Archer and Transmedia Storytelling

Transmedia storytelling is a very interesting tool that, if used correctly, allows the audience to further explore the content being consumed. In the case of the hilarious animated spy spoof “Archer”, which is currently in its eighth season, it’s use of transmedia storytelling is designed to allow the audience to directly interact with what’s happening in the episode.

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Although not available for us Aussies, the “Archer P.I.” augmented reality app, launched in anticipation of the latest season “Dreamland”, is described as a “multiplatform augmented reality app” which requires viewers to interact with what’s happening in the episode, as well as certain objects in the real world. The objective is that the audience is helping the show’s protagonist, the legendary Sterling Archer, to find clues and help solve cases. The app is essentially a way for the audience to engage with the world of the show, even after the episode is over. It’s a terrific use of transmedia storytellling that results in increased audience engagement. If only the app was available here though…

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BTW, if you don’t watch Archer, you’re missing out badly

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Australia vs. Piracy: What’s the point?

Remember that ad that you would see every time you watched a DVD?  With the quotes like “ You wouldn’t steal a car”  and “You wouldn’t steal a handbag”. You know the one right? That ad is more than 10 years old now. Crazy right! So what exactly has changed in Australia’s war against piracy since then? To be honest, not much has changed. Apart from the implementation of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill in 2015 and the introduction of Netflix in March 2015, nothing has changed in regards to piracy and illegal streaming in Australia.

The war against piracy, is for me, one that the Australian government cannot win. The internet is so  vast and information is so easily obtainable that it makes it  almost impossible for piracy laws to be enforced. If one illegal streaming site gets shutdown, they’ll just be another one created. So, although they may restrict piracy and illegal streaming, Australia will never succeed in its battle against piracy. So the question is: What’s the point?

Obi-Wan Kenobi - You Were The Chosen One! meme

Medium is the Message: The Netflix case

It took me a while to fully grasp Marshall McLuhan’s concept that “The Medium is the Message”. However in light of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ recent comments regarding movie theatres’ lack of innovation, I realized that Netflix’s overwhelming success comes down to, not only the quality content, but to the nature of the medium itself and was therefore a perfect example of McLuhan’s concept.

In the case of Netflix, it’s main appeal for a majority of people is the ability to consume content pretty much anywhere. As good as the content is (and it is great!), the streaming aspect is what really entices people. Furthermore, if a medium is truly an extension of us, as McLuhan states, then Netflix too, is an augmentation of ourselves. Take the recommendations feature, for instance. After we consume a film or t.v. show, an algorithm suggests similar content for us to consume. This is all part of the appeal and the nature of the medium.

Triggered Mediums

So, if you, like I did, struggle with the concept of “The Medium is Message”, just consider Netflix’s success. Then, you will understand

BCM332-Final Project

For my digital artefact, I was very keen to continue exploring the issue of misogyny and female representation in film, which I explored throughout the semester. Although Hollywood is beginning to address this issue, the objectification and representation of women in film is still prevalent in the film industry, as demonstrated by the recent all female ‘Ghostbusters’ controversy. However, a major stumbling block of conducting research for this issue, was the difficulty in finding any form of scholarly research on the issue, which is shocking considering how long misogyny in Hollywood has been an issue.  Nonetheless, I was still determined to create a well-researched and interesting video that raises questions on the misogyny and objectification of women that’s portrayed on-screen and that occurs within the Hollywood film industry.

 

In order to provide focus to the issue of misogyny in Hollywood, I felt it necessary to zone in on a particular case-study, in this case a film-maker, as it would provide context into the underlying issue that plagues the film industry. The film-maker, which I decided to go with, was Michael Bay and he was chosen for two reasons:

 

1) His films are the perfect examples for demonstrating the perverse nature of ‘The Male Gaze’, which perpetuates misogynist attitudes, especially in “Transformers” which is based on children’s toy and will therefore draw younger audiences.

