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Week 13: Copyright

31 Oct

The topic of Copyright when discussed is often hotly debated. It seems everybody has a different opinion on the laws that define copyright. Ideas are shifting on what constitutes ownership of creative material and to what extent of the original piece can be manipulated and resold as a new ‘idea’. It seems some of the laws can be unclear and contain loopholes. Under the Australian Act for copyright there are exceptions to the Laws if considered that use of copyrighted material comes under ‘fair dealing’, allowing users certain rights. However what is considered ‘fair’ will depend on all the circumstances, including the nature of the work, the nature of the use and the effect of the use on any commercial market for the work (Boyle, 1996).

The issue of copyright seems to be most problematic in the music Industry, especially as who ]constitutes ownership of creative piece is becoming increasingly blurred. Music is a medium that is immensely diverse and is consumed by the mass society, regardless of culture or age. After the digital revolution advanced, downloading high quality music via the internet by ‘file sharing’, computer savvy individuals could unlimitedly download their favourite bands and music for free. This changed the music industry as we know it. File sharing became increasingly easier to do, the general public caught on and the rate of downloading music excelled rapidly. This act of file sharing, although technically a loop hole is coincided illegal, but as it is so far widely spread there is almost no way to police it.

There are more than one implications of this breach of copyright. Firstly the artists who creative the music people enjoy are now not getting the full profit from their hard work. Essentially the consumers (the ‘fans’) are stealing straight out of their pockets. Can you see the hypocrisy? The other concern is the “speed and ease which content material can be replicated” (McIntyre, 2012). In some cases, all one needs to do to reuse another’s original music piece is change the key and tempo. This is now considered ‘fair use’. Artist’s work are basically being ripped off and sold as a new idea, which causes great success to the artist (Davidson, 2008).

But then there is the great debate. Is using a part of someone else’s work inspiration or plain plagiarism? Personally I think if we are consumers of somebody else’s intellectual property be it, music, film, media etc., there is a need to pay for that material. However if one is drawing inspiration form another’s work, along as it is manipulated to a point that it is significantly different and doesn’t consume the entity of the new project then that should be considered ‘inspiration’ not plagiarism, and credit must be paid to the original author.

McIntyre, Phillip (2012). Issues for Media Practice. The Digital Revolution: Copyright and creativity. Retrieved from http://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=null&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_585131_1%26url%3D

Boyle, James (1996). Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and the Construction of the Information Society. Harvard University Press. p. 142. ISBN 0-674-80522-4.

Davison, Mark J; Ann Louise Monnotti & Leanne Wiseman (2008). Australian intellectual property law. Cambridge University Press. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-521-61338-5.

Week 11: Creativity and community

22 Oct

Week 11 introduces the class to Creativity and the community. The film and video course co coordinator George Karpathakis talked to us about his experiences working on community projects and making films that address issues in the community. Karpathakis (2013) explains that one must realise that there is not a lot of money to be made working with the community as they are not provided with a lot of funding, yet it is a fantastic opportunity, especially for young film makers or graduates as their is a lot of opportunity to learn new skills and to network.

Karpathakis talked about one of the first community projects that he completed, a Docu-drama titled ‘One of us’. The film addresses drug use in young Turkish people living in Australia. It is aimed towards the parents and families to show how they can better understand and manage this issue. He did this by combining real life interviews, creating scenarios that reflected what was happening as well including the advice of professionals on how to manage and deal with these issues. Although funding is limited when working with communities, you receive great access to a wide range of resources such as locations; props, transport and catering which are all often provide by the community themselves.

It is evident to me that although now an established filmmaker and director Karpathakis is a good advocate for working for the community and regards his experiences as very beneficial and rewarding. I admit I have never really even considered doing work for a community project but after this lecture I defiantly believe it is something worth perusing.

Karpathakis talks about the considerations that need to be made before pursuing this type of work

  • Work is often culturally specific and sensitivity is needed when working with different cultures
  • There is a need to work within the clients belief system, even if it one that you might not agree with
  • Funding and budget. Consider the tender, how much money it is going to cost. The producer/director needs to be careful not to commit to a budget to low, so if un-expected expenses arise you will be out of pocket.
  • The client is you employer so at the end of the day it is necessary to do what they want, and learn leave your creative visions at the door if they do not fit the brief

With the 3 month holiday period looming just weeks away, my excitement is met with apprehension. How am I going to pass the time? Without access to the media store, I wont have the opportunity to do my own projects. I have begun my pursuit of volunteer work with media companies to gain some more experience. After the lecture today I have expanded my search to work within my community and I was surprised to find there is a lot of (un paid) work out there. I have subsequently set off my resume to 3 different companies and looking foreword to hearing back from them with potential opportunities for work.

