Everyday Media

An everyday blog about media by everyday blogger Louise Alice Wilson.

Tag: Media 1 (page 1 of 5)

It’s The Final Countdown

It’s the final countdown and it’s also my final reflection.

Take Me Home

My first ever blog post, entitled ‘Take Me Home’ reads: “Media is the home for our practise and theory, a place of experimentation, individual customisation and inherent filtration and workshopping of all that is presented to us.” However on reflection, at this latter stage in the course, I’ve learnt that this home does ‘exist’ but only for those that seek it. Throughout this semester I’ve been challenged to appreciate and grab at the opportunities presented to me throughout this course. Seeing this original statement reinvigorates that drive, to be all that one can, and to learn and engage from everything that is presented to me and I hope to take that drive into second semester.

Don’t Follow Your Passion

‘Don’t Follow Your Passion’ for me is a record of my lightbulb moment achieved after reading Cal Newport’s statement: “If you wan’t to love what you do, do what Steve Jobs did and not what he said”. That statement as well as Cal’s various articles killed the little anxiety bug in my head that constantly attacked my creative process often asking questions like: “why are you doing that”, “your not that good at this”, “but would you really be happy being an video artist?”. I realised that it was that anxiety, rather than my ‘inner self’ that was killing any chance I had at finding or enjoying something I love to do, which revolutionised my thinking.

Blood In The Gutter

I still stand by this statement: “Scott McCloud’s ‘Blood in the Gutter’ is a great comic and probably one of the best descriptors of editing that i’ve ever read.” The concepts I learnt here: closure, gaps and transitions have since completely changed the way I think about media. Being quite a visual learner, Blood in the Gutter was a major impact on my understanding of how we as media viewers interpret and subtly change the narratives we view, purely based on our individual creativity and preferences. As well as how the manipulation of each concept can completely change one’s own interpretation and engagement with events.

My Lo-fi Self

This post for me represented that first hurdle I had to face, that question of revealing yourself to the world through your creative endeavours. It was a challenge to sit down and show other people what i’d done, to reveal myself and to explain myself to others but it was ultimately rewarding. It also permanently switched me from ‘half creatively engaged with the world’ to full blown ‘see’s every view as a potential film shot, motif or angle’. I remember that moment when I sat on the tram, looking at the world, wondering what aspects of it I could frame, use, or take inspiration from for my project, and I love that I’ve permanently maintained that ability.

Be A Media Maker

The whole idea of Media Studies 2.0 in general as presented by Brian Morris, as well as by David Gauntlett and William Merrin was a mind-blowing lightbulb moment for me. Having only learnt about media in regards of the old broadcast model I’d never thought about the aspects of current media that were actually more influential to me than any ‘archetypal’ text. Since reading Gauntlett’s blog i’ve thoroughly adapted my understanding of media, i’ve also felt a greater sense of creative importance regarding the media I make. And I also pay more attention to what is often truly influencing me, such as my peers, artwork on tumblr and instagram constructed narratives & visuals.

Premiere Pro Is A…

Premiere Pro was one of the first tech related challenges I had to face, when I first viewed the program it seemed impossible to understand and use, and I even struggled with sequencing. However I can now navigate the program quite easily and understand the basics of editing, I do have a long way to go, but I now see that as being obtainable considering my progress so far.

Everyday Me

Everyday me was a struggle. Coming up with a creative idea, planning it, attempting to execute it, editing it, re-editing it, that was my first taste of the video making process and it really taught me a lot. It’s also one of the first creative things I am proud of, I showed this video at Melbourne Filmonik, which was cool getting to hear audience feedback, everyone actually really loved it, which was a surprise to me..haha.

A Tutor A Day

Having guidance from tutors, for me has been invaluable. I’ve learnt a lot from mine, and I also feel that your tutors enable you to make your creative ideas into a reality. You tell them your jumbled thoughts and they decode it into something legible, something structured. Slowly I am learning to do this for myself, to follow their guidance, to sit down, to plan it out, to think about what’s most important, maybe I will master it one day.

Sound on Sound

I have still have 75gigs of hard drive space taken up with this project. This project was amazing and so extremely difficult. I spent along time thinking about my idea, planning what shots I needed, planning my interview questions, writing up a minute by minute script, searching for hours through archival footage and then putting the whole project together. It taught me so much about each one of those processes and by doing it all myself I learnt invaluable skills, that I hope to utilise throughout the rest of the course.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

Life Of Brian

Life Of Brian is a 1979 comedy film written by British comedy group Monty Python

Jokes.

