Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Websites for help with punctuation and expression

Here you will find explanations and exercises for various punctuation marks.
Click Here for punctuation help and exercises

Sunday, 14 February 2010

The pros and cons of cross-media ownership by conglomerates

                                                                   Click to enlarge
These humongous-sized mammoths are able to use their size and ownership of a wide range of media to cross promote their films (and other media) across their wide media empires. The synergies of cross-promotion that can be created by these media organisations is mind-boggling. For 20th Century Fox's Avatar it resulted in the greatest 'word-of-mouth' ever generated for a big budget film and no doubt this helped the film become a blockbuster. (Fox with-holding the trailer from the summer and early Autumn also created an itch to see film and this also added to the 'word-of -mouth'.) Such are the benefits of cross-media ownership by these giant institutions.

To see examples of the range of institutional ownership click on Newscorp who own 20th Century Fox's "Avatar" as your starting point. How healthy is this trend for  audiences' choice of genres, access to news, using online media, etc.?
Click here for what the huge media conglomerates own

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Exhibition - Imax Technology and Film

This is a must read to understand the pros and cons of the digital and film technology behind films shown on IMAX screens. The growth of 3D films will lead to a stronger trend in showing films on a large screen rather than a wide screen format. Aspect Ration on IMAX and Hollywood

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Our world of hyperreality and media manipulation

We were discussing the representation of video game female characters in an A2 lesson the other day while studying post modern media. The manipulation of reality is at the core of most media - and with digital technology this manipulation has never been easier to achieve. If, as Jean Baudrillard argued, we are all living in a world of hyperreality then the unmade up, young woman possibly represents "pure" reality that is almost never represented in ANY FORM through the media.

Jean Francois Baudrilliard thought that we are all living in a world of hyperreality. It is as if we are all part of a video game's world. Anyone playing games like Grand Theft Auto IV are participating in an even more concentrated form of hyperreality!  Here's a link to a great page which explains Baudrilliard's idea on simulacra in a straightforward way. Click this link

This short video is a demonstration of how our perception of beauty is manipulated through advertising and a variety of "make up and touch-up" artists. The result is world of signs, logos, billboards, TV and radio ads, programmes, film, videogames, television news, etc. which create a world of hyperreality where the "real" is lost within that virtual reality game that is now our world!

And, the inevitable parody.

"Breaking Bad" - technological convergence and exchange

This is not a film yet the cinematography, editing, mise-en-scenes and great acting sets this exceptional TV series apart from every other. You could do worse than analyse scenes from this series from YouTube for TV drama. British TV drama is light years away from the quality offered by Breaking Bad. The programme is also one of the darkest, funniest, strangest and most humane programmes ever to air.

Here, you can see an example of EXCHANGE in which YouTube's contributor, Politely Homicidal, has edited together extracts from the programme and scored it with a song which features in one of the episodes. Of course, anyone (with the necessary editing skills) could do this by using digital technology in a laptop with decent editing software, and then uploading the result through the Net in YouTube. This is one of the great upsides of technological convergence. Ironically, the song is very significant for Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher with many family issues because White turns to cooking crystal meths after he is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The song is by Mick Harvey and its called, "Out of Time Man".

Here's a good example from the series:

And another, although this one plays around with the part after the explosion: