Saturday, November 20, 2010


Globalization is the increasing interconnectedness throughout the world’s nations, cultures, and people groups. Throughout the years, businesses and media have converted their local scales to become more and more global. No longer are things on the local scale – almost everything is worldwide. Accelerations in technology have contributed to this globalization. Technology has made it possible for communication, media, ideas, and goods to be exchanged easily and conveniently throughout the world. This globalization has increased opportunities for cultures to unite worldwide through business, consumer products, and media. This has increased our global sense of unity throughout our world. Globalization is the connection that connects us all.
Hybridity is the connection or mixing of previously separate cultures throughout a period of time. Hybridity occurs when two cultures mix so thoroughly that a third culture is created. This culture is then seen as a separate culture on its own much like the United States. So as globalization prevails in society through the exchange of ideas and products amongst different peoples and cultures in society, hybridity of cultures will naturally prevail on its own.
            The American television series, Ugly Betty, is a beautiful example of this concept. Ugly Betty conveys hybridity due to its connection to a Columbian telenovela. Ugly Betty is scripted after a telenovela however it is slightly altered for American viewers. Executive producer, Salma Hayek, wanted to show the interconnectedness of cultures and people groups. Ugly Betty is her personal twist of the Colombian telenovela. This melting of Columbian and American cultures proves globalization and hybridity. Also, Ugly Betty centers on a Latina character’s challenges in finding her place in the hustle of the New York City culture. The show shows the connection between Betty’s Mexican roots and her city job. The cultures in the show are hybrided together. The show proves that the hybrid culture is prevalent in society. Ugly Betty demonstrates how two different cultures can blend to form a unique third culture. 

Here is a summary of Ugly Betty....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coca Cola - An American "Classic" for Advertising

For decades, Coca Cola has become a typical classic American icon. It’s the classic soda that is guaranteed at restaurants, backyard barbeques, or Forth of July parties. Everyone in America knows coke is America’s favorite soft drink. Everyone loves coke. Even Santa loves coke, coming from the previous Christmas Coca Cola advertisements. Coca Cola’s consistent advertising over the years on American billboards, magazines, and TV networks has allowed for Americans to be brainwashed people to believe there is nothing more standard than coke. People have a common tread to believe coke as a iconic figure in the American society. Coca Cola’s advertising has created a sense of unity in the American culture – everyone needs a coke, every AMERICAN needs a coke. Coca Cola has made appeals to escape and prominence in the American society that is convinced Americans of this outlook.
The Coca Cola ad campaign’s new slogan of “Open Happiness” has many powerful appeals to society. Coca Cola has already convinced Americans that Coke is the only soda to drink, now they just need to convince Americans to drink it more frequently. The “Open Happiness” ads are key in the appeal to escape. The escape of happiness. Everyone has a common hierarchy of needs (Maslows hierarchy of needs) in which happiness is crucial. Coca Colas ad touches that hierarchy of needs – the appeal of escape through happiness. The ad explains that with every sip of coke, the consumer escapes into happiness. Consumers want that. This is ad is very persuasive because it has touch of classic American happiness. Every American sips on coke, every American wants happiness. Coca Cola had driven that into us all. Coca Cola has also driven the classic outlook of Americanism into us all. The following ad below the “Open Happiness” ad looks into the prominence and achievement appeal. It establishes the classic American outlook – that all Americans drink coke even the classic American icons such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Coca Cola has driven that “classic” appeal of achievement into us all.

The appeals of escape in the ads lead way to a pleasurable idea. The idea of happiness is a escape – an escape from troubles, worries, and stress. This type of campaigning comes from the happiness after using the product. One will experience different feelings after using the product. The Coca Cola ad appeal is effective. Every time one opens the bottle of coke – happiness and escape prevails. Using Coca Cola will free one from anxieties and worries. The coke ad also appeals to affiliation – if one doesn’t drink coke, one might be left out of the norm of society. Everyone drinks coke, one might fear of dissociation if not drinking the popular drink. Coca Cola does an excellent job of appealing to escape, afflation, and prominence by advertising coke as an American classic. The constant yearly brainwashing has finally paid off.
Coca Cola has become a classic icon in the American culture. It is seen in our refrigerators, restaurants, and even Santa’s hands. It’s a classic that every American is brainwashed to drink. Coca Cola’s success and dominance can be blamed on their extensive advertising – the “classic” way of getting to Americans.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Finding Nemo" throughout a Three Act Structure

