MURUBA: Federica fichera Exegesis

Muruba is a short documentary that aims to prove the value of indigenous traditional owner knowledge in the protection of the biodiversity and why this knowledge could be useful on a scientific prospective.

The goal of our documentary is encouraging future collaboration between scientist and  traditional owners taking as a case study the successful collaborative relationship between Cristina and Marilyn.

Through a call for action at the end of our movie we hope to trigger a change both in the scientific and the indigenous community by opening a dialogue between these two worlds.

The message that our project carries within it could potentially reach some of the stakeholder of this two communities and make a difference thanks to IPBES, an intergovernmental platform on biodiversity and ecosystem, that is interested in showcase our work during his upcoming stakeholder meeting.

In my reflection, I will focus on different theories and pieces of media that had informed my practice.

Firstly, I will concentrate on the practice of documentary filmmaking in comparison of fictional one, on an aesthetic and ethic point of view; Secondly, I will discuss how existing media and our responsibility toward Marilyn shaped the voice of our work. Ultimately I will address the strengths of our collaboration and explain my role and responsibilities inside the group.

In the past years, I had the occasion to work on various media pieces but my previous works have always been related to fiction.

I have a film studies background so I was already used to work on a set and comfortable handling the shooting equipment however, working on a documentary production involves some widely different creative and ethic choice if compared to others filmmaking experience.

Muruba have been the first documentary I had the fortune to work on. During the production period of the documentary I became aware of the differences between these two types of works. I use to think that documentaries just want to be a faithful representation of the reality but after working on Muruba I realize that is not that simple.

As Nichols (2001) broadly discuss, documentary “is not a reproduction of reality, it is a representation of the world we already occupy” (Nichols, 2001, p. 20). The point that he want to make with this statement is that even though compared to fictional works documentaries have a realistic approach on defined situation and/or issues, they stand for a particular point of view that gave them a voice their own. This point of view won’t necessary be the same of others, but documentaries gave to the film maker the possibility to show to his audience a version of the reality that they haven’t seen before, giving them the choice to decide if they want to adapt or reject the filmmaker prospective toward the word. “The voice of documentary can make a case or present an argument as well as convey a point of view. Documentaries seek to persuade or convince us: by the strength of their argument or point of view and the appeal, or power, of their voice. The voice of documentary is the specific way in which an argument or perspective is expressed.” (Nichols, 2001, p. 43)

Dancyger (2014) reinforce this concept identifying one particular kind of narration used in documentaries that that identify the narrator as a provocateur  “The provocateur has a specific goal in his documentary: to promote change. The nature of the narration may be direct or ironic, but in both cases the goal remains the same”. (p. 359)

Dancyger (2014) again states that the range of aesthetic choices in documentaries is far wider than the one available in fictional films.

Indeed, instead of filming actors the documentary filmmaker follows subjects. Even Camera positioning tends to be a matter of convenience sometimes rather than intention and lighting is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible.

Therefor this experience has been both new and exciting to me because it gave me the artistic freedom to experiment new filmmaking techniques as well as the possibility to share our point of view with the audience on the topic of the protection of biodiversity.

Before getting into the actual shooting of the documentary we went through a decisional process to work out what we wanted from our documentary and what would have been our style.

We decided that the mood of Muruba would have been poetic, in order to better portray the beauty of Marilyn’s land.

Numerous documentary inspired our aesthetic and informed us in the production phase. In that period we discuss which  movies have been meaningful to us and our vision, and then we decided what aesthetic would have suit better our narration.

One of the movies that we thought was relevant was Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi (1983), in his movies Reggio make use of time-lapses sequences to give the impression of an urban metropolis rushing to its demise. We decided to use the same tool to represent the power of the nature and to give emphasis to the flowing stream of the water as a metaphor of life.

Another film that affected our choices was Nuridsany and Pérennou’s  Microcosmos (1996). It was a Documentary particularly dear to me because is the first documentary I have ever watch in my life; I was 5 years old at the time and I still remember the wonder that I felt while watching this beautiful macro shots of “People of the grass” as the authors call them. Thanks to my previous experience I knew that macro shots would have been a powerful tool for the narration of our story as well.

Since the beginning we had a precise style clear in mind. We wanted to represent the natural landscape under a dreamlike prospective, to underline the uniqueness of the place we had the honour to visit. Through our images we wanted to get the audience to realize why is important to look after this special places. Filmmakers have some tools that can alter the meaning of documentary footage and we decided to make this tools ours. When choosing our equipment stock we had to consider which gears would have been more useful to our stylistic choice and vision.

On a technical point of view having all this artistic freedom was amazing, but shooting a documentary is not only beautiful images, is also making ethical decision and as Dancyger (2014) mention with freedom comes responsibilities.

When representing someone else life filmmakers should not underestimate the power they have at their disposal, because it could affect the opinion that the audience have about the subject.

Filmmakers have therefore responsibilities to their subject. When the shaping process of a movie begin, a spontaneous question arises, “Looking at a new reality through my eyes would I be able to show the reality of my subject without altering it?”.

Sanders (2010) states that documentary filmmaking should concern reflection on its own practice. One can’t decide what’s the right thing to do in a given situation just by judging individual action but should instead take into account the principle that informs this decision and deliberation. Morals of filmmakers are in fact related to the filmmaker’s cultural background and ideas about her or his profession.

Nakata (2007) suggest that “The Cultural Interface…(is) a space of many shifting and complex intersections between different people with different histories, experiences, languages, agendas, aspirations and responses…a space that abounds with contradictions, ambiguities, conflict and contestation of meanings” (p. 199).

Our group was the perfect example of it. Six people of six different nationalities worked on Muruba, each of us have a different cultural and artistic background that were about to collaborate with the indigenous community, a reality that was completely new to all of us.

The challenge of our project was being able to define a common vision and goals as well as exploring on a personal level the reality of aboriginality, understanding what it means to Marilyn and to us.

The poet and aboriginal elder Jim Everett expresses this concept by saying” We’re all the same species, we’re humans. And we all have different cultures. That is up for people to have their identity and their cultures the way they want them. But if they want to actually know what they are as human beings on this planet connecting with the country that they belong to and it’s their belonging place, then they need to understand the Aboriginal connection. They don’t have to be Aboriginal” (as cited in Thornley, 2008, p.53)

The first thing we learnt we started our project is that there is a specific protocol to follow when working with indigenous people.

This protocol is called ICIP, 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)

Protocols involve communication, negotiation and understanding so they may be complex to follow. As a group, we agreed that we were ready to follow Marilyn direction even though it could have meant to let go our vision of the project. This results into a process of negotiation and dialogue.

It wasn’t always easy because as  Rosenthal (1988) mentioned, direct cinema means there is less time for reflection on one’s own actions. time indeed, seems to be an aspect that influences how filmmakers deal with moral issues.

Pryluck (1976) presented some solutions to deal with moral issues: a collaborative approach, provisional consent before giving final consent for the film (showing the rough cut for example), and making ethical standards explicit in order to better recognize deviations and in order to discuss the gains and losses.

‘‘If one is serious about using direct cinema to make valid statements

about people, then collaboration should be welcome’’ (Pryluck, 1976, p. 265)

All considered, the collaboration with Marilyn worked well and her contribution added great value to our work.

Regarding the collaboration with my group, I could have never imagined that all of us would have been so synergetic.

Our skills were complementary so the decision of the role inside the group came out spontaneous. I feel like everyone was happy to lean and teach to the others, this results in a better understanding of our work in its totality. The collaboration with the other members of the group brought me to a new understanding of myself as a person and as a part of a group.

Sabal (2009) suggest that  students are individuals with their own ambitions,strenghts and weakness so, during a collaborative practice, they need to be aware about their abilities and limitation in order to collaborate successfully.

