文化有根 創意是伴 Bridging Creativity
A24, The Future of Film
“Yeah, they don’t need to know what it’s about. They just need to know how it feels.”
- Barry Jenkins, Director, ‘Moonlight’
The Disaster Artist.
A Most Violent Year.
It Comes at Night.
The Florida Project.
(Below: A24's Everything, Every time, At Once, is the big winner of 95th Oscar , including the first ever Asian Best Actress. A Malaysia born star who first began her movie career in Hong Kong)
Almost every movie that has meant something to me over the past five-plus years has been made by A24, an independent film company started in 2012 in New York. When I see their logo (an awesome one, by the way), I anticipate I’ll be taken on a journey of emotional discovery, experiencing a life or points of view that provoke deep thought and consideration.
Early on, while admiring their logo and loving their films, I didn’t know much about A24 and how they became such prolific enablers of great creative work. But in writing this book, I began researching the company, watching it more closely, and marveled repeatedly at the way A24 has proved exceptional at strategic sharing. Not only do does this studio foster superlative films, it demonstrates a profound understanding of how digital media, storytelling, collaboration, direct influence, and trust-building can propel a company from zero to sixty in the Age of Ideas.
Like Supreme, David Chang, or Ian Schrager, A24 makes a product that intrigues me, that inspires excitement, aspiration, and irrational loyalty. What do I mean by irrational loyalty? (Call out Curtis) I mean the willingness to pay more for a branded product or service with minimal added practical benefit. I listen to the A24 podcast and I’m signed up to the A24 email list. I follow their social media feeds. This isn’t the way I usually engage with movie companies. A24 has developed a direct-to-consumer relationship with me and become my trusted film curator. When their latest release comes out, I don’t even need to check reviews because I believe in them and the work they’re doing. They’ve consistently delivered great films, and this has led me to trust them with my entertainment needs.
And now I know their origin story.
In 2012, Daniel Katz, David Fenkel, and John Hodges left their jobs at Guggenheim Partners, Oscilloscope, and Big Beach, respectively, to start a new, independent film company aimed at redefining the way indie movies were made and marketed. As Katz explained, “I always had dreams of [starting a company]. And on some level, honestly, I was afraid to go out on my own and try to make it work. And I was with a bunch of friends [driving] into Rome and I kind of had this moment of clarity. And it was on the A24 [motorway]. And in that moment I was like: Now it’s time to go do this.”
Katz and his fellow founders had been great admirers of 1990s independent cinema and felt there was now a void when it came to films with that kind of boldness and artistic quality. They decided to start a New York-based company focused on “the films and filmmakers, not us.” This meant they would give the creatives—the directors and the writers—control of their work. As Harmony Korine, director of Spring Breakers, puts it, “Hollywood is run by accountants at this point. And so anytime you speak with someone who’s not a pure accountant, is not a pencil pusher, it’s exciting. They had heart to them.”
And that heart has made all the difference with filmmakers. While this approach is not new or novel, it’s rare. Entrepreneurs and business leaders who are open-minded and intelligent enough to enable creatives while providing them support and expertise to realize a truly differentiated vision are few and far between, but the ones who do it well are able to leave their mark on culture and exponentially improve their returns.
Viewed through the lens of the Age of Ideas, A24 represents a prime example of the Creator’s Formula in action. The studio enables gifted filmmakers—experienced creatives—to tell distinct, emotionally generous stories from a personal perspective. And it has developed marketing expertise and credibility after repeated, flawless execution. The way A24 supports its filmmakers’ creative expression while also doing everything right when it comes to the strategic sharing of its movies with the world has created a brand has few peers in the world of entertainment.
Four years after its inception, the company’s first original production, Moonlight, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. As of 2018, A24 has received a total of twenty-four Academy Award nominations, including a Best Picture nomination for Lady Bird, plus a Golden Globe nomination (Best Motion Picture–Musical or Comedy) for The Disaster Artist.
