Be patient, Better days are coming for the marketing of Australian content

Is it time to give up on Australian content?

When I first began this course, I said that I didn’t actually ‘trust’ Australian content and I would more often than not, search for reviews of an Australian film before I even considered watching it. Now, I’ve opened my mind to the development of Australian content, as it is obvious that we have come a long way from our ‘Boom & Bust’ period (Burns, A & Eltham, B 2010) of Crocodile Dundee and low budget ‘ocker sex comedies’ (Middlemost, R 2017). Australia produces not only impeccable actors but incredible writers as well, the production of our content is looking bright, it’s our distribution techniques and reaching the audience that we need to worry about.

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‘Just Keep Swimming!’ (Finding Nemo, 2003). Maybe Australian content producers should listen to Dory?

This session has completely flipped my preconcieved ideas of Australian content, now of which I greet with open arms. Personally, I believe that the minds of domestic viewers would be changed in regards to Australian content if it were more accessible to viewers. It’s no secret that viewers are moving their way onto streaming services such as Netflix and Stan. ‘More and more, Australians are either complementing or replacing their consumption of live broadcast TV with streamed content.’ (Roy Morgan Research, 2013).

Home grown Australian films aren’t distributed onto as many screens as their international counterparts. If you wanted to view The Babadook in 2014, you would have had to find one of the 13 art house screens that were blessed with the psychological thriller. The reality of one of the 13 screens being within a reasonable distance is ridiculous, we as a nation need to have more faith in our home grown content.

As stated by Screen Australia in 2011, ’79 per cent of people agreed (32 per cent strongly) that Australian stories are vital for contributing to our sense of Australian national identity; while 75 per cent agreed (35 per cent strongly) that they would miss the Australian film and television industry if it ceased to exist.’ Granted it has been 7 years since this was written, however I would like to believe its true.

Screen Australia, 2015, Australian audiences are watching online

According to this infograph from Screen Australia, it displays that one of the main ‘traditional methods’ that viewers use to discover new content is ‘word of mouth’. This could be detrimental to Australian production as the preconcieved views of Australian content is isn’t good, which is more than likely what would be discussed.

It isn’t the Australian content that is ‘broken’ per say, its the way in which we distribute and market our content. ‘As producers seek new ways to reach the sought-after youth audience in particular, some have seized upon mobile phones as offering a renewed possibility of delivering product for the ‘on the go’ market.'(de Roeper, J & Luckman, S 2009, pp.8). Taking this into consideration, Australian producers know how to market to their target market and at a reduced cost, they just aren’t giving marketing and distribution the time for it to work efficiently with the audiences.

Overall, we’ll still have the classic first date at the cinema and my family will still gather around the television to watch My Kitchen Rules. It isn’t that we should give up on Australian content, it’s that we need to be patient with the development of distribution and marketing in order for Australian films to reach their full potential, both in the box office and with audiences.

References

Burns, A and Eltham, B 2010 “Boom and Bust in Australian Screen Policy: 10BA, the Film Finance Corporation and Hollywood’s ‘race to the bottom’”. Media International Australia. August 2010, No. 136, p 103-118.

Screen Australia, 2015, Australian audiences are watching online, Screen Australia, viewed 29th January 2018 <https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/infographics/australian-audiences-are-watching-online&gt;

 

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Why do we have such strong assumptions on Australian media

What are the key assumptions surrounding the production of Australian content?

Being an Australian, we are always compared to the televised streotypes that impinge on our culture and it seems that our culture is the most exaggerated. Movies such as Crocodile Dundee, while a comedy film, has not stopped foreign people asking questions (to myself)  like ‘Do you ride kangaroos to school?’ and statements like ‘Throw a shrimp on the barbie!’

 

While kangaroos are spotted regularly in many Australian suburbs and country towns, and the majority of Australians do refer to barbeques as ‘barbie’, it’s these stereotypes that have resulted in the Australian audience to somewhat fear Australian content. It’s well known that Australian produced content doesn’t produce as much revenue as the Hollywood blockbusters do, but what’s shocking is that it’s Australian’s who are the least supportive audience of Australian content than other cultures. Screen Australia state that Australian films and Co-Produced films had a 1.9% total in the Australian box office in 2016. (Buena Vista films taking in 26.3% market share in 2016)

According to an article written by Karl Quinn (2014) of the Sydney Morning Heraldhomegrown, Australian films accounted for less than 3% in the domestic box office in 2014. However, with our country producing more rising stars such as Margot Robbie and the Hemsworth brothers, Australian films and becoming more appealing to audiences both domestic and international, with a 2.7% increase in Australian box office and admissions in 2016 according to Screen AustraliaWith this being said, the Australian film industry is renowned for its ‘boom or bust’ mentality. Many Australians’ feel that Australian produced films are far more serious than their American or English counterparts. Australian films are either very serious in the way that they are portraying Australian history such as the film ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ (2002) or provide light-hearted comedy and strongly influence the stereotypes that Australians’ have grown to dislike, such as the television series ‘Housos’ (2011-2013). Both of these examples were popular in their own way and managed to attract a different audience from the Australian public.