My role in the group was the camera person, co-editor with a special attention on color correction.

During the shooting, I have been faithful with our initial stylistic choices and my approach on composition of the shot have been mostly experimental.

According to Hansen “Composition is the result of the skill and artistry expended in arranging a picture or electing a point of vantage. It should reveal to others the lure of strange places or a new attraction in familiar things” (As cited in Brown, at all, 2013, p. 144)

I had some problem to take stable shoots due to a hand injury, but after the first days of shooting I tried to fix the problem using the tripod when possible.

At the end of the shooting were satisfied with the material that we got, but we weren’t sure how to put it together.

Bernad (2012) said that the majority of films and story come truly together when in the editing room.

Artis (2013) agree that  “Editing is the greatest responsibility of the documentary. It’s the phase when “your footage” becomes “your film.”  (p. 216)

In the editing I tried to relate on what the Russian film theorists Kuleshow and Eisestain said about Juxaposition. Reves (2015) discuss the meaning making process of Eisenstein and Kuleshov explaining that montage is an idea that derives from the collision of two shots that are independent of one other.

For the color correction instead I referred to Chinfat (2016) videos for the technical part and Bond (2015) video to understand how colors can evoke feelings in storytelling. My choice consequentially was giving to our film a slightly cold tone to be consistent with the theme of water.

Muruba is a project that allowed me to grow both on a professional and personal level. Working on this project I developed a new understanding of the documentary practice and the ethics of it that made me more aware about the environment aroud me.

 

REFERENCES

Artis, A. (2013). The Shut Up and Shoot Documentary Guide A Down & Dirty DV Production. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Bernard, S. (2012). Documentary Storytelling Making Stronger and More Dramatic Nonfiction Films (3rd ed.). Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Bond, L. [Channel criswell] (2015, July 29). Colour in storytelling . Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXgFcNUWqX0

Brown, S., & Street, Sarah Watkins, Liz. (2013). AFI Film Readers : Color and the Moving Image : History, Theory, Aesthetics, Archive. Florence: Taylor and Francis.

Chinfat. (2016, December 16). Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017 – Lumetri Color Panel & Color Correction / Grading  . Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvlQa4a8cvY

Dancyger, K. (2014). The Technique of Film and Video Editing History, Theory, and Practice (5th ed.). Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Janke, T. (2005). Managing indigenous knowledge and indigenous cultural and intellectual property. Australian Academic & research libraries36(2), 95-107.
Nakata, M. (2007). Disciplining the savages, savaging the disciplines. Canberra, ACT: Aboriginal Studies Press.
Nichols, B. (2001). Introduction to Documentary. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Pryluck , C. ( 1976 ). Ultimately we are all outsiders: The ethics of documentary filming . In A. Rosenthal(Ed.) , New challenges for documentary (pp. 255 – 268 ). Berkeley : University of California Press .

Reeves, S., Martindale, S., Tennent, P., Benford, S., Marshall, J., & Walker, B. (2015). The challenges of using biodata in promotional filmmaking. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI), 22(3), 11.

Rosenthal , A. ( 1988 ). Introduction . In A. Rosenthal (Ed.) , New challenges for documentary (pp. 245 –253 ). Berkeley : University of California Press

Sabal, R. (2009). The individual in collaborative media production. Journal of Film and Video61(1), 6-17.

Sanders, W. (2010). Documentary filmmaking and ethics: Concepts, responsibilities, and the need for empirical research. Mass Communication and Society13(5), 528-553.

Thornley, J. (2010). Island home country: subversive mourning: working with Aboriginal protocols in a documentary film about colonisation and growing up white in Tasmania. A cine-essay and exegesis (Doctoral dissertation).

 

Perrin, J. , Scott Thomas, K. (Producer), & Nuridsany, C. , Perénnou, M. (Director). (1996). Microcosmos: Le peuple de l’herbe [Motion picture]. France: BAC Films.

Reggio, G. (Producer), & Reggio, G. (Director). (1983). Koyaanisquatsi [Motion picture]. United States: Island alive.

 

 

Reflection on the Life of Paolo campaign – PIM

After 3 campaigns, social media project Life of Paolo came to an ending. Life of Paolo was a social media campaign focus on the promotion of a fake documentary about an Italian fake news writer. With this project, we aimed to raise awareness about the problem of fake news as well as entertain the audience that would have been able to spot the fiction behind our product. My role in this project have been focused on the production, shooting and creation of content for the final documentary and I have been responsible for the Research part regarding the Italian “fake news” situation.

One of our group strength was that the combination of everyone different skills results in some very creative ideas. We also had a similar vision on what we wanted to communicate in our project, we agree indeed that we wanted to add a touch of humor to it.

“Content creators can endear themselves to a particular audience by showing they understand its sensibilities and can alienate themselves by miscalculating that audience’s sensibilities. Humor is not simply a matter of taste: it is a vehicle by which people articulate and validate their relationships with those with whom they share the joke.” (Jenkins et al, 2013, p204)

According to what Jenkins said, adding some humor to our campaign we wished to reach a likeminded audience as well as making the work on the project more enjoyable.

However, we had a serious problem in matching our schedule because everyone was busy with other projects and/or work. One of the main issue was not being able to meet regularly to discuss the project. It affects also the actual production of our documentary because when it came the time of the shooting we ended up having a limited time to spend with the actor so we ended up rushing through the scenes. The result was an inconsistency in the footage so we had to plan a second shooting.

The life of Paolo project was really ambitious but we couldn’t commit to it as we wished so the final product didn’t reflect our original idea.

 

For instance, we were planning to release 3 episodes of our story but we realize that it was infeasible due to a lack of time.

This fact turns out to be a problem especially because we were asked to approach our campaign with a practice based research approach.

 

“Practice-based Research is an original investigation undertaken in order to gain new knowledge partly by means of practice and the outcomes of that practice. Claims of originality and contribution to knowledge may be demonstrated through creative outcomes which may include artefacts such as images, music, designs, models, digital media or other outcomes such as performances and exhibitions Whilst the significance and context of the claims are described in words, a full understanding can only be obtained with direct reference to those outcomes” (Candy 2006, p3)

 

At the beginning of our campaign I find this approach really difficult. We didn’t manage to complete the final documentary since the very last-minute cause of some production delays so it was complicated to promote on our final product on Facebook since we had any.

For the same reasons, the outcomes of our action reflection learning on the previous cycle didn’t really impact the result of the last campaign. Even though we changed our media strategy and the content of our Life of Paolo documentary in order to suits better the standard of spreadability we kept having just a engagement from the public the public.

According to the models of spredability defined by Jenkins, we plan better our documentary and rescript our final documentary. On a technical-strategic level our media artefact portable, relevant to multiple audiences, available when and where audience wanted it and easily reusable (Jenkins 2014, p 198), on a text-content level it contains humor, mystery, rumors and timely and controversy.(Jenkins et al, 2013 p 204-2018).

Unfortunately it still wasn’t enough to get a better engagement.

We shaped our documentary Life of Paolo according to the theory of spredability, our mistake probably was not having the same regard in trying to make it interactive and participatory to get more involvement.

“[T]he nature of participation in the digital age is a complicated matter. For even those groups who have greater access to digital technologies and have mastered the skills to deploy them effectively toward their own end, our capacity to participate can be complicated by issues of who owns the platforms through which communication occurs and how their agendas shape how those tools can be deployed. And, even if we get our message through, there is often a question of whether anyone is listening.” (Jenkins et al 2013, p194)

Through my practice I’ve learn that media is an unpredictable environment and it’s not enough to follow the existing theories to be sure that your campaign will succeed. I also believe that what Jenkins said is probably more suitable for the industry standards, in the case of independent small campaign like ours is more difficult to archive tangible results.

