JRNL102 – Assignment 2 – What’s Hidden? – A Mother’s Hidden Pain

Many Australians, at some point in their life will experience a battle with mental illness, and some will be in a position of witnessing a loved one go through this obstacle in life. What’s more alarming, is the feeling of losing a child to a debilitating mental illness, whilst suffering your own mental health issues. The problem with mental health is that it can be completely hidden from the surface of how you would view your friends, family, and people you work with every day.

The next time you are out on the street or shopping centre, look at the people around you.

The check-out guy, who you just bought groceries from, the girl who dances all night at a club, the man with the luxurious house and a 35 foot yacht, docked conveniently at the local jetty, could have a mental illness and you wouldn’t even know.

We sometimes, get so caught up in the material aspects of another person’s life, we forget what can be bubbling beneath the surface of the mask we use, to carry on. We think we have to be titans of superior emotion, yet we can’t. The human mind is too complex for any of us to understand.

The hidden aspect of mental illness, can affect anyone, at any age and regardless of any means or wealth. This was essentially, the story of a sufferer of depression, named Megan. She has been battling anxiety and depressive episodes since her early 40’s. Up until February 2014, Megan had balanced her life, whilst still experiencing depressive episodes. But things suddenly took a devastating effect on her life. Megan’s seventeen year old son, Jack, committed suicide after dealing with hidden hallucinations brought on by manic episodes, connected with schizophrenia.

Megan was quite willing to be open and honest about her condition, as well as talking frankly about her son, but after a few conversations, Megan had cut all contact. She had sent a message, detailing that her images and videos could be used, but she would not take part in anymore of the production.

As a result, this slideshow is a broader context of the hidden aspect of mental illness. Among the images and videos of Megan, audio and portraits are included of other people to emphasise the significance of this silent illness.

  

Storify Report – Five Original Tweets

https://storify.com/bradyjr/multimedia-project-tweets

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Holiday Task: Story Pitch: Assignment 2

My multimedia story is about the hidden phenomenon of mental health and it’s effects on loved ones. I plan to interview a person who suffers from a mental illness and the mother of a son who has committed suicide, due to mental health issues. I would also like to interview a psychologist on how people can hide their afflictions, but if I cannot I will interview the partners of the patients.

The slideshow will include a voice over as well as interview material and the sounds of certain places the characters frequent. I am going to use a sombre tone of music as, mental health still is a hidden issue. One of the subjects, I will take phots will be of her doing mundane, everyday activities as a contrast to how she deals with her pain through everyday life.  I plan to use my phone to take video as well as photos, so I think it will be an amateur approach style. I will try and use black and white throughout the whole slideshow to create that sombre tone.

Image by Rob Brady

Image by Rob Brady

Holiday Task: Short Analysis Report

Both stories, ‘Nuclear Nightmares’ and ‘Suspect America’ are great investigative reports into historical and topical events. But it is ‘Nuclear Nightmares’, that encourages interactivity and is most possibly the best example of convergent Journalism

‘Nuclear Nightmares’, is more or less a photo essay of the Chernobyl disaster. It employs interactivity by using a DIY slideshow and captioning for the photographs runs across the photo if and when you drag the cursor across the photo, which allows you to read behind the story of the photograph if you are interested in it. It both enhances and detracts from the story as, compared to broadcasting a story as you have to be interested in order to find more information on the story, unless it interest you may not want to interact with some of the photos, as they can be very confronting. The project also uses hyperlinks on the information slides to viewer responses and the publisher’s page, Pixel Press. Text and photography are the main pieces of media used, as they present a morbid, yet enlightening aspect to the story. The black and white photography creates the morbid feeling and they photos are captured in such a way that if it were to be filmed it would not capture the same emotion. There does not seem to be any distinct presence on social media, but it does link to UN websites and other humanitarian websites. You could quite easily view this from any smart phone as the way the slides are placed on the website is great for interaction.

On the other hand the ‘Suspect America’ is not a great example of convergent journalism, it is creative in so many ways, but not convergent. It is just a cartoon video on how post 9/11 America has encroached on a citizen’s civil rights. As a video it is entertaining and even though it is not interactive it in no way detracts from the story, it is a fantastic example of creative, investigative reporting. Because it is on a sight like, Vimeo, it allows the ability for people to share and embed the video on their own social media websites and blogs. The graphics, text and voice over used in the video work together well, the narration is timed with the graphic cartoons as well as text to convey a different approach as to how the common run-in with law enforcement about terrorism can be an interchangeable situation for many Americans. Vimeo, like YouTube, has the ability to reach many people across social media. I’ve watched ‘Suspect America’ on my own iPhone and found it is just as entertaining watching it on a mobile device as it was on a PC or laptop.

