Since my last blog post, Dan and I have set up and filmed one of our videos for our projects, and we’ve analysed what worked and what didn’t. Dan and I came into the assignment confident of our video production skills, with great expectations of the results. While we’re both happy with the results of the video, i’m sure we can both agree that there were some elements that were successful, and others that weren’t.
We had assumed that the camera work would be easy if we set all the cameras up on tripods, pressed record then synced up the footage afterwards through an audio spike, but it proved to be a bit harder than we imagined. We had issues with cameras stopping the recordings at different times (this is due to the SD card writing speeds and the limitations that the companies put on the cameras to avoid taxes – apparently that’s actually a thing).
Another issue I found afterwards, was throughout the video, when we’re reacting to the video and talking about what was happening and our thoughts, we were constantly referencing things that had happened to us earlier that day, and jokes that the audience wouldn’t understand for lack of context.
We had also assumed that after downloading the movie, that it would come with subtitles, because it promised there were hard coded subtitles. Well, we found out the hard way that there were no subtitles, but we concluded afterwards that it was probably a good thing, because it allowed us to talk more throughout the video (even though I had written in my previous blog post that we would avoid that), and react more energetically to things we considered not normal.
After recording the video, even though we have 1.5 hours of footage (on each camera!) to go through and cut down, i’m confident there’s enough good material to see us reacting and analysing the films. I’m also confident in the techniques and production of the videos, it took a lot of effort and some trial and error, but it was very successful, and we’re talking about continuing the video series after we finish our individual assignments, because we had so much fun!
If I was able to make a change to the videos series, I would have people operating the cameras, so they aren’t always static shots, and they’ll be able to know when the cameras stop recording, and can direct and prompt us if something isn’t working, or if we should address a production issue.
The overall academic approach of autoethnography to watch the film was successful, I found that without the subtitles and with no english parts, and especially both having a background in film work, we were able to see the asian influence and culture throughout the film, and we talked about whether or not some of these techniques were useful or not, and we had disagreements on whether or not we liked these techniques, but it was a great way to watch an asian film.
Being completely honest, if I had the option, I would have watched it with subtitles, because throughout the film, there were parts and scenes we just didn’t understand, and it made it hard to understand the relationships the characters had with each other, because we had to rely on body language and how they interacted with each other. The lack of subtitles however did make more character engagements more noticeable, especially some that we didn’t consider normal, and we had to make assumptions and broaden our thinking to understand the movie.
So overall, the filming was a great success, and I look forward to both of our edits of both of our films, and to see what other people think about this approach of autoethnography in film and video.