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COMM002: Media and Society

Unit 7: Movies in a Transmedia World   What’s more heroic, saving the world from evil or making a billion dollars in little more than two weeks? If you’re Walt Disney Pictures, definitely it’s the latter. The Avengersbrought in $207.4 million in its first weekend at the end of April 2012 and broke the $1 billion barrier two weekends later.[v]The film featured the Marvel comic-book characters Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and the Hulk, among others. As movie-making has become more and more expensive, studios have sought tested story lines that provide viewers with a sense of familiarity and puts them immediately in the action. Comic books provide rich, well-developed worlds and strong characters that can be exploited through transmedia, in which “a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience,” in the words of Henry Jenkins.[vi] Transmedia involves synergies, such as the one between comic-book makers and film studios. Iron Man has three movies of his own, the comic book (of course), a video game, and websites, including one that features an online game for younger children. In 2011, studios released 10 films based on comic-book heroes, including several animated features.[vii] The heavy reliance on comic books for movie scripts is just the latest example of how culture and movies are intertwined. In the subunits below, we will examine several movies that demonstrate this interaction. We will delve into the history of motion pictures and examine the economic, social, and technological forces that have shaped this powerful cultural medium.


[v]Amy Kaufman, “‘The Avengers’ takes the bite out of ‘Dark Shadows’,” Los Angeles Times website, posted May 14, 2012. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-boxoffice-20120514,0,2665259.story

[vi]Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling 101,” last modified March 22, 2007. http://www.henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia\_storytelling\_101.html

[vii]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List\_of\_films\_based\_on\_English-language\_comics

Unit 7 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 13.75 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 7.1: 6.25 hours

     ☐    Subunit 7.1.1: 2 hours

     ☐    Subunit 7.1.2: 4.25 hours

☐    Subunit 7.2: 3.75 hours

☐    Subunit 7.3: 2.25 hours

☐    Unit 7 Assignments: 1 hour

☐    Unit 7 Assessment: 30 minutes

Unit7 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to: - identify key points in motion picture development and technology; - explain how movies are shaped by controversial cultural themes, and in turn shape culture; - discuss the economic forces that shape today’s movie studios and independent filmmaking; and - define and discuss transmedia, citing examples from the movie industry. 

7.1 Motion Picture History: The Rise of a Cultural Industry   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 8, Introduction: Are 3-D Effects Creating Two-Dimensional Films?” and “Section 1: The History of Movies” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 8, Introduction: Are 3-D Effects Creating Two-Dimensional Films?” and “Section 1: The History of Movies” (PDF)
 
Instructions: These sections of Understanding Media and Culture on pages 330-350 provide a succinct history of motion pictures. It is a history of parallel tracks: the constant technological drive to add to the spectacle and realism of movies, and the creative drive to use movies as a form of expression. Both of these tracks were there from the start, and each strongly affected the other. Think, for example, of the impact sound had on movies. Technology also affected how we watch movies, as the readings on Cinerama show. The trend continues today with the move to digital presentation.
 
Reading these sections and taking notes should take approximately 45 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.1.1 Key Films in the Early Days of Motion Pictures   The films discussed in the following subunits cover the first 20 years of movie making, from Thomas Edison’s The Sneeze, believed to be the earliest copyrighted film, to D. W. Griffith’s three-hour spectacular Birth of a Nation.

7.1.1.1 Edison’s *The Sneeze*   - Web Media: YouTube: Library of Congress: Thomas Edison’s *The Sneeze* Link: YouTube: Library of Congress: Thomas Edison’s The Sneeze (YouTube)
 
Instructions: “Fred Ott’s Sneeze” (1894) was the first motion picture to be copyrighted in the United States, according to the Internet Movie Database. As with the films you’ll watch from the Lumière Brothers, the subject matter is a simple act of everyday life, a sneeze. Audiences were thrilled not by the story line, but by the simple act of seeing moving images.
 
Watching this video should take approximately 2 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This resource is in the public domain.

7.1.1.2 The Lumière Brothers’ Cinématographe   7.1.1.2.1 Early Films of the Lumière Brothers   - Web Media: Internet Archive’s “Early Films of the Lumière Brothers (1898)” Link: Internet Archive’s “Early Films of the Lumière Brothers (1898)” (HTML)
 
Instructions: The Lumière Brothers developed a lightweight camera, the cinématographe, that also could make prints of movies and show the films to audiences. Then they sent their own people around the world to shoot and show slices of life from faraway places. Watch some of these early films.
 