For all these reasons it’s hard to define if our project had any impact on our audience cause of the poor participation, but it for sure had a positive effect on me. I’m not the kind of person that read or shares news on Facebook but, because of my curious nature, from time to time I had clicked on absurd news published on my Facebook wall. While working on this project I’ve reached a new knowledge about how Fake news work and I know that every click on this kind of articles, help this net of lies and disinformation to grow and make moneys  which goes in the pockets of people with questionable moral values. Now that I’m more conscious of the mechanism behind fake news I will pay more attention on what articles I click on.

 

References

 

Jenkins, Henry, Ford, Sam., & Green, Joshua. (2013). Spreadable Media Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture (Postmillennial pop Spreadable media). New York: NYU Press.

 

 

Candy, L. (2006). Practice based research: A guideCCS Report1, 1-19.

Post industrial Media- Reflection

The last social media activity I took part in was my CMWP assignment, named MortalCultural Kitchen.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K-wPWSVyJ4&t=1s

 

MortalCultural kitchen is a parody cooking show where two contestants of different nationalities have to cook for the very first time a signature dish from a third country in order to save their life. The idea behind the project was to realize something humorous that engaged with cultural diversity and food. The video that inspired us the most was the online parody series “Footballer wants a wife”.

The actual project we decided to work on was the trailer of the cooking show. After the realization of the video we started a cross promotion on different social media (mainly Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

 

The video itself was fairly made considering that we had zero budget and improvised actors. The result was a funny and “easy to watch” trailer that could have actually get positive feedback if we only would have been able to promote it through a valid media campaign.

At the time of our project proposal we were aiming to engage with the public by posting back stage pictures, recipes, episodes highlights and comic contents regularly on different platforms and our social network’s profiles.

To go along with the theme of multiculturalism we shared our work as well on specific platform that only the Russian and the Chinese community use.

Another idea was creating a Tumblr blog of MortalCultural kitchen where the audience could discuss his feeling towards the show.

 

On paper our promotional strategy was solid but, because of the lack of content to share, we ended up having very few feedback and comment from the audience.

To be more specific, we just posted twice on twitter and we publish 2 videos and 4 backstage pictures o the Facebook page.

Only one of the member of our group supposed to be in charge of the social media management so I limited myself to one share of the trailer on my personal Facebook profile.

 

The Facebook page had only 28 likes, that were mostly given to us by our classmates. Taking into account the fact that on the project were working 4 people of 3 different country we should have had at least 3 time the number of responses.

 

Unless to say that we also got very few comment to our video and maybe a couple of share.

On the Russian and the Chinese social network the audience reacted a little bit better, even though the participation was limited to a small circle of friends and relatives.

Finally, the video on youtube was viewed 124 times and got 4 likes.

The Tumblr page instead was never created.

I can frankly say that our media campaign was almost a total failure so I feel like it is not possible to compare it to other existent ones.

 

All in all, our bigger mistake was not being consistent with our promotional strategy proposal.

Standing at what we learned in the PIM class, our video respected most of the spreadability key points .

‘”Spreadability” refers to the technical resources that make it easier to circulate some kinds of content than others, the economic structures that support or restrict circulation, the attributes of a media text that might appeal to a community’s motivation for sharing material, and the social networks that link people through the exchange of meaningful bytes’ (Jenkins et al, p4).

According to what Jenkins believe, we made a short video of immediate understanding, the content of it (humor, food, cultural diversity) could have been potentially appealing for a broad audience.

As our third lecture underline, meme and comic content could be a good way to get attention, especially on a platform like Facebook where the audience is not likely to have a long range of attention.

The format of the video made it easy to share on different platforms, therefore I believe that  with an appropriate media campaign it could have possibly reach more success.

 

 

 

Assignment 4 Sound & Image

#1 ______________________________________

Introduction to Documentary

If I had to pick one documentary mode that I particularly like, I would chose for sure the participatory mode.

This kind of documentaries is characterized by a direct involvement of the filmmaker in the narration.

In fact, the director does not only observe the scene with detachment but actively engage with others. I appreciate this mode because allowed the filmmaker to take part to the representation and express his voice.

This documentary mode could rely on a broad range of tools to help the narration, as interviews, archive footage and voice over.

The Filmmaker discuss and confronts his point of view with the social actors, for this reason interviews here works as a social encounter.

Experiencing in first person a determined situation opens a dialogue between the filmmaker and his subject and enables ( both the filmmaker and the social actors) to express their reactions and feelings.

Moreover, the use of archive footage allowed the director to show with images the testimony of the social actors and add realism to the narration . The inclusion of this feature typical of the observational mode in my opinion makes the framework of the genre really versatile and effective.

In some occasion the filmmaker is the main protagonist, as he investigate a fact or a issue that regard him personally.

This personal involvement of the filmmaker is not hidden as it happened in the observatory mode, in fact the goal is revealing the reality of what happens when people interact with each others in front of a camera.

Choosing this kind of documentary instead of the other ones would allow me to talk about a subject that really interest me and it will be more likely to have emotional involvement and passion for the project.

The last reason that make me think that the participatory mode is the one that most fits m,  is that it allow the spectators to become a participants as well through the use of interactive website and installation. Many director presented their documentary in a digital interactive way where, through a computer, the viewer can have more control on the narration, usually making choice about how the footage is displayed.

I believe that this is a smart way to use technology to help to build knowledge, makes the participatory mode really interesting.

The only risk of this documentary mode is that in certain occasion the filmmaker could be too persistent  to force the interviewee to have a specific (and over the line) reaction distorting like this the reality of the facts. However, If the director is able to respect the rights and dignity of the subject the documentary would not be damage by this issue.

#2 ______________________________________

No Direction Home

The opening sequence of the documentary “No direction Home” directed by Martin Scorsese starts showing us a piece of a live performance of a young Bob Dylan, singing and playing his guitar and harmonic. Then we have a cut to some old footage of trees surrounded by fog and we start to hear bob Dylan’s interview as a voice over. From now on , the editor combines contemporary interviews with archival B rolls. The archive material is both video and photographic and includes never-before-seen footage from Dylan’s childhood and time. The documentary could be categorize as expository, due to its use of interviews as the voiceover narration, but it also blend into the observational mode cause of all the archive material.

In the starting sequence of “No direction home” we see a lot of early picture of Dylan, his house and his family’s shop (including a newspaper article) and some footage of the Mine in his home town and its workers. This last scenes are probably taken from a documentary of that age.

Even after only 2 minutes from the start of the documentary we can tell that it would be rich of archive footage and photos. We will be probably expect too see also a lot of concert and backstage clips as well as archive interviews of Dylan and people that knew him.

The documentary main drive is obviously the music and the emotional content of the movie is evident from the beginning.

There is for sure a lot of research behind the documentary and Scorsese and Schoonmaker have made precise stylistic choices to reach the feelings of the audience.

indeed, Martin Scorsese explore the emotional and musical journey of Bob Dylan’s early career through the use of oral history, the editing is more emotional that rational as well.

We can see it right from the beginning where Scorsese decided to use the foggy footage of tree while Dylan is talking about the passage of time.

Also, the decision to starts alternating the touching story of the discovery of this guitar to images of the mines makes us immediately realize Dylan’s struggles for being born in a town that he never felt his home.

#3 ______________________________________

Forbidden Lies

The first part of the Anna Broinowski’s documentary Forbidden Lies is a video reconstruction of a part of the book questioned.

Here the audio is not recorded on location but all the sound effect in the action are foley, that possibly have been recorded after (or before) the shooting.

We hear also a lot of funny and unnatural non diegetic sound effect (like the sound of the sparkle in the teeth of the man, and the sound that follow the twirl video transition effect) that might have been taken from a sound library.

We also have an equally fake looped bird twittering that is layered in all the first part of the reproduction.

