DMCC blog #3

Over the passed several days, we have continued to accumulate the assets to place together for our final installation on Friday.
We have now collected the interactive tools we will be using for our piece – a hammer and a machete. Whilst our original plan was to build our tools out of makeshift consumer products (e.g. a selfie stick and a hammer handle) and tamper with them to make them look rusted and old. However, we discovered that given the time constraint, we would not have the time to build our own tools in Malaysia. So, we have decided to buy our hammer from a local DIY store, and are using Ilham’s blunted machete from home.
When we return to Melbourne, we plan to build our tools as per our original plans, as well as add a couple of more weapons to vary the interactivity and storyline.
For the connection point to complete the Makey-Makey circuit, we have made a our own play dough from flour, salt, water and food colouring bought from the local supermarket. These will be placed as a pad on the table for the user to either hit the hammer or machete onto, with an alligator clip stuck into the play dough. We felt play dough was a suitable choice for several reasons; it is an excellent conductive material and the circuit won’t be damaged if the user hits the play dough too hard and misshapes it.

For the sound design of the piece, I decided writing a standard ‘composition’ and opted instead for more of a soundscaping/drone pallet. As our piece has been progressively morphing into a suspense/thriller experience, we felt having music with a identifiable melody or rhythm may serve to be more of a distraction from the narration and abrasive sound design elements. So instead, I have chosen to compose straightforward, dense drones and textures that cater to the more important narration and sound design. A lot of the drones utilised are the same samples used from the treadmill recording Yue and I did that have been morphed and contorted to sound like drones.

Our piece contained two main storylines that the user could follow; ‘City’ and ‘Parklands’. Whilst we were initially confident that we would be able to complete both storylines for the Malaysian exhibit, due to the time constraints we have been forced to drop the ‘Parklands’ script, and instead just present the ‘City’ script. The reason for this is mainly down to the time amount of time the sound design has taken to complete. As the project requires intricacies in the foley work and sound design elements, the sound has taken a lot longer than initially expected. One way I could have improved the time efficiency and something that I will be considering for future projects is keeping pre-made sound design elements such as drones and SFX is an organised file to easily re-use when a project has a short time limit.

This being said, the ‘City’ script was the larger of the two storylines, and there is still enough interactive story plots to keep the piece interesting for the presentation at MMU.

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