Minds Viewed Globally

Week 6- Blog

In Minds Viewed Globally Howard Garner presents his knowledge and experience as a psychologist and postulates five mindsets the human mind must adhere to in order for us to prepare for the changes the world is stepping into. These mindsets are as follows:

1) Disciplined Mind- a mind that has mastered a particular craft or science with a deep understanding and growing skill set.

2) Synthesizing Mind- a mind that has the ability extrapolate information from multiple sources and uniting the ideas in an organic manner that would present the information’s in a well-communicated manner.

3) Creating Mind- a mind that is able to formulate and inject fresh ideas and make new discoveries.

4) Respectful Mind- a mind that is aware and understanding of the notions presented by another party and being able to collaborate and attempt to understand the view point of the other person.

5) Ethical Mind- this mind is one that is associated with work and is projected as one that should cause individuals not act simply for self-benefits but rather with the motivations to improve the state around them as a worker and a citizen.

He proceeds in this chapter by exploring how these five mindsets can be present in other areas; education, science and globalization. And how these institutions are able and unable to develop these mindsets most importantly stating why these mindsets are required for future employees.

Finding Time in A Digital Age

In this chapter Judy Wajcman looks at the consumption of time that is caused by the advancements of technology. She begins by presenting a theory from economist John Maynard Keynes, who speculated, one hundred years ago, that in the modern age workers will have 3-hour workdays that will be sufficient to provide our needs. He assumed that with the development of technology would result in a solution for the world’s economic problems allowing us to obtain our needs within a proportion of the work time.

However the results have been the reverse. The rapid pace of computers, communication and transport has created a sense of pressure in life. Devices that were thought to benefit us in the sense of providing an abundance of time have created a world where life feels rushed. Wajcman dubs this time we live in as an acceleration society where technology doesn’t increase leisure instead increases the pace of life.

Wajcman showcases how technological changes have affected the nature of work, notions of parenting, upbringing of families and consumption patterns. Towards the rest of the chapter Wajcman she discusses the multiple manners technology affects time and offers possible solution to create more time.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You

This chapter from Cal Newport’s book ‘So good they can’t ignore you’ presents the notion that when it comes to approaching and developing a career there are two types of mindsets.

1. The Craftsmen Mindset
2. The Passion Mindset

Newport provides a breakdown on the key characteristics that surmise both mindsets. The craftsmen mindset is presented as one that focuses on developing ones skill and adding value to the work, and the passion mindset projects attention on value that can benefit the individual.

Newport challenges the conventional thinking that building a career is determined by discovering what your passionate about. Arguing that pursing passion leads to unhappiness as opposed to joy because the path would lead people to focus on what they like about a job resulting in them becoming aware of what they don’t like. Following this Newport states that passion requires one to question their identity met by the need to discover what job will supply the answer to that question, resulting in confusion.

The craftsmen mindset on the flipside is one that Newport states allows one to release them selves of finding the right fit and focus on getting good and what your job. He cites the experiences of successful entertainers like Steve Martin; to reinforce this mindset by claiming that they have adopted this model, as Martin spent nearly ten years of his life developing his craft as a comedian before his show was a success.

The Informal Media Economy

This article explores the state of labour in creative streams of work, through the field of informal employment in the media industry. As stated very early in the chapter “there is a lot of money to be made in this line of work”, however the process of working within these fields can be unglamorous. It comprises of unpaid work for extremely long hours, and to many workers the boundaries between flexibility and exploitation is blurry.

Delving into this creative labour debate what is being presented is that most employees choose to operate in a non-formal manner. Trading in office cubicles for the opportunity to work from home, offers an individual a level of freedom, with their main business assets are their creative skills. It is an environment where work and private life merges. This notion has been heavily rebutted, insisting that informality in the media worlds leads to unemployment, harsh work environment, low-payments and exploitation.

Even though the text provides examples of employees who have had those sorts of experiences, it also shares the limitations of the argument. While the labour argument presented by critics have unfolded many unattractive areas in the media industry they have overlooked the creative workers who operate outside of the creative industries. Many of these workers that work in the financial sector, for example, have managed to escape the downsides associated with the media industry, where as many workers in fields such as agriculture are loosing jobs as their fields evolve and requirements change.

