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Tom Scott's Media Portfolio

Grief

So this is the final copy of my film, Grief. It has been a really long and convoluted journey from the beginning of this module to where I stand now. It’s clear to see that the idea for the film took a really drastic turn, even after my final presentation, which isn’t exactly what I planned but I think it turned out for the best.

The distinction between what I created here and the work I strongly was basing it on may be hard to see at first, but I’m hoping the content of this blog and the journey it covers, sufficiently informs about how my ideas have developed over the course of this module.

I was always interested in doing a piece about someone trapped in a space they couldn’t leave and being trapped in your own mind always seemed like the most interesting idea to me. Although this isn’t that in it’s purest form, I still am proud of what I achieved here with this project and am looking forward to hearing more responses to the film.


Audience Response - MEDI316

I’ve shown the film to a fair few people now and the response has been very positive overall. The original people I showed the audio-less film to have told me that it really adds to the dynamic of the piece and hits home the confusion in the state of mind the characters would be going through in a phase of their concious state like that.

I also showed it to some entirely new people that hadn’t seen/heard about this film I was making before. Again, the response I got were positive and similar to what my previous focus group were talking about how they enjoyed the characters physically moving from frame to frame. Also they noted something that hadn’t been mentioned to me before, I added a bed of underlying ‘static’ type sound under the whole piece and built it up at the conclusion of the piece with it suddenly getting cut out at the end. I was told it gave it a bit of a horror/uneasy feel to the piece making the audience feel uncomfortable. That brings it full circle, I guess! It always was my aim in the beginning to make something that the audience wouldn’t sit well with. The combined noise of the whispering with this static as well seems to have just done that so I’m really pleased that it’s come out so positively.


Audio’s Ending - MEDI316

I finally am happy with what I believe to be the final audio now. I made up that crescendoing sound that I wanted to make which is layers and layers of whispering. Also, I didn’t want to disregard my interest in semantic satiation for the final piece so I layered in sounds of me repeating the name of the film and various different stages of grief over and over again in that small audio section at the end of the film. It’s quite subtle but you can hear it if you know to listen for it.

I’ll be rendering the final film out of Vegas soon, ready for hand in, but first I’m going to show it to a few people to get some feedback for what they think of it, which I’m excited to hear about.


Easter Eggs - MEDI316

When I was writing the script for my actors to speak that’d be played over the top of my film, I thought it might be interesting to place a small narrative within the piece since during my earlier tests, I felt like having some small narrative many it inherently more interesting and felt more like an overall film than just a test at a technique.

So within the script there are small nods to what actually happened to these people. The Kübler-Ross model describes the five stages of grief as being something you face when you lose a loved one or are faced with impending death. I thought I could bend it a bit to serve me better and work more consistently with my surreal ideals that I wanted this film to be built on, so I decided that my characters had actually been murdered and this film is documenting their souls coming to terms with their own death and them moving onto some kind of afterlife.

The various lines that hint to this are as follows:

The denial stage says: "Why won’t the light come back?"

The anger stage says: "They’ve broken me."

The bargaining stage says: "This is not what was meant to happen, so maybe you could change what you did."

The depression stage says: "What is the purpose of my existence in this space that I once called my life?"

The acceptance stage says: "I can’t change the past, I can only prepare for the future."

Although you may not be able to hear all the lines in the film, because of the nature of how the sound is layered to sound like all these thoughts are running at the same time, I thought it would be worth documenting it so as its inclusion isn’t for nothing.


You can see here where I’ve inserted all the audio into my piece now, I’m really happy with where it is at the moment. I’ve got a little bit more work to do on the ending to the piece, because at the moment, it ends in silence after my first actor leaves the final frame.
I’m thinking about some crescendo in catastrophic noise that is even more unintelligible than the audio I have in the film so far which would be a realisation that these stages of grief are walked by so many people and will be forever more. View Larger

You can see here where I’ve inserted all the audio into my piece now, I’m really happy with where it is at the moment. I’ve got a little bit more work to do on the ending to the piece, because at the moment, it ends in silence after my first actor leaves the final frame.

I’m thinking about some crescendo in catastrophic noise that is even more unintelligible than the audio I have in the film so far which would be a realisation that these stages of grief are walked by so many people and will be forever more.


Focus Group - MEDI316

I showed a few people where my project was up to visually today and although they passed on good remarks about the acting and agreed that the actors passing from frame to frame worked very effectively, there was some level of confusion in some parts as to what each box represented.

I was having trouble on thinking how to end the film anyway, so now I think it’s clear that at the end I’m going to reveal what each box represents so the audience strongly understand the point of the film.

