Film Spectatorship and Visual Pleasure

When analyzing film it is important to understand the relationship between the many attributes of cinema and its audience. In addition, it is just as vital to be aware that many of our world’s beliefs are represented within our films, music, and even advertisements. According to film theorist, Laura Mulvey, there is a great importance placed on film spectatorship and gender within Hollywood cinema. Many of these Hollywood cinema elements are those that traditionally reflect the ideologies of society through mise-en-scene. To Mulvey, these elements are conceived by the patriarchal sentiments that exist within our unconsciousness, which consists of viewing and portraying women as mere sex symbols. In cinema, “the man controls the film’s fantasy and keeps the story going” (Mulvey 716). In other words, without a direct connection to the male protagonist, a female character seizes to exist on screen. Throughout my post, I will further explain Mulvey’s ideas through an analysis given on the film “Gilda.”

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In Charles Vidor’s film, “Gilda,” we can see many examples of visual pleasure being used throughout the story. When the audience is first introduced to Gilda, Johnny Farrell’s ex-wife, there is a long establishing shot that is used to thoroughly express Gilda’s beauty. I also found it interesting how when Ballin Mundson called out to Gilda, he first asked if she was “decent” so he could “introduce” her to Johnny. In other words, he asked if she was naked or still undressed. This choice of diction even shows how the first impression of Gilda is meant to be associated with sex. Mulvey refers to these particular shots, as “the gaze,” which is a shot that is used to establish pleasure through a male’s perspective. Ultimately, the gaze works to establish emotions of pleasure through phallocentricism, which means to be centered on the masculine viewpoint. The spectator watching the film is more or less supposes to identify with the male character (narcissism). That way when “ the gaze” shot is established, it as if the spectator is seeing and feeling the same emotions at the exact same time as the male character. This type of cinema style is also how directors try to re-create fantasy in order to keep viewers completely engaged within the world of the film (illusion).

Gilda’s role throughout the entire film was to cause continuous conflict between Johnny and the men around him. Gilda’s interaction on screen is what keeps the film going in the directors desired direction. Her role is important, however only important if made that way by the male protagonist. In addition to being a sex symbol, Gilda was always seen in scenes with various men. These men would all share the same gaze, which insinuated their hopes for sexual intercourse or some type of pleasure. Likewise, there are several scenes were Gilda is seen talking with a male in a bedroom. We can see the continuous re-established female role that the director made sure to emphasize throughout the story. It starts to become clear that Gilda is the only woman that is given an important role, simply because she has a significant relationship with the protagonist of the story. Mulvey explains that without a male, Gilda has no importance, no power.

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What is the True Definition Behind Public Interest in Media?

What is the True Definition Behind Public Interest?

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Public Interest” is a phrase that has stayed undefined throughout the history of telecommunications. After much research I was able to analyze and undercover my own definition for what I believe the phrase “public interest” means. To me, public interest is any information given or action taken that benefits the general population as a whole. I like this definition of public interests because it adequately represents what public interest should be, and how it should be handled. Anything that relates to protecting the public’s interest over the broadcasters is what I find very important when understanding public Interest. Public interests is a standard that should always reiterate its primary goal, which is to enhance public goods before generating profit.

Many people believe that the public interest standard is an idea that contradicts the ideas and practices of the First Amendment. Throughout the years many have deemed it as unconstitutional, however there have been several cases where the Supreme Court have ruled in favor of those representing public interest a manner that best suits the general population. For an example, in the Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart (1976), a judge kept companies from broadcasting and publishing confession made by a defendant to the police enforcement. The judge believed it was in the public’s interests to not print these confessions in order to give the defendant a fair enough trial, so the Judge deemed that “prior restraint” was necessary to use. The Supreme Court, however, ruled that the judge violated the First and Fourth amendments. Also, the courts concluded that withholding this type of information did more harm to the public than good. Judge of the Supreme Court case, Justice Warren Burger, stated, “ the whole community should not be restrained from discussing a subject intimately affecting life within.”

The administrators at the law school of University of Michigan have a very similar definition/opinion to what they believe public interest to be. They define public interest as “anything affecting the well-being, the rights, health, or finances of the public at large, most commonly advocating for those living in poverty or marginalized populations.” I like this opinion because it more or less explains the criteria of the Public interest standard. No matter what the case may be, I feel that the public should always be the primary reasoning behind the actions of our media. The public standard ensures that the well being of the masses be placed at higher regard than the individual. I believe that the University of Michigan would also agree with my understanding of public interest, simply because my definition represents the importance of the public and their right to be informed and rightfully served.

