ASSESSMENT TASK 2: SELECTED POSTS

Time flies so fast, it has already been 9 weeks of participating in the New Directions in Narrative and I am delighted to undertake this course since it has provided me with extra knowledge and experience with regard to the new ways of telling the story. I have never had any experience with Virtual Reality (VR) and I found that this course is so useful for me to do more research and practice on this new technology. By documenting my ongoing processes of developing my digital narrative proposal, below are some important posts I have selected.

                           1. Why Uluru?

This is one of my chosen posts because it explains my rationale of creating a digital narrative illustrating the sensitivity of Aboriginal culture. This content development stage has brightened up me to clearly understand the main argument in my project and figure out the way to effectively construct my narrative.

Link 1: https://vornmakara.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/why-uluru/

                         2. VR Research

This post enables me to look from different perspectives on how VR is utilised to raise public awareness and promote culture and tourism. I explored some projects to understand more deeply how to use VR effectively to tell my story.

Link 2: https://vornmakara.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/vr-research/

                     3. Reorganise the Project Plan

The reason why I chose this post is because it reshapes my ideas and clearly identifies the premise of my project and also the form and medium of my video based on the existing information and projects that have been done in VR technology.

Link 3:  https://vornmakara.wordpress.com/2017/09/06/reorganize-the-project-plan/

                   4. Target Audience 

This analysis of existing research on audience enables me to clearly identify who exactly are the potential audience for my digital narrative project including their age range and the way to possibility reach them.

Link 4: https://vornmakara.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/target-audience/

                    5. Marketing Strategy

This post allows me to get more insight in the process of designing an effective online marketing strategy for my digital narrative proposal and it has also directed me to start thinking about the significance of contributing factors and elements to successfully run the marketing plan.

Link 5: https://vornmakara.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/marketing-strategy/

                   6. Project Feedback

From my perspective, an improvement of the project proposal can be done through reflecting comments getting from lecturers and classmates. All constructive criticism can uplift the quality of the proposal. This is the reason I selected this post.

Link 6:  https://vornmakara.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/project-feedbacks/

I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the assessment declaration.

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Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy becomes another assignment for me after receiving the guideline of the digital narrative project. I did some more research around the topic to dispel my doubts and to clarify some unclear points.

Queensland Government (n.d.) defines ‘Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of your ideas, goods or services to satisfy the needs of individual consumers or organisations’ (para. 1), and Fifield (2012, p.168) defines marketing strategy as ‘the mean by which marketing objective will be achieved’. This simply means that marketing strategy is the way the organisation or company promotes products and/or services to the target audience aiming to sell the products and/or services.

Photo from this site.

The important element of marketing plan includes an analysis of the current and future needs of the customers or target audience and the development of marketing strategy requires the ability to identify the marketing goal before marketing the products and services. Kingsnorth (2016) explains the importance of 4Ps in marketing consisting of ‘product, price, place, and promotion’ and the Queensland Government (n.d.) added three more Ps in marketing including people, process, and physical evidence. Prior to designing a marketing strategy, the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) method should be used to analyse the specific goal of the marketing (Queensland Government n.d.).

Photo from this site.

Lake (2017) describes the differences of using marketing strategy including interactive marketing, Internet and online marketing, digital marketing, whereas Cultbranding (n.d.) illustrates the 52 styles of marketing that are commonly used presently. One of those strategies, I think online marketing strategy particularly social media marketing is likely to fit in my project, ‘The Red Land’ due to the resources and potential audience. The strategic marketing process begins with a clear understanding of marketing objectives, setting up the target audience, using communication messages and channels to reach the audience. Britten (n.d.) suggests the 10 tips for a filmmaker to consider in developing a social media plan one of which is having adequate content. This reflects my previous social media campaign. I realise that content is extremely important to boost up the audience engagement.

