I undertook my workplace attachment as a Social Media Assistant at the Fitzroy Football Club, during the second year of my Bachelor of Communications Degree.  The opportunity was intended mainly for students interested in a career in sports marketing or communications, however I applied for the position as I have an interest in sports journalism, and with a passion for Australian Rules Football, sports journalism and broadcasting is a potential career path I would like to pursue in the near future, and the position Fitzroy Football Club were looking to fill seemed like a reasonable starting point.

The Fitzroy Football Club played in the VFL/AFL from 1897-1996, and together with the local side, the Fitzroy Reds (formerly University Reds) that played in the VAFA from 1955-2008, the club is once again known as the Fitzroy Football Club (Incorporating the Fitzroy Reds), donning Fitzroy’s old guernsey.  Since the official merging of the two clubs, the team has amassed a large following of supporters, many of whom once cheered on “the Fitzroy of Old”.  Their home games are played at the historic Brunswick St Oval where Fitzroy Football Club first played in 1883.

Initially, I was slightly hesitant to apply; the first line of the promotional advertisement read “Do you like spending time on Facebook and Twitter?” before “Successful applicants will get to post scores and updates on game days” which did not seem like much of an ‘experience’, however social media is an avenue that is being heavily utilised by sporting clubs at the highest levels in more recent times, including the AFL, in an effort to stay connected with their supporters, though still not so much appealing for my future career endeavours as a journalist.  I was reassured however, as the ad asked “Are you interested in a career in communications, social media or sports journalism or marketing?  Then Fitzroy Football Club wants to hear from you!” and realised the opportunity may turn out to be a perfect place to begin, so I took the chance and sent in my resume.

Though updating the scores of a local footy team – albeit a former VFL/AFL side – didn’t immediately excite me, the promise of “development opportunities throughout the season, including writing and editing Fitzroy’s communications” did.  The official position description elaborated on our expected tasks, which included undertaking game day social media activities, including updating final reserves game scores on Facebook and Twitter, and posting photos and comments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, they promised that other tasks and duties would be negotiated, for instance there would be opportunities to undertake social media activities outside of game days and write content for Fitzroy’s website and email/newsletter.

Within three days from applying, I was contacted by Fitzroy’s then Media and Communications Director, Emily Andersen, informing me I had the position.  In conversations we had over the phone, I was able to find out a little more about the role, and was eager to accept.  I was to share the role with fellow RMIT student Tim Gunn, who was in his final year of studying Media at the time.  The position was for at least one day per week on game day to watch the senior games from 1:30 – 5pm, for the period from April to October, with additional days to be negotiated.

Initially, the only expectation for us was to update the scores at the conclusion of each quarter during the game.  Tim would handle Twitter, which he was more familiar with then me, while I would post my own separate updates to Facebook.  Soon, I would add short commentaries to each post, describing how the game was progressing, with emphasis on Fitzroy’s players.  It was a requirement that we remained positive and encouraging with our posts, even if the game looked to be over at Quarter Time.  It was a strategy that is also applied by professional sporting leagues, and I tried to keep my posts as formal as possible, while Tim’s restriction to 140 characters on Twitter allowed him to apply a more casual approach.

I did some subconscious research myself, taking note of various AFL club’s social media posts, particularly the St. Kilda Football Club, the AFL team I follow.  I then modelled my own posts for Fitzroy FC’s pages to match the content, structure and format of St Kilda’s posts, again trying to maintain a level of quality and professionalism.

As the year continued, I began to immerse myself more within the club, getting to know a few of the players, and matching names with faces and playing numbers from the weekly Footy Record publications.  As I did so, I was able to add each game’s best players and goal-kickers to my Facebook posts, which was greatly appreciated by the club, with my posts eventually beginning to attract a small following of regular ‘likes’ and ‘comments’.  After arriving back home each week, I would write a dot-point match report which would be sent to the local paper to be written up for publication the following day.

After recently completing my Personal Networking Report for my Media Industries course and speaking with journalist Callum Twomey, it was quite a shock to find that match reports on AFL games needed to be published online within 5 minutes of the game’s completion – a timeframe he originally struggled with when first beginning his career with the AFL a few years ago.

