Co – production treaties (successes and gaps)

Co productions are a direct result of the increasingly networked global community that we live in. Co-productions are based around the collaboration of two individuals from different countries who create a film together.

By creating international films, through co productions, the industry is working towards a global market.  According to Screen Australia, these co-productions are governed by treaties that are formalised between Australia and other countries.

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Currently, Australia has treaties in place with the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Ireland, Isreal, Germany, Korea, South Africa, Singapore and Memoranda of Understanding with France and New Zealand.

These agreements are rife with uncertainty as they can be both beneficial and disadvantageous to all parties involved as the practice is still being work shopped.

In regards to the benefits, the agreements or understandings are aiming to provide both economic benefit as well as rich collaborative and cultural experiences. Economic benefit would be find through the bi-national status of the film and bring new avenues of distribution and consumption which immediately raises revenue.

In regards to the facilitation of a new collaborative and cultural experiences the benefits are obvious for a creative industry such as film.  However in summary, the combination of creative and technical expertise leads to a higher standard of production as well as the product being regarded as ‘domestic’ in more than one country.

On the surface, the benefits of co productions appear to be integral to the way forward for the film industry in our globalised context.

However, there are some serious disadvantageous to co-productions and the way that the system operates currently.

Firstly, the ‘paper work’ aspect is time consuming and and highly bureaucratic. In order to attain either a Treaty or Memorandum of Understanding it is necessary to apply for both Provisional Approval and Final Approval which can take up to 18 weeks.

On a practical level, different time zones make it extremely difficult to communicate, as does language barriers.

I believe a huge difficulty lies in the creation of the actual content of the movie as it is difficult to maintain an equal influence of both countries involved in the co-production. This would mean that co productions are only suitable for ‘global stories’ and therefore limits the amount of a strong influence of either culture or nation of the co-production parties.

In Doris Baltrus’ paper, Globalization and International TV and Film Co-productions: In Search of a New Narrative she discusses these issues and highlights that whilst the concept of co-productions could be great, it’s current state is doing nothing to explore concepts of “diversification and hybridisation of cultures”.

The way that co-productions are being created at the moment is leading them to focus solely on a global market and therefore only telling ‘popular stories’. This in turn is working against everything that the theory of a co-production treaty or understanding works towards.

Therefore while the notion is an exciting one, it still has a long way to go to achieve it’s ultimate capabilities.

References

Baltruschat, D 2002, ‘Globalization and International TV and Film Co-productions: In Search of New Narratives’ Media in Transition 2: Globalization and Convergence May 10-12, viewed 30 October <http://cmsw.mit.edu/mit2/Abstracts/DorisBaltruschat.pdf&gt;

Screen Australia n.d, Co-production Program, Screen Australia, viewed 30 October <http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/funding-and-support/co-production-program&gt;

Yecies, B 2009, ‘What the boomerang misses: pursuing international film co-production treaties and strategies’ University of Wollongong, viewed 30 October <http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1409&context=artspapers&gt;

Intercultural TV audiences

In this weeks class we explored the concept of intercultural tv audiences with the examples of Australian MasterChef and Chinese dating program If You Are the One.

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When discussing intercultural audiences we are referring to an audience base spanning across different cultures. With the globalisation of television, this is becoming increasingly common as it is no longer surprising that if you are overseas or watching international television that you find the format of one television show being used in another country.

Often, these shows or formats are more popular being used in a another country than the original country.

Intercultural audiences is what has lead to the success of both MastcherChef and If You Are The One.

When Shine Australia remade Masterchef for Channel Ten the success completely outshone the original British version.

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Surprisingly, the show received critical acclaim in India, a country with very little apparent cultural proximity. The judges of the hit tv show put the popularity down to the “fabled Australian lifestyle” as well shared themes or values.

Examples of this are the importance of family, sitting around a table to share a meal and the importance of food to Australian society is something that resonates with the rising middle class of India.

Despite apparent stark differences in cultures, aesthetically speaking, these shared cultural values allow for the undertaking of intercultural audiences to engage with international content.