 I am currently drafting the marketing plan for my project proposal. The combination of social media platforms Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Instagram to disseminate the messages, photos, and short videos promoting Uluru and the aboriginal cultures will be used to gain traction from my target audience. The use of existing photos of Uluru from my friends who used to be there can possibly start up my project marketing while I have not been there yet. A few key messages from my research, for example, ‘Love this land, respect our culture’ and ‘Uluru is our heart and also our identity’ will be used to embark my social media campaign.  

References:

Britten, A n.d., ‘Digital marketing guide: Building an online audience Social media’, Screen Australia, viewed 13 September 2017, http://www.mediafactory.org.au/new-directions-in-narrative/files/2017/09/Digital-marketing-guide-2mh8ity.pdf

Cultbranding (n.d.), ‘52 Types of Marketing Strategies’, viewed 13 September 2017, http://cultbranding.com/ceo/52-types-of-marketing-strategies/

Fifield, P 2012, ‘Marketing Strategy’, 2nd ed., Taylor and Francis, Hoboken.

Kingsnorth, S., 2016. Digital Marketing Strategy An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing, London: Kogan Page.

Lake, L 2017, ‘Understanding Interactive, Digital, and Internet Marketing Strategies’, The Balance, 10 June 2017, viewed 13 September 2017, https://www.thebalance.com/types-of-marketing-strategies-2295338

Queensland Government (n.d.), ‘Businesses Queensland: The 7 Ps of Marketing’, viewed 13 September 2017, https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/marketing-sales/marketing-promotion/marketing-basics/seven-ps-marketing

VR Research

VR background

The emergence of VR technology in the 1980s has offered viewers with immersive and interactive experience while viewing computer-medicated videos. There are four main components in VR comprising of ‘a virtual world, immersion, sensory feedback, and interactivity’ (Sherman & Craig 2002); however, some VR videos need only a few elements due to the importance of each element to convey the story. Apparently, the mainstream media corporations including Google, YouTube, Facebook so on and forth have incorporated VR technology to project the videos responding to the popularity of VR. VR is basically produced by filming or creating game in 360-degree format. The key aspect of VR filming is to understand the Field of View (FOV) (Rlenlab n.d.). This means the wider view can be captured, the more immersive feeling the viewers can get. To access VR video, the viewers need headsets such as Google cardboard or the high-tech one like HTC Vive, Sony PlayStation, or Oculus Rift.

The use of VR to raise awareness and promote culture and tourism

Due to the proliferation of VR usage, lots of VR projects were produced to raise awareness and promote cultural importance. VR has been used to promote tourism because it is believed that it can stimulate the viewers’ sense through producing the immersive environment (Bulencea 2016; Jacobius 2016). The advantages of using VR to raise students’ awareness about the culture has been proofed by (O’Brien & Levy 2008) following the result indicating that student can notice the different between native culture and other cultures while exposing to the VR technology. In Japan, various VR videos were produced incorporating with the reality activities to promote the culture and tourism sites aiming to attract the tourists both local and internationally, for instance one of the promotional videos is 360-degree virtual tour (Chugoku+Shikoku Tokyo n.d.). The impact of this VR enables audiences to get some more ideas and information especially let them interact and explore the immersive technology making them feel as they are in the real world and this possibly triggers their interest and intention to visit the place. As the new study conducted by Neilsen Research (2017) also finds that VR usage has immensely contributed to the effective branding and advertising. Likewise, the VR campaign was massively successful in Korea to raise the tourists’ awareness and enhance the cultural significances and different tourism sites across Korea and the campaign was organised at the airport to also entertain international tourists (Smith 2016).

Immersive VR utilisation for edutainment

The new tendency of VR usage is to entertain and at the same time educate the viewers. (G´ alvez & Iglesias 2010) claim that students are more engaged and concurrently get more entertainment during their class participation after video games and VR videos are integrated into the teaching method. The SBS has created VR application comprising many projects, one of which is the video of promoting Indigenous Garma festival (Johnston 2016; SBS 2016). The Australian Museum Sydney has also collaborated with Samsung, Alchemy VR, and David Attenborough to produce two VR projects, one was about ‘First Life VR’ aiming to edutainment children and adults about the life evolvement through animation (Stark 2016).