Transmedia technology: annotated bibliography

Alderman N 2013, ‘How Interactive Technology is Transforming Storytelling’, Culture Professional Network, http://www.theguardian.com/culture-professionals-network/culture-professionals-blog/2013/jul/12/interactive-technology-transform-storytelling-fiction, viewed 2nd August 2016:

With the new media age the belief that the traditional mode stories will become obsolete has emerged. While this maybe so the art of storytelling is one that will never leave the human culture, as it has been a part of our history since the beginning of time. What we are seeing now is new technologies affecting the process and the delivery of content to the audience. From these technologies three developments have been added to the storytelling experience:

1. Immersion
2. Representing Choice
3. Audience participation

Gurel E and Tigil O 2014, ‘New World Created by Social Media: Transmedia Storytelling’, Journal Media Critiques, p36-65, http://mediacritiques.net/special-issue-1/emetgurel.oykutigli.pdf, viewed 2nd August 2016:

This text provides a detailed definition to the term trans-media storytelling. What we know as trans-media is that it is telling stories using a variety of platforms, however that is the basic definition. This article examines the nature of trans-media, its relationship to the outside world as well as its significance as communication and marketing tool. In order to provide us with the details the authors of this text, examine the history of trans-media from its early inception and evolution in the modern day. It provides examples of transmedia stories from 1955-2008, and also establishes a connection between trans-media and the culture of convergence.

Further on the piece includes the process of making a trans-media project and creating an expansive world for which characters and the audience inhabits, and giving context as to how creators use different platforms in ways to design the experience. Meaning that trans-media generally is a space that leaves blanks that can only be filled with consuming the entirety of the brand and its various platforms.

Schmid B and Socha B 2014, ‘What Is New Media?’ New Media Institute, http://www.newmedia.org/what-is-new-media.html, viewed 2nd August 2016.

The journal article ‘New World Created by Social Media: Trans-media Storytelling’ explores the concept of trans-media by breaking down

Weiler L 2015, ‘How Storytelling Has Changed In The Digital Age, World Economic Forum, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/01/how-storytelling-has-changed-in-the-digital-age/, viewed 2nd August 2016

Week 2 Blog Post: A World of Difference

This article provides a statistical overview on Entertainment and Media companies showcasing how the industry might have its struggles keeping up with the economy while also using accumulated data to narrow down shifts in that provide a range of opportunities of potential growth. According the data the biggest shifts are taking place in five areas, which are:

1. Demography
2. Consumption
3. Competition
4. Business models
5. Geography

When taking demographics into account what is known is that younger consumers have rapid rate of adopting new consumption methods and being able to balance their usage of multiple forms of media. Companies may have an easier time in marketing towards and older audience however it is the younger consumers that will propel the E&M industry forward. Reason for this being that younger people consume media to a greater degree that would suggest that they are more susceptible to digital spending.

The opportunity that presents itself is for the media companies to examine and understand the spending pattern of youth, on digital media. This would then enable them to predict outcomes such as when consumers may swap from paying for music downloads to streaming music. An amount of older, less digitised markets, are still present and are considered significant due to their size and growth. These markets however depend on older media technologies that have a number of consumers that are costumed to using this kind of technology, which would allow profit sustainability for some time. However there is a level of management required as focus solely on new technologies could alienate the older consumers.

Digital Director Project Brief 5- Reflection

In pervious courses I did not have many hands on experiences that allowed me to learn and gain an understanding of production. Coming into the digital director I expected to gain that experience, while also learning about how digital technology has affected filmmaking now.

With the major project these expectations were met. Initially we had planned to do a campaign project with the class being split into groups that would have had develop campaigns for individual projects. This was however changed into to the whole class working on one series while assuming different roles within teams to help realize the project.

As a member of the production team I discovered the hands on experience I wanted. As I took on the role of technical assistant director, co-cameraman and assistant editor, I was able to be involved in each stage of production, which helped me learn and understand the workings of producing content.

Through the pre-production stage as I worked with the director I gained a good sense of communication and understanding ideas that weren’t my own, as well as learning how to outline storyboards and shot-lists. On set and production, as the technical assistant director, helped me improve my skills as a camera man and improved my communication as I had to work with the main cameraman and convey the composition of the shots our director wanted. During the post-production I was able to take over editing duties and learned how to cut footage, assemble them as well learning the different types of transitioning techniques.

