How might the rapid uptake of live video streaming such as Facebook live change journalism as we know it?

Facebook live has enabled Journalists to take the user or viewer beyond the story.  When a news story breaks the Journalist can simply start a stream via Facebook and report instantly what is happening without delay. Where the medium really excels is the viewership and interactivity can then participate in the feed by asking questions of the journalist in the field. It​ allows the journalist to be expansive in his reporting rather than packaged and brief which happens in daily news packages.

News networks have adapted to Facebook live in differing ways, for instance, Sky news Australia stream live press conferences especially political ones. An example of this was the recent change of leadership of the Liberal party there were content full live unedited pressers and expanded streamed discussions via the platform.

 

 

The other important part of facebook live is the citizen journalist, where professional journalists can or won’t go a citizen can film and describe what is going on. An example of this was the shooting of Philando Castile. During a traffic stop a cop pulled a weapon, and shot him.His girlfriend streamed in on Facebook live. This led to a lot of healthy debate over racism against blacks by cops. Also led to the police officer being charged with manslaughter. My final point here the negatives. In this case, the facebook live only showed one context of the event happening, this can be a major drawback in presenting some kind of truth on the day there was dash cam footage as well of before the Facebook live stream started, which adds detail and context.

The later the girl friend posted a Facebook live video after the event. Giving voice to her skilled boyfriend. It could be argued her videos were journalism but then something interesting happened the networks took her content and packaged it into news packages. So the question arises are citizen journlists now the creators of journliam or are they the stories unto themselves.

 

 

 

 

Washington Post Mark Berman. 2018. What the police officer who shot Philando Castile said about the shooting. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/21/what-the-police-officer-who-shot-philando-castile-said-about-the-shooting/?utm_term=.aa139dd65bf2. [Accessed 3 September 2018].

 

New York Daily news. (2017). Philando Castile’s Girlfriend ‘Emotional Address’ On Facebook Live stream. [Online Video]. 7 July 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If1DYFn2RzE&frags=pl%2Cwn. [Accessed: 3 September 2018].

Matt Dusenbury Medium. 2018. Matt Dusenbury. [ONLINE] Available at: https://medium.com/thoughts-on-journalism/how-facebook-live-is-changing-broadcast-journalism-16aa3b3321dd. [Accessed 3 September 2018].

 

ABC NEWS. (2018). Philando Castile Shooting Livestream Video [GRAPHIC CONTENT]. [Online Video]. 7 July 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Pt1nkw3Mk&w. [Accessed: 3 September 2018].

 

 

 

 

What role is smartphone, or mobile journalism (MOJO) playing in contemporary journalism? Contains unread posts

Mojo Journalism is part of democratisation, a movement which is occurring across all media forms.

It is all about a power shift, taking the power from a few and giving it to the many. Now anyone can be a journalist. With the advent of mobile phone , the citizen journalist can go places and report on events that a professional crew never could.

There are examples of this in recent years. During the arab spring many governments in the middle east started to fall due to people movement revolts and an undying want for change. Most of these events were reported using mobile phones. It was to dangerous for media organisations so the people because the reporters on the ground. In Egypt all international news networks were thrown out by the then president Hosni Mubarak.

Aljazeera had a quoted 4000 citizen journalists at the events during the fall of the Egyptian president. News was instant as it happened, it was being fed back to the networks bypassing the controls put on by a failing government.

This form of journalism challenges established power structures leads to the exposing of corruption, brutality and gives power back to the people.

 

How the Arab Spring has Transformed Journalism « Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ). 2018. How the Arab Spring has Transformed Journalism « Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ). [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.arij.net/materials/how-the-arab-spring-has-transformed-journalism/. [Accessed 26 August 2018].

Burum, I., 2015. MOJO: the Mobile Journalism Handbook. 1st ed. united states: Taylor & Francis Group.

