Week 4 | Passion and Career

The Clarity of the Craftsman

In this chapter Cal Newport discusses both the craftsman mindset and the passion mindset in terms of approaching work. The craftsman mindset about focusing on becoming so good at what you do that you cannot be ignored.  In other words, if you have this mindset are focusing on what value you bring to the job. It’s about what you as a skilled worker can offer the world. Cal describes this as a crucial avenue for ‘building a career you love’

The passion mindset however is a focus on what the world can offer you and more specifically what your job can offer you. This mindset is very familiar and is how most people approach their working lives. Cal lists two reason that he dislikes the passion mindset. First, when you focus on only what your work offers you, it can make you overly aware of what you don’t like about you job. This is especially true for entry-level positions in which I soon may become familiar with. Secondly, the ambiguity of the deep questions that underly the passion mindset such as ‘What do i truly love?’ are impossible to answer which can leave one unhappy and complexed.

By adopting the craftsman mindset one acknowledges that truth that no one owes a great career, its not handed to us on a silver spoon and that we have to work hard and earn it. I find this chapter relevant to my life now. I’ve grown up being told to do what I love doing. However I’ve never known what I really love doing and what I want to do career-wise. As a result, I’ve always found the idea that people knew what they wanted to do with their lives before even trying their hand in that particular trade perplexing. I am at the point that I’m not sure if Media is the path for me or not. I’ve waited for passion and motivation to just magically appear. But maybe if I adopt more of a craftsman mindset then a career might evolve into something I am passionate about. As Newport says ‘adopt the craftsman mindset first and then the passion follows’.


Cal Newport, 2012, ‘The Clarity of the Craftsman’ in So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work, NY Business Plus, ch.4.

Week 3 | Being a Creative Labourer and the Nature of Contemporary Work

This article discusses the nature of working in the contemporary media industry. Those involved in freeland media production for instance web content creators are often overworked and underpaid. The new freelance writing industry runs off a low pay model where creators are often paid less then a cent per word. This is often for content farms critzized for being ‘digital sweatshops’ that devalues research and professional writing while exploiting freelance workers.

Lobato & Thomas show that today’s most in-demand knowledge workers choose to work in a less routine way than the traditional formal format. Employees often work on move and have flexible hours following an entrepreneurial style of creative work. While this flexibility may seem pleasurable, the informal work style has been criticised for being problematic. This is due to factors such as underemployment, lack of security, self-exploitation, discrimination and unpaid overtime. Game developers are often made to work extensive unpaid overtime when near an important deadline.

As a potential future employee in the media industry it’s important for me to understand the current contemporary labour landscape. Especially with the amount of informal work out there and employers who are willing to take advantage of young graduates, expecting them to work for free or at least cheap. I should only work for free if I believe the experience and contact is worthwhile in terms of advancing my knowledge and advance my chance of future employment.


Ramon Lobato and Julian Thomas, 2015, ‘Work’ in The Informal Media Economy, Polity Press, Cambridge UK, ch.3

The Future of Cinema (Annotated Bibliography)


Brooks, M. (2016). Future Content Experiences: The First Steps For Object-Based Broadcasting. [Blog] Research & Development. Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/blog/2015-03-future-content-experiences-the-first-steps-for-object-based-broadcasting [Accessed 29 Jul. 2016].

This blog discusses the BBC’s R&D team’s mission to delve into creating more personalised and accessible programmes through Object Based-Broadcasting, which allows the content of a program to be individually tailored to the requirements of the audience member. Brooks describes an object is an individual media asset such as a video clip, audio clip, a still image or a caption. These are fundamental objects which come together to create a completed production. In object based broadcasting these objects are broadcasting to everyone along with information to reassemble them to suit the viewer’s preferences, technological capabilities and environment. This technological development is important with audiences eager for more personalised content. With objects being assembled differently depending on the viewing/listening device and environment the experience is optimized for every consumer. For example, someone watching a program on a big screen might want a different version than someone who is watching it on their phone. Furthermore, programmes can be tailored for the consumer for instance an individual might prefer a different mix between foreground and background then another. Or a program could be tailored to the individual’s mood or the time they have to view it. Object based broadcasting will have an important place in the future of media production and distribution. While this article primarily discusses OBB in terms of TV and radio, the same concept applies to film. Object-based technology could be particularly interesting in terms of cinema sound design.


