Miguel’s Work Experience Report


I undertook my mandatory internship at Dreampool Productions in late 2014 – a small, private TV and video production company operating out of a building at 22 Wellington Street, St. Kilda. Dreampool productions was established as ‘the merged vision’ of Bob Grieve and Michael Dickinson, two of Australia’s most renowned and experienced television producers, specialising in producing content for major Australian TV networks. Dreampool has a long history producing content for ‘Crimestoppers’, ‘Huey’s Cooking Adventures’, the ‘Feast’ series and to this day, Paul Worsteling’s ‘iFish’ lifestyle program. Dreampool is made up of a dedicated team of producers, full time editors and business operations managers too. 

I actually completed my year 10 high school work experience and several other weeks between 2011 and 2014 at Dreampool, always learning new things and having a great experience, so I saw fit to undertake my official uni internship there too. Previously, I had mainly been asked to cut together some videos using AVID editing software, but these videos were never for clients or actually being broadcast, etc. they were solely for my own learning. I also sat in on a bunch of edits and sound mixing sessions, getting an idea of the processes that Dreampool undertook on a daily basis. Up to this point, my time had mostly been spent as a true ‘work experience kid’ – getting a feel for the place and the work, as opposed to doing things that needed to be done. However, returning to Dreampool this time for my internship, I was asked to undertake a number of tasks that were for Dreampool and clients, as much as for me. Tasks that I completed were things like:

  • Shot-listing raw footage from iFish shoots
  • Ingesting shot-listed footage into the AVID servers
  • Archiving AVHD Tapes from iFish shoots into Dreampool’s physical library room
  • Finding old footage from previous shoots to be used in promo videos for clients (Nissan/Tackleworld)
  • Cutting together birthday messages from Paul Worsteling for Bindi and Bob Irwin for Australia Zoo
  • Laying out a compile of footage from the Tasmania Trout Fishing and Dhipirri, WA Barramundi fishing shoots
  • Rough cut for Tasmania/Dhipirri episodes
  • Completing music cue-sheets for iFish and the APRA, as well as their ‘International airing’ versions, without advertising and competition material
  • Updating season-long run-sheets for iFish as each episode was completed
  • Making copies of episodes as they aired and posting to sponsors/guests on iFish
  • Cutting together contractual YouTube promo videos from Paul Worsteling (iFish Host) to some of iFish’s sponsors – including Tackleworld and Club Marine.

My work experience at Dreampool has been greatly successful in meeting the goals that I established when I first lodged my work experience. Over my multitude of time spent in-house, I’ve learned more than I could’ve hoped to in a classroom – by contributing to the actual running of the business, my time at Dreampool has been nothing short of the most involving and educational media experience I’ve had to date. What I wanted most of all from Dreampool was to gain an understanding of what it really means to be involved in TV production – whether it was from the perspective of a full-time editor or a producer – I definitely have a lot more sight and understanding from these positions now, as I was required to complete work from a variety of roles relating to iFish. Not only did I feel welcomed during my time at Dreampool, but I felt appreciated, as I could see the work that I was doing, directly helping the cause. 

My time at Dreampool also gave me a great sense of responsibility, as I was often asked to complete a number of tasks and left to my own work for the entire day, unsupervised and wholly responsible for the work I was completing, which I took in stride, as a challenge. Very occasionally I had to ask for help or advice, but was mostly independent during the day, which definitely helped me to initiate some problem solving skills and really figure things out for myself – something that I feel is a quintessential part of operating in a real work place – especially one like the media industry, where you mostly have to learn the specifics on the job. 

The continuation of this sense of responsibility was also achieved when Bob gave me the code to the alarm system, my own key to get in and out of the building and also let me stay after hours on my own if I had more work to complete – if I so desired, which I often did, locking up and arming the alarm as I left. Even though these aren’t necessarily aspects of work that one might associate with a media internship, they went a long was to making me feel like part of the team and that I was trusted – a trust that I’m still thankful for, it made me want to work harder for Bob and Dreampool, whilst giving invaluable real-world experience in a work place, with responsibility. 

I guess the only aspect of the time I spent at Dreampool that didn’t exactly meet my expectations was the duration of my stay – it has exceeded my expectations… Since I completed my pro-bono 80 hours in late 2014, Bob, Noni and the rest of the team at Dreampool have invited me back, to work for them when they need a helping hand in busy periods and to get through some of the more time-consuming jobs around the place. More recently, I’ve been working an average of about 10 hours a week there, and am officially on the company books, getting paid to do increasingly more important and helpful tasks for Dreampool. So glad, I am, that I’ve been able to secure some proper work in my target industry, get paid for it and also be contributing to a company that is exceptionally pleasing to work for, with what I feel are real prospects for me in the future. 

