Mr.Gum Finds His Mates

With one Iphone, a couple of pieces of chewing gum, a laptop, a stapler (tripod), a couple of apps ( dropbox and Imotion HD) and two amazingly talented creators, we created this stop motion video:

Pre-Production: Due to its lengthy process, we chose a very simple storyline for our stop motion video project. The story has one main protagonist; Mr. Gum, who is embarking on a journey to find his friends. After finding a computer and searching for his friends, he manages to find them in a students backpack. This character obviously has one clear goal (to find his friends) which in turn propels the linear- narrative structure. By implementing this clear beginning-middle -end structure, we found it a lot easier to determine what shots we would use. Before we began shooting, we also created a mock video of our idea and a storyboard.

We attempted to vary our shot length, framing and mise-en-scene to make the video more engaging. Aware of the limitations of shooting on an Iphone and using a simple app, we also decided to only use one location for shooting. Here, we could control lighting, and avoid possible interruptions. Overall our intent was clear. We wanted to create a sweet and simple video in which a piece of gum would come to life and begin searching for his friends.

After finalising our idea, we thought our video could be used as a potential advertising campaign for Extra gum. As gum is chewed by men and women alike and both the young and the old, I feel our video would be perfect for this brand. Its simplicity is ideal for a wide target audience, with androgynous characters, a simple story and a fast pace.We decided, if our video was implemented by extra, it’s slogan would be ‘Because one is never enough’… or even ‘Because two is always better than one’. Turning gum into ‘Mr.Gum’, this characterisation could be incorporated into Extra’s social media advertising campaigns. Proposing that they could then create a corresponding game, where users have to find Mr. Gums mates.

Production: Taking a picture every 1 to 5 seconds, this app is extremely easy to use and very helpful. Yet the process of creating a stop-motion video, proved to be a very arduous task. Frame by Frame we had to move our character within the specified self-timer shooting limit. Moving my hand in and out of the shot, the Iphone was forced to continually focus and refocus. As there is no manual focus setting on an Iphone, our videos lighting and focus continually change.Unfortunately there was no way of avoiding this limitation.

This task was a great learning experience, as it required ALOT of patience. More than anything, i learnt how easy it is to create a short film on my Iphone. I would definitely suggest this app to anyone intending to create a quick stop motion video.

Post Production: After creating our individual videos, we uploaded them to dropbox and exported them to final cut. This was a quick process, as we edited each shot together and added some music. We have full authorisation to use this music as it is Hayden’s band Lurch and Chief. As highlighted in one of the flipped lectures, we used music to keep the story moving and hold viewers attention.I feel it compliments the story well, and has the potential to create publicity for the band, if it was used as an advertisement.After completing the video, we publicised it through a number of different social media websites using Hootsuite. Here we can monitor feedback, and audiences responses:


As the video is also on Youtube, it can be viewed by anyone in the public. From there it will hopefully be shared and liked to create greater publicity. As this blog also contains the video and is tagged with certain searchable terms, it will also create publicity for the video.

Overall, Hayden and I worked extremely well together. We divided each of the tasks, so that Hayden would film and set up shots and I would move the characters and create them. To improve this film, we could have had a longer story-line or a more interesting location for our character to travel around. we could also spend a long amount of time focusing each shot.

Although our intention was to create a film with everyday items, the gum wasn’t very nice to work with, as it made EVERYTHING sticky. Yet upon reflection i admire the simplicity of our video. It shows what two creative people can create with limited timing,equipment and budget compared to someone who has an unlimited supply of all these resources.

I hope you enjoy!

As all great work should be, our film has this copyright licence:

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Enchanted Ground 5: Implement the Game

When our game became a reality….

LEVEL 1: Having way too much fun creating a name for our new ‘game’,our title ‘DigitalHuntForGloryAndAwakening’ proved to be a difficult Facebook group to find. Although the name is hilarious, upon reflection I would probably change it. Its simplification would decrease the risk of spelling and grammar errors.

We don’t want our gamers stuck on the first level!

Aside from this limitation (and the fact that we needed a starting time for our event), the group has a simple layout with easy to follow instructions. Using google maps, there really is no excuse in not finding this next clue.