After spending the last couple of weeks organising our audio essay, today within the workshops we were given feedback from jesus christ Brian Morris. Up until this point our audio essay is essentially a written essay that is being read aloud, much in the academic style. After listening to a number of other groups audio essays it was our turn. We dragged our laptop over to Brian, him sitting on one side of the desk, us sitting on the other “much alike Charlie’s Angels” I joked, Brian said “it feels more like an awkward job interview”, we all laughed. As Brian listened to our essay, we looked awkwardly at one another, each time that person was speaking, they’d have a funny face on as they listened to themselves. We all kind of had the feeling that: this audio essay is good.. but still pretty lame, Brian however was much gentler on us and gave us some great advice as summarised below:

  • It might be nice to mention that Disney has made an attempt to ‘change’, as there is a lot of talk regarding ‘the new Disney films such as Frozen and Tangled’.
  • Even if you don’t agree with that statement, you could set it up as “A lot of the discourse surrounding Disney films suggest that Disney has made an attempt to reconstruct it’s highly gendered narratives, but is that really the case..?”
  • Don’t keep it too neatly wrapped up, you can state that Disney has made an attempt to change, without it undermining your argument.
  • State your argument clearly and round it out by the end of the essay.
  • There’s a nice opportunity in the intro to add in the Disney princesses voices saying “I’m Jasmine, I’m Ariel, Hi I’m Cinderella” enhancing the idea that Disney keeps doing the same thing over and over again.
  • You can have scenes play out at a lower level in the mix, therefore you don’t have to waste time listening to an entire scene by itself.
  • A Ted Talk or an online version of an academic speaking could replace the tradition interview.
  • Add more texture to the intro and the conclusion sections, whereas the body can be the dense info.
  • There is a high pitch noise in the recording, that seems to come from the recording environment, therefore you should try and edit it out.

Receiving this feedback from Brian was great, I think he touched on a lot of points that we were secretly worried or thinking about, so it solidified to us that these parts need to be worked on, before the final version. Based of off Brian’s feedback we decided to re-record our audio in order to eliminate the hum, but we will also re-word it to make it sound more like a casual three dimensional on air conversation, much alike a podcast rather than a dry reading of an essay. We also want to reference the point that Disney has indeed attempted to change, but rather that it has not been enough, hopefully adding enough to our argument to convince the listener of our point of view. We will also hopefully find a good Ted Talk to use as well as go through our Disney clips in order to find some appropriate sound bites that will add texture and add emphasise to the arguments we will make throughout the audio essay.

Coming back to the Life of Brian aspect (even though I did only make that pun based off the similarity in names, haha), but I guess for us students, lecturers and tutors become a kind of messiah, or touchstone. A person through which we get to receive valuable words of wisdom, through learned experience. Often within other courses (such as my Psychology degree that I studied previously) I never really got to interact one on one with lecturers, or the people who shaped the course I was studying. So I think it’s really great that we get the opportunity to have our tutors and lecturers listen to our work. It also really allows us as students to make sure that were on the same page as the tutors and lecturers, regarding expectations for assignments and the coursework in general. So I really hope that receiving feedback and interacting with our lecturers will continue throughout the rest of the course.

Also if anyone hasn’t watched Life of Brian, you definitely should!!

 

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

 

Small, Medium or Large

I’m greedy so I always go large, but let’s talk about medium.

Media whether it be art, film, photography or written, has three distinct layers of meaning: media as a conduit, media as languages and media as environment. Such layers of meaning can be extracted via textual analysis, observation of affordances and medium analysis.

Media always occurs via a certain medium, whether it be online blogs, youtube videos or physical photographs. Each of these mediums provides it’s own affordances and each medium will lend itself to alternate analyses, this is explored more within medium theory.

Medium theory explores how each mode of expression for human communication is physically, socially and psychologically distinct and how these distinct modes can impact the meanings of such communications. Nerdwriter 1 explores medium theory brilliantly in their video “Youtube: The Medium Is The Message”, more specifically exploring the unique affordances of youtube and the formation of this mode of delivery.

 

 

 

Institutionalised

What in the world is an institution? Institution is like one of those words that you know what it means, but its hard to explain it someone.

An institution is: An establishment, organisation or foundation that is created in order to produce and distribute certain products, such as a media institution.

