Technology

The topic 11 lecture, titled ‘spectacle and technology’, discusses several critical ideas and concepts regarding the film industry’s constant and rapid improvement and change of technology. Two perspectives are mentioned within the lecture, one considering new technology essential for this future craft and the other one traditional, focusing on the important of other film form elements. I think that there are both pros and cons to the development of technology, it is as beneficially to the future of the film industry as it is unalike to traditional film.

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The term ‘technological determinsts’, is mentioned when referring to filmmakers such as James Cameron, who “see the innovation of technologies as a necessity for evolving their craft.” I agree with this concept, and believe that the incredible technological advancements within our industry can only be beneficial to the future of films. When considering my own filmmaking style, I would say that I am more traditional, and would like to continue exploring more conventional and orthodox methods of technology. Before I can think about immersing myself in the depths of the new technologies, I’d like to master the old ones, in contrast to this a more experience filmmaker would possibly love to experiment with new technology, because of a long career exposed to fairly traditional technology.

In conclusion, technology is constantly changing, and filmmakers will choose to follow a traditional sense or explore new territory. Neither is to say that technology is by any means ruined this craft, it is forever improving it.

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Audiences & The Cinema Experience

As a regular moviegoer, I am extraordinarily passionate about the cinema experience. It’s magical to me. The whole experience, buying the popcorn, being a big dark room, the curtains opening; there’s really nothing quite like it. While the cinema is an experience and a form of entertainment, it connects to audiences on a much deeper and personal level. There are many theories and concepts to do with the interrelation between audience and the cinema experience, some of them include; cognitivism, spectatorship and affect.

I find that when I am at the cinema, deeply invested in what I am watching, I tend to compare the experience to others before me. How am i feeling? Have I felt this way before? What is this similar to? I find that these questions are constantly running through my brain. For me the cinema experience is something that I can relate with my own life, culturally, socially and traditionally. While most moviemakers hope to position the audience in a certain setting, time, space or psych, whilst I’m watching a film at the movies I am positioning myself to envision my own interpretation.

Several techniques are employed by filmmakers to make the characters appear to be more relatable to the audience. Through screenwriting and cinematography this is predominantly achieved, and is a conventional trait that engages the audience, forming a connection that everyone can relate to. When considering how I interact with films in a cinema experience, these are the concepts that are applicable to my experience.

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Film Form – City of God

In the opening sequence of City of God (Lund, Meirelles, 2002) , the five key principles of film form are utilised effectively to establish story world, identify the protagonists and reveal subtext within the story. It is the practice of editing, cinematography, lighting and colour and mis-en-scene within this scene, that are key principles, but only editing, sound and cinematography will be discussed in this blog post to highlight the importance and effect of these three film form concepts in this scene.

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All elements of film form within this sequence come together to achieve the fast paced, chaotic and confronting scene that it is. The scene plays out as a chicken escapes from a local marketplace set within a South American country, desperate and outraged, the locals chase the chicken around the streets, stopping at nothing to catch it. This clearly established the story world within the film and also revealed the disorderly nature and lifestyle of the characters. The protagonist is introduced as the scene climax’s and both the chicken and the locals as the well as the protagonist come face to face. Audiences can make a metaphoric link between the happenings of the scene and the life of the protagonist, this meaning is obvious through the elements of film form within this sequence.

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The style of editing is very fast paced, establishing the mood and atmosphere of the scene. The editor has utilised the technique of parallel cutting to both, introduce the story world and the protagonist. The cuts create chaos within the sequence and are rhythmically in time with the sound of the scene. There is a massive contrast between sound in the scene, the high-pitched and jarring sound of a knife being sharpened vs the upbeat music being played by the street band. It is through this juxtaposition, that the disorderly nature and fast paced atmosphere of the marketplace setting is reiterated. It is also the style of cinematography contributes to achieve the same affect. Lots of extreme close ups are used within the scene as well as shaky handheld movements, this combination is confronting and makes the audience feel uncomfortable. The cinematography, sound and editing of this sequence establishes setting, introduces characters and also hints at the subtext. Film form allows audiences to decipher meaning from the visual aesthetics of the film, which is what audiences are able to do when viewing this scene from the City of God.

Social Media & Your Career

Networking through social media is essential to the Creative industries. Making connections, branding yourself and showcasing your work, are just some of the benefits of social networking. This weeks lecture explored the many ways of how to network, how it can benefit my career, and how to represent myself appropriately, all are crucial in order to be successful. It really gave me food for thought, and has made me consider what I can do now to further and establish my professional social profile.