 

2) It demonstrates that the way that the Hollywood Industry profits from presenting women in such a fashion (e.g. strong box office numbers)

 

Most of the research gathered actually stems from my original case study, which discussed the results of a report titled “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015”, which highlighted that “moviegoers were more likely to see male characters at work actually working than female characters” (Lauzen 2015, pg.1). Another research report, conducted by Gender Bias Without Bias, indicated that in 2014 females were more than two times as likely as males to appear partially/fully nude or in skimpy clothing (Smith, Choueiti et al. 2014, pg.5). Although significant steps, such as casting female leads in the  2015 & 2016 Star Wars films, have been made, there’s still a long way to go. It’s essential to do so, as this can help teach younger audiences that women should not be looked down upon nor defined by their appearance and that women are just as capable and flawed as men. After all, no-one’s perfect…

 

Regarding the video itself, I decided to ironically juxtapose the female empowerment track “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyoncé with the images of objectified women in film, as it would further highlight how imbalanced the Hollywood system is , regarding gender bias, and how much further we have to go. However, due to copyright issues, I was unable to use the song which really sucks!

 

References

Lauzen, M 2015, “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015”, Centre for the Study of Women in Film & Television, San Diego State University, pgs. 1-4

Smith, S, Choueiti, M & Pieper,  K 2014, “Gender Bias Without Borders: An Investigation of Female Characters In Popular Films Across 11 Countries”, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, University Of Southern California, pgs. 1-16

Images:

WWhat Movie Does Michael Bay Owe an Apology For? (2013). WWhat Movie Does Michael Bay Owe an Apology For? photograph, Movies. Retrieved from http://www.movies.com/movie-news/what-movie-does-michael-bay-owe-apology-for/11994

Some men are really angry about the all-female Ghostbusters remake. (2015). Some men are really angry about the all-female Ghostbusters remake. photograph, Daily Edge.Retrieved from http://www.dailyedge.ie/all-female-ghostbusters-reaction-1907535-Jan2015/

 

The YouTube comments for the Ghostbusters trailer will make you wish for death’s sweet embrace. (2016). The YouTube comments for the Ghostbusters trailer will make you wish for death’s sweet embrace. photograph, By Brendan Morrow. Retrieved from https://bybrendanmorrow.com/2016/03/04/the-youtube-comments-for-the-ghostbusters-trailer-will-make-you-wish-for-deaths-sweet-embrace/

 

 

Pain and Gain. (2013). Pain and Gain. photograph, Rath’s Reviews. Retrieved from http://www.raths-reviews.com/2013/04/pain-and-gain.html

 

Megan Fox vs. Michael Bay: A Timeline. (2010). Megan Fox vs. Michael Bay: A Timeline. photograph, The Mary Sue. Retrieved from http://www.themarysue.com/megan-fox-vs-michael-bay-timeline-transformers-3/

 

N/A. (2014). N/A. photograph, One of Us. Retrieved from http://oneofus.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/megan_fox_transformers_motorcycle1.jpg

 

 

N/A. (2014). N/A. photograph, Tumblr. Retrieved from http://67.media.tumblr.com/a26064414a774f3f9520d6b873f67d9b/tumblr_nkc3z4jpet1uoahuao1_500.jpg

 

 

N/AN/A. photograph, Blogspot. Retrieved from http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xf2kdtgumb4/uzz9ruau13i/aaaaaaaac1u/k3himpl7xy4/s1600/alice-eve-star-trek-into-darkness-carol-marcus-underwear.jpg

 

(2016). photograph, Elite Daily. Retrieved from http://cdn29.elitedaily.com/content/uploads/2016/02/18111606/elite-daily-the-wolf-of-wall-street-misogyny-800×400.jpg

 

10 Painfully Sexist Moments: The (Mis)Treatment Of Women In Skyfall . (2014). 10 Painfully Sexist Moments: The (Mis)Treatment Of Women In Skyfall . photograph, Writer’s Bloc. Retrieved from http://www.literature.hss.ed.ac.uk/2014/01/10-painfully-sexist-momentsthe-mistreatment-of-women-in-skyfall/

 

N/A. (2016). N/A. photograph, Saint The Ron. Retrieved from http://saintheron.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ava-duv.jpg

 

N/A. (2016). N/A. photograph, Buzzfeed. Retrieved from https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2015-05/15/9/enhanced/webdr13/enhanced-25783-1431696034-27.jpg

 

N/A. (2013). N/A. photograph, WordPress. Retrieved from https://mooselicker.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/diablo-cody.jpg

 

DIGC202- The Dark Side of Citizen Journalism

In a society where we have instant internet access and high-quality cameras on phones, the journalism industry was always going to struggle. Now, we live in an age where the line between everyday journalism and professional journalism has become increasingly blurred. Citizen journalism, for all the good it does do, does have a very dark side.

