Video Techniques for Autoethnography

For my individual research project, I wanted to explore the differences in films produced and released in Asia, compared to the movies I usually watch. I wanted to examine what I thought was normal, and what I thought wasn’t normal, but how their different techniques affected the film overall, and how it affected my overall opinion of the film.

So to achieve this, I had to set up an environment where I could watch an asian movie, and also record my reactions to the movie, so I could clearly show through my expressions, what I thought wasn’t normal – or at least in my culture. I found that a friend of mine also had a similar idea, so we decided to help each other out throughout the process, but we would both have our assignments reacting to an individual film.

When Dan and I were discussing how the best way to produce the short video was, he referred me to an online television program he had been watching for a while called ‘Ancient Aliens’, and we both instantly agreed that following a similar set up would be perfect for our assignments. If you watch an episode of theirs which i’ve linked below, you can see that the television series follows a bunch of dudes getting intoxicated and watching the series ‘ancient aliens’ (which is an alien conspiracy theory series). The twist however, is that they are filmed watching it on a lounge in a massive green screen room, so the background of the video is the series they’re actually watching! It’s a technique that I hadn’t found before, and that combined with the funny and unique editing style of the show it clearly shows how we’ve experienced the film.

Ellis, Adams and Bochner talk about autoethnography in their published works as being an individual approach to research, submitting and submersing yourself to the environment you’re trying to study, and then recording your findings through field notes. Then through these field notes, you’re able to better understand the subject of study from a unique perspective, which is particular useful when studying things in another culture where you may have particular thoughts or stereotypes about the culture.

Taking Scholar’s like Ellis, Adams and Bochner and their ideas about autoethnography into account, our approach to filming and reacting to them perfectly highlight the principle of autoethnography, we’re planning to submerse ourselves and react to the footage. The use of the green screen behind us allow the viewers to see what we’re reacting to, and it also allows us to use this unique editing style to perfectly demonstrate how we’re reacting to the movie rather than just annotating what’s going on in the movie.

For this assignment to work, we’ve had to set up multiple cameras to be filming us. We’re planning on using 3 digital camera’s, two with wide angles, and one with a closer shot of us to see our reactions. We’re also using a go pro to get an ultra wide angle of the whole environment. Dan bought a bunch of green sheets and stitched them together, and we plan to use pins to hold the sheets into the wall. We’re going to be having a table in front of the couch (as we plan to eat pizza and have a few drinks – who said assignments can’t be fun), but we’re going to be covering it with the green screen so all you can see is a bunch of hovering pizza and drinks. We’re also planning to have a very relaxed and laid back vibe throughout the video, as we think not having too many rules governing the production will be more beneficial to the autoethnography process, as it allows you to see how we truly reacted to the film, and how we actually experienced the film.

Dan tested the video idea briefly by himself which you can find over on his youtube channel Danger Dan, and you can see how the video production technique really makes it submersive for the viewer as well, which refelcts the autoethnography process. After filming and editing the video, we’re both going to be uploading the videos to our youtube channels for hosting and then submitting them.

We plan on filming this on a thursday night when we’re all available, and treating it like a movie night with some drinks rather than an academic video production. So stay tuned for the next blog post to see how it panned out!


ACTION BRONSON WATCHES ANCIENT ALIENS. (2016). [film] Viceland: Action Bronson.

Survive: Upddate

My board game survive has practically been built in my head already. I have the aesthetics, game mechanics and design pretty well finished off, the only things I need to complete for the game now are logistical and production problems.

My intended audience for Survive is ages 13+ but I wanted to primarily target people 18+ so that more complicated scenarios and obstacles can be brought into the game. I don’t plan on advertising the game anywhere, but if I was to sell this game online, I would advertise it on game-related websites, and perhaps try and sponsor a video with some game-genre youtube channels to promote my game.

I’m considering making the game 18+ or 16+ to include more ‘entertaining’ cards in each deck

I’ve looked at this website which offers some decently priced cards, but with 4 decks, it would cost $48 per game, which isn’t exactly economical, especially if that means I would have to price the game that high if anyone would actually want to buy it.

Even though that website is pretty costly, i’m still probably going to buy it through there, unless I can find a cheaper website, just because I don’t intend of mass-producing them to make each individual game cheaper than $48.

While i’ve though in depth about the game mechanics and how it operates, I’ve only got some loose idea regarding the aesthetics of each card. Should I keep a consistent style throughout the decks, or should I just pick something that accurately portrays the event/character/object? I’ll probably pay for a graphic designer to design the cards for me so I can keep a similar look throughout and be confident in the work, that way I can focus on my other DIGC project Chattr and the production/logistics of my game!

