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.

FILM TV 1 Analysis/Reflection 5

Question 1:

The lecture covered the key and basic principles of lighting (three point lighting/how to light a scene, fill light, soft light/hard light, diffusing light). A range of equipment was also covered and the uses for different types of lights. The lecture was incredibly useful to our shoots as not only can we transfer this theoretical knowledge to our own shoots, but in terms of practicality there was a lot covered so we are able to tackle mostly any scene that needs lighting (whether it be using the natural light, such as in an outdoor scene, or if we need a specific desired effect). I know that many of the members of my group have never done any sort of lighting before, so it was definitely beneficial to them (particularly the ones on the practical side of the team) as know they possess the skills and knowledge to implement a good lighting set up. Lighting is up there with good sound in terms of how important it is on a shoot so the content covered in the lecture is definitely important and relevant to our projects.

Question 2:

The reading from week 6 about ‘developing’ your crew is only partially applicable to our project. The main factor which makes it sort of irrelevant is the presumption that we are able to hand pick and build our own crews based on a vigorous testing and selection process. Obviously, we have been put into groups so we are unable to do that for this project. However, many other aspects of the reading do still relate – the reading suggests that there should be many test shoots and ground rules should be discussed and decided upon well before the actual shoot so you have a sense of the group dynamic well before it comes time to do the project. This is, no doubt, to minimise conflict on the day of the shoot so it can run as smoothly as possible. From my own experience, I know this to be a great way of ironing out any potential conflict and getting a sense of how your group works together. An interesting point brought up by the reading is to look for people’s personal and communicational skills when you are putting together your crew, not merely at their technical ability. It’s almost as if you look at applicants as if they were in a job interview, weighing a range of factors from everything down to their experience and knowledge to their temperament. The reading is a great reference point for us in terms of actual responsibilities within specific roles – it outlines exactly what is expected of each role and what each role entails. It also makes a list of traits which make a good producer/director/ad etc etc and will help with allowing us to develop our personal traits to match the criteria.

Question 3:
There are many things that would be considered by the director prior to shooting “Blow Up”. Firstly, there would be vigorous rehearsal and blocking done for the movement of the actors since there is so much movement in the scene. It is important to have a clear idea of exactly where the actors will be at what time so the camera operator ensures that the characters are in frame when they need to be. The camera and the framing of shots themselves move tightly and organically with the actors, the camera rarely moves without intention or purpose, generally it is to capture key action/dialogue/responses from the actors. The decision as to where the frame should be and what the ‘key’ action/dialogue/responses are would have been weighed up by the director prior to filming and would be to illicit a particular response. When the camera pans it is to create more physical distance between the two characters in the scene as they walk away from or towards each other. The way in which lines are delivered (space between dialogue, pauses, intonation) and the physicality/facial expressions of the actors would also be something that the director would have put a lot of thought into and this would have been rehearsed. The way in which lines are delivered or even the way in which actors present themselves in a space has a lot of bearing on the subtext of a scene, therefore it would have been crucial for the director to have established this subtext with the actors before making the choices which he did.


reading week 9

this week’s reading is in the form of what it’s attempting to describe, a collage. there’s little seemingly unrelated snippets all about form and writing. here’s a couple things that stood out of for me (I’m not going to lie, it was kind of hard to have anything stick when there’s so many little points) –

-that not everything in story has to ‘happen for a reason’ or pertain to causality
-shields suggests reading a book backwards to not get caught up in its structure (which seems a bit silly if the book was intentionally written with a clear structure and flow to begin with)
-shields seems to hate plot. plot is mentioned several times and condemned (also hates quotes, to quote shield, 353: “I hate quotations”)
-that ‘mosaic’ fiction is an evolution from narrative fiction
-shields believes that the act of ‘editing’ is the key to postmodernism
-shield affirms that ‘nothing is going to happen in this book’.. okay this is what really bothers me about the type of work we are doing. sometimes the key function of fiction (linear, non-linear, post modern, database, whatever form it is in) is purely to entertain it’s audience. audiences enter fictional worlds to escape the ones that they are in and to be sucked into a different universe. it seems completely underwhelming to an audience to be reading a story or work where nothing progresses or ‘happens’. you can’t get lost in a work that doesn’t have some sort of progression, it’s not entertaining to read a story where nothing happens. this sort of work comes across as extremely pretentious and self-gratifying for this reason. sure it can be entertaining piecing together the parts on your own or the parts in themselves can be entertaining separately but if you’re writing without the audience’s entertainment in mind (to some degree) and you’re hell bent on disappointing them with nothingness and lack of progression from the get go then it’s almost like saying “hey man, I don’t even really want you to read this, I’m just writing this to stroke my own ego”.



