Copyright and Contracts

In our lecture today we discussed copyright and contracts. Copyright is defined as ‘The exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.’ by the Oxford Dictionary. Personally, copyright is a simply a reassuring factor that my creative material won’t be stolen. As well as copyright, we discussed contracts. More importantly, contracts while working with other people. This interested me greatly as i’ve had many projects fall through because of lack of communication and understanding.

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When creating a film, you need to have as much documentation supporting you as possible. I’m currently producing a short and I had no idea how many contracts you actually needed. We’ve got location forms, casting forms, equipment forms, funding forms and most importantly, group contracts. The group work contract is probably the most important while creating something with others. All parties must agree to the terms and see them through. If this contract fails/isn’t put into place, the likelihood of the entire project falling apart is incredibly high.

 

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Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 12.46.02 PM.pngIn our lecture, we filled out a contract found online (it’s not an offical legally binding contract, but it’s close). What i learnt is that copyright is not fun and in fact it can be quite boring to figure out. But it’s so so important to know. Especially in the creative industries. There have been so many cases of copyright infringement that results in creative people losing credit, money and respect.

A great example of copyright infringement is the case of Rogers vs Koons. Art Rogers shot  a photo of a couple of a couple holding a line of puppies in 1985.

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In 1988 artist Jeff Koons created statues for his art exhibit based off the photograph by Rogers. Koons sold several of the statues and made a significant profit before Rogers found out and sued him for copyright.

Jeff Koons claimed he was parodying the work however the court found that there were too many similarities between the two. Koons was forced to pay a monetary settlement to Rogers. This case was huge in the art world as many people started to question if you could still use other work to influence your own.

It’s a fine line between inspiration and stealing and I think the copyright laws help protect your creative work from being ‘stolen’. That being said, I do believe that people should be able to take direct inspiration without it being considered a copyright infringement.

Bibliography

Art Rogers vs. Jeff Koons. (2011, December 20). Retrieved June 22, 2016, from https://cpyrightvisualarts.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/art-rogers-vs-jeff-koons/
Eliison, K. (2013, April 19). 5 famous copyright infringement cases (what you can learn). Retrieved June 22, 2016, from https://99designs.com.au/blog/tips/5-famous-copyright-infringement-cases/

My Income and My Art

In our lecture, we looked at how we’re going to support ourselves as artists. The cost of creating a feature length film is pretty extraordinary if you want it to have a decent production value. From hiring equipment to spaces to cast and crew, the price of creating a film is constantly growing.

Two options that drew me in were crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is asking the public for donations so you can create something. It is also used for donations. The idea of crowdfunding stood out to me because you’re not just asking one investor and thus creating a sense of obligation. Many films have been created this way. My favourite example of this would be the 2013 movie, ‘Wish I Was Here’.  

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Zach Braff created a kickstarter for this film, after seeing the success some projects had with crowdfunding. He raised over $3 Million to make the film. In his campaign, he created a sense of community and belonging by including all the details of pre-production and how they would make the film once they raised their money. This allowed the donator to know exactly where their money is going. By offering rewards for certain amounts of donations, he was able to raise the money in a fairly short amount of time. Of course, a student or someone less well known would struggle a bit more using crowdfunding, simply because they don’t have such a large fan base.

 

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Another example but on a smaller scale would be the short film, ‘Kung Fury’. Created by the company Laser Unicorns, they were able to crowdfund around $630,000. Although they aren’t as famous as Zach Braff, that is an incredibly substantial amount of money for a film. They also provided rewards and updates, keeping the public in the loop.

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I would create a kickstarter for a film because i think it is an effective way to receive funding. However, because a lot of people aren’t tv super stars and don’t have the amount of resources Zach Braff has, I understand that i might not make as much money as him. This just means that i would most likely have to ask an investor or outside resource as well.

Bibliography

Movie Poster for Wish I Was Here [Digital image]. (2014, May 29). Retrieved June 22, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wish_I_Was_Here#/media/File:Wish_I_Was_Here.jpg
Unicorns, L. (2013, December 27). Kung Fury. Retrieved June 21, 2016, from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kungfury/kung-fury/description
Braff, Z. (2013, April 24). Wish I Was Here. Retrieved June 21, 2016, from https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1869987317/wish-i-was-here-1/description

My Professional Identity

In our lecture this week, we were asked to think about where I see myself in 5-10 years, of course, I began to stress. The creative industries is such a competitive and constantly changing field that trying to find work in it is almost impossible sometimes. So after stressing for a minute or so about how i’ll never find work in the area I love and remain a waitress for the entirety of my career, I step back and think about what I actually want.

