Thursday, April 9, 2015

Twitter and the digital age

The relationship between artists and technology has changed a lot in the past few decades. With the invention of twitter, facebook, tumblr, reddit, buzzfeed, and many more websites, television has changed greatly. The idea of directly connecting with the creators, writers, and actors of a show was unheard of before the advent of twitter and facebook. There are many different benefits and issues with social media and television. Overall, in my opinion, twitter can help a show grow, but at the same time, ruin it for the viewers.

Shows react with Twitter just like Twitter reacts to shows. On Jimmy Fallon and The Late Night Show for example, they utilize tweets in order to create content. The mean celebrity tweets segment is very popular and strictly uses twitter comments as content. Shows can also use it to determine which characters are the most popular, where they should take the story, and whether fans liked or disliked what happened in the most recent episode. Having Twitter and fan reactions allows shows to grow with direct access to their audience. When the shows interact with Twitter, they get boosted ratings and boosted interest. In certain ways, television, the audience, and Twitter all benefit.

There are a few notable flaws with live tweeting and other advents of the digital age. A huge a remarkably common issue is spoilers. Spoilers make it impossible for a person to use social media if they haven't had the time to enjoy their favorite shows. In one of the articles we read, a huge issue was that actors/shows/people would reveal plot points of the show, ruining it for others. Another issue with live tweeting is changing the artistic direction of the show. By commenting and critiquing, the audience has an indirect influence on the arc of the show.

Overall, the presence of the internet and the impact it has over other forms of media is both helpful and hurtful. A larger social media presence can grant a show more growth and power. It can open doors and create a strong fan base. On the other hand, the audience can be hurt by a large online presence in the form of spoilers and direction. Personally, I don't care for Twitter and Facebook, but I can see the appeal and value of it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dog Sees God Reflection

The student run play "Dog Sees God" was incredibly transformative of the initial work. Not only did it take a work developed as a cartoon into a live action theatre production, but it also completely changed the tone. The characters were older and as such, they all became darker with more emotional baggage than ever. Charlie Brown, for example, began as a child who lived a normal life. In the play, he became a bi-curious, angry, partier. Linus became a huge stoner, Charlie's sister became wiccan, Pig Pen became Matt, a raging homophobe, and Marcy became a drunk gossip girl. The play is completely transformative of the original work.

Monday, March 2, 2015


In my mash up, I wanted to focus on how music can affect our mood and what happens when the audio and visuals are not emotionally synced.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Jan 28th Blog on Copyright

The idea, benefits, and limitations of copyright are incredibly complex. On the one hand, it promotes artists to create material knowing that will we be compensated for their work, allowing them to create more art in the future. On the other hand, it prohibits artists from building on the work of other creators. Both articles and the film had a clear bias towards diminishing the power of copyright and allowing more public access to art. Clearly the restrictions imposed by copyright law need to be placed into more reasonable bounds. The problems have gotten out of hand and it's time to take art back for the public.

Artists should totally be allowed to borrow and build upon published works. In the movie "good copy bad copy", there is a focus on one artist in particular, "Girl Talk". He takes popular and almost unknown songs changes them to the point where they are almost unrecognizable. The changes he makes to each song are so creative and drastic it's impossible to call them copies. Girl Talk should be allowed to sell his music for money. If pop music can take the same four chords and make thirty different songs, then he should be allowed to take thirty different songs and somehow magically and imaginatively turn it all into one.

There are two types of "borrowing". One in which the artist derives his art from another creator, the other being when an artist transforms an original work into something totally new. It could be argued that the former is stealing while the other is simply reshaping. The line between the two can easily become muddled if the artist did not really do anything to transform the art. For example, in the article written by Malcolm Gladwell, a criminal psychologist's story arguably stolen for a play. Events that had happened to her and even exact statements had been "borrowed" from her by a playwright. The artist did nothing to hide the distinction between the psychologist and the character. The playwright even added details to the story that the psychologist found libelous. The main distinction though that Gladwell found between the two stories were the methods of telling them. The playwright had taken words from him and the psychologist, but turned them into a completely different outlet. It is tough to determine the distinction between a borrowing derivatively and transforming and that matter should be decided on a case by case basis by courts.

