05/10/17 - Media Theory


Media Theory

Philosophy – morals


Cultural impact – on the public

Context behind – all media


Production methods

Film history/cinema


P.R – Public relations. They’re behind everything thats put on the media. We have a warped view of the company or the person.

Philosophers relating to this – McLuhan, Chomsky



Film and TV – What else?

Radio, Newspapers, Internet


What is media today? Social media, the internet, phones. Its a buffer between the people


Historical media

  • Stained glass windows

  • Bible drawings

  • Paintings

  • Newspapers

  • Oral media – word of mouth

  • Poems, songs


Media is a way to get information out


Spoken word – gets recorded and uploaded to the internet

Spoken word hasn’t changed and has been happening for hundreds of years. This is the same as written text. Newspapers are now getting mass produced.


3 main medias

  1. Oral – Spoken word, poetry, speeches

  2. Print – Written word, paintings

  3. Electronic – The internet, news reels, filmmaking, devices, radio


Radio can reach millions of people. Podcasts

Internet used to be a utopian idea to bring people together all around the world


Everyone can use social media – government, political campaigns


This American life from Wbez

Why podcasts/radio? Why no visuals?

The visuals are left up to the viewers imagination. Everyone takes something different away from listening to it.

575: Poetry of propaganda



Ira Glass – decoding government propaganda

False advertising dangerous places in Mexico which is known for drug violence and gang violence to be nice and beautiful tourist attractions.

Inflight magazines were showing this. It makes people want to come to these countries because of the beautiful glossy spreads in the magazines when it is a dangerous place.

Negative propaganda – Labour party – negative articles on them put it boosted their polls

Grammy awards – Best artist – Justin Bieber for example

He’s up to so much bad stuff, driving while under the influence but he is still getting awarded. Makes you wonder what the process is behind choosing the winners

Oscar – Doesn’t reflect the best films in the world. Reflects best filming in Hollywood as its the main company

A part in the podcast was about Jon Mooallem daughter taking part in an after school program where they put on a show. The play was extremely adult for 6-year olds.

“San Fransisco where you can afford to dream”

“Whats wrong with selfishness and greed”

Its teaching kids things they don’t need to learn about at such a young age. Teaching them all the wrong things about the world. It teaches them that money is the most important thing. You want to shield your kids from grown up stuff rather than then worrying about things they don’t understand.

Propaganda – using kids to get the message across. Its more powerful when its said by kids as you don’t expect them say things like that

Class Task

Think of a situation in Plymouth and make a propaganda podcast

  • Overt

  • Subvert

  • Something we have to decode

4 sound areas

  1. Narration

  2. Dialogue

  3. Music

  4. Ambience

1-2 mins

Here is our podcast: https://soundcloud.com/lucie-eckersley/plymouth-pod-cast


12/10/17 - Podcasts 


In todays class we shared the podcasts we made with the class.

Kaz then told us that we had to swap podcasts with another group and subvert what their message was, with visuals.

The group I was in was given a film about Brettonside and about music places. 

Me Owen and Annie went down to Brettonside to film some location footage while the others stayed back to see if they could find some archive footage and to think of a way to subvert their message. Also, to cut the podcast down to a minute, from 4 minutes. 

We all werent too sure what the meaning of the podcast was as it kind of was them rambling on and the sound quality wasn't the best so it was hard to understand what they were really saying. Because of this we decided to quite literally subvert what they said. For example, they say white rabbit, we show a photo of a black rabbit.  We incorporated the footage that we shot earlier in the day as well. 


Here is the subverted podcast.   


19/10/17 - Podcasts 2 + Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan

-Predicted www in early 1960's

-He divided the media into 2 categories

1. High def media - lots of info

2. Low def media - little info 

Lecture Notes

1. High def

Requires less from user


Low in participation

No response







2. Low def

Requires more from user


High in participation

You respond - talk back






-TV - remote, you change channel

These in in 1950/60's context

Once media doesnt replace another. - It changes the use. - Another idea - New media changed the use of the previous media. 

3 Stages

Alarm - Resistance - Exhaustion

Shock, harder for the older generation -------------------> New media saturates everywhere

Radio ----> TV

Film ----> TV               Tv would replace cinema

Cinema used to be a much grander experience - would dress up. Its very different now

News reels before the film.

TV/Cinema ---> Internet  - You can now stream films online. Cinema is more social. Big HD screen. 

