161MC: Critical Reflection (Resit Task 4)

There is a fine line between ‘Criticising’ and ‘Critiquing’; To criticise means to negatively find a fault in a piece of work; it questions the artist more than the artwork itself. Elbert Hubbard once said “there is only one way to avoid criticism; do nothing, say nothing and be nothing.”  To critique means to review the structure and find what needs to be changed; it questions what can be done to improve? Wiz Khalifa once said “I critique myself way harder than anyone else ever could.”

As a Media Practitioner, it is paramount that I should be able to critique my own work in order to progress. However to progress, to even make a trace of existence in this competitive industry I must evaluate the work of professionals; after all it is them that are being paid to film Taron Egerton, not a first year Media Production Student.

For the duration of 161MC: Creating Impact in Media Production module, I was able to find out what separates those professionals from me, an amateur. Aside from my minimal experience in the field, I am not exactly knowledgeable when it comes to creating an impact – or at least I wasn’t before beginning this module.

To further assess my professional development and progression I am going to give you a week-by-week overview.

Week one was the study of how we are portrayed online, essentially it questions ‘how are we presented to our online audience?’ I began to think about the accounts that I had; there was my profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However those sites didn’t see me as a ‘professional’ as such; they saw me as Jess from a small town in Northern Ireland, studying at Coventry University. As for WordPress, I am one of three people; a Poet, a Travel/Fitness fanatic or a Media student. To me none of my online accounts screamed ‘professional’, they were all very informal and personal.

It was time I reinvented my online persona, but in order to do that I needed to know what ‘my brand’ was. As MTV’s Catfish shows us, in the online world, we can choose to be who we want to be, it also tells us that we should be ourselves – because we’ll get caught out if we lie.

Figuring out my brand was an easier process that I assumed it would be; I knew I wanted to be creative and arty. Reflecting my brand online was the hard part. I created a TV Ident (sting) over the Christmas holidays to see if that would spark some inspiration on my image. I came up with the name ‘Creative Ink. Productions’ which suggested the creativity part and that I like to write, which is exactly the person who I want to be seen as. The next step was to take over Twitter, instead of being just your average Irish I am now ‘A Student #Production Company based in UK. #AVGeek & Photo-Journ. In the process of development with interest in the Rom-Com & Documentary genre.’ (@CreativeInkPro, 2014.) Eventually my sting lead me to creating a logo for my production company, it gave my image a more official look and meant I could use it to further my social media appearance.


Presently in the media industry it is getting increasingly difficult to get noticed by anyone, let alone making a impact. In the film PressPausePlay a music artist called Moby mentioned “-so if you give a human a hammer and a piece of wood, they are going to make something interesting. Now everybody is a photographer, everybody’s a filmmaker”(Dworsky and Köhler, 2011.) if that is true, I was left to think, what was the point in competing with a position that has already been filled? However, if I want to make an impact, beginning with developing my brand and starting now was the first step.


The second week turned us into “eco-friendly” students and required us to recycle material and remix it into a new narrative. I choose to make an experimental piece by remixing four clips of footage created in the 160MC module and by using ‘Definitely, Maybe’ as the core of a new film trailer. I fitted both sets of footage with clips from the likes of Friends, Catfish and BBC NI’s documentary series The Estate.


This was a task I found to be quite challenging because it was my first time independently editing anything on Premiere Pro. Overall with this task, despite many redrafts I was very pleased with the feedback and the way it turned out. In the end, a piece I now see as a learning curve, proved to be seen as a comedic piece also, by my peers. Showing my work to the rest of the class, equipped me in being open to critiques and also compliments.


Steven Spielberg said “people have forgotten how to tell a story; stories don’t have a middle or an end anymore. Stories have a beginning that never stops beginning”, its a quote that brought me out of comfort zone and to the next process in my development.


During week three we discussed distribution packs for films which included a film’s synopsis, cast, crew, budget, location and equipment. I found this task the hardest out of all because we had to present our idea to our a group of people in class. My short film ‘What Happened to Alice?’ was something I pitched before to a TV Producer last year, who did not take a liking to the idea, or a liking to my pitch. This rejection has always left a negative impact in my mind and left me question my ability in pitching.


