Motion Picture Film, A Story Board

These are exciting times for motion picture film in the digital age; technology is having a profound effect on film in the motion picture film industry.  First there was a silent movie, and then there was the sound. Movie formats and new ways of accessing video, including streaming and downloading means that power has shifted from the production to the consumers.

But wait, there’s more.  The internet is changing the manner in which films are consumed and distributed, not to mention the types of films we watch and who is making them.

Instant access, worldwide distribution and everyone with a cell phone are now all players in the video creation game. What was once a medium of the few – those who could afford the equipment – is now the most democratized (and sought-out) medium available. Everybody wants video, and they want it now.

Movies that tell stories, much as in the tradition of stage plays, are narrative films. These features films are promoted heavily, their titles and actors on marquees. Most are in the 100-minute tales. A French magician and inventor, Georges Méliès, pioneered narrative films with fairy tales and science-fiction stories to show in his movie house in 1896. Méliès’ Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella ran less than 10 minutes—short stories, if you will.  Notable innovations in narrative films since the earliest films have been sound, color and computer generated imagery.

Before films talked, they were heard through musical accompaniment.  Sound is the input we take most for granted.  The explosions, kisses, etc., are simple recordings but, there is a whole set of technicians and technologies that gives you the sense of what the action should look like.

Technology has a most profound effect on film in this day and age, and the industry must realize that the medium is moving into an age of digitally made, and digitally distributed movies.  Not only must the industry adapt to find new ways of monetizing digital consumption so that the legal ways of accessing films becomes more appealing than piracy, so must filmmakers, old and new, otherwise they run the risk of being left behind.

The art of film holds a unique place in the story of humanity. A human language, an art, if you will.  It is a medium for education, inspiration, and so much more. It provides employment for hundreds of thousands of people around the world, and enjoyment for countless billions more and provides a living record of the human condition and imagination at any given point in the human story.

Let us know what you think, watch a movie on DVD, stream a movie, make an investment in the industry and leave a comment.

Music and Recording Industry: Fans Don’t Care

Fans just want to listen to music!

Reassured by overwhelming success with old business models, the media sound industry missed a golden opportunity offered in the digital age of communications.  Fortunately, and thanks to the internet, opportunity knocks more than once.   2008 saw around 2,000 radio stations sending digital signals with much greater clarity.

The century-old relationship between the music and recording industry reflect the mutual dependency on sound that gave to the dance craze, phonographs and plastic records. Products of both industries were the mass-marketing of sound, free advertising.  Preformers like Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, sent record sales sky high.  Radio, in the 1950’s shifted to record music making airplay essential for recordings to succeed.

But, companies did not see Napster’s ominous potential coming to wipe out the retailing structure for the music industry. Soon after reeling in $14.6 billion, in 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court bought Napster to a grinding halt.  Beware the sleeping giants! MTV may very well be brand the marketplace has been waiting for. MTV brings an immediate brand equity, instant familiarity able to pull mainstream consumers into the digital age.

“The radio networks, losing advertisers to television, scaled back what they offered to affiliates. As the number of listeners dropped, local stations switched to more recorded music, which was far cheaper than producing concerts, dramas and comedies. Thus, radio reinvented itself, survived and prospered.  The industry found itself shaken again in the 1970s when the listeners flocked to new FM stations. Because FM technology offered superior sound fidelity, these became the stations of choice for music. AM listenership seemed destined to tank until, in another reinvention, most AM stations converted to nonmusic formats.”

Newer options like, RouteNote’s offers ‘free distribution’ model, so artist can distribute their work themselves, to music stores globally, free of charge and with no undisclosed fees and costs.  They get to keep 85% of  their royalties, artist maintain control of distribution with the option to switch distribution model at any time.  With quick access and an easy to use upload system, RouteNote may prove to be a formidable force, as with  self-publishing vs. traditional book publishers, music recording industry have more adaption to do!

Which new technology delivery methods do you see as most enduring for the radio industry, please leave your comments here?

Television: Tunnel vision: One hundred years of traditional broadcast without change

It is bold talk, aimed to corner the television communication’s audience segment, and it seems increasingly clear that it’s going to happen.   Though the death of television has been proclaimed, it is  unlikely this will occur.   The reach and influence, of mass free-to-air broadcasting, is declining.  The internet “is becoming embeded in our lives” and may eventually replace the television’s key role in the home.

