Final Korsakow Sketch Film!

This is our completed korsakow sketch film, click here to play.

For many years, linear storytelling has formed the basis of literary and digital works. However, the idea of a sequential narrative, told from a third-person perspective and using formal language is becoming increasingly irrelevant to readers and distant from reality. According to David Shields, author of manifesto ‘Reality Hunger’, collage is a much more engaging way of telling a story. Shields believes that an artistic movement is brewing, one in which telling a story through fragmentation invites readers to interpret their own understanding of a text. (Shields, 2011) The challenge, then, is in finding the best way to arrange fragments of a theme to create an engaging film for users.

As a group, we decided on the theme of ‘water’ for our K-Film. While originally we had planned to specify an aspect of water that we found particularly interesting to focus on in our piece (for example, bodies of water), we concluded that there are many different contexts for water and that it would be best to include as wide a range as possible in our film. The final film encompasses the sanctity of water in our lives, the crucial role it plays in our existence, and the dangers we face in wasting water.

The way that we have ordered our clips within Korsakow is purposely disjointed, random and at times two clips lack a common theme apart from the fact that they both include water. This was a creative decision and through this method we hope to mimic the role of water in the life of the audience. We have ordered the clips to somewhat juxtapose each other because water affects our lives in all different kinds of ways, many not directly relating to others. For example, the choice to put a clip of someone drinking directly before a clip of a large body of water appears to have no commonality apart from the fact that they both involve water, which is the purpose of the film. In the film, the concept of collage assists in conveying to audiences that water is the basis for all life. By using so many clips showcasing the different ways that water affects our lives, we can give the audience the impression that water is everywhere, and is essential to our existence.

Another influence that we had when deciding how to arrange our film was the words that we chose to appear as text threads alongside some of the videos. The main purpose of these words was to invite the audience to reflect on the ways that water affects their lives, and allow them to immerse themselves in situations where they may not have such easy access to water. We chose appropriate facts and quotes to use and matched up the text to a relevant video. We then made sure that two similar text threads could not be chosen to screen consecutively within the piece, again to portray to the audience that water is not one-dimensional within our lives – it affects us in so many ways that we are not even aware of. We needed something more than the order of the clips to engage our audience and found the use of a text thread to be an extremely valuable tool as it gave us another medium to evoke emotion from our viewers.

Many of the clips filmed were visually very appealing, but did not allow for the kind of reflection and appreciation that we intended for the audience to experience. For example, we wanted to convey to the audience that many people in the world do not have clean drinking water, and that we should view our easy access to clean water as a privilege, not a right. Since we could not film people who had drunk dirty water, we used text to convey this message. In examples such as this, text and the video were also used to form a powerful juxtaposition within the film. To tell the audience through text that a large portion of the world’s population does not access to clean water while showing a clip of the way that our society take water for granted evokes a more emotional reaction. Audiences are confronted by the reality of the situation, and are forced to consider their own view on water usage and wastage.

We also used music to compliment the arrangement of the clips within our film. We chose a mellow, reflective piece, to encourage the audience to reflect. The music is ongoing throughout the entire film, which further encourages the audience to make links between the videos. We considered music to be another crucial aspect of our film as it is undoubtedly influence on the way that users will engage with our film.

We have drawn many of our ideas of collage from the work of David Shields. In his book (referred to as a “manifesto” by Shields), he argues that the traditional narrative form of storytelling is becoming increasingly obsolete in today’s society. His belief stems from the fact that our culture is not “novelistic” but fragmentary, meaning it is made up of many parts. This theory can be applied to our own topic, and we believe that the theme of water is not something that is linear and one-dimensional, but rather something that can be explored from a number of different angles.

