Tuesday, 8 December 2015

June 2010 essay question - answered

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

The continuing development of digital media technology has a huge significance on media institutions and audiences. The film industry is constantly changing and adapting in order to find new ways to distribute their product.

During the production of films, digital technology has been becoming more advanced and widely used by filmmakers. Camera technology is constantly developing into better quality filming, and a wider variety of forms it can be viewed in. Mad Max can provide multiple examples of this development as it was originally planned to be filmed in 3D. Had the equipment not been too big to fit in the War Rig, this is how the film would have been carried out. 3D is a development of technology advancement as films never used to be able to be filmed in 3D. One of the more advanced pieces of camera equipment that was used in this film was an Edge Arm. This camera allowed filming on a 360 degree rotation so that a scene could be filmed in a more flowed way, and could capture more details. It also makes it easier for audiences to follow. An edge arm is used in the scene in which it shows a close up of Max tied to the front of Nux's car, then pans over to the Nux, driving the car, then to a long shot of Nux and his friend and finally, panning out to the War Rig. A Phantom camera was also used in the filming of the movie, which allows 300 frames to be taken per second, whereas non-digital cameras were only able to take 60 frames per second. This results in much more detailed and better quality footage, which is a bonus for the audience as it means they will get a better feel for the movie. Mechanical cameras would have also been unable to be filmed in the desert as the dust and sand would have just broken the lenses. So as far as filming Mad Max goes, it would not have even been able to be filmed without digital media technology.

Another advancement of digital media technology is the fact that films can now be conducted on hard rives. This is very beneficial for media institutions as it means that scenes can be filmed for longer and they can get closer to the action. Ex Machina used this to their advantage a lot as some of the scenes that they filmed were up to 10 minutes long. This is because they were mainly dialogue and little action or even movement, so didn't need to take short recordings to make sure everything was in the right place for editing in post-production. So using a hard rive cut down time and, as they had to film everything twice for the rota scoping in post production, a lot of money. This is because mechanical filming cost £1000 for every roll of film, so would have doubled.

Post production has seen massive improvements in digital media technology which becomes obvious to an audience when looking at the quality of graphics and visual effects in a film say 20 years ago in comparison to more recent films within the last 5 or 10 years. Computers play a big part in this change and are being increasingly used in the film industry to make the film appear much more exciting during the post-production stage, in editing and CGI. Ex Machina uses computers to create the image of Ava's (the artificial intelligence robot) robotic body. They did this by rota scoping. This is the process of filming the scene once with the character present and once without, so they could create a transparent effect for the body of Alicia Vikander. Mad Max took advantage of this advanced digital technology to create the massive dust storm by Eric Whipp, the visual effects artist. They shot everything in the day then Whipp created the graphic style for the films day and night scenes with detailed sky replacements. A green screen technique was also used for Furiosa's robotic arm. This helped Charlize Theron as she didn't have to wear a mechanical arm through filming that would have been uncomfortable and restricting.

The development of digital media technology has also impacted on the marketing of films, especially in the viral marketing area. Viral marketing is a technique that is free and spreads via the internet and social media. Ex Machina relied heavily on viral marketing resulting in them paying very little for advertising. For example they created a website called avasessions.com, in which you could talk to Ava and have a portrait drawn for you by her. They also created a Tinder account at SXSW, of actress Alicia Vikander, calling her Ava leading the users of the app to believe she was real. They were then directed to the Instagram account that promoted the film. This method had not been done before as dating apps such as Tinder were only recently created. 

The development of social media helps the marketing of films through synergy. For example, the new Batman vs Superman teaser trailer which managed to reach 9 million views on only the second day of its release on YouTube. A person on social media network Twitter managed to leak the trailer a day before its release and was retweeted by other people to create a viral marketing effect. IMAX twitter page re-tweeted it to their millions of followers increasing awareness, therefore IMAX and social media combined to create synergy. 10 years ago this would not have been possible as these social media sites did not exist, showing that the development of digital media technology has a massive significance for media institutions when marketing a film. Mad Max Fury Road spent $7 million on TV adverts alone, without marketing their film it may not have made so much at box office. When the first Mad Max film was made, in 1979, TVs were much less advanced and so the quality was very poor. Now, a TV is a much more common thing to have in a home and most homes will own one meaning that the adverts spread worldwide and are in much better quality. Development of digital media technology has also contributed in billboards and posters as Photoshop has recently been introduced to manipulate pictures into looking more exciting and intriguing to the audience.

Distribution of films have also changed significantly over the years as we are now able to watch films again and again on DVD. Even more recently developed, we now have the option of watching them on Blu-ray, increasing the potential buys for the film. With certain DVDs they give free downloads so that the buyer can watch it on mobile devices at any time, not only does this make it better for the buyer but it is cheaper for the consumer provider. Not only that but we can now watch movies online or on TV from the creation of Netflix. Netflix lowers the high rates of illegal download of films by charging only a small amount of money a month for thousands of reliable films. However, websites such as Putlocker still pose as a problem as films can be streamed for free. 

Overall from the aspects i have covered I can see that the development of digital media technology has a great significance on both media institutions and audiences.

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