reading week 8

poetic form is about openness, abstraction, ambivalence

aesthetic encounter is the primary means of expression

the spectator is able to to create relationships between non-linear segments

components are gathered and assembled in a logic that can be thematic, topical or based on place but there still remains a loose relationship between the parts

each new part adds to the overall understanding or concept but the narrative will always still lack closure or completeness

montage gives rise to new meanings out of the combination of smaller segments



film tv 1 analysis/reflection 4

Question 7

The concept of 3 point lighting touched upon in the lecture was not something unfamiliar to me but it was good to revisit the key principles of lighting as it was something I had completely forgotten about. It’s amazing how you forget about such basic things and terms such as “key light” and “fill light” if it’s been a long time since you have made a film. It’s very easy to think that you can just turn up at a location and shoot without changing the lighting whatsoever and it’s interesting to point out that on shoots I’ve been on in the past it often took a lot of work just to make the lighting look ‘natural’. I distinctly remember having to stand next to a light with a big diffuser during one shoot so the light would bounce onto the actor and look more natural. Often the task of lighting is to be completely unnoticed. For our film there are many scenes where this will be the case, but we also want to implement very stylised, harsh lighting in the surreal sequences. Harsh lighting can have a very dramatic effect as it creates shadows and can accentuate features. While the lecture itself didn’t do much to expand on what I already knew about 3-point lighting, it reminded me of a component of a previous course I’d undertaken and the lighting exercises we did to familiarise us with the concept of hard (direct) and soft (diffused) light along with lighting the scene to look like different parts of the day. At a stage lighting course I did at NIDA many years ago (admittedly it was lighting for stage not for film, but the principles are similar) we had the task of lighting a scene to fit a brief. The scene needed to be lit several different times – one exercise was to light the scene as if there was moonlight coming through the window (for which we used a diffuser and experimented with various coloured gels, finally choosing a violet gel). The next exercise was to light the set as if it was daytime, where we used a coloured gel that had the same colour temperature as sunlight. One thing I noticed doing this exercise was that while the light itself might have looked very constructed and fake from the human eye, when you viewed the same setting through a camera it had a very different effect. Gels were picked up different as were the harshness or softness of lights. I think its very interesting that there is such a big discrepancy between what the human eye picks up and what the camera does. I suppose this is why lighting is so important on set.


Question 8 (Our Lenny can be viewed here)


Our Lenny exercise taught me a lot about the group dynamic we have and how this will relate for our shoot. To be perfectly honest, I was pleasantly surprised with how well we worked as a group and how the Lenny turned out. I was doubtful that the shots would edit together coherently, and although the shot angles could have been better chosen to cut together more seamlessly, it still wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. It did make me realise that we need to be more considerate when choosing our shots and angles and go into the shoot with a very clear idea of exactly where we will be placing the camera for each shot before attempting to shoot, we were limited by how close we could get or how far away to get the shots we wanted, especially considering we filmed our Lenny up against a wall so some things (for example a proper reverse shot for the female actor) were physically impossible or awkward to shoot. I am pretty impressed with how we all came together and the level of professionalism that was implemented on our shoot. I was 1st AD on the shoot which is a role I am quite familiar with and I believe having this experience definitely helped my team to get the whole shoot done on time. I know it is strongly advised against that a member of our team should be 1st AD on the day of our actual shoot, but I am fairly confident that if our shoot is going to be successful like the Lenny was, that I’m probably the best person to do it for our group because of the dynamic we have and how well it worked out for the Lenny. I don’t think as a producer I could sit by and watch someone else come in and 1st AD who doesn’t know the script as well as I do or understand priorities that we have made. I also know, without sounding arrogant, that I’ve had a lot of experience 1st ADing and I don’t have trust that someone else would be able to come in and do a better job.

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 7 reading

speculates how long web-based documentaries will be functional and viewable

relies on software and applications such as adobe flash which is reliant on continued investment of adobe > if adobe pulls out these projects will no longer function

key films in cinematic history will still be available in many formats, it is not likely that digital interactive narratives will be however

korsakow films are self contained and they don’t rely on links out or other media outside the film itself > can’t link out to youtube or embed videos from other links into a korsakow

korsakow films are never really ‘finished’

non-linear or multilinear narrative must be build from smaller, discrete components that will be collectively viewed in sequences

SNU’s are considered to be ‘units of narrative’

SNUs are not connected together with fixed paths