ASSESSMENT TASK 2: SELECTED POSTS

 

NDN first post

I chose this post because I wrote it a the beginning of my NDN journey. In this post I express my first impressions on the course and its objective and I demonstrate my understanding of what digital narratives are.

First taste of interactivity

This post is relevant to me because hold the reflection that brought me to chose my project proposal. Through the analysis of different online documentary resources I’ve developed an interest for interactivity. While at the beginning of the semester I was oriented toward a more traditional kind of narrative, after this post I got the first input that led me where I’m at now with my project.

Kuku Nyungkal vs Food

This is were my thinking process actually began. My research for inspirations was still in progress but here is when I finally find something useful. In this post I introduce two different proposal ideas and I evaluate my possibilities for this semester.

We got a winner

Here my  proposal starts to unfold. In this blog post I add details on the mood and the purpose of my project introducing the Kuku Nyungkal community. To give a feeling of the structure and the style of my project I show examples of already existing interactive documentaries relevant to my work.

Peers feedbacks reaction

After receiving feedback from my group I had to face some of the limits of my project. It was a big learning experience to me and it pushed me to take in consideration different options. at the same time it ended up strengthening my will to make this project a reality.

The clock is ticking, it’s EPOC time

In this post I wrap my head around the EPOC requirement. After a consultation with my group I developed I plan for next assignment focussing in particular on the production of visual content and a flow chart of my proposal. I also address different options for my media strategy.

I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the assessment declaration.

 

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The clock is ticking, it’s EPOC time.

At the dawn of week 8 I find myself wondering what an EPOC is.

887108a363c5827e05952156fdefc066--star-wars-ewok-star-wars-cast.jpg

It turned out that is not a mystical creature closely related to Star Wars’ ewoks but it’s an electronic proof of concept.

For our third assignment we have been asked to develop an EPOC to support our proposal in order to give an overview of what our final project would look like.

This might include visual component as samples of edited footage, mood boards and test interviews and for interactive documentary as mine, a prototype of social interaction and interactivity of the project.

I want my project to be an immersive experience so for my EPOC it’s essential to have good visuals that represent the style and mood of the documentary.

One thing that plays in my favor is that I’ve already been in the Kuku Nyungkal territory and I’ve a lot of footage of the locations that I can edit into a rough cut that will give a feeling of what my story world looks like.

Since my project include also animations, I will put together a mood board to identify their style and if I can I’ll do a short animation test.

One thing that I’m concern about instead is how to demonstrate the interactivity of my documentary interface.

As I’ve already mentioned in my older posts, I don’t have the skills to build a web site so I was afraid that it would have been difficult to explain how the user will interact with the narrative.

Fortunately, during last week tutorial I’ve been discussing this issue with my group and Andrew gave me a good idea to make my website interaction clear without the need to learn how to code.

As he suggested, rather than building a website prototype it might be easier to me to make and animation that shows how my website would function.

In this animation I’ll navigate the interface as an hypothetic user would do through a cursor to introduce the icons and their functionalities.

To support the animation I will also create a website flow chart in order to make my interface interaction foolproof.

The next thing I have to work out is my marketing strategy.

I’ve pretty clear in mind what would be my targeted audience but I’m not sure how to make an effective social media strategy.

My documentary will be especially made for aboriginal communities and for people that are interested in indigenous culture therefor I need to advertise it on the right channels.

The first step will be creating a dedicated Facebook page, I’m evaluating also using the already existing page of our documentary Muruba that already have 165 follower to reach a wider audience from the beginning.  Marilyn and her family started a blog called Bana Yarralji Bubu in 2011 so my project might be advertise there too.

Since is an interactive website I won’t be able to use Vimeo or youtube but I can create a teaser of the project to upload on this platforms in order to share the link on social networks.

If the project will reach high standard I will consider applying it to documentary festival as the Antenna film festival and the International documentary filmfestival Amsterdam. With a particular focus on festival that awards aboriginal documentary as the Melbourne documentary film festival,  and the Winda film festival.

I’m really motivated to realise this project next semester and I already I an idea of whom might be interested to join my crew. Last week I contacted Citt Williams to taste the waters before pitching my idea to Marilyn but since they don’t have direct internet access in Shipton’s flat I’m still waiting for a reply.

