A second visit to the DMC by myself, Sonny and David was a prep for our last meeting together as we were all available and local. This was more so we weren’t rushed next week (monday the day before we go live).
In this visit we decided to rig up the finished window, and soften the edges of the frame so that the window looked more authentic. We decided to use tape and box a square around the lens of the projector to create this. We also set up the projectors we thought we’d be using including the idea to change the table setting and the way the spiral faces so that the projection can be shined onto a piece of paper on the ground. This was done with a Quime projector under a table with a hole through some sheets, fitted to the frame of the page and run on a loop.
We also decided to cut out individual words as suggested last week and integrate them apart of the central page display as the words rise less of the poem Sonny extracted is displayed until the remaining word is hell.
The poem is as follows:
Last night i wandered into hell
but i did not find one evil person
just sad human beings searching
desperately for a way out of the dark
What made these people leave?
Fathom how extreme the world would have been, to which they were forced to flee.
The intent behind their doings.
Society now, after the journey.
Sonnys suggestion about possible departure points**
The week off for a study recess however we as a group knew we still had work to do as a collective to get this ready for presentation, so we came in anyway and continued our good run from the previous week.
We spent the majority of this week making sure the furniture was exactly where we wanted it. The double sofa was alright but used a lot of space and by feedback we kinda got the vibe that it crammed everything into a corner and didn’t allow the audience to walk around the central subject. We tried a variety of abstract type set ups as well with some of the furniture, for example, Chloe tried hanging the chairs from the ceiling with rope, however, it was effective as an aesthetic but not so much creating the story or setting up a conversation between the materials. For this reason we decided to not add anything too dramatic, but to effectively place what we do have so that the space felt like it was coming forward to the audience.
The TV screens that we toyed with for a few weeks (that had the static and short video edits by Sonny and David) were no longer serving the story we wanted to inspire to the responders. We did decide to use our original intention of a projection, this time an outside coloured window straight onto the wall. This will allow our digital intentions survive the installation, whilst not creating a medium that will loose audience attention of the room. We really wanted to utilise the space and perhaps create a feeling of emptiness (using the colour white) inside and showcase the colour and urgency to get out (showcased by the colour of the window)
Sonny agreed to chat with his family to gain some content for the spiralling papers up the ceiling for weeks leading into the showcase. I believe this contextual heavy subject will only gain authenticity with these actions and provide an overarching theme to the work. Perhaps even include these findings on the paper scrolling up the work in the middle. I want to look into this being the overall theme of the works, the story starting on the ground with the original text for the responder to see, and as it goes up the paper, it slowly gets more around the room so that the story “comes to life”. We’ll see if this can be explored deeper in the next 2 weeks. Perhaps we look at the idea of it ending as it moves out into the space so that then we eventually “reconfigure storytelling” from two physical mediums, paper and space.
This week we kind of began in a place that for the first time in the semester we thought we had something decent to work with. Perhaps the split of the group had something to do with this, which is what we utilised from the week before.
The dual projector idea last week was scrapped. Based on feedback we needed to work on something absent or like a eerie feel of loss, so the idea of a room in the middle of an event that someone had basically had to get up and leave was the strongest. First thing was first however, we had to get rid of the typewriter on the LED screen. It was something we kind of found a way to showcase throughout all of the iterations because we thought it was a strong point or something that was positively commented on, when infact it was the only object that when we changed and ultimately got rid of this week, made us breathe a fresh air sigh. Once this was removed the idea of a lonely homely feel was instantly felt.
David and Sonny continued on their video editing that was going to be showcased at some point throughout the installation on a tv screen somewhere in the room, while the remainder of us cleaned up the space and rearranged some furniture we’d been given access to try and give a sense of habitation at some given point. Chloe had a stroke of genius with a whirling type paper set up that basically started from the ground and wound into the roof and spread wide as it lifted. I found a white door that could be used to really emphasise the idea of stepping into a room and that someone has left in a hurry, and being white, gave us some inspiration as to keep the room the same. We then rigged a light with a singular beam of light using barn doors on the light, down the end of the door to give an illusion that the door is ever so slightly left open with background light seeping through.
The feedback from this week was the most encouraging we’ve received and “most conceptual” we’ve presented. It’s starting to feel more like a story being unfolded into a space which is a really exciting prospect with our overall theme of reconfiguring time and space through storytelling. We tossed up some ideas of this stemming from the pages to the actual room itself. We decided that we were’t going to project onto the white out room as it was simply too hard to perfect and not effective at all if done wrong. For next week, we really wanted to knuckle down that link between the paper the space and the tv screens.
