Topic 1.2: Film

Core Readings/Viewings:

Alvarez, F. (2009). Ataque de Pánico! (Panic Attack!). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dadPWhEhVk

Tryon, C. (2009a). Desktop Productions: Digital Distribution and Public Film Cultures. In Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence (pp. 93-124). Rutgers University Press. [eReserve]

Tryon, C. (2009b). Panic Attack and YouTube Discovery. The Chutry Experiment. Retrieved November 24, 2010, from http://www.chutry.wordherders.net/wp/?p=2259

Thompson, K. (2008). Click to View Trailer. In The Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood (1st ed., pp. 133-164). University of California Press. [eReserve]

Tyron (2008a) outlines some of the way digital technologies and communications can make filmmaking and distribution easier, but there is also a flipside. What are some of the new challenges that come with digital technologies which movie studios and filmmakers face today?

Does Alvarez’s success with Panic Attack prove that anyone with a camera and a computer can finally made their way into Hollywood? (And should that be the goal for all filmmakers?)

Firstly, let me say that this movie seriously sucked. Budget or not, it really didn’t tell too much of a story, with only minor buildup, a bunch of conflict and no resolution. While it is obvious the creator is good at account keeping, budgeting and controlling risk fiscally, the fact that this short movie propelled him to fame and a big dollar contract does not by any means make him a great director. Often the best films are those made on a shoe string, which forces people to be more creative and to think outside the box. The movie Speed was made for a shoestring in 1994 and made it’s money back on opening weekend but it’s sequel bombed abysmally despite bucketloads of money being thrown at it. Big budgets don’t make a movie and don’t make a director.

What Alvarez’s success does show is that there are more avenues for being noticed now and more ways to earn a living or create a name for yourself. Filmmakers should intrinsically, in my opinion, aim to entertain their audience. Making it or not making in Hollywood should not be the goal but merely a cherry on top of the proverbial cupcake.

While film websites are ubiquitous today, what joys and challenges emerged when Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings production embraced official and more importantly, unofficial, websites about their films during production?

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