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/

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Mood reel (attempt)

17 Oct

Taking inspiration from Robbie Studsor who delivered a compelling presentation in week 8 ( see my blog post under the ‘thoughts and reflections’ category : week 8) I created my own mood reel for my creative project. What Robbie highlights is that, as a director it is difficult to articulate or summarise your idea or concept with people that you are working with. As for this project I will be collaborating with my classmate I have created a mood real so Kaely can get a better understanding of my vision and asset her with the storyboard.

find the link to my show reel here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksSYmyCLlCg&feature=youtu.be

New concept

6 Oct

We have decided to go for a more simple approach to the video clip for ‘Mombassa on the line’. Limited in time and funding this new concept would be easier to shoot requires organising sufficiently less shots involved and talent needed. The new concept also fits the theme of the song very well. Following is a rough scene list of the new concept.

Synopsis: A group of young free spirits cross paths and Journey together in the beautiful Australian outback. Not put off by their short comings, they remain optimistic and create a bond, enjoying each other’s company and the simpler things in life.

  1. Its early morning and a young, adventuring girl is driving a beat up Kombi van down a long stretch of road in the country. She is looking wondrously out the window and admiring the scenery.
  2. She notices a male wondering down along side the road. Looks like he is exhausted carrying his guitar, bongo drums and backpack. The girl pulls over and offers him a ride. She asks where he is going. He mouths ‘anywhere’. She offers him a lift he accepts gratefully.
  3. The drive along the road, they laugh, share stories of travel, and ride in a comfortable silence.
  4. The pull into a petrol station and see a foreign tourist her car is smoking and she appears to be stranded. They offer her a ride; she looks back to her smoking car and accepts.
  5. They all drive along happily, the tourist takes some candid shots on her camera.
  6. The sun is starting to set and they find a spot to set up camp. At the next tent over, a prissy girl is complaining to her boyfriend, she hates having to camp. She grabs her suitcase and wheels it out, leaving him there alone. The group offers for him to join them and he accepts,
  7. The start a camp fire and talk and laugh and drink together. All free spirits tottaly immersed in the simple pleasures of life and enjoying each others company.
  8. The sun rises on the camp, the new friends are still asleep around the campfire
  9. Shots of the surrounding wildlife and beautiful scenery

The Collaboration

6 Oct

To get the best possible outcome for the music video I have decided to collaborate with a fellow student, Kaely Ferguson. Kaely has an undeniable passion for film making and cinematography. She has strong skills in filming and editing, the elements of filmmaking that I am not so efficient in so I trust that we will make a great team.

Our communication has primarily been through Facebook and text messages the times we arranged to meet have so far failed through with me falling and ill but we have both agreed on a concept and I have begun planning for the shoot. Currently I have an add running on Star Now looking for talent, (so far I have already found two actors to play certain roles) and have started storyboarding. This week I will start researching a location and look into hiring a Kombi Van and begin collection props.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done between now and when we shoot so I need to stay focused and make up for lost time!

Check out my running add  for casting on Star Now http://www.starnow.com.au/Casting-Calls/Actors-wanted/Short-film/3_actors_2_male_1_female_required_for_supporting_roles_in_a_music_video.htm

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.

Making some progress

15 Sep

After Listening to Jinja Safari’s song ‘Mombassa on the Line’ I am slowly getting an idea video clip I would like to create. The lyrics are quite cryptic and I don’t fully understand the song’s meaning, instead I am just going with the flow and the feel of the music and developing my ideas that way. Without thinking to hard I just started jotting down the first few visions that came to mind, my first idea was a young girl wondering lost around the city and I developed a narrative from that. So far I this is the sequence of shots I have come up with

  1. Girl, in her early 20’s is on a bus, looking dreamingly out the window
  2. She looks down at the map she has of the city
  3. She gets of the bus in the hub of the city, and steps in chewing gum, she looks a little disheartened
  4. As she is walking down the main strip guys are glaring at her, on seedy persona wholf whistles as he is passing
  5. A grubby homeless man is begging, the girl reaches into her backpack and hives him her sandwich, the homeless man looks bewildered and tosses it aside as soon as she passes.
  6. A busker is playing but nobody is paying him any attention and he hasn’t collected any money
  7. She pulls the map around and looks lost, she gives up and throws the map in the bin
  8. She walks off confidently, looks and starts appreciating the beauty of the buildings and scenery.
  9. Girl approaches the water feature in forest chase and smiles broadly as she watches the children play happily.
  10. She dumps her backpack, removes her sneakers and joins the children playing
  11. More children join the fun and they all dance around laughing gleefully
  12. The sun is setting the girl walks away from the water feature to her belongs
  13. She finds that her bag has been taken, she picks up her shoes, smiles and shakes her head and walks away from the scene.

I think that this narrative would work well with the song. One of the biggest obstacle’s is finding a great young talent to be my lead and also a bunch of children for the end scene. Working with children is difficult so working with a group of 10 or more will be extremely difficult! As soon as I get the green light to go ahead, I better start casting, asap

Change of plans..

14 Sep

During the planning process for my creative project I have been making considerations as to what direction when creating my ‘Staccato effect’ piece. For this to be effective I will need to picture some form of movement. I started to brain storming what kind of movement I would like to picture. After a lot of thought I hadn’t drawn many conclusions only that I would like to my piece to be a drama or narrative and be made to music but that was about as far as I got. Whilst driving in my car I began flicking through songs on my play list and considering what music piece would suit the rhythm off a time lapse photography piece and what kind of narrative I could form. A few songs inspired some creative thought but no strong visions have been made at this point. It was 2 nights ago that I was out for drinks and a friend of mine brought a competition to create a film clip for band Jinga Safari triple j are running to my attention. The next morning I found the details on the website. This is a great opportunity for me. I have decided that I will start planning on how I can make a creative film clip for their song ‘Mombassa on the Line’ for my project and submit the finished product for the competition. Now I will begin the process of brainstorming whilst listing to the song on repeat. Hopefully some good ideas will start to flow! Link to the competition can be found here at http://www.abc.net.au/triplej/comps/cut_to_the_beat.htm