Opening video

The opening video of my project is key, it’s the context for my story and a method of immersing the spectator into the world of Otaku. This is the script i’ve written so far for the opening video. The next step is working out how I will use visual images to support my writing. My reasons for writing each sentence is written in blue.

Black = The script
Blue = My reasoning behind it
Pink = How I intend to support this visually

Otaku. An anime and manga obsessive who invests all of their time and money into their hobby. – It’s key to start off with a definition when working with an exotic subject matter, the majority of people won’t know what Otaku means. They should however be farmilliar with Anime and Manga, however this may be presumptuous of me, so I will have to use images to provide context as well. – Visually I want the word Otaku to be implanted into peoples minds. Whenever I say Otaku it will be supported with a bold typing of “Otaku”. The definition will be supported with images of Otaku’s rooms, to visually help the viewer see what kind of level of obsession I am talking about.

Taichi Takashita, the man who tried to marry anime character, Mikuru Asahina. OTAKU!
The 1000 people who signed his petition to legalise human and 2D character marriage. OTAKU!
Tsutomu Miyazaki, the man who killed and then mutilated the corpses of 4 young girls in Tokyo. OTAKU! – The purpose of these examples is to put images of what the media depicts as Otaku’s into the spectators mind, put negative images into their head to I can contradict them. – Again I will use the word Otaku on screen whenever I say it, I will also use media used images of each person.

But this isn’t the whole story. What about the millions of self proclaimed Otaku’s online? Are they the childish, psychologically disturbed obsessives we see on TV and in the media? – Starting to turn it on it’s head question this representation. – I have thought about this already and produced an image of 100’s of online Otaku’s avatars from

‘Moe’ is the term Otaku’s use to describe the comfort their obsession brings them. It’s also the title my series of photofilms that intimately explores the lives and experiences of Otaku’s from every continent, and offers them a chance to tell their side of the story, un-judged. – Introducing the project to people, without giving too much away. – Much like with otaku is will bring Moe up on screen in bold font to reinforce this new word, and help establish it as part of my brand.

Choose an Otaku (with links to different Otaku’s stories) – Allowing the viewer to interact with the series, and also experience some context before seeing the stories.

Today’s mission, do some research on successful project intro videos and have a first draft of the video by the end of the day.

Interactive videos

I decided a while back that when doing photofilms I wanted to make ‘Moe’ a series, but I also think it’s key to have an opening 1/2 mins which establish what is an Otaku and acts as a pitch of the project. However I don’t want this video to become separate from the rest as I want it to be seen before each video. How can I get around this? by making an interactive video.

One of the most famous interactive videos is Deliver me to Hell, in which the viewer (you) decides the actions of a character to try and get them around safely without being killed by a zombie. You are given choices which take you to other videos and then play out the scenario.

With my Otaku videos it would be good to have an opening sequence, explaining the project and then have an option at the end. “Choose an Otaku” the viewer clicks on the image that looks most interesting to them and it takes them to their video, the same happens at the end of that video. And as I add more photofilms I gain more options.

There are interactive games for anything! Including minecraft and fashion.


Thinking about the future

My intent was to create a short photofilm on 5/6 Otaku’s however this limits my project, what do I do after this? I definitely want this project to be continuous because it really interests me, so I have decided to base each film on one individual this way the project can grow and develop, eventually I will end up with a collective of short films that I might be able to make into one long documentary, however that is thinking far ahead in the future. I think it will also help to depict them in a positive way, it means I can offer time and attention to each individual and not clump them together as some people have very different interests and reason for their interests.

The project will now be a series.

I have created a vimeo channel specifically for this project –

Phonar: Spoken Narrative

This weeks task has taken me a while to complete. Not because I’m reluctant to tell a personal story but because I couldn’t think of anything. In the end I started thinking about what stories I can’t remember but wish I could. This was the one I most wanted to tell…

I wish I could remember the first time I read J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter and Wendy’, but I was too young, so instead of recalling a story I will tell you how I imagine it would have been…

It was 1993, and I was barely a year old. My mum had come home from a day at the curtain shop with a brand new book. The book didn’t look the same as it does now, back then it was in pristine condition with that addictive musty new book smell, whereas today it’s falling apart, a bundle of frail pages hanging onto the spine by a thread, or as I like to call it, loved. Like every night my mum tucked me into bed, gave me a kiss on the forehead and began to read me a story, but this story was different from all the others. It was a story set in a magical world that was located just out of my reach, in the stars that I lay beneath. Pirates, Mermaids and Fairies occupied this place, as did the idea of never growing up. I dreamt of being lost in this world and living like a child forever. Little did I know, this story would shape the rest of my life, and no matter how many birthdays I had, a part of me would always remain a child.

