'orrible yet optimistic .

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I don't mind if you despise this blog,yes it's great if you enjoy it, but rather selfishly, it's for me.It's oddly comforting knowing that my little opinion is floating around in cybersapce and will always be here.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Vimeo needs to be more accessible!

-There is vast amounts of creative and visual content online that is still inaccessible to deaf  audiences due to the lack of subtitling through online video hosts.



Being a CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult), I have found myself straddling both the hearing and the deaf world my entire life. I was involved with a Deaf and hearing drama group from a young age (Words Signs and Vibes) which provided me with some incredible opportunities to spread awareness and have an amazing time whilst touring with Sign Song extraordinaire Jayne Fletcher.


Supporting the 'Filmore Gears' at Birmingham Artsfest alongside Jayne Fletcher and Emma Case.



The beautiful visual aspects of the deaf world continue to inspire and aid me when making creative decisions on my degree. I am currently at Bournemouth University studying Scriptwriting for TV and Film and wherever possible I am writing scripts that are accessible to deaf audiences.  For example here is a short film I wrote and acted in last year.


I am now approaching the second term of my final year on the course where I am feverishly writing a dissertation centered on ‘The Lack of Deaf Culture Represented in Mainstream Television’ as well as A twenty minute short film with a deaf lead character.


With the increase in social media and video content on the internet I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of subtitles featured. I want to be able to send my Mum a video and for her to be able to understand it fully without these constant barriers.


This is what inspired me to create an online petition. My petition asks Vimeo to ask its up-loaders to make subtitled versions of their videos available. Vimeo  is a huge video host that specialises in short films that are usually Drama, Documentary mixed in with loads of Animation. It prides itself on its high quality content, rightly so, as it is brimming with thousands of exceptional videos, however, they do not even provide the unreliable captioning option that Youtube has. The captioning option is certainly a step forward but there needs to be more research poured into it as the result is often inaccurate gibberish.



Following this continual frustration I have recently signed up to Amara to voluntarily add subtitles to videos so the Deaf/hearing impaired can access more content however it is incredibly time consuming and unrealistic for  these online video websites to rely on volunteers to make their content accessible.


They should be creating agreements in there terms and conditions (which every user must agree to) by which the uploader will be encouraged to add a subtitled option or version upon the upload of their video. At the very least it will make them think about other audiences that they could be reaching.  Arguably it may take a few hours to do this but it would be worth it as the creator will be able to reach millions of more viewers and Deaf and HOH viewers will be able to access more content online. It may be hugely beneficial to those learning English as a foreign language too , as well as saving many volunteers’ hours or trawling the net and manually subtitling videos, in this instance, everyone wins.


This is precisely what my petition proposes. More subtitles online. If you do agree with what I am suggesting please do sign it this online petition:


http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/vimeo-encourage-subtitled-versions-of-videos-to-be-uploaded-for-deaf-people


The very least it will do is raise awareness and let these huge hosts know that they are preventing a huge body of people access to their videos.


Thank you for reading, Joanna.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Free-ak.

* Warning this post has not been edited of even spell checked before posting, I wanted it to be as raw and free as possible, the filters of my mind tarnish it enough.

        Please view this post as a stream of consciousness as opposed to concise and contrived. I have no idea where this may lead but I haven’t done any free writing for a long time, maybe that should be the theme of this post: Free. Recently I have been expanding my mind and weary pupils at ridiculous hours of the morning, learning all about the lives of Freegans and Dumpster Divers as they are so aptly named. I stumbled across a user of Instagram who holds monthly  ‘Free- Markets’ whereby the salvage as much quality objects, from clothing to bikes as they can and set up a stall on the street so passers-by can pick anything up ; FOR FREE! This already had me in the palm of their anti-capitalist hands but to put the organic home grown cherry on the top this group host Freegan banquets in New York twice A month, now I was totally swept under this new exciting hippie wave. I’m not sure of how many people know what Freegans are, usually they are people who are Vegan and try to sustain their diets by growing their own food, thus spending little money in Supermarkets and opting out wherever possible in the Consumptive nature of our society.

