Concept Session 6: Final Product

After creating a first and second version for the product of this graduation project, a final version was created.

This is a polished version of the second one. A bit of color grading has been done and the sound has been improved. The tripod removal has been polished, when looking directly down it looks the same throughout the whole video.

To get the full experience, it is recommended to watch this with a VR headset if possible.

Socrates Kakoulides gave feedback on this final product. It has potential, the conversation feels real but there is still room for improvement. Other perspectives would be a good addition. Unfortenatly, not all the feedback was received in time from the desired professionals to apply to the final version. When received this will be taken into the conclusion, discussion and the recommendations.

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Concept Session 5: Product version 2

The unfortunate thing about 360-degree video is that it is hard to edit a new version of the video, often it needs to be filmed again. This has been done for the second version, based on the previous version and the feedback that was received. The video still needs some fine tuning. Things like the opening title, color grading, sound and other small parts need to be fixed. But the core of the video is done and can be tested.

Content wise the video is pretty much the same, since there was little problem with that part. However, the video has been made significantly shorter and a lot more of the actions are happening faster and flow more into each other.

Like mentioned above, the concept of the video is pretty much the same as the previous version. The idea is to allow the policymakers to look into a situation where several policies are active regarding prevention of the NCDs.

Feedback

This version has been shown to several people of different ages. From students with different disciplines to middle aged people were asked to say what they thought of the 360-degree video. The feedback comes from people who are not familiar with the NCD program or the WHO conference and have little to no experience with 360-degree video. The reason that their feedback was asked is because the target group cannot be approached directly, however, this can be used as an indication if the video can hold a viewers attention.

Those who have seen the first version said that it is significantly better in terms of duration and clarity. When asked what they thought was strong about the video, one of the students said: “The way the acting is done feels very natural and therefore trustworthy, this makes it enjoyable to watch as audience. I especially like that you and your roommate are doing a basic routine and always are doing something, for example playing darts. Furthermore the use of the 360 space is well used as you move around which keeps the viewer actively searching for information, but as you mentioned it is hard to embrace and be fully emerged without a VR headset.”

With that being said, some reflected that they find it to still a bit too long and that it could not hold their attention. The light from the little window was to bright and made the persons in the video to dark. The policies on smoking in the Netherlands were not being understood and did not understand the phone call with the doctor. Also they found that the cigarette packages were shown to fast. One of them stated that he did not see the use for it being the 360-degree video.

When asked what could be improved someone stated the following: “I think that in the dialogue and the transferring of the message could be some improvement, as sometimes I got lost in the casualness of the conversation and therefore missing the serious tone of the cause. This could possibly be solved by adding short pauses or putting a little more emphasis on important factors.” 

“What I think is missing is a clear conclusion in the end, maybe some kind of resolution with Jasper or a strong message given to the audience. Next to that I think that a different environment could add a little bit more to the concept, due to this convention being international and a Dutch student house might not be recognizable for all visitors. Subtitles could also be a good addition to make it a bit more understandable.”, told an graduating Art & Technology student.

The most prominent thing that was taken out of the feedback that was received, is that it is missing some clarity, especially near the end. Sadly, reshooting is not an option due the limitation of time. However, with these things in mind a final version will be made that is more polished. All the things that can’t be improved will be taken into account for the recommendations.

 

Concept Session 4: Product version 1

Based on the second script and the feedback I received from a skype conversation with Socrates a first version of the final product has been made.

To keep the experience of the video real and authentic, the interaction with the roommate is unscripted. The structure and the topic was communicated beforehand, but not written out. This came up in the conversation with Socrates. Removing the tripod out of the video was also managed. This was simply done with Adobe Photoshop, where a layer was created to put over the part where the tripod is.

To get the full experience, it is recommended to watch this with a VR headset if possible.

After some back and forth e-mailing with Claudia Tellegen, we came to the same conclusion: This video is a pretty good start for a first version, but looking at the first version, there are some things that should be changed.

First of all, the video is very long and almost a bit tedious, the next one should be shorter. The introduction, conversation with the roommate, phone call, basically everything, should be shorter.  A lot of the topics and actions are happening in a way so that first one things happens, it finishes and then the next one happens. It would feel less static if there is more of a flow in the things that happen in the video. Another thing that should be pointed out is that the introduction of the video and the rest of the video don’t match. These were taken from different times of the shoot. You can see a different coffee mug for example.

All of the things above will be taken into account when creating the second version of the video.

 

Concept Session 3: Second script

For the second script I took the advice and idea from the last Concept Session blog post. This version is a personal story about some one who is waiting for a phone call from his doctor. The story is based on true events of my life. It keeps the personal aspect of a vlog, but instead of showing a whole day, it tells the story of a single moment of the day.