I might only be able to make assumptions about my first encounter with the book, but every time since then I’ve felt at home whilst reading it. It’s strange to think an object can feel like home, it’s something I can’t explain, I just feel it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have read the book, I would guess at least 15, but the magical thing about my relationship with this story is just like Peter it never gets old.

I still long to get lost in Neverland.

Here is a soundcloud version of me telling my story, however I’m not very happy with my delivery, even though I felt as though I was putting emotion into what I was saying it sounds like I have no connection to this piece of writing. So I will try rerecording it until I get it right.

Thinking about transmedia

Although my theme for my final piece is becoming more clear, how I engage with my audience and community isn’t something I’ve begun to consider, but I need to ASAP. The importance of involving people in your work is not just at the end, but through your whole project, creating a journey for them to go on with you. I wanted to brain storm the way I could do this, and then focus down my research area and come up with a serious project I can begin and evolve over the next 8 weeks.

Voting – Poll’s
Creating online discussions around the world
Making a specific brand
Video diary – allow people to see your flaws and creates a more human approach
Collaborating with other fans who either write, paint, draw, create music, photograph, make clothes etc.

I want to try and think of a project I can combine as many of these thing if not all of them. Collaborating is the one that most interests me, I would love to collaborate with a different Genre Practitioner to create a transmedia project. Once I have found people to collaborate with it would be really good to do these things together. Each to a video diary which we post to each other or record skype sessions.

I think my net move is going to be to focus my theme for the project down and then begin researching people who work in this area that inspire me so much I would love to work with them.

Unphotographable examples

Before I choose my Unphotographable project I want to look at some examples of other peoples interpretations, just out of pure interest.

Phonar: Creative Workshop 3: Unphotographable Phiction (sic) Task from Dean O’Brien on Vimeo.

unphotographable Phiction from Craig L on Vimeo.

Golf Tee Crack Racoon from George Rippon on Vimeo.

All 3 of these videos are from last years #Phonar students, they al interpreted the task completely uniquely. Personally I think the Craig’s one (the 2nd) works the best. I feel with images, soundscape and narration it becomes too much. It would be interesting to do 3 videos adding the layers. Maybe one with just the sound, one with the sound and narration and a final one with sound, narration and images.

A Transmedia Story – HD Magaine

On researching examples of Transmedia projects I came across this article by HD Magazines Simon Wakelin.

Transmedia is a hard thing to wrap your head round, and is made even worse when people who write about it do so in jargon. However this article gave one example of a Transmedia project I can understand without straining my brain too much… Pokemon.

Transmedia is used today as a way to advertise product in a splintered digital world, but it actually goes back to a concept used by Nintendo to market a new product on its hands.
It was the mid ‘90s, and the company was already content with a strong foothold in the video game market with Donkey Kong and the Mario / Super Mario series.
Nintendo’s next move was to bring out Pokemon. Initially a “monster collecting role-playing game” for its Nintendo DS system, Pokemon quickly became a media franchise of epic proportions with merchandise that stretched across different platforms such as anime comic books, video games, TV shows and Pokemon’s ever-popular trading cards. All these experiences motivated ever more consumption from bona fide fans.

It’s true that the Pokmeon franchise has evolved and broadened itself since it’s original release, and is a great early example of Transmedia and how to utilise all media platforms to reach a wider target audience and satisfy the role of the active consumer.

It then goes on to talk about ‘The Wilderness down’ a project I had come across before in lectures but had completely forgotten about until now. It’s a collaboration between Google, Arcade fire and advertising companies which allows the user to see a personalised video. Have a try and see what you think…

What’s interesting is that I experience example of Transmedia projects every day and never realise it. I’m also starting to really come to terms with this as a future way of practicing. As a photographer it would be stupid to not utilise the versatility of the subject area and tap into the key audiences through multiple platforms, however saying this, being across all platforms at all times is not only impossible for one person to do but also might run the risk of over exposing your work. The next step is to figure out which platforms are right for me as an individual depending on my audience’s.

Foley Sounds: Matsuo Ohno & Ben Birtt

With the use of sound heavily predominant in Phonar I thought this would abe a good chance to talk about a film I saw at Zipangu Fest 2012 a month ago.

