Final letter to self

Dear self
So I’ve made it through my first year. I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of people from all sorts of different backgrounds.
I have done and made things that if a years a ago I would have panicked at the thought of, like taking part in a photography exhibition.
My favorite part of this year was being able to create new media artifacts. For example a number of group documentaries and group projects which I have had an influence in the creation of.
One thing I have learnt about my self during this course is that I can be very good at organizing myself and others ignored to meet deadlines and meet task criteria. Another thing I have learned is that I can some times have some very good ideas which add to the groups i am in.
Over the year, as I have felt more comfortable with the different theories and different editing software such as Photoshop or premier pro, I have become more confidant and outspoken with my ideas.  And on some occasions I am more likely to try to take the lead o some projects or part of the projects. For example I took the lead in gaining the photos required of our 183MC TV pitch task.
I have a better understanding of the theory used within media and also learned about some theory I had not previously heard of such as neo political ideology. As my understanding of the different theory has improved so has my essay writing skills allowing me to fully explain and embed theory which is relevant to my points.
Due to the fact that within this curse I have been able to take part in a number of tasks reading from radio and advertising to video editing, it has allowed me to think a little more about what profession I might want to go into after my course has finished or during a work placement. For example I enjoyed being able to put together our 183MC radio advert and analyzing the semiotics within our photo task. But that being said I think that the modules I have picked for next year, will expand on my knowledge of semiotics.
On the whole I have enjoyed this first year of university immensely, and I look forward to next years modules, although it would be a lie if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about them.
Sincerely
Emma
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Term 2 182MC Module feedback

Within the 182MC module, we were given the task to create a behind the scenes video, which contained footage from different tasks which were completed each week. This module required a large amount of out of hours planing and preparation in order to complete each task and then edit together in a coherent way. One issue we found was that we had hours of extra footage which we had to go through in order to create the video.

However that being said the fact that we showed the vast number of hours spent planing and prepping worked well within the video. The final product had a professional look, although it was suggested that having both an overall introduction to the main outcome of the video along with individual introductions to the tasks would help the audience to know what the tasks are about.
Within this task as demonstrated via the documentary our group has clearly explored technology in quite an expansive way. There is a good engagement with the weekly reading, however must remember to cite quotations. The voice over used within some parts of the documentary was criticized as being a little disconnected in parts.
The main point from the feed back are:
  • Structure
  • clearly introduce tasks/ assignment
However, it has been said that our group has been able to ‘produce a thoughtful and critically engaged piece of work’.
182MC- 68%

Term 2 180MC Module feedback

Within the 180MC module we were given three main tasks for our course work. The first was to give a presentation (60%), produce a online manifesto (55%) and write a critical review essay (72%), which reviewed other groups presentations.

The layout of the manifesto made it look more like a blog rather than a political or in this case environmental manifesto. It was therefore also suggested that a better layout with headings and drop down subheadings for the different articles would of suited the codes and conventions of a manifesto better. However it did demonstrate an engagement with course material, although this could of been better interrogated into our groups overall manifesto, also requiring a much sharper analysis of the theories. Overall, the main fault in this piece was the layout and structure along with not having a clear strong mission statement.

The feedback from the critical review essay was a little more positive. Stating that it began with a ‘very clear introduction that gives the context to each presentation and considers the impact of digital communication’. It also continued a well considered analysis of theorists such as Skates and Boyd. The writing style was promising, however I MUST remember to us CU Harvard referencing along with page numbers. There was also a suggestion that I should expand and problematice my point when saying that the use of the Mona Lisa within a groups remix help ‘maintains this historic paintings cultural significance’.

Romeo & Juliet

This year is commentating the 400 years scenes Shakespeare death. Because of the association of Shakespeare and Strafford, there are a variety of performances and events that are conducted commemorating his work. One of these events took place in Coventry town centre. The performance was of Romeo and Juliet. However the actors within the production were made up of people who had never acted before.

