Week 6: Social Media and Your Career

The topic for this week revolves around social media and professionalism, with the lecture delving into the realm of celebrity life within social media (SAE_CIU_OverviewofIndustry & Institute, 2015).

 

A few surprising and interesting ideas have come up within the lecture and the weeks tutorial. The first of these are the theories around how celebrity status is forged within the online community.  A video entitled “This is Phil Fish” introduces a former video game developer and his unfortunate rise from unknown indie creative to hated subculture figure (Innuendo Studios, 2014).

 

It was explained within the duration of the video that a celebrity online is often one which becomes a symbol for many things. It becomes obvious that the celebrity status of Phil Fish is largely due to what he has come to represents rather than the sum of his character.

This idea has led me to wonder further about appropriate conduct online. Negativity appears to be a relatively safe practice when someone is anonymous and unknown in forums and comment sections. In contrast negativity when well known can ruin a career very quickly.

Coming back to the unfortunate example of Phil Fish, it would seem that once a person has become infamous, the attention that this person receives grows at an alarming rate. To add to this, a picture is painted from  mistakes and negativity while anything that does not fit this negative profile is conveniently left out by media and anonymous members of the public.

It would seem that celebrities such as Phil Fish are simply created by the public to become the emotional outlet to relieve the most current disappointments of the collective online community.

The lesson I have taken from this has been to be cautious of what I choose to discuss and comment on in any social media context. Further more, I feel that developing a sense of diplomacy would improve professionalism when using social media. A valuable thing to remember on top of this is that honesty in an online persona helps greatly in developing a professional presence online, displaying work which is accompanied by a void where personality should be is indeed damaging.

 

 

 

References

Innuendo Studios (2014, June 16). This is Phil Fish Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmTUW-owa2w

SAE_CIU_OverviewofIndustry, & Institute, S. C. (2015, March 9). Week 6: Social media and your career — self-directed practitioners. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-6-social-media-and-your-career-21ec52b2b003#.seyemmcyr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 5: Inclusive Design

This weeks lecture revolved around the concepts of inclusive design and how a creative project can reach a wider audience. Another part of inclusive design is the inclusion of a wide variety of demographic within a project team (SAE_CIU_OverviewofIndustry & Institute, 2015).

Something I have taken from this weeks topic is the reasoning that a diverse creative team results in a project that can be enjoyed by a diverse audience. I have always thought this and while i feel it is not needed for every creative project it is often something which provides extra character and depth.

As discussed in the lecture, inclusive design refers to the plethora of demographics of audience members. This may be age, race, cultural background, gender or many other factors. Inclusive design should take into account that each member of an audience will interpret a creation differently. It is also important to portray people in a way which is not discriminatory or in a way which can be perceived as cliche.

It is this portrayal of people within fictional worlds (video games, movies etc.) which causes much controversy. This links back to diversity in a creative project, and demonstrates why having a group of individuals with varying perspectives and experiences is critical for many creative endeavours.

Within this weeks tutorial we explored the topic of inclusive design through a few friendly debates. The purpose of these debates was to demonstrate the bias  nature of belonging to particular groups or categories in society.

The first of these debates posed the question;  which is the superior gender? At the time i felt this to be a surprising topic for debate. I found this exercise to be uncomfortable for personal reasons but the debate was friendly and overall quite hilarious. One thing that I will admit about this debate was the very effective result. The answers given on both sides show the expected subjective answers that are determined by gender.

Several other exercises were undertaken, one which spilt people into discipline, and the very last was one where groups were mixed. I have found that I do not enjoy these divisions and feel comfortable in a diverse group of peers. All in all the activities were successful and I have come to the conclusion that while inclusive design is something which is now often an aim in the creative industry, it is a complicated subject which is hard to measure.

Something I have contemplated after these activities is whether the film, animation and video game creations I enjoy most are truly inclusive design. One of my favourite games, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is something which I have been enjoying lately with the release of the game in HD format.