  I have had so many slight opinions for so long but never truly felt like they were grounded anywhere, but through stumbling across this bold groups movement , I honestly felt like things were starting to click. I have never felt like I belonged in huge supermarkets, I’ve never really wanted to drive a car even (I’d happily cycle everywhere for the rest of my life) I suppose growing up a tiny village until the age of 6 and then moving to a city may have contributed to this overwhelming feeling of disbelonging. Anyway the strong community of like-minded Freegans and those who believe in mutual aid (doing everything in their little power to help as many people as possible) really struck a chord with me.

  This sense of care and help is what I feel is lacking in so many industries, potentially all industries, I have heard someone exclaim ‘why should I do that, it’s not my job!’ far too many times, if you work for a company or on a project you should believe whole heartedly in that company or project and want it to move forward in whatever way it can, even if it means mucking in with jobs that are not deemed ‘yours’.  I know there are a hell of a lot of people in the world who are doing jobs to just get by and may not take (or can) take an active role in the structuring and shaping of the project/company  but I truly feel, anyone at any ‘level’ (I hate the thought of anyone being ‘above’ anyone else) by being that little bit more conscious of the people working around them, and doing things to move the whole things forward will not only make them a happier person and their colleagues happier but it will also reap those superficial monetary rewards/targets which everyone is so focused on achieving.

  I’ve had some real ‘birds eye view’ moments recently, where I allow myself to totally extract everything from the life I lead, all the feelings I have and almost analyse the human race and world from an alien birds perspective. We are so odd. As a race, I have been questioning the word ‘civilized’ an awful lot of recent for it is those who are deemed 'uncivilized' that seem to show the greatest awareness for the Planet and forming a mutualistic relationship with their surroundings, anyway, I don’t want to dwell. There are so many reasons to be happy as humans, it’s the mindfulness and appreciation that is needed, I would urge everyone to take just 5 minutes out and view the world as a whole, then slowly bring it back to your life, all those ‘significant’ worries soon evaporate and I usually just feel an overwhelming sense on contentment at just being alive, just being able to breath, see, hear, feel and read all about the world. 

   The point I have been trying to make is, we may ultimately feel free, yet it is so hard to act upon this natural desire to be free as responsibilities, that we create, weigh us down and begin to cloud the beautiful vision we once had of the world, our child-like awe,  we become surrounded by negativity but we can make a change and that’s what I aim to do. I feel like a great cloud has been lifted and I have been observing life from a slightly clearer angle, everything is consumption and a lot of it is without even thinking about the consequences.

    I have been a Vegetarian for almost 10 months now (admittedly having a few small blips) and know in myself and my body that I couldn't be a Freegan, or vegan for that matter, but I can adopt some of their philosophies, I want to try and only buy from local shops if I have to buy, I’m going to try and make/grow as much of my own food as possible and I am going to gear myself up for a Dumpster Dive in the near future. As I physically cannot stop myself from acting upon and directly challenging the absolutely ludicrous laws governing food waste in Supermarkets.

PS. I am also looking at spending a minimum of 8 weeks in and Eco-yoga-commune in Peru. Some may call it escape, I call it real life and what it is all meant to be about!


https://soundcloud.com/mutual-benefit/advanced-falconry

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The Politicians Husband. Poultons Review.

The Politicians Husband, BBC 2.


This three part drama proved to be a lot more controversial  than I initially assumed. The first episode gently introduced us to the world of Freya and Aiden Hoynes lives as the golden couple of Politics. Each character was established well, with some really lovely moments of touch. I often feel underwhelmed by the portrayal of human contact in Television and Film and the importance of it in relationships. However I truly felt they highlighted, not obviously, but subtly, the closeness of the couple through tiny moments be it their hands grazing one another of the simplicity of exchanging affectionate glances, without the need for a raunchy sex scene, although that was provided and I am certainly not complaining.


