Final Simulation 2016. Crossing Portraits: Taiwan and Foreigners.

Crossing Portraits: Taiwan and Foreigners. 

The project was to film foreigners in Taiwan in order to make a "crossing-portait" of the island and those interviewees.

This project is at the very beginning inspired by the Cinematon of Gérard Courant. It’s silent portrait lasting 3’20”, about renowned people who can do whatever they want in front of a static camera during that time.

Starting from this idea, but changing it a lot through our reflection, we decided to make a "crossing portrait" of Taiwan and foreigners living in.

The Video: 

The video begins with a statement which summarize our basic idea:

 Starting with this statement, we then developed 3 question, which would depict the adapting process of living in a foreign country. 

  • Why did you come to Taiwan? Had you some fear or expectations?
  • When you arrived here, what were your first impression? For the first few days, or few weeks.
  • Now that you are here for several months, how changed your mind. What do you think about all of this now?

Those 3 questions represent the whole adaptation process as it firstly asks people about what they expected about coming here. This question is only about cliché, prejudice, they are outside of the country and only can speculate on how it will be. Then is the first impression. A bias can appear at this moment, especially if you have a bad first impression and it can be difficult to get rid of that later, that's why we considered it was important to ask. The final question is all about the final state of adaptation, when foreigners lived for months in the country when they know the country.

Those three questions were asked without any further indication, to let the interviewees talk freely, to let them express without any bias from our point of view.


Before asking them the three questions, we also asked them to present themselves with name, age, nationality and one random thing about themselves. The last point of the presentation is here to make it more personal, to make the portrait of those foreigners more informal.

At the beginning, we had ten interviewees, but because one was under age, she was removed of the video (we thought about legal age, but the one in France, which is different from some other country).
 In total then, 9 people agreed to answer our questions:

Answer to the questions:

In the video, for a matter of time and rhythm, we decided to cut some answers. We only kept the most interesting one, and also took the best between two when answers were similar. 

We summarize answers in a chart (below). 

The side-effect of letting interviewees talk freely, the most as possible, is that answers can cover a wide range of topic, as interviewees talk about what they think is the most important thing for them.
Those three questions and de facto their answer, describe Taiwan here: a country with a complicated place in the world. Which may be different than what it shows to others through media. But with a friendly population. A welcoming country where different cultures cross because of its history, thanks to diplomacy (and scholarship)…

A problem appears though, as it is developed in the "Limit" paragraph.

Rest of the video:

The rest of the videos, either the introduction or the "post answer" part, is punctuated of different scene which all support our idea, our project of making portraits of people and of Taiwan.
Among others, we can quote:
  • The earth rotating at the beginning to support the idea of points of view coming from "worldwide"
  • The static plan with an image of the game Journey (a game which play with loneliness feeling of the player who explores big landscape. He only can meet unknown online player without knowing their name, and can only communicate with them through "song", which are different for each player). This plan, this game is a good description on how someone can feel when he arrives in a new country. 
  • The "Last Word" part, which allows viewer to know more about the interviewees
The video is constructed in a way that it remains neutral. If someone talk about a "positive" point, then a "negative" or a "not so positive" point will come after in order to always keep the tone neutral and not biased.

The video was realized thanks to a friend who lend us a pro camera, which helped us to have a better video quality. 
The place interviews took place were chosen with some criteria: convenience (for the interviewees and for us to film), light (for a good image quality), less sound as possible (because we didn't have a mic, only the one in the camera), and finally the aesthetic for the background

Also, we add some special effect with software like Audacity (to cut music we wanted to add the right length), Adobe After Effect (for the texting scene at the beginning of the video, or the rotating earth for instance), and iMovie (Apple software, to edit the video). 

Limits of the project: 

Two limits or problems appeared during the project. It maybe could have been avoided upstream.

First, as seen above in the "general data" about the interviewees, the range of age is relatively small, and every people interviewed is in his or her 20's. Finding people older would maybe have make the answer looks different. 
It would have been also a supplementary difficulty to find such kind or person, in the way we chose to interview only one person by country. 

The second limit is the 3 question. They are turned really well to reflect the process of adaptation in a foreign country, and therefore the discovering of this country. Through this 3 questions, a clear portrait of Taiwan is depicted. BUT the original project was a "crossing portraits", yet interviewed people are not that much described. 
More than a crossing portrait, we made a "Portrait of Taiwan through foreigners". Redact the question in another way may have helped us to reach our initial goal. 

