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?