Are Drones an extension of the selfie

In the current social media landscape, some people believe that we use other people as a reflection in order to understand our own personality (Evans 2016). This video will challenge that idea as technological devices like the Drone is the reflection which helps us to understand our true identity. Through capturing ourselves and placing further emphasis on where we are.

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Inside the space and attendance of Cinema

Cinema has always been a great part of people’s lives. Each time you go inside a movie theatre you are in for quite an experience. We all have different reasons for going. These could include going on your first date. You’re a film buff and you feel obligated to watch everything that comes out or it could be a thing where you say you know what I might go to the cinema today just for the sake of it. Well I am the film buff kind of guy. I love going to the cinema and embrace the story that is being told on the screen. It is the best medium to tell a story. Cinema is spatial because people have access to it. It is changing in new and innovative ways. Cinema enhances our understanding of space through the showing of stories which people can relate to in their own lives.

5-CROWDS-not-an-empty-seat-in-the-house

(New City Film 2015)

The global film industry faces a lot of significant obstacles each and every day. Movies are always changing in terms of the way they are made, what movies people are seeing and what influences people to go to the cinema. Before conducting extensive research I managed to interview my cousin Grant Davies. He is a film projectionist at Paramount pictures in Echuca. He has worked in cinema for 26 years and started as a volunteer worker. It was a locally run cinema which also had a live theatre venue. The first film projector he used were typical ones that were used in the 1920’s. They had carbon arc lighting system and two thousand foot spools as you can see below.

film projector
(Criterion Collection 2015)

In 2000 he completed his TAFE course on film projection and began work for Independent cinema where he looked after commissioning and installation of 35 mm film projectors. Davies is someone who has been a part of the space of cinema for an extensive period of time. The ultimate question to identify on why people grow accustomed to the atmosphere and public space of a cinema would be this: Why do people go to the cinema? My cousin replied by saying.

“Most people attend movies at the cinema to see the latest release movies on a big screen, in comfort and with good sound.”

We go to the cinema not to embrace the public space but the feel of it. We want to live it by having the comfort of listening to certain sounds at a higher level. Sounds meaning anything that is being heard by the audience whether that is conversations, music or ambient noise. In Australia, cinema can be one of the most popular forms of cultural entertainment that can be embrace audiences from a wide range of demographics (Aveyard 2011, p.124). Australia is a multicultural country and cinema can be a way for cultures to integrate through watching a story unfold through the medium of film. In rural areas like Echuca Victoria Grant Davies experiences a different kind of space than cinemas in capital cities.

Rural cinemas provide a public setting for friendships to be established (Aveyard 2011, p. 126). They can help gain a sense of attachment to where the cinema is located geographically. I can definitely relate to this as I live in a rural town called Kiama. The nearest cinema is Greater Union Shellharbour which I consider my second home. I try to go there once a fortnight to watch any new release which interests me the most. I remember a couple of years ago when I saw Interstellar. It was one of the best experiences I ever had at the cinema. I was in comfort and the sounds of the space crafts and dust storms were intensified. Through embracing the sound I managed to engage more with my surroundings.

Now that we know why people attend cinema there has been a gap created. If people like to go to the cinema to hear sounds amplified why in Australia especially is declining even if people really like attending the cinema. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 68% of Australians in 2014 attended a cinema. Over the past ten years that percentage has fluctuated between 67 to 69%. Cinema can appeal more to certain age demographics than others. For example in 2010 93% between of people from the age of 15 to 17 have attended the cinema once in a year. As the demographics people tend to find it harder to attend cinema as that percentage declines. 71 % of people between the age of 35 to 44 have attended the cinema whilst only 32% of people aged 75 and above. From these statistics we can see that the space of cinema has been transformed to attract younger people. It is replicated in the studio films that we today. For example The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Fault In Our Stars are films which are likely to attract younger audiences. (The jury is still out on whether those movies are good or not). Its films like this the younger generation can feel comfortable in the cinema. Even though they embrace the space of new technologies there will always be an urge for them to enjoy films in the oldest tradition.

My cousin Grant Davies can understand the trend in declining audience numbers. He feels it has a lot to do with how new cinema releases do not stay long enough.