SAROSHISAR. 2018. ROLE OF CELL PHONES IN ARAB SPRING. [ONLINE] Available at: https://revoevoref.wordpress.com/2016/02/29/role-of-cell-phones-in-arab-spring/. [Accessed 26 August 2018].

 

 

 

What has been the impact of convergence on journalism? Can journalism survive in analogue (non-digital) forms?  How well are traditional news outlets adapting? 

I saw this happening first hand in my work. In the early 2010’s expectations were changing. I was working at the ABC , desktop editing was becoming the norm. Journalists now bought their reports back to the base had the media ingested then from their desk could edit their report for television, radio and online. Lots of training was taking place. They now had to learn to edit audio and video. As an editor, I can’t tell you how many times a journo would also be running off to do live radio crosses as well. Their time was and is spread very thin. Basically, my role was taken over by journalists it was very hard to maintain shifts if all you were , was an editor. The systems and work methods were all bought in to do more with less staff.

I later saw this again when I worked in London, cost cutting was rampant, myself and one other guy were doing the work of which six editors were responsible before me. Working conditions were not good, you were overworked couldn’t take breaks as because of cost cutting and convergence. Last I heard my role in that company is now done by the multimedia department.

Under this move to convergence, organisations are having to do more with less. There is less diversity, less quality fewer media ownership which means more bias less deep investigative journalism as well. With the recent Nine Fairfax deal, newspapers have only been guaranteed for the next 5 years and regional newspapers look like their days are numbered. My take from this is whilst we continue to get a large volume of news, quality, fact checking the number of opportunities will lesson as these mega corporations trim down there workforces all in the attempt to grow profits.

 

The New Daily. (2018). Regional news, charter at risk in Nine’s Fairfax takeover. [online] Available at: https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2018/07/26/regional-newspapers-risk-nine-takeover-fairfax/ [Accessed 31 Jul. 2018].

 

The New Daily. (2018). Regional news, charter at risk in Nine’s Fairfax takeover. [online] Available at: https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2018/07/26/regional-newspapers-risk-nine-takeover-fairfax/ [Accessed 31 Jul. 2018].

 

 

How common or widespread is the use of multimedia journalism in the media?

The adaption of multimedia Journalism has completely changed the way the newsroom works and functions. As someone who used to work in newsrooms, the multimedia department was small, then the change came and everyone in the newsroom had to have those skills.

News is no longer reported in one form or another, it is always a combination of many differing media forms. When one logs into a news site such as a Fairfax paper for example. You were confronted with video at the top of the page, then followed by text and in some cases even links to a podcast.

Lately the design of The Age has changed they seem to be pulling some of the elements back a bit. Gone are the auto playing videos in most cases. We are seeing a cleaner interface with with small well laid out text passages with very clear headings interspearsed with photographs, and even live blogging and social media posts.

Pedestrian.tv is a news site that uses multimedia elements very sucsesfully. On one page you will find , audio video photography and text as well as social posts all laid out in a way that interweaves the elements to tell one complete story. Screen Shot 2018-07-10 at 2.33.07 pm

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Multimedia elements help to tell a  targeted engaging story. Peoples attention span’s are not what they used to be, so engaging all these elements helps to draw in the audience , stay longer and in most cases be, marketed to using ads.

My viewing of online content mainly begins within social media channels. I follow most things I am interested in and follow the links out to the stories. Doing this is akin to utilising a form of curation designed just for you.

 

 

 

 

The Age. (2018). Latest & Breaking News Melbourne, Victoria | The Age. [online] Available at: https://www.theage.com.au/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2018].

Pedestrian TV. (2018). Elon Musk Has Inserted Himself Into The Thai Cave Rescue, Literally. [online] Available at: https://www.pedestrian.tv/tech/elon-musk-has-inserted-himself-into-the-thai-cave-rescue-literally/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2018].

 

The making of The digital evolution of the Library Video (A personal reflection)

I decided to do the cultural institution questions about the library. There are a few reasons for this. I believed at the time it would be easier to get permissions to film and interview people. I also saw a road I wanted to follow, in regards to the research involved.

