Applied Project and Research Article Prospectus

Applied Project:

How can I encapsulate most of my college education in one project? For my applied project, I would like to create a video diary and final product of taking a piece of media from conception, to screenplay, casting, filming, editing, and post-production. Through my program here at PSU, I’ve learned that the first half of producing a piece of media comes from the English discipline when it comes to researching, writing, and formatting. Casting is a blend of English and Communications disciplines as it involves communication with actors in order to find out their strengths and chemistry, but must match the characters to be cast. The rest of the process I’ve learned from the many video production classes I’ve taken in the Communications department as well as my English internship at the local television station. Showing the final project alone doesn’t fully capture what goes into making a piece of visual media, but creating a video diary alongside it provides a 360 degree view of the experience and process.

I personally want to work behind the camera, and working in pre- and post-productions are my favorite parts of media producing. I love the writing and the editing, and this will help me get more acquainted with people when it comes to the directing and filming aspect. A lot of people think content creating is easy as people online make it look so, but it’s actually a lot of work for a one man team and works significantly better when cooperating with others.

Timeline:

2/27-Have screenplay done with footage of brainstorming and formatting

3/6-Cast some people and hand out scripts as well as document the casting process

3/20-Film at least half of the footage

4/3- Finish filming

4/10- Edit both videos and finalize them

4/23- Post final video diary and short film to ePort along with reflection to show the process in a written format

Research Article:

I am working on the topic of book adaptations because I want to find out more about adapting them into a television series over a movie is beneficial in order to help my reader understand better if taking the time to adapt a book into a longer television series over a two hour movie is beneficial to both audiences and creators. As humans, we will not watch an eight hour movie, but we will watch eight one-hour long episodes in one viewing session. Why?

As someone that watches a lot of movies and television as well as reading books, I find it interesting when a book will get an adaptation of either a television series or a film. It wasn’t until the success of Game of Thrones that adapting previous source material into television shows rather than films. but now with the sort of success of the Marvel Netflix originals and A Series of Unfortunate Events, many are demanding that their favorite piece of literature be given more time on the story, which television can provide. But does this cause the crew of these sets to delve deeper into a story or add unnecessary filler? is it more profitable to make a television series than a film? I want to answer these questions for entertainment developers such as producers for television or film studios as to which would be more profitable when it comes to advertising, box office, etc. along with quality. For this project some of the major thing I have to find out are the pros and cons of each when it comes to adapting a television series or movie and maybe find some examples of some that were adapted into both mediums.

Some key terms:

Adaptations, production, profit margin, budget, advertising

Databases:

Metacritic, IMDB

Timeline:

2/27-Start gathering resources, taking notes from them, work on precis

3/6-Have precis ready to post

3/20-Start drafting the essay with sources and post outline

4/3- Make good leeway into the draft, at least 3/4 of the way done

4/10- Post first draft on ePort

4/23- Revise and post final product onto ePort

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas

My ideas for IDS projects in this coming semester:

Research Article

  • “I am working on the topic of mental illness portrayal in media because I want to find out how television shows either manipulate the topic in order to help my reader understand better how media distorts how it is portrayed.” This combines the different disciplines of media studies and health studies as it analyzes how one discipline affects the other.
  • “I am working on the topic of filling our homes with smart devices because I want to find out the risk we are at for data mining in order to help my reader understand better how these devices can be used against us.” I absolutely fear the sentience of devices one day rising up against us. Even Amazon is making fun of themselves for how mart their smart devices are. It combines the technical aspect of media studies and how we communicate with our technology and how that affects us socially.
  • “I am working on the topic of shows about nothing because I want to find out how the concept worked so well in the 90’s versus in order to help my reader understand better why our culture recycles ideas to make a quick buck.” Entertainment is a huge industry that we live in and is focused on in the English and Communications disciplines and it would be interesting to look on it socially as to how a common genre can work in one era but not in another.
  • “I am working on the topic of book adaptations because I want to find out more about adapting them into a television series over a movie is beneficial in order to help my reader understand better if taking the time to adapt a book into a longer television series over a two hour movie is beneficial to both audiences and creators.” As humans, we will not watch an eight hour movie, but we will watch eight hour long episodes in one viewing session. Why?
  • “I am working on the topic of production hell because I want to find out if putting a movie through said hell is worth it financially in order to help my reader understand better what it is to go through production hell and the toll it takes on the quality of the final product.” Production hell greatly alters the quality in my opinion, but with the recent success of Bohemian Rhapsody, who’s to say?