All the sound here are exaggerated to emphasize the fiction of the story, a good example of this exaggeration could be the high reverb and distortion of the sound of the flying Hijab.

Even though the audio of the interviews is recorded in real time on location, we keep having funny sound effect and music spread around even in this part of the narration .

The interview of Rana Husseini could have been recorder with both a lapel mic hidden in the neck of her polo, or an over-the.-head directional microphone, like a shotgun mic on a boom pole.

The sound is really clear and clean, and we can also hear a back ground ambience sound, that could have been recorded separately and layered under the interview of directly recorded by the shotgun microphone during the action.

The Dr Amal A. Sabbagh’s Interviews might have been recorded at the same way, with the only difference that in this occasion the microphone used is probably a lapel because we have too much head room to record a sound that clear.

In the background we hear a strong bird chirping recorded on location.

The sound of the two interview is almost always synchronized to the action, with the exception of the piece where it is layered as a voice over during B rolls or during the book reading of the third women.

In all the documentary every time the scene change the audio is faded in and out.

All the scenes of the research of clue that disprove what is written in the book, for me have been recorded with a shotgun mic. The sound have been later layered with the music, the sound effect and maybe a post recorded ambience sound.

#4 ______________________________________

The Edit and Reflection on your ‘Documentary in a Day’

The Edit and Reflection on your ‘Documentary in a Day’

The goal of our documentary was to underline the differences and the similarity in the vision that the international students have of Melbourne compared to their hometown.

The question that we decided to ask to each other during the interviews where “What is home for you?” “What do you miss the most about your home?” “What are the main differences between Melbourne and your home town? “ Do you think that you will be able to call Melbourne ‘home’ some day?” .

Our performances were not excellent because of we are not native english speaker and also because someone  was really shy too.

Next time we can find a way to make the interviewees more comfortable, maybe asking them more war up question, in order to have enough material from where to chose.

I’m instead quite satisfied about the interviews set up and lightning. We decide to use colored backgrounds and to change the set up for each of the interviewees to have more variety. 

For the lightning we used a key light, a back light and a fill light. in addition, we put on the lights a diffusion gel to soften the shadows when needed. The result was a really natural and bright look.

For me the most challenging part of the shooting was finding B rolls suitables for our narration. Unfortunately Melbourne CBD does not offer a lot of diversity of actions so we mainly focused our shooting on urban scenes (street views, people walking , shops), footage of family and friends at the protest in front of the library, food  and busy students working inside the RMIT building 8.

The thing that in my opinion is missing in our documentary is having more different B rolls to alternate. During the afternoon of the intensive we could have think about shooting also some pan and tracking shot of us walking in the city. It would have been useful to edit the last part of our documentary where we struggles to find suitable scenes.

Our biggest mistake have probably been not shooting more footage after the intensive (except for the rain clip), especially because one of the two cameras that we used was not set with the right exposition. The consequence was that almost all the footage was blown up and unusable.

This error had occurred because the day of the shooting was really bright, and the sun light reflected on the preview screen avoiding a correct vision of it. To fix the problem, the person that used that camera should have activate the zebra pattern to have more perception of the over exposed areas.

Another thing that in my opinion would have add value to our documentary is trying to do more camera movement. To shoot more easily in the middle of the crowded street we decided not to use a tripod. The movement that we tried to do with the handheld camera were not precise and shaky so we limited ourself mostly to still shots, that we stabilized during the postproduction.

We also might have indulge more with the change of focus.

I’ve edited the documentary with Kc and we decided to built it according to the expository mode. We wrote a short story line and recorded a voice over that we use in between the answer of the interview in order to give a logic to the narration.

The things that required the most effort was selecting the usable clips. We shoot a lot o material (around 200 clips) and it took us a whole afternoon to cut the good scenes.

The editing in general was not hard for us, the only things that we have to reflect on was which B roll could match the interview’s answers better.

The video is short and goes straight forward to the point, I think that if we had added more pause it won’t have work well as it works now.

The music that we chose for me fit perfectly the time of the narration It starts and end slowly and turns more upbeat in the middle) and add emotional value to the video.

I think also that our idea for the opening title was good and different from the usual white  text on a black background. To make it works I realized a PNG file on photoshop to have the alpha channel in the transparent area corresponding  to the word “home”.

This exercise also encouraged us to work as a team, and I really enjoyed it.

After all, I can consider myself satisfy of the final result of the documentary.

#5 ______________________________________

Colour Grade

Unfortunately I was not able to complete this prompt following the instruction because for some strange reason as soon as I applied the color corrector three way on a clip, the computer started to show errors in the screening on the video. Every time I moved something in the color corrector the screen started to show lines. Also, instead of applying the change  in the value of the input levels to the whole clip, it applied it only on the frame where I was in the timeline giving to the clip this flashing effect.

Here there are some example of it.

error-color

I tried to change various computer in the editing suit, but the error occurred in all premiere softwares.

To solve the problem, I decided to use the color wheels and the basic correction instead.

COLOR ONE

The original colors of this first clip tended too much to the orange/red. To balance it I decide to move the pin of the three wheels to the opposite color, blue.

Than I used the basic color correction to lessen a little bit more the red moving fixing the tint amount and I make the image colder changing the temperature.

I also lower the blacks and ad a little bit of highlights.

I just wanted to give to this clip a more realistic and natural look, so I only did a light corrective color correction.

color-1-a

In the second version of this color correction I wanted to recreate a sepia effect.

Starting from the same wheel color correction that I’ve done in the first example, I modify the temperature of the clip bringing it to the hot tint direction.

I also rise a little the amount of reds.

I additionally decrease the black and the shadows, bringing up the highlights to obtain more contrast.

color-1-b

In the third version I wanted to recreate a colder atmosphere to underline the tension of the scene.

I used my wheels to bring highlights, shadows and mid tones more to the blue tint (I forgot to take the screen shot of this passage).

Than I desaturate only the tone of the skin to make the look of the judges more intimidating and last, I lessen the blacks and the highlights and rise the contrast.

I fix even in this occasion the tint and the temperature

color-1-c

COLOR TWO

The colors of the second clip that I piked were really yellow and red.

As in the first example, I just decided to do only some small correction to bring the colors closer to reality.

I used the three wheels to add more blue to the scene to compensate the huge amount of red. Than I adjust the tint and the temperature.

In addition, I pumped up the saturation of the portion of reds that matched the red of the blood.

color-2-a

For the second version of this clip I decided to create a old horror movie atmosphere.

I rise a little bit the whites and the black and I rise the contrast. Plus, I lessen the highlights and after it I add a dark vignette.

color-2-b

For the last version of this color correction I try to create on my clip an effect similar to the one in the noir movie Sin City.

I wanted a really contrasted black and white with red as the only color of the scene.

I desaturate all the colors of the clip except red using the hue saturation curves.

Than I adjusted the temperature and the tint  to eliminate the last traces of red. Than I lessen the blacks and the highlights as well. At the end I added a dark vignette.

color-2-c

COLOR THREE

For the first color of my last clip, as in the previous ones, I did a really soft corrective color correction just to eliminate a little bit of red, because the normal colors where already quite similar to reality.

 I used the three wheels to remove the red in excess and I also fix the temperature.

I lessen the blacks and rise the shadows to have a nice plain black but not lose luminosity.

color-3-a

I decide to give to the second version of this color a vintage look.

I added the faded film effect to makes the clip more opaque, than I rise the vibrance and lessen the saturation.

I also moved the highlights to yellow and the shadows to purple.

I also adjust the tint and my temperature.

Last of all,  I rise the blacks, the whites and the highlights to makes the image even flatter.

color-2-ab

I wanted to give to my last color correction a dreamy mood.

