Category Archives: Analysis’s

Fahrenheit 9/11 and Nudent’s 9/11

Michael Moore’s documentary style is somewhat “unorthodox” in some respects, the exposure of his idea of the truth in his films convey them in a comedic manner. In Fahrenheit 9/11 Moore forms humour from what most people consider to be controversial topics. This is a particular characteristic of Moore’s films as he notches the seriousness of the topic to a level where the public can laugh at it. This is hard when you’re dealing with subject matter like the 9/11 attacks or US gun laws but Moore somehow expresses the social situation in a manner which isn’t greatly controversial, he takes away both arguments from the extreme to the tame, and conveys his “version of reality”
Moore can be seen as a conspiratorial as Fahrenheit sticks to a story where Bush is presented as corrupt, lacking in skill and plainly idiotic. In my opinion this isn’t the typical American’s idea of the reasoning behind 9/11 as the average citizen wouldn’t generalize the attacks as a government conspiracy. Moore as the films narrator uses timing and visual aid to appeal to the audience as his ideas could be disregarded by the audience for being so far-fetched.
Moore’s work could be described as serio-comic mostly due to the subject matter in his films and partially because of his ideas towards those topics. In my opinion any film about 9/11 that isn’t sombre isn’t considered to be in key with most documentary’s which don’t talk about controversial ideas like conspiracy’s and corruption. This differs in Fahrenheit, Moore pitches the idea of the attacks being a Bush plot, mentioning the idea that Bush corrupted the electoral votes against Al Gore and how the Bush family were best friends with the Bin Laden’s, all while being presented in a comical manner. Moore presents his ideas in a way where the audience is would be foolish not to believe the ideas he’s putting down as he shows it in a very clear-cut way, the way he links the points together displaces all of the facts that would otherwise disprove his ideas, this also links to the concerns people have with Moore’s work.
Moore uses particular techniques to satirise his subject matter, an example I can use is in Fahrenheit, when Moore is talking about Bush’s time during his presidency the music accompanying the footage almost mocks Bush. He’s shown to fumble his words and this with the country music reinforces and exaggerates Bush’s stereotype of being a “Hillbilly” and undermines his authority as an (ex) president which benefits his opinions of Bush.
Some people may question Moore’s approach to his films, as his films tend to be incredibly controversial, going back on his ideas of government conspiracy’s Moore’s general perception of his work can be seen as anti-patriotic as most of his films tend to mock serious ideas or events that have happened in American history.

Concerns about his film ethics can be agreed with due to the fact his portrayal of his ideas are quite biased towards his ideas only, and doesn’t truly display the whole situation. He tells the truth in a way that presents his truth in a favourable way by interviewing people who agree with his perception of the truth. Although he doesn’t state his ideas for a fact, he presents them to the audience and leaves them to think for themselves. Fahrenheit only displays Moore’s perception of the truth and doesn’t represent the genre of documentary faithfully.
Fahrenheit to me is Moore’s observation of the truth, people can take what they want from it but I think it’s wrong to deliver such information almost as fact and display it in such a way where his opinions might as well be said outright. People could argue his film is bordering on treasonous as he portrays the president of that time as being part of a massive conspiracy. The film has made me aware of the fact that some parts of 9/11 can be seen as suspect but it doesn’t make me believe that 9/11 was a huge conspiracy and that the government organized the attacks to create fear in the public that Bush could use to extend his presidency.

Fahrenheit gives an interesting insight to Moore’s ideas but I don’t take them too seriously.
Nudent’s 9/11 differs from Fahrenheit, in the way that the overall theme is quite sombre and sticks to the stereotype of 9/11 documentary’s. It hasn’t got an idea, concept or hidden agenda behind it and it doesn’t want to convey a message to the audience, the film stands for what it shows and portrays the point of view of the fire fighters who were dealing with the attacks. Nudent’s film uses relatively “raw” unedited footage where Fahrenheit’s footage would have been meticulously edited to reinforce the point Moore was trying to give. The fact the footage is left as it is, is again due to the point of the film. Nothing special has to be done to the footage to show what the brothers want to convey, they want to show their truth without it being altered by bias or preference. This is the ultimate difference between the Nudent’s and Moore’s film.

