Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Essay 1 Feedback

High Level 2 - High D (on the C border)
Your answer demonstrates an understanding of the question and you present a basic argument with heavy reliance on teacher notes. To move out of the D grade area into C you need to demonstrate understanding through use of your own argument structure, examples of media products and your own insight. To complete this essay, you need to move the introduction to John Fiske, below the introduction to Adorno.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Does the mass media have a significant amount of power over its audience, or does the audience ultimately have more power than the media?

Media power vs people power are key debates in media, two theorists which represesnt opposite sides of this arguments are Theodor Adorno who represents media power and John Fiske who represents people power.

Adorno (1903 - 1969) was a member of the Frankfurt School for social research, a group of mainly Germans, Jewish intellectuals, who fled from Frankfurt to New York and Los Angeles when the Nazis rose to power in the 1930s.

Adorno being from Germany saw and new that Hitler had been able to use the media organisations as a tool for widespread propaganda and saw how it was being used in a negative way by the Nazis against the Jews. This is why I think he believes that media has more power over the audience, unlike John Fiske who represents the people power side of the argument.

Adorno and his colleague Max Horkheimer wrote the book ‘Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947) this book tells us their theory’s on the mass media and the impact it has on our society. The mass media was referred to as the ‘culture industry’ to indicate its nature: a well oiled machine producing entertainment products in order to make a profit. This comes as no surprise to us today because we recognise the music ‘industry’ the film ‘industry’ - but for the Germans it was devastating that ‘culture’ was reduced to a set of manufactured products. But John Fiske didn’t agree with this statement and he wants to show that the people are not drones and they don’t exist as a mass audience, they are a range of individuals with different tastes. And says ‘‘Culture is a living, active process. It can be developed only from within; it cannot be imposed from without or above”.

Adorno and Horkheimer also believed that All products of the culture industry are ‘exactly the same because they reflect the values of the established system. Products may seem different, but this is an illusion and unusual talents are quickly absorbed into the system. But Fiske disagrees and thinks that pop music is not a set of recordings that we’ve been tricked somehow into liking, but instead they reflect what is genuinely popular at that time. He says that record and film companies make more flops that they do hits proving that audiences chose what they want and like. He says that audiences relate to their favourite songs or films in a complex way, based on their own identity, which is unique to themselves.

He says that audiences don’t accept a stream of similar products, instead there is a drive for innovation and change which comes from audience activity in the cultural economy.

Horkheimer and Adorno’s points can seem very relevant to the Hollywood films of today. They say it’s too easy to work out the ending, as soon as the film start for example the film sword fish explains this point. Axis of Awesome is also an example of a recent argument complimenting Adornos and Horkheimers point. They are an Australian comedy act and they’ve recently performed a song which tells us that what we hear in the popular songs today is actually all the same, consisting of just 4 chords. This makes us believe that actually the media is the same and we are just made to think that it’s different.

John Fiske was born 1939 and educated in Britain, graduated from Cambridge University. John Fiske’s work represents the opposite views of Adorno’s. He is a fan of popular culture and was one of the most influential media scholars in the world from the 70s to the 90s.

Fiske agrees that our choices are limited to an extent but, he argues, audiences interpret different meanings from texts. Most texts contain the preferred reading but also offers possibilities for audiences to interpret or create their own meanings. He argues that audiences are not merely consumers of texts, they produce meanings and pleasures from the texts, to make sense of their existence.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Proposal Feedback

Interesting idea. I'm starting to understand the flow of the story a bit more now but what's missing is creativity. You will get inspiration from watching short films (search BBC Shorts). You must watch at least 3 short films and reference these instead of where you've put 'Slumdog Millionare trailer'. Current Grade (C-)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Title: Jakes documentary
Director: Louisa Cain

Synopsis:
My short film will be a documentary about someone who has finished his Alevels and for further education, is starting a new college. Its a story about how he is feeling about starting somewhere new and fresh, and learning a subject which he loves and wants to do full time and what he wants to achieve from doing this in the future. It will show how he has to make new friends and start a new school in a completely new environment by himself.

In my short film Jake will tell us how his life has changed since starting his new path and how he is feeling about what this may bring for the future.The film will include a clip of me interviewing him about how he is feeling and if he likes his new college, how he is getting on and if he thinks he become more independent from starting somewhere new, etc. This film relates to identity as it is about someone who wants to become a dancer, it will show how his life will change for example his diet, exercise routines and his fitness. Being a dancer is what he loves and what he was born to do and it is his identity.

Who are the target audience?
As my short film is focused on a teenage boy who has left school and has started his own path for his future, my target audience will be for teenagers who will soon be leaving school.

Which short films have you looked at to help you get ideas?
slumdog millilonaire trailer

http://www.britfilms.tv/short-films/short-film-channel/time-of-your-life

What message do you hope the audience will understand from your film?
That starting a new school and environment is scary but if you have a dream for the future you have to work for it.

Setting(s):
Lewisham college

Cast:
Jake Brewer

Crew: Louisa Cain and Olivia Board

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Proposal for identity film

Title: Jakes documentary
Director: Louisa Cain and Olivia Board

Synopsis:
My short film will be a documentary about someone who has finished his Alevels and for further education, is starting a new college. Its a story about how he is feeling about starting somewhere new and fresh, and learning a subject which he loves and wants to do full time and what he wants to achieve from doing this in the future. It will show how he has to make new friends and start a new school in a completely new environment by himself.

The film will be of me interviewing him about how he is feeling and if he likes his new college, how he is getting on and if he thinks he become more independent from starting somewhere new, etc. This film relates to identity as it is about someone who wants to become a dancer, it will show how his life will change for example his diet, exercise routines and his fitness.

Who are the target audience?
Teenagers

Which short films have you looked at to help you get ideas?
slumdog millilonaire trailer

What message do you hope the audience will understand from your film?
That starting a new school and environment is scary but if you have a dream for the future you have to work for it.

Setting(s):
Lewisham college

Cast:
Jake Brewer

Crew: Louisa Cain and Olivia Board