Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kids reptile show at Mounties video (for Liverpool Leader)

Below is a link to a video I filmed, presented and produced for the Liverpool Leader.

This was a fantastic experience as it was my first video and the reptile show itself was fun subject matter to work with.

As a first year uni student I am proud of my achievement. :)



Thursday, July 23, 2009

Disney policy: a case of plain ethics?

Walking through her local JB Hi-Fi, Josephine Lewis was puzzled when she could not find a copy of her favourite Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast. It was only after discussion with a staff member that Mrs Lewis discovered the animated film has been off commercial shelves for six years.

From the early 1990s, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment have maintained the practice of releasing its animated features on home video for a finite amount of time before placing them on moratorium. Here, numerous discontinued movies sit in the Disney vault for up to ten years until they are re-released to the general public.

Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition, the most recent Disney release, was available for retail purchase from October 2002 to January 2003. Since then, Disney have postponed sales in the name of re-rendering footage for a digital 3-D release in October 2010.

The knowledge of Disney's policy shocked Mrs Lewis, 39, who was disappointed with the prospect of waiting another sixteen months to own a copy of the film.

"I would prefer to do without 'platinum' and 'diamond' editions with bonus features and 3D versions if it meant I could buy it whenever I wanted,” she said.

The Walt Disney Company have justified their conduct in the name of controlling their market and allowing Disney films to be 'fresh' for new generations of young children. Mrs Lewis believes this will have an aversive effect.
“Kids grow up with these movies, and to disable them from having easy access to the films, which are after all made for them, is a slap in the face,” she said.

Disney films are now prime targets for counterfeit DVD manufacturers since their collectible status has driven up prices for authentic versions of the film. On auction websites such as Ebay and Amazon, prices reach as high as US $130.

A fellow Disney fan, Michelle Miller, 28, condemns the company's practice of artificial scarcity, calling it elitist behaviour.

“Disney hold quite a lot of power in the movie-making and distributing world, and to control supply so greedily is unfair to their loyal supporters,” she said.

“No one wants to be forced to wait seven years or more until they can legally own their favourite film, and neither do they want to spend double or triple the retail price to buy it now; it's disgraceful.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Masterchef Australia eclipses reality ratings with a good cause

3.7 million viewers tuned in to watch the final episode of Masterchef Australia on the weekend. A record breaking figure of almost one in five Australians.

Even towards the end of the Masterchef season, more people switched on their tellies to see Poh, Julie and Chris take it out instead of watching the Blues finally get it over the Marones.

I'd like to stop and question why this program has eclipsed the first season of Idol in 2004 and achieved the highest ratings for any non-sports broadcast since OzTAMs current television ratings system began in 2001.

Masterchef is no Big Brother, it hardly feeds people's voyeuristic fettishes.
Neither does the show engage viewers at a material level- people aren't lassoed into voting to keep their favourite cooks in the competition.
Nasty judges who try to make viewers laugh at contestant's misfortunes were also strategically absent.

Instead, every night families could sit back and watch a safe, 'family' show with everyday, 'real' people (or at least as real as you can get in reality TV).

We were all anxious when Poh sat in the waiting room while the judges tasted her traditional Malaysian dish and we all cried when Julie achieved her wildest dreams and won the inaugural title.

Good things happened to good people, contestants cried tears of joy- not of sorrow or distaste- and the judges garnered viewer's respect as they each proved to be knowledgeable in their field.

On the whole, Masterchef was a well produced program and I think it is healthy to see such good spirited shows flourish while the not so "nice", 'win at all cost' programs may be seeing their last days out front in the rating race.