Research your ‘HERO’

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  • Who is your hero?

Casey Neistat

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  • Describe his/ her practice. What is the ‘shape’ of this practice?

Filmmaker – creative that started out making short videos that interested him using very simple and affordable equipment and software. Wrote and starred in his own tv show and sold it to HBO. He was involved in making/producing/editing some feature films, before returning to short videos through YouTube.

Internet stardom when he started ‘vlogging’ everyday and posting it to YouTube. This grew his YouTube channel and helped support his company ‘BEME’, which he runs as a technology based industry. Recently, he sold this to CNN and does work for them as well as continues his own channel posting videos of random events or topics close to him


  • How is he/she situated in his/her field?

Casey Neistat is a well-regarded filmmaker and successful in that he produced content for some of the biggest names in tv such as HBO, as well as endorsements for NIKE, all whilst raising awareness and trending viral videos such as ‘Bike Lanes’. His field today, I would place him as an influential YouTuber. He has a very creditable subscription list and is able to collaborate with some ‘famous’ creatives. He became influential through his unique style and ability to continue to produce original content that was still in the style of a ‘vlog’ that encouraged his followers to pump out their stories. His interaction with the audience and perhaps his generosity have contributed to his influence as well. I think his ability to resonate as an ‘everyday’ guy and his inclusion of his interactions with others in his video is notable, in that he doesn’t edit out content such as fans coming to say hi to him. His key points that have also contributed to his success is his general personality, worldview, unparalleled motivation and even to some extent his recklessness.

  • Are his/her influential in this field? How did they become influential?
  • What is his/her contribution?
  • Changed the way creatives are thought about in a mainstream society. YouTubers that create content up until recently weren’t considered careers or taken seriously by some members of society. He challenges this mindset saying that now there are so many ways to create something meaningful for the individual, and with platforms such as YouTube that allow sharing to be free, anyone with a story can potentially quit the day job. Seen here:

  • What is his/her working methods?


  • Casey for his vlogs,  uses a range of filming devices and techniques to create montages and quick cuts that are a video diary entry into the day. Film ranges from footage with his SLR cameras, phone, drone and also found footage from the past. It’s this interaction between the tools he uses I think that’s unique and why he’s inspirational to me. The music is normally a “Brooklyn” styled theme with upbeat tempos for action filled content. He uses materialistic transitions and ways to explain his works. Normally with items very affordable and easy to find, like cardboard cut outs and permanent marker pen drawings. Hand-held devices and having himself as the subject for the narrative is something he’s mastered and made popular with gorilla type filming and shaky footage creating his aesthetic.


  • Does he/she have any advice?

– “If you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you’re doing it wrong”

  • Describe his/ her practice/ work.

– i believe Casey Neistat began his career with a hybrid mix of ‘gonzo journalism, guerilla filmmaking and cinema verite. He’s captured these elements working in a professional practise and then applied them to his daily vlogs. Cinema Verite often makes its way into the films or apart of the story, and Neistat takes this further by always showcasing his equipment and his work area giving them their own stigma in the videos he produces. Each of the devices he shoots with have it’s own character, his drones have a certain aesthetic or feeling behind them, to when he films on his iPhone that’s raw and seemingly unedited in the process.

– Casey neistat brought an element of his own craft and his professionalism to a sub genre in daily vlogging that was originally prompted at amateurs. Daily vlogs have become so popular due to their element of amateur that defines them “real”. Casey once said at an acceptance speech that “YouTubing or vlogging is the closest thing to or the evolution of reality tv.

  • Find out more about them: What are his/ her skills started with? What may be some of their failures? What are some of the hurdles they overcame (or not)? How has he/ she contributed to his/ her field?
  • How do you relate to this core value?

– His core value sits very similar to the right way to approach this class and definitely this degree. If more content creatives were to just start with whatever they could get their hands on at the time and post about what they’re passionate about then we’d start seeing the fears of work after study start to disappear. We’d start to build portfolios and this resonates with me, as I love to document new things and try new things and see where the creation leads to. My practise at the moment is that I want to work in a field using drone technology to encourage people to interact with them and push the boundaries of what kind of uses they hold, whether it be creative or assistance or even artistic. Some of the motivation he carries and advice he gives on cracking this field isn’t a guide that everyone should follow, it’s inspiration based on his experience. His core values are simple in that “getting the shot” is the most important part to tell a story. His viral sensations that escalated his career we both shot on devices he could afford at the time, a camcorder and a mobile phone.

Another value that I have that’s associated with a University level, is that my proof reading and my editing of text and ‘essays’ are very poor. I have tried to improve these but I’ve come to a mindset and it’s perhaps very basic but when I editing or proof read, I continuously change my mind and re-write sections in which the original/raw idea is lost and I’ve found often that this is the most valuable piece I had. So i’m more likely to suffer the poor result for grammer and punctuality and leave the interesting views or topics I’ve covered. I think this kind of subjective view means that I can empathise with alot of Casey’s world views and life advice. Perhaps something that draws me into his content.