Very early on I contacted quite a few libraries to ask one, if I could film inside and two, could I get an interview. Without naming names, the task was exceptionally difficult, as I learned libraries and cultural institutions as a whole are exceptionally procedural. One of the biggest libraries after about 16 emails back and forth were willing to supply a staff member to answer my questions. I make contact and it turns out, the contact I had been conversing with hadn’t told her I’d be filming her. So she later refused. Another library coordinator, who is responsible for around six libraries put infant of my ten conditions. I had to supply insurance, letters from the university. It was all too much with a deadline looming to which I needed to start putting my video together. So enter Deakin, again I contacted the library after a few emails exchanged with a few different people. I was about to get Marina on camera, who offered up many interesting insights for my project. I had originally hoped to film at the “big library” and have 2 interviews to juxtapose differing takes on similar issues. But alas that wasn’t to be.

What I have learned from attempting to get permissions for a project are as follows:
Prepare a brief, separate to an email which contains the following
Synopsis of your project.
Who is the project for?
Where will the project be screened or used?
A spiel about you and who you represent.
A sampling of the questions you’re going to ask.
How long will the filming take?
Where do you want to film?

I found by sending more general emails not formatted in a professional brief, information was passed over, miscommunication was prevalent. One administrator said and I quote “ I don’t get it” Send me a synopsis. I thought I had clearly played out the question that had to be answered. But alas you live and learn, how you see things is not necessarily how others do.˙

I come from a background editing news, I was handed scripts and the vision to cut with. The process of doing all the steps myself was welcomed but slightly overwhelming to. I had to develop new processes. What I did was divided the video into parts. After filming the interview and clipping it up, I developed my argument around what things came up in the discussion.
I was given feedback on my first assignment the quotes didn’t flow with my text. So I made very sure my interview grabs, quotes, and text built on each other.
My other issue was in obtaining enough visual material to make the piece visually interesting. I had to not only shoot some overlay, but I also had to dig very deep through online creative commons archives. This really tested my research abilities. I used youtube, Flickr, state and national libraries and different archives to obtain what I needed. For my scholarly research, I used Deakin’s Library online, as well as google scholar. I had to experiment with search terms to find what I was after.

Did digital technology save the Library? Well, it was never in danger. What I took from this assignment was that digital pushed a very old stuck in its ways establishment, to modernise and become relevant. What I took from this assignment was that this 2.0 theory can be applied to almost everything from education to the web. It applies across many different cultural institutions as well.

Interview with Marina Minns Deakin University Library

2nd interview was from CC British library video referenced below.

All music created by Greg Orr unless otherwise referenced.

Rubin, R., 2017. Foundations of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition. 4th ed. United States: American Library Association.

Maness, J, (2006) “Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and its implications for
Libraries” Webology, 3 (2), Article 25.
Available at www.webology.org/2006/v3n2/a25.html

Fabunmi, A, Ayodeji Fabunmi, B , Paris M 2006.
Digitization of Library Resources: Challenges and Implications For Policy and Planning.
International Journal of African & African- American Studies, [Online]. 5, 2.
Available at: https://ojcs.siue.edu/ojs/index.php/ijaaas/article/view/80/142 [Accessed 17 January 2018].

UT Libraries: Online Tour –
Top 10 Things to Know About the Library
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JrvMFqSvm4&t=132 s
Under creative commons license https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797468

Newspaper resources State Library
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vaE5_siRd w
Under creative commons license https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797468

Building a Digital Resource on Gulf History – My Work at British Library https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqH73zNO1wA
Under creative commons license https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797468

University of Wisconsin Library (1929) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1Pw-WTlQoo Under creative commons license https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797468

Digitizing of collections https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4193bpXPvwc Under creative commons license https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2797468

Marvellous Melbourne Spenser C 1910 https://archive.org/details/MarvellousMelbourne Under creative commons http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Sons of Australia march cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/detail.php?query_type=mms_id&query=990026587240203776&r=3&of=3 Under creative commons cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/licensing.php