The classic Hollywood structure for a film is the “three act structure.” This typical structure seen in almost every film is contrasted by Shakespeare’s tragic structure in which consists of downfall stories. The three act structure conveys triumph stories that rely epic morals and “feel good” sensations. In the three act structure, everyone knows the story will end is a good resolution even with it’s building anticipation. This structure consists of a first, second, and third act - with the climax more towards the end. In the classic Pixar film, Finding Nemo, Pixar relies heavily on the three-act structure. However, despite its rigid appeal to structure, Finding Nemo is still refreshing and stunning. Finding Nemo proves that Hollywood’s typical style can be creative and complex.
In the first act of Finding Nemo the story of Marlin and Nemo is set up. The inciting incident is the event in which literally hooks the audience’s attention. The inciting incident happens at 14’ to 30’ into the film. This occurs when Nemo wanders into deep water and is captured by divers. Within this first act, the audience senses the strain on the father-son relationship – Nemo and Marlin – for Marlin is too overprotective. This first act is the introduction to the film and the rest of the first act Marlin is trying to solve the problem of finding his son. The first act sets up the protagonist – Marlin. The first act also strategically places a plot point into the film – Nemo is captured so how will Marlin save him? The mini climax occurs when Marlin decides to go after his son into the deep blue ocean.

The plot point of the first act is the transition to the next act – act two. This act rises to complications into which is rising action. Over the next hour (30’ to 85’). Marlin, our new protagonist, is caught in a whirlwind of the new surroundings of the new world. Act two escalates the stakes of the film. In this rising action, Marlin must commit to the finding of his son – at this moment he cannot return. While rising action of Marlin and Dory fighting the sea partake, the major plot point two exists when Darla (the dentist’s niece who loves to torment fish) arrives; Nemo is stuck to play dead. However, his father thinks he is dead. This plot point (at 70’) turns the film into hopelessness by thinking Marlin failed. The mini climax takes place when the audience learns that Nemo is not dead and is flushed down the sink. Interesting, however, Marlin in the second act learns to take control of his future. This is a key point of the second act – in which Marlin’s character is building just as the action is building.

The mini climax propels the action into the third act when Nemo escapes. The third act partakes just at the point when it seems all is failed. The climax (at 85’) is the thrilling chase between father and son. Nemo is searching for his dad only to find out that Dory is caught in a fish net. The climax takes on when Marlin learns to trust his son to save Dory.  The third act also consists of a resolution (at 92’) – when Marlin is reunited with Nemo for life. This resolution is the “feel good’ moment of the film that makes the three act structure worthwhile.

The three-act structure gives the audience that sense of closure to a film. It gives the audience the peace that although their emotions went through a whirlwind of torment, they have resolution that everything worked out okay. In each act of Finding Nemo, a question was asked, and then answered in the next act. Although Finding Nemo had a fresh new take, Pixar strategically used the three-act structure to capture the attention of audiences for years to come.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sitcom Structure

