John Cumming

Welcome to the research pages of ASPERA – a space in which we hope to showcase existing research and develop new research agendas by celebrating the multiplicity of research taking place in screen production. We acknowledge the importance of creative practice in/as/for research in our discipline, and also provide a space for those interested in pedagogic research to share their ideas.

As the University of Canberra’s Professor Ross Gibson reminded us at the inaugural Sightlines: Filmmaking in the Academy conference, at RMIT University in late 2014, research is about knowledge creation and knowledge transfer. In creative practice disciplines, this research can be about, for and through – in other words, research that can take multiple methodological approaches, but is always in some way connected to practice, or the product of practice. For ASPERA, and the discipline of screen production more broadly, this is exciting. As we continue to develop our research agenda, we are able to hear about new approaches to research and embrace innovative ways of thinking, doing and knowing.

Screen production research is interested in all aspects of factual and fiction content creation, distribution and consumption – from script development to film crew practices to audience reception. We are also interested in research about how we tell Australian stories across all forms – from mobile screens to the multiplexes. As an emerging film and television discipline we are also interested in research about research – such as research training and academic capacity building – and research in action – such as integrated scholarship in teaching and learning.

Whatever your screen research interests and experiences, we hope you find these pages useful and inspiring.

2016 ASPERA conference


  • Emerging visions: career success factors in Australian screen production

    Craig Rossiter Queensland University of Technology Celeste Alcaraz Griffith University Abstract A long-term career in screen production is elusive for most. An analysis of feature film and documentary credits by Screen Australia over the last 40 years suggests that only between 5 and 10 per cent make more than five feature films in their career.

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  • Sci-fi movies 101: an international online collaboration and research-led production (starring robots)

    Lisa Dethridge School of Media and Communication, RMIT University Damian Schofield Department of Computer Science, State University of New York Abstract This paper discusses an example of global media production in an educational context that is also a model for online intercultural exchange. We investigate the process of an international, research-led film production project between two universities, RMIT Continue Reading

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  • Virtual historical reality: verisimilitude and the history documentary

    Debra Beattie Queensland College of Art, Griffith University Daniel Maddock Queensland College of Art, Griffith University Abstract There are two ways to conceive of the cinema of the Real: the first is to pretend that you can present reality to be seen; the second is to pose the problem of reality. (Morin, quoted in Lee-Wright 2010) The close Continue Reading

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  • The immersive cinematic sound space: audience perspectives

    Damian Candusso Charles Sturt University Abstract The changing materiality of moving images and picture sources is a crucial aspect of the space in which screen stories are told. Technologies that capture and present moving images are responsible for our understanding of what we see as audiences; and as makers, how we create reality on screen.

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  • Rethinking genre theory for screenwriting practice: using Mikhail Bakhtin’s theory of discourse

    Simon Weaving University of Newcastle Abstract Screenwriters are frequently encouraged to use genre as an approach to developing their cinematic storytelling, but—with a personal interest in creating a feature length film noir film—I was concerned that applying genre conventions might result in a highly clichéd screenplay. In order to better understand how genre can be used in practice as Continue Reading

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  • Looking in a mirror or through a window: mainstream audiences and gay men portrayed in film and television

    Nick Bamford Bournemouth University Abstract As 21st century LGBTI emancipation continues apace, screen representations are following suit. But all too often gay-themed films attract only gay audiences, and so tend to “preach to the converted” rather than supporting that emancipation by attracting mainstream, heterosexual audiences.

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  • Transformative meeting: the creative moment in screen performance

    Helen Goritsas Academy of Information Technology Abstract In this paper the creative moment in screen performance will be examined. An encounter theory of modern cinema will be introduced and the connectedness of the process of screen performance in filmmaking and its reception explored. The encounter perspective, reflecting an interpretation of creativity based on a traditional romantic view of art, Continue Reading

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  • The scholarly studio: developing a new aesthetic of the multi-camera television studio as an academic research tool

    Trevor Hearing Bournemouth University Abstract This paper examines the potential to develop live multi-camera screen production methods as a scholarly form of communication. Drawing on experimental work in broadcasting in the 1970s and early 1980s, exemplified by The Journal of Bridget Hitler (Saville 1981), and recent developments in multi-camera live-streaming online and to cinemas the paper asks if we Continue Reading

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  • Evocative moments with smartphone cameras

    Marsha Berry RMIT University Abstract Photography and video making have become entangled with mobility and mobile social media as experienced in everyday life. This, in turn has affected how smartphones and applications influence contemporary everyday aesthetics. Romance, memory, nostalgia, playfulness and epiphany all play a part in the desire to create evocative still and moving images that capture creative Continue Reading

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  • Narrative comedy screenwriting: the role of critical reflection in creative practice

    Susan Cake Queensland University of Technology Abstract Larger classes, reduced class contact time and increased use of casual staff pose challenges to holistic, project-based approaches to teaching screenwriting in the vocational education and training (VET) sector. This paper examines the impact of critical reflection on the process and artefacts of writing a narrative comedy series “Fighting Fit”. It is Continue Reading

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Recent publications which members of the ASPERA executive have either written or contributed to.


from ASPERA conferences

Other links