  • What are his/her working methods? How does he/she work? (e.g. Find out what his/her workplace/ workshop might look like. Does he/she work with other people? Who are the people she/he works with?)

– His studio is where he works the most that’s a building in New York City. It houses his famous office, as well as a team of employees for his company BEME. He works throughout the day and carries a variety of cameras to document this. As he works for himself, it allows him to showcase a 7-8min video of what he did that day, yet somehow he can make some of the more simple things we do everyday seem interesting, through a variety of camera angles and editing skill.

Regulating Media

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YouTube is a great platform for sharing media content with a huge worldwide audience. The service continues to be a site where not only celebrities have a huge following with their video content, but also, we’re seeing more and more “everyday” individuals create a massive following, some big enough to earn an income based on their regular uploads. This can be associated with viral cultures that grab niche audiences and appeal to them with sharing, liking and view counts. YouTube maintains a privacy policy showcased;

“You understand that when using the Service, you will be exposed to Content from a variety of sources, and that YouTube is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to such Content. You further understand and acknowledge that you may be exposed to Content that is inaccurate, offensive, indecent, or objectionable, and you agree to waive, and hereby do waive, any legal or equitable rights or remedies you have or may have against YouTube with respect thereto, and, to the extent permitted by applicable law, agree to indemnify and hold harmless YouTube, its owners, operators, affiliates, licensors, and licensees to the fullest extent allowed by law regarding all matters related to your use of the Service.” 


Something that I’ve encountered over my years of studies creating and publishing content on YouTube is their policies around copyright and how these can affect the showcase of the video being released. Many videos of mine have a copyright viewing restriction (usually banned in some countries) or a monetization policy whereby the video can’t be used commercially (or I can’t get paid for the video work) and also advertisements may appear throughout the video. This is all because I’ve used music that doesn’t fall under a creative commons license and it copyrighted for use without permission.


Above is seen how an instance of media regulation was encountered by me, however I’m not against the idea of protecting someones intellectual property, I just believe if it’s stated within the video that it’s not for commercial use, showcases the artist and maybe a link to where to buy their music should be sufficient. A YouTube channel NoCopyrightSounds allows for this with the music credit to be displayed in the ‘About’ section of the content. This service is really useful for academics creating an aesthetic video and sharing works of others.

The spatial control this has on video distribution is limiting some creatives to express their works, and sometimes accidental policy by the YouTube algorithm can see content removed. One prime example where common sense hasn’t prevailed, is a video in Russia where a dashboard cam captured a meteor penetrating the earth, however,   Google’s “Content ID system automatically filters videos for music”, and with this particular video, Leona Lewis’ song “Bleeding love” (which is almost inaudible) was captured, forcing the content to be unavailable in Germany. (The Verge, 2013)

This is an example of the controlling nature of media spaces and the damaging effects it can have on natural events being captured in a spare of the moment way. Built on from using music for aesthetic purpose, this video has no clear intention of piracy, it’s mere consequence.

Personal Devices in Public Space

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This week I’m going to focus on the use of personal devices and capturing moments within photography and the ethics regarding usage both personally and commercially. I’ve decided to attack this from a slightly different angle and apply it to research I’ve been carrying out over the past year and a half; drone footage.


This pamphlet is something users get when purchasing a commercial drone aircraft as a guideline to keep the public safe. This is a useful tool for safety and generalised public welfare but this area of public device usage in Australia is still a huge grey area. When looking at “Arts + Law Information Sheet: Street Photographers RIght” is refers back to a commerical gain for the individual rather than a privacy statement, thus ”

“The regulation of photos is primarily directed to commercial photography and disruptive photographic activities.”

With this in mind I went to a soccer field oval so that I could hover over the empty public space and yet still grab the photographs of my close friend Sonny Nguyen skating around an empty car-park. What was interesting however was his girlfriend that was on her smart phone enabling this to happen. As i would pilot the drone, she had to press stop and start recording to which I captured below:


I integrated these brochure policies as well as a risk assessment of the area in terms of trees, buildings and population numbers. I then had a duty of care to those that were in attendance with me.

Devices such as this drone I’ve custom built and integrated an external camera, need devices we use like smart phones and wireless connectivity to create the content produced with these tools like 360 degree video available today! I think an incredible aesthetic is captured in this photo that creates a sense of narrative into whats happening. Multiple producers with the subject able to concentrate on the task performed.

Head over to my YouTube Channel to see the finished video!


