Watersidestudio - blogs
Paul Delooze - Salford UniversityRSS | |
Good morning True Believers.
Epic post Paul.I hope this won't be your last Creative Hive post as its been a huge pleasure to hear your journey and see your how your projects are progressing. Loving the 5 films - I particularly liked the sci fi and noir films. Will pass on this link also. Very best of luck with your final projects and whatever you do next and please keep in touch as we are always looking for great people to work with on live briefs at mediacity, many of which are paid work that could lead to more opportunities.Dec 06, 2012 : benshirley Says:
Enjoyed the post as ever, as always it's bitter-sweet in parts, but enough of that, us grumpy old guys have a responsibility to grouch a bit I reckon. Thing is it's that time of year for you guys, students always seem a little distant and rushed in the last couple of months of a course, quite a sad time for me when I know that we won't see many of them again. Fortunately many stay in touch and some even join in classes from a distance as you have noticed. It has been an real pleasure to work with you on your learning journey over the last year or so and I very much hope you're not going to disappear entirely online and offline. We'll be expecting you to visit at the very least! Catch you soon Paul.Dec 06, 2012 : watersidestudio Says:
Many thanks for your kind comments on this post. I think there may be some misunderstanding regarding the lack of future posts. I actually meant that this is my last post about student life and all other posts will continue on this site and my WP blog, Alex I will stay in touch and if you find anything that you think I may enjoy count me in as it is always a pleasure to work on your projects. Ben, I will not disappear and I will continue to grace the twitter feeds and other stalking places and I will come in from time to time for a chat. Alex, all the work I have done including future work will be put onto a new site which will become my portfolio for prospective employers to view and will be linked into this site. It is always a sad time leaving something that I have been doing for the last 4 years but needs must and I have a mortgage to pay so, look out world Paul needs a job !!Reply to comment
Good afternoon True Believers.
I wasn’t really planning on adding any posts over the summer holidays as I felt I needed to move away from the academic and concentrate on the more important things in my (real) life. Shock horror !!! you all say but take note true believers my Degree is important but alas doesn’t rule my life unlike the many people I have met over the last semester.
Welcome back Paul! I think Social media can create a very lonely place at times.The quantity of people reading but never reacting is still huge. Perhaps in the future there will be more responding and engagement in social media than being akin to a large room of people either saying nothing, or speaking rather than engaging. Its still all very new to the human rave and it'll be interesting to see how it all develops over time.Reply to comment
Good afternoon True Believers.
I know before anyone comments (wishful thinking on my part) my posts have been a little light over the last few weeks. This lack of verbose ranting is due to a few of the following factors.
(A) Dissertation work. (B) Impending Spatial Audio Exam. (C) Holiday.
With that out of the way I opted to encompass sections A and B (working on down time) with section C (to many this may seem a little boring) but stick with me while I explain. Over the years holidays were a family thing in respect of being a parent with young children you go away to relax but to be honest taking a break is never an option. So now that my two are “older, but still childlike”, holidays have turned into a very selfish pastime where I do what I want to do and if (Thing One & Thing Two <– family joke) who reside in my house (Rent free) want to come they have to pay for themselves (Bad Parent !!).
Both me and Sandra (my soulmate) enjoy the quieter things in life, Destinations with (A) Low quantities of British holiday makers, (B) Excellent local food, (C) Great scenery and (D) Lots of driving off the beaten track. So after a few weeks last year picking destinations based on previous criteria Cyprus becomes our spring holiday destination. At this point I could be totally honest and go off on a proper rant about the lack of our holiday choice mojo but I fear WordPress may shred this before it reaches my readers so I will travel down a more sedate descriptive path.
Personally I love chilling in cafe’s in unspoilt areas enjoying watching the locals go about their own day to day business whilst enjoying what local local food is on offer. Alas, this is not entirely true with this country, somewhere down the line as the costal areas became popular someone (whoever you are) neglected to understand what natural beauty really stands for and built mile upon mile of concrete (and not very environmentally sympathetic monstrosities) thus destroying any scenery or ambience.
With that, our quite nice base camp becomes a place to sleep and eat breakfast while we pick a more inland and enjoyable experience. The car which we hired for the week becomes our best friend, taking us along winding country roads showing us the real country which we came to see. People living their lives how they want to in untouched surroundings instead of pandering to the masses and in some respect losing their own cultural identity (I feel this is the worst crime for any country that becomes a holiday destination).
I suppose the one resounding comment that you are probably thinking is “Stop moaning, you made the choice to go there !” but I feel that my comments are valid from a “places shouldn’t change to cater for the masses” point of view. Our world is becoming a smaller place thanks to cheaper Air Travel and the wonderful world of the internet so is it a crime to experience a foreign countries culture first hand instead of demanding them to change thus debasing their own historical and personal culture so you can have your “Bacon and eggs” or your “everything with chips” way of holidaying.
Alas I feel the latter is becoming common place and soon there maybe only a few pockets of truly untouched beauty left in the world while the rest becomes in every sense of the word “Home from Home”. It is very true what some people say about the Human race, “As a species we destroy everything we touch in the name of progress”
Till next time True Believers.
So I opted to document these experiences and with kind thanks to our Apartment Manager (for letting me use his internet connection) The following Flickr diary is a selection of what we found on our travels through what became a very enjoyable holiday.
Good morning True Believers.
This is going to be a very short post due to two things that have stopped me from attending this weeks lectures. (a) Car got damaged and (b) Got ill again. I have always said to my partner that in a lot of respects I must be the most unlucky person on the planet, if something is going to go wrong 99% of the time it will happen to me. All I can say to this is “I must of been a very bad person in another life” (I was probably Gengis Khan!!).
Anyway, the car is now fixed and full of the joys of spring. Myself on the other hand is a different subject, I never miss classes over illness, I actually think in the last 3 years I have probably had 2-3 days off which in my opinion are very good averages. So once again I cast my eyes over to my daughter (Medical Microbiology Masters Student) and the possibility that she literally brings her work home with her !!
So, as I explained at the beginning of this post I have nothing to comment on this week and I am working as I type this “mini-blog” (with the help of a various collection of placebo drugs) to return at least 50% better on Monday for my last week at MC and all the goodness it brings before we break for our easter holidays.