A24’s marketing is innovative, even brilliant. Out of necessity early on, they turned to lower-cost digital platforms and creative guerrilla marketing tactics to build buzz around their films. And while these tactics cost less, such platforms, as we’ve been exploring, are also notably effective in the modern market, especially with the under-forty demographic.
Their film Ex Machina premiered at the 2015 SXSW Festival, and A24 used the dating app Tinder to market to unwitting festival visitors. When Tinder users clicked on an attractive woman named Ava, she would engage and eventually invite them to check out her Instagram. When potential daters visited her Insta page, it featured only a trailer for Ex Machina. This was not only an incredibly creative and engaging marketing tactic to target socially active festivalgoers, it reinforced the film’s premise of artificial intelligence and in itself was buzzworthy. The film ended up being received very positively at the festival and went on to become a hit at the box office, grossing $35 million on a $15-million production budget.
Lady Bird has been A24’s greatest financial success to date, grossing over $75 million on a $10-million production budget, and the company has recently expanded into the growing television-content business. While A24 has had its share of financial misses as well, it has succeeded beyond compare at building a deep connection to filmgoers and consumers of entertainment programming. And it’s done this by establishing a direct relationship with its audience and telling meaningful, beautiful stories.
Let me say a bit more about this relationship to audiences. Imagine if Steven Spielberg had a personal email list and multiple social media channels personally connecting him with all the filmgoers who have seen his movies during the last forty or so years. While Spielberg does have an immense brand, the main way he communicates with his audience is through mass media and expensive, metric-resistant platforms such as billboards and television commercials. By contrast, A24 has a direct relationship with a young, active audience and personal relationships with filmmakers who themselves enjoy close connections to their audiences. Both A24 and their collaborators can reach their audience directly at little or no cost to the parent company and the project they’re promoting. These one- or two-degree separations between brand and consumer give A24 reliable and growing influence in the entertainment industry. The studio not only has created an ideal platform for genuine creative storytellers, they have a machine in place to directly share with their customers and the expertise to collaboratively amplify their messages.
But none of this would have been possible without them first building trust. [https://theageofideas.com]
mission of A24
A24 was founded in 2012 with a mission to shake up the production industry and create films and TV shows with a distinct point of view.
A24 is a fully integrated, global entertainment company with a cult following, creating films and TV shows that are both unique and distinctive in style and story
A24 was founded in 2012 with a mission to shake up the production industry and create films and TV shows with a distinct point of view. Over the last 10 years, A24 has cultivated relationships with talented storytellers and creatives to deliver high-quality, original content through a unique lens.
A24 has built a premium library of films and TV shows that have been met with exceptional commercial and critical success. The team has continued to build upon the success of films such as ‘Moonlight’, ‘Uncut Gems’ and ‘Lady Bird’ with more than 100 other films and numerous successful TV releases, including ‘Euphoria’.
In building a relationship with the A24 team for many years, we have been amazed by the impact of their iconic storytelling globally. A24 is synonymous with incredible content, and their commitment to supporting creative talent is unmatched. In 2022, Stripes was chosen to lead A24’s first institutional financing since inception because of our experience in scaling global brands. We are excited to partner with the A24 team as they continue to expand the breadth and reach of their storytelling capabilities globally.
The information noted above is representative as of the time noted/March 2022 and has not been updated.[https://www.stripes.co]
Genovasi formulates new education programme to address worker issues raised by MEF
By JERRY CHOONG
Wednesday, 14 Apr 2021
KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Genovasi University College has created a special business programme aimed at addressing all the practical aspects of the business workplace, in response to the problems raised by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF)
Genovasi said the programme was designed to remedy employee shortcomings over the past two decades that the MEF highlighted.
“These weaknesses are chronic and mostly focus on issues such as poor working attitude amongst new graduates, poor command of the English language and weakness in applying IT skills,” it said in a statement.
Genovasi added that these problems seriously hamper national productivity and negatively impact the earnings of the employees.