Custom Drone Build w/ 360 Camera

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rms drone screenshot

Custom Drone Build w/ 360 Camera Prezi Here

Contextual Essay

Looking at Drones was something I initially wanted to carry into a Cyber cultural extension from their agricultural usage. I wanted to link them to human capacity and challenge the speculative narratives they carried within a local context of my hometown in relatively small rural area. General awareness of their emergence was little and therefore creating a disadvantaged implementation into the corporate sector to perhaps improve a fast-changing technological shift, especially in government workspaces.

As an aim or goal for this digital artefact I wanted to explore ways a quadcopter fitted with a 360-degree video camera could address the ways prevalent culverts (or drainage pipes under the roads) could be inspected, observed and surveyed better and most importantly safer for less costing and less time taken to do so. The artefact was to build a custom drone that hasn’t yet been seen or released in the commercial market that would be something the Roads and Maritime Services would consider innovative and consider implementing into their regular workspaces. The drone has been trialled for observation of large bridges, but not the culvert area, which is where I focussed on. The device isn’t a finished product ready for testing. However, I plan to continue working on it and taking it into future classes, projects and workspaces whilst I continually build on the expertise it’s started giving me. The drone will hover in the air, however the controls are yet to be properly configured which will be done by Rise Above Solutions (an Australian Based Drone expert dealer and service provider) along with a safety inspection in terms of motors, Lipo batteries and propellers. This is so that when the remote control is ready for take-off no unexpected breakages arise leading to an unsafe environment for those around. Once this is completed further testing and flights can be recorded.

Though the artefact isn’t complete, the achievements and overall skillset it’s proven is something that has grabbed my full attention. Firstly, the expertise I’ve gained from this build is amazing and something I’m proud of. YouTube was a great tool that I’ve used and taught myself how to use and build electronics, from soldering wires, to attachments of motors, to battery testing. Then the hardware of the cameras I’ve touched on stitching software and how it can be a timely process, GoPro usage was something I’ve learn new skills in and created other videos of the things that interest me. The lights and switch soldering to the battery was something I learnt from the original soldering tutorials as well as flight expertise, knowing how much thrust etc. to give the drone when wanted to pan or fly forwards, as well as knowing processes into calibrating a remote control, and how this is a pivotal step when buying a universal remote.

Lastly, this project has allowed a whole new aspect of networking. I’ve gained contacts within Rise Above Solutions that I’ll be able to meet with and discuss options for future builds including Rafi Mehdi, the director of the company whose detailed he’d be happy to help in future. Douglas Simkin, UOW tutor, has also detailed of his friends that would be interested in looking at the build whom he’s acquaintances with. Then there’s those I am working with at the RMS, in terms of project managers, Regional Area Managers, and Board members whom I’m giving a presentation to in Bathurst on the 17th June as a progress report on the drone project. All of these are exciting and something I put towards future career prospects. This is due to having thinking about the cybernetic relationship with the drone, the pilot, the camera lens, and the new “bubble” perspective 360 video allows users to think about new possibilities within surveillance.


N, Wolchover 2012, What if Humans had Eagle Vision?, Live Science, viewed 18th April 2016, <;

Rothstein, A 2011, Drone Ethnography, Rhizome, Blog, 20 July Viewed 13th April 2016, <>

Suchman, L. 2009, Connections: the double interface and constructing the cyborg body. 1st ed. ebook MIT OpenCourseWare, p.15. viewed 22 April 2016, Available at: <;

Chris Moore, 2016, #dronestories, prezi lecture, DIGC335, University of Wollongong, 3rd May 2016, viewed 5th May 2016, <;

Chris Moore, 2016, Cybercultures Week Two 2016 (w.2), Prezi lecture, DIGC335, University of Wollongong, 8th March 2016, viewed 24th April 2016, <;

Small UAV coalition 2014, About us/Current Rules, Small Uav Coalition, viewed April 30th 2016, <;

Fredrick Lardinois 2015, Talking Drones With 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson, Techcrunch, Viewed 30th April 2016, <;

Konstantin Kakaes 2015, Drone Regulation – Privacy and Property rights, PDF, New America, Chapter 3, viewed 2nd May 2016, <;

Street Insider, 2016, 360fly Partners with Livit to Offer First Live Streaming Platform for Mobile Virtual Reality, Street Insider, viewed 1st June 2016, <;

Ballesteros, A 2014, DJI F450 Quadcopter Assembly, online video, 30 March, YouTube, viewed April 10th 2016, <;

MultiRotors, M 2014, How to Build the DJI F450 Flamwheel Drone With Naza Flight Controller and DT7 Radio, Online Video, 18th April, YouTube, viewed april 12th 2016, <;

360fly Support, 360Fly and Livit Team Up to Offer live Streaming of 360 degree video, 360Fly, viewed 1st June 2016, <;

Parrot Mini Drones, Maclane Airborne Night Drone,, viewed 1 June 2016, <;



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These videos we a visual representation of the parking situation students at the University of Wollongong face if they decide to drive and park on campus. The day in the life video was a little project we thought would attract the attention of students on social media by generating a humorous and relatable video that would create word of mouth and stimulate discussion around the topic. We decided to film and actual search for parking before a class to add some authenticity to it. We showcased struggles people have with finding a spot in free zones, metered, and paid ticket parking as well as looking for people to take their leaving spot, asking around for carpool and how last resorts often stimulates anger as parks resort to a long way from main campus. This video aggregated content hoping to long tail effect the Facebook page and invite people to think they’re not alone in the situation.

