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Tom Allen

If at first you don't succeed, edit out your failures.

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U4:2.2 Apply an understanding of a range of contextual parameters to support own creative development.

Report on the SFX industry

In 1977 Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope was released and the computer image that the rebel pilots viewed when attacking the Death Star was the first extensive use of animated 3-D Computer animation (or CGI).

In 1979 Alien was released and the film used a raster wireframe 3-D model rendering for the Nostromo’s navigational charts on its computer monitors. The film is best know for the chest-burster scene where a small alien bursts from one of the character’s chest before looking around and scurrying away.

In 1981 Raiders of the lost ark was released and it’s more remarkable shots were where a giant bolder was rolling after Harrison Ford’s character in the opening and the final image of the government warehouse where the Ark was stored —  a lengthy matte shot.

In 1986 Labyrinth was released and the opening CGI credits/title sequence featured a glass ball and a flying digital owl – the first realistic CGI animal. The film also included an impressive M.C. Escher-style production design, including the final “stairway sequence”

Media effects and audience responses to media products

Introduction

The debate of how media affects the audience has been going on for a long time. It relates to how some people believe that video games, movies and TV shows cause violent behaviour.

some examples are that

Industrial revolution – loads of people moved from villages to bigger towns with industry to create cities. It is believed that the Church lost it’s guidance on the people and they believed that mass media

There are 5 different theories that scientists have put forward to either suggest that media has a negative impact or not.

  • The Hypodermic Needle Theory – This theory says that the media are to blame for violence in society, they say that it can have very negative effects. They say that the media has more influence than anything else. They say that passive audiences are “injected” with ideas, beliefs, messages, values, morals. They say that our behaviour is easily and directly shaped by these media messages. They also point out that one of the ways media influences us using advertising as billions are spent in advertising.                                              E.G; OFCOM have a broadcaster’s code of conduct, one of these rules is the “9pm watershed”( The watershed only applies to television. The watershed is at 2100. Material unsuitable for children should not, in general, be shown before 2100 or after 0530. On premium subscription film services which are not protected as set out in Rule 1.24, the watershed is at 2000. There is no watershed on premium subscription film services or pay per view services which are protected as set out in Rule 1.24 and 1.25 respectively.) and the Obscene publication act thats says that you can’t show obscene things in the media, as it may have an effect on someone. A possible real life example is how a person in England supposedly imitated the game “Manhunt” in which you are rewarded for brutally killing opponents. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicestershire/3934277.stm
  • Criticisms of the Hypodermic Needle theory – The effects model sees us as too passive and it doesn’t take into account the audience as individuals with their own beliefs, opinions, ideas and attitudes. “Audiences are not blank sheets of paper on which media messages can be written” (Abercrombie, 1996, Pg 140)
  • The Cultivation Theory – This theory says that repeated exposure to a media message will lead to “desensitisation” i.e. we become less sensitive to violent scenes the more we see and we are therefore more violent in real life. violent images are becoming more glamourised, used for entertainment and acceptable, and are even used for comedic effect. This makes us see violence as less serious.
  • Criticisms of the Cultivation theory – We may become desensitised to screen violence but this doesn’t automatically mean that we are less shocked by real life violence.
  • The Two-Step Flow Theory – This theory suggests that the media isn’t the most influential thing in our lives, they believe that “opinion leaders” people who are role models to us. E.G. Parents, peers, etc.
  • Criticisms of the Two-Step Flow Theory – Many children / young people’s “opinion leaders” are media celebrities. They may use these media figures as their role models as opposed to their siblings, parents, etc. so the media is more influential.
  • Uses and Gratification Theory – This theory says that the media doesn’t have a harmful affect on the audience. It also says that we control the media not the other way around and it has a positive effect on us. It says that the media meets our needs such as; The need for diversion (escapism), The need for personal relationships (using media for emotional and other interaction), The need for personal identity (Assurance, constructing own identity by identifying with characters) and the need for surveillance (Information gathering.) According to this theory we use the media to gratify our needs.
  • Criticisms of Uses and Gratification  Yes, we use the media to meet our own needs but we cannot deny that most people simply consume media products without being in control. We are not as active in our decision making as the theory suggests.
  • The Reception theory This theory says that we all respond differently to media. Media is usually polysemic (can have different meanings) – the audience makes it’s own meanings. This meaning might be different from the one intended by the producer (the preferred meaning) Stuart Hall, he proposed that audiences respond in one of three ways; 1. Dominant (you agree with the preferred meaning) 2. Negotiated (you shape the meaning to your ideas) 3. Oppositional (you don’t agree) Theoretical study – Grand Theft Auto – Some parents will have an oppositional response, however it is impossible to gauge what people will say. A doctor’s view may be an oppositional response that says that the health risks aren’t worth it, however they may also have a negotiated response as there has

BBFC

 

The BBFC is the British Board of Film Classification, they handle the classification of films in order to “Protect the public, and especially children, from content which might raise harm risk”

(http://www.bbfc.co.uk/about-bbfc/our-mission)

The difference between a PG rating and a 15 rating is the amount of swearing, if there is discriminatory language and/ or behaviour or drug taking.

The Criminal Law: The Criminal Law is a law where the BBFC cannot pass any material likely to infringe the criminal law. This is heavily influenced by the Obscene Publications acts of 1959 and 1964, The Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937, The Animal Welfare Act 2006 and The Protection of Children Act 1978.

The Video Recordings Act: Video works (including films, TV programmes and video games) which are supplied on a disc, tape or any other device capable of storing data electronically must be classified by the BBFC unless they fall within the definition of an exempted work.

When considering whether to award a classification certificate to a work, or whether to classify a work at a particular category, the BBFC is required by the Act to have special regard (among the other relevant factors) to the likelihood of works being viewed in the home, and to any harm that may be caused to potential viewers or, through their behaviour, to society by the manner in which the work deals with:

  • criminal behaviour
  • illegal drugs
  • violent behaviour or incidents
  • horrific behaviour or incidents
  • human sexual activity.

In considering these issues the BBFC has in mind the possible effect not only on children but also on other vulnerable people.

Race Relations Act: The Race Relations Act 1976, which was changed to the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, places a legal obligation on public authorities to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between persons of different racial groups.

In 2004, Examiners discussed whether the Act was relevant during their deliberations after seeing the film, The Passion of the Christ, which some commentators accused of being anti-Semitic. The BBFC’s conclusion was that it was neither anti-Semitic nor indeed blasphemous.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 13.17.07

Key advances in sfx from 1977 onwards

In 1977 Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope was released and the computer image that the rebel pilots viewed when attacking the Death Star was the first extensive use of animated 3-D Computer animation (or CGI).

In 1979 Alien was released and the film used a raster wireframe 3-D model rendering for the Nostromo’s navigational charts on its computer monitors. The film is best know for the chest-burster scene where a small alien bursts from one of the character’s chest before looking around and scurrying away.

In 1981 Raiders of the lost ark was released and it’s more remarkable shots were where a giant bolder was rolling after Harrison Ford’s character in the opening and the final image of the government warehouse where the Ark was stored —  a lengthy matte shot.

In 1986 Labyrinth was released and the opening CGI credits/title sequence featured a glass ball and a flying digital owl – the first realistic CGI animal. The film also included an impressive M.C. Escher-style production design, including the final “stairway sequence”

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