Watching this video should take approximately 5 minutes.
 
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7.1.1.2.2 Film about the Film Pioneers   - Web Media: YouTube: Westminster University: “This Is a Documentary about Louis Lumière, Part 1” and “Part 2” Link: YouTube: Westminster University: “This Is a Documentary about Louis Lumière, Part 1”(YouTube) and “Part 2” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch the short documentary about how the Lumière brothers conceived of the first vertically integrated motion-picture company. The next step for them would have been developing talent to produce feature films, a step they never took.
 
Watching these videos should take you approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.1.3 The Birth of Special Effects   - Web Media: Vimeo: Georges Méliès’s *Le Voyage Dans La Lune* Link: Vimeo: Georges Méliès’s Le Voyage Dans La Lune (Vimeo)
 
Instructions: Georges Méliès, a stage magician by trade, saw the potential for magical storytelling in motion pictures. He is credited with using the first double exposure, stop-camera, and dissolves. Méliès made more than 500 films, financing, directing, photographing and starring in nearly every one.[1]
 
Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.1.4 The Feature Film Spectacular: *The Birth of a Nation*   - Web Media: Internet Archive: D. W. Griffith’s *The Birth of a Nation* Link: Internet Archive: D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (HTML)
 
Instructions: Watch as much of “The Birth of a Nation” as you have time, but note the depiction of slave life in the South at about the 15-minute mark, the major battle scene about 50 minutes into the movie, and the controversial ending, in which the Ku Klux Klan makes a heroic charge to the rescue. Griffith put the camera in the action, taking it out of the studio for grandly staged battles. But the racial overtones of his film overshadow its technique.
 
Watching portions of this video should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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7.1.1.5 Racism and The Birth of a Nation   - Reading: Digital History: “Fighting a Vicious Film: Protest against ‘The Birth of a Nation’” Link: Digital History: “Fighting a Vicious Film: Protest against ‘The Birth of a Nation’” (HTML)
 
Instructions: After you’ve watched some of the key parts of The Birth of a Nation, read some of the reaction to Griffith’s film. It’s instructive that white actors in black makeup played all of the key roles of slaves.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.2 The March of Technology   7.1.2.1 A Short History of the Talkies   - Reading: University of Virginia: “Talking Motion Pictures” Link: University of Virginia: “Talking Motion Pictures” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This short reading will fill in some of the technical details on how talking pictures developed and provide a short discussion on the cultural effects of sound with movies.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.2 The First Talking Movies   7.1.2.2.1 Historic First Talking Movies   - Web Media: Internet Archive: A Few Moments with Eddie Cantor (ca1923) and *Let’s Go To The Movies (1948)* Link: Internet Archive: A Few Moments with Eddie Cantor” (ca1923) (HTML) and Let’s Go To The Movies (1948) (HTML)
 
Instructions: Watch these videos of historic talking movies. The first is a test reel produced by Lee DeForest, who also was a pioneer in the development of television. It features Eddie Cantor, a popular vaudeville performer who had his own television show in the 1950s. The second video is a summary of the history of movie technology. About two minutes into the video, you’ll see part of the climactic number from the first talking movie, The Jazz Singer, in which Al Jolson dons blackface makeup and sings “Mammy.”
 
Watching these videos should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.2.2 Blackface Minstrelsy in the Movies   - Web Media: Turner Classic Movies: “Donald Bogle & Bill Cosby on Blackface” Link: Turner Classic Movies: “Donald Bogle & Bill Cosby on Blackface” (HTML)
 
In the subunits that follow, you will see how race has been a sensitive issue throughout the history of movies. The Jazz Singer was just one example of the continued use of blackface − white actors wearing black makeup and acting stereotypically “black,” a type of entertainment that dates from before the Civil War. Watch this discussion of the subject that includes video of blackface in the movies.
 
Watching this video and taking notes should take approximately 5 minutes.
 
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Note: The relationship of Jewish culture and Al Jolson’s use of blackface is discussed further in Michael Rogin’s article “Blackface, White Noise: The Jewish Jazz Singer Finds His Voice,” in Critical Inquiry, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Spring, 1992). Those wanting to delve deeper into the topic should seek out this article.

