Participation, the Crunch

Week 12, the last week of classes for the semester. In classes this week we assess participation. This is a collegiate, public activity where you need to be present to be able to participate. If you cannot attend you need to present evidence of why you couldn’t make it (medical certificate or the like). As discussed at the beginning of semester we have allocated 30% of your overall result to participation as we have put our money where our mouth is. How much you do, when, where, and what form it takes, is not something your teachers can tell from simply being in class. This is also a subject where there is a strict correlation between attending, reading, doing, and getting something out of it (almost universally those who don’t get the subject are those who haven’t participated). So to recognise that you get to assess that. You are complete authority and autonomy is assigning this mark, and we expect you to take that responsibility, and do it. So, next week, is a key assessment milestone.

Submission Checklist for Final Projects

A checklist of what has to be handed in, how, for the final projects. This is quite a package so someone should have responsibility for this in your group. All the stuff should be in an envelope or folder so that that parts or pages don’t fall out or get lost in the hand in bin, on the way to your teacher.

The Project

  • all the work needs to be submitted on physical media (eg CDROM), and should include:
  • the Korsakow project file (the file that ends in .krw)
  • an export of the finished project (that you’ve tested so you know it works)
  • a copy on disk of your group’s essay
  • the Korsakow project is also to be published online
    • the project online should be on themediastudents.net server in the im1/2013/projects/ folder
    • upload your project into a folder you have created which is the name of your project
    • the folder name should be all lower case, no spaces in its name, and only use characters from a-z an 0-9
  • as is the essay and so
  • there needs to be a blog post that provides links to these from your individual blogs
  • OPTIONAL: original source media

Prototype Bonus

This will be managed in classes, if your group has presented to prototypes then your project team will receive a 5% bonus

Production Bonus

  • this can be included on the CDROM if you like but they must be also submitted on paper
  • minutes of meetings held
    • minutes should include who was present, what was discussed, and any action items (things that need to be done), including who by
  • the gantt chart (project map of who is doing what, when)
  • the bar chart of your individual strengths and weaknesses (likes and dislikes) when making these things
  • a maximum one page discussion of how your project team has allocated tasks on the basis of team member’s abilities

All student projects and essays will be hosted on a separate site and made available to the public.

Uploading Projects….

For the final Korsakow projects a folder has been created on themediastudents.net server called “projects”. This lives at:

  • themediastudents.net
  • im1
  • projects

(aka themediastudents.net/im1/projects/)

upload your project folder into here, and no spaces in the folder name…..

FAQ: My Thumbnails Load Very Slowly

Dear Korsakow Person

I’ve made this awesome Korsakow film but the software sucks because the thumbnail icon things take forever to load. And no, before you ask, they don’t have a timer on them to appear after a while, they should appear instantly.

A: Are the thumbnails still images of videos? Doesn’t matter that much but a little. If they are still images then have you resized the images (in Photoshop or some other image editing application, heck even iPhoto can do it these days) to the actual size of the thumbnails? Because if you haven’t, and lets say the images are 800 x 600 pixels and your project interface needs thumbnails that are 80 x 60 pixels, then you’re asking the interweb, and your browser, and the server, and Korsakow, to download (at a minimum) 10 x more information than it needs. This means the project will run 10 times slower than it could. If it takes 3 seconds to download an 800 x 600 image, and there are three, that’s 6 seconds before they will appear. 6 seconds, doesn’t sound like much, but if you have filmed using Vine then your video is probably already over before they’ve even appeared…

Hopefully you can guess the answer if you are using video thumbnails. Yep. It’s the same. The video must be a new file, compressed outside and resized outside of Korsakow (its authoring software remember) that is the same size as your thumbnail. If you are trying to load the same video as your actual video, into a smaller window as a thumbnail, then the problems of time, file size, data transmission, processing time and so on are magnified ten fold. You will literally be requiring the whole thing to download 100 x more data than it needs to simply show a small video thumbnail.

Scarcity, Media, Making

Nice post from Tess. If her young sister in Grade 5 is making video trailers, then (from my point of view) what ‘media production’ skills would she come to us for? As Tess realises, increasingly this is not relevant for a university, in the same way that we don’t really teach you how to write an essay, we assume that and use the essay to do other things. So it will be with media making.