_DSC7551The event was free to see, and conducted in the open air. There was some publicity conducted by Coventry & Warwickshire radio, who also provided the music and sound effects for the performance.. There were a number of actors playing the roles of both Romeo and Juliet, from a virally of different ages. There was an aspect of audience participation, before the start of the performance _DSC7598this was encouraged by the two presenters, who had dressed in Elizabethan style clothes.
The performance was taken well, with people especially enjoying the well choreographed dancing within the play._DSC7967
This performance was put on in order to give people a chance who haven’t seen a Shakespeare play before a chance to experience it for the first time. And performed by people who hadn’t acted a Shakespearean play before. The choice of music within the production brought the play to the 21st century. Allowing people to understand the emotions and the theme of love more potently.

New media gate keepers.

A conference was put together that discussed a variety of different events within the media industry. One of the main focus during this seminar was upon the power that people have with distribution of data and more likely who has the power to distribute information. These tent to be controlled by the ‘GateKeeper’. They have the power to decide what games, books, digital art and tv series we has cases to. The updating of gaming consoles is used to make previous consoles and games obsolete, which on the one hand encourages the consumable culture we are in. Where we need to constantly update our technology in order to appear successful. For example the most up to date phone. And lines forming out of the apple stores in order to get the new latest iPhone. The game developer EA, has in resent years taken over many smaller game developer such as Lion Head Studios  (know for developing games such as the Fable franchisee). However the take over of the smaller companies means that they have a larger control over the market. EA has become the main gate-keeper of the games industry. Our internet providers are also seines gate keepers. They control when we can connect to sites. But they also control what we can see. Some countries block sites from entering their countries.

Femininity in Film (Tammy)

One of the films in the Femininity in Film series looked at the film ‘Tammy’ in order to discus issues of body image, and how women who are perceived to be ‘Fat’ are depicted within film. This lecture was based upon the research of Dr Katrina Kyroia, regarding ‘Feminist Fat studies and comedy. Dr Kyroia made the suggestion that women who are seen as ‘fat’ in films are often depicted in a comical way. The film does this by making fun of the characters weight. This reinforcement of  negative body images can have a drastically negative effect upon what both men and women perceive as the bodily ideal.

‘Tammy’ is one of many examples of ‘fat shaming’ ideology seen within the media. For example Eddie Murphy in Norbit (2007) in which he used a fat suit as one of the characters. The use of fat suits give the impression that it is not a really body and so does not need to be treated ethically. It creates the idea that a ‘fat’ person in realy life also suggested be treated ethically (fat jokes are ok), this can be damaging to the individual.

Over all this was an interesting lecture on the relationship between the power that women have and the way they are portrayed in the media.

Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Within the university, there is a regular film showing every week in which a different film is shown each week. This weeks showing was of the 2014  film Birdman directed by Alejando G. It is considered to be a satirical black comedy-drama, which addresses issues of aging and growing older. It does also have other themes throughout the film such as drug addiction, and physical intimacy.

The film follows an aging hollywood actor, who had a successful career  in a series of superhero films. This film is set within a theater on Broadway as this actor attempts to direct and star in a play by Raymond Carver ‘What we talk about when we talk about love’. He faces fears of being forgotten and not being loved as he gets older. There are also fears of the idea that he is not taken seriously in the theater industry, as seen when he argues with a critic over the review she was going to write for the play.

The film also looks at the relationship between this man and his daughter, who has recently been released from a rehab facility. There is apart in the film where she brings her farther attention to the fact that the human race is very insignificant. This is a turning point in the film (for the character) as you can see how he come to accept that in todays online social world his actions don’t matter (in the fact that people will not remember). But this also has an impact upon their relationship with each other, as his daughter shows him a video of him running through the street in only his underwear (he got locked outside the theater) she starts to see him in a new light. Before we can only make the assumption that she feels like a screw up, but after this she begins to se that her father is human too. They grow a little closer with them accepting that they are both screw ups.