Anyway I feel optimistic and firmly believe that making this project would be possible!

 

References

Bana Yarralji Bubu inc 2011, Bana Yarralji Bubu blogspot, blog, viewed september 2017 ,<http://banayarralji.blogspot.com.au/2011/&gt;.

MurubaFilm 2017, Muruba, facebook page, viewed semptember 2017, < https://www.facebook.com/pg/MurubaFilm/about/?ref=page_internal>.

Star Wars ewok, n.d. photograph, viewed september 2017 <http://i.pinimg.com/736x/88/71/08/887108a363c5827e05952156fdefc066–star-wars-ewok-star-wars-cast.jpg&gt;

Peers feedbacks reaction

After pitching my project to the class I received some interesting insight from my group.

However, I’m not sure that I’ve been 100% able to communicate my goals for this project. I acknowledge that 3 minutes weren’t enough to explain my idea in detail, indeed some parts of my presentation might have been misleading.

In his feedback Jie addressed his concern about the similarity between Muruba, the documentary that I’ve shoot as part of last semester CMP, and Bana Yarralji bubu: interactive journey. Yet, I believe that the two projects would be drastically different even though they focus on the same aboriginal community because of the incredibly diverse cultural heritage that the area offers.

The focus of Muruba was the protection of the environment and biodiversity through the water monitoring of the area. It is true that we already filmed some of the sacred place that I want to Include in my interactive documentary but, since the focus of Muruba was the water, we didn’t research the historical importance of this locations.

Being able to make Bana Yarralji bubu a reality would give me the possibility to explore more in depth the relationship between aboriginal and this story places.

Moreover, the only interviewee of Muruba was Marylin Wallace and for my NDN project I would love to get testimony from other members of the community as well.

Another main concern of my classmates was the distance of the location were my story is set because it could potentially make my production process difficult.

They suggested to switch my focus on indigenous community facing similar issues in Victoria and I’m open to consider this possibility.

I have to agree that being able to make multiple trip in the locations rather than condensing my shooting in only one long trip to Queensland would come very handy if I realize that I don’t have enough material to fulfill my project expectations.

However, I’m not sure that it would be that is to convince a different aboriginal community to open the doors of their sacred places to me and my crew as the Kuku Nyunkal people did.  I believe that the fact that I’m already in touch with the members of the Nyunkal community will facilitate this process and will make my life easier.

Rmit gave us the opportunity to access the Indigenous Orientation Wominjeka online credential tool and my goal for upcoming weeks will be to complete the course to broaden my understanding of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander protocol and evaluate the feasibility of switching my project focus.

References

Scottcosc1345 2017, Scottcosc1345 wordpress, blog, viewed august 2017, <https://scottcosc1345.wordpress.com/2017/08/18/feedback-at1/&gt;.

Mixed bag production 2017, Muruba, Youtube,  7 July, RMIT university, Melbourne, viewed August 2017 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaDAbgOLgf4&gt;.

 

 

 

We got a winner!

The pitch presentation is around the corner and I had to pick the idea that would become my final proposal.

It was a hard choice but someone had to do it, and that someone was obviously me.

After discussing with my classmates and evaluating the pros and cons of my two ideas I ended up choosing the Interactive documentary about Kuku Nyungkal culture.

Working with the elder Marilyn Wallace was a life changing experience to me and I’m looking forward to work again with her.

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Marilyn is an immensely knowledgeable woman and starting a new collaboration with her and her family would not only be a huge learning experience for me but will also help her community in their mission of recording and passing down their knowledge to future generations.

Before contacting Marilyn to pitch her my idea I want to develop a solid proposal to be able to make it a reality in the future even if my project won’t be pick at the end of the semester.

When working with Kuku Nyungal people there is a particular protocol to respect, in the past happened that a lot of scientist and media producers came to their land, ask for their help and then disappear without giving them back the proper credit or the data that they collected.

Janke (2005) explains that “protocols are appropriate procedures and provide a basis for the way dealings occur within a particular situation, community, culture or industry. Agreeing to comply with the accepted protocols of other cultural groups promotes interaction based on good faith and mutual respect, thus encouraging ethical conduct”. (p.100)

I’m afraid that by giving Marilyn my word that this project will be made before having the certainty of it may compromise the trust relationship that I was able to build with her in the past.

