So the idea that i have picked for my power artefact explores the issues behind the power of peer pressure and the power of choice. The purpose of my idea is to show that popular culture still is not good at saying things explicitly where as an individual will have less of a reason to be concerned about what he or she says and asks, as they do not have the world judging them just a few people in his or her social groups.
Milgram suggest that choice is a myth, yet in modern western society we are nurtured into making choices that are not fully our own, so not in line with our own values. However we are happy to go ahead with this. By conforming to popular culture we are gaining prestige and recognition from main stream society.
So I recently saw this video and it made me question what the message popular culture was trying to say. When something is not politically correct to say to publicise, euphemisms are used. For example in the video we see the 2 men singing and saying “Get down with the Trumpets” which is a euphemism for get down with smoking marijuana. I have done extensive research in to the area of governmental control yet it has to be argued that peers can exert dominance over other peers and this leads to people adopting popular culture. Be it a mass popular culture or a smaller system of popular culture such as that seen in schools and other institutions for example the work place.
“the idea here is people should have a say in the decision depending on how much it will affect them” – Michael Albert
Day1: Preparation and trial run So when it got down to planning this artefact, I allowed time to think and explore possible routes. I knew that I wanted the story to flow naturally and sound like it was not staged or scripted. I was looking for honest reactions where a character was given a scenario to play. It is important to me to create an ecologically valid situation in which the user can impose their natural response as they would in a social situation. So I want a sort of experiment that is being filmed but with also replicate real life situations. Pre-planning is essential. The narrative arc this artefact will flow is as follows:
- We start with Character 2 (Male) walking into the room where character 1 (Female) is sitting and working on his laptop.
- Character 2 sits down and greets and initiates a conversation with Character 1.
- After a short while and finding out what Xter1 is facing Xter 2 offers Xter 1 some marijuana.
- The next part is where the Audience decide how the film should end.
- Either he accepts and we see him with his first initiation with Marijuana or He rejects and Xter 2 gets high on his own.
The piece should last up to 5 minutes as it is not scripted. Actors will be given a brief from the director/camera operator. I planned on how my message should come across through this piece, I wanted it reflect direct peer pressure in an open and social setting and involve the viewer as much as possible. i thought of to engage a viewer in a social experience using interactive techniques. I will demonstrate this when I edit the artefact.
Day 2: After the idea came, I needed to find a location where I could see the film unfold. After alot of thought, I decided there is no were better to film than in my own living room as this is somewhere peer pressure has taken place in real life. The room was big enough for setting up tripods and sound as well as lighting. There was power sockets plotted around the room for more creative control over lighting and positions. One of the main reasons for this Location was the fact that it was free and that I could be hospitable to potential actors as my kitchen was meters away. Food always keeps actors happy FACT! As for equipment I have decided to film this in a digital form as messing with tape hasn’t been reliable for me in the past. I will be using a Canon 5D DSRL
5D with 50MM Lens
which will give me the full frame sensor just like a real film camera. I will shoot at 24fps at 1080p HD resolution, this captures a lot of detail in the shots. This camera is also very good at low lights as I will be filming indoors. I hope to use an array of fixed focal lenses such as the 24, 50 and 85mm lenses. The 50mm will be a good lens to use as it creates good depth of field, which gives that cinematic look. Sound is just as important as the picture you see. In this piece I will make sure I capture sound externally and make sure it is of good quality. I intend to use a riffle Mic to get this clear audio that I need. As we all know as media producers lighting is key to any production. I want the room to look natural, and I want shadows to look real so I intend to use the current lighting set up already in my living room. I room consist of 3 lights, one powerful light on the ceiling, and 2 lamps. This will give me sufficient lighting to fill the frame with a well lit picture.
Here are some screen shots of test footage that I filmed with my flat mate. this allowed me to get a sense of frames and how the room would look in the final run.
We filmed the sequence a little diffident than that on the narrative arc. we had out protagonist walk into the room instead of her already being there. Doing these test shots allowed me to get a better feel of how our final piece was going to look and with professional actors it would look much better.
Today is the shoot day all the equipment is booked and set. but dreadful news arrives that meant I couldn’t carry on with the shoot. My actors were stranded at London Euston, the train service can to a halt as over head power cables came down. This disastrous news made me think quick on m
y toes. I had everything set, Camera, sound and Lights. All I needed now was the actors. I had to get help of my colleagues. I asked Gov and Geri to give me a hand. I was now an actor and not a camera man. I still gave directions.
Having Gov and Geri there helped me decide and tweek the way i was going to film the piece. Geri decided that as camera woman she should get some creative control over the framing and as a director a said go ahead. She got the shot a little closer than originally planed.
So i briefed Gov. I found out that he had neve
r smoked anything before so his reaction to the piece should be good. I asked him to react naturally to the situation i was going to present him with. From the test shot we came up with the story of having a hand in. I asked Gov to play with this as he is all to familiar with hand in’s being a university student himself. He was told that there will be two endings so he first needed to give me his reaction to saying no. Then yes.
As we started we had a few glitches with the camera. It wasn’t performing well in the room. So it was reset and off we went. The sequence now filmed as the above sequence.
The dialogue was very smooth and each take was the first take. I wanted to capture the most natural reaction possible, i knew repeating the shot would result in the the actors sound scripted. I had to hope that nothing went wrong through the shots and that aesthetics were looking well.When it came to the decision we kept the camera rolling and allowed the next part to commence. This time it was yes. Overall in my opinion we coped well with the constraints. In addition, Gov had fulfilled the role well and I wasn’t too bad my self.
I feel I gave constructive directions and worked well with the team and under the circumstance
s. I had to alternate between director and actor however I was well prepared with the way I wanted to portray my message and thought this was achieved. It has certainly gave me a better professional perspective and experience.
Post production came soon after film and it was fairly simple to edit with three separate timelines. I ensured that the lighting was well at the time of shooting the shot film so i
t was unnecessary to conduct colour corrections. I made sure that the audio on captured on the solid state disk recorder was synced with the audio captured on the video. The edit was kept simple and used only fades and cuts for transitions. I added text at the end to act as an underlay for the links I needed to create on youtube. I used clear and bold fonts to make it easy for the viewer to understand instruction. Fancy editing can often obstruct the main message of the piece.
I had to export 3 separate video files from 3 separate timelines using Adobe Premier Pro CS5 which all exported perfectly for online viewing. This moves on to the main part of how this aretfact is able to work.
the process of how i linked videos together was by using annotations on YouTube annotations allows for users to live link over their videos. this creates for a wonderful opportunity for user interaction with the video.
This is where the real power lies behind my artefact. this idea of giving viewers two different outcomes is related to game theory.
After uploading the 3 videos, using youtube I added a 10 second pause at the end of the first video. This is where I had created 2 links to 2 separate endings to prompt the viewer into making a choice.
I would like to point out if the technology was available to me I would have filmed it in 3D giving the viewer an intimate relation to the narrative feeling apart of the setting.
Overall, the process was kept simple as complex theories are easier to display this way to the viewers. My goal was to display peer pressure in a personal and familiar way without all the euphemisms and political correctness imposed on us by popular culture. To conclude I feel it reflects the theme of power in society along a spectrum of situations.