In regards to the dating show If You Are The One which is based upon a British format of Take Me Out, the show has attracted up to 50 million viewers in China as well as receiving a cult following after SBS began screening it with english sub titles.

I find this example of intercultural audience viewing different to the example of Masterchef as I don’t believe it is the shared values that are attracting Australian viewers to the the dating show.

“Bold, blunt and deliciously weird”the Chinese dating show is unlike anything we have ever seen or experienced. It’s appeal is found in the stark differences that it has in comparison to Australian culture. It is the brutal honesty of the contestants, the quirky nature of both the format of the show and the contestants themselves as well as the charismatic host.

If You Are the One is constantly featured on social media and it’s followers remain passionate and dedicated and yet it stands as completely different example of the ways that audiences can engage with intercultural content.

References

D’Mello, C 2015, ‘MasterChef the toast of India’, the Sydney Morning Herald, January 31, viewed 30 October <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/masterchef-the-toast-of-india-20130131-2dms2.html&gt;

Groves, N 2015, ‘If You Are the One: call for Australian lonely hearts on Chinese dating show’, The Guardian, September 8, viewed 30 October <https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/sep/07/chinese-dating-show-if-you-are-the-one&gt;

Knoll, S 2015, ‘Why Australia has bizarrely fallen in love with a Chinese dating show’, Global Post, October 9, viewed 30 October <http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-09/why-australia-has-fallen-bizarrely-love-chinese-dating-show&gt;

O’Donnell, V 2014, ‘Same show, new country: how Australia led the tv format trade’, The Conversation, January 9, viewed 30 October <https://theconversation.com/same-show-new-country-how-australia-led-the-tv-format-trade-19431&gt;

 

Digital Storytelling: reflection

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I chose to focus my digital storytelling assignment on the way that technology and mobile devices affect public spaces as I believe that it is a hugely important issue in today’s society as the way we conceive a public space continues to change.

Public spaces, historically speaking, used to be places of conversation and idea sharing. A foundational aspect of a democratic society.

Currently, whilst we still live in a democratic society, there is strong argument that we no longer use public spaces in this way and the flow on effect of this is endlessly complex and fascinating.

I find it particularly interesting in regards to the effect that this is having on social etiquette, specifically in public spaces.

Throughout the process of my research, it remained clear that the issue is highly complex and often relational to the individual who is being questioned or from whose perspective is being relayed. The notion of technology in public spaces seems to be one closely related to personal values and also generational stand points.

For example, when interviewing my Mum while I agreed with a lot of things that she said in regards to a loss of ‘manners’  at the hand of our mobile devices, there were some things that seemed much more natural to me as a member of Generation Y. As I have more or less grown up with technology, our understanding of any unspoken rules of social etiquette are slightly different.

In order to provide my digital story with intellectual support it was necessary that I undertook some thorough research to add to the interview that I had done with my Mum. I found this extremely interesting as I saw the ways in which she perceived the ‘problem’ or ‘change’ in the way social etiquette has changed in public spaces due to technology, reflected in academic writing.

This highlights the complexity of the issue and the multiple facets of the debate. I believe however that the digital storytelling platform is the perfect way to explore technological dilemmas such as this as. I chose to use my blog as I felt writing is the best way that I can express myself on a matter that I am so interested in. Additionally, using my blog as a platform allowed me to integrate the resources that I used in an aesthetic and succinct way.

However, it being qualitative research it makes for a difficult theory to actually prove. A lot of the information that I read and reflected in my blog post were based on personal opinion and interpretations of public spaces. Also the nature of social etiquette despite being relatable to society at large is a hugely personal thing. This makes it difficult for stakeholders or members of society to really grapple with the issue and make changes should they feel they need to.

Despite the nature of the research I do believe that it is still useful. This information, presented in the form of digital stories allows for media groups or stakeholders to grapple with information in a way that extends beyond numbers and graphs. In many ways it allows for organisations to look at the very soul of these numbers and understand the content that they are being presented with in a much more dynamic and complex way.

