Consuming Transmedia Products (Harry Potter)

The name Harry Potter has become a household name in every Brittish home. The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most successful Brittish media product to go global, the success has led to the selling books, DVD, merchandise all over the world as well as attractions such as the Harry Potter studios in the UK and Harry Potter World at Universal Studios in Florida.

These well-known fantasy series originate from the mind of author J.K. Rowling. The first story The Philosopher’s Stone centring around the boy who lived was published in 1997 and since then the author has written seven stories showing the growth of the young wizard, publishing her final novel in 2007, ten years after the initial release of her first novel. Since the release of the first novel in the Harry Potter series, it has now been translated into over 70 different languages, selling over 500 million books worldwide and becoming one of the best-selling series in all of history. With the series getting publish by Bloomsbury Publisher’s one of the largest publication houses in the UK the books rose to success, however, the world’s love for the series wasn’t truly developed until the book was made into a cinematic series.

The first film was released in 2001 by Warner Brothers studios. At the film’s opening weekend in America, it grossed $90 million, being well received by critics and fans. Since then eight films have been produced and released by the Warner Bros. Every film but Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban released in 2004 became one of the 50 top grossing films after release. Because it’s large and global fan base official Harry Potter merchandise like the cast wands, Hogwarts uniforms and Wizard sweets have been flying off the shelves and wanted by fans. Because of this large fan base and grossing record-breaking sales attractions centring around the Wizarding world have been made possible, this allows fans to fully immerse themselves in the Harry Potter worlds.

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London shows the making of the Harry Potter movie, it shows it’s visitors in-depth behind the scenes of the filming and making of the movies as well as allowing fans walk actual sets from the filming and shop for official merchandise and try the secret butterbeer that can only be found in a Harry Potter attraction. There is also another attraction in America which is an amusement where visitors can walk the streets of Hogwarts.

Because of the success of the franchise even after the completion of the series, new stories are being written in the Harry Potter universe with the movie release Of Fantastic Beast and Where to find them in 2016 written by R.K. Rowling. On top of this, there is also the website Potermore created by J.K. Rowling where fans can truly immerse themselves in the world of Harry Potter, being able to be sorted into their Hogwarts House and finding out extra information about the story that wasn’t told within the books.

Representing Disability in British Television

How are images of the disabled, race and class produced and consumed? Include references. 

Throughout the history of television and film disability has hardly ever been represented accurately in the media, within Hollywood disabilities can be glamorised in order to gain more views and have a gripping storyline. However, because of this the imagery painted about mental and physical disabilities creates a false stigma around it. In my blog post, I am going to talk about two contrasting television shows where mental illness is represented Skins and My Mad Fat Diary. Both shows were aired on E4 and were a huge part of my generation’s culture and have very large influences over my generation and have the same target audience.

Growing up in my generation one of the must-see television shows Skins centred around a group of delinquent teenagers using substance abuse to run away from their problems instead of facing them. The show is a major culprit for glamorising mental illness and representing it in a poisonous way to its impressionable target audience of 16-20-year-olds. In the second generation of the programme, the character Effy played by Kaya Scodelario gets self-diagnosed with psychotic depression by her boyfriend. The character is portrayed as a self-destructive loose cannon she treats people horrendously with no remorse for her actions, blaming them on her mental illness. Effy’s character is built to revolve around her mental illness, being shown as damaged and mysterious, not as an actual person who happens to have a disability.

After the show aired the episode where Effy tried to commit suicide and ended up institutionalised people praised the programme for being brave and talking about the taboo subject of mental illness, however, they only made the problem worse by having a mental illness look cool and aloof and make you more interesting. The writers created a toxic relationship between the audience and mental illness because the audience is being fed the hyper glamorised version instead of an accurate one. But after E4 received a lot of praise for airing a programme with a character with mental illness they went in a better direction in terms of representing disability and released the show My Mad Fat Diary. The show centres around Rae played by Sharon Rooney who was institutionalised as a teenager when her mental illness and eating disorder got too much for her to handle on her own.

The show My Mad Fat Diary centres around Rae played by Sharon Rooney, who was institutionalised as a teenager when her mental illness and eating disorder got too much for her to handle on her own. The show follows her rehabilitation into the world, her friends and her family. Free from a lot of the cliques found in many of these types of programmes the writers approach the story line with humour and sensitivity which work in harmony with each other. Rae is a girl who suffers from obesity and mental illness, but she doesn’t want pity off of others she wants to be the best version of herself and has so much love to give to everyone. It’s one of the best non-toxic depictions of a girl suffering from mental health making Rae a role model for a teenager and young adults in the UK.