‘The Echo of Astro Boy’s footsteps’ – Masanori Tominaga 2010

Whilst recording the sounds of a cabbage (don’t ask) as part of this weeks workshop we were also shown a short clip from a documentary about Disney & Pixar’s Wall-E. This video really showed me how important every component of sound is, especially when paired up with visual imagery, as the viewer we can be swayed either way by the tone, duration and there aspects of one sound. This is all happening subconsciously.

This video reminded me of one I had seen at Zipangu Fest a month or so ago. The Echo of Astro Boy’s footsteps is an exploration of sound in anime and focuses on the life of one individual in particular, Matsuo Ohno, the creator of the iconic Astro Boy’s footsteps. The thing that was different in Matsuo’s work is the use of feedback. When learning about sound design in last weeks workshop we were told that feedback is a no go, and never to use it. Matsuo Ohno’s work however prides itself on using unconventional techniques to create futuristic sound influenced by the idea of space. Which demonstrates how creative we should be when making sounds, they don’t have to directly reflect the sounds of a physical object to still portray a message.

Both Matsuo Ohno & Ben Burtt create something called Foley Sound. This is sound which is created rather than found. Using objects to create the perfect sound for the scene, it’s very controlled, and there is no sound to start with, the sound designer builds up layers of sound to directly position the audience and to play with their emotions and perspective. As photographers we do this is a very similar way, we use light, colour, composition and context to place our audience, what’s interesting to explore is the combinations of both sound and images, which is what I will be doing as part of Phonar this week.


This term has been used a lot in Phonar and is the basis of our final project. I have already discussed that the community I want to engage with is Anime and Manga convention goers, including cosplayers. But before I start anything I want to come to terms with the phrase Trans-media.

Google definition:

Storytelling across multiple forms of media, with each element making distinctive contributions to a user’s understanding of the story universe, including where user actions affect the experience of content across multiple platforms.

 Participants at BAVC’s Producers Institute NYC 2011 discuss… What is Transmedia?

What is Transmedia? from aliengirl on Vimeo.

So Trans-media is basically utilising all of the available and appropriate platforms you can. Having video promo’s of your work, then having the prints, and the online copies. It’s also about the community and connecting with other people who influence your project, as well as using something that already exists by taking influence from it either directly or not.

50 shades of grey lecture notes. #Phonar

Today’s Phonar lecture was on 50 shade of Grey. At first my thoughts were, how does this relate to photography, but as the lecture began to unfold I quickly learnt that there are many aspect of 50 shade’s impact, promotion, publishing and use of the ‘fan’ that I as a photographer could learn from.

Phonar is about a community and freeing up our work rights in order to collaborate. Rather than keeping everything copyrighted and shutting ourselves off to the greater world we should be sharing our ideas and information, creating a network of contributors and fellow practitioners. The idea of E.L. James’ 50 shades series of books steamed from her love for twilight. As a fan she partook in the ever growing community of online fan fiction and used her skills to re-present the love story of Edward and Bella. Some may argue that as practitioners we do this in all our work, taking influence from other peoples work wether it be colour, narrative, composition or any other aspects that draw us to a certain piece of art, nothing is 100% original anymore. But this isn’t a negative thing.

Tapping into a community that bases itself on our interests seems like a natural development in life, but sometimes we need that extra push. Phonar for example is a fan base for all photographers to access new ideas and projects allowing them to meet the worldwide photography community. Much like 50 shades stems from twilight, courses like Phonar stem from a passion of photography.

As a self proclaimed fan myself I found it interesting listening to Mafalda’s concept on audience and community. Whilst some people might see 50 shades as pornography other people might not. Almost everyone is a fan of something, a religion, a place, a TV show or a game. We pump money, effort and time into areas/hobbies not so that we can make money back (that was never E.L. James’ intention) but to share with other people in our obsessions. For me personally it is Anime/Manga and Japanese pop culture, I am a convention goer, and I spend hours online (some people would think wasted) researching specific characters or products relating to my obsession. We have been asked to key into a specific audience, reach the fans and collaborate with them, maybe do a project on them or interview them. Whichever method is chosen it is the best way to learn and grow. This time last year E.L. James was a fan, and now she is a best selling author, she produced her best piece of writing, not because she had to but because she wanted to, it’s her passion and she knew online was the best place to reach other people who were interested. For these reasons I hope to tap into the cosplay community. I have briefly scratched the surface, photographing at events, arranging studio sessions and joining forums.

This video is a great explanation fo fandom 🙂