Monday, May 19, 2014

Mockumentary Television


With what you know about this genre, (from the links above, or from watching mockumentaries in general) tell us your personal take on how you feel about it. What the benefits for filming something in this style are, and how does the genre apply to the digital age?

I think it's pretty cool, when the content warrants it. I think the conversation in class about the aesthetic being a gimmick was a good prompt. I think it's kind of popular style now with shows like "Modern Family" and "Parks and Recreation", but none really call for it in their content besides "The Office". It's important because it's actually important to the plot and the characters interact with the cameras because they're diagetic.

I think in some of the other shows (not "The Office), I have mixed feelings, but I kind of get caught up over it being a popular look and in a few ways, an easy way out. One thing that makes this style just easier to work with is the interview for exposition and to tell the audience something about the character in a pretty easy way. I'm not saying that all shows that use this are cheap or that they all take the "easy ways out" with this genre, but that there are a bunch that do.

I haven't personally watched in depth any of the shows within this genre besides "The Office", but the little bit that I have seen have been somewhat enjoyable. I'm very adamant that I did not find the shows funny or entertaining or whatever because of the aesthetic/ genre (there have been some that fall into the content category of the genre, but some not), but the pleasure seemed to be in the writing. It's been a long time since I've encountered any of these shows, so I probably shouldn't be talking, but I think it's interesting that I've had generally positive experiences with the shows that seem to implement this style/ genre. It kind of makes me wonder what kind of formal definition could be given to specify pacing/ other specific writing thing (besides the setting and etc. that have been specified) because although this is contradicting what I just said (pleasure not having to do with the genre) there does seem to be at least a tiny hint of consistency between some of the "awkward silence joke" pacing, which may just be it's own device used in tons of other writing to, but I do seem to remember a certain way of delivering a punchline that seemed to carry between shows. Again, it's been a very long time and because of this, this entire paragraph is invalid. I just kinda got on a tangent.

All and all, I think it's really cool and an interesting mini-explosion in television style, but it really just depends on the script/ show it's being used on.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Black and white, new, new wave? I think that's it.

I guess to start, I like "Escape From Tomorrow", I thought it had a really cool world and the whole film was really immersive.

I think they used black and white in this film to contrast the amount of colors you would expect to see at Disney Land. It also seemed like it was in reference to old cartoons since both the color it was shot in and the behaviors/ actions of the characters seemed pretty cartoonish.

In the article another point for black of white (talking about a different movie, but it still applies) is that the colors would draw away from the character's faces and would be distracted from the emotion that you are supposed to be paying attention to. Again, Disney Land is a very very colorful place and the article is right that by shooting in black and white it drew the audience's faces to what's important... the actors.

When the article talked about the sudden spike in black and white films that were being made, its implication that there was one reason that all of these films at this time were being made this way seemed kind of vague and I didn't agree with even the prompt of that. I guess I could agree that one reason these films are popping up like this is because the directors saw it fit, but the implication that that the reason they saw fit had to do with nostalgia or that it was some higher form of viewing didn't sit with me to well. I may be reading this wrong completely, but I just take it as coincidence that these films all popped up since they all did come out around the same time, meaning they were all in the same process at the similar times most likely not in contact with each other and therefore just a coincidence that they felt black and white would fit their films well.

Again, probably reading the article completely wrong, but black and white is just medium and having black and white in films, isn't doing one specific thing for all of those films. It's on a case by case basis as they are all different films that are attempting different things with different content and different genres. Sorry if this was just a giant ramble on something I misread.

Blogpost prompt:

Respond to any of these prompts and provide a response to the movie.
How does the setting and environment affect both the subjects of the film as well as the crew? How does this interaction create a new aesthetic/genre?
How does learning that the film was made a guerrilla fashion affect your perception of the film? Were there any parts that took you out of it due to the way it was shot and the budget it had?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mumblehorror: More Fear, Less Money

Alright, I read the article and I don't have any new understanding of the genre. The article just gave an idea of the history and this certain group of "mumblegore" filmmakers. Unless my reading retention is really that bad (not out of the question) that was about it, so I'm not really going to write about the article...

I guess for the second part of the prompt: reaction to the genre. The fact this genre is out there and is being seen by the mainstream and whatnot makes me pretty happy. From what I've read about these films, it seems that these are decent films and that's really cool. I think the popularity of the genre is good and that filmmakers that don't have a huge budget/ any at all can make a film that the world can see.