Narration in 9/11 is done by the brothers and a handful of the fire-fighters themselves, the prologue is carried out by the fire marshal of the station the brothers are filming in which gives the narrator a sense of authority, much like the same sense you would get from a nature documentary with a figure like Attenborough narrating. The authority gives the narration some credibility as the people talking are experts, they’ve experienced 9/11 and they aren’t talking about it from an outside perspective, they are all talking from their experience as fire fighters and as fire fighters who had worked through the hardships of 9/11. This to me personally adds credibility to the film as there would be no-one better than those fire fighters that could give me a better case study of what happened in those towers.

9/11 seems to be a truthful insight to the experiences and events that had happened on that day. It gives a different type of appeal as it shows what happened, not why and how. It doesn’t put reason behind the attacks; it just shows the viewer what and when it happened. 9/11 is unaffected by preference and bias where Fahrenheit seems to be driven by it. The two aren’t comparable as truthful reflections as only one is but they can be compared to a stereotypical idea of a documentary and Nudent’s 9/11 seems to feature the typical characteristics of that stereotype. Where Moore’s Fahrenheit seems to break every ethic that a typical expository documentary would stick to.

Alex Lee

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Fried Chicken Shop Analasyis

The concept of this documentary is a feature of the funniest or comical moments of a 3 week period where the production house installed and filmed a takeaway for 3 weeks, 24 hours a day, the show promises high and low moments and interviews with the most outlandish character that are featured in the programme.

This concept Fried Chicken Shop uses is similar to another channel 4 documentary series titled 24 Hours in A&E, where the main theme for the show is a fly on the wall situation where the cameras film the staff and patients and follow everything they do, this often leads to interesting film material, as events in the hospital are usually dramatic and unusual. This is a popular “house” style for channel 4, as a string of these shows have been released, and have met a good reception as the shows have had good reviews on social media. Other shows that feature this format of recording are Educating Essex, Educating Yorkshire and Gogglebox. This format of film can be tied into the observational mode of documentary as these shows are claimed to be natural and unscripted, however the argument of the presence of recording equipment changes the nature of social interactions of the participant(s) still stands, fueling the argument of the presence of realism in documentaries.

The featured characters shown in Fried Chicken Shop are often outlandish and outspoken, which the producers/editors have chosen purposely as the slightly less interesting participants usually aren’t taken away and interviewed, unlike the featured characters which get interviewed and usually are made into re-occurring characters as they are often shown in multiple shows in the series. Most one-time characters however are often shown to interact with the shop staffs, which are also re-occurring as they are the core characters in the documentary.

The show also uses narration and non-diegetic sound in the shows which are both relative to the observational mode. Cutaway and bridge music is used to aid the transition of scenes, and also subtle narration, as the speaker uses a script to lead the show into the next scene, e.g. “At lunch time, the chicken shop becomes a popular meeting place for college kids from all over Clapham” and then the scene switches with music to kids socializing and eating in the shop. Narration is a useful tool to bridge gaps in scenes if the two scenes aren’t directly relative to each other.

Camera angles are relatively similar in the show, they often feature high angled shots, familiar to the audience from shows like Big Brother as this is the natural angle for the roof or wall mounted camera’s the production crew use to film with. The placements of the shots are often over the shoulder, as the static cameras can’t be moved during recordings as their mounted to a set position. You also see infrequent point of view shots, as some scenes show the audience the meal the character is eating, which could be seen as reinforcing the main theme of the show, which is the social interaction in a chicken shop. Due to the high angle you can often see what the featured characters are looking at, also often a technique used to move the scene forwards.

Analysing the Blue Planet – Expository Mode

1 – People may have different expectations from a programme released by less known broadcasting channels, when a production has a corporation like the BBC backing it, the viewer gives a pre-cast decision about the production and decides that if it’s been funded or released by the BBC, the actual entertainment or educational value the show gives should be quite high. The viewer also distinguishes the programme as “high quality” rather than a production released or produced by a less credible channel or production house.

2 – The use of a respected figure like David Attenborough adds to the overall credibility of the production, even the use of his name to “endorse” the show has a lifting effect which gives the viewer more of a reason to consume the documentary.

3 – The music gives the clip an “inspiring” mood as the orchestral music connotes that something special is happening. This accompanied with the use of slow motion while the whale is moving gives the intro a majestic feeling.

4 – Attenborough’s voice has a certain pitch that resonates with the viewer; with the use of descriptive words about the subject matter paired with the slow motion wildlife footage gives a “breath-taking” effect, as the POV of the footage is so unique it has an engaging effect that draws the consumer in.