Applied Project

  • Short film on good portrayals vs bad portrayals in media of mental illness and how that has affected audiences. This is an interesting topic as some shows like 13 Reasons Why come with a warning label whereas Bojack Horseman does not. This could be difficult due to the stigmatization of mental illness in our present day.
  • Create a short documentary on the evolution and life of a meme. There was a terrible film claiming to do this already on Netflix, but rather followed celebrity trends. Memes can influence and make or break slang. We’re still saying “yeet” years after it’s peak popularity.
  • Write a screenplay, hire actors, film it, edit it, and document what it was like to go through each process with a video blog. This would show a step by step how to produce a piece of media that’s been around since the early 1900’s.
  • Video essay on iconic memes: where are they know and how did their media presence either ruin or improve their lives? This would be an interesting commentary and could be analyzed through how our culture can read one word and make someone famous.
  • Video in depth analysis with statistics about remakes of famous films: are they worth it? The film industry has lost it’s niche for original ideas and production companies are just relying on big names now to sell movies over quality. DC for example. This could show how muhc I’ve learned and could break down their flaws.

My PLN

In order to be successful in today’s world, one needs to build an online presence in order to stay relevant and make contacts. In my time in Interdisciplinary studies, I’ve developed a Twitter presence that I need to revisit after taking a break. I remember how much we used Tweetdeck to organize everything and how helpful it was for keeping track of different hashtags and see how other people in the class are communicating with the outside world.

I’m going to continue to follow major directors, editors, and creators of film and television programming as well as local media networks to develop online connections that will help me in my endeavors. As media creators, many of them are on Twitter. I to, will contribute my ideas on the platform and they will hopefully circulate as I accumulate a following. In order to gain a larger following, I may eventually switch my public account to something a little more private so I won’t be spammed.

Twitter Logo

As I will be mainly using Twitter, I’m going to follow the guidelines that have been presented by Matt:

  • Add a Twitter widget to your ePort
  • Following 1-10 new academic and professional (“acaprof”) accounts per day
  • A minimum of 1 simple acaprof retweet a day
  • A minimum of 1 quoted retweet a day
  • A minimum of 1 reply a day
  • A minimum of 1 acaprof tweet of your own per day
  • 1-10 favorites per day
  • Active use of the #IDSSem hashtag (#PlymouthIDS, too, if you want!)
  • Active use of your relevant acaprof hashtags
  • Use of helpful apps (Twitter for mobile; Tweetdeck; etc)
  • 5 days a week (minimum) of this tweeting. 10 minutes a day or so.

In summary, I feel that I will know that my PLN is working if I manage to get follow backs from people that I follow and eventually can communicate with them through DM’s or and exchange professional information.

Intellectual Journey

I was born in Portland, Maine and lived there for about ten years before moving to Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, where my family still lives. It’s a small town near Franconia Notch, and the area was so small the high school was composed for four different towns’ children. There, I was a big part of the theatre program and the music program, as it was the only one that sparked my interest. As the years went on, those departments were getting smaller and smaller with people losing interest so I didn’t branch out much further than that. It wasn’t until my senior year when I was in a playwriting class and was a part of a theatre competition that I learned how much I preferred being on the opposite side of the curtain. I preferred to write over perform. I preferred to manage props and set pieces over acting. I spent all my time learning as much as I could of the process of television shows and movies and never knew how it could be applied to my future profession until I entered the Interdisciplinary program here at Plymouth State University.

I originally enrolled here undeclared because I had no clue what I was going to or what major I was going to choose. I figured by doing so I could get my general education credits over with while still being on my own away from home to gain a sense of adulthood. Of course, that didn’t last long as I was told at the end of my first semester that I transferred over too many credits from college courses I took in high school and had to pick a major in my second semester here. I panicked and looked into the Literature and Film area of the English major and asked about that to my advisor, and the option was no longer offered but was still in the catalog. She then recommended Interdisciplinary and fell in love with the opportunities that came with it.

