Have a Little Faith in Aussie Films

In the above image (Quinn 2011) the Australian film industry produces high quality films but lacks the support from Australian audiences.

In the above image (Quinn 2011) the Australian film industry produces high quality films but lacks the support from Australian audiences.

The Australian film industry has the potential to be a major competitor on the world stage but needs the support of Australian audiences. The industry is exploding with new ideas, however Australian audiences are not embracing Australian produced films. To understand why Australian audiences are not interested we must understand how and why location, travel and movie theatres influence the individual to not watch an Australian film. According the Screen Australia research undertaken in 2013, television and DVD are the dominant platforms for watching local screen stories. The low cost platforms win audiences over, compared to the expensive cinema experience of the candy bar and transport fees. Spatial dimensions are an issue for Australians living in rural areas. Individuals who travel hours to get to a movie theatre would rather watch a Hollywood blockbuster than an Australian movie which may not reach their high expectations. What are we doing wrong and why can’t we attract the target audience?

Due to the lack of support for the Australian Film industry by independent bodies there are many challenges and uncertainty’s facing the future of the Australian cinema.

Australian films are advertised more heavily and released on more screens relative to (similar) competing films, yet they under-perform in terms of opening week and cumulative box-office revenues… However, it is striking that the relatively high levels of advertising support and opening screens do not help the financial outcome of at the Australian box office (McKenzie & Walls 2012, p. 267).

We can’t afford to lose the rich culture and diverse talent which the Australian film industry provides. As Aussies we need to support Australian stories portrayed in Australian films. If we don’t, who are we to the world? Due to the domination of American films, globalizing and de-nationalising processes are radically reshaping contemporary Australian film and TV production (O’Regan & Potter, 2013, p.5). As a result, national diversity is diminishing.

We can’t accept Hollywood films as our own because our culture is totally different to theirs. Nevertheless, caution needs to be taken when we support Hollywood blockbusters because we are choosing to reject our own culture. Ok! not every genre may not be your cup of tea but we need take on an optimistic view that the Australian film industry has potential. We may not have the multimillion dollar budget or the most popular actors starring in the films but we can’t turn our backs on our own film industry. Have a little faith in the industry because we all have to start somewhere.

The Australian film industry is experiencing a popularity draught but it’s only a matter of time before we get another box office winner. In 2012, The Sapphires distributed by Hopscotch Film and Entertainment One captured the hearts of many Australian audiences. According to Screen Australia, The Sapphires was the top grossing Australian feature film at the local box office in 2012, taking $14.5 million. The Australian born film got international acclaim, receiving a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival (Cameron 2012). The outstanding Australian film can be seem in the below trailer.

We have to stay true to who we are and need to stop chasing Hollywood storylines. The best stories are here in Australia, success is found among our rich cultural indigenous history and funny sense of humor. This can be seen in classic Australian movies such as Crocodile Dundee, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Muriel’s Wedding, Strictly Ballroom and Babe.

In order to understand how the Australian film industry can improve and capture the attention of audiences, extensive qualitative research will need to be conducted. It is vital to take on board a PESTLE analysis (Political, economic, social, technological, legal, environment factors) and SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of the Australian film industry. In relation on how the Australian film industry will:
1) Strengthen Australia’s cultural identity;
2) Entertain Australian audiences with diverse storylines; and
3) Showcase Australian films to the world.

Cameron, A 2012, ‘Movie of the Month: The Sapphires’, The Lamp, 1 August, p. 47.

Mckenzie, J & Walls, D 2012, ‘Australian films at the Australian box office: performance, distribution, and subsidies’, Journal of Cultural Economics, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 247-269.

O’Regan, T & Potter, A 2013, ‘Globalisation from within?: The de-nationalising of Australia film and television production’, Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, no. 149, pp. 5-14.

Quinn, K 2011, High drama as Australian films hit hard times, image, The Sydney Morning Herald, viewed 25 September 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/high-drama-as-australian-films-hit-hard-times-20111031-1ms0t.html

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM240

Oh My Gosh, What the Hell Are We Showing Our Children?