I also think it's cool that these people can get the same desired effect of fear as any of the studios and now the competition has to do with the actual craft and better horror movies should come from it.

I like the idea of the general aesthetic and again I really think this is a great outlet that has the potential for the best of creativity to be articulated and be seen by the world.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mumble Core: What is the core of mumbling?

Puffy Chair vs. Tiny Furniture
Smackdown that will leave each of them mumbling

Well, I'm just going to start out blunt and to the point. I liked "The Puffy Chair" exponentially more than "Tiny Furniture". Maybe it's just what Ben said about "post graduation confusion and angst movies," (Ben Gordon©) but the feel of the movie also didn't appeal to me very much even ignoring the context.

From what we've talked about in class and from the quotes the shared google doc, mumble core is more about following the essence of the character and their natural presence through just being with them and through the naturalistic dialogue and not a plot.

It might've just been that "The Puffy Chair" had more of a plot and that's why I like it, but I think I liked the essence of the characters more as well. Like I just said about the essence of characters is really important to mumble core and whether "The Puffy Chair"s more defined characters breaks from the mumble core law/ characteristic I'm not completely sure.

There was some parts of "Tiny Furniture" that I did like, but as a whole piece I'm leaning towards the negative side of my trademarked Nick Opinion Scale© (NOS©). I'm thinking it's just because it's because its another post graduation film that I didn't understand why we were stalking this girl for 98 minutes. Her naturalistic "subtleties" as we're supposed to absorb as a mumble core film either I picked up on them early in the movie or I just didn't find them interesting/ genuine. Maybe "The Puffy Chair" was just too blunt and is not really a mumble core movie, but I seemed to pick up on things from spending time with characters and figure out things about their relationships. It wasn't even completely defined, there was just the right amount of ambiguousness.

Also, maybe I'm just saying this to help my argument and make what I say seem like a grain of validity, but I felt like Aura was just a group of stuck together ideas and angst. I'm probably just saying this because she didn't have any wants, but nothing made her feel distinct or personable (again probably "a post graduation movie thing"©BenGordon)

I think this all has to do with my bias, but I've seen a couple of other "mumble core" movies that I didn't have "Tiny Furniture Problems"©Nick inc. with.

(If you couldn't tell today I figured out how to make the ©)

Nick's Tips©: alt/option + g = ©

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Evolving Relationship of Creator and Audience

Notes: Flash mob
gendered writin = 90% female
Filmmaking = 90% male

I think it's interesting how the first article brought up the idea of what genders primarily do what in the fan-created response content. I never would have guessed that actual writing and story/ character work would be primarily done by women and that explosion and action remake videos would  be primarily done by men. I think that fans should have the freedom to do what they want especially when the original work is giant and has not chance of being taken over. I think the Star Wars fan content website that has the limitation that "you may not expand upon the star wars universe" is a bunch of crap. I can understand their want for creative control and them not wanting to be obligated to a certain addition in the future because fans like it, but if they do have something to write that's better that will be okay, if they don't they should come down from there high horses. Another aspect to this is probably only the really well written expansions will be popular, so if you are obligated and it's better than what you wrote, it will be better than what you wrote. It could have to do with legal reasons, but I don't agree with that limitation.

I was going to talk about every single aspect such as the Fanlib, VideoMaker and etc, but I'll just try to talk about them all in one or at least the ones I have something to say about.

I am all for fans generating content and getting the chance to "go pro" for there work. I think it gives a chance for real talent and passion to join a creative team. I do think that fanfic authors or others should be asked for their stuff to be taken to a certain extent. It's kind of a tough question because on one hand, they don't own it. It's the company's franchise, show or whatever that they're writing about, but then again it's their material. I think at the very least they should be credited for writing it and I think that gives enough to both sides. If you're so protective of your work don't post it online. It doesn't make the companies just or in the good, but it's just the way that things are.

To be honest I don't have too much to say about transmedia. The article didn't raise anything I questioned or too much at all that was even up for debate. I do think the idea of spreading your show or media over multiple places is a very cool concept. I think it's cool to get the fans involved and if they like the show they will genuinely enjoy it (if it's done "right").

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Twitter and Television Reading Response

I think the interaction between TV shows and their audiences is cool for the fans and the fact that people can actually do that, but I find the idea of getting feedback for a show to then change it to appeal to an audience doesn't sit too well with me. At least that's me because making shitty shows for money has never been my favorite part of the world, but at least before if they really took up a whole manure truck they'd be canceled. I think this ability to get feedback to patch up their bad show is just disgusting and although this isn't always the case I think the prospect of getting "market feedback" for a show is just kind of sleazy.

