BCM288

Reflection – Transnational Media and Cultural Industries

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Throughout the showcase of Transnational Media and Cultural Industries, I’ve been continuously trying to apply the content and media from my majorly western influenced upbringing and apply a broader understanding of what international audiences and producers do that in time allow me to be a more productive and accepting viewer to a greater range of media.

One of the more interesting take-away’s from this semester of research is the amount of layers content goes through to getting to a final stage and perhaps the negative impacts this can have to an end product. The amount of consideration and involvement from companies and industries that goes into the film showcases we are exposed to out of Hollywood especially doesn’t really acknowledge the small 1% efforts. The potential for countries to collaborate are being recognised now and we covered this in week 5 of the course, looking at treaties and connections Australia and the world have with one another in order to produce content that involves creative thinking from various cultures. This is a great initiative I believe for the survival of film, by bringing influences and appropriations from various societies. However, in week 6 we looked into the government assistance for creative content and its a continuous fight to keep them interested in allocating resources in this unforgiving and expensive field. It was interesting topic to look into and see which counties have support of their governments and which ones struggle, and thus comparing it to the films being produced and then the co-productions they’re involved with, that indicate their passionate drive.  We looked at the notion of comedy and the translation of various forms, which as a group assessment focus, we looked at how intercultural audiences and producers worked together to create content based on stereotypes. Perhaps what is seen as funny or even documentary type genres, isn’t culturally acceptable and as apart of the findings can sometimes cause misleading attitudes towards minority groups and already targeted groups.

A major ideology that also resonated and I found particularly interesting is the cosmopolitan aspect and how there are points of argument that the more we use global media and the more someone can expose themselves to a culture the more we’re challenged to think we share a single mindset. One of the assessments undertaken was a class debate, and this was our topic. We argued that this isn’t the only thing global media arises as well as the idea of its not the only thing that contributes for a cosmopolitan mindset but other factors that do. This was a completely new field to me and one that I found a great challenge. I’d never understood the concept of this topic, and I’d never been involved in a debate setting with arguements and rebutting.

Some of the key concepts I looked out throughout my blog was the co-productions I’ve mentioned above, which looked at particular case studies of film and how thinking about a film belonging to a certain country or region is near impossible. Another element I focused on was how stereotypes can influence audiences positively, and when applied correctly and without malicious intent can be exported as a commodity of humour and attitude. Lastly, I looked at the Vlogging phenomena that’s sweeping online audiences, and how it could be alikened to reality TV evolution.

A new perspective on the ever-changing media world was really great and the subject added a new research method to various topics that improved a skillset as well as understanding for discussion. This class was very resourceful as a communication and media student and has only the potential to broaden views into a global media market.

Co-Production or Co-Survival

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Co-productions provide a means to pool financial, creative and technical resources from participating countries for the production of film and television programs.

The idea of a co-production is the hybrid mix of usually a well established Hollywood institution exploring new elements and genres through international collaboration. This, in a Utopian environment would mean the chance for smaller companies to mingle in and eventually have more cast a crew from various backgrounds having input that would boost the circuit of film and create “potential to reflect upon globalization processes, such as the hybridization of cultures and their diversification” (Doris Baltruschat, 2002)

Australia currently has treaties in force with the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Germany, Korea, South Africa, Singapore and China, and Memoranda of Understanding with France and New Zealand (Screen Australia, 2016)

Co-productions by country, as at 30 April 2016

(http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/funding-and-support/co-production-program/statistics)

 

The Great Gatsby is one of my all time favourite films and the genre Baz Luhrman seems to work in and the editing style as well as the exaggerated points of the film all draw me into the final piece. I was interested to find out that this film claims to be Australian, and for the most part I understood why, Aussie Director, actors and some locations. But then upon further research, the Novel is by American Author, The main protagonist ‘Gatsby’ is played by American Actor Leonardo DeCaprio as well as various other international cat and crew. So is The Great Gatsby Australian? I think a better way to understand these concepts is that the storyline very much depicts events that followed the great depression in Australia. That’s why it was picked u by Australian media producers, because they believed it could be highly reflectable to some social situations. Much like its success in America, with the events of the “Great American Dream” being showcased and perhaps resonated with throughout, thus: It deals with the dangers of pursuing the American dream and the pitfalls of decadence, vanity and materialism( B, Rosen 2014)

