Message in a Bottle (ELVSS12 Social Technologies Reflection)

ELVSS12 PROJECT REFLECTION (Social Technologies)


BSC PSVT2   Salford University MCUK

My Reflections on the whole ELVSS12 collaboration project with students from UK, France and New Zealand.

This was my first time to do a very challenging and interesting project using a mobile phone like this and over-all it is very good.  In the sense that it is very useful and it will be very useful for me even after I will leave the walls of Salford University.  I can feel …  I will miss everybody and I will miss my tutors too they are brilliant.

Team 2 is a great team to work with.  Very creative and open minded with great ideas for collaboration.  Everybody contributed in various ways considering the platforms we’ve been using to co-create and participate.  Skills and talents were being shared.   The only problem I guess is the deadlines and start dates of the participants from France and NZ. If we could only provide with the exact dates, same dates to start and finish it will be much better. What I mean is that if only everybody can start and finish same time would be great.

The start was a bit tricky for everybody because nobody got a clear idea of what platform to use as a main idea sharing tool.  But Team 2 did sort this out by regular updates on Facebook, twitter and emails.  Myself I had no where to put my regular blogs so instead I made use of my word press account to put all my updates and blogs about the ELVSS12 Project.  I know when I get the instructions to where to put them and store them at least I have made something to back and evidence my work on a regular basis. then I composed 3 soundtracks for the group to choose from because I know team 2 will need one for the video.

The Google hangout was cool and you get the chance to air your ideas and people can pick up and add to your ideas or think of another cool idea to improve the project.

The main thing really to my experience is that doing this project with people from UK, France and New Zealand, there is that CONNECTION … and RELATIONSHIP that has been established with everybody.  A sort of bonding that is unique in a sense and that I believe is very important “ That is Social Tech, Peer and Experiential Learning “.  Also,

As a product of this process last Saturday one MSC STUDENT doing Audio Production came to me and said,  “ You know Ric, I’m always reading your blogs. I love them “ wow, to me that was a really good feeling.  Somebody has noticed value in your work.  Another guy a guitarist from Ireland read about my blogs and followed me.  He ended up asking me to master his tracks for him for a fee.  As well as we did a collaboration project with the Studio Production (Friends composition) I was trying to finish.  He laid-in his guitar lines to my track and it sounded awesome. Collaborate co-create…   Thanks Ron Ricoh !!!   So, I’m pretty sure there is more to come and I thanks Helen and Ben for letting me experience this project.  Am going to miss you all guys…


  1.  Thinking differently –  there a limitations of course that anybody would consider in the planning stage like what has been mentioned story length/structure/shot sizes and more.  But this project has made me even think more and be creative in the sense that you have to imagine what shots and structure for the coke flight and directions needed.  Consistency at a certain level should be considered.  Flow of events and shots should be short but clear… snappy yet consistent. Shot sizes have to be small as pixels will come out clear if enlarged.  Even making the soundtrack I have imagined it to be challenging coz one doesn’t know what to expect in the video so instead I have composed 4 original soundtracks to choose from.
  2. Ways in shooting –  very similar to big screen but you tend to let the actors or subject move than the camera man moving to follow the subject.  Lighting you don’t really take this as much as for larger screens so long as its good weather then you could get a much better shot.
  3. Overall filmmaking transformation – Well for me it’s making use of the full capabilities of your mobile phone really.  The transformation is that I am inclined to use my mobile phone really to take videos in HD and not hesitate to show it to people.  One example would be the Poland workshop I’ve done all the videos I have shown the student participants in 10 different schools were all from my mobile phone but edited using Adobe Premiere.  And it all turned out to be brilliant. Understood and accepted. What can I say ? Power of mobile phones … that’s why I’m getting another Samsung Galaxy II.

2.  Cultural change can be achieved in a way using mobile movie-making international collaborations.  It has a direct impact on cultural capital… the social aspect of the individual and the community one behaves in.  Simple acceptance and learning of other cultures.

3.  I have mentioned this above… My local team is brilliant the global team is not bad as well they have tried their best to match our output so altogether we did a good job.  Well done for us Team 2.  I have played a big role in that video project ELVSS12.  Regular blogs, chats, hangouts, posts on fb, google docs, twitter, storify, vimeo, you tube, and others. Filming, lending even my car and mobile phone to other group members who don’t have a mobile phone, being present in all meetings and group meet ups whether online or at MCUK and more so composing 4 original soundtracks to choose from for the groups project.  Not only this but May 7 today I have shared my ideas with Team 4 when I met them at MCUK also, shared two of my soundtracks.  I told them just don’t forget to put my name on the credits if you decide to use part of my compositions.

4.  Basic really would be the communication side of things.  It all boils down to this. E.g. everybody’s emails and facebook accounts on hand before the start of the project so responsibilities and things to do will be disseminated quickly.  Overall I was satisfied with our teams work.  Maybe some minor hiccups but not major.  I would still have the UK to spearhead the project be the leader to drive the project like what we did with Team 2.  Team 2 was on the ball and even completed the project week before the deadline.

Tools I’ve Used

Facebook – the easiest platform for sharing updates and shouts outs for everybody.  When the group is all online on Facebook a hangout can be easily organized and other things.  Chat was easier resulting into better communication.  Cons its public and it’s difficult to compile all the stuff.

Twitter – for much quicker updates and call outs.  Very useful to promote and advertise your blogs and new things you have done. Cons – its limited to the text count and the no. of words you can put on.

Word press – I love word press because its free, you can put a lot of media stuff and links, pictures, music, videos and blogs.  As a back-up for group work it is a very good platform.  For evidences and regular blogs this is best place to put them all.

Google Hang-out – best place to have a video conference with everybody online. It can accommodate quite a no. of people chatting and video conferencing depending on ones internet bandwidth. Cons- one must have a fast internet connection to join in.

Dropbox – good place to store things and to share data. Better than u send it and quick and accessible.  Cons – its only limited to storing and sharing files.

Storify – useful for text and sort of word processing stories. Cons – so far I haven’t figured out if you can upload images on their… but I think you can’t do it.

Google Docs – useful for compilation of things.

Youtube – this is the best for video uploads and bit of edits.

Email – Hotmail. Yahoo and others.

10 Tips for the Next Time

  1. Same start dates if possible would be ideal
  2. Smaller groups easier to manage
  3. Clearer assignment of stuff to do
  4. Group representatives should be appointed at the start
  5. Global platform for blogs, data, rushes, and text
  6. Maybe 3-4 platform to use  Facebook, Dropbox, Google Hang-out, Youtube, Twitter
  7. A guidance note given in advance for example after the groupings been done and representative appointed.  First thing would be FACEBOOK LINKS AND EMAILS for every group member.
  8. Groups be advised proper delegation of responsibilities.
  9. All should be marked doing the project so that everybody participates and not just don’t care.
  10. Tell all students to buy their own mobile phone with a camera on it.


One response to “Message in a Bottle (ELVSS12 Social Technologies Reflection)

  1. Nice reflections, and some great tips for next time – thanks!

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