Sunday, October 31, 2010

Work Hard and No Pay

This article shows how content ownership changes with the new technologies and how we interact with these platforms affect major companies and their bottom dollar. I couldn't stop thinking about Youtube and its contribution to this corporation participates in robbing people and fans of their money. It seems like such a user friendly medium when in fact it may be the opposite. Russo, shows us that networks like the SciFi Network get fans to come to their website and create their own 'tribute film' to be aired on television. While this is acceptable, because they provided a tool kit that had restrictive parameters to it, it shows how companies give content to people as they see profitably see fit.

Youtube is platform that users are able to upload videos for the world to see and with all businesses money needs to be made. As many people know, Youtube just recently became profitable, but for who, not the users, Google. It's funny that we praise this site for all that they allow for us to do but at the same time they are just using the user’s hard work to make money for them. It's truly crazy to think about it, somewhere in a chair there's a CEO just kicking back smoking a cigar probably watching a Youtube video and profiting from others work, even the guy that came up with it.

As the author mentions fans are starting to wonder about their competition for works that they are creating and companies profiting off of it. It's going to be a hard battle because the more fans push back the more restrictive companies will most likely get and ultimately they do own the rights to the original content. I was thinking about the concept 'if it doesn't spread, it's dead' which was in the other article on television and thought that people could start setting up their own websites and blogs, which some have. Here they could post their own content and potentially it could catch on but also has the potential to fail.

Collective Expression

I like many of the commenter’s did not like the way this guy spoke (condescending tone) and the camera angle that he uses shows that he thinks he knows more than you. By the content of his video and mini lecture, I’m not sure that he does. First off, he most of what he uses are clips of others people’s work, okay fine, but say something that isn’t obvious about what they are doing. Secondly, he doesn’t pose good arguments for what Remix culture actually is and I don’t think that The Breakfast Club that he used were all that convincing. They changed the music and performed it, while yeah this is remixing I can see why many people that commented were not very impressed with his examples and thus thought it was just ‘kids having fun’ on a roof. I agree with him and the social aspect that these videos create, “collective expression”, he calls it. I think that it’s one of the pretty simple Remix examples and while it’s really cute, it’s not very impressive of a Remix. DJ Earworms Remixes and mash-up of United State of Pop 2009, is first a Remix in itself… I wonder if the government is going to come after him for that remix on the United States of America. This video is truly a Remix and new creation of previous content. It is simply copying and pasting however it is creating another message by using the parts in which the ‘sum is greater than its parts’. I think that a view commenter’s expressed said the hipster breakfast club remixes are just kids copying previous work and benefiting from original material. Something that Colbert tries to hammer down in his debate with Lessig. Their remixing process is of their own setting (Brooklyn) which no matter what they did would have represented some place. So, it’s hard to give them a tremendous credit for doing a great remixing job, which I don’t even think they were looking for. I think that the thing that we should focus on here, which may have been what Mr. Normative was going for, is the aspect of collective expression of our culture now and the ability to share common experiences using the same material. Therefore he should change the name of this video to modern collective expression through remixing.

What is Television?

This is a question that I have been thinking about of a little while. I'm glad this article posed the question because it is hard to tell what television is and is going to be. Like the author mentions, television can be appointment based which represents what television used to be. Now we don't need to rush home to watch a television show because of it can be accessed through DVR, internet postings, etc. I think that television now is constituted by shows that are produced by a studio or organization that is intended to be aired on a broadcast or cable channel. These TV's shows are then completed in a way that fit what we still manage to have as the TV format, 30 - 60 minute episodes and commercials. As the medium of television is encroached upon by technology like Google TV, Hulu, iTunes, etc. it will inevitable change.

What will it change to? Jenkins talks about the use of video games, comics, web episodes, and more ways that people can engage with given television shows. This will definitely start to become more prominent as networks and studios compete to get their shows recognized, because as he mentions, "If it doesn't spread, it's dead", and this is more true than ever. It you don't get your material out there and people don't consume it, there's no way that people will be able to find your show with all the other material that are flying around on the internet, television, and game consoles.

An Accessory to the Machine

Halloween is the ultimate day of remixing!