This week we basically needed to showcase something and backtrack to a piece that worked in the previous weeks and not get caught up on the idea that one thing, this thing we believed could be the deletion of the sheets, as the feedback suggested it wasn’t strong enough unless it was being used as a medium. I decided to try a different approach, this time a literal approach to try and decipher the actual motivations or the story behind the work. The feedback would send us back thinking about the subjective view of the space, and that we needed to inform the responder more than just setting out the space and asking the responder to come up with their own meaning.
I grabbed a pen, some paper and some objects and started jamming in a diorama setting. I had this idea that we could literally play two projectors across the space at one another: one with an exploration on the treatment of refugees and one with an exploration of what can happen when refugees assimilate. The treatment video would be attached to the ceiling, whilst the assimilation video would be playing from down below and when the audience entered the space, they would interrupt the video, blocking it. Whilst this video wouldn’t be visible, the treatment video or ‘the past’ would continue to play as we cannot change the past. The idea is that both the pastime of war and the current status of those affected can’t be re-written in history (incorporates the letters) but have to be acknowledged moving forward. The content then doesn’t have to be original it would be a remix of all the different implications of conflict on all nations and cultures.
Another element suggested to us was to split into groups within our formed group and come together with works that interacted with one-another. We took our own approach on this with this new creation, and basically assigned members a good, bad and audio role, whereby no one could see the works or hear the overlaying audio and we’d basically jam it all together when everyone was done. This meant the content wouldn’t have a structure nor would the audio match the visual. We didn’t know how this would pan out but we needed to take a risk this week.
My part i played around with the audio of various film trailers, songs and speeches that all had connotations towards loss, loneliness and war effects and mashed it all together. This was to accompany the montage of visuals by the other groups, however I had no idea what their creations would look like. The plan was then to stage it all in the space and see if it worked.
The feedback we received was that potentially the videos could also include information about the family that lived there and that there should be longer pauses between the clips, so the televisions were flicking on and off. We agreed with this and would like to build on it next week.
I’d like to begin with an expression of thanks to those in my BCM 212 class at the University of Wollongong for participating in the focus group I undertook. The response from classmates made this project possible and the results that made it into this report have allowed a space to be uncovered in the theorist sphere to understand the mindset of a student in Communications and Media. I’d also like to thank UOW tutor Renee Middlemost, who took notes whilst the focus group was being conducted by me up the front, this was a above and beyond effort and allowed me to have two samples of useful notes with my recorded device to make full use of the methodology. Renee and Kate Bowles time and support to all students within the tutorial and lecture, and ability to provide clarification and work to enhance my capabilities as a researcher have definitely affected the way I experience the world through a researcher’s lens.
This research project aimed to understand the intricacies of student motivation both intrinsically and extrinsically towards both starting and completing a project at university level. As a university student, my interest and corresponding curiosity into the way technology can submerge itself throughout cross-disciplinary practises and be applied to real world services that aim to improve or help a progressive society. With that, I wanted to know how those in similar university situations to me approach these tasks than can sometimes seem ambiguous or containing too much freedom. I believe that essays and projects or “digital artefacts” have a very important place in academic research, however, when one is used to compensate the others failure for the marks at the end of a subject, thats when I believe as a collective could be detrimental to the time and effort of others in the same medium.
Perhaps one of the main criteria in this overall assessment is my curiosity into the act of doing. The processes, skills and inevitably the failures that come with starting a digital project for a portfolio. Some further reading I’ve linked to my project introduction and something I want to reiterate based on the engagement and feedback from my tutor, is my passion for motivating students both new and existing, to undertake physical idea development. This is showcased through my guest speaking at a subject within communications and media, Convergent Media Practises (BCM112), whereby I love to hear the ideas from various people, and then encourage them to get in and start doing it. My curiosity almost took control of the focus group, as the questions I had prepared were quickly taken over by unscripted conversation and general improvised open questions. This is where the true interest was uncovered and indeed made the final product. In terms of considerations with regard to curiosity, it quickly lead me to start thinking about socially responsible research design. Thinking to myself, if i’m indeed creating a space that can be used by not only the students in moving forward and future assignments, but also teachers who can think about some of the points i’ve made in my research, but also outside bodies that can compare the results from my studies, to trends and workplace attitudes, my research has to be appropriately taken into account at the start of the project. I believe careful planning of time, question preparation, consistent talks with my tutor and the ability to adapt and accept any result and be reflective of this assisted me.