References

Karpathakis, G. (17/10/2013). [Lecture] Week 11: Creativity and community. Edith Cowen University, Perth WA.

Week 10 : Creativity and Industry

18 Oct

What is becoming evident to me during this unit is actually how many different factors are involved in the process of thinking creatively. Call me naïve but I always assumed that ‘creativity’ is something you either had or you didn’t and that creative ideas or thoughts just manifested quite randomly. When I was studying previously I became so frustrated when I had a creative assignment due and I would draw blanks or couldn’t think how to start or even finish a project. I couldn’t seem attain those ideas when I needed them most. I lost confidence in my abilities and the constant stress and frustration became overwhelming and I withdrew from the course.

Upon reflection I wish that I had the knowledge that I have learnt from the many readings and discussions of this unit; thinking creatively is a process and that there are many different factors that can aid or hinder this process.  Some people are blessed with a highly creative mind but that is not to say that others can’t adapt certain ways to nurture and develop their own creativity. Recognising the factors and methods that help you think creatively is the first step to achieving you goals.

This week we focused on creativity and Industry, what I derived from my research is the type of industry and environment that a person works in can either excel or hinder their creativity, in and out of the workplace. I also explored the relationship between creative freedom in a workplace and how that effects one’s overall job satisfaction, There are Industries that are deemed to be ‘creative’ such as, design, art fashion etc, but there are also industries and work places that considered in a ‘non creative’ field but require a high degree of creative thinking. Examples of this would include engineering, sales and cooking. Many professionals now acknowledge that by giving employees creative freedom to unearth new and fresh ideas and encouraging creativity in problem solving, they to will benefit in many ways.  Sloane puts forth that when creativity in encouraged, employees tend to have a higher job satisfaction as they are achieving, getting praise for their notions and therefore attain a better sense of ‘worth’(2013). Higher job satisfaction leads to higher productivity as employees working harder and have desire to achieve. With the increased productivity a companies outputs will increase and therefor so does their earnings. It is a win-win situation.

Factors that inspire a creative working environment

  • A safe environment where new ideas can be discussed without negative judgment
  • Encouraging employees to pitch new ideas and allow freedom of speech
  • Praise and recognition for good work
  • Allowing employees to personalise their work space (ie with pictures, posters plants)
  • Rewards and incentives for usable input
  • Reasonable working hours and conditions
  • Providing resources for research

Factors that discourage creativity in a working environment

  • Employers giving little or no incentive or recognition for good work
  • Having strict rules and guidelines
  • Employers not allowing or encouraging employees to discuss ideas or concepts with each other
  • Maintaining structure and routine
  • Following tired and tried methods (J. Hoyt, 1996)

My classmate Vynka and I conducted a survey to try and measure if ones creativity freedom really does effect how enjoyable they find their job. The results were conclusive and yet not at all surprising. We asked a series of questions to determine how much creative thinking was allowed in their field and also how satisfied they were within their Industry and work position. We then divided the surveys into 3 piles, High creative freedom, medium creative freedom and little creative freedom. Out of the 20 surveys we did this is what we discovered.

All of individuals that have high creative freedom got a high job satisfaction score.  Compared to the low creative freedom group where only one candidate indicated a high satisfaction with their work.

The only participants that showed a low job satisfaction all had little creative freedom in their position. 4/5 of these candidates marked that they considered themselves to be fairly or very creative thinkers.

Lastly we discovered that salary really had no measurable relevance to job satisfaction as the candidates that scored well all had different levels of income.

These survey results stimulated a deep discussion within the class and I hope that we achieved to inspire our fellow classmates to keep perusing their creative field.

References

Hoyt, j. (1996, 07 31). The influence of organizational factors on innovation and creativity in US and Japanese high technology firms. Retrieved from IEEE Xlore digital library.

Sloane, P. (2013). Does Encouraging Creativity in the Workplace Improve Innovation? Retrieved from Innovation Management online concepts: http://www.innovationmanagement.se/2012/11/09/does-encouraging-creativity-in-the-workplace-improve-innovation/

Week 8: The Burning Kiss

23 Sep

This week in the lecture we were very lucky to have Director Dr Robbie Studsor and actor Liam Graham as our guest speakers to discuss the new film they have made, The Burning Kiss. I thought their presentation to be very informative and engaging. As I wish to peruse a career as a screen writer and director, what was revealed was very inspiring and relative to my own discipline. I hope to one day work a feature film to the standard that has been executed but Robbie, who is undoubtedly very dedicated to his profession. I would like to outline the key points that I took away from this presentation.