For those of you who haven’t seen the excellent 2014 thriller “Nightcrawler”, there is a very real industry of people who literally ‘chase crimes’ and film said crime scenes, which they then sell to local television networks. Now, these crime-chasers often push moral boundaries, like arriving to a crime scene before police and taking shots rather than helping victims. It’s a very dark area of journalism and worryingly anyone with a camera can participate and in this age that would be almost anyone. Everyday, we see videos of public racism, abuse and violence. The question we always ask when seeing these videos is: why are you filming when you can be helping?

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MEDA102- Beginning to Code

Since the last tutorial, where we were finally introduced to the programming world through the “Processing” software, I have been hard at work through the week to try and understand specific functions and practice making simple artworks of my own.

I’m not gonna lie, I struggled immensely initially in trying to make sense of the coding language. Many hours were spent in trying to figure out how to rectify the many errors that popped up and what the hell they even meant! However, through the use of the processing.org website, as well as the book “Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists” by Casey Reas and Ben Fry, I have started to comprehend a little of the various functions and language used for coding.

Although not exactly successful, I attempted with this piece to replicate the spacing of circles, much like Bridget Riley’s Encircling Discs with Black. However, as I continued to struggle with the spacing aspect of the piece, I decided to simply to my own thing and just try different elements and see what happens.

One of the important variables used for this piece was the X & Y, as they were key in me being able to incorporate more than 1 circle in the piece. I also learned that having X = width/2 is essential in the positioning of the circle and although I haven’t quite perfected my skill in doing this I believe I have taken a significant step towards mastering it.

 

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Loop Practice
Normally it’s meant to move, but could only convert to .jpg file

In conclusion, my first experience with Processing was immensely challenging but also hugely rewarding, as it has provided me with greater knowledge which will be immensely useful in the future

BCM332 Case Study Part Two- Gender Representation in the Media

Organisation: Centre for the Study of Women in Television & Film

For the second part of my case study, I have decided to slightly shift my focus from news media to film and television, as this is where my true interest is in. Television and Film are incredibly powerful forms of media that unconsciously effect the way we perceive the people and things around us. It is therefore essential that we address the issue regarding the portrayal of women in film and television, as this will be act as a major stepping point towards gender equality.

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Before I introduce the subject of this case study, I would like to give some context into the issue. As you may or may not have heard, this year saw the release of a female-led remake of the classic 1984 horror comedy “Ghostbusters”. Many of the reactions from fans, even before the film was released, was misogynistic and led to the film’s trailer being one of the most disliked videos on YouTube.  Although many claim that the hateful comments and reactions were due to the trailer’s lack of laughs, there is no denying that many were simply against the idea that women could be leads in a big-budget Hollywood film.

For the last 18 years, The Centre for the Study of Women in Television & Film, which was founded by Dr. Martha Lauzen (who is also part of the film and television faculty at San Diego State University), has conducted the most comprehensive research regarding the role of women in film & television. The research is not limited to just actresses. It also includes the women who work behind the scenes and even film critics, and unfortunately the results are rather alarming.

The report “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015” investigated the way women were represented on-screen in some of the highest-grossing films of that year, and although the results were an improvement on 2014, which according to the report “was an exceptionally poor year for women” (Lauzen 2015, pg.1), there is still some work to be done. For example, the report states that “Gender stereotypes were prevalent in the top grossing films of 2015” (Lauzen 2015, pg.1) and that it was more likely that women would be more remembered for their marital status than their occupation, which is extremely worrying. Interestingly, however, the report states that “films with at least one woman director and/or writer, females comprised 40% of all speaking characters” as opposed to films directed by males where “females accounted for 30% of all speaking characters” (Lauzen 2015, pg.4). It is evident then that employing more female directors and writers would go some way into rectifying the issue of the representation of women in film & television.

 

References

Lauzen, M 2015, “It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: Portrayals of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2015”, Centre for the Study of Women in Film & Television, San Diego State University, pg. 1-4