None of the media is extinct

Telephone - You an now Facetime groups of people


-You don't want to disturb them by calling

-Too much effort

Media is an extension from us, our body

For example, phones. Not part of us but we always check where it is. It’s not attached to us but it may as well be. 


Another one of McLuhans ideas is the ‘Global Villiage’. 

Tight knit community

Doesn't matter where you are, we are all connected. - Connected electronically.

For example, you can be in England and go on the internet and you can read this mornings paper in India.

Interview abroad? Skype



  1. Spoken word

  2. Radio - Sound

  3. TV/Film - Sight


Marshall McLuhan

The media and his message

Effects of mass media on contemporary life

What effect media has on our lives


“The medium is the message”



The Global Village

Forms of media where people can communicate

Create an alternate conversation


Information war

We can access information ourselves

There’s no privacy


Where is his theory today?

Changing the use of media

Will we ever be satisfied?


Eugeny Morozov


Doesn't think McLuhan’s ideas are correct or vey useful

He doesn’t think that just giving people the tools to communicate across different countries is enough.


“It doesn't just happen overnight”

He thinks that everyone views of the world “Internet” are different. No one has the same idea about what it means and what its for.




The state and government can use all the same social medias

Its a formal tool



Eugeny Morozov - Ted Talk 2009


Connectivity x devices = democracy 


Elude the cat - confront the problem or issue. Don’t ignore it. Blocking/deleting the issue prolong the topic being in the spotlight. Looks like you have something to hide then.

02/11/17 - Noam Chomsky


Noam Chomsky is an American Media Philosopher 

PHD in linguistics (studying languages, structure, history)

Left - socialists, communists, anarchists 



Language                  He makes connections with them all




Biggest critic of them all








Manufacturing consent 


Requiem for the American dream 2015

10 principles: Concentration of wealth and power




Wealth             Power



The vicious cycle


The vile masters of mankind


1. Reduce democracy 


The wealthier men are more responsible 

Aristotle: Try and reduce inequality


2. Shape ideology


Liberal internationalists 


‘excessive democracy’ 

Young people are getting too free and independent


3. Redesign the economy 


Increase role of financial institutions - banks


General elections make loads more money.

Its not doing any value for the economy


The wealthy and privileged are protected

The workers and labourers are stuck


4. Shift the burden 


‘American Dream’

‘The Golden Age’


More people are becoming more wealthy




Predict - the working people of the world are living precarious lives.

Wealthy and cooperate taxes were higher. That has now changed and wealthier people pay less and poorer people pay more. 


No tastes and loads of profit 


5. Attack solidarity


Attack on social security 

Caring for others. - I pay taxes so the kid across the street can go to school. The school system is under attack

Free public education 

Poorer people will be in more debt


6. Run the regulators


Regulatory capture 

Wealthy want to be able to run to the tax payers to be bailed out 

For less wealthy people the government is the problem. Not the solution.

One set of roles for the rich

One set of roles for the poor


7. Engineer elections


Cost of elections skyrocket 

1920’s money is a form of speech

Cooperations are buying elections. They make more money by moving it around 

CBS public service - freedom of speech


8. Keep the rabble in line


Protest after protest

Organised protest.                                Wage labour

Sit down strike                                               =

Inequality of wages                                   Slavery


9. Manufacture consent 


You cant control the population by force


The public must be put in its pace. The responsible people make the decisions. 

Advertisers fabricate consumers. Control society system to be perfect. 


You want things you don't need

In media/advertising 

Informed consumers - rational

Uninformed consumers - irrational 


Adverts are based on uninformed consumers. This is linked to politics. - They want someone uninformed and irrational. 


10. Marginalise the population


Led to an angry public 

Want people to only look after themselves. 

All for myself, nothing for no one else. 



Who wants to live in this society? 


Freedom of speech

Womans rights

Black rights 


Refused to back down

A lot of this information is based on statistics 


For next week:


‘Fight the power’

‘Give peace a chance’ 

‘Just do it’

‘Don’t leave home without it’


Audio Advert


Choose 2 of the slogans

Use statistics and numbers 


For and against 

Good and bad


I was working with Matt and Owen.


Don’t leave home without it - Phones


Just do it - Drinking


Don’t leave home without it




Do you often find yourself reaching your phone when you wake up?

