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Gardening the Mind

I recently spoke to a woman who is one of the few surviving anti-GPS enthusiasts. She stated that she likes to use maps because she prefers them to GPS, she likes to know the area she lives in and not simply be a slave to turn by turn instructions. Her chief concern about the technology was that its stopping people from thinking and developing a lateral thinking mindset. Something which I somewhat contest, I believe that the technology of the future, although it might render certain thought processes obsolete, it may in fact call for new patterns. This is something which I had on my mind while reading Gardeners Five Minds For the Future. The five minds are as followed

The Disciplined mind – a person who has mastered a specific craft
The Synthesising mind – Somebody who is capable to making dense of large amounts of diverse information
The Creating mind – this is a new evolution of ‘mind’ as it combines the previous two. This is the mind that innovates a creative idea from synthesis and then shapes it into a disciplined form which can be consumed.
The Respectful mind – This mind recognises the diversity and complexity which is becoming prevalent in our world, and embraces it.
The Ethical Mind – Ponders the impact of ones work, and how it could render service to the community

Gardener then goes on to discuss the new vs the old attitude to education, and this is where the GPS argument comes in. In the past for example, it was necessary for people to develop a disciplined mind, one had to be to ultimate master of a trade, many things were not automated, thus calling for intense learning about all details of a task such as map reading or type setting. Now, in the digital age however, this is no longer required, as the previously ‘nitty gritty’ information is readily at hand for anybody. Therefore, we can now turn our focus to developing Ethical, Respectful and Creative minds.

Finally, the chapter concludes by explaining the importance of developing rounded mindsets, and the ability of becoming a multi-faceted human being, along with the benefits this will have on the quality of ones life.

Technology Burnt out the Clock

“I just don’t know how to handle the way my life is headed”, is what I said despairingly to my father, I had spent the day doing eleven hours of computer based work, and realized that if I wanted to succeed in media, this would most probably be my future. I have become a slave to the technology which I understand makes my life more efficient. I want to write, use the computer, I want to create, use the computer. It seems that everything productive to me, now involves using a computer. Similarly, this was a central focus of this weeks reading, it explored the paradox of technology and its affect on time. The argument has been that the more we embrace technology, and machines, the more time we will have to spend on other things. Yet it seems that the opposite has happened, we have actually become more stressed, and feel the need to work more. Some people accredit this paradox to technology, and the constant access and network we have around us, however Wajman debunks this theory and discusses a totally new approach to time management in the age of technology. We need to become aware of the time technology gives us and take opportunity of it, rather than making us feel like we have less time, and that we need to spread ourselves too thinly. Another aspect is the idea of slow-zones, or appreciating moments of slow in a fast moving society. For example, growing vegetables locally as a community, or simply recognising and enjoying leisure time, are both examples of how the fastness of the world has allowed us to appreciate the slow.

Mindset is set for Success

All set, with my mindset now. After this weeks reading there was much food for thought about content creation. This has been something playing on my mind of late. It seems that in order to succeed in any endeavor one must wholeheartedly practice and make a time commitment. This is an idea which has been explored at length, for example in the book “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell. I have been considering this concept in my own life, im trying to make media and become a comedian, how much work do I need to do? This is when I encountered the work of Cal Newport where he says to be “So good they cant ignore you”. He basically outlines two mindsets, the passion mindset and the craft mans mindset, in one where you pursue an art for the love, and in the other where you simply try to get better and better at something. He suggests that they way to approach creation in order to succeed is more in line with the craft mans mindset, and then the passion will follow. So basically, by working on your skill until you hone it completely you will eventually become so good at what you do that people will find it impossible not to aknowledge your work. Once this has been achieved the passion will follow. In order to explore this he interviewed Jordan Tice, a 24 year old guitarist who has has managed to make a professional career out of his task-oriented, skill building mindset.
Hearing this week, really just made me realize that BAM. Thats what I need to do. Put my head down to camera. And lets do this.


Final Reflection of Sketchy Students

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

“Nobody ever starts their final reflection with a Dr Seuss quote!” – Mark Poole in the Future when he reads this

Looking back at Sketchy Students, everybody will agree that it was a wild ride, there were many ups and downs and everybody learnt something. Throughout the process I was a member of the writing team, and I cant say that i disagree. When I was originally assigned to the writing team I was quite excited, because something I wanted to do was learn about how TV shows are written, so that some day I could write my own.

