MOI Project Brief 1

This semester, I am looking forward to practicing my technical skills in visual and audio media. I mostly want to improve my skills in Creative Cloud, especially Adobe Audition. I also want to broaden my understanding of the definition of immersion, and get a better sense of how I can apply this knowledge to my creative practices.


Recently I watched Baby Driver from director Edgar Wright, whose films I adore. It was so much more subdued in comparison to his other works like Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim vs the World, but I felt that it was as immersive as his other pieces and probably more hypnotic. Especially in diner scenes with Baby (Ansel Elgort) and Debora (Lily James), I felt a sort of mellow lulled feeling that drew me into their world.

There is also a moment when Baby and Buddy (Jon Hamm) share headphones to listen to music, and the music literally surrounds the audience in the cinema. It was incredibly effective and really immersed me in the world of the film. What I want to get out of this semester is a stronger sense of how to use technical skills and understanding to create an immersive experience.


Firstly, I want to improve my skills in audio. I’m not very confident, to say the least, and my understanding of sound design is not as strong as my understanding of visuals which I have from film and photography. I want to get better at using Adobe Audition, and I also want to get a better understanding of how to use sound design, ambience, dialogue, foley and soundtrack to immerse an audience in my work.


Secondly, I want to be a stronger storyteller. What I want out of this semester is the confidence to use less cliches and veer away from being too expositional and too hand-holdy in the media works that I make. I love storytelling, and I want to get better at it through sounds and vision.

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.

My Take on Alternate Realities

When I say alternate realities, I’m not necessarily talking about Narnia, the Matrix, space-time travel or anything like that. I’m talking more about the realities within our minds that are constructed by our experiences and perspectives.

About a week ago, I made a post about how some of the things that Donald Trump says look good on paper, and that people do have reasons for wanting to support him. I’m going to extend that post a little further, thanks to a recent publication by the Wall Street Journal after they did a study on how social media news feeds can affect who people are more aligned to.

What Wall Street Journal’s Jon Keegan has done is set up two feeds which have real conversations and posts that individuals have posted on Facebook, and aligned them into a red ‘conservative’ feed and a blue ‘liberal’ feed. Users who posted all of these uploads, of which there were up to 10.1 million of them, were anonymised but had their political label analysed.

Based on the study’s findings, and the presentation of conservative vs liberal posts on Facebook, one can logically come to the conclusion that as long as you are receiving media texts from entirely one political standing, you are reinforcing your already existing beliefs. It seems fairly logical and simplistic, but at the same time it’s interesting to consider how different the political situation in the US would be if social media were different to how it currently is. It makes a little more sense in the world in terms of exactly how people align themselves to certain ideas or political figures. The reinforcement theory we learned in high school comes into play, as how we tailor what we prefer to see and choose to omit from our feeds reinforces reality as we perceive it.


Sooo the next 2 and a half years of Media will be studio based. These are project based which is exciting to me because I like having something practical to do. Theory is awesome, but it’s kind of one of those balance things: too much of one without the other, too much oversaturation of either one, is completely exhausting on every level.

It’ll be made up of (technically) 5 assessments, going from PB1 to PB4B, over fourteen weeks. I’m hoping that in comparison to this semester it won’t be as emotionally or psychologically draining. Then again, since it will involve a lot of practical work and group work, it could sap the last drops of life from me.

Recap SEM 1

In semester 1, we have been covering:

  • Practices
  • Professionalism
  • Theory
  • Technical practices

Over this semester, I want in particular to put more practice into the professional aspects of this course. This includes my desire to find work attachments, which could give me opportunities that will contribute to my professional career.

Theoretical studies in communications are something that I am incredibly interested in pursuing further. I want to do more studies involving human psychology and sociology, because the ideas and studies in these subjects  interest me deeply.

My Take on Apple’s IOS Update

Anyone who has updated their Apple product (iPod, iPad or iPhone) can tell you straight up that there’s a few issues. So far, there have been complaints of

  • Straight up crashes
  • Bricking
  • Unresponsive touchscreen
  • Bluetooth issues
  • Wiping out of graphics

Firstly, let’s just say that these kind of issues aren’t received well on a stressful morning for anyone.