It was essential for me that this time round, I was more clear of the concept of my idea. Despite having had the experience of helping to compile a production pack for my final college project – a short film entitled ‘Betrayal’, this was an individual task which took a lot of extensive researching. It was another task I struggled with as I was unsure on the budget aspect.


Week four was my favourite week overall. The task required us to use only ‘web 2.0’ tools to retell a classic story into a social and digital perspective. Basically to introduce a classical narrative into the world of ‘New Media’, which I found very interesting because new media is an ongoing development, “new media will always reflect the date on which the list is generated” (Burgees, E. Bruns, A. A Companion to New Media Dynamics.)


I had a lot of fun with this task as my chosen story Alice in Wonderland is a story that never gets tires. Although to some extent I did feel like these types of literature should be left untouched and should be told in their original forms. Putting something as timeless as Lewis Carroll’s Alice into the ‘New Media’ world felt like I was spoiling it, “spoiling emerged from the mismatch temporaries and geographies of old and new media.” (Jenkins, H. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide.)


During the week’s lecture I learnt a very valuable and transferable skill of storytelling, “for a story to occur, something extraordinary must happen to so upset the balance of a chosen character’s life that he is then impelled top pursue a goal generated by the change in his life.” (Moritz, C, Scriptwriting for the Screen.)


As an avid writer it reassured me that I had mastered the skill of telling a story through Tzvetan Todorvo’s theory. Using screen recording to tell the story was fun, I previously used this technique in an Apple Advert I made and loved doing it. Admittedly this task came with another learning curve on the editing; it was the first time I learnt how to crop footage on Premiere Pro.


During week five we learnt about Collective Storytelling, this is  where I felt slightly pressured into coming up with an idea during the lecture. I came into question that since I couldn’t verbally say a story on the spot meant I wasn’t really a storyteller so immediately I didn’t feel positive about this task. I understood that this task really linked in with week four as both required telling a story.


For this task, in pairs, we experimented by using two Ping Pong balls to tell the ‘greatest story ever told’. It was something I enjoyed creating however it restricted me to a skill I don’t have; drawing. I love Stop Motion animation and I felt Vine was a great outlet to express that interest in because it made Ping and Pong’s story simple to create.


Week six brought us to our final task learning about interactive documentaries or ‘i-docs’, which I experimented with Mozilla Popcorn and created a Top Five list that featured my favourite Ulster/Irish rugby players. I learnt about how interactivity was an effective way to include an audience to information, rather than just show them.


During the lecture we got to interact with a Google Chrome documentary called the Wilderness Downtown which I felt was very well put together. The aim of this task linked well with task two as Mozilla Popcorn Maker’s aim is to remix old material to spark new ideas and creations. It does “allow people to create amazing content while peeking under the hood of the internet, getting familiar with all the moving parts and getting their hands dirty” (Mozilla Webmaker.)


Aesthetically I thought the delivery of each task was very effective. By doing a new task a week I learnt more about the individual elements used to Create Impact in Media Production. Now I am more encouraged to think that I can actually make an impact in this industry. It just may take a while until we find out if that impact will be a positive one.




Arsenec, P. (2013). Critiquing versus Criticism [online] – Available from http://www.godlywriters.com/critiquing-versus-criticism/


Quote Investigator (2015). To Avoid Criticism, Say Nothing, Do Nothing, Be Nothing. [online] – Available from http://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/01/09/say-nothing/


Brainy Quote. Nd. Wiz Khalifa Quotes [online] – Available from http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/wizkhalifa492016.html


Twitter (2014) Creative Ink. Production’s Profile  [online] – Available from http://www.twitter.com/CreativeInkPro


Dworsky, D and Köhler, V. (2011.) PressPausePlay [online] – Available from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rvlaTg3vPg


Moritz, C. Nd. Scriptwriting for the Screen. Available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scriptwriting-Screen-Skills-Charlie-Moritz/dp/0415465176/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393844046&sr=8-1&keywords=screenwriting+for+the+screen+moritz


Burgees, E. Bruns, A. (2013). A Companion to New Media Dynamics – Available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Companion-New-Media-Dynamics/dp/1444332244


Jenkins, H. (2008.) Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide – Available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Convergence-Culture-Where-Media-Collide/dp/0814742955


161MC: Web 2.0 ‘Social Media is a Wonderland’ (Resit Task 3)

This task is to retell a classic story – from myth or fairytale – in a modernised way through the uses of ‘Web 2.0’; such as using Social Media platforms.