Acknowledging that, I started to collect information to develop my proposal.

The first step was deciding how the interface of my interactive documentary would look like.

I want to map specific locations of the Kuku Nyungkal territory that are somehow relevant to their culture so I started to look online for similar media.

I find this website about the aboriginal history of Yarra that uses a similar approach to what I would love to do.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 20.04.52.png

As you can see the interface is really simple, in the center of the screen there is a map with numbered icon which correspond to the significance sites listed on the columns on the right of the interface.

By clicking on the various locations, the user can access a description of the sites that appears on a widow on the left of the website.

Another example that gives an idea of my vision is The block: stories from a meeting place.  The block is a virtual time capsule that explores the history and significance of Redfern’s indigenous-owned housing precinct known as “the block”.

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 14.54.58

What I liked about this project is that the user can browse interviews of people that have lived in the block through an interactive 3D map. By clicking on the eye icon on the map you can access a 360° view of the location (similar to google maps street view).

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 14.55.42

Another thing that I appreciate about this project is the fact that the graphic of the interface is animated.

What I would love to do for my project is creating a simple map with interactive icons that open different kind of content such as short documentaries, 360° views and animation.

The animations style would be inspired by traditional aboriginal painting.

dd760793f18b930c0cf3b95c32cda3f7--aboriginal-painting-aboriginal-animal-art

I Know that it might seems a lot of work because my idea is ambitious but I’m really motivated and I’m sure that with the right team I would be able to make this project a reality!

References

Assemblo the creative agency 2017, Aboriginal history of Yarra, viewed August 2017 , City of Yarra<http://aboriginalhistoryofyarra.com.au/sites-of-significance/&gt;.

Danny Eastwood aboriginal art, n.d photograph, viewed august 2017

Janke, T 2005 ‘Managing indigenous knowledge and indigenous cultural and intellectual property’, Australian Academic & research libraries, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 95-107.

SBS Online production 2010, The block: stories from a meeting place, viewed August 2017, SBS online production, <http://www.sbs.com.au/theblock/#/welcome&gt;.

CHOICES: Kuku Nyungkal vs Food

Eureka!

After last week tutorial I finally got an idea from my documentary proposal.

Our teacher showed us in class some example of interactive narrative and one of these projects gave me an inspiration.

The project is called My grandmother’s lingo and is an interactive game-like animation that highlights the plight of Indigenous languages focusing in particular on the Marra language.

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The aim of the project is raising awareness about this problem. While learning about aboriginal culture the user can unblock chapter of the game by repeating in a microphone the words on the screen through a voice activation technology.

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This project really interested me because during the last semester course Collaborative Media Work Practice I had the huge opportunity to shoot a documentary in collaboration with the aboriginal Kuku Nyungkal Community that unfortunately is facing similar issues.

The Kuku Nyungkal people are a group of Aboriginal Australian who are the original custodians of the coastal mountain slopes, wet tropical forest, waters, and waterfalls of the Upper Annan River, south of Cooktown, Queensland.

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 14.04.23

This Indigenous Protected Area contains many cultural sites such as story places, burial and birthing sites and painting places. Kuku Nyungkal are actively involved in transferring traditional knowledge to younger generations through painting, crafts, mapping of cultural sites and recording the relationships of people and plants, stories and language through books and videos.

My proposal idea for the NDN course is starting a new collaboration with the Nyungkal community in order to create an interactive documentary where the user can explore their lore and story places.

I also got a second Idea that is probably more feasible but not as exciting.

While browsing verse to get some inspiration I find a project called Cooking to remember home. The project tells the stories of 3 refugee from different background.

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Through interviews and cooking tutorials the interviewee explains what are the recipes that take them back to the places they left behind. I’m really passionate about cooking and I’m an immigrant myself so I liked immediately the idea.

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Another possible project proposal might be an interactive documentary that explore the “taste of home”.

Melbourne is a multicultural city and a myriad of people move here every year to start a new life, it might be interesting to ask people with immigrant background to explain what taste like home.