I showed this group a copy of the film with no audio either so they didn’t get the ‘clues’ of what each box was through the spoken lines by the actors.

I’m going to do the finishing touches to my film today and tomorrow will definitely start on adding the audio into the film.


I tried out something new with the image today that I think works fairly well and that’s how the first stage in the film is in black and white, and gradually the actors come back into colour as they go through these stages of grief.
I think it’s a good visual motif that will only strengthen the message I’m trying to pass along in this film. View Larger

I tried out something new with the image today that I think works fairly well and that’s how the first stage in the film is in black and white, and gradually the actors come back into colour as they go through these stages of grief.

I think it’s a good visual motif that will only strengthen the message I’m trying to pass along in this film.


Sound recorded - MEDI316

I did the recording tonight with my actors (minus one who wasn’t available but I got someone else to speak in to do his lines), and all seemed to go well. Each actor spoke lines responding to their corresponding stage of grief which I’m hoping when combined together will be a real mash-up of sounds that make it quite difficult to hear anything.

I like the idea of looping it and repeating the noise as it’s similar to what Lynch did back with The Alphabet, with his soundtrack there of wind whistling throughout the piece and the audio of children repeating the letters “A, B, C” over and over.

I’m going to try layering this onto my piece tomorrow, as well as make the final adjustments to how it looks visually.


Sound: Evolving - MEDI316

I’m still planning on trying to experiment with Semantic Satiation but I thought of another idea of having my actors speak/whisper out a short script on repeat beneath their corresponding tile on screen that when all played together will be a giant catastrophe of noise hitting the audience and the sounds will stop when the last person leaves the stage of grief.

I’m getting my actors together later today and will record these lines and insert them into the piece to see what it’s like.


Sound? - MEDI316

Visually where I’m up to in the piece at the moment, I’m quite happy with and I believe it’s definitely on the right tracks and nearing completion.

Something that I have started to take a look into now, is what I want to do with the sound for this piece, especially since this is an Audiovisual Presentation module. 

In my previous tests I made, I was concentrating more on what it looked like and the mood that it conveyed, but I found inserting some royalty-free tracks of tense or suspenseful music really heightened the audience response to my pieces.

Now that I’m onto my final idea, even though I’m sure that I could find something easy to whack underneath the piece, it wouldn’t convey what this project is about, since I believe the project has kind of evolved beyond that in it’s new, current state.

In that respect I’ve started to think about what soundscape I could produce for this film in particular. When researching into sounds a bit more, I stumbled across an interesting term that I knew a bit about before but it instantly grabbed my attention as something that I could try using for my piece.

The term is called Semantic Satiation and this is the psychological phenomenon in which where the repetition of a word or phrase again and again causes it to temporarily lose meaning for the listener, who can only process the speech as meaningless sounds within their head.

Now, since in my piece I’m dealing with quite an emotional subject of grief or loss, and the different stages shown in the film show people in various different states of mind, it appear that they may find things in general quite incoherent as they’ve been hit with all kinds of emotions, which in order to show this in the film, I feel like I could record myself speaking out loud the names of each of the stages of grief again and again so they just sound like noise, that these people just can’t understand. The noises could fade in and out when new stages are introduced and subsequently, left by the participants.

I just think it could be an experimental way to show the grief of these people through audio rather than video. I’m going to book out a Zoom H4N from the media hub and do some tests with it, to see what I can overlay with the video, and then hopefully after it’s done I’ll show it to a focus group and see what they make of it.


Here’s my first screenshot of my work-in-progress on the project I’ve now given the working title of Grief. I tried lining all the screens along in a row with the characters passing from one to another quite naturally but unfortunately just the workspace to fit 5 screens alongside each other at a reasonable size just wouldn’t work, so I opted for 3 on the top row and then 2 at the bottom, I think it still works well as a piece.
The timings for people walking between screens is almost spot on, I had to do a little bit of clipping of some clips, but some of the transitions between clips look really nice, so I’m happy about that. View Larger

Here’s my first screenshot of my work-in-progress on the project I’ve now given the working title of Grief. I tried lining all the screens along in a row with the characters passing from one to another quite naturally but unfortunately just the workspace to fit 5 screens alongside each other at a reasonable size just wouldn’t work, so I opted for 3 on the top row and then 2 at the bottom, I think it still works well as a piece.

The timings for people walking between screens is almost spot on, I had to do a little bit of clipping of some clips, but some of the transitions between clips look really nice, so I’m happy about that.


