IDEA

Production Analysis: Idea Summary

Take 1. Transmedia Narrative carried out via Social Media Networks

 

The initial Pitch Idea was to carry out a fictional story distributed via online characters telling their section of the story on their personal profile page, either on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube or WordPress blog. Initial interest was very high with the Facebook “like” page for The Hashtag Life receiving 104 “likes” across the first three days. This idea was tapping into people’s browse-ability… having carried out audience research regarding their interest in following celebrities online and scrolling various news feeds to pass the time of day, I thought it would be relatively simple to give them something worth browsing for, and give them a story to follow. However, content creation and a narrative strong enough to maintain interest and engagement was just not possible as along with brows-ability came boredom and the need for something new and exciting. One thing I have learnt is that “fads” on social media come in have their moment and then go again just as quick. This led to the second idea, which focused more on making people on social media “be the story” themselves.

 

 

Take 2. Interactive Visual Linear Narrative

 

An interactive visual narrative, which engaged with the user more directly, still had the same themes as the previous idea as it still wanted to connect with an audience who could put themselves within the story. The three areas of interest to depict were; what would conversations on social media sound like if they were actually spoken in real life and would people ever say what they feel brave/bold enough to write on social media, how pictures are used to give a false impression of real life, making life in the online world look much more glamorous and the sociologically/psychological effects and processes each and every member of a social network goes through when viewing or uploaded pictures of themselves and other people. Each of these three concepts came under the overall umbrella of the blurring line between online and offline life and how people could engage with a narrative that addressed them. The main issue faced with this is the display method. Although the concept ideas are all to do with the same thing they are very difficult to express in a linear narrative that’s strong enough to tie them altogether and make them flow in an appropriate way that wouln’t make them seem cheap or stereotypical. By trying to display them in a chronological order via a linear click through, the point was just lost and instead the user was left feeling confused and unsure and it was easily forgettable. The stand-alone products themselves were much stronger and the finer details more obvious when displayed more subtly, something, which happened organically when, viewed separately. So this meant for a display rethink, which led to idea 3.

 

Take 3. Interactive Concept Visualisation

 

Idea 3 still focuses on the themes, ideas and content included in idea 2, however the structuring of the narrative has been changed. Instead of forcing a direct pathway through the information and forcing the user to understand and relate to what I am trying to make them connect with, I am allowing for the ideas to emerge more naturally. This in turn represents the whole overall process of the idea itself and how it came to emerge making me quite annoyed at myself for not realising this sooner! By pushing the ideas upon people in idea 2, they lost credibility; it was poorly designed therefore making it look tacky and overall looked very pointless and amateur. This method of display and adopting a more artistic approach is much butter understood by the user and much clearer. This way the project will stand as a conceptual artefact within its own right and encourage the viewer/user to really reflect on their own personal use of social media and their own engagement with it and how they allow for themselves to be viewed as well as how they view others, questioning all aspects of the project concepts. The decision to use a 3D gallery viewer with interlaced video, sound and image, as well as 2 user installations, which required direct users, input, the overall design was stronger and more engaging. The 3D gallery was instantly more engaging because it is something fresh and different from average web pages and reflected my own more personal “artistic scrap book type” style

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Production Analysis: Idea

The #Life is an Interactive Visual Design project, displaying the conseptualisation of social media in real life. Drawing upon common themes and opinions surrounding social media, it invites you to open your eyes wide and take a step back from something you are already seeing everywhere you look and to confront the idea that physical reality and a life lived online are beginning to blur. With a majority of the real world now logging in online, whether you are actively a part of it or not… you have heard of it, you are talking about it and it is undeniable that you can get away from it

The development of the idea has grown from the initial idea of the transmedia story initially pitched. This development of the project has grown from time, and commitment constraints faced by producing enough content and enough user engagement for the original story and more importantly the struggle to record the process for hand in due to it being live. I found it difficult to create a story strong enough to get across the issues and points I was trying to raise, and so by doing it this way instead the points become the piece themselves. Using already available online stories to create one overall “story” overcomes issues previously stated and allows the audience to essentially  ”be the story” because of the reflective response it aims to acheive. Although less interactive, I still feel this way will stand as a conceptual artefact within its own right and encourage the viewer/user to really reflect on their own personal use of social media and their own engagement with it and how they allow for themselves to be viewed as well as how they view others, as well as questioning the future of communication.