Consuming Transmedia Products (Sherlock)

The world has been taken by storm by the stories of Britain’s best private detective Sherlock Holmes. The tales of Holmes and his partner in action Dr Watson have been around for over a century and are still to this day used in modern television with a variety of different adaptations. The original story created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyal consist of 56 short stories and four novels, the first published story being A Study in Scarlet which appeared in print in 1887 where we first see our beloved fictional character, Sherlock Holmes. Since then the first publication there are believed to be over 250 films featuring Sherlock in the past one hundred years and have had more that 100 actors playing him in on screen adaptations of Conan Doyal’s original series of tales.

Sherlock Holmes is an example of an excellent transmedia product, the character and his tales are one of the most adapted and reproduced creative content the media industry has ever seen. Most Sherlock adaptations have been successful in creating a fanbase and views, because of our already formed knowledge of the character. The popularity of this character can be seen in the BBC’s modern adaptation of the character in the television programme Sherlock. In 2014 the first episode aired for the season three premiere where they revive the previously deceased character, within the first five minutes of the programme 9.7 million people tuned in to watch the show. As well as creating more buzz with fans on social media with the hashtag #Sherlocklives trending for days worldwide after the episode aired.

Since the BBC’s adaptation has become a huge success the series has created a huge fan base on sites like Tumblr, fans write fan fiction, create different types of art and videos based on the show character to create their own perfect world where that characters end up where the fan really wants them to be because of this, the term ‘Johnlock’ has risen in popularity. Johnlock is the merging of Dr Watson and Sherlock’s name this is called a ship where fans who desire or believe the fictional characters to be romantically attached to one another. Because the original story by Doyal was read by many as a queer reading in modern BBC adaptation of the storyline writer’s leave little bread crumbs about the character’s sexuality by having other characters toy with the pair saying they’re a couple or may as well be one, because of this it ignited the flame for the Johnlock fanbase.

The BBC adaptation does a good job placing the Sherlock universe into our world, throughout the show John keeps a blog that gains popularity and helps the pair to get more cases, this blog can also be found online, where John Watson addresses what’s happening in the storyline and cases that are currently under investigation, It has become another was for fans to get involved with the storyline as it unfolds. In The Personal Blog of Dr John. H. Watson the fictional characters in the Sherlock universe converse with each other in the comments, this usually consists of bickering between Sherlock and John as well as a lot of jokes to keep the audience happy.

 


Information Sourced From;
-http://www.cleveland.com/tv-blog/index.ssf/2014/10/sherlock_holmes_has_a_long_history_on_film_and_tv.html
-http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-25574277

Media Convergence: Week One – Television.

In both of these readings, I looked into both old and new media. In the first reading Jenner talks in deathly about Netflix and its success. the way in which it’s set itself up for success, by encouraging binge watching and staring cult followings, making Netflix become one of the newest and most popular was to consume media like television series, films and documentaries. In chapter two of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide media scholar Henry Jenkins talks about how the interest reality television is taking the world by storm. Before the rise of reality television, the selling and marketing of brand were so much harder because the methods before isolated a television show to stick with one brand that usually didn’t catch the eye of the viewer. Wasting money with well-placed product placement and isolating the show from doing product placement with another company. Jenkins writes “The experience should not be contained within a single media platform, but should extend across as many media as possible” (p.69) This method allows advertisers to gain more popularity because, in reality television media corporations are selling a real life person given them the ability to utilise that. This can be seen in big figures like the Kardashians, whether its product placement in there shows or brand sponsorships on their Instagram account they have created a following of people who want to be like them. Fans become more involved with the different brands and may even become “Brand advocates” (p.73) themselves as spreading their new-found love to friends and family advertising it further to a group of people that might not have been reached before. “Participation within such communities does not simply reaffirm their brand affiliation but also empowers these groups to assert their own demands on the company” (p.80)

Media Analysis (Part II)

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When breaking down this image I decided to first start out, by annotating the film poster and breaking each section down to gain a clear understanding of the piece. Overall the poster shows an image of a woman who appears to be a broken shell with no substance within the figure itself, because of the lack of gory and bloody details I can infer that the movie itself was going to be a thriller-horror and not a gruesome horror film; this argument can also be supported by the cloudy black shadows surrounding the figure adding to the eerie atmosphere and adding a sense of mystery to the image itself.

The mise en scene of this image was successful because the dark and eerie atmosphere of the film poster shows the reader that the movie is going to be one of mystery. The film poster has been saturated giving the poster an eerie atmosphere. The darkness surrounding the poster suggests loneliness and is relevant to the title. The contrast between the dark colours uses juxtaposition because the dark black at the very bottom of the poster signifies death however the white above can signify innocence, purity and life.

