I feel that exploring Jean Baudrillad’s theories surrounding images of violence and the comparing of reality TV shows to snuff films assisted me into creating a more specific idea. Debord’s theories also helped me to home in and fine tune my idea. Perhaps in the future if I am ever struggling with an idea or trying to establish a good point to expand on I can look at the theories and writings of various theorists and philosophers. It was also interesting to see people’s fascination of gore as well, since it is also a form of media no matter how disturbing it is. The artefact also enabled me to improve my editing skills as I worked hard to add in a variety of twitches and frame drops to symbolise roughly shot footage – if you’re killing someone you would probably focus less on video. Most of all I found the feedback from the class seminar very helpful, it enabled me to focus on what other improvements I could do – something I would simply not have thought of by myself. Looking back at my work I could have paid more attention to the rise of gore sites in parallel to the advances in the internet; possibly more video recorded violence and killing and established a link between them. All in all I think my artefact did well to demonstrate that serial killers can be seen as a spectacle, something that I had hoped to achieve.
This little project basically enabled me to come to terms with prosopagnosia, from knowing nothing about it, to becoming fairly educated around the subject. It was also the first time I ever used a Canon 5D for the project as well as the Zoom H4N voice recorder, equipment that was completely new to me (thanks to the loanshop). The mugging scene in the park was the best thing I have shot and directed (a storyboard really helped) for a long time thanks to the depth of field and cinematic capabilities of the 5D, the overall results looked stunning raw and even better post-production. I’ve always suffered from not-so-great looking footage due to average cameras but the 5D gives me motivation and incentive to make more beautiful looking films. There were a few obstacles in the way during production, for example the attempted mugging that was shot around a cash machine caused a few problems directing. I couldn’t really direct it as much as I had hoped to get nice looking shots but was forced to do it as quickly as possible as the general public was getting in the way; for the future I could look for a better location and perhaps shoot at an earlier time. During the 3min duration of the film I performed a great deal of cuts, colour correction, sound editing and multiple exports – but I kept asking myself if so much effort was worth it for an artefact, well yes it was, the process was very enjoyable and the outcome was satisfying. Advanced sound editing/mixing is not my speciality so it was not as perfect as I hoped; it is something that I would really enjoy more training. Overall my idea was sound, but since my preference lied with the other idea a great deal more I will re-make that whenever possible.
The artefact could have taken a different approach and focused on a different aspect of trolling, for example: how easy it is to send an offensive anonymous message and the amount of damage it is capable of doing. Another potential flaw is that people who troll are all different; some do it just for the hell of it or do it for the enjoyment of watching others suffer. Whilst others might do it as a form of revenge because they are powerless to do it outside of the virtual world that is the internet. I do wonder if I made my trolling side of the artefact a little bit too amusing to the audience (because they did laugh at some points) and whether this was side-tracking the audience from the real meaning. Have I shown power in my artefact? I was worried about the answer. By showing the troll being powerless in real life because he was either bulled or taken advantage of by others made him seem much more powerful when he was in a trolling state at his computer – but would the audience know that is was the same person? Hence what anonymity was about – the fact that the trolls face was hidden behind a mask (the troll face mask ironically) demonstrated that he could be anyone to do whatever he wanted. On a technical note the artefact was the first time I had shot anything on a DSLR and with split screen in mind. Overall I think it was a good piece, but difficult to pull off; many people do not know why trolls abuse others and my piece shows a potential reason for why, they are sometimes victims themselves. Additionally most internet trolls do not get discovered because they are much more careful, but when they are caught one can see the damage they are capable of.