I worked at the PBTV station for three semesters.

I’ve taken some courses throughout my time here at PSU, and I’ve got to say it’s more about the instructors that influence your interest rather than the course. The most influential have been Paul Rogalus with his writing courses, Ian Halter with his video production courses, and Juliet Harvey-Bolia at the local tv station where I had my internship. Each of them helped me understand the different processes of producing media and what to avoid and gave me tips. It was a hands on experience where I actually produced media instead of just taking notes and eventually a test on it.

I never really fit in at my high school. I wasn’t cast aside or anything, I was just kind of known for singing at events and for television show recommendations. Everyone was planning their futures and I was content with going to a state school and trying to figure things out. A lot of people underestimate this place but it has so much to offer. Through this program I’m finally able to being my interests into my career field and can’t wait to use what I’ve learned.

Visual Media

Visual media consists of photography, movies, and television. Each of them play an important role in mass media.

Photography has played an important role in our visual culture and has had continued importance in mass media. Photography has two main functions– surveillance and cultural transmission. Photography was used and is still used to day to verify facts. They are also used to tell stories through a single frame.

Technological changes have impacted the film and television industries. For one, the advancement in technology led to a popularity uprise in fictional genres due to the ability to produce higher quality material. In the development of television broadcasting, there were originally four channels that were distributed via terrestrial. Since this limited viewership to those with really great reception, cable television and satellite television was developed.

Cable was created for areas where reception was nonexistent so it was built into land, forming a “tree branch network.” Satellite is distributed to satellites on peoples’ homes for a more direct connection.

In the past years of people waiting for movies and tv shows to come out on DVD or streaming services, there has been a decline in movie ticket sales. This has led to a five percent rise in ticket prices across the United States and a push to make films in 3D to gain profits from glasses fees. Because of this, DVD rentals and sales become a huge money generator for films, sometimes more than the box office. An example of this is the film Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, where the film was a box office bomb, but it broke several DVD sales records.

The development of the television begins with the cathode ray tube, which was developed in the 19th century and was the beginning of audio and video transmission together. Then, David Surnoff demonstrated 411 television in New York and it became nationally developed after World War II. In 1948, there were officially four commercial networks: ABC, NBC, CBS, and Dumont, which no longer exists. Color television broadcast began in 1951. Digital television was being developed since the 1980’s and by 2009, all broadcasts were digital.

There’s been convergence with telecommunications companies and content companies over the past several years. With cable becoming less and less popular with online streaming and direct to home fiber optics, cable companies offering phone and internet services make the companies more appealing to subscribers.

In conclusion, visual media has been a apart of our society since the first photograph was taken during the civil war, and there’s no end in sight to it contributing to mass communication.

Convergence

The definition of convergence, simply put, is “the blurring of lines between two different types of media.” An example of this are smartphones. They combine telecommunications and computing in one device, two media that were separate beforehand.

There are three types of convergence: technological, economic, and cultural. Technological refers to the specific types of media that converge into digital media, such as paper newspapers switching over to blogs. Economic refers to the merging internet companies with with traditional media companies, such as when Comcast merged with NBC. Cultural refers to values, beliefs, and practices are shared between different cultures, such as an American soap opera becoming popular in Russia.

There are eight major changes that are taking place in communication today due to convergence. The first one is that media organization changes by advertisers switching from advertising on radio to the internet. The second is how media type is changing by companies switching their medium, again like newspapers switching to blogging. Media content has been changing as people have started to prefer to binge an entire season in a few days rather than one episode a week. Media use has changed from blogs being personal to them being used by the news to distribute information. Media distribution has changed by people distributing content, such as entertainment, via the internet rather television. Media audience has changed based on how people can now provide instant feedback for a tv show or movie, rather than writing a letter to the makers. Media profession has changed based on how it is required for employees to understand how to create digital content. And finally, attitudes and values have changed since production companies have made an effort to earn our trust as viewers so that we absorb their content.