LEVEL 2: Upon completion, I found my next QR tag. It was easy to find! and easy to scan

Heres the real thing:

After scanning the QR tag with my iphone. This awesome message appeared( I didn’t realise QR tags had this type of capability):

LEVEL 3: After reading this message, I followed the easy instructions and went to the toilets. *Dont worry QR tags were placed in all toilets!

I looked in the mirror…… and look at what i found

or even:

I scanned the code and it took me here….

LEVEL 4:

Following the instructions on the main page, I followed this page. And clicked on the first tweet:

At this point we had attempted to create an automated message service to notify all of our new followers about the next and FINAL STAGE. Using tweetlater, Socialoomph and TwitterDMer, we made lots a trillion attempts to make this happen. But Twitter just wasn’t having any of it. Due to spamming complications, Twitter have attempted to control any Auto-reply messages that get sent. So instead, we scheduled a specific tweet on Hootsuite to be published  everyday at 5pm. This is therefore the weakest point in the game, as the tweets aren’t personalized, gamers must locate the tweet and continue to follow the link.

LEVEL 5: Finally I tweeted that I had won(including #netmed and @huntforglory) and a tweet appeared congratulating me:

At this point we also wanted another automated message, but due to complications already highlighted, we couldnt. Managed through Hootsuite, this account (@huntingforglory) is linked to both admins accounts (Hayden and me), so that it can be easily monitored.Successful applicants will therefore receive prompt replies and can easily claim their prize.

PROS:

1.I think one of most successful aspects of this game is its variation in Social media software:

  • Facebook
  • Google Maps
  • QR tags
  • Twitter
  • Hootsuite

2.The QR tag instructions are very easy to follow.

3.The Youtube video is funny and fits with the theme.

4.The game takes you to new and interesting places!

CONS:

1. The prize unfortunately isnt a tangible reward or money offer.

2. The name is too long and confusing, and isn’t constant throughout the game (due to wordlimits).

3. There aren’t personalised automated messages on Twitter.

4. Admins must constantly be monitoring the Hootsuite interface to contact new gamers.

5. Gamers must be able to access the RMIT city campus.

Enchanted Ground 4: Glory Hunting Productions

SYNOPSIS: Welcome to Hayden and Issy’s Digital Hunt for Glory and Awakening. You have entered the virtual realm on a path that will lead you to ultimate enlightenment. In succeeding, you will behold the greatest victory one can attain in cyber world; a hilarious YouTube video. You will encounter great obstacles on this path. Following the enchanted Google maps, you will encounter unforgiving Facebook groups, the riddles of QR tags, and the wise Twittersphere.

Your journey has only just begun…

Below you will see the rudimentary steps involved in participating in this game:

Involving users through social media, we hope to create an engaging, fun and humorous game. These simple steps can therefore be applied to commercial companies who seek a more engaging marketing scheme. But first they must hire us!

Below you will see Hayden and mines marketing image: Glory Hunting Productions ©

Freedom to Create

This weeks flipped lecture; Freedom to create, focused on the artwork of Chinese democrat; Liu Xia. Being a ‘forbidden artist’ in China, her work has remained predominately hidden from the general public. This article therefore questions the creative restrictions imposed on Chinese artists and directly reminded me of my experiences at the Tate Modern in London last year. One of the pieces I felt deeply moved by was Ai Weiwei’s: Sunflower seeds in his ‘Unilever series’.Similar to Liu Xia, Ai Weiwei’s work has been forbidden in China, as has his civil rights been violated.

I have explored my first experience of Ai Weiwei’s work in a recent cowbird story. To have a read click here.

*please note: all the photos used in my cowbird story are from the public domain and do not violate any copyright laws.

Digital Storytelling

TAKE THIS LOLLIPOP:

With an innocent blue lollipop dangling in the middle of the screen, and the words ‘I DARE YOU’ written underneath, this website automatically raises your suspicions. From childhood, Hollywood horror blockbusters have taught me that something bad ALWAYS happens when the characters are at their happiest. Usually this means that characters get killed off when they are mid way through a joke or about to get laid.

Aware that nothing is what it seems, I hesitantly click on the lollipop, all the while fearing that a mangled head will pop up and start screaming at me. Being traumatised by these gags in high school, I’m relieved when a simple Facebook pop-up appears. Asking for access to my basic personal information, I accept like any other Facebook app i’ve used.