“They will address these shortcomings through knowledge enhancement using technology and incorporating design thinking approaches to enable their students to take control of their career through continuous self-directed lifelong learning.
“They are betting big on a flexible e-learning approach to accounting and financial studies,” it said.
Asides from teaching regular subjects like accounting, economics and business management, Genovasi has evolved a course in design thinking tailored to specially give their students a competitive edge and advantage over their peers.
“The professional degrees not only include accounting, financial and corporate subjects but also subjects like employability and entrepreneurship.
“These topics together with the design thinking module helps the student to be more management or employer-centric. With these innovative subjects, students are expected to greatly enhance their employability, facilitate promotion opportunities and self-actualization upon graduation,” Genovasi said.
Its Department of Accounting and Financial Studies, which created and will spearhead the programme, will train the students in their chosen field especially in accounting, financial intelligence and corporate management, ready for practice upon completion of their business courses.
“However they seek out ideas using technology to focus on helping students, especially for those students who for whatever reasons missed out on opportunities to further their education.
“Genovasi’s courses help to improve their learning attitude and to secure the necessary skills to advance their career. They will then contribute better to the economy and increase productivity within the context of becoming lifelong learners,” it said.
Genovasi’s unique package offering includes online learning, flexi-hours and flexi-location learning, a unique financial intelligence syllabus, and learning outcomes addressing professional exposure.
The department is currently headed by Adjunct Professor Dr. Christopher Heng Kee Chai and assisted by Adjunct Associate Professor Dr. Chan Khin Thiam.
ChatGPT is already impacting our client work—here’s how
Manolis Perrakis Feb 1, 2023
From ideation to creating assets, advisement to copy writing, ChatGPT is fast becoming an indispensable enabler for creative teams.
Few technologies have sparked as much interest and controversy as GPT, as the world grapples with the implications of generative AI across everything from art to education. The creative industry has greeted this new era of machine learning with equal parts excitement and horror, thanks to the technology’s eerie ability to mimic aspects of creativity.
But AI shouldn’t be thought of as a substitute for human creativity. I view it as an intelligent tool that can extend my abilities in the creative field. Unlike regular software like Photoshop, working with AI-generative algorithms is like having an intelligent support system that can vastly speed up the process of generating and executing ideas.
For example, when looking for a very specific image online, it can take hours to find the right one. With AI-assisted image generation tools, you describe what you need and the process is instant. If you don’t like what it comes up with, you fine-tune your request to get a better response.
This boosts creatives’ ability to communicate their ideas with clients and creative collaborators, such as illustrators and designers. At We Are Social, we’re experimenting with ChatGPT which is a conversational version of GPT3, GPT3 being a language transformer model created by OpenAI that’s trained on billions of written text samples in a variety of styles. We’ve worked with it in the ideation process, copy writing and creating assets.
AI can enhance the creative process by offering a different point of view or a variety of angles on a brief. When brainstorming ideas, you can also embark on creative role-playing where the AI takes the role of the client.
For example, I asked ChatGPT to pretend it was a consumer electronics client reviewing an idea for a campaign that projects characteristics of a phone, like the camera shape, onto buildings in New York and London.
In its long list of recommendations, the AI ‘client’ suggested first taking the cost and logistics of the project into account and considering how the initiative can fit into a larger integrated launch campaign. It's also useful for copy writing.
Maybe you need a series of social posts for a brand event. AI-generated suggestions for posts can help you get to the final product more quickly, subject to your (human) changes, re-writes and modifications. I’ve found ChatGPT’s ability to enhance how we communicate and collaborate together the most useful aspect of the technology, and it extends far beyond the work environment.
Together with my three-year-old daughter, Zoe, I recently got ChatGPT to generate a bedtime story for her that had Zoe as the protagonist and featured a unicorn cat. For all the possibilities this technology presents, the dystopian implications cannot be dismissed.