Executing the project itself was a great experience, and improved each shooting day. On the first day there was a lack of preparation, which resulted in certain roles overlapping, such me taking over sound duties, which was not my responsibility when the role’s had been allocated beforehand. There were instances where were making creative decisions and figuring out how and what we wanted to on the day of filming itself, without any preconceived thought. Of course as we moved onto the next episodes things became much smoother as we became more prepared and heavily discussed how we wanted to make everything.

Upon needing to improve the production process what also became apparent is that there needed to be efficient communication between the production group and the other groups, mainly the writing. Which allowed both the scripts to be production friendly, as the writing team took to consideration how feasible accomplishing certain ideas or gags would be, as well as the production team being able to change the scripts to accommodate our needs. Overall producing the content went well as there were no serious disputes within our group and in our communication with the other teams.

The one thing we hadn’t gotten a chance to explore was the crowd funding campaign, which I think would have been an interesting aspect to explore. Creating a successful crowd funding campaign would be the next aspect of digital filmmaking I want to explore.

Looking Back

In life we tend to get comfortable with things, or are raised with a particular mindset that certain things comply with a set or rules, and they have been and forever will be the same. When it came to documentaries I always saw them having to meet a certain criteria, and if they didn’t they weren’t a documentary.
One of them was that I always thought it had to be about history and its goal was to present information. Secondly the information had to be presented by academics or experts in the particular topic that is being covered in the form of interviews. Thirdly it had to be shot. That was my mindset when it came to documentaries anything else was just not authentic, as I was never aware of any other kind of documentaries.

What this meant was that I was stunned when I found out that among the criteria for the projects of this course was there could be no interviews or shot footage for most of the projects. Initially I did feel overwhelmed by the prospect of not having to follow the “rules” but then I realized that myself and the people I work with are being presented an opportunity to be creative in different ways and quite hopefully create very unique pieces of art. I’ve often heard the expression learn to think outside the box and I always felt that was the standard of making original however the experience of making a found footage documentary made think otherwise. Limitations are interesting way of harnessing creativity and that and that being restrained or in the box is what actually helped me see things in a different light.

Of course the end results of the film didn’t come without a source of inspiration or reference, I had seen some great examples such Santiago Alvarez’s film Now (1965) which was five minute film that used one song, titled with the same name as the film, and still images to show racism in the sixties and that it really should be a line that should be crossed and left behind us in the modern world. This film was a very helpful guide, not in the deliberate sense, but it ensured me and helped give me a sense security that a project like that could be accomplished, which I think was a good thing because whenever I, and I can only speak for myself, hit a creative low point or was feeling stressed I always knew that we could do it.

Looking back at the projects that I’ve worked on there was a lot creative humps
I faced alongside with my groups. There were times when a project wasn’t working for weeks and no matter how many we discussed it together we couldn’t really figure out how to make things work, that’s were all the feedback sessions came. Hearing the thoughts and ideas from other class member as well as out tutor was very helpful and once again speaking for myself, allowed me to be more proactive in class as well as outside class, and motivated to experiment and try the different styles involving the different elements of the films, such as music, sound and structure and what all this working and discussing back and forth helped me realise is that as great as having ideas are its true value is in its execution.


Growing up I was a child who was raised on films. I watched and re-watched my favorite films, day in and out when I could. I did this because the films that I grew up with captured my imagination at a young age, and I sought out to make or recreate the things I saw anyway I could. As I grew older I began to understand the art of storytelling at a deeper level, I no longer watched films for the sole purpose of being amazed and to be filled with wonder, I looked to deconstruct and find the meanings or the intentions the filmmakers had when creating their work of art. Some of them never had their intentions explicitly delivered things were always implied and I had to form my own interpretation of what I was seeing, which was always fun because now if I saw something that interpreted differently from someone else neither of us could really prove each other wrong, what was ours was ours.