Shields’ manifesto incorporates the ideas and work of many different people, as he believes that this makes literature accessible to a wider audience. He believes that there is a new literary style emerging, one in which more unprocessed, random material is incorporated – both trademarks of a collage. Luc Sante, author of book review ‘The Fiction of Memory’, writes that Shields suggests that the role of novels in modern literature is declining because novels are “now as formalized and ritualized as a crop ceremony”. (Sante, 2010) He suggests that the main reason that novels are not able to connect with audiences in the way they once could is because the novel “no longer reflects actual reality”. (Sante, 2010) Reality does not occur in one succession of events closely linked together, and Shields believes that novels should not portray life in this way. Not everything in life happens for a reason, and not everything will lead on to something bigger. Some events in life are isolated and inexplicable, because that is the nature of our existence. Another reason that Shields believes that novels are outdated is because they often speak to readers from a third-person perspective, removing the audience from the story. Sante writes that the novel “shies” from the first person, “insisting that personal experience be modestly draped.” (Sante, 2010) Again, Shields is critical of this style of writing and raises concerns that it does not include the reader in the story. The user-oriented focus of a Korsakow film ensures that the audience gains a sense of connection with the theme. The film is interactive to the point where the audience is forced to choose another clip to keep the film progressing, and this assists in ensuring that the audience is involved. This also makes the audience feel that they are viewing the films in first-person perspective, instead of taking a more withdrawn, outside view of the topic.

It was important to keep in mind Shields’ views towards the way a collage is interpreted by an audience while we were making our Korsakow film. In his piece, he defines collage as “a demonstration of the many becoming the one, with the one never fully resolved because of the many that continue to impinge upon it.” (Shields, 2011) Through this statement, he is making the point that the nature of collage is such that the audience experience fragments of a whole, and this is what they focus on because this is what they are presented with. From these fragments, they may get an idea of the overall message, there will always be gaps, and their idea of the nature of the piece will be constantly changing depending on what fragment they experience. Viewers can choose to either overlook the gaps or concentrate on them, but this is not something that can be decided by the author of the text. Shields also suggests that there can be meaning found in gaps. Since there is no plot to a collage, much of the experience comes from a reader’s interpretation of gaps. Shields reinforces this in saying about collage: “you have to decide for yourself how to read its patterning, but if you pluck it at any point, the entire web will vibrate.” (Shields, 2011)

It light of this, when making our own collage it was important to constantly look at it from two perspectives. We viewed the fragments as individual pieces, and what reaction they alone would incite from viewers, but then also looked at the bigger picture, and tried to gain a sense of the ways the audience would interpret the film as a whole. It is inevitable that the film will be decoded in a number of different ways, both due to the fact that users will each choose different paths in making their way through the film and because of the fact that no two people will read a text exactly the same due to factors such as personality and social context. We focussed on the links between the videos and, perhaps more importantly, the gaps – the areas where the audience would have to make their own connection between the films, and what that connection might be. A lot of the time, we were able to use a text thread to help the audience make a more distinct link between two clips, and we found this to be a very useful tool in editing together our Korsakow film.

Essentially, our film gives users a context, and they must then gain meaning from it for themselves. One of Shields biggest criticisms of the idea of narrative is that it attempts to negate context. He argues that everything has a context, and that this is another aspect of linear storytelling that is not true to life. We have adopted Shields’ theory of fragmentation and have ordered our shots in a way that we think encourages a response from users, however we are aware and have accepted that it could be interpreted different ways. One thing that we needed to be cautious of when using a text thread was that we didn’t turn the work into a narrative. Shields makes it very clear that the real meaning of a collage can be found in its gaps, and that the most effective collages leave the audience having to piece together the text. We were constantly aware that we didn’t want to overload the audience with information, and we were careful to make sure that our text threads didn’t reveal too much about our theme or tell the audience what to think. Our aim was to provide them with a prompt that they would then generate their own response to.

After much discussion, we decided to make an ending for our Korsakow film. Although there are definitely merits in making a perpetual film, we thought that with a topic such as this we wanted to give the audience a sense of closure, and a chance to reflect on what they have seen. We decided to conclude with a clip of Melbourne above a lake, a shot which summarises much of what we would like viewers to consider – about water giving life, and the inextricable link between water and humanity.

Bibliography:

– Sante, L, 2010. The Fiction of Memory. The New York Times, [Online]. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/books/review/Sante-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 [Accessed 02 June 2013]

– Shields, D, 2011. L: Collage”. Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. Vintage, ebook [Online]. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/books/review/Sante-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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Korsakow Project!

This project has had me tossing and turning at night trying to think of ways to create an exciting and entertaining Korsakow film to do with the spiritual movement and household uses of water! Today I am going to the park to experiment by the lake, I have come up with a few dot points that might help me with what I am going to film and I have also done a little bit of cheeky research for ideas too! Today, there is not a cloud in the sky! so the lighting will be beautiful and bright, lets hope before next Thursday it rains so I can get a few shots of that!