Critical judgment was almost something that came prominent within the secondary research component. The lack of specific information about what i learnt was a really niche question meant that I had to not only quickly adapt, but embrace the trajectory of where the research could go if given extended research time. I think the idea of my curiousity mentioned above meant that I had to be careful in what research I was presenting. A lot of the sources I was finding were interesting research but kind of alluded me to the fact that this space i’m working in is actually uncovered research, and what was interesting in fact in the project, was the trajectory to questions I was asking post-project. The idea of questioning education systems, a changing world dynamic, perhaps the relationship between graduating students exceeding or being ahead of society. These central ideas I believe is what is touched on with Mike Caulfield in his Digital Polarization Initiative,”One of our big focuses for the Digital Polarization Project has been to try to engage the curiosity of students — to get them to think like reporters rather than attorneys, as encyclopedists rather than activists. Turn off the rhetoric for a while and just delight in finding new things out.” (M Caulfield, 2017). This however, rather being applied to the research topic or question, was more onto me as a communications researching professional. Allowing me to accept that perhaps my research question initially doesn’t have an answer, but where the value sits is within the conversation and voices to do with the topic, such as those from my focus group, and gaining that contentment driven by my own curiosity.
The next aspect of this critical judgement was indeed the collection of data being transferred into useful data that I would then present into the findings. Focus groups only criticism from me was that everyone could chose to not share the information I required, fortunately the group I had gave some useful insight, however, as a professional showcase of research, I then had to decide which information stimulated the question I initially set out for, then, that was going to be valuable for the stakeholders i’m targeting and creating that dialogue between them.
I think in consideration of what could be improved or what went ‘wrong’ isn’t the correct terminology. The space is now left open for building or further development. A survey was considered in the context of the project, but the idea was more to create a new field of thinking, something that cracks open a new and interesting thinking methodology, and the research values showcased in the lectures were pivotal and referenced heavily. Perhaps this obligation to a wider audience is the main focus out of the research i’ve started. A focus group was a great addition to this kind of research, guided that I continued the upheld values of being a respectful and communicator and those involved were reassured their anonymity. I was in an interesting position, the idea that I was completing a project as a student, about other student project motivations, meant that I had a responsibility to not only represent the student body toward a higher stakeholder, but I also had to be aware that this had the potential to produce very limited content, that ultimately affected my results as a student. This was quickly overpowered however, by the above mentioned curiosity and passion for helping get creative ideas out in the open to showcase skillsets of others.
BE YOUR OWN CAMERA CREW
As a media and communications student in my final year of university I’m interested in the ways collaboration between industry, emerging technology and myself as a creative can co-exist based on more than just one skillset. I started in Digital media because I wanted to innovate the filmmaking space, using drones to create a start to end video project using only drones as the main camera rig, in all sizes and methods, I wanted to use them for not only the aerial birds eye views, but the spaces at eye level for more intimate shots. Upon leaving, we’ve leveraged a blog, sometimes a YouTube channel and written essays toward topics that often get left in a subject dropbox and forgotten about. I believe new technologies such as autonomous robotics are going to help creative content producers like myself gain an exciting edge over the “creating” gap in industry and graduates.
A digital portfolio was my answer to the question of how individuals can “Be (their) own camera crew” and how a series of previous projects and indeed subject specific works can be organised to showcase themselves to industries in filmmaking and creative spaces as having experience making start to end projects. I wanted to incorporate autonomous film devices such as my drone, so that I may be not only the filmmaker, but now the technology enables us to be the subject. YouTube and consequently video as a platform allowed me to address the creative accumulation of content for a portfolio, as well as showcase the potential these devices have to make professional standard works. YouTube was chosen to continue to produce works in an openly featured platform to invite stakeholders as well as constructive comments to improve elements of a work. Using this type of device highlights my interest area as well as the space left by filmmaking theory thus; “Though there is a range of techniques to automatically control drones for a variety of applications, none have considered the problem of producing cinematographic camera motion in real-time for shooting purposes”(Q Galvane J Fleureau F.L. Tariolle P. Guillotel, 2016)
The filming process included a shot list that i’ve created below, that can all be done by myself whilst riding the board or not, the drone can be programmed to actively track a subject. This is done by clicking and dragging a box on the live video on a smartphone whilst the drone is in the air. This further amplifies the potential of creating a work that I believe can be taken to a major production company to showcase a skillset.
