Critically Reflect on the Process and Final Productions you have Created

This task requires you to create a Reflective Learning Journal (RLJ) that charts the journey you have undertaken for the duration of the unit. You should comment on the process, discoveries, discussions with lecturer and your peers and other related information that has assisted you in creating your finished artefacts.

However, you must make sure that you reflect on your work (please refer to documentation guidance such as “Gibbs Reflective Cycle”) and do not just describe the process.

Your RLJ has no word limit and can be presented in a variety of formats (video, audio commentary, written). It is a tool for you to use to document the process and used to assist you in your future practice.

As well as reflecting on the process it is important that you critically reflect (advancement of reflection) on the finished production you have created. When critically reflecting (refer to the lecture on critical reflective practice) it is important to remember that in order for your reflection to be critical it needs to consider numerous perspectives, or lenses (Brookfield, 1995) that assist in you in defining your assumptions about the quality of your production. When critically reflecting upon your finished production it is essential that consider the success of the artefact in terms of technical quality and fitness for purpose in accordance with your original intentions and the assignment brief.

Be able to reflect on own sound design work

Finished product

  • technical quality;
  • aesthetic quality;
  • realisation of aims;
  • suitability for purpose;
  • own contribution to product;
  • team’s contribution;
  • meeting deadlines;
  • audience feedback


Production skills

  • technical competence;
  • workflow and time management;
  • production management;
  • teamworking

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gibbs_reflective_cycle

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–TASK 1

For this task we were told to create a historical timeline reviewing the development of sound design in the film industry. I chose to make a video with images/video/music and a voiceover because I thought this would be more appealing than writing a paper. I decided that for me this would be easier than writing and structuring together a paper other then the fact that I had to source images/ video/ and music that fit together. I had to research then rip videos off of youtube.com then convert them from .mpeg4 to .mov using MPEG streamclip. With these videos I found pictures to accompany them and then I wrote my voiceover. Following this I recorded my voiceover with my RODE Videomic Pro then uploaded it to my computer. Personally I don’t like my own voice but who does? One thing I would change in the future would be to have more energy when I record as I don’t sound very enthusiastic and it does sound a bit mono-tone at certain moments. The music I sourced from freesound.org, and I cut it to my liking and looped it over and over. Personally even though it was undoubtably repetitive, I believe it seemed to work for what I need it for and if i had to do it again I would. Other than my voiceover I would say that overall I did an exceptional job. With time restrictions I was forced to work under a tight time restraint, which I wish wasn’t so but it is understandable. I enjoyed doing all the research for this project as it was very interesting to me. Before this project, I had no idea that Skywalker Sound and American Zoetrope Films are both based in San Francisco, and thats where I was born and raised. Quite embarrassing if you ask me. The most important thing is now I know. I would say that if I were to do anything else I would add more information and expand further on important things.

TASK 2

For this task we  told to individually analyse sound design in a film, animation, and computer game from a chosen list. Originally I wanted to create another video with an added voiceover but again with the time constraints I unfortunately decided against it. I also thought with a voiceover during the scene would take away from noticing the sound design aspects. So I decided to just embed videos from youtube.com into my website and analyse them with text instead. Overall I enjoyed this assessment task, but I will admit that I did have some difficulties with examining the sound design for the computer game section. I learnt that film, animation, and computer games all go through a different processes of sound design as they all have different aspects to consider depending on what best suits their category that their in. Computer games have to use sound that engage their players and help them during game play. Most of the videos I researched where of people recording themselves playing the game (mostly online) and most of the sounds I could make out were just footsteps, gunshots, and explosions. I wanted to find video of gameplay in the career mode as it has a story behind it and it shows more than just gunplay. It gave me more sounds to analyse and made expanding upon them much easier. I found that this was the most difficult category to analyse because it is the one I am most unfamiliar with as I don’t really partake in playing video games as it personally isn’t a big interest for me. Nonetheless I would say I didn’t let this discourage me . I would say that once I found a more filmic scene in the career mode this helped me  treat it as it was just an animation only with added functions. Other than this I quite enjoyed looking at the sound design in these different categories and see how each one differs in their own way.

TASK 3

This unit really helped me understand some of the basics of sound design. Such as setting up the audio mixer hardware when recording as well as using the gain to control  levels to receive strong audio signals. Also the microphone positioning  has to be correct to achieve the desired sound. Such as if someone is yelling into the microphone it would wise to record from a distance as the sound is loud enough anyways. As well as hardware I also gained a better understanding of sound design with software as well, as the two go hand in hand. I learnt that most sounds are layered together within an editing  software to make up a final sound and everything is mixed towards the end using basic audio mixers. Another thing that is very crucial for time management, is correctly labeling audio files as there will most likely be a lot, especially for a feature film. I really enjoyed doing this module as it was almost all practical post production work which is my favorite aspect of filmmaking. It is a massive growing industry that would be great to be in, but often overlooked.

TASK 4

For this task we had to re-dub the first part of the animation ‘Vexille’. This included sound effects, ADR, foley, music score, and atmospheric sounds. This task took some serious effort, time, and work put into it to make it what it is. It makes me appreciate the dedication it takes to make a great sound design possible. After creating and obtaining all of the sounds I needed it wasn’t a case of just dragging and dropping those sounds into the right place and then it was done. After all the sounds were put into there proper place (which took a lot of time to sync up just right), they needed to be mixed using the audio mixer in Adobe Premier. I adjusted the levels of the sounds depending on what best fit the animation (such as the car in the opening scene, as it was driving away I lowered the the volume). I also adjusted the sounds from the left and right speakers (such as when characters walk from one side of shot to the other, I would move the foley sound of their footsteps in the direction that they walking). Effects were also used such as de-nosier to get rid of background hum, reverb to add slight echos, and equalizing to raise or decrease bass and treble. This created a greater sense of space within the animation instead of sounding flat and unreal. Also finding the best fit music score that was royalty free was also a challenge. Eventually after much needed research I found music that I thought was appropriate and suitable. Hundreds and hundreds of sounds were used in my final mix. Layers and layers of sounds were compiled together to complete the best realistic sounds possible. I really enjoyed this unit but for future sound design projects I would have done a few thing differently. This includes doing more research on sourcing sounds to save time trying to create the perfect sound on my own. Also as a precaution I would take on board most of the responsibilities for the sound design project as some people aren’t as reliable as they should be. I would also edit the project bit by bit as I went along with it, instead of leaving it to last minute so I had more time finessing each sound and making it near to perfect. Overall I gained a lot of experience from this unit, and I plan to use it for my sound design projects in the future.

Criteria: 4.1 & 4.2