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Sleep is fuitile. I'll keep it for the weekend

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Saturday, 8 Oct 2011, 13:24

Two voices are at each other

The one prattles on about 'how to do it', the other is saying 'shut up, go to sleep'.

One I can deal with, two is one too many.

A moment's irritation, tinitus or the fridge rumbling through the floorboards of the house and I think I may just go to sleep when a third voice pops up.

'I've had an idea!'

Oh boy. So I'm back here, getting it off my chest, as it were, though actually it is more a case of getting it out of my head before it drowns in idea number three.

First the sketch.

This time of a TV box.

There may be just enough happening in the frame to keep my son in one place. He regularly does three things at once: plays World of Warcraft, watches 'Mock the Week' or 'Outnumbered' ... and does his homework. Possibly while listening to music on his iTouch. I really can't tell. Though it is apparently possible to have a conversation with him as well. He's twelve. Can't you tell.

I put a title to my idea

'Towards a new kind of Television'

I think 'hyper-television' might be more appropriate.

And what on earth am I doing bringing a copy of Norman Davies, 'The Isles. A History' downstairs?

This, as it has never had a mention these last four months, is my light relief. My escape from all things e-learning and the Internet or the OU, or stuff. (That technical term again). Norman Davies bores me to sleep at night. But it doesn't, not always. This is the second time I've read this tome ('Europe. A History' will follow in due course).

Balances and difference help the mix.

Mixes, mash-ups and such like have a role to play.

A highly advance tome on Competitive Swimming that makes the sport look like civil engineering is another one for bed. It all goes into my head. Sinks away. Or does it? This is why and how this works, blogging, it gives a thought or a fact a second chance to swim to the surface, to bubble up.

Humble, Bubble, Toil and Tumblr

How to?

I began this process with a video production workshop in the Senior Common Room (Or Middle Common Room) at Balliol College in March 1982? I just tried searching for the entry in my diary, but obviously that bit hasn't been blogged yet. We had Philips micro-cassette video-cameras. We gave them out to fellow students, gave them the basic language of TV shots and techniques as I understood them courtesy of the Kluwer's Production Manual having by then shot and cut a few dozen hours of material myself.

Kit is almost as cheap  today as it was then (we were given it), only the quality is now HD 35mm for a camera the size of and shape of a Ventolin inhaler.

Is it easier to teach the three shot language of video production than say 400 to 2,000 words of vocab to teach English as a Foreign Language?

Of course it is

You don't even have to say anything.

How then to turn basic TV production techniques viral in order to lift the quality of this micro output globally?

Or do people give a monkeys?

If something interesting is going on they'll look at it through any amount of noise. It's called the Zapruder effect. Don't go and see it. How did snuff movies become easy-to-see viewing? The Zapruder effect excuses all the 'You've been framed' clips - rubbish camera work, but cute dog, cat, baby, child, oaf etc:

We'll see

I take the view that however short, there needs to be an idea behind it, a thought, an occurrence, even a narrative.

I'm constantly reminded of a Radio 4 challenge to three speakers to make their point in 45 seconds.

We got 'Bing Bang', 'String Theory' and the 'Offside Rule'. The first, like the opening pages of Genesis was a story with a beginning middle and end in 135 words or so; the second slightly lost its way, but the analogy worked, whereas anyone listening to an attempt at explaining the offside rule in 45 seconds would be left utterly befuddled.

People prefer story to befuddlement.

So who is going to turn Wikipedia into TV?

I cease to be entertained by it. I fear Wikipedia has had its day. Long live 'WikiTVia.'

Half an hour later. What's this about Norman?

I was googling a plumber ventriloquist venture capital person I know. (I have some versatile friends. He can also identify seven kinds of harvester ant).

'As his colleague Thackeray once observed (this is about Thomas Babington Macaulay), 'He reads twenty books to write a sentence; he travels a hundred miles to make a line description.'

All this reading and travelling can of course be achieved in front of computer screen with access to the Internet.

Many more minds, can be liked-minds and big minds.

REFERENCE

Thackeray, quoted by W. Speck, 'Thomas Babington Macaulay', The History of England (Everyman, (London, 1911) vol.II, pp. 488-9.


 

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Design Museum

Podcasting - flick record any old time and see what you get?

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Edited by Jonathan Vernon, Sunday, 8 Jul 2012, 13:46

It seems counter-intuitive to drive 160 miles to record a Podcast but I will reflect in due course on why this was better than recording a Skype conversation. We recorded onto a Netbook through the mic on a headset while cooking dinner.

This produced audio that was remarkably satisfactory to my professional ear. (I did six months as a sound engineer with a broadacast TV crew once upon a time).

Ian (a director and e-learning 'guru') and I last worked together in 1998 on the launch of the European Stock Exchange EASDAQ and were 're-united' by LinkedIn about five weeks ago.

I need to recognise after thirty years in 'the media' that even recording good sound has been reduced to pressing a button. All the effort we used to make to get 'clean' sound is now redundant. The microchip has given recording devices a brain that filters out the extraneous sound.

We recorded onto Audacity; I will clean up the 'noise' as I would a photograph using Adobe Photoshop.

I'll also edit down as we covered four or five topics ... in as many hours.

We discussed collaboration online, e-learning, video production, podcasting and his intentions to compete in an Iron man in Abu Dabi next March, also his e-lerning work in Abu Dabi.

My visit was in part to spend an hour coaching him in the pool. So we do a podcast my fixing the Front Crawl in a reasonably competent adult swimmer who will have to swim for about 90 minutes in the Gulf waters before doing the mega-cyle and a marathon run.

We've known each other since our teens and have made 30+ videos together and a few short films too.

Would this exercise have been better had I prepared questions?

For us to have jotted down some possible responses?

For the recording to have been done more formerly in a quieter setting?

Should all audio tracks be supported by text? Which may make the audio redundant?

I recall the audio we listened to in week 1 of Robin Goodfellow et al, and having transcribed what they had to say would quite frankly have preferred a Twitter from each instead of a few minutes of audio waffle.

Do we afford waffle credibility by recording it and posting it online for comment and for posterity?

My concluding thoughts?

Forget polish, only content matters.

Somewhere in this podcast (to follow eventually) we dicuss the 8mm footage from 'the hill' shot by Zapruder. He had no skill at all with the kit, or any craft as a camerman, but the event he caught on camera was the shooting of JFK. The 'Zapruder Effect' describes film (or audio) that may be of poor quality, but the content of such importance it doesn't matter.

I think we've reached the stage where audience and listeners don't give a monkeys for 'professional production standards' so long as the content is of interest.

A role for Podcasts in E-learning? Absolutely.

The three hours I recorded of a machine gunner from the First World War can now be made available for everyone to enjoy. Forever?

Or will his voice become lost in the several hundred (or thousand) recordings of other veterans?

On verra.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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