Thursday, 28 June 2007

Big Brother - Why It's not social documentary (it's just a bunch of hyped up celebrity wannabees pratting around!)

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When Big Brother started, I, like the rest of the UK was captivated, the Truman show brought alive! We could relate to the housemates and the encounters they faced, warming to some and despising others. But this is manufactured entertainment more than social documentary – these people are the extremes of society, placed in an extreme environment, the episodes are manufactured, the players are manipulated.

We see some housemates as freaks, bullies, scapegoats who we can blame for societies degradation, while some are the loveable characters – the victims; Nadia “the transsexual” or Pete “the tourette’s sufferer”, whose exposure helps to make society more accepting of difference. In many ways the show does reflect the society we live in, different classes or social groups, elements of the characters reside in all of us. However, it is the meaning and controversy that we extract from the show, issues bubbling under the surface of society, rather than the characters themselves, that we use to construct totems for society’s ills.

Unlike Truman, the housemates know that they are being watched, they know that they could leave BB into a life of “celebrity” and win a huge cash prize, they perform and create parodies of themselves which might just strike a chord with the public – is Jade Goody really as dumb as she would have us believe?

- Paul Williams

Why Geo-tagged content is the NEXT BIG THING

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A year ago I would have said that podcasting and blogging are the most significant developments on the web, with regards to public engagement and access - but technology evolves so fast that I now consider these to be “old school” and linear, the current fads are in social networking, global positioning and mashups. When geotagging is mixed with blogs, podcasts and facebook, we have a dynamic way of navigating content, our friends and media - spatially through Google Earth, which has revolutionised the way we view our planet.

When on location I have a little gadget which tracks my GPS coordinates as I go about my work. Back at base I can use this geotrack to geotag my media, view it on Google Earth and remotely share it with my friends over the web. Geotagging is the next big thing and it is how broadcasters and producers can extend the life of their content, making it more dynamic, more immersive and placing it in a global context – particular with regards to natural history and travel.

Audio trials have been carried out with GPS tagged narration to guide you through the streets of a city, and interactive games such as Pacmanhattan carried out on the streets of Washington, but this is just the beginning. As KML files become more common, and wifi networks and GPRS becomes more widespread, our TV and Radio audience will be able to access our geo-tagged content from the exact location in which it was captured, creating audio-visual location based experiences.

- Paul Williams

Friday, 22 June 2007


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Get your own Trippermap!

Saturday, 16 June 2007

BBC Points West: The Adisa Exhibition

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This is from a points west piece about the exhibition "Bristol Faces, Afrikan Footsteps" that I helped to produce following my trip to Ghana with the Adisa project. The piece includes some of the footage I filmed in Ghana. I hope to be able to post the full films from the exhibition once I have permission.

Download video for viewing on ipod or PC.