Week 7: Reconfiguring Spacetime

This week we started discussing our major projects for this semester. We were split up into groups, based on what main idea we wanted to discuss; the category i chose was reconfiguring space time: storytelling through sounds, image and interaction.  This topic looks at:

  • Reconfiguring space time through sound, image and interaction to tell stories has been the domain of cinema.
  • How can we re-configure space time to create layered experiences or narratives in other ways?
  • How do we create new space time through the use of sound and image?
  • How do we open up story-telling as an activity by configuring human senses through the media of sound and image?
  • What kind of stories can be told? What kind of stories should be told?

The group that i was split up into has me, Chelsea, Sonny, Sam and David (later Chloe). we dicided to recreate Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s The Dark Pool (1995). The work is like a curiosity cabinet, filled with things, linking to an historical murder and when you walk past certain things different sounds started to play.

We started by discussing what we each thought of the piece, adding different ideas (Sam liked the idea to make the piece as immersive as possible, likening it to a realistic VR experience) and how we think we could pull a similar piece off  with the 2 hour time constraint. We landed on the idea of picking a theme and basing it all off that. The idea fell flat before Jo came over and told us the discuss our proposed ideas for the first assignment. Everyones ideas were interesting and intriguing, and from there we found a great medium of all of our ideas put together as well as incorporating Cardiff and Miller’s piece.

We settled on the idea of loss, with different sound grabs from tv shows, movies etc that dealt with loss, hanging up rings (things that are easily lost) the sound grabs we had were from 13 Reasons Why (dealing with the suicide and loss of a loved one) the theme to Lost (dealing with the loss of a great deal of people) and Golum from Lord of the Rings talking about losing the ring (again, loss)

the execution was poor, as we didnt have enough rings to skillfully showcase the idea we wanted to show, but the main idea was there, which i think could be seen.

 

 

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Our groups recreation

The way we can move past this and work from our ideas is to make sure that the finish product is good enough to push the point of the original work across, but its original enough that our work isnt just copying exactly what the original artwork intended. I think we got incredibly lucky with our group, we all work well together, enjoying each others ideas and aiding each other with out ideas. I feel that we will have a really great group assignment at the end of the semester.

Week 6 MEDA301: Major Project Idea

Like i stated in week 5 post, i will be attempting to create a completely new narrative out of already existing films or television shows, focusing on one actor conversing with different versions of themselves. I am yet to pick exactly which actor/actress i will pick, but i would like to pick someone who has both done dramatic and comedic roles, and has worked on both film and television, giving me the most amount of dialogue. The actors/actresses i’m thinking of incorporating into the piece includes:

– David Tennant
– Aidan Turner
– Amy Poehler
– Gillian Anderson
– Jenny Slate
– Amy Adams

i will hope to cut it as fluidly and as seamlessly as possible, using final cut and premiere to edit these clips together. I want the video to seem like it was made by a big production company, and its actual a film rather than a student project. The only downside to this idea will be the sound mixing, which i feel will be the hardest part of the assignment. I want it to be something that can be enjoyed and fully digested even if they catch it half way though.

I feel the hardest part of this assignment will probably be the creation of the fully formed narrative, using other narratives. The dialogue will be the hardest part as well, making sure its coherent and concise without being too stiff and boring. Picking different genres will keep the dialogue fresh and authentic, as well as leading me off into storytelling ideas. These things will be addressed when I test out the viability of the idea. I feel like having a film projected or shown on a big screen in a space is already engaging in itself, even before the audience engaged with the piece, so i just need to make sure that the piece is entertaining throughout to maintain engagement with the audience; perhaps filming the reactions of the audience and having it play on a smaller screen on the opposite side of the room?

I feel this assignment, and this method will allow me to showcase my strong suits, as well challenging me in a way that i have yet to do studying this degree. It will be an incredibly time consuming work, but i feel that the end result will be something that will be both interesting and thought provoking. I’m not sure how i will use the idea of ‘materialising the digital and digitising the material’ but i’m sure i will be able to manipulate the idea into repurposing the scripts and images for a completely different effects. I have a feeling that with the right amount of commitment, this Major Work will be incredibly rewarding

 

MEDA301 Week 5: Converting Ideas

As many of my previous assignments have revolved around film making and how it can be related to art forms, i will also do this with this semesters major work. I will hopefully be able to correctly convey my ideas in a way that is entertaining but also thought provoking. But i feel like many of my assignments for this class and others, the ideas and theories behinds practices are there, but my execution of said ideas is lacking, and that is something i want to move past in MEDA301.