“Over the last six to eight years the time a new release movie stays at a cinema on average has decreased. For example, a good movie title may have shown on average six weeks before we stopped playing it. Now we are lucky for that to be two or three weeks on average”.

When he told me this it brought me back to the start of the year when I wanted to see Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher. It played in Sydney for two weeks but nowhere in the Illawarra. I was frustrated because I knew it was going to be a good movie so I waited a couple of months to rent it out on DVD. It all depends on the success of the film. For example the highest grossing film to come out this year was Jurassic World which stayed in American theatres for almost 16 and half weeks after release. It grossed 1.5 billion worldwide and made 218 million on its opening weekend. But then there are other films which only get released for a couple of weeks. This means people are trying to find another space to feel comfortable in order to watch a film. So if you wanted to watch a film so desperately you would seek alternatives. We would choose the option which would give us more satisfaction. In the video below AMC Theartes explain what factors influence a movie to stay longer at the cinema.

If audiences can’t see the film they opt to choose other ways to watch their film. For example the rise of Netflix has not only impacted cinema but television industry. Netflix has grown on an international front over the last few years. It provides unlimited rental access to TV shows and movies via online or mail on a low monthly subscription rate (Allen, Fells and Disbrow, 2014 p.136). Netflix will make it hard for DVD stores and cinemas as they cannot provide the fast and efficient service quick enough. People demand things and want to be in a space where they have all of their wants given straight to them. Some people do not want to wait months for their movie to come out in theatres. They can instead get it straight away for cheaper money. Netflix can be accessed on different types of platforms like Iphone, I Pod Touch, Nintendo touch and other internet services (Allen, Fells and Disbrow 2014, p.137). Grant Davies also feels that Netflix is not only problem that cinemas face but feels that some people do not have the attention span that they used to.

“it seems that the attention span of the younger generation has fallen and so they feel more comfortable in the space of their own home. So with the way the internet is movies are becoming easier to access”

Cinema does have quite significant obstacles to face. There are strategies to overcome these problems by as Grant Davies points out:

  1. They have to be far more engaged with social media
  2. ensuring cinemas have the latest technology e.g 3D vision, things which families do not have in their own household.
  3. cinema owners talking to studios and allowing them to cash in online market

But for me cinema will not be erased away from society. There are still people out there that enjoy the space of cinema. Its a place where we can clear our thoughts and embrace the surroundings and people around us. It does not matter what type of cinema going person you are. Whether you are a film buff or you just go for the sake of it. Going to the cinema can stamp an instant moment in your life which you will never forget.

References
Allen, G, Feils, D, & Disbrow, H 2014, ‘THE RISE AND FALL OF NETFLIX: WHAT HAPPENED AND WHERE WILL IT GO FROM HERE?’, Journal Of The International Academy For Case Studies, 20, 1, pp. 135-143, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 28 October 2015.

Aveyard, K 2011, ‘WHAT THE COUNTRY TELLS US: THE PLACE OF THE ‘RURAL’ IN CONTEMPORARY STUDIES OF CINEMA’, Media International Australia (8/1/07-Current), 139, pp. 124-132, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 25 October 2015.

Hancock, M 2007, ‘METRO 155 The Big Picture’, Metro, 155, pp. 154-157, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 26 October 2015.

Kelly, S 2012, ‘Going to the cinema: does this rant against Odeon strike a chord?’, The Guardian, 30 August, viewed 25 October 2015, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/30/cinema-odeon-rant

PITTS, V 2011, ‘Technologies of culture: Digital feature film-making in New Zealand’, New Cinemas: Journal Of Contemporary Film, 9, 1, pp. 3-17, Communication & Mass Media Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 25 October 2015.

Television gives us two things Memories and Place

Television has evolved over the years and can define our space in the media world. It can be the platform in which we hold some of our earliest memories. Early memories are things that need to be desired and treasured forever.

Television came about in a time of change and after World War II television had expanded in sales in the UK and the US. Broadcast Television in Australia began in 1956 as Australia was getting prepared to host its first ever Olympics In Melbourne. Constant images of families sitting together watching television would been seen in newspapers and would not only boost sales for television but it would later on develop into a necessity. It brought families together, generated memories and further the idea of the family room. Television gradually became the main leisure activity for children (Livingstone 2009). After school children would go home watch television then when there father came home from work they would sit together as a family have dinner and watch television.

