For the final assignment of the Making Networked Culture, we were assigned to create a transmedia video project. We didn’t have to do a whole complete transmedia project, just the idea, a video and if possible placements of our own design. When I started this project, I didn’t really fully understand the transmedia component, I knew that I always wanted to create a product that allows people to buy memories. Because what isn’t more personal and intimate than a memory? Originally, I intended to set this idea in the year 2047, where I would create a short film about the dangers of buying memories pills, which would be part of everyday life (something akin to climate change of our current day). However, after rewriting a initial draft of the idea, I decided that it became less of about transmedia, and something more personal. Instead I took the idea of the memory pills, and instead imagined if it was created in present day, as an inventor’s attempt to get his product into sales. These pills would be dubbed “Perfidia X.”
The idea of Perfidia X and the inventor’s company Ephemeral Inc. was aimed to allow customers the ability to live their personal desires that cannot be obtain or recreating a memories to how they want to perceive it. In a meta-irony, I chose to use words as “perfidia” and “ephemeral” which means false and transient respectively, as if the inventor knew that he would receive criticism for his work, so he used those words to allow the sense that he knew the criticism fully well of manipulating personal memories, or the fear of potential brain damage.
When I planned this out, I didn’t storyboard much as I feel that my style of making videos is based more on instinct than planning; Danish film-maker Nicolas Winding Refn called this method “organic film-making.” But I did storyboard some shots just so I could at least have a clearer idea of how I was approaching this, and while I discarded most of the storyboard for a different point approach, I did follow two of the shots from paper to video, so at least that’s good enough.
Originally, the plan to advertise this product was a bit more complex than I intended. Three giant posters of QR codes would be placed in three different locations of Melbourne (Melbourne Central/ Federation Square/ Fitzroy), with these QR codes leading them to 24 different locations where they would have a poster of one of eight quotes along with a code. A forum would have been created, for others who would discuss about this, and along the way I would anonymously provide hints to grant the code. This would lead to a website with the code serving as a password for a promotional video for the product. However, I decided that it became too elaborate, so I cut down the content.
1. Three posters of a QR code would be placed in three different locations of Melbourne (Melbourne Central / Federation Square/ Fitzroy).
2. QR code leads to a video of a promotional teaser, asking the viewer the “what if?” question. At the end, there would be a number for them to text. No need for a word, just a empty message.
3. They would receive a message back, providing them with 4 locations to go to.
4. Each of these four places would have one of these four quotes:
“Sometimes in the Falls – 4”
“Don’t you forget about me – 2”
“A trip to Paris, je’taime – 7”
“California Dreamin'” – Q”
At the bottom of the poster would have “.weebly.com”, hinting at the numbers/letter hints the url of the website.
5. The forum idea may still be in effect, but the participants might be able to solve it by typing in, and if successful, will be on the website with the video and designs for the memories pills’ cover box.
I designed the posters on Photoshop, aiming for a minimalist design, based on the catching onto the current trend of minimal graphic designs, and also because I like the minimalist designs of some advertisements and product boxes. I also designed two cover boxes for the memories pills, continuing the minimalist approach. This in effect, as part of society’s continuation of changing trends over time, elapsing the nostalgia of memory. For the videos, I originally was going to do one promotional video and actually shot a partial amount of footage featuring my friend as the doctor who invented these pills. However, complications arouse with schedule conflicts and other commitments, which by the time I was free to shoot, my friend wasn’t available due to exams. Instead, I decided to split the promotional video into two, one being a teaser to the Perfidia X, and the other being a commercial; I used the editing program Adobe Premiere Pro to edit the videos.
I was able to shoot some footage of another friend for the teaser, though I chose to base on using unused footage of my previous projects to create a quick narrative; it subtly portrays the actual events of the character’s past but at the half way point, it changes to show the possible memories if he took the pills. I decided to use film burns I downloaded as an aesthetic to the fleeting concept of memories, and I’m to say that it was an improvement on the teaser. When I reviewed the footage, I realised that it was problematic on the basis that I was trying to create something professional in a rather unprofessional look. Instead for the commercial, I shot it as if the inventor shot it himself, ala in homage to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia “Kitten Mittens” commercial. I used natural lighting and shot footage without much professionalism or sleekness, as if he was shooting this within an hour (ironically I shot this in 4 days). I took influence from the Lacuna Inc. commercial created for the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
The music I knew I wanted them to appeal to memories, but also have a happy commercial vibe to it. For the teaser, I utilized the song “Sleep” by Kimya Dawson on the Juno OST (2007) as the title reflects on the dreamlike state of memories and the song gave a quiet and set the mood for the pill; the commercial I used the song “Blue Blood” by Heniz Kiessling, featured in both the Lacuna Inc. commercial and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as it gave the memories pill a more positive aspect to them to ensure the sales of the pills to rise.
Overall, I am satisfied with the transmedia project, though I wished that I could have done this at an eariler time than I chose to do it, as time became a challenge to work around, eventually working more independently than I expected. However I succeeded on being more prepared for the challenge, and it taught me how to improve on future projects involving a commercial. I also learnt alot about transmedia,and how not only has it become part of modern culture, but how we quickly adapt into adsorbing it into pop culture.
PERFIDIA X COVER BOXES
[TRANSMEDIA PROJECT 1/2 TEASER]
[TRANSMEDIA PROJECT 2/2 COMMERCIAL]