GUILT


Project code: ART010

Disciplinary Area

Media, Film and Television

Supervisor

Brendan Donovan

Guilt is a feature film. an atmospheric conspiracy thriller in the Nordic Noir style. Think the original ‘Insomnia’ meets ‘Chinatown’, set in Iceland and the Taupo Volcanic Zone.

In Guilt an Icelandic hunter seeks redemption as he tries to free the Maori teenager wrongly accused of his daughter’s murder. It’s a mature, evocative, character-driven film that builds to a powerful climax. This is an original story but it’s inspired by the real life murder of a Scottish tourist worker in Taupo, and the current struggle within Maori between guardianship and development.

The project is in advanced development and we expect to apply for production funding in December 2016, and roll into pre-production immediately after. The writer/director is Brendan Donovan, the producer is Fraser Brown (Orphans&Kingdoms, Maclaren), and the executive producer is Matthew Metcalfe (Dean Spanley, The Deadlands, Beyond the Edge, 6 Days, Maclaren). The budget is $3.5m.

Scholar’s Work

This is a Production and Directors Assistant role

The Work

By December 2016 Guilt should be fully funded and entering the financial close and early pre-production. A production and directors assistant would be engaged in a variety of roles covering the following areas:

  • audience research and development 
  • researching businesses and community groups in the shooting locations to identify potential

partners/sponsors

  • assisting the producers & production lawyer to manage the legal paper-trail through financial close
  • assisting the producers with out of town production logistics and scheduling 
  • assisting the director to breakdown the script and prepare of pre-production
  • assisting the director to prepare casting, art department, and technical briefs 

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

  • highly organised
  • self motivated 
  • excellent time management
  • attention to detail
  • interested in a career in international feature film production and/or producing or directing.

Should be doing BA Screen, Screen Hons. B+ average grades minimum.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

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Forecast / Less Is More


Project code: ART015

Disciplinary Area

Media, Film and Television

Supervisor

Annie Goldson

Thanks to Moore’s Law our society is changing at a pace unlike anything past generations witnessed. Many historians, sociologists and journalists have expressed concern about the rate of change in our society ­ that our mechanisms for coping with change, both at a personal and societal level, are not fit for purpose.

We are seeking a summer scholar with research skills and an intellectual interest in technology and economics to work as a researcher with the team developing this documentary project.

The documentary project aims to provide perspective on how technology and economics are shaping our future. We have identified six distinct areas for research which will change fundamentally in the next 25 years;

  • Work
  • Housing
  • Transport
  • Health
  • Education
  • Geopolitics/Warfare

Scholar’s Work

The scholar’s tasks will include assisting with:

  • researching potential case studies for developing the ideas of the documentary. This will involve conducting research online and in libraries. S/he will then work with the producers determining themes and directions for the series.
  • researching potential interview subjects. We anticipate the series being based on a series of case studies, and these will be explored through real life examples. Hence the summer scholar will be approaching and interviewing potential subjects to determine which will be the most appropriate case studies.
  • sourcing relevant research materials pertaining to key topics. Once the key topics are decided the student will be involved in more targeted research, summarizing key texts and discovering the best expert spokespeople to provide context to the case studies if need be.
  • helping with production and postproduction of teasers. S/he may accompany the producers on shoots undertaking provisional interviews and gathering in footage to produce 2-3 minute teasers for submission to funding agencies.
  • assist with gathering in archives for the teaser and for the eventual series. This would involve approach national and international archive holdings to explore what they have and developing a database.

Required Skills/Pre­requisites

Excellent online, writing and communication skills; good at teamwork but able to take initiative; and an intellectual background/interest in the underlying issues.

Technical skills, such as video editing and use of design software for proposals, would be a plus.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

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Netball and social media project


Project code: ART020

Disciplinary Area

Media, Film and Television

Supervisor

Dr Margaret Henley

The major component of this research project is a continuation of the 2015/16 Summer Scholarship.  The three-year study is researching the interrelationships between netball's fan communities, the sport and the broadcaster through the use of social media platforms.  It will be focused predominantly on Facebook, twitter and Instagram, and explore the ways in which social media is used to stimulate fan engagement by the broadcaster, the sport and by individual athletes.  It will also, through the use of focus groups and online social media contact, research a range of fan communities associated with the sport linked to specific netball events.  This research is linked into a wider study of the relationship between tradition broadcasting of netball and the role of new media.  A secondary component will be researching material for the Netball NZ Heritage project that is linked into my ongoing broadcasting history project.  A strong preference is for a Maori or Pasifika student who has a background in netball and contacts within the netball community.    