7.1.2.3 Cue the Color   - Reading: The American Widescreen Museum: “Technicolor”; “Lights, Lights, Lights, Camera, Action!”; “System 4, Glorious Technicolor, 1932-1955”; “Three-Strip Photography”; “Three-Strip Camera”; “Successive Exposure Photography”; “Early Live Action Films”; and “Color Movies Gain Acceptance” Link: The American Widescreen Museum: “Technicolor”(HTML); “Lights, Lights, Lights, Camera, Action!”(HTML); “System 4, Glorious Technicolor, 1932-1955”(HTML); “Three-Strip Photography”(HTML); “Three-Strip Camera”(HTML); “Successive Exposure Photography”(HTML); “Early Live Action Films”(HTML); and “Color Movies Gain Acceptance”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Read about the quest for vivid, realistic color at the American Widescreen Museum website. The site is a bit difficult to navigate, so use these links to reach the relevant sections. It will provide a thorough discussion of Technicolor, but as you’ll discover from these readings, the process was fraught with technical problems, and it was expensive.
 
Reading these sections should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.4 Cinerama and Other Efforts to Make Things Real   7.1.2.4.1 The Anamorphic Lens   - Reading: The American Widescreen Museum: “The Anamorphic Lens” Link: American Widescreen Museum: “The Anamorphic Lens” (HTML)
 
Instructions: The ideal movie technology would be virtual reality, but falling short of that, a goal of movie technicians has been to surround the viewer as much as possible, with the moving image and with sound. Wide-screen methods such as Cinemascope, VistaVision, and Todd-AO were developed to engage the viewer’s peripheral vision, thus making the experience more realistic. These techniques used special lenses to compress a wide field of view, then special projection lenses to widen the movie in the theater.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 5 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.4.2 The First Super Movie   - Reading: Popular Science: Alden P. Armagnac’s “Super-Movies Put You in the Show” Link: Popular Science: Alden P. Armagnac’s “Super-Movies Put You in the Show” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This article from the 1950s will explain the complex three-camera system called Cinerama. It enjoyed a short, spectacular run of about 20 years that included building special theaters around the country. As you read the article, think about the parallel with IMAX movies today.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.4.3 The Roller-Coaster Ride   - Web Media: YouTube: *This is Cinerama, Trailer* Link: YouTube: This is Cinerama, Trailer (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch a trailer for a reshowing of the original Cinerama movie, This is Cinerama. Be sure to choose the best quality and watch full screen.
 
Watching this video should take approximately 5 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.5 The Modern Projector Makes the Multiplex Possible   - Reading: The New Yorker: Nicholson Baker’s “The Projector” Link: The New Yorker: Nicholson Baker’s “The Projector” (HTML)
 
Instructions: On the webpage above, please type “148” into the page number box at the bottom of the screen. Then, read pages 148-152.
 
In the subunit above, we saw how wide-screen technology changed the culture of how we got to the movies. People in the 1950s and ‘60s left the small-town theater behind and visited a special high-tech theater in the city, such as the Cooper in suburban Minneapolis and the River Hills in Des Moines, Iowa. In this article, Nicholson Baker provides an entertaining account on the life of the projectionist, and he describes how new technology, the platter projector, made the multiscreen theater possible, changing again the culture of how we go to the movies. Today, with digital technology making its way into theaters, the job of projectionist may soon be a thing of the past.
 
Reading this section and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.6 IMAX Renews the Theater Experience   - Reading: Gizmodo: Mark Wilson’s “How Regular Movies Become ‘IMAX’ Films” Link: Gizmodo: Mark Wilson’s “How Regular Movies Become ‘IMAX’ Films”(HTML)
 
Instructions: How will movie theaters attract us if we all have huge flat-screen televisions showing high-definition digital video? The way they always have: shock and awe. The astounding screen size of the IMAX theater and the improved gimmickry of 3D allow theaters to charge a premium price for tickets. As you’ll read, it’s so lucrative that IMAX has developed a complex and expensive process to convert regular 35mm movie film to the sideways running 70mm IMAX stock.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.6.1 The New Movie Temples of Technology   - Reading: Gizmodo: Dan Nosowitz’s “The Seven IMAX Wonders of the World” Link: Gizmodo: Dan Nosowitz’s “The Seven IMAX Wonders of the World” (HTML)
 
