My review

LAUGHTER YOGA IN PEACE LAB

The digital story ‘Laughter Yoga in Peace Lab.’ Is a documentary examining the life of a Lawyer who founded the ‘Peace Lab’ to coach meditation and yoga to train people to ease stress and tensions in life. To talk about the experience, it was a shocking and funny moment while watching the video. Because it was weird to see people laughing loud, like few on the floor and few standing. Later I realised how stressful and painful their life is.

The person behind the video should have done lots of research regarding content, editing, camera and so on. The shots were very amateur, but I felt a raw feel to the video with made me feel realistic. The most interesting part is video’s target audience is so specific, i.e., people who are interested in stress relief or may be yoga. I couldn’t get much information about the social media campaign to reach the audience. Another thing I wish to talk about is ‘Logo’, to me the meaning of the logo is a single eyed yogi.

THIS IS NOT THE CASE

This is the only video I like technically, they had a perfect camera and editing plans. The black and white,  video’s noise filters and Charlie Chaplin style of approach were my favourite picks in the project. The video was about an overseas student from Asia trying to become a part of new Australian society. However, she alway meets some embarrassing things thanks to the culture difference. The plot was funny and made all of us engaged and laugh in class.

They have made a good step in their social media campaign, they have almost used all the available social media platforms to share their work and reach the maximum audience. Editing was perfect in the video, timely syncing of slow and fast motions made the video more attractive, the piece of music running throughout the video reminded me of old Charlie Chaplin movies.

 

Final stages of ‘MUSICORUM’

Music is the greatest language in the world, people can understand the feeling or mood of the music while listening even though they don’t know the meaning. (Patel 2008) “Is music a universal language or not?”, This is the question to be proved through our reaction video. We should be able to communicate our idea to everyone in the audience equally with our Musicorum project, which is one of our goals to create a real fusion of multicultural idioms, without sacrificing anything. To achieve this idea, we as part of the Musicorum experiment have put together a group of 10 to 15 volunteers who were made to listen to a music track and based on their listening experience, we got them talking to explore if some/most of their answers are similar or different.

During the pre-production stage, my duty was to build a website, design minimal posters and logo. And for production, my duty was to take care of cinematography and sound. We used Sony X200 Videocam, and Zoom HF Lapel mic for the shoot and no additional lights were used. Shooting was smooth and perfectly arranged. But, during the shoot, there was a lot of disturbances from the construction site of Metro Tunnel.  Another Group ‘Melbourne Busking’, had this same issue with the ambience sound as they were shooting on the streets. The mic recorded all the unwanted ambience sounds and made our sound mixing work harder. And another thing we should have changed during the shoot was the background of the frame because there was a poster behind the speaker which will mislead the viewer. And one more mistake we did was about the second angle for the shoot. If we had one more angle for the shoot, I think our edit would have been better. My part in social media campaign was to bring out something catching to attract more followers for the social media pages. So, I came up with the idea of an Instagram template board with ‘Muiscorum’ title. I passed the idea to my team member Emre, he went down the Melbourne streets and asked people to pose for the photo, which in turns made people search for the social media pages.

Post-production was the most challenging part for me because the selection of the exact expressions and answers from the vast collection of footages was not an easy task. I had interviews with fifteen people, and a huge number of questions and answers were to be watched and picked. We planned to make a video with fast and precise cuts. For a better understanding of the viewers, questions were displayed in the bottom of the video, and other popups like country flags and names were also added. The video was a bit over exposed, and skin tone of the participants was messed up. At the point when there are individuals in the shot, life is a great deal more unpredictable; because skin tone is a “memory colour.” So grading and colour correction were done to make it appealing. A cool blue tungsten tone was added to the video. Larry Jordan is a Video Editor who faced a similar issue with setting back the skin tone. He describes it on his blog and how to get rid of it and other problems which can be arisen while colour correction and grading over exposed videos. His suggestions are to add enough mid-tones and shadows to the video. Then to compare colour scheme and editing style of most famous reaction video and notice how colours improve viewers attraction. He also suggests using cool colour tint like, blue, green or violet, and as it allows for easy catching by the eyes. Details from his blog helped me to make the video better without the clutters, and with additional graphical text representation, it became much better in appearance.