Flickr 2015

Flickr 2015

Whenever I have asked people about their earliest memories they would always say something along the lines of “well i used to sit in front of a TV watching” and then they would go into quite specific detail.  I wanted to talk to someone who grew up during this time. It was important to get a much older perspective on television.  Something that I could not identify with as I wanted understand the evolution of television and how place has an important emphasis on the process of that evolution.  I would as a series of questions about television which focused on the themes of memories, location and place.

So I decided to interview my mother Bronwyn who grew up in the south coastal town of Kiama. She grew up with her sister and her parents and lived on a dairy farm called Silver hill which is now highly populated housing establishment. My mother was born in 1957. She grew up in a time of change and went through a lot of hard work in teenage years helping her mother and father with the dairy cattle. She loved every moment of her childhood driving up to Saddleback Mountain look out just to see the view of the coastline and beauty of the ocean. The house was located half way up a mountain surrounded by trees and farmland. My mother witnessed a lot of historical moments on television. These included JFK’s assassination in 1963, The Beatles arriving in Australia in 1964 and the moon landing in 1969. Television was evolving and was being generated into new and innovative ways.

Jagamart 2015

Jagamart 2015

Colombia Journalism school 2015

Colombia Journalism school 2015

When watching TV She would always sit in a chair and her sister would always sit down the front on the wooden floor. Her sister would not sit there in winter as she would sit on the lounge curled up into a little ball. The TV was the focal point for the room. It sat on top of a wooden stand. In the early 1970s they got a colour TV and she remembered watching the cricket. Her father loved the idea of watching the cricket as he played it all through his childhood and would listen to it on radio. My mother can remembered watching the ashes with her father as they would get excited every time Dennis Lillee was about to bowl.

I found this to be an interesting and deeply engaging conversation. I had never really asked my mother about her experience with television as a child. Our memories of watching television are somehow similar. The unusual thing was that I used to sit right in front of television just like my aunty but instead of a wooden floor it was carpet.

We share a similar feeling on watching television. We used it as a time of relaxation sometimes for the entertainment. My mother would also watch Looney Tunes and I would as well. We would both watch television at the same time mainly after dinner and during breakfast. She would always play with a toy train in front of the television as I used to play with a toy car. As I mentioned before I wanted to interview someone who had a different experience but the strange thing is that there were a lot of similarities.

The 1960s and the 1970s would have been an unique time to grow up. My mother was pretty lucky as she grew up in a time of rapid change, Australia was changing and so was the world. My mother was telling me stories as if she was there yesterday. That is what defines place for us all. Memories enhance and make the idea of place important. If we can clearly remembered where we were when something happened that makes all the more special.

References

Bowles, K 2015, ‘television strange objects in the media space’, Lecture

Livingstone, S 2009, ‘Half a century of television in the lives of our Children’, The ANNALS of the American academy of political and social science,  pp 151-163

Why Slumdog Millionaire is a crossover classic

In late 2008 Danny Boyle’s film Slumdog Millionaire was released. A film which grossed over 377 million worldwide and winning 8 Oscars. But most importantly it became a cross cultural cinema hit and laid a foundation to show how a story can appeal to so many cultures.

Crossover cinema can be defined as an emerging form of cinema that crosses cultural borders at the stage of conceptualisation and production and hence manifests a hybrid cinematic grammar at the textual level, as well as crossing over in terms of distribution and reception. (Khorana 2014)

This means that production companies can collaborate with other production companies to distribute a film that is inspired by a broad range of aspects of different cultures in order to find a large audience. Before cross over cinema, global film was defined by the terms transnational and world cinema.

Transnational cinema: is the broad range of theories that relate to the effects of globalisation upon economic and cultural aspects of movies.
World cinema: refers to when countries that have an English speaking background are themselves referring to films from non English speaking backgrounds.

But if we look at it from both English and non English speaking backgrounds it just means all films across the world.
Cross over cinema is different as it does not rely being representative of all cultures.