I think that's one way of taking it, but I think that might be looking at in the wrong direction (I don't know. I'm not one to know if that's what the actually do, I just like to complain at the prospect of it) a more positive light is the fans ability to share and talk about it and to get actual viewer written ratings (not advise on how to patch it up or make it sell more).

I think the article "How Live Tweeting TV Shows Ruins Everything" is kind of a load of crap. The main problems being: spoilers on twitter and that it ruins the actual watching of the show. I'm no *insert your favorite genius/ problem solver here*, but I think there's some pretty simple answers to these problems... wait for it... don't use twitter, don't use it while you're watching the show, be caught up on the show or don't read things from people who are. To be honest I'm not sure what the intention was with this article, but I kind of got the sense that the author just didn't want people to do these things for their own enjoyment of the show and so he/ she doesn't have to deal with spoilers, which I'm pretty sure if this was as much of a problem for the people actually posting these tweets they wouldn't... well... post them, so it's kind of pointless to try to convince them they have a problem that they would know if they had.

Bottom lines for all of these articles:

Feedback and viewer written ratings are cool using twitter as "market research" to patch up your show for money is not.

Spoilers, you know where they exist.  Don't go where they exist if you don't want them.

Actors and other people in shows interacting with fans on twitter is cool.

If you ever use twitter use it to make fun of "The Bachelorette".

If the problem can be solved by not going on twitter it's not a problem.

I think tweeting your script is almost as dumb as twitter itself, but if it helps your show and your show is honestly good, sure. (If your show is bad you should feel very ashamed.)

If you couldn't tell, I have absolutely no biases in any of this and my neutral viewpoint should be held as fact for future generations.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Copyright Criminals

Although this film is more objective than Rip: a Remix Manifesto I feel like it was still leaning towards the adjustment of copyright laws. It seemed like it was really focussed on how important re-using and legally so was important to the history of hip hop and that it was okay and re using was shown in a positive light. I think that the parts opposing the copyright laws (pretty exclusively Steve Albini) were limited and subtle, but I do think that it portrayed a more complicated viewpoint of the issue. James Brown's drummer seemed to be in favor of sampling, but it was also ashamed that an amazing musician such as himself wasn't credited or at least got some recognition for his musicianship. Another part that seemed to present a more negative or at least a shaded light was the part where Ray Charles's song was turned into "Gangster's Paradise", which was an example of re-using in a straight up copying/ negative way. I wish it would have presented more of the Steve Albini/ James Brown's Drummer/ shameless copying with no artistic merit or elements added.

Again, this was definitely more objective than Rip and that's a given, but I think it still leaned pretty hard towards Rip's point of view.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Genres 2014: "The Ecstasy of Influence" Response

Note: This post was focussed on the "Ecstasy of Influence" reading as I did not read the instructions carefully enough. I may edit this later to directly address the other piece, but I do think that both of the pieces touch on some of the same material that I talk about.

Although this was for the most part an interesting read, I felt like it was very repetitive and that I found myself drifting off every once in a while because I didn't feel like it was saying anything new besides providing similar examples to its main point. I could be missing something and this could be very dumbed down, but the main idea I got out of the piece was that everything carries inspiration from something before it and as long as it's through your lens and your artistic vision it's okay because that's what everything out there is.

"Just as Walt Disney could take inspiration from Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr., the Brothers Grimm, or the existence of real mice, the photographer should be free to capture an image without compensating the source. The world that meets our eye through the lens of a camera was judged to be, with minor exceptions, a sort of public commons, where a cat may look at a king." (Lethem, 3)

This is short, powerful and to the point and that's why this is my favorite passage from the piece. It goes into detail about our culture and how these reincarnations of older works are used to express an artist's different view or put a spin of the new time's new culture on it. 
This video alway makes me feel relieved of any of the doubts I had in what this article is saying. A lot of the time I can get hung up on how much is enough change and what kind of artistry specifically makes it okay. This video reminds me that if there's a great work and it's just simply copied (If they both have similar exposure) people would go to the original, but when something new is made and is artistically sound the  new culture will go for the new rendition, but will still respect and keep the old one as well. It used to hang me up as well that artists wouldn't own up to admitting that it was their take or spin on the previous work, but at least in this video the older song is recognized. Kurt even satirizes how similar they sound through his playing, which gives me hope for that other artists would do the same.