References:

Bulencea, P 2016, ‘How To Use Virtual Reality In Tourism’, viewed 11 September 2017, http://www.gamification-in-tourism.com/how-to-use-virtual-reality-in-tourism/

Chugoku+Shikoku Tokyo n.d., ‘360 virtual tour’, viewed 12 September 2017,  http://www.chushikokuandtokyo.org/virtualtour/

G´ alvez, A & Iglesias, A es 2010, ‘Videogames and virtual reality as effective edutainment tools’, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 6485 LNCS, pp. 564–576.

Jacobius ,P 2016, VR in Tourism Destinations, viewed 11 September 2017, http://www.virtual-reality-in-tourism.com/overview-destinations/

Johnston, R 2016, ‘SBS Virtual Reality Gives A First-Person Insight Into Australia’s Culture’, Gizmodo, 11 October 2016, viewed 12 September 2017, https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/10/sbs-virtual-reality-gives-a-first-person-insight-into-australias-culture/

O’Brien, MG & Levy, RM 2008, ‘Exploration through Virtual Reality: Encounters with the Target Culture’, Canadian Modern Language Review, vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 663–691.

Pan, Z. & Chen, J 2008, VR-based edutainment. Virtual Reality, vol. 12, no.1, pp.1.

Rlenlab n.d., ‘Field of View for Virtual Reality Headsets Explained’, viewed 12 September 2017, https://vr-lens-lab.com/field-of-view-for-virtual-reality-headsets/

SBS 2016, ‘SBS brings you the world through VR’, viewed 12 September 2017, http://www.sbs.com.au/topics/vr/virtual-reality

Sherman, W.R. & Craig, Alan B, 2002. Understanding Virtual Reality: Interface, Application, and Design, Burlington: Elsevier Science.

Smith, R 2016, ‘Watch: Incheon airport uses virtual reality and reality- to promote Korean culture,’ viewed 12 September 2017, http://www.prweek.com/article/1413981/watch-incheon-airport-uses-virtual-reality-reality-promote-korean-culture

Stark, L 2016, ‘Australian Museum showcases “future of learning” with VR film’, viewed 12 September 2017, http://www.gadgetguy.com.au/australian-museum-showcases-future-of-learning-with-vr-film/

Target Audience

Target 1: Potential Tourists

My project targets potential tourists aged from 15 to 55+ both male and female who plan to visit Uluru.  According to Park Australia, there are around 250,000 tourists globally visiting Uluru every year. 69% of tourists are local and the rest are foreigners and the range of age starting from 15 year-olds up (The Northern Territory Australia 2011). The emphasis of the disrespectful behaviour of some tourists remains a controversial issue. McClintock (2015) reports that a number of tourists still continue climbing the rock because they want to experience the spectacular view from the top of Uluru those there is a sign on the base requesting tourists not to climb.

‘I’m petrified. I don’t want to be disrespectful at all, but it is there and they have made it a facility to climb and therefore hopefully they will get a bit of money for their own culture moving forward. I have mixed views to be honest … and I will be climbing it.’ British Tourist cited in McClintock (2015).

However, Winter (2017) also reports that the tourists who understand the cultural sensitivities of Anangu people demand the government to ban from climbing because so far the site is prohibited only, tourists can still make a way to climb due to the existing of climbing chains and opening gate. Therefore, my proposed 360-degree video will partially educate the target tourists about the sensitive culture and change their perception not to climb this world heritage rock.