The raunchy scenes early on instantaneously allowed myself to place these 'wooden statues of power' , these politicians, outside the cold cage my judgement had banished them to and dragged them into the fiery  passionate sexual sphere , directly making them more relatable. That is exactly what I was already beginning to love about this drama, the humanisation of these figures in society who are far too often depicted as 'cold' with their only desire being the gain of power and status.


Like the sex, the pace was anything but slow, forcing the viewer to  keep up with every movement, name and headline featured.  There was reference to The Guardian, Twitter and other technological influences on politics that so few think to address, However like some other recent dramas (the finale of Black Mirror) I didn't feel like we were constantly bombarded with this, or that we were watching the screen on the screen as TPTH provided us with tiny tid bits allowing us to gain a slight insight into how the outer world perceived this fairly claustrophobic family based lifestyle.


By the end of the first episode I was thoroughly impressed by the subtly in double Oscar nominee Emily Watsons portrayal of 'Freya'. One thing that did grate was the overly childish characterization of their daughter (she must have been about 7, yet was still being picked up like a 3 year old) and her wooden acting didn't help matters either, but hey they're kids, they'll only learn!


The two later episodes felt less structured although I thought the opening scene of the second episode was truly GRIPPING tackling rape within marriage beautifully with a great soundscape and subtle character moments to show the effects.

OVERALL, WELL WORTH A WATCH!

I LOVE IDEASTAP!

IF YOU ARE A CREATIVE PERSON I COULDN'T ADVISE YOU MORE TO SIGN UP AT http://www.ideastap.com/ !


I'm currently at Bournemouth Universities media school of excellence reading Scriptwriting for Tv and Film. I'm an aspiring Producer and Scriptwriter with keen focus on writing for Television Drama. I have written a handful of short films for Television Production students as well as orchestrating my own Originally formatted Talent Show 'Busking' and Writing and Directing my own 10 minute play 'Cardboard Cushions'.

Ideastap excites me.

I feel the potential of this platform, to bind and inspire creative minds could be one of the most exciting things on the web, because that's what the world boils down to, behind these screens, behind huge budget films, tiny theatre plays ; it's people. All too often we presume others don't want to help, but they do, creativity is collaboration. Nothing can rival the feeling of being a part of a beautiful creative process. The sparks that ricochet from that original awkward and clunky idea, that transform and blossom, I feel it is this natural high through idea generation that will continue to propel and inspire me through this bizarre but extremely rewarding industry.

I have so many ideas that are bursting out of me, I still find it incredible that at the end of a 30 hour Writing stint, you would have created something that wasn't there before. Something that will float around an agents office or in cyberspace or maybe it will forever remain, happily, at the bottom draw of your cabinet. It doesn't matter where it ends up, it's the creating that is important. If there is one thing that has inspired me to continue with this crazy creative career path , it is the subtle impact our work could potentially have , whether it's raising awareness of an issue or making one person stop and reflect for a single moment.

I truly feel there is nothing more exhilarating than having others surround you during those magical times, I love like minded creative spirits!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Tame Impala.


Brixton Academy 30/10/12

Brixton academy boasts an atmospheric and alluring venue, with it’s roman themed d├ęcor we truly felt like we were outside on a warm Italian evening. The ceiling seemed never ending, providing the perfect echoes for Tame Impalas encapsulating electric tones and dream-like melodies. Fortunately the set didn’t stray from their golden ‘Innerspeaker’ days which were anything but Tame.
Support: 'The Amazing Band' which were what they stated.

 A sea of indie shades and psychedelic waves washed over us as we stood in awe of the band and the captivatingly simple motion graphics that seamlessly merged into the music. Kevin Parker mid-set honestly announced ‘We can’t believe how nice you’re being, we thought you guys would hate us’ which only added momentum to the already swaying crowd. 




Absolute highlight of the gig was an exclusive mash-up of ‘Half Glass Full of Wine’ they performed as their encore. Just incredible, I’ve been bopping to the beat ever since.