Dan Hume's Blog

Contextual Development
February 21, 2012, 11:50 pm
Filed under: Extended Major Project

I’ve been developing the context of my documentary further. After Speaking with Tony Chance today, he came to the conclusion that my idea still needs to be more defined. I’m currently looking at these two ideas; connection and disconnection. This all got triggered by the Moby song I’m wanting to use called, Isolate, and I thought it would be interesting to explore this particular context. I, myself, enjoy moments of isolation to relax and listen to music.

However, after going up to London to take some photos for my project, I developed this idea of ‘connection’ as opposed to just ‘isolation’ and ‘disconnection’. I thought I could merge the two contexts to generate this concept of attachment to certain objects that ultimately have an affect on us, such as a mobile phone, coffee or a bike etc.

Finalised Idea:

Title:  The Invisible Camera – iSolation

  • People unaware of their surroundings on the move (Texting, on the phone, listening to music)
  • People living in an imaginary world (Not paying attention to what’s going on around them)

One of my images of the person texting on his is phone is apparently quite a strong visual to convey this idea of technology causing people to disconnect from their surroundings and giving their full concentration on a mobile device.

How dangerous is it to walk, talk and listen?

I actually thought that it was just my own imagination that people listening to music on the go aren’t really paying attention. I to some degree am aware of my surroundings when I’m walking and listening to music or on the phone to someone, but sometimes I can completely cut myself off.

However, it turns out that it’s quite a mass issue that people are cut off when they interacting with a mobile or mp3 device as discussed in this BBC News article. (Click on Image below)

Psychologists call it “divided attention” or “inattentional blindness,” and it is increasingly becoming the focus of road safety awareness campaigns around the world. Nick Bryant, BBC News.

Interesting stats

  • Nearly half (47%) of all texting adults say they have sent or read a text message while driving
  • 75% of mobile-owning adults say they have talked on a cell phone while driving
  • one in six mobile-owning adults say they have bumped into another person or an object because they were distracted by talking or texting on their phone

The Gadget Show: Noise Cancelling Headphones

Jon goes to Pisa, one of Europes’ noisiest cities, and tries to find a quiet place to eat his Italian dish but ends up by a busy, loud road junction all in his quest to bring you the best Noise Cancelling Headphones.  It’s one of his more challenging tests but he is determined to find the best.

I find this concept of noise- cancellation very interesting, because the aim is to try and completely wipe out external sound. I’ve tried using noise-cancellng headphones myself and I find them quite uncomfortable in the sense that I’m unable to hear what’s going on around me. With normal headphones at least you have the ability to hear external noise as well to keep you aware of what’s going on around you. One of the experiences Jon describes in the video is that he feels ‘the whole world has retreated streets away’, which I found to be quite an interesting thing to say. It just seems to me that people not only want to have the ability to listen to music on the move, but to also have that option of escaping to an invisible remote  environment to fully appreciate the music without any distractions.

Shot Ideas

I did a couple of mock-ups of certain shots I’ll use in my video. I just googled some images that  I think these will help convey the message further in my documentary about this idea of isolation.

In the first shot, I wanted to coney the idea of someone day dreaming or being in an imaginary world, which is why I have an image of the clouds on the top half of the screen. As you can see in the image, the woman is busy concentrating on her mobile phone; therefore unaware of what’s going on around her. Ideally I’d like to do a time-lapse video of the clouds because they create fantastic movement and will exemplify the idea of the imagination formulating.

The second shot, again is trying to convey this isolation by showing a person walking whilst listening to their music; therefore not paying much attention to their surroundings.


Just thought I’d post a quick test of the split screen shot in action. I took a time-lapse video of clouds, which I did a while ago and then I took a shot of someone passing through the shot when I was filming in London. I took these clips into after effects and basically just masked around them, leaving a thin black strip to divide them neatly. 

I’m quite pleased with how this has turned out. I think this technique works well to help carry the meaning throughout the entire piece. The clouds represent the dreamworld that the people are isolated in when they’re connecting with their mobile devices. Tony Chance said that these shots could be a juxtaposition of showing the tranquilness of the natural environment and the unpleasantness of the industrial environment.


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