 

 

 

Creating Spreadable Media

This week for my digital artefact, I decided to do some academic research behind content creation, and what makes content viral and reach large audiences. Chris had suggest a great book called Spreadable Media which was published by Henry Jenkins, which talks about viral media, and what it takes, and what it contains.

Henry Jenkins in ‘Spreadable Media‘, talks about every concept imaginable that is relatable to Chattr. One that he talks about is engagement and exploitation of fans and user labour, which is two completely different ways to think about your audience. On one hand, you can engage with your audience in a positive way, by creating content that they want to see. Or you can exploit your fans through forced advertising and thinking mainly about the money, rather than the audience.

The biggest example that springs to mind is Facebook, and the different methods and approaches to growth that Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin had. Mark thought that Facebook needed to be about ‘the experience’, and so wanted to make a nice clean website, without many advertisers, and wanted to create something that gained an audience first, then start thinking about the money. While Eduardo wanted to put advertising on the website straight away, and was thinking about the money straight away, and not the aesthetics of the websites.

While Facebook obviously is a huge success, and started at university, we’re all not as committed to the level of dropping out of uni to work on Chattr full time, simply because we still don’t know how successful it will be. So while I would like to take the approach of Mark, and think purely for the audience growth and aesthetics, we really can’t afford that luxury.

“The Social Network”

There’s so much more that he talks about, including the shift to on-demand media rather than scheduled media on television, and meaningful participation. All of which are concepts that we’ve thought about at Chattr, or are things we’ll have to consider sometime in the near future.

 

Jenkins & Ford & Green, HJ SF SG, 2013, ‘Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture’, Spreadable Media <http://reader.eblib.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/(S(p2asztgthxy5k0lzakczmk2x))/Reader.aspx?p=1114591&o=580&u=G5EYdrpLLwc%3d&t=1459300270&h=609E551031458E46719C38A8D7B96C18D9FABC4A&s=43523509&ut=1771&pg=1&r=img&c=-1&pat=n&cms=-1&sd=2>

Survive

 

It took me a while to really decide what kind of game I wanted to create for DIGC this semester, and i’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it throughout the holidays. During the long break, I decided I wanted to create a type of card game that requires an engaging and attentive participants, as I found these types of games particularly entertaining. I drew influences from multiple games throughout the holidays (with the lack of university work) including; Cards Against Humanity, SpyFall, Bohnanza and SuperFight. I also found a great Youtube Channel that uploads a type of “Let’s Play” with all sorts of games that I found pretty relevant!

So here’s my game: Survive

The idea of the game is for the main player to think his/her way out of a situation and survive whatever event is thrown their way by the “Devil’s Advocate(s)”, overcoming their weakness and taking advantage of whatever strengths they have. It is then up to a judge to decide whether or not the player survives, or if their arguments and plans would ultimately have them killed.

Players: 3+

Roles: (1) Survivor, (1) Judge (the player to the Survivors left), (1 or more) Devils Advocate(s)

Decks: Event, Weakness, Strength, Wild Card

Rules:

  1. Nominate a beginning Survivor (Then rotate clockwise afterwards)
  2. Clarify Roles (Survivor, Judge, Devils Advocate)
  3. The Judge draws 1x Event card, 1x Strength card and 1x Weakness card. The Judge must reveal the chosen cards and place them face up.
  4. The Judge reads out the cards, and begins the context and event for The Survivor, then asks, “How do you survive?
  5. The Survivor must give a detailed argument as to how they would survive the event with their particular strength/weakness
  6. The Devil’s Advocate then must question his argument and find flaws that would have him killed.
  7. The Judge determines the length of the argument.
  8. If no resolution can be found, The Judge may pick up a Wild Card and change the context of the game.
  9. The Judge then determines if the survivor does indeed, survive
  10. If the Survivor wins, they keep the Event Card
  11. First to 3 Event Cards wins

 

I plan on designing the cards myself and printing them through an online service in the next few weeks, but i’m going to be bringing in some rough paper versions of the game to see what the game play is like, and see if the game mechanics need any changes. I’m excited to make the game, and see who can survive!

 

Chattr

For my digital artefact this semester for DIGC335, i’ve decided to continue my digital artefact from last years DIGC202 class, Chattr. What began as a weekly video series with my friends, became a registered business over the summer holidays. So for my first blog post, i’ve decided to give a brief overview and introduction as to what Chattr was, what Chattr is, and what Chattr will be. You can check Chattr over on Facebook!

Was:

Last year, Chattr recorded and released a video series called “Uni Life Savers”, where we aimed to interview students around campus about topics regarding the university lifestyle. As well as just recording and editing a short video series, we also did extensive research into media platforms to release onto, advertising through Facebook and did some serious statistical research. We also experimented with looks for the show, and using different equipment to create a different feel to the show. I’ll be going through the practical side of Chattr in a later blog post, where i’ll talk in depth about how we film and what we use.  Here’s a great example of this video series:

Now:

Chattr has now become much more than one video series. It’s become my full time job. Chattr has become a media and entertainment business, almost like a mixture between Buzzfeed, Vice and College Humour. We have a group of dedicated people who all see the potential of what Chattr could become, and want the chance to learn and be involved in this industry.