In addition, the Press Complains Commission code defines the public interest as “including but not confined to detecting and exposing crime, or serious impropriety; protecting public health and safety and preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organization.” I feel that this definition is also similar to my definition, as well as the definition that the University of Michigan provided. I believe that the P.C.C. would agree with my definition simply because my understanding of “public interest” encompasses all the details within their statement. I like their opinion because it is a much more detailed definition than what we are use to historically As explained earlier, “public interest” does not have an actual definition, and this in itself causes many problems. However, the P.C.C’s definition is specific enough to portray the importance of public interest and its role.

Lastly, when reading “Public Interest As Discourse Shaped at The Crossroads Between Professional Values and Organizations In Communication Industries,” I found that I did not agree much with their definition, mainly because it seemed too vague. Consequently, vagueness is exactly what causes the start of many incorrect interpretations. The definition they used in this particular journal was one that The Guardian’s chief investigation editor, Alan Rusbridger wrote, which was, “Information that is in the public interest if it assists in the proper functioning of a democracy.” The reason why I have a problem with this opinion is because democracy is a very powerful term that is best represented in our Bill of Rights, which includes the First Amendment. Seeing as how the “ public interest standards “ causes problems for First Amendment practices, I feel it necessary to establish a different understanding in order to get the public, as well as the private organizations on the same page. I agree with using the standard as a means to analyze particular cases in order to establish the right rulings. However, I also feel it necessary to re-establish a much more accurate form of applying the standards in order to keep it from conflicting with our country’s amendments.

Parallel Ideologies in the Film Easy Rider

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In the movie Easy Rider, we see two characters with two different personalities, as well as with two different outlooks on the purpose of life and what it means to be free. As the story continues, we see that Wyatt is a man of self-discovery and personal fulfillment who searches for a life different from the structural ways of society during the 60’s. Consequently, Billy searches for the same types of things as Wyatt, but leans closer to finding his happiness through luxuries that only society can provide. I believe that these different mindsets are what create a sort of alienation between Wyatt and Billy. This further explains why Wyatt and Billy have two different experiences by the end of the film.

The need to want “more” is a strong attribute that is shared by both Wyatt and Billy. However, when it comes to Billy, I believe that his search for “more” is greatly centered on things mainly available within a societal environment. For example, Billy’s main interests lie with money, drugs, and women. Wyatt however, shows a lot of interest in building relationships with other fellow hitchhikers and hippies who live off the land. Wyatt also seems to find a great amount of peace and happiness by just interacting with the individuals he meets on the road. In contrast, Billy shows little to now interest in getting to know anyone, unless there is a women involved. In addition, throughout the film Billy is extremely impatient and eager to make it to New Orleans for Mardi gras (which later gets the two characters thrown in jail.) I feel that this turn of events illustrates how Billy is still somewhat a “prisoner“ to the mentality of the structured world and its luxuries, while Wyatt is one who seeks a completely natural and much more independent lifestyle. We can see Wyatt’s dedication towards leaving his old life and desires behind in the early scenes of the movie when he casts his watch away, which is symbolic of his freedom from structural time constraints. Wyatt and Billy both want a peaceful and easygoing life, but I feel that their means of how to require that are divergent.

When Billy tells Wyatt “ we made it,” Wyatt responds back with a “No, man. We blew it.” I believe that this further explains how indifferent both Billy and Wyatt’s initial goals and mindsets are. Both men found themselves traveling across the country in order to get away from society, but only one man found the freedom he was looking for. In Billy’s case, the money Wyatt and him received from the drug sale, was considered “making it”. However, towards the end of the film, it seems that Wyatt begins to realize that he missed out on the long-awaited opportunities that were presented to him throughout the film. The film was very impactful Ideologies of the American Dream is an extended theme represented through these two characters.

CGI Technology in Hollywood Films

If you guys don’t know by now I am very passionate about films, as well as its attributes . For one of my posts I decided to share thoughts about one of film’s greatest technological innovations, computer-generated images. In my post, I will be touching on the uses of CGI within Neil Blomkamp’s film District 9.