This work continued for the remainder of the year, until the final round of the home and away season, with Fitzroy narrowly missing out on the finals.  However, between the game day score updates and social media posts, we were presented with a few projects that were much more beneficial towards my career goals to complete.

Throughout the year, I wrote two extended pieces for the Fitzroy newsletter and website.  The first featured an interview with one of Fitzroy’s oldest supporters, Val Allpress, who was given the opportunity to tick a dream off her bucket list; being driven to the ground before a game on a Harley Davidson motorcycle.  Tim took the photos of Val riding in to the ground, while I interviewed her at the conclusion of the game, and asked about her journey to the ground and extended history with the club.  The second piece involved a football clinic that some of the players and coaching staff from the Fitzroy Football ran for underprivileged children at Sacred Heard Primary School, which I attended and conducted further interviews with the coaching staff, and this time took the photos myself that would accompany the article.

Though it is always beneficial writing practice pieces to develop the essential writing skills (and speed) required in the industry, regardless of the scale of audience, the biggest role we were tasked with was making a video for the AFL club the Brisbane Lions, who sponsor a young Fitzroy player every year.  The sponsorship is part of an initiative by the Lions to maintain their connection with Fitzroy, after their former AFL side folded in the mid-90s and eventually became known as the Brisbane Lions.  Tim and I created a video-interview piece with the sponsored player Julian Turner, who talked about his career and what the sponsorship meant for him.  Tim filmed, while I conducted the interview, before the video was later posted to Brisbane’s official website.

Conducting the interview processes themselves were extremely beneficial to me, and helped me to develop greater confidence when talking in front of a camera or behind a microphone.  The interviews also came with the realisation of how important it really is to actually listen to your interview subject, and think of questions on your feet, rather than relying on a pre-determined list of questions, that are often quickly made redundant by the subject within minutes of starting the interview.  It was also highly helpful having to establish the connections with the subjects in the first place, and being much more independent and have to initiate and orchestrate the entire process on our own was also a worthwhile practice.

At the conclusion of the season, Emily offered both Tim and I a position on the board to fill her role as Media and Communications Director, as she was leaving to commence further studies overseas.  I declined, the commitment too great heading into my final year of study, but opted to remain at the club to report on future stories and other media-related jobs to be done throughout the 2015 season.  Unfortunately however, after losing contact with Emily this year, and despite being tasked with creating player photos at the beginning of the year, the remaining club officials were hard to maintain contact with, and eventually all talks ceased, which was a disappointing end to what was overall a rather enjoyable experience.


MEDIA INDUSTRIES: Final Reflections

As always, regardless of how well organised and prepared you think you may be, there are always little things that stray from the original plan, go horribly wrong, or take longer than expected than the original allocated timeframe.  Thankfully, major disasters were avoided, though the half hour we had to prepare the room before our seminar began passed in the blink of an eye.

Our guests appeared well before we were due to begin, first being Clayton Jacobson, director of Kenny, which starred his brother Shane as a plumber who works for a portable toilet rental company.  It’s rather funny upon reflection that I ran into him in the bathrooms just before we were due to meet in the building’s foyer.  Renowned editor Alicia Gleeson and 2014 Tropfest Winner Julian Lucas completed our guest list.  All our guests were lovely, talkative and despite their successes, still very relatable, which relieved a lot of the stress I had built up over the hours before.

Still, the time I had spent waiting for and speaking with them did make me feel as though I was letting the rest of the team down by not helping them prepare directly.  Like the hours before, our seminar passed even quicker.  All our speakers gave some excellent informative advice, and I was incredibly proud we had managed to attract such distinguished guests.

I was however, really disappointed that we were not allowed more time to set up beforehand, with some of the finer details unable to be tweaked to achieve what could have been a flawless performance from our entire group.  Though I understand that the room and allotted time frame was set in stone before the semester even began, I would strongly recommend that for future year levels, the room is booked for a longer period of time before the seminar, so that we may begin setting up in the room at least an hour before.

That said, I’m still very proud of not only the grade that we achieved, but the quality our seminar displayed.  It was a fantastic group of people to work with, and I gained many new friends and potentially future colleagues along the way.


