Media Exhibition Reflection

As I stated in my intention post, my aim was to make a postcard and a poster for the exhibition. Now that it has past what I contributed to the event is as follows: A Poster, a postcard and a post with the embedded videos and a contextualized statement.

This turned out to be more than I internally anticipated to do but i guess it was for the benefit of the group so I didn’t really mind (that much). The postcard seemed to be a wasted effort on my part since the task was outsourced and by the time I was notified it had already been finished. The poster was finished and was part of my expected duties. The post with the embedded videos and a contextualized statement was a last minute addition since I was unable to get in touch with the rest of my group members so I took it upon myself to finish up these tasks. The videos had to be submitted to the media server at RMIT University and since I live a considerable distance away from the campus, so I decided to reach out to my group members but one was busy and I received no ward from the other. Therefore I opted to submit them via Google Drive in their original quality.

This turned out to be quite a grueling week for me since I had a number of tasks that I had not anticipated to be doing. The fact that it was also a busy week at work didn’t help things but at least it is now behind me and now I can finally enjoy a well deserved break

Exhibition Blog Post


What We Envisioned
Monochrome Cowboy initially looked at making a short film of 15-20 minutes in length. The initial concept was that subtitles on screen reveal a person’s true thoughts as our character’s mental state will slowly decline into a downwards spiral. The original vision was that we would have a male protagonist that is left in a state of disarray, as he waits for the return of his girlfriend after they had a fight in their home. After that ‘Jack’ heads to his local cinema and watches a foreign film. After sleeping thought most of it, ‘Jack’ wakes up with the ability to see people’s true feeling though subtitles. The conflict at the beginning served as a basis for all his insecurities as his mental state could only worsen from that point on. The narrative would eventually develop into an emotional climax where the girlfriend would return home and with his ability to see through the lies he would ask if she loved him and she replies “yes”.

What We Ended Up With
The end product was quite different than what we set out to do. Many factors contributed to this from actor availability to location scouting as instead we completed a short scene of the initial fight and a dream sequence. Being ambitious, we set out to complete a short film but we quickly came to realise that time was not on our side; therefore we opted to compete a well shot scene as a proof of concept. The character of ‘Jack’ has been gender swapped which was a positive change since many films have an insecure male as the lead. This change was due to actor unavailability and time constraints so Michelle, one of the group members of Monochrome Cowboy volunteered to play the role. There was a last minute notice that the location we were going to film at was no longer available so we had to improvise and ended up going to the gardens. The location went from being set in the bedroom of the unhappy couple to the scenic Botanical Gardens. It was a blessing in disguise as our frustrations wittered away at some of the sights the garden has to offer. We had always intended to include a dream sequence scene but it didn’t quite fit in the overall narrative but being a proof of concept and having the Botanical Gardens at our disposal we shot one. Since we all had to do our own cuts we were pleased at how different the scene turned out.

Presentation Poster

A3 Poster Jamie Cilia

This is the Poster that I created for the exhibition. As you can probably tell I am using a very outdated version of Photoshop. This is because my laptop decided to self destruct on me so now I have to use the family computer which is basic at best. I took a great deal of effort to familiarise myself with a program that I had not touched in years. The interface was kind of similar but it was very much lacking in features so I was not exactly able to do what I had envisioned. Being pressed for time with other assignments and work didn’t help either but at least I managed to finish it and hopefully fulfilling the criteria required for this project.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Screening Analysis

True Detective which was screened in week 8 is a great example of how a crime drama can be done. After many years of watching the same formula of a crime being committed at the start of the episode and after analysing the evidence and striking a deal with a reluctant key witness the perpetrator is caught and the case is closed.