I used the three color wheels to move the shadows a bit towards blue, than I drastically move the mid tones to light blue and the highlight to the orange. The result is a surreal atmosphere.

After it, I rise the blacks and lessen the highlights. To give an even more dream like atmosphere, I added at the end a white vignette.

color-3-c


#6 ______________________________________

Reflection on the course

After reading the answer that I gave to this same question at the beginning of the semester, I can for sure confirm that I’ve archive all my goal.

The only thing that maybe did not totally met my expectation was the level of the editing and filming prerequisites of the course. Since I am already mastering the basis of filmmaking, I would have love to lear more advanced skills of premiere editing. However, I realize that about half of the student in the class had to star from scratch, so it is normal that we had not deal with more complicated technique. I thought that we would have start working on more challenging project, considering that is a master but I enjoyed the course anyways.

 I had already studied during my bachelor almost all the concept that we covered in the course but doing it in another language have been an enriching experience to me anyways. Now I can consider myself ready to work not only in Italy but in the international market.

Moreover, during this semester I had the occasion to practice my english a lot, I did not only learned all the correct film production and editing terminology in english but I had improved as well my vocabulary for the every day life. I feel more fluent and confident now and comparing my English in the first assignment to my english today shows my progress.

Regarding my will to get to know better my class mates, I think that I have pretty much accomplished that goal as well. During this course I had the occasion to bond with like-minded person and I will for sure work with them on future projects . This thing could have been only happened in the Sound and Image class because, almost in every tutorial we changed group and we had to collaborate with different people, not only with our friends. Moreover, exchanging the production crew roles during the shooting of the Lenny allowed us to spot the strength and the weakness of the others so that we could understand which of us would have been more suitable for a certain role the next time.

For all this reason I could say that taking this course have been a fulfilling experience.

Peer Reviews

 

The video “Music crossing the ocean” that Lynn and Shena realize have good quality images and a well done editing, but there are still some things that could be fixed.

The project have a strong emotional potential and in my opinion they could have push it a little bit further.

I would have love to see some interviews of the members of the Chinese orchestra to know more about their passion and the history of their group.

All the characters played really interesting looking instruments, I’m sure that the non-Chinese audience would have appreciated to learn more about it.

For me, the fact that the titles were missing during the presentation of the rough cut could have penalized the project. However, I’m sure that the final version of the documentary would be more accurate and the problem would have been already fix.

Probably, adding as well some narration to the editing ( for example using a voice over) would have help to get the audience attention, but the video is already enjoyable as it is.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is that the choice of using the train and traffic footage at the beginning of the video does not really help the narration, since the title is “Music crossing the ocean”why not using some shots of the ocean instead?

One last advise that I could give to the group is to use one of the song of the orchestra for the background music instead of the one that they used cause it will match better the narration. During the presentation they expressed their will to change the soundtrack with a song of the band, and I think it is a good idea.

In complex, I liked the project and I’m sure that with this last adjustments it could reach the perfection.

Filmmaking = Problem solving

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I genuinely enjoy working on the MortalCultural Kitchen project, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was easy.

I have never been on a set that runs smoothly cause problems, delays and setback are always around the corner.

Obviously even the shooting of MortalCultural Kitchen didn’t go as smooth as we though.

Our set was particularly difficult to manage, because we had a lot of props and actors.

I thinks that I’ve learned during the years of my Film studies’ bachelor degree is that, having a lot of people around increases the possibility of mistakes.

In our video starred 11 people. We decide to divide the shooting in two days to fit the actors’ schedules and to have some back up time.

The first day of shooting supposed to be the easier one, we had to shoot only the scenes with the Indonesian judges and the host, that were both available only that day. But immediately the first problem showed up.

The host stood us up because of an emergency so we had to move her scenes to the second day and start looking for a replacement.

In addition, two of the three judges told us that they could only stay for one hour and half, that was less than what we expected.

Another thing that we didn’t considered was that cooking scene, requires actual cooking and it takes a lot of time.

The result was that the scenes that we shot that day were rushed and improvised.

But is when you have to solve a problem that you start to think creatively.

In order to save some time the second day, we decided to write a production schedule, that included actors’ calling times, costumes and props for each scene.

Since we were not able to find a female actress for the part of the host, we decided to put woman clothes  an a wig on one male actors, and it was an unexpected success. This solution in fact gave to the video a more comic look.

Unless to say that almost all the actors were late that day, but even in this case a setback became our fortune.

Thanks to this extra time, we were able to finish to cook all the dishes before the actors arrive, and it has allowed us to prepare the shots and set the lightning.

According to the articles that I’ve researched, the strength of Filmmakers is knowing how to solve the problems that they faces on sets.

Accident doesn’t occur only in young filmmaker production, but also famous directors have to face similar setbacks. You just have to Take it in account and don’t let problems discourage you.

The cinematographer Bill Butler said in an interview:

“The day-to-day business of making movies is a matter of problem-solving. You are constantly problem-solving from the time you arrive on the set until you quit shooting in the evening.” In Jaws (1975)

Also the Mad Max’s oscar winning director George Miller and the famous director Steven Soderbergh said in the linked interviews that problem solving and filmmaking are closely related.

There are also various studies and articles that prove how filmmaking helps to develop higher-order thinking skills and encourages to use creativity.

The fact that books like “303 digital filmmaking solutions to solve any video shoot or edit problem in ten minutes or less” or “First-Time Filmmaker F*ck-ups: The Common Mistakes New Filmmakers Make, and How to Avoid Them” exist, is an additional proof that mistakes during a shooting are the order of the day.

For all this reason I agree that having problem solving skills can really make the difference between being a mediocre filmmaker or a good one.

References:

http://creativeskillset.org/news_events/blogs/3237_making_a_film_is_a_series_of_problems_to_solve

http://www.onegirlsopinion.net/2011/01/filmmaking-is-problem-solving.html

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=AL7p5xt8R-QC&pg=PA76&lpg=PA76&dq=the+day-to-day+business+of+making+movies+is+a+matter+of+problem-solving.+You+are+constantly+problem-solving+from+the+time+you+arrive+on+the+set+until+you+quit+shooting+in+the+evening.&source=bl&ots=JmF1mJiq1u&sig=TOcq9rMFmFWSBXqQlJuVIeXtSU0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiV65_A1ODPAhXprlQKHZb5DLMQ6AEIHTAA#v=onepage&q=%20making%20movies%20is%20a%20matter%20of%20problem-solving&f=false

https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=it&lr=&id=RS7j08yaJ-sC&oi=fnd&pg=PT12&dq=common+errors+filmmaking&ots=IdpPIm1ccK&sig=B03nRFZtRHU5D2GXxuB6bZY2UN0&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=common%20errors%20filmmaking&f=false

http://eric.ed.gov.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/?id=ED337835

http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/1810353938?pq-origsite=gscholar

https://www.vste.org/documents/vj_1602_all.pdf#page=21

https://search-informit-com-au.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/fullText;dn=805409589383199;res=IELHSS


Assessment 3 Sound & Image

#1 ______________________________________

The abstract edit

This exercise consisted in the shooting of some “abstract footage” seeking for interesting pattern or unusual images to edit layering the audio and the video of the clips. Not all the material that we shoot was great because we had limited time for this exercise. Every member of the group supposed to shoot at least a couple of scene so we have to rush to find nice shot and angles. The quality of what we got wasn’t amazing but at the end was functional for it’s purpose.

 

 

We edited this version of the Abstract video all together. We played with the speed of some clips and overlapped other scenes changing the opacity to create a images delay effect. We decide also to use keyframes to change the rotation and the blur of a clip. I already knew how to use this function on final cut, but I was happy to discover that they works mostly the same on premiere.

