From looking at my artefact it is clear what it is about and what it is showing, this is that memory is not always reliable and under pressure your memory can fail, this is shown through the contestants faltering and desperation to recall the items. I think these edited clips are most significant as they not only show the frustration of memory blanks but the part of the brain (the ID) which so desperately ‘wants’ to succeed and win.
The titles at the beginning provide preparation and explanation for what is about to be seen and especially shows that a little more thought went into the process rather than just a fun game it was more of an experiment as I split the contestants into two groups giving one group 20 seconds less to look at the items, knowing that this may have an effect on their memory when recalling.
Visually I think the artefact looks really good with the contrast of the pictured objects around the frame of the contestant, this also allows the audience to still have the objects at the forefront of their mind whilst watching someone else try to remember them. It engages the audience, as they will the person to remember the objects, and hopefully make them think about whether or not they would be able to succeed when put in that position. I did decide not to colour grade the piece as the lighting for the contestants was complimented on many times, however, looking back I would have liked to have colour graded everything slightly to make it a little warmer and more inviting as I feel it may look a little cold and harsh for such a light hearted game. The graphics of the green correct tick works well as the audience can keep track of what has been said.
In terms of audio I am disappointed as when editing you could hear the camera sound which could not be heard when filming and this was partly my fault as I went against my better judgement with recording sound externally, though, it could not be known that this would happen. The crackling sound takes away from the contestants voice and brings the quality of this piece down slightly, although, the track laid underneath brings back the fun and pressure of the situation. A ticking clock sound could have been used but this would have made the piece too intense and slightly dull. The choice of leaving the swearing in was a good one as it emphasises the frustration and portrays it perfectly through a somewhat audio description.
This piece works a contemporary media product as there are many who claim to have a good memory but put under pressure they are most likely to crumble. Overall this artefact does what it is supposed which is to engage the audience and get across that memory under pressure can let you down no matter how good you think it is, it also looks good as an added bonus.
These are my final artefacts for each theme:
The process for this memory artefact has been a very long one as although I had my idea down from the day of the lecture, and the actual filming process went smoothly, the editing was a completely different story!
At first I didn’t know where to start with my footage, I knew what I wanted it to look like and how I wanted it to function but in terms of the footage I didn’t know which parts to include, until I realised that the most interesting and humours parts were where people forgot the items and were desperately trying to recall them. These are the clips I have used and the last clip is full length as this was the winner, who didn’t guess all items but out of the 20sec group managed to guess the most.
As I am very particular and a complete perfectionist, it took me forever to place and position all the items around the screen and fiddle with them so that they all fit and looked relatively the same size. It took me two days to get it to a point where I was happy to call it a rough edit in order to receive feedback, which I thought was going to be horrendous as it was an unfinished piece, though I got some really good comments and areas to work upon plus the areas that I had already planned to change.
Fixing the rough edit again took a lengthy amount of time simple because by the end of it there were at least 22 tracks of footage and each section took 12 minutes to render every time something was changed. I worked upon the feedback given changing the desaturation to check list ticks and adding titles to provide a little more information, as well as adding a track to try and cover up the horrible camera sound which I was unable to fix despite trying everything.
Overall the preparation could have been a little better in terms of filming and editing, however, I think that all the endless hours spent working on this artefact paid off as it demonstrates the unreliability and pressures of memory. As this was my last artefact to create I wanted it to not only have a solid idea behind it but to make it visually solid and I think I have managed to achieve this. I can happily say this is the piece of work that I am most proud of this year so far, and hard work, sweat and tears really do pay off.
Though this module has been challenging I have somewhat enjoyed it as I have been tested mentally and technically and bettered myself through this process as a result. The lectures together with lectures that entwine from a different module have been very helpful in terms of coming up with a basis for my ideas, as I would hear or read something that would trigger an idea and develop into my artefact.