The title and theme of our seminar fell into place relatively quickly, and one that I am unashamed to take the credit for!  Media VI; A New Hope.  (I had brainstormed some other title suggestions to tie in with the Star Wars theme, such as ‘The (Work) Force Awakens’, or ‘The Phantom Graduate’, but they just didn’t have the same ring as the original.)

That contribution aside, it’s somewhat embarrassing that we’re less than three weeks away from our presentation, and I have been unsuccessful in finding any guests either willing or available to participate in our seminar.  It’s a nervous waiting game, sending out no more than three emails at a time so that we don’t double-book, but the first wave of emails was unsuccessful.  After finally landing a well known Australian Producer, I was immediately relieved, only to be cruelly thrust back to square one after they cancelled.

I’m really starting to feel the pressure after watching the previous seminars, particularly the Social Media group, who managed to put on a wonderful event, despite having less than two weeks to fully prepare.  I have a lot of faith in the rest of our team, but the success of our seminar may very well be dependent on who I can contact that isn’t out of the country in three weeks time.


And so it begins.  Organising a seminar open to the public seems daunting in itself, added to that the fact that we must arrange for three film industry professionals to come in and talk to us seems insane.  Perhaps we are thinking too high up the ladder to begin with though.  Names like George Miller, Baz Lurhman and even Geoffrey Rush are being tossed around, and I’ve somehow been assigned to reach out to them.

The roles for each group member appear to have fallen into place quite easily, mostly we have nominated ourselves for which section of the seminar’s production we would like to participate in, and the numbers seem to work out.  We have a big group with 14 members, though whether that is actually beneficial to us is yet to be seen.

I’m very much looking forward to witnessing the first few weeks of the seminar series, to draw on inspiration from other groups, and see how high they set the bar.  Our presentation is scheduled for Week 9 and I am still doubtful of what we can achieve in that amount of time, let alone what the poor group presenting in under two weeks time can come up with!


Week 11 hits and all of a sudden the pressure mounts and the stress begins.  It doesn’t help that our photo shoot with Connor fell through on Thursday either.  But a good team is able to work around issues together and revert to Plan B, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.  Kylie is putting her photography and editing skills to good use and attempt to Photoshop Connor into the background of pre-existing party photos, after Kevin instead took some shots of him in front of a green screen yesterday.  Kylie picked out which photos she would include Connor in, and sketched the positions and angles he should be in, with Kevin replicating her list in front of the screen.

(UPDATE:  Here’s the first few examples Kylie has produced.  I think they look fantastic, and likely have turned out better than our original plan to create a fake party with guests)

Connor 1 Connor 2 Connor 3

My news articles are taking shape, and I’ve decided to use a fake newspaper generator to display my articles with.  Although they look great, the generator does raise a few problems.  Once created, the article is downloaded and saved as an image file.  This means that the articles will not be able to include direct hyperlinks to our other online platforms, as originally planned.  To work around this, I will need to instead change my writing style and rather than link directly to other platforms, subtly ‘namedrop’ each elements into the two planned articles; one which takes place the day after the murders where few details are known, and a follow-up piece that will be released a few days later, confirming more details.  The other problem I face is a strict character count for the generator, so my articles will need to be clear and concise, yet still provide all necessary details.

Progress is still on track, but we need to keep pushing through to have all the content uploaded in ‘real time’ as planned, to match with our event which takes place in the coming days, so next week will be pretty intense.


Although it seems to have been another slow week for the progress of ‘CONNOR’, I think we’ve actually achieved more than I originally felt.  Thomas has sent us his first couple of vlogs, which have been uploaded to his account, which can be found here.  Each of us are in the process of creating five fake Facebook accounts, though this is much more time consuming that I originally believed, as an accompanying email address having to also be linked with each account.  After 2 accounts have been created, both Facebook and Gmail bar you from creating further accounts within the space of 24 hours, so there’s still more work to be done there.