Secondly, the release of the IOS 9.3.2 update has given me a taste of [oh, horror of horrors!] a world without my smartphone.

God forbid, I cannot text anyone? I have to use [*gasp*] a landline if I want to get someone’s attention??

It seems unbelievable that bugs like these would even be able to pass tests run by Apple; I’m avoiding using my phone altogether currently. [Why else do you think I’m making a post about this?] But in all seriousness, how could something so incredibly glitchy, buggy and inefficient pass a test run.

Now I won’t lie, I considered throwing my phone at a brick wall and getting a fresh one; maybe that’s their ploy? Probably far-fetched, but I can’t see how anyone at Apple could possibly have thought releasing this update was a good idea nor how it could have possibly masqueraded itself as functioning software.

Tl:Dr:  Apple mucked up its software update release, but let’s be real: we’re all gonna keep getting Apple products anyway

Donald Trump Isn’t So Bad

So today, I got into an internet fight on the social media platform Yik Yak.

I love Yik Yak because its like Twitter except way more anonymous, and anonymity allows users to share some of their nuttiest, most controversial or spur-of-the-moment thoughts. I decided to post the other morning about a silly little dream I’d had the night before:

‘i dreamed donald trump coached footy and Richmond beat his team, and then all the other coaches told him to get (*censored*) and everyone laughed at his stupid hair’

I was bored, felt like posting a bit of inane silliness, so I did. The thing about Yik Yak is that it only shows posts within your area, and considering I was in a sheltered, very left-wing part of Hawthorn when I posted it, I figured hey, people might get a laugh out of it.

Then along comes a user that we will call Acorn, in consideration of the icon that they were using at the time.

Acorn criticised my post, saying I was only ‘bagging trump because it’s the “cool thing” to do’ and that I essentially ‘wouldn’t know (*expletive*) about American politics except for that Trump is running.’

I was also encouraged to ‘take a look at his policies, the western world genuinely needs some extreme reforms, whether you are willing to accept it or not.’

So I did.

I went onto and had a look at the things that he is advocating for, and despite what I knew of him previously, I was impressed. The website revealed Trump’s plans for affordable healthcare, tax reform that would help fix the wealth distribution in America and better care for war veterans both physically, socially and economically.

These are just a few things that, frankly, could be good things. If I didn’t know anything about Trump, and I say this lightly, I probably would say that I support him except for that thing about the wall: he wasn’t kidding about that.

So I’d like to thank Acorn personally for encouraging me to go and do my research. I learned a valuable lesson from him: an internet fight that winds up in something that’s akin to two people yelling at eachother with their hands covering their ears is not something productive in this world. I was criticised on social media, and instead of screaming bloody murder at my accuser I decided why not get the front foot on this argument and learned far more than I anticipated.


Internet fights are good for you and Donald Trump does say he has some good ideas

My Take on Tina Fey

At the encouragement of my sister and parents, I started the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt the other day, and I adore it. To me, it is first and foremost great comedy and writing. Secondly, I think it has a great standing amidst fears of being politically correct humans.

The premise of the series is that Kimmy was one of four women kept locked in a bunker by a religious fanatic for 15 years; she comes into the present day of 2015-16 with absolutely no knowledge of how to be an adult in contemporary America.

One of the things that I love about the series is the writer: Tina Fey. She is possible one of my favourite public figures, comedians and women in the world, partly because her style of comedy is unadulterated and challenging.

She doesn’t shy away from ideas that are challenging in society, writing freely and provocatively about topics including sex and race in a way that makes me laugh at this inherent paranoia of being politically correct. For instance, in the first episode, Kimmy meets her roommate Titus after the landlady, Lillian’s, nonchalant introduction of him as ‘single, but very gay’ and ‘very black.’ Her matter-of-fact delivery is subtly jarring despite its humour.