 

Pinning the concept down

1. What is the idea?

The Hash tag Life – Social Media meets Real World

A combination of interactive media artefacts, representing a conceptual study of social media usage, offering an insightful perspective on how it is impacting society

1. Glamourisation of lifestyle. The need to share everything, and the need to make like look better than it is.

2. Privacy – be careful what you share. Emotional attachment to social media profile, how audiences feel when they know someone is viewing their profile, selective viewing of our profiles – you wouldn’t say it in person so why say it online.

3. Online virtual reality in reality. What if we could see the conversations in real time in real life that people were having via technological devices?

2. Keywords

Social media audiences, story, reality, virtual reality, privacy, realism, visualisation, SM culture, art, digital art, technologies

3. What is innovative about my idea?

People do not tend to address the issues I wish to raise, and so with a fine art take on modern digital media, my project will exhibit the observations of social media audiences that will highlight just how connect we are becoming and the potential issues raised due to this.

4. Description of Audience

Heavy social media users, i.e. those with multiple social network accounts, regular up loaders, those interested in Internet usage and future technologies.

Bournemouth University Students at Talbot Campus – the visualisation will tell their story more specifically, however the overall concept will be applicable to general social media users.

5. Description of the cultural and industrial context and purpose of this project

Combining theory, knowledge and understanding of a given concept and audience, this project demonstrates my ability to observe a target audience, offer creative analysis, as well as interesting insight via stimulating content that will express imagination, innovation and exploration of a given media artefact that is social media culture.

There is continued debate about society’s increasing dependence on the internet as a whole and more specifically portable internet devices and social media networks. This project will demonstrate how the behaviour people have online is actually quite bizarre when contrasted within the real world space. This will highlight why having conversation with people in person and communicating via face to face communication systems still hold a high level of importance. It will accentuate that although we are all buried within our phones, tablets or laptops, participating in an online world and perhaps bypassing the real world – the real world is what we should appreciate and participate within. It will be eye opening in terms of audiences reflecting on their own usage and own time wasted/spent online. The idea of the “outside looking in” is relevant when imagine what I wish to portray and bringing about a physically visualisation of what actually goes on online and the emotional attachment that comes with this.

6. The technologies I will use are…

Portfolio Website – HTML5, PHP, CSS, JQUERY

Website content – Image, video, sound, developed using Photoshop, After Effects, information gathered via the Internet.

Exhibition – Projection of website content on larger scale, Installation, print materials

Production Analysis: Idea Synopsis Confirmed

The Hashtag Life

#THL

What is it?

  • A Transmedia Narrative distributed across popular social media platforms
  • Young adult drama series similar to those distributed on the television

Why?

  • The audience is already there – utilise it.
  • Browsing social media newsfeeds is a popular habit – put something there worth browsing
  • Raise/explore modern social networking issues, including social media conduct, cyber bullying, viral phenomenon.

How?

  • A control “Hub” in the style of one individual characters blogs with appropriate character profiles and links to social media page
  • A series of character profiles set up to look authentic and realistic on social media websites.
  • Audience can add the characters on Facebook and Twitter and get involved by comments and posts etc.

Analysis of Existing Products

Project Draft Title – Interactive Video/Online Experience

My research and inspiration was drawn from…

    • The Wilderness Downtown –  An interactive music video for Arcade Fire’s – “We used to wait”, which engages the viewer with their inner child and uses the words in the song to get an emotive response from thinking back to past memories of home and childhood
    • Take This Lollipop – a real representation of the online “Facebook stalker”. Uses the viewers personal information incorporated into a well filmed video whereby the viewer is led to believe that this crazy person is stalking them. This Artificial Reality Game online is particularly clever in how it is coded to give the viewer a unique and individual experience.