In the above image (Authentic Entertainment 2014) you can see Nicki Minaj's controversial Anaconda music cover.

In the above image (Authentic Entertainment 2014) you can see Nicki Minaj’s controversial Anaconda music cover.

The music industry has caused chaos among parents who are trying to regulate their children from watching sexual and raunchy music videos. Majority of parents try their best to influence children to act like children as there will be plenty of time for them to grow up to be an adult. Controversial pop music videos are destroying childhood innocence.

Most discussions on children, their safety, perceived innocence and welfare have the ability to generate strong feelings and often a heated public discourse. This is especially true if one should happen to question one of the established cultural narratives of what a child is and should be: someone vulnerable, innocent and in need of protection (Staksrud 2013, p. 2).

Parents are continually having to keep on top of their child’s online behaviour by imposing new rules and restrictions. Due to children increasing becoming tech savvy they are finding ways around obeying their parent’s rules.

When former Disney star Miley Cyrus brought her “A-game” twerking performance to the MTV Video Music Awards it unleashed a twerking phenomenon. “The Parents Television Council have accused MTV of “falsely manipulating the content rating” for their program, encouraging children to watch “adults-only material” (Michael 2013). Her raunchy performance and controversial “Wrecking Ball” video clip caused pandemonium among parents. Children have the right to be protected from potentially negative media effects and influences.

Since them the pop music world only wants to talk about one thing: women’s butts. The issue raised is woman of colour are over-sexualised in music videos. Nicki Minaj’s sexually explicit music video of her latest song “Anaconda” is the most watched song on Vevo. It received 19.6 million views within 4 hours of its release on August 19 (Tewari 2014). As seen in the below video Nicki is flaunting her famous butt in skimpy clothes and gives a seductive lap dance to Drake. It is concerning to think booty shaking is deemed ok to young audiences. It is obvious that the music video is not appropriate for children. Not to mention the lyrics to the song are sexually explicit with a hidden agenda. The catchy lyrics, “Ohh my gosh, look at her butt” should be translated to “Ohh my gosh, what the hell are we showing our children?”

As a result this is creating social anxieties and moral concerns, claiming woman to be just a sexual object. Is this the mindset we want children to believe is acceptable? Sexually provocative pop stars are creating a culture where woman should accept there bootylicious behinds. At the same time, they are influencing children to believe it is acceptable that women should be portrayed as sexual beings. Sexualised music videos have a harmful effect on the self-esteem of young girls and will negative influence a boy’s behaviour towards girls.

There is no book on how to be the perfect parent but it’s important for parents to identity how online risks would negatively impact their child. The complex process would than result in the parent deciding whether it is acceptable for their child to view such content. There needs to be an international age classification for music videos which the music industry must follow, in the effort to protect the innocence of young children.

Authentic Entertainment 2014, Nicki Minaj Shuts Down Haters Over Anaconda Cover, image, The Hot Hits Living in LA, viewed 17 September 2014, http://www.thehothits.com/news/47309/nicki-minaj-shuts-down-haters-over-anaconda-cover

Michaels, S 2014, ‘Miley Cyrus criticized for raunchy MTV Video Music Awards performance’, The Guardian, 27 August, viewed 17 September 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/aug/27/miley-cyrus-mtv-video-music-awards-criticism

Staksrud, E 2013, Children in the online world: risk, regulation, rights, Ashgate Publishing Limited, England.

Tewari, N 2014, Nicki Minaj VS Miley Cyrus: Nicki’s ‘Anaconda’ Breaks Miley’s ‘Wrecking Ball’ Song Record on Vevo, International Business Times, viewed 17 September 2014, http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/563699/20140823/nicki-minaj-vevo-record-break-anaconda-miley.htm#.VCEGLV5Aruj

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM240

Multitasking is a Recipe for a Disaster

In the image above (Kiley 2009) texting while driving is dangerous and has devastating consequences.

In the image above (Kiley 2009) texting while driving is dangerous and has devastating consequences.