I think something that draws me to this type of comedy is that it highlights the fact that in reality, being politically correct is something we overthink. Titus’ introduction is a good example of this, because in a formal essay or article he would be described as a ‘homosexual African-American,’ and while there is nothing wrong with this kind of description, it is overcomplicated and borderline pretentious.

If you were to watch another production by Tina Fey, such as Mean Girls or 30 Rock, you’d probably get what I’m trying to say. In Mean Girls, the first time Cady is introduced to her class as an exchange student from Africa, the teacher (played appropriately by Fey) is quick to assume that a black student ‘from Michigan’ is said exchange student. And in 30 Rock, there is an entire episode in which white businessman Jack Donaghy (played by Alec Baldwin) gets black actor and comedian Tracy Jordan (played by Tracy Morgan) to film a Republican campaign video to encourage black Americans to vote Republican; ultimately, Donaghy simply gets Tracy to say ‘Black people, don’t vote!’

My ultimate thoughts on Tina Fey is that in a time where censorship and political correctness is a hotbed of paranoia and anxiety, her humour is relaxed yet provocative. I am always going to have a biased view of her work since I adore her, but frankly I think that there needs to be more appreciation for this woman and the lens she offers us through which we can simply have a chuckle about how unusual, unfair or uptight the world can be sometimes.

My Take on Work Attachments

Don’t have a great relationship with ‘work experience’ or anything like that; the last time that I had work experience was in 2013 and I was at a very small business’ admin building, and basically spent the whole time playing Happy Wheels on the computer.

Thus, the thought of having to put myself out there for work attachments isn’t too enticing when it’s first mentioned.

However, I’m at a point where I’m realising that grades and marks ultimately mean jack-squat; its moreso the opportunities that are presented to us and what we choose to do with them that paves our careers. For instance, I took up a paid photography job for a college function a few weeks ago, and even though I haven’t had a rags-to-riches overnight sensation experience from that, I now have that experience under my belt to present to future prospective employees.

So: Game Plan.

Step 1. What are my skills I already have, PLUS what are skills I want to learn and develop further. Write list, check for whether ideal outcomes are reasonable, leave to sit in fridge for 30 minutes.

Step 2. Have CV/Resume sorted. Any kind of experience in my opinion can be useful, for instance I used to work casual/part time at a workplace (shall remain nameless) that I believe has given me experience of what it is like to work in a poorly managed organisation

Step 3. Research organisations/companies you’d like to work for. For me, I can see myself working in a very creative workplace, involving technical and visual understandings of media. Thus, I can’t really see myself working in something like radio, but I reckon something in PR or marketing could suit me better.

Step 4. Here is my resume hire me please and thank you

Time to grab life’s opportunities by their politically correct labels and hope for the best.

My Take on the Panama Papers, Taxes and the 2016-17 Budget

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) recently leaked 11.5 million files, exposing politicians, public officials and international leaders across the globe as using offshore tax havens, from Mossack Fonseca, one of the globe’s biggest offshore law firms.

This controversy of wealthy tax evaders, and the release of the national 2016-17 budget barely 10 days ago, have been trending topics of discussion across journalism and social media, and I sought to understand what all of it meant.

I did a little research, and learnt that companies and private bodies such as public figures, officials and politicians have been using tax havens for around 40 years in Panama. According to ICIJ (through Mossack Fonseca’s database) up to 210,000 companies have used Panama as a base over the last 40 years, and include politicians, public figures and private owners from all across the globe.

Offshore tax havens are essentially shop fronts, or ‘shell companies’ as described by ICIJ, set up offshore of a company or private owner’s actual home country where taxes are cheaper.

This offshore site is legally set up in writing as their legally official base, and so this base in Panama pays marginally cheaper taxes while their actual set-up back home doesn’t have to pay more expensive taxes intended for healthcare, education, security and protection institutions, etc.

As a result, the economy of these countries have been immensely harmed by losing millions of dollars in taxes that haven’t been paid, as a result of offshore tax havens.

