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Is the ending a dream or reality? That’s the big question. Someone has finally and observantly figured out the ending to the movie and it had nothing to do with the spinning top! Feel like my mind has just been blown. Christopher Nolan is a genius! I’m so glad someone decoded this!!

Christopher Nolan’s play with mise-en-scene is unbelievable! The answer lies in Leonardo DiCaprio’s, or Cobb’s, left hand! Cobb’s left hand is almost always hidden from the audience. Every time the camera is locked on Cobb, his left hand will conveniently be caught out of frame and every time we think we’re about to see his left hand, one of two thing can happen:

  1. Nolan would cut to another scene/shot
  2. Cobb would find a way to hide it

EXCEPT… once towards the start of the film. The theory is that, because Cobb never accepted the death of his wife, Mal, he always has his wedding ring on when he’s dreaming. Towards the end of the movie, Nolan once again reveals Cobb’s left hand. This was at the airport when he handed the airport _ personnel his passport. And guess what! HE ISN’T WEARING A RING! This suggests that he is not dreaming and, is in fact, living in reality, and thus the ending to the film was a happy ending, which makes me really happy and giddy inside. Anyway, I thought it was very clever of him to do this. I would never have thought of using mise-en-scene like how he has done. Christopher Nolan is officially one of my favorite directors! 

Okay, enough babbling! Think I’m getting too excited and I just realized the amount of exclamation points I’ve typed in this post. Sort of feels like I have been shouting my entire way through.

As an extension of last week’s tute, this week our task was to film more cutaways to complement our previously shot and edited interview. So we brought our gear out on the streets, going handheld this time around. Apart from some shaky shots and not getting the exposure quite right for a couple of them, I’d say the filming went pretty well. Here’s the new and improved version of my interview exercise.

The course is now well underway and this week, we conducted our first filming exercise. I’ve always been a fan of these hands-on exercises. They are super fun to do, and not to mention a great way to learn. We got into small groups of 3 or 4 and off we went. I was in charge of audio and Tamie was our subject for the day. I’ve played around with the audio equipment a couple of times prior to this but I’ve never actually tried recording anything with it. And so, getting it set up just right was slightly more challenging than I imagined it would be. But I managed to figure it out at the end of the day and that’s all that matters. Anyway, without further or due, here is the interview exercise all cut up and ready for viewing.

Collapsus, directed by Tommy Pallotta, follows the adventures of 10 young people located all around the world, as they go about tackling a world filled with deception, conspiracy, and, more importantly, the imminent depletion of energy resources.

 

Background

The Collapsus Project originated as a documentary for Dutch broadcaster VPRO. The documentary was originally dubbed “Energy Risk” and it covered the imminent energy transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources. The intended target audience for the documentary was a younger audience. However, the audience for documentary is dying and the average age for a documentary viewer is 55 years old and above. Hence, the producers (a.k.a. Dutch broadcaster VPRO) decided to look for a solution elsewhere. They felt that by doing so they stood a better chance at achieving their goal: to get these issues out to younger people and the connected generation and at the same time attract a different audience than traditional documentary viewers.

Producers looked to create a multimedia experience for their younger viewers. And so, they brought their documentary to Submarine Channel, where it then underwent major remodeling and eventually evolved into a hybrid documentary game that marries animation with interactive fiction and documentary film across a three-panel system. The study of the raw material first led to the materialization of a meta-scenario and from that a script and possible interactive mechanics were explored. The entire Collapsus Project embodied the work of approximately 60 producers working on the interactivity, animation, documentary, script, development and design. Nevertheless, all the time, effort and hard work put into the project did not go to unappreciated. Since its launch in 2010, Collapsus has acquired numerous achievements awards.

Achievements/Awards

  • Games for Change Festival 2010 Transmedia Award Nominee,
  • SXSW Winner Interactive Awards 2011,
  • Digital Emmy Nominee for Best Digital Fiction,
  • Spin Awards Best Interactive Video,
  • idfa DOCLAB Nominee,
  • Doc/Fest Sheffield Nominee,
  • 15th Annual Webby Awards Nominee,
  • FWA Site of the Day

Three-panel System

 

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The center panel functions as the main fictional storyline and timeline.

The right panel operates as the documentary segment of the documentary game. Here, viewers are introduced to an array of talking heads, interviews with experts in the field, additional blogs from the characters, as well as some environmental and cultural facts.