Has led to my idea which is…

    • To create an interactive video, engaging with the viewer through incorporating their personal information to make every viewers experience unique
    • To demonstrate something to gain an emotional response – perhaps to:
      • emphasise our increasing dependence on social media
      • Show our “online identity” as if it were an alter ego coming to life and talking back to them
      • To engage with Social media users and bring their fears to life – what happened if they were hacked? Or got caught ‘stalking’ some one inappropriate?
      • Some how demonstrate how protective we are of the online persona we create

My target user group would be…

    • Students ages 16-24
    • Students will watch anything to waste time and not do any work
    • Most active user group
    • Spend a lot of time on social media
    • This age category has grown up with social media – they have the strongest dependence on it

 

The way I am going to engage my user group during development is…

  • Discussion groups about why they engage with social media
  • Questionnaires
  • Reading articles and blog posts about the power of social media

Sound is important in my project because…

  • Music used in the video will be important to gain the correct emotional response, to create the mise-en-scene and to connect with the viewer. If there are lyrics in a song used, what are they saying and how is it relevant?

The main risks I see are…

  • Purpose. Apart from being a short interactive video there is no real content? (Connected to a website?)
  • Would people “get it”
  • Platform – would it run from a mobile or only be available from a computer
  • Could it be spread using Twitter/YouTube/Vimeo, or just Facebook because it needs the personal details?

 

The skills I have are…

  • Marketing/advertising
  • Design
  • PR
  • Creating/launching a campaign – generating a buzz
  • Media Theory – interested in the sociological and psychological issue regarding the growing dependence on social media

The skills I will have to develop further during the project are…

  • HTML and CSS to create a website to full fill the needs
  • Facebook App – intergrating the viewers personal information to give a more responsive experience?
  • Intergration of Google Maps, Street View – allowing the user to have a personalised experience (putting in their home address or place of interest)

The skills/jobs I will need to bring in are…

  • Coding help to get everything to run together
  • Actors/Actresses
  • Script Writer?

My target for next week is…

  • Constructing Narratives (multiple endings to a fixed narrative, single fixed narrative)
  • Film
  • Why will people engage?
  • How to take the viewer on a journey

 

Production Analysis: Idea Generation

Since our seminar last Tuesday I have gone away and done a week of researching potential project ideas. I have made some steps closer to what I want to do, however I am still struggling a great deal…
So far I have narrowed my thought processes down to:
1. Creating a artificial reality game that would involve player/user/viewer participation to navigate the direction of a story. By using blogs, video, maps, photographs to delivery clues to the audience.
2. Social Online Installation. Creating some sort of hosting library of images to record the processes of a social experiment or area of social interest –  again relying on user generated content.

3.  I really appreciate art in the real world, and would love to produce something that would celebrate it.  (http://www.sketchbookproject.com/ , http://foundty.pe/ , http://www.banksy.co.uk/ ) . My research has concluded that a handwritten note, a scribbled drawing, a little sketch or letter, has more meaning than an email or tweet. So perhaps something to showcase our old-school creativity with pen paper. The idea of “book crossing” (where someone leaves a book in a public place with a message inside to read the book and upload their thoughts online and to pass it on) but with a sketchbook was also an idea, as this would make the tracked journey of the book more interesting (a living/physical network in the real world recorded online). The images would then create like an online doodle book, with uploaded pictures taken of peoples sketches, for people to view freely at their leisure in the hope to come across something profound/inspiring.

Why do people engage so intently with social media?

The psychology behind why social networking and social media is so powerful and is something of real interest to me, and after participating in discussion groups this week it has fascinated me listening to the reasons why people engage with this “real” constructed reality online. I would quite like to focus on one specific thing and display it in a way to make people think about what technology has done to us. This idea is something I am not sure truly qualifies as a graduate project? However I did find a Project brief template in which I think justifies that it could be. This idea could explore the idea of the “selfie” craze, or engage with whether people would be more honest about something if it were to be anonymous, or was to have a short, restricted amount of air time (such as the Snapchat app phenomenon)
My biggest problem is that any ideas I come up with lack incentive for the user to engage with it?
I am very aware that time is running away with me, but pinning down a specific path to take is proving very difficult…