CUI111.3 Being a creative leader

Being an effective leader is a great challenge. However, if we add word “creative” to this phrase, the goal becomes even harder to reach. We are all more or less familiar with the basic leadership skills, but how a creative leader differs from a traditional one?

 

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Screenshot from “John Maeda on the importance of creative leadership”

 

It would be right to focus on the word “creative”: it might sound very basic, but a creative leader applies his creativity to leading his team. This includes abilities to communicate and interact with the team, to improvise and look at things differently, to learn from mistakes and be open to the unlimited feedback. According to John Maeda, within a successful company led by a creative mind, everyone in the team interacts in order to help each other so everybody can benefit from it. Importantly, those who would be at the bottom of a classical hierarchical pyramid (basically, product creators), should actually be at the top of a tree, which lives because of the support of the roots — and these routes are a creative leader (Design Inbada, 2013).

Also, the engagement of the team in the project plays a crucial role. Ken Wright claims that actively engaged team members are about 30% more productive than others. An effective creative leader makes sure, that all his team are willing to achieve their goal. It is also crucial to provide them with a positive working environment and make them feel great doing their job (Ken Wright, 2013).

I believe that an effective team led by a creative leader is the one that realizes itself as a united organism with shared goals. That is why it is so important to develop the creative leadership qualities in order to achieve something truly unique.


References

Design Indaba. (2013, May 2009). John Maeda on the importance of creative leadership. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRNeEbJtEIQ
Ken Wright. (2013, August 26). Leadership – Engage your Team – Create a Culture of Engagement [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZA94smSkQg

FLM110.3 Don’t let technologies kill filmmaking art

Since the beginning of the cinema era, technologies have developed significantly and filmmakers have got many tools for them to create absolutely unique worlds in their films. Particularly, technologies have been used film marketing since the beginning of the studio era (SAE Film and Media, 2015). Filmmakers wanted to make their movies as spectacular as possible — in fact, it led to modern blockbusters we see nowadays. No doubt, modern technologies significantly contributed to the development of film industry. However, they also affected the way the stories are being told in the films.

 

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One of the Star Wars’ characters recreated using CGI technologies 

 

Personally, I have always valued the films shot without using the CGI. I prefer natural atmosphere to the fantastic worlds which are being recreated in films. In my opinion, CGI sometimes creates an image that lacks honesty. Apart from that, many Hollywood films are being so focused on CGI effects, explosions and other visual technologies, that they give up the heart of the film — the narrative. Deep meanings and interesting stories are being sacrificed to spectacularity, which is, in my view, highly distractive for the art of filmmaking. Apart from that, overuse of CGI sometimes leads to the film losing its authenticity (The MovieNetwork, 2014).

All in all, I think that computer-generated imagery should be used responsibly in the films. It is a powerful tool that can contribute to the production, but personally, I feel that films that rely too much on CGI lack… Soul? Probably something like this. I believe in natural filmmaking and would like to create movies that are not dependent on CGI. Films are about stories, about characters, about cinematography — but not about demonstrating the latest technologies in computer-generated imagery.

Have a look at how Michael Gondry created visual effects in 2004’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — without using CGI.

References

AirNikeNick23. (2008, April 14). Michael Gondry – Camera Trick. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II0er7TmkS8

Real Tarkin vs Rogue One CGI Tarkin [Online image]. Retrieved 2018, April 23 from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-19/real-tarkin-vs-rogue-one-cgi-tarkin/8194824

SAE Film and Media. (2015, April 20). Spectacle and technology. Retrieved 2018, April 23 from https://medium.com/@SAEFilmStudies/flm110-topic-11-1a5a2bd403a2

TheMovieNetwork. (2014, May 20). The Pros and Cons of CGI. Retrieved 2018, April 23 from http://www.themovienetwork.com/article/pros-and-cons-cgi

CIU111.3 The golden era of collaborations

Living in the 21s century, we are lucky to get opportunities that would never be possible without the development of modern technologies. Before even communication between creative people was a much bigger deal, but nowadays with the help of the Internet, we have more chances to collaborate with those who are interested in our work, even though they may be kilometers away from us.

Collaboration is an extremely important part of the creative process which allows us to share our ideas in order to achieve the best possible result, come up with something entirely new and overcome those challenges with which we might not be able to deal working alone. Apart from that, collaboration gives us a chance to spend time together more productively, inspire each other and give us more creative power (TEDx Talks, 2014).