It all begin well. After a promising start in early 1900 with technology of young Philo Farnsworth’s ‘live transmission of moving images’,  that became television as we know today.  Network broadcasts quickly premitted everyone, everywhere, with an antena, to access moving images broadcasted from central locations.  Then came narrowcasting technology of cable (like) companies which allowed creation of subscription revenues.

But the larger story, falling of broadcast news.  The rise of the worldwide Web has almost replaced newspapers and radio broadcasts as the most favorite news source for Americans, after TV.  The Internet is on an upward path. Television is stable but is in slow decline.

For younger audiences, the Internet has become the primary source for news, cable news. For entertainment, cable was created for movies, favorite shows and advertisements. The rise of Amazon, Apple, Youtube and Netflix doesn’t mean the demise of TV (yet); since handling the remote can be additive. When I am researching online or writing in automation, for example, I’m also checking email and texting on my iPhone and reading the Huffington Post on my iPad. The iPad and iPhone didn’t replace the TV. Then, with a few clicks, I watch a movie.  They supplemented my television.

Television is merely a charming piece of modern, expensive furniture to impress house guests.  It has no lead to go looking for revenues other than advertising.

And finally, with ‘neutral internet’ access under fire by telecom’s and big corporations, it may appear that traditional television may be on its way back to dominating news and entertainment.  The consuming public, however, who are dependent on their digital devices will most likely opt to pay (at the pump) whatever is required

Where do you see yourself reading news and viewing entertainment in the near future?  Your comments are welcome!

Radio: Virtual Existence of a Global Icon

Traditional radio may always attract most of the populations, but Internet (digital radio) is proving to be just as popular.  Digital radio is drawing millions of weekly users and will probably not slow down, anytime soon.

Many people thought rise of the internet would knock out traditional forms of media. Instead, the internet complimented newspapers, magazines and advertising.  The online community allowed for collaborations with traditional media and actually enhanced interactivity.  And, radio was no exception.

Despite critic’s view debacle.  Global audiences access online-only Internet radio and internet broadcast radio for weather conditions, traffic status, read the news, listen  to music and buy stuff from digital any digital devices connected to the internet.

Little exceeds access like convenience: listeners savor the idea of having the ability to create multiple stations based on their favorite artists, their song and genres.  They are now accustomed to listening to decade oldies and access radio stations across their State or across the country.  Its no wonder digital radio is increasingly popular!

Digital radio’s popularity is owned to control and choice, the things every thinking being require as part of individuality, and to be part of  society.

Digital radio has fewer ads yet, marketers have never been better, internet radio listeners actively purchase a wide range products and services.  The best selling product of internet radio is ‘FREE’ quality access and audio. You have iHeartRadio and Pandora and soon, Apple.  Hold on to your  butts because Google is eyeinng digital radio too.  Can’t wait to see what creative ideas come off their drawing board!

In fact, regular transistor radios and related hardware, transistors and the like seem to be the only casualties of the digital age of radio communications. “You exist, stuck in the maze thinking about how you’ll escape, and how wonderful it will be, and imagining that future keeps getting better and better.  You can’t wait for it to happen. You use the future to escape the present.

I wonder if the German scientist Heinrich Hertz’s and the young Italian [inventor] Guglielmo Marconi foresaw the evolution of their discoveries and inventions by imagining the future to escape the present?

If you have comments about being an internet ‘radio’er’ just let me know so I can put your comments to the pros.

Print Media: Ignoring—Printed books, Newspapers and Magazines—One Tradition at a Time

The consuming public do not stop reading newspapers, magazines and books, or buying subscriptions. They ignore bombardment of repetitive information useless and/or uninteresting to them.  They do not reject the news, advertisemet or entertainment information on print media. They deny collection of hardcopy media rendered obsolete by subsequent events and circumstances. It is digital media that sustain Life of the commercial printing press.

Exactly, What Makes You Think Printed Media is Still Alive?  Perhaps because some books, newspapers and magazines still being published (on paper), against digital media and the internet, mean that print media is still alive.  Wrong!  Use of the printing press in news rooms and companies does not mean the printing press is viable.’  The press is a complex hunk of, manual machinery that cost more to operate and produce printed products than its worth.

The printing press is ‘equitably insolvent’ because it can no-longer do what it use to.  Ebooks (reading and audio versions) is most efficient for authors and indie publishers for pennies on the dollar.  Newsrooms can downsize because digital news and advertising are more practical for online production; online access can replace ‘home delivery’ subscriptions.  These are not good signs for print media.