Some examples of famous media institutions are:

  • News Corp
  • BBC
  • Channel 4
  • ABC

Such media institutions are often collectivist in nature, regulating and structuring activities through developing specific work practises.  They often have associated social, political, cultural, religious and economical values, preferences, relationships and associations that members, employees and associated people are expected to align with. These companies are often long enduring, with society at large being very aware of their status.

Along with their known ‘status’, media companies often attempt to create a ‘brand identity or image’. This establishes a difference between themselves and other companies, allowing brands to appeal to different audiences. Brand images often attempt to be positive, unique and instantly recognisable, to create a set of associations within the consumers mind between certain products or feelings and the brand.

Values and ideologies are often transferred through the media texts that brands create, this allows powerful institutions (e.g. the BBC) to influence the attitudes, beliefs, desires and preferences of people on a world wide scale. These leaves the world in an uncomfortable position, whereby individual people at the top of such brands, have an indescribable amount of impact upon potentially millions of viewers. Such as brand heads include Joanna Shields, the managing director of Facebook, Larry Page the chief executive of Google and Sir Jonathan Ive the senior vp of design at Apple.

I think Kendrick Lamar’s – Institutionalised is a great song, that explores that controlling powers of such institutions, maybe not media institutions, but at least institutions at large:

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

 

 

La-La-Louise-Land

“Sometimes I prefer to drift off into la-la-louise-land”.

Within this weeks workshop we had to present our ‘work thus far’ on our Project Brief 4, which essentially is a summation of the resources found and used within our annotated bibliographies. I thought this was a pretty brilliant way to engage the class with other students ideas and topics.

As we went around the room, one group presenting after the next, we learnt of each persons individual influences as well as the direction of the upcoming audio and video essays. After each group presented, each group listening had to ask at least one question. By the time we got to the group whose topic involved video game play, I couldn’t think of a question, but instead thought of  a statement: Have you looked into how video game platforms have come to shape other platforms such as Zomato or Urban Outfitters, by copying their model used to encourage audience interactivity and engagement? I was really interesting in their topic and I wanted to know more, I wanted to add to their project. I really like this process; coming together as a group, discussing each others ideas, being told about influences and influencing each others back. I think it fits perfectly within this new mode of Media Studies 2.0 as well as new conceptualisations of ‘audiences’ and audience engagement.

By the time it was our turn to speak I was so into it, when I finally spoke I was like “blah, blah, blah” and “this author said this, and pointed out this connection, which is crazy because.. and I never had any idea it was so serious”.. I answered every question thrown at me, like I was desperate to inform ALL to inform EVERYONE as deeply as I could about our topic. I kinda realised on reflection that I’m really into this.. and I’m really into sharing, which is pretty cool cause sometimes I prefer to drift off into la-la-louise-land.

This was only heightened by my group members strong engagement with the topic, adding just as much material as I did to the conversation and probably even more, answering questions in depth and covering issues i’d missed. Sometimes things just work and I’m glad that with something as stressful as your final project for one of your main courses, that I feel this engaged, heres hoping this continues.. haha.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

Thinking about audience interactivity and ideas of audience consumption and creation has got me thinking, when have I engaged with media, to create something new? These are the things I could think of:

  • My Art Blog: On my art blog I often find imagery online, or my own imagery, that was not initially intended as ‘art’ or to be read a certain way. But through posting it to my blog, I  recontextualise that image, contrasting and comparing it to the surrounding imagery, often create new interpretations and ways of reading and being inspired by images.
  • My Music: The music that I create is distinctly mine in that I write it about my life, my experiences, my perspective, my environment etc. but like all media it is influenced by the countless amounts of media that have come before it. The main inspirations for my work are slick neo-soul, R&B, funk, electronic and old school african grooves, without this former media mine would not exist, or atlas certainly not be the same. Our consumption of other media is filtered into our own creations, often subconsciously, but this is still fitting within this model of audience interactivity.
  • My Photography: Photography has been a slowly developing hobby of mine. Honing my work has required years and years of googling ‘how to take good artist photos in dim light’ and comparing my images to the images of my influences, taking note of differences, and assessing where I can improve. I also keep a folder of imagery that I use for inspiration and guidance, a vibes folder through which I can re-create or be re-inspired by the imagery that gives me life.

Creativity as a mindset is sometimes hard to maintain, for some it’s forever there, for others you can feel creatively dead, or creatively drained at points throughout your life. This is why consumption of others work, art, media etc. has always and will always be a thing. As humans we have forever taken inspiration, created and re-created, building for hundreds of thousands of years upon the work of the humans coming before us, or even the animals around us, or the earth around us.