One of the main assumptions is that Australian content just ‘isn’t good’ and it is stated by Mark Ryan (2014) that ‘Australian audience are inclined to watch films in a way that has almost no relationship to the national agenda or the general quest for a national cultural identity in the cinema.’ In relation to this quote, I believe that it is this mindset instilled in the Australian audiences minds that made films such as Peter Pan (2003) which was filmed on the Gold Coast, Queensland and Lion (2016) so successful among the Australian audience. However, not many know that these are Australian produced films.

To conclude this post, I’ll leave with my own thoughts and assumptions on Australian produced media. Personally, I believe that I give foreign films and television more of a chance than I do Australia media content of which after researching, I want to give more of a chance.

References

Quinn K, 2014, ‘Why wont we watch Australian films?,’ The Sydney Morning Herald, 26th October, viewedDecemer 18th 2017, <http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/movies/why-wont-we-watch-australian-films-20141024-11bhia.ht ml>

Ryan M, 2014, A Silver Bullet for Australian Cinema? Genre Movies and the Audience Debate, Studies in Australasian Cinema, vol.6, iss. 2, pp.141-157

Screen Australia (2016), Cinema Industry Trends Gross Box Office and Admissions, Screen Australia, viewed December 12th 2017, <https://www.screenaustralia.gov.au/fact-finders/cinema/industry-trends/box-office&gt;

 

 

 

Taken for Granted – Soundscope

When thinking about where i’m from in terms of sound, I found it incredibly difficult to get off the ground so to speak in what I wanted to do for this assessment. It’s hard to determine what resonates with you in terms of sounds other than noise. It wasn’t until a close family member was admitted to hospital not long ago that I decided what I wanted to do. ‘Taken For Granted’ is a sound piece based on how we can enjoy all of the things life has to offer, but still knowing that it can all go wrong. We’re all from happiness, this piece includes sounds of my dog playing, walking through nature, rainfall and the chitter chatter of friends in a public area. All whilst having the beeping of a hospital machine in the background. I hope everyone enjoys this piece!

For this piece, I drew inspiration from a few sources:

Podcasts – By Design <http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bydesign/&gt;

System of Survival – <https://soundcloud.com/system-of-survival&gt;

Lars Lentz – <https://soundcloud.com/lars-lentz/a-spring-thunderstorm-nature&gt;

Disclaimer (My mum is well, was just a scare :))

Research update – If only travelling was free!

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(theodysseyonline.com)

Hi Everyone!

My research project has taken a different turn since I last updated everyone. Before it was, ‘Why aren’t Australian domestic students travelling abroad during their time at univerisity?’ I’m now focusing more on whether it is our financial situation as to why students do not travel domestically or abroad during our studies and whether or not our relationships are also a contributing factor. So basically; ‘Is it our financial positions and relationships stopping students from travelling whilst at University?’. 

Many people do wish to travel overseas during their time at university but many also wish to remain at home and gain life experience which could inlcude saving to buy a home with their partner or starting their career. Which is perfectly fine! I’m a fan of long term plans!

After recieving 80 survey respondants (So far) through the social media platforms facebook and twitter, I found people were more likely to respond when it was something that they were interested in. The majority of my survey respondants were people who have already travelled whilst being at university as opposed to students who have not. BCM212 graph

I also found that when trying to recruit survey responders, people were more likely to respond when I posted in a light-hearted manner. Making sure to make others feel like they weren’t forced to take my survey and that they were more helping out. (Which you certainly were)

BCM212tweets

BCM212 facebook

Interviewing people is definitely a learnt skill, I found it rather difficult to remain on topic because I would ask questions from their responses or I would relate their response back to my own experience. After relaying the interview in my notes I found that how I had interviewed was to my advantage as the interviewee was more comfortable with how I was relating to their answers of which it allowed them to open up more to me.

That’s where i’m up to at the moment with my research escapade!

Until next time

-K

(if you wish to complete my survey, and are an Australian domestic student, here’s the link! – )

 

 

 

The Truth of Curiosity

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Growing up, I had always used the word ‘curiosity’ and ‘curious’ to get answers from anyone and everyone. Whether it was to my mother, wondering what was for dinner or whether it was a vague yet random question to one of my peers or teachers, completely unrelated to the topic being discussed. In saying this, I am not one to try new and different foods to aid curiosity. I have always been a curious person, I just always manage to showcase different levels of curiosity when it comes to certain things. If you were to ask me what makes me curious before I started my degree, I’d respond with something vague like ‘Not knowing whether or not dogs know that they are dogs’. However, now being in the middle of my degree I am able to explore the depths of my curiosity further as more and more questions are being put forward to me.