I could use Klint o verse to build an interactive collection of testimony and recipes from other country with tips and location where to buy exotic ingredient in Melboure or where to find restaurant that serves authentic dishes from their country.

I love both the ideas so I will flip a coin and let you know how it goes!

References

McKeon, G, Etingof, B, Duczynski, J, Marin, JP, Peralta, M, Kennedy, C 2016 My grandmother’s lingo, SBS Australia, viewed August 2017,  <https://www.sbs.com.au/mygrandmotherslingo/&gt;.

Queen, K , n.b, Cooking to remember home, viewed August 2017 , Verse, <https://verse.com/video/8-cooking-to-remember-home/&gt;

 

A first taste of interactivity

Before week two tutorial we have been asked to have a look to the course resources and tools to be able to participate to the discussion in class.

The readings were really interesting and gave me a useful overview of interactive documentaries’ main characteristic. According to De Michiel and Zimmerman (2013) the practice of documentary shifted drastically in the last decades, indeed documentaries are redefining themselves becoming more fluid, collaborative and a shapeshifting environment for encounter.

The advent of new media and platforms consistently contributed to this change.

It could be said that documentary become an open space because its open to many iterations communities and form of engagement.

As a result, new kind of narratives designed for festivals and public television appears in the documentary environment, including users generated projects, web archives and locative media.

What I’ve noticed while trying to browse the links of various interactive documentaries is that access them is not always that immediate.

For instance, none of the project that I tried to look on the MIT OPEN DOC LAB were working on my computer, I faced the same issue on the NFB interactive  web site.

After researching online how to fix the problem I tried to open the links on a different browser but despite the web site interface managed to charge the long buffering time tried my patience making the whole experience really annoying.

I find that this is a huge limit of interactive documentary, which often use flash to build their interface and I started to wonder how it is possible that there’s not a more functional way to navigate them.

Anyway, some of the link eventually ended up working and I had a taste of what interactive documentaries looks like.

One project that I particularly enjoyed was Seances. This interactive documentary aims to point out the fact that the 80% of films from the silent era have been lost. The authors remixed mute movies footage to create short clips that the audience can explore with some limitations, each short is a never-to-be-repeated experience and it can’t neither be paused nor shared.

The idea is that these movies are ephemeral and they have just one chance to be seen before disappearing like spirits forever.

Another project that got my attention was Soul patron (2010).

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 19.53.28

The main purpose of the project is to explore Japanese culture and religion with a main focus on Mizuko Jizò the Japanese guardian of deceased children.

Through an animated game-like interface the audience begin a journey of japan guided by an animated bunny that was once intended to be a gift for a baby. The user can navigate the scenes and short documentaries his own way.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 19.52.21

At many of the locations, there is background information on social or religious matters, and the bunny guide also offers interesting facts about the places concerned and about Japanese culture in general.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 19.52.33

This second project was particularly fascinating to me because I like the idea of an interactive journey of a culture and I would love to be able to recreate a similar project during this semester.

One of my problem is that I have no coding skills and I acknowledge that making a sophisticated interface won’t be possible for me alone.

The second problem is that I haven’t got a topic for my documentary yet but this will be easily fixed (I hope).

While waiting for an ingenious intuition for my project I’ll try to see if any of my class mates have the skills to help me to build an animated interface.

Wish me good luck!

 

References

De Michiel, H, Zimmerman, P 2013 ‘Documentary as an open space’, The Documentary Film Book, pp. 356-65.

Maddin, G, Johnson, E,  Johnson, G n.d , Seances , viewed July 25 2017, National Film Board of Canada, <http://seances.nfb.ca/?interactive-hp_en=feature_2&feature_type=w_interactive&banner_id=76718&gt;.

Mit open documentary lab, n.d , Docubase, viewed 25 July 2017, Mit open documentary lab, <https://docubase.mit.edu/credits/&gt;.

National film board of Canada 2017, NFB, viewed July 25 2017, National film board of Canada <https://www.nfb.ca/&gt;.

Rieckher, F 2010, Soul patron, viewed July 25 2017, IDFA DocLab, <http://www.soul-patron.com/&gt;

NDN first post

Unfortunately, I couldn’t be in class for the first tutorial because I was still struggling to fight the jet-lag after my holydays in Italy. However, our thoughtful lecturers started a NDN blog so that everyone can keep up with what was told in class despite jet-lags and other misadventures.