I think what has the best thing about the module has been the fact that instead of just creating media without meaning, we have had to think about the meaning of each piece and the possible message it gives out to the audience. Having a brief helped and hindered me as I work best when it is clear what is required, however, the spectacle brief threw me for six when we had to draw on theories from either Baudrillard or Debord as inspiration for our artefacts. I found this hard as my original idea fit in with all the other obstructions apart from that one, and again this happened with my second idea. I eventually came up with an idea that fit all the obstructions a few days before the feedback session and managed to get it filmed and edited on time, which was a massive achievement for me and showed me how much I can work to restrictions no matter how hard I may fine them.
My three artefacts I feel have been well thought out and thought about as I have a strong connection to the messages that they give out to the audience, they are visually appealing and executed to my best ability and I am proud to say that they are my own finished products as a result of this module.
Now that this module has come to an end I can full say that I have grown as an individual and as part of a team. I have been able to produce work that is solely my own, from idea generation to editing and I have learnt new technical skills as well as mental and academic skills. In some cases I have been able to pass on my wisdom and new found knowledge on to others in order to help them progress, whilst I have also lent a hand to those who have needed it for whatever reason, just as I have called upon others to be in my pieces and to aid parts of the process. I have and always will be a team player, but this year I have been given an opportunity to develop my individual work through this module. All the skills I have learnt and processes I have been through will help me and help build my profile for the career that I wish to pursue in television or failing that a career as a production manager of some sort of creative business, where in ultimately I will have control but will have to work as a team as well.
As there are no obstructions for this artefact, I have created my own; I have to have three theories behind my piece one for each theme (spectacle, power and memory).
4 ‘The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images.’ Guy Debord.
As my spectacle will be an object that is easy for the contestants to relate to either through childhood memories or experience, for example a cuddly toy will be memorable as it may trigger a memory of their favourite childhood toy.
‘The id is a primitive part of the personality that pursues only pleasure and instant gratification.’ Freud’s concept of personality.
The power in my piece will be the power of the mind, that being the power of ‘want’, which will be the prize/reward upon winning, but also the power of being triumphant.
The game and idea itself comes under Frederick Jameson’s theory of ‘Pastiche’ “a world in which stylistic innovation is no longer possible, all that is left is to imitate dead styles, to speak through the masks and with the voices of the styles in the imaginary museum.”
The imitation of the ‘Generation Game’ and how people remember and also what they remember.
I have researched into the Generation Game as this is what my idea is based on.
‘The Generation Game was a British game show produced by the BBC in which four teams of two (people from the same family, but different generations, hence the title of the show) competed to win prizes.
There were always eight competitors, hence the catchphrase “Let’s meet the eight who are going to generate” used in earlier series by Bruce Forsyth. The couple that scored the highest went through to the final ‘conveyor belt’.
At the end of the show, one member (or in later series both members) of the victorious team watched prizes pass on a conveyor belt, and then won as many as could be recalled in a set time. A trademark of the show was that a cuddly toy was always among the prizes. The audience would shout out the names of the prizes, allowing the contestants to carry away large numbers of items.’
I will have 8 competitors, however, they will not be related and the only prize available will be the end prize should they be able to name all of the items, and if there is more than one person who manages this then it will be whoever remembered all items in the quickest time.
From watching this video I have an idea of the number of items to have, how many seconds they get to look at them and how many they get to recall the items. There will be no audience to shout things out in order to help, so this will add to the pressure of the contestants and really test their memory.
*’Debord, G. (1967) The Society of the Spectacle, Rebel Press, 2006.
*’Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern 1983-1998′ By Professor Frederick Jameson
Final Spectacle Artefact
Overall I think this artefact has challenged me mentally more than physically as I had to think a lot about being within the brief, and one of the obstructions in particular was challenging as we had to draw from the theories of either Guy Debord or Baudrillard and when reading them I felt like they were going over my head and I wasn’t quite grasping their meanings. Once I had an idea I read through the theories again and fit my idea and three of the theories together which was a revelation as those theories suddenly had more meaning than ever in regards to my idea.
I managed to produce something that I think is engaging despite having the set back of not being able to add in my eyes what was going to be the best part of my piece which was the parody. I have learnt so much through the process of this piece as if I had not filmed my original idea when I did and just relied upon making the parody I would not of had any material to gain feedback for, and I find feedback is essential for me to go away and develop not only my work but myself as well.