Instructions: IMAX theaters have their own culture of display that includes special theaters built in eye-catching settings. Here is a short review of seven of them.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.6.2 The Dissenter: Why 3-D Doesn’t Work   - Reading: Chicago Sun-Times: Roger Ebert’s “Why 3-D Doesn’t Work and Never Will. Case Closed” Link: Chicago Sun-Times: Roger Ebert’s “Why 3-D Doesn’t Work and Never Will. Case Closed” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Not everyone is convinced the new technology is better. Read film critic Roger Ebert’s column on why 3-D movies don’t reflect reality.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.7 Digital Replaces the “Film” in Filmmaking   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 8, Section 4: The Influence of New Technology” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 8, Section 4: The Influence of New Technology” (PDF)
 
Instructions: The home-theater television, the digital video recorder and the Blu-Ray DVD are all part of the same digital soup. In Chapter 8, Section 4 on pages 369-376, read a summary of how movies have gone digital.
 
Reading this selection and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.1.2.7.1 Digital Has Its Own Issues   - Reading: Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell’s Observations on Film Art: “Pandora’s digital box: At the festival” Link: Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell’s Observations on Film Art: “Pandora’s Digital Box: At the Festival” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s entertaining blog entry about the digital woes of film festivals. With great technology comes great technical issues.
 
Reading this post should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.7.2 A Few Words about Digital Formats   - Reading: Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell’s Observations on Film Art: “Pandora’s Digital Box: From the Periphery to the Center, or the One of Many Centers” Link: Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell’s Observations on Film Art: “Pandora’s Digital Box: From the Periphery to the Center, or the One of Many Centers”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Bordwell and Thompson turn their attention to various digital storage formats, beginning with the video compact disc in 1993. These blog entries, later collected in a book, provide some history and an evaluation of the current state of digital media. It also illustrates a basic quandary of digital media: how to preserve it in a form that will be playable in the distant future.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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7.1.2.7.3 Fast-Frame Rate Continues the Quest to Dazzle Audiences   - Reading: Wired: Hugh Hart’s “Fast-Frame Hobbit Dangles Prospect of Superior Cinema, But Will Theaters Bite?” Link:Wired: Hugh Hart’s “Fast-Frame Hobbit Dangles Prospect of Superior Cinema, But Will Theaters Bite?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: As the quality of digital cameras and recording equipment improve, film will become more and more a memory. Hugh Hart’s article discusses one of these new technologies: fast-frame rate.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2 Movies and Culture   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 8, Section 2: Movies and Culture” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 8, Section 2: Movies and Culture” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Chapter 8, Section 2 on pages 350-358 describes the cultural forces acting on the film industry and the ways films affect our culture. In the subunits to follow, you will read about a revolutionary year in Hollywood, 1967, when four films forever changed how movies were made. These films changed our culture, too. From that year on, producers and directors felt a new freedom to follow their vision, leaving behind the cultural restraints of the past. Bonnie and Clyde begat The Godfather; The Graduate begat Alice’s Restaurant. Today, movies routinely portray interracial relationships, but in 1967, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was shocking to many. In the Heat of the Night gave birth to a new image of the African-American male actor, one fulfilled by Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, and Laurence Fishburne. Those four films, along with the old-school, big-budget Dr. Dolittle, made up the 1987 Academy Award nominees for Best Picture.
 
Reading this selection should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.2.1 The 1967 Academy Award Best Picture Nominees: Five Films that Changed Hollywood   7.2.1.1 A Review of Mark Harris’s Book   - Reading: The New York Times: Jim Shepard’s “When Mrs. Robinson Met Dr. Dolittle” Link: The New York Times: Jim Shepard’s “When Mrs. Robinson Met Dr. Dolittle” (HTML)
 
Instructions: As an introduction to the subunits below, read a review of Mark Harris’s book, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood. Harris, a New York Times movie critic, followed the production of five revolutionary movies that changed Hollywood and changed our culture. After you read this review and listen to the author in the next subunit, we’ll look at each of these five movies and what made them cultural milestones.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.1.2 The Author Discusses His Ideas   - Web Media: NPR: Susan Stamberg’s “An Oscar Crop with an Instinct for Change” Link: NPR: Susan Stamberg’s “An Oscar Crop with an Instinct for Change”(HTML)
 
Instructions: Be sure to listen to Susan Stamberg’s discussion with Harris on NPR.
 