While reading the Manovich reading and listening to our class talks it dawned on me that Halloween is a great example of how we have taken old and new material and used it to take an image and either replicate or add our own spin onto it. Like Manovich described with the process of changing the VCR to Windows Media Player, we are continually 'sampling and morphing' characters, superheroes, celebrities, objects, etc. into a modern take on how we perceive that given original source.

This article also poses the essential question of is or can anything ever be original. He used on example an "artist taking a material approach" like people did on Halloween, "and supporting the romantic ideal. He compares this artist to God creating the universe. First of all that's a really drastic statement, religion aside, and secondly when can we ever start with a blank canvas and material. Every material is a source and thus ever source is a means in which we are able to create something different from it. At what point to we draw the line between what we are completely changing with leaving a small component of its originality which will make it Remixing?

In this day and age it is much easier to see how we remix material because so much of it is "copy and paste", which makes me think are we going to continue to get farther and farther from 'originality' or will the definition of originality change and adapt with society? Can we start with a blank canvas and even then will the things that populate this canvas be of a truly original source. These are very interesting questions which are and will be challenged the further we become, "an accessory to the machine".

Friday, October 29, 2010


Just realized after writing the first portion of the Midway paper how true it is that history repeats itself. I hope for the sake of 3-D and fans of the medium that it will reach its potential this this time!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Heh? Sound Unbound

I started reading this article and followed for a little while but still ended up lost in the silence...well almost silence; I can still here the hum of my computer cooling off as it imitates what my brain is feeling. I'm didn't immediately know how to connect this one to what we are currently talking about, Remix and fan participation, and to the greater scheme of the class. On thing that I did latch onto at first was his concept of everything that we interact now is produced by civilization, we take it form it add structure then produce something else. As he explains, this is a remix, and I can see how this connects to our remix culture and how fans take on mode of a civilized product and continue to build off of it so it does not remain static like architecture. It is liquid and continues to flow as fans participate with the the material.

When he asked for us to pause and listen to the sounds we hear, I was surprised at actually how silent it was. I only heard my computer, which is a civilized product. I could only image a person in NYC doing this exercise and how different it would be. Also, if someone did it in the country, I bet they would hear nature, which Miller doesn't factor in. He says, "That cricket playing in your nature soundtrack doesn't count". I still think that there are many people that do appreciate the natural and "un-remixed" or original products of life. We can see this in the medium form of documentaries, even though they are remixing a little portion of material. I see this form of media as the closest, while not perfect or close to original, way of people expressing their nature to capture the real, organic, or innate silence of life.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Event

Will The Event be the new Lost?

NO. Dialogue is awful and expository. I wish that it would be a little less obvious with their plots and stop treating the viewer like we are a bunch of idiots that can't follow a complex plot. Maybe the writers are just bad and can't formulate a good plot without explaining everything as they go.

All this said, I will still watch this show to see what happens. I think the plot is decent and I'm curios to see how long I can actually stay somewhat interested in this film.

I context of Blogging, the book we are reading, I have checked The Event Wiki and the fan community is not large yet. As I watch I'll keep an eye on this blog to see how it develops and if there is fruitful comments and forums that start up.

Until next time... here's a link the wiki page

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

'Age of Lifestyle Media'

I wanted to latch onto this concept because I think that it brought this capture to life. I'm always looking for the bottom dollar, probably coming from my Econ minor background. We've been looking at many cult and fan ownership examples of audience participation, which gives the feeling that fans are in control. How much control do they actually have and is there a false sense of ownership or pride that these fans are taking in their material? All of these shows are created to make a profit or contribute to the given studio or networks profit therefore they are in control of the viewer gets to watch it is then up to the viewer to decide if this is what they desire or not. Their is definitely a fine line here. As we saw with the Family Guy case, there was an issue of the a TV show being cancelled and gaining a cult following which then brought it back to mainstream television. Here's an example of the fans brining back a television show through creating a rich online community but more importantly buying Family Guy DVD's. Even though the online community was destroyed after going mainstream again, the FOX didn't care, because it was able to take enough of the following to drive profits.

Lifestyle media is an interesting term to see how how the industry tries to create different mediums to engage the audience and then use this participation as a mode to gain profits. In the American Idol section the audience is creating so many different modes of participation (i.e. DialIdol) that they not only are encouraging people to watch the show but are creating sources of money for themselves (ad revenue). It's amazing to see how people's 'lifestyles' can be targeted through television shows encouraging online, peer-to-peer, and other forms of communication that further your participation with the show which will bring more revenue to this show. I think that looking at this chapter and concepts from an economic view was a great way to gain another perspective of the different ways of audience participation.