 

  • Sun reflection on the water
  • Ripples forming from movement
  • Swirl water around
  • Splashing water
  • Spooning water out of lake

 

I will also just improvise while I am there in the hope inspiration hits me all of a sudden! Below are some interesting facts I found out about water and want to use them within our poject, will continue to find out more facts too!

 

  • Bottled water cost 5 times more than tap water
  • water is essential to life, without water there is no life
  • Over 1 Billion people search for hours to find water every day just to survive
  • Bottled water is a billion dollar industry
  • Over 6000 people die each day from water contamination (most under the age of 5)
  • There is enough water for everyone, finding it is the problem

Radio Debut on 102.7 FM

Last Monday the 20th my 4 team mates and I got to experience the nerves and excitement of broadcasting our own radio show for an hour on RRR FM. What really surprised me was the wave of stage freight that came over me as soon as I saw that flashing red light and it was my time to talk. An uncomfortable feeling in my gut arose and I could hardly scramble my sentences together as I tried to greet the audience for the day’s show. Just minutes before that I had been racing around in my car to collect CDs from my house and managed to make it back into the studio with just seconds remaining until we went live. I think my team mates were all just as worried as I was, I can’t imagine what it would of been like if I hadn’t made it back in the nick of time!

As the show progressed my presenting skills were more apparent and even some of my friends and family who listened said they could almost see me change from my blushing red face to my calm and cheeky self. Something to work on for next time is obviously going to be controlling those nerves and be relaxed from the start, I don’t think rushing back in at the last minute would of helped.

Overall the show went really well, the live interview with Eva Sless ran smoothly and we managed to keep the time deadline within a minute at all times. Our team worked together nicely and we all had eachother’s back no matter what.

Presenting is definitely something you have to get used to, so doing it more regularly would help refine your skills and relax the nerves. My co-presenter Tom was amazing! It came so naturally to him and I really felt comfortable with him at my side.

Tune in each Monday at 12pm to listen to the Room with a View students on Triple R (102.7 FM)!!

This is a picture of us in the studio

Image

For anyone interested in trying Korsakow themselves!

If you are reading and wondering how to try to make a sketch film yourself then read this post where I will post a few links and tips up to get you started!

The video featured here is a great tutorial to get you started with this software. You may have to watch a few times as well as stopping and starting to really try to grasp the concept. Basically the Key Words are the most important (and personally difficult) to form your film.

  • Once you have opened the application make sure you drag the media you would like to use into the window.
  • SNU’s are referred to as the In’s and Out’s keywords that link the project together (as the smallest link for narrative)
  • To create a SNU for a media file double click the file that has already been dragged into the program and fill in the in and out keyword section.

To download the software click here and follow the prompts on the website!

Also click here to view a film called Quirk I found on the internet.

This film is pretty cool because it uses voice overs for each video (still segment) to tie the story together and make it interesting, I would be keen to try something like this in our final project!

Good luck and Enjoy! 🙂

Honest Self Reflection

After discussing and analyzing my first Korsakow sketch film task I came up with a bar graph in class to highlight what I did well and what I could use some practice on. This is also going to help our groups understand each others strengths and weaknesses as we work to develop an effective new sketch film.

Below is a bar graph of my strength and weaknesses.

bar_graph

I really want to work on specific things including the exporting and finding useful key words to link videos together!

Jessie

Critique on Korsakow Sketch Task

My sketch task, recently uploaded onto the blog was recently assessed and discussed with piers and my tutor. Although overall a positive response, I did receive a lot of criticism that could definitely help my approach to the next Korsakow sketch film task due in a couple of weeks.

Something to really reconsider was my choice of music, the feedback highlighted the role of the track to not be as effective as I had hoped where it actually contributed rather negatively. It was suggested that raw sounds with occasional backing noise would have worked better and I think I would of paid closer attention to the audio if I had known it could really effect the piece to the extent it did. In my defense the device I recorded on was unable to pick up sound so that wasn’t even an option for me this time around.  The worst thing I neglected to even think about was the copyright issues of the soundtrack. I used artist City and Colour’s song The Girl which wasn’t royalty free like it was supposed to be. Luckily, this task isn’t going viral but I have learnt for next time to make sure I source music of royalty free sites like Jameo.