Firstly, I wanted to know how to lay out a proper script, this I feel I achieved. One Point. However, this was not nearly the largest learning curve, i believe the greatest thing I learnt was the importance of communication. Personally, I spend a lot of time on the internet, however, its mainly in the evenings that I sit down and make any long replies to correspondence This became a challenge during sketchy students, because often we would get feedback during the day, and if we did not reply quickly, we would miss the opportunity to contribute. Therefore I quickly became resigned and detached from the process, as I could not keep up with the pace required. In some ways this taught me detachment from the creative process, and was quite humbling, as I realized i was a cog in a larger machine. But at the same time it taught me how writing teams should operate.

One of my dreams is to work on the set of a sitcom, such as Modern Family, I would love to see how the world class comedy writers operate. One things for sure. They have stellar communication. Coming from a YouTuber background, I am used to writing and producing all my own material, thus I am very familiar with the end result from the onset. This led me to underestimate the workload for Sketchy Students, not that the writing itself was strenuous, but it required constant communication, iteration and improvement. Combined with the learning that face to face communication is the most effective, this meant that we needed as a team to meet as much as possible. However, we did not seem to get the opportunity due to our personal schedules. This lack of communication caused a lot of tension throughout the season, especially when it came time for us to finalize scripts, and we didn’t even have the story outlined properly.

Another thing that happened throughout the process was that the management team had a strong influence over the writing of the show. Admittedly this was partially due to the fact that the writing teams lack of communication led to inconsistency, however, for future projects I would like to see firmer boundaries between teams. I believe that if everybody did their jobs to the best of their ability, crossover roles would not be necessary and the show would still maintain its quality.

If I was to do it all again, I would make the writing team smaller, perhaps a streamlined 3 people. The story could initially be brainstormed, taken to a larger group, but then brought back to the 3 writers. This would make communication simpler as well as insure a more consistent storyline.


Today, Imma Nohere made his acting debut in Sketchy Students. What does that even mean?

Well – Imma Nohere is a character that has been written into the show as the zero attendance student, that one that never shows up but still gets good grades. That is Imma. I was happily cast as Imma for the 3rd and 4th episodes of sketchy students, and today we did his first bit of filming. Due to one of the other projects that I am currently working on, I am going to have a moustache for the next few weeks, and for the sake of consistency I even need to have a moustache as Imma. So Imma Nohere has a moustache – and there is nothing you can do about it.

For the role of Imma, I wanted to have an American accent, because Im trying to work on my American accent, plus I wanted him to stand out as different from the other characters. I believe that this has been done aptly by the moustache and the voice that does not at all match the face. One thing to note however, is that my experience in the character of Imma did not yet feel very consistent, as I have not been him for a very long time, thus this first episode with him will be quite experimental on my part. I look forward to you seeing him next week!


So, it turns out that the revisions to script 4 were not received too well – and I can understand why. Firstly, the final script is quite far removed from the original concept that we had penned in class. Although there is reason for most of the changes, it does seem that group members who had originally had quite a lot of their work in the script, were suddenly left wondering where it all went. Even though we thought we had concluded that we would be passing the script on to each other for edits, I don’t think anybody expected there to be such drastic changes.  Our group was hoping to consult in order to ensure that there would not be such drastic changes, however, because we were receiving feedback at such a fast pace, it made it very difficult for us to keep our groups views all aligned.

In terms of resolution to this issue, I think the best bet is to detach from the outcome and just allow whatever makes the most people happy to go ahead. I come to this conclusion based on the fact that this is the last script, once it is resolved there will be no need to discuss the issue further. That being said I do acknowledge that if this was a multiple season show, there would certainly need to be drastic adjustments made to the collaborative process.

Sketchy BTS.

Today the first Behind the Scenes of Sketchy Students was uploaded to Facebook… and it features me! Very exciting – thats all I wanna say.

Actually no, I also want to mention that today is my Brothers Birthday… Happy Birthday Bro!

However, in the world of serious, this evening I had a meeting with Simone and Dylan from the management team. We were discussing episode 4. It was decided that I would be the one who did the revisions for the 4th episode, so that is what happened this evening.

A lot of concerns were raised in the meeting and we tried to streamline the script to both make the filming manageable, as well as the characters consistent. For example, there was a concern raised that both Sandra and Phoeboe were ethnic characters, both female who never spoke besides using their phones. This was the entire depth of their character and this was still all they did in episode four. Besides the fact that the gag itself was getting lacklustre, it was also necessary to give them more depth. Thus during the meeting we discussed changing that part of the script. These are the kind of things we discussed. Overall it was a fairly efficient meeting.

The Power of Fusion

So, after the melodramatically titled “great sit down” last week we have run into some road blocks. Luckily no car spikes. Just some road blocks. Its looks as if the originally planned episodes 3 and 4 are going to be too elaborate to actually be achievable in the designated timeframe. Therefore we have decided to merge a few of the gags together in order to achieve ultimate hilariousity and possibility.