At We Are Social, we recently investigated the current discourse around AI in art, with artists now questioning their relevance and continued existence. For our investigation, we used AI to generate artworks inspired by its understanding of the biggest news headlines for any given day. We named our research Social Diffusion, a reference to Stable Diffusion, the text-to-image algorithm that provides its visualization functionality.
We were blown away by the AI’s ability to create something that was contextualised to a news story using just the headline and to select a style of art that related to the story. For example, for the news headline: “Hurricane Ian continues to batter Central Florida as residents cope with record flooding”, the AI came up with the following prompt and generated an accompanying expressionistic image: “The image is of a large body of water with trees and houses partially submerged. There is debris floating in the water and people are standing on the shore looking at the damage.
The image is in the style of Abstract Expressionism, utilizing expressive brushstrokes to convey the feeling of chaos and destruction caused by the hurricane. The image is large and chaotic, with bold colours and lines representing the destructive force of the storm.”
This was achieved through a chain of data exchanges between multiple layers of AI that are optimized to process a facet of the artwork creation. But as fascinating as this process was, it also showed us how integral human intervention is to it.
In this installation, the creation of art was the subject of exploration. But even in this case, you still need a human mind to put things into motion and chain these machine learning models together. While this technology raises serious ethical questions, it is possible to figure out a way to proceed that ensures human creative output is protected.
Napster was hailed as the death knell for the music industry when it first emerged, but, instead of destroying it, it forced the industry to develop streaming technology, revolutionising it in the process.
At We Are Social, we will always work with human creatives, illustrators, designers, artists, writers, craftspeople. Human creativity is critical to us and to the creative industries. But right now every creative technologist out there is experimenting with these tools.
Will there be AI-generated creative agencies in the future? Perhaps, but we won’t be one of them. We believe AI has the power to supercharge, not kill off, our creativity.
Manolis Perrakis is drector of innovation at We Are Social Singapore.
Genovasi University College gets green light
By Azura Abas - July 19, 2017
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced that Genovasi Malaysia has received approval from the Higher Education Ministry to establish Genovasi University College (GUC).
Najib said GUC would be a design-thinking dedicated university focusing on the ‘fourth Industrial Revolution’.
“This will enable Genovasi Malaysia to reach out to a wider audience and position Malaysia as a hub to promote design thinking.
“This aligns with other initiatives such as the Design Thinking Association of Malaysia which, among others, looks to expand Genovasi and design thinking into the Asean region,” he said at the ‘Cultivating a Thinking Culture’ showcase today.
Also present were Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, Agensi Inovasi Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Mark Rozario and Genovasi Malaysia Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Lee Yew Meng.
The prime minister also announced that nine out of 10 pilot schools from the International Baccalaureate-registered (IB) Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) had received the IB World School accreditation.
“The remaining school is expected to receive verification later this year. Our nine schools now join a select cadre of 1,424 IBMYP schools worldwide.”
The nine schools are Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Sungai Tapang, Samarahan, Sarawak; Malay College Kuala Kangsar, Perak; SMK Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar, Kedah; SMK Putrajaya Presint 9(2), Putrajaya; SMK Pantai, Federal Territory Labuan; and Kolej Tunku Kurshiah, Bandar ENSTEK, Negri Sembilan.
Others were SMK Seri Tualang, Temerloh, Pahang; SM Sains Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, Kota Bahru, Kelantan; and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama (SMKA) Sheikh Abdul Malek, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu.
The IBMYP was established soon after the i-Think programme and Design Thinking programme, both implemented in 2012.
“The i-Think programme was introduced to foster higher order thinking skills in classrooms and thus ensure our next generations develop critical thinking skills.
