On Reflection: Week 12, Module Four

‘Life etches itself onto our faces as we grow older, showing our violence, excesses or kindnesses.’

– Rembrandt Van Rijn

So, it’s done! Module four is essentially complete. OK, there are a few items which I want to look at in weeks 13 to 15 but the teaching part is over, the assignments finished and submitted. An anxious wait now for the results …

I am pleased with my Work in Progress portfolio submission. The critical research journal is ongoing but, again, I am happy with the submission.

Video presentations continue to be a nemesis.

I made significant progress during module three and his was reflected by some very positive feedback for the assignment.

In all honesty, I don’t feel as comfortable about the video presentation for module our as I would like, I don’t feel it is slick production I would like it to be.

Things don’t always go according to plan, that’s the reality. Things certainly didn’t go as planned with regard to producing images for the WIP portfolio. Props needed for the images didn’t arrive from the supplier of first choice. The back-up plan didn’t go without hitches, with problems including non-existent and late deliveries.

Notwithstanding logistical issues, the necessary items arrived and from thereon the WIP images went ahead as planned.

That wasn’t the case with the video presentation.

It raises an interesting question. What happens when setbacks necessitate the delay of a video production? Setbacks have, after all, caused delays in the completion and subsequent launch of major film productions.

Video is an area I want to work in. I find it enjoyable – it’s oral presentation assignments which I don’t enjoy, and there are obvious advantages from a marketing point of view: firstly, videos are powerful marketing tools in their own right, and secondly, being able to produce videos is a valuable addition to my portfolio of skills.

But would I choose to make the kind of videos that are required for the assignments?

I think the answer to that question has to be a definite no.

Oral Presentations (to use the correct terminology) are designed to tick boxes. They take me out of my comfort zone, they ‘test’ me – which is excellent, it’s exactly what I want.

My vision, however, of how videos can be incorporated into my practice is very different – for example, I wouldn’t choose to narrate videos myself and I think voiceover is achievable even on a small budget.

A key point is that clients will commission me for my unique style of video production. Fundamentally, this may be very different from an oral presentation.

What went wrong?

I think I need to step back for a while, then critically review the video presentation with fresh eyes. But for now, timings were an issue. I think there is a disjoint, a disconnect between the audio and video elements of the presentation. There isn’t a massive timing difference between the audio and video tracks, but it’s enough for me to feel uncomfortable with the presentation.

Technology, in most cases, helps. But sometimes it can hinder.

There is a compromise arising from using technology to produce a ‘slick’ video – the more you do to something, the more there is to put right when something goes wrong.

Unfortunately, the assignment deadline meant that there just wasn’t time to (essentially) deconstruct the video into its various elements and sync them.

So, for this round of assignments, I need to capitalise on my strengths, which are (hopefully) a strong WIP portfolio and a strong CRJ.

Looking to the future, I need to spend some time during the Christmas break developing my video editing skills.

In last week’s reflection I wrote the following:

‘A potential equipment upgrade has led to some interesting conversations this week. Photography is both an art and science and consequently I think photographers fall into two categories: those who have a bias towards the artistic, and those with a bias towards the science.

Discuss a lens with a fast aperture and the artistic will comment about the ‘beautiful bokeh’ the lens will produce, discuss the same lens with those biased towards the scientific and they will comment how the lens will ‘let in bags of light’’.

This was as accurate as I thought, and far more prophetic.

Paraphrasing, an early appraisal of my Work in Progress submission – apparently it shows I have a good camera.

Interesting …

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