They are both enlightening reports into historical and current events, but it is ‘Nuclear Nightmares’, that is true convergent journalism and encourages all aspects of creativity and interactivity.

JRNL102 – Assessment 1: The Brass Sound of Youth

Fripps and Fripps' member, Michael Tran, standing in the entrance way of the Brass Monkey.

Fripps and Fripps’ member, Michael Tran, standing in the entrance way of the Brass Monkey.

While many young musicians look for the path to success through quick breaks in music competitions, 18 year-old Keyboard player Michael Tran, and his band Fripps and Fripps are building an audience in the Cronulla jazz bar, The Brass Monkey. From beginning as a supporting act in 2015, they are now head-lining shows at the bar,on a monthly basis.

This is a chance that few budding artists have the opportunity to take advantage of, particularly in their home town. Through excerpts of their music, Michael details the level of involvement the Brass Monkey has had in his musical emergence.

Credit: The background music used in this podcast, is the Australian Band, Sticky Fingers’ song, ‘Dreamland’, performed by Fripps and Fripps.

BCM111: “I’d Like to Thank the Academy”

The American film industry has the been the pioneer of the Global entertainment Industry for the 20th century and most of the 21st century. But, I’ve learnt in my tutorials, and my lectures, that the way I look at the film industry, I put Hollywood to high up on a pedestal. The Oscars, Golden Globes, they are not the epitome of recognition, that I once thought they were.

My research however, has left me angry, tired, annoyed and for the most part upset. Through the use of examples of the films, The Departed and The Castle and extended readings, I will highlight the pros and cons of transnational film and culture.

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Me, after finding out the Departed was a re-make

In his paper, Not Yet the Post-Imperialist Era, scholar Herbert Schiller addresses the term of hybridization in an inter-culture context, “Cultural hybridity is central to glocalization where human agents self-consciously and creatively combine local with global cultural formations in a bid to subvert potentially homogenizing forces associated with cultural imperialism” (Cited in Schaefer Karan 2010, p, 309). This can be a good thing and a bad thing. In the example of The Castle, cultural formations in this Australian classic would have killed the hype. In The Departed, I will have to dissect it further as it has good and bad qualities in relation to transnational film.

Last semester I was loathing after my weekly topic in BCM 112 about Trans-media Narratives (Mitew 2015), revealed to me that my beloved film, The Departed, is a re-make of a Hong Kong film called, Infernal Affairs. This video, depicts both of the penultimate rooftop scenes in The Departed and Infernal Affairs, where both informants find each other.

As you can see both scenes are extremely compelling, but are remarkably different in terms of script writing. Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, appeals to Western viewers, as the dialogue in the scene emphasises violence and coarse language. The original Hong Kong version’s dialogue is more eloquent as Asian audiences aren’t attracted to movies specifically for these themes, like Western audiences are. This is an example of Hollywood appropriating dialogue to appeal to Western audiences.0a7

On the bottom of the world you have, The Castle. In Schafer and Karan’s paper, ‘Problematizing Chindia’, they put forward the idea that mixing global and local elements are the reasons many Hollywood films attract audiences. But the castle doesn’t have to be. It is quintessentially Australian. Middle-class, Melbourne family man and typical Aussie bloke, Darryl Kerrigan.

My BCM 111 tutor, Charlotte Frew, was telling my class that coming from an English background, watching The Castle was not appealing, because it is a heavily appropriated Australian film. Owning your own land, dense city living and our unique accent are all aspects and goals that are part of Australian ideals.

I’m not sure if I entirely understood this week’s topic, but I think my examples highlight the the ever present phenomenon of trans-national film. Martin Scorsese wins an Academy award for a violent and foul mouthed remake of an already perfect Hong Kong Film and maybe Australian films have too many authentic themes to be re-made by Hollywood?

References

  • Schiller, H 1991, ‘Critical Studies in Mass Communication: Not Yet the post imperialist era’, vol. 8, no. 1, cited in Schaefer and Karan 2010
  •  Schaefer, D & Karan, K 2010, ‘Problematizing Chindia: Hybridity and Bollywoodization of popular Indian cinema in global films, Global Media and Communication, vol. 6, no. 3, p. 309-316
  • Mitew, T 2015, Transmedia Narratives, Prezi Mind Map, BCM 112, University of Wollongong, viewed 20 April 2015
  • Leonardo Dicaprio Meme – http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/709840-leonardo-dicaprio-gets-snubbed-by-oscar
  • The Departed Gif – http://www.gifsmile.com/the-departed-gifs
  • mangoz441 2013, Infernal Affairs vs. The Departed (rooftop scene), YouTube Video, 8 September, viewed 26 August 2015 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJhixh0FpN0&gt;