5 – The soundtrack accompanying the footage uses the narrator’s voice to create an educational vibe to the documentary, Attenborough’s voice is clipped in and out of the soundtrack as the wildlife sound is muted or snubbed out while he is talking, this can drive more attention to his voice as his general vocabulary is quite educational, and due to his respectability viewers generally tend to engage and connect with his work.

6 – Having such a unique camera angle like a shot from space or an angle in-between sharks angle gives the viewer an  exclusive POV which the viewer has most likely never experienced before, the danger element also plays here as it can be seen as dangerous to be diving in-between sharks and whales

7 – The script Attenborough follows links the different sectors really well, he’ll link the segments with literal links, sometimes following the geographical location of the animals, or linking in in-between something like the animals food chain, all being quite relative to the subject matter

Study of the perception of Nanook of the North – In the past and present

Studying Nanook of the North while being aware of typical characteristics of the expository mode reveals such issues like the idea of realism and obvious product placement, many traits like re-enactments and manipulating representation weren’t techniques that were heavily used by film makers; meaning that the public in the 1920’s wasn’t fully aware of such practices while watching Nanook. The concept of Documentary’s was new in the 1920’s, having the new film format meant Flaherty could manipulate things like stereotypes and mythology as he could “play” on these rumours, and strengthen the stereotype of Eskimos. Such examples of Flaherty “diluting” the truth can be seen in the film, as the hunters are attempting to drag the walrus onto the beach, Flaherty is heckled by the hunters to get a rifle. It was a choice that Flaherty made to not use the rifle, either by forcing the hunters to drag it in by hand or just not to use the footage shot, missing out the parts where the hunters kill it by rifle instead of hand tools. This example shows how Flaherty changes the idea of realism, as Eskimo’s at that time were using rifles however it was the film-makers choice to portray them as the natural stereotype perceives them.

This documentary would be the one of only sources of information about the culture of Eskimo’s apart from literature, and unless people knew about the Eskimo culture on a first hand basis, then Flaherty wouldn’t of been caught out diverting the real truth about Eskimo’s, as the public didn’t have that knowledge to say otherwise. Flaherty also stages a scene where he asks Nanook to bite a record disc conveying to the audience that Eskimo’s were that clueless about first world technology at that time, shifting the real portrayal of Eskimo’s. This in current standards would be seen as not only immoral, but would change the films genre classification as the stereotype of documentaries now wouldn’t contain staged scenes that change the perception of the subject matter as it is essentially lying about an vague, un-researched topic. Whether the decision for the scene was to intentionally change the image of Eskimos in a negative way or just a creative decision to add humour to the film was in the end Flaherty’s personal choice. This shows how the concept of realism is subjective, and the so called “factual films” of that time could be altered however the film maker decided to, and also how the film maker’s choices can be affected by bias or cultural standards or stereotypes.

This compared with how the modern audience would view the documentary would show that many people would probably realise that Eskimo’s weren’t that outdated or blind from the modern world. With knowledge of previously unknown cultures coming from many sources (the internet being a large one) most of the public can be slightly knowledgeable about anything, meaning a film maker creating a documentary can’t easily dilute realism, and still portray there subject matter in a way that isn’t truthful. This can defy the stereotype of documentaries itself, as most people stereotype documentaries as factual films about a certain subject, representing that subject in an unbiased way. This however isn’t the case in many documentaries, as bias can always affects the choices a film maker makes when it comes to representation, an example I can use for myself would be the representation of a genre I would consider myself to fit into. I might alter the real portrayal of my category if that portrayal was seen to the public in a negative way. This is one way I can see myself being biased when it comes to creating documentaries, only if the film were to affect me personally.

Alex Lee

 

Main Differences between Direct Cinema and Cinema Verite

In documentary film-making there are two distinct methods of which there are many to creating a documentary. These two methods are ‘Cinema Verite’ and ‘Direct Cinema’. Cinema Verite essentially is a subjective method with the interviewer giving biased opinions and asking subjective questions on the subject at hand. This particular style creates a connection between the filmmaker and the matter in question. One of the main differences between the two styles is the presence and awareness of the camera filming the event.