Originally released in 2006 (IGN, 2006), Twilight Princess contains a game world which has held up well in many respects. It is interesting to note how many problems with inclusion can be bypassed by the non-human fantasy cultures of the Zelda universe. This is because there is a definite lack of mis-representation of people within our society.  Even so, after reflection I have come to the conclusion that the inclusion of  a wide range of respectfully represented characters is just one way of creating inclusive design. Another way can simply be the absence of the stereotypical or constricting perspectives of the past, letting an audience fill the gaps with imagination.

 

SI_WiiU_TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincessHD.jpg
figure 1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess WiiU Release. (Nintendo, 2016).

 

 

 

References

SAE_CIU_OverviewofIndustry, & Institute, S. C. (2015, April 20). Week 5: Inclusive design — self-directed practitioners. Retrieved July 4, 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-12-inclusive-design-9df8f239653b#.jwr1sqsy1
IGN, M. C. (2006, June 7). The legend of Zelda: Twilight princess (GameCube). Retrieved July 4, 2016, from http://au.ign.com/games/the-legend-of-zelda-twilight-princess/gcn-572738
figure 1. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess WiiU Release. Nintendo. (2016). Between light and darkness, can you save Hyrule? Retrieved July 4, 2016, from https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Wii-U/The-Legend-of-Zelda-Twilight-Princess-HD-1082222.html

 

Week 4: Secret Interview Techniques

This week has been all about interview techniques. The lecture covered the questions commonly asked by potential employers as well as some that are unique and require lateral thinking. Some of these at first seem absurd, such as what part of a car would you be? and why does a tennis ball have fuzz?

As explained however these questions are designed to test how a candidate thinks, and are popular at interviews for companies such as Pixar (SAE_CIU_OverviewofIndustry & Institute, 2015). As an animation student this is information i have definitely found interesting.

 

One thing I have taken away from the tutorial this week is related to these lateral thinking questions. It is important to remember that a job interview aims to give a potential employer the chance to understand what type of person a interviewee would be in the work place, whether they would be a fit for a particular company and what professional experiences the candidate has acquired.

Other factors  in an interview for a creative position is the way someone tackles problem solving, works in groups and generates their own creative practices.

These concepts brought up in the online lecture were fleshed out in a role playing activity during tutorial. various types of employee personas were assigned and groups would take turns in conducting interviews with self written questions. The aim of this role playing is to experience the way other factors than qualification can be important parts of a persons professional persona.

I myself was given a false persona which was to project honesty but unreliability and questionable personal life habits. I found this a daunting task but strangely satisfying. The reactions of the interviewers was also a surprise. My first thoughts after the interview were imaginings of negative reactions to the overly relaxed responses I had provided. Afterwards I was told that some of the reactions to my answers were positive. Honesty and a relaxed demeanor had interestingly positive reactions and it is something I will bear in mind in the future.

Upon reflection, I have had more of a rigid approach to past interviews than ii previously thought. Most of my energy has been poured into keeping composure and giving “correct”answers. With new information it suddenly becomes obvious that this is not the only component of an interview. After this weeks tutorial I can now also imagine certain thought processes that an interviewer must go through during an interview.

A balance between showing honest aspects of personality and maintaining a professional mindset is key to a successful interview.

 

 

 

 

References

SAE_CIU_OverviewofIndustry, & Institute, S. C. (2015, March 26). Week 4: Secret interview techniques — self-directed practitioners. Retrieved June 23, 2016, from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-8-secret-interview-techniques-8cdd5b225eee#.axysnzbc2

 

 

Week 3: Copyright and Contracts

Before beginning my studies in animation I have always had many questions about copyright, with only a vague idea of how it functions. My knowledge up until this weeks lecture and tutorial has extended only to the fact that copyright is protection of intellectual property.

Important points within the online lecture include how ownership works, and what rights are included with ownership of a copyright. As I understand it an owner of a copyright can reproduce the copyrighted work as they please. The owner of a copyright also determines the debut of the work for public consumption as well as general communication of the work in public such as promotion.