In a lot of films music is used as a non-diagetic sound track over the film. However within Birdman music is at the foreground of the film and is actually within the film itself. There are instances when drumming can be heard, at first it might appear as a sound track, but it is revealed that there is a drummer outside the theater. There is instance when the main character approaches a climactic act when you can see the drummer inside the theater. This drumming can be argued to be used as a means to create a feeling of building anxiety which the main charter is feeling. As such there are instances where you don’t hear any drumming at all.

There are also ideas of self-identity within this film, as the persona of the actors film career takes on a voice (slightly menacing), and later on in the film the voice of ‘Birdman’ takes on a physical persona which only the main character can see. Birdman becomes more and more solidified as the main character comes to accept his decision to attempt suicide.

Looking back on term 1 module 181MC

Contemporary Theories

The module was made up of two parts. The first was a series of tasks to be completed and then discussed in a theoretical manner, writing 500 words on four of the tasks and the last task was to create a documentary about racism. The second task was an individual 1,500 word essay using one of the themes discussed in class (Gender, Race, Class, etc) to write about a recent issue/controversy/debate  of our choosing. For example I chose to look at hate crimes against the LBGT community, using theories base in the theme of gender and sexuality.

The first set of tasks were accomplished though group work. I helped to organize group meetings and group trips we went on in order to complete the tasks set. As a group we each played a part in writing the 500 word tasks up.  I had a large part to play in the creation of the final project, I helped to direct and film with my group, and I used the video editing software to edit the documentary together.  I received 62% for this part of my course work.

I recieved 55% on my 1,500 essay, the over all argument was good but the use of references needed to be more structured in order to create a coherent argument.

 

Over all in this module I received 58.50%.

Propaganda Seminar

The university sometimes hold seminars, with guest speakers who come in and share the findings of their research with students and staff. One such seminar was on propaganda, the types of propaganda used (mostly focusing on the US). This seminar was given by Dr Emma Briant, in which she discussed her research findings.

The idea of propaganda as we know it, originated in the 17th century and used by the Catholic church in order to ‘propagate the faith’.

Propaganda may and may not contain lies. The intended audience of the propaganda depends upon weather or not it uses lies. For example propaganda intended for an domestic audience (know as public affairs) are less likely to use lies (misrepresentation) ignored to gain support. However propaganda intended for a foreign audience (psychological operations) are more likely to contain lies

Propaganda has been used by a variety of governments and political movements, such as feminist movement and environmental moments.

White propaganda -Overt, its source known to the audience

Black propaganda -Contains lies and deception, the source of the information is not given

Grey propaganda -Some where in between

Psychological operations = foreign audience , can contain black propaganda

Public Affairs = domestic audience , predominantly is made up of white propaganda. Has a transparency. This gives justification to using propaganda within democracy.

 

 

Femininity in Film (Tammy)

One of the films in the Femininity in Film series looked at the film ‘Tammy’ in order to discus issues of body image, and how women who are perceived to be ‘Fat’ are depicted within film. This lecture was based upon the research of Dr Katrina Kyroia, regarding ‘Feminist Fat studies and comedy. Dr Kyroia made the suggestion that women who are seen as ‘fat’ in films are often depicted in a comical way. The film does this by making fun of the characters weight. This reinforcement of  negative body images can have a drastically negative effect upon what both men and women perceive as the bodily ideal.

‘Tammy’ is one of many examples of ‘fat shaming’ ideology seen within the media. For example Eddie Murphy in Norbit (2007) in which he used a fat suit as one of the characters. The use of fat suits give the impression that it is not a really body and so does not need to be treated ethically. It creates the idea that a ‘fat’ person in realy life also suggested be treated ethically (fat jokes are ok), this can be damaging to the individual.

Over all this was an interesting lecture on the relationship between the power that women have and the way they are portrayed in the media.