I am pleased with my artefact and although I was nervous about showing it because I thought people may have thought it was boring, or too slowly paced, I received positive feedback saying it was interesting, engaging, and the pacing was just right and the only thing to think about was re-framing some of the shots. I was more than happy to hear this feedback and I should have more confidence in my work than I do.
There were some minor problems alongside not being able to film the parody, which was compressing my footage as when compressed it was still too big to fit on Vimeo, I managed to overcome this by exporting the footage from iMovie. Eventually when I looked at the uploaded video it had lost some quality and looked a little grey and grainy, which I then fixed when exporting my new re-edited footage. I also learnt how to create a codec in compressor for Vimeo as once again when exported my re-edit file was too big and compressor wasn’t able to make it small enough and so I had to find out how to do this manually. There was also some unnecessary time wasted transferring footage to and from my hard drive, but in hindsight this couldn’t be helped.
With this artefact I have again kept to the brief and acted upon feedback I had been given in order to develop my work, which shows my attitude towards bettering myself and my work. I have challenged my mind more than my technical skills with this piece although I have learnt some new technical aspects in post-production, and learnt that it is always a good thing to have a back up plan!
The process of creating my spectacle artefact has been challenging to say the least as I had a few original ideas, however, every time I looked over them I couldn’t quite make them fit the brief, so I did struggle to come up with an idea that was interesting to myself and the audience but which also fit the brief. After coming up with my Apple idea of transformation overtime I wasn’t quite sure how to make it play with reality, and after seeking some advice I made the decision to take the advice on board and create a possible futuristic Apple product. I wanted to create something that right now would seem a million miles away from invention let along completion, just as the iPhone and all its capabilities seemed to us back when we were all using chunky mobiles with aerials, and so I decided upon a book that when opened would transport you to any destination you so desired, also with the option of having different destinations to choose from on each page, hence it being a book, making it more fairytale like.
So taking inspiration from a fellow classmate and having looked at some adverts I came up with the idea of having the Apple timeline in pictures printed on card and pulled into the view of the camera by a pair of hands making it slightly more mystical as like myself, there is a lot people may not have known about Apple and how it started.
When filming I knew what I wanted to be seen on screen and once set up the process didn’t take long, whilst shooting I also had an idea flash where in instead of just showing all the Apple products that had been purchased by my influential subject I would have them write roughly how much they have spent on Apple concessions, this was a staggering £5500 approximately not taking into account purchases from the iTunes and App store. I thought this would have a great effect as a lot of the products were as Guy Debord says ‘more of the same’ and this visual would reiterate and emphasise that statement.
I did have an alternative idea or potential add on to my piece which was going to be a parody of an Apple advert for my futuristic product, however, even though I had managed to book equipment and a room to do this unfortunately vital equipment that I had booked had not been returned and the room I had booked was suddenly no longer available which meant I had to scrap this part completely as time was restricted even more so.
As the filming was done in one shot it didn’t take long to edit, though I did colour correct some of it which took a bit of time, however, after receiving feedback which was positive, I was more aware that some of the pieces of card were a little of centre and could have been straighter and so I was told I should try and re-frame some of the shots. I knew it would be difficult to match the two different sequences together if there were differently framed shots as the hands may differ in position, so I decided to re-shoot the length of the timeline but keep the shots of the Apple products and the futuristic product the same as they were originally shot separately anyway.
Again re-shooting didn’t take long as I again knew what I wanted and we had already run through it before. This was a much better shoot as I marked where the cards had to go so that they wouldn’t be as off centre as before, which made a big difference. However, when editing I did notice that a few of the cards had slipped and were fumbled about a bit more than originally seen, but I think this is a much better version as the rolling shutter has now gone, the lighting is much better and the picture is no longer as grainy as it looked before.
In conclusion, no matter how finished you think your work is, there is almost certainly room for improvement somewhere, this is therefore why I try to have my artefacts ready for the first initial viewings so that i can gain feedback and work upon my piece.
The Spectacle of Transformation of Apple over time