Monday, 20 May 2013

Welcome and Good Luck



Everything you need to know.

My Creative Enterprise Project - a Web Series Concept Proposal.

Rise: A Reflection on Being Enterprising

What follows is essentially my final reflection or plea, if you like. I have put a great deal of work into this project and its holds a great deal of content. I will now allow it to speak for itself.



My attitude this year can best be summed up in the following image.

'Deshi Basara' means Rise.

I would also like to take this opportunity to direct your attention to a resource that has had a huge impact on the project and changed the way in which I think about storytelling as a whole and my attitude towards making a living from that venture.

Synopsis:

The writer's guide was developed through the Australia Council's Story of the Future project to explore the craft and business of writing in the digital era. It includes case studies from Australia's rising generation of poets, novelists, screenwriters, games writers and producers who are embracing new media and contains audio and video content from seminars and workshops, as well as extensive references to resouces in Australia and beyond.



The Writer's Guide

The Writer's Guide has been my bible while undertaking this module and formulating EYES.

Another resource that as had some impact on the project and my thinking in storytelling in general is Getting Started in Transmedia Storytelling. While the guide's strong emphasis on transmedia is not something that I have completely incorporated into my project (it was a strong component in the initial planning stages), you will see that it has still had an impact on my vision for the EYES web series. 

While my approach can be considered slightly messy, it is highly intricate and progressive.

By understanding the fundamental influences these guides have had on my thinking, you should be able to understand my intentions for the EYES project and my personal approach to the business aspects of the Creative Enterprise Project module.



 
My iPad ran out of memory while recording this, hence why it suddenly cuts off. However, I feel that it says enough and acts as a good introduction to what I have done artistically with EYES...



 
...as well as my intentions for doing so, from an enterprising point of view.




Collected in the notebook below are the online resources I've looked at in an effort to improve my professional image in relation to the module.


This seven month experience has been utterly exhausting, but undoubtedly rewarding!
 
My enrollment in the CEP module has been out of a desire for self-improvement.

I believe I have risen a great deal in the last seven months.

The End User: Target Audience Considerations

As I've noticed that the Creative Enterprise Project module has a strong emphasis on target audience, I felt that it would be good for me to present what I feel is the target audience for EYES and the research/reasoning that helped me deduce this.


As I said in the vlog, I term my target audience as being in the 'mostly young adult' demographic (mid teen - pushing through the 30s). 

To understand the type of content I am trying to create for that target audience, see Rough Cut 2 - Reflective Commentary.

Below are the research and resources I spoke about in the vlog. These were invaluable in helping understand what a target audience is, how to identity one and how to create content designed for a target audience. 

ReelSEO - The online marketing guide. This is quite literally a toolbox for young creatives like myself.

IPF Marketing Guide: How to Build an Audience for Your Web Series - a step-by-step guide for doing just that. However, the time window of the module would not allow me to follow the guide through and through, but the guide has made for good referencing in times of need. 

Here are links to the two television shows I mention in the vlog: Twin Peaks and Being Human.


Sunday, 19 May 2013

The End User: Rough Cut 2 Feedback

The second rough cut and its Survey Monkey questionnaire I sent to 30 people in Facebook network. I was very selective towards the people I sent it to and I made sure that those people fell into the primary target audience for EYES: the mostly young adult demographic (mid teenager - pushing into the 30s). I made a point of sending the items to Facebook friends with different backgrounds and to friends who did not know me that well. This I felt would generate fair and vaired responses from my intended target audience. 

Ultimately, I have only received 14 replies, but the results of those replies are very positive and back up my original intentions for the web series. Below are the results of the completed questionnaires. 



Question 1
70% - what I intended.



Question 2

This is promising - there is a strong likelihood of viewers returning to watch more.



Question 3 

It is interesting to note that same response was recieved for Lianne. But, again, this is promising! The viewer has enough investment in the character to return to the show to see how that character is getting on. As with Boris, audience connection would increase with Lianne as more episodes were screened and the character developed further.