I had to question, if these ‘Classic’ stories where to be written nowadays would they be different, would the characters have different goals or outlook on life? In the story of Alice in Wonderland, a classic novel written by Lewis Carroll, we read that “Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister at the bank; and of having nothing to do. Once or twice, she had peeped into the book that her sister was reading.” At present we have a lot more things to keep us occupied, to prevent us from being bored. The character ‘Alice’ was bored and only considered getting up to make a daisy chain, but to further question, how many children do we see making ‘daisy chains’ these days?

We see more children on iPhones and Tablets than we do making flowers into necklaces.

With that in mind, would the author Lewis Carroll have considered having Alice’s sister scrolling through a phone, rather a book? Or would he had given Alice more of a reason to be daydreaming?

I choose to retell the story of Alice in Wonderland because it is my favourite book to film adaptations. It has been done plenty of times but each movie version has its different twist. For example an early version (‘Alice’, 1988) by Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer only uses one Actress (Kristýna Kohoutová) and the rest of the film is told through stop motion animation. This has to be one of the more creative versions, simply because of the imagination gone into the characters’ persona. The White Rabbit in particular is a key and very well thought of character as it eats sawdust and keeps the famous ‘pocket watch’ inside its stomach.

“For a story to occur, something extraordinary must happen to so upset the balance of a chosen character’s life that he is then impelled top pursue a goal generated by the change in his life.” (Moritz, C, Scriptwriting for the Screen.)

The easiest way for me to summarise this book for my own adaptation is to re-read the story and then dilute it by placing it into categories based on Tzvetan Todorvo’s theory:

  • Equilibrium (the story is balanced): A young girl called Alice lyes by a riverbank, reading over her  ister’s shoulder. She gets bored at the lack of imagery in the book and imagines her own story based in a place called ‘Wonderland’ where The White Rabbit (who is running late for a Tea party) leads her to and she meets all these different and wacky characters. 
  • Disruption: Alice comes across small doors which requires her to shrink and large oceans which requires her to grow. 
  • Disequilibrium (obstacles make it a struggle to get the balance back): Alice gets scared, misses home and it seems impossible to get out of Wonderland so she begins to cry.  
  • Resolution (the story is resolved): Alice opens her eyes and is back to reality, sitting on the bank with her sister. 
  • New Equilibrium (a new goal):  Alice learns from Wonderland to appreciate her childhood and her new goal questions “how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland”

Alice in Wonderland follows a basic narrative structure of Voyage and Return as explained by Christopher Booker. Alice gets tired of sitting on the river bank and bored that her sister’s book doesn’t have pictures in it so she imagines her own story leading her into Wonderland, by the end of the book she opens her eyes and returns to reality. However I also think this story fits into The Quest as Alice is in search for an interesting story, she is in search for something visual, the opposite to her sister’s book.

I absolutely adore the moral of this story because it shows you how strong a child’s imagination can be. In present tense we live in a world where media is everywhere and children are too strongly influenced by that, so their own imagination has somewhat been lost or taken from someone else’s imagination.

The following video is the finished product, despite learning some new things on Premiere Pro like how to crop the footage, I think this is a very rough cut of showing Alice in Wonderland from a digital and social perspective. Yes, it does show the basic idea but if I was to do it again, I would have added other characters like the Cheshire Cat and the twins and put more emphasis on The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Social Media used within this:

  • Google – to search for Lewis Carroll’s birthplace and a Wonderland GIF.
  • Facebook – to show Alice’s and The White Rabbit’s updates.
  • Pinterest – to pin photos on a board and to search for Wonderland.
  • Twitter – to follow The White Rabbit.
  • Instagram – for the final image of Alice and The Mad Hatter.
  • Polyvore – to make an invitation to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
  • YouTube – to search and feature videos.