Dreampool provided me a with a great example of effective communication within a team environment. Through the phone system in the building, emails and simply dropping past one another’s workspaces, Noni and I in particular, were  able to develop quite a productive little system whereby we were able to get a lot done. 

Nothing other than actual industry experience can prepare you for joining the workforce at the end of your degree. I feel that what we learn at uni is knowledge without an application or use, but after my time at Dreampool, I found that a lot of what we learn at uni merely gives us the mentality and skills needed to learn how to function in a professional environment – that it’s up to the individual to take control of their work and learn how to most effectively contribute in their organisation. 

Another aspect of my time at Dreampool that I’m very grateful for is the fact that I’ve received quite a well-rounded knowledge of the operations. From editing short 3min promo clips for clients, to making and posting DVD copies to clients and finally filling and cross checking music copyright paperwork associated with content that is broadcast within Australia, Dreampool has been a wonderful opportunity for me to gain invaluable experience as not only an editor, but some of the less-creative and more structured roles within television production in Australia. 

Although I was only at Dreampool 2 or 3 days a week over my 7 week break from Uni, I feel that it helped me develop my professional skills, knowledge, networking and overall workability tenfold as I now have a more practical understanding of the industry and how it functions on a day to day basis, as well as what it’s like to have responsibilities in a professional setting and how to report to superiors etc. Since my official internship ‘finished’ and I’ve begun actual work for Dreampool, I’ve only learned more. Ultimately, this has been one of the richest experiences for me as a media student and I cannot be thankful enough for the opportunity, but also where it has led me.

Since writing this report in early 2015, my work at Dreampool has continued and I’ve become an even more involved member of the Dreampool team. I now have my own permanent workspace set up in the building and have been entrusted with some more duties including buying supplies for the every day functioning of Dreampool, consolidating and transcoding footage in preparation for Dan (full-time) editor to come in and edit iFish episodes, as well as operating on a much more independent level. I’m now sent emails by Noni when there’s work to be done and I make time within my own schedule to come in and complete the work, rather than being told when to come in. 

Dreampool is now my primary source of income and I can sometimes work 35-40 hours a week when there’s lots to be done. Informal talks between myself, Noni and Bob have revealed that there will most likely be a position for me at Dreampool when I graduate – a truly exciting prospect for me. 

As I’m going on a working holiday for <7months once uni is over, I’ve actually taken the initiative to get someone to help cover my work whilst I’m away, much to the satisfaction of Noni – and will resume my work for them when I return, mid-2016.

Media 6 TV Seminar: Week 6


Finally, the time for our seminar is done – and what a tremendous relief.

Despite a technically shaky set-up with the audio issues in the room, we came up with a solution and worked around the inability to work as we initially planned – running lapels into a mixer, then the mixer through the lecture theatre sound system and into a H4n Zoom recorder. Regardless, we got it done.

The seminar itself was running exceptionally until we were so rudely interrupted by an errant fire alarm, at approximately 4:20pm, cheers.

Needless to say, the team recovered well and we were mostly happy with how the remainder of the seminar – special thanks to our wonderful guests for sharing their knowledge and experiences, I know I definitely took a lot from hearing their words.

Ultimately, the group banded together really well in order to host a seminar that intrigued and informed a room full of people.

I was very happy with my contributions on the day, particularly the intro video for our host, David – a green-screen project that had me tearing out my hair, but that was a great learning experience.

Now to see how the remaining seminars unfold – looking to see what’s in store, particularly for Film and Documentary.


Media 6 TV Seminar: Week 5


This week marked a long-awaited return to actual media production, as Jenny, Georgia, host – David and I set out to create the Promo video content for Week 6s TV Seminar.

We had booked the Cyclorama for Wednesday morning and head in nice and early, shooting our way through the morning and laughing at David’s brilliant ridiculousness in front of the Green-Screen.

All first timers using Green-Screen, we initially struggled to evenly light the set, but eventually worked it out and made great progress throughout the morning.

Our first edit was directly after and we spent a bunch of time over Wednesday, Wednesday night, Thursday and Friday in the suites trying to pump out the videos.

We consulted YouTube tutorials when we got stuck and ended up taking some footage home to continue editing over the weekend, however, managed to produce 5 short, 15-sec videos for Instagram and Facebook promotion, as well as almost having finished the full video, which will be used for David’s intro at the seminar on the 28th.

Now we have a few days left to knock off the full version and help out in any other possible way for the seminar.

Cheers to beers on Friday night at 6:30pm.

Media 6 Seminar – Week 4

Woooooooh, progress!

This week, the TV crew made leaps and bounds in the right direction, as we began to articulate our plans and ideas for our week 6 TV seminar… Exciting stuff!