Question 4

The viewers have a good feel for the complexities of the show. This shows that the subtextual layering is having an impact.



Question 5

People seem to be split on this one, but that is okay - the viewer is not supposed to get it the first time around.



Question 6

Spot on!




Question 7

Spot on!



Question 8

While 1 minute is slightly worrying, it is nothing that a bit of trimming can't cure and not the end of the world! It's also interesting to note the peak around 15 seconds -  in the Pilot this is where a shift of realm takes place, where the subtext winks at the viewer.



Question 9

It's good to see that people are drawing multiple interpretations from the Pilot. Most of the these were intentionally imbedded in the Pilot, but I wanted the subjext matter to encourage new meanings. Validation of an intelligent web series concept!



Question 10

For a rough cut, I couldn't ask for better results!

Following on from what I have said elsewhere, these result are validation that I have been moving in the right direction with EYES and my vision of it being an entertaining and unigue web series. To understand just how promising these results are please view the rough cut 2 reflective commentary, as I explain my intention for the show and the type of responses I wanted from the audience.

EYES Feedback: Project Members

I encouraged all of the members of EYES to submit some form of feedback in regards to their experiences of working on the project, what they have gained from it and their views of my project management skills. I tend to be quite blunt and that is a skill I have nurtured even more so this year; as such, I encouraged everyone to be as honest and critical as they possibly could. 

Presented below is all the feedback I received from the members of the project (for viewer/target audience feedback, see Rough Cut 2 Feedback). I absolutely agree with all of their feedback points and I'm glad to see they have gained a lot from the project.


Mykel Elledge ('Boris')


Matt Coot (co-producer)


 

Daniel Tapper (Sound Designer)


  • Your experiences of working on the project.

My experience of working on the project has been essentially good. Its nice to work on a project with someone who has a clear vision of what they want to achieve. Most of the time Peter was able to communicate clearly what he wanted but at points what he asked for seemed a little convoluted and occasionally contradictory to something he had previously said. However I felt that both of us were pretty much on the same page meaning we were able to work effectively together and come up with a clear plan of action.
 


  • What you've gained from the project.

Previously my sound work has been for quite visually abstract works such as animations, adverts and a short horror audio visual film. Working on EYES was the first time I had worked on a more structured narrative project and proved a good bridge for me between abstract and more structured dramatized work as EYES has elements of both. 


  • You're views on me and my project management skills, etc

I think Peter has done a good job managing the project. From my experience managing even a small team can prove difficult. The role I am performing is fairly straightforward and doesn’t require a lot of management but from working in the field with Peter I have seen that he is able to inspire others to commit themselves to hard work in pursuit of his vision. Peter is also very personable, helpful and unintimidating making which contribute to his leadership skills as people are not afraid to put their views across.


 

Claire Rowbotham ('Lianne') 


When approached to be a part of this project as an actress, I was thrilled as Pete seemed really keen to have me and this enthusiasm was what made me sure that I wanted to commit to the film. EYES for me was an extra-curricular project during my own very busy third year, and if it wasn’t for his passion and drive for the film I probably would have chosen to not do the film and concentrate on my own studies. So a note for Pete would be to keep this attitude up because it really is the difference between people wanting to be a part of a project in their own time and not.

Saying that, the script was also a huge reason I wanted to be a part of the film. The script intrigued me hugely and I wanted to find out more; both about the storyline and the characters. This is great as obviously if you have the audience hooked and wanting to know more then you are onto a winner. The script went through quite a few drafts throughout rehearsals, but this for me was a good thing rather than a bad thing; Pete was brilliant at watching us in rehearsals and then adapting the script so that both his actors felt happier and so that his script communicated more clearly what he wanted it to. It didn’t mess the process up for myself as an actor because changes made were always beneficial to my character and he didn’t have us learn lines for the shoot until he was sure that he was happy with the script. The only thing I would say he could change about the rehearsal process would be to have a slightly clearer structure for rehearsals. I believe this was Pete’s first time directing and I feel that he could achieve more for himself and actors, as a director, if he knew of more exercises that would could participate in to help make our performances stronger. Pete however, had a naturally lovely way of telling us what he liked us doing in rehearsals and this was encouraging.

