DA Access Links
- Pitch Presentation
- Beta Presentation
- Digital Artefact
My concept focused on the impact that social media is having on the film industry in terms of production and storytelling. I chose to present my DA as a blog series consisting of three posts, as this felt like the best medium to articulate my thoughts. My goal was to gather as much information as I could on social media’s recent past to gain some reasonable insight into possible futures. There isn’t a lot of published research surrounding the future of the film industry in terms of culture. I had to draw my own conclusions based on the knowledge I gained from popular media and my own understanding of the current culture on social media.
Methodology & Background Research
As I was a young teen immersed in social media during the early 2010’s, I mostly pulled from my own memory and researched articles from popular media sites to back up my thoughts, while also gaining some new knowledge from these sites. I chose to focus my approach to the DA challenge on the short and medium term future from now until 2030, with a brief mentioning of the long term future in 2050. My projections were based on the current culture we experience today and my observations of the recent past.
Some of my research:
- Description: Provides a calendar of the most popular memes in 2020
- How it was used: I used this to demonstrate the fast paced nature of social media. Jokes can become incredibly popular one month and be forgotten the next, we are constantly moving to the next thing.
- Description: Data analysis on how word-of-mouth on social media impacts the box office revenue of films.
- How it was used: The film industry has a monetary incentive to listen to the opinions of social media users, as they are the ones who have the most influence on the projected box office revenue.
- Description: An article about the abuse that Kelly Marie Tran experienced on social media following the debut of her character in the Star Wars franchise.
- How it was used: Social media has allowed fandoms to have a direct line of contact with the actors in their favourite films. I used this to give some context into the toxicity that social media sometimes produces.
- Description: Details the Sonic The Hedgehog (2019) controversy and the work to redesign the character.
- How it was used: The most relevant and defining example of social media impacting film production.
- Description: Covers the rise of CGI actors, notably James Dean, being used in films to depict actors who have passed on.
- How it was used: Helped me to consider the future of CGI in films and how it could be used more frequently and extensively.
- Description: Reports on Donald Glover’s tweets about his opinions on the negative impact ‘’cancel culture’ is having on the quality of entertainment media
- How it was used: To demonstrate that even those who are in the entertainment industry think that media is being negatively affected by our current culture, and if we continue in this manner then content will become more lackluster.
- “Cyberculture on one hand provides emotional satisfaction to users of social media, on the other hand creates a new culture that is completely different from the reality of the formal environment.” (Hakim & Quroatun ‘Uyun 2020, pg. 136)
- Helped me gain a deeper understanding of cyberculture and how it is impacting identity and communication.
- Formed the basis of my thinking around how the ‘rules’ of social media and cyberculture have impacted the film industry over time and how they will do so in the future.
Making People Responsible – Wendell Bell
- “Many social scientists do not respond to such a challenge because they remain in the grip of the widespread belief that making value judgements objectively is impossible” (Bell 1997, pg. 332)
- I found it difficult to comment on the ‘preferred’ future of social media culture, as cultural values are subjective. While the patterns of societal values can be speculated upon, it’s difficult to make sound predictions based on scientific reasoning and methodology.
- “Futurists also attempt to forecast the most probable futures given specific situations, sets of circumstances, and particular alternative courses of action.” (Bell 1997, pg. 328)
- These were the main strategies that I used to give my thoughts on how the future of the film industry could evolve in various ways.
Feedback & Iterations
I received several peer comments on my Beta presentation that gave valuable feedback on the structure of my posts. I had already posted all three of my blog posts prior to receiving this feedback, so I chose to edit the blog posts to incorporate some of their suggestions. This comment by Kara suggested that I include sub-headings to break up some of the text. This also felt helpful for the parts of my blog posts that didn’t contain as many images, as it was difficult to find relatable images.
I also adjusted some of the points in my blog posts to include more notes about ‘toxic fandoms’, as the comments from Bronte and Kara had briefly mentioned the impact of social media fandoms on entertainment media. While their comments suggested discussing how fandoms impact the trajectory of television shows, my main focus was on the film industry. I adapted these suggestions to better fit my core focus and my prior research.
I didn’t receive any feedback from my audience. As a result, I looked to friends and family for their thoughts on topics I could discuss. Some of the ideas I incorporate into my blogs were:
- CGI Actors – eg. James Dean
- Reboots and remakes – eg. another Batman recast
- Chris Rock comments on ‘cancel culture’
Audience & Utility
With each blog post, I posted an accompanying tweet to notify my audience. These tweets received a lot of views, yet didn’t receive much engagement. Most of the views on my blog posts came directly from WordPress. I also received several WordPress likes on these posts. I targeted my BCM325 audience on social media, but I received more of a film audience on my blog posts. In hindsight, I could have used additional hashtags and the polling option on twitter to increase engagement. I utilised several hashtags on WordPress to broaden my audience.
My goal with my Digital Artefact was to explore the power that social media users have in changing culture. I wanted to showcase that the film industry is aware of the demands of their audiences through online platforms. By recognising the potential power of social media, users have a chance to utilise social media to their advantage to create the future that they would like to experience. The social utility of my project can best be summarised by Bell’s quote, “Futurists aim to help people become more confident, effective, and responsible actors, both in their personal lives and in their organizational and societal roles.” (Bell 1997, pg. 328)
The lack of research in this area limited my ability to present data that could accurately indicate the impact of social media on the film industry. However, I believe the connections I made between current cultural standards and films being released is a foundation for examining this notion. I think this digital artefact would benefit from the podcast platform, as there is a lot of discussion to be had about the nature of social media and the film industry. As we saw with the peer comments, there are a lot of topics that could be incorporated into this discussion, particularly in the realm of fandoms and the television industry.
Alexander, J 2019 “James Dean, who died in 1955, just landed a new movie role, thanks to CGI” The Verge, weblog post, 6 November, viewed 16 May 2021 <https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/6/20951485/james-dean-new-movie-cgi-recreation-finding-jack
Bell, W 1998 ‘Making People Responsible: The Possible, the Probable, and the Preferable’ American Behaviour Scientist, Vol 42(3), Nov-Dec 1998, Special Issue: Futures Studies in Higher Education, p. 323-339
Eagan, O 2017 “Twitter Shows Influence of Buzz on Movies” International Journal of Interdisciplinary Research <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330015918_Twitter_Shows_Influence_of_Buzz_on_Movies
Hakim, L & Quroatun ‘Uyun, Z 2020 “CYBERCULTURE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: IDENTITY AS TRASH OF INFORMATION” Orasi: Jurnal Dakwah dan Komunikasi Vol. 11, No. 1, pg. 136-143 <https://www.academia.edu/44908201/CYBERCULTURE_ON_SOCIAL_MEDIA_IDENTITY_AS_TRASH_OF_INFORMATION
Lee, C 2020 “Beyond the Creepy Teeth: How Sonic the Hedgehog Saved Itself” Vulture, weblog post, 14 February, viewed 16 May 2021 <https://www.vulture.com/2020/02/the-sonic-the-hedgehog-controversy-and-redesign-explained.html
MacBeth, C 2020 ‘Relive 2020 through jokes: A meme calendar you need to see’ Film Daily, weblog post, 29 December, viewed 4 May 2021 <https://filmdaily.co/memes/2020-memes-recap/
Sparks, H 2021 “Donald Glover: Fear of ‘getting cancelled’ makes entertainment ‘boring’” New York Post, weblog post, 11 May, viewed 21 May 2021 <https://nypost.com/2021/05/11/donald-glover-cancel-culture-makes-boring-tv-and-movies/