Case Study — online video practice research task

The following is part of our case study on Aaron Groc’s online video practice — in particular his video located below:


Online video— Elizabeth Maidment


Why have you chosen this online video work? What influenced your decision?

We chose the video “stitch up at work today” by Aaron Gocs because of the popularity of shorter youtube videos in today’s society. We also thought it would be quite a relatable topic as the individual speaks about everyday life in a short timeframe, making it an easy watch. We also thought Aaron’s humour was quite satirical.

What is the subject?

The subject of the video “stitch up at work” is Aaron talking about his everyday life in the workplace. This subject can be relatable for all individuals but it particularly targets the working class.

What type of material is used? (i.e. archive, found footage, live action, interview…)

The video, as well as his channel as a whole is shot with live action, usually Aaron talking to the camera about topics of interest to him.

What do you think the video was recorded with? (DSLR, smartphone, webcam…etc)

I think the video was recorded with a webcam, due to the shaky-ness and low editing quality.

What is the point–of–view? (i.e. the position of the camera, framing, focus, sharpness, light, exposure, colour, motion…) How are these techniques used to communicate a particular perspective or point–of–view?

The POV for the video is front facing positioning. The framing is quite central, with low lighting and even sharpness of a normal recording of a webcam.

These techniques add to the relatability and realness of Aaron’s videos because they are shot on a webcam, the realness (and the fact that it has limited, if no post production) of his context which he is presenting. This style of shooting also emphasises the humour in his storytelling, thus, making the video entertaining to watch.

What type of sound is used? (i.e. music, atmospheric, voice-over, narration…). How is the sound used in regards to the effect created for the viewer?

The audio used is computer generated, probably from the microphone from the laptop. This, again, adds to the feel of the video — complementing the fact he is talking about everyday life. I feel as if this was recorded with high quality audio, it would take away from the authenticity of the piece.

How important is post-production in the realisation of the work?

Because the video has been recorded on a web-cam, the post-production of this work would be little to none. I feel as if this video had been highly edited, it would take away some level of the satirical comedy aspect that it presents. Thus, making post-production obsolete in a video such a this one.

In relation to the narrative of the online video — what is the approach stylistically? For instance, is it abstract? Is the work held together with a voice-over/narration track? Does it consist of one shot that is unedited? Is the work nonfiction or fiction? Does the work use a repetitive cut-up technique?

This video by Aaron is straightforward and presented in a humoristic sense. The video is held together by his narrative regarding the workplace and the repetitive nature of the work with his dry sense of humour. It consists of one unedited single shot.


Affordance (reading) — Yasmin

What field of study is the affordance reading situated in?

Psychology and design community especially graphical and industrial design

Who originally conceived of the term ‘affordance’, in which field of study?

Perceptual psychologist J. J. Gibson (1977, 1979) first invented the word “affordance” referring to actionable properties between the world and an actor that exists naturally without having to be visible, known or desirable.

Describe what ‘affordance’ refers to conceptually in this context?

In this text by Donald Norman, he analysed the term “affordance” in designing physical products such as the computer. He argued that physical products can be both real and perceived affordances and made distinctions of the two. For instance, the designer of graphical, screen-based interfaces can only control perceived affordances as computer system already comes with built-in physical affordances — the keyboard, screen, mouse buttons etc. affords pointing, touching, looking and clicking on every pixel of the screen. Affordances allow a range of possible activities or actions but not very useful if they are not visible to the users.

What is a ‘constraint’ within the context of the affordance reading?

The constraints being recognised in this text include physical, logical and cultural constraints.

Physical constraint limits some actions and it can’t be ignored. E.g. it is impossible to move the cursor outside the screen.

Logical and cultural constraints on the other hand can be violated or ignored but they are valuable in guiding behaviour.

A convention is a cultural constraint that has improved over time. It prohibits some activities and encourages others.

Service (Facebook)— Michael

Provide an overview of this service in relation to what it affords authors to do with online video?
Facebook affords an author to publish and distribute video content to a wide audience of fans where it is hosted for an unlimited time. It also allow viewers to interact and respond to the author with likes and comments. The service then allows viewers to share the video content which distributes the content to more people and is a goal of many authors on this platform. Facebook also affords an author to look at certain statistic about their video such as views and reach.

Are the videos shared natively on this service or hosted elsewhere? Or is it capable of offering both options?
Though it is capable of offering both options, the best results come from hosting the video natively and this is what Aaron Grocs does.

Describe the playback of videos on the service.
Videos vary in length (though are commonly short — no more than a minute or two) and Facebook usually autoplays each video in the news feed with the sound muted. This is particularly so when using Facebook on the mobile platform where clicking into fullscreen a video usually also enables sound.

Is there a restriction on duration?
There are no restrictions on duration however research has shown that shorter videos work best. Most of Aaron’s videos are no more than a minute. The particular video in question is just over 90 seconds.

What are the constraints imposed by the service on the publication of video?
The only real constraint of Facebook as a video platform is the way it mutes videos by default. To combat this authors often have subtitles on the video so you can understand what the video is about without hearing it. Aaron Grocs does not utilise this technique however.

Describe the functionality of the service in regards to authoring and distribution? For instance, do the videos have to be authored in another application beforehand? With distribution — is there an option to share internally and externally? Can the users add comments? Can the producers add tags?

Facebook operates as a much less polished more relaxed environment which enables Aaron to successfully post his raw and candid videos. It doesn’t look like his video has received any editing, it has most likely been uploaded straight from his webcam or smart phone.

When it comes to distribution there are no options to share externally however the platform is set up to encourage sharing within the Facebook platform itself. Tags can also be added to increase search-ability though few people consume video by searching on Facebook. The author can also caption the video, tag other pages or people and reply to other peoples comments.

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