On a final note, always remember that even though you may think you are a double Hard B………tard take note that there is always something waiting in the sidelines to take you down and stamp on your head.
Stay true to your own beliefs True Believers until next week.
Coughing and dribbling snot everywhere
Good afternoon True Believers and welcome to another instalment of student life or “Starting to understand why my parents (god bless you both, miss you) praised the musical integrity of Mario Lanza”.
To recap; my musical taste moved from lounge and into 80′s electronic especially Thomas Dolby by embracing all that the quaint englishman / mad scientist genre has to offer so I feel at the moment I really don’t need to move on from this vibe (plus the look is really quite fetching). Spring in my eyes always brings a wave a utter wellbeing and that everyone in the world is beautiful (trust me the latter wears off after a few seconds) so with this attitude in hand this weeks foray into the wonderful world of Digital Media is swathed in a haze of bunnies, hearts and vallium.
The one thing I have started to notice as this semester unfolds is I am actually spending more time waiting for lectures than the time I actually spend in lectures, this is purely down to the fact that my eldest daughter is lazy and insists on bagging a lift into Uni from yours truly after dropping Sandra off at her job. Yes, I hear you all say, “you can say no” but if you have your own children you know this is a futile pastime which inevitably ends in tears, so with that my moan about waiting around becomes a little “moot” but in the same breath offers a little insight into the wonderful world (and I say this very lightly) of being a single parent.
Anyway, Spatial Audio feels a little strange this week, I am still trying to understand the idea behind a 1 hour “Tutorial” given the subject complex yet very engrossing topic. I always walk away from Mondays session thinking “was there really any point to that ?” but as always Jos’s class is nothing short of spectacular with his ability to lift that “Monday Feeling” which so many of my fellow student seem to suffer from and drawing their attention to the more pressing subjects like post grad open days, practical lectures and that impending module exam (Que dramatic musical soundbite). Some folk who read my blogs may be starting to wonder why I don’t really discuss in great depth about what we are taught in this class (Monday Session) but tbh, it wouldn’t make a very good read as we tend to mull over a set of random SA related questions and try to work out the answers while Jos walks around helping people understand. Before we know it, SAT (pardon the pun) is over and I mooch down to the Egg for a spot of people watching (actually eavesdropping) while waiting for the next class to start.
As Dawn’s class starts I notice she seems to be full of the joys of spring (just trying to create a link here to the blog title) and throws a curve ball in the guise of a additional topic (Codec 101) to our animation class. This is a very welcomed change of tac as I have finished my side of the six animations that my group (Team “Get it done” 2.0) has to complete (Nick remember, it’s all down to you now to finish off yours !!) so the first half of our lecture is spent understanding the various ways we can and should use the correct codec for the correct medium in relation to our own work. After we finish Dawn’s whistle stop tour of everything compressed / decompressed what is left of our time falls into the bounds of working on our own assignments, given that I have now finished my work I opt to help Nick understand the benefits of using “Particle” systems within his own animations.
The time in between the two days of lectures I have is spent getting ideas together for my FYP whilst mixed with the following; social media, musical work, family life, shopping and the continuing saga of packing for my holidays. So with my week packed with the joys of distance learning Friday comes around quickly and I find myself again sat in UOS MC reading articles for my FYP.
Spatial Audio this week covers two things, (a) the usual “Fun Quiz” which tbh is starting to be a very welcomed pastime given the amount of fun we have working through all the questions while Jos adds his own brand of humour (referring to the special prize) to the proceedings which ends up with me laying down a score of 6/6, this continues to entertain given I still feel I have issue with memory retention. (b) is down to the subject of “Stereo Sound” and how much we really didn’t know about this everyday topic, I have to say again how much I admire Jos’s talent to make a complex subject fun and relatively easy to understand, (this talent is best shown in his example of understanding “Convolution”) as always our two hour lesson is not long enough and again we will probably continue on monday.
Adding to last weeks impending collaboration and presentation work my extra curricular diary is now starting to fill up with the inclusion of being asked to contribute some of my work to Alex Fenton’s “Creative Hive Live” which will be hosted at MC in May. Again, this reassures me that my work doesn’t feel like the ramblings of a madman so all I can say is “watch this space for more details”
So, as always I bid you all a fond farewell until next time True Believers.
Good afternoon true believers and welcome to the fifth instalment of life as a student or life without money or my own personal favourite, Living the dream on a healthy diet of prescribed anti depressants.
So if we pick up from last weeks story….. Burt Bacharach has now been replaced with Thomas Dolby, which is all well and good but I would feel much better (and tbh would offer much more authenticity) if I could find my old round rimmed glasses and my Prisoner (old TV series, not the criminal type) outfit to complete the ensemble whilst listening to times gone by…… bah, again, I am procrastinating and not getting on with the subject in hand.
This last week has been fraught with FYP work and the problems it brings while finding a subject which is not only enjoyable but fills the criteria from the powers that be (just think sith lords and you are on your way to visualising the scene). After a meeting with Nigel Linge (very cool science type guy btw) about how using him and his material as a kind of “customer” we thrash out an excellent plan which if all comes out right the finished “products” will be used as a full time “installation” at MOSI. At this point I must say this is such a “plus” in respect of not only working on something I feel I am going to enjoy but to have the possibility of thousands of people see it leaves me with a totally excellent buzz (hence the title of this blog…. brilliant link don’t you think !!).
This weeks lectures in some respect pale in comparison with the epic feeling of total wellbeing which reflects on the way I am starting to look at the module material from our two fine (outstanding) lecturers. Spatial audio (Dr Hirst) starts a little late due to the previous classes inability to leave on time so given we only have an hour this weeks tutorial material only gets the once over while we discuss a pending practical lesson and the even more ominous exam. Team “Get it done” has been brought out of retirement as well to deal with two issues, (a) revision (Spatial Audio) and (b) personal filming project (Ballroom Dancing, yes, you are reading this correctly) so all I can say is good times ahead in both camps.
