Help Wanted……..but not in Hollywood

The end of the movie

Look like all the stars in Hollywood will not be able to help with the recent cuts which have been happening in this city.

By the end of 2014 Warner Bros will lay off around 1000 people, including layoffs from their cable network, Turner Broadcasting System which includes CNN.

This has made market watchers worried about the future of the movie industry. In an online report from Marketwatch, the movie industry has seen a rapid decline in jobs as well, from cinematographers to sound editors.

It could be because the industry is facing hard knocks from the online streaming market; it could be the shows on television all seem to be the same; or it could be that in the last few years, many of the films were remakes or re-telling of older films, lacking true originality of content. But I am not one to judge.

The movie industry on the whole has always been a resilient industry. Just like an actor’s face after plastic surgery, the industry has always found a way to rejuvenate and lift itself up from its decline.

What remains to be seen is what is going to happen to the industry after the dust has settled? If all else fails, I am sure they will always need someone to sweep the glitter off the floor and shampoo the red carpet.

You are too old to watch TV

kids-watching-tv

What does it take for a television series to be successful? Perhaps it has something to do with a good script or really good actors. Maybe it’s an interesting story and maybe it is just because the right demographic of viewers are watching the show.

Recently an American television network cancelled their shows based purely on the fact that these shows were not attracting the ‘younger audience’. These shows were extremely popular amongst the older demographic but this didn’t seem to matter because the younger audience in where the money is.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, this is mainly due to ‘the obsession of advertisers with younger viewers’. The article goes on to say,

“Advertisers acknowledge they place a premium on younger viewers but some think it is short-sighted to ignore aging baby boomers and cling to those old clichés that people over the age 50 are less likely to change brands.”

It’s true, to an extent, we don’t really think about the elderly when we advertise, we often hear the words, ‘young, hip and fashionable’ when it comes to selling a product. Of course there are many arguments to this, and let’s all be honest, like all major industries in existence, it is mainly about making money.

But how does this change the way scriptwriters and television producers create content for television and what about creative freedom and integrity? What are you willing to compromise to make sure your pilot sells? Does the advertising dollar drive content and is this the future of television programming?

Who would have thought that one day you will be too old to watch television?

Protein Origami – Folding Like a Pro(tein)

Proteins are integral to our daily lives – from food to materials that make up our body – without which we cannot function. For proteins to perform, they have to be properly folded, that is the arrangement in space has to be precise. What would happen if they are not? Can they be fixed? This talk will give an overview on how proteins are made in a cell, the problems that arise when they are not folded properly, what can be done to prevent or treat such conditions, and how we expand protein functions beyond the natural ones.

Details for the talk:

Date: 15 October 2014 (Wednesday)
Time: 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Venue: Lee Wee Nam Library Level 2, Video Wall Area

REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT

Speaker: Dr. Sierin Lim
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University

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Game Changers for Researchers: Altmetrics, Big Data, Open Access, and Text Mining – What Might They Change

Academic Publishing Special

Attend the talk by Kiki Forsythe of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Date:
3 October 2014
Time:
10.30am – 12:00pm
Venue:
NTU LT 25 (SS1-B2-01)

About this talk

Scientific researchers face an exciting, and possibly surprising array of new methods to manipulate and manage the impacts of their research. These tools include

  • Altmetrics – usage analysis of their research including citations, social media and full-text downloads;
  • Big Data – whereby the researcher utilizes big data sets to handle complex information;
  • Open Access – OA journals offer the opportunity for wider dissemination of researchers’ scientific findings; and
  • Text Mining – where tailored text “definitions” of research terms may derive more high quality information to enhance the use of the research by others.

With these tools, research will be translated more quickly into tangible results.

About the speaker

Kiki Forsythe, M.L.S., is the Senior Publisher Relations Specialist for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has worked for the Office of Publishing and Member Services in AAAS for 10 years. She holds cumulative publishing experience of 40 years. She has worked with International Thompson, University of Hawaii Press, Academic Press/Elsevier, Smithson Books, and AAAS. Her specialization with AAAS is working with the newest peer-reviewed AAAS journals, Science Signaling and Science Translational Medicine, launching the journals and collaborating with librarians and AAAS representatives worldwide.

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A Brand New Dog

Brand New Dog

DreamWorks has acquired a dog (read this full story in Adweek and Mail Online), but not just any dog. This dog is one of the first silver screen animal heroes.

