Planning

Filming Real Life

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In order to create my body of content, I needed to get my filming hat on! Here is my trusty camera assistant Jessica Scott. I used my Go Pro camera to film recognisable parts of Bournemouth that I was later going to layer with images of the same place taken from social media channels. The reasons for using the GoPro was because of ease of use… I had the handy head cam attachment, and also the top drawer HD quality. The camera itself is a sports camera, meaning it is used for capturing jerky and fast moving objects. It has an inbuilt steadier which takes out the shakiness I would have got with a handheld camera. Additionally from the very first vid (the news feature) I was not impressed with the handheld camera quality at all. So apart from a view funny looks, our afternoon of filming as successful! The merky weather and grey sky was perfect for really emphasising comparisons between online and offline life and how images now on SM are edited to look so much better.

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Breaking News #ConversationCrisis

My main focus is to get whoever interacts with this project to reflect upon their own usage, their own dependance and there own behaviour online. This is the first video I have created for the project and it aims to win the audiences attention straight away, and be believable.  I feel this little video in itself done this because it shows how our smart phones are glued to our hands, even when they really shouldn’t be – for example in the middle of a sports game?! This video aims to poke fun at the fact that were all more engaged with what is going on online than we are with each other and the space around us.

The video itself gave me the perfect opportunity to develop my personal skills in scriptwriting, storyboarding, videoing and editing, something I was a little out of practice with.

 

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I recruited the help of BA Multimedia Journalism final year student and good friend of mine, Jessica Long, to help out with the news feature. Playing the role of stern and serious news reader, Jess did a great job and was a great help in terms of bringing her journalism experience to the table, which enabled us to strengthen the script and ensure the feature was edited appropriately to fit the new feature format. Alongside my collaboration with Dom White from Computing, Jess is my second cross course collaborative partner. Again I feel this has really helped my personal development and extended my skills because instead of getting somebody else to do the work for me, I am learning from them and working with them and broadening my own skills. This is so important for someone who lacks solid direction in terms of a career path so I feel this was a good decision.

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Overall, I am happy with the final product of this mini vid. However, the quality didn’t export quite as good as I expected which is something I need to look at for future video pieces. The sound as well wasn’t as clear as it could have been – ideally I would have redone this however time constraints just wouldn’t allow for it at this time. By doing this shorter video, I was able to overcome aspects of the problem I had faced with the previous idea which had been creating a narrative that was strong and engaging.

The editing software I used was After Effects and then Premiere Pro. Both programmes I have had totally minimal experience with however I feel I got the hang of them both quite quickly. The exporting process of videos however I need to look into, particular with regards to what channel I use to upload them to a web site portfolio page because an large embedded file will be difficult and slow to load and YouTube has its own readjusting thing it does to videos? ….

 

 

Production Analysis: Technical

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The technical aspect of my project requires me to create a totally immersive experience for the user. I still want to tie in my very very initial idea that I pitched back in November and this means utilising social media channels to distribute my project…..

This is why I am creating a series of videos, all linked together in a network, the network has different path options determined by the user. All of the video will be hosted on the YouTube channel I have specifically set up for this piece of work. The individual videos will have links at the end of each one for the user to decide what path to take through the experience and what video they will watch next by clicking on the link.

The video will also be uploaded to The Hashtag Life portfolio website. http://www.untagme.co.uk where there will be some background information and some fun codey stuff  (yes I am attempting tricky codey stuff! I’ve even learnt what API means and everything, plus I am registered as a Twitter developer so thats got to mean something! 🙂 …) . This will involve imaging tweets out loud for the users to engage to see just how bizarre twitter in real life would actually be.

This in turn not only will this improve my HTML, CSS, PHP and Java knowledge and understanding immensely, but will also allow me to focus on my main interest for the future which is to work with video design and photography. This project will allow me to polish my expertise in Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Illustrator, all of which are going to be useful for career choices after uni.

Life behind the social media posts.

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This quotation of the meaning of the word “sonder” summed up quite nicely what this project aims to represent. The life behind what we initially see. Taking Instagram pictures, Facebook posts, Tweets, and looking at how they combine to create an overview of the lives we lead raises the question of how the media is allowing for us to glamourise our own lives… what we see online is far from what we see in real life. This portfolio collection will show the contrast.

