Once upon a time in Cabramatta Case Study- analysis
Producer: Executive producers SUE CLOTHIER and CRAIG GRAHAM
Series writer and producer JACOB HICKEY
Production Company: SBS
Platform: WEB, TV Broadcast, apps in apple store, books
Background and synopsis
Once upon a time in Cabramatta, directed by Sue Clothier and Craig Graham, is an Australian documentary film that tells the untold story of how the Vietnamese community overcame the odds and found their place in multicultural Australia. It’s a three-part Australian documentary TV series and shown by SBS ONE on January 2012
After the Vietnam War ends, Australia Prime Minister Fraser decided to open the doors for refugees. Cabramatta is a south western suburb of Sydney about thirty kilometres from the city centre and its part of the local government area of the City of Fairfield. This town has been known for ‘Vietnamese Town’ is because most arrivals were initially housed in hostels in the area, which is called Migrant Hostel and Cabramatta has a history as migrant ‘transition zone’ which has been hosted a succession of post-world War Two arrivals. Vietnamese people also settling in surrounding suburbs including Ganley Vale, Bankstown and Fairfield. Vietnamese is just like the other migrants who come from different countries, the 80s and the 90s of them were struggling to find their place in a foreign land in this one of the tiny Sydney suburbs. This documentary outlined a history of the community life in Cabramatta.
The purpose of setting this site for this documentary is to promote the past untold stories to people and letting audience know why this tiny suburb Cabramatta has become the town where Vietnamese live. It can be said it’s a quite interactive documentary that allows audiences to feel the culture and the way of living of Vietnamese as well as the stories of this tiny suburb. After watching the video, audiences can also share their ideas and comments on the home page.
Once upon a time in Cabramatta is a broadcast documentary TV series as well as available online, it a web-based project as well. It is available on media outlets such as computers, smart phone (iphone) and ipad and it also has been delivered in a book format. The content is all the same. Therefore audience can access the film more easily, however I am recommend to view in the web as in my opinion the accessibility of mobile application is not high. The download of ipad and iphone edition and this notice of download is appeared on the home page website, and that means if users who didn’t know and see this documentary film website, they don’t know the film and also don’t know it can be downloaded. Adding that viewing in smart phone the play quality may not be high and clear enough.
Target Audience and User experience
The purpose of this project and website aims to reach out to mass audience. Thus the target audience of the documentary is mass audience. The aim is to let people who no matter are living in Cabramatta, close-by or in other cities in Australia, even people who do not living in Australia to know this place and on the other hand it also promotes the multiculturalism of Australia.
In my opinion, the documentary is easy for audience to navigate, the headings and subheadings are very clear shown. The navigation bar clearly directs you to the page you want. The accessibility of the whole website is high. As this is on a SBS website, people will be more likely to find this documentary. SBS website is a very famous news website with vast quantities of news readers. With numerous browsers per day, this documentary is not hard to be exposed to them. As users found this website, they can clearly see the headings and get to know that the first page is the background text and they can go to the desired page following the guiding headings. There are several documentary videos on the website and can be displayed largely on the screen. The website also invites people to share their comments and ideas after watching the documentary.
Additionally, there are multimedia platforms in this website and search engines for users that allow them to search whatever they desired.
But there are also some disadvantages; for example, the section ‘Cabramatta Community Initiative’ Section which located on the right and its very eye-attracting, this widget seems has broken down as there is a line saying it’s no longer running. I think this is meaningless, if a widget has broken down it should be removed from the website instead of just leaving it there, it will create a feeling of this website has been ignored for a while to the mass audiences.
Social Media Implementation and User participation
This web-documentary website is not very well engaged with Social media platforms, the only social media platform that its connected with is twitter. As it can be seen a small twitter sign appeared just on the top of the subheadings of ‘Cabramatta Community Initiative’, and it’s a sign that seems telling you if you want to tweet or share this site on twitter then click here. Besides, there are no other social media platform icons on the page, such as Facebook. And I have also personally searched this documentary show on Facebook however there is no a set-up page for it. But this website indeed invites audience to participate by setting up the comments zone and users can see other’s comment on the homepage straightforwardly.
The whole website seems has been established in a blog format, the content was centred middle and leaving the two sides blank. The title of this website has been designed as using a background picture of ‘Once upon a time in Cabramatta’ headings with a lion beside. This makes the whole website looks more professional and best representing the content of the website. The navigation bar is very clear and straightforward outlining all the relating pages and audience will be clearly directed to different pages. On the home page, a large image shows the main character of the show and gives a brief idea to audience about the main character of the show with a short brief story introduction. This part uses a big column which positioned 2/3 of the whole content box. Under the picture, it’s the comment zone and users can firstly see other people’s comment and it can arouse their interests to the film.
On the right hand side the ‘Cabramatta Community Initiative’ small section aims to show the community and used as a highlight of the main theme, however its useless as it is not functioned. I suggest this should be replaced by other meaningful widgets. A small section below this is a small widget trying to tell people what shows are going on and the small widget (small section) below these are just meaningless. In terms of colour, it has adopted black and white and it’s very simple and straightforward. This makes the whole page looks more professional and engaged. However, the whole design of the page might be quite boring as it did not highlighted any interesting areas, the website is just like other story websites looks very ordinary.
Overall this is an interesting documentary that provides more insights of the history in Cabramatta and it also has a good and simple website. But there are too many technical issues which can be improved. Such as removing the useless widgets and improving its design layouts. The design layout can be more interesting than this one as although the current design looks very simple and straightforward, being as one of the user, I can’t feel the attractiveness of the website. It also can be more engaged with social media. Additionally, it’s like been hidden on the SBS website and its hard for audiences to find it. For those people who are living in Cabramatta or people who wants to move to Cabramatta, this website is pretty informational for them.