Adrian has written a post calling me "ever regular and impressively reliable".
But it did make me smile.
(Image found here and edited. All rights to the copyright owners.)
Once, coming to university was all about the content. Access to materials, technology, information.
However, those things are now readily available. It's not all about the content - you can get fantastic lectures on the Internet for free.
MIT put all their course materials online, readily available to anyone. WHY?
They realise that it's about the experience - they lose nothing by putting up their curriculum, because the experience is something that can be obtained only at university.
This is obviously true. If I hadn't come to the lectures, for example, I would not have been able to create poetry from Adrian's words. This lecture is practically empty, and still someone is able to come in late and sit right in front of me and block out my view of Adrian - a tiny little figure from the point of view of one in the back row, with the rest of the Frankston Line.
Here Adrian is talking about sketches, which have a small footprint, as opposed to painting done by an artist which needs a large amount of infrastructure - painting, canvas, lighting, etc. We've made informal video - stuff with a small footprint, quickly and easily.
Sketching doesn't mean you have to devalue it as a practice. This is something I had to learn - from my first IM video to the fifth one. When I started, I submitted an unedited single shot video which basically had not much going for it. After showing it in class I started to think, comparing my work with other people, and wanting to be more entertaining and do a better job. Through this I think I made my best 'sketch' video - Not An Indoor Cat - which many people actually liked. I wanted to try harder and through this I learnt that sketches could be beautiful, too.
By teaching us to appreciate text and sketches, or thinking in action, Adrian carried out his intention of getting us to question the way we approached filmmaking, and that there was more than one way to make a 'legitimate' work.
"Theory is thinking engaging with doing." This is why he got us to read Barthes instead of just explaining it (which probably would have been a lot easier to comprehend.
Something else we covered: the idea of assembly lines, and group construction. People no longer needed to know how to make EVERY part of a construction, or a car - they could specialise in only one part.
Even in film production, there is now a 'factory' type operation of filmmakers.
People don't tend to change in traditional media. It's conservative, involved with concepts of risk management and expense, and what's traditional and comfortable - Adrian argues that one of the biggest changes for television was the death of the Sunday night movie on each channel.
Value these days (in car production) lies in selling the experience, on ideas, on knowing HOW.
Learning all the shortcuts in Final Cut Pro (for example) is learning WHAT, not learning HOW.
It's more important to know about the capabilities of software, and what you should be able to do using programs, because you can then learn WHAT you need to do if you know HOW you can do it.
When HTML first came out, Adrian felt that he knew everything there was to know about it (for about three weeks), as there was only a small vocabulary. This was until he saw the first webpage with a 'form' on it, where people could respond and write back, and the world changed for him. From that point forward, with rapid changes, he could no longer know everything. However, what he did know was how to find this information, and that is what was most important.
So, what does all this mean for us (as potential/future media producers)?
Why come to uni (and this class) if we can get all the information just from the internet?
The answer? The experience of Adrian as a filter, the feedback given, and (I'd say) the expectation to create work, the deadlines, the pressure, the structure.
Videos shouldn't need to take all your attention, and if they do, you should be rewarded for this. Realistically, the computer is a multi-windowed environment, and you may only be expecting small videos which you can stop and start and engage with easily.
I'm currently watching Hungry Beast's episode on Power, and the segment on Rape in Prisons is one that I think is extraordinarly effective.
Firstly, it started with big white letters spelling out the audio interviews with raped prisoners.
This was scary because we couldn't see who they were, and therefore felt more connected to them, but also because we could see the words appearing on the screen on a black background.
The music used was menacing, the shots of the prison were often wide and empty. Combined with the very serious subject matter and expert opinion, this made me genuinely frightened and concerned for the prisoners involved.
I think that Hungry Beast is an effective show because it contrasts humorous clips with serious ones such as these for even greater impact.
Here is our Gantt Chart, detailing WHO is responsible for WHAT during the project, and WHEN these will be due.
For more information on our work on the project so far, here is a video recording of part of our meeting, as well as notes on the direction of the project and things we discussed in our first properly scheduled meeting.
Emma has also written a few blog posts as a record of subsequent meetings we have had. These include:
- further discussion of the technical aspects of our work
- delegation of roles between us, trying to focus on Adrian's statement that groups with a 'producer', 'director' and 'editor' work together more effectively, and using our personal bar charts to point us towards certain directions and tasks
- notes from our meeting this morning, outlining certain technical difficulties we experienced, which Jae and I (mainly Jae) did troubleshooting on, and also a discussion of some of the stylistic choices we were happy with.
