Tag: video

1st Week!

What a week its been! Everything has built up to the first classes of the Fall term (or the Autumn Term for those back home in UK).

I’ve figured that as well as doing the monthly blogs, I might do a weekly blog as well detailing everything I have gotten up to the week in a more condensed form, leaving my vlogs to me a more overview sight of the month!

So here goes…


Monday:

So the first class to begin the term off was my Photography, Art, and the Media: The 19th Century.  To start off the class, we decided to watch two film to make us think about the age old question: What is Photography? The films to help the grey brain cells were:

  • Ulysses: Based on a picture that was somewhat spontaneous, the director looked at how the memory affected those that were part of the original photo and how much they could remember of it, whilst also looking at the other historical events that were happening at the same time.
  • Nostalgia: Looking at the pictures taken back by Hollis Frampton, we are taken down a journey with personal comments made on each individual picture whilst they are being burnt; however there is a slight twist to it (watch the film to find out!)

Both of these films were a great start in getting the whole group to think not critically, but offer a variety opinions not only on the film but towards the question “What is Photography?”


Tuesday:

Oh yes. The class I was pumped for. This was the beginning of the Colour Printing class, taught by Darin Mickey (have a look at his work if you can!) I was quite excited for this class as it was going to push me into a new limit of analogue I have always wanted to try. Shooting in colour isn’t the hardest, but being able to go into a fully functioning colour lab? It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass down.

And although we didn’t go straight into printing this week, we are given quite a few tips. For example, with negative printing (this would be colour and Black+White shooting) you want to over pose the prints more as it allows it to be dealt easier in printing.

This can be done by either going up an aperture or shutter stop. However, an easier way is that if you are using a light meter, by changing the ISO settings on it, it will automatically give you that 1 stop change.

E.g.

A 400 ISO —> Shoot at “200 ISO”

So now its onto shooting more rolls of film in order to start printing!

In the afternoon, we had our first Seminar class. As we were in smaller groups, it was an opportunity to get to know each other a bit better, with everyone talking about their interests, their aspirations etc. It was interesting to hear what everyone had to say, giving a deeper insight into them all. Afterwards, we started looking through each others work, but in a different critique method: instead of explaining their work, we as the viewers had to decipher the work with no help and make our own interpretations on it, providing interesting responses.


Wednesday:

This was the first lecture with the Dean of the School, Fred Ritchin. This was possibly the one class I had no idea of what to expect, apart from that I was prepared for a lot of information to be heading my way.

And I was right! In three hours, which seemed to fly by so quickly, we had covered so much material my brain was hurting. The conversation started talking off about hyper text (non linear narrative) and how it can begin a collaboration with the reader, something which the digital is good at doing. This then led on to a conversation about digital and analogue and the restrictions between the two and how a multitude of ideas can be implemented differently.

We was introduced to a site Fred used to run called pixelpress.org which should the capabilities of the digital in which analogue could not do, and in how text can provide a different meaning to the image as well. Do have a look at the website, as it will definitely start making you think about how important text is…


Thursday:

This was the start of my video class. I know I have already done video in the past, however I personally del that there was much more that I could lear from this, especially in terms of editing the video to an acceptable standard.

So we was introduced to some of the tools in order to give more steady shots (fluid tripods, shoulder rigs) as well as some of the better external microphones that we had on offer for us to use. And it was drilled in that with DSLR’s, the internal microphone is rubbish, so using an external microphone is always the route you want to head along.

We was also given our assignment for the week which was to shoot a video on out daily routine, and we was advised to follow the 5 second rule (don’t remain on a frame for more then 5 seconds.) To help us understand this more, we was shown then short film The Big Shave by Sorcasse (again something I would highly recommend but be warned, very graphic!)  to show us how we could shoot a similar video.


Friday:

The class where I was different whoop!

So this was the first class for Future Storytelling and the main thing was that stories can be told however we want them to, whether it be via Transmedia (art of telling one story over multiple media where each is unique) and Multimedia (different forms of media to create powerful stories that can communicate.)

However to make a more powerful story sometimes, it is best to get the obvious out of the way in order to surprise both the audience and you, with surprise being a way for the brain to release dopamine to the body.

We was also introduced to the different types of User experiences out there:

  • Visceral design
  • Behavioural design
  • Reflective design

And finally, to finish off the week, we had our Digital technical seminar to round off the afternoon. This was just a quick introduction and recap over Colour theory and how the Primary and Complimentary colours work together and how it helps with colour correction.

For example:

If there are 256 different shades of RGB (primary colours), we could check to see if we have a correct exposure on an area by clicking a grey area to make sure that there are equal amounts there, such as R= 119 G= 119 B=119.

