Celestial city 3: peer feedback

This task for #CWMP requires reviewing peers’ digital story rough cuts that were presented in the the tutorial Tuesday 17th of May 2016. The overall quality of the rough cuts contained elements of professional media production. With broad content from bread to whispering, the full spectrum of ideas was on displayed. This included crowed sourcing pitches, horror films, moving infographics and podcasts. The following reviews are some observations of the works presented during this tutorial showing.

Dead Road

This short horror film was shot during the daytime to give a night time effect, this element gives the film a unique mystic quality. The films narrative is told from the POV of a woman driving a car along a deserted country road. While talking on the phone, there is a thump of something hitting the car, the woman gets out to take a look. The POV back to the headlights of the car as it starts to chase her is very powerful. There looks like there is a giant watermelon on the road. The woman runs into the bushes to get away from the car, the anxiety lifts and the story climax begins to unfold.

The content is very strong and believable. There are some beautifully framed shots of the car driving along the country road. The landscape view and horizon across the trees is very aesthetically pleasing. This lurers the viewer into a false sense of safety. This impacts from an audience perspective as the mood of the film changes. The effects of the car scene are powerful and reminiscent of Blair Witch Project as the struggle of the woman running through the bushes – this accurately depicts the genre of horror.

The voice of the male talking on the phone is not very scary and there is potential to increase the fear of the audience at this stage. The scene moving into the bushes also has potential to be tightened by sharpening the edit shots to increase the drama. This may include very jagged edits and shape, different perspectives and twists. Changing the angles and even playing with more dramatic lighting (light to dark and vice-versa) might heightened the fear factor. Introducing some sort of strobing effect and sharper edits into the forest scene will help to increase dramatic elements.

Motivation for staying in Melbourne

The documentary interviews a series of international students from different universities across Melbourne. The content is presented in a professional and creative way, providing insights into the student’s process for choosing to study in Melbourne. The student’s stories are enjoyable to watch and the audience gains insights into the different perspectives for wanting to study in Melbourne – this is also told from different cultural perspectives which is an intelligent production choice.

The overall aesthetic of the documentary is sharp and very strong visually. This includes some impressive time laps shots. These are fantastic, especially the night shots, giving visual appeal and promoting the overall quality of the film. This demonstrates a great use of this technology. Once these shots are combined with text graphics with the details of each interviewee this will improve the context of the film.

There is good scope to edit down the duration of the interviews. The length of each could be reduced while still conveying the same message. From the perspective of the audience the entire content could be repacked into short sharp individual interviews in 30 second grabs and or reducing the overall length of the film.

There is a moment during an the interview with a student describing their experience of isolation of university at Wollongong. At this stage the there is a stock image displayed of Sydney. From the audience perspective this is confusing and is not in context with the overall narrative, which is talking about Melbourne. A change could be made that displays the beach or landscape at Wollongong, which is wide and an open expanse.


I took this image of the beach at Wollongong while working on a project in November 2015.