Animation (Dawn Shaw) this week is all about “Puppet Pins / Spherical work” and the joy that this interesting feature of AE brings. Once again I have to say the noisy students have returned and tbh is really starting to annoy me, I understand that some people have slower learning curve than most but to (and I say this with gusto) “extract the urinal” from someone who has more intelligence on her little finger is becoming quite the insult. Ok, now I have that rant out of the way Dawns class as usual is full of possibilities and inspiration which clearly shows as I have now finished my first animation (30 second Ident) and the second (10-20 second Sting) is more than half way to being completed. I am hoping my side of the group work will be finished before my impending holidays (arranging to do a live #foodporn feed from my hotel to augment my thirst for transmedia connectivity) and thus allowing me to do what I enjoy whilst chilling in a foreign country, which will be a mix of brushing up on my Spatial Audio, having a cheeky smoke, driving around, taking pictures and watching people do their best to get skin cancer at the side of the pool.
As I close this blog for until next time, I feel I should note that this week has also been very productive on the collaborative front. The first goes to Helen Keegan, I have to say it is always a pleasure to bump into her as it really never feels like you are talking to a senior lecturer but more of a friend (this is not being creepy btw) the bus ride to MC is usually boring but as always HK brings the humour out and various topics are discussed ending up with us both enjoying the thoughts of our previous presentation collaboration, I am also informed that there may be the possibility of another chance to wax lyrical on more social media goodness considering that the previous audience were so blow away, so with that all I can say is watch this space !!
Finally I never saw this one coming tbh, Ben Shirley and his audio / social media related goodness has always interested me, may it be has own blog content or his random tweets about the various stuff going on in his world of Binaural, ambisonics etc etc. Over the previous week I had been watching a set of tweets unfold between himself and another student (Luke Harrison) about an up and coming recording session using various microphone techniques which has been piquing my interest and here is the strange bit, after chatting with Helen, I bump into Ben and a fellow lecturer the following day and start discussing various topics but (here comes the best bit) end up chatting about this very project (Result !!) which by the end of the conversation I have managed to get myself involved in said project and find out I will be working with both Ben and Luke (very good times), again, I will say watch this space for blogs, pictures and hopefully videos documenting the whole process.
So my final comment is quite simple, fate has a very good (and in some cases bad) way of offering excellent extra curricular opportunities to all who seek them out which in turn given an liberal dose of awesomeness aids your search for your dream career pathway.
Keep the faith true believers until next time, signing off……. Paul.
“The Invaders, alien beings from a dying planet. Their destination: the Earth. Their purpose: to make it their world. David Vincent has seen them. For him, it began one lost night on a lonely country road, looking for a shortcut that he never found. It began with a closed deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey…. (damn, senility kicking in mixed with watching the first season of The Invaders)
Well, if I recap from last weeks shenanigans (I love that word) there was snot, sick, sleepless nights, coughing, everything smelling of cheese ?, lack of funkiness etc etc (you get the picture) I returned to the fray which is my world of maths, sound, animation, bad use of calculators and a constant desire to play anything that involves Burt Bacharach. Trying to re-intergrate into a work flow after any form of illness is hard as with anything there is a constant feeling of not being in sync with everything around you which plays havoc with the most simplest of things. Spatial Audio is like walking through treacle, nothing is sinking in and the whole lecture is painful and somewhat annoying as I feel my Mojo is a little off kilter but being the stubborn person I am, I soldier on piecing together sections of information by using more cunning than a fox which attained a first at the school of applied cunning.
As Jos’s class comes to an end I breathe a sigh of relief and vow to return (internal monologue) with a more diligent frame of mind. Leaving room 2.36 leaves me with nothing to do for an hour so I opt for a spell of people watching and eavesdropping in on conversations that are going on all around me. This pastime is so enjoyable as students seem to waffle on about the most inane subjects (sometimes I wonder how we evolved from the primordial soup) but as always this mindless noise soothes my mind and allows me to prepare for Dawns class.
As I enter Dawns class it becomes apparent that some students are playing the game of “lets jump from the 2nd session to the 1st for convenience”, this act plays havoc (using that word again) with the room and as a result noise returns as people who are obviously disruptive start to grate at my nerves. Anyway, I digress, todays topic is about vanishing points in AE by using Photoshop to convert a 2D image into a usable 3D layer. This is welcomed considering I had already read a tutorial on this concept which allows me to jump in and start work while certain facets of the class continue to make noise. The use of this process becomes apparent with the possibilities of using real world images as an environment for our own animations.
The only problem with this is I couldn’t get the bloody thing to work correctly as there seems to be a bug in the latest revision of Adobe’s software where some images don’t translate from the 2D world creating all kinds of madness, after spending the whole lecture attempting to rectify this problem I resign to defeat and discuss this problem with Dawn who I reassure that I will work at home on this issue ( as of today I have still not resolved this problem and will continue to beat my Mac(s) into submission with my trusty foam mallet).
On a final note, my blogs are read by many people, may they be students or academics who continue to support my weekly rants so for all the people who already follow me may you all say welcome to another true believer (Dawn Shaw – Senior Lecturer “looking forward to your comments”). As always this doesn’t sway me from my resolute philosophy that my blogs will remain true to my own opinions and beliefs.
So, as always. Stay safe True Believers until next week.
Peace, love and happiness.
This week started with all intent and purpose to be a cracking week (if you believe that you will believe anything !!)
Jos’s Spatial Audio continued on it’s path of getting to grips with how Humans perceive sound within a 360 degree environment with the usual dusting of slides, handouts and movies. I feel I am really starting to get to grips with this concept now and my initial panic seems to be subsiding making way for my usual resolve and gusto regarding life, the world, assignments and how to eat spaghetti Bolognese without letting your clothes have a taste. But with all things that are good there always has to be a negative to balance out the equation regarding my ignorance towards a little soreness in my throat…….. Watch this space for further details.
Moving into Dawn’s Animation class I am greeted with a bubbly atmosphere which engages my curiosity, after the usual pleasantries we immediately move into designing a 3D cube which incorporates another set of features which we will need for our impending assignments, instead of teaching “en-masse” for the full duration of the lecture after the initial concept is discussed Dawn moves around each student to pass comment on their efforts which to many is very reassuring. I will procrastinate (to coin a phrase) for a moment to pass comment on noticing our class is a little light this week (no moaning students) so thats a major relief !. Anyway, back to the lecture….. Dawn continues through, I must say, a very enjoyable and informative discussion mixed with side comments about animating objects with music and to be honest how easy it would be to create a simple yet effective short animation.
