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Composition for Multimodal Technology

Exploring the expanding craft of communcation

Ashley O'Brien, Author

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Visual Comedy

Using the full range of picture and sound

This video discusses the difference between original composition and boring writing. Composition should use the full range of picture and sound, not only dialogue with unoriginal camera shots. Original multimodal composition tells a story (or a joke) using visual and audio elements. Original content uses connections between audience and device, audio and sound, and embraces this continuity beyond individual frames. 

Check out this video to see how Edgar Wright uses 10 strategies (yes, there are two bonus strategies) to compose a joke without using dialogue. 

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OriginalityWearable Technology  View all tags
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Discussion of "Originality"


Originality is designing a new way to deliver to an audience.

Uncharted territory

Composition for multimodal technologies is a relatively new phenomenon. Oratory compositions employ various methods for structure, plot, rhetorical balance and many other conventions. Multimodal composition is, in some ways, uncharted territory. How can composers for new media write content an audience will appreciate?

Incorporate meaning

Originality is an ethos appeal. If content is not original, creative or innovative, it's possible other content will receive higher favor. Text documents deliver originality by using literary devices, clever prose, and vivid or colorful language. Web documents consider visual rhetoric to compose something with meaning beyond what is being seen. Multimodal technologies, such as film, have the capacity to deliver messages that can be inferred by the audience, as long as the writer includes the right content.

Avoid the obvious

Wearable technology, such as Google Glass, is intended to fill the role of other devices. Developers, designers, and writers are constantly competing with the content, functionality and structure of existing technologies. Composers for multimodal channels should avoid using dialogue and other obvious modes to convey content. Even visual movement or framing can be upgraded from generic to original, considering the audience's desire to see something they haven't seen before. While generic content is simple and guaranteed to reach an audience, an equal or less amount of creative content can deliver that same message in a better way.

Edgar Wright knows best

Originality may not come easily for composers for new media. Other media have struggled with this same problem, including directors compositions for films. One director is famous for original composition, Edgar Wright. Don't miss this hilarious video, on the next page of your path, to see how Edgar Wright uses 8 different methods to achieve visual comedy. 

Posted on 12 May 2015, 5:25 pm by Ashley O'Brien  |  Permalink

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