‘Alice’ (The Poem inspired by this task) 

They say I remind them of a girl called Alice, I’ve got my head in the clouds, living in a palace.

My best friend is The White Rabbit, Visiting Wonderland is quite the habit.

Somedays I smile like a Cheshire Cat, Other days, I am nothing like that.

I’m not from a posh English city, But I do come from a place so pretty.

I admit being here, I have gotten so much fatter. But, at least I’m wrapped up with the Mad Hatter.


  • Carroll, L (1996) The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland Available from http://www.literature.org/authors/carroll-lewis/alices-adventures-in-wonderland/index.html.
  • Rutherford, L (2011) Digital Nativity Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRlySwekb4U.
  • Moritz, C (2008) Scriptwriting for the Screen Available from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scriptwriting-Screen-Skills-Charlie-Moritz/dp/0415465176

161MC: The Brand (Resit Task 1)

Branding yourself online is probably one of the most important things a person – in particular – a media practitioner can do for themselves. Even before a candidate gets short listed for a job, the company have likely looked them up on social media to see ‘who they really are.’ It has been known for individuals to get fired or terminated from their jobs for inappropriate Tweets.

If a person wants to be seen as a professional, it is paramount that they come across professional in all aspects of their lives. Not only will branding yourself in an professional manner look good for future employers, but it will look good to future readers/clients and ultimately the rest of the world.

I recently re-watched a documentary by David Dworsky and Victor Köhler called Press Pause Play – a video about the past, present and future of the media industry – and I had some questions:

  • How can I create an impact in this industry?
  • Will this impact be a positive thing in this industry?

I don’t know how to answer those questions because I feel the competition is too tough for me to know what will make an impact or to know if that impact will be a positive thing; Music Journalist Brenda Walker says in the documentary “There is no cap on creativity”.

Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur says “I don’t think a young Hitchcock – they wouldn’t make it in this business. Slap up their early stuff on Facebook, YouTube, it would get lost. It would get lost in the ocean of garbage.” This is why it is essential, that if we as amateurs want to make a change, we have to start now; with how we come across on social media.

Who am I; What is my ‘Brand?’

For two years at College my Media production company was “Pen and Paper Productions”, I loved it because it reflected Creativity and my ideas for Media products always began by using Pen and Paper for brainstorming ideas. At this time my Online Brand was always full of ‘#Writer’ on Twitter and edited images on Flickr, but on platforms such as WordPress and Instagram I was always quite open about my personal life, in particular my struggles. Which I’ve learnt can’t always be a good thing,it is completely not professional of me to rant about work on a public blog or to Tweet about going through panic attacks alone.

To some degree I still am open about my personal life; only I try to shed light on my struggles, to show them in a positive way, because I feel it is important to be genuine.

I left College, started University and came up with Creative Ink. Productions. The name allowed me to show my Creative side and love for Writing. My logo (as seen in the Header of this blog) has a simplistic and classic design because I think its important not to clutter or over complicate my image.


Creative Ink. Productions Logo

An example of how I have re-branded myself online:

Old webpage

Online portfolio: BEFORE

New site

Online Portfolio: AFTER

  • Like‘ Creative Ink. Productions on Facebook
  • Follow Creative Ink. Productions on Twitter

161MC: The Remix (Resit Task 2)

To ‘Remix’ means to re-edit content to show a coexisting story into something new. In the Music Industry, when a song is remixed it means changing the rhythm, the sound of the music; sometimes this can mean adding beats to make a Pop song into a Dance song or it can mean collaborating an existing piece of music with a new piece of music to tell a different story.

Phoebe Ryan recently put together two current musical stories; R Kelly’s Ignition and Miguel’s Do You to create a brand new story…

Remixing already created content is common in not just the music but the film industry as well. For example there are dozens of films with the same/similar stories. Although it caused quite controversy and is a very popular piece of media; 50 Shades of Grey was not a new story, it is essentially Twilight, only remixed for Adults. In short it does have the basic ‘boy meets girl’ but there are obstacles storyline like every other Romantic Comedy out there.

