The message that I wanted to get across was that others get it easier than some in terms of making a breakthrough into the work industry of top jobs, pointing out that this could be down to money and the royalties that come with it as such like good contacts, I then wanted to relate this to my own field (the media industry) and tried to incorporate images to represent this. Instead of pointing out to the audience that it’s all about money I wanted to make it more subtle and include an element of a deeper thought process, meaning that some could see it was about struggling in life verses those who have an easy ride, not necessarily the rich. I think I achieved this well through my images as I picked simple everyday things and situations that would occur making it easier for the audience to relate to and identify the meaning behind it, rather than just telling them hence the reason for not directly showing money.
Once I had inspiration my idea came quickly and I was able to manage my time well, getting the majority of shots done on one day and editing them the next, and then shooting the rest of the shots and adding them to the edit. Over the course of four days I had shot and edited my piece taking into consideration what music I wanted to accompany it and this wasn’t hard as from my research I had already listened to spoken word music and knew this was what I was going for. The song I chose ‘Problems’ talks directly about money and how it is the root of all problems, this makes it obvious to the audience about the message of money, though without the music you see the message of the struggles of life, so for me conjoining the two made sense.
I had no problems shooting, the only problems I came across was the dropping of quality and exporting from Final Cut with 5D footage, this was soon corrected after a skills session on how to correctly log and transfer 5D footage so not to drop quality and to export it using the correct setting. This all was done once I had re-edited after receiving feedback making the piece look and flow better than it originally did.
I feel I have done well on this piece and really put some thought into it. Technically I have stepped up, using a camera and lenses I had never used before, using split screen and colour correcting and grading in my re-edit. It was challenging filming by myself as I was trying to make it look like everything was from the perspective of either party, which at times was difficult even with a tripod. The feedback I received and the new skills I learnt I really took on board, which helped me decide to go back and do a second edit to make it just that bit more visually pleasing to myself and the audience.
The thing I have learnt the most is not to be afraid to just go and do it yourself, as I am capable and competent enough to and just need to have that little bit more faith and confidence in myself, but not to be afraid to ask for help form others should I need it. Overall as a piece I think it works, in terms of getting a message across without spoon feeding the audience, even if only one message is obtained.
After watching the BBC programme ‘Who Get’s The Best Jobs?’ I realised I feel strongly about equal opportunities and this was particularly related to the field I want to get into which is television, and in my eyes television is up there for the best jobs. I looked further into the issue and the buzz around it. Taking a step back I then realised that people like myself who aren’t middle class yet aren’t living in poverty may be looked upon by others who are worse off as though we are rich. This gave me the idea to base my artefact on more everyday life and the things we take for granted, for example; though we may have to go through the whole process of making tea before we can enjoy it, unlike others who have it made for them. I wanted my artefact to say that on the one hand there are people who work towards what they want and often find rejection, and on the other, there are those who take a back seat and yet seem to get everything handed to them.
In order to film my artefact I’m taking inspiration from the ‘Symmetry’ video with opposites, making a shot list of ordinary day to day actions and re-creating images with deeper meaning, I’m also thinking of opposing shots to go with them.
When it came to filming, a few of these shots changed as I had more vision for them. e.g.
The clock ticking over didn’t emphasise my point enough that someone would be getting up for work whilst another is just getting in from a night out. This is my favourite shot because as on one side the curtains are being open, the other side is being drawn all the while the clock is still in sight and the light signifies the change.
The song I have found talks about money which I thought was good as I didn’t actually show any money in the shots but they were representations and connotations in there of having money and therefore having an easy life. However, this song says ‘Money, money, money, money, money is the root of all problems’ I liked this as it can be a problem not having money but also having money can too cause problems; What do you do with it? Does it make you happy? Does it fill that empty hole?