It was claimed by an American historian Eric Barnouw that Cinema Verite was created by a French film-maker called Jean Rouch during one of his films in 1961 called ‘Chronicle of a Summer’ which simply featured him and his colleagues did was approach people in the street and as them one simple question “Are you happy?”, it was to reveal a new technique known as Cinema Verite which translates into film truth, to truly see what the camera sees. Some films use this method of film-making to gain empathy from the audience and to give them a new perspective in which to view the media; such examples include Blair Witch, Cloverfield, REC, District 9 and Children of Men. This style of film-making has always had mixed reviews from their audiences. This may be judged on how well they use this technique as it’s hard to use traditional shots mixed with the handheld shots, as the two styles clash. It may also be how well the film can draw the audience into actually feeling like they are there with the characters that give the method its credibility

Direct cinema is predominantly more neutral than Cinema Verite. Albert Maysles was one of the first film makers to harness the style of direct cinema. It was characterized initially by the filmmakers desire to directly capture reality and represent it truthfully, and to question the relationship of reality with cinema. It is a method used to create a film without subjectivity within the production, with little interference or manipulation as possible. It is possible to have the camera covertly positioned to show ‘real life’ without any bias but does raise questions in terms of ethical practice. To have permission to shoot and to have people have to sign forms in order for a filmmaker to publically release the film defeats the object of trying to covertly shoot them, but you can’t shoot someone without their permission. Direct cinema can be summarised by the following: Direct cinema is a mode variation that is used primarily by the documentary sub-genre of film, to show the truth on a certain subject without any opinion, or as little as possible.

Alex Lee

Restructured Paragraph

New technology isn’t always welcomed in the media industry as it does sometimes forces a company to re-invest millions to reach the same level as their competitors, this financial risk can affect a company’s future, if the investment doesn’t reap overall profit the company has lost most of their money in a dead technology. An example of a company not taking this risk can be seen in Disney’s history as they had produced Tron, a short CG animated film which was a staff production which was never destined to be released to the public, as it was only a test to see what CG animation could bring to the world of animation. An early pioneer in CG animation John Lasseter, had pitched the idea to Disney to create a full length feature film created with CG animation, Disney didn’t see financial validity in the use of CG animation and had shunned the very idea that CG would take over the use of traditional animation. But as further developments and productions show, the public wanted CG in the animation industry, as it was something new and revolutionary in the world of animation and even media. Disney even goes back on its word and pairs with Pixar in a new world animation deal. This re-investment in new technology however did benefit Disney in the end, as they now see 3D animations financial worth and trust Pixar to develop new versions of RenderMan, which is the software that produces all of the new releases created by Pixar.

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

The continuing development of digital media technology has a huge significance on media institutions and audiences. The film industry is constantly changing and adapting in order to find new ways to distribute their product. For instance, in recent years companies have been introducing an online streaming platform, which gives the viewer the option to purchase the movie and stream or download that film directly to their computer at home, or even to their smartphone or device. This has saved distributors millions as instead of sourcing materials for packaging for a large fee, then going through the production stage of creating the actual media disc, they can just send out a single file from a computer and still release and sell their product to the same amount of people as they would off with a physical Digital Disc release. This is the same with new cinema releases as now distributors don’t need to process a reel of film, they just send the production file computer to computer, this also removes the limit on distribution distance as in the past, a dozen film reel would have been shared and posted around the country. Now all they need to receive a new release is an internet connection and a computer. This pushes the view that “old” media such as DVD’s are in decline as the large push towards new viewing platforms are slowly diminishing the need for old media. This could be agreed and disagreed with the older generation, however the younger generation would believe that old media is in decline as they have found different, more convenient platforms in which to purchase or view media productions.

This “wave” of new technology which companies are adopting is pushing the old media out of the industry effectively making it de-funct. This example can be applied to the Pixar and Disney’s history and use of 2D to 3D animation. Disney released popular productions such as Dumbo with all of the animation being created by traditional hand drawn animators rather than more modern medians such as computer animations. 2D animation had been used by Disney as it was the industry standard in animation, the move to 3D or CG animation or graphics started during the 70’s as traditional animation had reached a standstill, this is where technology such as CG animation had taken over. The introduction of new editing platforms such as Tween and RenderMan brought along shorts like Tin Toy, The success of these Pixar shorts gave Disney belief in the commercial validity of CG animation as early productions from Pixar had yielded an incredibly positive response from the public, Disney couldn’t avoid the fact that the public wanted to see animated films which used the new technology, Which was a huge motive for Disney when they had decided they wanted to pair with Pixar to create full length feature films, with everything being animated with CG animation. This is a good example of successful convergence as both companies benefit from each other’s existence. With Disney’s strong corporate background, Pixar could use Disney’s distribution resources to fully make the most of Disney’s name, and Disney can reap the benefits of Pixar’s natural success capitalize their own financial gains from each successful Pixar release.