For example, digital storytelling allows for a start, middle and end to a problem so that stakeholders have a comprehensive understanding of the issue. Additionally, digital storytelling allows for a cross platform engagement with content. In many ways a digital story allows us to access an issue using both our emotions and brains which is a highly effective method of persuasion. Finally, as it is centred around a narrative so it makes issues more relatable than other ways of presenting information.

Digital Storytelling: Is technology eroding our awareness of social etiquette?

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As Miss Manners eloquently states, the technology has changed, but the rules remain the same.

Yet, one step outside to anywhere resembling a public space and it seems we are all in a constant state of confusion as to what the rules of social etiquette are and how on earth we abide by them.

There are countless studies that discuss the role that technology has played and is playing in public spaces. However for the most part, these studies are situated in America. Nevertheless, due to the current state of our society being increasingly globalized, American society and Australian society are highly comparable.

Tali Hatuka who head the Laboratory for Contemporary Urban Design at Tel Aviv University believes that basic ideas that are associated with public space are being altered by individuals when smart phones are involved.

This directly relates to the growing confusion regarding social etiquette and technology as people believe that as they move through communal spaces, they still have their privacy through their “portable private personal territories“.

It has become clear to me that researchers are not the only people concerned with how technology is affecting social etiquette in public spaces after a conversation with my mum, Liz.

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Today my Mum told me about a recent altercation that she had had at lunchtime in North Sydney. There was a huge amount of foot traffic in Grennwood Mall, it being lunchtime, and a man that was taller than her and looking at his phone walked straight into her.

Being completely fed up with this sort of thing happening Mum snapped and said, “could you get off your phone?” to which the man replied “could you mind your own business?”

I found this astounding on so many levels. Firstly, when did bumping into someone create such aggressive reactions as opposed to the usual mumbled apology, yet apology nevertheless. Secondly, when did bumping into someone after being on your phone become a matter of that person having to mind their own business?

Mum described it as, “phone rage”.

Through the proliferation of mobile devices, we have become slaves to these devices and their incessant demands. Regardless of the public or private space which we may find ourselves in.

Subsequently, this blurring of the public and private dichotomy is resulting in societal confusion concerning basic behavioural conventions.

As we become more and more inward focused due to our mobile devices it is clear that we are losing so many things that are in turn contributing to this breakdown in understanding social responsibilities.

Another story that Mum shared with me was relating to the loss of ‘stranger communication’ which relates to talking to strangers in public places. In this instance, Mum had seen a lady in the street and she had been attracted to her outfit and Mum decided to let her know. When telling me this story, Mum also added that this woman was clearly in a huge rush but regardless Mum stopped her anyway and gave her the compliment.

The lady stopped dead in her tracks and her reaction time in responding to Mum was awkwardly slow. Whilst there was a genuine thanks at the end of this transaction it is the reaction time that is of concern.

It is like recently when someone asked me for directions whilst I had my headphones on. I was immediately sent into a spin as I had a) forgotten that I was in a public space as I was so focused on the music in my ears and the direction that I was going and b) I couldn’t believe that an actual real life stranger was talking to me as it so rarely happens these days.

Our mobile devices have everything we ever need to get by in every day life and so we no longer have the need for stranger conversation. When it happens in this day and age we are hugely put out. Scientifically speaking, stranger communication directly correlates with increasing individuals capacity to empathise with others. When this skill is not used, it deteriorates and we forget how to do it.

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Mum has had a similar experience with headphones in the work place which is interesting as it exists as a semi-public space. Mum works for the Australian Catholic University and she works in a largely open plan environment. Mum believes that the use of headphones in this work space is working against the aims of an open plan work space.

This example is interesting as headphones are something that are used when there is no one around. Putting headphones in your ears when in the company of others is, I can confidently say, considered rude.

I would think that this transfers into the workplace however Mum says that this practice is becoming increasingly popular!

These are only a few examples of the countless ways that people using technology affects the use of public space. In a Study conducted by Pew Research Center called Americans’ Views on Mobile Etiquette, they measured the different reasons that people are using social media in public spaces.

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The results of this graph clearly show that people are using their mobile devices for a broad range of reasons in public spaces and this begs the question as to which ‘code of practice’, per se, do they follow?

