Dan Hume's Blog


Personal Planning and Reflection 2 Report
May 9, 2011, 11:20 pm
Filed under: Personal Planning Reflection and Development 2

The first day back, we were thrown straight into the unit launch of our first project entitled, Future Cinema. This was an interesting and challenging unit to start with. We were encouraged to think about how cinema could evolve into something different, than it is now. This unit was split into group projects, which was formed in a way to how everyone in the class was thinking. In my group, Kavi and Gina and myself, all had a similar aspect of an idea of what we thought could be future cinema. From the day we formed our group, we had our idea finalized within an hour of what we wanted to create and present at the crit. Our aim was to construct a cube environment, in which the audience is surrounded by visuals. This idea came from the word ‘immersion’, which is basically immersing the audience into the film and allowing them to interact within the virtual environment. Throughout the development we were unable to deliver everything we set out to do, one of which was the size of the cube. This was down to the available space we had being too small for projectors and cameras to be positioned. We ended up making a miniature scaled version of the cube to represent our idea. Combined with Kavi’s coding skills, Gina’s musical accompaniments and my visuals, we were able to create a dynamic installation that represented our idea of the future of cinema. Although we did have a few stressful moments throughout the development, we all still worked really well together. It’s normal for group work to get intense at times, which is why I thought it was a good thing.

As soon as the Future Cinema unit was complete, we were straight into the second project. The second unit was called, Performance Video. Now the title of unit suggests itself really. I did have a rough idea of what this unit was about. We basically had to create a video that had an element of a live performance. Again this was all a bit challenging, like the future cinema unit. I decided to work on my own for this unit, because I knew the work would have needed to continue over the Christmas holidays and I feel it’s hard to do group work over the holidays. My initial idea for this unit was to combine both visuals and audio and partner together to be controlled on one device. I was gearing towards making an iPhone application, but I didn’t know much about making applications and I didn’t have enough time to execute the task as well. Phil suggested to me about making a basic interface using a cardboard box and picture frame and using that as a way of representing the iPhone application idea. I went away and did this but I did struggle at one point about how much freedom this basic interface would give me when putting a performance together. I already had visuals in mind and I could see problems ahead about how I would go about making specific visuals and bits of audio trigger with a blank interface. Throughout the development of this task, I did come across this iPhone/iPad application, which a lot of people were using to do live audio mixing with. The application was called TouchOSC, which allows you to create your own custom made virtual mixing desk. So I knew there and then that my initial idea of creating an iPhone/iPad application had kind of been done, except know one had combined both visuals and audio together using the software. I decided to go ahead and buy the application onto my iPhone and make my own custom made mixing desk. Once I got to grips with using the TouchOSC software, I then mapped my template to my audio files in Ableton Live. This enabled me to control the audio on my iPhone and it worked really efficiently. Now that I had that worked out, I needed to research how I’d map my template to Modul8 (visual software) as well. Mapping my custom TouchOSC interface in Modul8 was pretty easy, but I still wasn’t able to sync Ableton Live and Modul8 together for my idea to work. I later discovered I needed to use a tool, which was already built into my mac called the IAC Driver. This tool acts as the communicator between the two pieces of software’s. This allowed me to control the audio in Ableton and the Visuals in Modul8 together to make a live performance piece.

The next unit was New Perspectives for New Contexts. This was an essay-based unit and is the first one we’ve had since we’ve started the course. It was a bit daunting at first because I haven’t written an essay since early 2008, which was over 2 years ago now. The one thing I liked about this unit was we were able to choose the topic to write about, as long as it formulated an argument. I chose to talk about the future of James Bond films and the use of CGI. I’ve always been quite opinionated about it, so I thought it made sense to choose this topic. It was a bit hard to get going but after a while, everything seemed to flow well and I was able say quite a lot. It was tough getting back into the habit of referencing again. I’ve never really been taught to reference properly in essays, up until now, but I think I managed to pull it off to a good standard. I have to admit I quite enjoyed this small unit because it’s nice change from the practical elements from the other projects. Over the summer I’m going to start thinking about a topic and preparing some stuff for my dissertation in the third year, just because we haven’t done much essay writing previously and I’m not sure how well this essay will turn out.

Our final unit of the year is the Professional Project. This is possibly the most challenging one out of all the units I’ve done on the course so far. The aim of this project is to get us to work with a client and produce a piece of work for them, as if we are working professionally in the industry. When Phil explained this unit to us, it was sounding quite intimidating. There was a huge amount to take on board at the unit launch, I almost felt as If I wouldn’t be able to manage it. This projected started off slow for me, due to the fact I wasn’t able to find a client right away. Phil suggested that I should work with the fashion students on a project for the fashion show. Although he said I would have a lot of creative freedom if I did go ahead with the fashion show, but I wasn’t convinced. I was determined to find myself a client on my own and produce a piece of work that I’d be passionate about. After a few weeks I fell fortunate of getting to work with a charity that I fully support called, RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf). They also run a campaign called, Don’t Lose The Music, which is more specifically the area I’m involved in. I didn’t really have a formal interview with charity about doing some work for them. I sent the campaign an email, a few days before I phoned them up. I thought I’d do that first, so that they can expect my phone call without any prior warning. When I phoned them up, they were aware of my offer and were considering other options of work for me to do. I spoke to one of the campaigners, Rebecca, about making a video for the campaign and she sounded very positive about this and said I should go for it. I am now currently making a short video for the campaign, which is promoting awareness about people listening to mp3 players in noisy environments and the consequences of their actions by turning up the volume. This project is still on going, but it’s going steadily.

The Personal Planning and Reflection this year has been more careers based. We’ve been discussing about what sort of jobs we’d like to do after we graduate. I have always thought about what I’d like to do, career wise, and I’ve often had a lot of ideas buzzing around in my mind. As I’ve progressed through this year I’ve started to think, maybe the industry that the course is affiliated to isn’t for me. I’ve found a lot of things I’ve done on the course have put me off working in the specific industry it’s training us to go into.

Overall, it’s been another challenging year. I’ve definitely learnt a lot and I’m starting to get a better Idea of what I want to do in my third year and after I graduate. Although I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want to work in the industry that course is focused on. It’s not a negative thing though because at least I realize now that actually it’s not for me, but I’ve gained a lot of good skills from various projects and I can still apply them in other areas of work in the media.

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