Studsor expressed that when you have created a script or story it is very hard to articulate or pitch your idea of your film to others. I have found this to be true in my own experiences when I have tried expressing my ideas to my peers. It is hard to give my creative visions or concepts justice with just words. Recently when planning for a photo shoot, after discussing my ideas with others I was met with the response of ‘that sounds interesting’ or ‘different’. It is obvious to me by their facial expressions that they didn’t mean those comments in a good way. After showing to my peers the artist I used and my influence (David Lachepelle) and the final result, they understood my vision and could give me nothing but praise. The words “I told you so” echoed in my conscious at this point.

Studsor overcame this issue by making what he calls ‘mood reels’. He collaged different photographs he used as influence or inspiration and paired them with correlating audio to make film piece that replicated his creative vision. Graham agreed that this was very helpful towards understanding the director’s vision and he used the mood reels to influence the portrayal of his character. In relation to this process Studsor very wisely stated that “communication is the essence with collaboration” (2013) and with this I cannot agree more.  I admire that even though this film was written and directed solely by Studsor, he still considers his work a collaboration, realising that everybody involved in the film create work together and create a team. I think that this is a great insight to have as a director.

Another point that I found to be very useful is that Studsor suggest that there are three integral components that need to be considered to make a film look professional and effective: lighting, location and production design. If these elements are not mastered, no matter how good the script is, how great the talent is, or how expensive the equipment used is, this film is undeniably going to look cheap and loose affect. This is a great tip to know and I will take great consideration with these elements when I start production on my short film in two weeks time.

A point that was raised by both Studsor and Graham is how beneficial the rehearsal process is. Although extra time needs to be put aside to conduct theses, it is a very important process and cannot afford to be skipped. Rehearsals help the talent get into character and create a good relationship or chemistry with their fellow actors and the crew. It is during rehearsals that issues can be raised and ultimately this will save time later down the track. The short film that I have written and will be directing has two main characters: Melissa (25) and Lucy (8). As working with children encumbers many issues in itself, I hope by conducting extensive rehearsals will help the child become more relaxed and comfortable with the crew and the other actors and aid in eliminate any other issues before we begin filming.

What was also discussed by Studsor was the obstacles that arise in making a film. He proclaimed this film in particular to be the most challenging, difficult endeavor of his whole life, putting it above obtaining his Doctorate. A director must be prepared for these and constantly use their problem solving skills to overcome these mishaps. Studsor also emphasizes that “decision making is pivotal when directing”(2013). Often decisions need to be made on the spot. Even when a director is unsure of the correct response they must make a quick and decisive decision. If it happens that the decision turns out to have been wrong or costly, the Director must wear that weight and use their problem solving skills to overcome the issue. This can be both the best and worst part of being a director.

I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be educated by Studsor and Graham, and very grateful for this new found knowledge. I can immediately apply what I have learnt in my own practice in making my short film and throughout my film making career.

Find more about the feature film The Burning Kiss here at www.facebook.com/theburningkissmovie

Reference

Studsor, R. Graham, L. (19/09/2013). [Lecture] Week 8: Visual texts. Edith Cowen University, Perth WA.

Week 4 : The Creative Psyhe

29 Aug

Jung explored his active imagination and discovered how the symbolic play of child hood, Meditation and hypnosis allowed him to regress back in time, tapping into his subconscious. He realised this experiences to be self-healing (1997).  What Dr Spoors explained to us is the lecture, certain traumas we experience as children can manifest as fear, complexes or phobias in adulthood and damage us emotionally (2013). Children don’t have the mental strength or resilience that adults have therefore confronting or difficult memories or emotions will be suppressed. Jung determined that the medium of practises like child play, mediation or hypnotherapy not only lets us acknowledge these difficult thoughts and confront them in a non-threatening way but also releases an enormous release of positive energy as well as insights will give a new orientation (1997).

I feel that I can relate very strongly to what Jung reveals and what Dr spoor reinforces about the ‘active imagination’ and its healing qualities. As a child I was exposed to a lot of unpleasant scenarios and my guardianship was never stable. I developed an imaginary twin sister, partly I think because I was an only child but also because I was very lonely and anxious, and having someone with me was comforting when I was experiencing these difficult emotions.