Target 2: Uluru Cultural Centre

According to Park Australia website, all tourists will have to visit the cultural centre before proceeding their trip to the iconic rock. Thus, the centre is the core place to disseminate all information pertinence to travel guide, tour, or different traditional dancing activities. For this reason, the Uluru cultural centre is a key place to implement my project because the centre can store this video and widespread the video to tourists who are coming to the centre for information before visiting Uluru. I have also contacted the Media Officer named Miranda for information about sharing the 360-degree video there and she actually told me that there are a number of 360-degree videos that tourists donated to the centre. This means the centre accepts the videos from tourists to help promote the place and also inform tourists.

References: 

McClintock, A 2015, Climbing the rock: why do tourists still climb Uluru?, ABC, 10 July 2017, viewed 06 September 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/offtrack/climbing-the-rock:-why-do-tourists-still-climb-uluru/6603640

Northern Territory Australia 2011, Central Australia Visitor Profile and Satisfaction Survey, viewed 05 September 2017, file:///Users/Makara/Downloads/uluru-kata-tjuta-national-park-visitor-profile_northern-territory_australia.pdf

Park Australia, viewed 06 September 2017, https://parksaustralia.gov.au/

Winter, C 2017, Uluru climb in Northern Territory should be banned, some tourists say, ABC, 26 May 2017, viewed 06 September 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-26/uluru-climb-in-northern-territory-should-be-banned-tourists-say/8557416

Reorganise the Project Plan

Premise

The Red Land is an edutainment video portraying the amazing world recognizable monolith (Uluru or Ayers Rock) and educating the cultural sensitivities of Aborigines specifically to not climb the Rock that is the sacred place for aborigines to perform spiritual performances in the caverns because they believe that the Rock was created by their ancestral beings.

“We, the Anangu traditional owners, have this to say: Uluru is sacred in our culture. It is a place of great knowledge. Under our traditional law climbing is not permitted. Please don’t climb” (Anangu Sign written on the base of Uluru as cited in ABC).

Objectives

There are two main objectives producing this digital narrative project.

  • To raise the potential tourists’ awareness about the Aboriginal sensitive culture followed by the traditional land owners (Anangu people).
  • To hopefully change their disrespectful behaviour to climb the rock and take photos/videos in a few prohibited spiritual performance.

Gaudiosi (2016) reports that UN used VR to raise the public awareness about the way human being is living in the world and also raise some money to support people living in the vulnerable conditions as VR uplifts the level of information dissemination in an immersive experience. Anon (2016) also reports that in Japan, the use of VR to raise public awareness about lung cancer is effective.

As claimed by Henneberg (2017), VR has been found to influence viewer’s behaviour when it is used in some fields for examples in a medical and military program. For more than a decade, VR is successfully used to treat behavioural and anxiety disorder, and even to assess and treat sex offender. Patrice et.al. (2014) also emphasise the importance of using VR to rehabilitate and improve the illness conditions of stroke and traumatic patients because it enables patients to practice repeatedly. This shows that VR can make a massive impact in awareness raising and the change in behaviour.

Form, Format, and Medium

This video will be filmed by using 360-degree technology aiming to provide the audience with immersive experience. The video will be a non-linear storytelling and non-fictional style where viewers can choose to see different movements and parts of the video. The final video will be uploaded on YouTube and share to Facebook. Although viewers cannot touch or play while viewing the video, they can move up, down, left, right to see different angles of the images allowing them to embrace the great feelings of seeing the spectacular viewers and landscapes of the well-known and iconic place in Australia by using Google Cardboard or other high-tech headsets plus the main message of the project.

The Google Australia has just launched the VR project to showcase the beauty of Uluru and other natural places and to serve audiences with immersive experience by collaborating with Uluru cultural centre and the traditional land owners to work on this project for two years.

The proposed video will be formatted with 16:9 ratio and 3840 x 2160 in 4K resolution having between 2-3 minutes by using 360-degree camera (monoscopic form). The video treatment will be different from the existing projects produced by different agencies or tourists. The opening of the beautiful scenery of Uluru with a combination of Aboriginal traditional dancing and tourists riding camels accompanying by a few seconds of traditional dancing music named “The Spirit of Uluru”. The strong quote from an Aborigine will be incorporated in the the video. For instance, ” Our Culture is Our lives, Please Respect us by not climbing.”