Dissemination and the Memex (Rettberg, Blogging)

Where to start where to start. This is a Topic-driven blog according to Rettberg, due to the fact that it focuses on the general topic of film audiences and the readings, screenings, and daily interactions that I encounter with material pertaining to the class, Film Audiences. Blogs as ways to disseminate information and the way that it can be a useful form of the modern day Memex is a very interesting way to view blogs as a medium. I found it eerie how Plato says that writing will cause people to lose memory, which I think is true in one aspect to not only blogging but our new technologies and attention spans. A different way to use Plato's statement and transform it is the Memex that Bush mentions. We have a blogging as a form of memory and retaining the information that once would be remembered through auditory and oral recollection. A personal blogger would be better at reciting a speech that he wrote down than someone that tried to memorize it on the first try.

Reading these first two chapters immediately transformed the way I viewed this blog and the all of the potentials that blogging offers. I previous post was inspired by reading about blogging and personal use while connecting it to the topics that are discussed in the blog. The historical nature of language and text are continually changing and the way that we engage with it are constantly shifting and molding to our different demands. I wonder just as texts are now becoming shorter in 'microblogging' such as twitter, what will happen to the novel? Print books are being challenged by the digital book and digital books may be in fact be threatened by the journalistic properties of the topic driven blogs, that focus on a topic and use less of the personal anecdotes. As our culture becomes used to short form writing are we entering a new era of changing our language? Will the distinction between scholarly writing and personal writing grow or will the two merge as the communication networks start to merge? The reading shows that through the ages as people and technology change the ways which we communicate are changed and in turn change the way in which we communicate and interact, such as increasing the dialogue or decreasing dialogue, or affecting the way that we present our blogs and online persona which thus dictate who and what we are and will be talking about.

What's Worst?

Noticing all of the homework that you have to do from a long break or realizing that the Yankees are down 5-3 while reading about Blogging?

I blame you Professor Stein!

This weekend I went home to NYC to relax, feel the pulse of the city, and watch Supernatural? I couldn't believe that I found myself watching an episode of Supernatural not one time but twice. Freaking TNT was playing Supernatural like it was some Halloween frightfest marathon. But then again it is October...but I digress.

I kind of like the show now, I'm not going to lie. Taking it for what it is, a corny, campy show that doesn't take itself seriously, I respect it. I watched a full episode about Bloody Mary and how she tortured a small town. Taking myself of of Film and Media Studies major mode, I sat back and enjoyed the show.

Thanks, Professor Stein, for enlightening me to this show!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Talk about fandom!

Lostpedia was a go to for me and my friends while we watched Lost. If you aren't a fan or don't know what Lostpedia is check it out.

There are so many different links to articles, websites, chat rooms, discussion boards, etc. that the viewer can engage with. I find that many of the conspiracy shows do well with fan sites because there are many things to discuss that can be uncovered throughout the show. This all creates a lot of dialogue between fans and builds up a solid community and following for the show.

The Event has just started this season...with a plane crash (I wonder where they got that from) and me and my Lost crew are going to see if we can survive one more plan crash. Hopefully this show won't go up in flames.

Here is a link the The Event's wiki-page if you are interested in the show.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Creative consumption' and fan culture