Last semester, one of my lecturers stated ‘The truth is subjective until proven absolute’. I believe that this statement has stuck in my mind as it wants me to satisfy my curiosity which means fully understanding subjective and absolute truths. There is an issue with this however, when studying a degree that involves many different theories, it is solely up to your own mind and conscience on which theory you want to believe. Whether it be Sigmund Freud’s ‘Psyche’ theory based around the human mind and body’s ‘Conscious, preconcsious and unconscious’ responses and instincts or whether it be the philosophies about art such as the epicurean and educational. These all depend on the beliefs and morals of each individual.

I believe that curiosity drives many to wanting to know more things about the world and to want to discover new things. That’s why i think many people travel, they’re curious about what the world has to offer. For someone to not feel curiosity on a daily basis is to not strive for more knowledge.

Its the REMIX to ignition

To many of us music lovers, we sometimes love the remixed version of a song better than the original. Or we may not even know the original even exists. Never the less, remix culture is a strong commodity within the media community.

There are many YouTube videos on the internet that go through the step by step process of how artists remixed various different sounds and songs to create their own song. For example, artist The prodigy’s song ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ is a remix of many songs. These are all combined together to create a unique sound. This video is an example of the creation of the remix that is this song.

Meme’s are also an example of ‘Remix’ within today’s society. These memes are created from normal photos to then add text to create a whole new meaning. One of the most popular memes on the internet is the photo of Jean Wilder as Willy Wonka:

Willy Wonka Meme

If you search ‘Willy Wonka meme’ in Google Images, this is what comes up and more. However, are remixes of songs and creating memes infringing copyright? When artists Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams released their song ‘Blurred Lines’ in 2013, it became an instant hit. Climbing the iTunes charts quickly to number 1, however the more times that this summer hit was played on the radio, Marvin Gaye had decided to sue both Thicke and Williams for copyright. Marvin Gaye and his family believed that ‘Blurred Lines’ was very similar to his song ‘Got to Give it up’. However, when referring to the copyright act involving songs, one can only be legible to sue if the other song copied lyrics or snippets of the music, Gaye claimed that ‘Blurred Lines’ had the same ‘vibe’ as his song. In saying this, your initial reaction would be ‘Oh so, Robin Thicke and Pharrell won the case’, WRONG.

The jury sided with Marvin Gaye as they believed it infringed copyright due to similar vibe. This case is further elaborated in this article.

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References

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/blurred-lines-case-music-copyright-2015-12

Does it matter who owns the media

Does it matter who owns the media? Yes, it does matter.

Society today is obsessed with knowing what is going on around the world. Collectively we all like to know how other countries are progressing politically and we like to know of anything that should possibly worry us. The majority of people know that it is Fairfax that owns the majority of news media such as local newspapers and the Daily Telegraph. The matter of who owns the media is important to the public because if it were all owned by the one person or company, the articles produced are more than likely going to be subject to bias. However, just because the media isn’t specifically owned by the own company or person, doesn’t mean that news articles are not subject to bias. Prime Minister Robert Menzies went to Federal Parliament in order to stop a British company from buying out 4 radio stations, it was his belief that such a strong tool for propaganda shouldn’t fall into foreign hands. He also believed that this form of media shouldn’t fall into the hands of a special interest group that are narrow minded and more likely to produce biased articles. It is writing an article that is neutral so that both sides of an argument has been discussed and they are neutralised in order for the audience to devise their own opinion of the issue is what makes an article successful. It matters who owns the media because without the variation and acknowledging fact versus opinion within an article, Australia would all have the same view as opposed to devising their own opinion on the matter.

For example, whenever it comes time to vote, newspapers tend to publish stories that make the party that they’re voting for look better than the other. Newspapers will also post stories for the opposite parties which can hinder their reputation. A prime example of this is when it came to the election in 2014 between Rudd and Abbott, the Daily telegraph posted newspaper headlines in order to make Abbott look like the better option for parliament against Rudd:

The market is too narrow for newspapers to play to the centre ground, it’s the outrageous headlines such as ‘Kick this mob out!’ With a photo of Kevin Rudd and headlines like ‘Australia Needs Tony!’ With a photo of Tony Abbott that catches the audiences eye. Headlines like ‘liberal and labor: both beneficial’ aren’t going to make the audience want to read the article because they have already formulated their opinion and are more than likely not going to agree to anything that the opposition has to say. However if the headline were to relate to a robbery or a plane crash with a neutral slogan, the audience is more likely to read the article due to the fact that they have no knowledge of the story.

Example

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Overall, it matters who owns the media because the public needs to learn about the events happening around the world but need to do so without the excessive amount of bias that would come if there were only to be one man or company owning the media.

-Kathryn

References

http://www.crikey.com.au/2007/06/26/crikey-bias-o-meter-the-newspapers/

http://theconversation.com/malcolm-fraser-does-it-matter-who-owns-our-papers-yes-it-does-7738

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/Media-Bias-Is-Real-Finds-UCLA-6664