Screen Futures Conference, Melbourne

ATOM and ACMI, Screen Futures 2016


This conference from the 30th of June to the 3rd of July 2016 is run in Melbourne by the collaborative efforts of ATOM (Australian Teachers of Media) and ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image). It’s a conference strongly aimed at teachers of digital media in primary, high, and tertiary schools. Screen Futures kicked off this year with comedy band Tripod and featured guest speakers the likes of, Benjamin LawNoni Hazlehurst, and Eva Orner who’s profoundly influential film Chasing Asylum screened on the Friday night.

On Friday keynote speaker Paul Wells, author of The Fundamentals of Animation, talked about inter-animation. About how animation opens a dialogue which can help see the potential positivity in ourselves. That same way the internet lets us see our faults/issues , i.e. we use the net in three promionent ways: shopping, abusing people and wanking. A general way of describing inter-animation is that it is animation with live footage. But this adds much more than this.  Anomalisa                                     

“The Last Hijack”, “Watchers of the Sky”, “Life, Animated” -documentaries 

No theory without practice, no practice without theory, no progress without history.
-Paul Wells (The Fundamentals of Animation)

Keynote Panel: Screen Culture, Identity, and Diversity on Screen

Connected to gendered decisions which are shaped by risk and secured capitol, it’s cultural.
Case in-point The Dressmaker needed a male ‘A-lister’ in order to get the green light, this was Chris Hemsworth.

For cultural diversity to be achieved the screen industry must change Intentionally and Institutionally. It is a structural change to be adopted by mainstream business to understand the benifits of diversity (proven: Orange is the New Black…). Businesses must understand their audience is not homogynous.


Saturday, Day 3. 02/06/16

Breakout: New Methods for New Technologies: Exploring New Filmmaking Conventions for Virtual Realty.

Tips for VR filmmaking:

  • Guide Audience to points of interest to lead the eye.
  • A VR film operates more using the space, so use the space.
  • Adding additional, subtle, information.

360 degree video hardwares: Oculus Rift, Vrideo, Littlstar, GoProVR, GoPro Omni, or stitching software, (Google Carboard).

360d Films:

Resonense (Google VR)

Lost (Occulus Rift)


Breakout, Don Wettrick(USA): Teaching Innovation.

Project Based Learning; ‘Innovation Classes’. This means we are learning together instead of teaching one year, twenty times. We are Free Agent Nations with highest grossing transport, Uber, a company not owning a single cab. The highest grossing accommodation service, Air B&B, not owning a single hotel. The innovation rests in teaching students to go out, find, and make their lives for themselves.

(Daniel Pink, Innovation Classes in schools, film festivals as byproducts)

Breakout, Kerreen Ely-Harper: Digital Memories and Identity Making: Perform, Edit, Update, Delete.

Youtube case study
Frosh article ‘Selfie’


Sunday, Day 4. 03/06/16

This conference had a lot of ongoing dialogues from over the past few decades. One key topic was the potential role games can play in literature in our schools. With this comes the importance of scrutinizing each new technology or digital content upload.

The subject of the video game as a platform for teaching is faced with two arguments. Firstly the argument of the teachers’ knowledge not being able to keep up with the students ability to navigate software (the student can make their way, seemingly to the teacher, instinctively),  this can be perceived by the teacher as a student learning. This is not always the case. Secondly is the debate that Gaming Culture presesnts a conflict of interest between teachers and what they teach.

The problem; THE intention to foster safe learning environments and students (particularly at primary level) becoming a further part of a culture that is misunderstood as only violent and misogynistic (shoot em’ up, Grand Theft Auto type games. Objectification of women, Duke Nukem type games). This can change, slowly, but it can.

Game-Changers.jpgGame Changers : From Minecraft to Misogyny, the Fight for the Future of Videogames
– Dan Golding and Leena van Deventer 2016

Gaming has had a bad rap over the past few decades, this is because of ‘Gaming Culture’, a culture created by marketing which Authors/teachers Dan Golding and Leena van Deventer emphasize is an event beginning and perpetuating masculinity in their male directed advertising. This suggests few women buy video games, not the case with women making up 47% of Australian gamers (2014). The fact is THERE ARE other game developers out there playing and making  games tackling big issues like climate change, domestic abuse and immigration, and we will see these people more and more as the ad marketing trend shifts to a diverse audience which reflect the real diversity in Australian gamers, “games culture is growing, diversifying and changing for the better.(2016)”  I will be getting myself a copy of their book, ‘Game Changers: From Minecraft to Misogyny’. One useful tool that is changing the game is the software Scratch developed by MIT along with an assisted curriculum and schools technical officer a student has the chance to create a game from concept design to play-ready.    



Screen Futures Conference, Melbourne

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