What this ultimately was is that I began to hear voices in the films I was watching, and not just of the actors who are performing, but also the presence of the filmmaking, and this got me completely hooked on storytelling, and it led to me consuming different platforms of stories, like comic books, video games, music etc. However I never followed the route of documentary films wile I was on this path. I’ve seen a few documentaries, and from my experiences my notions of what a documentary and its intentions are, was that they are history pieces that primarily exist to explore and provide the audience with information about a particular era. I never sought the experience of documentaries unless there was a topic the interested me.

Early this year I was asked two questions, ‘can something be poetic and political?’ and ‘what’s wrong with simply observing the world?’ These two questions asked by my course projects observe documentaries and unpack them as I did with all the other stories I consumed. Through this assessment and course I was exposed to documentaries that are not just as expositional narratives, but also ones that have strong views an opinions about a topic and seek to enforce change in the world.

My eyes were opened to and shifted my perspective and I began to see documentaries as an effective, if not the most effective, platform to invoke action simply because they do not have the baggage that fiction films carry. What I mean by that is that fiction films can try to comment or send a message to the world regarding an issue, but at the end of the day from experiences they have done very little to get my engaged in a topic. I used the film Avatar (2009) by James Cameron as an example, the film tried to comment on the environmental issues of our world and their causes, but what I and many others walked away from was a visual treat as opposed to a political film.

Comparing this experience to that of the film Blackfish which documented the abuse and captivity that orca’s or killer whales while they are kept in Sea World, shed some light on how badly these animals a handled and exposed Sea World as a dreadful place and suddenly I as a viewer gained a new perspective. This place Sea World that was linked to a time in childhood that filled me with joy is know a place that I am disgusted by and if I had the power I would shut it down. This experience made me realise the power of documentaries, but most importantly to be a documentary filmmaker one has to have a different voice to that of a traditional filmmaker. Its not only important to have something to say but also knowing how you want to say.

Mixed Media Creative Critical Essay

Filmmaking is a very interesting creative endeavor to pursue, as the medium of film provides the opportunity for filmmakers and storytellers to create characters and worlds that are yet to be seen. From the public view the challenges of making a film is seen in the production stages. People look at the hard work that is done on set and in edit rooms when brining a film to life, however there are many steps that occur behind the scenes not many people tend to think about when getting a film made. In this essay I will be looking at two key aspects that are needed for a film to exist and viewed: cost and distribution, and seeing the difficulties that stand when trying to secure these two deals, as well as how obtaining them has changed.


It is common knowledge that without any funding a film does not exist. Money is a key factor in getting a film made but raising it or finding investors to provide a budget is a very difficult task.


Financing is a very broad topic when talking about films there are many ways to gather money from investors, whether it be approaching public people who have money and asking them, getting government funding or earning and spending your own money, there are many options to chose (Kroll2014). Traditionally what a filmmaker would attempt is taking a script to a production house with investors and try to get the funding.


However these corporate entities are the ones who are most reluctant due to the fact that the biggest thing they face is the fear of risk, if they invest millions they would be the ones who lose out. A studio head would be more secure investing in a script that has a structure that they know would work (Adams 2013). Chris Anderson stated in his article about the 20th century entertainment being one that was about creating hits, and that hasn’t changed, what has changed is the what films kinds of films are determined to be hits.


The current Hollywood culture is one that is adaptations and reboots, where studios revisit older films with a strong brand name and update it for a modern audience or they make films based on a successful pre-existing source material, the most notable example would be the current superhero franchises studios have running (Beeli 2014). One example would be the Spider Man franchise produced by Columbia Pictures, between the years 2002-2007 they produced three Spider Man films, each film almost grossing more than the other, with the first grossing 821,708,551, the second 783,766,341 and the third 890,871,626, earning the studio over two billion dollars in total (Box Office Mojo 2014). Five years later they decided to reboot the franchise, with a new story, cast and crew with a film titled The Amazing Spider Man, which grossed 757,930,663 a hundred million less but still a lot of money (Beeli 2014).


From this example what we can see about modern day Hollywood is that they are willing to recycle the same idea over and over just as long they know it would guarantee them a return. I feel like what this has resulted in is that studio heads now deal more in brand names instead of good material, which is why there have been many films with interesting an original concepts that have never made off the ground because the people behind couldn’t see its value beyond its lack of recognition.


