Process Diary – Assessment 1, Work in Progress

I am looking to compare the negative media portrayal of motorcycle clubs, with the reality of the vast majority of motorcycle riders.

Who to target this at?? Ideally 30-50 year olds, who are seen as looking forward to the social aspect of retirement, and maybe even planning for it.  With the Ulyssians as my counter subject to the media hype and fear, many of that age group who ride will have heard of them.

To this end, I will need to start with a slide that is a collage of media images, overlayed with headlines, this will mean a LONG bibliography list!

I plan to counter that by taking images of my own.. images of charity rides, images of small towns benefiting economically from groups of motorcyclists visiting, not sure how to do that one, possibly a line of bikes outside a small cafe? – a smiling store owner handing a coffee over to a leather clad motorcyclist??

I want to include the absurdity of the new laws in various states, but how to do that in an image??

There needs to be some images of conservative motorcyclists, wearing correct safety gear, on fuel efficient scooters etc

Also needed will be a shot that epitomises the social aspect of motorcycle riding.

SHOT SUGGESTIONS FOR A GOOD PHOTO ESSAY

OPENING SHOT – to set the scene, but not tell the whole story

REVEAL – introduce characters

ENVIRONMENTAL – show characters and their relevance to the story – 2-3 images

DETAIL – use to add body to story , similes acceptable

MOMENT/ACTION – summarise the essay with a single shot

EFFECTS – consider using blur, flash or pan shots

CLOSING SHOT – end of story.

Written Essay

Can be quite personal, must explain reasoning behind the theme and should provide context

MY IDEAS

OPENING IMAGE

collage of media images (not mine, but credited), perhaps a Ulysses image on the right of the slide?

REVEAL

Social shot showing friendship, perhaps in riding gear with bikes in background?

ENVIRONMENTAL

old guy at Calcallo service station, too old to ride, but still goes to say hi.  Ride leader in cafe shoot, Image from charity ride with toys or disabled people that we help?

ACTION

panned shot of bikes on road (rural background), two old clasped hands???

CLOSE

group shot of more than 3 bikes (that is number law affects) heading down a long road

PERMISSIONS

I will need permission from the riders and charities and retailers that I photograph, and I will need to properly credit all media sources – I also need to reference the dates and times of all rides, and all quotes from those who give them.

I also need to research submission guidelines for the Big Issue, my intended publication

Insurance?? probably not an issue in this case, as I will be covered by CTP while on rides.

OHS – I have all appropriate safety gear and riding gear from being involved with motorcycles for so long

SOURCES

Some sources so far:

http://www.motorbikewriter.com

http://www.theaustralina.com/au/media/opinion/bikie-stories-fulfil-the-daydreams-of-losers/story-e6frg990=1226733796908

Hunter S Thompson quote “Hells Angels is a 100 carat headline”

abc.net.au/news/2009-03-24/police_arrest_bandido_bikie_outside_court/1629769

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Assessment 1 – Pitching Your Idea

Decide on a subject, your story angle and consider what magazine, newspaper or other media outlet might be interested to publish it.  Your story should be something you are interested in and which you have a passion for and wish to explore further. Whilst it is important you have the agreement and cooperation of your subject, you must present your story from your own subjective viewpoint and in the context of your proposed media audience.

My story is going to be how, despite the recent media sensationalist hype about bikie gangs, and the many new laws targeting them, many Australians are still enjoying motorcycle riding as a social and group activity, with a particular emphasis on the older Australians who are members of the  Ulysses club, the largest motorcycle riders club in Australia, whose membership is restricted to those aged over 40, and a vast majority of members are over the age of 60.

After much consideration and considerable research, I have decided to submit to the Big Issue as a lifestyle piece, focusing on the quality of social activities offered to older Australians through the Ulysses club, it’s activities, wide network of members, and their charity work for various organisations.

Research your proposed publication and its agenda and aesthetic. Who is its audience and how is photography used to communicate ideas?

The Big Issue are a not for profit based publication and independent publishin company, their ethic is to help the disadvantaged while providing a slightly irreverent view on culture, current affairs, lifestyle news and opinion.  It is edited by a Walkley award winning journalist and author.

The Big Issue is an Australia wide paper publication with a well established web presence, whose articles are mostly targeted at those interested current affairs and other social issues. Photographs are used in nearly all articles, with many having several supporting images to convey the relevant message of the author.

Write a persuasive pitch explaining why your proposed publication might be interested in publishing your story. Explain why it would be of interest to their readers and what knowledge, skills and access to your subject you have that makes you qualified to shoot it.

I believe that the Big Issue will appreciate the point of view of my essay, as quite often motorcycling is seen as a young person’s activity, and frequently, the valuable social activity aspect for older Austrlaians is not widely known.  I hope to present it in a way that shows the fun times and some of the Ulysses motto of ‘grow old disgracefully”. With an aging population, the social interaction needs of older Australians is quite topical and can create interesting discussions among a wide cross section of society.

Write down the feedback you have received from your photo editor/lecturer and how it has helped you refine your story idea.

During discussions in class, it came to my attention that not many people were aware of motorcycle clubs as a social entity, and only a small number aware of the laws that are currently being rushed through several states.  After reflection on the discussions held, I decided to change the focus of my story to the social aspect of the Ulysses club for older Australians, as opposed to the absurdity of the various laws that were discussed.  I also realized that I was unaware of my of the independent media producers in Australia, so further research was required in that regard.

By changing the focus of my story, and making it a much more positive piece about a popular leisure activity, I hope to broaden the appeal and to be able to create more compelling images.