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District 9 is a film about aliens who arrive on Earth, not to conquer or give aid, but to find refuge from their dying planet. Separated from humans in a South African area called District 9, the aliens are managed by Multi-National United, who is more or less unconcerned with the aliens’ welfare but will do anything to master their advanced technology. When a company field agent by the name of Sharlto Copley, contracts a mysterious virus that begins to alter his DNA, there is only one place he can hide and that is District 9. I find it interesting to see how movies use CGI in different ways in order to bring complex images to life. For example, in the film Jurassic Park, it uses CGI in a way to recreate our society’s idea of dinosaurs through gritty realism. By portraying how it may look or feel to be chased by a man-eating animal on-screen, gives more life to the film in its entirety. The movie feeds on the common fear that people have of being hunted and chased. I feel that this task is much easier in comparison to films like District 9, only due to that fact that we have found things like fossils throughout history, which makes it possible to generate and produce images of what a dinosaur would have actually looked like.

In District 9, I can appreciate the amount of effort it took to capture such realism through CGI because the images being used are merely based off myths and ideologies given to us by our culture. Throughout the history of movies, we have seen a shift in alien. For example in Steven Speilberg’s E.T., you are given an image of a small bald alien who looks almost harmless. In contrast, when we think of films like Alien Vs. Predator, we get an entirely different conception. In District 9, CGI was used in order to capture and establish a new perception of what aliens may look like. This can be a difficult task especially when dealing with the many other faces that Hollywood has given aliens. Visual Effects Executive Producer for District 9, Shawn Walsh, explained how they focused mainly on the shot sequence in relation to the CGI. “The goal was to create simultaneously natural and seamless shots while placing unnatural images within them,” stated Walsh, “ we thought, ‘hey if we can nail that cinema verity feel with something that’s obviously foreign in a shot, we have done our job right’.”

In addition to amazing CGI technology, District 9’s creative team explained that they were mainly focused on using unique camerawork to turn the movie into a much more “persuasive” science fiction film. They also discussed how they were told to not rely on CGI, but the elements that contribute to it, like the costume designs for the aliens. Referring back to Jurassic Park, the audience received images of fast moving, breathing, and ferocious dinosaurs. Ultimately, these images have no sort of basis or foundation in any photographable reality. However, in retrospect these movie experiences remains “realistic” to the viewers. Weta Digital Director Joe Letteri stated “viewers routinely make assessments about the perceived realism of a film’s images or characters, even when these are obviously fictionalized or otherwise impossible.”

War, Politics, and Hollywood Cinema

War, Politics, and Hollywood Cinema

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There isn’t a movie that exists that doesn’t follow the basic rules of storytelling. These rules include elements like settings, themes, characters, and plot. One can argue that modern day action films tend to focus much more on special effects than the actual story; nonetheless, each genre has similar qualities within its production. One of the most important rules to be aware of is establishing a protagonist and antagonist relationship in the story. Essentially, these two characters represent the ongoing clash between the hero (good) and villain (evil) of the film. In other words, this decides whom the audience should like and dislike throughout the movie

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I find it too much of a coincidence that many of the villains in Hollywood cinema have reflected the war enemies that America has faced at one point in time. It’s no secret that Hollywood cinema exerts an indirect influence over the lives of billions of people worldwide. In Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, Laura Mulvey, talks about how films correlate with the ruling ideologies of our society. This isn’t hard to believe since during war times, citizens hear many political speeches, ads, news coverage and other propaganda that are meant to sway the public’s opinion. “However self-conscious and ironic Hollywood managed to be, it always restricted itself to a formal mise-en-scene reflecting the dominant ideological concepts.” (Mulvey 711).

Take a look at this clip from the 1963 film, From Russia With Love. In this particular movie, James Bond’s sole mission is to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen. Regardless of the plot,the film works to identify the Russian antagonist as the enemy, and James Bond as the American hero. This is a great example of a film that adequately represents the current ideologies of society during this time (The Cold war lasted from 1947-1991).

A German film theorist named Siegfried Kracauer, once said that “films are the mirror of the prevailing society” . With that being said, it’s important to understand the relationship between our country’s state of peace and our culture. In an article written by Thomas Riegler called, “Mirroring Terror”:The Impact of 9/11 on Hollywood Cinema,” he talks about how immediately after 9/11 Hollywood cinema no longer produced any movies about mass destruction. This was due to the mourning and the overwhelming shock that was felt across the country at the time. Believe it or not, many films like the first Spiderman where either postponed or canceled because they contained scenes of New York City and the Twin Towers.