As Pete was so full of ideas, which ultimately is a good thing as it led to bigger and better things, it could be a little bit confusing knowing what he wanted. But I believe this was a part of the development process rather than a hindrance. It was also very interesting to see how his ideas developed and blossomed. I must point out that in the end, once he realised what it was he needed portraying, he was very clear in what he needed for us. To make the process quicker in future I would just say maybe he should have the idea slightly more developed in his head before getting other people involved with it.

Throughout the whole experience, Pete kept everyone very well informed via the facebook group page and he was always very communicative. He was always easy to get hold of which was brilliant for when I needed questions and queries answered. Through the facebook page I also got a great insight into the huge amount of research he was doing; I could tell he was looking at lots of different elements of the film and because I saw him doing all of this, I felt more like a part of the production team rather than just an actress. I am not sure if this was his intention? But I feel like this was a good thing. Maybe on larger projects he would need to define the boundaries between production team and cast more, but I felt that for this intimate production it worked and I learnt a lot more than I would have done if I was just sent a call sheet and the lines I needed to learn.  The only downside to the facebook page is that as there were so many posts, sometimes I would lose track of the posts that I actually NEEDED to know about. So maybe a more direct approach to certain individuals about what was need to make things clearer if it only concerned them? 

Pre-production seemed to be organised well as when we turned up for the actual shoot, there were no problems with locations or anything and we could just get on and film. Everyone knew what they were doing and I didn’t feel as if he ever forgot to do anything important that slowed down the shoot. I would say next time however, that he get a slightly larger production crew so that he could concentrate on solely directing.  During actual filming,-on set directions were clear and he knew what he wanted which was great.
During the whole process, Pete was very accommodating to my own needs with regards to what suited me and my studies and this was a necessary trait which he needed to have for me to be a happy member of his team. So big well done for that. 

Pete’s general approach to everything was very passionate and he was clearly determined to create the best film he could which was contagious, but I would say he needed to be careful of his manner at times. Sometimes I was unsure if he was angry/stressed or just concentrated and determined. Overall I think he could have made it slightly more obvious if he was feeling positive about what was happening, but he never spoke to be rudely and so I enjoyed being around him. I was just unclear with how he felt at times, if he was joking or not, which made me unsure of how to react. Pete was great to work with though and it would be a pleasure to work on another film with him again some time soon.

From the entire project I have gained a lot for myself; I have had a lovely on set experience, I have learnt a huge deal about how different people work, I learnt a lot about the script development process and I have obtained fantastic random information from the research facebook page. Being a part of EYES was a great experience and Pete deserves to do well in the future.


Letitia Ringshaw (Production Assistant and 'Ella')


The following is all the feedback I got from Tish. 


Although, to be fair, she has been quite busy.



Myself

This is the feedback I supplied Matt with for Remember This, I have included it here as I make many comparisons between Matt and myself and our two projects. Ultimately, these videos can be seen as feedback and reflections on myself and EYES, as much as they are on Matt and Remember This (ignore the amount of 'ands' in this sentence).


EYES Pilot

Due to the extraodinary workload of this module and my other two modules (Documentary Making and Film Dissertation), I have not been able to complete a final cut of the EYES Pilot Episode. However, this is not something I will apologise for and I do not believe that it is detrimental to overall success of my project. In fact, I would rather submit a rough cut and openly admit it was a rough cut, instead of trying to submit something that I was pretending was a final cut. A good editing job requires 80% of the overall production time! For more of my reasoning in this respect, see the vlog below.