If one is unequal, then you have to change the others so that you can make everything balanced out

This led onto us talking about histograms and the actual importance they hold when we go and take photographs. The rule of thumb for getting a good capture is to get your histogram more to the right (e.g. making it more over exposed.) Now this may seem strange to do, however this allows the highlights to have more information stored in them and giving more subtlety in the tonal ranges. So when it comes to editing the picture, you can avoid loosing any information in any area if you decided to darken the image in RAW for example.

I also learnt the use of the HDR feature as well! If you are in a situation where you cannot change your histogram at the risk of loosing information in your image, you can use the HDR feature to give a more rounded exposure that will give the information in all areas of the picture by combining multiple images of different exposures.


So yeah, that was just a general overview of what I got up to this week… A lot isn’t it? There was more I could have included, but all I have mentioned was probably the more interesting stuff I think! Next week will begin to get more serious, and I can’t wait for it as it means more information is gonna be chucked at me and I so ready to absorb it all! Until next time!

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Assignment 2: My Final Video

Here is the final piece for Assignment 2: My 10 minute video Presentation.

https://vimeo.com/88122915

I felt that this part of the module was the hardest, especially in terms of getting enough footage to tell a story that would flow, but also getting first hand research from an expert. Thankfully for me this was quite easy as I was able to go straight to Mr Sexton, but it was a challenge to get hold of him first.
I also learnt from looking back at the video is that I tend to stutter and mumble a bit; I purposely tried to speak slower and pronounce my words, but it seemed like there was a few mistakes here and there which is something I might have to work on.
Also I thin the video may have been a bit more solid in some parts, so I could have gone into a better explanation or offer more information instead.

Overall though, I am pleased with the result as I am not used to making videos, especially like this, so it was a challenge for me to do everything.

Assignment 2: Youtube documentaries on Coventry Market

So when I had my interview with Mr Sexton,he mentioned that there had been multiple videos produced on the market itself. He mentioned this because with the amount of information there was on the market, he wasn’t able to talk about everything in one go, so he said that these videos might be able to give some deeper meaning and explanation about what he was talking about to me.

The first video I found was actually one from a previous Coventry University student who produced a short documentary on the market itself. This however covered information that I had already looked at, spanning from the actual history of the market (when it was built and why) to some views on the market itself now. It was interesting to see my research confirmed, but also to get a style on how this video was made as well.
For my video, I would want it to be a bit more formal, as I felt the songs in the background were slightly distracting and a bit out-of-place for me preference. Also, I would want myself to be upfront to the camera, letting the viewer see me talking for most of the video.

The second Video I found was more of an introductory/teaser video for the market. It was simply there to show the variety of things that were on offer in the market, created by Coventry Classified, who were looking at the city. Even though it was quite short, I found it interesting to see the variety of things, confirming that the market was specialised, and it would be hard for you to not find something you were looking for.

The last video I found, again by another Coventry University student, was perhaps the most useful, more in the styles of how the video was presented. At the beginning, it started off in a light way with the Benny Hill theme tune playing, before it went off into some interviews with some of the stall owners. I think it was the interviews which grabbed my attention the most, as it was in the style I was looking for almost.

Assignment 2: Hackathon

So to prepare for Assignment 2, the class decided that we would do a hackathon. Yes, a hackathon. The idea was that within the day, we as a class would complete a 10-minute video within the day. 6 hours in which we would be given a random topic, and we would have to conduct research, find resources, interview a first hand research, record the video and edit it all into one final piece.
We decided to do this idea because it would be a great way for us to see the process we would have to go through, but also to see what our videos would be like.

It may seem like a lot when reading about it, and in a way yes, it is a lot. However, as a class we can split ourselves up, assigning each one an individual role that they would stick to for the day.  This was quite ingenious, as it would represent the multiple roles we would have undertaken throughout the assignment this term. I choose the role as video editor, as I felt that from my original test video, I needed to practice on my editing skills much more.

So the day began with us choosing a theme, with the decision being on transport, and the researchers went under way to find as much research as possible. In order to make it easier for them, everyone chipped in to find as much as possible, and a wall was created for everyone to post links to.

This then allowed us to formulate a niche area, with our efforts going into: Harassment in transport.  We felt that this was an area that came up multiple times in our research, and would be a good path for us to follow.
We then all began to spilt off into our separate groups, whilst keeping in contact with each other. As a video editor, I was in constant contact with the videographers and the scriptwriters, as I would need to know exactly what was going to be recorded, but also so I could suggest ideas as well.

We all treated this seriously, with everyone giving their best in the roles. We were getting so into it, a blog was created on wordpress specifically just for the hackathon. We were going to be given a ‘mark’ on the video so that we could see the process, so the blog was great in keeping track on what had been said.