The Internet gives us endless possibilities for collaboration, including collaborations with fans. For those who admire someone’s work, it might be difficult to gain the attention of a person. However, social media makes everything much easier. While researching the topic, I came up with the story about a popular EDM producer Deadmau5 who posted his new track on SoundCloud and pretty soon got a feedback from one of his fans saying he wrote some lyrics for it. Deadmau5 decided to give the guy a chance and was amazed and inspired by what he got. It led to them releasing the track together — and that perfectly illustrates the creative collaboration opportunities we get with the Internet (Newton-Rex, 2015).

(Beware the inappropriate language)

I believe that 21st century is a perfect time to create something together with both your peers and fans because it can lead to revealing a new creative power and be a great source of inspiration. I’m convinced that we should not give up these opportunities.


Resources

Newton-Rex, E. (2015). Deadmau5 collaborating with a fan is exactly what the internet is for.. Medium. Retrieved 22 April 2018, from https://medium.com/world-of-music/deadmau5-collaborating-with-a-fan-is-exactly-what-the-internet-is-for-33b917a5812a

TEDx Talks (2014, June 19). Creative collaboration — a 21st century imperative: Paul Roe at TEDxFulbrightDublin [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFFEzM2JnIo

Wanza7 (2014, May 22). deadmau5 finds vocals for “The Veldt” | March 18, 2012 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgeWHnSmPKE

CIU111.3 Why criticism is important?

Criticism is one of the concepts that is often misunderstood or undervalued. Many people consider critics those who just want to rip your work apart without even being in the industry — so basically the concept is perceived only in its negative connotations (our recent discussion in the university on this topic only proof my thoughts about it). However, I personally believe that critics are important and their work is valuable for a deeper understanding of a piece of art.

I’d like to narrow the topic and explain what I mean by the example of film criticism. So why is film criticism important? One of the most known American film critics Roger Ebert gave a very simple answer — “Because films are important”. And in their turn, films are important because they have a great influence on the society and the way people think (FoundationINTERVIEWS, 2008).

It is vital to bear in mind that film criticism exists not because it is meant to tell the audience what to think and feel — it has a greater purpose of putting the films in the cultural context, giving a better understanding of the decisions made by filmmakers (Fischer, 2015). Familiar with the film art much more than a general audience, they can reveal more details that can provide a deeper understanding of what the film crew intended to say including subtexts, allusions and so on.

Considering all this, we should value film criticism — and criticism in general — as it analyses the piece of work within its cultural context, looking closer at every creative decision that contributed to the final product. And in order for people to realize this importance, we should get rid of that ridiculous negative perception of criticism and focus more on what we can learn from it and how we can get better.


References

Fischer, C. (2015). The importance of film criticism. University Observer. Retrieved 22 April    2018, from http://www.universityobserver.ie/otwo/the-importance-of-film-criticism/

FoundationINTERVIEWS. (2008, December 30). Roger Ebert on Film Criticism – EMMYTVLEGENDS.ORG. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FCVlQ_5aSI

CIU111.3 The Motion Picture Patent Wars

Copyright is something at least barely familiar to everyone. We know that intellectual work is protected by copyright, we know we should not break these rules because in fact it is considered stealing, plus if we want our intellectual property to be protected then we should respect others’. In fact, it doesn’t always work like that, but what interested me more during our Copyright & Contracts lecture was if all these copyright laws are actually made just right to manage all the challenges of intellectual property.

So I started digging deeper into the issue. I won’t be able to cover the topic properly considering the word limit, however, I’ll try to at least briefly cover the issue. So, first, I’ll talk about the effect of patent and copyright on the early development of filmmaking industry in Hollywood. After inventing a working camera and the projector by Lumber in 1895, the patent holders for making and distributing movies including but not limited by Jenkins and Edison formed the Motion Pictures Patent Company, a cartel known as the Film Trust (Khairy, 2010).

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Members of the Motion Pictures Patent Company 

 

After that, the organization considered themselves the only ones who were allowed to make and distribute films, suing everyone who tried to produce something on their own. “Illegal” movies were distributed in nickelodeons — and the confrontation between the Film Trust and their opposition (who would later become Universal, Paramount, Warner Bros. and others) led to an actual war which was fortunately won by those who fought for freedom of filmmaking (Wu, 2010).

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Nickelodeon — a place where the films used to be distributed

Copyright laws might be very important, but even nomads some of them stop the progress and the development of creative media industries. No doubt, we should obey the copyright laws. However, we all should be aware that sometimes they might be changed for the industry to move on.


