Project Brief

Our transmedia project will tell the story of Elliot Roger’s Californian shooting spree where he attacked women out of his anger for rejection. We will focus on his psychological state leading up to the event in 4 media platforms:


News article




Each piece of medium will add another element to the story, either informing of what happened, or an insight to his psychological state and thoughts behind his actions.










1. Endeavour to come to class.

2. Good communication.

3. Even contribution.

4. Adhering to our time line.

5. Willing to offer opinions /advice.

The Story Lab Week 3

The cult reading resonated with me as I am a huge fan of a lot of cult films such as “Back to the Future” and “Hot Rod”. These two films are similar in the sense that they use light humour that can be quoted in many random circumstances. However, the “Back to the Future” franchise has created a whole world as Eco states in his ‘Cult Movies and Intertextual Collage’ article where as ‘Hot Rod’ doesn’t seem to follow Eco’s formula for a cult movie. He claims that creating a ‘furnished world’ gives the audience a world of their own to quote and learn about, to participate in trivia games and participate in a set of beliefs.

Although I found Umberto Eco’s article very captivating and insightful, I have to disagree with a lot of it. Yes a lot of cult films are because they are able to be unhinged and dissected with many ideas and an ‘[incoherent] philosophy of composition’, I believe a cult film can be created without all this. Movies like ‘Hot Rod’ and ‘Stepbrothers’, even if they didn’t do so well at the Box-Office, they continue to be quoted and celebrated by millions around the world. It’s not because it provides a fully furnished complex world with a collection of ideas, it’s simply because it is a sense of humour that only certain people identify with, thus connecting people who enjoy these films.

The same way two people who discover they listen to the same band will start comparing their favourite songs, people who find out they both like something like ‘Hot Rod’ and other Andy Samberg films/tv shows will start quoting scenes.

Gone Girl Case Study


Gone Girl is a modern-day thriller novel written by American author Gillian Flynn that challenges traditional story telling “rules”. It’s specific genre “Domestic Noir” was a term that only came about in 2013 (1). The novel follows the lives of a married couple, Nick and Amy, dealing with life and love from the beginning to after the first exciting few years of marriage. When Amy goes missing on their 5th year anniversary, uncertainty surrounds Nick as to his involvement with Amy’s disappearance and that is where the novel’s suspense comes from.

Firstly, the novel is not structured in a linear and chronological order, immediately defying the traditional story telling values. The novel requires a lot more involvement from the reader as it skips back and forward depending on whose thoughts we are reading. The novel is split between Nick and Amy. We hear Nick’s thoughts about the present day while we read Amy’s diary from years ago, learning more and more about their relationship. As the two sides are told, it is up to the reader to notice the overlaps. It is up to the reader to compare how each person interpreted the moment, and decide who is telling the truth and who is lying. This adhere’s to Pixar’s Andrew Stanton’s unifying theory of 2 + 2. He claims that the audience want to ‘work for their meal’ (2). This is exactly what Gone Girl does. It hints at things and insinuates that Nick is involved in the disappearance of his sweetheart wife Amy. The reader is lead through three-quarters of the book, slowly being convinced that Nick Dunne is guilty. Flynn does this by subtly portraying him as a lazy, bored, greedy, cheating husband. The reader thinks the novel is going one way, the ‘finish the sentence’, assuming Nick is guilty, and then Flynn turns the story on it’s head(3). Everything you think you know about the characters is challenged. We finally truly meet the personality of the novel’s main character, Amy. Truly meeting a character this far into the novel also challenges traditional story telling values.

Arguably, Gone Girl could be considered as a database, just as much as it is considered a narrative. It is a collection of thoughts from different people scattered out of chronological order amongst pages. It does not follow the classic ‘cause-and-effect’ structure of ‘ordered events’(4). However, Amy’s diary on it’s own and Nick’s thoughts on his own can each be seen as narratives. They each tell a clearly told story with the conventional beginning, middle and end. When put together they become a collection of stories forming a database of narratives to expand on the story. The audience finds out more this way and it heightens the experience. Much like how transmedia projects work, as Andrea Phillips describes the ‘stories’ and ‘interwoven’, ‘each piece can be consumed on its own, and you’ll still come away with the idea that you were given a complete story’(5).