The three C’s for this story are:

  • Concept – Student home
  • Character – A student named Niek
  • Conflict – Phone call from the doctor

Instead of having multiple location throughout the video, one location has been chosen. The kitchen of a student house is where the story takes place. One location allows the viewer to have a good orientation of where the story is happening. The location is contributing to the story and makes the interaction in the video more natural. When having multiple locations in a 360-degree experience the viewer needs to orientate after every transition.

Read the second script here.

In this script the topic of medical treatment is the main conflict. However, several other themes come to light as well. Smoking, healthy food and exercise are all part of the everyday life in the Netherlands, they are treated that way in the script. Smoking especially plays an active role in student life, in health and socially. The story and interaction in the script is kept as natural as possible. The viewer is a visitor in the story and acknowledged by the people in the script. The idea behind this script is to invite the viewer to see what life is like in the Netherlands. This way it is more casually explained how medical treatment, healthy food and smoking for example are in the west. Perhaps this could show the policymaker what life could be if people are more aware of the NCDs and how to prevent them.

Compared to the first script, this script already is a lot more natural and less ‘on the nose’. I might be somewhat concerned if the message comes across to the viewer, maybe it is to casual. Some tweaks, additions and alterations will probably happen towards and during the shooting day.

Concept Session 2: The three C’s

The first version of the script I wrote for the 360-degree video is not quite what it needs to be. It is very on the nose and does not have an interesting story to follow. This is something that needs to be worked on.

During a consultation with Claudia Tellegen she mentioned that a story needs three things to revolve around, sometimes they are referred to as the three C’s . The first one is the concept, or the arena. This is the place where the story takes place. This can be a location or a social environment for example. The second is the character, who is the story about. This can be a single person or perhaps a group. Last but not least, the conflict. This is the part what motivates the story, something that needs to be resolved. Conflict can take many forms, sometimes it is an emotional or physical obstacle or an argument between two persons for example. With these three points in mind, a story can be formed.

In a meeting with my graduation coach Claudia Tellegen, we came to a conclusion that one conflict should drive the story. What I wrote in the first draft for the video does not contain a common threat in the story. It feels to much as several examples of a healthy lifestyle put after each other. Therefore one conflict has to be chosen that will be the center of the story. Around this conflict other subjects can be adressed as well, but will not serve as the main plot.

The main reason to choose a vlogging style in this video is that vlogs are personal stories. To keep the video as personal and intimate as possible, I chose to use one location and one scene, instead of showing a whole day as usually done in vlogs. This also helps practically and financially, since there is no budget for this project.

That brings me to the final point of this concept phase. The idea of the video in general is to show what life could be if policymakers work together to create a healthier social environment. And since the budget is limited, me and my graduation coach had the idea to use me as the character. Since I am a young adult who is living in the west I can be considered to be a suitable character to tell the story. I am not shy in front of a camera and it would be practical when looking at the budget and other resources I have. The conflict would be something that I actually experienced and I can talk about. The viewer would be a visitor in my personal space and see what it looks like how life is for someone who has the opportunity to make conscious decisions to live a healthy lifestyle. This includes diet, medical treatment and the use of alcohol and tobacco.

With all these points in mind a second draft for a script for the final 360-degree video will be written. The script will include the previously mentioned three C’s to have more of a common threat throughout the story.

Concept Session 1: First Draft

The goal of the 360-degree video for this project is to show the policymakers (ministers, diplomats, basically the people who are responsible for making policies) the inequality of opportunity regarding the life expectancy of the NCDs. This message will be told via a 360-degree video. I mentioned in an earlier blog post what should be in the video. Based on this I started with a first draft for a possible story.

During a conversation with Claudia Tellegen, graduation teacher of this project, possible ways to approach this video came up. One way that might be interesting is to make the video in a ‘vlog’-style. A vlog is a video blog. The idea of a vlog is to regularly post videos about that are about you. Usually these vlogs are shared on social media, such as YouTube. Vlogs are very personal and the one who makes them usually talks directly to the viewer. This has not yet really been done in 360-degree videos. Therefore it would be interesting to take that approach for this project.

The general idea of NCDs and how to prevent the risk of them was as inspiration for the story. Combined with the idea of the personal aspect of the vlog the first, very basic, draft of how a video like that would go was written.

Read the very first draft by clicking on here.

In this draft, the message is told quite directly to the viewer, which I do like. However, I feel that this version is very ‘on the nose’. Also the 360-degree should have more value. I should start testing with the equipment that is available to me and how I can use that. This needs to be worked on for the next version.