We had another group meeting at 2pm, which I made it to and was able to contribute a few ideas. Mostly we talked about broad details regarding roles within the group, ironing out the more fundamental aspects of our preparation.

After a broader group discussion where we finalised roles (I landed promo-video, camera/audio on the day and cutting together a video in post), we split up into more specific teams where I talked to Helena and Dan about potential camera/audio setup for the theatre on the day, then to Jenny and Regina about ideas for the promo video, then Bec, Shannen and Tiff about particulars for potential set design and dècor.

Jenny, Regina, Georgia and I then made our way to the Bld. 9 Tech Office where we spoke to the lovely Techs about hiring the green screen and some equipment to shoot our promo video on Wednesday the 19th at 9am.

After the lecture on our CVs, we all went back to the tute room and organised a few more specifics for the seminar and what needed to be done in the lead-up. I also managed to conjure the title ‘pushing all the right buttons’ under numerous demands from steering committee groveller, Georgia ‘Symesy’ Symes.

That just about concludes week 4 in Media 6, seminar.


Media 6 Seminar – Week 3


Our Media 6 seminar this week revolved mostly around a group meeting before the seminar in which we began to discuss individual roles, set design, the logistics of the seminar itself – including camera and audio setup and a number of other important aspects for the organisation of our TV seminar.

I helped brainstorm poster/promo video ideas with Helena, Jenny and a few others.

In week 2, we decided on our title – ‘A Remote Journey’, which was my contribution to the options. Working with this idea, we decided on a city skyline as the backdrop for the seminar, but with TV remotes instead of skyscrapers.

In terms of role allocation, I was tasked with camera operator and equipment setup on the day. I also volunteered to help shoot a promo video and discussed the camera/audio setup for the day with other techs in the group.

I was also responsible for approaching the steering committee with the potential for providing hamper/gifts for the guests through my workplace, Eltham Deli. Which I have since ordered and aided correspondence between the Deli and Aimee, from the steering committee.

That ties up week 3 in Media 6 Seminar.

Film/TV 2 Analysis Reflection #5

Question 1: Colour Grading

This (below) is the original footage that was captured. The weather on the day left us with a pretty grey looking sky as well as lower levels of detail in our already dark and washed out wall.


To fix this, we applied a 3-way colour correction and brought in the input levels so that there would be a lesser disparity between the highs and lows in the shot. The effects of this can be seen in the wall, where there is now much more detail and the colour appears closer to what we saw in reality. However, this application resulted in the sky becoming unnatural looking, as well as being too bright for the aesthetic we were trying to bring to our film.


Finally, we played around with the three wheels on the colour corrector and reached this (below) outcome. We felt that the shot still maintained a relatively dark feel, but more appropriately represented the sky and colours that we saw on the day. We also liked the level of detail in the wall that we achieved with this grade.



Question 2:

Overall, Film/TV 2 has greatly surpassed my expectations. Whilst I knew that we would all be more confident and competent with equipment/editing/etc. I was really impressed by the ability of the group to work in smaller groups. Quite often we’d be missing one or two people for a shoot and it was reassuring to know that we’d still be able to get the job done. It also meant that shoots were less stressful than last semester, which really allowed us to focus, correct and get the best content possible.

Working in the new group was great fun and I was lucky to end up with such a committed, honest and enthusiastic group – I was truly glad to be a part of Bluestone. We were definitely afforded a lot more freedom this semester with the structure of the film. Whilst I felt out of my depth at first, this actually ended up being one of the more helpful aspects of the semester, as it allowed us to let the film take its own shape and guide us towards the final product.

Being a more experienced group also helped, as we avoided any major technical issues over the duration of our shooting period – a lot of stress saved.


TV Cultures: Journal Post #2

COMM 1073 Television Cultures: Course Journal #2

‘It’s not TV, it’s HBO’: Branding, Genre, ‘Quality TV’:

The focus on branding, genre and ‘quality TV’ this week is centred around the rise to popularity of HBO TV network and the shows which they famously produce. Beginning their reign with shows like ‘Sex and the City’, ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’, HBO became notorious for producing a very particular type of TV program which has since come to be known as ‘Quality TV’. These long form programs have episodes which typically span upwards of 30 minutes across multiple seasons.

Another characteristic of television programs that are typically produced by HBO is a phenomenon known as hybrid-genre, whereby it becomes difficult to place a show within one particular genre class. Genres, being ‘cultural products constituted by media practices’, are subjected to constant change and redefinition – therefore, programs which take a less traditional approach to genre constraints have come to be known as ‘hybrids’, as argued and supported by Jason Mittell on his ‘Just TV’ blog.

