Disappointed and betrayed. That’s how I feel about the results of the 72-hour challenge.
It’s not because our group was misunderstood or didn’t win. Actually, we won a small prize for ‘best section’ – the scene where colourful balloons fall over the camera. But that’s not my point.
Misunderstanding, miscommunication and disinformation were the 3 words that could describe the whole 72-hour experience.
Althought I think most groups did a better job than ours, there were certain things we needed to do and some things we needed to avoid in this challenge. Our group, as well as one or two other groups, were trying to comply with them, so we had to make compromises with our ideas, which, I think, is part of working with a brief – you need to stick to it:
- We were expected to not use copyrighted music without permission – so that’s why ours and most groups either used unsigned music, asked independent musicians for permission, or paid a small amount of money for the rights to use a certain track. So it was a big surprise for me when group C’s video won – they used a popular Evenescence track, and I doubt they’ve had the permission to do it. Although, that aside, their video is just great, they have done a wonderful job filming and directing it, people acted really well and if it wasn’t for the music, I would also vote for them undoubtfully. But, when it says in your brief that you shouldn’t do certain things, it usually means you shouldn’t. And it confuses people when exactly this project wins a prize. If we were allowed to use popular music, everyone would have made a great lipdub with music everyone knows and can sing along to.
- We were forbidden to edit the footage – one cut, that’s all. Tutors emphasised on this a lot. I had the idea to stop recording when looking at the sky, change the scene and continue recording from the sky again, and I was told: ‘No, that’s cheating!’. So I abandoned the idea. And I was more than surprised when I found out group B got an award (which award wasn’t introduced in the assignment) EXACTLY for using this technique – as ‘being creative’. I know it is creative, and they’ve done a very good job with it, but there is a very serious contradiction here – how can you reward someone for a technique that you first stated you would punish??
Since the beginning of the academic year tutors have been constantly repeating that we’re here to become professionals. Professional means, amongst all, to have a clear brief that applies to everyone and everyone follows it. This ‘challenge’, although we could learn a lot from it, was very far from the definition of ‘professional’.