Formalised Presentation of 3 Themes

Below is a video of my Power artifact which is about the power of money.

It’s about the power of money and how everything has its price. I shot throughout Coventry City centre and mainly focused on general consumerism of clothes stores, travel agents, jewellery shops etc. The narrative is simple and open to interpretation but it is basically a person window shopping, looking at all the possibilities that money could bring you and ultimately realising that they do not have any money and therefore not having the power to do anything such as buy a gift, or travel the globe.

If I were to evaluate my video I’d have to be honest and say i’m dissapointed with myself for two reasons. Firstly I didn’t plan or prepare filming enough, I had extremely vague ideas about visualising power but they were so vague that they were only ideas and I never developed them into something that I could successfully film. When the deadline came closer I started to panic and in the end settled on something that was easy to film. This meant that the experimentation was minimal. I completed the obstruction task of editing every half a second which looking back, actually looks good in places – particularly when the camera walks through the precinct. I also managed to find an audio track that matched the obscure tempo and feel of the editing. I see this video as a result of poor preparation and a weak idea that wasn’t developed nearly enough, however I have learnt from it and I will definitely improve on it and make something superior next time around.

I’m going to make a short video based on the theme of ‘spectacle’. My idea works on two meanings of the word, being something spectacular as well as something involving Guy Debord’s theory on the society of the spectacle.

After watching the horrific events of ‘9/11’ again in a recent lecture the thought of where people were and what we were doing at the time it was happening crossed my mind. In my film I want to dramatically contrast the event itself with something as mundane as making a cup of tea. I will film some tightly framed shots of the various stages of making a cup of tea and obviously I will have to use archive footage of the 9/11 attacks. I will try to dramatize the mundane as much as possible and I think I can do this by using slow motion along with some great classical music. This is meant to be humorous and I got the idea when I was watching South Park in an episode that mocks ‘300’s over-use of slow-motion by putting the effect on the most unnecessary things like eating and drinking. I will mix the audio of the 9/11 footage with the shots of the tea because I think this will make the films contrast and message more powerful. Another (perhaps humorous) influence for this video is 2001: A Space Odyssey because I will try to present the visuals of the tea-making in the same vein as the famous scenes from the film, with slow, tranquil movements in harmony with a classical score.

2001: A Space Odyssey

I mentioned earlier that the idea works on two levels of meaning (of spectacle) and that’s because on a basic level it will be spectacular, aesthetically and through the event itself being spectacular in the way that it is a rare occurance that shook the whole world. The other level of meaning is through Guy Debord’s theory of the society of the spectacle. My film will apply to Debord’s theory in a subliminal way because in the parts that I will film myself it will be a suggestion that so many people were doing something unimportant and insignificant while at the same time something much bigger was happening. This isn’t a direct response to Debord’s theory because I wont be showing the ‘spectacle’ itself (being something media orientated such as television as something we hide behind) but instead a mundane task that is a representation of something insignificant that we do instead of doing something more meaningful.

I have a few ideas that run through my mind for this artifact. All involving the mandatory inclusion of a split-screen. One idea is to focus on selective memory, maybe having two perspectives showing at the same time. The perspectives could be looking back on a date, with the male highlighting the good points of it, even making up things that didn’t happen, while the female only picks out the bad points of the time. Another idea along the same lines as the previous could be to show somebody asking their friend what hapenned on a recent date with a girl. It then cuts to a split-screen, with one showing what the guy is telling his friend and the other screen showing the embarassing truth.

I saw a video online that uses split-screen in a simple but effective way. It’s a commercial for the NBA –

I’m not sure exactly where I can take this idea, but it looks quite interesting and I was thinking of enhancing it further by contrasting two different cultures. In order to be able to understand everything I wont be able to play the two videos at the same time. Instead, I could either pause the footage in the editing process just have the actors remain silent at certain times. Maybe I could use this technique during the video but not completely like the NBA advert does. Instead I could use split-screen for this but also a contrast in perspective and for alternate shots of the same scene.

I really struggled in the editing process for this video because I wanted to have a split-screen throughout the piece, aiming to emphasise a contrast between two people. The contrast is between two different people presenting two similar objects that are meaningful to their lives. I don’t think this worked very well because I only managed to achieve a split-screen effect in the transition between the two characters. It still pushes the intended point of contrast on a level of difference *and* similarity, but overall, other than the clean sound, it isn’t a video i’m proud of. If I were to do it again, I would have chosen a more meaningful location, using a backdrop which associated with the dialogue rather than the blank one i used (which was meant to bring the focus purely on the characters dialogue.)

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Memory Artifact evaluation

I really struggled in the editing process for this video because I wanted to have a split-screen throughout the piece, aiming to emphasise a contrast between two people. The contrast is between two different people presenting two similar objects that are meaningful to their lives. I don’t think this worked very well because I only managed to achieve a split-screen effect in the transition between the two characters. It still pushes the intended point of contrast on a level of difference *and* similarity, but overall, other than the clean sound, it isn’t a video i’m proud of. If I were to do it again, I would have chosen a more meaningful location, using a backdrop which associated with the dialogue rather than the blank one i used (which was meant to bring the focus purely on the characters dialogue.)