Network shows such as Criminal Minds and CSI can become very predictable for audience that have seen this formula play out every week. That is why shows like True Detective can be so refreshing and it is to no one’s surprise that it is produced by HBO. In Christopher Anderson’s article “Producing an Aristocracy of Culture in American Television”, he argues that HBO can be seen, in some respects as the lead in turning American Television into a cultivated expectation (Edgerton, et al 2008, p.23). It was also HBO who produced The Sopranos which was the first cable show to ever win an Emmy. Anderson furthers this argument by stating that HBO gives Television an “aesthetic disposition”, which is usually revered for historical and contemporary fine art (Edgerton, et al 2008, p.25). Criminal Minds and CSI usually have twenty or more episodes in a season while True Detective only has eight. Despite the lack of episodes it still manages to tell a much more steadily are steadily unfolding mystery narrative since it’s not episodic as our two protagonist Rustin “Rust” Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) chased after the same killer for the entire series.

What set this show apart from most crime dramas is the aforementioned actors in Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as they are major Hollywood actors and provide True Detective with some star power. Their performances captivated audiences as each portrayed a different broken characters and how they contrasted in the 1995 and 2012. Audiences will then see how these characters evolved from what they were to what they are in 2012. The case and their partnership are seen “through the refining lens if the past, revealing thoughts and events (the detectives) have long kept hidden from the world, and sometimes themselves” (Gardner, 2014). The story progresses through the use of flashbacks as Foster Hirsch says that these flashbacks that are “non-chronological order” and deal with a “fractured time sequence” resemble classic noire films. (Hirsch 2008, p.72). By being set in two different timelines it can be hard to keep the two narratives to not reveal too much to the audience since the main narrative occurs in 1995, a full seventeen years before.

What was also interesting was how they differentiated between the two timelines through the use of mise-en-scene. Both main characters look vastly different from their former selves but the less obvious techniques that were utilised such as the colour correction subconsciously made the audience link the time line to a particular tone. The 2012 timeline was light with harsh, artificial lighting, while the 1995 one had more natural lighting with a sepia tone overlay. This was a subtle way to inform the audience about the timeline of the scene through the use of colour and a person’s ingrained reaction to the sepia tone. The use of space also helped distinguish the two timelines as they 2012 scenes were kept indoors and in restricted spaces while the very first shot in the 1995 timeline was a wide establishing shot showing the grand fields of Louisiana as Rust and Marty drive a seemingly never ending road. In saying this, the two are a stuck in a tight space (the car) and appearing uncomfortable with each other’s presence. True Detective breaks the trope of having the partnership where the characters are good friends, with two characters that have a very different outlook on life and contrasting ideals which causes a friction between the two as the narrative progresses.

This show is an example of why people say that this is the golden age of television as True Detective tries to break tropes and clichés to tell a story about good vs. evil and the grief/loss that the individuals often encounter in this line of work.


Edgerton, G. R, and Jeffrey P. J, 2008, “Producing an Aristocracy of Culture in American Television” in The Essential HBO Reader, University Press of Kentucky, pp.20-27.

Gardner, C, 2014, “Television Case History”, The, viewed 21 October 2015 <>.

Hirsch, F, 2008, “The Crazy Mirror” in The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir, Da Capo Press, pp.68-75.

TV Cultures Concept

In week 6 the concept of active audiences was brought up in the lecture in week 6 and to an extent I have discussed this topic as part of my presentation but there is one particular element that I have not spoken about yet.

The link between active audiences and piracy is quite interesting as opposed to waiting for local providers to distribute certain material; more ‘active’ members of the viewing public might opt for piracy instead. Mark Pesce argues that “Audiences are technically savvy these days; they can and will find a way to get any television programming they desire.– they just want to watch it. Now” (Pesce, 2005). As these members of the audience are engaging in an illegal activity it is perhaps not as black and white as some research suggests. Joe Karaganis claims that “What we know usually begins, and often ends, with industry sponsored research” (Karaganis, 2011, p.1). This shows a clear biased in the research presented as it understandable for these industries to want to eradicate piracy but there are more factors at play that can lead an individual to piracy. Karaganis points out some of these reasons as he writes “From multinational pricing strategies, to international trade agreements, to the waves of technological diffusion that are transforming cultural communities” (Karaganis, 2011, p.1). What can be certain is that not every county has the same factors that lead people of that nation to pirate these shows.