Scholar’s Work

The scholar will be tracking social media sites, athlete-fan engagement and fan communities associated with Australasian netball. This will include analysing data gathered by the previous Summer Scholar and formatting data from a questionnaire run during 2016. They will assist with interviews of fans and working alongside the Netball NZ and SKY Television social media teams. A secondary component of the project will be researching material for the Netball NZ Heritage project. This will require archive and data base research and creating content for the NNZ Heritage webpage. A strong preference is for a Maori or Pasifika student who has a background in netball, contacts within the netball community and the required social media skills. Video editing skills would also be desirable to work with material in my personal archive and that of Netball NZ.  

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

  • High level of familiarity as a user of Facebook, twitter and Instagram and ability to use social media diagnostic tools. 
  • Ability to undertake historical research in major NZ archives and data bases such as Alexander Turnbull National Archives, NZ Film and audio archives, Papers Past National Library and sourcing of provincial archival material in libraries and sports institutions.
  • Oral skills to present findings to major netball professional institutions such as Netball NZ and provincial netball franchises who are participating in the project.
  • An ability to access the Maori and/or pacific netball fan community is a priority for the research project this summer if a suitable scholar can be found.
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Affective Screens


Project code: ART024

Disciplinary Area

Media, Film and Television

Affective Screens is a book project that investigates the affective resonances, affordances and flows related to specific media screens, from film and television through mobile and social media to public and cybernetic screens. In contrast to the current regime of media convergence, where media content is defined by platform migration and media is ‘everywhere’, this project seeks to trace media specificity through its materialisation across the variegated range of screens with which we engage daily. As screens proliferate in size, form and function, they introduce new (and renewed) forms of engagement across the human-machine, immaterial-material interface. Cinema screens, for example, are designed for visual engagement at a distance, television and computer screens for audio-visual engagement with physical proximity, and touch screens for direct tactile manipulation via swipes and taps. Each of these interfaces represents a different mode of mediation, which in turn generates different feelings, sensations, attachments and intensities – that is, different affective formations. This book will draw on new materialism, affect theory and recent theorisations of media in order to investigate the centrality of feeling-screens to our increasingly mediated engagements with the world.

Scholar’s Work

I have been working on this project for 3-4 years and have completed the majority of the research and over half of the writing. Nevertheless, because of the rapid pace of technological development and the concomitant growth of scholarship in the area, I need assistance to ensure that the research is up-to-date and suitably wide-ranging. The Summer Scholar will therefore be required to research recent publications, both in print and multimedia, that sit at the intersection of media technology and affect studies. A brief annotation of sources will be sufficient in the first instance, although certain publications will require more extensive abstracts. The Scholar will not be limited to academic sources, but will also cover journalistic and some trade publications to probe possible gaps in my research to date. Further, because the aim is to produce a draft manuscript, the Scholar may be asked to read and annotate chapter drafts, provide assistance with formatting, and communicate with image providers regarding reprint rights. There will also be room for the Scholar to share his/her knowledge about relevant technologies and platforms with which I may not be familiar.

Although a co-publication is not currently part of the plan because of the project’s monograph focus, the research may well lead to a plan for a co-published article on a topic that is related to but beyond the scope of the book. This possibility will depend on the Scholar’s research findings, degree of intellectual engagement with the material, and level of academic advancement.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

The Scholar will need to have sufficient research skills to conduct extensive research into secondary sources. A background in media or film studies would be a strong asset, as would a personal and/or scholarly interest in media technologies. Preference will be given to applicants with strong writing and editing skills. The Scholar will also need to be self-motivated and able to work independently in between weekly or bi-weekly meetings.