The journey home that day was full of interesting idea’s regarding my teams animations and how we would do them (result!). Tuesday brings more good news regarding my FYP, I have now moved from the “Comparative synthesis” project to a more manageable “creating a media related program to explain a complex scientific principle” (Ker-ching) which is run by two of my most favourite lecturers (Wilfred and Helen). With that I made an appointment to have a chat with said Mr Darlington and carried on with my assignments (still ignoring the soreness in my throat). Wednesday was like any other except my daughter returns from Uni early (this to some may seem normal, but my daughter is a true nerd and always stays late), I take one look at her and realise she is full of a cold. Coughing an spluttering everywhere whilst telling me she’s been fighting this since xmas (now the moment of clarity kicks in….. sore throat… feeling a little run down…. SHIT !) all I am going to say is this…. never have kids as they will give you all their bloody germs and then expect you to look after them !!
With that, I make a hasty trek down to the pharmacy to stock up on the various placebo medication to get us through the next few days. Thursday comes in a shower of snot and phlegm, I dose myself up and make my way into uni to have my meeting with Wilfred, luckily his normal laid back approach is welcomed and the task in hand is dealt with post haste allowing me to return home to more snot and coughing (mixed with the excellent overtones of menthol vapour rub). Friday never happened, I decided at the last moment to stay at home and deal with this filthy bug on my home turf so Spatial Audio never happened.
As I write this I am planning on returning tomorrow and resume learning if the drugs work enough for me to sit in a class without wanting to beat people to death with a blunt calculator. so with that in mind I bid you all a fond farewell.
Stay Safe all. Love
As the second week is ushered in with snow and ice I find my self looking towards what may happen when university life comes to an end in 2013 and how my life if any will change for the better or the worse. The more I look around at the many people who pass through the doors at Media City the more I become troubled that as each generation moves forward the more I feel they lose at little more “early 20′s sparkle” as the obsession to excel and stand out becomes the driving force to all as future employers become more selective from the countless post graduates who have already gone into the world.
To be honest the last comment conjures images of a roman emperor sat on high while down below the unfortunate await their fate, this concept hits home as I start to come to terms with the almost guaranteed prospect of long term unemployment or tedious dead end jobs as I feel my employability (given my age) has become a “mute” subject as I observe the almost “cut throat” behaviour of the many people I have met while studying over the last 3 years.
Now I have that off my chest I now move onto the subject of this week lectures. Monday morning starts with a (1 hour long) kind of practical Spatial Audio class, learning to use a calculator to understand audio related mathematics may sound simple but to many (including myself) in the class this quickly becomes a bit of a nightmare. Even though Jos is an excellent lecturer I really would like him to try to understand that some of us have come from a purely musical background and a little more understanding when it comes to learning curves in respect of topics that some have not done would be greatly appreciated.
After overcoming that stumbling block and rewiring my brain to accommodate I move onto Dawns Animation class which seems from the outset to be bursting at the seams with new students who have moved from the later (3-5) session. the room is filled with one student continually moaning about his failure to log onto a computer and to be honest his inability to understand any form of tuition, from my point of view his ability to get under my skin leaves me a little drained and slightly annoyed. Hopefully next week will be better.
The rest of the week seems to be dominated with my thoughts regarding the impending FYP choices and it’s respective supervisor meeting which to be honest has been giving me a few sleepless nights as I mull over the subject of ” have i made the right” decision. Animation comes in second creating more sleeplessness which is starting to eat away at my normally “controlled” resolve when it comes to assignments, I have no doubt that this will subside and whatever work I create for Dawns module will be to the best of my abilities and hopefully my mark will reflect that.
Friday comes and the feeling of “no sleep” has now got a firm grip of me so I try to not communicate with my fellow students in fear of coming across as “blunt” or “short tempered”. Jos introduces us to the weekly “fun” test of work we have already studied which I must admit is a great way of getting people to get into a pro active study mode. 6/10 in my opinion a great opening mark considering I didn’t do any reading as my thoughts were elsewhere (see previous paragraph) and we move onto the very basic concepts of sound within a 3D space. Again his lectures are a mix of serious and fun which creates a kind of air of “relaxation” to aid in our understanding of this interesting topic.
I am aware that this blog is very self obsessed but as a fellow blogging fanatic once said to me, “be true and don’t edit your opinions or train of thought”
Stay safe all until next week.
Peace, Love and Happiness
As an introduction to this first “Weekly Diary” in a new semester I feel a little retrospective to the passing of 2011 and all that the end of the year brings. Personally I have found it hard to muster any form of joy while suffering and poverty especially in the UK continues to bombard my senses while all around people continue to display an excess which can only be described as “offensive”. I can only hope that 2012 will bring some form of unity instead of divide and resent.
After watching the normal semester timetable amendments unfold via email and all the confusion it seems to bring with students I find myself in the first of two new modules, as a side note in my opinion there is nothing more enjoyable than entering a class with new people and observing the hesitation and confusion that unfolds, so with that out of the way I offer my thoughts on Animated Graphics taught by Dawn Shaw. I have always been interested in animation may it be 2D or 3D, this comes from tinkering with various programs over the years such as 3D Max and Maya. Using these “tools” wasn’t from a need to understand but from curiosity and a fascination to understand how this genre of software works.
After the usual introductions from Dawn we move right into this terms assignment brief which will consist of 6 animations (Idents and Stings) which will be created by using the “industry standard” software package After Effects for the first part and finishing off with a full presentation to the class on how these were achieved. Again, continuing to observe the class and the resulting “sigh” as they are confronted with, to some, an almost impossible task (in their opinion) within the 12 week time period. The rest of the lecture was then filled with going through the assignment by using last years students efforts to drill home what will be expected in respect of our own work.
On a final note, “Team – Get it done” (Paul & Nick, Chris wasn’t available on group creation) has been resurrected for this module given this assignment is based on group collaboration. I feel this is going to be a rewarding module on many levels and I look forward to enjoying each week as it unfolds.
