I conducted semi-structured one-on-one audio interviews, with three Virtual Reality (VR) practitioners linked to the Coldharbour project as visiting lecturers, from different sectors within the field, including academic, VR film directing, and VR broadcast.
I chose audio interviews over visual interviews as interviewees are typically more relaxed without a camera present, the voice carries authenticity enough for the data I wanted to produce, which uses written transcripts. Visual clues in this instance weren’t required for analyzing and gathering the content together.
In order to transcribe using YouTube, I attached a random visual file to my audio files in Premiere Pro, uploaded to YouTube corrected for transcription mistakes and exported to Word. Having looked at the resultant interview transcripts, I decided to remove the “discourse markers”, those verbal tics that we use to join up ideas or gain thinking time in the middle of spoken conversations. It will make them so much easier to read, as the authors at Global Pad (2017) note:
“It can also be helpful to omit discourse markers if they do not serve any useful purpose. Knowing when to omit the discourse marker is a subtle aspect of language use and comes with more practice and wider reading.”
“Remember, it can be tedious to read a piece of writing which has too many discourse markers. The writing can seem pedantic, heavy and over-pompous. You are ideally seeking a light, flowing style, not a heavy or forced one.”
I’ve removed “sort of”, “you know”, “like” “I guess” “so” and the like, perfectly normal in conversation but distracting in text. For the purpose of creating a rich reference for students on my research question it’s better that the sentences / phrases are able to be clearly read as written sentences. Subsequently after these were removed, as I read and ordered I had sometimes to edit the text for grammatical sense.
The point of my research project is to produce knowledge that is instructional to a large degree, so the analysis of the material is more about grouping the responses into relevant themes.
As I read and analysed content in common to all three interviews, highlighted the core ideas an index of themes grew partly through the common questions posed in interview, and in the process of sorting as I read. If the content of all three responses were pertinent to a theme I included them all, separated by a line after the paragraph.
All of the themes responded to the research question as directly as possible. Not all of the interviewees responded to the questions directly, and there were some questions that were particular to each person, leading to only one paragraph, representing one respondent.
Gibbs (2018) writes; “In phenomenological analysis a term that is used instead of codes is themes (King, 1998, Smith, 1995). Again this captures something of the spirit of what is involved in linking sections of text with thematic ideas that reveal the person’s experience of the world.”
In keeping the promise of anonymity the participants were not named. This enables too, different viewpoints and ideas on the same theme offering richer offerings to the reader, and freedom of expression for the interviewees, and a parity of offering.
Initially I thought student participation might contribute to this study but decided not to pursue that, as I realised that current students involved did not yet have the expertise or enough experience to be able to meaningfully contribute to the study question, and the one that did have experience did not participate in the study. Difficulties in scheduling between the two cohorts also meant that collectively they had only had one intensive day of theory and one of practice before the end of Term that coincided with the range of this research.
I’ve created a padlet page where I’ve synthesised and ordered the interview material here under the research question:
What elements of 2D filmmaking change when working in 360 Virtual Reality (VR) live action film? SiP (Self-Initiated Project) research by Iris Wakulenko, 2019.
Global Pad Open House (2017) Discourse Markers. Available at: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/al/globalpad/openhouse/academicenglishskills/grammar/discourse/ (Accessed: 20 April 2019).