The left panel is the interactive portion of the documentary game, which includes an interactive map that reveals each character’s location, types of available resources, the amount of energy needed, and the amount of energy produced.

The combination of all three components requires the viewer to read, listen, watch and interact simultaneously. As mentioned by Henry Jenkins, the Provost Professor of Communication, Journalism, and Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, a basic breakdown of existing communication reveals reading, listening, interaction, and watching to be the modern foundation of possible sensory content application.  Additionally, reading, listening, interaction, and watching, are all media sources useful in releasing information and encouraging viewers to seek further analysis. It is then safe to presume that the three-panel design played a role in Collapsus’ success.

Media Platforms

The primary media platform of the Collapsus experience is its webpage. Secondly, the YouTube channel “CitizEnergy” contains expert videos that are displayed on the right panel of the Collapsus website. Collapsus also includes another YouTube channel titled “Collapsusnews”, which includes a few scenes from Collapsus’ fictional narrative as well as a walkthrough video with Collapsus’ very own director, Tommy Pallotta. The YouTube channel was mainly created for the purpose of directing viewers to the Collapsus Facebook and Twitter page. However, the setup of both Facebook and Twitter pages seem to be redundant as neither are making any distinctive contribution or offer a new level of insight and experience (cf. Jenkins 2006-105).

Game Play

As mentioned above, Collapsus is a documentary game that follows the adventures of 10 people as they become entangled in a world flooded with deception and conspiracy, and their struggles with the energy crisis at hand. In the story, set in the year 2012 and up, international powers try to cope with a transition from fossil to alternative energy sources, while dealing with political conflict, anarchy, and increasingly frequent blackouts.

Collapsus places its viewers in climacteric points in time, where it then coerces its viewers to make life-or-death decisions about things such as the impending energy crisis, and the world’s energy production. In addition to that, live action footage combined with animation is designed to help viewers understand the current political situation as well as the each character’s course of destiny. Viewers are accompanied and guided by numerous vlog posts of Vera and her friends as they try to solve their personal problems and at the same time attempt to create a better, sustainable future.

This form of interactive documentary is both engaging and informative, and the blend of animation and documentary and/or the play with fiction and reality proves to be rather entertaining.

Links

Click here to launch Collapsus

Click here for Collapsus’ Facebook page

Click here for Collapsus’ Twitter page

 

References:

http://henryjenkins.org/2010/06/transmedia_education_the_7_pri.html

http://innovativeinteractivity.com/2011/02/07/multimedia-must-see-collapsus/

http://collapsuscasestudy.wordpress.com/media-platforms-and-genres/

After putting in so much time and effort in the shoot, the last thing we, or anyone for that matter, ever wanted to hear is the footage turned out grainy. Needless to say, we panicked. The camera gain was apparently set too high throughout the shoot, which made our footage grainy and led to our unceasing devastation. But just before we hit rock bottom, Paul stepped in and saved the day! (YAY PAUL!!!)

We emailed Paul to set up an appointment almost immediately after our shattering discovery. After viewing the footage and doing some tweaking here and there, our footage was as good as new.

All in all, what we’ve learnt from our 1 hour crash course with Paul is:

1. How to do L cuts and J cuts

2. How to do colour grading using the 3-way colour corrector

3. How to apply the Eight-point garbage matte effect

…and most importantly…

4. We learnt that it pays to get things organized right from the very beginning

The long awaited shooting day has finally come. We got up bright and early and gathered at Moorabin for our shoot.

The five of us got up bright and early for our shoot at Moorabin. Here’s how the day unfolded in the form of images because:

1) It’s been a long day

2) A picture says a thousand words!

3) Just because

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…and by the end of our shoot…

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The shoot was both fun and exhausting. We had a few hiccups along the way – camera decided to be difficult and not record any footage, we had a problem with the camera focus, missing extension/plug-in when exporting footage, had to reboot the camera a couple of times, etc, but what’s important is that everything turned out fine in the end. Overall, I think the shoot went pretty well. To wrap it up, listed below are some of the things I’ve learnt from the shoot.

Rookie mistakes never to be made (EVER) again :

– Always inspect the equipment beforehand

– Always reformat the memory card before filming

– Have a equipment manual with you just in case

– Have the tech’s number ready for emergencies

– If you think you’ll have enough time, think again

– If you think you’re prepared, you’re not