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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Assignment #6: Interaction and Identity

For this assignment I have 3 goals:
1. Update y'all on how the SUMMER OF THE SHARK shoot went. Specifically, I want to share results from the online casting
2. Share my ideas for the design of the online community dealing with internet safety and children
3. Discuss the Hawaii Actors Network casting experience and design ideas for the internet safety community in relation to the readings

We had four beautiful days of shooting. In that time we shot 12 re-enactments; I cast 23 featured roles, over a dozen extras, and a handful of "people on the beach." Of the featured roles 8 were from HAN, 6 were classmates/friends, 5 were actors I regularly work with, 2 were referrals from friends, and 2 were from an "actors showcase" I attended (these are put on by actors and/or acting coaches for casting directors/producers/directors to showcase talent). Of the extras, 3 were from HAN, the rest were friends or referrals from friends.

Of course, all the actors I regularly worked with did AWESOME! That is why they are my "go to" talent. Also, the referrals and friends/classmates all did well. Most of the HAN actors did fine. But there were a couple of issues.

1. Exaggerated skills.

In the Donath article, Signals in Social Supernets, the author states, "Trust is belief that the other is trustworthy." I think perhaps I was too trusting of the actors. I truly trusted that then someone says they surf, they surf. It's not like we were shooting on the North Shore in the winter. We were shooting at baby Makapu'u (cockroach cove)on a small and gentle day. I had one actor who during the telephone interview stated emphatically and unequivocally that he was a surfer; he even sounded a tad bit annoyed that I was asking so many questions. He says, "I have been surfing for 34 years." So guess what, once out in the water, we shot for 2 hours and this actor could not even get up on a single wave. He could not even stand up once on the board.

Interestingly, the referrals from friends, who were very humble about their skills, even questioning if they were good enough to be out there were the BEST ones. They caught countless waves during that two hour stretch and they were graceful and natural.

Donath talks about "Assessment signals" vs. "Conventional signals." In the above example I trusted the actor's conventional signals, when perhaps an assessment signal would have clued me in real quick that this guy was a squid. However, I did not have a surf/beach casting in the budget. I guess one not so great extra is really not so bad considering most everyone else from HAN was good.

2. Deceptive Pictures

I thought I took care of this when I asked all the folks who made the first cut to email me a recent snapshot. I know all to well that done up, photoshopped, professional headshots sometimes do not reflect an actor's real look.

There were 2 HAN actors who showed up to set quite a bit heavier than their pictures.

Perhaps my experience described in the 2 issues above can be partly explained in terms of weak ties vs. strong ties, as per the Donath article, "Weak ties are more distant acquaintances, people known in a specific context and towards whom one feels less responsibility."

Maybe because the actor felt that our ties were weak, they did not feel as "responsible" as the referrals from friends who had strong ties to their real life friends who made the introductions.

Using What I Learned From The Casting Experience And The Readings To Design An Online Community

After reading the Liu article, I decided that the Internet Safety Online Community I am designing for my final project is not about "taste statements." The Internet Safety Online Community is focused on education and support. Trust also plays a huge role in this site.

Donath states, "The combination of these types of ties arguably makes social supernets viable: The stronger ties bring reliability to the profile, and a large set of weaker ties expands the scale and scope of the network." I would like to utilize this approach when designing the OC.

As I am working through this final project, I am refining the scope of the OC.

Here is what I got so far:

Well, that's all for now.

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