 

The natural example of synergy is also apparent when you look at Pixar and Disney’s convergence as Pixar gets the artistic and creative credit which further reinforces their name in the industry, and Disney can gain from Pixar’s success as the release of another hit from a production which bears the Disney brand name really boosts Disney’s publicity as they are now always associated with Pixar and its success.

New technology isn’t always welcomed in the media industry as it does sometimes forces a company to re-invest millions to reach the same level as their competitors, this financial risk can affect a company’s future, if the investment doesn’t reap overall profit the company has lost most of their money in a dead technology. An example of a company not taking this risk can be seen in Disney’s history as they had produced Tron, a short CG animated film which was a staff production which was never destined to be released to the public, as it was only a test to see what CG animation could bring to the world of animation. An early pioneer in CG animation John Lasseter, had pitched the idea to Disney to create a full length feature film created with CG animation, Disney didn’t see financial validity in the use of CG animation and had shunned the very idea that CG would take over the use of traditional animation. But as further developments and productions show, the public wanted CG in the animation industry, as it was something new and revolutionary in the world of animation and even media. Disney even goes back on its word and pairs with Pixar in a new world animation deal. This re-investment in new technology however did benefit Disney in the end, as they now see 3D animations financial worth and trust Pixar to develop new versions of RenderMan, which is the software that produces all of the new releases created by Pixar.

This surge of new technology has made the process of creating a new production cheap and fast, which is in the best interest of a big conglomerate like Disney, they can even reduce the cost of distribution as they can release a production straight to online streaming, cutting out the need for a physical object like a tape or disc. New technology has also made it incredibly easy for the public to start producing independent media productions; even with highbrow software such as RenderMan, such highly renowned software created directly from Pixar is available for public release, anyone with a half decent computer can download this software for a small fee and create their very own animation which would could be rendered to produce same aesthetic quality as a Pixar production. This is also the case with film productions as technology like cameras are getting better and cheaper at a staggering rate. A camera that would have been considered “high-end” in the 1980’s, a quality equivalent is now used on a modern smart phone for a fraction of the price, even editing software like Sony Vegas and FinalCut can be purchased for public use. Even recently, a simpler version of editing software can now be purchased as an app on a smartphone or smart device, this type of technological convergence is now used in most cameras and smart devices, which makes it incredibly easy for the public to create their own production. Even distribution of their production isn’t a difficult process as viral video sites like YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion are now an incredibly effective and flexible way of releasing a production to the world. This has essentially “levelled the field” as a single person can create something of similar aesthetic quality for a fraction of the price of a feature film.

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

The continuing development of digital media technology has a huge significance on media institutions and audiences. The film industry is constantly changing and adapting in order to find new ways to distribute their product. For instance, in recent years companies have been introducing an online streaming platform, which gives the viewer the option to purchase the movie and stream or download that film directly to their computer at home, or even to their smartphone or device. This has saved distributors millions as instead of sourcing materials for packaging for a large fee, then going through the production stage of creating the actual media disc, they can just send out a single file from a computer and still release and sell their product to the same amount of people as they would off with a physical Digital Disc release. This is the same with new cinema releases as now distributors don’t need to process a reel of film, they just send the production file computer to computer, this also removes the limit on distribution distance as in the past, a dozen film reel would have been shared and posted around the country. Now all they need to receive a new release is an internet connection and a computer. This pushes the view that “old” media such as DVD’s are in decline as the large push towards new viewing platforms are slowly diminishing the need for old media. This could be agreed and disagreed with the older generation, however the younger generation would believe that old media is in decline as they have found different, more convenient platforms in which to purchase or view media productions.

This “wave” of new technology which companies are adopting is pushing the old media out of the industry effectively making it de-funct. This example can be applied to the Pixar and Disney’s history and use of 2D to 3D animation. Disney released popular productions such as Dumbo with all of the animation being created by traditional hand drawn animators rather than more modern medians such as computer animations. 2D animation had been used by Disney as it was the industry standard in animation, the move to 3D or CG animation or graphics started during the 70’s as traditional animation had reached a standstill, this is where technology such as CG animation had taken over. The introduction of new editing platforms such as Tween and RenderMan brought along shorts like Tin Toy, The success of these Pixar shorts gave Disney belief in the commercial validity of CG animation as early productions from Pixar had yielded an incredibly positive response from the public, Disney couldn’t avoid the fact that the public wanted to see animated films which used the new technology, Which was a huge motive for Disney when they had decided they wanted to pair with Pixar to create full length feature films, with everything being animated with CG animation. This is a good example of successful convergence as both companies benefit from each other’s existence. With Disney’s strong corporate background, Pixar could use Disney’s distribution resources to fully make the most of Disney’s name, and Disney can reap the benefits of Pixar’s natural success capitalize their own financial gains from each successful Pixar release.