However, after the United States invaded Afghanistan on October 7th, 2001, there began to be an enormous increase in military themed movies. Shortly after 9/11 there were many war movies that were produced, but directors made sure to stay away from portraying middle eastern characters as the villains. The purpose of this was to keep all current war affairs separate from entertainment outlets in order to keep Americans from being frightened. 2001 films such as Black Hawk Down, Behind Enemy Lines, and Die Hard are just a few examples of war films that purposely had antagonist that were of a different ethnicity. It wasn’t until about 2006 when there began to be a notable rise in Middle Eastern villains within Hollywood cinema.

The Underground Music Scene in Atlanta

“Music is an expression of ones self. Just like all other forms of art, it reflects a person’s greatest attributes,as well as their biggest insecurities. Music is everything. Music is the medicine to any emotional sickness. Music is everything.” -T.Mason

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Atlanta is home to a constantly rising number of up-and-coming acts. It has quickly becoming a powder keg of talent waiting to blow. The most impressive quality of the city’s scene is that no one rapper or singer is the same, and they all reach wildly different demographics, from the influence of trap music on the Southside of Atlanta to the off the wall originality of Edgewood. Even though they’re different lyrically or cosmetically, they all share the same ambitious mentality that keeps them in the spotlight through EPs, mixtapes and videos. The biggest underground artists in Atlanta are hip hop collective Two-9, All Black Congress, Raury, ILoveMakonen, and Father. According to Complex Magazine, every year there are ten artist who emerge from Atlanta, and make a name for themselves.Consequently, the competition in Atlanta has made the music scene seem over saturated with every person claiming that they rap, sing or make beats. Also, with so many musicians recently coming out of Atlanta, there has been a number of famous musicians who have come to scout for talent. An example would be how Atlanta artist Raury, was found by recording artist Kid Cudi and Kanye West. With many major movie studios moving to Atlanta, as well as other reconstruction projects in the city, Atlanta has become a breeding ground for tourists from the local to national level.

The most popular area to catch many of these shows and celebrities is on Edgewood right in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. The best way to describe Edgewood is like a long strip of bars full of “movers and shakers”. These bars consists of the popular Department Store, which curates most of the underground performances for artist, and the Music Room. There is almost something always going on seven days a week. The weekends are the best days to stumble accidnentally upon a performance and coincidentally meet your favorite artist. If you are interested in more of these artists, you should follow their music and check out their shows if you’re in Atlanta, Ga!

Summer Internship at ABC News

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I have officially been accepted into the Web & Video department at the ABC news station in San Francisco, California! Now when I mean “accepted” I only mean as an intern, of course, nonetheless I am excited to learn more about my interests as well as my passions. I am currently a rising senior attending Georgia State University, who is also double majoring in Broadcast Journalism, and Film and Video. My reasonings for picking these two particular majors were to use them interchangeably.

I had always loved film, even since 16 when I shot my first official music video. Likewise, I have always enjoyed writing and expressing my thoughts. With that being said, If it were not for the AP credit I received from back in high school, it would have taken me longer to graduate college. You see, with a double-major it is almost as if you are taking two complete loads of various classes (journalism and film). When deciding my double-major, I felt that it made sense to better my chances of competing in a large job market, by bringing to skillets to the table. If I got hired at a news station, I could either work my way up to an Anchor or work my way up to Lead Director. Even if I decided to work in radio, I could still find a way to incorporate film into my position. Hopefully with this summer internship at ABC News, I can have enough experience to have another advantage over my fellow college graduates.

While at ABC News, I am going to be learning about all the techniques they use on their social media profiles, as well on how to build websites. I will also have to opportunity to shadow many directors, and camera operators throughout the entire time I am there. I am scheduled to leave for the end of May and start the first week of June. The internship’s length is going to last until the end of July moving into August. The position is only required a minimum hours of 20 week, but of course I am going to try and request more. While out in California, I will be staying with my aunt who lives in San Francisco. The only thing I will have to worry about is how to get better, and how to get smarter. See you when I get back. Wish me luck guys!

The Misadventures at Georgia Public Broadcasting

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Georgia Public Broadcasting or GPB, is a state network nonprofit organization under PBS television. Located in Atlanta, GPB is an organization that strives to provide the community with  a public service, while providing  “public interest, convince and necessity.”

Me and a few students that attend my digital broadcasting class at Georgia State university, were able to get the opportunity to go to GPB and tour the facility. While there, I learned about many different aspects in regards to working in television. First, our tour guide made sure to give us the break down on working with different “talent” for various programs that are shot within their facility. He stressed how many celebrities who come to the station can be hard to work with, but most of them are humble and nice.