References 

Khairy, W. (2010). Film History: The Motion Picture Patent Wars. The Cinephile Fix. Retrieved 21 April 2018, from https://cinephilefix.com/2010/05/22/film-history-the-motion-picture-patent-wars-2/

Members of Motion Picture Patents Company [Online image]. (2018). Retrieved from https://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft3q2nb2gw&chunk.id=d0e16683&toc.depth=1&toc.id=d0e16474&brand=ucpress

Nickel-Ext [Online image]. Retrieved from https://www.pghfilm.org/about-us/history/nickel-ext/

Wu, T. (2013). The master switch. New York: Vintage Books.

CIU111.3 Why social media is important for your career?

During one of the lectures in this trimester, we covered how social media presence may affect your career development. We discussed the role social media plays in self-promoting and establishing a certain community in your field. Personally, I believe that social media is more than just a mean of communication. It is a medium where you present yourself similar to how you do it in the real world. Moreover, your social media presence affects your career and can either boost it or sabotage it.

social media.jpg

It is a well-known fact that your potential employer might check your social media before hiring you to get to know you and your values a little bit more. According to the survey conducted by CareerBuilder.com, about 70 percent of employers scan social media of their potential employees and this number is growing really fast (Salm, 2017). That’s why it is extremely important to pay attention to your online activity and make sure that it truly represents your attitudes and beliefs. This also affects creative media industry as people within it pay more and more attention to social media. For instance, I have been told a story when a filmmaker did not get funding just because she had less than eight thousand followers on Instagram. Apart from that, social media is a perfect tool to establish contacts with people within your industry or with those who are interested in your work. Strong social media presence may help people to get to know you and start appreciating your work (Jozeph, 2017).

All in all, social media might be advantageous or disadvantageous for your career — it depends on the way you use it. This discussion made me change my mind about my approach to my social media presence and pay more attention to establishing my own brand via this medium.


References 

Joseph, S. (2017). If You’re Serious About Your Career, You Can’t Ignore Social Media. Forbes.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelcyvjoseph/2017/12/26/if-youre-serious-about-your-career-you-cannot-ignore-social-media/#53845c4c7ceb

Salm, L. (2017). 70% of employers are snooping candidates’ social media profiles | CareerBuilder. Careerbuilder.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018, from https://www.careerbuilder.com/advice/social-media-survey-2017

Social Media Icons [Online Image]. (2018). Retrieved from http://b1039.com/2018/02/16/social-media-can-help-prevent-mass-catastrophes/

FLM110.3 “Let’s better watch it at home” — How we can engage with the film and become an ​active audience

As for a film student, movies are for me a much more important thing than just entertaining. For quite a big part of the general audience going to the movies is a way to spend a night out and to have fun. However, I believe that watching a film as a passive audience member — someone who notices only the basic actions without digging deeper into the meanings — is just not worth it. But how we can engage with a film to be active?

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First, many people consider that one can get a proper engaging experience while watching a movie only in cinema. Personally, I don’t agree with it — and it’s not only me. Nowadays, people don’t go to the movies that often because the audience lost the basics of etiquette. Those who come to the cinema to watch a film are being highly distracted by popcorn-eaters, phones, people talking out loud right in the middle of the film. The problem of losing the interest to the cinema is not because of the increasing popularity of streaming and downloading — it’s because of those who surround us (Hudson, 2018).

So, I’d prefer to watch a film at home. But it is also about how you watch it. In order to be an active audience member, you need to focus a lot on the details to be engaged with different meanings of the film and get your own perception of the presented ideas. Trying to understand characters’ motivations and analyze the relationships between everything that is included in the frame (A Word on Film, 2018).

I believe that no matter where you watch a film, you need to try to be as active as it is possible in order to get a proper personal understanding of this piece of art.


References 

A Word of Film. (2018, April 12). How to Be An Active Audience Member. Retrieved 2018, April 16 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuCzgTBdRUQ

Hudson, P. (2018, March 28). Popcorn pigs and mobile phone callers – people don’t go to the cinema any more because of other people says Polly Hudson. Retrieved 2018, April 16 from https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/going-out/people-dont-go-cinema-any-12268001#comments-section

Movie Theater [Online image]. Retrieved from http://www.talkfilmsociety.com/articles/why-i-stopped-going-to-movie-theatres-the-death-of-etiquette