Today in the presentation of our prototypes we also hope to get feedback from the class about further directions we could take in terms of putting video and audio together, as well as the design of the interface and whether to include music or not.
I'm not going to write bad poetry today, even though it's fragmented lines are probably the best way to get my thoughts out.
Adrian is currently talking about his future trip to Montreal, and showing us his 5 minute presentation he is about to do while at the conference over there (and 'preoccupied' with). This is quite interesting, as is the concept that OUR understanding of korsakow is as sophisticated as 75% of his audience.
He is racing through his ideas and it is obvious he is excited about his concept of 'ledits' and the influence he can have on the Korsakow supporters, etc. It's nice to see someone have such enthusiasm. I only hope that when I am older, I am this passionate about my work.
Korsakow films can't interact with each other, in the way that pingbacks can on blogs.
In a book, the end is defined really obviously, "a direct consequence of the physicality of my media". It can't not have a beginning, a middle and an end. Even if there are flashbacks and time shifts in the book, there is always going to be a last page. There is always going to be a final shot of a film.
However, in Korsakow, and in the internet, there doesn't have to be an 'end'.
In traditionally storytelling structure, it is important that some things HAPPEN. For example, Jesus dying and getting nailed to the cross.
This doesn't have to happen in Korsakow. There is no way to know how much longer the film will go, or how long it will take to understand it.
That's why audiences have to be 'seduced' by the thumbnails, by the video, so they carry on.
"SNU's are like lonely men in a bar. They're alright by themselves, but they're really looking to connect with and attach on to something."
In this meeting we talked about our different ideas for the project. After our meeting with Adrian, the direction of our project changed. Initially we had planned to interview people about struggles, depression and body image. Discussion with Adrian put a positive spin on this, however, when he proposed the idea of asking people about their 'proudest moment'.
We decided to test out this idea, and asked a few people what their proudest moments were, however it became clear after a few tries that not all the people we were interviewing had proudest moments, and found this to be a bit of a struggle. Also, this idea didn't encapsulate any of the 'sadder' moments we were initially looking to capture when brainstorming.
To deal with this we decided to offer interviewees a choice of two questions, either
a) What is your proudest moment of your life?; or
b) If you could relive any moment of your life, what would it be and why?
We felt that this secondary option would allow more scope for answers, and the person's own interpretation, letting them address it in different ways - for example, a fantastic moment they would want to be exactly the same, or something they would have liked to have done differently.
We then decided to record people's interviews with audio only, using a H2 Zoom, and then record video of them separately and put it together. This was because we thought they would be more forthcoming in their interviews if a camera wasn't focused upon them. We also chose to use the 'lowest common denominator' when it came to the video, as then we could use the basic still cameras (with video recording function) that we had, instead of having to borrow equipment from the tech's and maybe missing a 'perfect' moment we encountered.
At this point, we were unsure whether we should have 'straight' footage of the person or intercut this footage with things they are talking about (for example, if they're talking about their childhood, should we also record children playing or toys?)
Just a note - I'm not trying to mock Adrian or anything. I've just realised that how he talks makes sense to me as poetry, and this is a combination of my thoughts and his.
His face, placed, in different spaces, places,
editing causing the effect, the notion of the whole
is different now. an apple in half
is half an apple,
but my walking in half,
myself in half,
my essence in half is one and the same.
you can take it as some sort of weird miracle,
how can what is halved still remain whole?
yet sound editing,
video editing is all about halves
making them whole
t r a n s p o s i n g
the fundamental aspect being the link.
it's a different notion
a whole different notion
a whole different whole
not just a pristine pure notion
i cannot cut a person in half - the person would be now dead!
this is an experience you cannot have with people
page six follows seven
why was six sad?
a different concept of wholeness.
emergent structures are the patterns that emerge through use
BOTTOM UP NOT TOP DOWN
they cannot be prescripted, they cannot be prescribed,
anarchy? rebellion? questioning the government?
consequences of your actions
coming from you
emanating from you
but you cannot control it
it is more than you
it is more than you can contain
the busiest point in the library is the front door,
but how can one control where the traffic will flow?
half a painting is not half a painting
half a book is not half a book
half a shot is...half a shot
always incomplete yet always still a whole.
always incomplete yet always still a whole.
always incomplete yet always still a whole.
how can something be finished if it is always incomplete?
how can i discover
how can i invent
how can i create
what is a whole
if it is made up of holes?
an edit is a link and a link is an edit
say what you mean! , well, i mean what i say.
those two are different. opposite? conflicting?
working with hypertext
is making a movie
so green, this green screen
with container spaces
links in, links out on this node
links in, links out on that node
a snu? a SNU?
a sun? where the planets revolve around,
the galaxy, the universe it never ends.
