Spark Workshop Preparation 1#

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Spark website workshop brief.
Duration: 2 hours (2.30-4.30pm)

Making do: A workshop on making a K-film
In this workshop students will make a documentary using the computer program Korsakow. People attending the workshop will learn how to create a K-film, an interactive form of documentary that is published on the Web. Participants will record a number of informal video sketches on a variation of devices: mobile, tablet, camcorders, point-in-shoot and digital stills camera. These video sketches will be linked together into a multitude of relations in Korsakow.

What do I need to do in advance?
You will need to record 12 short-duration video clips. They can be single shots or edited sequences. The duration must not exceed 90 seconds.

What do I record?
The theme for all the k-films in the workshop is an interpretation of the ‘everyday’. Your video clips will reflect your own personal interpretation of the everyday.

In The Everyday (Johnstone 2008) which brings together writing on the this topic in contemporary art, artists look for ways to make what often goes unnoticed, visible. Artists through varying interpretations of the everyday, following different motivations, draw attention to the ‘trivial and repetitive actions compromising the common ground of daily life’⁠. (Johnstone 2008, p. 12)

Reference: Johnstone, S 2008, The everyday, Documents of contemporary art, Whitechapel; MIT Press, London Cambridge, Mass.

Tip – Do not try to plan your k-film in advance. Just record and work on making connections between your video clips later on in korsakow.

What do I record with?
Whatever device you like – mobile, tablet, camcorders, point-in-shoot and digital stills camera etc – note your endpoint is the H264 codec so try to avoid compressing up to a higher quality codec, unless you are after a certain type of effect.

What type of files do I need to have ready for the workshop?

1. All your video clips should be ready to go before you get to the workshop. This means in the first instance edited and exported at the original compression setting you recorded them at and saved to a folder (‘My Name original videos’) – bring this folder with you in case you have any issues with the next steps…

2. The Korsakow authoring and publishing tool that you will be using needs video files that are compressed with the H.264/MPEG-4 codec Export these compressed files into a separate folder – (‘My Name k-film videos’)

What frame size and data rate should I aim for?
For example, you will see in the tips and tricks compression guide they are reducing the frame size down to 720 x 405 and 512 x 288 with a limited data rate of 700 kbps. The idea generally is to reduce the file size of your video clip for FLV conversion in Korsakow and streaming.

What about compressing the audio?
Yes, aim for the ACC codec for the audio compression.

What do I bring to the workshop?
We have a mac lab with computers or you can bring your own laptop
Download Korsakow in advance and install on your own computer.
Your recording device if you can and your prepared video clips.

Resources
(download Korsakow)
the korsakow manual
Korsakow tips and tricks on preparing media assets, including compression specs…
Showcase examples of k-films

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