Eventually, all the videos were recorded and sent to me and the other video editor.  Then was the task of sorting everything out according to what the script was so that it would all flow in one continuous piece.
However with the videos all being at various lengths, there was certain clipping done to some clips to make everything fit together.
However half way through editing we came across a problem in which that for no reason at all, the audio from half of the videos vanished. There was no explanation for this at all, and even after calling for help, the only solution was to save, and restart premiere with our fingers crossed. Thankfully everything was back to normal then, but it was a great experience in knowing what to do if the same problem did arise in the future.

Finally, we got the video sorted out, at 6 minutes long. We realised that most of the speaking parts were too short, but it had come to a point in which we could not re-shoot anything else at all, and we had to deliver ASAP, which we did.

Overall, the day was a great experience, and a useful insight about what needs to be done for the real thing. Thankfully I feel that the editing part won’t be the main issue for me at all, but rather it will be making sure that everything is in fact long enough to cover the whole 10 minutes.

Assignment 2: Video Plan

So with the deadline date approaching soonish, it’s time that I start thinking about various things, such as:

– What content my video is going to contain
– My audience
– How the story is going to progress
– How I am going to narrate it
– What type of interview am I going to use, and whom will I be using
– Facts, Quotes etc. that will be included

So lets start with the content. My niche area for the video has been based on the idea of supermarkets causing a decline in traditional markets, and if Coventry Market was feeling this effect as well. So the content is going to be very specific throughout the video, with a key focus on this idea.
So how am I going to lay out the video then? Well to begin, I need to give some background information to the viewers about the situation in general. If I dive in head first, then the viewer will be left confused about what exactly is going on. So I might start saying what traditional markets are, and how they are an essential part of the community. Then I would lead onto how supermarkets have change our lives, and then how they are causing an impact. This section would ideally last for around 3 minutes maximum.
To present this part, I would probably be outside by some supermarkets, either coming out of one with a bag, or hanging outside the entrance with shoppers walking past. This would make the background fit in with what I am talking about, proving some needed context. I could even edit a pan or still shots of other supermarkets as well from the area. I don’t want to be talking serious about the issue, but rather I want it to be slightly relaxed.
In this part, quotes and figures will be quite important though, as these will back up the idea I am talking about before delving further in.

Then I would move onto the market itself, as that is the focus on the video. In this I will be looking at how busy the market is, with hopefully questions answered by the owner Brian Sexton or other high ups from the market to give a bit more info. As well as this I would give some facts perhaps about the market (very brief though perhaps).
For this scene I would want to be inside the market itself, particularly at a time where there are shoppers in the background, so this would mean filming at perhaps mid day when it would be the busiest.
It would also be nice if that if I get a reply to my questions, I could edit the video to where a list of answers appears on one side of the screen whilst I am talking. This would be an interesting way to make the video different, but if it would work is a different matter.

Then, to more of the first hand research. To start things off, I would possibly talk to store/stall owners in the market to ask them questions in an interview. Now I wouldn’t want to talk to just one, but have a variety of responses to questions. So for this I would probably need to switch fluidly between stall owners to ask them the various questions. This I will have to work on hard to get the editing right though to make it seem nice rather then jagged.
When interviewing the workers, I wouldn’t have my face appearing in the shot. This is because I want all the focus to be on the owner; yet to prevent them from just talking face on to the camera, I would be towards the side out of the frame. Or, I could interview them when the are working which might look a bit better.

Then to offer some nice contrast, I would talk about what the Government is doing to prevent this loss from happening any more. This gives some analysis to the idea and thinking critically about it all as well by looking at the other side of the story, and to give it a more positive outlook. This is where I would begin to look at the government reports onto the markets (a great piece of academic research.)
For this, I would be reading the information from my phone or clipboard highlighting essential information, or I could be showing the actual text on the video whilst I talk over it.
And to finish the video off, I could end off asking an official if the market is receiving help from the government and is surviving the threat from supermarkets. This would end the video on topic, and might just leave it open to the viewer to decide.

 

Assignment 2: Presentation 2: How to present your video

In my last presentation post, I was talking about how exactly I can record my videos and what camera may be the best way forward to doing this. This time, I need to start thinking about how I would present the video, either with my face showing or in a voice over. This is made more important when we have to think about the audience we will be presenting to as well.

We must think about how the “horizons” are presented towards the audience; the views we have when creating the presentation, and those views someone may have when watching it. What is very important to note is that what we have to make sure is that one horizon is clear, in that the message being presented is very clear to everyone.

So lets look at a few question I can ask myself for this idea in relation to my idea:

What is the focus of my presentation?