The main focus of the poster is the single female character in the very middle of the poster; this could show the reader that she is the main character of the film. The woman’s face is crack like a porcelain doll, the edges are jiggered and random, and this could show that the woman is in distress. The fact that it is empty inside could connote that she herself is empty and missing, searching for something. The expression on the woman’s face is one of fear and confusion however she is still an image of beauty with porcelain skin, plump red lips and sky blue eyes. This perfection seems like a curse because like a porcelain doll she is empty and fragile so easily broken.

‘Face your fear’ is a play on words, as the main focus of the poster is a singular broken face. This could also give the viewers a glimpse of her fear. The empty space within her broken face could imply that she is afraid of feeling empty and alone. The title the ‘The Broken is a standalone title. It is then supported by the broken face taking centre stage of the poster. The definition of being of being broken as a person is giving up all hope, it’s about someone being defeated, beaten, overpowered and overwhelmed. These two words sum up the movie either being about the path to becoming broken or the showing of a broken person breaking more.

Reflection of my Media Diary (Part II)

After keeping my media diary, I decided to look how I use media further. Because of globalisation and advancements in technology staying in contact with people has become easier than ever, from looking at my media diary I spent a lot of time in communicating with others via social media sites like snapchat, facebook, twitter and so on. Site such as these have rapidly increased in popularity over the past 10 years and have millions of users that log in everyday. Social Networking has become such a success because it gives businesses the opportunity to reach out to a larger audience and potential customers, it is a free service that allows people to keep in touch with loved ones or gives people the opportunity to meet new people as well as the sites being incredibly user friendly allowing its users to find and join groups of people that share interests such as hobbies and fandoms. Being a university student who studies away from home I constantly use social networking because it allows me to stay in touch with my family and friends back home and instantly share photos and messages to each other, it gives me a false sense of actually having face to face physical communication.

From my media diary I discovered that I spent most of my time plugged into cyberspace then I do actually living in reality, I spend more time communicating with people over social networking than I do with physical people in the real world. Many people spend more time on the internet because we have control of how our image is seen and portrayed over the internet, many people only show their best selves on social networking and are obsessed with how many likes they get on their instagram photo and how many followers they have on twitter using it as a form of self validation. People still want to chase the american dream, and since the rise of instagram models, youtubers and viners people see the internet and social networking as a means  to attain the american dream and make their millions, because of this people put a lot of time and effort into their social networking sites as a way to promote themselves, making sure their tweets are the funniest, their photos are the most liked and their following is the biggest. But social networking comes with its disadvantages, it can be addictive and waist time that could be used to do something productive, it also allows people to spread false and unreliable information about events or people, employers now use your social media accounts to see if you fit the criteria for the position as well as it being a platform for cyberbullying that has now become a growing problem in our culture.

From reflecting on my media diary I have discovered a better insight into how we consume and produce media and the advantages and disadvantages of social networking.


Sources; 
My Media Diary – https://anishadupree.wordpress.com/2016/10/19/reflection-of-my-media-diary/

Media Analysis

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The image above is a book cover for H.G Wells ‘The War Of The Worlds’. The components to the image that make up the book cover give a clear understanding to the reader of what is going to happen in the story. There are three colours to the cover itself, red, black and white, the use of these colours gives the image and eerie atmosphere. The use of red in the image is striking and pulls in the eye, having the sky as a blood red colour could infer many different things, in relevance to the story itself it signifies that doomsday is coming, with death, war and destruction following in its footstep. The use of the black silhouette of the skyline can connote the barren land that will be left behind after a culling. The use of the white can show that there is still hope and that at the end the problem will be resolved.

In the middle of the cover you can see a machine, it’s shaped like a typical UFO indicating to the reader that this is a science fiction novel. You can tell it the book will be about aliens because of the single light hitting the three figures coming from the vessel, this is very cliche of alien invasion where a single beam of light hits its prey and  pulls them up into the space craft. The way the alien vessel looms over the city silhouette with its mechanical arms outstretched, this shows that the book will be about an alien invasion, with the position of the alien above everyone and everything else this can show that the aliens have the most power and on the winning side.

The focal point of the cover is the figures that the spotlight is shining on. There are there figures standing under the light. Two male and one female, the girl is harder to spot because she standing closer to the tall man maybe because she wants to hide from the alien or standing close for support because he’s scared, you can see that these figures are probably a family. Because the spotlight is shone on this family the reader can infer that this is the family we will follow in the story. Because they are plain silhouette this suggests that the story is following a simple everyday family in a big situation.

The layout of the cover isn’t very busy with too much going on, it is very minimal with a lot of space meaning the imagery that is used is very striking but still basic. The title of the book almost jumps of the page, the contrast between the white font and the red background draws the eye to the title at the top of the page, the title and name of the author is also in capital letters showing the importance of the title. ‘The War Of The Worlds’ the title explains the whole plot itself it’s the war between humanity and the alien invaders from another planet.