Channel Project Update 8th – 9th February

On the 8th February we completed the final webisode (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49-V8CVWsl0). As I have pointed out previously this one was particularly hard to film footage for given the nature of the dialogue. As it was much more to do with space, the previous techniques of going out and filming some landscape shots didn’t really work. This was a clear example of how if we had worked on the idea more we could have firstly made it a lot easier for ourselves and secondly come up with more in depth ideas and explored any possible problems we had, and came up with solutions for them. As the group didn’t meet as much as they probably should have in the pre production phase this meant that problems that could have been simply resolved were overlooked, which made the project more challenging than it should have been.

However, saying this, I think we were quite lucky with this scene as it turned out to be one of my personal favourites and actually flowed quite well. To find content for this scene we had to sit and watch all the footage over again and pick out little bits that could possibly be used, then cut them up, test them, then decide if we were going to keep them or not. Although this is not the way people would usually edit (in most cases) we didn’t really have a choice as we were running out of time and footage. We came up with the idea to use pans of the fake newspaper page I had created and a fake time magazine cover that Libby created. We also used some found footage of space shuttles and the Alpha Centauri star system which filled up time and put the story into context, showing the star system of Alpha Centauri worked well in giving a sense of reality to the video and I also always liked the fact that Alpha Centauri is a real star system which is very close to our solar system which gives some scientific fact to a science fictional narrative, which I find always helps to make the fiction more believable or at the very least relatable.

Found Footage

found footage 1

found footage 2

Time Magazine Shot

time

For our own footage we had to find shots that somehow related to what was being said in the voiceover. We ended up finding some nice shots of the sun shining through trees, which in a way represented the ‘up there and beyond’. I think that the cultish vibe, which we were trying to emulate in all of our scenes was clear in this webisode specifically.

Example of one of the light through trees shots, the silhouette of the tree to me represents Earth as a dark place.

sun through tree

The videos were purposely cheesy because we wanted to capture the strange oddities that are so often the most prominent factor in small communities or ‘cults’, especially in modern society. Examples we researched that we wanted to relate the concept to were small towns such as ‘Celebration’ in Florida (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oko7qh7m0fc) and also Sandbanks in a lesser sense, I found that when we were location scouting in Sandbanks I felt uncomforted being there and to me the place seemed quite fake, in some sense. Sandbanks was a definite inspiration and it was a shame that we didn’t end up filming there. Looking back now I wish I would have researched new age religions like Scientology and Mormonism more, and even smaller groups in bigger religions such as the evangelical Christian communities particularly in America (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACyLTsH4ac) because I think that this would have really helped to formulate a more consistent narrative in both the webisodes and the website. The videos work well in that they mask a fictional planet as being ‘the best place to live’ and they also oversell the planet so you feel that you feel that it’s too good to be true and nothing can be quite that great (as they say, if it’s too good to be true it probably is). A problem I encountered with this was that we hadn’t really discussed the timeline in enough depth so it wasn’t clear how long this community had been around for, however as a personal preference I quite like the mysteriousness. I think this idea is something that if explored could be worked into a really interesting narrative and in a way it reminds me of a George Orwell’s ‘1984’ but with more of a Jonestown feel to it, so there’s not as much of an emphasis on a totalitarian society but more of a conceited, nationalist, communist society who have pledged allegiance to their community but are blind to its imperfections.

On the Sunday we finished editing and the rest of the footage and then focused more on sound and graphics, Libby created the intro and ending using Bob’s logo and added the jingle which Libby created. I liked the simplicity of the jingle and I thought that it wasn’t overly futuristic. We then worked on the music and I think that the music was really important in making the sequences stick together. Making the music for the videos was my personal favourite part of the whole project as I found it was the most creative part, I think that before adding the music I was more cynical towards what the final product would be, but after adding the music it seemed to make everything come together. I think the advantage of being able to write your own music is useful because you can create what you want instead of having to try and find it and also it is useful for ownership reasons.

Watch Scene 4: The History Of Alpha Centauri. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49-V8CVWsl0

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