Due to the rapid changes in mobile and internet accessibility, users are vulnerable to media multitasking. “Multitasking – engaging in two or more activities at once – is certainly not a new phenomenon” (Wang & Tchernev 2012, p.493). Convergent technologies have altered audience multitasking practices, no longer are we just paying our attention solely to one task. We have for some time now have been engaging in multitasking, shifting to and from various medium activities. The complexity of multitasking is intriguing because our attention is divided among different media platforms and activities. Attention is at the heart of multitasking.

Participating in a multitasking environments impact the human minds way of thinking in both a positive and negative way. Multitasking allows each individuals learning experience to be improved with the ability to access facts, expanding their knowledge and understanding. According to a survey of 866 undergraduate students in 2011, 70% students take part in multitasking and 29% students do not. The reasons behind media multitasking were due to boredom (40%), the allowance of a device’s capability (31%), saving time (17.8%), and for enhancing work performance (8%) (Song et al. 2013, p. 192).

Unknowingly we multitask every day, in the morning you can be watching the news on the TV, listening to the background music on the radio and reading a newspaper article while drinking a hot caramel latte. However, in that given context where is our attention? Are we more intrigued in what where seeing, hearing or reading?

On the other hand, multitasking does have negative challenges and consequences that we have to be aware of. Multitasking is resulting in cognitive overload, increased distractions and limits our willpower to achieve focus. We are engaging in “multitasking illusions” where the brains ability to organise and interpret sensory stimulation is distorted. This is evident in our inability to text and drive at the same time.

If you text and drive you are putting yourself and others in harm’s way. You are not only waiting for a disaster to happen but you are fooling your brain that multitasking is accessible. For a short moment you engage in the risk and choose to ignore the long term consequences. According to the U.S National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2011, 3,331 people in the United States were killed and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers (Cismaru 2014, p. 66).

Never have there been more distractions vying for a driver’s attention: text messages, phone calls, sat navs and internet the most prevalent. Despite countless lives lost and damaged because of distractions, young drivers are the most likely to send that SMS or answer that call (AAMI 2012 Young Drivers Index Report, p. 1).

According to the AAMI 2012 Young Drivers Index report, young drivers are four times more likely to send a text message while driving and five times more likely to use the internet than drivers aged over 50. The issue of texting and driving is aggregated by the need to stay up to date with social media because a fear of missing out is instilled in the user. Furthermore, radio competitions require listeners to send a text or call up to win the prize. “People should not take things for granted when behind the wheel as no prize is worth risking your life,” (Suhail 2014).

Throughout the world, distracted drivers are a menace and continue to cause dangers to road safety. As seen in the below video, in 2014 Volkswagen “Eyes on the road” ad made people aware of the dangers of multitasking while driving. The innovative ad was shown in a movie theater in Hong Kong which was equipped with a location-based broadcaster that could send a mass text to everyone in the theatre room at once. At the same time the ad aired on the big screen, when there was a big bang on screen movie goers were no longer looking at their phones but at the accident which occurred on screen. As a result, engaging in dangerous multitasking activites can result in valuable life lesson.


AAMI 2014, AAMI 2012 Young Drivers Index Report, AMMI, viewed 10 September 2014, http://www.aami.com.au/company-information/news-centre/special-reports%3E

Cismaru, M 2014, ‘Using the Extended Parallel Process Model to Understand Texting While Driving and Guide Communication Campaigns Against It’, Social Marketing Quarterly 2014, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 66-82. http://smq.sagepub.com/content/20/1/66.abstract

Kiley, A 2009, Texting While Driving: How Dangerous is it?, image, Car and Driver, 10 September 2014, http://www.caranddriver.com/features/texting-while-driving-how-dangerous-is-it

Song, K, Nam, S, Lim, H & Kim, J 2013, ‘Analysis of Youngsters’ Media Multitasking Behaviors and Effect on Learning’, International Journal of Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 191-198. http://www.sersc.org/journals/IJMUE/vol8_no4_2013/19.pdf