I’ve edited the second version of the Abstract exercise by my self to try different video effects. I wanted to give to the video a more psychedelic look so I scrolled the effect library to find an effect called Kaleidoscopic that I’ve used before on Final cut pro. Unfortunately there’s no such effect on premiere and I have to figure out if there was an alternative way to recreate a similar impression. I tried to use twice the mirror effect on the same clip and the result was quite satisfactory because allowed me to create a kind of kaleidoscopic pattern.

Looking at the effect controls panel I’ve noticed that premiere have the option to do a time remapping of the speed on clips. This function really excited me so I watched a tutorial on youtube to learn how to use it properly. I tried to apply what I’ve learned on the last clip of my editing to slow down the jump of the skater.

I could have probably pay more attention on the audio part of both the version of the exercise cause, compared to the video, is not too elaborated. We shoot in a crowded place so the audio that we recorded was somehow dirty and not really usable. Nevertheless, I think that the two expertise video fulfill what we where required to do.

#2 ______________________________________

The Expertise (three shot) edit


Regarding the technical aspect of the work, I don’t think I’ve learn anything new from the expertise exercise. I am already confident using editing programs because I come from a film studies background and even though I was used to edit on Final cut pro, the Expertise exercise for me was quite basic. However, knowing how editing software works does not mean that it would be easy teach it to someone else.

I’ve decided to help my Class mate Annette with the editing of her videos since this was the first time she used premiere pro. She didn’t have and advanced knowledge of how editing software (or adobe software in general) works and accomplishing this task for her was more challenging than it was for me. Another obstacle was that Annette is not confident using the Mac interface so she was struggling even to find out where things are. Her main problem is that she was wasting a lot of time improvising instead of using the proper commands on the keyboard. This situation was trying her patience and made her feel frustrated.

I’ve helped Annette to discover some shortcuts that can speed up her work, making it easier and smoother.Fore example, I told her to try to mark in the source viewer the Input and the Output of the piece of the clip that she wanted to use and then to drag it in the time line. Before she was inserting the whole clips in the sequence to cut each of them manually in the timeline.

Things were not always easy to explain, because what was automatic and obvious for me, was totally new for her. I’ve found that the best ways to teach her the different function of premiere was showing how tools works directly in the timeline instead of trying to explain it with words. We ran through the most common shortcut and editing tools together and now Annette is able to edit faster and in a less confusing way.

From this experience I’ve learned for sure that teaching is not that easy at is seems. However, Annette was motivated to learn so we worked well together. The bottomline is that with a minimum effort everyone could help others to improve their skills.

#3 ______________________________________

The initiative post

BONJOUR from Federica Fichera on Vimeo.

For this prompt I decided to compare the work behind a video clip that I made in Italy to the exercises that we shoot in class, in order to identify what could I have improve If I would have know what I learned during this course.

The shooting of this videoclip requires a crew of 3 people. I took care of the production, direction, and editing part, a friend took care of the direction of photography and the lightning and the third person was the camera operator.

Compared to the level of the Lenny exercise, the quality of the videoclip is more advanced and professional. There was a longer period of production and organization behind it so is obvious that the Lenny gives a more amateur feeling.

I edited the videoclip using final cut pro but if I would have used Premiere at the time I would have probably avoid waisting my time to convert all the clip to the format Appleprores 422, that is the only codec that final cut pro is able to read. This for sure would have been an improvement of my work.

The greatest benefits that I would have had using premiere instead of Final cut regards the software compatibility with other adobe programs.

In fact, Editing on premiere allowed you to open your timeline directly on after effect where is possible to do different kinds of color correction, making animated titles, applying masks and using effects that Final cut does not offer.

#4 ______________________________________

Prompt – Readings

For this prompt I’ve decided to talk about the chapter of the Sound Design reading called “Function of sounds in relation to Image” and compares it to certain points of the Sight and hearing reading.

According to the Sound design reading, the relationship of picture and audio in the same media (as television or film) creates certain dynamics that affect their meaning.

There’s a common belief that film and television are “visual media” . However, this reading proves that this is untrue since audio provides most of the information conveyed. I would explain four of the different relationship between sounds and image in relation to Bresson notes.

The first one happen when sounds parallels pictures, that basically means that neither the sounds nor the video is dominant because you see what you hear. A shot of a person knocking juxtapose to the audio of the same action, a shot of a dog barking and you can hear it, a video of an orchestra playing with his audio, are all good example of this relationship.

Even though the writer believe that this kind of relationship between sound and image is virtually mandatory, Bresson states that “what is for they eye must not be what is for the hear”. In my opinion this two theory are in contrast, because in the examples above video and audio coexist and are equally important.

Another relationship is the one where sounds defines pictures. The audio in this case is dominant and it could also determine the point of view and the meaning of the image. A quoted example is putting different music backgrounds to a prison scene with guards in a battle-ready position. If the soundtrack consist in crashing, braking and yelling sounds you will imply that there’s a prisoner riot and identify the guard as the “good guys”. If you add to the same scene a music that suggest oppression the guard would become the evil force.

This point reminds me of an editing theory called Kuleshov effect. Kuleshov was a soviet filmmaker, he made an editing experiment that consisted in pair the image of a face of  a man with 3 different images. When you put the man next to an image of a beautiful woman the impression that you have would suggest lust. If you take the same man and pair it with a coffin image it would suggest sadness and if you do the same with the image of a plate of food it would suggest hunger. I thinks that the similarity of this two example proves that we can have the same result applying this theory bot to video editing and sound design, in order to change the feeling of the audience.

There are certain case where, at the contrary, pictures can define sounds. Indeed, picture helps to define sounds calling attention to particulars action or images. To exemplify, a scene where a person walks down a city street with traffic sounds on the back ground could be edited cutting to close-ups to increase the impact of sounds. Or also, a bar scene where a character walk to the jukebox and plays a record will have supporting background sounds of people chatting, clinking glasses, coins being dropped into the jukebox and the music playing. If we edit this scene cutting to close-ups of the footfalls, laughing faces and coins being insert into the slot we will be able to bring out this particular sounds.

Once again Bresson states the contrary. He said that when sounds can replace an image you have to cut the image or neutralize it because the ear goes more towards the within the eye towards the outer. Applying this statement to the example above, we wouldn’t need to add the close up of the same scene because the sound alone contributes to create the atmosphere and already explain what’s going on.

When the aural and visual effect are different but complementary at the same time we have a relationship where sounds and picture define effect. In this occasion the impact that sounds and picture creates together is stronger than the one that they could create singularly. If we take as an example a scene of an old man sitting on a park bench and watching a mother playing with his child,lovers walking hand in hand and teenagers playing footballs and accompanied it with a music track that evokes feeling of pleasure, then of loneliness and finally of futility we will see that video and sound reinforce each other and produce a cumulative effect. In this example sounds and picture are complementary, both are contributing to an effect that would not be possible if one element were dominant or absent.

Even in this occasion Bresson have a discordant opinion. In the reading he states that if sounds is the obligatory complement of an image you must give preponderance either to the sound, or to the image. If equal they damage or kill each other. In fact, where the author of the Sound design reading believes that sound and image could be equally important in order to help each other, Bresson thinks that in any case sounds can come to the rescue of an image.

#5 ______________________________________

Lenny – reflection on

The Lenny exercise consisted in the shooting and the editing of few scenes of a script.

We were grouped in crews of 4-5 people and we have to take turns to cover each role of the crew (camera operator, sound operator, director, first Ad) for at least one shot.

As the pre-production part of the exercise, we were required to singularly mark the script and to draw a storyboard before the shooting day. I’ve noticed that it was almost impossible to follow exactly the storyboard and the notes on the marked script because, at the time, we didn’t knew the location where we ended up shooting. If it would have been a professional project, we would have probably done an inspection of the location before the shooting in order to be more specific during this pre-production stage.

