During this module I was show my creative-critical development on a week by week basis, by completing set tasks that encompass a wide range of professional skills that are tailored to suit different forms of distribution.
The first task was to analyse individuals within the media industry to discover how they brand themselves. Your brand is how you present yourself to an audience and employers and what you represent. In regards to my personal brand I chose a late 90’s Matrix style graphic, this image is very simplistic which I believe works for the purposes of this module. However I feel that it does not represent me as a whole but rather presents my interests to the viewers at face value. For example, the graphic is reminiscent of style and font used the wrestler Triple H during the years 1999 and 2000 (Johnafang350 2009). In hindsight I wish I had used the Forbes “The First Step To Building Your Personal Brand” (FORBESWOMAN 2012) when constructing my brand, because the 4 steps detailed in the article and creating my own mantra could have given my brand a lot more depth than was present before.
One of the most important factors of the brand is how it allows me to connect with people and get them interested in my projects. I could have made more effort to involve my classmates and friends more; I could have made better use of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Tumblr to allow my projects to reach more people, in future I will be sure to research more techniques that draw legitimate attention to my work. Without any support my projects won’t reach anyone. Looking at Chapter 1 of “Here Comes Everybody” (Shirky 2008) Perfectly summarises why establishing a following with your brand can work wonders for you both personally and professionally. In the book a woman lost her phone and her friend successfully used social media to spread the story online to get the phone back. I can say that I am satisfied with the brand I have constructed for the time being, I just need to get it out there to my potential audiences and make better use of social media.
During the second task I created my remix. There are two things that I have taken away from this project. The first is I became a lot more comfortable with using the adobe premiere editing software when creating this remix. Before I had always felt intimidated about using new software but thanks to some assistance from tutors and fellow students I learned everything I needed to know for completing the project.
This brings me to the second thing I have taken away from this exercise. The feedback from classmates also highlighted one of my major shortcomings for this project, the editing. In hindsight I believe I could have done better with the arrangement of the clips and maybe added more for improved variety. Pacing in particular appeared to be an issue as clips did not match the speed and energy of the music and created a bad juxtaposition. Despite getting to grips with the technology I still have a lot to learn in regards to constructive editing and narrative pacing, the tutor Matthew Hawkins has recommended studying books on editing to improve my skills.
The following task proved to be the most challenging yet. I was required to create a production package for a potential film and then pitch it to the class. Initially I planned to use my Little Star short story as the basis for the film. I studied the Monty Python’s Absolutely Anything production package in order to develop the structure for my own work. Writing the Outline and synopsis were the easiest tasks although I needed to expand upon the short story’s narrative in order to make it feature length. I inserted new ideas into the story like Keekin’s father Cynefrid and how the elves came to live alongside humans. The positioning was arguably my strongest showcase within the package as I was able to draw comparisons between my film and other films, and I was able to see what separated my story from them and made it unique.
It can be seen that I was insecure when writing about funding as I found it difficult to trace information in regards to the DVD sales and profits from 2D animated films. This constrained the amount of time I could have dedicated to other elements of the package such as potential actors and animation studios. When the time came to pitch my still incomplete Production Package I improvised a lot of the information while remaining true to my original research. I explained that I would make a short film and then send it to a film festival like London and/or Edinburgh to create interest in the project, and then I would seek investment to produce the feature length production. The positive response I received was both surprising and undeserved.
After the production package we were tasked with recreating a classic using Web 2.0 features, like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. This task introduced me software called X ray Goggles (Mozilla 1998) that allowed me to edit webpages to my own ends. Unfortunately during this process I couldn’t get the software to work which frustrated me to no end, so I had to resort to alternative methods. Through Facebook Noah provided a link that allowed me to edit the text on a webpage. This served its purpose well and allowed me to proceed. However During Task 4 the deadline was extended and we were set Task 5 during the meantime.
I was introduced to the video system known as Vine, this software allowed people to produce extremely short videos and showcase them online. I was unable to use this service for my project because I did not possess a smart phone with the appropriate settings so I resorted to using a Flip Vid Camera. I decided to produce the story as a stop motion piece rather than live action because I would have more creative control of the imagery. There were also images that I wanted to use that I know I wouldn’t be able to produce in live action, like the space scenes.
After I completed task 5 I went straight back to finish work on Task 4,which would have been better if I was able to use X ray Goggles at the time, as it would have allowed me greater freedom to edit the webpages and produce better results, as a result I need to become more acquainted with new software and how to use it in future.
For the final task of the module I was introduced to Mozilla Popcorn Maker (Mozilla 1998), using this program I was tasked with remixing a Documentary choice in order to make it interactive and allow my audience to engage with film. I chose the scene from “Bowling for Columbine” (Moore 2002) where Michael Moore interviews the Rock Star Marilyn Manson and the connections the media made between him and the Columbine killings. This software creates a lot of opportunities for Experimentation as I used the events system to provide links to sources that expand upon elements stated in the video and also guide the audience; I used Googlemaps to provide the location of Littleton in the beginning. In theory I could use the same practice in reverse and contradict a film’s statements. Going forward this is something to consider for a possible future project.
Overall I felt this module showed I am capable of producing practical work on my own using web based tools, the quality of what is produced however is a different matter entirely. This module has showcased more weaknesses than strengths as I found it difficult to understand the expanded readings, which is the reason for the lack of references to them. My research skills also leave a lot to be desired, as was the case with the production package. These are all skills that I must work if I am to develop and work on a professional level.
FORBESWOMAN (2012) The First Step To Building Your Personal Brand [online] available from <http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/02/14/the-first-step-to-building-your-personal-brand/> [14 February 2014]
Hosoda, M. (2012) Wolf Children [Blu-Ray] United Kingdom: Manga
Jonafang350 (2009) Triple H Titantron 1999-2000 [online] available from <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnQ8AlQLkQU&list=PLCKl6WihXPZNUevpWpH7cpKroLQ5LY8AD> [10 January 2014]
Moore, M. (2002) Bowling for Columbine [online] available from < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLnGqMoNXRI> [20 February 2014]
Mozilla (1998) Popcorn Maker [online] available from <https://popcorn.webmaker.org/> [20 February 2014]
Mozilla (1998) X ray Goggles [online] available from <https://goggles.webmaker.org/> [8 February 2014]
Shirky, C. (2008) Here Comes Everybody: how change happens when people come together. London: Penguin