After realising the befits of symbolic child’s play Jung explored further methods of reaching his subconscious and would spend time inducing him self into a hypnotic or meditative state (1997). Having experienced mediation being hypnotised myself I can relate to how this process can help to heal old emotional wounds. I suffer from a phobia and ongoing anxiety and depression, after trying therapy and multiple types of medication I decided to try a new avenue and discovered hypnotherapy. The process was unbelievably simple and I was shocked with the intense out of body experience that came with it. While I was ‘under’ I was regressed back to the very event that initiated my phobia, this event happened when I was two and a half years old. The memory that was evoked was so clear, like it happened yesterday; I could even remember small details like colour of my blanket that ‘The little Mermaid’ was on the television. This memory was not accessible in my conscious mind so this moment was very profound for me. What was also amazing was how seemingly insignificant this event seemed yet.  I realise now that I would have been so impressionable at this young age what happened, although not at all terrifying had affected me greatly.  What I have discovered after practising mediation and hypnotherapy I can be more insightful and I can say that it has definitely helped take the edge of my fears and phobias.

References

Jung, C. (1997). Jung on active imagination (pp. 1-17, 28-33). (Ed. Joan Chodorow). London: Routledge.

Spoors, G. (22/08/2013). The creative psyche. [lecture]

Week 2: A history of creativity

15 Aug

Although I fancy myself to be creatively minded, the ‘history of creativity’ is not an area I have given much thought to. This however is not due to lack of interest, more so that it is not a topic widely taught or discussed. I found the lecture that Dr Glenn Spoors provided so expertly on this topic compelling but also slightly overwhelming. There was a lot of information to receive in such a short period of time. Points he made that resonated with me the most involved the form of creativity in different periods in time and also how scientific advances influenced the process if creativity in thought and practise. The most interesting I learnt was that in the 17th century before the introduction of artificial light western civilisation sleeping behaviour has two sleep cycles, The ‘first’ sleep and the ‘second’ sleep.  In further readings, journalist Stephanie Hegarty also suggests that in between these two cycles there was a short period lasting approximately one to two hours that was often used to pray, reflect on dreams, converse with ones sleeping partner or engage in intercourse (2012).

This fact is interesting when related to the topic of creativity because in the 21st century it is not common for time to be put aside or any special attention been given to these activities (excluding that of intercourse). This makes me ponder how the absence of this dedicated time of reflection and interpretation of dreams. Has this affected and possibly hindered the new age creative thought process and how in tune we are to our inner psyche? The weekly reading At day’s close: Night in times past by A.R. Ekrich provided more detail on this topic. Ekrich focuses on the impact the industrial revolution had on society in the 17th century. Provided is a summary of my interpretations and reflections on this reading.

What I have learned from reading this text

  1. Before the introduction of artificial light western civilisation primary experienced segmented sleep (as discussed previously)
  2. Decline of magical beliefs night time lost its terror and became a source of beauty and wonderment
  3. Now with the technology of artificial light and change in sleeping patterns shops could stay open past nightfall, and night culture was established. People stay out late, visit the theatre frequent bars and shop at a time once before people would be well into their first sleep.

What I found interesting about this text

  1. It was common practice for people to discuss and decipher their dreams. This ritual has been lost in the shift to a single continuous sleep. Now people usually wake to an alarm and rush of to work or other commitments and there is no time set aside for this type of thoughts or discussion.
  2. Night time fast became a “fashionable hour” … describes “The pleasures of the evening and night are the ruling fashion in every large city, where luxury and the need to entertain constantly increased”. This activities they participated and how they socialised in the 17th century was very similar to the way we socialize now by dining, drinking, gaming and attending parties.

One posing question that I would like to further research

  1. I would be interested to know how the industrial revolution and the increase of social behaviour influenced the fashion industry. In today’s era we have separate ‘day time’ and ‘night time’ attire with night time requiring a more fancy and sophisticated form of dress. As the late night socialisation boomed quickly, how quickly did fashion change?

References

Brooks, D. G. (08/08/2012).    Creativity: A historical overview. Lecture.

Ekrich, A. R. (2005). At day’s close: Night    in times past (pp. 324-339). New York: Norton and    Company.

Hegart, S.    (2012, Feb 12). The Myth of the 8 hour sleep. Retrieved 07 20, 2014,    from BBC News: vhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16964783