Upon talks with my tutor, the way i’ve presented this is in a 3 part video series titled: “Be YOUR own camera crew” on YouTube. I detailed that this would allow an accumulation of different angles of what can be showcased with a single recording device, an internet connection and a great idea. Some of the anxieties about these emerging technologies, I also wanted to lay to rest, by sparking discussion and address a tool that’s being heavily regulated at the moment. “Despite all of the new tools, drones are still only used in about 10 percent of film productions where a camera drone and crew can cost less than $3,000 compared to $25,000 for a helicopter shoot.” (A Marken, 2017) I believe will change the way not only filmmaking is approached, but also journalism and surveillance.
A Dalton, 2016, This Sci-fi Film was shot entirely by Autonomous Drones, Engadget, Blogpost, viewed 1st June 2017, <https://www.engadget.com/2016/09/27/in-the-robot-skies-sci-fi-film-shot-autonomous-drones/>
A Marken, 2017, Visable Flight: Drones Raise Filmmaking Opportunities, Robotics Tomorrow, webpage, viewed 1st June 2017, <http://www.roboticstomorrow.com/article/2017/05/visible-flight-drones-raise-filmmaking-opportunities/10110>
Chris Moore, 2016, Cybercultures Week Two 2016 (w.2), Prezi lecture, DIGC335, University of Wollongong, 8th March 2016, viewed 28th May 2017, via <https://prezi.com/poqmln3hslyh/cyberculture-and-cybernetics>
Civil Aviation Safety Authority, 2017, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems: Can I Fly Here?, Australian Government, viewed 30th May 2017, <https://casa.dronecomplier.com/external>
C Rollins, 2017, Mavic Pro – Active Track on a boosted board, May 26th, YouTube, Online Video, viewed 30th May 2017, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mXo6yz4cv4>
L Young, 2016, In the Robot Skies, Vimeo, online video, viewed 1st June 2017, <https://vimeo.com/184429206>
Q Galvane J Fleureau F.L. Tariolle P. Guillotel, 2016, Automated Cinematography with unmanned aerial vehicles, WICED ’16 Proceedings of the Eurographics Workshop on Intelligent Cinematography and Editing, Portugal May 9th, p.p. 23-30, Eurographics Association Switzerland, viewed 29th May 2017, <http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3056987&preflayout=tabs>
The way to approach the project was almost a daunting task, due to we felt like our iterations we getting further and further away from what actually worked really well in the early weeks of showcasing. We were advised to start disagreeing with one another and sparking debate about projects to create a sense of jamming within ourselves.
Yet another iteration, this time Chloe had the idea to make a ‘room’ out of sheets utilising the square framework of the ceiling. The idea was to use these sheets as walls and a new way to project images around a contained space. We were advised by Jo to use Tulle, as when its spread over a series of layers it can project multiple copies of the one image. This was utilised to create the sense of multiple letters, using the live typewriting as this theme.
The red overtone was lost due to it being too obvious in previous weeks its influence of the work. The typewriter was still one of our major success factors from previous weeks so we decided to play with positioning until we placed it on the floor below the tulle filled letters. We had a strobe light set up accompanied by a helicopter audio piece to give off the effect of outside horrors of the space. This room was suddenly turned into a house of curiosity inspired work that had themes of war and claustrophobia. An uncomfortable space to which the outside happenings forced the panic and quantity of the letters being released.
The end was much similar to previous weeks. It felt like a lot of content and lacking some real direction and meaning. We also agreed that the sheets would be a very difficult medium to present on as they’d need to either be weighted at the bottom or ironed out to look more presentable. The room or disconnection to the media space and immersing the audience in a new world however, worked well. Perhaps just the content being forced onto the responder is where we need to improve on. Allowing the audience to not fully understand what the meaning behind some content features are is where we need to focus. The suggestion to fully understand an emotional connection with the happenings of such a disastrous event like war, was to gather as a group and read letters written by people involved as a group and see what sparks from this. Another suggestion was to split up as a group and formulate ideas as smaller factions, then allowing the works to speak to one another through different locations and creative process that we’ve been trying for weeks in a row.