Megan Amara, (2007), bookshelves [ONLINE]. Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mamsy/2141089135/in/photolist-4gcDcV-93b1bN-Th9oGQ-9mXGmZ-bk94WJ-aC7usP-VkSSqd-rdk1a9-4WTmBm-oMjZSR-75GPEN-mG4HDR-5VPZRA-bt1b5q-6goydB-oNJbRD-XeJxmu-4CXDf9-pjb9ep-atYd9Y-jqYN8r-e3h7sV-d3W7cL-7CPMJv-nZ7dof-5wa9R5-SrHpnz-oFE5G7-4UHBus-dUnj3M-iqY81L-EuqMEH-2sNEyJ-PNmRzw-MHYq8g-HDX5KU-GkcxW-RNuUeR-dV423B-biyTMP-VkSVx5-iqXWzr-6cmney-QK8nUC-CB58Dz-C9wyUQ-bbKhU2-5CrRAH-UcsGSv-7R4PS3 [Accessed 22 January 2018]. Accessed under creative commons

Google Logo https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Google.png Public domain/creative commons

Using online social platforms that define my online identity.

Who am I? I am Greg I know who I am, I have a pretty good idea of how people see me. I know this because meeting me in person you have my body language, the way I talk and what I talk about to draw your own conclusions. Online identity is a completely different kettle of fish. Vlogger Justine Ezarik reflects

“When I found the internet, I realised I didn’t have to go anywhere to travel the world. I didn’t have to be Justine from the middle of nowhere, I could be whoever I wanted. I chatted with strangers and invented elaborate backstories far more interesting than my own, and started for the first time , like I was part of some sort of community” Ezarik 15

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We are in charge of our image, our identity, this message varies from what platforms you participate in, who you are as a person even down to what one’s end goal is for there online participation.

“ Here we are a construct of our real world self, collated , edited and presented . A profile and displayed connections present a set of signals to potential audiences, which are interpreted by viewers to gauge the credibility and reliability of information that they are viewing “ Papacharissi 09

Then there is my blog a curated repository of all I wish to present. I use imagery, text, and links to purvey a sense of my professional identity. I have had feedback that possibly my site lacks a bit of focus, particularly as far as my personal brand. The site is a depositary of my creative work and my online image as a creative person. Utilising it, I link to various folios of work when applying for a professional engagement. My blog speaks about all that I am passionate about, it shows my abilities over several media forms and promotes me the person.
Susanne Markgren in her paper about online portfolios says

“ Your online portfolio is basically your resume, deconstructed on a website” She also refers to branding “The public and projection of an individuals identity , personality , values skills and abilities” Markgren 11

So based upon this I have to ask myself, Is my Blog or even my use of other platforms helping or hindering my brand. When I started building my online personas I don’t think I had an end goal in mind. It has always concerned me that one doesn’t tie into another.

My showreel is my calling card as an editor. It’s my identity to other professionals, it is a representation of my life work. My showreel has always been a bone of contention for me. How do you represent who you are or what you are in under two minutes? Especially considering I am a storyteller and a multi-skilled person who shoots, edits is a photographer, has a lot of experience and knowledge.

A finished edit with a piece from here and a piece from there, in my opinion, doesn’t truly show what you are capable of. My last reel I even consulted another editor who helped me put it together. The way I got around the shortcomings of the showreel format, was to link to full pieces I have done. This is accomplished with links on my Blog and any applications I might send out. That way it gives the person the option of both. Whilst this isn’t perfect, at this stage that is what I use.

