Mini-Interview Evaluation

Last week, we were set the task of creating a short interview, with the aim to experiment with different styles of interviewing. Much like the previous task, this one is again handed in rather late.

Originally, it started on a Monday. A group was made and the task was set. I grouped together with three other students, and we had an idea of interviewing a lesbian, who also happened to be of an ethnic minority. I knew the idea had a slim chance of success, as the idea seemed to be repeated 111MC last year in one single week, which did not suit the brief to the full extent. As a free thought, I came up with the idea of mis-represented media students, and how the rest of academia stereotype us as idiots. The notion was confirmed when one team member said a joke:

“In ten years, a chemistry student will find a cure for cancer. In ten years, a philosophy student will ask why life has meaning. In tern years, a maths studet will get humanity to Mars. In ten years, a media student will ask… ‘would you like fries with that?’ ”

I thought that quip was a rather good opening for our piece, yet we decided to try the lesbian character first anyway, as it seemed the more interesting of the two.

Forty eight hours later, and the lesbian has declined to do the interview. Then, one team member goes solo, leaving just the three of us to carry on the project alone. It is good that I had the idea for the back-up plan – we were able to meet up, and construct a plan straight away around our second option, which helped us a great deal in meeting the time restraints (read on).

During our mid-week meeting, we found out we all had so much work that none of us could make the same time to film. Thus, one team mate and myself met up the following day, and pulled various students from the nearby common room to take part in our interview. Now, the thing to note is that the idea was to collage all the faces together through various letter-box cutaways. We lined our interviewees up against a plain wall, and told them to look at the camera and keep their heads still. Needing to edit over the weekend, we knew we could not use the Avid suites (which was fine by me), and found a way to use Final Cut Pro.

Unfortunately, my camera abilities met with several hardships. I decided to be the cameraman, yet turned up on the day of filming without a VT tape (luckily, my personal tape collection was only 5 minutes away). The other major problem was that I reset the Z1 camera, and set the sound to 48khz. Subsequently, I changed the recoding mode from HD to DV. We filmed our piece in it’s entirety, before realising that the sound automatically shifts back to 32khz when you change from HD to DV. Luckily, we were able to convert the file with little fuss. Lesson learned.

Shooting took just over an hour, and then the tape was shipped away in my team mate’s pocket to be edited. The footage was never again seen until today, and hence this late evaluation. All in all, given that this was a one-week task riddled with problems, all have been overcome, and I’m quite happy with the way it turned out. I had no part in the editing of the final piece, although I do aim to get Final Cut Pro in the imminent future (thus increasing the amount of time I spend editing, and my abilities doing as such). I don’t know what happened to the idea of the letterbox-created faces. After all that, the background looks rather bland. However, we had some humourous characters which saw the mini interview through, and all things considered (despite the spelling mistakes), it could have gone a lot worse!

In terms of my own piece, that also seems to have some problems with deadlines as well. My documentary will revolve around a protest march taking place two days after the deadline itself. Yet, I still feel I can pair these two projects up somehow. It is silly to make an artefact about the same topic, but not relate it to my personal media creation. Therefore, the final result will be something like half of the final piece, and I will hand that in to be marked as part of 260MC. Then, I will get the rest of the footage, and complete that as and when. The documentary on the march was always my own project – typically, when the media production course comes into it, deadlines and evaluations start kicking off, which can sometimes make me rush projects and limit their quality. That is not what my documentary will be like – I aim to push myself technically and creatively, but in my own time. I guess what I’m saying is, (in the nicest possible way), 260MC will get half my finished project as a completed one, and will just have to make do with it! 🙂

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