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memory artifact

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FMP Unofficial Proposal

For my Final Major Project I will create an experimental film, utilising POV shots throughout. I will try to create the most immersive experience possible showing a small narrative that involves the camera as a representation of the viewer, existing in a constructed reality. All actors within the film will therefore act to the camera itself.

I’m not yet sure what the narrative of the film will be but I will be taking inspiration from the video game series ‘Half Life’ and the TV show Peep Show.

As far as equipment is concerned, I have to find a balance between size and quality. For handheld shots obviously the handy-cam would be the easiest and most comfortable to use, but the quality will be poor. A PDX10 is bigger but perhaps still adequate for the task, while a Z1 or Z5 may be too big and heavy to move around with the agility required.

Actors I will find through a casting call on the internet. I may need around three people but I’m sure it wont be hard to find good actors to help me out as the shoot wont last longer than a week overall maximum.

Budget for the film isn’t something I really have to think about because so far I wont be doing anything within the film that raises the funds in anyway.

Distribution is easy enough to find over the internet, I can upload my video to a website dedicated to the film and then submit the film to any festivals or competitions that are running during mid 2011.

Advancing the experimentation of the film further – I recently read about an experiment tried in 1957 in which a viewer was sat down watching footage of a bike ride and with each corresponding part of the video came a scent that related to the scene. For example, freshly cut grass as the viewer could see themselves riding through fields. I might try to think of doing something similar to this in my video to really set it out from anything else.

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Split-screen

Here’s another music video that uses split-screen. Different shots of the same thing (instrument) is something i’ll put into my next video.

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Memory Video Idea

I have a few ideas that run through my mind for this artifact. All involving the mandatory inclusion of a split-screen. One idea is to focus on selective memory, maybe having two perspectives showing at the same time. The perspectives could be looking back on a date, with the male highlighting the good points of it, even making up things that didn’t happen, while the female only picks out the bad points of the time. Another idea along the same lines as the previous could be to show somebody asking their friend what hapenned on a recent date with a girl. It then cuts to a split-screen, with one showing what the guy is telling his friend and the other screen showing the embarassing truth.

I saw a video online that uses split-screen in a simple but effective way. It’s a commercial for the NBA –

I’m not sure exactly where I can take this idea, but it looks quite interesting and I was thinking of enhancing it further by contrasting two different cultures. In order to be able to understand everything I wont be able to play the two videos at the same time. Instead, I could either pause the footage in the editing process just have the actors remain silent at certain times. Maybe I could use this technique during the video but not completely like the NBA advert does. Instead I could use split-screen for this but also a contrast in perspective and for alternate shots of the same scene.

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‘Memory’ – lecture notes

Memory could be characterised by revisiting something for the second (or another) time. Technology allows us to escape the present and selectively decide which part of the past we remember.

There are two main aspects of memory, collective and personal.

Collective Memory

Within collective memory is something called cultural memory which is a thought that is put into our minds that could also be referred to a stereotype. We all have an idea of what someone from each culture will be like and an example of this that was given by the lecturer is of a recent holiday that he was coming back from – in which there was a delay on the return flight. He saw two seperate groups of people, one group English and the other Italian. The Italians were extremely angry, cramped up together and screaming at the people working at the airport due to their frustration. The English however formed an orderly queue to wait their turn to voice their opinions with the workers. This, the lecturer felt was a clear example of a difference in culture and perhaps something that encouraged a cultural thought and therefore cultural memory. These memories are created from personal experiences so each individuals cultured memories will be slightly different from another persons because each person has encountered various things to the other.

Collective memory is not the same as history. There is a process called mythologising in which selective memory could appear, history could be dependent on the person depicting the facts, or rather which facts they choose to see. A simple example of this could be the recent student protest in London, one may say see the logic in the protest, while another could see the destruction caused by some of the protesters and document it as a riot.

To understand the process of mythologising you have to look at the details of how the history was constructed, thinking about the culture and influences that might be behind it. History is only accessible to us in narrative form, history requires mediation, representation and a story, these are all part of the things that are encoded history.
Benedict Anderson – Communities (nations) are ‘imagined’ entities. The nation is imagined as limited because even the largest of them encompassing perhaps a billion living human beings has finite, if elastic boundaries beyond which lie other nations. No nation imagines itself coterminous with mankind.

PERSONAL MEMORY
Archive can either be an official recording of footage or it can be a personal archive for example, photographs. It has been a desire since the end of the 19th century to use archive as a metaphor or analogy when memory is discussed. Michel Foucault indicates that history both shapes and occupies the function of memory.
Oeuvre is the idea of a collection of work by an author and is similar in its meaning to characteristic. In the past its meaning was similar to archive – the things that have been and what we have done. An example of the mythologizing process could be that of the creation of a film. It’s a production created by a collaboration of people but is only remembered through an individual (usually the director).
The lecturer gave an example of his own personal archive, showing the class old photos of his Grandfather. He told us about his personal memory of his Grandfather and then explained that one day he received conflicting information from other family members telling different stories about his Grandfather and making him seem like a much different man than the lecturer imagined. This new information that he was told (and shown through photos) corrupted his own personal narrative of his Grandfather and made him change his own personal memory.

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