PIM Iteration #2: Reflection

Reflection on Iteration #2

This  edit has really brought the work back to the affordance I am exploring, portability. This piece is beginning to capture the feel of moving through busy city streets and glimpsing as you go into people’s lives. The camera’s unobtrusiveness allowed me to film moments without people becoming self-conscious. There is beginning to be a feel of flow and movement and an aural sense of a busy city. I want to work on the final edit to build a sense at the start of the streets in the early part of the day before the street workers have arrived. The sound at the start is of traffic but as the street gets busier the music and voices should start to build. The end here isn’t the ending, I still need to work towards that.

I had really useful feedback for this work during class. Especially the beginning and end. I need to introduce the main characters visually first as part of building the feel of the street and then hear from them later on. Also the comments from the traders on the weather are not working at the start and are probably not what I want to focus on in the final. I won’t have room in three minutes for this. It was suggested that the start may need to locate us a bit more, where are we? Do we need to know it’s Melbourne? I don’t think we do, but I think I do need to give a sense of the streets before they are brought to life by the traders and musicians and artists. Another comment was the seeing people’s backs and tracking them with the camera gave a feel that there was going to be more about those people, so I will look at the shots I use for the streets in my final version with this in mind.

The work is beginning to capture the way a mobile phone allows us to film and talk with people without them feeling intimidated or exploited. Many people waved and talked to the camera as I filmed showing how relaxed they were with me filming them. It is also beginning to capture the feel of what it’s like to step of the busy treadmill and stop and talk to people. In the final version I want to push this in the edit and capture a sense of both the busy, impersonal city streets but at the same time show the people who work on these streets and what motivates them to be there.

I reflect back on my readings of Mizuko, Matsuda and Okabe who said:

‘Portables colonize the in between spaces of everyday life…’

I feel that this work is beginning to capture a sense of colonising the everyday life of the city. Moving between the busy stream of pedestrians and the buzz and sound of traffic and trams into the more personal space of the street workers as they reflect on why they enjoy doing what they do. I find it fascinating that what they enjoy is talking with people and getting to know regular customers. None of them focus on the people who pass them by. They all focused on the ones who stop and talk. I would like viewers of this work to come away with this idea in their minds.

The title I have in mind is The Gate. This is a quote at the end of the sketch from Luis the jeweller who sees his stall as a gate through which strangers enter and become friends. That’s the feel I want to get from this video. Every trader and worker says the best thing about their work is the people and that’s what I am focusing on as my subject and want to bring out of the work. I am keeping in mind that Seth has said that the title can help people focus on what the film is about. This title won’t do that immediately but it does become more clear once you have heard the quote.


Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, Edited by Mizuko Ito, Misa Matsuda and Daisuke Okabe, MIT Press, Cambridge


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