One of the things I am required to do as part of this MA is create and give a formal 5 minute video presentation on my work that will then be followed by group discussion.
I have only ever created three videos, one for fun that can be seen here another showing the first draft of Paralysis Unseen, and the other that was a review of Unit 1 and a requirement for this MA. You can see that video here. I don’t enjoy making videos: the skill set is very different to that of still imagery. For example, I’m not familiar with the software used and find the process alien.
However I can see why we are required to create one. The students are located around the world and, in these circumstances, it is a natural way to enable group work. It also instils some discipline as we are limited to 5 minutes, and that can seem either like a chasm or tiny lacuna depending on your perspective.
My constraints are as follows:
- Software is limited to MovieMaker
- Hardware is limited to my cameras’ video capabilities
- Time – five minutes
- The subject is defined very openly as “your work”
Do I really need to explore videos? Well while there are lots of very short programmes on TV it seems to me that five minutes is unusual and so it is worth spending at least some time on exploring videos to get ideas.
My first thought was of La Jettee – but I’d already used a similar approach of lots of still images on my Unit 1 video and so want to do something fresh and different.
Lost or removed
I then attempted to explore previous students’ videos, but some videos were missing, so they’d either be removed or the linked broken. That seemed a pity. The process showed me how important blog navigation/signposting is, as finding the videos with some was easy but impossible with others. For example Lionel Openshaw’s video was easily accessible through keyword search.
It was also interesting to me that all of the videos I viewed (10) followed a format typified by the following
- Presentational rather than filmic in approaches.
- None of the videos I viewed used the types of approach we see on TV each day with people talking to the camera or each other. Rather they were all more corporate and presentational with the use of slides and images.
- Written words
- Still imagery
- Some used music
- Voiceovers – although one was silent and I found that odd given the medium used
- Linier and single structured.
- I mean that none broke up the 5 minutes into discrete segments or chapters that were signalled by a change of pace.
The above approaches were absolutely fine – and indeed engaging – when viewing the first video (it was my approach is unit 1). However by the tenth video I was bored and distracted. Accordingly, given that we are 17 presentations to go through on June 2nd, I need to think carefully about an approach and to try and create something unexpected and different that meets the requirements, but does so in a way that engages viewers if I am say the twelfth presentation.
I will structure the video by using a variety of different tempos in it to give the viewers variety and try to keep their interest.
- Upbeat: the central section needs to be upbeat and lively to keep engagement as this is where my interest began to drop off in viewing others.
- A filmic approach as opposed to a presentational approach.
Err, I don’t have any ideas just yet – but at least I have a direction of travel laid out.