May, S. (2015). Is Dolby Atmos the future of cinema sound?. [online] TechRadar. Available at: http://www.techradar.com/au/news/audio/is-dolby-atmos-the-future-of-cinema-sound-1088428 [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].

In this article May discusses Dolby’s latest cinema sound format ‘Dolby Atmos’ and its potential within the future of cinema. The system includes a ceiling array on top of the traditional surround sound configuration and is able to give the illusion of an infinite number of speakers. This is a result of of being compatible with object-based sound design. Such a sound system will be able to complement the continued emergence of higher quality video. The article includes an interview with Stephen Field the programs vice president of DataSat Digital Entertainment who explains that system like Atmos will not only change the way that films are experienced but how sound designers think of mixing audio. To elaborate, sound engineers can place an audio object anywhere spatially with accuracy. While the article praises the new system it does acknowledge the large expense of equipping a cinema with for this immersive audio. However, it mentions that Atmos doesn’t impose notable time penalties on studios with the post production process automatically creating 5.1 and 7.1 mixes of a movie. The TechRadar article is useful in understanding the Dolby Atmos system yet is limited in exploring the immersive audio systems that been created by opposing companies.

Lalwani, M. (2015). Surrounded by sound: how 3D audio hacks your brain. [online] The Verge. Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2015/2/12/8021733/3d-audio-3dio-binaural-immersive-vr-sound-times-square-new-york [Accessed 2 Aug. 2016].

This online text discusses the return of binaural sound in response to the emergence of VR. Binaural recordings capture sound the way human ears hear it, giving the listener a genuine 3D sound experience. While binaural sound has been around for years, Lalwani mentions that it’s been overlooked for less technically demanding methods and has been seen as a novelty. However, VR hardware such as the Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear needs a realistic 3D audio counterpart to fully immerse users. Lalwani identifies the importance of 3D audio and reveals that it tackles one of the biggest challenges is VR design, which is if the user isn’t looking when an important event occurs. In response, 3D audio cues can prompt the user to look in a particular direction. While the use of binaural audio referred to in this article in not yet widespread it opens up a world of possibilities for virtual reality cinema and regular cinema alike.


Franklin-Wallis, O. (2016). Virtual reality will transform cinema in 2016. [online] WIRED UK. Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/virtual-reality-breaks-fourth-wall [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

In this article from WIRED online magazine Franklin-Wallis investigates the VR’s potential to transform the cinema landscape. He suggests that for VR to achieve mass adoption it will be through film rather than gaming. The piece also acknowledges that VR cinema will only reach its full potential if it attracts the quality of storytellers and filmmakers that traditional cinema does. This is particular interesting, as VR cinema is popping up at film festivals all over the world with the quality of the technology and storytelling improving. Furthermore, the piece recognises the various challenges and difficulty of VR from the capture to the post-production.  While VR will most certainly have a big part in the future of media, it will not replace traditional TV or movie. This article is useful in understanding VR cinema as its own medium within the cinema landscape.

Phone as witness: Civilian Journalists

Last week after the lecture we broke into small groups and my group discussed civilian journalism. I was planning on blogging about it while it was fresh in my mind but I’ve since been ill. The mobile phone technology today allows anybody to be a journalists and share with the world what they think is important. A lot of our news in today’s media landscape often comes from some video that a civilian took of something terrible that happened aka. someone getting shot, the treatment of refugees or prisoners etc. This technology empowers people to be heard on important issues, however this counteracted by the resulting over-saturation media. With individuals spreading news it seems like we are more likely to hear that truth as they most likely don’t have a hidden agenda like a major news corporation might do. While yes some civilian journalists might have a certain agenda, you can also cross-reference the facts with other everyday people who have reported on the matter. Its great that everyday people are able to expose terrible things that might be happening to them or others. Civilian journalism and social media have the power to create real change. If you have any doubt on the scale of change that such media can have just look to political unrest that have been assisted by social media known as “Twitter Revolutions”.