Now, with the thriving nature of subscription TV in the US – HBO has a steady income from its’ subscribers that allow it to keep making television, really well. Other, more recent examples of HBO produced TV programs include ‘Entourage’, ‘The Newsroom’ and ‘True Blood’. Although somewhat atypical of what usually constitutes ‘quality TV’, these shows have generated a huge number of fans and continue to expand the HBO brand – reaching wider audiences than ever before. HBO has created a brand name for itself and a reputation for quality that enables them to pursuit complete domination of the long form TV market.

In the midst of the widening of HBO’s reach comes ‘Girls’ – a hybrid-genre, comedy/drama ‘about the experiences of a group of girls in their early 20s’ (IMDB). Whilst ‘Girls’ is obviously aimed at a different audience to other HBO products such as ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’, it doesn’t have a specifically definable target audience, as it contains elements that would appeal to a number of people, including both males and females in an 18-28 year old age bracket.

Written and directed by Lena Dunham, in association with Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner, ‘Girls’ comes across like a more modern and less glamorous rendition of ‘Sex and the City’, whereby characters deal with issues such as unloving lovers, abortions and drug use. It’s not a show that screams old-school HBO, but rather captures a new direction for the company and a new found power within the world of TV. HBO uses the big-name production team to increase recognition and draw a wider audience who are fans of the comedy genre which Apatow and Konner are known for contributing to.

Although ‘Girls’ doesn’t necessarily conform to the traditional definition of ‘quality TV’, there’s no doubt that it’s ‘good TV’. A show that’s funny, relatable and binge-worthy – ‘Girls’ represents a new era for HBO, where they are able to target increasingly more specific audience groups because of the sheer power and money behind their organisation.


The Poetics of Complex Narrative: 

In the ongoing marketing war between TV subscription networks in the States, ‘quality TV’ has become a brand differentiation strategy. Continuing on from last week, this look into complex narrative provided a deeper understanding of what makes ‘quality TV’, as well as how networks such as HBO go about creating shows that continually impress and keep audiences engaged.

Quality TV is often characterised by the attribution of authorship – an auteuristic production method, large budgets, a focus on creating particularly detailed story worlds, the exploration of previously taboo material and character-driven, slowly developing plot lines. One such show that emulates these qualities is HBO’s ‘True Detective’.

Something that comes to mind when discussing HBO branded television is the vast differences between each of their productions. HBO has become exceedingly renowned for being able to cater to all facets of audience, from young to old, men and women, with completely differing interests and tastes in a TV program. The differences between HBO’s TV shows have been noted by academics, particularly in relation to the narrative structure and unusual characters.

Starring Matthew McConaughey as Rustin ‘Rust’ Cohle and Woody Harrelson as Martin ‘Marty’ Hart, ‘True Detective’ first aired in early 2014 and has received critical acclaim. An anthology-styled, police procedural genre series – True Detective’s first season is made up of 8, 1 hour episodes that play through like an 8 hour film. They are so detailed, so complex, that it truly characterises all that ‘complex narrative’ is known for – whilst being essentially made to be binge-watched.

The episodes, set in the North American ‘Deep South’, don’t rely on cliffhangers or suspenseful openings to engage their audience, but trust that the complexity of the story at any point in the episode is enough to keep the audience engaged and wanting to watch on. This is evidence of quality TV, as HBO are confident enough in their product, that they essentially know the appreciative audience will continue to watch and the network’s subscriptions will continue to grow.

Like examples of ‘complex narrative’ in film and television before it, True Detective demonstrates a highly innovative narrative structure. Using flashbacks and flash-forwards, the audiences’ prior knowledge and understanding of key events is fundamental in providing meaning later on in the series.

As Marty and Rust reflect back on the memories from their time working with one another, the audience is spurred on through the use of narrative kernels and satellites. Kernels are the primary nodes of a narrative structure, which need to be noticed to fully understand the narrative, whereas satellites are secondary pieces of narrative information that are not detrimental if missed, but help to provide extended context to the story. True Detective definitely uses examples of both of these forms of narrative points to give the more observant and focused viewers a greater understanding of the plot.

Like many other complex narratives, True Detective asks its’ audience to enter a state of deep, or hyper, attention. Whilst reality TV, live TV and any other number of TV genres can often be watched half heartedly, or whilst multi-tasking – complex narratives really require a deep level of attention from their audience in order to be understood most accurately. Quite often, whilst watching a complex narrative, we can find our attention being drawn to another source, then looking back to the TV, we have missed the plot and need to rewind in order to understand – due to the pure complexity off the plot – blink and you’ll miss something.


Transformation Narratives:

Transformation narratives in TV are a relatively new phenomenon, only moving into the spotlight that is primetime TV more recently. Programs that feature transformation narratives tend to be centred on the idea of a change for the better, through the guidance and instruction from some kind of expert in the field.

