Ian Dixon (NTU) is an Associate Professor of Practice at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Ian Dixon is a cinema academic and filmmaker working in Film Theory, Celebrity Studies and Cultural Theory. He delivers academic addresses internationally including a plenary speech for CEA in USA and keynote address and regular lecture tour of India. Ian functions as a film and TV industry consultant to media companies in Singapore, Sri Lanka and Australia.
Ian has worked as writer, director, actor and script editor in Asia and Australia including: film; commercial television; literature and; international theatre. He studied drama, cinema studies and English literature at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University as well as filmmaking and cinema studies at the University of Melbourne, where he also completed his PhD in film.
Funded to write feature films through Screen Australia and Film Victoria, Ian’s films have won awards internationally. He has directed television for Neighbours, Blue Heelers, Horace and Tina, SBSi and his debut feature film Crushed (writer/director/producer) screened at Cinema Nova in 2009. Having currently signed a contract to write two feature films in Asia and Australia, Ian’s directing credits also include: Wee Jimmy (SBS TV— won director commendation at San Francisco International Film Festival, 2000); The Raptor Detail (2000); Cut (1998) (won Gold at Australian Cinematographers Society Awards); Interference (special mention, SaMo Indie and Mindscape Film Festival, Los Angeles, 2016); and The Perimeter (2020).
Ian was assistant to the artistic director of the Australia Korea Foundation for the Department of Foreign Affairs (2001). A member of IABA Asia-Pacific Scholarly Network, Celebrity Studies Network, College English Association, USA, Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies Hollywood where he won best paper at University of Southern California in 2017. He has published novels and lectured in theory and filmmaking at Deakin University, The University of Melbourne, Victorian College of the Arts and RMIT University.
On stage, Ian took over from Hollywood A-lister Guy Pearce to play the lead in Grease and performed in many Australian television productions including: Underbelly, Rush, City Homicide, Guinevere Jones, Martial Law, Blue Heelers, Stingers, Heartbreak High, Shadows of the Heart etc.
CURRENT AND FUTURE PROJECTS
Academic Symposium: Asian Sci-Fi
During 2021, Ian curates an online symposium with internationally renowned Asian film scholars on the nature of this uniquely intellectual genre in an Asian context.
Academic paper on Asian horror film in the global market. Textual analysis.
Edited Book: I’m Not a Film Star: David Bowie as Actor
Close textual analysis enunciating Bowie as a screen actor while offering a fresh perspective on contemporary cinema. This volume, published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2021 and edited by Ian Dixon and Brendan Black, deconstructs acting methodologies employed by the mega-star through a chronology of his changing personae.
Academic Paper: The Feminized Depths of Asian Trauma in Screenplay Form
The screenplay Nina Wu (2019) represents an emergent approach to Asian femininity. With a storytelling strategy derived from distinctly Asian psychodrama in the manner of Chan-wook Park’s Old Boy (2003) (based on Garon Tsuchiya’s story) and Lee Chang-dong’s Burning (2018), screenwriter Ke-Xi Wu (currently starring in HBO Asia’s Dream Raiders (2020)) constructs a bricolage around a woman’s returning memory of systematic abuse. Both the Taiwanese actress/screenwriter Ke-Xi Wu and Myanmar born director Midi Z fashion a film narrative at the forefront of the Asian #metoo movement. Under the influence of Chris Berry and Mary Ann Farquhar’s China on Screen, Edward Said, Stephen Teo and Maureen Murdock’s The Heroine’s Journey, this paper challenges the misperceived ‘teleological cage’ surrounding Asian film production.
Feature Film: Big Girl
Ian is executive producer and co-writer on Sheersha Perera’s feature-length documentary Big Girl (2019) about women’s coming-of-age rituals in Sri Lanka.
Feature Film: The Perimeter
After extensive pre-production and papers published in Situations: Asian Context, filming has commenced on this Sci-Fi film about two Eurasian children trapped in the Australian bush.
Feature Film: Ashes and Sighs
Research-based feature film dramatizing Singapore’s unique approach to palliative care (Ho, 2016, p. 1). Ashes and Sighs produces: interdisciplinary research; feature-length screenplay; 90-minute film targeting palliative caregivers; and distillation workshops. In palliative care, Singapore’s Lien Foundation stresses the need for greater capacity-building. Consequently, ‘Compassionate Duty’ and Chochinov’s ‘Dignity Model’ offer life-affirming human resistance to the shame of mortality (Chan et al., 2012 p. 286). Team includes Associate Professor Andy Ho (NTU), Dr Khemlani Mansha (Khoo Tech Puat Hospital), Asst. Professor Michelle Chiang (Medical Humanities Researcher, NTU) and Professor Sean Redmond (Deakin University).
TV Pilot: Singapore Also Got Cardenio
Directing TV pilot in 2021 for SOH scholar Dr Geraldine Song’s Singapore Also Got Cardenio: a Singaporean version of Shakespeare’s lost play, Cardenio.
Future Film Productions
Pre-production for feature films in Asia: Mad Bots, Asian Sci-Fi film with Beachhouse Pictures, Singapore; Aquarium, Asian thriller; Creep Station, Australasian horror (both developed under Melbourne University scholarship) and; Game of God, techno-thriller set in Asia, developed with HIPS International. Currently working with NTU students as transmedia mentor on several short films set in Singapore.
RECENT REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS
1. Dixon, I. (2020). Your Face is a Mess: Desecrating David Bowie’s Face-as-Commodity in ‘Diamond Dogs’. Celebrity Studies, Desecrating Celebrity Conference Special Edition, Routledge 11(1), 140-143.