I think that the 2016-17 national Budget’s release is relevant and additionally important to discuss alongside the Panama Papers. To put it into terms that my mind gets, the budget aims to give tax cuts to high income earners; this is going to greatly affect low income earners in Australia over the next 3-4 years. I find it to be a cruel irony and tragedy of human nature to see that not only have wealthy politicians and figures been immorally avoiding taxes and thus gaining wealth while others have been making up for it, but the new budget favours the position of high income earners even further. It is as if human society has not changed in the last few thousand years.

Just think of the French Revolution; the nobility and clergy were grossly exempt from paying taxes and the rest of society bore the brunt of having to make up for them by giving away all that they had. It’s all too similar to the current situation in the US where 0.01% of the population owns as much wealth as 90% of the country. Essentially, what I am noticing in the current state of affairs concerning the Budget and the Panama Papers is that human society, ruled primarily by the rich, has catered for the rich.

As seen in the Q+A episode the other night, featuring Liberal Party members being faced with Duncan Storrar, those is power until the upcoming election are the Liberals dominated by a privileged, wealthy demographic that has absolutely positively no idea what it is like to live in a below average, let alone a low-income household. They see an opportunity to fill their purses some more, and have never even considered the idea that there are people who struggle just to make ends meet every day. What I see in the Panama Papers, the Budget and the recent Q+A episode are examples and evidences of the unending selfishness that is human nature. In this case, in a capitalist society, in reference to the lectorial on institutions, Power is power. Knowledge has yet to give way to a change in behaviour in society.


My Take on Timothy Treadwell

In Cinema, we watched Grizzly Man, a documentary about a man named Timothy Treadwell who was obsessed with bears and nature. Watching excerpts from his own videos through the documentary, I (and I believe many other members of the audience) was struck by his peculiar nature and deep obsession with the wilderness, particularly his apparent nonchalance when faced with enormous, unpredictable and powerful adult grizzly bears. For the most part, I think that Treadwell was a nutter, and kept thinking to myself, ‘he’s insane, he’s mad, maybe he is simply not well,’ and my mind was drawn back to yesterday’s lectorial on media institutions and Michel Foucault’s studies of how abnormal behaviour is perceived and treated in society.

Firstly, what made Timothy Treadwell ‘abnormal?’ I would say, from watching Grizzly Man, that it would be his unusual accent and mannerisms. At a first glance, he seemed effeminate which made his character distinctive and out of the ordinary, particularly in the wilds of Alaska.

Secondly, his unusualness came from his deep passionate confessions of love and admiration for bears. In a social context, most people may say they respect bears when brought up in conversation; but he publicly preached about them. Furthermore, his character implied that his love for the beasts made him naïve to their wild, powerful and deadly nature. He said so himself, without much concern, that he was at risk of bodily or fatal harm, and yet he persevered and stayed within the vicinity of bears. Why would a sane person risk their lives and safety for the sake of studying and ‘protecting’ such dangerous creatures? This, I believe, is what would help classify Treadwell in society as a ‘weirdo,’ a ‘nut,’ ‘delusional’ or ‘crazy.’

Treadwell was a fascinating character and is fascinating to observe, because he is a brilliant example of someone in contemporary society who is, in his own way, mentally unwell. He has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and voluntarily stopped taking antidepressants without the clearance of a doctor and I believe these are grounds for someone who is troubled; not necessarily mentally ill, but confused and unwell. If we were to examine him through the lens of Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation, we would engage in a sociological study of the relationship between Treadwell as an individual and society on a larger scale. In the documentary itself, his friends and acquaintances recounted him as unusual, troubled and, to some degree, worrying or even frightening in his obsession. Even Treadwell’s relationship with the audience while watching the documentary would be an interesting one to study. For one thing, how would we, as an audience of this somewhat biased a perception of a documentary, express our opinions of Treadwell in a social situation with friends or in a discussion in Cinema? That’s something that intrigues me, because I definitely have opinions of Treadwell that I want to clarify for myself.