Yet, what follows this is truly disturbing. Walking through an abandoned house, you stumble across a creepy man sitting at his computer. As you get closer to him, your Facebook page and pictures become more visible. He is stalking you. Compared to most scare tactics I’ve seen about cyber-safety, this one is far superior. It has no cheesy dialogue, moral message, or annoying catchphrase .Instead it lets the visuals do the talking. The quality of the film is excellent, and definitely encapsulates the stereotypical ‘stalker/murderer’. Although effective, one has to acknowledge that most sexual predators and stalkers don’t sit in abandoned, dirty houses covered in sweat. In reality, they sit in their everyday houses …..maybe even with their family. They could even be our neighbours. So although this video may not be effective in identifying the characteristics of an online predator, it successfully highlights the vulnerability of ones identity online. Above all else, it makes you question how easy you are to accept a simple Facebook access request. As a mode of digital storytelling, I think it is a very adventurous and effective development. By not allowing the user to interact with the story, or determine their own fate, the website renders its viewers helpless.Also, As nothing is explicitly explained, the story relies on its viewers to make certain assumptions about the main protaginist. Subsequently, the website lets the viewers fill in the dots, relying heavily on our semantic judgements and sterotyping.

Have a look for yourself :here

 GOLDILOCKS:

This short film is truly remarkable. It utilises the portable and easy functions of the iphone to create an engaging and thrilling short film. Divided into different segments, one has to download a specific app to continue following the story. Unfortunately, it is this aspect of the film that I thought was least effective. Like most viewers, I want instantaneous satisfaction when I watch a film. Quite simply, I don’t have the time or patience to download compartmentalised segments or clips. In contrast to this, the greatest advantage of this film, in comparison to other footage shot on an Iphone, is its use of sound. Overall it minimises the use of natural sound, due to its poor quality and replaces it with sound effects and music. The small sound threshold on most phones, usually makes the captured noises sound distorted. By minimising this limitation, and with the use of interesting angles and panning shots, this film escapes the typical perceptions of ‘phone footage’.

Shot completely on an iphone, not only does this film highlight the progression of filming technology but also the producers themselves. Due to its wide accessibility, the Iphone has allowed the ‘average man’ to produce a film comparable to a Hollywood blockbuster. By broadening this field, new forms of digital storytelling will become accessible to a wider range of people.This creates new possibilities of untold stories which may have never been told if it wasn’t for this technological development.

Check it out here

HISTORY OF THE WORLD:

This sweet stop-motion video follows a truly imaginative storyline in the ‘apparent’ creation and history of earth. With simplistic caricatures and a constantly revolving world, this video is extremely easy to follow and is quite fast paced. With dragons and robots, this history is anything but accurate and I wouldn’t suggest it for any history class! Yet within this limitation is a great advantage; creativity and imagination. It escapes the realms of historical facts and instead relies on creativity.

Personally, i feel this form of digital storytelling is great for children. Unlike this video, it could be used for educational purposes, especially in assisting visual learners.As stop motion videos are also shot on cameras, viewers themselves can also quickly create the story. This interaction, can sometimes be important in retaining new information.

 

Free Beer

It was a warm summer day, and I had just started my first week at RMIT. Sitting in the confined rooms of my Cinema Tute, a loud thumping noise suddenly invaded the classroom. Where was this loud thumping techno coming from? and why was it interrupting the classical film noir we were all dutifully enjoying.

As i walked outside onto Bowen st, I spotted the culprits. It was the RUSU student union.

Puzzled at what was happening, I walked closer to investigate. As the music became louder, so did the smell of cheap beer and home-brewed cider. With the faces of my new friends becoming more distinct.

I Had Found Heaven on Earth.

With a free cider in my hand, good company and the sun shining on my back, I knew this year was going to be good.

I had finally escaped the realms of controlling high-school teachers, stringent uniform policies and inflexible classtimes. I was now free to become whoever i wanted, and finally decide my own future and make my own decisions.

Not only could i legally drink on the premises where i sought to develop my own education…… but it was free.

this is my QR tag:

This is its (non-permanent) Location: