Death // The Last of Us

The death scene that I chose to look at was a scene from the 2013 PlayStation video game ‘The Last of Us’. The Last of Us is a post-apocalyptic zombie game set in 2030 that follows the story of Joel, a smuggler still trying to get over the murder of his daughter 20 years previous, and Ellie, a young girl whom Joel has been hired to smuggle out of the city. I chose to look at this game in terms of death, although it is not a film, as the game has been praised for its cinematic vibes, with its cutscenes totalling to over 2 hours altogether.

The death in particular that I looked at was the death of Joel’s close friend, Tess. Although we don’t see Tess’ death in the game, in the cutscene beforehand we learn from her that she has been bitten by an ‘infected’ and she volunteers to stay behind to hold away hunters who are after herself, Joel and Ellie. Afterwards, during gameplay, we see her body on the floor in the lobby after the hunters have killed her.

I picked the moment in which Tess shows her bite to Joel as her death moment as this is the moment which, if you will, is the final nail in her coffin. Death for her is inevitable, although she choses a different way to die; she would rather die fighting than become one of the infected.

Tess'_bite

tessdeath2

Biphobia (and Bi Erasure Within the Media)

bisexual
to be sexually attracted to two different genders. traditionally seen as ‘both male and female attraction’, however, bisexuality also includes those who are attracted to two other genders, whom may not fit within the male/female binary.

what is biphobia?
- the aversion towards bisexual people and bisexuality as a social group or as individuals
- people of any sexual orientation can experience such feelings of aversion
- may be based on irrational fear or negative stereotypes

bisexuality erasure
bisexual erasure (or bisexual invisibility) is the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, the news media and other primary sources. in its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists.


As a feminist bisexual woman whom is active within in the LGBTQIA+ community, I was instantly very passionate about this topic. Sexuality, gender and sex are three things that I find that I could talk for days about. When it came to deciding what I wanted to do, on the same day we were set the task I received two biphobic comments and one the following day… so that has spurred me to focus on biphobia and to also touch upon bisexuality erasure within the media.

I came out as bisexual in 2012 after developing feelings for an other girl. For years before this, I was confused about who I was. I mentally labelled myself as bicurious at school because I knew people would instantly say “you’re 15, you’re too young to know” and because no one ever told me that sexuality can be fluid. If you come out as one sexuality yet later find you were wrong and you now identify as something else, that’s fine. I worried that I would be setting myself and my identity in stone. It felt very definining, as if I was putting myself in a box with a label for people to stare at and question if whether or not this is who I really am.

Over the span of these 2 years, I have been confronted by biphobia on many regular occasions – from strangers and people on the internet to my family and my best friends. And even from the girl whom I was in a relationship with.

Friend: So, are you still bisexual? Is that still a thing now you and her have broken up? Or are you properly gay or straight or what?


Ex-girlfriend: I don’t like that you’re interested in a guy because it makes me feel like I was a shit girlfriend. All of my ex-girlfriends have dated guys after me.
Me: Well, I’m bisexual, isn’t that the point of bisexuality? I can date a guy if I want or I can date a girl. I don’t get why it matters?
Ex-girlfriend: Idk, it just makes me feel like crap.


Best friend: Why do you insist on being bisexual? Why can’t you just say you’re both gay and straight?


Best friend’s (straight) friend: So, you’ve never had sex with a guy? You don’t have the right to identify as bisexual. You’re a lesbian. Who is bicurious. You’re not bisexual.


Friend who sees me with my girlfriend for the first time: Whoa, wait? Are you a lesbian? Bisexual? You seriously just got a lot hotter. If you ever want a threesome, you know where I am.


Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 22.10.25These comments are literally only the tip of the iceberg. Although I have faced a plethora of biphobia, I wanted to hear from other members of the bisexual community who have faced it also and I wanted to hear their stories, so I sent out a survey on Tumblr and Twitter. Right now, I have over 250 responses from people detailing their experiences with biphobia and the effects it has caused them. At the moment, I can only view the first 100 results due to SurveyMonkey’s limitation, I’ve analysed the information from these first 100 and hoping to access the rest of the data in the future, as I would like to carry on with this research in my spare time.

Out of the first 100 people, 0 people said that they hadn’t experienced or witnessed biphobia, with 3% saying they were unsure. 97% of people answered otherwise, with 66% answering that they had experienced biphobia, whilst 31% said that they had witnessed biphobia. For those who had answered that they had experienced or witnessed biphobia, I asked them to elaborate further in the next question as to what biphobia they had encountered.

Participant #74: I was told it wasn’t real. Called a slut, greedy, confused etc. My ex-boyfriend was convinced I was going to leave him for a girl because of it. Told that the gender of whoever I eventually settle down with will determine whether I am straight or a lesbian. The term ‘we all start off bi’ from a gay friend. A friend on Facebook shared a video (to raise awareness of biphobia) of a straight white male furiously ranting about why he hates bisexuals. He said things like bisexuals are just the ugly fat ones that nobody else wants. And other things. It was pretty horrific to watch as he was so hateful. When I was in university, the first week, I went on a date with a girl. I was really excited and told my flatmate about it who was a lesbian. Her response was, ‘but you’re straight…’ to which I told her bisexual (I had already told her I was) and she replied with, ‘yeah whatever, same thing’. The LGBT+ community at university was predominantly gay men, I never felt welcomed, taken seriously or a part of that community.


Participant #24: …The last example I have was when I attended a panel at a gaming convention about LGBT representation in video games. During the Q&A portion, I asked why there wasn’t more bisexual representation, and rather than answer herself, a panelist thought to ask the audience. What followed was the most humiliating moment of my life as I continued to stand awkwardly at the front of the room full of people as a lesbian in the audience proceeded to rant about how “Everyone has a preference, bisexuality isn’t realistic and it’s kind of gross” and many other harsh, cruel words that got her APPLAUSE from the audience. I cried for nearly an entire hour once I was in the only REAL safe space for the B in LGBTQIA that I have ever known – my own bedroom.


Participant #45: …The most hurtful things have been said by other people in the LGBTQIA+ community. It seems that because we have this infamous “straight-passing privilege” (which is no privilege at all), we do not share or understand their struggle. We can “choose” to be straight, or in straight relationships, according to these people. It’s quite striking, really, that we’re the only ones in the lgBtqia+ community which constantly has to reaffirm and prove the authencity of our orientation.


Participant #41: I was outed uncomfortably at work which led to my boss who is at least 10 years older than me ‘offering’ a threesome with him and his friend, despite him being in a relationship at the time. Members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community have repeatedly told me I’m ‘actually pansexual’ due to experiencing attraction to more than two genders. I have also been told I am transphobic for being bisexual, despite being a non-binary person myself who is attracted to more than two genders.


As mentioned, a lot of people found that biphobia not only existed from outside of the LGBTQIA+ community, but within it too. A common misconception within the LGBTQIA+ community is that bisexuals have something known as “bisexual privilege”, which is a privilege where we can apparently pass as straight, therefore we do not face the same struggles as our gay and lesbian peers. This is all false stereotyping and very much classes as bisexuality erasure, where one part of our sexuality is being disregarded for another, which makes our identity as a bisexual crumble. I have found, and many others too, that this really is NOT a privilege. Having to hide one part or have one part of our sexuality disregarded is not a privilege.

In my survey, I specifically asked if people had encountered biphobia from those within the LGBTQIA+ community. 60% of the first 100 people answered that they had received biphobia from within the community. 88% of people also said that they had encountered biphobia from outside the community (from heterosexual people).

After experiencing biphobia this week from a girl who tried to invalidate my identity by telling me my sexuality was incorrect, IScreen Shot 2014-10-06 at 22.19.10 have felt very, very low about the fact that I am bisexual and the fact that I came out about being so. I have felt that it would be a lot easier to hide who I am as it would end the multitude of comments, questions, insults and creepy ‘compliments’. I asked within the survey as to whether biphobia has made someone doubt their sexuality or wished their sexuality were different, etc. 88% of people altogether said that they have personally struggled with their identity after experiencing biphobia. These are some of the responses I received.

Participant #98: I didn’t want to be part of a community that was so hated, even by the lgbt community. It’s constantly made fun of in the media, there are straight girls who make out with each other to get guys’ attention and then are somehow counted as bisexual. We’re labeled as whores, if you get raped you were asking for it just because of your sexuality. I think it’s one of the reasons I had depression in high school, because I didn’t know how to identify my sexuality, bisexual was discounted in my mind because of all of this internalised biphobia.


 Participant #11: It took me 4-5 years to come to terms with my sexuality. The whole time it was like “am I actually or is this just a thing I’ve made up in my head?” Even now it’s like that sometimes. Sometimes I just wish I knew 100% what I was so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.