Friday’s and Monday’s are now taken up by Spatial Audio with Jos Hirst which I feel (before I have started) will require the majority of my attention. Even though I understand the concepts behind this vast topic I believe the application of complex calculations that are used within subject require 100% concentration and my usual work plan will need to be amended to accommodate my failing memory retention (Joke!). Being late (45 mins) for the introduction lecture is never a good start, (explanation in the final part of this post) but it became apparent that Jos had spent this time laying out the workflow so catching up wasn’t an issue.
After a (unusual) 10 min break we move onto a brief introduction on the history of Spatial Audio (SA) starting with it’s rudimentary beginnings and moving into present day, even though this was only a “taster” it offered a interesting insight to the creativity and visions of the early pioneers while Jos opened up questions to the class about the various forms of commercial SA. I can see now why we need 2 lectures a week for this subject which has now reactivated my imagination and curiosity and again look forward to each lecture on both these subjects.
As explained before my (never seen) lateness for the SA class was the result of being asked to co-present at the MELSIG event at Salford (Clifford Whitworth Building) with Helen Keegan on the subject of using Digital Media at Salford University. This collaboration was not just a pleasure but an honour as we discussed the various ideas and applications to an audience of academic peers from various universities including our own with one resounding comment that we both agreed on throughout each presentation is quite simple, Salford is clearly at the cutting edge with Helen and Ben Shirley at the helm who continue with passion to push the boundaries of using Digital Media as a learning tool.
Many thanks to all who were involved and to HK for allowing my opinion to be heard (looking forward to the next one).
Peace, Love and Happiness
This post and it’s contents were born from a tweet I noticed from @justpressplay regarding an interesting subject of creating a Flikr project that would contain 365 photo’s which would be taken everyday for the full duration of 2012. I must admit when reading his tweet I though this would take up a lot of time regarding
a. Taking the shot.
b. Choosing the best for inclusion.
c. Maintaining this discipline for a full year.
Given that I have done nothing but read over the Xmas / New Year I thought I would entertain this notion by embarking on my own pictorial diary. Many thanks James for inspiring me to venture forth on this year long project (maybe we should compare notes and pics?) so with the thanks and credit given the following slideshow will take up residence on this page for all to bookmark and continue checking each new picture as they are added (I know I will be keeping my eye on James’s endeavours ! .
Peace, Love and Happiness. Paul
Yesterday I was sat enjoying a rather excellent full breakfast with my partner whilst mulling over the various things that we will be doing over this year. Personally I am very cynical and opposed about discussing the past year, I would rather just move on and enjoy each moment that a new year brings but to continue with my personal task of being more tolerant and become more socially active we started to discuss the subject of resolutions.
Just the mention of this word brings forth images of promises that never see the light of day, born from a drunken stupor as the clock strikes 12. For the sake of this post I opted to continue with my new way of thinking and delved into the realm of “personal changes” we should make or at least think about in this so called final year of the Human race. In my eyes my partner (Mary Poppins) is practically perfect, she never loses her temper, is very tolerant and understanding, has patience which goes on for miles (you get the picture) so I offer the notion that she should continue down her “blissful bunny filled world“. I myself have way too many issues with almost everything in life so I feel my choices should be carefully chosen and then discussed if needed at a later date.
Xmas has been a very boring time (Thing 1 has been sharing xmas with her BF and Thing 2 has been lost in the maze of exam revision) as I need constant mental stimulation so Waterstones again has been very happy as I trawled through their book store to find a collection of interesting reading material to ease me through this period. After the excellent start to my BSc I cannot wait until the second semester starts so I can immerse myself into the material that awaits (watch this space for the return of my weekly diary).
On a closing note I am going to continue to think we should all just accept who we are and try not to change for the sake of other people or in fact base your decisions on a notion that holds no weight, if they like you they will continue to enjoy your company, if not, they were probably not worth bothering with in the first place.
May I offer my best hopes and wishes to you all for this new year and may it bring you all that you desire.
Hi Paul, My M.A. knitting project was about nurturing children. I too dislike the greed which the advertisers promote in young people, but, to be fair to the youngsters, there was not so much advertising of toys and games when I was little - I'm not going into my age here. I do know what you mean, though. Your posts are great, thanks.Jan 03, 2012 : watersidestudio Says:
Cheers or your support, I had reservations about this post but I feel sometimes you need to push the envelope to spark some interaction and comments.Reply to comment
Welcome to another condensed diary from my journey within the bowels of UOS and Media City. This weeks post is kind of bitter sweet in it’s content, even though I feel the bugs / settling in process which has followed our group from late September is now fading away as each week draws us closer to the impending christmas break, I cannot shake the growing feeling of “loss” which comes from moving to another semester and the introduction of new lecturers and their module content whilst in the same breath saying goodbye to the friends I have made.
This introduction may come across as “soppy” but as I get older I find myself watching the younger students at Media City (this isn’t creepy, it’s just old age) who have their entire life ahead of them with some “envy”, this ideal becomes more focused as I rapidly reach the half way mark in my life with the belief I need to savour each and every moment as the events which have unfolded over the last few weeks have, in a way, compounded my awareness that time is moving on.
Wilfred’s class has now moved onto the subject of our main assignment, lectures have now been pushed to one side to make way for my fellow students to start their own work. From “Team get it done’s” point of view this allowed us to review the work we have already filmed on Wednesday night by getting a few pointers on problems we have encountered. From a work point of view we are 3/4 through our assignment with the final scenes taking place on Thursday night, once again the three amigos will ooze confidence and style based on the fact that whatever may happen we are very happy with our own work.
As I leave the warm confines of the Salford Quay’s bus service I am rudely reminded that we are moving from autumn to winter, the cold wind from the harbour blows across the gardens ushering me into David’s DAP class which like Wilfred’s has moved into full assignment mode. Since “Team get it done” is at the end of our group assignment I am going to start using this time to write my 2k word self assessment of the work I have done for his module. As always David has another listen to our “Radio show” to see if we can improve it in whatever way possible which is always welcomed (fresh ears are always good if you spend a long time doing some work). As I glance over the screens I have noticed a continuing reduction of students who attend this class and in the same breath promptly dismiss it as David start his weekly discussion with myself and Nick on various audio related topics and how we would use them in real world applications. I personally enjoy these “chats” as it give me an insight on how a lecturer / engineer thinks within his given career (this will be sadly missed).