The primary reason I enrolled on the Creative Enterprise Module was so I could produce a film-like entity that I could put into my professional portfolio to demonstrate my theoretical and practical filmmaking skills. Therefore, the Pilot will endure long after I am finished with module and I fully intend to complete the Pilot episode. As much as I want to finish it, I have to finish it to ensure that the other members can use it to demonstrate their work, as I promised. Myself and Daniel are already planning out when we are going to meet up for additional sound design session. 

Therefore, while I have not a fully complete project for the module, the module has enabled me to create a project and a mindset that will endure beyond it. Surely, this is the point of the module. 

As this is a rough cut, the current state of the picture and sound are indicative in terms of layout and style, they are by no means representative of the final presentation quality. 

Below I have embedded rough cut 2, the most up to date edit of the Pilot and rough cut 1 that features some of the intended sound design for the final cut. The final video is my reflective commentary on the Pilot and the overall EYES web series concept, this video provides many explanations.


EYES Facebook Group

For the project I knew that I needed a single location where I could keep it relatively organised and keep the other members in the loop as to what was happening. I have found in the past that when all the members are not kept in the loop it can lead to problems and, certainly, I think this is one of the main problems Matt's organisation of Remember This suffered from!

However, a Facebook group seemed like a safe bet, as I had been part of a Facebook group for my second year short film submission and I had found it to be a highly useful communication tool. Another great thing about Facebook is that everybody is always on it, which means that I would be able to reach people fairly quickly and get replies just as swiftly. 

The EYES Facebook Group.

EYES Facebook Group
As I knew whatever I ended up doing as part of the Creative Enterprise Project module would require a great deal of my time and energy, I created the group on the 10/10/2013 and the group been continuously active since then! 

Initially the only people in the group were Matt Coot (co-producer), Letitia Ringshaw (Production Assistant, 'Ella') and myself. It was only after Christmas that I added Mykell Elledge ('Boris'), Claire Rowbotham ('Lianne'), Daniel Tapper (Sound Designer) and Kate Pullinger (my project tutor). 

The group members.

Before Christmas the posts and discussions in the group largely consisted of ideas I had for my project and online resources I had come across. If you want to see how the EYES Web Series evolved from a very vague notion into the web series concept proposal it is now, then look in the Facebook Group (and on this blog). I would say that I have done more communicating and organising via this group than I have done in the real world!

The group has a search function - the magnifying glass next to notifcations and the settings button!

I believe my use of the EYES Facebook Group is also the reason why my multitasking skills have improved, as I would often be communicating via the Facebook Group while
simultaneously doing other tasks. The group has also enabled the whole project to be much more collaborative for all involved and if you want solid evidence of where I have been enterprising in my project then the Facebook Group is a solid bet!

I consider the EYES Facebook Group to hold just as much weight as this blog and, as such, the Facebook Group forms appendix materials. 

EYES Feedback: Claire Rowbotham ('Lianne')






FEEDBACK
Claire Rowbotham- Actress


When approached to be a part of this project as an actress, I was thrilled as Pete seemed really keen to have me and this enthusiasm was what made me sure that I wanted to commit to the film. EYES for me was an extra-curricular project during my own very busy third year, and if it wasn’t for his passion and drive for the film I probably would have chosen to not do the film and concentrate on my own studies. So a note for Pete would be to keep this attitude up because it really is the difference between people wanting to be a part of a project in their own time and not.

Saying that, the script was also a huge reason I wanted to be a part of the film. The script intrigued me hugely and I wanted to find out more; both about the storyline and the characters. This is great as obviously if you have the audience hooked and wanting to know more then you are onto a winner. The script went through quite a few drafts throughout rehearsals, but this for me was a good thing rather than a bad thing; Pete was brilliant at watching us in rehearsals and then adapting the script so that both his actors felt happier and so that his script communicated more clearly what he wanted it to. It didn’t mess the process up for myself as an actor because changes made were always beneficial to my character and he didn’t have us learn lines for the shoot until he was sure that he was happy with the script. The only thing I would say he could change about the rehearsal process would be to have a slightly clearer structure for rehearsals. I believe this was Pete’s first time directing and I feel that he could achieve more for himself and actors, as a director, if he knew of more exercises that would could participate in to help make our performances stronger. Pete however, had a naturally lovely way of telling us what he liked us doing in rehearsals and this was encouraging.