THE WORLD'S REVENGE ON TELEVISION
a talking head for twenty seconds
here, here, here, here,
h e r e . . . .. .
in this twenty seconds, thirty seconds,
twenty, thirty points of connection!
stop playing the game,
the game of traditional editing
'oh, this was always meant to come next!'
a cut, something else must happen.
the only possibility of it happening
that is it
that is it
NO. in this media, there is ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES,
anything could happen next,
(i can't draw a diamond.)
a field of possibilities
a sparkling gem transposed from years of pressure and dirt and grime from
exactly the same logic as an edit, post-cinematic environment
if you can do one, you can do the other!
i try to tell you. i try to think.
hypertext is sort of
is sort of
word processing, plus! - something else.
"you teach it like the internet is a new thing.
get over it."
but i can't.
i remember black and white television,
the first television in our house
when newspapers were black and white,
and tv was black and white.
to first print an essay on a laser printer,
not noisy and slow
but something exciting and real.
there's something exciting about word processing
not a typewriter
using whiteout to correct
and writing it out first
and then type type type
and type type type
and type type t--correct mistakes
but oh! on word processors - you can change the font!
you can change the colour!
you can alphabetise!
"why have you done this in red?"
the excitement goes on and my heart begins to race
it's a revolution!
is only one half of the equation
only one half of a whole
destined for the word of the physical
to facilitate the process of getting words onto a paper.
why does alphabetisation matter?
pages, pages, the language of the page
then hypertext, a change, so simple yet profound
a change of rules!
find! look for, search
the computer as a medium of publication
can vary the font size
can change the font
can go in and in and manipulate and change it all
SSSSH. BE NAIVE.
I come from a universe where the size of the page is the size of the page.
Word count? WHAT - no, 4 pages.
4 web pages? But how long do they need to be?
As long as necessary.
But that's not a good answer....!
You are from the world of order, and links.
This was broken.
On the third day,
everyone assumed it would be chaos
We rose again,
as pattern making creatures
do we need rules
of a link this colour
we should know
where it is going
where are we going?
don't get lost,
are we lost?
lost in the interwebs
in the internet
waiting for a spider
i will be eaten
we will be saved.
sense will be made.
google, take us, place us
the power to change
the readers have the same capacity as the maker
but a difference, my friend, between constructive and exploratory hypertext
oh wikipedia, construct me!
oh interwebs, EXPLORE ME!
oh, wait, hold on, that's really weird.
who doesn't go there, first and foremost?
oh wikipedia, your tender caress, your bottomless information! britannica doesn't compare
she costs so much and gives so little
and her attitude!~ so condescending.
oh wikipedia. don't leave me.
i need you. i'll give back, i promise.
britannica and i are breaking up.
she makes my life a misery with her demands.
you're constantly changing, evolving,
and so accessible.
i love you.
i come from a land where
when i go to a movie
i can't change the screen size!
and on television
i can't change the screen size!
but here is video online
trying to be television
and you kids are making it happen.
nothing is fixed here. nothing is fixed.
let's make it a bit more dramatic here. drama.
one second. a jpeg. that's all it is.
but now, my high fidelity
super cool soundtrack
OH, COMPUTER, TELL ME!
give me more, more information
stay with the object, metadata! don't get stripped down.
i like you better with all your clothes on.
now i'll copy my bit of bush, put it together. oh.
a photo that now goes for one minute.
a movie that doesn't move!
a movie with a zero frame rate
this can only be done in this environment
not final cut
quicktime is chill
hey! i'll hold this,
just make it a slideshow, man
just chill out.
final cut will chop it up, rip it up
many many many frames
not so chill, yeah?
will this work in the third world?
hold on, let me get my waves.
i have a movie made up of objects
like nodes in a hypertext
like snus in a korsakow film
and all the tracks can stay independent of each other
they have layers
and they can be moved.
i can make a movie
that lets that video
talk to that video
one part can change
not the other
like an open relationship
just like in a hypertext
this is what happens
when we treat the screen, the computer
as the publication format for video
final cut, and imovie, and all their brethren
like a word processor.
