Week 4: Presentation Feedback

Screen record your process

I’ll definitely try this. Particularly since my process is different to all the tutorials I initially followed.

Get people to send videos for you to make cinemagraphs

This is a good idea, because I can maybe make commission from this. The only issue being not every clip can be made into a cinemagraph, and so I would definitely have to have specific submission requirements

Utilise Giphy

I don’t really know about giphy, but it definitely seems like a good place to be posting. Absolutely another avenue worth pursuing.

Watermark

Very good idea. I had not thought of this, but it makes a lot of sense.

Talk to Phillip

Will do.

Wallpapers

Definitely something I’ve thought about doing, will certainly look into it more seriously in the future.

 

 

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Week 3: CINEMAGRAPHS!

Cinemagraphs are one of the coolest things you’ll ever see. Example:

Lighthouse-[Version-1]

This is one I made last semester during a storm at Belmore Basin.

Cinemagraphs, are looping videos (normally in the format of .gif so they loop constantly) where one part of the image is frozen and another part moves.

The subreddit r/cinemagraphs defines them as such (which you should definitely check out):

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 11.43.21 am

As you can see in this version above, the wave on the breakwater is frozen, and there is a subtle trickle of water across the steps.

Here is another example of one I made on the same location on a different day from a different angle:

Lighthouse-3

I find cinemagraphs to be endlessly mesmerising. I could watch them forever. I love the way they capture a scene differently to photos and videos and add a new dynamic way of capturing landscapes. I’ve been a big fan of Landscape photography for a long time, since Ken Duncan came to my church and did a presentation on some of his landscape photos from around Israel. Cinemagraphs allow me to combine this passion with my passion for video in a very unique and captivating way.

So how will I make a digital artefact out of this passion?

I plan to make an instagram account, dedicated to cinemagraphs, and work on different times of day for posting, different hashtags and just see how much traction and following I can build. I’ll also be posting them on reddit. At the very least, I’ll come out of this semester having made a bunch of cinemgraphs and with a place I can share them.

Week 2 Retrospective

I forgot to make this blog post in week 2:

But this is a breakdown of my initial idea (which I have since scrapped please other blog post).

The first idea I had was to 3D print a camera accessory for a new camera I have preordered and should be available soon: The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. The accessory was a mount for the Samsung t5 portable SSD, because many people are thinking of using this as their primary recording media, as it is cheap and large capacity. However there is currently no sleek mounting solution. So I made these posts in both a facebook forum and a reddit community, both dedicated to this camera:

Screen Shot 2018-08-08 at 11.18.33 amScreen Shot 2018-08-08 at 11.19.47 amAs you can see it didn’t gain much traction, a bit 50/50 in people’s opinions on whether it was necessary. Some people had good feedback though, and if I ever did decide to work further on this project I would take these things into account. I’ve only scrapped this project based on the comments from my tutor during the tutorial to work with a passion or hobby, I’ve never done 3D printing before and so this was more me trying to come up with something for the assessment.

My next blog post outlines my new idea, sneak peak it’s Cinemagraphs.

My contribution to the Twittersphere

Before studying Future Cultures (BCM 325), at UOW, I’d had little to no interaction with twitter. As a format I found it kind of pointless, particularly since it was limited to 140 characters. I did have a twitter account, but I’d only made 4 tweets and liked 1. During the 8 weeks of live tweeting I’ve made 157 tweets and liked 216. I can’t say this whole experience has changed my view of twitter to the point where I’ll continue using it in the future, but I can see more value in it than before.

Initially I found live tweeting really difficult: during Ghost in the Shell (1995), I made 11 tweets not one of which was an interaction with other classmates, by the end of Blade Runner (1982) I’d made 24, many of which were comments and discussion with other people. Live tweeting certainly got easier, I even made the comment in week two that (Insert Tweet). The thing that’s difficult about live tweeting is balancing following the screening, with following the twitter feed. It’s very easy to get lost reading comments, tweets and notifications and then miss important details. I experience this a lot when watching Premier League football and following the match threads on Reddit, sometimes you nearly miss a goal or important moment because you were reading comments. With practice it definitely gets easier, when watching football, I listen to the commentary a lot and if they start getting excited look up from Reddit, or if the game’s particularly exciting just ditch Reddit all together until halftime and full time. With live tweeting it was much easier if I’d seen the film before (The Matrix and Blade Runner), but with films I hadn’t seen before, I started to pick my moments to tweet, trying to avoid tweeting during key moments.