The role of the expert is someone who is knowledgable on the particular subject – they know the field in great depth and are in a position of authority to be able to give valuable and helpful advice to others. Some of the more popular types of transformation narrative focus on people, bodies, cars, houses, pets, relationships, professional skills and gardens/backyards.

One such example of an expert that comes to mind instantly is Caesar Milan in ‘The Dog Whisperer’. Caesar Milan is an American with a Latino background who is widely regarded for his training and behavioural improvement of ‘problem dogs’. Throughout the course of any given ‘Dog Whisperer’ episode, Caesar is introduced to the dog – he meets them and gets a feel for their personality, as well as establishing himself as the new leader. Caesar then continues to work out the problem and training the dog before its’ finally revealed to its’ previously distressed and frustrated owner. Not only is Caesar Milan a perfect example of an expert of sorts, but his show ‘The Dog Whisper’ embodies all that is transformation narrative.

The recent growth and rise in popularity of transformation narrative could be due to any number of factors, but is often attributed to the general audiences’ hunger for reality and relatable characters. T. Lewis recognises that makeover programs are not seeking merely to be informative, but achieve and create compelling narrative through focusing on the ‘emotional dimensions of people’s lives’.

Furthermore, the rise of ‘lifestyles’, as well as daily life in TV is something that has become a target of expertise. ‘World’s Strictest Parents’ is a stellar example of the kinds of transformation narrative centred TV that is being produced and consumed nowadays.

‘World’s Strictest Parents’ tends to introduce a problem child/young adult in need of discipline, giving the audience an interesting person and subsequent transformation to observe. The show chronologically runs the audience through the transformation, from introducing the teens in their own homes, to the moment they return home and are reunited with their parents – hopefully after they’ve undergone some form of change.

Focusing on the stark contrast between the rebellious teens and their more traditionally valued host family, ‘World’s Strictest Parents’ relies heavily on the two parties clashing initially – whether that be over morals, etiquette or anything in between.

Each episode evolves in a chronological narrative form, most effectively capturing the transformation of the subjects. Through the use of music to match what’s going on in the scenes (e.g. confrontation, heart-felt moments, etc.), as well as the narration of the events, the impact of the narrative is amplified and audiences are more likely to be affected on an emotional level – one of the major reasons audience keep watching.

Ultimately, the transformation narrative echelon of reality TV is something that audiences all over the globe have fallen in love with, as there is a great amount of relation and evolution that can come from watching these particular types of shows.

Film/TV 2: Reflection/Analysis #4


The ‘dream’ or ‘fake’ sequence has virtually no sound audible other than the music. Exceptions to this include the puttering of the car as it drives past the camera, birds singing, bells ringing and woosh as she throws her scarf in the air. They have obviously made a very deliberate attempt to draw primary attention to the music and words being sung, and secondary attention to the sounds one associates with the various actions that take place. It is likely that most of the added sounds were not recorded by this film team at all, instead, perhaps being sorced from a 3rd party sound library.

Post-dream sequence, the film takes a realistic step back, lowering the level of the music and instead focusing on the starkly contrasting voice of Rana Husseini. The sound recordists, from the sound of things, would have made a particular effort to eliminate any background noise in this interview, maximising the signal-noise ratio and thus achieving the cleanest possible recording of Rana’s voice. There is still the presence of sounf effects, such as the bells ringing, but they are far less prevalent on the overall soundstage of the clip.

Similarly, the sequence showing Dr. Amal’s interview also takes priority in focusing on the interviewee.

The next sequence involves intercutting between the three subjects as the film sets to disprove many of the claims made in the false book. The focus is on the voices of the subjects primarily, however the music creates rhythm in the clip and takes on a more active role in this sequence. There is also a larger emphasis on the noise of the environment in which the ‘false’ action takes place, things like the sound of the cash register and lighter flicking on are most likely taken from a 3rd party source and layered beneath the interview audio and music to add feel to the clip.



– New Bin: (Cmd+/) this shortcut will be important as keeping all of your footage tidy within Premiere is important and makes the whole editing process a whole lot easier. Especially because we’ll be shooting multiple subjects/locations over multiple shoots, it’ll be more efficient to seperate all the different bits of footage and group them accordingly.

– Export Media: (Cmd+M) this shortcut will be handy if we’re exporting several different versions of our film – whether they be individual sequences, versions for youtube etc., it will just make the process a little bit shorter.

– Paste Attributes: (Opt+Cmd+V) this shortcut will be most effectively used when in the colour grading stage of production and will save a couple of seconds each time you want to apply a grade to a new clip.

– Snap: (S) this shortcut will be helpful when matching audio cuts to video cuts and will simply give a bit of piece of mind so that we know our cuts are matching up.