New technology is a catalyst for mass re-creation, mass re-contextualisation and mass-inspiration.  It is this opportunity that has led viewers, to become creators, enabling humans to evolve further along our own timeline of creativity, further pushing the boundaries, further enhancing ‘the human experience’ and further documenting it, through deeper and deeper layers of meaning and reference.

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

The People Formerly Known As The Audience

I like this idea: the people formerly known as the audience.

“The people formerly known as the audience are those who were on the receiving end of a media system that ran one way, in a broadcasting pattern, with high entry fees and a few firms competing to speak very loudly while the rest of the population listened in isolation from one another— and who today are not in a situation like that at all.” (Jay Rosen, 2006)

Within Jay Rosen’s blog “PressThink” he talks about the shifting of the audience, he states that old forms of media were once exclusive, while the new forms of media replacing them open themselves up to the audience, for example:

  • Printing Presses > Blogs
  • Radio Stations > Podcasting
  • Video Production (used to be an expensive process) > Video Production (is now relatively cheap)
  • The News > Multiple Online News Outlets
  • Centralised Media System (Vertical Flow) > Citizen to Citizen (Horizontal Flow)

Removing the broadcast model, to me, is only a positive thing. Although ‘big media’ has produced countless literary, tv and filmic classics, with ‘big’ comes restrictions. Large companies are often influenced by: politics, money, power, maintaining the status quo, selling and company hierarchy. When makers are bound by such influences its often hard to express ones art in its purest sense, a lot of companies only regarding ‘art’ worthy if it fits within such boundaries and is guaranteed to turn a decent profit. Multiple voices allow for the creation of ‘big’ as well as ‘little’ media, opening the media landscape up to endless streams of creators and creativity, which only adds to the diversity of the media landscape.

Jay Rosen believes that while this new way of approaching media is great, he still agrees that the pleasures of ‘Big Media’ are still real, ” we are still perfectly content to listen to our radios while driving, sit passively in the darkness of the local multiplex, watch TV while motionless and glassy-eyed in bed, and read silently to ourselves”. However, users are no longer ‘on big media’s clock’, users now decide when/where/how/why the point of engagement will be, forcing media to become more informed and engaged in order to reach users.

Delusional ideas such as mass audiences, ‘broadcasting’ and equating viewers to ‘eyeballs’ are on the way out, and the people formerly known as the audience are on the way in. I’m excited to see where this goes but I known it’s gonna be good.

 

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

 

References

Rosen. J (2006) Press Think: The people formerly known as the audience. Accessed via: http://archive.pressthink.org/2006/06/27/ppl_frmr.html

Anybody Out There?

Anybody out there? the audience hopefully.

Who are these ‘audience’ people?

The conception of audiences has been changing over the years. We’re not so stuck in this broadcast model of media production, where audiences are seen as passive consumers. Rather audiences are considered to be more aware and critical of the media they consume, as well as being tastemakers who can shift the produce of the industry through audience interactivity or self-production.

Narrowcasting

Narrowcasting is based upon the postmodern belief that broad or mass audiences no longer exist. Therefore narrowcasting is a refined or adapted version of broadcasting, wherein makers aim products at specific segments of the population. These segments are defined by their demographics, subscriptions, values and preferences, this enables makers to identify and target niche markets.

But who cares about the audience? lots of people:

  • Advertisers
  • Commercial broadcasters
  • Production houses
  • Government policy makers
  • Social scientists/psychologists
  • Cultural theorists/media scholars

Fandom

Fandom is a term used to describe a group of people who share a common interest, this common interest often embodies the form of a television series (Star Trek), character (Hello Kitty), comic book series (Tank Girl) or literary series (Sherlock Holmes) etc. Fans within a fandom often spend a large portion of their time interacting with or communicating about their fandom of interest, as well as devoting a large part of their identity, often even physical to displaying and representing that fandom.

Fandoms were once seen as comprising only ‘freaks’, ‘geeks’ and ‘weirdos’ relegating extra interaction with texts as obscure and unusual. However fandom has somewhat been absorbed into mainstream culture, often encouraged by the corporations and creators that make such media texts. This has led to a new wave of audience interactivity, where most consumers of texts can be seen to interact with certain texts at an extra level, beyond that of once off consumption. This is also encouraged by new technologies, changes in media industries – products often requiring more active modes of spectatorship and the internet – becoming a ‘knowledge space’, where one care source and share knowledge on fandoms.