The readings were great insights the scholarly take on fan fiction and fan cults. Watching the two TV episodes of Xena and Supernatural helped immensely in see how it was carried out in each respective television show. My view on what fan culture is perceived as is that of nerdy or lonely people watching weird (horror, sci-fi, or cartoon) shows. However, I think that fan cult's are more linked to Felschow's vision, a fan with a "...deep personal and emotional involvement." It is this involvement however, that really determines the social norms for what a fan is. As what I explained the perception of a cult fan matches with Felschow's however, how there is more to the cult fan. The need to as Rowett would put it, "consume" the material by digesting it and using this energy to produce something. This produce I believe is what creates the cult fan; Rowett describes one mode of the cult fan, fan-fic. Here we see Felschow's version of the cult fan elaborated on, because to him many people would be considered cult fan's however if you asked them if they were one, they would probably say no. For example, I watched every season of Lost and the last three with my friends at Middlebury, we would discuss and be either upset or happy for a few hours after an episode. Are we cult fans of Lost? I would say no, however Felschow may say yes and I feel that Rowett would say, no. I think that it is that extra-textual engagement that makes the cult fan, that gets into that larger community of cult fans and adds to the world of their television show or film by digesting the material they are being fed by producers, taking ownership in it, and then participating with in however creative or passive means they see fit. It is this commitment that Felschow says is shown through their, "strong viewer loyalty and involvement." When the fan cult and culture around a show gets to be so grand that it, "altered, reconceived, or entirely axed..." because of cult fans is an amazing feat. I think that as a cult fan it would be rewarding, however, I can understand how many of the dedicated fans would not want such a blatant appeasement of the producers to one satisfy select viewers and sacrifice story or plot lines. It is understand the different ways in which viewers can get involved with the shows that they love and can have a significant effect on how the future of its content.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Beyond The Box (BTB): Introduction and Chapter 1

Ross brings up many points that I have talked about with my friends. Having been briefly part of the Buffy phase, I find it hard to believe that it was considered such a cult, solely because all of my friends watched it. I thought that it everyone watched Buffy and it was considered a cult because of the dark alternative style that the show had. Which I find interesting to look at, as Ross mentions, what constitutes a cult, is shaky considering; a cult by definition has to be something appreciated by a small group of 'certain' people and topic. It also helped that it was on WB and UPN two networks that weren't too mainstream.

Following Ross' arguments was fairly easy but I didn't find it particularly stimulating. The use of her research group anecdotes was engaging and nice to read however, I think it was over used to hammer in a point, which was simple enough. I wish that she went further into the interactions between the Internet audience dialogue and its translation and effect on the television programming. She sets up the triple O terms: overt, organic, and obscure, however briefly uses them in Chapter 1. I find these terms to be very interesting and wish she used some more examples in regards to Xena and Buffy to make her arguments stronger, because citing only a few examples, especially her Buffy organic description of Jonathan's character, was not very convincing.

I liked a lot of the work and topics that she is presenting and thinks that she brings a lot of the Internet fan cult/culture worlds to light. However, I do think that she could be more concise with her evidence, many of these topics and examples seemed redundant and filled with common knowledge.

ATPS: Chapters 9 & Conclusion

Learning how to watch films is a very interesting concept that is still pertinent to this day, however, I feel that what we have to learn has changed. Fuller talks about how youth had to, "...viewers had to learn to learn to distance themselves from the on-screen story and to anticipate that Hollywood-style happy ending..." (p.177). She was talking about youth growing up with films and goes on to follow the University of Chicago sociology study of students and their experiences. I thought it was pretty neat to see read some first hand documentations of film experiences. When one kid talks about being bored in silent films, I was really happy to hear it. I always wondered if some people were bored because of the silent film. It's interesting to compare to films now, because I bet the same thing happens with youth watching adult dramas or mysteries. For example, my parents used to put law and order on television when they wanted me to fall asleep because I was bored by the complex adult themes as a little kid. However, as I grew older, like these kids, I learned how to watch television in this case and become entertained by such media.

What struck me as funny was the fact that University of Chicago students were note, or most likely, were not able to tell the complete truth about film's role in their lives as collegiate students. As most of the experiences after 'learning how to watch films' became the same as they are now with kids, I bet that College students acted like college students and adults now. Watching film becomes a pure mood of entertainment, escapism, education. People will go to the films not to necessarily look up to stars but to be entertained by the plot/themes or action sequences. Some may go for educational purposes or to relax and take a break from the real world. However, as young adults and adults the college student has learned to watch films and but up the detachable barrier, thus allowing them to react, how they see appropriate, to any given film.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dazzle Them!

