Documentary: Us

A short analysis for Integrated media 2: Documentary

Last weeks film; Us, explores the power shifts that have begun to appear in contemporary society due to an emerging participatory culture created by our mass consumer technology. With this great advancement in technology, so to comes a new generation of communicating with one another, this being ‘collaborative communication’. With the internet now allowing the masses to speak to one another, rather than one person to speak to many, so to has our knowledge expanded beyond the realms of our imagination. Instead of solely entrusting one ‘specialist’, we now have forums that allow the collaboration of many ‘specialists’ or knowledgeable persons to share their experiences with others. With all this knowledge being spread, Rheingold notes that a snowball effect is occurring, turning ‘individual acts of participation into a participatory culture’. With this in mind, many can see the benefits of sharing knowledge with others who may not be able to access it due to monetary or locational circumstances.

And so with a cultural network emerging through many-to-many prosumers being able to contact one another, so to is collective intelligence born. The amount of content available grows at an incredible rate each day, with Rheingold noting that ‘Youtube has over 35 hours of video uploaded each minute’. So in a world where participation can equate to real power, what is possible?

This is what this documentary predominantly focuses on. WIth its main argument proposing that our emerging participatory culture has the power to regulate, and some day even run the governments of the world. With societies collaborating information amongst one another, such as wikileaks, the government would be forced to run a more transparent parliament. As more and more people become included this could possibly shift into a world collaboratively ruled by the entire world.
Yet the documentary thankfully does acknowledge that there are massive challenges from this idealistic viewpoint. For with this mass communication, more people can express and broadcast their opinions than at any other time in history. With so many viewpoints there is always the possibility of conflicting information and also extremist views. The internet is also not readily available to everyone in the world and therefore may disenfranchise certain minority groups, that probably need to be heard the loudest. There is also the risk of saboteurs, who could ruin any exchange of information online.

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Abstractness in video

This weeks task required us to create an abstract video with the video and audio content we had recorded previously in the semester. Having never used Adobe Premier before, I found this excersize to be a massive learning curve. Overall I do think the usability of Premier is superior to Final Cut, its cataloguing of your video library and clear visual layout is a massive bonus. Yet, I do have to acknowledge that i struggled with the audio levels and features. Luckily this excersize has highlighted that weakness so I can hopefully focus on it in class, or continue to watch the numerous youtube tutorials online.

For someone who lives by a routine, likes organisation and enjoys a sense of order, this video was definitely a struggle to create. I feel like this is reflected in the chaos this video ensues. I began by creating something with an obvious sense of symmetry and similarity, yet it grew into an explosion of movement, in every direction possible. It seems that it took me a while, before I could recalibrate and accept that I wasn’t going to create a film with a ‘narrative’, once I realised this I think that my video began to get better.

I was surprised to find that I found my main splice of audio from the backwards track that was created by one of my videos, I feel like this was a creative use of audio… especially as I had no audio tracks to work with from the first week. Due to this, all of the audio used in this film is from the different video tracks (some that I didn’t show). I did struggle with the levelling between the different tracks and would like to learn how to do this more effectively. To counteract this dilemma I  did attempt to layer the audio and also un-sync the tracks with the editing cuts.

Overall I found it quite difficult to create this video, mostly because there is no clear way to begin nor is their guidelines on where to cut, often given in narrative videos. It did, however show me that there are a number of different ways to approach your material when deciding on how to edit it all together. And that sometimes your original idea is only a mere diving board to a range of other ideas that are more creative and effective.

To watch the video, please click here.

 

This is an analysis question for Tv/Film Reflection #2

‘The End of the Line’ – Documentary treatment

I feel this documentary successfully shows a myriad of opinions by documenting a tapestry of individuals whom live together in Broken Hill. This is mainly achieved by the variety amongst the interviewees in their age, gender, religion and background.  It is their unique opinions of the town that create a rich and unbiased view, that argues that neither the city nor the country is inherently better, but instead dependant on the needs of each individual. This objective viewpoint is echoed in the groups treatment, and allows the documentary to be an exploration into living in the country rather than becoming an opinionated piece.

Filmed within their homes, at work or with their dogs, these interviews feel very personal and therefore successfully achieve the ‘intimate’ feel the group was aiming for in their treatment. This sense of intimacy produces a charming feel to the film and allows viewers to connect with the interviewee’s on a level they might not have if the interviews were more formal.

Yet, what I feel is the most outstanding feature of this film is its use of ‘fill in’ shots that occur between each interview. I use the word ‘fill in’ very loosely as these shots are crucial in the feel of the film. They capture small aspects of everyday country life that would mostly go unnoticed. The line of a fence, the movement of a swinging handle and the vastness of Broken Hill itself.

As I’m coming up to produce another film for university, I thought I would re-visit the two other films I have created. The first film I produced was in 2010 for my year 12 VCE class in Media:

The second I helped produce was for University in 2013:

I’m very excited and nervous to now produce my third film at University, in the documentary genre. Hopefully it will be another film I am proud to be apart of.

Imagined Realities Analysis

This is for TV/Film 2: Analysis/Reflection week 2

This week I read a chapter in Imagined realities by director Pawl Pawlikowski. I found his point; that cameras are overwhelmingly omnipresent in today’s society and so their form must be methodically considered when producing a documentary, a very crucial idea. It seems we are bombarded with amateur, hand-held footage every day and so in light of this we must consider new and creative ways of filming when attempting to create an engaging documentary. Personally, this gave me the idea of filming, similar to the style of Agnes Varda, things that would be symbolic of the subject matter being discussed rather than a series of boring panning shots that display the subject itself without the need to deconstruct their meaning. By asking viewers to engage and decode the meaning of your imagery, you can create a deeper meaning or feeling within your viewers.

I also thought his point about the importance of the directors personal vision very interesting. I enjoy watching documentaries in which the director is involved, providing a subjective viewpoint. So it made me think…. Why wouldn’t others want to watch a film with my personal viewpoint being weaved throughout the film? I enjoyed this idea of directorial subjectivity and the idea of telling a personal story, as seen in documentaries such as ‘The Cove’ and ‘The Gleaners and I’. I feel like it takes a lot of courage to place yourself within the critical realm of the film, but I am interested to experiment with it in my own film.