exactly the same
as the word processor
going to the page
add to me
do anything you like,
and make software to try and let us access these things
let us in
let us go now you and i
....the vast majority of software assumes
(oh how dare it)
that what you want is a traditional
i am not looking for a housewife,
i am looking for excitement.
oh here are two video movies in the same player -
i can play with them!
i can play! - and we all remember the importance of play
frames per second are an artefact of traditional linear media
but there is no playhead on a computer!
as i mouse into one,
the one on the left becomes exponentially faster
now they can both go crazy
oh, what are frames per second when it comes to a computer
when things can be completely user definable?
this video, sliced into 9 panes and reassembled
all user controlled
an art project
toggle! inside the space
a visual presence in its own time
off and on
they come and go and come
depending on what the user does
choose your own
if it's a tuesday, do this
and on friday, friday,
make it do whatever you like.
a movie in a cloud?
yes. this is a movie
that can only exist on a computer
no frame rate
no play state
no media file
not even a square edge
shock me! a revolution
all the things that you take for granted
(in say, final cut)
all these things disappear,
all we know is falling.
triptych (like this, my favourite)
all part of a whole
here they all are
and i use this for people like you
so i hear his point of view
and her point of view
and the estranged boyfriend's point of view,
it's not why you would do it,
it's what you would do WITH it!
so why don't you?
i can select that bit of text,
and go edit,
and paste it anywhere i like.
i have quicktime player
i have quicktime pro
but why on earth
can't i do this with video
to cut to paste
and on that note, thank you.
The project I'm talking about can be found here: http://raws.adc.rmit.edu.au/~s3284806/im1/sketch/
Not that I'm attempting to 'blow my own horn' or anything, but I seemed to catch on to the linking concept in Korsakow quite quickly, through simple processes of trial and error, thinking and evaluating. In fact, my biggest worry in terms of this project was that I had somehow missed the point or forgotten to do something, as everyone around me seemed to be stressing and I felt fine. Maybe this was because I had a different concept in mind when creating this project, that may have been simple to achieve through the Korsakow medium. Instead of aiming to tell a structured narrative or direct the viewer's video choices in a certain way, I aimed to create an atmosphere, and a journey, evoking certain themes or feelings.
Through linking, I learnt that simplicity was key in terms of mastering the basics of the program. At first, I had way too many linking words that didn't really lead anywhere. If an 'out' word only has a single match with an 'in' word, then only that video will come up when the other video is played. This can easily lead to a dead end if the second video runs out of lives.
Due to this, I started from the basics and simply linked the videos with the only in-words being the name of the person who created it and the 'type' of video it was (for example: Jae, roundthings) and the outwords being the other people in the group (eg: roundthings, Cassie, Emma). However, I soon found that this meant that the same SNU was often playing AND shown as a thumbnail, which I didn't want to happen. I then removed the 'type' of video from the keywords (so it would just be, for example: IN = jae, OUT= cassie, emma) but then I found that this lead to all the thumbnails being of the same person's work, and I wanted more variety than this. Through a long process of trial and error, I finally settled upon having each video (besides the identity ones) playing two times, with simple links as shown below:
These links meant that the same video never showed up on screen and in a thumbnail preview at the same time, and that the SNUs played twice before dying. The exception to this rule was the 'identity' videos. I gave them an infinite number of lives, which meant that the project never really has to end unless the viewer expressly chooses to end it.
Because this could go on forever, I decided to add a final SNU with strong breathing sounds and the words, 'It is accomplished', which are allegedly the last words Jesus uttered on the cross and therefore have dark and religious undertones, which I thought would be perfect for the completion of the K-film. However, the problem with this was that I then had to include a start-film, as I only realised when viewing my work later, and having the end film pop up first with nothing else playing. To avoid this anti-climax, I chose my 'journey' video as my start film, as it included the sign pointing in various directions, which I thought was an amazing symbol for the 'journey' I wanted the viewer to take.
Added effects: Subtitles and Sound
I decided to utilise some of the add-on options provided by Korsakow to further create the idea of a personal dark internal journey. I decided to use an image as a 'start screen', which not only contains credits but also establishes the piece as 'interactive', instructing the user to click to continue, which could be helpful to those unfamiliar with Korsakow.
I designed the background on Photoshop to help fit in with the theme, with a blurred, liquified and filtered photo signifying dreaming and the subconscious, as well as the fears associated with the night. I created black boxes for the thumbnails, subtitles and video to rest upon as I felt this would give it a 'border' and draw the eye to it. I also entitled it 'echo me in circles', a line from the song 'Misguided Ghosts' by Paramore, to allow the viewer to realise that repetition in this film was intentional, with the word 'me' signifying a connectedness, as they could be allowing 'me' to repeat my stories, or they could be repeating themselves.
For subtitles, I tried to capture or complement the feeling of the video itself with a statement that could be seen as poetic if read out loud, video by video. I also wanted to impart a sense of fear and confusion, and often the subtitles either bring out 'frightening' aspects of the video, or provide juxtaposition that places them in an entirely new context, such as having the words 'Outside is freedom. In freedom we are trapped. Outside is death' over Jae's otherwise innocent and playful 'Living Things' video.
I found scary breathing noises that were listed in the public domain and used a shortened version of this for the 'click sound'. This added to the tense, frightened atmosphere and also gave an ominous feel to the work, especially if clips are skipped (through clicking on the next one) as this creates a constant breathing sound. It also helps link the different clips together, adding to an overall connectivity.
Differences and Similarities
It was interesting to note the different ways each of our group members went about the task, as each of us took a different spin on the videos we all had to use.
Emma's one did not use a background, but other than that her interface was set up quite similarly to mine, albeit in reverse. However, instead of the threatening and tense mood I tried to create, her piece is nurturing and caring, gently giving the viewer 'life lessons' and exploring the world.
Jae's one is quite different again in that it tells more of a narrative. Incredibly, the subtitles attached to each make sense and tell a coherent story when played with the video, something that I imagine would have been quite hard to achieve. His interface is also set up quite differently from mine, and he has used a background to create a sort of home-entertainment experience.
Interestingly enough, both Emma and Jae have chosen the same start video for their piece, which is different from mine.
In watching all the K-Films of our group, I am pleased at how effective they all are in creating the atmosphere and mood they set out to achieve. I am very pleased with how my videos connect, and think I have achieved the goals I set myself through this, for the reasons I have stated throughout this post.
For the fifth Integrated Media Video, we had to make a video about ourselves without using US or our voices. This was tricky, until (while filming my day) I figured out I was pretty much defined by the people whose company I kept (my "friends") and my compulsions (namely eating, Kit Kat Chunky Cookies and Cream being -in my opinion- the tastiest chocolate bar EVER.) I therefore combined the two - and this is what you get.
Music: Kevin MacLeod, Constancy Part 3 (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons "Attribution 3.0"
I think I've worked out a way to understand this text, and maybe all texts I struggle with in the future.
Funnily enough, the answer was embedded in me all along, and I just had to regress to earlier stages of development (ie. find my inner child) in order to realise it. Read it out loud.
This is what children do when they begin to read, in order to comprehend ideas and listen to the sounds, and we learn to read out loud before we learn to read 'silently'. So this is what I am doing, giving the text my voice and then reflecting and questioning what I have said, rather than staring at words on a screen that blend and blur together. So here goes - my summary (and humble understandings) of Roland Barthes 'From Work To Text' - enjoy.
Cassie Reads Barthes.
There is a strong relationship between ideas and ideologies currently in circulation and the way we respond to written work. For example, novels written hundreds of years ago are given a new interpretation (in English and Literature school classes worldwide, for starters) by theories such as Marxism, and feminism, that may not have been as prominent when the book was written. Think here of how Enid Blyton's work has changed meaning for children over the years, with publishers wanting to update the 'slang' and discussion being generated about concepts of racism and xenophobia in her novels.
However, literary work is transformed into a 'text' when one takes into account the different perspectives and ways of looking at it, it's sociological and historical implications, and everything else that could possibly be connected to the work that is not directly IN it. (For example, the Bible would not be a 'text' without knowledge of the importance it has had for many societies, the beliefs that it is a 'true' historical account of dealings with 'God' and also the current social power it has, in terms of swearing on the Bible or the way it is used to uphold certain lifestyles and condemn others.)
Text is something that can cut through many different 'works', many different novels, and cannot be constrained or easily explained or 'computed'. What makes a 'text' is not a snobbish distinction between 'great Classic novels' and other fiction, but a culmination of influences, an experience (and one that - I'm lead to believe- can cause change, or spark new ideas or ways of thinking). Text cannot be stop, left on a library shelf or in a bookstore, because it is a sociological concept, an idea that keeps flowing and continuing, carrying on in people's minds and their actions and society.
The Text can not be contained in a single genre. It is always paradoxical and shifts our preconceived notions of genre, often being hard to pin down as 'just one thing'.
I'm now up to point 3, about signs. But I'll continue this on in a subsequent post.