So I am looking at the idea that supermarkets are causing a decline in the traditional markets, so my niche area is on that is Coventry Market surviving this decline at all?

What context is needed to allow subsequent information to make sense?

Looking at reports of other markets around the UK having to close due to a lack of sales. Talking about how supermarkets have more power these days, especially when it comes to expanding.

What key pieces of information need to be conveyed?

That this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in order to keep a traditional role of the community alive. But also talking about if Coventry itself is surviving the change.

Where are the sticking points of my research?

Possible stats from the owners of the market. Talking to someone (first hand research) about this idea.

What does my audience need to see?

How many supermarkets there are in the area. Plus the decline or continued improvement of the market.

How can this information link and flow together?

Start talking about the general idea first of all, followed by a few examples and info from an expert. Then start talking more about the market in depth.

What sort of conclusion am I going to offer?

The conclusion I think depends on the information I gather. I can’t go in with a bias opinion from me as it takes away from the video. If I am to become an expert in the area, then I need to give a conclusion that is fully supported.

So that is a more solid structure on how the video itself would work, so now I need to think more on how I would be presenting it:

Should I be a friendly guide on-screen or an omniscient narrator? Something in-between?

With this being a potentially sensitive topic for those working in the market, I want to lean more towards a friendlier narrator. If I come across to knowledgeable, it may seem that I am talking more fact then what could be a possibility.

But at the same time, at points I will have to come across somewhat serious I am talking about an important point. So really it just depends on the information I am trying to get across.

Do I have relatable examples/everyday occurrences to aid difficult-to-understand

topics?

I could use examples of other markets closing down, but I can also use my own experience of going to the market as well (and possibly talking to some of the stall owners as well.)

Is the footage, stills and audio of a suitable quality?

All three of these items are as equally important I believe, as they each have an important part to play.  However I believe that the audio is going to be the most important part, so I would have to use a very good recording device.

Is the pace of the presentation suitable for my audience?

Again, with the information I am going to be talking about, I can’t be rushing through it at all. I need the audience to be taking everything in fully. But this doesn’t mean I have to go at snails pace, as there is more information that has to deliver as well.

Assignment 2: Different ways in making a video and how to record them

So for Assignment 2, we have to create a 10-minute video presentation on our chosen area.  And for a video presentation, 10 minutes is a long time indeed, so I would have to make sure that there is plenty of material. But, it can’t just be information just chucked in. It has to be stuff that is on the topic, but also something that is interesting as well.

To keep someone’s attention for 10 minutes then, I have to think of the different ways of recording. So the first idea that came to mind is “vlogs” (Video Logs.) On the YouTube market, this has become one of the more popular videos that has drawn plenty of views. And at the same time it allows the viewers to personally connect to the vlogger.

Two good examples I feel for this would be thesyndacite and danisnotonfire channels.

Both have created vlogs, yet they differ in the style. Dan’s channel is more focused on creating short, yet funny videos based on stories, whereas Tom’s channel is much longer that focuses on life and other events.

So vlogs are a good way for me to present some information about the area. However the problem is how would I record it? Tom’s channel most of the time focuses on using a phone, as it allows a bit more freedom in movement of where you can go (you can walk about) and a slight more intimate feel. However though you have to give up on quality as it would be a bit more pixellated.

In comparison, Dan’s channel uses a camera (I am unsure about what type of camera though) to record his videos, and you can tell that there is a major quality improvement in the two.

We have been told how to use the Cannon 5D recently, and from a few test videos (Insert the panning video here) you can see that the camera is off high quality. Now you still have to alter the settings as if you are taking a picture, but I feel that this is much more useful. As I have a small compact camera that has the ability to record video, yet it only records what it sees (do if it is quite murky, the video will be murky and pixellated as well.)

With the 5D, you can alter the aperture and ISO to take account into this, so you get a better video. Plus you have the ability to get the best focus as well by being able to zoom in on the area you are recording to make it as crisp as possible.

So the 5D is the best way to go forward in recording the videos, yet there is only a 3-day rental period on them (on a very limited number of 5D’s.) So then I have to think about what exactly I would need to record. I would probably use it more towards the interview with a first hand resource. As using a phone camera wouldn’t look very professional at all.

So then I have to think about the rest of the video (lets say the interview takes maybe 3 minutes at maximum, leaving around 7 minutes.) How will I be able to present the rest of my information then?

One good way could be to show maybe pictures on the screen, whilst having a voice over talking about them. This takes away the unnecessary text showing on the screen, allowing the viewer to put more attention on the photos whilst listening in to what is being said.

I think once I have enough information on my niche area, I can then start playing around with different techniques and methods to see what fits in best. As the video will depend on the type of information being relayed across.