After reading the week one flipped lecture I can’t deny that I was a little bit confuse about what to expect from this course. What I understood is that our goal will be developing an individual project proposal for a digital narrative. At the end of the semester our tutors will select some of our proposals to be realize as part of the next semester course Strategic Media project.

But how can I define what digital narratives are and pick the right one for my project when we are living in an era where every smartphone owner can be a digital content creator?

As Stacy suggested, any kind of storytelling that uses digital technologies could be defined as digital narrative nowadays.

What makes this interesting is that through transmedia and interactivity is possible to engage with the audience participation in a more active way.

I have to admit that I’m totally new to the extraordinary interactive media world, and I’m both excited and scared at the same time.

Since I’m far from being an expert of interactive media a voice in my head keep telling me that would be better to stay in the comfort zone and stick with a more linear narrative. On the other hand, I know that despite it would be easier to work on a web series or a documentary proposal, delivering the final product in a successful way might be harder than expected.

During the previous semesters one of the biggest issue that everyone faced was not being able to effectively promote our works on social media.

According to Jenkins (2016) Participatory culture ‘contrasts with older notions of passive media spectatorship. Rather than talking about media producers and consumers as occupying separate roles, we might now see them as participants who interact with each other according to a new set of rules that none of us fully understand’ (pp. 3).

Getting the audience participation wasn’t a piece of cake and I’m afraid that sticking to linear narrative could lead to the same problem once again.

I’m not sure yet about what kind of narrative I would end up choosing but I’m surely intrigued by the benefits that interactive videos could offer and I’m already thrilled for what would come next!

References

Jenkins, H 2006 , Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide, NYU Press, New York.

ASSESSMENT TASK 1: PITCH PEER FEEDBACK

                

KC | 13 weeks @ RMIT

Except for the initial setback, you were really confident during your pitch, it was obvious that you though your idea through in details. Your natural energy and humor allowed you to get a genuine engagement from the class.

What made your project immediately appealing to me is the fact that it revolves around RMIT student’s life. I love especially the fact that you are trying to show the strong feeling of belonging and community that RMIT students have.

The plan of to involving also the campuses overseas makes it even more interesting.  I would be really happy to see how the university life looks like in different countries.

I’m not sure it would be feasible, but have you considered the idea of using the POV shooting technique?

Not everyone would be able to access a GoPro or similar cameras but it would be interesting if a selected group of enthusiast student could shoot a short clip each and then pass the camera to another student as in a sort of relay race. By doing so, you will be sure to get all the footage that you need.

Indeed, not being able to control the participation of the project might leads to some problems.

As it happened in the past semesters, it might be really hard to get the required engagement from the “real” audience for this kind of initiatives.

Anyhow, you were really smart in choosing your project. Since it involves RMIT you might ask for help to the university in order to make it happen. For example, asking for participation via official email or communication.

This is just one of the thousand “A day in the life” videos that you can find online, it might be relevant to check out this format for inspiration.

The video follows the life of a Cambridge university student.

Hanna | Dessert stories

I’m really passionate about cooking so I loved your game idea from the beginning.

Your idea is simple and fun but what add great value to the game is that you can follow the recipes to make the actual dessert at home, good thinking!

From your pitch arise an in-depth knowledge of the game rules and structure and I really appreciate it.

On a technical level your presentation was really easy to follow, however I would have love to see some pictures to have a taste of the style that you have in mind. Since you underlined that your game is about making bright and colorful dessert I was expecting to see some examples.

The target audience of your game are 5-10 years old children, what if the parents could get more engaged in it? You could for instance create a dedicated blog community where parents can exchange tips and recipes to make delicious desserts for their kids.

One think that is confusing to me is that you want to promote healthy eating habits among the youngest but your game engages just in the creation of desserts.

Maybe you could try to develop your idea towards different kind of recipes so that by playing children could learn more about healthy meals.

You can have a look to this article that explore the development interactive healthy cooking tools for kids.