Seeing two already made storylines together can completely change the way we previously saw the two stories as individuals. This is exactly what I was set to do for our 161MC Creating Impact in Media Production: The Remix task, to remix at least three stories already finished as part of our 160MC Module and to mash/re-edit/remix them together into telling a new story.

For this tasked I wanted to use my favourite film – Definitely, Maybe – as the basic narrative of the video. I combined that with four pieces of media that was produced in 160MC alongside clips from BBC Three’s Sun, Sex and Suspicious parents, NBC’s Friends, Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, MTV’s Catfish, BBC NI’s The Estate,  the movie Taxi and Channel 4’s Misfits. It was an experiential piece that I’ve since learnt a lot from. All of the above clips featured in the video are made up from various genres but are able to create an understandable, somewhat comedic new piece of media.

This video is also uploaded on Vimeo.


Dictionary. Nd. [online] Available from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/remix

Kelly, R. Ignition 2003 [online] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38IFEj5IzJM

Miguel. Do You…2012 [online] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-BW2gKnVz8

Ryan, P. Ignition / Do You… (R. Kelly / Miguel Cover) [online] 2015 Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOMWNgejuPc

Goodreads The many shades of similarities between Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight 2012 [online] Available from http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/939720-the-many-shades-of-similarities-between-twilight-and-fifty-shades-of

A Case Of You (2013) Review

When I seen this film was directed by Kat Coiro I had high hopes for this film and I knew it would be quaint. If you haven’t heard of Kat before, she was introduced to me through her Short film Departure Date – a somewhat promotional video for Virgin Airlines. Departure Date, I really, really enjoyed the quirky storyline but A Case of You takes that to a whole new level.

The story is about this struggling writer Sam who is trying to come out of the writing a book based on a film thing by writing his own novel based on his love interest in the Barista Birdie. He goes onto cyber stalking her – relate-able, there is no denying that we all do this – he finds out all of her likes, favourite books, music, hobbies and turns himself into her ‘ideal man’ but can he keep this act up? From an emotional standpoint it has a very Catfish type of storyline, which nowadays is a familiar topic.

Sam is living his life to impress this girl whilst simultaneously struggling to write this book. So the only logical thing to do is to base the book on his ‘fake life’. He writes as a third person, taking note of the things they do together. The idea of changing for someone and writing about it seems a little bit bittersweet. I think the overall narrative is very strong, which makes it work.

So its romantic, however when introduced to Sam’s flatmate I laughed so much. To kept it short, this film is ‘A bittersweet modern day tale of life and love.’

I love the way that through Sams’ writing, the publishers tell him what he needs to do to fix his relationship with Birdie.

Of course, the main reason I watched this film was because Sam is actually acted by the gorgeous Justin Long!

Lets just take a moment to notice how pretty this boy is!

Endless Love, 2014 (Review)

This film offers everything you would expect of a film in the Romance genre. It has the hot leading male (Alex Pettyfer) and the shy pretty girl (Gabriella Wilde). Ten minutes in and I have already laughed, smiled and said ‘awh cute’ about five times. The storyline is the common boy meets girl but the way it is told is something so refreshing.

Jade is this quiet, intelligent girl who worked hard to get into Brown University. David appears to be the tough type who messes around. However instead of the story beginning with this is the girl’s life/guys life it actually begins as him telling the story and how he really likes the girl.

She drops her yearbook, he picks it up. She plucks up the courage and utters a few words to him ‘can you sign this?’  and the two characters have finally spoken face-to-face. After leaving David to his valet job, his friend Mace (Dayo Okeniyi) begins to tease him about Jade in true bromance style.

As this film progresses it mixes comedy with the romance. Once I saw the trailer, I thought it will be a heartbreaker but the bromance between Pettyfer and Okeniyi is hilarious and a brilliant way to separate this film from say Safe Haven, The Notebook…well basically the whole Nicholas Sparks stuff.

I am quite surprised that this has only scored a 6.2/10 on imdb, its got everything you require from a rom-com, what more could you ask for? There literally is nothing more you need from this movie.

Oh and …