue, note its relevance, relate it to tacit knowledge and analyse ones ability to handle the issue. Before breaking the issue down into vital components, which are then used to provide reason for the issue to have occurred and back it up by theory. I found this part interesting because it must be a technique used to convince the writer themselves of a reason for the issue to have occurred and whether that be the case or not, the writer is now in a better position to implement a procedure to handle the issue. This indicates the importance of the reflector’s mentality during this process. Also, the four R’s are designed to assist this thought process so that the person reflecting can identify fundamental influences toward an issue, one step at a time. I will use the four R’s method in future blog posts as a guideline to help me reflect upon any incidents within the studio or out of class tasks.

Studio Issue Reflection (Week 4) Using The 4 R’s


I have found that working on project two, I have encountered a problem with addressing the form of the case study specifically. Instead I find myself distracted by the content and analysis of the content. This is relevant because the primary focus of project two is to create an inquisition about the hybrid form of the case study. I can see that 4 of the 10 sketches almost rehearse a stylistic technique from the case study and whilst exploring how the technique could be altered and what effect that might have on the video, this is not the focus of project two. Project two is designed in a way to explore the hybrid narrative and non-narrative form of the case study. Why am I drawn to stylistic techniques within video? And why is it hard for me to focus on form?


I relate this to my experience making bmx videos and general videography. So since I get so involved in the stylistic techniques and production elements of videos, I can’t help but focus on these aspects. Meaning my natural analysis of video is primarily concerned by noticing production aspects. I have noticed this tendency before in previous work in year 12 media, as it felt very natural for me to complete the given assignment of analysing a particular film for its lighting, cinematography and editing. This time the conditions are the same in the sense that I am to analyse an example of moving image, but different because the focus should be directed toward elements of narrative and form. That is not to say that production qualities do not contribute toward a narrative or non-narrative form, but rather that in my chosen case study, this is not the case. I have the ability to go through the process of continuously redirecting my focus toward the right track but I think I lack enough of an understanding about hybrid narrative/non-narrative forms to guide my focus most appropriately.


Significant factors underlining this issue are my lack of understanding about narrative forms and how they are constructed. I find myself thinking too literally about the term: narrative, to the point that my analysis of the case study tends to focus on how stylistic elements could possibly be associated together to communicate some sort of story. Therefore it is clearly very important that I develop a better understanding of narrative/non-narrative in order to re-contextualise my analysis of the case study and solve the issue.


In future, I will make sure to read up and thoroughly research the appropriate material to gain a clear understanding of the central aspects of a given task. This will enable me to direct my focus toward the specific elements of narrative/non-narrative form and help distinguish these elements from production values. Alternatively, seeking guidance from somebody who is experienced/knowledgable in the particular field could also work. If a solid understanding of the concept is formed during the early days of the given task, then the process of analysing a particular example will be less time consuming and involve less changes.

Sketches Take One… Action! (Week 4)

Today, I experimented with creating two of the sketches for project two (note: this post was published at a later date than when the content in the post is referring to). With little daylight left, a broken chain on my bike and the absence of anyone to assist in filming, I created the below two sketches.


Slow Motion

Skate videos often use slow motion to create an atmosphere or to draw attention to a complex manoeuvre. The type of slow motion that is consistently used in online skate videos is called a ramped slow motion, where the degree to which the playback time is altered is increased and decreased smoothly (think about a wave form to represent the playback curve). This technique creates a smooth transition into the slow motion and often produces a unique sound, symbolic of skate videos.


Film Burn

Transitions are one of the most important elements of skate videos and an extremely popular transition is the film burn. The film burn is a blur of red, yellow and white colour that wipe the frame, it was originated from the visuals of super 8mm film physically burning. It seems the use of the transition does not serve a narrative purpose. However due to it’s consistent prominence in skate videos for decades, it has become an expected aesthetic of skate video and therefor serves as an element of non-narrative, existing for artistic value. To explore this concept further, final sketches will experiment with different types of film burns and different uses.