Link to Website:

https://cmwpass2.wixsite.com/musicorum

Link to Youtube:

https://youtu.be/I2xI2rw48tA

Link to Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/musicorumm/

Link to Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/musicorumm/

Link to Twitter:

https://twitter.com/musicorum2017

References:

  1. Patel, A. D. (2008). Music, language, and the brain. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  2. Larryjordan.com. (2017). Color Correction: Make People Look Normal | Larry Jordan. [online] Available at: https://larryjordan.com/articles/color-correction-make-people-look-normal/ [Accessed 31 May 2017].
  3. Noamkroll.com. (2017). The Best Order Of Operations For Color Grading & Why It Makes All The Difference. [online] Available at: http://noamkroll.com/the-best-order-of-operations-for-color-grading-why-it-makes-all-the-difference/ [Accessed 31 May 2017].

 

 

TAXI DRIVER – Travis asks Betsy out

The ‘Taxi Driver’ is the most existential film by Martin Scorsese, even before “After Hours”. Scorsese tells stories through his characters, the main plot is derived from a handful of perspectives, but taxi driver often clings on to Travis’ mind, no one else. In this scene where Travis asks Betsy out, it’s quietly visible. The selected scene involves the protagonist Travis going into Betsy’s office and insisting her to go on a date. What the protagonist says can be described in two ways; the first one, he is describing and reflecting himself onto her. On the other hand, he could be describing Betsy. The cinematographer used some pretty claustrophobic camera shots in this scene to zero in on protagonist’s world and get his perspective and camera work dishing out Travis vision in detail and reality.

The scene starts with a close-up of Travis sitting in his Taxi and looking at Betsy, cut to, Travis walks into the office where the camera tracks sideways of the street, from the suggestion of the cab, where a big space in the frame is empty, showing his isolation and loneliness, and towards the end of the tracking shot, camera zooms onto Travis. Both of the shots take us into the perspective of Travis even before the scene starts.

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Inside the office, a tracking outshot where Travis walks towards the frame, fast. These three shots close our thoughts around the character of Travis. The whole scene is told from the perspective of Travis, apart from a couple of lingering close-ups of Betsy’s reactions, most of the time we see Travis or his perception of the moment. After this, Scorsese cuts into the POV of Travis, where we see Betsy and her flirty colleague look into the approaching camera, thus to Travis. The shot tracks into a mid close up of  Betsy.

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When he reaches her table and tells that he needs to volunteer to her, and when the colleague hesitatingly leave, we see a couple of middle shots, with slight movements of tracking in and sideways, showing a really fast and vague vision of the office, which leaves the audience with less details, just like Travis.

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Visually this scene saturates our thinking process in and around Travis until Betsy is introduced. When Travis compliments her we see her close up, and thus the conversation continues, he uses the mid-close track into lock ourselves into the main characters, the only time the camera grabs a wider view to show her colleague spying on them and an aerial shot of her desk.

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When Travis tells her how he thinks of her as a lonely person and he wants to befriend her, the suggestion shots starts to track out slowly, and when she accepts his invitation, we are left out with somewhat of a third person perspective and these characters isolated from their surroundings and connected to each other.

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References:

  1. Scorsese, M., (2017). Taxi Driver (1976). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075314/ [Accessed 9 May 2017].

My Start To Minimalism – Digital Story Proposal

Music is the greatest language in the world, people can understand the feeling or mood of the music while listening even though they don’t know the meaning. (Patel 2008) “Is music a universal language or not?”, This is the question to be proved through our reaction video. We should be able to communicate our idea to everyone in the audience equally with our Musicorum project, which is one of our goals to create a real fusion of multicultural idioms, without sacrificing anything.