I want to utilise the name of the MAAS exhibition we went to see, using the “Materialising the digital” and repurpose that to convey “Materialising the digital, and Digitalising the material” hoping to create,  a visual or film project, conveying both of these concepts into a concise, intricate and interesting major project. Maybe working with time, or engagement of the audience, similar to several pieces in the “out of hand” exhibition. I was hoping to make a piece, working similarly to Chibnall’s work on Broadchurch, and other shows such as Parks and Recreation and The Office to create an documentary style film but on something that wouldn’t be interesting under normal circumstances. Or something similar to Chantelle Hyde’s MEDA201 piece (2016) , cutting together already created pieces of news programs( or in my case, films and television shows) to create a whole new film, something similar to this:

 

There is also videos on both youtube and vimeo of people cutting together different films and making an interesting and followable film. So maybe doing something like that, focusing on same genre, same director, same year, same actor so that they are all connected in some way, but it is unclear to the audience when they start to engage in it. It would be challenging in a way none of my other MEDA assignments have been, and i feel the final project would be interesting enough that even of people started watching halfway though, they would still leave with the same emotions that someone who watched the whole piece would.

 

Focusing on one actor or actresses career, and having the different characters interacting and talking to each other would make for a very interesting piece, especially when the conversations that they are all having make sense. This would entail a fair bit of work; watching and rewatching the entire filmography of the actor/actress, and write down ever scene that could be used, but i feel the desired effect of the finished product would be something incredible.

I think this idea is what i will pursue for my major work, as it revolves around many aspects of this  course and my degree that interest me, and i feel that it is something i will do well.

 

References:

  1. Hyde, C (2016) Not So Pro-Paganda, viewed 2nd April 2017, https://chanhydeandseek.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/not-so-pro-paganda/

MEDA301 WEEK 4: Making Opportunities in Production

 

My chosen field is Film and Television, with a focus on production. The term producer is very loose, and the role has changed drastically through different phases in film history. They can range between helping the director, aiding in the editorial process or hiring the main staff. This job is classified as a job for an ‘all-rounder’ meaning you must have skills and techniques in almost all aspects of film, from directing, or cinematography, editing, and even writing. This means you need to make sure you are constantly improving and changing your techniques, to keep up with demands of viewers, as they are the ones who will prove of your work os good enough to continue to produce.

As there are many stages of film production, so we will focus on the main ‘production’ aspect of filmmaking. Futurelearn (2017) describes the production stage as “During this phase it is key to keep planning ahead of the daily shoot. The primary aim is to stick to the budget and schedule, this requires constant vigilance. Communication is key between location, set, office, production company, distributors – in short, all parties involved” (2017) Many producers have acquired degrees, through either tertiary education or otherwise, and it is widely expected for someone who is going for a job in this  sector, or who is working in said sector, to have at least one degree to reflect upon. Many people working in the film industry have at least one ‘overarching’ degree, with them honing on their skills at a film school, such as AFTRS, or New York Film Academy in Australia.

 

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As the film industry is often talked about as being ‘cut throat’, trying to find an entryway into such a field may be difficult. As stated in my diagram, after graduating, i will try and utilise as any of my given ideas. The best option will probably be unpaid work or internships, or even utilising the connections i have made since starting my degree. Websites such as pedestrian.tv, seek, or careerone are great resources to use (i have been using them since starting university in 2015) in trying to find internships and unpaid work. Also utilising past experience, even if you think it isn’t applicable (stage work, helping with local productions etc) may also help your resume stand out to possible employers. Keeping and interesting and up to date ‘show reel’ is also an easy way to make your ideas stand out in a pile of more than one hundred applicants.

 

  1. Burn, R (2017), The Seven Stages of Film Production, Futurelearn, Viewed 27th March 2017, https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/film-production/0/steps/12304

MEDA301 – Chris Chibnall

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What moves you?

I like works of film/television that stick with you long after you finish watching. Whether it has unanswered questions or it tackles issues that are classified as taboo, or ones that get conversations started about subjects that people don’t normally talk about in a public setting. I would want to create things that people couldn’t stop thinking about long after they have finished watching.

My personal ‘hero’ is Chris Chibnall, creator of Torchwood and Broadchurch and the new head writer and executive producer for Doctor Who

  • Describe his/ her practice/ work.

He is an ‘all-rounder’ he produces, directs and writes for his work. His more famous work, a crime-procedural called ‘Broadchurch’, he worked on getting green-lit for over a decade. he created character profiles, and plans out the storyline on a whiteboard in his office. He says:
“I have four giant whiteboards
 and a brilliant script editor,” says 
Chibnall. “We storyline everything and then start with the characters… When you plot an hour-long episode, you have to do it very tightly in four acts around the ad breaks.” 
(2017)

The way that he wrote/writes and creates his show are very interesting. He creates massive cliffhangers and ‘popcorn moments’ by keeping the ideas very secret (having all the scripts handed in at the end of the day and watermarked, having the scripts with the spoilers kept in a safe etc)
he also talks with the directors and actors to make sure that the first tke is the one that they end up using, maintaining a very “documentary style” way of filmmaking  (2013)

He was also the Main writer, and executive producer for the hit show A Life on Mars.

His first big break was being appointed head writer and producer of the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood. He stayed on this position throughout the shows 4 seasons. He was also chosen by Dick Wolf (executive producer of all Law and Order properties) to helm the spin off, Law and Order: UK.  He left after a season to pursue other endeavours. He also helped to write 5 episodes of Doctor Who throughout a 3 season run. After the 10th season of the show, which will be airing in 2017, he will be taking over as showrunner.

 

 

As stated before, he fought for 10 years for his show Broadchruch to be picked up. His brand of writing is heartfelt and grounded in reality, meaning many viewers feel connected to his stories from the very beginning.

He is incredibly invested in telling ‘human’ stories, even if the genre doesn’t really fit the way of hs storytelling. He makes it work by grounding the characters, the settings, and the stories in ways that the viewers can connect to the stories, without needing to have witnessed or had these things happen to them first hand.

the way of Chibnall’s storytelling is exactly how i want to create content. Shrouded in realness and raw human emotion, with ideas planned out in advance, not just spur of the moment ideas.

Chibnall has been incredibly lucky with his writing throughout his career, going from strength to strength, and weaving his way through different genres and crafts. His biggest success i would have to say is a tie; with both Broadchurch and his stint as showrunner for Torchwood. Broadchurch was an incredibly raw show when it premiered in 2013, and now, in its final season, still feels just like it did five years ago. Torchwood was an incredible opportunity for Chibnall (who himself is a massive Doctor Who fan) as it allowed him to immerse himself in the Doctor Who universe but devise grittier stories, as the show was directed at adults, rather than a family stories, similar to Doctor Who. He has been under fire recently for the latest season of Broadchurch, with many news outlets and fans calling him out for using rape as a plot device, for which he has responded:“As a programme-maker,” says Chibnall, “you’ve got a responsibility to examine your choices and how they play in the wider world. Does [violence against women] need to be shown? It’s difficult for me to speak about other shows, but I hope Broadchurch offers a thoughtful, compassionate, detailed, well-researched depiction of the emotional complexities of it. It’s not there as a plot device.”
(2017)

That being said, there was never been a show that he has written for that has been prematurely cancelled or he has left due to creative differences. Chibnall has had  incredible  luck when it comes to his field, something i wish to also possess when i make my way into it.

  1. Day, Elizabeth (2017), Broadchurch creator Chris Chibnall: “Why am I walking away from the two best actors in the country?”, viewed 15th March 2017 //www.radiotimes.com/news/2017-02-27/broadchurch-creator-chris-chibnall-why-am-i-walking-away-from-the-two-best-actors-in-the-country
  2. Beirley, M (2013), ‘Broadchurch’ finale: Creator Chris Chibnall on the killer, key scenes, viewed 15th March 2017, http://ew.com/article/2013/09/25/broadchurch-killer-finale/
  3. Tate, G (2017),Chris Chibnall interview: ‘We’re not using rape as a plot device on Broadchurch’, viewed 17th March 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2017/02/16/chris-chibnall-interview-not-using-rape-plot-device-broadchurch/

MEDA301 Week 2 – The history and contemporary context of Production in Cinema

Contemporary Context of Production of Screen Media

  1. Compile a list of five contemporaries in your field or who might inform your research either practically or conceptually.
    – Amy Poehler – parks and recreation
    – Brian Leslie Parker – LEGION
    – George Lucas – Star Wars
    – Coen brothers – Inside Llewyn Davis
    – Duffer brothers – Stranger things
  1. Describe the work in detail as if you were reverse engineering it. What skills and knowledge sets are involved? What antecedents does the work evoke? How does it work technically (in the one hand) and conceptually/theoretically (on the other).

Each one of these television shows, knowledge on the material is key,

Parks and Rec:
– American politics
– comedic timing
– knowing how to film a single camera ‘sit com’
– lighting a set to seem ‘happy’
– writing a fast-moving script that also has room for improv from the actors

Legion
– knowledge of the source Marvel comic from the same name
– how to light sets to evoke emotion (especially fear and angst)
– How to create a interesting and intricate world that will draw people in
– creating stories that are interesting and tells a complete story but still leaves viewers wanting more

Stranger Things
– How to create a show that is in that ‘lost genre’ where the show appeals to adults and kids without being overly scary or too childish
– how to create a series based in the 80’s but shrouded in modern tech and ideas
– how to write and direct kids without making them too vulnerable or too adult
– How to use nostalgia as a pliable plot device but not to use it too much, causing the audience to lose interest

Knowing the work in which you are making (backstories of characters, why they are in the situations they are in etc, how the character interact with one another etc.)

 

Each one of these shows relied on the audience to pay attention (more so Legion and Stranger Things than Parks and Rec) and to understand what the creators are putting down. The running time of each of these series (Parks and Rec being 20 minutes, whereas both Legion and Stranger Things can run anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour) can hinder the effectiveness of the storytelling. The Producers help the writers, directors and editors to enable the maximum amount of story to be told in the most concise and interesting way.

Historic Context of Production in Cinema

Pre and post production of cinema stems from stage performances, when Thomas Edison created the”peepshow” kinetoscope, which allowed for simultaneous viewing by multiple parties. in the late 1890’s. It wasn’t popularised until the Auguste and Louis Lumière who were among the first film makers n history, creating a motion picture camera and projector, buying the patent from a man called Leon Bouly [2002] Films remained silent until 1928 and widely monochrome until the late 1940’s.

Many stage producers jumped over to producing for movie pictures as both are quite similar. You still create a multi faceted story though powerful narrative and expose, while only showing 3 out of the 4 ‘walls’. The only big difference is that with moving pictures, you can use camera positioning and angles to create tension and emotions, whereas with stage, you need to convey such emotion though character movement on a stationary stage.

Production, like the films they create, has changed with the times, allowing for more pliability within the business; they are now one of the more respected film occupations. Producers are often times classified as the backbone of a film- they dabble and get their hands dirty in all aspects for the film, with producer Rebecca O’Brien stating “Producing is about getting your hands dirty: it’s for people who aren’t amazingly good at one thing, but are good at a lot of things. The director is the mouthpiece of the film throughout – and that’s fine by me.” [2008]

Without producers, film sets and the finished work would not be at the standard they are today, as producers are the ‘glue’ that holds the fabric togethers, and without them, many film sets and ideas would be lost to time.

  1. Walter, J (2002) Pioneers – Lumiere Brothers, viewed 23rd March 2017, www.earlycinema.com/pioneers/lumiere_bio.html 
  2. Smith, C (2008), It’s less glamorous than directing, but film producing can be the reel deal, viewed 24th March 2017, http://www.independent.co.uk/student/career-planning/getting-job/its-less-glamorous-than-directing-but-film-producing-can-be-the-reel-deal-800908,html

MEDA301 Week 1

Beginning by sketching out the following:

  • Do you see yourself or your learning situate in an existing field? (e.g. communication and media studies, creative practice, screen or moving image, media arts etc.).

Yes, its a booming business in australia.

  • Write down some key words that describe this field, actions or tasks related to this field (e.g. Image-making, material investigation, social media, research etc.).

Film/Television making
-Film/TV Production
-Film/TV editing/post production
-Writing

  • Circle the activities, tasks, or keywords that interest you or you identify as avenues you would like to pursue. IN BOLD
  • Look through the projects that you created in the past (academic or outside of university), find one that interests you the most. Describe the project in one or two sentences.

    A short film based on a  short story written by a classmate. We filmed it over two days, with no help from other teachers.
    Write down some keywords about the project: ideas explored, actions taken, or skills learnt.

    Writing
    – Filming and positioning things for the camera
    Pre and post production
     – Editing
    – showcasing the work
    Circle the aspects that you enjoyed most or would like to pursue. IN BOLD

  • Write down five of the most important skills and knowledge that you consider vital to your learning in your field of practice.

– Knowing who youre working with
– Knowing what you are filming
– Having a good shot sheet
– Having a good camera and sound setup
– KNOWING what the theme and story of the film