Saturday, June 09, 2012

1st place for MTD301!

As part of my part time studies at UniSIM, I took a 3rd year module called Audio & Video Production this semester. The End-of-course assessment was a corporate video for UniSIM, specifically the school of Human Development & Social Services (HDSS). It was a group project, and together in a team of 4, we set off on this very taxing and time consuming project. We gave our group the name RoundeClock Studios.

The hardest part was actually getting together. All four of us work full time and in fact, 2 of the teammates work irregular shift hours. Hence, most of the discussions took place during evenings and night time after work. For the video, we were initially concerned because HDSS contradicts our mental models of a corporate video, especially for a school. Usually, we'd slap in footage of school facilities or students and make it as trendy as possible, but it was difficult for us because the HDSS deals with degree programmes relating to childcare, elderly care, counselling, and social work.

We decided to be unique and to focus on the softer, human side of education instead. As amateur film makers, we needed as much research as possible. I was inspired by 2 things which prompted our direction in making the video. First, a Japanese MV by Ikimono Gakkari called Yell, and second, the ending sequence in the movie The Strange Case of Benjamin Button. Both showed the emotional aspects of life and relationships, and we hoped to exploit on that and to, in a certain way, emulate what they portrayed.

We completed the video after shooting in 4 different locations: an elementary school, a primary school, an old folk's home, and in the HDB heartlands. In essence, we had actors and actresses hold up customised messages ala a miniature blackboard. These messages are directly related to their professional field of work, in the line of either an educator or a social worker. In between these scenes, we would include messages that prompt self reflections of the viewer, so as go generate thoughts with regards to education and our purpose in life. Sadly, I'm not able to upload the video here, but hopefully UniSIM would screen our video in campus or even on their website.

During last week's screening, we were pleased to be informed that we received 1st place for the module. It was a pleasant surprise, and we were even presented prizes, by the school's Dean no less. I gave a very short intro to the cohort before the screening, but there wasn't enough time to thank everyone. Thus, I would like to thank all who helped out, in terms of either acting, or assisted in the securing of the filming locations. Special thanks go out to Ling Wei's awesome group of friends, Kelly who helped with all the arrangements at the home, and Kristin from UniSIM who gave us her fullest support.

As a 10 credit module, I certainly had a lot of fun for this semester. Met a lot of nice people, whom I didn't have the chance nor time to get to know better. All the videos shown during the screening were great, and I believed that the only reason we got 1st was because of the different approach we took, as well as the varied locations we filmed in. All the best to everyone, and I hope to meet you guys again in upcoming semesters. :)

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