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HSS8123: Wireless Love at the Degree Show

anirudh_pics

This the final result of my final project at the Degree Show.  

Portraits of the 12 couples who starred the project at the bottom of the room.

A guy scanning the QR Codes provided to watch the personal stories online.

The main film of 18 minutes.

Wireless lovers meeting

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This post is about an event that I organised because of my project. It won’t have any reflect on the final result of it, so there is not actual need to tell it, but I thought it could be nice to share he experience here. As I’ve interviewed 12 couples for the project and share with them the other couples’ stories, I thought that it would be very nice if they had the chance of finally meeting one day. So I rented a room in Bar Loco (the gallery) and organised a sort of “premiere” of the project (I write “premiere” like this because it was not exactly a premiere as the project is not done yet, let’s say it was an advance). So I edited a video of 30 minutes long for the event. So firstly people watched the video and then they met each other. It seems that people liked, at least that’s what I was told. Riar, one of my classmates, was at the event helping me! He was actually filming it. As soon as I can I will add the video of the event. In the meant time you can check the picture (some couples + audience).

 

 

My real documentation for Skype (competition)

In June I found out that Skype was organising a media competition. See below the description:

Win $20k to create your content idea

Fantasy worlds, a thought provoking documentary or maybe a spin on the reality show? 
We’re on the lookout for an idea that’s creative, 
innovative and inclusive – all the values that Skype embodies.
An idea we can help fund with a grand prize of $20,000. 

Skype needs be included in the show itself. That’s not to say
we want to advertise it in your film, just include it as part
of the format, or highlight how our technology helps communication.

In one of modules of the second semester (HSS8121) I had to make a video for getting funding to my project, therefore my target audience was funders. I have always had in mind Skype as a potential sponsor or funder for my project. Actually, one of my initial ideas was to present this project I’m doing as a demo for Skype. Then, this opportunity came but unfortunately I didn’t get it. 

This is the hypothetical video I did for “Skype” for the module:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnnchqFCquY&feature=youtu.be

This is the real one, the one I presented to Skype. I added all the recommendations that my teachers and classmates suggested:

Click here to view the embedded video.

THis

Enter the Shoot the Future competition!

We’ll introduce the winner to industry experts, share inspiring advice
and help get your idea off the ground. So send us your entry.

Upload both:
a) 30 – 60 second pitch, or trailer, showcasing your idea
b) a business plan outlining the feasibility of getting your idea made.
Use either Skype, Onedrive or the upload tool on this websit

HSS8123: at the CLIMAX of my journey

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As it happens in the movies, when the story is reaching the end, the hero takes a decision that changes his path 180º or even 360 ºand he ends up arriving to a different destination. That’s exactly where I’m right now, I am at the CLIMAX of my journey (the master) and I am going to take a decision that will change what was expected: change my final project.

When I was doing the assignment for Digital Media module, I was struggling with it a lot. I was very frustrated until the point of wanting to dropout, as I had to create a final project that it was very related to what I was doing in that moment. I was asking myself: ‘Do I want to be like this over the summer, working on project that is too much for me?’ I was trying to achieve a result that resembled in some way the projects that I mentioned in a previous post like ‘Pilow Talk’, ‘Family Rituals 2.0′ etc. The authors of these projects had a better foundation in coding when they created them than I do have now, and I won’t have it over the summer either, not even if I locked myself in Culture lab 24/7: Joana, Montgomery, the author of ‘Pillow Talk’, has a Bachelor’s degree in Digital Interaction Design; David Chatting, one of the authors of ‘Family Rituals. 02’ has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Obviously these guys had the right foundation for achieving their projects successfully. Let’s be realistic, I am not ready for this kind of project, I don’t see myself doing it and I’ve realised it when I was doing the assignment (this is what’s call in writing anagnorisis). In addition, I don’t know how the final result could benefit in my career, how it would fit, and how it would be useful in terms of employability. I think in my career the outcome of this project doesn’t worth the stress that it would imply achieving it.

On the other hand, I have been working on a personal project since the first semester. It’s about Long Distance Relationships and it’s made of real testimonials. People from different countries and backgrounds share their personal stories in ‘Wireless Love’. It is becoming bigger and complex and I need to dedicate hours this summer to get it done. It started being just a unique documentary film, but it seems now that it will end up being  a serialized audio visual project.