Let’s face it nowadays if you are applying for a position, the employer will google you looking for that one mistake that shows you might be dishonest or not all your cracked up to be. So googling myself with the this in mind, I came up with a poet from the United States, adding Greg Orr Video Editor, the person is presented with my blog and links to my different folios. What I found fascinating about this, my identity is my other less professional personas were lower down in the search. Susanna Margren also speaks to this “Now you have a professional online identity, you need to monitor it, search your name regularly and make sure you can find yourself”

Facebook started as one thing and developed into another. It started as a way to follow my favorite musicians, actors writers tv shows etc. But as time grew it became a lot more. Discovering Facebook groups in their infancy was a revelation to me.  In my real life, where I didn’t have anyone to share my differing passions with I now had the world.  Now I could discuss the latest drone technology or debate complex topics or even argue what was Paul McCartney’s best solo record. Here I can be myself hidden behind a persona and not afraid to express myself. People who don’t agree with what I say fire back at my persona. Somehow this isn’t as confronting as someone confronting me in real life. Its almost like you have a 3rd wall infant of you to protect you and your feelings. Here I am a reviewer, a challenger of ideas and sometimes I share pieces of media into groups for their critique.

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Critiquing isn’t always done with words, what I have learned is that each network has different ways to show praise or displeasure for certain content.

“In the absence of sufficient relational cues, individuals in social networking sites take the initiative to develop their own codes for communicating likes or dislikes, interest and depth of association with others, as these individuals present themselves online “( PAPACHARISSI ,2006)

Recently I have completed a project, a short film for which I started a Facebook project page. Very few comment but I get constant views and constant likes. In the Facebook world, the language of the like button and having many likes gives the online me, an air of legitimacy and confidence that brings others to view the project. It is a bit like you turning up to a restaurant that is empty or one that is full, which would you choose.

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Photos..Greg Orr

Twitter the micro blogging platform, is the most recent platform I have partaken in. For me, Twitter has been more of an enigma than a straightforward platform to understand. I believe this is why its usage is far below that of Facebook. Someone coming to Twitter from Facebook has to understand, all its different elements such as hashtags and what its used for.

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“Twitter has been likened to a giant party where you know no one but wish to make many friends. In contrast, Facebook would be a wedding reception filled with family and friends.” Tagtmeier 2010

Without sticking to the rules and an unwritten formula, the challenge of getting interaction is harder.

“The ideal Twitter profile should consist of “about 30% conversational @replies, 30% retweets and 40% interesting broadcast tweets, hopefully with an opinion or link, of which only about 25% (10% of total tweets) are self-promotional.” In other words, a successful Twitter campaign honestly connects with its followers” Tagtmeier 2010

For me, I have used it for many different uses, from promoting Ebay sales promoting my different projects to again including oneself in discussions about one’s passions. But unlike Facebook, unto recently I haven’t got that interaction the Facebook groups gave me. What has changed recently has been my better use of hashtags. I still can’t kick the feeling, I have to work harder to get that interaction level on Twitter.

Linkedin has always been a important tool for me. It links all my social media together as well as being the tool I use to keep my resume and to network.

“Online communities have paved new paths for job seeking in the computer-mediated communication (CMC) environment” (Ikenberry, Hibel, & Freedman, 2010)

Whilst Linkedin is nowhere the size of either Facebook or Twitter, it has other advantages. Most professional power brokers in my field are on the platform, making it an easy and useful tool to network grow relationships and share projects, writings or folio material. I do all 3 personally and have met some fantastic people through the platform who have shared their expertise and given there time. The messaging system is great, it allows you to send someone a note and intern they can see who you are and your work history. In my opinion, it’s a win-win. Because platforms like Twitter are so open, busy professionals can get spammed heavily and receive messages not relevant to their end goals. Somehow LinkedIn feels different, it’s professional where professional discussions and activities are done. I have built up a large network within Linkedin which is basically a community.  I have added asked people to join my network whom I have met in real life, and approached those I haven’t met with a short note explaining why I would like them on my network. I Use these contacts to follow up jobs, the network for any opportunities.

Below is a visual representation using slides of my uses for the various platforms I use, and how I utilise their features.

Tagtmeier, c, 2010. Facebook vs. Twitter: Battle of the Social Network Stars. Information Today, [Online]. Available at: http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/sep10/tagtmeier.shtml [Accessed 23 November 2017].

