Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Oscars and Who Views Them

            The question of the week was “How do media industries shape media audiences?” and in my opinion the Oscars are a great example of how the industry can shape who watches movies. The Oscars are annual awards given out within the movie industry to honor the best of the best of various aspects of the movie industry. Every year, awards are given out for all levels of production, makeup, wardrobe, directing, sound, acting, and various other awards. These awards are voted on by the Academy, a group of roughly six thousand people who vote for the various fields related to themselves. Everyone within the Academy votes for the highly coveted Best Picture award. The people who watch the Oscars each year are usually those who know a lot about movies, or who might want more information about movies in general.
            Throughout the years, the Oscars have changed a great deal. They have gotten immensely longer, with many more awards given out each year. The Academy Awards have become much more inclusive in who they give awards too, though this could be contested by the 2016 Academy Awards where there was a controversy because no people of color were nominated. Many winners also use the Oscars as a platform for things they are passionate about, such as environmental rights, human rights, women’s education, HIV/AIDs awareness, and various other issues over the years. In many cases, those films who win big are those ones who have a great audience opinion rating, and not always those who have a lot of critic approval.
            In conclusion, my opinion is that those who watch the Oscars are those who want to know more about movies, and who use the Academy Awards as a placeholder for what films they might want to watch in the future. The audience opinion shapes who wins just as much as the industry shaping who watches the Awards and the movies they promote.

Sources
* Delbyck, Cole. (27 February 2017). Craziest Oscars in History Watched by Smallest Audience in 9 Years. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-craziest-oscars-in-history-watched-by-smallest-audience-in-9-years_us_58b44409e4b0780bac2b9438.
* Fahey, Mark. (25 February 2017). Oscar Nominees Please Audiences More Than Critics, Data Shows. CNBC. Retrieved from: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/24/oscars-please-the-audience-more-than-critics.html.  
* McCann, Universal. (23 March 2000). PR Newswire: News Distribution, Targeting, and Monitoring. PR Newswire. Retrieved from: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/who-watches-the-oscars-and-why-73219567.html.
* Nguyen, Hanh.  (26 February 2017). Oscar Potiical Moments: A Timeline of Memorable Sacrifices, Protests, and Speeches Throughout the Telecast’s History. IndieWire. Retrieved from: http://www.indiewire.com/2017/02/oscar-political-moments-timeline-1201787227/.
 Rosenberg, Jennifer. (15 December 2014). Academy Awards Interesting Facts. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco.com/academy-awards-interesting-facts-1779239.
 Roxborough, Georg SzalaiScott. (February 23, 2016). Oscars: How Many People Watch the Ceremony Worldwide?. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved from: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/oscars-worldwide-tv-audience-867554.
 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy Story. Oscars.org Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved from: http://www.oscars.org/academy-story

MPAA Ratings and the Audience's Response

The question of the week was “how do media industries shape media audiences?” I discussed the MPAA ratings system in my case study to answer this question. Pertaining to my case study, film studios (media industries) set the standard for the content of films by creating a rating system for the media audiences. The studios influence the audiences by rating the subject of the films and receive reception from critics as well as parents. I also discussed how parents push for a harsher rating for sexual content and profanity as opposed to violence in films. Critics of the rating system believe that the system limits the creativity of filmmakers. Filmmakers can appeal for a less severe rating since their main goal is for a wider audience to view their film.
                I received a lot of thoughtful answers from the discussion section of my case study’s presentation. I asked the class if the rating system is effective or ineffective and got a diverse set of responses I also asked them if films should be censored or rated by the government and most of the class said that it’s unnecessary for the government to step in and I completely agree with that because the government has other important affairs to handle.
                In conclusion, the media industry continues to impose and regulate media content, however, the audience does have right to respond or alter the regulation of the content. The rating system has influenced the kind of films audiences choose to watch. While government censorship of films isn’t necessary, it is essential for films to let the audiences know which film is suitable for them and children.

Sources:
Askar, J. G. (2012, November 15). Why ‘Breaking Dawn – Part 2’ was almost rated R. Retrieved March  06, 2017, from http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865566807/Why-6Breaking-Dawn-1-Part- 27-was-almost-rated-R.html

Austin, B. (1980). The influence of the mpaa's film-rating system on motion picture attendance: a pilot study. Journal Of Psychology: Interdisciplinary And Applied, 106(1), 91-99.          doi:10.1080/00223980.1980.9915174

Corcoran, P. (2016). Respecting the Audience. Boxoffice, 152(2), 18-19.

Indiewire (2014, October 07). 15 Times the MPAA Got it Wrong. Retrieved March 06, 2017, from   http://www.indiewire.com/2014/10/15-times-the-mpaa-got-it-wrong-69310/

Rottenberg, J., & Sperling, N. (2013). Will the MPAA Ever Get the Ratings Right?. Entertainment Weekly, (1287), 18


Straubhaar, J., LaRose, R., & Davenport, L. (2016). Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and   Technology (9th ed.). Boston , MA: Cengage Learning.

Friday, March 10, 2017

James Cameron and Avatar

The question I had for this week was “How do media industries shape media audiences?” I answered this question by talking about the famous filmmaker James Cameron and I focused specifically on his movie Avatar for my research. I introduced to the class all of the CGI and 3D technologies Cameron used in making this movie such as the PACE Fusion 3D Camera, Facial Performance Recognition technique, and the Swing Camera. Cameron co-designed the Fusion Camera that changed the way 3D movies were filmed, this allowed for better quality of footage from the multiple stereoscopic cameras within the set up and it helped producers cut down editing time. The FPR has been used before but Cameron changed it by inventing the “head rig” which was able to record their emotions and facial expressions. This allowed for real human emotion to be to be displayed in the avatar characters, which made it more realistic and emotional for the movie viewers. The Swing Camera was a technology Cameron used for directing that allowed him to see the actors in “Pandora” through an LCD screen device that displayed and detected the movements of the actors’ performance suits as they acted out a scene. This used virtual reality technology and helped Cameron visualize whatever scene he was trying to film better, this allowed him to critique the actors in the moment and fix mistakes. 
I believe these technologies have impacted the way audiences view 3D movies now, we want to be able to get lost in the movie and feel like we are actually there. Cameron has changed not only the way we watch 3D movies but also how 3D movies are filmed with the Fusion camera, the swing camera, and the FPR. I think these technologies blur the lines between computer animation and reality. It’s hard to tell what’s real and what is isn’t. I think that’s what an audience looks for when searching for a good movie.

Sources:

Directing a Virtual World. (2010). Popular Mechanics187(1), 62.

Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved March 07, 2017, from http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/60657/3d-visualization

Johnson, B. (2009, August 19). The secrets of James Cameron's new film Avatar. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2009/aug/20/3d-film-avatar-james-cameron-technology

Ng, J. (2012). Seeing movement: On motion capture animation and James Cameron's Avatar. Animation7(3), 273-286. doi:10.1177/1746847712456262

Robertson, B. (2009). CG In Another World. Computer Graphics World32(12), 12-20

Society, N. G. (n.d.). James Cameron, Filmmaker/Inventor Information, Facts, News, Photos. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from

Straubhaar, J., LaRose, R., & Davenport, L. (2016). Media Now: Understanding Media, Culture, and Technology (9th ed.). Boston , MA: Cengage Learning.