After showing my artefact Clifton said when watching it he wasn’t quite sure and still isn’t quite sure what it was about, as it felt like it had deeper meaning more to do with the struggles of life more so than money. I was pleased to hear this as this is what fuelled my idea but wasn’t sure if it would come across. People also said that it was a thoughtful peace as even though it didn’t show money it still raised the question ‘Do people with money have an easier life?’
*http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00yb5kv (Who Gets the Best Jobs & Article buzz around it)
*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNRP8xc5aFA (Who Gets the Best Jobs? Part 1)
*http://soundcloud.com/sinbad269/money (Money Song)
Solomon Asch (1907 – 1996)
Asch was born in Warsaw, Poland, on September 14, 1907, but then decided to go to the United States in 1920 and received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1932. He was an explorer of gestalt(essence or shape of an entity’s complete form), relation-oriented approaches to perception, association, learning, thinking, and metaphor, as a pioneer of social psychology.
After looking the Stanley Milgram’s ‘Obedience to Authority’ experiment I wondered where the idea had come from and what other experiments were out there, this led me to Solomon Asch:
‘Asch’s most famous experiments set a contest between physical and social reality. His subjects judged unambiguous stimuli – lines of different lengths – after hearing other opinions offering incorrect estimates. Subjects were very upset by the discrepancy between their perceptions and those of others and most caved under the pressure to conform: only 29% of his subjects refused to join the bogus majority. This technique was a powerful lens for examining the social construction of reality, and gave rise to decades of research on conformity. Stanley Milgram’s studies of obedience to authority were inspired directly by Asch’s studies.’
The conformity of humans is so radical it’s sometimes hard to swallow but most of us know that if we had been in that experiment very few of us would have protested, especially back then let alone now where you are more likely to be ridiculed for being different or getting it wrong.
I also looked at other videos linked to social experiments, I came across this very interesting and humorous marshmallow experiment performed on young children.
The instant temptation they receive and pressure of time is interesting, as they are not entirely sure if the adult is going to come back let alone with another marshmallow, what if they don’t have time to eat it when she comes back? These thoughts must all be running through their minds and so the only rational and what seemed to be the most popular action was to wait a little while and then eat it, two is too greedy anyway right? This was less of an authoritative test and more of a personal test, one of instant gratification and in a sense mental strength.
‘The marshmallow experiment is a famous test of this concept conducted by Walter Mischel at Stanford University and discussed by Daniel Goleman in his popular work. In the 1960’s, a group of four-year olds were given a marshmallow and promised another, only if they could wait 20 minutes before eating the first one. Some children could wait and others could not. The researchers then followed the progress of each child into adolescence, and demonstrated that those with the ability to wait were better adjusted and more dependable (determined via surveys of their parents and teachers), and scored an average of 210 points higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.’
As my idea for my power artefact is based around money and how it benefits those who have it when trying to climb the career ladder and live general life I have decided to research further around the struggles of not having money, looking at pictures for inspiration and listening to spoken word music that not only talks about different types of power but, expresses the reality and hardship of not having money.
My first point of call was to watch the BBC2 programme ‘Who get’s the best jobs?’ in full and form/reaffirm my own opinion from that.
‘Britain is a less equal society than at any time since World War One. In Who Gets the Best Jobs, Richard Bilton investigates access to the professions – and finds that the best jobs are being snapped up by an increasingly small gene pool of privileged, well-connected families.
Getting a good degree matters more than ever – and those from low income families can no longer easily work their way up from the bottom without the qualifications, contacts and social skills that their more fortunate counterparts make full use of.’
When watching this I was instantly drawn in by the subject matter as I come from a not so well off family and as I grew up I always saw my mum going to work struggling to make sure we could afford to be clothed, eat and have a roof over our heads, and so always pushed for my siblings and I to do well in education so that we could get good jobs and not have to struggle as much as she did/does. I have always known that in gaining a good career it is more who you know than what you know, but I had thought that having a degree meant more than any of that, though when thinking about it if everyone comes out with good grades and degrees how are people differentiated? Therefore how are the jobs distributed fairly? I was interested to learn through watching this that the industry will favour those who have had a good and well recognised education, or more so those who have connections within the organisation. Or connections the organisation themselves can use to their own benefit over those who have worked hard to get to where they are and looking to expand their connections. I have also experienced this first hand on both sides of the spectrum when looking for professional work placements, as I had lost count of the numerous emails I had sent to various companies asking to take me on even for a few days, I actually only managed to get placements through my friend’s step brother and a previous contact I had made through my brother’s workplace.