This Week Bought to You By

In systems like Korsakow a key question does become about the sorts of experiences you are now making available to audiences. This is qualitatively different to ‘normal’ film and TV simply because one you sit back and watch, or not. But in Korsakow you lean forward, click, decide. What choices will be available? How? Why? What influence am I, as audience, allowed? So Kathryn uses the Barthes in interesting ways here.

Jess’ question about why does it mean to think about work like Korsakow as being finished is also a good one. When ever you make something complex you learn that, in an important way, it can never be finished, and so what defines finished is pragmatically something else. A deadline, no more time, no more money, no more media. The experience for the maker is similar to that of the user in a Korsakow film. When do I think I’ve watched enough? There is no single (or correct) answer to this question.

And here is a very nice realisation about the point of Korsakow, in particular I like “K-Films are about mood and feel, about connections and associations. It is a web of visuals, sounds, ideas which are organised in a non-traditional structure. You cannot determine what decisions your users will make, so there is no way to make a specific, logical path for them to follow” more…

Korsakow, an engine that makes classifications to break classifications? (Just wondering.

Thinking About Making

Things to think about in your work and your writing about your work:

  • why is the interface designed like this?
  • what is the sound doing? why?
  • what is the ‘pattern’ of the work with the clips? the thumbnails? (how do the thumbnails, interface and clips contribute to the overall ‘pattern’?)
  • what is the title of the work? why?
  • how does the title contribute to helping to understand the work?

Editing?

What is editing these days?. Bloody good question, could be the question that has haunted integrated media all semester. We haven’t looked at it but remix practices are now very common and important, in all variety of ways. From adding a twitter feed to a blog through to sampling and remixing work from lots of different sources. What is editing in this? And if I can include all the footage in a Korsakow project, rather than having to cut it down to 5 or 50 minutes, what now is editing?

Standards Take Two

Chris has variation on what constitutes ‘standards’. Yes, not very long ago Final Cut became defacto standard, partly because a) it ran on your laptop, and b) they undercut Avid massively (by thousands of dollars). Right now everyone is running from Final Cut because Final Cut X is too big a conceptual jump. In five years it will be something else.

Studio

Our classes are now become studios. Most of us don’t actually know what that means. Here’s a simple guide.

  • you make things
  • knowledge is expressed, demonstrated and produced in the making
  • work is public (you see and share what you are doing)
  • you see it change over time
  • which is the role of critique

And notice how a blog does most of these things too…

You can see all this happening here, and here

Industrial, Post Industrial, State

Tess worries about national broadcasting institutions. At the moment I wouldn’t. These institutions are going gang busters precisely because of the things discussed this semester. They own most of their content so can put it online (so iView and podcasting generates very large audience figures for the ABC), they have a public service rather than a shareholder value charter so can be much more flexible than commercial radio (which in general seems to require a lobotomy to work in, I mean every single show is named the same, don’t you love the boldness of such thinking Danno, Lanno, and the Straight Man) and TV and they are. While there are conservative heritage media bastions in there they are doing enough to piss off commercial media (just watch Rupert constantly complain about the BBC) simply because they’re doing some things right.

Marborboa joins reality TV to social media to industrial and postindustrial media. Now with shows like Survivor you don’t have an audience, you have a user community, and you don’t manage them, you enable them.

Industry Standard

Some are still worried about why we have used software that is not ‘industry standard’.

version one

When we want to teach you skills for jobs that don’t yet exist, to be able to think and invent forms that are only now emerging, to be participants and influencers in the creation of a new industry, what, exactly, does ‘industry standard’ mean?

version two

In an industry marked and defined by ongoing, traumatic, and fundamental change, what is ‘standard’?

Documentary, Innovation, Futures

A couple of lectures ago we discussed how documentary, like design, is a future orientated practice. As a result of this documentary as form (what it looks like) and a practice (how it is made) has always been more innovative and experimental than fiction. I think for this reason, as film making catches up to what we can now do online, all the big changes are happening in documentary rather than fiction. For example there is the idoc project out of Britain, the Open Documentary Lab at MIT, and the IDFA Documentary Lab (Netherlands). Then there are the recent rise of new tools, including new versions of Korsakow in the offing, as well as popcorn, Klynt, Zeega, and W3Doc. So these are all new, but they definitely show that this field is about to take off, so something small scale and personal, such as Korsakow, is a good entrée to this stuff. This is also why we’ve worked predominantly in nonfiction. Nonfiction (documentary) is where this stuff is really gaining purchase.