As I move from 2.18 to 3.04 I can always tell when assignment deadlines are imminent by the many students running round our building with cameras and recording equipment, today is no exception with various equipment being setup and used in every corner on each floor.
Helen’s class is now in full final assignment mode, “Team get it done 2.0 (minus Chris)” has finished all their work. Movies are now uploaded and blogs, pics and wiki’s are up to date so this allows us to sit back and soak up the vibe of the room. HK and BS are moving around checking up on students endeavours offering pointers and reassurance for their own films, their enthusiasm should be bottled up and sold as I have always felt it fills you with creativity given their very infectious way of teaching. As I sit back in my chair I am again made very aware of the impending closure of this module and slump back into my own retrospective thoughts (you will both be sadly missed, but there will always be Twitter).
Dinner comes and goes today, nothing really going on. The egg seems unusually quiet, small pockets of activity spread over the entire floor so no chance of eavesdropping on a conversation. Anyway I digress, HK’s MSc class becomes a project workshop dealing with all aspects of their assignments. This almost creates a barrier as I feel I cannot contribute to the proceedings but on the other hand allows me to catch up on blog posts. In all honesty I didn’t just update or write new posts, in one hand I was listening to the groups discussions next to me and in the other I started working out my play list for #DS106 which I will be uploading in the next week.
Even though this post is a little “downbeat” I still feel it has been an excellent week so on that note I bid you all a fond farewell.
Peace, Love and Happiness
I thought an early week diary may be in order giving I really need to work on my assignments. Well, on the home front it has been a busy week. Two short film and a radio interview under my belt (Good times), and with very little alterations I feel our team will be triumphant.
Anyway, time to move onto my weekly diary.....
Thursday morning brings Wilfred and the delights that his class brings (sarcasm free zone), after watching him chew Yuki and Joe up for talking in class (was very funny) we have a recap on HSE and general common sense when filming. After JDT had discussed the lack of camera training to a very unresponsive Wilfred I was surprised that he announced that the rest of our class would be devoted to his own interpretation of "learning camera basics 101". If you are interested the fruits of this lesson was recorded so each of my fellow comrades could watch or download these movies to help in our final assignment.
Fridays are always cool, great lessons, great lecturers, great topics of discussion...... (you get the picture), I was especially interested in this mornings DAP class as I would present "Team get it done's" Amended Radio Assignment to David for review. Before I could grab his attention we were treated to a little tutorial regarding "Midi Gating" and all that it brings, I actually recorded the discussion but I got the impression it wasn't a good idea to upload this to my blog. With that out of the way he came over to have a listen to our work, after 5 mins of uninterrupted listening his initial opinions were simple. We had put the effort into this production and it was clearly shown in his enjoyment, as a final adjustment in his opinion he would of liked to have heard a little more of certain tracks to maintain interest so with that onboard we will be attending to those issues this week.
Group VSS reviews was the topic of of discussion in Helen's class today, Ben as always comes in for added flavour and support. After discussing the "Rufi Franzen" mystery (I feel a little Scooby Doo detective work coming on) we moved onto the subject of our assignment offerings. I offered to show my "Completed" work first, the first "SB-MC" on first impressions went down quite well, I am always puzzled why when asked people just sit there "dead panned" so it was up to Helen and Ben to start the ball rolling. All their comments were valid and helpful given the films subject matter including "Sound Sketchers" about doing a little video editing were also very welcomed.
From my own perspective I thought my second instalment "A Student's Life" would of gone down much better given it was a kind of comedy but alas this suffered from the same "silence". After a little prompting again from Helen a few people started to comment, Callum said he would like to have seen a kind of "Sat Nav" style arrow pointing to each objective, Helen said she would like to see more "HUD" and Robert just appreciated it's "dryness" (many thanks mate). Armed with those nuggets of information I will go off to make some adjustment and hopefully they will be better received next time.
Given the amount of work that both myself and Nick had put into this work I was feeling a little run down so I opted to go home early instead of attending my usual Friday afternoon MSc class (sorry about this Helen, you would of just seen my head firmly on the desk but 3pm)
I am finding it harder each week to think of an interesting closing comment about my week at UOS MC so I will just finish with "Peace, Joy and Happiness"
feel from the start that this post is going to look a little light in content. Uni life leading up to assignment deadlines is always a busy time, I can see my fellow students scurrying around working on the latest bit of their own projects and there is a general feeling of “Damn”, “Good Grief” and other comments which are way too rude to put into my own humble post.
Thursdays Video lecture with Wilfred was spent going over the most “mind numbingly boring, but very important” HSE documents that are applied to our use of the camera equipment, this included what locations we can use and more importantly where we can film. I have never been a lover of “Red Tape” and the politics which surround it, but if I would like to complete my assignment on time and to a high quality, for once, I will have to bow down to the powers that be.
Friday morning was slightly different as my group “Team get it done” presented our “Radio Production” project to David for review. I feel we have put in an awful lot of hours in such a short space of time on this piece, countless days recording soundscapes, doing interviews to name a few. Being an old fart I am quite protective when it comes to work I have collaborated on and this project was no exception. David gave us some excellent feedback which hopefully on re-submittal will show we have taken his opinions onboard that, “fingers crossed” will reflect in our final mark.
Helen’s class as always balances out my day at Media City, todays subject was or final assignment of the year. The VSS concept is brilliant in it’s idea, make a film on your mobile phone, simple?, yes, but not if you spend all your time perfecting it. This kind of defeats the object of the game, but as with all things I do my contribution will hopefully be a little more than just something you would see from a 10 year old.
After dinner I move into what has become a regular afternoon activity, Business and the net is the topic for the MSc posse, there is so much from this class that can be applied to my own thoughts and opinions and how I see the new world (to me) which is digital media. The only thing I feel I am missing out on in these classes is when it comes to homework, I personally love doing this activity, I have always seen it as a way of putting your own thoughts forward in a very controlled manner. Alas, this is one facet which I have to stay clearly away from, but there was a surprise at the end of the day which involved designing caption boards in the style of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” as we would be creating a type of movie for some #Icollab11 students in Berlin. All I can say is “damn my short body” as when the final photo was taken you couldn’t see me as there were “bigger boys” (Thanks to Kevin and Perry for that comment) in front of me.
