I’ve received feedback from my tutor on assignment 4 and based on the comments there is a need to firstly, address the poor sound quality and secondly reconsider the narrative flow.
The tutors report is below:
This is the final revised version of the assignment based on the tutor comments:
The feedback from the tutor was at first difficult to manage as for all my other assignments I had received very positive feedback. When I first read the comments about the sound quality, I was a bit surprised at how strong they were because although I was aware of the problem, I had not found the quality to be ‘way below the standard for clear comprehension.’ I have every confidence in my tutor comments and he has always provided sound advice, so I was a bit confused. I replayed the assignment a number of time on my PC and still didn’t find the sound quality to be that bad. I decided to play the same assignment on an iMac and through speakers – and that was when I realized why the comments had been so strong – the sound was appalling. I then tried playing the assignment with different players and computers and the sound quality varied significantly. Nonetheless, I’ve had a very direct experience now of the point that where an audience may be tolerant of the occasional over-exposed and jittery image, they are not very forgiving of bad sound.
The main problem I faced was that I could not redo the interview with the farmer – it was a one-off opportunity during filming and it had to be done in the fields. The farmer had effectively stopped his tractor in the fields, got out, done the interview and climbed back into his tractor to carry on working. So I decided to redo the sound by narrating the entire documentary myself based on the interview and discussions that I had had with the farmer, which was one of the suggested solutions that my tutor had proposed.
The second comment was concerned with the narrative flow of the documentary. I have revised the structure of the assignment so that the flow is now linear. To avoid confusion in the story, I have also replaced some of the footage that had a couple of children in it and removed the footage of the interview with the farmer. I believe the end result is more compact and logical.
NOTE: The original video and accompanying notes are in the entry “Assignment 4”.