1 Elizabeth Haynes, posting on A.J.Waines blog, August 2014

2 Andrew Stanton, TED: “The Clues to a Great Story”, Feb 2012.

3 Andrew Stanton, TED: “The Clues to a Great Story”, Feb 2012.

4 Lev Manovich, ‘The Database’, (Cambridge: MIT Press 1998).

5 Andrea Phillips, ‘The Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling’, May 2012.

StoryLab Week 2 – Remix

We played around with remixing stories this week – different from the usual remixing music and sometimes videos that I’m used to. (a great mix of both – CLICK HERE)

In our peer groups we created a simple story (ours was guy and girl on a trip, pick up a hitch hiker who ends up killing them) and we have to completely turn it on it’s head (guy and girl meet a hostel owner, who takes them to a cult night in the woods and they get killed).

This was a really fun technique on how to jazz up a plain story. Wanting to be a scriptwriter in my future, I come up with a lot of stories, and I find a lot have been done before or are just too boring and unoriginal. Using this technique made it quite easy to get the creative juices flowing and spark ideas.

This week made me think differently about story writing. I always tried to be original, and when I found something too similar to my idea I would feel like I had failed and had to continue to make it even more unoriginal. But the video we watched in class made me realise that nowadays nothing is original. Humanity has been around for long enough that everything has been thought of. Especially with over 100 years of cinema, a lot has been filmed. The video by Kirby Ferguson stated that “Creation requires influence”. He pointed out that even Star Wars was influenced by plenty of films that came before it. Especially the opening credits I always thought was original but actually came from the film Flash Gordon.

Back to this week’s project, each peer in the group had to take a part of Transmedia-ing our idea up. I wrote the script, and my partners wrote a short story and a marketing campaign. (See Below).


It was also quite interesting to see how different people interpreted the idea we came up with together.


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The Story Lab Week 1

The TED speech we watched in class was incredibly inspiring. When I was a little girl I used to draw cartoons with the goal of one day working for Disney Pixar (pushed by my father), so I have always felt a strong connection to films like The Little Mermaid and A Bug’s Life. I now still want to work for Disney Pixar, but on the story side. I wan’t to create stories that anyone can watch regardless of their age and feel connected to.

It was that sense of wonder that Andrew Stanton mentioned in his speech for TED that reminded me why I ever started wanting to work in this industry. My favourite films (as mentioned in class) are those that transport you to another world, and show you something that you could never imagine happening in your own life. Back To The Future, Indiana Jones, Avatar.

I loved his idea of teasing the audience.

“Don’t give them 4, give them 2+2.”

Audience’s love to work for their meal. I find myself being drawn to these stories a lot more. Ones that are crafted to make the audience work, to finish the sentence. One of my favourite genres of novels are murder mystery and that is mainly why. I love trying to work out what has happened before the characters do. I love trying to work out what the author was thinking, all their sly red herrings, all their subtle hints at the killer. Even though Stanton was referring to Pixar films, I believe this theory can be applied to every genre.

It has really inspired me to go out looking for hidden gems of stories that are in everyday life. He teaches to capture truth from your own experiences and express values you have felt.

“There isn’t anyone you can’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story.”


Analysis Number 5 Question 2


At the beginning of the semester I wanted to create a documentary that meant something to me and to my viewers. I feel that I have achieved that. I filmed my grandmother retell the story of how she met the love of her life, and I feel that this is something viewers can resonate with. I also aimed to “capture the true essence of those I interview”, and this is something I also feel I have accomplished. I filmed my grandmother in her best moments, bubbly and humorous, and in her most vulnerable moments, in tears. I have to give her a lot of credit, since she was a natural on camera and didn’t let the presence of a film crew detract from her retelling of her life.

Film/TV Analysis #4

Question 1

 This clip had a lot of sounds. Some would have been foley and some would have been filmed whilst the footage was recorded. There is a music track, a dialogue track, an effects track, and an atmosphere track. Sounds like the chimes and camera shutter were recorded by foley artists and later put in to the effects track. Where as birds chirping are a part of the atmosphere track and could have either been recorded by a foley artists or whilst the filming occurred.