Once again, Helen’s lectures offer food for thought and adds flavour to an already excellent day of studies.
Well another week has gone by and it is time for my weekly diary about day to day life at Media City. Time is now starting to move a little faster as the nights draw in and xmas starts to rear it’s ugly head bringing forth a wave of debt and ridiculous demands from our children who “really do think money grows on trees” (I am going to leave that topic for my xmas special).
Before I continue with this post and given the problems I have experienced in previous entries I need to reaffirm that this is not a gripe, moan or complaint. This is an observation regarding my expectations in respect of studying for a BSc, maybe my expectations are a little too high?. My comments should not be interpreted as a slur towards any of my lecturers or in fact any facets of their modules as I still hold the upmost and greatest respect for them.
Frustration seems to be clouding my judgement this week in Wilfred’s lecture, more clips about different aspects of filming dominate which is all well and good if you like watching random scenes but I feel I need a little more stimulation, maybe setting up a camera with some “real world” scenarios would be more beneficial?, Learning how to use the various equipment so we are better equipped to manage our assignment?. I don’t want to come across as being ungrateful but there is only so much editing can be done with a news report, hopefully this “dip” will subside in later weeks (I really do hope so), anyway, as always Wilfred delivers an excellent class and I am really looking forward for “Team get it done” to get busy on our film assignment.
After the issues that I had to endure at SSR regarding their “Workshop” mentality I am seriously worried about Mr Tolan’s use of this word in our DAP lectures. I have always worked on my assignments at home as I have the flexibility and luxury of having my own “studio” but to be told our lecture time is to be used for working on our assignments slightly dampens my enjoyment of his class. I was under the impression that his lectures would augment my existing skills (the reason I came to Salford) but I feel that concept may be slipping from my hands, in David’s defence we can ask questions at any time about any DAP related topic but to be honest I would rather be taught something I don’t know. On a plus side I suppose this allows “Team get it done” to complete his Radio project ahead of time thus allowing us to expedite our other module assignments with more flexibility.
For this weeks Adv. Multimedia my expectations were exceeded in two ways. Hugh Garry was our guest lecturer on the subjects of “Remix culture” (both musical and video related) and it’s various aspects. Our class was taken on a journey which spanned the gulf of digital appropriation, DJ Cool Herc, Amen break and the impact of creative sampling were used as tools in his presentation. His use of Quentin Tarrentino everything is a remix (see clip below) was nothing short of genius as he explained the ideals behind “Nothing is sacred” and “Creativity is born from stealing whatever inspires you“. I am still absorbing everything that was discussed on that day and his words were pure inspiration.
With Hugh’s ideas still ringing in my ears I move on with a little reservation to Helen’s MSc Media Lecture. Some people will find this a little strange, a UG attending a PG module but I feel I need a little more stimulus in the realm of digital media. “Convergence” is the name of the game in this class, Helen opens with “Did you know 4.0″ (see clip below) to explain the concept of how we use and deal with new technology (hope I got this Right)
At this point a post I am working on comes to mind “The devolution of humanity through technology” and I instantly feel a positive connection with this material and my own, from this point on I am locked into this idea. Throughout Helen’s class I continue thinking along the path of the almost invisible dependancy that seems to be growing with each passing year in respect of the application of technology in our day to day lives, this concept excites but at the same time troubles my mind (not a good combination). I have no issue with the progress we are making as a species but I do worry about the idea of our race becoming “slaves” to the very thing we create (Flashback visions of the Matrix). This thought seems totally far fetched but Helen fuels my concerns commenting that Scientists theorise that our neural pathways could be being altered with constant exposure to technology. At this point “Singularities” comes into play, the obvious description for this term is becoming enslaved by AI, I personally like to opt for the more spiritual ideal of evolving beyond of physical form into something greater (this subject will be discussed in depth in my “Devolution” post). Another excellent facet of this lecture is being allowed to discuss this in a group situation, this gives me an excellent opportunity to interact and discuss the lectures content with a few of the people who follow my Blog and it’s contents.
At this point I offer my thanks to the #MSCSM group for their kind support and warm welcome to their class, also many thanks to Helen for allowing me to participate (will be back next week) and supporting my craving for more knowledge.
Once again, yet another fine week in the world of Technology, Media, DAP and Video
After last week interesting debate about the content of “Week 4” and the resulting retraction of a “offensive” paragraph I have opted for a more subdued approach on “Week 5″. This week has been full of interesting things, some good, some really good. As a group I feel we have all now settled into a more pro-active way of thinking at Media City but this seems to be a week by week work in progress.
In relation to my view on each lecture there is a definite pattern forming as I progress through each week, Wilfred’s module is continuing on the “recap” formula which at first is very welcomed (allowing me to write notes for the stuff I missed) but in reference to my (and the other groups) pending film assignment feels a little counter productive. I assume that Wilfred has a grand plan and all will be revealed soon, again this is not a criticism, just an observation. With that in hand his offerings were the concepts of “Framing” shots (hope I used the right term here) and how they are achieved (Extensive use of video footage was used). Colour balance was also discussed, this topic is very interesting and a little confusing until (with the help of slides) Wilfred explained that the “Kelvin scale” works on the idea that “cooler” the hue the higher the value and visa versa. Overall, another interesting lecture based on real world scenarios mixed with a little Art/Film history for added flavour.
Radio production is the name of the game in Mr Tolan’s lecture, our assignment is in full swing now and I am very happy that my group is moving on ahead of schedule. Before I continue i wish to offer my thanks to all the people who participated at Media City for an enjoyable morning of interviews (your honesty still resonates now). David’s module has now taken a more “clinic” approach by declaring that his classes are now a platform for working on our assignments and offering technical support for anyone who requires it, great news in my opinion as it allows my group to work on the many tasks at hand (Chris working on editing interviews, myself and Nick writing midi soundbites). This feels now to be a truly creative environment that gives each group the opportunity to bounce ideas around “Bliss”.
