Sunday, 6 December 2015

June 2010

What significance does the continuing development of digital media technology have for media institutions and audiences?

The continuing development of digital media technology has extreme significance for media institutions and audiences, because without it, several production, marketing and distribution techniques could not possibly be used, consequently lowering the profits of these companies dramatically. The power of current technology in all film institutional practices is a major reason for films being deemed successful both financially and non-financially. 

This is evident in production with the shooting of Mad Max: Fury Road, a film directed by George Miller, a Phantom Camera is used. This camera is able to capture 300 frames per second, allowing the shots to look, cleaner, smoother as well as enabling super slow motion shots to be achieved with high quality results. Originally before digital film cameras, mechanical film cameras were used in movie production. Without the development of digital media technology and specifically camera technology, Mad Max: Fury Road would not have been able to be made for several reasons. These include the mechanics of previous film cameras, which prohibited the camera being tilted, as this would affect the components inside and cause implications with the shots or stop the filming all together. Also the elements of the filming location, the Namibian Desert, would have thrown up problems in production also; with the vast amounts of sand that would breach the cameras exterior and jam the mechanics inside, forcing filming to come to a momentary halt whilst the camera would be being fixed. Also the use of the $500,000 'Edge Arm', a robotic arm which mounts a camera, which enables the camera to be moved with extreme precision and manoeuvrability. This piece of technologies use is highlighted in a particular scene that pans through the window of Nux's car and into another war boys car. This affect of course not available without the development of digital technology. The development of digital media technology in film has had extreme significance in the much smaller British film industry, this is apparent with the double filing of British, independent, cult film; Ex Machina, to achieve an authentic look of robot of ava's exposed mechanical insides, by using the 'rotoscoping' method of CGI. The film directed by Alex Garland in his directorial debut. Without the development of digital technology this method would still be possible, however considerably more expensive with non digital cameras, with a roll of film costing around £1000 per unit and lasting no longer than 1 hour per roll.

With developments in digital technology in the film industry, usually, enhancing the experience and appeal to the consumer, which further results in profit. But how can cinemagoers be expected to experience these products without available places to do so. Box office figures for both Mad Max, being shown on 12,000 screens worldwide, and Ex Machina on 2,000. which is an extraordinarily feat for an independent film with a budget of only 15 million. Mad Max on the other hand with 10,000 more screens was expected to reach figures in that ball park, due to the fact it was the 4th instalment in a successful franchise and trailers promised audiences with large amounts of action and explosions, all of which seem to be tailored perfectly for the big screens of cinemas across the globe. Not only has the development in digital technology aided the production of films and made film making more accessible, for example the first in the Paranormal Activity being made for a small fee of $15,000, but the development has helped cinema viewing, with such features as online booking. However not only has it developed various areas of the film industry but it has played a major role in the development and creation of video streaming apps and websites such as; Netflix and NowTV. Both of which amongst others were encouraged by the problem of illegal downloading and streaming. Both Mad Max and Ex Machina have featured or continue to feature on such websites or apps. With these institutions creating profit for production companies, the money is put into circulation thus increasing the size of the film industry worldwide, of which is of extremely large significance to both media institutions and audiences.

Also with recent digital technological developments, the marketing of films has evolved and been developed. This can be a conscious decision with viral marketing, a method adopted with Ex Machina and the irregular advertising media choice of Tinder, a dating application. Whereas the development can sometimes be done subconsciously via non institutional groups, companies or individuals via social media, or TV institutions. An example of this would be Furious 7 and the unfortunate and surprising death of Paul Walker, was documented worldwide via digital technology, whether it be; television, social media or other technologically involved news platforms. The news was spread and created a demand for the Furious 7 product, as he passed mid filming, which created an air of mystery regarding to how his character (Bryan O'Connor) would feature in the rest of the film. Which coincidently was also achieved with digital media technology, by using cgi, stunt doubles and Pauls Brother as a base for his face to be rendered onto it. 

In conclusion the development of digital technology for use in the film industry has lead to both institutions and audiences benefiting in a variety of different of ways. Institutions, are able to create better quality films, at lower costs. In juxtaposition audiences have benefited as the quality has improved, however financially maybe not so as the improvement in quality does not come for free.

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