This week, we have had workshop sessions with the Malaysian students revolving around the ideas of digital storytelling, as well as audiovisual mediums and augmented reality.
The digital storytelling workshop I found was particularly relevant and helpful for assisting in our groups writing for our project. One thing we found especially was the emotional mapping of stories exercise we took part in. Not being from a background in writing or storytelling, it was useful to be able to visualise the emotional arc of a story and plot the dramatic dynamics. We saw to apply this method of emotionally plotted storytelling in Desolate.
For the narration of our piece, we recorded RMIT student Yue to do the narration. Whilst it was a good performance, the writing of the script felt more melodramatic and cheesy when off paper and spoken out loud in English.
We initially thought it that the cheesy nature would be unavoidable, but we then had the idea of having the narration spoken in Malay (with voice work done by Ilham) and then subtitle in English. Whilst Ilham still described the script as ‘just sounding like a cheesy Malay soap opera’, we felt that for the sake of the non-Malay speakers that will be seeing the piece back in Melbourne, having the script transcribed in English whilst spoken in Malay would alleviate the cheesy nature of some of the lines.
A factor we have taken into consideration with our presentation is the functional limitations with the Makey-Makey for interacting in our piece. The Makey-Makey does have its benefits; its user design is very simple to understand and easy to use, and our makeshift tools will be aesthetically. However, we are limited by the devices sole ‘on/off’ functionality with connecting two conductive materials to complete a current, so our worry is our presentation may come off as primitive and overly simplistic.
We have limited options given the time constraints to make our piece more interactive with makeshift materials. We plan to continue to expand the pieces interactive mediums when we return to Melbourne and have more time to explore methods via applications like Arduino.
For the sound of our antagonist, ‘The Cleaner’, as he is not being represented visually and is left as an abstract entity, it was important that the sound of The Cleaner still issued a sense of suspense and fear in our listener. The only sonic cue we were pertaining to is that The Cleaner is mechanised, and the rest of the visual construction of the antagonist is left to the viewers interpretation.
Yue had the idea of utilising the shotty treadmill at the Hotel we are staying at as the key sound for the antagonist. We recorded the treadmill with Yue walking on it and implemented it into the sound design. This turned out to be a very effective element in constructing the sound design for The Cleaner, as it has an ugly and menacing mechanised sound to it. (I have attached a rough draft of The Cleaner sound design in this blog).
With the beginnings of our production now taking place, we are now continuing to flesh out our ideas in preparation for the exhibit on Friday the 8th.