Ok, here we go with Helen’s class (deep breath), on the previous day we had peer tutorials with Helen and she hinted that we would be moving into the field of Mobile Films (assignment looming). This is such an interesting subject given that everyone has a phone and with technology today are more than capable of generating quality footage. The premise is, are Guerilla movie’s an art form ? (I am going to leave my answer to this statement for my next post). I must admit there are some very talented individuals out there in the realms of “web world” which clearly shows how “open” the web is to all who have a spark of imagination. Again, with the help of slides (and interpretive dance) demonstrations of work from the likes of Spike Lee using crowd sourcing and clips to create a very moving and intimate film.
Once again, I leave Helen’s class inspired and lighter in a financial way (more books to buy) but firmly believing in the power of the net and that it brings.
PS. Great news to SoundSketchers for having on of her blog reviewed on Scoop it (Best of the week) and to myself as I have found my blog seems to be part of the Icollab11 project.
Here we are again at the end of another week within the bowels of Media City, I feel the stuffiness that comes with a new annex is lifting as I have not been harassed by the almost irritating security guard who has no memory retention for people who have already signed into the building. I understand it is his job but I have a serious issue with personal space which doesn’t really help the subject.
So with that little rant over and done with (and posted for posterity) I now bring forth my latest tribes and tribulations with what I like to call “my idea of heaven”
Wilfred, continued his lecture into editing with Premiere (why, I would like to be taught FCP instead) and using the concept of GV footage to make an interview more interesting to whoever watches. I love continuity, from my viewpoint it creates familiarity which is a good base for increased learning, at this point he actually reminds me of an old lecturer I had, who while teaching would intermix his own experiences and map them to our material. I admire this kind of teaching as it creates a kind of connection with not only the subject matter but it includes the person who teaches it.
As I came in on a cold and quite dull Friday morning I took a peek round the smokers corner to see if there were any gremlins there discussing the days chaos that they would cause with the computer systems. A sigh of relief followed as none were to be found. So I move into Mr Tolan’s DAP class, at this point I feel cheated, Due to the fact one gremlin (the black ops variety) had played havoc with his computer two students sneaked in after the 15 minute deadline un noticed and avoided the shame of being excluded. Like Wilfred, David continued on his path of Pro Tools 101 while adding things like “Aux” tracks for effects to the mix whilst pushing towards giving the class enough skills to complete our assignment.
Helen’s class is always welcomed on a Friday morning, todays subject was especially interesting given I had used my once a week “student-lecture content mediation” voucher. The idea of “openness” on a social and web level offers us many avenues to explore, as usual with the help of slides and clips we opened up this topic for debate via Twitter, at this point we watched “cogdog” and his trek across America using his “Pirate Box” to capture “clips” while staying at peoples houses he meets on various forms of internet chat systems. This use of “Crowd sourcing” is very inspiring in it’s design and delivery capturing a “moment” in time for all to see, but I still feel as a species we have an inbuilt defence towards “complete disclosure” but if you stop to think, we cannot deny the compulsion to view each others lives on the likes of “Facebook” with an almost voyeuristic intent.
Sorry for the delay on this instalment of my weekly post, been very busy in the land of "Me". So as always, here's my diary from my third week at Media City.
The gremlins are still in control in all our modules with about 60% of the computers being glitchy in Wilfred's class. This week brought the delights of our first editing project, I was always under the impression that we would use the "industry" standard software / hardware for all our lectures but this seems to not be the point in video tech. Adobe Premiere has been delegated our weapon of choice and clearly shows how easy it is to edit footage in a very short time. As always, Wilfred is precise in his content delivery and again I reassured that this module will be informative and enjoyable.
In respect of David's lectures I am developing a strange interest in who he is going to deny access to the class that day for being late, even though his module is interesting I feel that the content is a little remedial at the moment. Teaching the basics of Pro Tools may in one hand be very beneficial but to a few of us who have been taught up to Pro Tools 110 becomes a little stale. This is not a complaint about the material or his teaching, but the contrary, his lessons are superb informative, engaging and continue to have a laid back attitude. In an attempt to (I think) to keep me engaged I was asked to explain in front of the whole class how to give midi notes a swing feel (I think this may be an ongoing class activity. Lets see how many people are listening)
As we moved onto Helen's class and the gremlins raced ahead joking about how much they had enjoyed disrupting our previous lecture, Ben took control of the reigns as Helen was still in Seattle, he dived in discussing and recapping the idea of Video/Musical Mashups. I have always had the utmost respect for people who can teach without giving you the impression that you are being taught, this can be a strong tool in the combat against attention deficit in the classroom. Given this module exists around the creation of our sites the inclusion of "one to one" tutorials on how our Blogs were developing was very welcomed. It should also be noted that Alex Fenton's discussion on his company EDinteractive and The Creative Hive was very interesting in respect to how his "Community" could be beneficial to our own site.
Once again, many thanks to all involved for making my third week an enjoyable one.
Cheers Paul for the mention, really glad you have joined Creative Hive and very much looking forward to seeing and hearing more of your stuff. You are in very safe hands with Helen, Ben and co. and once the gremlins settle down at mcuk you're in a very enviable position and location - best of luck with the course!Reply to comment
Another week has gone by now on my Bsc journey, a lot has happened over this week regarding how I see the digital and analog world. Dr Darlington's class on Video is second to none, simplistic yet informative explanations on the real world applications of lights and cameras. Offering his years of working experience to all that attend making it in my opinion an superb addition to my already existing skills. I will add he has now assigned us our module work which is going to be most enjoyable.
Today was the turn of David Tolen and his Digital audio production module, I already feel his lectures are going to be very exciting indeed, allowing myself to explore my audio engineering skills much more further than was encouraged at SSR. Again, a very concise lecture with a very mellow attitude towards teaching.
Finally, for the last lecture we entered Helen's Advanced Multimedia class again with the added support of Ben Shirley. Her lectures are dynamic and encourage pro active thought, I should also add that running a lecture via Twitter is pure genius, giving people who don't want to talk openly a voice and ultimately enriching the class as a whole.
I will enjoy my weekend now of planning for all these varied modules with the sense being a part of something very special.
Signing off for another week.
Well my first week at Salford university has now finished, I feel the move from Huddersfield was justified and my creativity will not be restricted as I move through the next 18 months. All work that I have done in the past and in the future will appear here for all to see and hopefully whoever stumbles upon this blog will leave a few comments and pointers.