An argument could be made with a film like Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan; a blockbuster that made 825,532,764 dollars (Box Office Mojo 2014) worldwide that had no pre-existing source material and was very successful. However I would counter argue that it did have name recognition through Christopher Nolan, as his previous film The Dark Knight earned 1,004,558,444 dollars (Box Office Mojo) worldwide and was based on the Batman character which was already a very successful franchise containing over seven decades of material from comic books, films, TV serial and films. The Dark Knight was a film that was not only financially successful it was critically successful. Professional film critic Jason Lynch from People Magazine opens his review of the film by stating, “Step aside Spider Man 2 and Superman 2: The phenomenal The Dark Knight now reigns as the greatest superhero film of all time”. There are many more reviews from critics and viewers who claim that The Dark Knight is the best of the bunch and it was nominated for two academy awards, winning the category for best supporting actor.


My point is that the success of this film allowed Warner Brothers to agree to produce Nolan’s film about dream thieves, and the name recognition Nolan received from The Dark Knight was what motivated people to watch Inception, which just shows that the studios always look for a name that can deliver, which is one of the reasons why many films don’t get made, the studio would look at script that doesn’t necessarily operate in the conventions of traditional story telling, and they interfere with the creative process and the vision of the filmmaker and his crew and it becomes a clash of vision in which nobody can find any agreement resulting the studio heads to pull the plug on a project.


However a new development has risen, that helps struggling filmmakers to produce their projects. This new method is crowd funding, which allows filmmakers to communicate with the online community of people from around the world and seek financial contributions from them to get the film made. One high-profile example would be actor/director Zach Braff who is famous for being the lead on the his sitcom Scrubs, for eight years, and who directed his first film Garden Sate in 2004, went on Kickstarter to help get the funding for his second film titled Wish I Was Here. The attempt was made after Braff spend the decade after making his directorial debut trying to get investors to put their trust in his vision for the project. The following video was his pitch for the kickstarter audience:

Trailer for the film:

The interesting aspect that I find to crowd funding is its contribution to network literacy. Network literacy essential means the ability to participate as a member in a rising development of networks (Miles 2007). Kickstarter is a network in the sense that it brings people from all over the world to help bring an idea, that they have common interest in, to life even if they don’t have an initial background or understanding of the conventions of the development of the idea. Another example would the development of the revolights, which are bike light system that light up an entire bike so you can ride in the dark (Fankovich and Pettler 2011). Now from a public view a layman, like myself, wouldn’t understand the engineering and the technicality that would be required to develop this idea, but the interaction that kickstarter allows between the creator and the investors, would provide and opportunity for the developers to explain the logistics that go into making this project and help the investors understand everything about the functions before a single one is made, therefore the investor grows in knowledge of a particular field.

Caption: A Sketch showing the basic design of the revolights was shown on the KickStarter page.

After getting the cost and finishing all stages of production, the next key step would be getting a distribution deal. “…making a movie is not nearly as difficult as getting it distributed. Because of the enormous amount of cost in money and time involved in distributing a movie…”(Tyson 2000).

Caption: Steps of Distribution

Source: http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/movie-distribution.htm

Getting a distribution deal is key as it guarantees that a film will be released for public viewing and as this quote from Jeff Tyson states it is very difficult process. The image above gives an overview of the steps; once the production is completed the film is sent back to the studio, who then makes a licensing deal with the distribution company, who then decides who many prints of film must be produced, once decided they show the product to potential buyers i.e. theatres, and once those negotiations are sorted the cinema would agree to show the film for a number of weeks (Tyson 2000).


A quick example of the cost of distribution would the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which had a production budget of 115 million dollars and had a distribution budget of 20 million, which covered for all the theaters and various promotions of the film (Star Wars Celebration 1999).


The difficulty of film distribution is that films only get distributed if the distribution or production company wants to pay for it, as they look towards the long term to figure out what movies have the potential to attract and audience and be successful at the box office (Tyson 2000). This once again this goes with Chris Anderson’s statement of entertainment being about making hits.


Much like the development of crowd funding, distribution itself has shifted into different mediums resulting in the online distribution model (Anderson 2004). The economy of hit making doesn’t stop with studios and distribution companies looking for what films are going to be box office smashes in the theatre, in continues on to the smaller scale of distribution with DVD sales (Anderson 2004). Retailers are only willing to make shelf space for products they know are going to sell over the long run; this means less shelf space for items that were not among the mainstream (Anderson 2004). Now in the digital age with websites such as Amazon, Netflix or iTunes, have taken away this limitation and now has an abundance of product available in every media category, music, books, films, for everyone to access despite the popularity of the product (Anderson 2004).


