- Launch project
Here are my latestest blog posts. At the moment I am currently blogging about my final major project for my Masters in 21st Century Media Pracitice. For all of my blog posts hit “Read More”
21st Century Narrative Forms- Reflective.
This process has been one that has been surprising, challenging and has made me reconsider writing methods for script, the production processes. How to generate ideas, subplots & characters. Their feeling, thought, wants and ambitions. How to make it original? And what does it reflect?
What I have gained from the M103MC module has been one of creating a generating fresh ideas, collaborating with an that idea of how another person may see it in their minds-eye, e.g-director from above the script writers idea. It has made me learn to not be to precious with your ideas and to some extent it has made me question the ‘originality’ of narratives. I haven’t done a script writing module since my undergraduate 12 years ago. I understand how to read scripts, however creating my own stories and script, to be honest was quite a daunting task.
The assignment was to create a 10 minute short film that each student would create, followed by a vote of creating a specific one and then working in teams to produce a short film.
“Anyone can lecture from the butt, only very few can act.”
― Pawan Mishra,
So Monday came and the drum roll began. The whole week of a technical set-up was the walk up the aisle to finally beginning this process of using telepresence as a technical form, to rehearse William Shakespeare’- King Lear (1604-1606). The students had been given their roles, scenes and acts. They had informally met through Facebook, however they were about to check into ‘Adobe Connect’. Whereby the would be given the bedrock knowledge and history of Shakespeare.
This was the Kickstart lecture, the day that the students would participate in an ‘Adobe Connect’ room. Whereby Tom could deliver his 2 hour lecture on the subject of Shakespearean theatre. In a normal situation a lecture would be in a classroom, directing this information outwardly.
‘Adobe connect’ is a conferencing software, that enables a multiple layered method to teach within a virtual space. This virtual space is essentially your classroom, whereby you can discuss and share content, videos and ask questions.
It gives another form of communication that is not normally seen within a lecture room or a classroom. Whereby information is given, but the investment sometimes will not be received back. There is participatory culture, respect and less of ‘lecture’ form, whereby the investment of knowledge can be measured back, through the engagement and participation, that is visual and more intimate.
Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement.
“In jest, there is truth.”
― William Shakespeare,
You remember when Dorothy went to the ‘Land of OZ’, or when Alice fell down that rabbit hole?……
Yeah. Well that has just happened to me.
I have been exploring the world of Immersive Telepresence in Theatre, using visual immersive anthropology techniques and this is just a summary of what I encountered and felt this week….
While lost in the madness of Lear.
I find myself meeting two groups of Theatre students, that are rehearsing Shakespeare’s: King Lear. Rehearsals take place over a telepresence screen and a window of communication is opened between two countries that are 1554.6KM apart.
This happened between students from the University of Tampere, Finland & Coventry University, UK.
But it is so much more than this…..
Benjamin Franklin was once quoted as saying;
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail-
If I am honest there has been some procrastination, this however, has been more out of the fear of what I am about to take on. I have a habit of sometimes being a busy fool, and can find myself being a ‘media powerhouse’ churning out content that I may not use or need. And the question is; is this content produced relevant? What am I trying to convey & say?
My first meeting with my supervisors, Ken and Nick, I didn’t feel prepared. I had all of these thoughts and ideas of how I wanted the King Lear to be filmed, however, I didn’t have a plan and this was the problem. My mind was awash with thoughts but no conceit narrative of the final project.
They questioned what the narrative flow was it going to be? Who were the people I was following? And what was it specifically I was trying to cover. From the conversation I formed a basic mindmap and outline of the themes and content that we had discussed.
So I have to have a plan! If I reflect my feelings and approaches the last few months. I have had to get a full appreciation of what the project is about, I have had to be patient with the curators in their own planning and I have to understand what King Lear themes and subjects are. From this discussion I created a basic narrative workflow on the areas that I was going to start with.
This is not a portal to some other dimension as in Stargate, whereby the lecturer teleports his students to some far off galaxy and they perform shakespeare.
But Imagine if you could walk up to a large flat screen, being projected on the screen is a room, that mirrors the room you are standing in. A person walks onto that screen and they are the same hight and build as yourself, but it isn’t you, its someone else. You realize that you can interact with that person, talk, communicate, there is a 2 way communication going on. So you’re probably now thinking, well this just sounds like a skype conversation.
Well its not, when you have someone the same size as you, in an endless space and you are performing Shakespeare together and the people on the screen, just happen to be performance actors from the the University of Tampere.
This becomes something else…..
My previous blog post is defiantly a “works in progress” moment following our discussions in class today. It was interesting seeing how everyone else was progressing and some of the testing that had taken place with the work and the pre-production planning.
Everyone else seemed very concise in what they were going to do and some of the challenges that they may encounter. It was also intresting to hear the feedback and share thoughts on each others work. However when I compare myself to everyone else, I feel stilll a little overwhelmed by what I could film.
My lecturer pointed out two things that have stuck out to me. I completely agree when he says I will end up being a “power house” of documentation but not anything specific. He said that I needed to consider context as well as approaches. So ideas were thrown around and this is how I interpreted it.
My final project has evolved from the beginning of the course, I had a general idea that I wanted to explore how students were using digital technology and what their experience was of it. However, this was far too open to interpretation and I found it difficult to maybe explain my idea in a clear form.
This was a holistic accelerated learning experience, to be able to connect with the land on a research level, emotional level through art and explore technical skills and apply them has been such an experience that has sincerly made me want to explore this further in my own creative practice and career. I have never been to a place that has left me feeling like a part of me was left there and I am missing it. To have the sound of your hand being removed from your pocket that was so loud that my senses and ears had forgotten to scale the volume and I listened to the silence. We had to experience him, we had to listen to him.
The landscape was simply epic, surrounded by the Caledonian Mountains we scaled the Isle of Rassey upon foot and with the help of a minibus to get to our locations. We were there to document and connect with the island. We had previously been introduced to the poem “Hallaig” by Sorley Maclean.
“Time, the deer, is in Hallaig Wood
There’s a board nailed across the window
I looked through to see the west
And my love is a birch forever
By Hallaig Stream, at her tryst
Between Inver and Milk Hollow,
somewhere around Baile-chuirn,
A flickering birch, a hazel,
A trim, straight sapling rowan.
In Screapadal, where my people
Hail from, the seed and breed
Of Hector Mor and Norman
By the banks of the stream are a wood.”
2004 Myspace started,
And I had started University in the September of 2003, my friends and I all followed and chatted to each other on MSN messenger & organised our students nights by communicating through text message and calls. Then someone said ” Hey check out this site, sign up and add me”
I log on, typed in www.myspace.com, signed up and was greeted by this guy.. Tom
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
― Pablo Picasso
Tonal Projections was where we saw our work from our Masters group come together. It was fantastic to collaboratively work together to produce this almost “pop-up” projection art from inside #TheTank Studio, at Coventry University.
We created a space that was no longer this Kryptonite cube, it evolved into a projection art space. We had three types of projections going from within the glass cube. Firstly was the main projection on the wall, we blocked all the sunlight out so that the luminance of the projector could be at its fullest and all the colours being able to pop out at the audience. Then there was Ken experiential projection, which evolved with the setting sun.