“Today, four years on, I am proud to share that more than 156,000 teachers have been trained in the i-Think methodologies,” said Najib. （Source: NST）
在表象上，文創產業涉及「文化」變遷至「創意」產業的歷史意義、資本主義全球化的文化商品販賣、新自由主義下政府採行的文化政策，國家或區域的行銷。實際上這些表象所闡明的是理論主流與意識型態的改變，文化、經濟和社會不斷調整相對關係的過程，如同 1980 及 1990 年代的文化、媒體、物質的轉向。文化創意產業的議題則又是 2000 年開始的另一波社會科學整合轉向的結果，結果也適當的調節了藝術與社會的關係，使藝術的重心從高雅文化、大眾文化移轉為日常生活皆可碰觸的物質與商品。
81 「文化產業」或「創意產業」（creative industries）政策提出的目的是，藉由政治性的宣示達成經濟財貨的累積。（李天鐸，〈文化創意產業的媒體經濟觀〉，《文化創意產業讀本》（臺北：遠流，2011 年），頁 82。）
82 新自由主義（小政府、刪減福利開支、私有化、解除管制、開放自由貿易與競爭、公私合夥、使用者付費……）基本上是檯面上的政策修辭和策略， 但整個社會結構的核心趨勢，還是促進資本積累、經濟發展、強化本國統治階級力量，壓制社會反對力量。（王志弘，〈新文化治理體制與國家–社會關係：剝皮寮的襲產化〉，《世新人文社會學報》13（2012 年），頁 55。）
中國創意經濟的持續上升與創意產業的逐漸形成, 使得作為文化創意產業重要組成部分的文化創意產品也得到了迅速發展。然而, 對國內的文化創意產品市場深入研究可發現, 其設計總體上雖然達到了以文化作為核心, 但是在文化元素的具體運用方面, 更多的是偏重於紋飾圖案的轉貼或外觀造型的模仿, 而忽略了文化內涵, 精神品質等深層次的表達。目前, 中國經濟發展水平穩步提高, 居民的消費觀 念從節約型與實用型逐步轉變為個性型與象征型, 人們在追求物質消費的同時, 更加注重文化消費、精神消費。「文化」屬性作為文化創意產品最具標誌性的內涵, 能夠在某種程度上引起消費者情感上的認同與歸屬, 從而滿足其對精神消費的需求。然而, 如何使得文化轉化及運用於產品設計, 文化創意加值設計, 以滿足了人們對於物質和精神的雙重追求, 這需要設計師對文化創意產品的設計做進一步的研究。敘事設計作為一種「講故事」的設計思維, 符合文化創意產品的設計訴求。本文以敘事設計理論以及其在相關領域的研究成果為基礎, 通過分析文化創意產品的設計需求, 結合案例闡述敘事設計理論對文化創意產品設計的啟示, 找到文化創意產品設計與敘事設計的結合點; 在此基礎上, 詳細闡述文化創意產品敘事的基本內容, 並從敘事設計要素、敘事設計方法、敘事設計原則等方面構建文化創意產品的敘事設計體系; 最後以秦淮文化為背景, 通過具體的設計實踐對此設計方法進行驗證。本文研究得出的文化創意產品敘事設計要素, 以及敘事理論指導下的文化創意產品設計方法和相關原則,有效地拓展了文化創意產品的設計思路, 同時, 也為敘事設計在其他領域的應用研究提供了借鑒的方向。[機 構:南京理工大學 / 領 域:工業通用技術及設備；關鍵詞:文化創意產品；敘事設計；文化；敘事（https://wap.cnki.net）]
胡塞爾通過兩種還原的配合，使意識生命向自身敞開了純粹體驗，或者說實現了一般的主體性概念向超越論主體性概念的躍升。因此，盡管胡塞爾和狄爾泰一樣，把意識生命作為科學奠基的基地，但是他們對意識生命的揭示路徑與旨趣實則不同。狄爾泰默許的心理物理學仍然受制於笛卡爾傳統中的心物二元論，並且包含著模糊的自然主義前提。超越論現象學跳出了這一哲學圖景，構成了意識生命自身理解的一種新嘗試。（摘自：王嘉新：意識生命的本質與還原：從狄爾泰到胡塞爾 [結論] ，愛思想 2022-12-07）
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