During the shooting phase we had a little bit of confusion about the line of action because we where afraid of being “crossing the line” in some of the scene. However, when looking at the footage on the computer we realize that we did not have this problem as we thought.

The most challenging part of the shooting was the time managing. To solve this problem, as part of the production aspect of the Lenny we should have follow a timing schedule, in order to give equal attention to each scene. As a result of our poor time managing we had to rush during the shooting of the last scene because we ran out of time and we weren’t able to shoot different angles as we wanted to. This problem obviously influenced our editing.

Even though I would have like to have more different cut to edit the end of the Lenny, the editing phase of the exercise wasn’t difficult for me. I just had a few trouble understanding how the tex function of premiere works when I added the titles. Although the interface of the title of premiere is similar to the one of photoshop, I will look over it more carefully to do better next time.

The Lumetri presets were a nice discovery of the functions of Premiere. I tried to apply it to some clip during my editing but at the end I decided to do only a light color correction to my footage to balance the whites. I will for sure use the lumetri in my future edit.

Even if there are few things that could have been fixed, I’m quite happy about the final result of the Lenny exercise.

screenshot timeline.jpg

#6 ______________________________________

You find a scene

Analysis of the opening scene of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless (from beginning till min 05:15)

 

The film starts with a close-up of Michel, the protagonist, reading the newspaper and smoking. The scene continues alternating shots of his close-up and close-up of a woman nodding at him as a signal to steal a car. Looking at the scene one could think that the two characters are close to each other but when the frame get wider, we see that they are not. This use of close-up confuses the viewer, and it is different from the continuity editing style of Classic Hollywood.

After getting the signal from the woman, Michel promptly steals the car. The following scene is a long sequence of Michel driving, talking to himself and talking directly to the camera addressing it as it was a person. In this sequence the protagonist is talking about his surroundings while the camera, inside the vehicle and handheld, follow him and what he looks at. The director in the scene once again breaks the rules using jump cut of Michel driving and holding the gun. The dialogue in this scene has the purpose of showing the nature of the protagonist.

While driving, Michel gets chased by the police. The scene alternate tracking shot of Michael and of the police following him. The camera movement are dirty because once again the camera his handheld. To evade the cops Michel drive outside the road and loses all the cops but one. The shooting of the cop takes advantage of jump cuts and close-ups to disorient the viewer about what’s going on. We then hear the gun fired and we see a wide shot of the cop fall into a bush. The background music of this scene helps us to fell the tension of the action.

The last shot of the scene is a panning long shot of Michel running through a meadow. The scene is really dark and we can barely see what’s going on.

The whole movie use mainly natural lighting and panning and other physical techniques are fairly amateur. Cause of the low-budget of the production the use of props is limited too. Also the acting is more spontaneous and imperfect then usual. In fact, In this movie actors sometimes improvise dialogues to give a more realistic feeling to the narration. This unprofessional feel is part of the style of the French Nouvelle vague movement that wanted to rebel against the traditional French cinema.

Confession of a procrastinator.

 

 

Lately I’m finding myself struggling a lot to get things done in time.

One good example is this CMWP assignment.

For this assignment each group have to produce a digital story proposal that should engage with the theme of cultural difference.

I actually enjoyed the creative part of the project, and I consider myself collaborative and productive while working in a group.

The problems started when I had the realization that I needed to to take care of the marketing image for the IMDB page.

I volunteered to do it as I was the only person in the group with a discreet knowledge of the illustrator software. I thought “why not, it could be fun!”. But obviously it didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped.

I opened illustrator for the first time two days before our group met to put together the final draft of our proposal. I ended up stressing myself out and working at the computer for more than 6 hours straight, with terrible consequences for my eyes and my nerves.

However, I think overall that the evaluation of our project is well done even if there are a few things that could be improved.


 

To see our IMDB page click here.



Mark Twain once said:

“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic.”

Nothing could be more true than this statement.

Unless to say, that I’m exactly in that mood while writing this post.

By now the deadline is extremely close and as a result I will have to work on two different assignments simultaneously, which risks neglecting one of the two or both of the them being completed in a rough way because of lack of time.

So why am I able to work easily in a group but I have trouble organizing independent work?

One could think that was only a matter of time managing, but the reality is that I’m a victim of a terrible habit called procrastination.

procrastination

According to the study of Ellis & Knaus (1977) 70% of college students engage in procrastination.

Usually students are easily distracted toward behaviours other than studying, but digging deeper I recall that this is not the only reason why I procrastinate.

Contributing factors to procrastination are the feeling of being overwhelmed, the lack of motivation, perfectionism, fear of failure, low self-esteem, poor time management and organization skills.

This absence of self-regulated behavior compromises an individual’s ability to archive personal, academic and career related goals.

Procrastination predicted poor physical and mental health because of increased stress and anxiety.

Comparing my experience with the ones of other students on University Wire I realize that we are all pretty similar, so probably procrastinators minds work in the same ways.

I disagree with students that say that there’s no solution to this behaviour. Instead, I agree with those who’ve said that there are few tips you can use to improve. Such as getting the most annoying task done first, break the tasks down to lessen the sense of being overwhelmed and focus on the success you will achieve.

But not only students procrastinate, the famous blogger Tim Urban shared his experience in this talk.

A different point of view came from the professor and researcher Adam Grant that in a NY Times article say that procrastination is a virtue for creativity.

According to a study made by Jihae Shin (Grant’s grad student, now a professor) procrastinator’s projects are 28% more creative than non-procrastinator’s because they are given a chance to incubate their ideas.

Jihae asked people to come up with new business ideas. Some had to start right away while others had to delay five minutes by playing Minesweeper or Solitaire. Essentially she found that those who were forced to delay had more good ideas.

However, The professor Timothy Pychyl dismantles this study because it wasn’t about procrastination, but rather about delay.

Procrastination requires delay, but this delay has to be voluntary and knowingly dysfunctional to be procrastination. Procrastination indeed is that particular form of delay which captures our self-regulatory failure.

Creativity comes from choosing to delay, not rushing a process that shouldn’t be rushed.

Put most simply, while all procrastination is delay, not all delay is procrastination.

I for sure agree with the opinion of the Dr Pychyl because procrastination could cause a lot of harm and stress, and it should not be encouraged.

_________________________________________________________________

References:

http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html
http://link.springer.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4899-0227-6_4
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dont-delay/201601/procrastination-virtue-creativity-why-its-false
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/openview/8486f2240d3fb230c16e89b309993850/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1819046
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/openview/7e3502c28fb06c9517ccbe6e08fd637e/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=1819046
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/1781660469?accountid=13552&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/1651610501?accountid=13552&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/1766823612?accountid=13552&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/1757495625?OpenUrlRefId=info:xri/sid:primo&accountid=13552
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/1676678937?accountid=13552&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo
http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/1504420622?accountid=13552&rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo
http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics/academic-programs/legal-writing-scholarship/writing-center/upload/kaavya-just-do-it-tips-for-avoiding-procrastination.pdf

 

 

 

 

Sound and Image – Assessment 1

 

#1 ______________________________________

Prompt – Reflect and Write

Reflecting writing was a completely new subject for me, so I fond useful and interesting almost all the Writing reflectively article.

However there is one thing in particular that I think would be important to remember for my future essays, I had never think in fact that writing down my thought and feelings about a work or an assignment could be helpful for improving my skills.

Thinking about a mistake you made or reflecting about how you felt in a situation is not always enough to learn something about it, but putting your though on paper can really help to analyze clearly what happened.

Writing reflectively is a way to understand how are you feeling about a work that you have done, and how you can get better next time.

A second thing that surprised me is that using reflective writing I can evaluate my performance critically.