PAPACHARISSI, Z, 2009. The virtual geographies of social networks: a comparative analysis of Facebook, LinkedIn and ASmallWorld. new media & society, [Online]. . Available at: https://goo.gl/YzG2p8 [Accessed 22 November 2017]

Ezarik, J., 2015. An Analog Memoir. 1st ed. united states: Keywords Press.

Markgren, S, 2017. Ten simple steps to create and manage your professional online identity. Academia, [Online]. Available at: https://goo.gl/V49K2x [Accessed 22 December 2017]

 

A competition run on​ social media

I just wanted to make a quick post.

Yesterday I saw an interesting use of Social media I had not witnessed before.  Paul McCartney who star4ts his Australian tour this week is holding a competition. It is to have a meet and greet as well as attend his sound check. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but what caught my eye was how they are conducting the competition.

Firstly to enter you have to post on any social platform why you are his biggest fan. On top of this, you then have to include a series of Hashtags as well and embed a supplied picture from the promoter. The competition is then drawn and you are contacted via your social account.  The tides are sure turning back in the day you would have to call a 1900 number where the organization would collect monies from the calls or physically send in an entry.  I find this to be a really creative use of it as a communication tool. It allows those who are engaged with him and the brand to feel more that bit more engaged. It builds awareness and excitement for the tour.

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This kind of engagement is the way of the future. By limiting the entry to 25 words one has to be creative and engadged. For those who are interested here is my entry.

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My new Taiwan spectacular aerial film

I just got back from an interesting adventure in Taiwan. One of the interesting parts was taking my DJI Mavic drone with me. Before I set off I wasn’t quite sure what type of short I was going to make . Due to certain circumstances which have been discussed in my previous post the film took shape in a way I wasn’t expecting. It became an aerial journey . I wanted movement and a feeling you were traveling across the land , of the beautiful country.

The first stop was Jiufen and incredibly popular town built into the side of the mountain. It used to be a gold mining town and some of the shops and actually burrowed into the mountain itself. It has an amazing food and handicrafts culture and wow that view its pretty spectacular.

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Taking of from the town itself really wasn’t an option. It is a very dense space with narrow footpaths and closed in buildings. So we drove further up the road and I flew it over the town, complete with some eerie looking clouds and flew it up the mountain from below which you see in the film.

I had been practicing quite regularly back home for about 7 months to do the shooting in Taiwan. It takes a level of confidence to be able to do the camera moves, that I was able to achieve. You need to practice manually flying it home for when the  automation on the craft fails, which it did a couple of times.

taitung pano

On such occasion was in this valley , featured above , I got very low on battery and the return to home automation wasn’t working. It started to land about 30 feet away from me in a rice field. This would of been an issue as the rice field was full of water. I quickly manually took it over rose it out of the field over a big stone fence and onto the road. Little did I realise whilst I was concentrating on my flying a tourist had walked and sat down on the afore mentioned fence and I nearly gave him a buzz cut as I bought the drone back to safety.

DJI_0041.jpg

Featured above is the home of the Lidao aboriginal tribe.

This location was a 2hr drive north west of Taitung. The drive through valleys, fallen rock slides into mountains through mountains was utterly spectacular . There is one road in and one road out. This is where tourists don’t come this is real Taiwan to the core.  The village is perched on the side of the mountain. Whilst utterly breath taking, this has its own issues. Taiwan is famous for its typhoons and being so exposed leaves them cut of from the rest of the world when the storms hit, as they do every year. But what they do have is pristine land and fertile soil. They grow rice , which by the way is sublime like nothing I have ever tasted. They grow cabbage and various other vegetables. They then trade there crops for medicines and other essentials to keep the village running.  We got to have lunch at there local store, they were a bit wary of white people. Our guide got very cranky when some of the locals denied there was anywhere to eat. So we had this hime cooked lunch wild boar with this yummy rice.The boar is still hunted in the forrest as it has been done for over 1000 years. The dish was very simple but ridiculously fresh and flavourful. I then did all my shooting. I literally got to fly my drone of the side of the mountain, it was so exciting . You can’t even fathom standing there on the ground watching these pictures come in. It was really exciting.