References:

Anon  2016,  Japan : Team Chugai to Take Part in Relay for Life Japan Using 3D Adventure Experience (Lung Cancer) to promote awareness of the early detection and treatment, MENA Report, May 14, 2016.

Henneberg, S 2017, ‘Virtual reality First’ , Greenhaven Publishing, New York.

L., Patrice, Keshner, Emily A. & Levin, Mindy F 2014, ‘Virtual Reality for Physical and Motor Rehabilitation’, Springer, New York.

Project Feedbacks

This week, I reflect on the feedbacks from my group members and lecturers to improve my digital narrative project and I am so grateful to them for giving me more inputs as well as the resources. I have polished my project proposal based on the lecturer’s comments by contacting the media team at Uluru centre asking for the permission to film and interview an elder aborigine. Positively, I received the answer explaining the process and also the possibility of having an aborigines in my video. Based on the Uluru guideline, I am entitled to film. I have also contacted RMIT Ngarara Willim Centre to find out more about Aborigine protocol and I have been referred to Peter Burke  who is working at RMIT Human Research Ethics. Moreover, I have also received permission from the Alex to use his Uluru video for my EPoC.

My first email corresponding to the media team at Park Australia, Uluru

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In response to Margot’s comment, I strongly agree that my presentation was so short and left some important questions to audiences related to the planned content and interface of the video. I should have included the storyboard of my digital video and explain why I incorporate the fantastic view of world well-known monolith plus the educational messages to inform tourists not to climb the mountain.  The strategy of introducing beautiful places at Uluru for people to visit can be an effective way to entertain, inform, and educate. Below is a draft part of my shooting treatment.

With regard to equipment as my group member, Nan, has also raised, I can rent the 360-degree camera from a shop as my friend who used to work on VR project did the same thing because RMIT has no 360-degree camera. The experience of using VR is also new to me, so I can expand my skills and also get some support from my friend who is skillful in editing and filming . One of my classmates has 360-degree camera, so I may borrow from him since RMIT only rents out those cameras for merely Digital Media students because those camera are supplied by their lecturers. Nan is also concerned with the possibility of filming since there is a cultural prohibited areas during spiritual performance. According to the Uluru and Aboriginal centre, there are some spiritual performances in the caves that do not allow for photos taking and video filming, but the rest is allowed. Based on the guide for tourists at Uluru, all tourists are allowed to film or take photos, but not for commercial purpose.

Lyn, Shena and Emily have shared some sorts of 360-degree video links and ideas to think about the way to make the video become more attractive. I read and watched the ABC news discussing about the use of the state-of-the-art 3D technology to tell the story about an elder Aborigine witnessing the nuclear bomb in  the film called ‘Collision’. “In virtual reality everything becomes personal,” Lynette Wallworth, the filmmaker said in the interview with ABC. This 360-degree video enables the audience to feel as they are inside the real situation while they can move around to see different angles. This shows that VR is a new approach to actually portray the truth and has a strong impact on viewers.

EPOC

I was absent last week because I had a horrible flu as a result I had no idea what EPOC is  after I read the course’s blog. I tried to read some online materials and also the course documents to refine my ideas and get more understandings. EPOC stands for Electronic Proof of Concept. The term proof means evidence and concept means the idea, so EPoC refers to the evidence of your ideas using software to demonstrate the feasibility of your project. Aishwarya (2017) suggests to think about the ‘efforts and duration, project scope, resources selection, and criteria acceptance’ before producing PoC. I personally want to produce a short video introducing a concept of my VR project if I am granted the archive footage from some visitors who uploaded on YouTube. If not, I want to design a poster indicating the significance and feasibility of my VR project. Since these are my initial ideas based on my existing skills, I am looking forward to discussing with my team next week.

Here are some existing footages.

Poster samples: