Media 6; reading 6

We made it! the final reading, 4 years, 6 semesters and this was it, the last one. fittingly, the reading was about future thinking, as of course now that i’m finishing my degree, i will be thinking about my future.

i found Gardner’s 5 mind theory quite fascinating. the five minds were:

the disciplined mind: mastering a way of thinking or a trade, profession, discipline

the synthesising mind: to be able to pull together multiple ideas, beliefs, opinions and join them together in  way to make sense of them all combined

the creating mind: self explanatory really, creating new ideas, systems, discoveries

the respectful mind: understands others and how they live and may act differently to oneself

the ethical mind: looks at how you act and place yourself within society and the impact your actions may have on the wider world.

now obviously you can’t just be one of these minds, it’s more likely that as a functioning member of society you’re going to have two or three, maybe even all five. i found this quite important when thinking about how i will soon be entering the work force.

in relation to one of the previous readings about the craftsman, the disciplined mind reminded me of the phrase “be so good they can’t ignore you”. to succeed in any kind of professional field, you need to have mastered your chosen discipline, to be so good that you will just keep getting jobs (or stay in the one you are in). but obviously that is not enough to succeed. you can’t just be good, you need to be more. a combination of creative and synthesising, as an entrant to the workforce, you must be able to not just take into account different styles of thinking or working but to then combine them to make your own unique method, to stand out, to get them to hire you.

and of course the last two minds are important as they influence they way you act with others and interact with the world, without understanding how others work or how your own contribution can affect society, you will never be able to further yourself in life because you will only ever see yourself and this will prevent others from seeing you.


Media 6; Reading 5

this wee’s reading was about time, something i have always been fascinated with. Our society is run entirely by time, what time we need to get up, what time we need to be at work, what time we will eat, what time we will relax. And what fascinates me the most is that, time does not exist.

Of course, yes, time does exist, but only because we as humans created it. Animals do not live their life by time, they just live their lives, and are certainly far more relaxed all the time than we are. which is what this article referred to as well, the stress of life, needing to find leisure time amongst our ever growing work hours.

I find this to be something that i am personally a little worried about. As i plan to be a tv producer, i know that my working hours will be, lets just say never-ending. tv has no 9-5, 5 days a week jobs. its seven days a week, 52 weeks a year and working every hour that you can. so where will i find my time, once i do eventually get myself into this industry. it is important to make the differentiation between work and leisure and definitely it is important to just stop working and relax. the world we live in today is just so fast paced, everything needs to be immediate that sometimes even a break or a holiday can seem like work, always being on the move, and still always connected via the internet. you must still always be checking your email and replying to texts and updating your facebook.

maybe the best way to find some time is just to disconnect, if you are not tracking yourself then perhaps you may find you don’t even need time, because you have enough of it.

Media 6; reading 4

I really enjoyed this weeks reading, found it quite interesting. the author discussed the difference between working as a “craftsman” or working out of “passion”, his argument in favour of the craftsman style.

In general, his idea was that ones work or career will not only be more successful, but more personally satisfying if it is treated as a work of craftsmanship rather than as ones passion. In short, he’s claiming that it doesn’t matter how much you love what you do, true success and happiness will come from just absolutely perfecting what ever it is that you may be doing.

I both agree and disagree to this. Although the author claims that this idea can be applied to any work in any field, both examples used (steve martin and that guitarist i’ve never heard of) are from the entertainment industry. so of course in that industry (which unfortunately is the industry i’ve chosen as my career), it is necessary to be the very best at what you do, otherwise you won’t get noticed and you certainly won’t get hired. but in the entertainment industry, you also really need to love, and truly love, what you do. no one is going to practice guitar for 15+ hours a day, every day, in order to be the best, if they don’t have the passion. no one is going to practice and perfect a stand up comedy routine for ten years with no paid work if they don’t have the passion. in this industry, the passion is needed in order to perfect the craft.

And i do not necessarily believe that this idea of craftsmanship over passion is relevant to every industry. you could be the best accountant in the world, but if you don’t love it, it won’t make you happy and you certainly won’t work to the best of your ability.

i do agree with the author that you cannot just have passion to succeed, that there must also be that element of craftsmanship, a dedication to making your work the best that it cane. but i also believe that passion is necessary, because without passion, there would be no craftsman.

Media 6; reading 3

This weeks reading by Lobato and Thomas discussed the not so attractive world of freelancers and interns in the media industry. an exploration into these two crucial roles revealed a poor state of affairs for those trying to break into the entertainment industries or those who are attempting to make a living of freelancing their work for minimal pay.

the reading discussed how people are hired as interns by companies in an effort to get free (or minimal cost) labor in an industry where people are desperate to get their foot in the door by any means and media entities exploit these people. this extends into the world of freelancers who may have progressed past the point of interning or offering their services for free to gain experience but are still paid next to nothing for what is regarded as professional work.

i found this reading extremely relevant to myself and my future career goals. as a hopeful media practitioner in the television industry, i worry that i will not only be unable to find work but that if i do, i will be grossly underpaid, if at all, while still be expected to work to the capacity of a fully paid employee. and often these positions provide no prospect of full time employment once the internship has concluded. I certainly experienced this while on exchange in the states, every production company around was constantly advertising for unpaid interns to be writing articles, editing videos, maintaining websites, acting as secretaries or performing menial office jobs, all for no pay whatsoever.

there seems to be no near solution to this as the only two apparent ways to enter the industry is either through an unpaid internship in order to gain experience, or to enter into a full time position with 10+ years of industry experience already under your belt in order to be paid.

Media 6; annotated bibliography

Bostrom, N 2003, ‘Are you living in a computer simulation?’, Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 53, no. 211, pp. 243-255


This article claims that if we believe it to be a possibility that at any time in the future we will possess technology capable of creating a simulated reality with sentient simulations, then we must also believe that we could be those simulations.

This goes against the more commonly discussed theory, at least in the media/entertainment industry, that we are biological beings which are unknowingly living in a virtual reality (in a manner similar to that of the Matrix films) but rather suggests that we are the computer simulated products of an advanced “posthuman” civilisation. It is also reliant on the conclusion that conscious thought does not need to be organic but can be replicated using computers and technology.

The author describes this posthuman stage of civilization as one where humans have an unfathomable level of computing progress.


This article appears to be incredibly relevant to the topic be examined regarding where the technological advancements in society will lead us and how we as humans will react to and interact with these advancements. The author suggests that any form of posthuman society will use their incredible computing power to create “ancestor simulations” and as such we must assume that we could potentially be a simulation ourselves. An interesting point the author made was that, in order to minimise computing power, there may be what he refers to as “shadow people”, humans simulated only at a level sufficient for the fully simulated people not to notice anything suspicious, and that we may not ever even know if the people we see around us are real or base level simulations.


Igarashi, T, Sharlin, E & Young, J 2011, ‘What is mixed reality anyway? Considering the boundaries of mixed reality in the context of robots’ in Wang, X, Mixed reality and human-robot interaction, Springer science and business media, New York, pp. 1-13



Moskowitz, C 2016, Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? High-profile physicists and philosophers gathered to debate whether we are real or virtual—and what it means either way, Scientific American, viewed 2/8/16, <>



Burrus, D 2014, The Internet of Things is far bigger than anyone realizes, Wired, viewed 2/8/16, <>


In this article, Burrus discusses the internet of things and the possibilities that this technical progression may grant our society. He claims that rather than just being a simple manner of “machine-machine” communication, the internet of things will allow for a much greater level of interaction between people and machines and between sensors, machines and people. The most interesting notion is that of sensors and they’re uses in everyday life. As Burrus explains, sensors can be used in every day situations, from simple scenarios such as road maintenance to complicated real time traffic information and route planning for commuters.

Burrus discusses the seamless convergence of this technology with our society in only the positive effects, disregarding any potential negative results. For example, when describing how a smart car may automatically slow when sensors detect an icy road ahead, there is no mention of adverse potential for self driving or self acting cars that may receive incorrect sensory input. This new technology may appear to be bringing about a fundamental change in the way we act, but Burrus doesn’t consider whether this new dependence on the internet of things or a sensor system may cause issues if this system begins to fail in any way.

This article’s content and the subsequent discussion forms the basis for what we will be looking at in terms of the internet of things and how we as a society will interact with a changing technology and the combination of the real and virtual worlds.

Media 6; Reading 2

This weeks reading, “A World of Differences“, looked at the ever changing market in the entertainment and media global industry. The discussion of the rise of digital media and digital consumption was fascinating as it really does feel as though we are heading into a world where everything is online. The emergence of Netflix has begun to shape the way entertainment and media is produced and released with the introduction of on demand personal programming. the reading discusses this as ‘bundles’ in relation to tv, films and primarily music, Apple music and other services which allow users to pick and stream whatever content they want.

The entertainment and media industry is facing a an era of change and companies must be able to adapt in order to stay relevant. People now want to be able to watch what they want, when they want and how they want, be it across multiple platforms or multiple forms of storytelling and media entities must be able to keep up with that.

What I found interesting was the content is king section which discussed how, despite newfound access to global content, it was the local content being produced in countries like Australia, Denmark and China, which still brought in the highest viewers/buyers. I am interested to see how (or if) this changes in the future when technology and digital media becomes even more accessible and prevalent in society.

Media 6; Reading 1


What are megatrends? I do wish this article had described them a bit better. In all honesty, I found it a little difficult to read. A lot of it was very, not gonna say technical, but more technological than I could really understand. And quite a bit, especially the first few sections, were simply describing various types of technologies and only very briefly discussing their potential impact on the world. What I mostly understood was that megatrends, or in this case the fourth industrial revolution (what were #2 and #3?), is major advancements in technology which will have serious impact on society in the next ten years.

The section I found the most interesting was this table of tipping point predictions.Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.19.30 pm

I was fascinated by the prediction that by 2025, 90% of the population will be using smartphones. Now, I have to assume that this “population” is that of the entire world, as other predictions would specifically state the US and this one didn’t. And I totally get how 90% of people in the US or Australia might have smartphones (although 90% is still an insanely high number), but there area whole lot of people in the world, and most are extremely poor or live in places where they have no access to these kinds of technologies. smartphones and al other kinds of the advanced technologies discussed here seem so, not only prevalent, but necessary, in our every day lives that we cannot imagine life without them. But for millions out there, this is just not a possibility, they may have never even seen a smartphone, and I can’t imagine that changing so drastically in just 9 years (and I can’t really see Apple ever lowering their prices).

On a slightly unrelated note, 10% of people wearing clothes that connect to the internet??? What on earth even is that. why would clothes need to connect to the internet. Unless clothes includes glasses, like google glass or something. but who needs t-shirts that play youtube videos? seriously.

Film/tv 2 analysis reflection 5, question 2

in 200 words or less please outline your goals, desires – what you want to get out of this semester. You will review this later in the course. You may rethink this dramatically – this is a good thing.”

You were asked this at the beginning of the semester. Now, could you review constructively what you got from this semester –  has the course lived up to your expectations, delivered what you expected, maybe even surpassed it?

most importantly for me this semester i want to make a film i am proud of, something i will want to show people. i want to learn a lot more about documentaries and the different forms. it’s never particularly been something that has interested me at all so i think this will give me an opportunity to make something i normally wouldn’t and it will be a really good experience.

i also think making a doco is an excellent opportunity to learn and discover a different way of filming. not everything can be planned, not everything can be perfect and often the idea can evolve and change along the way which i think is really important and something i’m looking forward to this semester.

