Mid Session Recess Task 1

Out of the seven projects that I viewed for task one, my favourite was Firestorm, with my least favourite project being Tomato Can Blues.

“The apocalypse is happening in Dunalley…”

Produced by The Guardian, Firestorm is an award-winning interactive project which tells the story of a family’s escape from a brutal fire in Dunalley on the 4th of January. It takes the viewer on an emotional journey, as the family flees their home and loses the house that they built 25 years prior. Instead of having to click through various links in order to continue the story, the viewer is merely required to scroll through as quickly or as slowly as preferred, allowing for the viewer to fully take in and comprehend the events and facts that are being presented by the interactive project. As well as the family’s story, the project also presents the viewer with information on the nature of fire and how exactly fire can start, as well as how it can grow. The project uses a variety of emotional images, including photographs of the brutality of the fire and the children hiding from the fire under the jetty in the river, as well as voiceovers of Tim and Tammy describing their experience and also comments from other Dunalley locals. The voiceovers contribute to the reality and danger within the story, evoking a range of emotions inside the viewer. The project also uses text for the viewer to scroll through, and mainly the text is used for discussing facts about bush fires and the politics of rebuilding after the fire’s effects. This project is extremely relevant to Australian audiences, as bush fires are something that all Australians can be in danger of due to the climate and landscape of the country.

“…the fighters were ready, the ring girls were on time and the Bud Light was cold.”

My least favourite project was Tomato Can Blues by Mary Pilon, due to the fact that the project seemed to me more like a blog rather than an interactive project. Although the graphics were interesting and of high quality and the story was emotionally appealing, there was nothing really “interactive” about it, as the project did not include any videos, voiceovers or anything else multimedia-like.

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Home.

In June 2007, Sarah Shaftoe embarked on a new life in Sydney, Australia with her husband and three children. Initially, Sarah found it difficult to deal with being so far from her family and friends who were back in the North of England, and claims that she will always feel a connection to the place in which she grew up. However, after living in Australia for seven years, she also perceives Australia as her home now, despite the times when she has regretted some of their decisions regarding where they chose to live in Australia.

‘Tears and Trust’ – Critique

My favourite ‘emotional histories’ piece was the ‘Tears and Trust’ story, due to the emotion that the story held. The piece included a healthy mixture of both emotional and humorous connotations, an example being the reference to the “birds and thr birds, and the bees and the bees”. The ambient sounds of the cutlery when discussing sitting down to dinner and the sounds of a school playground when discussing the bullying at school assisted in the telling of the story and allowed the listener to become more involved and a part of the story. The background music also enhanced both the tone and the mood of the story, and the closeness of the relationship between Zachary and his mother is also very evident. The story is told at a good pace; not too quickly and not too slowly, the edited very well. The story is very gripping as every piece of information is relevant to the story, and by the end of Zachary’s speech, the listener is able to feel a connection to both the subject and the situation.

Assessment One: Reflection

    For my first JRNL102 assessment, I decided to choose my mum as my interviewee. My main goal was to investigate her decisions to move our family from the North of England to Sydney, Australia in June 2007, and discover her initial reactions to the new environment. Through conducting the interview, I am hoping to express both the difficulties that come with moving from one country to another whilst leaving the majority of your family behind in the process, and also portray the eventual sense of belonging that can occur once a migrant has established a connection with their new environment. 

    I hope to use a selection of ambient sounds to assist with the mood of the interview, such as the landing of a plane and the sound of rainfall. I am not necessarily aiming for the mood of the interview to be particularly sad or particularly happy, but rather a mixture of both so as to present both the pros and cons of migrating to another country. I believe that the point of suspense in the interview would be when my mum recounts some of her initial regrets in moving out to Australia.

My Sound Image Reflection

    Whilst I was recording my sound image, I faced a handful of obstacles and inconveniences. A lot of parents used this time to catch up with each other and so it was very difficult to solely record the sounds of the game without catching snippets of their conversation. The wind was also a slight issue at some points, and I have had to cut out a few parts of the audio because of this. It was also difficult to catch the high points of the game for recording as everything would happen so quickly, and I unfortunately missed out on recording a couple of the tries. I was, however, able to record the sounds of some tackles and kicks of the ball.

    Overall, I do believe that I have captured good sounds of a football game, including the blowing of a whistle, encouragement from the sidelines and a fair amount of shouting from the coaches. I enjoyed editing my audio together and was grateful to this assignment for forcing me to actually attend one of my brother’s football games – especially the last one of the season.