My role for the project is to create interactive news articles that will serve to quite literally link our project together for audiences, and although these will be the final element of the project to be posted, I need to begin researching how they can be presented.  After testing out Wix as a potential platform, I strongly believe it will not look credible enough to pass as a professional news page, and will need to source another option…

Tiana’s diary is coming along nicely, and already she has filled a large number of pages.  Next week’s tasks will include completing all the Facebook accounts, and meeting with Thomas at a public location yet to be determined in order to take pictures of him that will be used for the party photo album.  We’ll probably need to find some party revellers too…


Our transmedia projects took a small break this week, as we took time to more closely examine the week’s complex set reading: Signs, Systems and Complexity of Transmedia Storytelling by Renira Gambarato.  Taking the time in class to unpack the piece once more was highly beneficial, and like most of the denser readings, after breaking it down, it became a lot easier to understand – except perhaps for Gambarato’s use of algebra to explain one of his theories.

However, Gambarato’s reading and the relevance it had with our transmedia project quickly became clear, as he describes transmedia story as being seen as a “super system composed of nested systems”, where the system is the story.  The unfolding of elements and discovery of content is what is important to successful transmedia storytelling.  If these elements do not add to the story, then they are rendered unnecessary.  Gambarato continues, elaborating Henry Jenkins’ concept of ‘performance’, explaining how both interactivity and participation are key elements in order to gain a relationship with an audience.  The narrative likely aims to bring together an audience who share common interests and goals, to greater encourage the need between the participants to interact with the story.

In many ways, Gambarato’s journal article reinforces many of Troy Innocent’s pointers from last week’s lecture, and will again inspire more discussion from our group as we discuss this ‘reward’ we need to ensure we provide our audience with.


Though this week has seen little tangible progress for our transmedia project ‘CONNOR’, our group had some highly productive planning sessions in class, finalising all media platforms our story will utilise, and the stories they will individually tell.  With the short films officially scrapped, we have each assigned ourselves one of the remaining platforms to focus our efforts on.

Connor’s private diary will be maintained by Tiana, and along with written diary entries, will include pictures, drawings and other scrapbooked items to establish Connor’s heightening psychosis.  The diary will be the most personal artefact, displaying Connor’s deepest and darkest thoughts; intended to be kept forever private.  Using both Elliot Rodger’s 140 page manifesto ‘My Twisted World’ and the literary experiment “S.” written by Doug Dorst and conceived by J.J. Abrams as inspiration, the diary will be our only physical artefact.

Mia will be scriptwriter for Connor’s YouTube Vlogs.  This is our actor Thomas’ opportunity to breathe life into the character of Connor, who in turn will be putting on a performance for his intended audience, and are therefore not as open and honest as his diary’s entries.  The vlogs will be uploaded in the coming weeks to a YouTube account Mia created for Connor, spaced between now and the night before the fateful party.

A Facebook Event and Photo Album will be created, including approximately 25 fake Facebook accounts, so that we may contribute to one another’s pages, each of us taking part to build a convincing social network.  Kylie will be in charge of creating photos for the album, which will be taken at the party Connor attends uninvited and executes his murders.  At this stage it is unclear whether we will organise our own event and have Thomas lurking in the background of certain images, or whether we can Photoshop him into pre-existing images.

My designated role is to create some written news articles, which we hope will not only conclude and tie together the narrative, but also directly mention the other platforms as clues for audiences to explore.  In this way, the articles can be used as both a starting point, and a conclusion to our narrative.  At this time, I’m not yet sure how I will present the articles.  The plan is to have them uploaded to a faux news website, although I doubt both the believability of the webpage, and my website creation skills.

Obviously, in creating these elements independently, we will need to ensure we communicate efficiently between group members, so that the coherency of our characters, narrative and timeline remain consistent.  I’m excited to see Thomas’ first video he is due to film later this week, so no doubt there will be some more progress and change of thought patterns next week.


Our project brief for assessment task four of The Story Lab is to create a media object that relates a narrative across multiple platforms.  We have chosen to base our narrative around a combination of an ongoing real life news story and a fictional anecdote linked by a common theme.

Our project, simply titled Connor, depicts the social and mental struggles of a young man who doesn’t seem to fit in with the world around him.  Feeling outcast by his peers and neglected by his family, Connor decides he can’t take any more and meticulously prepares a violent end to those ignorant enough to ignore his presence at his classmates’ house party he was not invited to.  The character draws inspiration from Elliot Rodger, who committed the 2014 Isla Vista killings, taking the lives of 7 people and injuring 14 others, blaming his attack over “childhood [problems], family conflicts, frustration over not being able to find a girlfriend, his hatred of women and his contempt for racial minorities and interracial couples”.