The way how you see some situation at the first look, does not always reflects the truth. Only questioning yourself and asking for the point of view of others people you will be able to understand an event or a reaction that you have regarding a situation or a problem.

A clear example of what I was trying to explain is the exercise Presentation number three. The woman in question was talking about a power point presentation that she has done at her work. At the eginning she felt that the presentation went terribly, because she was anxious and her boss intervened to answer some question at her place, but after confronting with her colleagues she realize that her presentation was not that bad as she thought afterall.

For instance, her colleagues told her that their boss always used to take the place of people in a conversation but she handle well her intrusion, so she was apparently more calm than she how she felt.

This means that everyone can have a different prospective of a situation, so being pessimist about your performance is not always the solution.

 

#2 ______________________________________

Prompt – Goals and Desires


One of the goal that I hope to archive during this Sound and Image’s semester is being able to improve my knowledge of the adobe premiere software.

Even though I’m already confident with others editing software like final cut and after effect, there are still some things that puzzle me about premiere. Not all the function and tools of premiere are at the same place and work at the same ways of the others programs, so I’m hoping that with practice I will be able to edit as quickly and automatically as I can do it on final cut.

I will try to set the keyboard shortcuts of final cut on premiere, to see if this change can make my editing easier.

The second thing that I want to learn to do properly is using the RMIT cameras in a proper way. I was used to shoot mostly with reflex cameras as Canon 7D or 5D, so I would like to learn more about the function of the sony XDCAM-X200 cameras that we are using during the Sound and Image course.

I want also to improve my english skills in order to be more fluent and communicate with my teachers and classmate better. I hope also to improve my writing skill, so that I can express myself with more clarity.

I will try to speak and read in english every time I have the occasion to do it an I will also follow the English for media professional course to get better and be more confident in the writing of the upcoming assignments.

The last goal that I hope to archive during this semester is getting to know better my class mates to understand with whom I can work best in a group, this might be helpful for choosing my group for the next projects.

 

#3______________________________________

Prompt – Crew Roles


The thing that more of all surprise me during the reading of the Crew roles and the Developing a crew articles is how important is the role of the script supervisor.

While I was attending my bachelor degree in film making and direction back in Italy, It happened to me to works on video projects in small crew of 6-7 people, in which I’ve attended different roles. However I’ve noticed that during the shooting of those videos the role of the scrip supervisor was not well defined or even worst leaved out.

In the paragraph about the different roles and responsibilities of the Developing a crew reading, I’ve found that when the crew is too small usually is the director the one that takes the script supervisor’s job.

Nevertheless I remember me and the other members of my crew sharing that work, not always with good results. Sometimes we were not able to keep in mind all the details of a scene and tended to improvise ( hoping that the shot would have matched) or shooting different versions of the same scene to ensure to have good material to work with during the editing.

This obviously leads us to stress and anxiety.

If at the time we have had a person in charge of writing down all the details about scenes, costumes and action to ensure the continuity of the scenes we could have for sure avoided a lot of mistakes and save time.

In my future works I will definitely ensure that the script supervisor works won’t be underestimate in order to work in a more organized and precise way.

#4 ______________________________________

Keyboard shortcuts.


Fortunately I was already used to work with editing software (mostly Final cut pro), so I already knew almost all the function of the basic tools of premiere.

There are of course differences between the two software so at the beginning I struggled a bit to understand where all the things were, but the thing that most of all disappoint me was not being able to change the opacity of a clip in the time line using the pen tool.

For this reason one of the short cut that I’ve found useful is the Apply video transition one ( cmd+D ) one.

Another short cut that might make my editing work more smooth is the track select tool ( A ) command, because I think using it instead of selecting manually the track you want to move, can save a lot of time and make the work more precise.

 

#5 _____________________________________

Prompt – A scene

At the beginning of the scene of Taxi driver that we have to analyze we can see Travis going out of his taxi, the scene was shot using a dolly and a zoom whit the purpose of following the protagonist while walking to the entrance of the building.

The shot of him opening the door was edited using a cutting on action technique. We can now see a medium close up of Travis walking, immediately followed by a POV shot, that is a shot that shows what the character is looking at, that in this case is the object his desire, Betsy. I think The director used this technique to emphasize the feelings of the protagonist and to focus on the intense look of the girl and the interrogative and distrustful look of her colleague.

During the dialogue between Betsy an Travis we can get from the beginning that he is not really interesting in volunteering, because both the actors have a flirting expression on their face, this was the first time that the two characters were talking, but in my opinion the director wanted to show that there was already chemistry between them and that they like each other. The dialogue scene is edited alternating medium shot, close up shot and medium close up shot that sometimes are taken over the actors’s shoulders. The shot are also combined with slow horizontal and vertical camera movement and slow zoom in or zoom out.

In the wider shots we can see the disappointment on the face of Betsy’s colleague while spying them. I think the director has chosen not to add to the scene big camera movement and changing of angle to focus better on the dialogue.

In the last shot of the sequence the camera follow Travis with an horizontal dolly movement and we can see him leaving the office, and giving betsy one last look.

The production design and the costumes are not too elaborated because the period of the shooting match the time of the narration.


My first (and scary) blog post.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

 

Life sometimes could be really ironic.

As a part of the first assessment during our CMWP course, all the students were required to blog about an issues that occurred during our Melbournenoir work project and I have no idea what to write.

As ironic as it may seem, the inability to write a blog will be my issue or topic.

The project involved the realization of a photo story and a short video using different kinds of social media and then posting all the work in a blog.

The creative process was well steered, because the teacher give us some constraints and rules to follow, that in my point of view, help us to produce a good photo’s and video’s materials to work with.

I feel that almost every student have done a good job, even though for some of us was more challenging because they had never shoot and edit a video before or they didn’t knew the noir genre.

 

stream

 

Fortunately I came from a movie studies background, cause of my bachelor degree, and I was already an user of the social network (twitter, instagram, youtube) that we had to use to upload our material, so the “multimedia” part of the project was pretty easy for me to do.

 

 

However, I can not say the same think about writing this blog post.

There are many reasons that make me feel anxious about it.

First, English is not my first language. Another challenge is that I’m not confident at all with reflective writing, so I don’t really know how to put my thoughts in order. And last, I had never had a blog, and I’m also not a great blog’s reader, so I’m scared that what I’m writing is not interesting or helpful for other people.

I have done some online research about my issues and it turns out that writing IS NOT EASY for anyone.

So what’s that scary about writing?

According to all the articles that I’ve read, the most common fear of writers is failure.

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Thinking that your writings are not worth sharing with people, or that the readers will criticize you, or even worst fearing that you will fool yourself, are all things that would hold you back from start writing.

This is what I learned.

The best think you can do to overcame this problem is accepting your fear, taking the risk and do it anyways!

People may or may not like what you have to say, but you’ll never now if you don’t try, and in the worst scenario you can always learn from your mistake.

 “You must be very polite with yourself when you are learning something new.”  

-Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Writing in your own language is already challenging, writing in a second language could be even more difficult.

Get rid of the idea that you need to have a perfect english, the only important think is that your readers can understand what you are trying to say.

Another trick is using content, other that word that can help people to get your message, like images, charts, videos an so on.

Last but not least, practice is the only thing that can make your writing better, no matter how bad your first pieces could seems, if you want to improve you have to learn by doing.

 

 

 

References:

http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/blogging-online-english-not-primary-language/
http://www.problogger.net/the-7-deadly-fears-of-blogging-and-how-to-overcome-them/
http://www.braidcreative.com/blog/how-to-deal-with-the-fear-of-blogging
http://thewritepractice.com/common-writing-fears/
https://nerdybookahs.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/blogging-in-a-foreign-language/
http://www.problogger.net/why-my-blog-motto-is-done-and-not-perfect/
http://writing-problems.tumblr.com/