A Mickey Mouse Subject?

A great Slideshare presentation couresty of Rob McMinn

Mickey Mouse subject? – Presentation Transcript

  1. Why Study Media?
  2. W hat’s all t his waffle about Med ia Studies bein g a “Micke y Mouse subject”?
  3. WHO owns the Mouse?
  4. Media Networks Parks and Resorts Studio Entertainment Consumer Products
  5. Walt Disney Hollywood Pictures Records Pixar Lyric Street Animation Records Studios ABC Touchstone Television Pictures Studios Hollywood ESPN Pictures Disney.com Miramax Movies.com Marvel Entertainment Club Penguin
  6. Disney is the largest media & entertainment conglomerate in the world
  7. “Disneyland invites the customer not merely to experience the controlled thrills of a carny ride, but to participate in the mythic rituals of the culture.” E L Doctorow, The Book of Daniel (1971)
  8. “A study today of the Q products of the animated cartoon industry of the twenties, thirties and forties would yield the following theology: 1. People are animals.
  9. 2. The body is mortal & subject to incredible pain
  10. 3. Life is antagonistic to the living
  11. 4. The flesh can be sawed, crushed, frozen, stretched, burned, bombed, and plucked for music. 5
  12. 5. The dumb are abused by the smart and the smart destroyed by their own cunning.
  13. 6. The small are tortured by the large and the large destroyed by their own momentum.
  14. 7. We are able to walk on air, but only as long Y as our illusion supports us.
  15. Disneyfication This is the process in which culture is plundered, homogenised, repackaged, and sold back to us in an sanitised form
  16. “It is clear that few of the children who ride in the Mad Hatter’s Teacup have read or even will read Alice [in Wonderland]…” E L Doctorow, The Book of Daniel (1971)
  17. The average Disneyland customer has little or no experience of the “cultural treasures” he or she is supposed to cherish
  18. “One cannot tour Disneyland today without noticing its real achievement, which is the handling of crowds” E L Doctorow, The Book of Daniel (1971)
  19. “One is struck by the number of adult customers at Disneyland unaccompanied by small children.”
  20. 15,000 speakers in Disney World “manufacture emotion” as you walk around. The music is at a constant volume — and nobody notices it
  21. “The life and life-style of slave-trading America on the Mississippi River in the nineteenth century is compressed into a technologically faithful steamboat ride of five or ten minutes on an HO-scale river.” E L Doctorow, The Book of Daniel (1971)
  22. emotio nal and Afte r all this on, the olic ma nipulati symb the mom ent of mer r eaches chase. custo he poin t of pur commun ion at t
  23. History, Culture, Art, Literature = merchandise
  24. For some, Disneyland is the authentic expression of our society of simulations
  25. smilin g eyes “ behind these cious s a co ld, fero t he re lurk talkin g us.” rfully s st fea Jean Baudrillard, America bea
  26. “Centuries of tradition are eroded by the technically dazzling but culturally-biased products of the New Internationalist corporate entertainment industry.”
  27. Global entertainment is one of the characteristic features of globa l capitalism. Corporate culture tends to destroy diversity
  28. from childhood, we are trained to be good consumers: to want things, to feel good when we buy things – and to feel bad when we don’t, or can’t
  29. The T version of reality is sanitised & often overwhelmingly white
  30. Who is served by this soft-focus reality?
  31. “All children agree that the roles of boss, secretary, police officer, and doctor K in television programs are usually played by White people while the roles of criminal and maid/janitor on television are usually played by African- Americans. Never do children see Latino or Asian characters as the dominant person in the source: http://www.children now.org listed roles.”
  32. Although fond of using Public Domain works for its film adaptations, T is aggressive in defending its copyrights
  33. Disney thinks 8-year-old kids have entered into a legally binding contract by walking underneath this sign!
  34. Disney also makes kids sit through 120 pages of licence agreements before being allowed to watch Sleeping Beauty on a Blu Ray disk.
  35. $63 billion in total assets $36 billion revenue (2009) $3.31 billion profit (2009) 150,000 employees Who owns the Mouse?
  36. Mouse Subject? M ickey

Why Scotland (or rather the SQA) has got Media Studies wrong

This is a very personal post.

Over the past year I have become increasingly frustrated with the way in which the production aspect of the SQA Media Studies course is (perhaps) viewed as an add-on. To clarify this, all pupils who undertake the course (whether that is at Intermediate One, Intermediate Two, or Higher level) need to complete a produced piece of media work during the year – this can be print based, film based, audio based etc. However, this work does not account towards their final grade. What is summatively assessed is their analysis skills (in terms of theory) and their knowledge of Language and Cultural Codes. Something that has not changed for several years and does not reflect the way Media Studies is approached in the 21st Century.

It is a firm belief of mine that in relation to Media Studies, the theoretical aspects inform the practical aspects, and vice versa. When learners are given the theoretical understanding of how the media works, then they engage with the production aspect at a higher level. Throughout this past year, I have witnessed some truly inspirational work from learners in terms of the video work that they have completed; some outstanding team work; and individuals continually evaluating their progress. Nearly all learners fully engage with the production aspect of the course, but at the end of the day are rewarded with nothing from the awarding body. The positive is that they are rewarded with a personal and collective sense of achievement, whether this be from showing their work to others within school, or from the number of views their work has had online.

So what needs to be done? I feel that the OCR Media Studies AS and A2 course has pretty much got it right. These qualifications are assessed by 50% internally marked coursework and 50% by external examinations. Learners produce media artefacts from a series of briefs (print, video, audio, and websites) and it is paramount that they continually evaluate their progression of their production through blogging. This is relatively old news for practitioners in England, but maybe not for those in Scotland. The OCR system provides institutions and learners with a selection of briefs for their production. Here are two examples:

“A short film in its entirety, lasting approximately five minutes, which may be live action or animated or  combination of both, together with two of the following three options:

  • a poster for the film;
  • a radio trailer for the film;
  • a film magazine review page featuring the film.”

“A promotion package for the release of an album, to include a music promo video, together with two of the following three options:

  • a website homepage for the band;
  • a cover for its release as part of a digipack (CD/DVD package);
  • a magazine advertisement for the digipack (CD/DVD package).”

What these briefs do is give learners a practical and theoretical understanding of how different media work together. They are encouraged to understand media convergence and synergy, and more importantly are credited in relation to this understanding. At present, the Media Studies course offered by the SQA does none of this, instead production briefs are left completely open (this does have some advantages) and it is left to the learner and teacher if they want to make their production embrace different media. Yet, it needs to be repeated, that no credit is given to this.

I sincerely hope that the current Media Studies course offered by the SQA will change radically in the future. Consultation is already underway in relation to how moving image texts will be incorporated into the new Curriculum for Excellence, specifically with regards to Literacy, yet even a cursory glance at the new curriculum will show that Media Studies has been completely omitted (I would love to be corrected with this statement!).

Why has there been this omission? Maybe you have the answer to this and I would love to hear your views about how Media Studies is treated in Scotland.