Notes on 'Notes on the Film'
OR My Supermetachat On An Already Metachatty Look @
My Short Documentary, i'm like ... professional

by bonnie lenore kyburz
utah valley university


"i'm like ... professional: notes on the film" announces its desire for the self-sufficiency of the film it contains (the film being, for me, the thing). The Topoi piece emerges from resistance, my resistance to convention, driven by my passionate desire for minimalism and skill in communicating that I trust my audience: "I always appreciate a filmmaker who says little prior to a screening; this, as a way of leaving the film's meaning and interpretation wholly to the viewer." This sentiment obtains. I continue to draw from my desire for brevity and ambiguity, both of which commonly get that audiences don't always need as much as we "give" them.

One of the beautiful aspects of working in new media and especially in Kairos is that publication cycles are fast — ideas circulate among reviewers while the writer is still earnestly thinking and caring about the project rather than merely doing what needs to be done to get the publication. Feedback cycles are compressed in ways that often render editorial comments valuable rather than merely annoying or threatening to a writer. So the writer's range of choices regarding just when/if/how to reply — both to reviewers and, post-publication, to reader comments — may emerge as a productively generative response, one that gives way to new, timely understanding. The shining potential of these contemporary arrangements becomes the thought gift (the generative response) and is not torturously calculated.

Such generous collaboration is special and rare, just as tools for generating work that vibrates with so much potential are precious. We want these. And fortunately, as a tool for publishing in time-compressed media environments, Prezi is nearly ideal. In this Inventio piece, I write about why Prezi works so well (for me), especially in the context of trying to talk about the DIY digital films I have produced. Key concepts that support my claim involve desire and movement (aural, imagistic, spatial). Wander and enjoy, but first, some quick directions:

Navigating the Prezi

  1. Start the Prezi, embedded above, by clicking on the right-arrow icon located at the bottom of the Prezi screen. That will load the Prezi and give you more menu options, which are located across the bottom.
  2. Get a view of the whole ecology of this piece by clicking the pegged circle button (Pegged Circle Icon). This will zoom you out. You should see all of the nodes, including catalog copy, introduction, the film, q & a, special features, bonus artifact, and references.
  3. You may opt to click on More > Full Screen, whereupon you can navigate by clicking the node you want, using the Tab key to go forward, or dragging your mouse to the bottom where the navigation menu (with the directional arrows) will re-appear. You may also use your mouse (or keypad) to scroll as a way of zooming in and out because some sections may want to be read larger than others: You decide.
  4. The prezi has a pre-set path. The white screens-on-black image is the path's main entry point. Use the advance (right) arrow to move through the Prezi. Feel free to stay within a node and move around, using the scroll function or simply by moving your cursor around in the area. You may want to use the directional arrows on your keyboard to navigate within the node. You can also use the scroll feature on your mouse or keypad to zoom in/out within a node. Once you have seen all that you want to see within a node, use the forward arrow button to advance or reverse arrow to go back, moving through to the next (or previous) node in the preset path. And yes, I still really like saying "node."
  5. Should you choose to navigate the Prezi "on your own," that is, not using the preset path, simply click on a node header (e.g., "Film-Composition") to zoom you in to a node. If you become disoriented, you can simply click the pegged circle button, and you will pull back, once again seeing the whole ecology.