My duty is to take care of the website, posters, editing and visual effects. The first challenge I faced in the assignment was to create the layout. I have tried almost all the default theme in Wix.com, but I wasn’t satisfied. And then I decided to make my own design with the minimalistic approach. I have experience creating minimalistic posters for few commercial films in India. With a minimal design, we thought we don’t have room to play loose. All the elements in the website will be deliberate, and elements serve the purpose. So we are forced to choose what’s absolutely required and reinforces idea consciously. The second thought was about the space, white space and breathing space. A good site that uses whitespace efficiently bears that sense of calm and authority.  In my opinion with the minimalistic idea navigation became much easier. The minimalist agenda to reduce the disorder also holds for the navigation menu.

For our background image, I thought of bringing a dark minimalistic touch to it. The whole website is created in a black contrast, and the texts and pictures are placed based on the background. Then we thought of the need of a logo. So I came up with a name which suits our assignment, i.e., “Muiscorum” which is the Latin word for music. In our logo, I tried to input our theme of cultural diversity and also the music is a universal language. The great challenge then comes with posters, I was completely blank. Putting our theme and idea into a minimal poster was very challenging, like what colour should be used, where the logo and text to be placed, etc.

Logo:

MUSICORUM

My classmate Wizing Han expressed the same problem. His approach was also through the minimalistic idea and in my opinion, he succeeds in his design.  Brujo Owoh is a Web designer who faced a similar issue with setting up the website layout. He describes it on his blog and how to get rid of it and other problems which can be arisen while designing a website. His suggestions are to create enough white space between the text and images using margins. Then to compare colour scheme of most major sites and notice how colours improve readability. He also suggests using a Sans serif typeface as it allows for easy reading on the web. Details from his blog helped me to make website’s layout better without the clutters, and with additional white space, it became much better in appearance.

Posters:

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Background:

POSTER VOCALS.jpg

Link to our proposal website:

https://cmwpass2.wixsite.com/musicorum

References:

  1. Patel, A. D. (2008). Music, language, and the brain. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  2. Slevc, L. R., Okada, B. M. (2015). Processing structure in language and music: a case for shared reliance on cognitivePsychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22, 637-652.
  3. Tan, S.-L., Pfordresher, P., & Harré, R. (2010). Psychology of music: from sound to significance. New York, NY: Psychology Press.
  4. The Art Story. (2017). Minimalism Movement, Artists and Major Works. [online] Available at: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-minimalism.htm [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].
  5. (2015). When Less is More – Why Minimalism STILL Rules the Web — SitePoint. [online] Available at: https://www.sitepoint.com/less-minimalist-websites-still-rule/ [Accessed 10 Apr. 2017].
  6. Owoh, B. (2017). 11 Common Web Design Mistakes (Blunders). [online] HKDC. Available at: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/11-common-mistakes-blunders-in-web-design/ [Accessed 11 Apr. 2017].

My Favourite Adobe Premier Shortcuts

I’m a great fan of adobe’s keyboard shortcuts. I had memorised most of the keyboard shortcuts when I was working in the post-production studio. Learning shortcuts is an energy saver which can speed up our work considerably. Certain shortcuts are easy to remember because the first letter of the tool matches the task name, namely Peen Tool [P], Mark In [I], Mark Out [O].  In Premier Pro we can copy customised shortcuts from one computer to another computer, or to another location on our computer.

The are many keyboard shortcuts one can utilise in Adobe Premiere Pro, but I would like to discuss those we will be using on a more consistent basis as we edit a movie. If it’s on Mac: CTRL = COMMAND and ALT = OPTION.

  1. Selection Tool: [V]
  2. Razor Tool: [C]
  3. Slide Tool: [U]
  4. Slip Tool: [Y]
  5. Track Selection Tool: [M]
  6. Ripple Edit Tool: [B]
  7. Rate Stretch tool: [X]
  8. Add Edit: (SHIFT) + CTRL+[A]
  9. Mark In/ Out: [I] / [O]
  10. Default Transition: CTRL + [D]
  11. Mark Clip: [X]
  12. Link / Unlink: CTRL + [L]
  13. Pen Tool: [P]
  14. Unselect All: CTRL + SHIFT + A
  15. Navigation: (SHIFT) + LEFT / RIGHT / UP / DOWN
  16. Hand Tool: H
  17. Export Media: CTRL + M
  18. Rolling Edit Tool: [N]
  19. Insert to Timeline: [,]
  20. Grouping Tool: CTRL + [G]

I would like to discuss my favourite tools:

Selection Tool: [V]

Selection Tool is the default tool in Adobe Premier and the most used. It is used to select clips in the timeline

Ripple Edit Tool: [B]

This tool is used to adjust an end point and move the other clip in the timeline to compensate.