I really like this clip… In particular the frantic rhythm which is created in the opening few minutes. This feel is prompted by the nature of what’s being filmed (people crossing a busy street), but is truly made by the addition of the music – without the unnerving jazzy track in the background, the people crossing the road might seem very pedestrian and regular.

It looks as though all of the subjects are genuine passersby and were spontaneously filmed from a bit of a vantage point, unbeknownst to the subjects. I also really like the way that the camera deliberately selects and follows certain people on the street, whilst ignoring others.


This reading from ‘The Conventions of Sound in Documentary’ was interesting for me to read, as I’ve been put in charge of sound for our documentary on Pentridge.

Although mostly unrelated to our Pentridge documentary, I liked the debate as to whether or not music could be included in observational documentary. To me, a film seems unfinished without music, on the most part, as music has so much to offer a film. It can add so much meaning, depth and audience understanding to a film so easily, as long as it’s selected carefully. I thought it was interesting to read that a documentary cannot truly be ‘observational’ unless the music is diegetic – which seems reasonable, but also counter-intuitive to me. Sometimes, it might not be ideal to have music playing whilst trying to film for a documentary – especially if there is dialogue involved. I was mostly just surprised that the definition of an observational documentary required all sound, including music to be diegetic.

I was also drawn to the section on location sound and the fact that edits between scenes could be described as a cacophony, because of the natural differences between sound in different locations and the relatively uncontrolled nature of these changes. Reading that the audience had to make decisions as to whether or not certain sounds are ‘important’ in many documentaries was interesting, as this directly relates to one of the interviews we conducted for our film whereby the nearby traffic is audible, but not distracting from the interview subject.

Television Cultures: Course Journal No.1

TV in a Post-Broadcast Era (1):

Television, as I perceive it, is subject to constant change and evolution. As the world is changing and technology allowing for unparalleled access to media content is becoming pedestrian, television has been forced to change in order to remain relevant in our fast-paced world.

The origins of television are known to differ from country to country. In the UK, TV was introduced to be educational and informative, whereas TV was initially introduced as a form of entertainment with little to no ‘educational’ prospects in the United States. TV reached Australia at a funny point in history, post-WW2, and immediately begun to take on a hybrid of the roles that had been seen in the UK and US, whereby audiences were shown a mix of informative and entertaining content. As TV came to Australia during this critical time in history, it was also intended to harmonise things in ‘fragile’ Australian households, and help to introduce a structure and schedule that had been lost during the war. It was thought that TV would help to accomplish this notion through the ritual that surrounded it, where audiences were often thought to be passive onlookers, sitting with one another and simply taking in what they were shown through the funny box sitting in the corner of their living space.

Meanwhile, the intention of TV to act as a form of social ‘glue’ was reinforced by the ABC’s first TV broadcast by the 12th Prime Minister of Australia, Robert Menzies. The broadcast is a very interesting text to analyse, as the usual codes and conventions we associate with TV were non-existent and result in an awkwardly delivered broadcast, riddled with what we might call ‘mistakes’ today. Despite the uncomfortable nature of Menzies’ on screen presence, the broadcast acts as a clear endorsement of broadcast TV, further reinforcing the intended introduction of TV in Australia as a harmonising ‘social glue’.

Similarly, recognition of TV as a virtual reincarnation of Habermas’ ‘public sphere’ was adopted and programs that made their way to broadcast began talking to people, for people and on behalf of people. As TV became more relatable and began to ‘discuss’ issues that were relevant within society, ideas arose about TV being a discursive space. During this time, audiences were thought to be ‘participants’ in the process, as it was assumed that TV prompted and promoted discussion and argument within the household – a sort of rendition of the public sphere that existed in the Aristocratic age.

Contrastingly, many academics of the, now current, ‘post-broadcast’ era have argued that Habermas’ notion of a truly open public sphere is extinct. In particular, D. Morely from his writings in Home Territories (2000), recognises that the ideal public sphere has been ‘corrupted by the artificialities of our contemporary mediatised world’. This argument stems from the debate surrounding whether or not the audience is an active participant in the consumption of broadcasted content or not and reflects on the inhibitory nature of TV in terms of ‘transparent communication’.

Supportingly, live news-type broadcasts such as the clip from The Daily Show we were shown in the week 2 lecture are perfect evidence of the ‘post-broadcast’ era of TV in effect. Live news is often analysed in this way because of the consistency and stable nature that it possesses. Characterised by the liveness of the broadcast, the ritualistic consistency and scheduling of the program, the typical flow and segmentation, the authority of the anchor and the simulation of conversation with the audience. Live news can be called an exhibit of the post-broadcast era of television, as it embodies all of these qualities in order to communicate more effectively with the audience of the post-broadcast era – a very different audience to the audience who was first introduced to TV. Whilst many different types of shows demonstrate one or a few of the aforementioned qualities, live news is the combination of absolutely all of the above features.