Week 2 | Opportunities and Trends in The Global Entertainment Industries

A World of Differences

The entertainment and media (E&M) industries are diverse with steady growth but difficulty can come with keeping up with the ever-changing media landscape. In fact, for majority of the countries looked at in the paper, E&M spending is growing more rapidly than the GDP. For these companies to succeed they should be targeting the youth as we adopt new media quickly and consume more of it. To do this media companies have to understand the young and as a result be able to predict their movement to the next trend. E&M spending is growing much more rapidly in younger markets such as Pakistan than older markets like Germany. While the E&M is growing world-wide, specific cultures and tastes in content still remain key. Therefore business models are being evolved to support the co-existence of local and global content with companies like Netflix admitting that locally produced content is its future. Local tastes are clear here in Australia but more so in countries such as India and China in which the latter will soon overtake the US in box office revenue. Interestingly, this will be the first time that the US has not held a leading place in an E&M area. Lets continue to use China as an example. China has a heavily regulated media market and companies must understand these obstacles. The Chinese market often blocks foreign companies and requires a certain amount of airtime to local content. Furthermore, all content must be reviewed and approved by the government before being aired. In addition, they limit the foreign films they show each year to about 20. These are all things that international companies have to take into account when planning their global strategies.

E&M companies need to be constantly learning and act in response to thrive in today’s media landscape. Focus needs to shift onto the power of youth, localized content, the deepening of markets and the potential for brand-new business models. As a young person I can vouch that targeting the youth in a must. We are constantly consuming media, often from multiple sources at once and are quick to adopt new technology and platforms for media consumption. Furthermore, we are more likely spend via digital transactions for instance I subscribe to multiple online platforms such as Netflix, Spotify etc. In fact I consume and even buy majority of the media I consume online including film/TV, music and video games.


Chris Lederer & Megan Brownlow, ‘’A World of Differences’: Special Report: Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2016-2020’. Price Waterhouse Cooper,

Week 1 | Megatrends: ‘The World is Changing’

We are on the verge of a fourth technological revolution that will change they way we live, work and relate to each other. We have already seen impressive change in physical, digital and biological megatrends in the last decade that will define our future. Physical megatrends as autonomous (self-driving) vehicles , 3D printing, advanced robotics and new materials are all becoming more common place. Digital megatrends like on-demand technologies such as Uber, Air BnB an Netflix have taken the world by storm. Most impressively recent innovations in biology means that synthetic sequencing and the writing of DNA (bioprinting) is on the horizon.

Technological revolution has the potential the raise the quality of life and global income levels with consumers being able to afford new products and services that increase efficiency. However, it may also result in greater inequality with workers being substituted by automated machines. In addition an asymetry of power could occur between the tech savvy who use the technology and those who do not understand.

Many issues will arise as technology advances and new innovative possibilities come to light. There has been much debate over the ethics and legality of Uber with their lack of credentials and its negative effect on the livelihood of licence Taxi Drivers. However, the on-demand service is an affordable and effective option for students like myself. Furthermore, I’ve recieved a higher level of service with Uber due the star rating system. Such an on-demand economy offers flexible working hours and furthers innovation in the workplace, however employees do have reduced job security due to basically being private contractors.

While reading about digital megatrends the newest fad ‘Pokemon Go’ game to mind. It’s fair to think people walking around outside staring at their screens is ridiculous and sometimes dangerous. However, the Augmented Reality of Pokemon Go has the potential to get people outside and socailising who may not otherwise. People have reported that it’s actually helped with their social anxiety and mental health. On the similar note, Vitural Reality is being used as a tool to treat phobias, pains, and even help with surgery. Further it’s being used to improve the standard of life by letting the severely disabled explore the world in which may be difficult or impossible in real life.

For someone who is soon graduating I hope that these innovations in technology leads to job creation and all new industries that have the potential to be a part of my future. As a young person I feel like its important to understand and keep up to date with the technological advancements as the future is coming quicker than ever.


Extracts from Klaus Schwab, 2016, The Fourth Industrial Revolution (World Economic Forum), pp.14-26, 47-50, 67-73, 91-104.

Luke Egan – s3490681