Suhail, F 2014, Texting while driving is a recipe for a disaster, Gulf News, 10 September 2014, http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/society/texting-while-driving-is-a-recipe-for-a-disaster-1.1381288

Wang, Z & Tchernev 2012, ‘The “Myth” of Media Multitasking: Reciprocal Dynamics of Media Multitasking, Personal Needs, and Gratifications’, Journal of Communication, vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 493-513. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2012.01641.x/abstract

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM240

Think Twice Before You Leave the House

Source: Life is Amazing 2014

Source: Life is Amazing 2014

The traditional landscape of the public sphere is changing due to the advancements of modern technology. “Good public space is responsive, democratic and meaningful,” (Mehta 2014, p.53). However, it’s a person’s mobile phone usage in the public space that questions their ethical behaviour.

My expectations of privacy in the public space has been altered from this week’s lecture, I feel that I have no sense of privacy when I’m in a public space. Accordingly to Arts Law Centre of Australia (2014), “There are no publicity or personality rights in Australia, there is no right to privacy that protects a person’s image.” Thus you can photograph a person in a public space without their permission. Now more than ever, everyone has a mobile phone and has the ability to take and share photos of you online. Have you ever wondered how many times you have appeared in the background of someone else’s Facebook photo?

In June 2013 there were 19.6 million mobile phone subscribers with access to the Internet in Australia (ABS 2013). With a 13% increase from 2012, we are becoming a nation addicted to posting photos on social media from our smartphones at the expense of others. As seen in the below photo, American comedian Marlon Wayans selfie of Delta Goodrem dancing at a Beyoncé and Jay Z concert caused much controversy. The photo labeled ‘the most unrhythmic white woman’ posted on Twitter, initially was embarrassing for the songstress. Although Goodrem had a sense of humor and didn’t take the tweet to heart. However, it was not ethical for the comedian to post a racist comment along with the photo.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 2014

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 2014

When it comes to photo ethics, permission should be granted before you use the photo on social media, even though it’s not legally required. It’s in the best interest that your subject in the photo has the knowledge that a photo of them will appear online. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you will post the photo online or not.

When I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed or Instagram page there are numerous pages dedicated to making jokes of people in photos. It has become a social norm to laugh and share photos of people that have been taken in the public space. There needs to be a boundary set in place where social media users don’t post or support untasteful photos or video uploads. Although you can report and untag yourself from photos that you don’t like. But once there on the internet they are forever in the universe.

Unknowingly every move you make in the public is been recorded in some way. CCTV monitors are located in busy areas of the city for surveillance and security purposes. On top of that we now have to be wary of people holding mobile phones in our direction. Not only do we have to be careful of we say, act and do in the public space. You now have to worry about if an embarrassing photo of yourself might appear on social media.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, Internet Activity, Australia, June 2013, cat. No. 8153.0, accessed 3 September 2014, http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/8153.0~June+2013~Chapter~Mobile+handset+subscribers?OpenDocument

Arts Law Centre of Australia 2014, Street photographer’s rights, Arts Law Centre of Australia, viewed 4 September 2014, http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/street-photographers-rights/

Life is Amazing, 2014, When you see a security camera, image, We Heart It, viewed 4 September 2014, http://weheartit.com/entry/128008326/search?context_type=search&context_user=LittleMixerUSA&query=Mr+bean+security+camera

Mehta, V 2014, ‘Evaluating Public Space’, Journal of Urban Design, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 53-88.

The Sydney Morning Herald 2014, Is Delta Goodrem’s star climbing after Marlon Wayans’ selfie?, image, The Sydney Morning Herald Entertainment, viewed 4 September 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/music/is-delta-goodrems-star-climbing-after-marlon-wayans-selfie-20140806-100zau.html

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM240

A One-Way Ticket to the Ultimate Cinema Experience

Source: Hristina, 2014

Source: Hristina, 2014

When organising a trip to the cinema, it’s more than likely you’ll be faced with a challenge regarding “place” and “time”. These two concepts are becoming increasingly recognised as complex social and cultural structures as well as geometric dimensions affecting our behavioral characteristics (Merriman, 2011). Upon going to the cinema with a friend, I realised that you don’t always get you want.

