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

Sampling and Recycling Music

The use of sampling in music first emerged in the mid-1980’s, where hardware such as the E-MU SP-1200 and Akai S950 allowed smaller studios with smaller budgets to re-use music from other artists and putting a twist on it. Mostly used by Hip-Hop artists, it has since been perfected and is almost a necessity for hip-hop artists and DJ’s.

One artist who is considered as a master sampling is the controversial Kanye West. Almost all of his music samples beats and musical motifs from other artists, but is always used in a way to create something new. In fact one of his songs “Ni**as in Paris”, which was part of his collaboration album “Watch the Throne” with fellow artist Jay-Z, samples dialogue from the 2007 Will Ferrell comedy “Blades of Glory”. Kanye West’s work epitomises how re-using content can be used and manipulated creatively, in order to produce something new.g1492989132513706372

Below is my rather poor attempt at sampling someone’s work and forming something different (although its more of a remix). Enjoy 🙂

 

The sinister side of memes

If we’ve learnt anything from the last 5 years or so, it’s that memes are here to stay. They have become intrinsic to our culture, the way we communicate and share information. Even the NSW police have recognised this, and increasingly reinforcing their messages through memes. People often forget, however, that memes can often have sinister connotations, especially when venturing into the 4chan area of the internet.

Take Pepe the Frog, for example. If you didn’t know about it’s recent controversy, you would just look at the meme as just a bit of harmless banter, or shitposting. However, if you know about its now controversial appropriation by some of the ‘alt-right’ community, you would immediately think of anything associated with the ‘alt-right’ (Donald Trump, White supremacists, etc.).

sitting frog meme

Produsage in Video Games

“A significant paradigm shift is now underway”  (Axel Burns)

The change in the way content is created, particularly in video games, is simply remarkable. With the introduction of the internet, we are now able to share and gather information from anywhere in the world. For some, this would be considered dangerous, but for others, like me, this is very exciting. As a gamer, it is a very exciting time: games are no longer restricted to the boundaries set by game producers, as players are now able (in most video games) to customise their own characters and worlds & then share them online for others to use. Think of it like a player-created DLC (Downloadable Content). Take GTA V, for example. So much of the game’s appeal and popularity is no longer simply down to the ability to carry out all sorts of criminal acts or destroy everything. It is now heavily appealing to those who  simply enjoy creating races, characters and vehicles. Another example would be the incredibly popular Minecraft, in which its whole purpose, is to allow the user to create content (buildings, worlds etc.). It’s an exciting time, for video games, and I’m excited to see how much further video games will allow players to create and share content.

Animated GIF  - Find & Share on GIPHY

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S i m p s o n s w a v e & G l i t c h A r t

In our fourth BCM112 lecture, we explored the idea of material transformation and digital making. One of the examples discussed was “Glitch Art”, which is basically manipulating digital bugs or glitches, to create an interesting aesthetic. This got me thinking about the Simpsons Shitposting group on Facebook, and how users have manipulated clips from The Simpsons, using similar methods. In fact, this trend is now referred to as “s i m p s o n w a v e”, which refers back to vaporwave  genre, which emerged in the 2010’s.

glitch simpsons art
My attempt at  S i m p s o n w a v e

Much like Glitch Art, vaporwave music principally samples other pieces of music (particularly from the 80’s and 90’s) and then manipulates it to create a strange and unsettling tone. S i m p s o n s w a v e, a sub-genre of vaporwave, first caught on around April last year, through YouTuber FrankJavCee’s video titled “HOW TO SIMPSONWAVE”, which explains the history of s i m p s o n w a v e  and how to s i m p s o n w a v e, in a satirical way. Many are questioning whether these videos are legitimate forms of art or just deeply ironic jokes. I don’t think there will ever be a definite answer to those questions and it is possible for people to enjoy them as either a meme or a piece of art. One thing is for sure: S i m p s o n w a v e demonstrates how exisiting content can be manipulated and used to create something new and beautiful.

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

BCM112- Introduction & DA statement

So, here I am, another year of uni and therefore another year of blogging. Not that I don’t enjoy doing it. I very much enjoy it. It’s just that, after a 4 month break, it takes a while to get back in the groove. Anyway, let’s get to the point: this semester I’m finally doing BCM112 and have found myself reunited with Ted, which is great. This also means another semester of dank memes and discussions about all things related to the Internet. However, much like DIGC202, it also means developing a digital artefact. Having not been consistent with my Sims project, from last year, I’ve decided that this semester will be different. I intend on being committed to what I end up doing. Basically, I’m in it for the long run.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Max Clement and I am a 4th year Media & Communications/International Studies student. I am a lover of things Cinema, and write regularly for Chattr. I promise I’m friendly, so if you’re ever around Uni, hit me up on twitter: @max_clement. (Stop it Max, you’re acting desperate. Play it cool)

 Meme 1

As for my BCM112 DA, I am considering joining the established Faces of UOW project, and using the work I produce for them, as my digital artefact, although it’s more of a digital portfolio. Why am I doing this? Simply because it will make for a good starting point that could lead to further opportunities in the future and to develop my photographic skills (of which I don’t have, yet!).

 So that’s it for this week, I hope you enjoy my blog and that you are having a nice day (or night, depending on when you’re reading this)

 Peace out

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

 

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