During 105MC we were set discussion topics as groups, on subjects we had discussed in class, for example genre. As a group we were quite good at meeting up and discussing these topics. The coursework for this module was the 72 hour challenge, we were given 72 hours to create a documentary. The subject of the documentary was a ‘day in the life of’. As a group we decided to create a documentary called ‘A day in the life of a phone-less teenager’. We all produced footage on our phones as this was a condition of the documentary. Because our groups were made up of people from the different media course, it was decided that the media producers would be the ones to edit the documentary together.
The second part of the coursework for this module was to right a book, about our documentary. We were each expected to write a chapter within the book, of about 1,000 words. My chapter was on the narrative of the production and looking at the different theories behind narrative and what style of narrative was present within our documentary. I found this enjoyable, but I think I would of gotten a better mark had I used more references from different sources.
A lot of the TV and film I watch, I watch at home (my flat), either on the TV, DVD or on my Xbox. Due to the need of a TV license, my TV is in my room. This means that instead of the act of watching TV feeling like a communal activity, it feels like an individual activity. That being said some businesses do have TV’s which display programs like the rolling news, this might be to accommodate business people who might need to keep up with the news for their jobs. It helps people who are on the go all day and might not get the opportunity to sit down and watch the news.
Online sites such as Facebook can be accessed anywhere, anytime, thanks to the use of smart phones. We are constantly connected to the internet and social media through our phones now. That being said they can also be accessed in the more traditional ways via a computer or laptop, however the versatility of the phone and the fact that they are considerably smaller makes it far more easier to accesses on the go.
There are many factors, some are decide by me, and most are forms of media that are simply there. For example advertising is something which is all around us, we even see it on YouTube advertising. However there are some forms of advertising that I might try to look for specifically, such as film trailers.
The main factor for me is enjoyment, I watch films I think I’m going to enjoy and the same is for TV and books. This being said genre can help influence this, as like many of the people in society I make a prior judgment on weather or not I will enjoy the film by the genre. For example I don’t usually enjoy spy movies, this is one of the reasons I have never watched Mission Impossible because I don’t think I would enjoy it. However when a spy movie has a comical aspect like in ‘A man from U.N.C.L.E’ or ‘Kings men’ I find that I do enjoy watching it. This suggests that by making hybrid genres or adding new or different elements to existing genres allows it to gain a wider audience.
There are some forms of media which I have to read, watch or research, due to the course that I am on. For example text books, might not be something I enjoy reading but it is something I need to read, therefore in the professional world sometimes we don’t have a choice over what media we are exposed to.
The Godfather – Gangster film
From Dusk Till Dawn- Vampire, thriller, Action, Crime film
Man Of Steel- super hero, action
Up –Pixar animation, for family, adventure, comedy
All these films have a mass appeal. Due the genre they are in.
It is difficult to pick a specific genre; I enjoy watching different film genres, from sifi, fantasy, horror or teen coming of age. Along with other genres, the quality of the film should stand on its own merit with out relying upon an audience to simple enjoy watching it because it’s the same as another film they have seen. However admittedly the use of genre does allow an audience to identify a film and its ideas, though its codes and conventions. This can, on the one hand, limit the view of the audiences as they might look for films they already know they like, and so wont expand to look at other genres.
What are the visual cues of?
Cowboys, shootout, music, dialect, tumbleweed. Camera angles (wide panoramic), The lone rider, come to save the day.
It’s easy to identify. Creates stereotypes.
-Structured reality TV
Family discords and feud, Works off disaster and things going wrong. There is always an issue. Interesting characters. Setting the scene, establishing shots of the location. One on one interview. Forced drama, sometime brought on by the producers. Set up chance encounters.
-Saturday night entertainment show:
The program makes a joke out of news program. It is funny, because it shows a harsh truth about the modern-day news media. It has become predictable. Is genre a bad thing? This suggests that the repetition of the codes and conventions seen in the news genre makes it uninteresting. However news is supposed to report not entertain. Do new programs need to change their format or if it still meets the demand of showing the news successfully is it fine the way it is?
‘Man with a film camera’
The film was made and produced in Russia in 1929. The film is done in black and white, with no dialogue. Which is reflective of the time in cinema, as it would have been during the early days of film, not long ago was the era of the silent film. It does have a sound track or accompaniment through out the film; it consists of a mixture of exciting and intense music. This can be clearly seen during the theater scene, it can be presumed that they have done this to emphasis the fact that it is about what the cameraman sees in cinema. And so it gives it from the perspective of the cameraman, and his commenting upon cinema at the time. For example we see the theater before anyone has come in and the empty seats begin to descend as if someone was sitting in them. It seems ghostly as the music plays a steady rhythm, which could be argued to represent the heartbeat of the cinema. Therefore we could suggest that it is the audience who brings the cinema to life, because if there were no audience of cinema then there would be no cinema.
There is a lack of a clear narrative within the film, while yes we follow the cameraman through the streets of a Russian town, if we look at the images being presented; there is no clear connection from one scene to the next. However this is where the use of music plays a vital role, as this is what gives an indication to the audience the direction of the film. For example the use of the orchestra in the introduction during the theater and the loud up beat tune, in contrast to the mundane humdrum ticking accompaniment previously gives the audience this impression that films are better than real life. This suggests that even in these early stages of cinema and film, it was seen as a means to escape from reality, which can be understandable of the time. However this idea of contrasting real life and film is brought up through out the film, as the contrasting images of homelessness and men sleeping out side, against a woman sleeping in a large bed, demonstrates the gap between the haves and the have not’s.
The way in which they have chosen to show the woman also goes some way in demonstrating how women are represented during this time. The shots we have of her are usually of one part of her body or another but never with her face at the same time. For example when she is led in bed the audience is presented images of her arms and hands, this fragmentation of the female form, as suggested by Laura Mulvey, turns the women into an object. Therefore the male audience is free to objectify them, for their own pleasure. This is a very negative approach to this admittedly beautiful use of cinematography and lighting, it might be argued by some that displaying women in this way, is in fact empowering to women. It is difficult to say this for certain due to the time in which it was made, however given that it was made during the forefront of the modern-day cinema, it would be unlikely that many of the audience would of seen a women portrayed in such a way before. Therefore it could be argued that although the representation might be negative, the impact it might of had for discussing the image and potion of women in society would have been very important.
A theme through out this film as I have mentioned would be fantasy and reality, or the real and the surreal. It shows how as humans we try to find a way to escape from our reality by any means necessary, whether its simple through our own imagination or the imagination of someone else.