The audience is constantly being reminded of the liveness of the broadcast through the on-screen presence of graphics featuring the time and date and the initial crane shot through the studio, which adds to the spontaneity of the production and adds to the audiences’ reception of the broadcast as strictly ‘live’ – it is a performance being undertaken for them! The audience is also expected to respect the authority of the anchor, in this case John Stewart, who is working ‘for’ them, to give them the news that they’ve waited patiently until 7pm for… John Stewart’s carefully constructed on-screen persona is designed to be relatable and trustworthy for the audience, so that he’s taken seriously and so that the audience doesn’t immediately dismiss what he’s saying – they listen to him. The presence of the live audience at The Daily Show helps to keep the audience on side as they are representative of the home audience, giving the impression that John Stewart is delivering a somewhat personalised broadcast, thus increasing the audiences’ appreciation and interest in the program. Through the combination of John Stewart’s authority and the liveness of the broadcast, The Daily Show can be called a simulated conversation between John Stewart and his target audience – a direct product of the post-broadcast era of TV whereby technological developments and an increased understanding of TV and audiences enables hugely effective transmission and reception of news between an audience and their anchor.

Ultimately, it can be said that post-broadcast television is vastly different to what was being produced previously, raising a lot of possibilities and unhinging the restraints that may have gotten in the way of TV production previously.


From Broadcast to Post-Broadcast (2):

More recently, TV has been subject to the shift from the broadcast to post-broadcast shift, due to the digitalisation of our world. This change in the fundamental understanding of TV and how it functions is largely due to technological developments that have empowered the medium and allowed for greater levels of flexibility, whilst also completely steering away from the origin of television as a scheduled and tightly broadcast form of communication.

The foundations for this shift are in the ‘convergence and digitalisation’ of the technology surrounding TV, allowing the historically bulky, unsightly and inefficient television ‘unit’ to be made more compact, capable, aesthetically pleasing and more connected than previously possible. The shift from broadcast to post-broadcast is something that I’ve experienced in my own life, as we started with analog Foxtel in our house, before upgrading to digital, then upgrading to and LCD TV from a CRT. All of these changes in our household technologies are evidence of the emergence of the post-broadcast era, which now means that our TV is connected to the internet – something I would’ve considered impossible back in the ‘00s.

Similarly, the new form of TV has allowed for unparalleled ubiquity in our world. With technology being compressed and compacted, TVs are more common than ever and often sprout up in places that would’ve seemed ridiculous less than a decade ago – TVs in treadmills, c’mon… really? The major repercussion of this overwhelming presence that TV now has is that it’s changed the role of the audience. Preciously, audiences had been seen as passive onlookers to TV content. However, the digital age enabled shopping through TV and personalisation that no one had experienced before. In this important moment, the digitalisation of TV had transformed audiences into consumers, and this shift is reflected today. Where we used to be targeted by marketing in the form of posters and promotional workers, organisations are now able to place advertisements for their products all over the world – everywhere we go, we are constantly being targeted as consumers.

Another effect of the shift from broadcast to post-broadcast is the convergence of TV and web-based media. As the power of the internet and its’ potential applications continues to grow, it has become commonplace for people to access their content on computers. Whilst this content may have only been previously accessible through the reception of broadcast TV, audiences now have the option to stream regular TV shows on demand. This trend has been openly embraced by TV networks on the most part, with programs being made freely available to stream at the conclusion of a shows’ weekly airing. However, this situation has also led to the rights of TV shows being marketed in a way that hasn’t been seen before. This issue is prominently evident in terms of the airing of the hugely popular ‘Game of Thrones’ TV series in Australia – previously, the episodes had been available weekly as they were released in the US, and Australians could legally purchase each episode at this rate. However, the 4th season saw Foxtel purchase all rights to the show and the only way people could legally watch the show was through Foxtel, which required a minimum 6 month contract, coupled with the outrageous monthly cost of the service. This was just not an option that suited many peoples’ financial situation and many turned to downloading the show illegally. The season 4 finale of GoT ended up being one of the most pirated episodes of any TV show in Australia, ever, which just goes to show that people are not prepared to fork out more than they have to in order to consume the media they want.

Furthermore, one last result of the transfer into the post-broadcast era has been the technological improvements that have allowed TV quality content to be produced on a much wider scale. From making smaller cameras, to making computers with enormous amounts of processing power for editing, the whole procedure of making a TV show has been streamlined and is now relatively affordable. This also means that there is a larger amount of content competing to be noticed, making it harder and harder for shows to get their come up and be picked up.

