Media Manipulation and Changing Cultural Values

The way in which video footage is manipulated helps us gain an insight into how easily the media can manipulate audiences. We can change lighting, audio, take sequences out of context by editing footage, use actors and pretend it is live footage, using various camera shots and basically change the story to suit our needs. This is why shows like A Current Affair and Today Tonight are considered tabloid journalism because they manipulate the audience to position them in a negative or positive way.

Arrested Again

Representations can also change over time. Society may start to accept previously unacceptable ideas until they become mainstream. For example, Lenny Bruce was a stand up comedian in the 1950’s and 1960’s in America. His shows were renowed for their profanity. So much so that he was arrested on many occassions for swearing on stage.  Lenny Bruce was persecuted so much that in the end he committed suicide. It is hard to believe a stand up comedian these days being persecuated and not allowed to perform because of swearing.

Another way of  understanding cultural change is to examine sitcoms.  Shows from the 1950’s are almost unbearable to watch, not only because the humour is dated but the portrayal of family life is so sugar coated. Shows like Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver have the traditional nuclear family set up where the father is the breadwinner and mum is the housewife. The children are respectful and everyone is middle class.

By viewing sitcoms through the decades we can see how cultural attitudes change and are reflected back to us through these comedy shows. Watch an episode of The Brady Bunch, Roseanne, Malcolm in the Middle and Two and a Half Men and note the changes that have occured in the treament of family and spousal relationships and the role of the father across different time periods.

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Evaluation of Representation Films

Following deadlines when working in the media is crucial, particularly when you have a newspaper, magazine or tv show that needs to be printed or screened on a specific date. However, it is not always easy to meet deadlines.

  • Describe some of the problems faced when constructing your short film that hampered your ability to meet the deadline.
  • What would you do differently to ensure that you met the deadline.
  • Download this evaluation sheet and fill out. You will need to keep this and put into your portfolio for external examination to be sent to the TQA.
    Representation Evaluation

Filming Representations

We all know that media footage can be manipulated. You can edit conversations that will take something out of context. You can add audio to make footage appear to be more serious or lighthearted. You can have a voiceover that manipulates what people are actually doing in the footage by saying they are doing something else. You can shoot video to make something look darker or lighter to portray moods. You can even get people to act out or dramatise an event and then manipulate audiences to believe it is real.

In this task you are going to create your own representation of Marist College. This can either be a good representation or a bad representation.

The video can be presented in the following ways:

  • You can present this footage as a series of photographs with audio, voiceover and subtitles to create in moviemaker,  photostory or premiere.
  • You can use a digital video camera and create a video with audio and sound.
  • You can create a mashup of photographs, video and sound using free online software  http://www.vuvox.com/

To complete this task please follow the list of steps:
1/ form a group of no more than 4 people
2/ Download the log sheet and fill out (MediaLogSheet2011)
3/  Decide how you want to present this material – look at the Vuvox site if you are interested in a mashup
4/ Discuss and take notes of what you are going to film/photograph/record
5/Create a storyboard (storyboardtemplate)
6/Once I have checked your storyboard then you can borrow a camera either from myself or the library
7/Shoot your footage (this is to take no more than 2xdouble lessons Tuesday 8th March & Thursday 11th March)
8/ Edit your footage (1 single + 2xdouble lessons,  Friday 11th  March & 16th&18th March )
9/Show to the class on the Tuesday 22nd March
10/Write up an evaluation of the exercise in 250 to 300 words  and post to your blog.

If for some reason you are falling behind then you will need to do some filming and editing outside of media class hours.  This work is to be assessed.
Criteria assessed:
Criteria 1: Communicate ideas and information
Criteria 2: Work constructively with others
Criteria 3: Plan, organise and complete activities
Criteria 4: Select and use technology
Criteria 9: Apply technical skills and production processes to create a finished product
Criteria 10: Examine and resolve issues

Logo Design Analysis

Logo design incorporates many design elements including typography, color, balance and shapes. By sketching a logo and coming up with many design ideas helps to clarify successful design.  Tracing a drawing and placing it in phostoshop allows the designer more tools and effects that can not be achieved by simple hand drawings.

Using between 250 to 400 words evaluate your design with reference to the following questions:

What are the challenges involved when trying to represent a product?
What steps did you take in order to research and create a design?
How did you communicate your message. Were there specific colors? Typography? Images? Shapes that you used to help with the design?
What was the greatest challenge in creating the design?
Does it give across the message you intended?
How could the design be improved?
In what ways could you measure the success or failure of your design?
Disscuss the difficulties you think professional designers would face in creating an original design.

Upload your logo and get some students from the media class to leave comments about your design.