The more we walked around the building we were shown many different sets that were shooting completely different shows.  Apparently, there are always multiple different shows being shot and aired throughout the GPB building.

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As the tour continued, we entered the control room, which in fact controls everything that happened on set, as well as how things get aired throughout GPB’s air time.  Inside of the control room there were nothing but screens that reflected multiple camera’s that were physically on set. In addition, there were many lights and buttons used to control these functioning’s. While in this room, I learned that everyone who works in this room are more or less the ones who contribute most to the station. For example, in the control room, the person who writes the script for the teleprompter, works in this room and so does the people who analyze a station’s “flow” to decide what schedule to take in regards to commercials,and various television specials

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After we viewed the control room, we were taken to GPB’s second largest studio, where they do most of their news segments. While there, I learned about the importance of lighting, floor directing, and camera operating. Likewise, our guide went further in-depth when discussing the camera functions. Below you can see a picture of a part of the camera, as well as the GPB set. The camera is a separate piece of equipment that is attached to an HD filter, which enhances the camera’s capabilities. Camera’s are sometimes even placed on a tripod or “jib” in order to create beautiful looking pan- in shots,and track shots.

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After walking through the halls of Georgia Public Broadcasting, I can definitely see myself pursuing a job here. No to mention that GPB gives plenty of opportunities for internships and volunteer work. I’ll make sure to stay up on everything that is going on with GPB. I’m even thinking of taking the journalism class at Georgia State that offers hands on experience of GPB. Lastly, I learned that GPB uses all types of volunteers to run their station. Our tour guide said that Georgia Public Broadcasting do not have enough money to pay workers.

The Wonderful World of LinkedIn

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LinkedIn is another unique social media site that more so reflects the interactions within the business world. It is a great place for posting job experience, as well as finding potential employers. Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Konstantin Guericke, Eric Ly, and Jean-Luc Vaillant founded this great networking site in December 2002. It wasn’t until May 5, 2003 that LinkedIn was officially launched and released to the public. According to the online digital marketing service, DMR, there are currently about 347 million users in the LinkedIn database. With the help of LinkedIn, many users have been able to find many jobs, and opportunities through online networking.

The sole purpose for the creation of LinkedIn was to build a site for professionals whom to use their past and present connection to secure a social network for the future. In addition, LinkedIn is an excellent tool to use if one is looking to start building their career. Keep in mind that LinkedIn is completely diffeent from sites like Facebook or Instagram, and shouldn’t be used to post anything unrelated to your professional work life. Ultimately, LinkedIn is a large resume that should include information on experience, education, skills, interests, awards, etc. Here are some tips to make sure you use LinkedIn effectively: Keep your profile updated, don’t boast or brag about your accomplishments, always write like you are being graded, make your posts engaging, and get a custom URL.

In closing, LinkedIn is a crucial tool that is used by millions of users every single day. Be sure to take this social media site more seriously than the others. As I stated before, unlike the other social media sites, LinkedIn is strictly for business purposes only. There are many things you can do to further your goals from building capital, finding endorsements, and polishing your skills.

Have you Ever Heard of Reddit?

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Reddit” is a privately owned social networking corporation that also specializes in providing entertainment and news. The thing that makes Reddit different than other sites is that they allow for users to post and vote on content. The founders of Reddit are University of Virginia students Steve Huffman, and Alexis Ohanian. This unique social media platform calls itself “the front page of the internet”. This motto is accurate because, for one thing, they generate over 90 million people per month. In addition, Reddit also often acts as the springboard for viral content around the Web.

When you first get sign up with Reddit, you can register without having to verify your email. The more you post content, interact with other users and comment, you’ll build up “karma”. On Reddit, karma is a term used to demonstrate your morality in the community based on comments/links you’ve submitted on the site. So essentially, the better your karma is, the more people will be interested in following your profile. Continuing, self-promotion is strictly against Reddit rules, meaning that you can’t heavily promote your goods or services on their website. However, it is, in fact, possible to still use methods to attract many users to your website/products.

According to statistics from Ignite, the majority of Reddit users are males between the ages of 35-44 with income levels normally around $25,000-$50,000 per year. In addition, according to DMR, an online digital marketing service, about 174 million users visit Reddit a month. Likewise, the numbers of countries that use Reddit are currently 186. Ultimately, Reddit is an excellent tool to use when trying to engage, answer questions and promote initiatives