The study reveals that after playing the game the children have a more positive attitude towards cooking and a better understanding of how they can eat healthier. Moreover, parents were surprised by the cooking skills of their children, as well as of their willingness to try out new self-prepared dishes.

One game that you can check out for further inspiration regarding the style is Cooking Mama. It is available on Wii, Nintendo DS and iOS.

Andrew | A GIRL TWO GUYS AND A GUN

I have been really impressed by your presentation, the visuals were amazing and, as a Godard’s fan, I couldn’t love more the idea of a deconstructed French new wave inspired film.

You have a natural attitude to entertain the audience and the background video and music set immediately the mood of your project.

Your storyline is really actual and fascinating, I really like the fact that it’s set in a romanticised version of the1960’s Paris seen through the dreamy eyes of a modern hipster Australian girl in love with French new wave.

Even though I love the idea, I’m a little worried by the limits of the choice of the setup. If your idea will be picked, do you think it would be actually feasible to shoot it in Paris?

Why don’t you rather set it in Melbourne and made your heroine a daydreaming Nouvelle vague enthusiast that have never been to Paris but fall in love with a French exchange student cause of her old-fashioned vision of his character?

You can keep the love triangle in the game by adding a second lover that is willing to bring the girl with her feet on the ground.

Creating a web site where is possible to discuss the film, and explore behind the scenes content is really in line with the Cinephilia way of thinking, and since Cinephilia was a remarkable component of French new wave I think it will add great value to the project.

When you said that you want to divide the narrative into chapters, to make it available on different platforms, It immediately remind me of the Lars von Trier movie Breaking the waves (1996) that use the same expedient. Von Trier is part of a movement called Dogme 95 deeply inspired to the French new wave style, it might be worth checking their manifesto and works.

Jie | Firefly

From your pitch emerged your interest in tanks and a great knowledge of the historical context where your digital project is set.

You described your story world and your narrative in detail and I really appreciate that.

You did really well in creating such an elaborated storyline but I think your presentation would have benefit from more information about how are you going to make the movie interactive.

The choice of using a lot of images in your presentation has been enjoyable but I probably would have use less text within the slides. It was hard to follow what you said and read at the same time.

I might have miss a point, but I’m not really sure if your project wanted to be a game-like narration or a proper video game. How would be the audience able to make choices if is a movie? If is a game instead, do you have the skills to develop it yourself or are you planning to ask for the help of a professional?

I worry that in both cases your idea is way too complicated to realize with low budget and time restrictions.

My advice is to keep it simple. Why don’t you try to use an interactive storytelling tool like Twine that allows you to create a non-linear story?

I never used it before but it looks like it could convenient for your project.

Shifting your idea toward a less complex kind of narrative will allow you to pursue your elaborated idea without the production limits of a war movie and the long coding timing of game developing.

I’m far from being an expert of war games and movies so I cannot really recommend you any related media.

Hardy | Dr. Hamodi documentary

 

Your documentary idea is very good and I think you gave us a lot of interesting insights about your character.

Dr Hamodi’s life sounds fascinating and I’m sure you have a lot of good shots to depict is bucolic passion for farm animals.

I appreciate your honesty when your admitted your limits regarding video editing, and I’m sure that some our class mates would be more than happy to help you during this process.

In your pitch, you explained that you have already shoot all the footage that you needed, so it might be difficult for you to reshape your idea to fulfill the subject objectives.

Have you considered producing a series of small documentaries rather than just one?

You said that Dr. Hamodi have a refugee background and it makes the storyline even more appealing to me. Why not looking for other Iraqi interesting personalities with refugee or immigrant background to interview in order to produce a documentary series about the Australian achievement of your compatriots?

It is beautiful that you are so passionate about Dr. Hamodi’s story but I’m not sure a 15 minutes documentary will be totally engaging; the risk is that your story will be too wide. My opinion is that you should focus just on the important aspect of his life, like his passion for animals, his work at the hospital and his background, is unnecessary to add information about Mannum city and his relationship with the locals.

In term of the distribution of your documentary you mention that you are willing to create a promotional website. I believe that the Interactivity of the project could be taken to a next level.

Be open to try interactive storytelling programs like Verse, Klynt and Korsakow. You might be able add great value to your work.

I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the assessment declaration.