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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

Social Media and Life Glamourisation

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There has been a constant debate about how super models are photoshopped for magazines and photographs, giving an unrealistic and idealistic image of what people should look like. Essentially this is basically what social media has allowed everyone, not just super models or industry professionals, to do – to glamourise their own lives by posted about it online and using image filter options. The images above have been taken from different media resources, some socila media and some from traditionalistic news broadcasters and demonstrates the contrast between what is actually real life and what is depicted in online life. Obviously the images are just a demonstration, and were taken at different times etc so would appear different. But if a larger scale collection of media at one given time were to be collected, this could give a really interesting outlook in how social media is glamourising lifestyles.

Additionally, by recording this level of online activity around one given physical space, it will demonstrate how “conversation” online is happening all the time and a given space is no longer what it seems or used to be seen as. This links back to the idea of story and trans media story – the story is already being generated organically through social media and it is my task to collect it and demonstrate how is it effecting everyday life.

The demonstration clip has been creating using the video creating functionality on photoshop. This was simple and easy to use however I fear that with large quantities of images and information it will be very slow and glitchy to work with. I think using a more video based software such as Adobe After Effect or Final Cut Pro would be better.

 

Online meets Offline: What if we could hear tweets/posts?

There is an ongoing debate that social media is becoming more and more anti-social. With people glued to their smartphones and being contactable 24/7. People are so caught up in having a relationship with with their social media outlets, they are letting the real world bypass them.

These clips taken from Bruce Almighty (2003), directed by Tom Shadyc, distributed by Universal Pictures demonstrate feature Bruce, played by Jim Carey, struggling to cope with the amount of prayers he can hear. In the film, Bruce has been given the powers of being God, by the man himself, played by Morgan Freeman, which is why he can now hear peoples prayers within a 50 mile radius. Prayers are usually thoughts or private mutterings and meant for only god himself. This got me thinking, what if we could hear tweets, or posts or messages or emails. This is reflective of my tutor’s analogy of Twitter – that its just a bunch of people acting like seagulls standing on a rock and shouting and that the words don’t mean anything and they just end up getting blurred together for mass viewing but are not for communicative purposes.

(Clip taken from Finding Nemo (2003), directed by Andy Stanton, produced by Walt Disney Pictures)

…back to Bruce Almighty.

This clip demonstrates how social uncomfortable hearing the prayers is making Bruce. He cannot cope with the situation he is in and needs to take a break…this could be something we have all experienced where we have become to indulgent in our social media behaviour, particularly amongst procrastinating students who will often say “I am so bored of distracting myself on Facebook”.

This clip was perfect for demonstrating just how ridiculous the world would be if tweets or posts or whatever anyone shares online was actually a physical object in a physical space in an offline world. The sheer quantity is ridiculous. What I like about this however, is how it makes you question the importance of what people post… would people post online as much as they do if what they were posting was an actual object? For example, Bournemouth University, if they actually had a physical wall to represent a Facebook wall – how many people would actually write something on it for the rest of the study body to see? Again, this highlights how silly sharing online would actually seem to be if it were in the real world. For example, you would not walk down the street in the morning and shout to the nearest stranger “I HAD PORRIDGE THIS MORNING FOR BREAKFAST AND IT WAS FANTASTIC #readyfortheday “.

Going back to the idea of a joiner image building a physical picture of an environment whereby it was represented as how it was talked about online, instead of just the physical object that it is, is an exciting idea to be moving forward with.

Offline Environment Online

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Seeing something from all angles. There is a whole hidden story behind the world in which we see in front of us.

Inspired by the works of David Hockney, the interactive joiner image of an offline and online world could be interesting to explore. I think the strong image shown by still joiner images really gets across how looking at the same object but from lots of different angles gives a totally different impression of such object. This offers further understanding as to what is meant when I discuss how people respond and react differently to what other individuals post online, i.e. preconceived ideas about traditional online protocols. For example, the selfie – people who take selfies are commonly described as vain or attention seeking but in reality they are not like that at all.

Some joiner image examples:

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Character Development

goodquoteBack to the original concept of my character Sophe “The Online Lurker” , somebody who views social networks but doesn’t post herself, really got me thinking. So far my time constraints and audience engagement has put me off following through with this idea, however I feel like it could still be possible. This quote got nearly 7500 likes on Instagram so is obviously something a lot of people relate too. I think from now I really need to develop the character of Sophe and tell her story as somebody who feels a bit overlooked in terms of the social circle of life.

Content is Key

How am I going to single handed-ly create enough content for people to engage with?

With the project being live, and the need to strike whilst the iron is hot, the audience – once engaged with the story needs to be readily available in order to follow through with it , so they can enjoy the story at their own pace?! I’m so unsure about this now. I think a live story may have to change to be a package that can be altered and interacted with dependent of the user and how much they are willing to engage.