Although we have not yet finished our film, from where we are currently at (which is very close to finishing), i am very proud of our film. similar to what i was hoping for at the start of semester, making this documentary has been completely different to anything i have done before. documentary is an incredibly different style of filmmaking to fiction and i certainly respect it a lot more.

what i have learned is that nothing has to be perfect. but not just that, nothing has to be done in any certain way. i went into this semester with a lot of preconceptions about the way things must be done when creating a documentary. for example, that if you are interviewing multiple subjects, their framing and time must always be the same. or that you can’t have the voice/questions of the interviewer included in your film. what i really enjoyed learning throughout the semester is that you can literally have anything in your film because it is yours. that was a big thing for me, not trying to base what i was creating off what others had done before me but to suit it towards what i was making.

overall, i enjoyed this semester a lot more than i had initially anticipated and i am a lot less hesitant to make documentaries in the future as i know understand that they don’t have the restrictions and limitations that i once believed.

I’d become a delinquent for a free trip to America

The transformation reality program is one that has become increasingly popular over the last couple of decades. While it showcases the real lives of people, which is a distinctive factor of the reality tv genre, it also incorporates the emotional and dramatic element of the ‘reveal’ which stems from scripted shows such as the soap opera. However, unlike the docu-soap, which used observationalist footage edited together to form a dramatic narrative, the transformation program features the ‘makeover’, which shifts the focus of the reality program from drama and conflict to self improvement and education.

It’s all about the self. While a transformation show may appear to be about the makeover of the certain thing being showcased in the program (be it a person, house, garden, business, pet, job or relationship), it appeals on the whole to the viewer in the context of their own lives. By watching other people improve their lives over the course of an episode or season, and to have the end results shown in the dramatic ‘reveal’, the individual audience member is given a set of choices and options on how they can better themselves in a similar way to achieve the same results. It becomes a form of “social observation” whereby “social issues [are reduced] to questions of individual lifestyle choice” (Lewis, 2009).

So what is lifestyle?  Annamarie Jagose describes it as a “promiscuous concept” that can be seen as “an accretion of personal style achieved primarily through consumption” (2003). The transformation program aims to instruct and educate its audience on what choices they can make to improve their lifestyle, not just concerning themselves with how to act but who to be, as “lifestyle concerns the very core of self- identity, its making and remaking” (Giddens, 1991).

So where do the angry teens come into the picture? World’s Strictest Parents is a show that educates both the children and the parents and becomes a learning experience to improve the lifestyle of an entire family. In the episode screened in the lecture, rebellious teens Corie and Thea are sent to live in Texas with ex-military dad Laval and they learn the hard way that slacking off does not help them in their lives. The episode begins with the teens living at home with their families and demonstrates exactly what is going on in their lives that led them to participate in the show. We see the kids yell at or ignore their parents, stay out late, skip school and even watch as Corie is taken to the hospital for substance overdose. The audience is given pretty clear description of how not to act as a parent as it can be seen that these poor mothers literally have no control over their children.

The episode then moves to America as the kids move in with their new Texan family and are forced to work hard and be polite in order to keep certain privileges such as a phone or clothes. The ‘transformation’ comes first when watching Corie break down during boot camp after skipping school. The boy realises he has been acting stupidly and doesn’t want to be that kind of person anymore. From that point on he has changed entirely and the emotional exchange between him and his mum when he returns home is perfect evidence of the benefits of his new life choices.

Often the reality makeover program operates on a purely commercial basis. They emphasise a stable and preferred way of life within a community  that is “strongly oriented toward [specific] consumer choices and leisure patterns” (Chaney, n.d), encouraging the audience member to purchase certain items that will better themselves and their lives in the ways of the respectable community which has been shown in the program. And although shows like World’s Strictest Parents do not promote commercialism in the same manner, it still acts to influence the viewer to act in a certain way in accordance to given ideals of the society portrayed in the show. Thus the transformation reality show not only transform the contestant or subject of the show but aims to transform the viewers and, in turn, society itself.