 

The natural example of synergy is also apparent when you look at Pixar and Disney’s convergence as Pixar gets the artistic and creative credit which further reinforces their name in the industry, and Disney can gain from Pixar’s success as the release of another hit from a Pixar release which bears the Disney trademark really boosts Disney’s publicity as they are now always associated with Pixar and its success.

New technology isn’t always welcomed in the media industry as it does sometimes forces a company to re-invest millions to reach the same level as their competitors, this financial risk can affect a company’s future, if the investment doesn’t reap overall profit the company has lost most of their money in a dead technology. An example of a company not taking this risk can be seen in Disney’s history as they had produced Tron, a short CG animated film which was a staff production which was never destined to be released to the public, as it was only a test to see what CG animation could bring to the world of animation. An early pioneer in CG animation John Lasseter, had pitched the idea to Disney to create a full length feature film created with CG animation, Disney didn’t see financial validity in the use of CG animation and had shunned the very idea that CG would take over the use of traditional animation. This re-investment in new technology however did benefit Disney in the end, as they now see 3D animations financial worth and trust Pixar to develop new versions of RenderMan, which is the software that produces all of the new releases created by Pixar.

This surge of new technology has made the process of creating a new production cheap and fast, which is in the best interest of a big conglomerate like Disney, they can even reduce the cost of distribution as they can release a production straight to online streaming, cutting out the need for a physical object like a tape or disc. New technology has also made it incredibly easy for the public to start producing independent media productions; even with highbrow software such as RenderMan, such highly renowned software created directly from Pixar is available for public release, anyone with a half decent computer can download this software for a small fee and create their very own animation which would could be rendered to produce same aesthetic quality as a Pixar production. This is also the case with film productions as technology like cameras are getting better and cheaper at a staggering rate. A camera that would have been considered “high-end” in the 1980’s, a quality equivalent is now used on a modern smart phone for a fraction of the price, even editing software like Sony Vegas and FinalCut can be purchased for public use. Even recently, a simpler version of editing software can now be purchased as an app on a smartphone or smart device, this type of technological convergence is now used in most cameras and smart devices, which makes it incredibly easy for the public to create their own production. Even distribution of their production isn’t a difficult process as viral video sites like YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion are now an incredibly effective and flexible way of releasing a production to the world. This has essentially “levelled the field” as a single person can create something of similar aesthetic quality for a fraction of the price of a feature film.

 

Alex Lee

New Technologies, Distribution and Production

New Technologies, Distribution and Production
1) What is film distribution?
Film distribution is the procedure between a production company and the film exhibitor; the exhibitor will negotiate an agreement concerning finance and level of distribution of the film. Film distribution includes the shipping/distribution of the film around the world however; distribution has recently been aimed at the digital market, as more contemporary methods are being used, physical film distribution will continue to diminish.
2) What are the main things a film distributor is responsible for?
A film distributor is an independent company which is responsible for negotiating an agreement with the exhibitor on distribution through theatres, as well as theatrical distribution the film distributor will also handle physical and digital distribution of the product (film)
3) How has digital distribution changed the actual process of getting films into cinemas?
Digital Distribution has changed the way distribution is carried out, as it is cheaper, faster and easier for the distributor to send a digital copy of the film to theatres, rather than having a main reel of film that had to be shared between groups of cinemas.
4) How did the original Hollywood studio system work? What is the economic term for this style of ownership?
The Hollywood studio system was when one company would own all of the sectors needed to create and distribute a film. With the company controlling both production and distribution there is no need to control or negotiate with the distributors, making it easier for the producers and distributors to release their product. The economic term for this is Vertical Integration.
5) What led to the end of the studio system?
In 1938 a federal antitrust suit known as the “Paramount case”. The US Federal Government had set a consent decree in 1940, with conditions that would stop or limit the “Big Five” from block booking short and feature films. 3 years later, the “Big Eight” had not met the consent decree’s requirement which forced the government to re-instate the law suit; the suit went to trial in 1945 leading the case to the US Supreme Court in 1948. The Supreme Court’s verdict voted against the studios, forcing the eight major studios to sell/strip themselves of their movie theatre chains, therefore ending the Hollywood studio system.