In my experience with live tweeting, it was the joke tweets that got the most likes, but I found the discussions with people more valuable. That’s not to say making jokes wasn’t fun, just that it was more interesting to talk about the themes in the film/episode than to constantly make jokes.

I’m now going to break down a few of my tweets from each week:

Week 1 – Ghost in the Shell (1995)

This tweet to me was particularly interesting, because I found the quote to be an though provoking look into how contemporary views can impact the telling/reading of the same story. When we perceive technology as wondrous and mystical we have more positive view of it, as we imagine what it could do. When we fear technology because we do not understand it, we perceive it as a threat to ourselves because we are afraid of what it might do.

This was just a simple reflection upon my first experience with live tweeting. But I feel it’s relevant to show because it marks the starting point.

Week 2 – Westworld (1973)

I like this tweet, because it highlighted a theme I was starting to notice: films that involve robots and cyborgs are often question the reality of what it means to be human. If a guy can’t tell between killing a robot and killing a human, what are the implications on how we should treat robots, and also interact with facilities like Westworld (should they be illegal if they’re simulating murder?)

Just a simple joke tweet, I thought it was a funny character development.

I genuinely think this is difficult to pull off. We’re so used to picking up on, and portraying, “correct” human movement, that for a human to be able to fool us into believing they’re a robot, to me seems impressive.

Week 3 – Johnny Mnemonic (1995)

Unrelated to the screening, but a reflection on the lecture. This was my tweet that had by far, the most interaction. Cyberchase was kids show based around cyberspace.

This is always a fascinating discussion. The rate at which data storage develops is impressive. The fact that 128mb seemed so huge years ago, and now I’ve been looking into multi-terabyte hard drives for video editing.

This was an interesting conversation. I personally think it’s a bit odd to say your brain is hallucinating when in actual fact its doing what it’s meant to be doing.

Week 4 ­– The Matrix (1999)

This was a really cool video about glass shattering. I don’t know how the VFX team would’ve known this actually happened.

Week 5 – Black Mirror: Be Right Back (2013)

Only 4 people voted, but a unanimous no isn’t surprising. Bringing someone back to life via their social media is a bit uncanny

Week 6 ­Robot and Frank (2012)

Another joke. I liked this movie, it was fun positive spin on human robot interaction.

Uncanny Valley is a very interesting phenomenon. I think it must affect people slightly differently. I personally found Robot to be unhuman enough to appear more cute than anything else.

Week 7: Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation (2016)

A very interesting conversation about how we view people who we only interact with via screen based mediums. A username and a thumbnail receives less respect than the person who it represents would in a face to face context. This is wrong, but no one really seems to acknowledge that.

This is an instance where the retweeting function worked well. I could expand upon a post someone else had made, and together we could build a bigger picture.

Week 8: Blade Runner (1982)

This is something I think is becoming increasingly relevant as we move towards very text based communication. Yes text is far more convenient, because we can send and receive information when convenient. But instant emotional feedback is lost, we almost treat each other as robots, interacting purely through technology. If we completely cut out face to face human interaction I think we’d lose a significant part of our humanity. Video chat is a happy medium, it allows for this face to face communication whilst providing a technological boost which can allow face to face communication to happen anywhere anytime.