Do they respond to the people that are communicating with them through their devices or do they prioritise the physical world in front of them?

Regardless of what should be done in this situation I believe that all too often, people are choosing to follow cyber etiquette as opposed to the etiquette of their physical reality.

When I spoke to Mum about this theory of mine, she somewhat timidly agreed.

“There is something about technology that is so distracting and consuming.”

The ability that technology has to consume our attention is reshaping our informal personal reactions…

Mum explained that it has become so hard to ignore your phone. “These days” she said, “it has become the norm that when you are speaking to someone in the flesh, and your phone rings more than once that you excuse yourself from the conversation in order to answer your ringing phone”.

When you actually think about this by normal standards of etiquette, this seems inexcusably rude and yet this is becoming more and more like the norm.

With all these examples I believe the question of whether technology is eroding our awareness of social etiquette is one of extreme complexity.

In some regards I believe that, yes, technology and our mobile devices are to some extent encouraging inward focused behaviour at the detriment of greater societal values and civil responsibilities.

However, in the flip side of this, people are not becoming less kind, but in many ways are developing new rules to govern etiquette in a technology revolution.

All in all I think I agree with Miss Manners, I think the rules that are in place to govern any societal changes and we don’t need new ones.

The Internet of Things

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The internet of things essentially refers to the merging of the virtual world with reality.It is the concept of physical objects becoming connected to the internet.

This is slowly happening across the globe already! An example of this is connected cars that are equipped with internet access as well as local wireless networks.

When an object becomes connected it is able to store and process information and then frighteningly, independently initiate action. This allows these objects to become uniquely identifiable and remotely located.

In Wales, there has been studies relating to the Internet of Sheep where researchers are attaching wireless devices to livestock to gather information.

Now while all this sounds ridiculous, this is one of the first example of the internet of things being utilised outside of a city context and I believe that is interesting in itself! These studies are looking to recover information about and agricultural pollution however morally, this area seems to be quite grey for me.

What do you guys think?

Dark Fiber

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Throughout the length of this course we have discussed the benefits of the architecture of a distributed network and as a result I had inadvertently blocked my mind to any thoughts of negative influence brought about by the internet.

However, here we are today discussing the very same architecture but in a much darker light.

It seems obvious, really. It is a habit of the internet to store and remember information. That is it’s default setting.

Despite the boundless freedom the internet provides us, it seems we are always and will always be leaving a trail of information behind us.

Perhaps my use of boundless is inappropriate in this context.

This tendency leaves internet users at risk to hackers, botnets and of course, cyber warfare.

When put this simply it is a terrifying thought. Yet we put ourselves at risk every time we use the internet.

It appears it’s a price we’re willing to pay.

Digital Resistance

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When examining the notions of hacktivism and whistlebowers, the foundation of these concepts is found in the architecture of the medium that they utilise. This means that the network architecture formats the flow of information. In other words, distributed networks equals distributed control.

As individual nodes can broadcast to the entire network, these nodes now have limitless power and therefore the architecture is empowering.

And, voila. The electronic frontier!

The hacking subculture follows on very much from the concepts of the architecture such as free flowing information and individual empowerment. It’s aesthetic choice of anarchism follows on very much from the concept of a distributed network with it’s anti hierarchical attitudes.

This puts an interesting light on the way that society views both hackers and whistleblowers as from this lecture it seems they are just behaving the way that internet users are supposed to.

The Social Network Revolution

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The advent of social media platforms brought connectivity to the voiceless and through this connectivity, leads to empowerment. Through this empowerment, the connected individuals are inciting revolution and toppling political establishments through social media platforms. As a result of this the net has become a highly political place as it has the power of fast mobilization, mass involvement and a scalable openness. Whilst revolutions and falling governments are not a new concept on the historical scale, social media allows for a network of peripheries which is so very powerful in itself.

However there are many different interpretations on the role of social media in inciting revolutions and I find this to be extremely interesting. The relevant schools of thought here are:

  • Idealist – cyber utopian
  • Idealist 2.0 – new medium, new message
  • Critical – organizational tool (cyber realist)
  • Conspiratorial – who is behind this

In my opinion I believe I agree largely with the critical view of this as whilst I do not dispute the power of social media in regards to revolutions however revolution is never enough and beyond this, social media cannot make the physical changes.