The Vox pop was a primary research tool which we were able to ask students of UOW to voice their experiences, opinions and ideas about the parking dilemmas they’re faced with individually, that later showcased as the majority of the position on the topic. Another page promoter, this video allowed people to openly voice their opinions without people taking down their comments and suggestions, but rather publish them and analyse them.

Firstly, people were asked, describe UOW parking for them individually. From the results we saw the main talking points discussed were the price of parking being too expensive for a university student budget, especially P1. Some students also detailed that they were forced to park on the surrounding suburban streets, often away from campus resulting in them being late and/or exhausted mentally and physically for their day ahead. Another was that a big thing affecting uni was the cheating methods of carpool. Finding last minute carpool help when they didn’t have enough people for traditional carpool entry, vice-versa getting pulled out of class themselves to help in need friends who are late and need the convenience of carpool parking. Parking is “one of the biggest struggles of going to university” one student was quoted on saying.

Next we questioned “how long did it take you to find a park today?” hoping to get some reaction content, rather than generalised comments on time periods. We had a response of approximately 20-45mins taken for our surveyed group to find a park at Uni on that day. One result quoting a 45min search for a park, added that she also lived only 5mins away. Another quantitative response was that students get to uni at around 8:30am just to find a park regardless of their start times upwards of 10:30am.

Lastly, we asked them to voice their suggestions that had a lot of overlap but were taken on bored none-the-less. More parking was an obvious one, however some went into more detail, such as better uses of space. This elaborated into the suggestion of P4 being completely utilized for carpooling or general carpool expansion. Multi-story car parks were said to be a good idea and were encouraged for future renovations. A monetarization of people parking and making sure they are doing so correctly that would mean no space is wasted was also something that people want to see improved at UOW. The cost was another point made, that current prices should be reduced to accommodate a university students budget as well as students being able to have access to purchasing their own permits similar to staff if they could. Budgeting the university’s spending was an interesting find, with the re-branding of UOW corporate image being a hot topic with students who think the funds could be pointed at carpark issues.

Lastly, we had a discussion off camera with a university staff member who didn’t wish to be identified who suggested that the university provided a financial incentive for staff to park at home. Basically, the uni would pay willing staff to keep their car at home and take public transport, even if it’s just the cost of the permits that they have to buy anyway would be enough. This way, the majority of the car spaces taken by staff permit holders would be free for students. An interesting viewpoint to go amongst our results.

Cyborg Beast 3D Printed Prosthetic Part 4

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Completion! My digital artefact of a 3D Printed prosthetic has been constructed and as apart of the process I’ve filmed the assembly to show how I was able to combine my skills learnt in BCM112 and my own research to create a working Cyborg Beast.

Total time to print was around two and a half hours, which included a broken gauntlet (therefore a reprint in white) and sourcing all the materials needed to assemble it. To buy the screws and other materials needed for this cost me around $35 in total and the uni provided the 3D Printed parts.

Would like to plug the 3D Printing Workshops run at the University Of Wollongong, as a lot of my knowledge came from Owen in those classes. Also to the BCM112 staff Chris and Ted for helping me whenever I needed! Stay tuned for a final lighter side video encompassing the prosthesis!

Citizen Journalism

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Citizen Journalism or often referred to as “user-generated” content or Participatory Media are providing much of the news content we view today in mainstream media or just through our own sources we use such as social media. It is described as ” The  act of a citizen, or group of citizens, playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing and disseminating news and information.” 

Upon discussion, citizen journalism is mostly not professional, which refers to legacy media examples (Print, TV, Radio). Platforms in which user-generated content is often expressed are blog posts, tweets, YouTube videos or Podcasts that all have no cost of entry and generally no gatekeepers (editors, owners, policies).

I’d like to explore how citizen journalism can often deliver raw and unedited footage that capture iconic images and emotion that cannot be mediated therefore televised. I’ve chosen the 9/11 events and the above video showcases the fear and terror from the attacks, with unfiltered themes of corruption and conspiracy throughout as well as tragic ignorance. The next video is inside the World Trade Centre moments before it collapsed, somewhere off limits to professional journalists.