6) What are the losses to society by using this sort of system?
The problem that vertical integration can cause is the monopolization of the market, which causes a rigid governmental and hierarchal structure which has much of the same limitations as a socialist economy. Monopolization of the intermediate components of an industry can lead to a throwaway society heavily influenced by consumerism
7) How will the development of new technologies hurt a company that uses vertical integration? What are the benefits of vertical integration?
New technology will damage companies that use vertical integration as the company is forced to re-invest in its substructures in order to keep up with the competition. This has sometimes damaged a company as the pre-existing company has had to our mass amounts of money having to re-design their production/distribution structures. The benefit of vertical integration is the stability gained by controlling all processes of production and distribution, another benefit to the company could be the ability to monopolize the market throughout the chain by market foreclosure, which does benefit the company although this can effectively “close” the market.
8) How do big studios today work with distribution companies?
Studios tend to work with distribution companies by financing their production and distribution expenses, this can be a temporary partnership or can lead to a full time agreement causing an integration of two companies.
9) 10 facts about new digital technology…
DVD vs. VCR
Many people think that when it comes to picture quality, DVD would rule over a VCR However, A one-hour video in digital format would use up about 21GB of space. A DVD of the same length would be less than 4.7GB and any time you compress an image, there will always be a loss of quality. In simpler terms, a 2-hour high quality video tape would actually look better than a 2-hour DVD. And when it comes to durability, tape wins. You had to be careful handling DVDs as they could be easily scratched and be rendered useless whereas a video tape was always contained within a plastic case, which provided a good amount of protection – it was usually the video player that destroyed a video tape. However when it comes to playing durability, a DVD typically lasts longer,

10) How have low-budget independent films benefited from changes in technology and distribution?
More independent films can now release cheap productions with the same quality video and audio as the silver screen productions as new advancements in technology creates better and cheaper cameras, a generic phone camera would most likely be of better quality than a top end film camera used by a production company 50 years ago. The same can be applied to editing software, as anyone with an average computer can purchase the same editing programmes used by the highbrow production companies and create their films in their bedroom. This has “levelled” the playing fields. As far as distribution goes, once they have edited their film, they can then upload their production onto viral video sites like YouTube and Vimeo; these are now such well known media viewing platforms highbrow companies use these as an advertising base as the audience they can reach through online viral video sites is vast.
11) What was the first independent film released on HD DVD?
One Six Right on November 1, 2006, Directed and produced by Brian J. Terwilliger
12) What was the first computer animated film to be created by one person?
Flatland animated by Ladd Ehlinger in 2007

Research Task: How Teen Dramas Have Changed?

Teen Dramas Research: How Have Teen Dramas Changed?

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Teen drama is a genre of show that focuses on teenagers and their lives, often these shows address certain social issues that would be appropriate for the age group they have targeted, although many shows differ on how they handle these issues, Skins for example doesn’t wish to provide a deep underlying meaning beneath the show and its characters, the writers just aim to portray their and the public’s idea of a typical British college student, whereas a tamer show like Hollyoaks addresses social issues in a way where they can almost provide an answer, as they like to portray the predictable solution that solves the problem with a happy ending, rather than “Skins” where the character just copes with the problem which may not be the most politically correct solution.

The earliest example of a UK teen drama is Grange Hill. Phil Redmond (Writer) wanted to show a harsh depiction of high school life, rather than the tame, idealistic school life that had been shown in previous dramas. This caused controversy with the public which lead to the BBC having to force Redmond to tone things down in the show with the risk of the series being terminated. This was the start of the real representation of teen life in these dramas, as the idea of changing typical conventions in a drama had never been applied before, Redmond was very much “breaking new ground” by doing this. Although Redmond had been shunned by the BBC heads, he didn’t stop wanting to apply this new idea to the drama as this turned out to be the show’s most favourable characteristic, the public enjoyed watching the realistic portrayals of teenage life, this especially appealed to teenagers as they could relate to the problems raised by the show. In the Grange Hills later years, it carried on covering dis-regarded storylines like rape, drug addiction, mental health, knife crime and sexuality. The most controversial of the few was the storyline that tackled rape. This raised many complaints and ultimately stopped the dramas ability to tackle social issues through its storylines, even though Redmond has been quoted saying “the programme had been “robbed of its original purpose”. In the dramas ending years, Redmond had wanted to bring the show “back to its original roots”, Plans and scripts for the next series had a much larger emphasis on a younger age group, with much more innocent themes like theft and rules, rather than harsher themes like rape and addiction. Once Redmond had heard these changes were being brought to the show, he had called for Grange Hill to be axed. As he believed it wasn’t his show anymore. The drama came to an end in 2008 leaving behind a pathway, influencing many shows with Redmond’s idea of representing the teenage life in a semi-realistic way. Society in this age were rather more quiet about such “hush” issues such as sexuality and substance abuse, people could see such social issues as embarrassing and “not to be talked about”, looking at such a “shy” society I can see why such issues would raise complaints from the public and why Redmond was forced to tone things down in Grange Hill. This I think contrasts with the current mind-set as I think issues addressed in Grange Hill aren’t that shocking and embarrassing to talk about, personally I think the issues compared to the issues raised on modern teen dramas are actually quite tame in comparison. Although I was brought up in a society where issues like this weren’t that shocking, so when problems like this are shown on television, I can find it relatable and interesting to watch. This is probably a main reason current teen dramas have such popularity, because themes such as social issues aren’t seen as morbid, but interesting and as good “TV” material.

