My role in the project is cooperating with April and get the Chinese film industry part done. Our group allocated jobs equally to the each member, me and April are responsible for all the researches of Chinese film industry. At first, April found some information about the Hong Kong film industry and I responsible for finding interviewees for our interview. I also wrote up interview questions and sent them to the contacts I found on university websites. Since none of the professors/lecturers replied our message, we decided to change it to mainland China instead of Hong Kong. April asked all her friends working in media companies to complete out interview and I’m responsible for translating Chinese into English, as well as contextualising them into blog posts. I think my role within my part is more for leading directions and making decisions like when we should change strategies and how to organise the works. While within the whole group, my role is more of a supportive role. I helped for shootings, I did all the tasks required, I attended meetings and given out feedback. One of the problems is not active enough. I think our group does not have a sufficient method regard to communicating and discussing, therefore it was a bit hard for me to keep updating and exchanging thoughts with each other. Especially when we were deciding the research topic, I don’t think we have communicated enough before the decision. In this case I’m looking more to talking with others and adding more ideas to shape a better idea.
As I mentioned in my posts before, our group had been changing the research topic. Therefore I’ve been changing my strategies as well. At the first time while we are still doing the cultural differences in films, my plan for it is analysing Crouching tiger and hidden dragon as the case study. April and I have already gathered few information on it. Then we change it to the Hong Kong film industry. We plan to source our information from friends, websites and interviews. Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t go with the reality. Firstly, we don’t have any friends has ever worked in the film industry, or even the media industry in Hong Kong; We tried to conduct a few interviews within Melbourne, but all the interviewees refused us saying they don’t have enough knowledge of the industry. Then I tried to look up something on the Internet; except a few websites about the supporting organizations, there are nothing much reflecting how the industry looks like and the roles within. Then I came up the idea of finding contacts form the university media departments. I looked up a few universities and marked down the related professors/lecturers. We have sent out 9-10 emails to those professionals but only one replied, saying he’s not able to answer our question because he doesn’t have experience in Hong Kong film industry. As a result, we have to give up on this topic due to no sources at all. The alternative ways is on our friends. Since April had finished her internship in mainland China, she has some networks in the field and able to do the interview for us. We gathered almost 15 interviews from April’s network and able to find something really useful. In my perspective, the strength is quick reaction and able to come up with a back-up plan immediately; the weakness will be lack of organising, trusted too much in planning and not thinking careful enough. To improve this I should came up with a diverse methods regards to researching, gathering information and analysing problems.
The collaboration strategies have always been sending mails through Facebook and group meeting. I don’t find it sufficient enough for discussing problems especially for a big project like this. When everyone’s working on the same project, there will be chances where the works got overlapped and changing ideas on the project. I don’t think we have deal with this well and we definitely lack of communication throughout the project. Likewise, the group meetings are not always on time for changes and it always comes after the decisions. While I’m working with April, we can contact each other easily, but not to other group members. We only meet as a group during tutorial or after we finished our parts of research. My learning strategies were looking for information in English and articles in scholar. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t working well since the information can not give me enough views on the industry. Therefore I changed my target at looking up the Chinese websites for relevant information. In China, it doesn’t have Google scholar to provide you academic references. I found most of my information on the government website, which is an authentic source. I found the relevant regulations, backgrounds and introduction to some significant companies in Chinese websites. The only problem is to translate them into English which is time consuming. Thus, I found some similar English information about Chinese film industry and combine them in order to help my translating process. I think this can help me translate in a more correct way and more professional.
The most problematic thing is changing topics and deciding a topic so late. I have mentioned this a few times before; our research topic is slowing down our working process and stops us from doing some real work. We are sort of restricted in the thought of we must do something about the film industry or the films. In this case, we have been amended our concepts around ‘film’ for several times. Thus we need to re-write our plan; look at different sources and all of the works are useless if the topic is not set. Another great difficulty to us is not reply and refusing from all the potential interviewees from either Hong Kong and in Melbourne. I have never expected that no one would provide information to us. This is the first time for me feeling so frustrating for conducting interviews. After this experience, I realised that we can’t expect everything goes on plan and a back up plan is always useful. The other problem I met is the research topic itself. Industry skills are something abstract, uncertain and vary under different circumstances. To research skills, it’s hard to find any academic sources on it. Skills are from real experience therefore we mainly focus on interviews see if we can get helpful tips for the graduates. All we can analyse is the background and how may the skills adapted from it. But for the findings in the interviews, we can just sum them up and presented as the result.
Connections and Intersections
In my point of view, the value of the course is to help me face the real world and get things done by using my ability. I realised that networking is extremely important if you want to achieve something, especially in the media industry. Good networking means more chances and helps. There are things turning you down but I should adapt it immediately and came up with another plan. I think this is one of the essential for media students as well. The industry is always changing and full of uncertainties, I should get used to sudden changes and unknown incidents, always prepared myself to deal with these things. For group interactions, I think it’s way not enough for most of the time. As a group, we should keep updating our ideas, exchanging our thoughts and reporting our progress for better organisation and management. The experience taught me that there should be roles for each group member. Someone need to be the leader in directing the project aim, someone need to be updating information between members and someone need to check if anything missed or uncover. If every member knows exactly what is he/she responsible for, the group work will be more efficient.