I will admit 95% of the reason I picked BCM 325 was because a portion of my marks would come down to my ability to live tweet about science-fiction films in class. I like film. I like science-fiction. I “like” tweeting. Live-tweeting films is something I have experience with, I do it from time-to-time on my non-University twitter. This should be a walk in the park right?
The rigour expected from BCM 325 tweets is far higher than those of Film Twitter, and the need to be informative threw me for a loop. My instinct was to be funny, make memes, so it goes. In the end I only made one humour tweet over five (5!) live-screenings. I learnt quickly that this class is, uh, not the place my little jokes.
So I shifted the focus to being engaging in the Academic Discourse. In some ways this was a benefit to me. It forced me to use my analytic skills and actually apply my fairly deep knowledge of film (I refrain from calling myself a cinephile because 1) that very self-aggrandising and 2) I still have big blind spots to cover).
My knowledge of film gave me a few advantages coming in. The first was that had seen three of five films covered thus far (Metropolis, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Blade Runner). This gave me the chance to prepare some content in advance (here’s a link to my google doc for Proof). I found having tweets ready allowed me to devote more time to the #BCM325 feed and the film itself, giving me the chance to pick up on new details and create some on the fly tweets too.
week 1 – Metropolis (aka. the one where i was finding my footing and people were like, “Parasite just won best picture? neat!”)
I remember Chris saying Metropolis was in week 1 because a lot of us did it in the HSC? Well I had done it in the HSC, so if he did say that, then he was talking about vaguely me (love when things are about me). Anyway, having done Metropolis is the HSC was useful, I came in equipped with a lot of prior knowledge and used that to have a stock of prepared tweets ready to go.
In week 1 I pretty categorically failed to weave in… ya’known… [gestures vaguely at the broader ideas about future studies]. However, I feel I made up for this in terms of analysis and discussion.
My general knowledge of the text allowed me the opportunity to provide some in-depth analysis of the film, especially some of the more literary/fine arts ideas on display, and through them was able to engage in conversations about how older ideas and concepts were updated and related to the film (and to Best Picture winner Parasite).
My prepared tweets, for the most past, were engaged with more than my impromptu tweets, and while replies were limited (two on the Hitler tweet, one of the Parasite tweet) the overall engagement was healthy, with a decent amount of likes (4-10) and retweets (2-3) per tweet, especially considering it was week 1.
Here also began my obsessive need to find some kind of overarching “narrative arc” for this subject (obviously there already is one, Chris is smart and it’s neatly weaved in) but I like to make one for myself! Anyway, see tweet 4 for this.
So while my links to future cultures/studies was weak, my engagement and analysis was fairly strong.
tweet 1 – this thread (prepared)
tweet 2 – the vitruvian man tweet (prepared)
tweet 3 – the Parasite one’s
tweet 4 – the one where I’m like “I can’t help but create overarching narratives for every aspect of life”
reply 1 – the one where i say something “profound“
week 2 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (aka. the one where i was like, omg guys, but what about art?)
Anyway, I’ll be the first to admit that the first few lectures were a bit of wash for me, this subject didn’t fully click until week 4. So once again, my engagement with the course content was Not Great with the exception of tweet 3 where I talk about duelling projections of the future.
This week was another strong week for my general analysis, the centrepiece being a lovely thread about artist influences and the passage of time; I am aware this had a real know-it-all vibe, I’m sorry! I also noticed that people enjoyed behind the scenes factoids so I included some of those too. I tried to build on my “dreams/puzzles” thread to a pretty poor reception, down from 7 likes to 2, which showed that clearly people weren’t actually that interested in it. This did not stop me until next week thought, I. am stubborn.
Finally, I worked interacting more with other students, both in replying and retweeting a few neat tweets. The replies were a mixed bag, again my know-it-all-ness shone through, and I got caught up proving I had knowledge which made for poor discussions,
Overall my engagement was consistent with the week before, with my literary/fine arts approach proving to be a good base from which to generate content, however, the success of tweet 2 proved that there was a way for me to expand my content which was worth exploring.
tweet 1 – the bloody art thread (prepared)
tweet 2 – the inexplicably popular one (prepared)
tweet 3 – the one where i actually discuss the “future” part of “future studies” (prepared)
reply 1 – stop being a know-it-all josh, it’s obnoxious
reply 2 – seriously, stop it josh
week 3 – Westworld (aka. the one where i was like… uhhhh, robots?)
Researching was really helpful, without it I would have been completely out of my depth. To a degree I still was, my original tweets lacked the jazziness that I try to bring to the table normally. My uncertainty with the film meant I fell back on much more generic territory (when you think about it… Westworld… is like videogame… makes you think) and my interactions were generally down. The one exception to this was a tweet I made in the moment about historical precedent, which tbh I felt pretty smart for thinking of, and Chris reaffirmed me, so I experienced, like, 10 seconds of pure serotonin from that.
What I lost in terms of interaction on regular tweets, I made up for in terms of discussion and interaction with other peoples tweets! My uncertainty actually made for good discussion, I was Asking Questions rather than just Saying Facts and, turns out, people are much more responsive to that. My most successful tweet for the week was a reply, and I through my discussions I actually engaged with ideas of future culture and development properly for the first time during the live tweets.
Finally, this week saw the demise of my short-lived “dreams/puzzles” series. The tweet received no love at all this week, ending any intention I had of keeping it as a through line.
So, while my overall interactions were well down (4-5 likes, 1-2 retweets, patchy replies), my engagement with others was best, discussion of the film strong, and I addressed ideas pertinent to the subject (I used the word novum in the correct context, I mean…).
tweet 1 – the one that lowkey stoked chris maybe?
tweet 2 – no one can stop me talking about religious imagery so don’t even try
reply 1 – people simply love talk about disney
reply 2 – i got? four replies? to this reply???
reply 3 – where it clicked that coming off “not 100% certain” when replying made you seem less condescending
week 4 – Blade Runner (aka. the one where i was like… ahhhh, robots!)
Look, Blade Runner is one of my favourite films (it’s right there in my top 100), if there were was ever a week I was gonna go full sicko mode it was this one.
Listen, I went full sicko mode on this one.
The live-tweeting of Blade Runner was the first week where I was not only VERY familiar with the film (I’ve watched it many many times) but I also fully had a grip on how to go about getting interactions on my tweets, and how to interact with other peoples tweets.
Long story shot: this was a good week for tweeting.
For the first time I had tweets that were so popular they got interactions from the 11:30 class (tweet 1 and 2). It was the first week where my literary/fine art knowledge coalesced properly with key concepts from the class. I also added questions into my main tweets to provoke discussion, and while this wasn’t very successful (replies on these tweets were spare), one question tweet did get a stupid amount of likes and retweets so it clearly resonated with people, just not enough for them to respond.
I also had several good discussion with other students, that border on techno-oriental discussion, like languages spoken in Blade Runner, and futurism concepts like the trajectory of humanity.
It was also the first week where I was able to start building on ideas from other films fully, so while my desire for one overarching narrative died, the narrative connections between films lives on.
Overall, this is the kind of week I want every live-tweeting session to be like, a difficult prospect, but if I can build on the blueprints from this week, maybe achievable?
tweet 1 – you thought I WOULDN’T talk about art? ha! (prepared)
tweet 2 – the question that everyone liked and retweeted (prepared)
tweet 3 – religious imagery AND narrative building? yes, please (prepared)
tweet 4 – i thought this was a great question but not many people replied so (prepared)
reply 1 – Vangelis GOAT
reply 2 – let’s discuss definitions of good and conventions of romanticist literature
reply 3 – is this verging on know-it-all territory?
week 5 – Minority Report (aka. the one where i was like “so i watched Johnny Mnemonic for no reason???)
So, I watched Johnny Mnemonic for no reason, huh? I’m not mad, my preparation for Johnny Mnemonic was not up to par with my past preparation. But I also hadn’t seen Minority Report before which meant that I was walking in practically blind (I got in ten (10) minutes of research before class started).
Because of my lack of familiarity, I decided to repeat my approach with Westworld and focus more on discussion and interaction than trying to formulate A Take™ in the moment.
This proved to be an effective approach. I had the best discussions thus far, it helps that Minority Report is an inherently good conversation starter. I was also conscious of focusing on technology and the future where-ever possible, and this was by far the best week for me in that regard (aided by the fact that I didn’t have time to prepare any literary/fine art analysis). So while this was the week where I was least able to bring personal perspectives and ideas, it was the week where I best engaged with the content. Now the challenge remains to do both with equal success (although Ghost in the Shell is loaded with religious imagery, and it’s directly linked to the futurist ideas of the film so, perhaps not?)
My original tweets this week received low interactions overall, with the exception of one tweet which met my normal standards and one tweet that, again, got interactions from the 11:30 class (my new benchmark, I’m aiming for at least one of these every week). Interestingly, both were questions, but they also generated substantial discussion unlike the Blade Runner ones. The key difference between them is their length and specificity, so moving forward making more detailed questions will be my plan of attack.
Overall, would love to marrying this weeks discussion with my research levels from past weeks (on that note, do we know what the week 8 film will be? If not I have suggestions: Solaris, High Life, Ad Astra, Strange Days, and Annihilation)
tweet 1 – the one with class interaction crossover and a load of discussion
tweet 2 – can i get, uh, nuanced question sir?
reply 1 – all police are inherently corrupt dot com
reply 2 – ignore the typo (i missed a word)
reply 3 – the tea is exceptionally hot today
…all-in-all I have a few quick goals for my tweets moving forward (I also wanna say sorry to whomever is marking this, I wouldn’t know what brevity was if it hit me in the face):
- One tweet with crossover to the 11:30 class per week.
- One question tweet with high response.
- Engage in at least three thorough discussions with other students.
- One futurism tweet for every literature/fine art tweet, balance of concepts and original ideas!