Minds Viewed Globally

We are entreated to a psychological dance of the “minds” so that we basic people will not find ourselves at the “mercy of forces” we cannot understand let alone control. Shall we?

  1. The disciplined mind – “a distinctive mode of cognition” that characterises a specific “scholarly discipline, craft or profession”.  It works with skill-improvement and understanding. If we don’t have this “mind”, we may be dancing to someone else’s jazz squares.
  2. The synthesising mind – synthesising (combining into a coherent whole), evaluating, and understanding disparate information from a variety of sources. Very important, particularly in this day and age.
  3. The creating mind – breaking new ground by putting forth new ideas, posing unfamiliar questions, conjuring “fresh ways of thinking” and arriving at unexpected answers.
  4. The respectful mind – “notes and welcomes” differences between human groups, understanding how others function and seeking to work as effectively as possible with them.
  5. The ethical mind – a mind that “conceptualises” how we can serve purposes beyond our self-interest and how we can work unselfishly to improve everyone’s all.

Anthropological, fact-based-and-driven scholars (a.k.a. Sheldon Cooper) would find above reasonings frivolous and a humorous read. But for creative minds like us, I think we may share just a tad bit of sameness with the above minds.

The disciplined mind alludes to my constant demand to win arguments no matter the cost…against my elder brother, that is. Though I do not label this as a “formal discipline” per se, I feel that the planning, researching and executing of informed comebacks that will brook no argument is something that embodies what Gardner believes is the second meaning of the word discipline: “training to perfect a skill”. But let me just marshal away from the triviality of this.

I love to write. If I’m more of a listener on the outset then I am definitely a writer on the in. I like to tally, rally and collect. However, I feel that my disciplined mind is at an impasse in regards to the world of professional writing. Unlike Gardner, who studies a psychological issue empirically, clinically and scientifically, when it comes to non-creative writing, at most, I blanch. If someone asked me to write a 500-word article on the Industrial Revolution, paid, at first glance I would take on the challenge. But 5-10 similar challenges later, I find myself on the defensive: I cannot research and sprout nothings again, paid or paid.

If I were to conclude that I am a better creative writer than I am non-fiction, then perhaps I should focus on training to perfect this skill instead. Take on some professional writing courses, download apps for productivity, and so forth.

Future-wise, I mentioned my desire to one day be crowned the titles of director, producer and writer. But thanks to a Screen Futures panel I attended aptly titled, “Screen Culture, Identity, and Diversity on Screen”, I was motivated to be more:

Women should be in in high positions in companies and institutions, situating themselves to be part of the the decision-makers; those who “green-lit” movies/shows, etc.

A decision-maker. And to be in such a high position, I must be able to discipline my mind, body, spirit and soul while increasingly drawing on the skill of synthesising. I have to not only focus on the jobs now, the workers involved, and their current assignments and skills, but also how best to execute current priorities and anticipating “how best to carry out future missions”. I do not just want to apply this to my current craft, I want to constantly evolve, demolish stigma and nuances, and to further this industry to heights unparalleled.

Gardner is right to conclude that these five minds must be cultivated if we are to have the kinds of “managers, leaders, and citizens needed to populate our planet”. I fully agree as one who is personally aiming to be one also.

Educationally, there is no current system that yields individuals who are all of the above. However, we are capable of putting ourselves in situations where we do learn and cultivate these mind and apply them in various situations also. By jumping into a cold pool of the unknown by going on a student exchange in a land I know only through movies, TV shows, and books, I was able to cultivate my respectful and ethical mind through interactions with international and globally-driven young people from different backgrounds and culture. By volunteering, internships and working odd-jobs here and there, I was able to cultivate my disciplined and synthesising mind, and by enrolling on a higher-education course, I was (still am) able to cultivate the creative mind.

Of course, those are very short and sweet, but you get the gist, right?


Be so, so good – it’s not always about your passion.

In this industry, everyone talks about passion, everyone talks about “doing what you love” that it not only bordered on cliché, it trumps it with an american-accented “see ya later, losers!” And I’ve trained my psyche to be commanding enough to own this phrase of passion and make sure the little children in my little circle are given same advice. Clearly, Cal Newport or well, Steve Martin wonder of my childhood for comedy classics such as Cheaper by the Dozen and well, its sequel says otherwise:

Be so good they can’t ignore you.