When I flop on the couch to watch TV I want something I can expect. I want something I just can release my daily constraints onto. I want some comic relief. Modern sitcoms have intentions to free people from daily stress. People want to come home to a stress-free environment – watch television to give them some humor, comic relief, and some sense of structure in their life. The sitcom structure can attest to that. The storyline is straightforward. We know there will be humor. We know that although there is conflict - everything will be okay. We know that there will be mini-resolutions.
These mini resolutions are key to the impact of sitcoms. In the midst of these mini-resolutions, the sitcom is amusing but it gives the sitcom moral support. It persists to impact the viewer in a positive way. These mini-resolutions are typically juvenile but teaches the audience valuable lessons. It persists to take the structure of the sitcom in full circle – from beginning to end. It takes the audience into little mini shows that don’t take thought to watch. Typically, one doesn’t have to update on the previous episodes to understand the story in the next episode. These mini-resolutions are refreshing. They are exactly what the audience wants – a stress-free and comical environment that everyone can relate to on a daily basis.
The original ABC show “Full House” advocated the sitcom structure. “Full House”, although cliché, offered viewers daily lessons that everyone can partake in. “Full House” gives mini-resolutions in every episode. In a recent re-run of “Full House,” a Tanner sister decides to borrow her sister’s sweater but spills mustard on the sweater. The rising action exists when Stephanie is debating about telling DJ, her older sister, about the stain. Some comical relief takes place in the middle of the show, but in the end, a mini-resolution exists. Such as that Stephanie tells her older sister yet instead of anger and resentment, forgiveness takes place. The resolution of her sister forgiving her takes place – the cheesy lesson is molded into the audience’s minds. Each episode has similar structures – rising action, resolution, and then lesson. Each episode gives that mini-resolution and lesson that implies to everyone, which makes “Full House” so appealing because everyone can relate.
This structure of the sitcom can ultimately lead to success. Its mini-resolutions despite their cheesiness are something relatable. It provides that structure in people’s lives. It provides comical relief, yet provides the lessons of moral much needed in society.

Below is a clip from "Full House" I could not embed it because of technical difficulties. This clip proves "Full Houses" sitcom mini-resolutions.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shots have Power!

Shots in movies can be huge motivators of emotional impact in people. Shots can not only convey orientation, information, and important detail but have a way of grasping the attention of the audience. They have a way of provoking joy, tears, or fear in the emotions of the people. Shots are key to making an awarding winning film – strictly based on the power of shots. Shots have the power to make or break a film. Shots are critical to emotion.
            In Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg is a master mind in creating shots that capture the attention and emotions of the audience.  In the beginning scene from “Saving Private Ryan,” Spielberg uses a long shot, low angle shots, close up shots, and medium close-up shots to support the emotional appeal in his story.
            Spielberg uses a long shot in the very beginning combined with a high angle shot to give the retired captain a powerless, hopeless feel. The captain is walking in an Arlington National Cemetery and the camera pans to him walking by himself surrounded by gravestone crosses. This camera shot adds an emotional appeal. It proves the captain is feeling hopeless surrounded with painful memories. The high angle gives him a feeling of less power.

            Spielberg also uses close up shots to give important detail to what the viewer needs to know. The viewer needs to know that the soldiers are scared and shaking. Spielberg uses a close up shot to show that their hands are shaking with fear as the solider opens his water canteen. This gives the audience a more shocking and chilling reaction to the film.

          He also uses medium close ups to portray the emotion that the characters feel. These shots conform the emotions of the characters. They go from general to specific. They convey relationship shots with the other soldiers. One of the shots is that the camera dollys from one to solider to the other showing their relationships with one another and the emotions they are battling with in terms of the future battle they are about to partake upon. Thus showing the intensity and fear in all of their faces. Another shot Spielberg used was a medium close of the captain in the cemetery to convey the sadness in his face and show the misunderstanding of his family members in the background. This shot exemplified relationship information.

           This key examples prove that shots HAVE POWER. Shots are the essence of a quality film. Shots can direct emotions to fear, joy, or sorrow.  They have the power to overcome one’s emotions and take one on a 2 hour journey. Shots – have power.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Star System