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Regarding my own discipline of film, the most suitable and popular social networking platforms include Vimeo, Facebook and Youtube. These platforms allow inspiring filmmakers to showcase their work, whilst also staying updated and connected with professionals, who could potentially employ you, or just serve as inspiration.  The lecture considered several techniques and strategies in regards to social networking, all dependent on your own objectives. Regardless of the outcome you want, it is important to remember that you are representing yourself, so you need to remain professional. But at the same time, you don’t want people identifying you as a robot or the business type, we are still creatives. So act professional, and be yourself without revealing any personal information, it is strictly to showcase your work and stay connected to the industry.

There are many factors that can impact the amount of exposure your posts receive, such as the time you create posts. If you have followers from countries all over the world, then people are going to be viewing your media at various times. So when approaching this topic and thinking about social networking, research is key. Research your audience, research what else is out there, research people you look up to, give yourself an idea of what Social networking in your industry looks like.

In conclusion, this lecture demonstrated just how significant social media is, and how helpful it can be. Motivating me to begin thinking about how I want to present myself professionally and how social media can help me to get myself known. I will continue to do a lot of research and expose myself to social networking platforms and those of who I am inspired by.

Inclusive design

This weeks lecture centred on the portrayal and accessibility of different cultures, genders, sexualities, races, disabilities and impairments. It discusses the importances to create media that welcomes a diverse audience, ensuring that people of all types have the same access to your works. The meaning I took away after reading the lecture was, to create selflessly, it’s not just about pleasing your own creative needs but also the needs of others, and the duty we have as creatives to do so. In saying that though, this power that creators have to portray various communities, can be used discouragingly, and can lead to false representations or exclusions from that media. This blog will identify areas within the film industry that I think lack in empowering a diverse attitude.

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I wasn’t aware of the issues surrounding accessibility and representation of peoples, until I read this lecture and did some further research. As a regular moviegoer I wasn’t conscious of the issues surrounding race, gender, people with disabilities, sexual orientation and culture, within the film industry, but that is because I am accustomed to the visuals I see. Our society is blinded by a reiterated frame of mind that is conveyed through the movies we watch, and now I am aware.

According to the ‘2015 Hollywood Diversity Report’, conducted by the Ralph. J Bunche Centre for African America Studies at UCLA, expresses the amount of “racial and gender imbalances in film and television, both behind and in front of the camera, by comparing the representation of minorities to their actual proportions of the population”(NPR, 2015). This diagram below gives a good indication as to what extent this industry lacks diversity in regards to race.

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The report goes on stating that these results are surprising, because according to box office results, diversity sells, but Hollywood is still idolising the concept of white male. However, television is far more accepting of diversity, with recent shows such as , Orange is the New Black, How to Get Away With Murder, Orphan Black, Empire and many others, featuring various cultures and peoples.

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Earlier this year there was a massive uprise about their being no African-American or racial nominees at the Academy Awards. This sparked an uproar within the industry, as people were lead to believe there was heavy bias with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, however the problem at heart was within Hollywood’s big production houses and studios. At the Governs award, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who is African American, announced the formation of A2020, “a five-year plan in which the Academy and the studios will work on programs to ensure that top executives expand their thinking when hiring, mentoring and encouraging new talent”(Gray, 2016).

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In the photo above, the people in colour are the only Oscar nominees of 2016, who are not white Americans.

In conclusion, this lecture has helped me to understand that the representation and inclusion of various cultures and communities is significant to the future of media and those cultures being portrayed but also to our future careers. How we handle inclusion and accessibility in our own works, identify’s what type or creators we strive to be. I know after doing this research and discovering the equalities within the film industry, specifically with race and gender, that I want to be selfless and strive to incorporate a diverse attitude into my practice.

References:

Breckenridge Film Festival: We believe in diversity in film (column) | SummitDaily.com. (2016). The Summit Daily. http://www.summitdaily.com/opinion/20359069-113/breckenridge-film-festival-we-believe-in-diversity-in

Diversity Sells — But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male. (2015). NPR.org. http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/02/28/389259335/diversity-sells-but-hollywood-remains-overwhelmingly-white-male

Gray, T. (2016). Academy Nominates All White Actors for Second Year in Row. Variety.  http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/oscar-nominations-2016-diversity-white-1201674903/

Saunders, T. (2016). See the Oscars luncheon photos – minus the white nominees. The Telegraph.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/movie-news/oscars-nominees-lunch-how-many-black-people/

Season One. (2016). Orange is the New Black Wiki. http://orange-is-the-new-black.wikia.com/wiki/Season_One

Interview Techniques

This weeks lecture, all about secret interview techniques, was really thought-provoking and has made me question my own techniques when faced in those situations. What really stood out to me while reading this lecture were the approaches of how I can present myself through my attitude, willingness and responses to conduct a successful interview.  It also pointed out the importance of networking and communication. The techniques and helpful tips that were mentioned in this lecture will help me to know how to avoid fumbling on those tough questions and will guide me to act well and be myself to get the job.