Hollyoaks was probably the next teen drama to use similar themes from Grange Hill; this is due to the show actually being created by Phil Redmond in 1995. Redmond’s aim for Hollyoaks was almost exactly the same as it was for Grange Hill; the only factor to differ was that the series wasn’t based -on a school but a whole town. Hollyoaks has been credited for tackling difficult issues that affect young people in sensitive and intelligent ways; this is the one of the main attributes of the show that attracts the teen audience as they can find ways of relating to the show, whether that relation is personal or conceptual. It isn’t a surprise on how successful Hollyoaks has been with engaging with the younger audience, which doesn’t come as surprise as Redmond’s initial ideas had set up the perfect “theme” for the drama, I personally think that Hollyoaks is what Redmond had planned Grange Hill to be, although the BBC had slowed his ideas to a halt. The current writers and producers still carry on with the theme of social issues, which over the years have addressed issues of teenage pregnancy to shop lifting, to more morbid issues like alcoholism, drug abuse, rape and cancer all of which would affect a certain minority of the target audience. Their aims and purpose are clear, past the aim of making a good show, they do like to provide “solutions” as such to the problems they address, at the end of a theme heavy episode where an issue is addressed, they will put contact details for a hotline at the end of that episode, whether this is to fulfil a contract made with their leading board or if the producers are actually socially aware of the impact their show can have is dependent of the aim of the producers and writers. Looking at the show in comparison to the earlier series of Grange Hill, you sense a social growth from the public as these issues are seen as more of a storyline rather than a harsh issue, this could be public obliviousness as they have seen worse things in worse shows, or whether shows like Grange Hill have broken a particular barrier where harsh social issues in television dramas aren’t a surprise isn’t for me to find out, however looking at the spectrum of modern media, it does seem like television dramas, especially teen dramas certainly have more violent and melancholic themes, which as I mentioned before could just be a normal thing now.

I think at the current contemporary state that teen dramas are in now, I don’t think that addressing social issues is a new thing, in fact I would argue that the social issue theme is almost a cliché with teen dramas, which could be a negative thing as from personal experience, younger people find the issues cheesy and almost patronising. This is why I think the newer dramas like Skins are more popular, as they break away from the innocent cliché of social issues, and address them in a totally different way, an example would be the Hollyoaks and skins addressing the issue of anorexia, the way Hollyoaks had presented the character suffering from anorexia to the way Skins would is completely different. In Hollyoaks the characters friends are very supportive and she basically solves the issue in less than two episodes, whereas the Skins anorexia episode had a rather more dark theme to it, the character suffering with anorexia  went through the whole day struggling to eat, and even had to lie to her friends and pretend she was eating and that everything in her life was fine, the episode ended with the issue being un-solved, and it was left as that, since the characters debut to the characters last appearance her problem was never solved, this is why I think teens in particular can associate themselves with dramas like Skins, because we live in a society where these problems aren’t things to be made a big deal out of, a lot of the younger generation like to keep such morbid issues quiet and don’t wish to share it with anyone. This specific example is a clear association on why younger people can relate with the later, more contemporary teen dramas, rather than the earlier dramas that can be seen as belittling to teenagers. Although these mind-sets aren’t the most “PC” in the traditional sense, it is a successful way of connecting with there target audience in a way that is almost ironic, as the dramas bring up the issue almost reminding the viewer that the problem is their whether you pay attention to it or not, although this could be a more conceptual view on the shows and their intent on addressing social issues.