That’s so unfair. There is a misdemeanour here and I feel absolutely cheated. How come no one told me this when I jumped into the pool of media and communications and fell in love with filmmaking and watching ‘perfect’ people express who they really are in BTS vids from a Vogue shoot? I thought the key had always been passion. I’ve expressed this vehemently when I landed on the shores of Boston Massachusetts and screamed an anthem of success for the international revenue a twenty year-old could be so favourably blessed with.

And then Newport grunts something like the craftsman mindset focuses on what one can offer the world while the passion mindset‘s about what the world can offer you and then I was slapped by the realisation of its opposite: what did offer Boston when I came through its chilly, almost-Melburnian doors? What did offer my Advanced Production in Directing class when I signed up to do a short film and auditioned two talented talented young kids who I know will make a name for themselves in this industry faster than you can say Cara Delevingne? (ps. love her)

Have I been mistaken all along? Has my epiphany come and I’m barely twenty-one? Should I be writing my autobiography already?

I’ve always had this problem of feeling like I am missing out on what I truly love the most when I am doing something, or even when I’m just thinking about doing something that will not benefit my future endeavours to become a Director, Producer and Writer in an industry as fastidious as E&M. And then I volunteered for community television shows and unpaid short films where I got to be on set surrounded by people who are as passionate as I was but are so good at what that they do that I recognised, finally, that to be better is to do better. I learnt more about the craft by allowing myself to be taken under *insert collective noun* of eagles and driving myself to wake up every morning to learn, flippin’ learn, and to best my yesterday today.

I had doubts and I had self-pity about who I felt I was upon my return from the grandest international adventure I’ve been on knowing that I’m on my graduating year. I was all jittery and ready to flight more than fight. But I’ve finally awakened my dormant alter ego – it’s time to adopt a crafstman mindset and be so freakin’ good, the world cannot just ignore you, they cannot handle you. Supervillain, anyone?

No one owes you a great career…you need to earn it.


Entertainment & Media Future: age DOES matter, prediction (or prevention?), and content still rules

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 5.11.32 PM

This report, issued by the Global Entertainment Media Outlook 2016-2020 aggregates data in regards to the “great strides” that Entertainment and Media (E&M) companies are making in serving digital consumers both globally and locally. They claim that the biggest shifts occur in five different dimensions: demography, competition, consumption, geography, and business models.

My particular talk show, er, text post, focuses on these shifts relating to a generational bias in my locale in Melbourne, Australia and in an international, global-driven career. Let’s start with demography.

“…there’s an almost perfect correlation between markets with more youthful populations and those with higher E&M growth… Younger people consume more media than older people, and are more open to adopting digital behaviours — and therefore more open to digital spending.”

This information is more important to me as a graduating student as for once, in this ever-shifting media landscape, there is a percentage of accuracy in its predictability: the young generation consumes, consumes, consumes. We are the biggest consumers of media and we are more open to adopting and adapting to digital behaviours and emerging new media platforms that enhance these experiences.

Prediction or prevention?
“To understand the young and be able to predict” the shift from, say, direct downloading/renting of movies and television shows to streaming services like Netflix is a mere personal anecdote. I believe that the reason E&M companies are foreseeing this change does not necessarily attribute to our adaptability. There are underlying, immediate digital changes that occur that force us to look to these new avenues of digital spending. For instance, the Government’s shutting down of several torrent-based websites that limit the illegal downloading of movies and television, advertisement “abuse” in third-party hosting websites, and of course, the ever-powerful social circles that talk, talk, talk. Maybe you get to be included more in your social club when you’re enjoying the same kind of shows and complaining at the lack of options on Netflix Australia (yeah, I’m looking at you).

Perhaps E&M companies know that security and piracy prevention measures are taking place through a Government-mandated council, or they just have talented analytics and overseers on board. But truth be told, whoever’s steering the ship, manning the wheel – that’s what’s making a huge difference in the growing digital consumership.

Content Kings & Queens

Much of the E&M industry is growing more global, but cultures and tastes in content remain steadfastly local.

The popular opinion is that technology and communications is playing the Hannah Montana part while content plays its less glamorous counterpart, Miley Stewart. Unfortunately for y’all, statistics show otherwise.