Listening to this broadcast should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.2 Bonnie and Clyde   - Reading: Turner Classic Movies: Frank Miller’s “Behind the Camera on Bonnie and Clyde Link: Turner Classic Movies: Frank Miller’s “Behind the Camera on Bonnie and Clyde (HTML)
 
Instructions: Bonnie and Clyde, directed by Arthur Penn, took the daring step of making notorious outlaws the anti-heroes of a tale of class warfare. With its overt violence, sexual tension, and zany bluegrass sound track, it was like nothing before it. Like many such movies, it was controversial even as it was being made. This reading discusses some of the thought and process that went into making Bonnie and Clyde.
 
Reading this article and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.2.1 The Director Talks   - Web Media: Turner Classic Movies: “Arthur Penn on Bonnie and Clyde Link: Turner Classic Movies: “Arthur Penn on Bonnie and Clyde (HTML)
 
Instructions: Arthur Penn discusses the “ballet of dying,” certainly one of the most controversial parts of Bonnie and Clyde. How do you feel about making violent death seem artistic?
 
Watching this video should take approximately 5 minutes.
 
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  • Web Media: Turner Classic Movies: “Bonnie and Clyde: The Essentials Intro” Link: Turner Classic Movies: Bonnie and Clyde: The Essentials Intro” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Director Sydney Pollack provides a thoughtful commentary on Bonnie and Clyde. Pollack calls it one of two movies made in 1967 that changed Hollywood. The other, he says, was The Graduate.
     
    Watching this video should take approximately 5 minutes.
     
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7.2.2.2 Trailer and Clips   - Web Media: Turner Classic Movies: “Bonnie and Clyde (Original Trailer)” and “Bonnie and Clyde (Movie Clip): We Got You!” Link: Turner Classic Movies’ “Bonnie and Clyde (Original Trailer)” (HTML)and Bonnie and Clyde - (Movie Clip): We Got You!” (HTML)
 
Instructions: For those who love movies, Bonnie and Clyde is a must watch. The trailer gives you a taste of how the movie was marketed, and the short clip provides some idea of the themes that ran through the movie: the publicity-seeking outlaws trading on Depression-era resentment of the rich. Watch the trailers and clip, and you’ll get the idea.
 
Watching these videos should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.3 *The Graduate*   7.2.3.1 The Making of *The Graduate*   - Reading: Entertainment Weekly: Mark Harris’s “Book Excerpt: Inside the Making of The Graduate Link: Entertainment Weekly: Mark Harris’s “Book Excerpt: Inside the Making of The Graduate (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this selection from Mark Harris’s book about some of the highs and lows of the creative process. Particularly telling is director Mike Nichols’s comments that he knew he was onto something different and great. His comment illustrates the media literacy idea that media texts are made with a purpose to achieve certain effects.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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7.2.3.2 Trailer and Clips   - Web Media: Turner Classic Movies: “The Graduate (Original Trailer)” and “The Graduate (Movie Clip): Plastics” Link: Turner Classic Movies: The Graduate (Original Trailer)” (HTML) and The Graduate (Movie Clip): Plastics” (HTML)
 
Instructions: In 1967, the earliest members of the postwar Baby Boom generation were graduating from college − and wondering what to do with their lives. Director Mike Nichols captured that angst perfectly in the clip above, in which we hear one particular word uttered: “plastics.”
 
Watching these videos should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.4 *Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner*   7.2.4.1 The Race Question   - Web Media: Turner Classic Movies: “Donald Bogle on Sex and Race” Link: Turner Classic Movies: “Donald Bogle on Sex and Race” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Director Stanley Kramer’s movie is about a liberal couple, played by Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, who learn that their daughter wants to marry a black man, Sidney Poitier. It’s a bit of a setup: Poitier is a handsome, urbane doctor who is working to stomp out tropical diseases. He’s the kind of guy any mother would want her daughter to marry. New York Times columnist Frank Rich, writing about it in 2008, sarcastically called it “Hollywood’s idea of a stirring call for racial justice.” [1] But in 1967, interracial marriage was still illegal in 17 states until the Supreme Court struck down the laws in June of that year. And up to that time, roles even remotely suggesting the superiority of a black male character would have been unheard of. Donald Bogle will discuss how this movie began to restore sexuality to black male characters.
 