– T.Lewis, 2009, TV Transformations: Revealing the Makeover

  A, Jagose, 2003, ‘The Invention of Lifestyle’ in Interpreting Everyday Culture, ed. F.Martin

– A, Giddens 1991, quoted in Jagose

– D C. Chaney n.d, ‘From Ways of Life to Lifestyle’




The death of genres

Genres are not a natural part of television. They are constraints, “cultural products constituted by media practices and subject to ongoing change and redefinition” (J, Mittell, 2004). And while perhaps originally the basic genres of ‘drama’, ‘comedy’, ‘reality’ etc. may have been sufficient in categorising the programs being made when television was first created, in today’s ever changing landscape of tv, the wide variety of shows do not so easily fit such confined dimensions.

Nowadays, programs, channels and producers strive to step outside the primal confines of the basic genre categories and produce something within the realm of ‘quality tv’, a term which today is near synonymous with shows belonging to certain American cable networks such as HBO or AMC. The simplistic categories of ‘drama’ or ‘comedy’ are being traded for the newly branded ‘hybrid-genre’ shows such as the ‘dramedy’, ‘rom-com’, ‘sci-fi fantasy’ , ‘procedural’ or ‘teen drama’. This shift in genre definitions in the late ’80s marked a move away from creating content for the mass market and towards the “previously ignored niche audiences” (Jaramillo, 2002) and specific demographics which had never yet been targeted as specific viewers. This stimulated the rise of the brand differentiation strategy whereby channels such as HBO have, as previously mentioned, become associated with producing a distinct quality or category of shows (Lury 2009).

In this sense, channels which produce their own unique brand of quality television have not only begun to create new audience but have formed their own genre. While shows such as Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, or Girls are all vastly different from one another, they are all distinctly HBO shows. But perhaps they are HBO because they are different. each of these shows has been directed towards its own specific audience, an audience that has potentially been created by the show itself. Thus, rather than be aimed towards the vast majority, a show such as Girls is considered quality television because it targets a specific group of people who have never yet been considered as an audience, they are women in their early to mid twenties.


So, what genre is Girls? We have already established that one can consider it to fall into the HBO genre, but what does that actually mean? In the mid 1990’s, HBO began to introduce the “long form drama” (Jaramillo, 2002) style of narrative that soon took rise across other US networks. Shows following this style have moved away from the “conventional episodic and serial forms that typified most American television since its inception” (Mittell, cited in Dunleavy, 2009) and Girls is no exception. The show follows the lives of the characters as a progressing narrative where the actions and events of each episode have present and realistic consequences and effects on the following episodes. The show also presents a “preoccupation with white, urban, middle class perspectives” (Morris, 2014) representative of both the characters and the audience and is emulated throughout the majority of HBO programs. But what classifies it as an HBO genre is it’s lack of any other distinct genre qualifications.

Girls can be described as neither solely a drama or a comedy as it tends falls under both categories, often at the same time. It’s a romance show that is anti romantic, it depicts the dull and often unfortunate events that happen in reality while being a scripted show and is character driven by characters that fit no normal character stereotypes. Most closely, Girls can be regarded as an ‘indie’ show whose themes of drama and comedy have been purposefully mixed to create a hybrid. The show can go from funny and lighthearted dinner conversations to painfully realistic and depressing discussions about abortions within the space of a 21 minute episode. Thus, rather than the typical drama or comedy where the storytelling emerges from the situation and the characters are forced to react, in Girls, the individual and unique characters drive the show and the events which occur happen around them.


– J, Mittell 2004, Genre and television

– J, Mittell 2009, cited in Dunleavy, “Television Dram”

– Jaramillo 2002, “the family racket”, Journal of communication inquiry

– Lury, 2009

– B, Morris 2014, lecture slides for Tv cultures, RMIT