You will notice in the film the sequence in the rice fields and in the village is very smokey. The reason for this is , on the day they had started the harvesting of there rice crop. The first part of this is to burn it. This is because they they have a worm that feasts on the rice and the fire is to kill it off. At times the fires were very close to the road and we had to close the vents . But the upside is it created a look to my pictures that I really love and I think you will agree adds something to the film.

Lastly I wanted to touch upon the stunning music in my film. The music is all from local composers and performed by the Taipei philharmonic orchestra. The music sets the tone of the visuals. I plowed through quite a bit of music to find the pieces that I ended up using. Without it, somehow I don’t feel its would of been as authentic. The music closely resembles how I felt when I saw the imagery and enhances it with local flavour.

I wanted the music to sell the visuals and the visuals to sell the music. If they didn’t work in tandem the piece would not of worked. The music should almost be invisible .

My Taiwan adventure Part 1

Last year, I was planning a trip. I wanted a bit of a challange , to go somewhere where my fellow country man didn’t go. I choose Taiwan. I have often being asked why Taiwan . Well its untouched by western tourism. Its absolutely beautiful , rugged and full of culture . The people are incredibly giving, friendly and respectful. Yeah I know everyone says that about different countries they visit but here it is the truth.  So fast forward to this year. I decided to return for a second visit. I took my mum with me. We first visited Hong Kong for a few days which was fascinating. But here is a tip , don’t go in June it is insanely hot, coming from a Australian winter.

So were at Hong Kong airport and were delayed hours flying out of Hong Kong, then we board the plane and we sit on the tarmac for another 30 minutes. A 6pm arrival into Taipei becomes a 10pm arrival. So mum goes to get out of the tarragon in Taipei. Tired affected by the heat she puts her foot down , twists her leg and wack. She has wrecked her knee.  We didn’t know this of course at the time fast forward to the Friday so two days later, I decide its time to get her to a hospital. So here obviously that is an easy task. When you are in a non english speaking country , its quite a task indeed. So I had to research international clinics, and I even found one which had reviews.

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So we go down stairs to get a taxi to the hospital . Upon leaving the building mums knee completely gives out and she collapses . We later learned this is when her meniscus is torn completely of its bone.  Two complete strangers who were locals came to our aid. One flagged down a cab telling the Taxi what hospital we wanted to go to in Chinese and the other helped me get mum up into the car.   The kindness didn’t stop there. Once we arrived at the hospital the attendant ran and got her a wheel chair.

That day was both one of the most unluckiest and luckiest at the same time. She saw a GP who wanted her to see a orthopedic surgeon. As luck would have it a orthopedic surgeon was in an office next door and could see her. The luck didn’t end there there were also cancellations in the MRI department so she could have a scan. Normally a scan could take up to 2 weeks to be done. Upon reconvening to view the scans it was decided she would have surgery as her knee could go again at any time. Just to show how quickly things move. She entered hospital on the Saturday night and had it done Sunday morning and was walking 3 or 4 days later. It was incredible how quick such a nasty event was corrected. There care, attention and quality of surgery was amazing. Now 3 weeks later back in Australia she is walking without any aid .   Lesson here always make sure you have insurance . We were covered and her medical costs alone we in the $10,000 range which were paid before she even left the hospital.

 

 

 

Singapore a place of treasure and adventure.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending a week in Singapore. What a place!!

Most people consider it a stop over on there way to the more fancied Europe. To those who do, you don’t know what you are missing. If you love architecture , food , shopping and insane amounts of fused together cultures crafts and colouSome notes aboutr Singapore is for you. If you drink , smoke like dropping litter or using drugs best not to go or you might end up in deep s**t.

