After a successful presentation to the class, I feel as thought our group has done so well in getting to the tail end of the project. I have never been one to leave things to last minute, but it always seems to happen. Now, I know that it will happen, but I am not stressed about it. The work we as a group have put in over the entirety of the project; from just chatting about the research we have done, what we would like to cover, and things we do and don’t like, too getting together to film, edit our productions, and just give each other a helping hand with the individual aspects of the projects we are in charge of, it has gone so smoothly.
At no stage was any one individual in the group coping with the weight of the other two. Everything we did, we did together. Danny and Mei have been great partners, and we have all been patient with each other when we get in our “do it my way” moods. This mature attitude allowed us to attack everything with a more relaxed frame of mind, and will, in the end, show in our results.
Document is now completed and we have all finished the individual research we wanted to do. Now to dive in to the production.
I have learnt so much already from the research stage of the project. Not only in the community of our chosen field, the people involved and who we may meet, but also because we are now starting to get involved in the community ourselves. We have all been growing some plants for about 4 weeks now, some have even started to sprout. I myself have chosen to try and eat as organically and healthy as possible. Nothing that I eat is my own yet, but the few herbs and smaller items I use, it is quite nice to be able to grab those from the garden, and know exactly where it all came from. I am starting to see just why this community is growing so rapidly! It’s simple, quick and extremely wholesome, good for the soul.
From here on out, we will mainly be focusing on the production aspects, like the videos and such, but it’s good to know we are still involving ourselves in the community, even if it is not our main focus.
We have only just split up into our groups. Ours consists of 3 members; myself, Danny Mahoney and Mei Teo.
The great thing about our group, is we are all very interested in the topic we are pursuing, and have some (very minimal) knowledge in the area.This has made us made us very excited for this project.
We have now started to dive head first into the production stage of the project.
The first of what we hope to be few interviews has been organised by Danny, with a family he met at a foodswap that are fully self sustainable from their garden in the suburban Geelong area. Emily also happens to be the person who organises the foodswap’s in the area, so we will be able to get a great sense of what the community in the area is actually like.
We have already started working on some tutorials, which will be hosted on the site Instructables. These tutorials are focused on the beginning stages of growing an edible garden, and being very quick, easy and cheap. Danny has a few ideas for things he can do (he has a large yard with plenty of room), and then I will be running the Instructables account.
Week 11 was the first time in the project cycle, that it felt like we were going to accomplish everything that we had planned. By the end of the week we had all our footage gathered, our social media platform was being well utilized, and our tutorials were getting a lot of views. When gathering all our footage, we wanted to capture it as naturally as wee could, to show those we interviewed in a natural way, and just let them chat about their hobby, and really get a sense of what it is like for those involved in the community. Just seeing how everyone is so passionate about it really gave us a burst of energy to deliver the best production we can.
A large sense of relief came with this week. With a project this long, sometimes it is hard to see how everything is going, but we were able to see it all come together.
This week we completed gathering all our footage for the video documentary. This is a major relief for the group, because now we can quickly move forward with the last little bits of the project. We gathered 4+ hours of footage, that we are hoping we can easily break down into a short, maybe 7 minutes, video. In tying in with the community aspect, we reached out to a small group called Geelong Organic Gardens. They are a great group who were not only willing to help us out, but were excited with our project.
Now we move into the cutting and editing stage, which will require quite a bit of work as a group. We need to take everything we have, and try to produce a cohesive narrative related to the community we chose.
With all our production completed, and everything we have completed, I feel we have past the point of the minimum, and have the chance to make something truly good and useful.
As our project has gone forward, I was always wondering if it was going alright. I would tell myself it was, but would then sub-consciously stress that we didn’t have enough, and that I wasn’t doing enough. But this past week I have noticed exactly where we are. Instead of looking at the week prior and the week to come, I have taken a look at the entire timeline, and I like where we are!
We don’t have the most stuff done. Maybe not even as much as we thought. Yet we are still on track. We have started interviewing people for our video documentary, which has already left us with more footage than we can handle! For a video that we want to be under 7 minutes, there will be alot of editing. But that is the fun part, and we all know how to do it, so we can enjoy it together.
An aspect I keep forgetting is the Twitter account. Mainly posting entertaining ways to get involved in growing ones own food and progress of our own garden, re-tweeting from other, similar feeds is proving to be very beneficial, with each day at least 2-3 different feeds follow us back! For something I assumed would only be seen by those in our class, this has been a massive boost to my confidence in our topic.
Bring on the next few weeks!
Up until now, most of the experience we have gained from this project has been pretty simple and easy, like everything has fallen into place. But now as we move into the production stage of the assignment, the reality has settled in that time management will be our most important skill for the next few weeks.
First of all, organizing times when all 3 of us can meet up to do some work can be difficult, as we all have busy schedules with uni/work/etc. This has been fairly easy to counter, as we have very similar schedules at uni, and therefore have very similar days off. The ability to get most of the work done on weekdays is a blessing, as weekends, even when you want a quiet one, always seem to be busy.
And secondly, the subjects of our interviews. This has proven to be a very frustrating aspect of the assignment. Danny has managed to get into contact and build a relationship with a few small groups that are more than willing to be part of the video documentary, and now has only to try and find a time that we can all get together. I, on the other hand, have tried contacting quite a few of the more serious groups around the CBD, and they have proven to be more difficult, with some not even responding to any contact.
With 6 weeks to go, I still feel we are follow a very good timeline we have set, and am more than confident that we will gather all the footage, plus more. The stress that comes with organizing participants for a documentary is all part of the learning experience I guess.
We are now getting to the stage where our ideas are starting to all make sense. What started as a pretty vague idea, with some influences from many different sources, has started to come together the become a clear picture of where we wish to be at the end of the project. This week we finished our design brief for the entire project, and has helped in many ways to narrow our plans down. Something I personally have learnt a lot about at this stage, is that every little thing benefits the final product. The group has spent a large portion of time brain storming and discussing what we want to do, and that has evolved into what we can and need to do. For example, with the video portion, we didn’t really have much of a plan for gathering footage and how we can make a useable documentary from it all. Yet by spending some time just talking about how we can gather everything together, what sort of style production we liked, and the types of influences we wished to draw from, we were able to create a pretty detailed idea in our minds of how we can continue. Now we have the basis for, what we think, is a very detailed yet simple video documentary. That has made that portion of the project much more exciting to get started on.
Going into the assignment at the first week, I had no real idea what a mixed media documentary entails. I have done a lot of video production before, so that part came easy. Understanding the concept was the hardest part. In writing the design brief, I realised that I finally understood exactly what was needed, exactly how a professional would complete a task like this. Once I gained that clarity, the stress that I knew would come from this project, has turned to excitement. The sort of stress that is a positive, and can be used. I am more confident than ever that we can produce something we can all be proud of.