There’s this compelling article written by Elizabeth Avram titled, “Finding Australian National Cinema in Nemo” which argues Finding Nemo (2003)’s resonance with Australian audiences in a national and Australian context: set in Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef up in Queensland and use of Australian voices for certain characters, to name a few.

According to Box Office Mojo, Finding Dory currently holds the highest gross total for all movies released in Australia for the year so far, beating out big titles such as Batman vs. Superman, Captain America: Civil War, and animated Zootopia and Kung Fu Panda 3. By these numbers, it would suggest that content-based business models should take an immediate leap to support the “co-existence of global and local content”. There is a universal appeal to certain genres of television shows (and movies to some extent also), but they succeed because of their “local characteristics”.

Personally, I get piqued quite quickly when national TV introduces a “new” show (i.e. The Voice) because frankly, it’s not new. Just adapted to our national screens. But what makes Australians (and other countries also) tune in? The local talent and the local “flavour”, of course. These “local characteristics” not only gives us a sense of nationalism and pride, but it’s also a lot closer to heart. You could not have made me watch The Bold and the Beautiful back in my soap-watching days, but I religiously followed The Neighbours like it’s my job.

To sum, the E&M industry is growing faster than the GDP (shocker, I know). And as a media student, current consumer, and amongst the youth age-range, it’s both enlightening and supremely helpful to have these shifts in mind as we go about in the business of media: from digital/online to film/TV production and beyond!

Credits to respective owners, of course.
’I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the assessment declaration (http://www1.rmit.edu.au/students/assessment/declaration).’

The 4th Industrial Revolution: what does it mean for content-makers?

The Industrial Revolution is defined as the transition to “new manufacturing processes” that took place from the 18th to the 19th centuries. It’s Anne Shirley on her horse-drawn buggy VS. Morgan Harris on his engine-powered automobile (If you don’t get that reference, I am quietly judging you).

Klaus Schwab articulates the Fourth Industrial Revolution from the the drivers of this historical movement, the economic transactions of labour and work, and the national and global changes, to the various societies’ response, absorption and accomodation of this new leap in modernity.

There are a couple of points that resonated to me in this reading but I’ll begin with the “human cloud” concept. My personal experience involved my participation as a self-employed writer in the dissection of precise assignments and projects that I found in the “virtual cloud”. In doing so, I was able to write for a company of whom I have no contractual obligation – and neither do they. I agree with Schwab; there is an “unrivalled” mobility and freedom with this type of work.

It begs the question, however, if job satisfaction was attained in this personal employment and if so, to what end? In retrospect, I was still under the creative-constraints of this post and as part of a generation who is aspiring for a more “harmonious work-life integration” and personally, my own creative development and freedom, it comes into question whether this particular economic exchange is merely an upskill event to further one’s careers and ambitions or if it is a solid start in integrating themselves into the web of this type of industry.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 9.31.34 PM

I have a fondness for the ancient, archaic, Victorian, medieval, minimalist, french gypsy swing outfit and something to do with living in a cottage in Switzerland, pet cow for fresh butter and cheese, and wheat and vegetables growing in your backyard. I am solicitous to all things draconian.

As a content-maker, I surround myself with the vestiges of the past and as best I can, incorporate it into my own creative productions. How does one

“absorb and accomodate the new modernity while till embracing the nourishing values of our traditional systems?”

I came across this article, “Don’t burn your books – Print is here to stay” that almost funnily juxtaposes the innovated changes to society’s functioning towards the shift on the more advanced technology. Apparently, “pundits have assumed that the future of book publishing is digital” and they could not be more wrong. Unlike the successful shift from page to screen in music, photographs and maps, the traditional paperback is resilient with a market that is finally on an incline.

I personally had no means of ever purchasing an E-Book/E-Reader and though I do have a Kindle account, I found it more to be a supplement to my traditional reading pleasures (i.e. further reading and research on certain passages). In saying that, would such response be similar to the other forms of media and content consumption? For example in the entertainment industry where there’s been a varied selection of films/television shows released in the last decade that ranges from the intergalactic, Star Wars-kind of advancements that seem more and more viable each year, to the Legend of Tarzan, Game of Thrones-esque that glorifies the classical past?

Is there a more growing audience in one genre than the other? And if so, is this affected by the technological advancement of the fourth industrial revolution? Do content makers such as myself who thrive and are especially attuned to the “bygone” days make less of an impact than those in the “modern” hemisphere? Would fundings and opportunities be negatively/positively affected and in what way?