Evidently, TV is a very competitive market to get in to and not many content producers are lucky enough to be noticed. Becky Yamamoto is the writer of, and an actor in her ‘Unispired’ web series. The show has been critically acclaimed at the New York TV Festival and is now onto the 6th episode of season 1 – what many would consider a relatively successful venture in TV. ‘Uninspired’ is a lighthearted comedy detailing the life of Yamamoto’s character, Sarah ‘facing her inescapable adulthood’ (Uninspired Official Site). The show takes a laid-back approach to production and doesn’t try anything too fancy, but rather focuses on the substance of a well written and interesting script. ‘Uninspired’ is evidently helped along by the simplistic distribution that the shift to post-broadcast TV has enabled, reaching an audience and being noticed online to the point where it was selected for the prestigious NYTVF, where it was recognised as Todd VanDerWerff’s ‘favourite pilot of the festival’.

Conclusively, the transition from a broadcast to a post-broadcast era of television has been revolutionary and has changed the way TV will be watched forever.


Live Television: the Extraordinary & the Everyday (3):

Live television is a broad umbrella term for a very niche facet of television that includes regular, everyday broadcasts such as the morning shows on Channel 7 and 9 – Sunrise and Today, respectively – as well as more eventful and extraordinary coverage of large scale events such as the Olympics and its’ accompanying opening ceremony. Whether from the ‘everyday’ or the ‘extraordinary’ branch of television, live broadcasts are unique amongst TV programs and are very easily identified by a number of traits, such as their use of verbal and graphic references to time, the ‘LIVE’ watermark that stations often layer over their broadcast, certain camera techniques and the style of the presentation itself.

Ideally, TV has been developed and is is carefully constructed to instil an identity amongst its’ audiences members. This notion has evolved from Benedict Anderson’s theory of the ‘imagined community’, which proposes that people belonging to a certain country feel patriotic, connected, involved and proud of the ‘nation’, despite the fact that they have little or no interaction with most of the other people within the group, within Australia, for example. ‘Imagined communities’ – suitably named because they are completely intangible products of the imagination, the media and the government – are a useful way to understand the colonising effect that TV has had on our society. For this to be understood, it’s important to recognise that people are instinctual beings, but would never have formed ‘nations’ the size of our continents if it were not forced upon us, but would most likely only associate ourselves with those whom we directly interact with. The idea of nationalism is one that is unnatural, something that was conditioned into humankind and developed relatively recently, in the grand scheme of things. This engrained sense of national identity is constantly being reinforced through the regular, everyday television that we consume. The morning show, Sunrise, on Channel 7 each morning, for example, constantly reminds us of ‘the nation’ through the use of landmarks in the studio. The image of the Sydney Opera House or harbour bridge are regularly projected behind the shows’ presenters as they read the news and current affairs each morning, serving as a reminder to the audience that they are Australians, and further instilling a sense of nationality, whether the audience is consciously aware of it or not.

Similarly, TV is also known for its enhancement of the nations’ experience of ‘the everyday’. It’s a well known fact that people often feel most comfortable, work most effectively and are happy when they find themselves within a routine which keeps them occupied. Naturally, the scheduled nature of television compliments this structure effectively where people may wake up, shower, watch TV and have breakfast before heading off to work, then come home, have dinner and watch TV before going to bed. Through the careful scheduling of such live TV broadcasts, their is a ritualistic and comfortable schedule that is then projected onto the lives of the audience, and on a larger scale, society.  This raises interesting points about the selection of stories that the morning and evening news services report on and how they approach their reports. The morning news tends to be more uplifting, with more feel-good stories and even more ‘censored’ versions of the unpleasant news compared to the evening news – a technique to send people off to work in a better mood. This can also be observed through the way in which the hosts/co-hosts interact with one another. The staple morning show on Channel 7, Sunrise is hosted by David ‘Kochie’ Koch and Samantha Armytage (formerly Melissa Doyle – as seen in the screening clip) and the interaction(s) between the pairs are light-hearted, full of jokes, laughs and smiles – attempting to lift the spirits of the audience once more before they embark on their day.

Furthermore, everyday live broadcasts often attempt to connect with their audience not only through a light-hearted presentation that is entertaining to watch, but also through some less obvious conventions that raise the importance of the audience to equal that of the broadcast itself. Sunrise for example, uses a self-aware craning shot through the studio to emphasise its’ own liveness, implying that the entire production is being performed directly to and for the audience. It’s through this transparent approach to production that the content suddenly becomes more relatable and personal to the audience – something which is further developed through the candid conversational style of interaction between the hosts of the program. By referring to each other by shorthand or nick-names, the hosts are removed from any pedestal, de-formalised, and become relatable people that the audience could indeed imagine having a down to earth conversation with.

Although the nature of television as a complicated process with a lot of work involved is well known, it’s interesting to analyse how certain programs attempt to spin this formality and become more regular and relatable in order to connect with their audience on a higher level.