Slumdog Millionaire is the major success story to come out of cross over cinema. Production Company Warner Brothers combined with flim4 and cleador films to produce and distribute the film.
Slumdog Millionaire is praised not just because of succeeding in the cross over phenomenon. It achieved the creation of an significant platform for cross cultural content and talent that successfully cross over to a mainstream audience. Roger Ebert is one of the world’s greatest ever film reviewers. He gave the film a perfect score. In his review he stated:

The films universal appeal will present the real India to millions of moviegoers for the first time”. This means that through films like Slumdog Millionaire and other cross over films can benefit from audience member s identifying with global issues and concerns that are displayed.

References

Lim, D. 2009, what exactly is slumdog millionaire, published 26Th January 2009, viewed August 28th 2012 http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/the_oscars/2009/01/what_exactly_is_slumdog_millionaire.html
Khorana, S. 2013, “Crossover cinema: a conceptual and genealogical overview” in Research Online,

Why building a local film industry, Can help a Developing country

Nollywood has been a major benefit for the country of Nigeria. This film industry is a solution to decrease unemployment, improve overall quality of life and increase jobs. Nigerian films are hugely popular in Africa as this industry is proving to be one of the most prolific film industries in the world. It has been making 250 million dollars per year since 2000 and employed thousands of citizens. The average budget is 15000 as production only lasts for 10 days. A total of 500 to 1000 films are released on average per year. With statistics like this it shows this country is working with the available technology and distributing films that are about their culture.

Films in Nigeria are film on cheap digital cameras and are burnt onto cheap CD’s and and DVD’s and are sold for the equivalent of 1 to 2 US dollars. The films have plots that are exaggerated and contain quite melodramatic acting.

More third world countries need to model what Nigeria has done to its country. By building some sort of film industry it can try and reduce widespread poverty, unemployment and crime. Citizens can be employed to obtained skills in certain aspects of film making like acting, camera operation, directing, editing, music composition and writing. There is no denying that there is still economical and social struggle in Nigerian society but they work within their limitations. They can create films that are about their culture which can be exposed for the rest of the world to view them.

References
Okome, O (2007). ‘Nollywood: spectatorship, audience and the sites of consumption’ Postcolonial text 3.2.
http://www.voanews.com/content/nigeria-nollywood-movie-industry-rolls-at-high-gear/2423930.html
http://www.thisisnollywood.com/nollywood.htm

Less rip, Less burn, Lets hear original

I love music and I can listen to quite a broad range of music from rock to dance music. Pretty much anything that is not Screamo. I don’t mind remixes of some songs but there are times where I believe that the original song is better than the remix version. My example is the band Cornershop who released this song called Brimful of Asha.

This original version of the song only peaked to number 60 on the UK charts in its release of 1997. The song was remixed by Fatboy Slim or also known as Norman cook which was released February of 1998.

This proved to be a lot more successful topping charts in the US, UK and Australia. I always impose the question how on earth did this version become so successful in comparison to the original. To explain this Fatboy slim at the time was more commercially successful, he released his second studio album You’ve come a long way baby. This album was essentially remixed from similar sounds of genres like reggae, hip hop and jangle pop. For example the song praise you is based on a piano and vocal sample from camille yarbrough.

But over the past few years we have seen songs that have been hugely successful and weeks later we see a release of a remix of that song. This can be seen with Lana Del Rey with her songs summertime sadness and young & beautiful. According to billboard charts both songs peaked into the top 25 summertime sadness peaking at 6 and young & beautiful number 22. Both songs were then remixed as people believe that her songs work well with techno and dubstep sounds. Remixes of songs are being more integrated into our culture which I don’t think is a bad thing. It is a way of showing creativity but some times people forget how good the original version was because we hear the remix version constantly.

Reference List

Bruns, Axel 2010 Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage, pp.1-12

Lessig, Lawrence 2008 Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, pp.23-31

Rock Genius, 2014 Cornershop, Brimful of Asha, viewed 6th of May 2014 http://rock.rapgenius.com/Cornershop-brimful-of-asha-lyrics

Rolling Stone, 2014, Fatboy Slim Biography, viewed 6th of May 2014 http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/fatboy-slim/biography
Meer, M 2012, “The best No 1 records: Cornershop – Brimful of Asha”, The Guardian, 1st of June 2012, viewed 6th of May 2012 http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/may/31/cornershop-brimful-of-asha