The most notable misuse of copyrighted music to me is hands down the thievery and degradation of Queen's "Under Pressure". Ice Ice Baby by "Vanilla Ice" was "created" in 1989 and directly stole a lot from Under Pressure including the famous bass line that plays throughout the song. I wonder how I would feel if my work was borrowed by someone, perhaps not in the way that Vanilla Ice stole from Queen, but more like how Girl Talk uses music. Personally, I think I would be flattered and proud that someone heard my music and thought it sounded interesting and good enough to mix with something else. As long as I was not losing anything from the borrowing of my work, I would have absolutely no problem letting someone use it.

As a filmmaker, it is impossible not to be influenced and stylistic in my art. Perhaps I like the centered and clean style of Wes Anderson, the heavy stakes of action movies, and the comedy of a George Carlin. If I am influenced by all of these sources, my work is going to be similar to these different ideas. Ownership still belongs to the creator, but when there art is transformed, they deserve credit, but it is no longer their property. Copyright is a tough issue since art is wholly subjective, but there is nothing wrong with borrowing and building upon the past to create the future.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reflection on reading packets

I thought the reading we did was very interesting. We're focusing on what happened after the huge surge of films and why film became less popular. Our first reading about how people utilized film to aid in the war was interesting. By creating films with real life villains, filmmakers were about to place ideas in the minds of people. Our second reading was about the end of the golden age of film. Because of television and radio, people stopped going to see films on a weekly basis and much less films were produced. In it's height, film was one of the most important aspects of American society, but due to the convenience of the household TV and radio, film took a backseat.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

For my project, I researched Charlie Chaplin and watched the movie “City Lights”. Chaplin was once considered the most famous and beloved person of all time. His father abandoned him when he was young and his mother was later institutionalized, leaving only Charlie and his brother. Chaplin got his start when his mother lost her voice in the middle of a performance, requiring an eight year old Charlie to take over. As a teenager, he took many jobs, but was always focused on becoming an actor. With some luck, he managed to get discovered. Chaplin was cast in role after role, gaining more and more fame with each film. His iconic character “The Tramp” was recognized worldwide due to his lovable charm and foolishness. He was a grueling perfectionist who had to make the perfect movie each time. Sometimes he would rebuild sets completely or cast an actor for a leading role only to realize halfway through filming that they were not the right choice. When making his most popular films “City Lights”, “Modern Times” and “The Dictator” Chaplin took great care in making a quality movie. He made film itself popular, without him there is no telling how film would be seen today.

In his film, “City Lights”, Chaplin plays his most popular The Tramp. After meeting a beautiful, sweet blind girl, he falls in love with her immediately. The Tramp befriends a drunk millionaire who helps him woo the girl, but only until he sobers up. The Tramp finds an ad to fix blindness so he tries to acquire funding to fly his love to Vienna to get the surgery. After getting the money, The Tramp is wandering the streets with the girl not knowing who he is or what he looks like. Finally The Tramp runs into her and she recognizes his voice, creating one of the most heartfelt moments in all of film. What makes Chaplin’s films so magical is their universal language. Chaplin was resistant to speech in film because he knew that it would completely change how films work. In “City Lights”, Chaplin drives the story through his use of pantomime and body language. He utilizes many wide shots and does not move the camera too often, but thats because he doesn’t need too. At the time, camera movement was used much less than it is today. Story wise, the character of The Tramp has two friends. The blind girl and the drunk millionaire, neither of which can see him for who he truly is for various reasons. The final moment of this story is him finally being recognized as who he truly is.

For my project, I chose to focus on the iconic character of “The Tramp”. Chaplin’s character was at one point the most recognized character in the world. His role as an actor and a filmmaker changed film forever and popularized it far beyond where anyone would think it could have ever gone. The Tramp was lovable, wacky, and foolish. My photo set attempts to emulate the lovable charm that changed film forever. I considered doing a film, but I personally think the photos speak for themselves.

  • Robinson, David. "Charlie Chaplin - Official Website." Charlie Chaplin : Filming Modern Times. MK2 SA, 11 Mar. 2004. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.
  • "Charlie Chaplin - Official Website." Charlie Chaplin: Official Site. AETN UK, 22 July 2002. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.
  • "Sir Charles Spencer, KBE." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2014.