As we were in a hurry and in need of people for the realization of the project, we did every arrangement necessary to interview those people when they were free. All the interviews were shot in 3 days and the last one was made 2 days before the deadline. We worked together at every level, for the shooting, but also for the "production" where we mixed every interview until the final video. We divided our task in this last part according to the skill we have: one of us was in charge of SFX and the general "script" of the video, the other one was mixing and cutting the video. 

Comments, Video review: 

Above are the different data we collected thanks to Youtube Analytics (30/12/2016). Even if the vast majority of the views come from Taiwan, we had some views from all around the worlds. This video was made with an "international" perspective, and we shared it with this idea in mind. 
When we look at the gender of the viewer, the first limit of the video jump out. Our interviewed are in their twenties. Here, mostly the viewers are between 18 and 34 years old. We maybe could have a wider range of opinion in the comment, or different point of view if our panel of interviewees would have been wider. 

Those are data we collect from the comment. 
We can see that mostly the comment come from French people. As we collect a very small number of comment, and as most of the classmate who commented come from France, we can't use accurately this data. With a larger number of comment, maybe would we appear a country more interested than another by this video and the content. 

In contrast, we can easily use the language data. If we put aside comments from our classmates (redacted in English, as the course is displayed in this language), 4 comments remain. 
3 of them are in English, 1 of them is in French
Even if the video is in English, one chose to reply in french (It can be seen a choice, or maybe isn't he at ease with English writing). But 75% of the others comment are in English even if only one of the person who commented is English native speaker (1 Korean, 1 French, 1 Australian). It seems that English is here used in order to facilitate the communication. 
Surprisingly, no comments were redacted in traditional Chinese, even if 78% of the viewers come from Taiwan. 

Once again, a larger number of comment is required to take conclusion.

About the content of comment (on the date of  30/12/2016):

The commentators are from: Taiwan (2), France (4), Australia (1) and from Korea (1). On 7 comments, 2 come from interviewees.

The idea of an "Interesting" content, concept is the one which jump out. It appears on 6 out of 7 comments. Summarized, the concept of listening to foreigners, their point of view and state of mind to discover better Taiwan was found very interesting by everyone (example below)

A side effect appeared here. Even if we tried to remain neutral objective in the way we did the video, we still make someone consider the idea of visiting Asia. 

Among other content, we can also see twice appear in the comment a sense of identification, through the sentence "I can relate...". It seems logic as most of people who commented are still student and interviewees are also still studying (for the vast majority).

Finally, we can also find other content expressed in the comment, directly linked to the video, or to the project, the concept, etc. 

Linguistic style: In the comments section, they all use a friendly style of interacting. They use greetings such as “Hello” but some directly start with the review of the video instead of the greetings: “Interesting video”, “Cool”, “Nice Video” … Even if they are using friendly style, it has not made the forum more dynamic between the commentators but only between the moderator and the commentators.


This project is an extension of the work we had in course, as the subject I work on was "Globalization" (Jokes as vector of Globalization?). We worked here with a very multicultural range of people, had to communicate with them and explain them our project. This project is linked to globalization through those people who come in Taiwan thanks to a "interconnected world", and without whom we couldn't have done the video.
We also had to built our project according to the criteria we chose, and keep those criteria in mind, as a real research would do.
I'd like to keep in mind to plan ahead my future project, in order to anticipate the problem which would occur in such kind of project, and also to identify upstream the limit my reasonning could make appear. 
As I posted the video on my YouTube account, I had the role of moderator in the comments section. Thanks to my article on Forum (Evolution of an online forum for knowledge management professionals: A language game analysis), it allows me to have a new vision on my role of moderator under our video on YouTube and how to analyze the comments of our video for our final report (data, linguistic style…)  
I asked the viewers to leave a comment under the video with a friendly emoticon and I tried to reply to all the comments to make this forum more alive like the moderator of the forum in my article but there’s no more response from the viewers after that, the level of sociability in the comments section was not so develop. It was my first time as a moderator and I think it was not a success because there’s not so many answer and interaction between the commentators and me.
For my future, the role of moderator is important for my professional perspective to conduct meetings and to keep things going in the proper manner. 


  1. This project has attempted to showcase international students' perspectives of Taiwan and their perceived changes and adaptation to the environment. In addition to the description and transcription of student perceptions, you have made good use of visual presentation to portrait the students and summarise their ideas. The analysis to one's lived context and the phenomenon of globalisation can be explained more clearly. The problem with the lack of reaction to the moderator can also be explored further.


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