In the early 1970s urban planner Torsten Hagerstrand focused on the role where place and time were absolute, finite and constraining (Merriman, 2011). He identified 3 human constraints: capability, coupling and authority which changed the way social planning works. In discussion with my friend we both agreed on Hoyts which was both our closest cinema. In between our busy university and work schedule we were limited to the movie session options. As a result, we chose to catch up over dinner during the weeknight followed by a night movie session. To make sure we were not waiting for each other alone we decided to carpool.

At arrival, the cinema foyer was surrounded by large upcoming movie posters accompanied by loud music playing in the background. The upbeat atmosphere made me feel like I was going to watch a live comedy show then a sad romantic movie “If I stay”. I spotted the bright shining lights of the candy bar a mile away, even though I fought back the temptation. When we walked into the cinema we did not follow seating arrangements but instead chose to sit directly in the middle-centre part of the cinema. Only because our vision is not the best if we sat right at the back and we didn’t want a sore neck from sitting at the front. There were less than 20 people in the cinema which were scattered around us. I observed that majority of movie goers were halfway through their popcorn before the movie even started. That didn’t surprise me because I’m always one of those people. Once the lights dimmed the cinema went quiet and everyone’s eyes were glued to the screen waiting for the movie to begin.

Source: Zoe De Braekeleir 2014

Source: Zoe De Braekeleir 2014

Advanced technologies have revolutionised the way the audience can watch movies, introducing private viewing. No longer do we have to leave the comfort of our homes to go watch a movie at the cinema. We can simply download it online and watch what we want, when we want and how many times we want. Australia is among the worst in the world when it comes to illegally downloading movies. According to Nielsen Online Ratings Hybrid figures, in May 3 million Australians visited the two largest illegal content download websites: The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrent. Private viewing allows the individual ultimate control over their movie experience.

Why pay for a movie ticket when you can watch the same movie without the same price tag? When you go to cinema, you are faced with the difficult decision of when to go to the candy bar to get more drinks or go to the restrooms. Knowing my luck I always seem to miss the most exciting or dramatic part of the movie. No need to miss out, private viewing allows you to hit the pause, fast forward or stop button anytime during the movie.

Contrastingly, with the arrival of DVDs, Blu-Ray technology, home projector theatre systems and internet downloads, cinema attendance is on the rise. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, cinema has the highest attendance rate of all the events surveyed, with 67% people having been to a cinema in the last 12 months. Throughout Australia cinema attendance rates have increased from 65% in 2005-06 to 67% in 2009-10. Going to the movies is a popular activity for young people, however attendance rates declined with age.

Source: Alice Lynn 2014

Source: Alice Lynn 2014

Will cinema attendance rise or decline in the future? Of course the industry would have to create a new enticing cinema experience if they want people to still attend. Creativity has already begun in Australia with the Rooftop Cinema in Melbourne providing audiences a great movie and magnificent views of the city.

Source: Jessica Misener 2013

Source: Jessica Misener 2013

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014, Arts and Culture in Australia: A Statistical Overview, 2014, cat. No. 4172.0, accessed 26 August 2014.

Lynn, A 2014, Minion Eating Popcorn, image, Pinterest, viewed 26 August 2014, http://www.pinterest.com/pin/67624431879228406/

Merriman, P 2011, ‘Human Geography without time-space’, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 13-27.

Misener, J 2013, Rooftop cinema Melbourne, image, Buzzfeed, viewed 26 August 2014, http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/the-13-coolest-movie-theaters-in-the-world#2y8wflt

News Limited 2014, Illegal downloading: Should you think twice before using torrenting websites? News.com.au, News Limited, viewed 26 August 2014

De Braekeleir, Z 2013, When do you eat your popcorn, image, We Heart It, viewed 26 August 2014, http://weheartit.com/entry/84260856/search?context_type=search&context_user=ZoeDeBraekeleir&query=when+you+eat+your+popcorn

By Bianca Tasevski Posted in BCM240