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Film and media

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Titles matter. I stumbled across an interesting web site with advice about titling your talks. The advice also applies to headings for essays, articles, books, blogs, podcasts, etc. Olivier Mitchell writes that in order to create a title “that gets people flocking to your session,” it ought to do at least one of the following (1) … Continue reading

Evaluating the flipped classroom

Here’s an evaluation to conclude my documentation of the flipped classroom experiment. There were four main sources of data for assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the course and our application of the flipped classroom model: (1) reflections by the teaching staff, (2) attendance records taken in class using attendance software and engagement monitoring via the VLE (virtual … Continue reading

Flipped classroom 101

What is a lecture? In the 1980s with Jacques Derrida’s radical hermeneutics in full flow, we read about and practiced the lec(ri)ture, an inversion of the lecturing format — the insertion of laughter (ri) into the standard, conventional idea that knowledge could be delivered by talking to a group of people sitting in front of you. Scholar of English literature Gregory Ulmer asserted … Continue reading

Rich media overload

We are all filmmakers now, thanks to smartphones that record HD video, and editors such as Apple’s iMovie for cropping, combining and processing videos while out in the field. The short video below was recorded in the space of about ten minutes, edited while on a train journey, then uploaded to Vimeo when I returned to the hotel’s wifi … Continue reading

Vertigo on a stick

Rooftoppers are those reckless photographers and video makers who scale tall buildings. It’s important in these images that the photographer is in the frame, as evidence that they were there. The vertiginous effect is enhanced by the use of a handheld monopod camera extension known as a “selfie stick.” So climbers hold their cameras about a metre … Continue reading

Voices without bodies

Question to Siri: “What’s The Wizard of Oz about?” Siri: “It’s about some Dorothy, her intelligent assistants, and her little dog too. Some are not so intelligent, I guess.” The development of speech recognition and speech synthesis on smartphones (eg Siri) brings to mind how important the voice is in helping people feel engaged, at least … Continue reading

The past is a construct of the mind

“The past is a construct of the mind. It blinds us. It fools us into believing it,” according to Matthias in the scifi film Total Recall (2012). It’s common for block busters to include a couple of lines of quotable pop philosophy — as an intellectual challenge amid the fights and chases, especially when the … Continue reading

Ambient wit

Film, music and game sales from downloads reached £1bn in 2012 according to a BBC report. Travellers waiting patiently in airport lounges and couples and groups sitting in dulled silence access online news reports. They also stream, download and play movies, tv programmes, and other information content and entertainment on their smartphones, tablets and laptops … Continue reading

Old enough to know better

Sylvain Chomet created the animated films Belleville Rendez-Vous and The Illusionist. His earlier successful short film was called The Old Lady and the Pigeons. Art and entertainment often draw on the skilful manipulation of stereotypes, and their exaggeration. Skilful animators such as Chomet make their characters sufficiently recognisable and true to type, but with a … Continue reading

Maximum graphic

Digital animators have to attend to a lot of detail. Unlike in live action film CGI detail does not come for free. Digital animators and their creative teams have to plan, model, texture, light and render every object, colour, texture and effect. Because of their limited means, independent animation producers and students inevitably have to … Continue reading

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