A space for students to share questions (and answers) based on their readings and research for the course.
No one actually thinks about the progression of cinema. To see the different stages of biographs is fascinating. The rise of war films is what caught my attention. The start of reenactments of wars, and then actually getting footage of war, and then bringing them together... "so, when the camera couldn't come to the war, the war would come to the camera,"D.W Griffth, the greatest film maker in the world at the time :), had created an anti-war film that became such a huge success that the British government hired him to create a pro war film where the World War I was reenacted and filmed...Today, war footage is raw and caught by smart phones and cameras and imported to YouTube so seeing the current footage and seeing the reenactment is interesting especially since during the wars decades ago, the film (real or acting) had many rules and guidelines to censor...today...not so easy to hide the truth.
Two things caught my attention while watching the documentary. One was the story of Doublier. He was one of the original news cameramen and yet this was the first time I heard his name. It was astonishing to think that he traveled so far and helped to pioneer the field, yet received little recognition for it. Another aspect that grabbed my attention was the question of media deception. Nowadays, it seems like the smallest infraction causes public outrage (Obama in red shorts for example). But I would actually argue that we often times do not question our news sources enough. There is this pervasive attitude of, "We'll believe it once we see it/ pics or it didn't happen". So we accept events if there is photographic or video evidence. But the way we interpret the images can be quite dependent on how these images are presented to us. The first audiences simply accepted the modified reality that was presented to them. Street coverage of the conflict in Syria seems like the straight forward presentation of facts, but the way that very clip is interpreted can vary widely across video networks.
Do you think broadcast news outlets should make their raw, unedited footage available online for those who care to check?
I know I mentioned this earlier, but it's insane that you could fake newsreels and not get fired for it. Nowadays if you pull something like that you will never work in news again....ever. It's not even small details, it was entire battles completely faked for the cameras, and people accepted it as reality! The only thing I can think of is that news back then was more of entertainment, and that seems to becoming full circle. Some of the programs on T.V now are more entertainment than true, unbiased news.
Are audiences more savvy now? Would it be harder to fake news footage? Or easier? Could you alter a story by careful editing? What about CGI? Special effects in movies look pretty real these days.