Participant #83: For a while I felt like it was a phase, but I’ve been the way I am for as long as I remember. I didn’t want to come out in high school because I didn’t want people to think I wanted attention, and I’m not really out in college because I don’t want to be told it’s a “college” phase. I also don’t feel comfortable going to LGBT meetings because I don’t feel like a part of it. Like I’m not queer enough. I’ve come out to a few male partners and friends and the response is always if I would want a threesome with them. Being bisexual doesn’t mean that I’m more promiscuous. It’s so hard to explain that to people, but I usually just don’t because I have the ability to “pass” as straight.


Participant #82: I came out to a few people and one of them was really supportive, the other not so much so I shoved myself back into the closet because it felt easier because I had so many crushes on boys and I wasn’t ready for the judgement and because I bought into that “we’re all a little bi/it’s just a phase/ it’s only for attention” rhetoric. But I eventually developed a panic disorder and one of the reasons is because I kept pushing down feelings I had for other girls and thought, “well I have 4 other crushes who are all boys. This one girl can’t really be that significant, I’m still straight.” …Sometimes I wish I were just straight or gay so I wouldn’t have to deal with all of this, I wasn’t confused about my sexuality/romantic identity until people kept insisting I was.


Participant #59: I suffered severe mental health issues as a result of internalised biphobia (suicidal thoughts, self harm, etc.) and it took four years from me realising to accept myself and start coming out (realised at age 12, didn’t come out until age 16)


Participant #28: I actively suppressed my desire for any same-sex partners for several years, stopped using the term and accepted descriptions of myself as “half gay” or “straight for now.” I internalized all biphobia and thought of myself as greedy and slutty for wanting different partners. I simply hid that part of myself from everyone, until I reclaimed it a few years ago.


Many responses to this question included that people had then suffered from internalised biphobia due to the biphobic comments they had received.

201mc // Sports Camera (6 days)

As I am a member of the university’s snow sports society, I know how to ski. A lot of members within the society own sports cameras, such as GoPros, in which they film themselves skiing. I have never used one before and was really eager to. After shopping around for a good price, I came across the Toshiba Camileo X-Sports camera, which had a lot of good reviews and was at a low price. I decided to buy this camera for skiing as I wanted to learn a new piece of equipment and was going to create a video for the society. I filmed a lot throughout the trip, whilst on skis and off skis, in order to get as much footage as I could. I’m really impressed with the results of it and have been busy editing in order to make the edit for the society.

I also wanted the sports camera as I am interested in travelling, so I wanted something small and compact, that could capture footage quickly but also make it look a bit different, via the wide lens effect. I used the camera once again in Moscow, to capture the city and to capture my experiences. As well as an individual edit for Moscow and for skiing, I would like to collect more footage as I travel so that I can make one big video showing me travelling the world, which I think would be a really interesting video.

camera

201mc // Moscow (8 Days)

IMG_0017In November, we were offered the opportunity to go to Moscow in Easter as a part of our professional experience. I immediately wanted to go as I thought it would be an amazing opportunity. Upon the build up to the trip, I researched about how Moscow has a very clear wealthy and poor divide, which is visually obvious. I was really eager to show this through photography, but was apprehensive, as I didn’t feel safe venturing into the suburbs of the city, especially as I may have had no one to go with me. This limited me a little but I still wanted to do this when I got to Moscow. As well as this, I am really interested in architectural photography, and I thought Moscow would be ideal for this.

IMG_0080Moscow was a very useful opportunity as it helped me to understand what it is like to go abroad to do media. Maybe it isn’t as extreme as some cases, such as going to work in a foreign country, but it felt like I was dipping my toe into the water nonetheless. The photographs I have taken in Moscow are vital as they are great additions to my photography portfolio and my Flickr page, as they stand out amongst the rest, as well as showing that I am passionate enough about my work to go abroad to do it.

I really loved my experiences out in Russia. It has really been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I’m really proud of the photos that I left there with. Whilst I was there for 4 whole days, I have added four extra days on for the editing of my photos for the exhibition that is going to be held to showcase our work, as I took over 1,000 photos whilst in Moscow.

moscow russia

201mc // Aesthetica Film Festival (1 day)

3In November, I went on a class trip to the Aesthetic Short Film Festival in York. I have never been to a film festival before and it helped me to see how they work. I really enjoyed my time there and it has inspired me to submit my own work to festivals such as this one. It also helped me to learn about the requirements for submitting to film festivals, which is really useful knowledge.