Something I would change would be the light blue background against the white text as this combination didn’t seem like to big of a hit. The white text is too small and hard to see and his resulted in viewers misreading text or missing the video. The light blue background wasn’t a nice scheme against the videos, although I did take a risk by trying to avoid the traditional and very popular black, white or dark backgrounds it proved that they are truly effective in most circumstances.

Something I did well was my exertion of a sense of place, that was the video’s familiarity with home throughout the project. This feedback was very stable by all sources and a massive positive outcome for the piece. Something to mention is feedback regarding the videos speaking for themselves. I had captioned most of them with a sentence and this kind of defeated the effectiveness of a natural relation between videos and overall progression of the story.

In saying this, the thumbnails didn’t work very well and I would definately chose the majority to have still images from the video to come instead of repetitive icons but again baring in mind I really played with options and this feedback is great to get!

The biggest thing I have to learn is the clever us of SNU’s with IN and OUT words. My project lacked repetitiveness and weren’t linked close enough together.

I will keep you updated with my next group project which is much bigger and hopefully more enjoyable!

Watch this space x

Gearing up for the interview!

I am excited to say that I have been practicing with the Marantz voice recorder in preperation for my interview tomorrow!
Naturally, the more I use it the more sense the machine makes and I am beginning to build up a bit of accuracy and skill level. Above is a video tutorial of uploading and recording sound using the Marantz PM67, I found it helped me double check what I remembered from class 🙂

My interview will be of Melbourne based birth photographer Jillian Harris who has become a pioneer for this industry in Australia throughout the last few years. She started and developed her own company Spikey Hedgehog Photography and also offers a range of other services including weddings and family photos!

Check her website out by clicking here!

Korsakow Sketch Task

Click here to view my finished project!

It is always a challenge to fully exploit the advantages and qualities of new software. The sketch film assessment required students to learn exciting skills to use on a new program called Korsakow and after many hours of playing around I finally grasped the basics used to generate an online sketch film!

Although challenging, this task had alot of frustrating moments which made the finish working product even more rewarding! We were required to use a minumum of 15 short 6-10 second film clips pre-recorded as part of the integrated media subject constrained tasks. This isn’t a new trick in the book, RMIT has done this to us before and I fall for it every time thus a real challenge to find links between originally unrelated film arises.

My archives consisted of close ups of flowers, visuals of riding bikes, clear skies, a family member brushing her teeth and many more strange situations. After playing around with different concepts to suit a korsakow story project I ended up linking the videos to represent “an afternoon in the life of Jessie Fear” – which consisted of riding my bicycle home from uni, taking in the fresh air, noticing small things along the way (i.e. fallen flowers on a path, moss in trees) and finishing up at home where the gas heater is on, general recreation occurs and my sister provides me with lots of entertainment!

I believe I made the best link I could with the videos and when showing the finish product to friends and piers the feedback was positive and they seemed to get great entertainment out of the sketch film! The videos were all filmed from an iPhone 4 via the Vine application and then uploaded to Vimeo from my camera roll, the videos are a good quality considering they were from a phone but if i had a better media device to film them on it would have probably been to my advantage (although it was handy filming things whilst I was out and about with easy access to my iPhone).

The background track playing throughout the site is named The Girl by Canadian artist City and Colour, the acoustic rock provides the clips with a mellow ambience to suit a self experienced journey that is being shown. Additionally, the track is very easy to listen to, which works in my favour as the clips that are playing remain the centre of attention rather than a distracting soundtrack to take away from the experience.

I changed the thumbnails to icons of:

  1. A sun – representing the outdoors
  2. A house – representing indoors
  3. A question mark – for objects and other miscellaneous shots

These icons were a nice touch to keep some sense of what was to come next without ruining the story as well as providing a bit of viewer interaction as they are to choose the path of their own unique story.

Knowing what I know now I would of tweaked a few things. The first would be to add a title and starting video so the story would start in a specific place and therefore potentially make a little more sense and a distinct beginning to the sequence of videos. Adding individual sound tracks to the clips is another thing i would of loved to experiment with, this could have introdcued an emotive aspect to the project adding to the overall outcome.

I do believe my first attempt at a Korsakow project has been successful and will take away alot of new skills from this assessment task!

I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

Jessie x