As Pete was so full of ideas, which ultimately is a good thing as it led to bigger and better things, it could be a little bit confusing knowing what he wanted. But I believe this was a part of the development process rather than a hindrance. It was also very interesting to see how his ideas developed and blossomed. I must point out that in the end, once he realised what it was he needed portraying, he was very clear in what he needed for us. To make the process quicker in future I would just say maybe he should have the idea slightly more developed in his head before getting other people involved with it.

Throughout the whole experience, Pete kept everyone very well informed via the facebook group page and he was always very communicative. He was always easy to get hold of which was brilliant for when I needed questions and queries answered. Through the facebook page I also got a great insight into the huge amount of research he was doing; I could tell he was looking at lots of different elements of the film and because I saw him doing all of this, I felt more like a part of the production team rather than just an actress. I am not sure if this was his intention? But I feel like this was a good thing. Maybe on larger projects he would need to define the boundaries between production team and cast more, but I felt that for this intimate production it worked and I learnt a lot more than I would have done if I was just sent a call sheet and the lines I needed to learn.  The only downside to the facebook page is that as there were so many posts, sometimes I would lose track of the posts that I actually NEEDED to know about. So maybe a more direct approach to certain individuals about what was need to make things clearer if it only concerned them? 

Pre-production seemed to be organised well as when we turned up for the actual shoot, there were no problems with locations or anything and we could just get on and film. Everyone knew what they were doing and I didn’t feel as if he ever forgot to do anything important that slowed down the shoot. I would say next time however, that he get a slightly larger production crew so that he could concentrate on solely directing.  During actual filming,-on set directions were clear and he knew what he wanted which was great.
During the whole process, Pete was very accommodating to my own needs with regards to what suited me and my studies and this was a necessary trait which he needed to have for me to be a happy member of his team. So big well done for that. 

Pete’s general approach to everything was very passionate and he was clearly determined to create the best film he could which was contagious, but I would say he needed to be careful of his manner at times. Sometimes I was unsure if he was angry/stressed or just concentrated and determined. Overall I think he could have made it slightly more obvious if he was feeling positive about what was happening, but he never spoke to be rudely and so I enjoyed being around him. I was just unclear with how he felt at times, if he was joking or not, which made me unsure of how to react. Pete was great to work with though and it would be a pleasure to work on another film with him again some time soon.

From the entire project I have gained a lot for myself; I have had a lovely on set experience, I have learnt a huge deal about how different people work, I learnt a lot about the script development process and I have obtained fantastic random information from the research facebook page. Being a part of EYES was a great experience and Pete deserves to do well in the future.

EYES Pilot: Sound Design (Rough Cut 1)

Due to various technical problems, Daniel was not able to produce a version of the second rough cut with any sound design. Therefore, what follows is the work Daniel has already done for the first rough cut. As the second rough cut is my indication of what the final cut will look like, this should be seen as a demonstration of the direction the sound will go in for the final cut. 

 

The Springpad Notebooks

Springpad is something that I have been using a for about two years now, as I read a lot of online articles I find it to be a very good tool for storing the articles I would like to reference later on. Therefore, I have used it to store resources on all of my University work and I have been using it to keep track of all the resources and research I have done for the EYES project and the Creative Enterprise Project module. To this end, I consider the Springpad notebooks to form a part of my project's appendix and they should be reviewed as such!


The notebooks and their items can be viewed in the following embedded windows. Alternatively, you can view my Springpad homepage.











Below I have also embedded the notebooks for my two other final year modules: Documentary Making and Film Dissertation, as the research I did for these has had a very direct impact on the work I have done as part of the Creative Enterprise Module, and vice versa.