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film tv 2 analysis reflection 1

2. Documentary is something that has always appealed to me, it has always been a genre where my film-making strengths lie. This semester I want to really immerse myself into the subject (unlike I have done in previous semesters) and make a documentary that I am genuinely proud of to prove to myself how far I’ve come and the skills that I now possess. I want to create something meaningful and visually pleasing that I can happily include into my portfolio/show-reel for future work, rather than just seeing the main project as ‘mandatory uni work’ and scraping the bottom of the barrel and throwing something together just to get it done and pass. From the ideas being thrown around in my class (particularly with the specific peers I intend on working with) I know that there are some really strong concepts (including, perhaps, my own idea) that can produce some really great documentaries. If I choose to use my own idea (a burlesque documentary) I will use it as an experiment for a longer form documentary that I want to make on my own some time in the future. I think that if I approach this subject with a sense of passion and pride I will get a lot more out of it than I did film tv 1 (I don’t particularly enjoy making narrative short films, so perhaps this is why I didn’t completely immerse myself in the process last semester). I also want to improve my cinematography and camera operating skills because these are still sub-par – despite the fact that I want a career where I fulfil mainly producorial roles, I still need to have some general knowledge of how to use the equipment to give myself a competitive edge.


4. I’ve heard this radio documentary before in a previous course and actually studied it, so it was interesting to revisit it years later with a fresh set of ears. The first thing about “the idea of north” that struck me again was the woman’s accent in the opening. It immediately forces you to consider context, cultural setting and consider the director’s choice to open with her testimony. I found it hard to engage with one interview when several voices were introduced, overlapping each other and swelling around one and other. This opening – while interesting – gave me the impression that the words and testimonies were not meaningful, just noise, and while I chose and pulled out certain words to focus on here and there, it was difficult to focus on an overriding concept that these voices were sharing. When you eventually do manage to focus on one voice for a little while, it is interesting to see the different subject matter and images evoked. When the original female’s voice returns without the clutter of the overlapping male’s voices there is a very strong image evoked of the ducks on the water – I quite enjoyed being transported to this place and could clearly imagine what she was describing. It was serene and peaceful. This foregrounds the overriding narration which gives the impression of a David Attenborough style of nature documentary in a very bland, matter of fact, almost clinical Canadian accent. Once again, soundscape is evoked through foley and field recordings to give a sense of distance through the sounds of train tracks and the streets and also to elude to the theme of ‘travelling’ somewhere distant. The narration that follows this goes onto discuss the types of people who might be boarding this train to the north, and gives the documentary an abstract air.  This second narrator displaced me greatly and through his tangent about the train trip I lost all interest, despite his inquisition to the types of characters that he sees on the train and his observations. His questions of where are they going, why are they going there, who are they, did not provoke my interest as intended, but rather made me get the sense of someone fluffing on about nothing. You can tell immediately from the onset of the documentary (and once again reiterated through this testimony about the figures on the train) that it is to be an abstracted account of different people’s experiences of the North.

5. While I was not present in the tute when we did this exercise, I listened to some of my peers’ exercises in order to get a sense of what the task was. Things that struck me from certain recordings were associations with the sounds and the images they evoke, along with indexical correlations between an object’s “sound” and the object itself. For example, there were sounds that were obvious to place (like the sound of the lift announcing “level four”) and were difficult to abstract. I could instantly tell what the source of the sound was and it immediately lost its whimsical quality – it became a literal auditory representation of an object, much like foley. It was easy to see how these sound recordings could be extended to literally represented a greater picture of a certain object or place. Being that most of the recordings were done around the university I attend, I continually heard familiar sounds and found myself constantly trying to figure out what their source was and transport myself to that place. I wonder if somebody who did not attend RMIT would have the same experience, had the sounds not been so familiar to them from hearing them on a daily basis.

Other sounds, however, were far more abstracted and I found myself stop trying to ‘figure out’ what the source of the sound was, rather listen to the sound for the qualities and texture of the noise itself. For example, there was one clip which was (as I discovered later after listening to it several times)  the sound of a photocopier. The sound itself had a  highly electronic quality and was almost musical in the rhythmic repetition and cycle that certain tones and textures occurred. It is interesting to see how sound can be displaced from its original source and re-imagined or contextualised to being something completely different.

int media 2 – lecture 2

How does this documentary alter your understanding of the way you use social media?

The four corners documentary reiterated just how much the data you create (through posts, photos, comments, likes etc) becomes a ‘currency’ or a ‘commodity’ for big companies. It has definitely opened my eyes to just how much these companies are able to target their advertising directly in order to cater for certain markets and demographics. I never thought about just how you are revealing about your personality, interests and associations through the way in which you interact on the online sphere.