Forget about other dogs that just fetch you the papers or slippers, if you ever fall down a well (or in colloquial term ‘longkang’), this dog will get the help you need in a flash and will look good doing it too.

I am of course talking about Lassie, if you don’t know who Lassie is, here is the Wikipedia entry, but basically she is a collie dog that can do almost anything and she has been around since the 1940s.

They say Hollywood is running out of ideas, just re-hashing old stories and re-making them. DreamWorks acquiring the rights to a ’70 year old dog’ does seem to perpetuate this idea.

But DreamWorks has big plans for Lassie, from all new marketing campaigns to new product launches and even guest spots on top TV shows; basically they are re-branding the iconic dog.

Re-branding is an interesting concept and many organizations turn to re-branding to save their product and service. But re-branding is also a complicated process; it takes research and creativity to re-brand something. In this case can re-hashing a nostalgic icon be lucrative for the production house?

Well as the saying goes, ‘it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks’.

Need more books and article on re-branding, head to the NTU Libraries page to look up some resources on this topic.

Understanding the Digital Media Landscape – A Talk by the Media Literacy Council – 2 Oct 2014

In a rich media landscape how do privacy, security and safety intersect?

Join NTU Libraries and the Media Literacy Council for a talk on Understanding the Digital Media Landscape. More information on this talk is listed in the poster below.

To register for this talk, click here.

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Watching Our Future – Preserving Our Films Together (A Talk by NTU Libraries and Asian Film Archives)

Join NTU Libraries and The Asian Film Archive for a talk about film preservation and archiving. To register for this talk click here.

Date: 11 September 2014
Time: 12.30pm to 2pm
Venue: Lee Foundation Lecture Theatre, Wee Kim Wee School of Information and Communication

Click  to register for the talk.

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Accompanying this talk the  Communication & Information Library is also holding a Book and AV Display on Asian Cinema from 8 to 18 September 2014. Feel free to borrow any of the books and av on displayed.

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Of Robots and Men

*(The video above is owned by Jibo Inc)

Meet Jibo, the world’s first Family Robot. Jibo welcomes you home as you walk through the door, reads your messages, orders take out and reads bedtime stories to your children.

Watching the commercial above, I felt like I was in a scene from Total Recall or I-Robot (we have both movies in the library by the way, just click on the links).

Issac Asimov wrote I-Robot in 1950, and while the book was written over 60 years ago, it seems more relevant today than ever. (read the book for yourselves, click on the link)

Jibo is marketed from a very wholesome point-of-view, as a member of your family. You may be very connected to your phone, but it’s not a member of your family (although I do know of some people who have a stronger relationship with their phones than their own relatives). Gadgets are your partners, friends and companions. They are there to help. Sometimes they even love you back. At least that is what the advert tells me. It’s emotional advertising at its best and it gets to audiences every time.

I feel the love, do you?

Cannes and China to build a film city in Anji

Look out China, more glitz and glamour is headed your way. The China Daily reports that Cannes is collaborating with China to build a one-billion-dollar film city. The city will be built in Anji in the Zhejiang Province.

This is exciting news for the film industry in the region, not forgetting the tourism possibilities of having such a mega structure.

Needless to say, this may be a great way to attract the big film studios to start filming in China as it might lead to a smaller film production. And it may also launch a wide array of film activities in the region.

But the possibilities are endless and it will be interesting to see what sort of impact this move will have on the Asian and International film industry.

So Viva La Anji

* You can look up more information about the Asian Film Industry and Film Festivals through the NTU Libraries webpage, but if you need help with looking up this information, simply your librarian for help.

Official poster for the Cannes Film Festival 2014.

Official poster for the Cannes Film Festival 2014.

I Want Media

Image taken from 'I Want Media' website

Image taken from ‘I Want Media’ website

‘I Want Media’ is a one stop site for your media industry news. They compile news stories from large newspapers and magazines and even have interesting blog sites and book recommendations.

You can find opinion pieces on the media industries, breaking news stories and advertising and public relations news as well. It is not the flashiest site on the Internet but it is clean and easy to use. You can even get news delivered to your email, all you need to do is to sign up for the newsletter.

It is important to keep up-to-date with what’s going on with the media industry. Sites like this are also a source of inspiration for assignment and project topics. But when you read about things in the news, blog sites or opinion columns, always remember there are several sides to a story and you may want to look at what others are saying.