Mass communications are messages sent out to large groups of people. There are four functions of mass communications. The first is surveillance, which provides information about issues and events to the audience. The second is correlation, which is how media interprets issues and events and how the audience will. Cultural transmission is when a dominant culture will transfer to a smaller culture, such as women in Thailand adopting the values of the characters of Sex in the City. And the last one is entertainment, which sole purpose is to entertain the audience.

There are three basic theories of mass media. The first one is General Mass Media, where there are four different kind of communication:

  1. A message is sent to a sole reciever
  2. A message is sent to many recievers
  3. An anonymous message is sent to an audience
  4. Audience is passive of the information sent with no action taken to provide feedback

The second is the Shannon and Weaver Theory:

And finally, the Schramm-Osgood thoery

 

The most accurate of the three theories is the Schramm-Osgood method, as it takes into account how we process messages and how we create them.

 

 

Intro to Interdisciplinary: A Summary

My first several months in the Interdisciplinary Studies department have been time spent giving me hope for my academic future. Before I was placed into this intro course, I was in a panic because I was told I had only one more semester before I had to pick a major, as I would run out of general education classes to take. I was ironically put into the program because I didn’t have any idea of what major I was going to pick. But after talking with my advisor about my interest in the removed Literature and Film focus from the English department, I decided to build my own program with classes from said focus with Communications classes that put the pieces of the cinematic puzzle together.

Courtesy of Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jigsaw_puzzle)

Honestly, when I was first going into the course I was unsure that I was confident enough in my to-be built major that it was going to work out for me. But as I heard about the amazing majors other people were building, I felt like I was in a place that I could send me in the direction I’m hoping for. At the beginning of the course, I had no idea was interdisciplinary was. I thought that it was picking and choosing with some rules thrown in as long as it could be named. Boy, was I ignorant. I understand that it is now this amazing opportunity that is offered by universities and should be taken more seriously and should have a secondary definition as such.

Courtesy of Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoothie)

One of the ideas that constantly stuck in my head was the fruit smoothie vs. the fruit bowl. The idea of interdisciplinary vs. multidisciplinary are different because interdisciplinary integrates the discipline whereas multidisciplinary connects the disciplines but keeps them separate. Students in interdisciplinary studies either have an interdisciplinary program or a multidisciplinary program, and either is a wonderful combination of fruit. Another idea from class that sticks with me was when I had to find and read a scholarly article and found one where the author discusses that interdisciplinary studies could cause its own undoing, as it would just rearrange the disciplines. It discussed how if programs become more and more interdisciplinary, the disciplines would rearrange. But if a multidisciplinary approach is taken, universities can thrive as disciplines and colleges within universities can attribute to the interdisciplinary programs without dismantling the current ones. The last idea I think about from the class was the success story of the vein detector that was created using the intellect from doctors and engineers. For someone as pale as me, it’s remarkable how easy it is to miss a vein. The vein detector is this amazing result of interdisciplinary and is just one example of the teamwork it brings.

Interdisciplinary studies matter at universities to help students that don’t fit into the conformed boxes that universities set out for us all to pick from one day. Universities are preparing us for the world we currently live in rather than the impeding future full of new jobs, opportunities, and changes that interdisciplinary studies is preparing us for. New scientific discoveries are made by veterinarians and genetic researchers working together to help out animals all over the world, and that’s just one example. So many of the highest demanding jobs right now didn’t exist 8 years ago. The world is an ever-changing career environment that we will only become prepared for as disciplines become more integrated.

Courtesy of Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avenue_Q)

The hopes for my own personal future is that I can one day work in the media of cinema such as television or film. Maybe even advertising or running research groups for cinema. Media is also an ever-changing platform so who knows what the possibilities will be by the time I graduate? My hopes for PSU and the future students that will attend this university is that they don’t have to confine themselves to the restricted selections that make up our college curriculums in this day and age. That students will be more prepared for the future of careers rather than training for ones that could become obsolete any year now. I don’t want my life to be like the beginning of Avenue Q where the main character has no idea what to do with the BA in English. He doesn’t even end up using his degree he just follows his girlfriend and let life take him where he ended up. I don’t want my degree to be for nothing, I want to make something or join a new movement that’s just waiting to happen.