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I want to direct films. I want to create things so beautiful and mesmerising that people can’t help but talk about them afterwards. I want to create films that suck people in and make them think about them for days, weeks and months. I want people to know the films and know them for a reason.

This is my plan. Unfortunately, the road getting there is not going to be easy. Like I said previously, this industry is tough. There is no easy way to get where I want to be and one of my main concerns is that i’ll never actually get there, no matter how hard I try. When this negative thinking sets upon me, I always take a glass of wine and sit down and watch, ‘He Died with a Felafel in his Hand’.  This is an Australian film based off the novel by John Birmingham. This movie has such an incredible influence on me. To have such a unique and clever movie made by Australians is rare. I never feel more motivated or inspired after watching this film. That’s because, while making this, they didn’t make it because they knew it’d make a ton of money. It’s not a very well know film and because it’s Australian made, not many people outside of Australia know of it.

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They made this film because they loved the ideas and they knew they could make something really special. They knew that it’d affect at least one person if not more and that’s all they really wanted. That’s what separates it from so many like it. They made this film, because they love what they do and they want to keep doing it.

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The only way to survive in the creative industries, is to love what you do and love it with all that you are. Steve Jobs, an iconic technology entrepreneur said,

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs (2005)

This quote is so relevant to what I’ve been talking about because he really loved what he did and through that love, he developed his career. That’s how I plan on becoming a director. By loving what I do and never letting that love go. By constantly learning and networking i’ll be able to hopefully give myself a leg up in terms of money and production costs, but having a heart full of film is what will really define my success and my professional identity.

Citations

Lowenstein, R. (Director). (2001). He Died with a Felafel in his Hand [Motion picture]. Australia: Fandango.
9. (n.d.). Where do you see yourself? Retrieved June 09, 2016, from https://au.pinterest.com/pin/470133648577752295/
Radparvar, D., & Radparvar, M. (n.d.). The Holstee Manifesto. Retrieved June 09, 2016, from https://www.holstee.com/pages/manifesto

Review of Independent Media

‘Sex, Darbs and on the Dole’ is a short comedy film created by Tatjana Hamilton, starring Andrew Stevenson. Although the short film hasn’t had million of views, it’s still an excellent example of what a young filmmaker can do. As a finalist for the BUFTA Film Festival 2015 and the Whoops Film Festival 2015, Tatjana is a rising filmmaker who is a few steps away from breaking into the industry.

“A group of documentary filmmaker’s stumble upon a musician in a café in Brisbane and approach him and ask to follow him on his day to day routine as a musician. After a couple of weeks of filming, the film crew come to understand that his style of music is quite “unique” and not well received. The film crew explore this artist and the struggle that many others face with money, fame and a big-head.”- Tatjana Hamilton (October, 2015)

We see him busking in the street, recording albums and playing his music to unwilling listeners. During the film, we also get to see his friends and workers talk about his music. As this film is a mocumentary, there are classic documentary elements used (Interviews, the main character tells their biased version of the story, live action etc) but the content is comedy based. To understand the film, one must understand the colloquialisms that its filled with. This is where the film falls down, if someone who didn’t know these colloquialisms tried to watch the film, they wouldn’t understand the humour.

That being said, if someone can completely understand what the movie is trying to say, they will love it. The beauty of this film is that everyone in Brisbane has seen this stereotype of person. You either had one at your school and knew them well, or you’ve seen someone on the street and thought, ‘yeah that guy thinks he’s the absolute best’.

Tatjana uses her local surroundings and what she knows about Brisbane to make a film that speaks to brisbanites.  There’s nothing worse than a person who is completely unaware of the area, trying to make something for that area. She excels in including dialogue that most people would’ve heard at least once between some drunk homeless guys on the street. By using locations from all around Brisbane, she allows an audience member to connect with the surroundings, even if they have only been there once.

The artistic elements of film are present with the cinematography and editing not overwhelming ‘artsy’. The shots are simple and well planned. They work with the story and don’t confuse the viewer. At times they can be a little too simple and from a cinematography point of view, a little boring. Although it would’ve been nice to see a little more thought go into the chosen shots, the storyline and dialogue make up for it.

‘Sex, Darbs and on the Dole’ is a hilarious short film made by up and coming filmmaker Tatjana Hamilton. Andrew Stevenson brings the role to life with his absolute commitment to the character. If you’re able to understand and appreciate the hilarity of the content, this is a short you cannot miss.