How the internet has changed film and television: Streaming and Piracy

In my previous blog post, I mentioned briefly how streaming sites are taking over broadcast television as the main way to watch television shows. The growth in popularity of sites like Netflix and Stan, is seemingly only impacting television. The film industry box office is not threatened by these sites, because home viewing cannot yet compete, and may never be able to compete with the movie theatre. Tim Richards, CEO of Vue Cinemas said in an interview with CNBC (2016), “Our competition is not Netflix. It’s not the internet. It is sporting events, it is bowling, it is nightclubs”. It is the TV industry which seems to be affected the most by streaming services. According to a report by Nielsen for Screen Australia (2017), in 2014 YouTube dominated the online viewing experience, TV on demand sites i.e websites owned by broadcast stations were not well know, and Netflix didn’t exist in Australia at the time (Netflix launched in Australia in 2015). Since then, YouTube remains the most popular online viewing platform, with Netflix coming in second, and the use and knowledge of TV on demand sites has increased: up from 50-75% of people knowing about them to 90-95%, from 24-36% of people using them to 45-51% across the various channels.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 4.35.29 pm
What are the most-used VOD services: 2014 vs 2017?

The big draw factor of streaming services is the ability to binge watch, rather than having to wait week by week. The platform is designed for the mass consumption of shows, with all episodes of a series available at once, and each one playing seconds after the previous one finishes. To maintain relevancy “networks are more often building programming and marketing around live viewing by promoting social media conversation” (Sharma, R 2016). The Netflix format can also influence a viewer’s perception of a show. As Romil Sharma (2016) puts it “If a show fails to woo us on episode one, the next episode is a mere 15 seconds away from starting. Why not give it the benefit of the doubt?”. It is much easier to get into a show if you can watch the first three episodes in a matter of hours, rather than having to commit to several days of waiting in between. Equally, the sheer size of the catalogue, allows disliked shows to be quickly dropped in favour of something different.

In a New York Times report in 2012, Nick Bolton, made the claim that Internet Pirates Will Always Win. By comparing torrent sites like Pirate Bay to a game of whack-a-mole, Bolton reasoned that even if you took down one site, another would be developed. Even Pirate Bay, seems to be particularly resilient, “having survived being forcibly taken down almost a dozen times(Nevola, J 2017). The site does this by shifting its domain to various different countries

With the proliferation of torrent sites, it is no wonderEntertainment and software companies began to prophesize the end of their industries due to lost profits from piracy” (Nevola, J 2017).

However, according to the Screen Australia report (2017),  there has been “a significant decline in content piracy amongst [Video On Demand] viewers, with 17% of respondents suggesting they had used unofficial streams or downloads, compared to 43% in 2014” . It is theorised that this is because when “primary distributors make their copyrighted work as easily accessible as pirated material, people will switch back to acquiring the work through legal channels” (Nevola, J 2017) .Ease of access, as well as the cost efficiency of streaming sites means they are the perfect option for those who want to watch several different movies, without having to buy each one separately. For the average price of one new release Blu Ray (approx. $25-$30 at JB HI-FI), 2 viewers can have access to the full Netflix catalogue for 2 months. It’s no surprise then that streaming sites are preferred to buying discs, and it’s a good sign that this is also decreasing the frequency of pirating.

References

Bolton N 2012, Internet Pirates Will Always Win, The New York Times, viewed 25th March 2018 <https://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/sunday-review/internet-pirates-will-always-win.html>

Nevola, J 2017, Internet Piracy: The Effects of Streaming Services and the Digital Marketplace, The Columbia Science Technology and Law Review, viewed 25th March 2018 <http://stlr.org/2017/11/14/internet-piracy-the-effects-of-streaming-services-and-the-digital-marketplace/>

Nielsen, 2017, Online and On Demand 2017, Screen Australia, viewed 26th March 2018 <https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/reports-and-key-issues/reports-and-discussion-papers/online-and-on-demand-2017>

Richards, T in Gibbs, A 2016, Netflix and kill: Is streaming hurting movie theaters?, CNBC, viewed 25th March 2018 <https://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/15/netflix-and-kill-is-streaming-hurting-movie-theaters.html>

Sharma R, 2016, The Netflix Effect: Impacts of the Streaming Model on Television Storytelling, Wesleyan University Honours Thesis, viewed 25th March 2018 <https://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2591&context=etd_hon_theses>

 

 

How the internet has changed film and television

For my research project I intend to explore how the internet has changed the film and television industries. Services such as Netflix and Stan have not only changed the way we consume this media, but also in the case of Netflix creating their own original content, become their own self sustained TV network station. The internet has also opened the door for everyone to produce and distribute their own content. Youtube has allowed anyone with a camera (which with smartphone technology is almost everyone) to distribute their content for free, allowing those savvy enough to create careers based solely on Youtube. There are also entire media production companies who were founded and developed through the internet e.g Roosterteeth in Austin Texas.