Question 2

Opt+Cmd+V: Paste attributes – is my favourite key board short cut. I first began colour correction last semester in the short film and this short cut allows you to quickly correct one scene after doing just one clip.

Shift+Cmd+/: Duplicate – Is another great one as it saves time to duplicate shots so I can play around with the copy and not affect the original. Also useful for colour correcting.

Cmd+R: speed/duration: I always spend ages looking for this so it saves time as all keyboard short cuts do. I always seem to be speeding things up or slowing them down for some reason so I use this a lot.

Cmd+/: Bin – I began using bins last semester after Paul made me pretty much. They are really useful and made me feel more organised while editing and i knew where everything was.


Question 3

From a distant gaze …” (1964) directed by Jean Ravel

In the beginning I was intrigued by the shot construction and editing. A shot that moved from left to right followed a shot that moved from right to left and so on. It stopped the film feeling like it was spinning in circles and highlighted the busyness of the city. It also allowed the viewer to notice when a shot was changed. It immediately becomes apparent that the overall theme of the film is movement. People walking, cars driving. This was in the shot movements, the subject’s movements and the editing. There was pacing to the film that began fast and slowed down and then changed through out the film.


Question 4

Week Nine’s reading is  (63-73) from Documentary storytelling for film and videomakers by Bernard Curran.

“Filming real life is a constant struggle to distill realtiy into a meaningful subset of itself, into the telling moments, the telling gestures, the lines of dialogue that will suggest the rest of the scene without actually having to see the rest of the scene”

This is a point I found particularly interesting. In our documentary we filmed my grandmother retell the story of how she met my grandfather – one of my favourite love stories of all time. I have heard her for years talk about my grandfather. I have seen her with my grandfather and I have seen her without my grandfather. I am very aware of their relationship and as she says it was ‘true love’. To record and show in a 5- 10 minute documentary, what I have heard my whole life is extremely difficult. To record and show what my grandmother lived through is pretty much impossible. So it became a challenge to express the reality of this story through the little moments my grandmother told and her gestures and lines of dialogue. I had heard a lot of stories so I got her to talk about the moment where I thought beautifully summed up their life together. Her passion about the topic brought on beautifully crafted lines of dialogue that I know I will use in the final cut. Her gestures also show how much she cared about him, which then affected everyone else’s gestures in the documentary.

Analysis #3 Q1 Abstract Video

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 6.32.40 pmIn my film I tried to link footage with both subject matter and camera movements. I link the tree with the leaves to then the leaves on the floor and then the hands tearing up the leaf to paper being thrown out, it kind of represented the cycle of paper in society. I linked that section with sounds. Industrial sounds and eerie sounds. In the beginning of my clip I made it a lot more abstract. I changed the hues of the footage and intercut the footage with other footage to play in time with the sounds. It’s pretty random however this is where I matched the subject matter of leaves and also the camera movements in the up and down pans. My piece was very random and seemed like an acid trip.




Analysis #3 Q2 Documentary Storytelling

Reading: “Documentary storytelling for film and video makers” by Bernard Curran.


This reading opened my eyes to the world of documentary and how much planning actually goes into it. I always thought of documentary as having a much lower level of creativity and creative choice than feature films, however a point that stood out at me was that everything in documentary has a huge decision behind it. Things I simply ignored such as will the documentary be observational, or will the documentary contain interviews, will the documentary get the filmmaker involved, will the documentary use more than one interviewee? There are many ways to do the one documentary and what sort of documentary it becomes is based on the filmmaker.

Another point that excited me in particular, especially about creating our own documentaries this semester, was when the article stated that filmmakers talk about ‘“finding” the story, or the story revealing itself’. I am beginning my documentary with a rough idea about what my grandmother has been through in her life time, and her love story with my grandfather, although I don’t know what sort of road the documentary will take. I don’t really know what will be the main focus for her stories, will it be her troubled childhood or mainly her relationship with my grandfather? I think the story in this documentary will reveal itself in the editing room after we have asked her millions of questions and cut together the most fascinating bits. I am really excited to make this documentary.