Rolling Tool: [N]

Rolling Tool is my favourite tool in adobe premier which is used to adjust an end point between two clips. Changing this end points won’t affect rest of the timeline or other clips.

Grouping Clips :[CTRL] + [G]

For using this tool firstly we should select all the clips to be grouped and then press CTRL + G. When we click a clip in the created group, they all turn grey, i.e., gets selected. Grouping helps in moving multiple clips as a whole. After grouping, if we click on the end of a clip, it trims that clip and clicking on edge trim the group.

Razor Tool: [C]

Using Razor Tool, a clip can be divided into two pieces, i.e., unwanted part of the clip can be removed easily.

Add Default Transition: [SHIFT] + [D]

By this tool, default transition effect can be added to the selected clips. Transition effects sink two shots correctly and blend nicely.

Add Edit: CTRL + K

Add Edit is similar to Razor Tool, but it cuts only targeted clips. Add edit can be viewed in a sequence by clicking the wrench icon and choose “Show Through Edits”.

Track Selection Tool: [M]

With Selection Tool all clips on a track from a specified point can be selected, or even select multiple tracks.

Film Making: The Key Process

Filmmaking takes place in many places throughout the world in a range of social, political and economic contexts, and using a variety of filmic techniques and technologies. Typically, it involves a huge number of crew members and can take a few months to several months or years to complete. I have experience working as an associate director in two feature films in India.

I wish to discuss the development stage first; It is a vague, amorphous, and painful period in which the movie’s conception takes form, and the fundamental elements get sorted. Development mainly consists of the building of the story, treatment, script, plot points and structure. In the initial development phase the main plot is developed, here the screenwriter has a personal style of developing a story. However, anyone who takes the three-act structure will determine the plot’s  structure as a matter of significance. During development, the screenwriter decides the boundaries between the three acts, also the inciting incidents, conflicts and the midpoint of the second act. After developing the basic story, for most screenwriters, the next step involves writing a scene by scene outline of the full movie. Most of them use an index card for each scene to arrange and re-arrange the scene.

Next, I would like to discuss the Location. Finding appropriate place would be a real pain. From my experience, the best way to get a good deal on places is to contact an honest film location agent and explains the situation. Depending on the movie budget, location scouts, as like casting directors are worth every denomination if one can afford them. They do exactly what their name proposes; they go with our specifications and cast candidates for our location, and in any case, they already have wide-ranging libraries of location.

How do I write reflectively?

I spent a great deal of my time thinking about stories and scripts in my life. When I reflect on a story first, I start with building a character and make a story based on character. Initially, during my bachelor’s degree, I use to think of a story and add characters and incidents to it. Later when I worked under a director, he asked me to build a character and then brainstorm to make sub characters and conflicts that the character could face.

After reading reflective reading, I realised that what he asked me to do was a similar idea. I use to think about what people have said, and I always try to include it in my stories. Most my character’s characteristics are same as my real world friends or colleagues. I would say, reflection is a personal response to new ideas, information, situation, or experiences. It is a phase of processing where learning and thinking would take place. In my opinion, there is no particular style or format of reflective thinking; there are only questions to be explored and answered. Studying other people is an opportunity to gain self-knowledge, and also a way to achieve clarity and a better understanding of what we are learning.

I would like to discuss the strategies for enhancing learning from surrounding experience. We should also think about the different perspectives on what we read or experience, i.e., alternative interpretations I would like to call. We should be able to answer few questions like, why it is inspiring, confusing, challenging or exciting. We should be able to explore what comes next after thoughts and actions. Later at the end, we should think about, how we solved the problem, reached a conclusion and attained the point of understanding.