The Guardian Article The Internet is Changing the Definition of Television (https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/jun/10/internet-changing-definition-television) highlights a very interesting idea, that the through the influence of the internet, “the television business has changed from provider-driven to consumer-driven”. What viewers are able to watch is no longer defined by what programs are showing on which television stations at what time. Rather, it is defined by what they want to watch, and now they are able to consume that wherever and whenever they please.

The Sheffield Institute’s article (http://www.sheffieldav.com/education/how-internet-changing-filmmaking-industry), outlines a few ways in which the internet is changing the film industry.

  • Video production

Not only has the internet allowed anyone to make, upload and distribute their own original content, there is also a large number of online tutorials, blogs and forums that aid young filmmakers in honing their craft and expanding their skill set. The two most popular user based streaming sites are Youtube and Vimeo. These sites allow anyone to upload whatever content they create. YouTube in particular has allowed many people to base their entire careers around it. Producing video content of various descriptions: gaming channels such as PewDiePie and KSI, vlogging channels such as Yuya and Grace Helbig, and comedy sketch channels such as Smosh and Tomska. These channels have millions of subscribers and it is through ad revenue and occasionally sponsorships where the creators make their money. Vimeo has more of a focus on short films and is a way for creators to collate a portfolio of their work, as well as distribute it, two things which are becoming increasingly important when looking for employment in the industry. It also features a tip jar feature allowing plus and pro members to tip videos.

What this means for the television industry in particular is that it has to compete with online content producers, there are television like shows being created that are solely on YouTube e.g. Good Mythical Morning a talkshow-esque show with 13 million followers. I do not believe their is currently a platform similar to youtube that could compete with the film industry or support film producers in the same way as YouTube. Perhaps with more research I will discover one.

There are also tutorial sites like Lynda (https://www.lynda.com/), which offer in depth courses on a wide rang of topics, including learning how to use editing software and VFX programs. Sites like Videocopilot (http://www.videocopilot.net/) offer a wide range of Adobe After Effects tutorials

  • Promotion

“Prior to the widespread use of the internet … film studios could only promote their upcoming film productions via posters, magazine ads, newspaper articles, and television commercials [or] movie trailers right before your feature film plays at the cinema.” (Sheffield Institute). With the internet however, trailers can now be released online, and then through viral sharing, the viewers do most of the promotional work for the companies, by posting the trailer on various social media sites.

  • Increased marketing demand

“Since the internet is everywhere you must extend your reach everywhere in order to be successful in the film industry.” (Sheffield Institute). In order to compete with sites like Netflix, Broadcast companies are producing “their own High-quality OTT television, like HBO Go” (Montpetit, M J 2014).

  • File sharing threatens the entire industry

Piracy is now a much larger threat than it was previously. Prior to the internet pirated versions of films were lower quality knockoffs. Now however, high quality versions of films and television shows are able to be distributed globally, and accessed easily.

  • Instant Feedback

“Rather than wait for a professional magazine or newspaper movie review, ordinary people can upload their opinions directly to the internet even before leaving the cinema” (Sheffield Institute), the same of course can be said for television.

  • Streaming is on the rise

This is arguably the biggest change the internet has had on both industries. With the ease of access and cost efficiency these sites are increasingly where viewers watch “television”. These sites have also allowed for “binge watching”, a phrase which refers to being able to watch multiple episodes, or whole seasons, of a show in a single sitting. Something impossible to do with broadcast scheduling. I personally rarely watch broadcast channels anymore, favouring this approach.

My intention is to explore these ideas in a more detailed way (In particular, Video Production, Streaming and Piracy), and perhaps try and explore what the future of television and film looks like in an increasingly online world.

 

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