Reflective Essay Table of Contents

Clicking here will filter my Jurassic Coast blog posts and only display the ones which I consider to contain reflective writing. You may notice that the total number of words accumulated here far surpasses the word limit of 2000, but please bear in mind that not all the text found within this section should be considered as reflective.

The posts in this section are in reverse chronological order, which is typical for a blog. If you would prefer to view my progress in a more linear narrative, you may follow my table of contents as follows:

December 9, 2013
Advertising the open air film festival

The final stage for my open air film festival idea is advertising.

As I highlighted in a previous post, becoming part of the Purbeck Film Festival would be beneficial in that a lot of the advertising would have already been done by the charity organisation. Also cross promotion at other participating locations could boost attendance.

If joining the Purbeck Film Festival was not an option, posters in the local areas would be the next logical step. Though as I discovered in my interview with the Bridport Arts Centre, this can backfire as people could assume the advert is for a competing cinema in the same area. A clear advertising campaign would need to be created.

My target audience though, which could be referred to as “hipsters” (a counter-culture group) are traditionally anti-commercial. To combat this issue I would like to use an advertising model that has been very successful for secret bars in New York and other major cities, even here in the UK, London. The idea of these bars is to create a barrier of entry, you wouldn’t even know they existed unless you had previous knowledge of it. This gives people who have the knowledge a sense of elitism as they are in on the secret.
One example is PDT (please don’t tell) in New York. On the outside it looks like, and also functions as a hot dog bar. But if you step inside the telephone box inside the hot dog bar and press the buzzer just once, a voice will answer and you are then given access to the bar behind, stepping through the secret door inside the telephone box.
This idea works because it is a badly kept secret, humans by nature love to share secrets with each other. By targeting just a few influential people the “secret” open air cinema, by word of mouth this information would spread and reach just my target audience, not everyone who would see a public poster.

 

References

Newyork.cbslocal.com. 2013. Pssst: The 5 Best Secret Bars in New York – CBS New York. [online] Available at: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/top-lists/pssst-the-best-secret-bars-in-new-york/ [Accessed: 6 Dec 2013].

December 6, 2013
Jurassic Coast Pitch Presentation

Click here to see the pitch presentation for my open air film festival idea.

For my pitch presentation, I used my previous What, Why, How presentation and added some additional artefacts.
The first being the mock-up video of  a movie trailer being projected on a cliff face (click here to see separate post).

Additionally I included some alternative uses for the same projection technology:

cliffgames

The ability to play video games, particularly multiplayer games could be quite successful. Social gaming is very popular, a quick search on meetup.com for video game meetups in the UK will yield quite a few results for just London alone. (http://videogame.meetup.com/cities/gb/17/london/)

dinocave

Another possibility I brought up in my presentation was projections that used the surrounding environment to further enhance the viewing experience. The example in the mock up image is a tailor made educational dinosaur video that uses a cave wall as part of the mise-en-scene. According to NeuroNet Learning, interactive learning may boost memory skills. The other advantage of being inside a cave is that it is always dark, therefore younger viewers would not need to wait until night time to be able to experience the shows.
Enhancing the experience could also just be choosing films that fit the location. James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) would fit nicely with the sounds of the waves behind the audience or Robert Zemeckis’s Cast Aways (2000) would be well suited to a beach.

 

This additional ideas bring expandability to the initial film festival idea, but for purpose of this brief I am going to focus on just the film idea alone. Initially starting a new event without a focussed direction could be detrimental to the success of the project. According to the entrepreneurs at about.com “multitasking is the enemy of small business owner productivity“, and I would also need to alter my target audience for these additional ideas. I feel the initial film idea also fits better with ExLab’s image “ExLab is a ground-breaking arts programme along the Jurassic Coast”, of course art is completely subjective, but film is probably a safer start than gaming.

References:

art and science on the coast….. 2013. art and science on the coast…... [online] Available at: http://exlab.org.uk/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Cast Away. 2000. [film] Robert Zemeckis.

Neuronetlearning.com. 2013. Interactive Learning Environments May Boost Preschoolers’ Memory Skills – NeuroNet Learning. [online] Available at: http://neuronetlearning.com/blog/interactive-learning-environments-may-boost-preschoolers-memory-skills/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Titanic. 1997. [film] James Cameron.

Videogame.meetup.com. 2013. Video Games Meetups near London, England – Meetup. [online] Available at: http://videogame.meetup.com/cities/gb/17/london/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

York, M. 2013. Multitasking is the Enemy of Small Business Owner Productivity. [online] Available at: http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/beyondstartup/a/Multitasking-Is-The-Enemy-Of-Small-Business-Owner-Productivity.htm [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

November 22, 2013
Jurassic Coast Mock Up Video

[youtube id=”_bKqP4JItKs”]

A quick video I made in After Effects to show how my idea of an open air cinema may look. I dropped the opacity and skewed the video to fit the cliff face. In this example, I used the trailer from Hayao Miyzaki’s latest film, The Wind Rises.

