Project plan – Fact Or Fiction?

Thesis statement – Fact Or Fiction?

The primary aim of this project will be to highlight the inherent discourse behind our current level of media saturation and bring this to the attention of our audience. The project will combine images, video, sound and music, together in new and unexpected ways. This will be done to further highlight the mass consumer culture that increasingly pervades social media and online media.

In modern economies with a high percentage of internet access, our lives are now connected more than ever. We are contactable via multiple mediums and platforms, leaving the door open for a bombardment of video, images and sound, which all contain political or marketing messages; sometimes both are contained within the same media. Fact is becoming increasingly harder to distinguish from fiction. Indeed, Donald Trump’s contribution to our modern lexicon: ‘fake news’, suggests this very concept. With constant exposure to online social media culture, the line between political and marketing messages start to become blurred and social media / online media consumers become ‘normalised’ to inherent political discourses and marketing messages.

Conceptual overview

This project will delve into:

Post – Structuralist Theory: This collaborative project will explore the notion of ‘The Grand Narrative’ and how post-structuralist theory questions the relationship between the ‘sign’ and ‘the signified’. This project will adhere to the notion, first proposed by Derrida, that ‘The Grand Narrative’, is a cultural construct.

Post – modernist Theory: Inter-textuality will be utilised and examined through the juxtaposition of images and music, in order to examine political discourse behind the selected news images and the culture of media saturation and consumption.

Team member roles

Simon Audus

  • Musical production – A dance track will be created through the use of sampling and midi programming
  • Researcher and script writer – cultural theory and aesthetic choices to guide the development of the project

My electronic music production skills will be further tested and challenged by this project. I’ve produced two major projects with this goal in mind, during my studies in Studio Production, at SAE Brisbane. These creative projects can be accessed via the following links below:

Chris Ware

  • Content creator / curator – Create or source images and video segments
  • Video and Image editing – Assemble images and video segments to sync with the soundtrack

Chris will start to edit together video and image segments in Adobe Premiere

Project Management Strategy – Agile

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Creative / cultural references

  • ArtistKnower

TitleThe Government Knows

The most interesting thing about the music video: The Government Knows, is the use of dance music to provide a soundtrack for a serious message regarding government surveillance through internet enabled devices. The web camera attached to someone’s computer is referred to in the song with the suggestion that it is being used by the government to spy on people while they masturbate to internet pornography.

The humour of this song and it’s accompanying video, is the use of images of that have been edited so their movements are synced to the rhythm of the soundtrack. Examples are:

  • U.S. presidents past and present
  • Riot police smashing a window with a hand held battering ram
  • Massive explosions caused by missiles hitting a house
  • Military helicopters and planes landing landing (creating a jumping effect)
  • Army personnel doing exercise drills

These images of both people and military weapons have all been manipulated to create the impression that they are dancing in time to the music

Additional musical inspiration would found in the following tracks:

The intention is to use the following quote from: Happy, to be synced to pictures of North Korean generals clapping their hands in time to our music soundtrack.

“Clap your hands if you feel like that’s what you want to do”

The irony created by sampling this quote from the Pharrell Williams song is that they have no choice about whether they should clap their hands or not. Failure to endorse the North Korean leader’s statements and actions could have deadly consequences.

The other reference track, ‘Bad Romance’, was chosen because it was heard by the project manager in a supermarket and one particular shopper was singing along to the chorus.

Project Overview

The primary aim of this project will be to highlight the inherent discourse behind our current level of media saturation and on-line content. This discourse will be brought to the attention of our audience by creating a video essay with an accompanying soundtrack that features a rapid succession of jarring and unexpected combinations of images, video, sound and music. This will be done to further highlight the mass consumer culture that increasingly pervades social media and online media.

The project team will deliver a contemporary, electronic dance track; otherwise known as a ‘banger’ which, will form the basis of our soundtrack. News media images and video segments will be edited in sync’ with the soundtrack. The soundtrack will be created as an electro pop dance track and a melody will be composed that contains a musical element, recently described as ‘the millennial whoop’. This phrase explains a key musical factor that is contained within many commercially successful pop / dance recordings. This musical element is normally found in the chorus of many contemporary pop dance songs and utilises the interval between the third, fifth and root note of any major scale.

Video segments from advertisements will be recorded and edited in sync with the soundtrack. This process draws from the post-modernist theory of  juxtaposition, and will produce new and unexpected meanings in order to highlight the discourse underlying the current level of social media / online media saturation.

Audio segments from popular songs and various advertisements, will be recorded, sampled and strategically inserted into the video. An example of this process would be to insert a line from the chorus section of ‘Happy’ which is:

“Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do.”

The feel good sentiment behind the lyrics will be subverted by inserting a vocal sample over the images of the despotic leader of North Korea, Kim Il Jun, as he and his cronies clap enthusiastically at any major announcement or missile test that occurs in his presence. The irony inherent in this use of the vocal sample is that the people of North Korea really don’t have a choice but to clap their hands and show enthusiastic approval of their leader as they they could be imprisoned or far worse for non-compliance.

The project will investigate the role that cultural context plays in informing the creation of signs (iconic images) and what is signified by them. A key proportion of these cultural icons and images will be derived from news websites and will focus on the rising tensions between the USA and North Korea. The recent exchange of sabre rattling and aggressive posturing in the world media via the U.S.A.’s President Donald Trump’s inflammatory ‘tweeting’ (via the social media platform Twitter), and the corresponding retaliations and threatening language and actions (missile testing) of Kim Il Jung, will also be examined via this music video.

Timeline and milestones

Week

Tasks

Week 7

Research creative and cultural references

Week 8

Formalise the group members and roles

Assign tasks and begin to create milestones

Week 9

Compile or create the necessary media assets necessary to complete the project

Begin work on the individual tasks for each group member

Simon – produce a range of midi tracks and audio samples from commercials and news video segments

Chris –

Book studio time and AV editing suite time

Week 10

Compare, contrast team member contributions

Prepare next ‘sprint cycle’ – agile project management strategy

Week 11

Compile and edit both audio and video assets

Create first draft music video / video essay by Tuesday the 28th of November

Upload draft version to you tube and share the link with tutor Aaron Williams and Lecturer Jodi Taylor by 3pm on Tuesday the 28th of November

Act upon feedback provided in CIU lecture on Wednesday the 29th of November within the next week and complete by Thursday the 7th of December

Week 12

Upload finished project to you tube and share link via facebook by Thursday 7th of December

Submit creative project submission form by Friday of week 12 (8th of December)

Mitigation strategies

In the event that either one of the project team is held up by other major projects or personal matters that effect the completion of certain tasks, communication between team members via facebook messenger or private telephone numbers is key. Personal mobile numbers are to be exchanged to avoid miscommunication.

A series of meetings will be set in advance to coincide with the milestones set out in our project timeline. This will be done to encourage both team members to look ahead and plan in order to avoid:

  • Late completion of set tasks
  • miscommunication between group members of what is required for final submission
  • Assistance that might be given by team members in order keep the deliverables on track.

In order to avoid lost or corrupted files, a google drive folder will be created and all important files will be uploaded after each recording session.

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