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“As in virtually all countries throughout the world, the Australian film distribution and exhibition industries are dominated by American product. To a lesser extent, American influences can now be felt in the production of Australian films as well…recently, Fox Studios has opened its doors in Sydney, NSW. “(French, L 2001) This then brings to light the question whether future claimed to be ‘Australian’ films can be called that. With production of the next Thor and Alien movies will be produced in Australia. It will bring creatives from the U.S yet still feature Australian locations, and even actors such as Chris Hemsworth who stars in the title role of Thor. Perhaps this is exactly what the Australian film industry needs to happen so that creatives can continue to have their expressive element on Hollywood blockbusters.

Arts Minister Mitch Fifield praised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s efforts in securing the productions.

“The PM has taken a minute-by-minute interest in this venture,” he said.

“He was determined to see that this would be landed, and I think the announcement that we are making today is a concrete example of what the PM means when he talks about the agility of government, the agility of industry, to support innovation and to deliver jobs.”(Borrello, E 2015)

 

Screen Australia 2016, CO-PRODUCTION PROGRAM, viewed 31st October 2016 < http://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/funding-and-support/co-production-program>

Rosen, B 2014, ‘Is the Great Gatsby really an Australian film?’, Daily Telegraph, 30 January, viewed 31st October, < http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/is-the-great-gatsby-really-an-australian-film/story-fni0cwl5-1226813252222>

French, L 2001, ‘Patterns of Production and Policy: The Australian Film Industry in the 1990s’, in I. Craven (ed.) Australian Cinema in the 90s, F Cass, London, UK, pp. 15-36, <https://researchbank.rmit.edu.au/view/rmit:3682/f2006003531.pdf&gt;

Borrello, E 2015, ‘Thor, Alien blockbusters to be made in Australia, Julie Bishop announces, ABC, 22 October, viewed 31st October, < http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-22/thor-alien-blockbusters-to-be-made-in-australia/6876604>

 

 

So Where The Bloody Hell Are Ya?

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Perhaps when audiences of media content are approached and questioned to think about comedy in Australia we’re inclined to think about works that are iconic to our country and have seen success overseas about how the stereotypes we embrace are laughed at and with by a global responder. These shows or movies could include The Castle or the Crocodile Dundee franchise. The way these, particularly Crocodile Dundee, use the accumulated stereotypes Australians are sometimes identified as to convey humour and perhaps a new way to view a culture is seemingly harmless and increases our popularity with places like the USA and UK. However, our humour when it comes to producing content for our own audiences seems to lack the same integrity and morality, and is usually exaggerated to the point of shock laughter.

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Audiences are attracted to cultural products ‘that are close in cultural content and style to the audience’s own culture(s)’ (Straubhaar, 2007)

Movies then create a whole new commercial market with its content that includes new or “best case scenario” footage of countries that have desirable locations. With the example of Crocodile Dundee, the humour showcased by lead protagonist Paul Hogan in mannerisms as well as the way he interacted with the land resonated with people. As well as this, tourism Australia have initiated collaborations with the film and more specifically, Kakadu National Park. This was the site for the majority of the filming of the movie

Crocodile Dundee had an incredibly powerful impact on the destination. The Paul Hogan character and the stunning landscapes of Kakadu combined to present a powerful image that had rarely been seen before on the screen.”Chair of Kakadu Tourism, Rick Allert, said that conditions were perfect a major revival in tourism to the national park. ”

The Crocodile Dundee movies were hugely successful and the scenes filmed in Australia provided wonderful exposure for our country’s raw nature and warm and welcoming people, embodied by Paul Hogan as the likable larrikin Mick Dundee.

