Now that the project is finished, I can properly evaluate my work and what I have managed to come up with. However, first, here is the file. Using Flip PDF Professional (software that my dad happened to have), I was able to convert my finished booklet into a HTML file that included all the special effects and transparancy tricks I used. They’ll be talked about later on.
These four weeks will be bundled into a single blog post to avoid repetition. The first week (7) was Progression Week, while the other three were in college. This is also a shorter blog post than usual, as now was the time to really focus on getting our project together. As a final note, our deadline has been extended by two weeks to give us more time. However, we cannot have any more time, as it would then be extending into our Final Major Project.
Most of the research involved will be primary. Any secondary research will involve the map and popular folklore.
I will be talking to a college student (Amber) for any stories, rumours and urban legends.
Information -> Dissection -> Analyze -> Story
This is the legend, folklore or rumour that I have been given. I will record my conversation with the person in question, keeping it as an audio file to use for later and for evidence. Though, alternatively, the rumour can be swapped for a piece of history. Regardless, the key is to learn something about a place.
Taking this information, I will write down a general, brief summary. Only the important elements will be kept, and the ‘fluff’ will be removed. This section is about knowing what is most important.
Once all of the flavor and fluff has been removed, the essential facts and key elements remain. This will be analyzed, and I can draw my own conclusions and ideas from this. Theme & tone will be heavily considered. Here, it is all about knowing what the facts mean and can lead to.
This is the end result. I will incorporate the rumour and allude to it in the story. Either the same kind of story will happen – ‘history repeats itself’ – or the characters will talk about the history of a place and how it has changed. This is the result of taking non-fictional information and turning it into something fictional.
- Say the question word-for-word, no deviations or verbal tics.
- Adapt to answers, keep the question non-bias.
- Keep questions open and easy to answer.
Landmark #1 – The Streets
- What can you tell me about the atmosphere of Canterbury High Street?
- Can you describe any fights that broken out on the street?
- Where have you seen the police, if at all?
Landmark #2 – Marlowe Theatre
- How much history does Marlowe Theatre have?
- Has anything strange happened at the theatre?
- If Marlowe Theatre was taken down, how would you react?
Landmark #3 – Beaney
- What art is most often seen here?
- What is the atmosphere like?
- Why do you think the Beaney is important to Canterbury?
Landmark #4 – Shopping Center
- What kind of shops do you see the most?
- How easy is it to move around?
- Have there been any incidents anywhere around here?
Landmark #5 – Clock Tower
- What significance does the tower hold for you, if any?
- Can you tell me if anything strange has happened around the tower?
- If the tower was removed, how would you feel?
This week, I made some more progress on my project – as one piece has been written – and we learnt the techniques involved in the Radio pieces. Radio is entirely audio, where the effectiveness lies in the focus on dialogue and brief (audible) narration. This also encompasses Week 3’s progress, with a focus on audio experimentation.
Going along with the colour scheme of this cyberpunk world, there’s a lot of purples and pinks here, with a dash of red. Making this mind map, I immediately knew what sections to expand upon:
- Style – fashion, landscapes, colour
- Audio – music, voice acting, sound effects
- Transhumanism – man vs machine, evolution, cybernetics
- Interactivity – choice, settings, digital
- What if…? – New World Initiative, dystopian future, technology war
- Visual – route map, chapter art, establishing shots
- Corruption – crime, law enforcement, mega-corporations
From there, I expanded and pinpointed small aspects, what went under what, etc. A few parts didn’t have branching points (visual, interactivity and what if sections in particular), but they didn’t need it. In the end, I had a lot of my world figured out, but the mind map helped me organize and categorize these elements into an easy-to-understand mind map. The software used to design this was https://bubbl.us/
Aspects it helped me expand upon that I didn’t think of before? Music, sound effects and the transhumanist themes were all parts I feel have developed because of this mind map. Music, I considered all the different genres. Sound effects, it helped me ‘see with my ears’ better. Transhumanism, I knew the overall themes but hadn’t written them down anywhere before this.
The central theme for this moodboard is the state of life. As you can see, the top row of pictures show comfortable city life with skyscrapers, apartments and neon lights in the distance. Among the lower row is inner conflict, masked criminals and rotten slums. The glitched hands in particular can show a ‘man vs machine’ conflict, or deal with drugs, or even show regret – the bloodstained hands trope.
In the middle, is our ‘protagonist’. A masked, jacket-wearing individual whom we know nothing about, but seems to be looking for something. In the left, he stands in front of an alleyway, staring forward. In the middle, he’s observing his environment. Then, to the right, he looks up at the towering skyscrapers in front of him. It shows progression – a journey.
As these images were found on Google Images and a majority of them came from Pinterest and/or DeviantArt, I’m not entirely sure how to reference these. Post will be updated during the week with links to each picture.
- Were you satisfied with the answers you got?
Yes! Toni was able to give me short, basic answers, but then elaborate on them for further detail only moments later. It provided a sense of flow that was easy to understand and take in, allowing me to see how her interests have shaped her stories.
- Did you stick to your approach (your plan)?
Yes! I stuck to broad, ‘generic’ questions to start with, going into what she’s writing before the how, the why and the goals. If anything, the questions I had laid out weren’t structured, delaying them for a few seconds as I figured out what came next.
- When you asked questions, were you easy to understand?
Mostly. My method of questioning was similar to how Toni gave me answers. I read the question as I wrote it, but then went off-script to make it easier to understand. i.e providing examples, saying it in a different way and elaborating on the question itself. It wasn’t the perfect method – I’m well aware of that – but it worked for this interview. More on that at the last question.
- Did your body language (including eye contact) make your interviewees want to talk? How did you go about this?
My anxiety stopped me from maintaining eye contact for all of the interview, but I did my best and managed to pull through. As a person very ‘naturally’ nervous and not much for eye contact, I think this was an improvement for myself and a good result at the same time. It was bad at first, but I eased myself into it and managed to improve.
- Conduct and professionalism – did you know what you were talking about? DId you act professionally?
Weakest part, but not for ignorant reasons. To give background, I wrote an entire document on the lesson’s notes, how to take proper interviews, how to start off, etc. This, being a lesson, and wanting to get the interview done, I had rushed the beginning badly. I didn’t know how to properly start the interview off and, being college work, I mumbled that ‘it didn’t matter’ in this case. That’s the key part, there. I’d definitely do it differently, but I’m well aware of how to carry out an interview in the professional world, thanks to these notes.
As for knowing what I was talking about, I’d give that a big yes. I knew that everyone had different ways of handling this project, and that interests shapes one’s writing in big ways. That was my big question to Toni, asking her that very question, with good results. And, after the beginning, I was able to act professionally, nod, smile every so often and not be rude towards her.
- Did you come across any particular difficulties?
Finding a room to do the interview in. And time constraints. I worried that the interview wouldn’t be done by that day, and there weren’t many really quiet places. There was somewhere that Leasa had led us to, but it echoed our voices slightly and other people were speaking, making it not 100% ideal.
- What will you do differently next time?
Given more time and a second try at this, I would find a properly quiet room, organize a better script, speak more concisely, set out the introduction professionally and be able to see it as more than ‘just college work’. As I said above, it started out poorly, but it improved over time! And improvement is the best result I could’ve hoped for, here.
And, just as proof that I wrote notes for the interview video we were shown in class…
This week, we started our term-long project, known as ‘The Walk’. Over the next 10 weeks, we are to create small stories along a local route using audio, visual and interactive elements.
My planning is already is full swing, with a few inspirations to help me along with this.