This question kept screaming out at me – Why should those who don’t necessarily work hard gain the best jobs over those who are willing to put in the hard work to climb the career ladder?
Money plays a big part in all of this, as in the documentary there was a girl who was interning for a high fashion magazine for free, for a time period of 3 months, however, she admitted her parents pay her rent and bills and therefore can afford to work for free if it is what it means to create contacts and get recognised. Although, some without lots of money do this, but they then have to pick up an extra job on top to make ends meet, and even then there is no guarantee of a paying job at the end. I was disgusted to find that one of the companies had up to 20 unpaid interns performing proper jobs over a 3 month period, meaning that the company reaps all the benefits and will potentially only take on one of the twenty interns.
I also read a blog post related to the television programme, that in a sense had a different opinion to myself, as I do see it as a money problem, however, this post talks about not blaming the private schools and company recruitment systems but looking to the aspirations of individuals and not ‘throwing money’ at schemes to fix the problem. There are some points I do agree with such as, it is an individuals aspirations that carry them through but, I believe that money is an aid, it is a helping hand to see your aspirations and dreams turn into a reality, and without it you will struggle an awful lot more to reach your goals.
Here is the post: http://hannoir.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/social-mobility/
So when thinking about what images I could create for my artefact to articulate my message I decided to look at images conjured up by the words; rich, poor, struggles of life, easy life and money.
STRUGGLES OF LIFE
From looking at these pictures they create the image of one man’s rubbish being another man’s treasure, but none of these pictures showed normal people like you and I which gave me the idea to look at things we overlook, such as someone making a shoe to those who receive and wear it. This also got me thinking how our everyday actions can be rich to someone less well off than I, the ability I have to make tea with hot water and clean utensils, but I will use this idea against those who get or seem to get an easy ride in life (supposedly those with money). The idea behind the everyday ‘luxuries’ being that we too have power through money but in a slightly different way. I have also listened to spoken word music to help inspire me, by an artist called ‘Majical’ via http://www.mixtapepage.com and from this I looked into having spoken word music to accompany my piece, and have searched soundcloud so that there is no copyright infringement.
After being given the task of creating a power artefact with these obstructions:
*Ask or examine a question about power.
*It must be thoughtful.
*Has to use split screen or compositing.
*Use at least one influence that we have seen/ talked about during the lecture.
*Borrow only openly licensed material.
*No series of still images or found footage.
My initial idea is based around looking at the two sides of climbing up the career ladder, with the influence from the television documentary ‘Who gets the best jobs?’ and also influence from the Vimeo video ‘Symmetry’. I want to show the side that builds their career and works hard for it and the other side where money, status, and connections is all you need. This will question whether the power of money and connections is key in the media industry or if hard work and dedication pay off more. Does the media favour those who build a career or those who pay for one, money or otherwise? The images I want to create I don’t want to be too obvious and taking the idea of opposites from ‘Symmetry’ I have thought of creating different images to portray the grafting side and the privileged side. For example on the split screen you will see one side cooking a meal and going through that process and the other side simply receiving a ready made plate of food, as I think of the term given to you on a plate. I will be researching into this case/question and thinking of images I can create for my artefact.
During the workshop we looked through the learning objectives for this course and what it is we can do in order to pass, these are the key bits I picked up on and noted:
– Keeping my blog up to date and post regularly and show interaction with module content.
– Make sure I keep a record and evidence my sources of inspiration, my idea development, and respond to action within the course.