Roger Riley is a doctoral student and Carlton Van Doren is a professor at the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University and they’ve released an insight into the growing nature of using film and the comedic interaction with the landscapes within a culture to draw the audiences in the US to a film such as Crocodile Dundee, thus:

“Along with the notion of US tourists travelling to movie sites within the USA the paper suggests that the movie ‘Crocodile Dundee’ increased awareness of Australia’s attractions in the minds of potential travellers. Reasons for attraction potential appear to lie within the motivations of escape, pilgrimage and a quest for untainted environments. These motivations are illuminated for the viewing public through movie story lines offering extended periods of vicarious contact with the destination and its attraction features.”

kakadu-national-park

This builds on the notions of satire VS. Documentary. Obviously some of the scenes and events portrayed in the film had to be amplified for the entertainment aspect, however, witty one liners and uncanny resemblance to outback Australia and particular where I’ve grown up in Central West NSW, these depictions are often resonated in remote areas. We see a lot of exchange students and backpackers choosing  to come and live in remote isolated areas with a passion to experience a “red dirt” mentality. Perhaps an interesting path of research would be to understand if these individuals do infact base their travelling endevours on Media content they’ve been showcased to, and if the ability Australia has developed to “make fun of our sterotypes” in comedic lights in fact helps our culture grow and have an easy, approachable relationship globally.

Tourism Australia 2016, Crocodile Dundee anniversary to boost Kakadu tourism, Tourism Australia: Corporate Website, viewed 31st October 2016, <http://www.tourism.australia.com/news/news-stories-17925.aspx&gt;

Roger W. Riley, Carlton S. Van Doren 1992, Tourism Management: Movies as tourism promotion: A ‘pull’ factor in a ‘push’ locationVolume 13, Issue 3, September 1992, Pages 267-274, Available online 23 April 2002, <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/026151779290098R> 

Moran, A., 2009. TV formats worldwide: localizing global programs . Intellect books. [Chapters 11 and 15]

The Value Of Reality TV – Blog Intro

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When given the term “reality tv” people often assume dramatic, usually scripted and poor quality entertainment, myself included. However, this can be reversed in ways of thinking of the steps involved in making informative and relatable programs given air-time. It’s important to consider that reality TV has grown to 15.5% viewing preference(Nielson, 2011), only behind Drama and sports programming.

A point I’d like to include is the inclusive nature of reality television programs in particular the LGBT community. Detailed in Andy Dehnart’s Tedx talk, 28% of broadcast prime-time TV and 22% of advertising dollars includes some presence of these accepted sexual orientation. He details programs such as The American Family, broadcast in 1973, as the first real inroad for LGBT implications on screen as one of the characters identifies as being gay within the series.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/The_Loud_Family_1973.JPG)

Perhaps this changed the way program producers thought about reality television and how they could start being more inclusive with a growing demographic. Shows today such as Modern Family, I believe could be linked to this movement of a TV show based on a real life family living in contemporary society that allow the inclusion of a gay couple that have decided to adopt a child, which at the moment is a political debate about the rights these people have. Being able to draw connections was another concept addressed, and this can be applied to this area of inclusion as empathy can be showcased to the likable nature of the characters on screen that are associated with the LGBT community, people are able to liken and see potential in characteristics of peoples lifestyle choice to inspire and create bonds.

From these inroads in television demographic, we can see a variety in current shows

Reality tv shows are said to offer the “peak” of realism, which is why I believe the genre is so popular around the world. If audiences can take time out of their days and view content that perhaps would resonate well with them and can escape to a attitude of “in a perfect world”. Whether or not this is a reality show showcasing grand designs of homes such as “The Block”  or a particular skillset for example “X-Factor” or “Australia’s Got Talent”

I’d like to take a turn into what reality TV looks like now, and perhaps the trajectory of the genre. Vlogging or ‘Video Blogging’ are an increasing trend whereby ‘vloggers’ take their audience in a “day in the life” video filming the highlight points from throughout the day. This footage can then normally be uploaded online free of cost. Now, the demographic or culture or any other gate keeping restriction is gone with YouTube not caring what you look like or sexual orientation is, your raw content can be showcased and often audiences are drawn to that, reflecting the views of contemporary media enthusiasts. Thus “YouTube is being used by the media industries, by audiences and amateur producers, and by particular communities of interest, and the ways in which these uses challenge existing ideas about cultural ‘production’ and ‘consumption’.”(J Burgess, J Green 2013)

“First person/Vlogging is the evolution of Reality TV. Its more honest, more truthful, more real than anything that pre-dates it on television”- Casey Neistat winning the 2016 First Person award

 

Moran, A., 2009. TV formats worldwide: localizing global programs. Intellect books. [Chapters 10 and 16]

J Burgess, J Green 2013, ,YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture
Digital Media and Society, John Wiley & Sons, 184 Pages, Available at <