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Singapore has a lot of everything, malls are huge retail is like a religion . One famous story in Singapore called the mustafa centre is a prime example of this. Go to any supermarket in australia you might find 10 different toothpastes but at the mustafa centre there is a whole wall of toothpaste.

There jewellery floor is an example in to much is never enough giant cases as far as the eye can see of gold.

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The electronics section was equally as incredible with every headphone , phone tablet , computer you could imagine. The surprise for me was that while not overly expensive a lot of the goods weren’t much cheaper than Australia.

For anyone going there a few no go’s. First of all China town was totally over rated. It has a 7 day a week market that happens there it is totally full of tat. Basically cheap mad manufactured trinkets. There is no hand made crafts in the centre for that you have to go of the main drag.

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The food was exceptional my favourite dish is definitely the chicken rice. Which is so simple but rascally varies depending on where you get it.

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It is basically steamed chicken then put into ice and hung up to room temperature. The rice is cooked in a chicken broth. As you can see it also comes with a little bowl of warm broth as well. When done well its so yum its indescribable. The mango slushi drink pictures is so sweet so rich and so nice. The whole meal was about $9 Australian.

The big problem I had.

The heat is insane like a sauna. Do yourself a favour go sit in a sauna with yr cloths on and thats pretty much it. Singapore is really hot really muggy and uncomfortable. If we westerners walk to far without drinking you will inevitably suffer heat stroke. The best way to do things is to get the MRT train where you want to go and get a taxi from there. Everywhere is air-conditioned which greatly helps. To live there you just couldn’t be outside for large amounts of time in the middle of the day.

The MRT train is quite something to. Firstly it is incredibly cheap is barely a few dollars at most to go across town. There is no graffiti no rubbish, no torn seats and surprise it turns up on time. I know the Singaporeans are incredibly proud of the mass commuter system they have every rite to be. Just don’t drink a bottle of water or munch on your favourite sandwich as that to will bring a $300 fine.

I know there are people out there who will say. Singapore is unfair Singapore is this and that. But I look at it another way. Any country where you can walk home in the middle of the night without be hassled. Anywhere where there is no graffiti, drunks on the street and very minimal crime overall . How can you argue thats a bad thing. Yes alcohol is ridiculously expensive as are smokes . Its really pricey to get drunk but I am all for it. I never felt unsafe. Everyone was very giving. There was a story I read where a thai couple left a million dollars in a cab in Singapore , guess what the cab driver handed it back. Did he get a reward I can’t say.

One of the highlights of the trip was going up to the top of the hotel complex Marina Bay Sands.

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The view is just astonishing, sitting up there on a warm day with a nice fruity cocktail was just wonderful. The complex itself is a major marvel of engineering and western ideology. It has 2000 hotel rooms that are never empty as well as countless shops a casino for very high rollers and some of the most amazing restaurants I have come across.

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Next on the agenda was gardens by the bay. It is a man made garden on reclaimed land housing 2 of the most spectacular domes in the world. Evidently the 2 indoor domes are the biggest non supported glass domes in the world.

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The strutted are a nice change from the 34 degree temperatures outside. They are cool and only grow cool climate plants. This kind of makes sense. In one of the domes you start at the bottom and end up at the top of this man made waterfall. All the while you are being sprayed with lovely cool water. The orchids are a particular highlight here. The richness of the colour and the odour is quite something.  You end up at the top and you walk your way down a long winding bridge which ends you up at a little film theatre showing a film on how the worlds stuffed and life will end as we know it.

I also have to give a nod to Changi airport. It is no wonder it has won so many awards. It is the most user friendly airport I have ever been through. From leaving the aircraft I was in a cab no more then 15 minutes later. Its absolutely pristine. Very easy to navigate. They even have a little train that travels from one terminal to another for free. I was able to get a shower before coming home and have a great meal there for a very reasonable cost. Checkin was very quick and again there are lots of customer service people around who keep asking where do you need to get to. Then one is pointed in the rite direction.