Australia’s piracy levels is among the highest in the world and the main argument for such a high level is the industrial/provider practices that are responsible for the slow release of foreign (mainly American) material in Australia. Graham Spencer highlights how out of date the Australian model really is as he says “House of Cards Season 2 did air within a day of its US release, except Foxtel aired just one episode a week” (Spencer, 2014). House of Cards being a Netflix original, on its original platform it is released all at once but it can’t be done of Foxtel is the platform it’s being shown on. What Spencer wrote is one year old and Australia has gone from one Video on Demand service to four, in the form of Netflix, Presto, Stan, and the longest running VoD in Australia Quickflix. The House of Cards issue is now resolved since it has made Netflix its new home but that is not quite true for Netflix’s other highly rated show Orange is the New Black. While it is no Netflix it simultaneously aired its new season on Foxtel as well, week by week. This was unexpected considering Netflix and Foxtel are direct competitors and will be interesting to see if happens for the next season or maybe it was just a final condition from their previous agreement. Whatever happens next it will be interesting to see of all these Video on Demand services will prove to be a legal option for consumers that previously relied on piracy to access their shows. What also has to be taken into account when gathering these statistics is the impact that Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Act 2015 or more commonly known as the anti-piracy law will have on Australian pirates. It can prove to be a useful study to determine what the best method is to deal with Australia’s high levels of piracy. Whether it will be the heavy handed tactics by the Australian government or the rise of Video on Demand services on Australian shores, one thing is for certain, how Australians access their content will change for the better or the worst depending on the outcome of this experiment.


Karaganis, J, 2011, “Piracy and Enforcement in the Global Perspective” in Media Piracy in Emerging Economies,, pp.1-5.

Pesce, M, 2005, “Piracy is Good.” in New Models for the Distribution of Television Programming,, viewed 17 October 2015 <>

Spencer, G, 2014, Watching TV in Australia the Australian Delay Under the Microscope,, viewed 17 October 2015 <>

Statement of Intentions

For the exhibition day I intent to design the poster and postcard. This will aid my group in successfully completing Project Brief 5. I have also taken the role to write the contextualized statement for the website as well as including some of the videos that the group has made. I will also make myself available to aid others in my group that may be struggling. On the day I will be attending the presentations as well as aiding in anything that is required of me on the day.

Television Viewing Habits Post

From what I recorded over the past few weeks I can clearly see that for the majority of the time I have viewed these shows in my room alone. That come to little surprise I like to watch at my own pace rather than having to wait for other. That being said there is also the fact that I watched a couple of shows with my brother. Most of the time it was planned but there were also a few instances where he walked in and started watching. I can also see that in the few instances where I actually watch ‘traditional’ Television I almost never watch in the scheduled time made by the station. According to John Ellis these schedules are based on the “assumptions about everyday life, about school hours, working hours, mealtimes, family togetherness and apartness, bedtimes for children” (Ellis, 2000, p.26). It is clear that my viewing habits are not in line with the imagined communities TV executives have made the schedules for. With either the use of the DVR feature on Foxtel and Netflix, I watch what shows I want at anytime I want. Whether this is because I simply don’t fit the target demographic of the network or I actively choose not to conform to their schedules is debatable but I do believe that both are a factor in how I watch TV shows.

As I stated above it is rare for me to watch TV in the living room but the one thing I always watch on the big screen is live sport. When it comes to live TV, sport is the only instance I actually watch something live. It is a real effort to watch something live especially if it’s from another time zone. There is something about watching a game live that is lost when watching a recorded one. Jonathan Feuer and James Kaplan argue that “It is possible that we perceive video to be more real because the industry tells us it is live” (Feuer, Kaplan, 1983, p.14) which might factor in the decision to watch something live. What is also interesting is that whenever I watch these games live, it is more of a social experience as I watch it with my brother and father. This is a great departure from my usual viewing habits as it is a more secluded and isolated experience