42nd Street is a backstage musical that uses the medium of cinema to get the audience involved with making a theater performance while trying to dazzle them at the same time. The film addresses the viewer by allowing them to go behind the scenes of a theater show and then ending with a grand performance to astonish them. It’s as if the viewer were seeing how this movie was made possible throughout the strenuous rehearsals, financial and relationship problems. As Feuer explains in the Pattullo article, the audience experience “double identification” and “demystification” (p.75) are present in backstage musicals. This movie wants the viewer to feel like they are a part of the process of putting on a performance while also putting on a final show for the audience, thus providing a spectacle for the audience. We, the audience, get to see how hard it is to make a film and thus feel that we are actually involved in making the film. However, when they are practicing for the final showing the camera tends to be placed right where the audience would sit. It even pans around to show us a few of the audience members sitting there with us. This represents the ‘double identification’ of the audience. 42nd Street then performs the final showing in which demonstrates as the demystification of the audience. We were allowed access that showed how this theater performance was put together but are then exposed to so much more that we didn’t see and are given private access to the final show. This occurs when we watch the finale from the audience stand point, however, the camera then gives us different angles, which the audience wouldn’t get. We are taken above the stage, go through the dances legs, and get close up profiles of the two main characters at the end. We were demystified when learning how the show was done, but then were hit again with a spectacle that we were only allowed to see, thus breaking us a part from the normal viewing audience present watching the performance. This film, and backstage musicals during the 1930’s, used the medium of cinema to present an insiders look to the art while at the same time preparing them to ultimately be dazzled by the production they just watched come to fruition.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

They're Singin'!!!

I love watching Singin' in the Rain and tonight's reading made it even better. Starting off with silent films and then talking films, such as Singin' in the Rain, was a great way to appreciate this film and its history. There is so much that this film references to silent films and where the film industry is going. The detail to how theater was regarded as the talented actor's medium and film was for people that looked good and were not talented, was great to watch between Don and Debbie. It was great to see how quickly people got over sound and embraced it, which was shown through the Monumental Pictures chief. It just showed how fast the industry can change once everyone adopts a new medium. When they reference The Jazz Singer it was very special, because this was an actual film that made a big impact on the Hollywood industry.

I like the funny technological struggles that they demonstrated from where to place microphones and actors with bad voices. It must have been a big struggle for people that didn't have good voices and have to take speaking lessons. However, as the article mentioned it could favor some people with, "exotica", accents that were foreign born.

Another thing that was brought up was the fact that a number of characters were "based on popular figures of the silent era". The introduction to this movie was great. I immediately thought of the fan magazines, which they constantly mention later, and how it affected the way that people interacted with celebrities and received their information on them and their personal lives.

During the film I called out, James Cameron, when they mentioned that people didn't think sound would last. I know I keep bringing up 3-D but I can't help but see similar comparisons here. 3-D has failed before but now technology is here to sustain the medium and push it passed boundaries that were not accessible before. They even just came out with a television that doesn't require 3-D glasses. In order for film to stay ahead of television it will need to continue to evolve. Such as IMAX, great writing, and new technology.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

ATPS: Chapters 7 & 8

James R. Quirk was ahead of his time! He did a lot for not only the magazine industry but for the film industry as well. He also sought what was best for the magazine, Photoplay, in terms of making a dollar. He contributed to making the film industry more a respectable medium. While he was trying to make Photoplay the dominant magazine, he was reshaping the movie going audience and tried to make the audience sellable. Thus instead of enforcing stereotypes he showed a gender mixed middle class audience, that was recession proof, and open to being influenced by what they saw on screen and in magazines. He was definitely a genius and new how to market. She also mentions that he started the tradition of best film, I mean come on this guy was making huge strides in the magazine industry, but also was helping out the film industry be seen as more legit. It makes me look at marketing now and how people are constantly coming up with new ways to target current audiences and ways to find new audiences. Now audiences are being tracked through Internet clicks and it is becoming a lot easier to target not only an audience but also individuals.

Everything mentioned in these two articles seemed so obvious and simple, however back then it was fresh and new. When Mary Pickford was questioning whether or not to give rights to a cosmetic agency for using her name. For $500 she took the deal even while she thought she could get more! C’mon Ms. Pickford, you could have done better. Also, studios paying actors on how much fan mail they received was something that I was not aware of as old studio salary practices. I think this is pretty cool, but don’t know how they actually got this to work. As I look at these two chapters I think about the way that audiences are viewed now. It strikes me as hard to define because I feel that everyone goes to the movies no matter the race, gender, or economic class. However, when you start thinking about genres, this is when the types of audiences are created. One quick example is the comedy spoof movies. This is definitely associated with a male teenage viewing audience and I bet commercial spots would appear on teenage channels and during male oriented shows.