Ideas from Spring 2017

I’ve spent this semester finishing up my general education credits, so the classes I’m currently in don’t have much to do with what I’m interested in, major wise. Although, the classes have offered me information about the past, present, and future of our society. Whether it’s science, art, music, or the environment, there’s a history and room to grow.

Courtesy of Wikipedia, https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/29/d1/be/29d1beb375445b3637b1facb7c45da6a.jpg

The first idea comes from my art history class, Exploring Art Revelations & Revolutions, taught by Professor Philip Inwood. After viewing and discussing many paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries, I’ve learned how artists of the past have greatly influenced how we appreciate artists of the present. If the artists weren’t seen as these amazing creators that influenced people, then we wouldn’t see paintings as an important influence today. This relates back to my major as the same concept can be applied to cinema, as it’s a huge form of media that greatly influences populations as do physical art.

The second idea comes from my Environmental Geography course taught by Kevin Wall. We learned about how we need to learn from our past mistakes otherwise the environment will suffer, as will we. Such as, if we keep destroying areas of the environment for profit, there won’t be any left to make a profit off of. An example of this can be applied to the sibling directors, the Wachowskis. They made The Matrix, but continued the series haphazardly and it declined in value, yet raking in the dough. Now it’s reached the point where it’s damaging to their careers to keep producing terrible movies at the expense of minimal profit, much like the environment. This is a mistake that should be learned from.

Courtesy of Wikipedia, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b2/Wachowskis%2C_Fantastic_Fest%2C_Cloud_Atlas.jpg

I took away several ideas from courses that I thought were completely irrelevant to my major at the start of the semester. But through some digging and my odd knowledge of directors and the history of cinema, I could learn how to apply the knowledge to my field. This opens up my hope for information that could help me in ways I don’t even understand yet.

Possibilities of the Program

This article an issue of Liberal Education depicts the author’s fear of interdisciplinary studies leading to its own demise. The author, Ethan Kleinberg, discusses how several interdisciplinary programs eventually became disciplines themselves, such as Women’s Studies and African American studies. These interdisciplinary programs becoming university programs added are examples of options at universities expanding, but what the author fears are programs being replaced altogether. Certain interdisciplinary studies programs get their own colleges within universities, get staff and students teaching it, and it becomes a discipline itself within the university. The author fears that this would cause interdisciplinary to just rearrange the disciplines of colleges rather than being a connection across disciplines.

CC BY-NC-SA John Martin https://flic.kr/p/5YQWr9

Kleinberg uses two models on how he sees interdisciplinary should be in education to prevent this from happening. The first model is at Wesleyan University, they have a College of Letters which is an interdisciplinary program that takes advantage of the multidisciplinary concept of having different professors from different fields teach the disciplines that make up the program rather than making the program a new discipline. The other model is that disciplines come together on a specific issue with a particular combination of areas of study rather than creating a whole ‘nother program to be offered by the college.

Personally, I find this outlook on interdisciplinary studies interesting, because the program can be used for all three of the above examples. What I mean is, it can be used to create another discipline like Women’s Studies. And also a multidisciplinary program as well as an interdisciplinary program to solve an issue. I’m personally trying to create my version of programs that were previously offered at this school and ones that exist at other schools. I’m excited for the next the years and live out the plan I’ve constructed in this class as I’m sure other members are excited to carry out their programs, whether it’s multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or a possible new discipline altogether.

Article

Education, Liberal. “Interdisciplinary Studies at a Crossroads.” Association of American Colleges & Universities. N.p., 30 Dec. 2014. Web. 16 Apr. 2017.

Infographic – Benefits & Challenges of Interdisciplinary

Based off several articles read and discussed in class including “The Benefits and Challenges of Interdisciplinarity”“Standing Alone” ,“The World As We Know It Has Changed” , and “Ten Cheers for Interdisciplinarity” here’s our infographic showcasing our findings!

We created this infographic using https://www.canva.com/create/infographics/!