Our narrative will take place across five different platforms of media each allowing a different type and degree of interaction by audiences.  The five platforms are a film mini-series (or webisodes), YouTube video blogs, a Facebook party event and photo album, faux news articles, and a tangible personal diary.  Each platform will be directly linked to at least one other artefact, though not all are necessary to experience in order to gain a significant understanding of Connor’s plight.

Although our narrative has a distinctive timeline, where audiences will pick up the tale will vary.  This is because the links to the different platforms are non-linear and thus, unlikely to be discovered in the “correct” order.   For the sake of describing the artefacts however, I’ll describe each piece in chronological order.

The story will pick up with the mini-series, though these will not be from the perspective of Connor himself.  Instead, the planned three short films will explore the interactions between Connor and other members in his life, including his mother, his neighbour, and class mates.  The episode with his mother will uncover Connor’s private diary, his neighbour will observe Connor filming his vlogs late at night, and the school episode will uncover details of the party Connor has been excluded from.

Connor’s diary will illustrate the most in-depth look into the damaged psyche of a soon-to-be murderer, and include a collage of facts and details he has collected over time to plot his retribution.  The diary’s presentation will draw inspiration from the literary experiment “S.” written by Doug Dorst and conceived by J.J. Abrams, which includes postcards, handwritten letter, maps and photocopied articles to provide evidence and clues to the wider narrative.

The vlogs Connor records are also highly personal, but more theatrical and ambiguous than what is depicted in his diary.  The vlogs will be shot on a laptop camera and will be uploaded to YouTube on Connor’s account.  His performance is intended to demonstrate Connor’s odd personality, as though he intends for his classmates to view them and justify their estranged thoughts of him before he exacts his revenge.

Like the YouTube videos, the Facebook event page and accompanying photo album will be uploaded in real time, with audiences having received hints to the dates and details of the occasion in the films, vlogs and diary.  The photo album will unknowingly display Connor’s deceased victims, with the party members assuming their friends are simply intoxicated and passed out, though comments from the event’s attendees over time will lead audiences to believe otherwise.  The decision to upload the photos in “real time” circumvents the issue of people uploading photos of people the morning after, in which time they would surely have learned of their deaths.

Finally, the narrative will be tied together by two news articles, which will also be uploaded in the correct “elapsed” amount of time.  The first article will simply detail the case of the bodies found following the house party, but provide little details.  In this way, this article could prove a useful starting point for audiences to discover the project’s narrative and have to work backwards to find all the details.  The second article, published approximately one week later, will provide audiences with all the answers as to “whodunnit”, including direct links back to Connor’s vlogs, Facebook event, and interviews with his fellow peers.

The roles and responsibilities in order to achieve this project will be divided evenly across all members of our group, according to each member’s individual set of skills and interests.  I would like to assume the task of creating the online news articles, although I will likely need help from other members in creating the webpage.



This week in The Story Lab, our project team began preparations for our presenting our project pitch to a panel of four ‘potential investors’ and the rest of the class.  In particular, it was a really interesting experience to get to hear the other groups in the class present their ideas, even though many of the ideas, including ours, are still in the prototype drafting stage.  It quickly became clear that each different group had put together a vastly different idea, with both unique narratives and ways in which their stories would be told.  In particular, I both enjoyed and was gravitated towards the projects Dodging the Bullet, a narrative about the disappearance of a girl after involving herself in an online relationship, and Protest of Passion, a faux political campaign.

As one of the later groups to present, I thought our group presentation was sound, however potentially did not clearly translate and explain itself to the audience quite enough.  Feedback from the panel seemed positive, our narrative and inspiration intrigued and interested the panel, however it was suggested by a few members that maybe we have bitten off more than we can chew, in terms of how many platforms we are planning to relay the story across.  Upon later discussions with the group in regards to the feedback, we have decided to abandon the idea of the short films, as not only were they to be the most time consuming, but also were not as relevant in telling Connor’s story, as they were from an outside perspective.  The short films also did not fit with the ‘realism’ of the project, and would be jarring to the narrative and to audiences when ‘pushing off’ between a fictional film, to a more realistic platform, such as Facebook and YouTube.