Hamilton, T. (2015, October). Sex, Darbs and on the Dole. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from https://vimeo.com/139422117

Future Predictions

 

 

In 1887, Emile Berliner, patented her invention of gramophone records. Gramophone records are flat disks with spiral grooves that are etched with sound information. The discs vary in size depending on what sound is being put on. The first LP (Long playing record) was invented in the early 20th century.

Before CD’s, vinyl was only way to listen to music. After CD’s were invented in 1979, vinyl sales and production fell, with almost no vinyl being sold in 1991. That is, until 2006, when companies noticed the public buying more vinyl. In 2010 over 2.8 million units of vinyl were sold.

These statistics keep rising, and i believe they will continue to rise as vinyl’s popularity and accessibility grows.

But why the comeback?

Many believe it sounds more raw than a compact disk, that you can connect with the music more. Personally, i like the feel and the enlarged art work. Vinyl makes me feel closer to the musician.

I believe that vinyl production and consumption will continue to grow, regardless of reason, as society praises it’s presence.

Hopewell, L. (2012, August 17). The History Of The Compact Disc. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/08/the-history-of-the-compact-disc/

Hopewell, L. (2012, August 17). The History Of The Compact Disc. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/08/the-history-of-the-compact-disc/

Perpetua, M. (2011). Vinyl Sales Increase Despite Industry Slump. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/vinyl-sales-increase-despite-industry-slump-20110106

 

Curation

Our online personas are based around what we share, like and repost. These can influence our creative identities or our professional ones. Luckily, my creative and professional identity are pretty much the same.

Using the creative platform, Pinterest, I curated content that i believe represents my creative identity and my professional one. As a filmmaker, my content is largely based around what i want to see and what i like to see on screen.

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My first board is about symmetry. Films like, ‘A Moonrise Kingdom‘,  ‘The Royal Tenembaums‘, ‘Amélie‘ and ‘Léon: The Professional‘ use symmetry as a cinematography device. Not only are the shots pleasing to look at, they also create balance within a film full of chaos.

My second board is about colour schemes.  In films like, ‘Crimson Peak‘, ‘Sin City‘, ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin‘ and ‘American Beauty‘ colour is used to tell more of the story, without explicitly telling the audience.

My third board is about the movement, German Expressionism. This board focuses more on artwork and the architecture within the artwork. German Expressionism is still used today in film as many filmmakers take inspiration from the movement. 

My final board is simply, atheistically pleasing shots. They’re the kind of films you see and think back about how beautifully they were framed and edited together to enhance the story.

My Pinterest boards are what i turn to when i’m stuck and need inspiration, or the things i send to people when i’m trying to explain an idea but can only show what i truly mean by a collection of pictures. They help my creative identity explain itself.

 

My Media Use and Identity

I want to work in the film industry. Almost every element of media contributes to film. There’s a soundtrack, visual effects, performance etc.

As an aspiring director the media that i value most are: Film, tv, live performances (music/theatre), visual art and design, and recorded music (Vinyl, mp3, and tape).

These are all based on what i want to create. Watching and analysing film (and tv occasionally) allows me to develop ideas and interpret other creators. In terms of media, film would be the most important to me. Not just because it’s the industry i want to break into but also because it’s what inspires people. You could watch a brilliant film and have a fantastic idea for a piece of art or a song (For example, the lyrics to Debaser by The Pixies were based off a film by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí called Un Chien Andalou)

Similarly, live music and theatre inspires me. You’re able to see how people in a different way, playing a part. Being able to see people as something other than themselves drives me to imagine them in various scenes in my head. It’s the hands on experience that can take and idea and put a face or a song to it. It can do so much as create a concept or so little as provide a song for a 1 minute scene. Either way, the ability to see it play out in front of you and actually be in the moment provides the knowledge of what you want the audience to feel when they’re in the movies. You want to feel that moment, so you can recreate it for them.

 

 

Visual art and design, and recorded music are quite different. They are things to reflect with, to take time and dissect. They are the real thinking medias. Unlike live music and film, you’re less able to feel ‘in the moment’, this gives the opportunity to just sit and treasure the moment with the media. These types of media are so important to me because they allow me to take my time with them.

Every element of media is incredibly important to not only inspire but also to educate. Although some elements of media may seem unnecessary to other creative practices, they can actually be really helpful in developing original ideas and concepts. My use of media is to inspire and motivate me.