Composition of Stages - MEDI316

I forgot to mention in the previous post with the images, but you can kind of see in the screenshots that each of the shots were done in the same location, but I wanted it to almost seem like these characters were walking around a five-cornered room, with the exit being finally at the end.

Thinking on it, if I could exhibit this in a space where the audience steps up into a pentagon-shape of televisions where they have to revolve 360 degrees to become aware of everything going on around them, I think that could be a really optimal experience of viewing this piece, but for now I’m going to try and nail viewing this piece on one single monitor.


These are screenshots from each of the different stages we shot, as you can see, everyone was suitably in the correct frame of mind for shooting this fairly emotional piece.
What I thought was particularly endearing about this was that I observed my actors studying each others performances whilst they were waiting their turns to go on screen and seemed to feed off of one another’s energies for that particular emotion (especially Stage 2: Anger).
I’ll be getting this into the edit suite ASAP because I’m excited to see if all the hard work of getting the timings nailed pays off.These are screenshots from each of the different stages we shot, as you can see, everyone was suitably in the correct frame of mind for shooting this fairly emotional piece.
What I thought was particularly endearing about this was that I observed my actors studying each others performances whilst they were waiting their turns to go on screen and seemed to feed off of one another’s energies for that particular emotion (especially Stage 2: Anger).
I’ll be getting this into the edit suite ASAP because I’m excited to see if all the hard work of getting the timings nailed pays off.These are screenshots from each of the different stages we shot, as you can see, everyone was suitably in the correct frame of mind for shooting this fairly emotional piece.
What I thought was particularly endearing about this was that I observed my actors studying each others performances whilst they were waiting their turns to go on screen and seemed to feed off of one another’s energies for that particular emotion (especially Stage 2: Anger).
I’ll be getting this into the edit suite ASAP because I’m excited to see if all the hard work of getting the timings nailed pays off.These are screenshots from each of the different stages we shot, as you can see, everyone was suitably in the correct frame of mind for shooting this fairly emotional piece.
What I thought was particularly endearing about this was that I observed my actors studying each others performances whilst they were waiting their turns to go on screen and seemed to feed off of one another’s energies for that particular emotion (especially Stage 2: Anger).
I’ll be getting this into the edit suite ASAP because I’m excited to see if all the hard work of getting the timings nailed pays off.These are screenshots from each of the different stages we shot, as you can see, everyone was suitably in the correct frame of mind for shooting this fairly emotional piece.
What I thought was particularly endearing about this was that I observed my actors studying each others performances whilst they were waiting their turns to go on screen and seemed to feed off of one another’s energies for that particular emotion (especially Stage 2: Anger).
I’ll be getting this into the edit suite ASAP because I’m excited to see if all the hard work of getting the timings nailed pays off.

These are screenshots from each of the different stages we shot, as you can see, everyone was suitably in the correct frame of mind for shooting this fairly emotional piece.

What I thought was particularly endearing about this was that I observed my actors studying each others performances whilst they were waiting their turns to go on screen and seemed to feed off of one another’s energies for that particular emotion (especially Stage 2: Anger).

I’ll be getting this into the edit suite ASAP because I’m excited to see if all the hard work of getting the timings nailed pays off.


Five Stages of Grief Shoot Complete - MEDI316

We did the shoot for my newest idea today, and after a few minor issues of correct timings for actors, I think it went really well.

All of my actors got really into the roles of each emotions that they were needing to portray, even if some were trickier than others (‘bargaining’ was particularly hard to nail). Also, one of the actors dropped out at last minute, so I had to step in as the 5th character, appearing briefly in the final stage of grief whilst one of my actors temporarily called out the timings.

I’m really happy with what we’ve got shot though and am excited to see the project come together over the next week or so.


Here’s a screenshot of the timings I wrote up to organise how my actors will enter and leave the various different ‘stages’ of my film.
It was quite complex to figure out how to simultaneously have at the max, 5 different people, moving all across at the same time, whilst not appearing in another stage too early, or leaving their current frame too late.
It basically has to run like clockwork, so I’m going to be using a stopwatch during the shoot and everyone will have to be ready and on point with their acting.
The shoot is scheduled for tomorrow evening, so I will post up images of that afterwards. View Larger

Here’s a screenshot of the timings I wrote up to organise how my actors will enter and leave the various different ‘stages’ of my film.

It was quite complex to figure out how to simultaneously have at the max, 5 different people, moving all across at the same time, whilst not appearing in another stage too early, or leaving their current frame too late.

It basically has to run like clockwork, so I’m going to be using a stopwatch during the shoot and everyone will have to be ready and on point with their acting.

The shoot is scheduled for tomorrow evening, so I will post up images of that afterwards.