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Letters of Gordon Walters


Project code: ART038

Disciplinary Area

Media, Film and Television

Transcribing and annotating the correspondence between New Zealand abstract artist Gordon Walters and his dealer Peter McLeavey, researching and writing footnotes, and helping with the editing of a publication.

Scholar’s Work

I have pdfs of all the letters and the main task will be transcribing them and transferring the contents to a Word document and helping make it ready to send to a publisher. The handwriting of the authors is relatively clear and does not present difficulties. The Summer Scholar will also be asked to research background biographical information and historical details for footnotes to accompany the text of the letters. The scholar will have some input into the shaping and editing of the final publication.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

These are basic skills of transcribing archival material, researching footnotes, creating a bibliography, helping edit and shape a publication. An interest in New Zealand history/art history would be an advantage.

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Ecomedia: intersections between audio visual cultures and ecological thinking


Project code: ART047

Disciplinary Area

Media, Film and Television

Supervisor

Sarina Pearson

For film, television and media scholars ecocriticism has become a mode of interrogating the role representations of ‘nature’ play in a range of audiovisual discourses, of thinking about how media and their associated technologies are ecologically implicated, and of examining how environmental discourses are communicated (or not) in and across a range of media platforms. This project seeks to initially survey the dynamic contemporary field of ecocriticism, identifying key genres and areas of innovation. These areas will include interactive documentary, animation, Hollywood blockbusters and the environmental impact of so-called ‘weightless’ digital media technologies (such as screen-based media) as well as other genres and topics. Subsequently the project will seek to identify and collect materials that pertain specifically to ecocriticism in the postcolonial Pacific. This material (in conjunction with the survey) will provide the basis for a journal article about postcolonial ecocriticism in New Zealand cinema by the supervisor.

Scholar’s Work

The summer scholar attached to this project will be responsible for identifying, sourcing and viewing a range of contemporary ecocritical texts, (films, television series, interactive games, social media, web based media).  S/he will also be responsible for producing a comprehensive annotated bibliography, producing 5 concise literature reviews of sub-fields within contemporary ecocriticism, and analysing useful postcolonial ecocritical texts in particular.  

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

A successful candidate will have a basic understanding of the history and development of media, a familiarity with a variety of media genres and good textual analytical skills.  This project requires excellent conceptual and practical organizational skills, good basic research skills and possibly some minor digital video editing (which can be taught as part of the summer scholarship if necessary).  The ability to locate information on databases, administer requests for reference materials (publications as well as audio-visual) and accurately summarize information, as well as review and assess the intellectual context of literature will be necessary.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

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Caught in the Web (feature documentary and associated website project)


Project code: ART048

Disciplinary Area

Media, Film and Television

Supervisor

Annie Goldson

I am seeking a summer scholar with excellent online and social media skills and an intellectual interest in issues involving online identity and the ‘digital world’.

S/he will work with a team on an information-rich website, a companion project to my new documentary feature, Caught in the Web. The film and the associated site explore the life and times of Kim Dotcom and the issues underlying his case, ‘piracy’ and filesharing; privacy and surveillance; and sovereignty.

Caught in the Web has major feature funding from the New Zealand Film Commission and will be completed late in 2016 for a 2017 release (we are currently in discussion with both Cannes and Sundance as possible A-list festival launches). I received an FRDF grant two years ago to develop the website associated with the film, a hub that will include an edited online book collection of original articles and edited interviews; ‘outtake’ sequences; and streamed full interviews amongst other elements. Although the website will stand alone as a major research output, it will assist us in promoting the film in pre-release, engaging and expanding likely audiences, generating debate, dialogue and awareness. It is this capacity that we would be greatly assisted by our scholar. Here is a beta of the site design  http://kimdotcom.film

Scholar’s Work

The scholar’s tasks will include assisting with:

  • content creation for the interactive website (video, text and relevant research links to key issues in the film)
  • executing the outreach & promotion plan to grow an audience around the online & film projects
  • community management

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

Excellent online, writing and communication skills; good at teamwork but able to take initiative; and an intellectual background/interest in issues underlying the film.

Technical skills, such as video editing, website construction or coding would be a plus.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

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