Week Four ; Reflection



Introduce your video work in relation to responding to the conceptual brief and the guidelines on form. 


This week we took our initial brief of looking at space & time within relation to contemplation. But extending it from the boundaries of COVID-19 and heading beyond our everyday lives. We also have an added brief for this week we’re audio or sound prompts the video we make.


I had a fair few ideas from this, prompted by noises that I generally hear in my everyday life, but don’t take notice of. A bird chirping outside, the sound of leaves rustling in the wind, or even the sound of placing a coffee cup down on the bench.


A-ha! A moment of clarity.


My love for music as a guitarist has a strong influence on my everyday life. I play guitar a lot, and I also fall into the occasional musical rut. So upon hearing that coffee cup, I heard what could be turned into something musical.


This act falls under creating time & space for contemplation to me because music is such a strong part of me and helps me work out my thoughts on processes. Music is made instantly. You need to take the time and think about the process of creation.


It’s not my usual process, and I’m not a percussionist. I normally deal with melody. So the process of creating a percussive beat is something close to home (it’s musical), but completely foreign and separate to my usual process.


What did you learn from the authoring and publishing process? 


One thing I’m learning through the process of content creation is that there needs to be more effort than just taking one shot to produce the right product. Instagram is both this world of curated content and spur of the moment documentation of people’s lives. So finding a way to cut through the filler is done through curation & workshopping ideas (or sketching). For this week I explored a few different ideas to see which I would prefer.


The first sketch for this week revolved around taking the time to listen to the sounds around us. I grabbed my phone and went around listening and filming any noise. It was a windy day, so I had shots of windy trees, a sneaky shot over the fence of our neighbours’ wind chimes & a dripping rain pipe piqued my interest. But altogether the video didn’t actually have any depth, other than a locked-off shot of something that everyone hears every day.


My second sketch came to me when I heard my housemate working out. THUD. He had just hit the punching bag. So naturally, I grabbed my phone and asked if I could try and film him. I really liked the overall effects, I had shots tracking his arm into the punching bag. Weights dropping on the ground. I also played around with having the outside wind blowing for a shot, only to be broken up by the thudding of a punch hitting a punching bag. But again, the sketch hardly explored anything beyond my everyday life.


Finally, I landed on the kitchen item drum beat. It’s interesting, it’s creative & it’s not something I ever do.


I’m also taking more notice of occupying vertical space, and central framing for on the off chance I’d like to use a 1:1 or 9:16 aspect ratio for the phone. I didn’t actually use it for this video, but I did keep my shots central. More an overall observation of when I’m shooting video for this class.


What went well? 


I was really happy with the way the overall sound came out to be. Above is a shot of the timeline as I built up the overall video and synced up the sounds of the beat to each video.


I did have to manipulate the speed of some of the videos to get them to sync up properly.



As well as playing around with the audio levels to eliminate clipping and make sure none of the sounds overpowered each other.



I also just really enjoyed playing around and banging stuff in the kitchen. There’s a couple of other items I used, but as I built them up the sound got overly cluttered and figured going for a concise punchy beat would be a better route then sounding like someone dropped a drawer full of cutlery.


What did not go well? 


Some of my things didn’t sync up originally, and as mentioned above the initial idea was a bit more complex. But I found that once I changed the speeds to manipulate timing a bit it was fine. And again going through the authoring process and curating my idea into a concise edit really helped.


I had a few shots of me hitting glasses filled up at different volumes for different pitches and tried to add a melody (like this). But the end product could surely not be called a melody (ha).


I would have really liked to make it a little bit more complex though, but couldn’t make it actually sound good with it all built up.


What could you do better? 


I think more planning at the start could have helped the idea more, I went in with a rough idea and fleshed it out as I went and building up a bank of footage to play around with. And I really wanted to add a melody through the water glasses, but the skill was beyond me.


But maybe if I actually took a drum beat, listened to it in my headphones, and play along to proper timing with it the end footage would be much more precise and punchy.


I also want to try my hand at doing a video at 9:16. I’m comfortable filming in 16:9, and I want to explore the natural aspect of Instagram a bit more.


How do the affordances of Instagram affect the way video content is authored?


I think the largest thing to think about for authoring or video content, is building a proper brand with a strong presence to cut through all the filler.


Instagram has this great UI and is accessible to everyone. So actually taking yours (or a client’s) brand and posting the content in a way that both breaks through the visual clutter, but is also correctly optimized to be found through location tagging, hashtagging, and working with affiliate Instagram accounts to share content is by far one of the biggest plays on me as I’m thinking about the authoring process for Instagram.


Instagram now allows videos in 16:9, square, and 9:16 aspect ratios. So it really opens up the freedom to film in whatever format we want. The only consideration is that by blending multiple different formats your actual Instagram profile feed does start to look somewhat cluttered.


Source: Robert J Hill, Cleaning Up instagram 



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