Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Media Process

I thought about how showing an entire media project process. Something beyond a simple journal. I groaned about how time consuming it would be (VRT would help there), but then considered how the process could boost credibility because everything is included. This process, likely resembling an interactive Web project, could also add a “narrative” to the process so people can understand/analyze it better.

If audiences have a set of visuals as a narrative, then the author’s must organize these concepts and theory to a way that allows viewers total access in many different media. This creative process requires a lot of technical skill so audiences can access links to related topics or display items simultaneously. It’s almost like a thesis writer would be telling the story of their work.

Visual works have varying degrees of success, but I concentrate on the social change of this technology. DVDs and Websites are prime examples of an author’s quest to bring his/her viewer closer to the work and get a deeper understanding of it. DVDs and Websites are relatively new concepts that people are still excited about, so transferring information to these media would be recommended—for now. I think about how the novelty of the BETA tape wore off – probably because VHS was close behind. We haven’t yet invented another film format beyond DVD and VHS or a concept as revolutionary as the Internet. We’re still in the “honeymoon” period with these technologies. Our technology is supposed to save use time and make life easier, so why doesn’t it for some? Because they choose to let the technology govern their lives. Is there something beyond the Web on the horizon or our we stuck in endless remediation?

I can think of many research projects and regular work where people expressed their fear of submitting a work that is not entirely finished. They were more comfortable with keeping it as a “work in progress” instead of taking a risk and submitting it. It reminds me of article about Martin Scorsese who won’t view his own films because of his compulsive mindset of never being finished with them. Research project subjects are responsible for creating most of the work, but the research or compiles the work in presented in a way that most subjects would not be able to do. It's similar to a movie director getting all the credit for a film without any kudos going to the actors, cinematographers or crew members.

Personal experiences helped me understand the full scope of research and every person involved, especially when the author discusses conflicts and problems with the research. Surprising honesty and truthfulness help people learn tremendously. The perceptions of what is expected of you can drive people to do their best or drive them away from their own work. They look to other factors that will affect the research or move it along, while it lingers out of their mind as time goes by. No media project will be perfect, yet we strive for perfection to the point of madness at times. I always seek criticism and counsel throughout any process I’m working on. I make sure it includes peers related to the project, but also include many other friends and associates that can give me other perspectives and insights to my work. These people represent the randomization of my personal criticism giving me insight, peace of mind and a higher learning.

Call it a sampling of criticism. As a media critic, I’ve learned how powerful criticism can be. You have the power to comment on someone’s work where the subject frequently has a deep personal connection to the work because they’ve spent so much time and resources on it. It’s very easy to use lack of time and resources as a reason to delay submission of a project. It is very satisfying to pursue project areas that are personally interesting, but it’s even more satisfying to receive actual results and feedback from peers that you’re on the right track. You have to get those results and feedback yourself and not wait for it to magically happen, because it usually does not.

In a complex world, it’s very easy to be affected by several factors, but if we don’t grab hold of our personal beliefs and confidence, these factors can begin to erode worthwhile work. We look for outside factors to affirm we are on the right path, instead of looking into our own mind and abilities. “Crito” by Plato and John 15: 18-19 puts the world into perspective very well for me.

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