It is important to not that in general but not always the creator of the work becomes the first owner of the copyright. In Australia copyright is automatic and does not require application to be awarded. This is something I very much appreciate as an animation student.

Extending from the online lecture, tutorial this week has covered the legalities of copyright. The example which we had found within my assigned group was the case of an American rapper, Ghostface Killah sampling sound from a 1960s Marvel TV show within his own song titled “Iron Man”(Gardner, 2015). The sample used is relatively small, however this case clearly highlights the dangers of using any part of another persons intellectual property. While the court ruling favoured Ghostface Killah’s employer, Sony Music (SONY, 2016), it is a clear demonstration that the scope of copyright protection  is tedious to understand at best.

I find the subject of copyright to be quite complex, particularly when considering the issue of taking creative inspiration too far. This is something which is quite hard to narrow down as everyone who wishes to contribute to the creative works of the world must also take inspiration in some way from what already exists.

An interesting take on the subject is the Ted lecture which was viewed in this weeks tutorial. Titled “Embrace The Remix” (TED, 2012) the premise was simply the idea that everything created in this day and age is essentially a remix of what already exists, and that this when accepted can be liberating for the creative mind.

I quite enjoyed this short lecture as it has caused me to pay more attention to what the possible sources of inspiration could be in the creative works I  watch, listen to and see in the media. I now wonder whether i will change my perception of the extent to which an individual should pull inspiration from external sources.

 

References

Gardner, E. (2015, April 21). In Big ruling, Sony beats “iron man” composer’s lawsuit. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/big-ruling-sony-beats-iron-790466

SONY. (2016). Sony music. Retrieved June 16, 2016, from https://www.sonymusic.com/

TED (2012, August 10). Creativity is a Remix | Kirby Ferguson | TED talks Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd-dqUuvLk4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week Two: Income and Your Art

This Weeks topic revolves around attaining an income within the creative industry, with the lecture covering the many ways a creative professional can seek to make a living. In class we have covered these options briefly, but delved into crowd funding in particular.

Crowd funding has been the main factor in many independent and ambitious projects becoming reality. Basically this works on the premise of  a consumer acting as patron. Legally the money paid is not considered donation but in practical terms acts as “pre-sales”. It should be noted that essentially consumers have bought a product or service before it has been released.

The positives and negatives were highlighted with a group exercise which required a basic idea and plan which could then be used on a crowd funding project.

I find the idea of crowd funding appealing in one sense, as it seems that creatives are encouraged to dream big with projects as there is opportunity to bring things to life with the financial support of fans. A very important point however, which would make me slightly anxious, is the pressure of a creative to deliver a high quality product as money has already been invested. This responsibility is to fans, without the buffer of an employer. Any problems or setbacks could be a burden when trying to deliver on the promise made.

Despite the possible negatives, I feel it is still undeniable that crowdfunding is a valuable asset to creative professionals, as well as audiences and consumers. It is also a very interesting translation of the old idea of an artist or craftsman working for a patron.

Browsing a list of independent video game releases I have discovered that the creators of the retro platformer game Shovel Knight (one of my recent favourites) utilised the  crowd funding site kickstarter (Kickstarter, 2016) in their quest to get their project made. Shovel Knight is a game which drips with the personality of its creators, and I can imagine this may not be the case if a larger company with a deeper pocket was to bring the game into existence instead. This has highlighted one of the biggest positives to crowdfunding.

Overall I am glad to know more about the various ways in which I can make a living when i graduate from studying animation. I also find myself  intrigued by crowdfunding, and plan to investigate further.

shovel knight.jpg
Shovel Knight. (Yacht Club Games, 2016).

 

References

Yacht club games. (2016). Retrieved June 8, 2016, from http://yachtclubgames.com/shovel-knight/

Retrieved June 8, 2016, from https://www.kickstarter.com/