Chattr has evolved into a popular media entity around UOW, as well as other universities. We moved our intended demographic to outside of the university, and broadened our reach to Sydney and Wollongong as a whole, aiming for 16-25 year olds.

We’re planning on releasing 7-8 videos per week, including; Our classic Vox Pop series, Surround Sound (music) segments, Staff Videos, Shorts and our own twist on the news. We’ve also invested into a website chattr.com.au which is still in it’s development stage, where we intend on earning revenue through online advertisements,  and publishing all our videos and articles.

What It Will Be:

While it’s too early to really see what Chattr will become, I can only really speculate with what i’d like it to become. We set out with Chattr in 2016 with the aim of creating our own paid full-time jobs by the end of the year, along with everyone else in the team, so that we would be able to jump straight into jobs that we’ve created ourselves.

With the growth that we’ve seen so far, i’m confident that Chattr will pick up throughout this year, and will become a recognisable brand throughout certain uni’s in the next few years, especially with the partnerships and opportunities we’ve had at Western Sydney University, Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney and University of Wollongong.

Conclusion:

Chattr is something that i’m investing my time, money and life into, and both everyone helping out and myself hope that the success of it reflects the time and effort we put into it. I’ll be writing about Chattr for my blog posts, and reflecting on the theoretical and practical sides of it.

You Shaved Nice Today!

The title says it all, these days, the Internet is almost literally integrated into everything, mobile phones, watches, wristbands and even fridges! There are so many house hold objects that now depend on technology, and people take that for granted.

People don’t realise the amount of technology and social progression that goes into everyday tools and objects, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson exemplifies this by saying, “No one goes up to you and says, ‘Hey! You shaved nice today! The act of doing it perfectly, is the measure of it going unnoticed“. It doesn’t really have anything to do with The Internet’s integration, but it’s a great speech that you should check out!

For The Lulz

Last week for DIGC202, I talked about Anonymous as a new form of protestors acting unethically for an ethical goal, and as damaging as this collective can be, Anonymous is rather mature compared to groups such as LulzSec.

LulzSec is a “black-hat computer hacker group”, meaning that they essentially hack ‘for the lols’. I’ve been interested in computer hacker groups for a while, the use of technology for ‘political action’ was a new concept in a field that I had immense interest in.

Lulzsec really differs form Anonymous, because they are organised, and have people in charge. The most notable differences however, is not within the hierarchy, but rather in their morals. Since they’re a ‘black-hat’ computer hacker group, their goals are not in line with their morals or any political influences, but instead enjoying hacking for the fun of it.

We Are Anonymous

With the online world expanding every day, and the concept of protesting online through clicktivism becoming a common thing, it wasn’t long until it was possible to terrorise or to unethically protest an issue online. Today’s version of protestors breaking and entering to cause havoc are online hackers, and the most prominent example is the collective known as Anonymous.

Anonymous is an online collective of hackers that all have a common goal of hacking ‘for the greater good’. They work together unethically to achieve an ethical goal. and this is why there’s a huge divide in the public concerning whether this group is a group of good or bad people.

The idea behind anonymous is great, because it’s not an organised group with a regular power hierarchy, almost anyone you know, could be in anonymous. You don’t even have to be a computer wizz to help out.

I’m (not) Helping Change The World!

Being a Clicktivist is the modern day version of a protester, because it requires minimal effort, and it’s easy to accomplish. However, there’s huge debate in whether clicktivism actually accomplishes anything. Popular scholars such as Henry Jenkins and Steve Wilkinson sit either side of the issue with their own valid arguments.

So to vocalise this issue, I decided to have a little debate with my friend Alec Bennett (alec1995.wordpress.com) about whether popular social media campaigns such as KONY 2012 and The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge actually accomplished anything through social media.

I AM THE GATEKEEPER

Unfortunately i’m not talking about the Gatekeeper from the classic game ‘Atmosfear’ in this blog post, so if you’re an enthusiast, turn back now! Instead, i’m here to talk about the concept of gatekeeping, and how we’re all actively a gatekeeper online. The concept refers to the actions you take online to read and find information, and actively decide to trust certain sources over others.

Reddit is new type of platform that’s starting to become very mainstream online, and the way it works, can perfectly describe your role as a gatekeeper. It works like a democracy, through a system of upvotes and downvotes. It has so many different ‘sub-reddits’, which you can subscribe to, effectively deciding what content you want to see.