Dr John McMullan
BMedia (Hons) PhD

Screen Production Lecturer

About me

I’m a Murdoch University lecturer specialising in the theory and practice of digital two dimensional moving images.

My production experience includes creating nationally-distributed music videos for Australian musicians John Butler Trio, Eskimo Jo, The Waifs, and the Scotch of Saint James, as well as writing, producing, directing, editing, and compositing a multi-award nominated virtual-set short science-fiction film called Cyron.  I’ve spent time mixing live video projection and been a Video-Jockey at live music events supporting international DJs, produced a localised FM radio station for Southbound Music Festival, live video-switched commercial performances and events, and was the producer/director of online Perth local music video channel perthbands.tv.

I’ve been nominated for best editing internationally for the experimental short film, Date, that has screened at numerous national and international festivals, as well as national broadcast television.

My 45 minute, independently produced, documentary, OurStory: Six Sisters of the Stolen Generation, has screened at various significant indigenous cultural events, including Reconciliation Day 2012 and the Wairoa Indigenous Film Festival in New Zealand.  It has also recently ceased being broadcast on SBS after 10 screenings.

I recently did post-production vision for the acclaimed 35-minute indigenous documentary, Synergies – Walking Together, Belonging to Country, directed by well-known Murdoch film-maker, Glen Stasiuk. I’m working on an indigenous fathering project in collaboration with UWA researcher, Len Collard, as well as other participatory video production ideas. I am also presently writing my first feature film with colleague, Dr Owen Beck.

My PhD topic was YouTube as a communication medium, and my areas of research interest include spatial montage, the “new” in new media, moving image formats and transparency, online video repositories, and most recently; stereoscopic video.

I’ve taught in a wide range of screen related areas, including digital video compositing, music video, video editing, and online video distribution.

Teaching area

I’ve taught in many areas of Screen Production practice and theory, including digital compositing, temporal montage, cinematography, screen genre theory, motion tracking, viral videos, television, film, and online video. I have spent several years integrating many of these areas into the existing Screen Production curriculum here at Murdoch, and recently undertook a complete restructure of the same curriculum to accentuate our focus on transitioning our students into the existing screen industry. Our new Postgraduate Media Production program is the cornerstone of that effort.

Research areas

I completed my PhD candidature a year ago, which blended an extension of medium theory with a mediated action perspective of Gibson’s term “affordances” to show that YouTube can be considered a singular medium in it’s own right.  Check out the 25 episodes of Perth local band music website https://www.youtube.com/user/perthbandstv, which I produced and directed.  It’s the production component of my PhD thesis.  Make sure to make a comment!

Other research areas include spatial montage, documentary video, music video, digital storytelling, remediation as a storytelling tool, hypermediacy in the short film genre, and participatory video as a research methodology.

Current projects

Currently, I’m working on expanding on my recent work in The Aboriginal Fathering Project, which focuses on engaging indigenous fathers through digital storytelling to determine relevant and important issues within the Nyoongar community. From this foundation, we will strive to create and publish a television hour documentary for broadcast television and festivals.

A participatory video project, in collaboration with the Yiriman Project in the Kimberley region of WA, is also in the pipeline. It will entail combining archival video/audio with new footage, and working with the local community to help them construct their story.

I am also currently writing a dramatic feature film with colleague, Owen Beck. It’s about how a lost and recently-divorced retiree finds his way back to an unexpected happiness through the help of several strong women – and Tom Jones.

 

 

Events and speaking engagements

Conference Presentations

“YouTube as a Medium: The theory of foundation technologies”, presented at The Toronto School Conference: Then, Now, Next; Toronto, October 2016.

“perthbands.tv: a study of meaning in online moving-image media”, presented at the POPCAANZ Conference; Melbourne, 2012.

“A New Look at New Media in Education”, presented for the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM), Perth, June 2012.

“The Digital Moving Image: Revising indexicality and transparency”. presented at The Diegetic Life Forms Conference; Perth, 2011.

 

Doctoral and masters supervisions

I’m currently co-supervising Allison Nankivell through her PhD candidacy focusing on the emerging field of interactive documentary.

Publications

Journals

  • McMullan, J., (2011), The Digital Moving Image: Revising Indexicality and Transparency, IM Interactive Media, , 7, pages 1 - 16.

Conference

  • McMullan, J., Richardson, I., (2006),The mobile phone: a hybrid multi-platform medium,In: CyberGames 2006: International Conference on Games Research and Development & IE 2006: The Third Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment (CGIE) (2006).

Some recent moving-image publications:

OurStory: Six Sisters of the Stolen Generation (2012 – 45 minute documentary) – producer, director, camera, editor, sound. Broadcast television, prestigious cultural events, and international festival screening.

Date (2014 – 6 minute short experimental film) – Editor/graphics/colourist. Broadcast television, numerous national and international screenings. Nominated for Best Editing.

Synergies: Walking Together – Walking on Country (2015 – 35 minute documentary) – Editor. Prestigious cultural screenings and more in the pipeline.

Quop Maaman: Aboriginal Fathering Project (2016 – 35 minute participatory video in 6 parts) – Researcher, director, camera, editor, sound. Published through The Fathering Project.