When I was doing my assignment for Screenwriting module, I was stuck with the story I was writing. After a while I started to remember what the professor Tina Gharavi (the module’ leader) was constantly saying in class: ‘The problem for many of the scripts is that they were just “too wide” and very removed from you or reality. Would you really want to watch the film you are writing? Go back to the beat sheet you wrote in the first day. Go back to your starting point, your initial idea, and remember why you wanted to write that story.’ I applied that advice for my assignment and it was very helpful. Then, I decided to do the same with the final project as well. I looked at the title of my blog, which is ‘digital storytelling’; I checked my first post about hypothetical ideas for the final project, which was mainly ‘storytelling for kids’. Storytelling is my thing; it was what I wanted to do and what I still want to do. Creating or designing a device for L.D.R. couples has nothing to do with storytelling. In fact, with this last idea for my final project I was getting far away from my starting point, for the reason I came here, to Newcastle. I’m aware that my tutor Tom won’t be very happy with this decision because he always wanted me to do something different from video. But the thing is, even if video is my background owed to my Bachelor’s degree, it is something that I have not done for the last 2 years, probably 3 years. I was rusty when I came to Newcastle and actually one of the main reasons why I wanted to come here and do this specific Master was because I wanted to go back to filming. I chose this Master for the freedom that the students could have about the module’s choices (from different disciplines) that made sense for them and for their careers. I didn’t choose it for learning coding or becoming an artist or becoming a Phd student after the master. I chose it for the freedom that students have in order to create their projects, not matter what discipline is involved as long as it is artistic or creative. In fact, I have recently checked the handbook of ‘Creative Practice Project’ and there is one part that says: ‘Although many projects incorporate elements of digital technology, this is not a requirement’.

In conclusion, my project is going to be a serialised audio visual project. On one hand I will edit small videos about the couples I have been interviewing a long these moths and also I’d like to create a sort of “interactive storytelling’ for the web with Processing. I’d like to display the information about project on the web (videos and information) in an interactive way as these examples:

http://www.sbs.com.au/cronullariots/documentary#chapters/introduction/map

One of the ideas I have is creating a map that illustrates the distance that exist between the couple who starred my projects. So people can click on the couples and get information about them, they can watch the video etc.

Other kind of interactive storytelling that could be source of inspiration is:

http://www.sbs.com.au/theboat/

Well, these are just some ideas; I really have to research about this, and decide what exactly I am going to do with part of the project.

I’d like to finish clarifying that this project is actually the reason I came here (something I have forgotten a long the months unfortunately). As you can check on the blog the video documentation I have created for Wireless Love,  this project was an idea that I had some years ago. I came to Newcastle to create finally this audio visual project on my own (that was trapped in my head) for my portfolio, as an example of what I’m capable and what kind of projects I’d like to be working on the future. Now, everything makes sense for me, I understood why I am here, why I came here. I am looking forward to start this third act of my journey.

* As a curious anecdote I’d like to point out that the video documentation I did for Wireless Love is going to be useful for me actually, in order to apply a funding competition that is going on this month. So I am very happy that I have alredy done it and got some useful feedback from my classmates/tutor to improve it. Thanks guys

HSS8123: Inspiration – The Social Ego

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I just saw this video on Facebook and I found it very funny.

Click here to view the embedded video.

At the beginning I thought it was not serious, that it was just done as a comedy sketch typical of “College Humor” or “BuzzFeedV“. I was wrong, it is serious, I guess it is still in process but you can actually buy it. I think this device can be an inspiration for my final project as it is implies interaction that is linked to Internet data. I don’t know in what way this device can inspire me, but it just coming to my mind an (stupid idea) that I could create a device which people could use to tell their partners how they feel without words (as in a long distance relationship most of the things are based in talking to your partner), through a color code or scale code… I know it is a pretty lame idea and stupid, it just came to my mind. who knows? maybe it is a starting point for a much better idea.

You can check the website, although it has doesn’t have that much information  On the contrary, you can read this article  to know more about “the social ego”

HSS8123: work in progress

I think I have mentioned it before, I am using David Chatting’s work (a speaker who came one day to Digital Media class to explain his project) as a guide to final project, since the theme (Long Distance Relationships) is quite close to his theme (families who deal with practice of remote working). In the description of his work is explained that the first thing they did was to interview the volunteers. This first step I have already done it, since I have interviewed people who are in a long distance relationship for a documentary project. Right now, I  am thinking the kind of cultural probes I could work with, that means, what kind of activities and task I could my sample of volunteer to do. The main purpose of this ethnography phase is collecting useful data for designing a device that may help these couples deal with distance.

Below you can find out some examples that are being source of inspiration for me at the moment

http://www.joannamontgomery.com/Pillow-Talk

Video – documentation

 

https://youtu.be/XnnchqFCquY