Writing in Public (Assessment 2)

Reflection

From the beginning of Week One I realised that the blogging assessments of Task One and Task Two were much different from any I had previously encountered. Unlike other weekly blogging assessments, these required a balance of both content and strategy that I had not yet experienced.

Initially I found it difficult to engage with my blog as a medium. I found it difficult to find my own voice and I found myself writing as I would for a research paper, using both formal language and formal structure. This is evident in my first few posts. In order to help familiarise myself with some blogging basics I looked at the BCM240 Moodle site for some help. My first port of call was the MapHub blog which really helped me wrap my head around some key concepts with the help of great examples of content, structure and voice. Next I looked to the links such as finding your voice as a blogger and blogging tips from 16 blogging experts for a holistic understanding of the purpose and utility of my blog.

I found that these links led me to grapple with my own relationship with the blog and the possibility of an audience which led to thinking about my role as a public writer. Up until this point I feel that I had been thinking about my blog as a one way mode of communication when in fact there is an abundance of communication ability across platforms that are provided for using this medium. As a result of this I started to engage more with the topics so as to really my own opinion and represent it in a relatable way. The concept of a live audience also makes posting much more meaningful through which I felt I developed a sort of online identity through my posts.

Whilst the concept of an online identity could begin to be established through knowing their is an audience and a finding a sense of ownership through your own blog, I found it difficult to further this. In regards to my ‘About’ page and aggregating information that best describes myself and my interests I found this process unusual and I was unfamiliar with the way in which to go about this. However I now understand the importance of a substantial About page as it aids readers understanding of you as a blogger and helps people to find their “tribe“.

I am still struggling with the online format as a whole. By this I mean written structure as well as all other aesthetic aspects of blogging practice. I am not as technologically minded as I should be however I have been working on improving the overall presentation of my blog however I still have a long way to go

Response to Task 1 feedback

The feedback that I received from Task 1 was primarily concerned with adding qualities links to my blog and thinking about the structure of my posts. Upon further thought I realised that adding these links would serve to help readers better understand my blog and me as an individual blogger. The links I included are as follows:

Man Repeller, Jezabel, the Conversation and Reddit.

In regards to thinking about the structure of my blog, upon re-examining previous posts I noticed that my text was too chunky and grouped and that this was inappropriate for a blog platform. In all of the articles I had read to help with my blogging it suggested that when people read blogs it is their practice to skim and large chunks of text will lead to missed information and a lack of engagement. Therefore I tried to make a conscious effort of breaking up my text in a more digestible way.

How I tried to reach out to potential readers

Reaching out to potential readers is not something I had grappled with or even thought about at all throughout my university degree. As mentioned above I was used to thinking about my blog as a one way communication model and so I found this aspect of the assignment challenging at first.

Initially I found it important to have an understanding of my audience so as to properly reach out to them. My audience is primarily other students in BCM240 and my teachers marking and so I tried to make both the language and ideas relatable to this demographic.  Next I worked on being as accessible as possible through organisation and cross platform engagement. I used Twitter to inform of new posts on my blog and I commented on other blogs to encourage communication with other bloggers who are blogging on the same topics (Example 1 and Example 2). I used categories to aid with searching and being more accessible and I encouraged commenting below posts by finishing on a question or asking for the sharing of opinions in the comment section.

Finally, the use of the about page is a way to reach out to potential readers through the formation of personal connections and similarities.

How you used your blog to engage with ideas

There are a great number of ways that you can use your blog to engage with ideas. Firstly I believe it is important to use both text and images to keep your readers engaged. Adding to this I tried to embed links where I could to expand on both knowledge and content. Additionally, as mentioned above, I found it was important to know your audience and therefore use both relatable tone and examples  when explaining ideas. I tried to make the body of the text a balance between information and discussion so to not only educate but encourage individual thought for the readers. I believe the organisation of my blogs in categories is also hopeful when engaging with ideas.

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