Do you find yourself frantically looking for it when it’s not in the place you think you left it?

Are you a guilty of doing the pocket pat down multiple times throughout the day?

Do you know that over 50% of people feel uneasy when they leave their phone at home?

Save yourself the embarrassment and don’t leave home without it.




Do you know that the average person checks their mobile phone 110 times a day whilst the more addicted person can check it up to 900 times a day and 75% of these people have admitted to checking it while driving?

Be the better person and make the world a safer place for you and everyone in it

Don’t risk other people’s lives for the sake of checking a notification

Find your humanity and don’t leave home without it.


Just do it




Have you just moved miles away from home, just started uni and have no friends?

Alcohol is hugely known to help you relax and become more sociable.

Do you know that 74% of students have said that alcohol helps break the ice and enhances social activity leading to making friends?

Have you been invited to a house parties and are feeling anxious?

Just do it, have a shot.




Have you noticed a drop in your grades? Do you spend more time drinking than studying?

1 in 4 students reported that they are struggling with their grades due to missing classes and 62% of students have admitted that they drink alcohol at least twice a week. Are you one of those people?

Don’t throw your life away.

Just do it, pour the drink away.

Find audio adverts here


09/11/17 - Jean-Luc Godard

Subvert / contradicting text and visuals 

How can you do this?

Series of images 


[] [] [] [] —> []


Last one is different to the rest

Can overly images as well


Jean-Luc Godard - 1950’s Paris Cinematheque - He watched dozens everyday.


F.Truffaut - French New Wave


Writing about cinema - Caniz Du Cinema


They came up with the term ‘Film Noir’

Pessimistic and dark. Early 1950s. After the war


Auteur Theory - The driving creative force behind the film —> Director 


They then start to make their own films

1959 - Breathless - Godard 

1959 - The 400 Blows - Truffaut 


Childs perspective 

Toughing but bleak

Auto bio 

Works with same actor for 20 years. You watch the boy grow up on film. 


Breathless - 16mm

Handheld camera shots

Shot on location - Paris 

Editing - Jump cuts, seen as quite radical at the time. The audience becomes aware of the edit due to this style of cutting.

Lots of improv. Natural and soft lighting


Referencing the history of cinema, art, music and war.


For a decade Godards films all had narratives. Godard makes references and assume the watcher will understand them. (Similar to essays. They assume you’ve got the knowledge on the topic. That you understand.)


Roberto Rossellini 1947

Germany, Year Zero


Godard references this film a lot.


Shot in Berlin in 1945/46. End of WW2. Berlin is basically destroyed. 

Tracking shots. 

Location - the actual location as its bombed and destroyed from the war. We understand the concept and nobody has to explain it. Adds authenticity to the film. You can tell its real.


Ici et or Here and Elsewhere - 1974 - Godard 

Commissioned by P.L.O

He mixes film and video

‘We shall use this gun to build peace’ 


This, this, this and this leads to this

War, fighting and guns leads to death 


Images of people laughing and people taking photos to a man taking a photo of a dead man. Shows the contrast between these two things.




Extended war



The girl reciting the poem, background was destroyed buildings. - Similar to Germany, Year Zero





-Technical, 16mm and video







-Behind the scenes

-Narration, Director: Godard

-Theatrical performance from actors


Visual style 


-Documentary style



-Intelectual montage


-Graphics, text



-Visual overlays 







07/12/17 - Debate


-Emotional appeal

-Art of persuasion

-Appear superior



Pro speak first, con after


‘Smartphone technology makes everyone a film maker’  - CON


What does being a filmmaker mean?

What films do you know that are made on smartphones?

Just because you have a smartphone doesn't mean you know how to use it


Drains battery



My point


They aren't cheaper or as convenient. You still need: Audio equipment, steady cams, tripods, lighting. 


Cameras and smartphones will require the same equipment and be equally as expensive. 

You aren't saving money.


If you’re using a phone as a camera, you might as well use a proper professional camera. 



Phones don’t have enough storage to hold long videos. 


Emotional appeal? 

-How many times have you had to clear out your phone because it says you have no storage left?


This means you’ll have to buy more storage which is very expensive. 

Cheapest one I could find is a hard rive that connects to your phone. 

For 64GB its £60. 

The cheapest SD card I could find for 64GB is £20. Way cheaper. 


You’re a filmmaker because you choose to be. Not because you have a phone.