You can couple information from sites like this with resources available from library databases to get a well-researched and well-analysed paper.

Plus, you can always make an appointment with your friendly librarian who is always ready to help.

Audience Watching

*(The video above belongs to CrowdEmotion, please share with discretion)

The TV is watching you. No, this is not a typo (or some creepy horror movie), it is reality. Here comes CrowdEmotion, a company which has created a way to capture real-time facial emotions.

The big news is BBC is using this technology to analyse how audiences react to their TV shows like Sherlock and Top Gear (read the story in The Telegraph here). So now BBC will know I am staring at Sherlock most of the time when I am watching the series on BBC (no point in hiding it now).

This holds countless possibilities for audience analysis and for the marketing of products, programs and people. They will even know when you fall asleep in front of the television. This technology can be adapted to other forms of media as well, like films and maybe even videos.

Who knows, maybe in the future I will be able to turn the channel on my television just by twitching my nose. Wouldn’t that be fun?

No Advert, No Problem

Your advert here

As I watched my favourite TV show, I saw a particular brand’s logo scattered around in almost every scene. After a while, I started looking up this brand on the Internet and searching for their products. This was something I never used to do.

Then I read this article in the Guardian entitled: ‘As seen on TV: why product placement is bigger than ever’. Product placement is not a new concept but it seems to be working, at least on me.

Being a Communication Librarian, I was intrigued to find out about product placement. I could just google but, like I said, I am a librarian, so I turned to the NTU Libraries website instead (WARNING: Shameless advertising ahead, I did already mention I am a librarian).

So I typed in ‘product placement’ into the ‘OneSearch’ box and clicked ‘Go’ – here are the results. As easy as Google, I can use any relevant material for my paper, with worrying about credibility and, I can literally do this with any search term. And if you have a problem finding the right search terms, there is always a librarian to turn to for help.

Perhaps only in period dramas it is slightly more difficult to have product placements, unless of course, Elizabeth Bennett decides to send Mr Darcy an email instead of a letter.

WKWSCI FYP 2014: A FYP Exhibition by NTU Libraries

WKWSCI FYP 2014 Exhibition PosterNTU Libraries is pleased to present this roving exhibition at three libraries, showcasing the final-year-projects (FYPs) from the WKWSCI Class of 2014.

  • Communication & Information Library:
    4 August – 27 September
  • Lee Wee Nam Library: 1 – 31 October
  • Business Library: 5 – 29 November

“Close to Home”

Many of the topics explored hit close to home, with issues that Singapore residents can readily identify with. The 51 projects are curated into eight broad themes, such as Children & Childhood, Singapore Heritage & Culture, as well as Social Media & New Technologies.

Video Screening & Book Display

Part of the exhibition includes the screening of 7 video projects, as well as a book display featuring titles hand-picked by librarians.

DR-NTU (Restricted Access)
The Library collects the FYP reports from graduating students every year, and we store them in NTU’s Digital Repository, or DR-NTU (Restricted Access).

Check out this exhibition, the project catalogue, as well as the reports in DR-NTU (Restricted Access).

Congratulations to the WKWSCI Class of 2014!

NTU Libraries is proud to have played a part in your learning journey. We hope that this digital project catalogue will be nice memory of what you have achieved. All the best!

 

Short of the Week – Film Future

Short of the week

Here is a blog site to explore. Known as ‘Short of the Week’, this site is an interesting place to find and view short films from all different parts of the world, read articles written by film-makers and film-lovers, as well as keep updated with film festival news. They even have interviews with film festival participants and directors.

It is sometimes hard to find such content, as many mainstream film magazines tend to concentrate on the more well-known and popular directors and producers. Blog sites like ‘Short of the week’ tend to concentrate on the smaller productions which younger or new film makers may be able to connect with better.

I enjoyed the articled entitled ‘Fade to Black – Is the Feature Film Dying?’. I also enjoyed watching some of the short films, there are several genres to choose from and all are beautifully produced.

But as we like to cater for both the fun seeker and academic learner, here’s a book you may enjoy which also raises the question, ‘Do the movies have a future?’

You can use sites like this in your research or literature review, of course, added with other academic and scholarly sources for a more comprehensive research. Remember, your librarians would love to help you with your literature reviews so come look for us if you need help.