PPRD2

PPRD2 (fdadigitalmediaproduction.com)

Personal Planning, Reflection & Development 2

Mathew Brewer

Report

I continued on to the second year of FdA Digital Media Production after taking two years out for personal reasons. I was happy to see that although the course had changed names there was still a strong Interactive Media element, which is what I aimed to develop throughout the year.  As a result of my desire to continue developing my technical skills in producing interactive media, the route I chose to take with the units that were available was to spend the majority of units attempting to understand the basics of coding languages and how they can be used to enhance digital media projects by way of feeding through towards my target of reaching the 3rd year of Digital Media Production. I felt that this was the best route for me to take as I spend quite a large amount of my free time working on developing my ability to produce visuals, whether that is digital media, graphics or illustration and I considered the Interactive Media Pathway would allow me the greatest learning opportunity throughout the course of the year, whilst also supplying me with a good foundation for my progression on to the third year.

Designing for interactivity:

The first unit was, Designing for Interactivity, which worked alongside the Digital Media Production pathway’s Future Cinema unit as small groups. It worked out I was the Designing For Interactivity member of the group, working alongside two Digital Media Production pathway students Alice Lewis and Cat Abbot. This was beneficial to my overall learning experience as there aren’t many jobs in the creative industries where you work as a sole entity. And it allowed me the opportunity to get to know my new classmates.

I feel the major flaw that I fell into with this project was that because I was predominantly responsible for figuring out the technical aspect of how the project was going to work. I began with exploration of MAXmsp and then later with the FLARToolkit, I focused on getting the technical aspect working, giving little time to the thought of the concept behind why we were making the work.

This project was a massive challenge for me, as I had not really worked with Flash on a coding level before so that was a massive learning curve. Looking back at the project as a whole It really showed me the importance of communication when working in a group and how better communication gives better final results. I feel that the overall outcome of the project was really quite successful in terms of the fact that we produced a rather simple but effective demo of what could be achieved using Augmented Reality and I did leave the project with a great enthusiasm for the possibilities of creating interactive visuals that primarily respond to the users body and motion.

Designing the User Interface: 

Again we worked in small groups along side the Digital Media Production Pathway’s Performance Video unit. After the experience of the previous unit once I had decided whom I was working with, we decided that the best plan was come up with a strong concept. This oddly enough became the downfall of this unit. I was working with Felix Wright and we decided quite early on that we wanted to produce something that was reflective of our child hood memories, and something that we both enjoyed as children. The concept we landed on was the video games of our childhood. We wanted to incorporate the music from the Super Mario Bros games into a playful almost instrumental interactive toy.  On reflection this project became another exploration of the possibilities that could be achieved with a specific technology. In this case the use of RFID tags and maxMSP. Unfortunately even with the large amount of work that I poured into this project, especially in terms of working out the limitations of the RFID tags and what I could achieve in terms of learning how to programme using maxMSP’s visual method of coding the final outcome itself was quite weak and didn’t really fulfil the criteria that we had originally set out to achieve. This projects success though was in its lack thereof, because as a result of achieving a lesser outcome than we originally desired I also managed to learn the limitations of RFID tags and also that I needed to gain a better grasp of the basic elements of the structure behind coding languages before I could understand how to use a platform such as maxMSP that relies on this underlying understanding in order to achieve most things.

New Perspectives for New Contexts:

New Perspectives for new contexts was a chance to develop my knowledge in a specific area within a theoretical context. At the start of this unit I felt unsure of which subject I would cover, but eventually decided on the theme of adaptation of video games into motion pictures. This is a subject that I felt I would really be able to delve into and more importantly enjoy. One of the main reasons that enjoyment of the subject was so important on this occasion was that writing has not been something which I have spent a great deal of time working on over the last few years (especially with a two year break from education) and as a result I really needed to write about a subject that I have the greatest empathy with. Once I had had the time to decide upon my subject matter I chose to limit myself to only considering video game-movie adaptations that were box office releases; i.e. shown at the mainstream cinema; this was intended to focus the list of movies which I would cover. However even with this focused list, I still managed to cover twenty-seven movies. My lasting impression of this unit was that it was both a necessary task; as it got me back into an essay style of writing, which will be of great benefit when I reach the 3rd year of the course and have to write my dissertation; and also quite an enjoyable task in terms of research and discovering things about movies that I previously written off as the low brow shame of film making.

Professional Project:

Initial progress with this unit was a bit slow as It took me a great deal of time to work out what exactly I wanted to gain from it and as a result finding a client that would allow me to produce work that I wanted to produce was made difficult as a result. This was a process that however frustrating it seemed at the time was actually beneficial in the long term as it really made me focus on what It was that I didn’t want to achieve, which allowed for the most positive overall outcome.  In the early stages and mainly as a result of desperation to find something to do I made e-mail contact with several potential clients and had meetings with a couple of them in order to discuss the potential projects. This took up the first several weeks of the projects time frame and served mainly to reinforce that I wanted to avoid web design work where possible. However eventually I discovered a project being run by a team of third year BA (hons) Arts and Events Management students (from the AUCB) which initially was unnamed but was set to be an exhibition that gathered a body of work relating to theme of the body.