Apart from digital media creating substantial benefits in the dissemination of information, the forming of communities and the “empowerment” of our “individuality”, there is that undercurrent issue of the separation between those who “adapt” and those who “resist” and whether society will deem one to be right, while demeaning the latter. In saying that, “technological advances are pushing us to new ethical frontiers of ethics”. Should there be a form of regulation in these advancements then? And how do we determine what is ethically correct?

More to come.


’I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the assessment declaration (http://www1.rmit.edu.au/students/assessment/declaration).’

Investigation: location scouting and static movement + normal filming principles + narrative = could it work?

Destination: Yarra Valley

Mission: Scout, Locate, Film

Chance of success: A bucketful of sunshine

The Yarra Valley Roadtrip from one end of the earth to another proved aplenty:

  1. Nature churns the creative bubbles. As soon as I sat myself down, I haven’t stopped writing my thoughts and plans, which I hope to regale you all here too.
  2. There are so many dashing locations that are, of course, obstructed by “Private Property” signs, electric fences or a huge lake and you do not own a boat . Shame.
  3. Good establishing footage, check. Shoot to edit, not so much. Abstract, but it gives one a sense of place and further practice of framing, composition, exposure and pull-focus.

In all the trip’s entirety, however, what I garnered is yet again, something that alludes to static movement and its use. My premise? Static movement and the mundane must be shot in consequence of each other.

I know that it could be rather ambitious to include a narrative into the picture, but I want to investigate the possibility of it anyhow because I cannot help but be empathetic. Example of such wizardry below:

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 10.27.13 PM

Excusing the liberties I’ve taken with scriptwriting rules above, I’ve been contemplating on how I could possibly introduce Static Movement into a short film without just making a series/sequence of cinemagraph scenes one after another. What I want to achieve is the collaboration and the amalgamation of static movement and normal filming principles to make one, cohesive film/short without making it too stunted nor overtly artsy. I would like to be able to tell a story, evoke emotional empathy and at the same time use above filming principles all in one project.

Using the scene above, I would like to investigate the fluidity of the transition from the static movement shot to the Close Up of The Roman’s face, which leads to the progression of the story. What will the outcome be? Will the transition be too jarring? Or will it punctuate the emotional resonance I am trying to achieve in this scene? And if it turns out incongruous and incompatible, could the application of 2D animated static-movement techniques (i.e. Studio Ghibli films) help even this out?

We start with the basics first, so like above, capturing the emotions before moving on to something like an action scene or ones with lots of movement.

In approaching this investigation here’s a list of to-do’s:

  • Make my own cinemagraph…or a thousand because practice makes perfect
  • Ask the fellow padawan learners and J. Master Paul of what he thinks of above
  • Re: feedback, work on writing a shot-list/script
  • Create a mood board
  • Presentation of ideas to class for feedback
  • We start from there

ps. A sample mood from Julien Douvier, simulacres, simulation

Re-establishment v.2016

I am running on a 6-month-away-from-home jetlag but I think I’m doing quite fine…slightly. I wrote about 33 resolutions this year and half of them are pretty much goals but they are kind of bracketed under the same umbrella of motivation and keeping it real so let me just add some more to push myself harder than an ob/gyn would a labouring mama sita.

  1. Paper Quirks refurbishment – fresh-faced, graduating year aesthetic whatever that may be. It’ll probably involve corns or something yellow.
  2. Blog.489382309 – a final project for myself. I’ve got some filmic studying to do so I am willing to bore you all, ghosties, with my learning progress there. You may catch some creations or two so don’t hold thy breath.

It’s clearly only two more additions to the 33 so it isn’t too bad. My creative portfolio is running on a bit of a low since I am either dissatisfied by the ones I’ve already made or I’m just too shy to behold them to others. I’m pulling an American here by calling myself a senior and ain’t nobody got time fo’ that. It’s hustling time and I am ready to exert the effort needed to one day work under Kathleen Kennedy because Star Wars is where it is millenium falcon at.

Catch me in a few,


Off to a great start! – the short post

I am awful at keeping up with my blog activity. I could almost punch myself, really. HOWEVER, it is attributed to my nomadic, wandering lifeblood the past year. I haven’t seen the family back home for almost half the year so forgiveness please?