– Evidence my research and development when creating artefacts and talk about my ides and the process I went through in order to get my final product.
– Reflect critically on course content and themes using media and cultural theories as back up.
– Don’t just describe what I have done, analyse and reflect critically upon it, context and theory wise.
– When reflecting, reflect in relation to my chosen field that being television. What skills and lessons learnt are key to this industry.
– Make sure my blog is organised and everything is tagged and categorised correctly.
– Evidence the process from proposal to final idea, detailing decisions and conclusions made during.
All of these learning objectives interlink, however, the biggest one I need to focus on is LO3 as this is where a lot of the detail comes in.
Once we kicked of on the theme of Power we focused in on words that are seen or taken as offensive, this meant swear words in all their forms, racial abuse, sexual abuse words, homophobic words and general abusive language. We all had a good laugh doing so but what is humorous to some may be abusive and offensive to others, making them feel worthless and most of all powerless. What gives others the power to do this? Can we look to comedians to blame, do they make it socially acceptable to make fun of others, be abusive and offensive all in the name of comedy?
We were given a list of words to go away with and come up with other words that connect us to the word. In this case the words were feelings and I have now come up with a list of words that makes people feel this way.
All of these word connections can be explained further and they may not be what they seem but the word I have written is either the first word that came to mind or the word that best describes that feeling.
Today was the first proper lecture of the year introducing to one of our themes and what an impact it created, kicking off with power. As one of our tasks is to create an artefact around power the first and most essential thing is to research, in order to develop a point of view and gain more of an understanding and give purpose to our work that we create.
We looked at a lot of videos as examples of power and the constraints it has over people especially when an authoritative figure is in place. This to me was still shocking to see despite knowing how we are all controlled through the media and government, conspiracy theory or not I do believe that everything happens for a reason and each has it’s own purpose. As Christians we believe that God made the world and everything had it’s place and purpose and so why would one believe anything different especially in a man made world built through greed. Man built weapons and drugs etc so we ask, did they know wars were going to occur? Were they planned? Did they know people would die or was this a population restriction or way to fear monger, split communities and exert power among us?
After watching the little clips in the lecture I carried on watching some of them in full and looking at other things around them. I was particularly shocked when watching the Milgram experiment clip how reluctant people were to follow through with questioning the authoritative figure there, and the few that did eventually make a stand didn’t question the figure as such but felt morally compromised. Why do we not question those in power? What gives them the right to have power over us? Like the Lottery birth clip, we are basically born into a world already designed and therefore made to conform. I see this like a packet of biscuits, the packaging and destination is already set all that is to be done is to fill the packet, the conformity being that each one must look and taste the same.
Even the film trailer for ‘Compliance 2012’ was shocking, trying to grasp the extent at which people will go to in order to conform or comply with a so called ‘authoritative’ figure. What’s worse is that when I looked at a different clip, yes they were shocked but somehow ended up laughing about how conformed we as humans are. It’s no laughing matter of course but most of us will shrug it off because we think well what can we do that will make a difference in a world that is already set in it’s ways?
The video that had the biggest impact on me was the ‘Who gets the best jobs?’ I have watched this in full and think it’s terrible that our society is still conformed by it’s past, everyone should be able to have equal opportunities and no matter how industries try to cover it up or make it sound valid, it is about who you know not what you know and about money. Money the greatest power there is! As I am from a traditional middle class family I do not see the perks that others might and I have had to come face to face with this fact when looking for work experience, resulting in me relying upon my brothers contacts he has made throughout his career. This video more than any other has influenced my idea for my power artefact as through the obstructions I want to ask the question does the media favour those who build a career or those who will pay for one, money or otherwise. The split screen will work in my favour as I will be able to contrast the two sides, actions of those who work hard to climb the career ladder or those who simply get it laid on a plate for them. I also plan to draw on the ‘Symmetry’ film style in the way that most of the actions are opposite or oppose each other in some way.