Watching this video should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.4.2 Trailer and Clip   - Reading: Turner Classic Movies: “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (Original Trailer)” and “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967) (Movie Clip) So Appallingly Stupid!” Link: Turner Classic Movies’ “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner- (Original Trailer)” and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967) - (Movie Clip): So Appallingly Stupid!”
 
Instructions: These two short videos will look dated to you, and they are. Take that as a sign of how far the culture of race and how it is portrayed has changed.
 
Watching these videos should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.5 *In the Heat of the Night*   7.2.5.1 Mark Harris on the Movie’s Liberal Message   - Reading: Slate: Mark Harris’s “Guess Who’s Coming To Solve Your Murder” Link: Slate: Mark Harris’s “Guess Who’s Coming To Solve Your Murder” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Mark Harris in his Slate article calls In the Heat of the Night a “liberal message movie that worked,” mostly because it had great direction and great actors in Rod Steiger and Sydney Poitier. His article also describes the harsh reaction from critics who thought the message of racial reconciliation was unrealistic. Those old enough will remember that the Civil Rights Movement still had much to accomplish in 1967, and stories of racial violence in the South added to the tension of watching this film when it came out.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.5.2 Trailer and Clip   - Web Media: Turner Classic Movies: “In the Heat of the Night (1967) - (Movie Clip): Like the Negro” and “In the Heat of the Night (1967): Original Trailer” Link: Turner Classic Movies: In the Heat of the Night (1967) - (Movie Clip): Like the Negro” (HTML) and In the Heat of the Night (1967): Original Trailer” (HTML)
 
Instructions: The clip from the movie shows one of its most important scenes, when the black detective played by Sydney Poitier confronts a well-heeled racist. It shocked audiences in 1967; remember, the nation was just a few years away from the violence visited on the Freedom Riders.
 
Watching these videos should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.6 *Dr. Dolittle*   7.2.6.1 Scathing Reviews   - Reading: The New York Times: Bosley Crowther’s “Doctor Dolittle (1967) Review” Link: The New York Times: Bosley Crowther’s Doctor Dolittle (1967) Review”(HTML)
 
Instructions: One of the more entertaining parts of Mark Harris’s book, Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, describes the antics of Rex Harrison, the star of Dr. Dolittle. Harris includes it in his book as the prime example of the type of movies that were overthrown in his “revolution” by the other four movies nominated for Best Picture of the 1968 Academy Awards. Bosley Crowther’s review, dripping with sarcasm, was typical of the reception this movie received.
 
Reading this review should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.2.6.2 Trailer   - Web Media: Internet Movie Database: “Dr. Dolittle Trailer" Link: Internet Movie Database: Dr. Dolittle (1967) Trailer” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Contrast what you see in this video with the trailers and clips from the other four movies. The difference should be obvious.
 
Watching this video should take approximately 5 minutes.
 
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7.3 Today’s Movie Industry   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 8, Section 3: Issues and Trends in Film” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: “Chapter 8, Section 3: Issues and Trends in Film” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read Chapter 8, Section 3 on pages 359-369 for an overview of various aspects of the movie industry, such as the studio system, independent films, blockbuster movies, and digital piracy. Keep this reading in mind as you study the subunits to follow.
 
Reading this selection should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

7.3.1 The Studios Today as Media Conglomerates   - Reading: Jump Cut: Jennifer Holt’s “It’s Not Film, It’s TV: Rethinking Industrial Identity” and “Global Entertainment Conglomerates: Select Holdings 2010” Link: Jump Cut: Jennifer Holt’s “It’s Not Film, It’s TV: Rethinking Industrial Identity” (HTML) and “Global Entertainment Conglomerates: Select Holdings 2010” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article to gain an understanding of the strategic nature of media economics. The appendix to the article runs down ownership patterns of media conglomerates. Try to connect Holt’s information with ideas you learned in previous units, such as vertical integration and transmedia.
 
Reading this selection should take approximately 30 minutes.
 
