Saturday, August 22, 2015

Final evaluation of progress during this course

This course aimed to give me a basis in the fundamental principles of film-making that will allow the production of top quality work with the technology available to me.

The key learning outcomes are that I should now able to:

  • demonstrate an ability to use creative visual techniques to achieve an intended meaning, atmosphere and mood in a moving image sequence
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of how audio can enhance visual content
  • demonstrate an understanding of the basics of narrative development, rhythm and pace
  • reflect perceptively on my learning experience and demonstrate the ability to continue this approach to learning independently

I have definitely learned a massive amount on this subject, which was completely new to me, since beginning the course.

  1. My critical approach to the medium of film has developed significantly and I feel much more confident about reviewing other people's work than I ever have before - this has been part of a wider education and increasingly sophisticated understanding of visual culture.  (Interestingly, I have had 2,676 views of my review of Red Road which was my first blog post for this course)
  2. I think I have succeeded in using a range of visual techniques to achieve meaning. In my final assignment I said that I hoped to capture the atmosphere of a home that feels empty and melancholy and the tutor report stated "this comes across well."
  3. Still many improvements to be made on the audio front but I have moved forward well and now have a good understanding now of various techniques and options available to me.  
  4. The learnings on narrative development, rhythm and pace have been fascinating and I am confident will have a good role in my photography in future - particularly in creating a coherent series of images.
  5. I certainly feel I am now equipped to continue to study and work in this area independently.

Peter Haveland has been an excellent tutor - very supportive and patient, whilst being honest and detailed in his critiques. I particularly like how he encourages broad research and lateral thinking to stimulate self-awareness and a deeper contextual understanding of student work.

My only real frustration with the course work is that it places a high emphasis on interacting with other film students and unfortunately these are few and far between at the OCA at the moment.

And my main regret is that I spent too much time watching feature-length films instead of shorts. Whilst longer movies are very instructive on all kinds of techniques and masterful creations, they can also be very intimidating and seem entirely out of my realistic scope. 

Viewing more award-winning short films would have been more helpful and it would be good if the OCA could consider adding links to some of the best to the course materials to encourage this from the outset.

Key observations as I move on to level two...

I need to take a much more holistic approach to my studies. I have tended to read books rather in isolation or within a very specific context/exercise and must now feel confident about broadening out my learning and responses.  Whilst I appreciate the courses follow a natural progression I must avoid a rigid linear process-driven approach.

I need to up my game on robustly referencing my sources and using the Harvard system - this has been very haphazard up until now.

I must be confident about being more creative and experimental in my approach, drawing as much as possible on contemporary practice and contextual/critical understanding.

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