Now, our final mystery character will not be appearing in episode 4, but will be entering earlier during episode 3, then the season finale 4 will combine everybody for an epic story.

From a writing perspective this means that now we need to make the gags deeper and funnier, in order to compensate for the lack of quantity. But then again it is much better that we can now aim for quality over quantity. Its just a reminder that within any creative endeavor is is important to remain detached. Sketchy students has been a constant reminder of this principle, with the episodes being reviewed by different people and constantly changing, and the fact that once stuff is written it gets interpreted by other people. They say that when writers write, producers almost always change what ends up happening, even if its on set. I don’t remember where I heard this. But now I believe it.

The Great Sit Down of 2016

The title makes this post sound extremely ominous, and it is. So brace yourselves.

After having a very intense meeting with the management team it became apparent that the Writing team needed to sit down and have a face to face meeting in order to finalise the final two episodes. It had basically only been me talking to Simone and Dylan on a late night google hangout, and they explained to me that they were quite confused as to where the writing team was going with the show. Now – as the literary coordinator its my job to consolidate all the written materials and know where all the ideas are. The issue was – EVEN I DIDN’T! Therefore it was time to switch our gears from virtual to face-to-face.

Thus, today in class we all managed to sit down, IRL and have a proper discussion. We started going over the content for the next two episodes and we have now decided on the content that will be in them. This includes a basic outline of the gags for the episodes and the major plot points involved. There is quite a lot to get through, there will be a whole bunch of students running late, and a glorious entry for a new character. Stay tuned!

Have I Made it?

For the past seven years I have been creating content on YouTube, throughout this time I have experimented with many different genres and styles in order to find my voice. From parody music video to toying with special effects. Eventually, I have come to realise that uplifting comedy is really where I would like to leave my impression. However, making comedy videos on youtube requires one to have a whole new set of literacies. For example, on youtube the trolling community is quite large, I have received a number of hateful comments, something which I explore here. Jay Oatway explores this in his discussion about content creation, one thing that he emphasises is to first fully understand your community, to follow them on blogs and social media, in order to understand their expectations. To put it briefly, the reason that hate is often received is because the audience is receiving content that they do not expect. For example, my most disliked video is called “How to get money from vending machines”, when i look at the Youtube Analytics of this video, I am able to see that the audience mainly comes from the youtube search, which are people who legitimately believe that I’m going to show them how to make a buck. However, once they click on the video they realise its comedy and become quite upset, and revert to trolling. I explore this in more depth on my blog post here.

This whole dynamic is quite interesting, it is reminiscent of the Anonymous phenomenon that originated on fourchan. According to the BBC Documentary “How Hackers Changed the World”, the anonymous group has a very strong sense of community and understanding. One of the members while discussing the protests on scientology, explained that suddenly everybody who knew the same jokes as each other were coming together. Not only jokes, but the same set of shared values and culture. Thus, there was such a passion about certain acts of hacktivism which they conducted, such as taking down the Neo-Nazi Hal Turner. It is incredible to believe that something so intangible like the internet can develop such a large network of independant literacies. Andrew Blum, touches on this briefly in his TED Talk “What is the Internet Really” when he states that “my relationship to the physical world had changed”. Memes are a great example of this, they often sit online and are constantly remixed and recycled like on a “petri dish” until they become a subset of internet culture. Rosanna Guadagno also explores this in her study about what makes a video go viral, she explores the importance of emotional impact and found that a video was more sharable when it had emotion provoking content. I would like to compare this to a common stand-up comedy theory, discussed by the likes of Gene Perret and Judy Carter. Its understood that audience expectation and a sense of community is often what makes or breaks an engagement. In my case, because I have been developing my own voice, I often have not provided my audience with consistent content. This I believe it what has opened me up to hate messages. By constantly shifting my content, the audience does not know what they are receiving, and opposes my work.



YouTube. (2016). BBC Documentary – How Hackers Changed the World [Full]. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Andrew Blum: What is the Internet, really?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 8 May 2016].

Oatway, J. (2012). Mastering story, community and influence. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley.

Guadagno, Rosanna E. et al. ‘What Makes A Video Go Viral? An Analysis Of Emotional Contagion And Internet Memes’. Computers in Human Behavior 29.6 (2013): 2312-2319. Web.

Perret, G. (2007). The new comedy writing step by step. Sanger, CA: Quill Driver Books/Word Dancer Press.

Carter, J. (2001). The comedy bible. New York: Fireside.

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