In terms of the actual shows that I have watched over the past weeks I can clearly see that the majority of the shows have been cable shows as Marc Leverette, Brian Ott and Cara Louise Buckley claim that “Today, pay television (and HBO in particular) is positioned as an alternative to network offerings, consistently regarded as the premier site” (Leverette, Ott, Louise, 2009, p.1). It is to little surprise that the shows that I regarded as “quality” shows, few are on any network channel. This can be credited to the “HBO Effect” as stated by Leverette, Ott and Buckley (Leverette, Ott, Louise, 2009, p.1) as these cable shows have replicated the HBO formula which in turn allowed them to produce texts instead of TV shows. This effect has now evolved on Video on Demand services as their original, content much like HBO broke new ground with producing various genre shows and releasing all of the episodes at the same time.

Viewers today including myself are spoilt for choice when it comes to what to watch and how to watch these shows. The greatest challenge today seems to be watch shows not to watch rather than the other way round as there is an overwhelming amount of quality content being produced by various companies.

Ellis, J, 2000, “Scheduling: The Last Creative Act in Television?” in Media, Culture and Society, Sage Publications, London, pp.25-38.

Feuer, J, Kaplan, E. A, 1983, “The Concept of Live Television” in Regarding Television: Critical Approaches-An Anthology, University Publications of America, pp.12-22.

Leverette, M, Ott, B L, Buckley, C, L, 2009, “Introduction” in It’s Not TV: Watching HBO in the Post-Television Era, viewed 14 October 2015, <>

Film Writing Post 20

Collaboration. In a perfect world everyone in a group would contribute equally by utilizing their skills in order to achieve a certain goal. This is not a perfect world but we try our best to do our fair share of work. This can ‘work’ can come in many shapes and form such being on time to group meetings, responding to any concerns that others have and making yourself available for production.

I can’t say that I have been actively involved in all aspects of the project as the ones that felt they are better suited for certain areas I was not would have made my involvement intrusive. The idea of having too many cooks in the kitchen is especially true when writing as if everyone writes about the same thing and each have their own interpretation, finding a compromise can be hard. So with this in mind giving feedback on what was written and having test footage of ideas from the scripts was really all there was to do in the pre-production phase.

As for the shoot itself we all outlined our availability so that we could find a suitable day for us to get together and film. A little last minute drama aside the shoot was completed relatively smoothly. Since we can’t all be Robert Rodriguez, a crew was necessary to film and with most of the group present; we had enough people in front and behind the camera to finish. I was responsible for monitoring the sound for the shoot and spot for the boom mic operator. I helped out with the location scouting while at the gardens which allowed us to shoot at some quite stunning locations.

In the editing phase we agreed that we will go and do our edit of the footage and share it with the rest of the group so we can determine which part work and ones don’t and now that I finished and exported my project I will share it with the group and see what we can put together. This way it allows us to craft our vision for what should be shown and how it should be shown. This is a liberating feeling as I can cut it the way it I want and share it with others. It will be interesting what we will craft as it would seem we all have a unique take on what we have shot.

(Use the Pop Out feature for better quality)

Film Writing Post 19

Keyboard Short Cuts

I decided to do the colour grading exercise first just to see if I can find a short cut that will make my life easier when editing later on. That didn’t take long since I’m using an older laptop than most, these days it doesn’t quite keep up with the editing software I run on it. This forces me to render very often because if I don’t I will be watching the clip frame by frame. So I looked up ways to counter this and found out that I need to render these sequences so that they can run smoother. When I go on the sequence tab to render I noticed it had the short cut “enter” right next to the render function. This saves me a lot of time considering I render so often, which will make the time until I get a new laptop all the more bearable.

Another keyboard short cut that I found useful was the one to maximise frame with a simple press of the shift and the grave accent key. This saves a lot of time since I don’t have to move my mouse to the frame and bring down the options and click “maximise frame”. This is especially useful when wanting to take a closer look at the work I have been working on. There I noticed that there is some disparity between what I see on the small preview screen and the bigger one so I have to keep that in mind when editing in the future since the bigger one is closer to the final product than the smaller one. This will hopefully mean that the products I produce from now on will be closer to what I envision when I’m editing.