Tuesday November 2, 2010

Conclusions

Our last couple of days have been about preparing for the final review of our studio work - Cinematic Flanuer and Aural Terrains. Like last semester we were to present the work of both, but choose only one as a main presentation. We were also to rework where possible, taking into account formative reviews. Unlike last semester we were to present the work itself rather than a poster, and we could work as a group. There is also no presentation this time.

The cinematic Flanuer group that I worked in reunited to create our installation. We're being a bit minimalist in our setup, but we've all re-worked our videos and altered the demonstration/concept video. I'll be authoring them all to a DVD that plays continuously. I've tried t simplify my film a little bit though not too much - mainly because the pain involved in altering it. It was a mild pain to rework my video for a few different reasons.  I have discovered that saving a trimmed project probably isn't such a good idea if you plan on doing any major alts later on. I've since worked out a few things that would make a better workflow. The other is of course rendering time and the last is that I've decided premiere has issues. I was going to say "on the mac" but googling has turned up exactly the same problem on windows systems. Some buggy frameworks causing the program to freeze quite often. I've wound up doing crash reports with  "hello again" type messages to drive the point home: "yes, this is how often in one session I'm having to restart this program!" I still prefer it over Final Cut though, though if I get a chance over the break before it becomes illegal to use it, I'll experiment with FCP to make sure my opinion is more balanced.

Anyway, over the weekend I managed to organise all of my Studio work into a folder structure and condense the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of gigabytes down to about 10gb per project. Which is still a lot though. But at least I can find everything.

So I'm actually here to reflect on the exhibition that isn't setup yet (it will be in a few hours) and about the semester. This semester was better than the last one for me. Aside from being more settled as a student (though these holidays will help me take care of a few last things to make next year smoother hopefully), studio time was a better experience for a pile of related reasons. First, a big thing with me is I usually can't stand working in groups. But I have found people that I work well with, to the point of preferring to collaborate with them than working alone. Though I can work alone too. This is huge. It represents a restoration of faith and really, less misery in general. It's also vindication that I'm not just hard to please or work with, but choosy for a reason. Stuff it, I can't apologise for that. It's also not to say I've just found a bunch of people who simply agree with me or don't challenge me. To the contrary I've been able to explore things from a different view using perhaps a different part of my brain - one that we've had to use a lot this semester. The conceptual side of things. I've spoken to some of the more technically-minded classmates who have struggled both understanding and enjoying this semester (they might argue they only struggle with enjoying it though) and I could just have easily been in that position. Although I've always had a fascination with getting in touch with my more creative side, it was slowly pummelled out of me by my "career". I have a long way to go of course, but some important doors of perception were opened with Cinematic Flaneur  - with thanks to my team and then Aural Terrains helped keep it going which was somewhat easier because I was already predisposed to sound in perhaps a slightly more conceptual manner, so it felt more familiar.

Our projects seemed to connect well, as our Cinematic Flaneur concentrated on the audio component more and compromised the video somewhat. When we moved into Aural Terrains, one of the first things we were given to read was lamenting how overly visual our culture has become. People who'd been in our group felt like we had already started exploring this.

Somewhere in the mix, something I've said loads of times to people in the past really seemed reinforced to me. I used to find it annoying when given creation jobs as a mac operator in prepress. Gradually over the years I became less and less creative as I excelled  in tech problem solving. One day I decided it was probably related. Being creative and conceptual and being technical use different parts of the mind, and if you do only one all day, the other suffers. I'm not sure why I'm mentioning this here, just the interesting contrast I've seen in myself and in class mates, in dealing with various tasks. There is a wide range of skill in my class, some people are bent towards the arts, others towards tech, some are a bit of both. It's been interesting getting to know and appreciate this.

....

I wrote that in the middle of the night, the morning before the final setup of the exhibition. One of my teammates picked me and my equipment up (thank you) and we got in at about 6am. I was having a frustrating time setting up the final DVD that would play continuously, but finally got it working with about 30 minutes to spare. Our class was kicked out of the studio at 9am and marking was to begin.

The following evening was the public exhibition, which had a decent turnout and and a few performances (it was an option). When it was all over, a few of us went out for a couple of drinks. Our class has become quite a cohesive unit over the course of the year and it was nice to socialise properly.

The next afternoon we could pick up anything we'd left behind in the studio as marking was over.

It' been an excellent year, challenging at times but a lot of fun. - The most fun year I've had for a long time. Despite the money issues and having to move house at one point, and the odd frustrations, it's been very rewarding and beats the hell out of doing mac work for some company.

I now have to look forward to getting a full-time job while I'm off so I'm on better footing next year. Reacquainting myself with running and gym and healthy eating - it used to be a big thing in my life, it's slowly gone down hill over the months. Learning C and Objective-C and iPhone app development as one of a few possible sidelines to supplement next year's income. Catching up on readings that we were given that I never quite finished (we were given a couple of big ones). Reading interesting bits and pieces from the internet that I had to bookmark as I didn't have the time to read them during the year (I discovered reddit.com this year, it was problematic at times). Get my car on the road enjoy it during summer but perhaps sell it when I go back to class:

My MR2

I like my car, but it's not cost effective anymore.

Catch up with classmates some of which have become pretty good friends despite age gaps (it's a bit weird so I try not to think about it). Maybe check in here once or twice.

Oh and relax and enjoy the sun! :)