Evolution

Regardless of the industries understanding of ‘audiences’ it is certain that audiences are evolving, interacting with texts at new complexities, experiencing texts through deeper and deeper layers of meaning and references and adding their own spin on textual understandings and meanings. Audiences are also often creating media themselves, adding to the sphere through which they consume, allowing audiences to interact with and influence the ‘influencers’.

 

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

Smashing It Out

Last week we were put into groups for our Media 1 final assignment: Project Brief 4, and I must say my group is pretty damn good.

Within the first couple of days after being put into our group we had already decided what our assignments would focus on. Via Facebook chat Camilla linked us a video essay about representation of women in Disney princess films and it only took myself and Holly the five minutes it took to watch the video to realise that this was something we really like to delve into.

This has been especially helpful considering that next week our annotated bibliography is due. I know a lot of groups are using the annotated bibliography as an ‘exploration phase’ but having decided on our topic, this enables us to find really great articles, that are specific to our area of interest, that we hope to utilise within our video and audio essays.

Currently in the workshop we’re all working on finding great articles, we already have about 10 linked in our google drive, as well as a bunch of ‘cool resources’ that we deem relevant to our topic. I’m pretty excited to go forth and delve into the Disney princess franchise, from the articles I’ve read so far there’s a lot to discuss. I’m also someone that never grew up watching much Disney, especially the Disney princess films, I spent more time skateboarding with my twin brother and eating mud. So it’s interesting to read about and see the effect these films have had on the children, who grew up on a steady diet of Disney films and the way that has effected their understandings of gender.

 

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

What Are The Boys At Disney Doing?

Since there were no set readings for this week I get to talk about one of the readings from my annotated bibliography regarding Project Brief 4, which is pretty cool. For Project Brief 4 our group received the topic “Narratives & Texts” which is a pretty broad category but within a day we’d already chosen our intended topic: the representation of women in Disney princess films. Which to a lot of people sounds like a really lame topic, but was actually super interesting, especially for me since i’d never really watched many Disney films as a child.

Haseenah Ebrahim the writer of the article has a lot of experience with Disney films, and peoples interpretations of them, as she teaches an undergraduate course on the subject. Ebrahim explains in her article that many students would arrive at the lecture and expect character, plot and stylistic analysis and would often be ‘taken aback’ at the historical, sociological, and theoretical framing and analysis that Ebrahim taught.

She raises an interesting point in the article, stating that: ironically the texts which are the most influential to developing humans: childhood texts, are often considered to be the least important to analyse. Ebrahim found that a lot of her students scoffed at the idea of taking such films ‘seriously’, which only motivated her more to investigate the potential impact these texts are having.

 

Ultimately Ebrahim found that Disney texts often:

“inscribe middle age as a time of treachery, consumption and anger in the feminine life cycle (Ebrahim, 2014).”

Through their portrayal of characters such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ Wicked Queen, Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent, Cinderella’s Lady Tre- maine, 101 Dalmatians’ Cruella de Vil, and The Little Mermaid’s Ursula. These older female characters are often portrayed as hideously ugly witches who are vain, selfish or competitive, and are often intent on killing or destroying the younger, prettier female character: the princess, purely out of spite or jealousy.

 

“since the ‘Classic’ Disney films of the 1940s and 1950s there has been an gains of the protagonists in children’s films while the age of the viewing audience has remained the same” therefore “children may be learning that the best things for them to do is to grow up as quickly as possible” (Ebrahim, 2014).

 

Recently this epidemic of young children acting, looking and dressing older has become more apparent. With the most horrifying element of this realisation being: that young children acting older is often prompted by the lifestyle being marketed and sold to them through large corporations that produce children’s media and texts.

 

The Disney Princess remains an outdated stereotype, that hasn’t changed dramatic until recently in films such as Brave or Rapunzel, which give the female characters less stereotypical roles.

However Ebrahim (2014) states that “(within Brave) the girl-heroine has been transformed into a boyish young woman who in many ways – although not entirely – embodies what Lissa Paul labels “hero[es] in drag” – that is, “female characters who take on traditionally male characteristics in an attempt to subvert the kinds of traditional female roles the first and second wave Disney princesses have taken on.”

This is troubling to realise, as one would hope that Disney could make a well rounded ‘strong’ female character, rather than simply turn the female character into a stereotypically male character and call that a ‘nod to the current times’.

 

Catch you later,

Louise Alice Wilson

 

References:

Ebrahim, H. (2014). Are the “boys” at Pixar afraid of little girls? Journal of Film and Video, 66(3), 43-56.

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