I am excited for 2016 because yes, I will continue the blogging and regale you all with stories and photographs and potential videos of what has been a grand adventure both as a student and a creative soaker. AND, I’ve got tonnes of plans for the New Year, some unexpected arrivals and some planned out and in the process.

What does this master plan include? Potential collaboration with people in the network, internship-finding (me looking for you), and lots of research and learning and revving of engines. It’s gonna be a fantastic year, and after the great student exchange, I feel like I can pretty much do anything!

Brace yeselves!

Ze brekky club – greasers, judds and the otp

This is for Tash and Meg, they love a good greaser.

The Breakfast Club was lent to me because as I was trying to circumnavigate the world of cult films, I ended up only liking the idea of it (pretentious, I know) and still I sang “Don’t youuuuuu forget about meeee” the Pitch Perfect and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I WANT TO CRY.

But now I do, when I learn that the scene where they all sit around, discussing their destructive home-lives while the camera pans around them like how your typical 80’s film was ad freakin libbed. Can I not die until I have done this as a future filmmaker?

And then Judd Nelson, who I mistake for Judd Apatow for a simple namesake, and his character Bender; a true greaser, part of the gang, Outsiders, the ex-convict you want to beautifully punch in the face with a happiness spell. (Let’s face it, geeks, you all want to wingardium leviosa his fine booty in your non-siliconed boobaciousness *cough chest cough*). He’s like a spellbound loon and he makes the breakfast in the Breakfast Club.

Andy’s not a sight for sore eyes either if you like your short studs who fall for the gorgeous one whose soul was mistaken to be as black as their previous eyeliner. She just needed the prince and they clicked and I cried seeing them happy, okay, don’t judge meh!

And Bryan’s a sad case of a boy you want to wrap in a towel and suffocate under a bunch of pillows. Make him forget about pressure, make him see beauty, make him see love. Stop telling me he won’t finish a Rubiks cube in less than 5.95 seconds.

The pretty, popular one’s someone you’d like to caption cliché but she was sort of gassy and superfluous and she stuck in with the rest of them quite timidly and I liked it. She fit in but she didn’t, but she did. I saw the tension and the side-eyes. I predicted it but she didn’t quite deliver. I OTP sporty and nail-biter than these two.

In conclusion, I wanted to drown in a pool of their tears, soak it up with a sponge, drain in a bucket and pour out to moisten the plants of their future children’s veggie patches. It’s the #1 high school film in 2006 for a reason.

ps. The iconic Bender punch in the air ain’t even romantic, ladies (and Becca). But I’ll give you a spud for trying.

8 sandwiches out of 10. Spread the word!


The filmmakers used bluescreen 90% of the time, and greenscreen for 10%. They chose blue because it better matched the lighting paradigm (green would have been too bright) and because red garments (a la spartan capes) look better when shot over blue.

Above is a trivia from Zack Snyder’s comic epic 300, a movie about King Leonidas of Sparta taking on the the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. alongside 300 of his best men. Now, I’m a HUGE history buff. I go nuts for it. And as a film stude, it is one of my great dreams slash ambitions to helm in a historical blockbuster epic; and my sights are set on Ancient Rome 70 A.D.

But I’m getting a little side-tracked here…

Something you just can’t dodge from watching Snyder’s epic is the use of the aforementioned ‘bluescreen’ and ‘greenscreen.’ I have yet to encounter these formidable screens (the post production team oh so love these things) but that little trivia gave me a nice insight as to how it works. Looking at 300, we see that the overarching tonal colour is almost white-washed; comic-strip variations of the dark shades. The battles were almost always consumed by a sudden shift to sepia and faded blacks and whites and I believe that Snyder et. al. did this on purpose to reinforce the tenor of the graphic novel.

I say, spot on. The red (or is it blood orange?) Spartan capes outshone the Persian blacks, maintaining the focus on the big and buffed-up superheroes of the 117-minute film. Even the blood-splatters weren’t given the spotlight as one would expect from a violent-looking film. I admire this type of editing and such use. I haven’t seen a movie these days that has done the same thing, specifically with the Marvel and DC superhero tsunami we’ve been having lately. I am both excited to explore this genre of film and immerse myself in its technicalities.

But not that I’m getting ahead of myself since I will be studying Advanced Production: Directing in the coming months for my overseas studies so we shall see how the colours will help me somehow, well, see.