201mc // Children’s Pantomime (10 Days)

1The majority of my work experience days were taken up by a children’s pantomime. I was asked to take photographs by the school’s teacher, as I was once a member of the school from when I was 10 up until 17, where I then took over the role of assistant teacher. Because of this, I already had a good relationship with my client. After having a meeting with her, she offered me the chance to make money from it, seeing as I previously took the job unpaid. I was given the chance to earn profits from photo CD sales, however, I would have to be in charge of it all myself.

It took a lot of work, from designing and printing the CD covers as well as cutting them and writing on the discs, to searching around for cheap but quality CDs and CD cases so that my profit margin would be larger. I also had to create an advertisement for myself to go onto the CD at the end and a ‘cover page’ to put at the front of the CD’s slideshow. This was a lot of effort due to the fact that I was aiming to be selling 50 Cds. It also took a lot of running around during the day as shows are very fast paced and hectic, especially with children involved.

2The day began with me going to take photos for the technical and dress rehearsal. I wasn’t planning on taking photos of the shows, only the rehearsal, however when I arrived, I found that the plans had changed and that there would no longer be a dress rehearsal. I found this to be a problem, as I didn’t want to be selling photos to the children’s parents of them just in normal clothes. Therefore I had to take photos of the rehearsal and the matinee show. During the rehearsal, I had to make sure that I didn’t distract any of the kids, as some were quite young, so I stayed a few rows back in the seats and used a 50mm lens as well as a telephoto lens. Due to the stopping and starting of tech rehearsals as the lighting and the sound is perfected, it was a lot less fast paced so it was easier to keep up.

Afterwards, I had to upload all of the photos whilst I was waiting for the first show. I set up a stall in the lobby with the CDs out and my laptop running a slideshow of earlier’s photos. I then took down names and information from every parent who wanted a photo CD. I then had to dash up to the balcony to take photos during the show, then dash back down for the interval. There was a lot of running about and it was stressful, however, because I’m used to this theatre environment, I was able to keep pace with it all. It was nice to sit down for some food afterwards!

I then ran the stall again during the second show, after I uploaded the photos from the matinee show and was given a free ticket to watch the evening show.

Overall, I made £120 profit from the sale of the CDs, which were priced at £5 each. Rather than just having the money itself, it felt good to also have the sense of pride and accomplishment that people were buying my work.

After this, the editing process was very long. As I had taken 400 photos, my client wanted all of them edited and watermarked, as well as the 150 that I had selected to be on each disc. I felt under a lot of pressure, seeing as people were paying for my photos, and I didn’t want to disappoint, so I spent a lot of time over Christmas editing all of the photos to the best of my ability. Although this was time consuming, I found the disc burning to be the longest part. My laptop didn’t like that so many photos were going onto so many discs and it sometimes took several hours just to burn one disc. I then had to label them all according with the parent’s names on them. Overall, the whole process took 10 days, from meeting my client to find out what exactly she wanted from me to meeting her again to give her the final CDs. This was my favourite opportunity from this module and it has made me see how much freelancing suits me.

IMG_9467 copy IMG_9465 copyIMG_9430 copyIMG_9765 copy

 

201mc // Business Cards and Online Presence (2 days)

As several days for my work experience, I worked on building my professional appearance and presence. How I present myself is very important in order to be professional.

At first, I created some business cards for myself as a freelancer. At the creative pie conference, other students I was working with had business cards in which they could give to people who asked for them. It was difficult when I didn’t have any, as I had to find something to write my details down upon.

I spent quite a long time designing my cards. I went through a lot of designs that I created, such as photos of my photography on them, etc. I was going to do these through Moo.com, however, I heard a lot of good feedback about vistaprint’s cards, if you upgraded to better card, which is what I done. When I changed the website in which I was working with, it gave me more freedom as Moo’s cards were very expensive, although the quality was high.

I decided to go for a minimalistic approach and to have a colour scheme. My favourite colour is purple, so I chose that colour, however, I also thought about the colours you see a lot and what colours I wanted to avoid. At the conference, one man we spoke to found that one boy’s business cards were better because they were white, which meant he could write my details onto his and he could write notes down about the boy, whilst another boy’s were black. Therefore I opted for a lot of white space, with the minimalistic look looking good. I also wanted to avoid blues as the colour blue is around us a lot nowadays. A lot of company logos are blue (e.g. Allianz, Boots, etc. ) with the major social networks being blue (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr). I wanted a colour that would be different and would stand out but wouldn’t be too ‘in your face’.