Anderson uses the example of the book Touching the Void, which gained good reviews upon its initial release but was soon forgotten by the public but remerged after a decade later as a result of Amazon’s recommendation list.


I wondered if this was possible for films. Can they find distribution online if they unable to gain traditional distribution? As a result it turns out the answer was yes. Jason Blum a Hollywood film producer found success in 2007 with a micro-budget business model that allowed him to make films at a low budget and distribution cost and still earn a profit (Masters 2014). Since the time of his early success the quantity and quality has wavered, he has started to take multiple projects under his belt, and the quality of his films have become questionable (Masters 2014). An example would be the most recent installment of the Paranormal Activity series titled The Marked Ones, was financially successful taking in 90,894,962 with having a budget of five million dollars (Box Office Mojo 2014), but was critically panned. Film critic Ed Gibbs stated, “This latest instalment in the found-footage, domestic-horror franchise opts for far greater supernatural silliness than its predecessors.”


The result of these reactions for these films have resulted several of Blum’s films having their distribution pulled and not even being released (Masters 2014). His most recent of these would be the film Stretch starring Patrick Wilson which was slated to hit theatres March 2014, was removed from its released just two weeks before the date (Masters 2014). Universal studio’s allowed the Blum and the director, Joe Carnahan, to find other distributors (Masters 2014), failing to find any other studio head who would accept the project they turned to online distribution and the film did end up getting a release on Amazon and iTunes (Orange 2014).


What these two developments in the areas of cost and distribution show the continuing change in traditional methods bringing forth new network literacies. Having the benefit of experiencing both the traditional and the introduction of the new in my life, with my consumption of media for example going from buying VHS tapes now to buying it off iTunes, I wonder how much further can it develop, and where will I end up creating my content. My aspirations to be a filmmaker hoped that I would one day be able to create films like the ones I was raised on, however now I think that it maybe a possibility that the creation and distribution of content could one day permanently be online.



Reference list:


Adams, S 2013, The Not-So-Secret Formula Behind Every Hollywood Movie, viewed 22nd October, http://blogs.indiewire.com/criticwire/save-the-cat-hollywood-blockbuster-formula


Anderson, C 2004, The Long Tail


Beeli, J 2014, Do Movie Remakes, Reboots and Sequels Ever NOT Make Money?, viewed 23rd October 2014, http://www.equities.com/editors-desk/stocks/consumer-discretionary/do-movie-remakes-reboots-and-sequels-ever-not-make-money


Box Office Mojo, updated 23rd October 2014, viewed 23rd October 2014, http://www.boxofficemojo.com/


Fankovich, K, Pettler, A 2011, Revolights Join The Revolution, viewed 24th October, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/revolights/revolights-join-the-revolution


Gibbs, E 2014, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones review: Horror Made Spooky-Cutter, viewed 24th October 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/paranormal-activity-the-marked-ones-review-horror-made-by-spookycutter-20140124-31cad.html


Kroll, N 2014, How To Raise Money For Your Indie Film, viewed 16th October 2014, http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/how-to-raise-money-for-your-indie-film/


Lynch, J 2008, No Joke-Heath Ledger Makes The Dark Knight Unforgettable, viewed 23rd October 2014, http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20212604,00.html


Masters, K 2014, ‘Jason Blum’s Crowded Movie Morgue: Down Side of Micro Budget, viewed 24th, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jason-blums-crowded-movie-morgue-683212


Miles, A 2007, Network Literacy: The New Path To Knowledge, Screen Education, pp 24-30


Orange, B 2014, Stretch: Gag Reel with Chris Pine and Patrick Wilson, viewed 24th October 2014, http://www.movieweb.com/stretch-movie-gag-reel


Star Wars Celebration, viewed 23rd October 2014, http://web.archive.org/web/20060103042824/http://www.starwars.com/community/event/celebration/f19990430/


Tyson, J 2000, How Movie Distribution Works, viewed 16th October 2014,