What connections can you make with the role of a Social Media Producer?

A social media producer is like any media producer (including film and television) in the respect that they create content in the hope of getting it out into a wider sphere of reception. A social media producer is like a media producer (such as myself) as they need to consider the audience they are catering to when they are creating content and how to best appeal to the needs, desires and interests of that audience. When marketing a film or television show, social media can be implemented to further engage an audience and create interest or hype around a topic – I have experienced this very use of social media marketing in my own creative endeavours (ie. through Facebook pages advertising films I have been a part of, or through sharing music, events and photos through my band’s page).

What ideas does this documentary raise in regards to the event your group is planning and the task of achieving participatory engagement?

When planning our event, the points in the documentary being made about ‘association’ and ‘likes as currency’ are both relevant. Participatory engagement is generally achieved (as pointed out in the documentary) when you give your audience something in return for ‘sharing’, ‘liking’ or engaging in your social media event. It also would be helpful to associate with other topics, brands, pages, figures etc which would share a similar market and already have an established audience base.

brainstorm for k-film

– experiment with colour and associational tones (like a colour wheel or a chart going from one colour to a slight variation of tone in the next SNU)

– experiment with contrast rather than similarities > have one SNU linking to things that are totally opposite (in terms of subject matter, colour, texture or even framing/shooting)

– make a film that is visually interesting

– have a K film that is more about audio than it is about visual (the links between the films are about the sound rather than the image)

IDEAS & shots that would go with these ideas:

Music and counter culture
the k film would be about how music genres link other ideas such as clothing taste, interests, environments /how music genres and instruments are linked to each other (sub cultures)
eg. could start off with a shot of a guitar playing a dirty blues riff > links to images associated with this sort of music genre (maybe a shot of a bottle of spirits, an item of clothing, a gig) and then another SNU of related musical genre maybe a shot of a drum kit (which could be linked to various things and also an electric drum kit which takes on a leg of electronic music, club scene)

the k film would be in a choose your own adventure style which has the aim of demonstrating how everything is intrinsically linked and how every decision leads to a range of options and paths in life/butterfly effect sort of vibe
eg. could start out with a menial task in the start of the day like choices to snooze or not snooze an alarm, have a certain thing for breakfast which all lead to different scenarios in every day life OR could be on a grander scheme like choosing hobbies and career paths that lead to scenarios completely removed from the original situation

bizarre love triangle
a k film exploring the links and romantic relationships between various friends and people and the interests and activities that link them

week 4 readings

As I have already read (and written) the chapters from Bordwell and Thompson that were listed for this weeks readings I went through and skim read my notes and found the most relevant ones to this course. I’ve written so much on narrative form and structure in the past that I really don’t see any benefit from rehashing that all over again, so instead I decided to focus on the chapters about documentary. The notes I’d written on documentary as a form in itself helps to understand the fundamentals of documentary making before we can then go and challenge this form in making interactive documentaries and other forms which we are engaging with for integrated media.

While documentary typically presents factual information about its subject matter, there are techniques used in documentary making which are ‘staged’. While most events filmed are candid and the opinions presented are verbatim, there is a school within documentary who ‘re-enact’ or recreate events for artistic or visual enhancement. The process of editing a documentary, or choosing which parts of captured footage are presented also, in a way, detracts from this ‘truthfulness’ of the information presented. It is impossible to be entirely objective when capturing a documentary, as obviously the information presented must go through a culling process, and the filmmaker chooses only the material which will further the point they are trying to make. When capturing ‘real life’ such as a person carrying out daily activities, there is some debate as to whether this is real or constructed, as the presence of a camera and a director means that to some degree this ‘daily activity’ has already become altered – if a film maker asks the subject to go about their daily routine, this is still constructed as the subject becomes aware that this is being documented. Observational documentary is different as the film maker does not become involved in the action or instigate action happening, they have no control over the events being presented and merely observe from afar; often the subject does not know that they are being filmed. However, in the editing process some ‘truth’ in observational documentary also becomes subjective. There are many different techniques within documentary which inform genres of documentary – interview style, compilation of archival sources, direct-cinema and nature documentary. A documentary may be organised as a narrative to captivate its audience, using categorical form to form patterns within the information presented and employing formal patterning. Rhetorical form is used when a filmmaker desires to form an argument, and the information is categorised similar to an essay, where the information forms a logical flow in terms of an argument.