           The best form of promoting a film is attracting people to what they already know and enjoy. People don’t like change, they like consistency. When people find an actor or actress that they enjoy watching on the big screen, they often stick to watching them in all movies. When an actress or actor captures the hearts and imaginations of audiences, stardom prevails and stardom is the best Hollywood mechanism that can exist. Hollywood uses the stardom system to promote their films. When people are familiar with a star, they flock to see the film, typically without any information regarding the film. People just want to see their beloved star. The star system helped Hollywood grow extensively. Throughout the 1920’s through 1940’s, the overwhelming popularity of stars helped production companies sway their opinions on who to cast and what genres to cast the beloved stars in. Stars were the perfect, cost effective advertisements for their films. Stars made what Hollywood is today!
Even as Hollywood was just beginning to take off in the 1920s, so did people’s infatuation with the actor and actresses they were watching. Stardom existed early in Hollywood history. Even stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Rudolph Valentino were a big hit in the early 1920s. These stars were attracting audiences so quickly that studios were more concerned about who starred in their film than the film itself. Typically, the stars predicted the success of a film. Stars were also known for particular traits. Such as Judy Garland and Gene Kelly were known to sing and dance during their films. These type of actresses swayed studios to make more musical genre films. Studios conformed to whatever the genre their particular star was associated with in the early days of Hollywood. Warner Bros studio star Humphrey Bogart was associated with crime films. But as his stardom persisted and he developed a dedicated audience, Bogart changed audiences’ viewings from crime to gangster to detective only within a few years. This dedication of the audiences that people were not watching the film itself but people were watching him. Thus proving that the star system was a tangible way for studios to achieve success in their movies.
A good example a beloved star that changed history is Shirley Temple. Shirley Temple was a 20th Century Fox star that captured the hearts of all audiences. She was one the most popular child actresses of all time. She became the essence of superstardom – she could sing, dance, and act. She was an epic success to 20th Century Fox Studios. Fans adored her cheerful attitude and people were attracted to her innocence. Eventually 20th Century Fox sold millions of dollars worth of products that advertised her name. They sold dolls, records, clothing apparel, and more. She was the stable actress for 20th Century for many years in the 1930s. When MGM was casting Wizard of Oz, Fox refused to loan Shirley Temple out to the MGM studios. Shirley Temple was a tool for promotion to 20th Century Fox. She proved that the star system was tangible for studios of the early Hollywood age.
Beloved stars captured the hearts of the American people. Even modern Hollywood uses stars to sell tickets at the box office. People like consistency and familiarity. It’s a comfort that will always be in American film. Stars will always have an impact on the structure on the Hollywood studio system – stars are the essence and money of American film.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The New Family Unit?

Television has changed drastically throughout the decades. The influence that media has on society wants to change as well. In the 1970s family-based TV sitcom “All in the Family,” Archie Bunker represents a typical father figure of the decade. Archie is a typical outspoken racist who seemingly voices his opinion to anyone willing to take it. “All in the Family’s” idea was to recreate the typical American household of the time – a household that involved racism and discord. This portrayed family life style influenced the way 1970s family units modeled as “normal.”
However, only a few years later, TV producers wanted to portray a typical family without the racism and conflict. They wanted to reverse the negative influence TV had on families. They created an award-winning TV sitcom called “Everybody Loves Raymond.” This show portrayed the perfect family model. The Barone family had conflict, however, they were not wrought with racism and sexism. The Barone family modeled that all conflict can be resolved in the end unlike the Bunker family in “All in the Family.” TV producers wanted to change the way America thinks about family. Of course families will have conflict! Of course families will not be perfect! But all families can work together as a uniform family unit and be successful.
“All in the Family” and “Everybody Loves Raymond” dealt with a similar concept – the family life. But each show demonstrated differently how the family unit should behave. The Bunker family proved racism and male dominance were normal if not vital in the family. The Ramone family proved that working together with similar interests was successful. The Bunker family was an exaggerated appeal of the typical American family in the 1970s. Modern sitcoms want to eliminate any exaggeration with family life. With the current studies of how easily media can influence behaviors, TV producers want to sway families into a more concrete family life style – that involves teamwork with the husband and wife.
TV producers want to show what families SHOULD look like in “Everyody Loves Raymond.” The Ramone family dealt with children, neighbors, and common everyday problems. They solved these problems with integrity but with added humor. On the other hand, the Bunker family dealt with racism, injustice, political matter, or “everyday problems.” However, the Bunker family didn’t solve these problems with integrity but rather a swayed biased family unit that added further strain to the family unit. Both shows dealt with “everyday problems” but both shows handled the situations very differently.

This clip from "Everybody Loves Raymond" proves that a family unit without conflict can actually exist....