 

References

The Wind Rises. 2013. [film] Hayao Miyazaki.

November 21, 2013
Editing my blog theme to make it more readable

Following up on my previous post, I did go ahead and edit the theme layout a little.

I moved the sidebar back to the side and decreased the width of the post, this makes it easier for people to scan their eyes from one side to the other. This is because “The area of the retina used for tasks requiring high visual acuity is called the macula. The macula is small, typically less than 15 percent of the area of the retina. At normal reading distances the arc of the visual field covered by the macula is only a few inches wide—about the width of a well-designed column of text, or about twelve words per line.” from webstyleguide.com. I also made the layout responsive, on smaller resolutions the sidebar will drop below the post, preventing the text from becoming too squashed. Having a responsive website is become increasingly important with the increase of devices with various screen sizes and resolutions that people currently browse the internet with.

“Smartphones and tablets have changed the approach toward design and user experience. Before the proliferation of mobile devices with advanced web-browsing capability , web designers had only one primary challenge to deal with – keeping the same look and feel of their websites in various desktop computer browsers.

However, interacting with websites on smartphones and tablets is not the same as doing that on a desktop computer monitors. Factors such as Click versus Touch, Screen-size, Pixel-resolution, support for Adobe’s Flash technology, optimized markup and many more have become crucial while creating websites with Responsive Design.” ridivi.com

 

References

Ridivi Consulting Knowledge Base. 2013. Why is Responsive Web Design important for your website. [online] Available at: http://knowledge.ridivi.com/why-responsive-web-design-matters-for-your-website/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Webstyleguide.com. 2013. Page Width and Line Length | Web Style Guide 3. [online] Available at: http://webstyleguide.com/wsg3/7-page-design/6-page-width-line-length.html [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Creating a Theme for my blog

Part of the Jurassic Coast assignment is presenting everything in a WordPress blog, which I installed onto my own host at mrjose.ph.
There are a lot of great themes freely available for WordPress, but none really fitted with my site. Navigating from my site to the blog was a jarring experience, apart from the title, everything else was different.
I like the sense of uniform in design, and being a digital media designer I decided to try and create my own them that looked and felt like the rest of my site.

“Consistency is one of the key signs of a website designed by a professional web designer and not somebody who is learning the trade. Ensuring your website design is consistent all over the various types of pages and forms gives the website a unified feel and pulls it all together, improving the user experience and increasing conversion rates. Consistency is not only using the same colour scheme all over the website, or a similar set of fonts. It also includes making sure the website behaviour is consistent.” over-blog.com

Using Bones as a template (Bones is a theme designed to ease the process of creating custom themes), and integrating Bootstrap (a repsonsive framework for web design) I feel I have been able accomplished this. I also used an open source jquery project called infinite-scroll which automatically loads the next page of posts instead of clicking on the next page button. I feel this lowers the barrier for readers and encourages them carry on reading (Infinite scrolling feature could increase browse time – retailcustomerexperience.com). By using the php include function, which is the same underlying function I used to create my modular portfolio site, I am able to include the same navigation file on my blog that I do on the rest of my site. This has the advantage of being easily edited, I edit the file once and this change is presented throughout my site.

Screenshot 2013-11-15 at 18.07.48

Speaking with a classmate today, he pointed out to me that on larger screen sizes, the text takes up too much width on the page, making it more difficult to read. This will be the next issue I address, probably by moving the blog navigation back to the side.

 

References

Getbootstrap.com. 2011. About · Bootstrap. [online] Available at: http://getbootstrap.com/about/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

GitHub. 2013. infinite-scroll. [online] Available at: https://github.com/paulirish/infinite-scroll [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

OverBlog. 2013. Consistency in Web Design – Why It’s Important to Be Consistent When Designing Your Website. [online] Available at: http://businessresources.over-blog.com/article-consistency-in-web-design-why-it-s-important-to-be-consistent-when-designing-your-website-86102646.html [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Retailcustomerexperience.com. 2013. Infinite scrolling feature could increase shopper browse time. [online] Available at: http://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/article/211251/Infinite-scrolling-feature-could-increase-shopper-browse-time [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Themble.com. 2013. Bones – The HTML5 WordPress Starter Theme. [online] Available at: http://themble.com/bones/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

WordPress.org. 2013. WordPress › About. [online] Available at: http://wordpress.org/about/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].