Interview Process Evaluation: 

During the early stages of the Professional Project I met with several potential clients in order to discuss what I could potentially produce for them in a professional setting. Most Notably I met with David Evans the Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Photography, to discuss the possibility of working on his website critical dictionary although as a result of this interview I realised that this wasn’t a project that I could continue with. I also met with a group of 3rd year Arts and Event Management students at the AUCB to discuss potentially working for them for their exhibition EM[BODY]MENT. This was an interesting process because I initially made contact with them in regards to an email calling for a Digital Media Production student to provide 3D mapping to be projected onto the pillars and other parts of the gallery space, with the possibility of attempting to project onto live performers. They asked for this after having seen an advert/viral campaign for the PUMA L.I.F.T. shoe. This was an opportunity for me to politely explain the difficulties involved in such an undertaking and that although 3D mapping onto static objects within the environment was perfectly feasible within the timeframe, the same wasn’t achievable in a live setting on moving performers as a result of time and budgetary constraints. However as a result of this initial meeting I made an agreement with the EM[BODY]MENT team to produce a digital installation/art work that would fit with there brief/theme.

Conclusion

Reflecting on my second year of studying FdA Digital Media Production, I feel that I have made a definite progression in terms of my creative output and learning. When I joined the course in the first year, which at the time was FdA Interactive media I had primarily focused on developing a visual style to my work. This served as a stepping-stone for me to develop basic skills in web design, motion graphics and a small introduction to programming. Now at the end of the second year I have spent a much larger amount of time learning the fundamentals of programming and how to use coding languages to enhance my visual design work. With the Professional Project at the end of the year I focussed on an open source application called Processing, which uses an adaptation of existing languages such as JavaScript, ActionScript, Python. This has been a really interesting application to use because you can produce a range of visual media with it from real time generative graphics to other outcomes that make use of a library of pre rendered graphics. This has enabled me to begin to develop an understanding of a broad range of programming languages that will allow me to produce more interactive work. This will be beneficial for my progression onto the third year and in as part of my professional career.

Career Plan and revisited CV 

Old CV:

Curriculum Vitae: 

Mathew Brewer

32 Filbridge Rise
Sturminster Newton
Dorset DT10 1BP

Tel: +44 (0) 1258 471306   Mob: +44 (0) 7525 053

E-mail: mathewpaulbrewer@hotmail.co.uk

Date of birth: 04/12/1985

Education:
2008-Present: FdA Interactive Media, the Arts University College at Bournemouth (formerly: Arts Institute at Bournemouth)
2004-2006: National Diploma Fine Art (Fine Art), the Arts University College at Bournemouth (formerly: Arts Institute at Bournemouth)

Work Experience:
2008: Promotional DVD production for the exhibition, A Short Grand Tour by Jim Hunter + Professor Simon Olding, presented by Text + Work Gallery.
2006: St Nicholas CE VA Primary School, Station Road, Child Okeford, Dorset County Council. Arts Assistant (general one day per class).

Personal Activities:
Graphic Design, Cartoon Character Design, Illustration, Web Design
Graphic Novels, Gallery Visits, Going to the Cinema, Play Guitar

Old Personal Statement:

Alright, here’s the what and the why:

Mathew Brewer is a 25 year old, FdA Digital Media Production student at the Arts University College Bournemouth (Formerly Arts Institute Bournemouth).He

loves drawing cartoons, making stuff on computers, going to the movies and drinking tea.

Mathew has previously completed a work placement for Text + Work, the gallery at the Arts Institute Bournemouth, for which he produced a DVD, which

incorporated image manipulation and sound recording and editing. The DVD is to be shown as part of Prof. Simon Olding and Jim Hunter’s touring exhibition A Short Grand Tour.

Mathew’s practice is concerned with political and current events, whilst also taking a satirical look at the world around us today. Mathew finds inspiration in a variety of different genres.

Mathew is open to collaborative work or individual assignments. With a passion for Digital Media, Graphic Design, Fine Art, and Story Boards, Mathew is open

to new ideas whilst also eager to promote his own idea generation.

Mathew is always interested in work opportunities and has a wide range of skills from Illustration and graphic design to website production and video and

sound editing.

To contact Mathew you can type the following email address into your preferred email client and send him messages:

mathewpaulbrewer@hotmail.co.uk

Or if you are so inclined you may visit his Facebook account available at:

http://www.facebook.com/mathewbrewer

Old CV on my personal website

New Curriculum Vitae

Below are two examples of redesigned CV’s that I have produced to fit in with my illustration style. The later of the two being more up to the minute than the last. But as is the nature of a CV, they are constantly evolving and by the time I re design my website as part of my portfolio development that I am still working on as part of my Professional Project, the CV that goes live will most likely be an evolution of the following two ideas.

CV re design number one:

CV re design number two


Edited highlights of ‘working’ sketchbooks

Here are the links to the blogs that I kept during the units, which I completed this year:

Documentation of Professional Project

At this stage and as a result of an ongoing health condition I am yet to fully complete my Professional Project. However as part of the unit I did manage to complete a final piece to be shown at an exhibition curated by a group of 3rd year BA (Hons) Arts and Event Management students from AUCB at The Gallery (also at AUCB). The exhibition was entitled EM[BODY]MENT and you can access their website here: http://www.embodymentevent.com/ . This was a really successful event for me as I managed to show an interactive piece produced using the Microsoft Kinect camera and an application called Processing. The work entitled Digital Self was shown for a full week at The Gallery culminating in a Gala Evening/Private View on Thursday 12th May 2011. During the Gala Evening/Private View I met with Programme Manger Ian Abbot and Marketing and Communications Manager Jo O’Connell from Pavilion Dance in Bournemouth, which forms part of the organisation Dance South West. Subsequently I have been in email communication with them regarding their interest in my work and will be meeting with them on Friday 10th of June 2011 to discuss the possibility of working with them over the coming year, hopefully in time with the Extended Major project in the 3rd year (BA (Hons) Digital Media Production). If this goes well and I develop Digital Self to a standard that I am happy with then I feel the best way for me to progress with it is to push for it to be shown in more exhibitions and on a larger scale than that which I have already achieved.