I used logos and symbols in order to portray what I could do and could work for. I thought that this was nice as it didn’t overload the small space with loads of writing, about how I could scriptwrite, use Photoshop, use Premiere Pro, etc.. With the writing, I kept it simple with my details, with information on what I do brief and simple.

Here is the finished product. I’m very proud of my business cards, which I have been complimented on a lot!

Business_Card back

Business_Card front censor

As well as this, I worked on my online presence. I created a Twitter for myself in order to promote myself and my work, where I’ve managed to gain a few followers.

201mc // Creative Enterprise’s CreativePIE Conference (3 days)

pieWhen I heard about the CreativePIE conference, I was eager to attend it, especially with it being so local. I thought that it would be interesting to attend, in order to hear more from people in the creative industry and to learn more about collaboration. However, when I found that they needed people to film the event, I signed up for that instead as I wanted to gain experience in filming live events.

On the first day, we held a formal meeting with our client in order to fully understand what he wanted from us. This was also a new experience for me, as I haven’t had meetings like this in a formal setting with someone who I’m going to work for in the media world. To seem, and feel, more professional, I dressed smartly in dark clothes and I wrote down notes on everything that he said and what he wanted us to do. After he left, we then held a meeting as a group, where we organized logistics, such as the equipment we would need, our schedule, when we needed to turn up, etc. etc. This made us a lot more prepared and helped to calm the nerves of those of us who hadn’t done something like this before.

meFor the job, we opted for Sony Z5s as well as Canon 60Ds. The Z5s were used to film the conference itself, as well as the Canons to be used to film for a short promotional video. First and foremost, our client wanted the promotional video to be our main focus, but wanted the conference’s keynotes to be filmed as an extra.

When I turned up for the job, I wore dark colours once again, with a black skirt and a black top. We also wore lanyards with our photos and roles on them, to appear more formal and to show to people attending the conference who we are and what we were doing.

It was a very interesting opportunity to be a part of this event. As it focused heavily on networking, it helped us to network too, as we garnered a lot of attention whilst working there. I spoke to many people who were interested in what myself and the other students were doing in our degree and who were interested in keeping contact in the future with their future projects.

Overall, it was a very interesting experience and a very interesting conference that I am interested attending again next year.

 

 

260MC // Reflection

From this module, I have learnt that when starting up something new, a ton of research is required for you to get it right. There are so many details and little things that you need to look into and learn about before starting. Although I am already used to research for films, photography, writing, etc., this is something very new to me and it has been an interesting journey.

I’m glad I have chosen this project because it is something I’m passionate about and that’s important when creating something. However, I personally feel like this module has been a nightmare of stressed out nights and worrying endlessly as to if what I was doing was right or where to go or what to write or what to do. A lot of the time, I felt as if I needed someone to come and push me in the right direction or to just start writing for me. I didn’t get to read much of the reading list as I didn’t know about it until half way through the module and I already had too much on my plate with this and short film to read them all. This has perhaps hindered my development and research but it’s too late to worry about.

What has been good overall is that I feel I have a pretty solid idea as to what I want and where I want this to go. I need to think further about all of my prompts before I go ahead with this as it would be awful to run out of them halfway through! I already have a ton in mind but I’m going to brainstorm further. What has also been good has been the wonderful feedback I have received from people who are willing and eager to get involved. I do really like my design of the website, the colours are fun and the design is different to those normally seen on social networking sites. I especially like the font due to the crafty feel that it adds. It reminds me of cut out letters, due to the missing counters in the letters.

What I could improve on next time is that I feel I need to research further. I feel like mine’s lacking a solid basis of research, although at the same time, I feel as if I have done a fair bit! It’s also lacking theory which I have struggled with including. Overall, I feel as if I have greatly let myself down this module. I could have included so much more and researched a lot further but problems in my personal life got in the way and I have never been very good at managing my time or being organised altogether. I think for very large projects like this, I need to make myself a schedule to stick to and goals to aim for on a weekly basis in order to get everything done and to achieve everything that I need to do. I’m disappointed but I do think that my project has potential if I put more time and dedication into it.