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7.3.2 Disney, Seven Decades after *Snow White*   7.3.2.1 It’s Not Easy Being Disney   - Reading: The New York Times: Brooks Barnes’s “Will Disney Keep Us Amused?” Link: The New York Times: Brooks Barnes’s “Will Disney Keep Us Amused?” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article in The New York Times and you’ll realize it isn’t easy being the Walt Disney Co. When Walt Disney expanded his animated film studio into an amusement park in the 1960s, he pioneered transmedia. But vertical integration has its drawbacks, as this article shows.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.3.2.2 Walt Shows You Around   - Web Media: Disney: “Disney Magic: How It All Began: Origins of a Dream” and “The Dream Continues” Link: Disney: “Disney Magic: How It All Began: Origins of a Dream” (Adobe Flash) and “The Dream Continues” (Adobe Flash)
 
Instructions: Watch these segments about the origins of Disneyland. The theme park was Walt Disney’s “move from film to dimensional entertainment,” as these videos tell you. The various “lands” of the original Disneyland (Frontierland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Main Street USA) became segments on Walt’s personally hosted television show, The Wonderful World of Disney, a show that also promoted Disney movies. Disney’s genius was to see all of it as one piece, a transmedia “world” of his creation, right down to the kitschy nostalgia of Main Street USA, modeled on his home town of Marceline, Missouri, but really an idealized memory rather than something real. Disney’s concept of horizontal integration had one drawback: if one part of the puzzle fails, it reflects on the whole enterprise.
 
Watching these videos should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.3.3 Transmedia and Horizontal Integration   7.3.3.1 Now that Harry Potter is Grown Up   - Reading: Forbes: Michael Humphrey’s “Pottermore: Expert Explains How Harry Potter’s Website Will Transform Storytelling” Link: Forbes: Michael Humphrey’s “Pottermore: Expert Explains How Harry Potter’s Website Will Transform Storytelling” (HTML)
 
Instructions: What do you do with a multibillion-dollar film franchise when the story runs out? You keep it alive by spreading it around to other media, a transmedia strategy. Read about Pottermore, one piece in the transmedia strategy for the Harry Potter franchise.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.3.3.2 The World of Pottermore   - Web Media: YouTube: “J. K. Rowling Announces Pottermore” and “Pottermore Sneak Peek” Link: YouTube: “J. K. Rowling Announces Pottermore” (YouTube) and “Pottermore Sneak Peek” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: As you watch these videos, think about the connections being formed between the books, the movie, and other media on the site. These videos also are available at pottermore.com.
 
Watching these videos should take approximately 5 minutes.
 
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7.3.3.3 Visit Pottermore   - Activity: J. K. Rowling’s Pottermore Link: J. K. Rowling’s “Pottermore”
 
Instructions: This activity is OPTIONAL. Pottermore is a big piece in the transmedia strategy for the Harry Potter franchise. Visit the site and sign up for a free account if you wish. Note that the books are at the heart of this site, but that the books have “new chapters” and are available as e-books. It’s an interesting look at how transmedia works.
 
Completing this optional activity should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.3.3.4 Harry Potter Action Games   - Activity: “Harry Potter Games” Link: “Harry Potter Games” (HTML)
 
Instructions: No transmedia strategy is complete these days without a video game. Go to this webpage to explore a few from the world of Harry Potter, and try not to get hooked on the Harry Potter “Fight Death” game.
 
Completing this activity should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.3.3.5 LEGO Harry Potter   - Activity: “Lego Harry Potter” Link: “Lego Harry Potter” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Daniel Radcliffe has said that one of his weirder experiences playing Harry Potter was seeing himself as a LEGO character. A persistent Internet meme is the LEGO stop-action movie based on the Harry Potter or Star Wars movies; hundreds are available on YouTube. Visit this official LEGO site to see how the toy company draws this meme into its transmedia strategy. The site also has downloads, a place to buy Harry Potter LEGOs, and of course, games.
 
Completing this activity should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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7.3.4 The Independent Film Movement   - Reading: The Regents of the University of California, Carsey-Wolf Center: David Gray’s “5 Things to Know about Trends in Independent Film” Link: The Regents of the University of California, Carsey-Wolf Center: David Gray’s “5 Things to Know about Trends in Independent Film” (HTML)
 
Instructions: “Independent” films are a little understood part of the movie industry, and one that provides much creative juice. This article provides observations on how independent filmmaking works and where it’s going.
 
Reading this article should take approximately 15 minutes.
 
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Unit 7 Assignments   Unit 7 Assesment