Unit 56: Documentary – Decisions, Decisions

My Goal by the end is to pick and write a synopsis and plan on an idea which I feel strongly and passionate about for my documentary and which best reflects my views and talents in Media, making use of primary and secondary research and as much primary research as possible. My end goal is to have a short 10 minute quality documentary in the vein of Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

Ideas & Plans;

  • Archival of Media and its purposes and importance
  • Indie Gaming and how it changed the industry
  • Social media and the Implications of data collection and advertising
  • The Evolution of PC gaming and Graphics
  • Live streaming and It’s affects on other forms of Media

Choosing and Expanding on these ideas

All the ideas interest me in some way, whether it be Archival of media to Linux and open source to even live streaming and its implications as they all have something in common. They’re very informational topics. Looking at all of these would require a lot of research and to fit into a 10-minute documentary and keep it entertaining to the viewer would be the main priority. I would achieve this by providing a lot of primary footage which would relate to the content being talked about, making it visually interesting as well as helping with explaining the content being talked about. I would want to do a sort of narration style similar to the previously mentioned “Minimalism” with my takes and interviews spliced in-between to keep a good amount of variation. These would rely mostly on primary research but some such as “Archival of Media” as well as “Indie Gaming” ideas can look into how other people view these as to whether they’re important to others.

Media Preservation – Archival and its Importance

My first idea was to look into the importance of media preservation by researching and explaining the importance of Physical media such as Tapes, DVDs, CDs, Blu-Rays and how Movies/Music/Videogames being produced on these forms of media helps back them up and preserve them for future generations as well as how sites such as Pirate-bay, Archive.org, GOG.com and many more, do more for preservation for movies, tv and games than some companies do with their own media and the importance of Online and DRM free copies. I would also look into the history of preservation and lost media as well as version differences, fan reproductions like the star wars 4k remaster and more and why these are important in preserving the history and original copies of the film before sequential changes and newer edits.

Indie Games – How have they changed the Gaming Industry?

This idea grew from my love of Indie games and their impact on me growing up and my taste in Videogames so this one has more of a personal connection. Growing up I had unintentionally found these “smaller” scaled games which I ended up sinking hundreds of hours of my life into, from smaller scale developers with lots of creativity and a smaller budget. Indie developers are the reason we have Minecraft, a game of endless discoveries and adventures with friends, smaller story type games such as “Life is Strange” a kind of teenage drama which looks at mental health and bullying and such topics which bigger titles would stray from. I want to know if other people have been impacted by these and how this has affected the direction of the gaming industry, giving more creativity and funding “the little guy” to bring more creativity to the industry. This would be mainly filmed with primary game captures from me and a commentary track played over, as well as short interview clips gathered from sources such as YouTube and primary footage of me trying to interview developers to see what they think and how they feel the industry has been changed and if it’s easier for them to create and bring new ideas to life with avenues such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe while looking into the deeper implications of trust and funding as well as the benefits.

Social Media – Data Collection and the Implications

I want to look at the history of privacy from when the internet first began and how it has changed as the internet has evolved and more companies look to collect more data on us as well as mobile devices and how they effected the landscape. I also aim to bring light to this as well as explore the deeper implications of this data being collected on us as well as letting people know the alternatives as well as explaining the negative impacts of giving up so much of our data and trusting these companies as much as we do. I also aim to investigate social media addiction and how it is designed in order to keep us hooked and make it so we’re the product being consumed and not the other way about as well as how dopamine works and how social media, notifications, likes etc are designed to trigger dopamine. To achieve this, I’m going to do research into how our data is used by these giant corporations as well as how our data has been misused. I will be watching various documentaries such as “The Power of Privacy” By The Guardian, “The Great Hack” Directed by Karim Amer & Jehane Noujaim as well as doing research on various sites and articles who interview various experts in the industry

Video Game Graphics – How we’ve reached Film Quality

My plan would be to go through the most important years in video game graphics, from the beginning with the Magnavox odyssey from September 1972 up to the Atari 2600, Nintendo’s NES, The 16 bit graphics battle between the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo and the push towards Graphics for marketing in 1988 to the first use of actual 3D graphics in the fifth generation of console such as the Sony PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn and the various graphics and rasterization techniques used as well as the Nintendo 64s famous use of Bilinear Filtering (As well as explaining what it is, how it works and why it was used) to the PlayStation 1’s use of FMV’s to help enhance games and their worlds such as Final Fantasy and more. This would go through the various other generations explaining the different technologies, tri amounts in models, going through the landmarks in gaming to now how sprites such as those from classic videogames are popular again thanks to the scene of indie gaming and how they’ve changed the landscape, then to look at technologies such as Raytracing and DLSS to show how they help enhance and evolve videogames to a point where they almost mirror the quality of CGI movies. Two examples will be Kingdom Hearts 3 Which re-creates the bedroom from toy story 1 in sometimes worse but mostly better quality in real time (Instead of rendered for days on end) and why this is impressive, to the cinematic realism of Spider-Man on the PlayStation 4, the Use of depth of field, filmmaking techniques and Actor Motion/Face capture to provide realistic facial capture.

Finishing up:

In conclusion, I wish to look at the evolution of graphics in videogames as I feel like I have extensive knowledge in the area and have a strong passion in the topic, building my own workstation for video editing as well as playing and capturing videogames at a crisp 4k, which will make capturing my own footage easier. I’d also love to see if I can get an interview with someone who’s worked on a 3D videogame and the tasks and hardships which had to be overcome to get the various graphics to run on the targeted hardware and how they managed to produce their vision while working with a team or individually. This wouldn’t be mandatory though as most of the documentary would aim to be factual and explanations, made from a combination of research as well as opinions and thoughts on where graphics will go in the future thanks to improvements in technology.

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