Both sketches explore strictly technical elements and elements of which may refer to skate video in general rather than the specific case study. Whilst the film burn sketch will be expanded on for experimental purposes, the slow motion sketch is not as directly relevant to the case study and will most likely be removed. Meaning later planning for the remaining sketches will have to be more explorative of particular aspects of the case study from a more experimental and open-minded stand point.

Project Two Progress + Reworked Concept Statement (Week 4)

Below is a blog entry showing the progress of Errol and my project two presentation. We wanted to get all our ideas together and written down so that we could show Seth, to see whether we are on track with our approach to the project and whether our sketch ideas address the intended experimental approach the sketches seem to require.


After today’s tutorial, it has been made clear that our group is still slightly off track by focussing our analyses around a broad genre of online video practice (i.e. skate videos), rather than deconstructing a particular case study. Also, the tutor’s example concept statement really helped to identify the fact that each sketch needed to address some sort of inquisition about a particular aspect of the case study itself. We spent the next 5 hours after class, reworking our intended sketches and tailoring our presentation more specifically to one particular case study, whilst of course still viewing the case study in light of the genre of skate videos as well.


This progress, in combination with the use of  the concept statement template published by our tutor, meant the following was drafted:


Our group has chosen the online video example Art in The Streets by Julian Melanson. If we contextualise this work in relation to the studio activities so far (the mind-mapping, general brainstorming and personal case studies) it would be placed in the online video practice genre of skate videos. We will produce a number of sketches which analyse the hybrid narrative and 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 hybrid of narrative and simultaneous non-narrative form.

1. Film Burn

– The film burn is a video transition effect that has become an expected aesthetic of skate videos. Appeal for such a technique is premised on the way it can blend two clips together and create a visually appealing transition. Why does the film burn function so well as a transition and how can you know what type of film burn to use? To experiment with this technique we explore how some film burns could be more suited to particular shots than others. As well as to experiment with using a film burn to cover a cut between two shots as opposed to blending them together to see what effect that has in terms of a non-narrative aesthetic.

2. Shutter Transition

Another transition technique used in the case study features a shutter of 4-6 x 0.2 second long shots, placed between two clips. What would this look like if each shuttered shot ran for longer (duration) or if there were more than 6 clips between the two clips?

3. Time-lapse

– Is the content of a time-lapse important? This sketch will explore the different effect time-lapse has on different footage, contrasting both framing and movement within the frame. This sketch will experiment with how time-lapse can create both narratives and non-narratives depending on the content.

4. Juxtapositions

– One image/video juxtaposed with another naturally creates a meaning more powerful than either stand alone material. What happens when the two images being juxtaposed do not directly relate to each other? If a direct cause and effect relationship can be formed between the two juxtaposed images, then a narrative is formed. Whereas if the association between the two shots presents an indirect/thematic relationship, a non-narrative is formed.

5. Music Selection

How does using stylistically different music effect the non-narrative form of skate videos? Does the mood created in the viewer help iterate the non-narrative?

6. Editing to the music

– An element of skate videos that is clearly prominent throughout the case study is editing the video (forming relations between clips) anchored to the form of the music. This ties in with music video culture – *research music video narrative*.

7. Linear/Non-linear/Structure

– How does re-ordering footage of an event (presenting in non-chronological order) change the narrative form? This sketch experiments with the disjointed structure of the case study.

8. Narration

The narrative form of the case study is influenced by the narration of the interviewee. The narrative is only communicated effectively because the narrator represents an authentic character, trustworthy of being accurate/believable. This is created by his appearance and idiolect. How important is this? What happens when you use a physical attire and idiolect unsuitable to the environment and the premise of the piece?

9. Time and Space

– An understanding of narrative can be more easily understood or identified (traditionally) when the components of the narrative occur within the same time and space, or at least related times and spaces. The case study has a seemingly sporadic structure, involving a montage of different time and space. This sketch will explore what happens when a particular event is presented both from a consistent time and space, as well as an altered time and space.

10. Point of View

– The narrative of the case study is communicated as authentic due to the first person account of events. What would the case study be like if it was presented in third person instead?