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At some point in the hopefully near future, I will be confronted with the slightly nerve-racking and scary prospect of being interviewed for a job in my creative industry. At least I will be prepared, and feel more knowledgable about what to do. I only wish I knew this prior to my current job. Being interviewed for my current job, several questions were asked, such as:

Can you tell me a time when you’ve had to relay something to someone, and it was important to communicate the correct message?

What would relay officer Claudia look like?

It was these questions that caught me off guard, and I have to say made me um and ah, until I could babble something that would seem like an appropriate answer. Its only now that I realise that there was no right or wrong answers, it was how I approached the questions, which was a central topic in the lecture. Employers ask sneaky questions to receive an idea of the candidates personality, habits and their general self. So its not so much about the actual answer, its about how you came to that answer. It is these questions that distinguish you from everybody else, so be creative and be yourself.

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Another important aspect that must be discussed in regards to interviews, is actually getting one. Formatting is crucial. Take care when writing your resume and cover letter, making sure there are no mistakes. Be proactive and research the company, be informed. It is essential to show your eagerness to be apart of the team or that specific company.

In conclusion, this weeks lecture made me feel like I now have a much better understanding of how to conduct myself in future interviews. It has made me think outside of the box, and really consider how I want to be perceived by potential employers. I will continue working on my identity to assure I can be a true representation of the employee that I recognise myself as.

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References:

The fear of being ordinary. (2014). my so-called perfect marriage, http://www.mysocalledperfectmarriage.com/the-fear-of-being-ordinary/

How to Answer Common Job Interview Questions – Catherine’s Career Corner. (2014). Catherine’s Career Corner. http://catherinescareercorner.com/2014/07/05/answer-common-job-interview-questions/

9 Job Interview Tips That Will Actually Help You – Saxons Blog. (2016). Saxons Blog.  http://www.saxonsgroup.com.au/blog/career/job-interview-tips-will-actually-help/

Copyright

Copyright, a common concept that has been thrown around amongst inspiring creators like myself, but its actual meaning has always been a bit vague and unclear. This weeks lecture explained this concept and gave me a better understanding of what copyright is and how it can protect my future works.

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What is it?

According to The Oxford Dictionary, copyright is,”the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material”.  In short terms, copyright serves to protect creativity of any form as long as it is original and in a tangible medium. In saying that though there are things that are not protected under copyright such as, ideas, styles, techniques and information. For example if you were to write an outline of an idea down for a movie, the text you wrote down (tangible form) would be protected under copyright, but if someone were to go and make a movie with the same idea it wouldn’t be infringing your copyright of the written text.

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What I found to be really interesting when reading this lecture was that for your work to be protected under copyright it doesn’t even have to be published, as soon as it is tangible it is protected. And also the fact that no form of registration is required or any fees or application, as soon as your creative work is produced it is instantly protected. When considering copyright in regards to my own discipline of film, it is crucial. It is often forgotten that the film industry is one large business, thriving on the money of moviegoers and buyers. Copyright laws ensure creatives within the field that their work is protected. In saying that though there are many other concepts that correlate to copyright, including inspiration, plagiarism and stealing. Many highly regarded filmmakers use inspiration from previous films and directors in their own works. The big question is where is the line drawn?  When is it considered to be copyright? These are the questions that I will continue to think about in my own works.
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In conclusion, this lecture provided me with a greater knowledge of this concept, and has made me think about copyright in a new light. The bottom line is copyright stops anyone from stealing or ripping off my work and from now on when I see messages like this pop up I’ll be more aware of what they mean.

 

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Bibliography

Copyright. (2016). Funny As Duck. http://funnyasduck.net/post/39994

copyright – definition of copyright in English from the Oxford dictionary. (2016). Oxforddictionaries.com. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/copyright

Copyright Infringement. (2015). Mashable. http://mashable.com/category/copyright-infringement/

Originality Quotes | Quote Addicts. (2016). Quoteaddicts.com. Retrieved 25 June 2016, from http://quoteaddicts.com/topic/originality-quotes/