Digital media can survive on its own; the same is not true for print media.  It is not within the power of Mass Communications to save printed books, newspapers and magazines.  In-fact, it is an ever evolving tradition(s) that may finally nail the coffin of print media, shut!

For all these reasons, the printing press may ultimately end-up little more useful than personal laser printer.

Do you want to test it?  Okay so, take printed books, newspapers and magazines off its life support (of digital communications) and let’s see if it can take one breath on its own (sustain itself equitably).  Then I will understand your faith in the commercial printing press!

Why Cynicism is your best Path to Hope

A Wellbeing, Critical Thinking blog

By Kenneth Alexander

War of Words: Why Cynicism is your best Path to Hope

Friends, foes, believers and disbelievers alike, lend me your ears!

If you are drawn to this line, you are likely a disappointed idealist whose trust in people has rendered you hopeless.  Like me, maybe you believe that information in the mass media is an end to a means, learning how civil society should behave, or perhaps attending public gatherings is your forte of giving change a chance.  Maybe you are a television, newspaper or magazine fanatic, or perhaps you find solace in the Holy Books. Herein, I will mostly be discussing the digital age of information.  However, if dissemination of information in the digital age is of no interest, you will find something more familiar (gossip anyone?).

So without further ado, my first topic and my favorite is digitalized communication data, debatably unparalleled, the epitome of entertainment, political, social, health and education news.

Gloom & Doom

As those who’ve subscribed to, viewed or read digitalized news information you already know, stories of children crying, politicians lying and seniors dying is indeed a ‘sign of the times’.  Children of illegal immigrates separated from parents, American children living in extreme poverty; Political party rivals legislating under the same government roof are devout enemies and elderly Americans are victimized by society and the state.  Every man, woman and child for his/herself—God for us all.  The will and actions of the people just make no sense. They continue to elect the same leaders over and over again and conveniently ignore positive change, or worse, self-serving elitists, leaders drunk with greed are perverted and corrupt.

For anyone unfamiliar with digitalized communications state of affairs, here is a small sample (optimism ahead): “Families have difficulty achieving reunification [with their children] and receive few resources.  Children experience substance abuse, self-destructive behaviors, legal involvement, and internalizing and externalizing behavior problems” says the American Humane Association. “Mother Jones.com says “70,000 Kids Will Show Up Alone at Our Border This Year. What Happens to Them?”  In contrast, The Guardian reports:  The government’s “Sure Start” program appears to be succeeding in its aim of improving the chances of children born into deprived families….

“A new professional class of unaccountable movers and shakers is controlling the flow of power and money in America” says New American Foundation.org.   “Democrats have cast Republicans as relying heavily on a handful of billionaires to boost their chances of taking the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has repeatedly denounced conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch from the Senate floor. Reid’s allies run the Senate Majority PAC.”

The number of elderly Americans of the nation’s population is growing, and Americans who reach age 65 are living longer. Abusive physical actions, withholding medicine and/or medical care, food, or misuse of money, property or the possessions of the elder as reported at Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs of Louisiana.

Nothing Positive to Say

Dr. Leon Wieseltier, Ph.D. says one-hundred years of culture in America is “Insurrections of the Mind” fashioned by “too much digital, not enough critical thinking and more physical reality.”  Audiences are watching television, texting, listening to music and surfing the internet mistake those activities for critical thinking. Dr. Wieseltier goes further to assert that the democratic society (an open society) places an extraordinary intellectual responsibility upon ordinary men and women.  Because people governed by their opinions and what they think; the quality of ideas and the quality of formation of beliefs determines the fundamental character of society, that a thoughtless citizen is a delinquent citizen. The analysis is accurate, and I think the gentleman is on to something paramount here.  But humans are interconnected with emotions that seek to know and to feel.

Indeed, humans do not suffer by having too much feeling.  Now, it is not a filibuster to argue that the human heart and mind are and does two different things; too much of either is the make-up of monsters which all societies have experienced throughout history.  To raise the level of this discussion, let’s include the ‘gut.’  Gut feelings that this information or that data are critical and must be absorbed.

No Way Out

The internet is an efficient tool that provides unlimited information sources that create a platform for internet users to access information quickly, mostly in a real time manner.  However, the internet audience is faced with other than honest and reliable sources of information, especially when news conflict due to the vast amount of news agencies on the internet. Moreover, powerful visualization techniques

From advertising to academic disciplines, representation of knowledge through knowledge visualization has become a popular widely used, and abused, way to report information. Increased fast availability of news has caused problems of accuracy and reliability that is being used, as an undisputable fact, to cover-up deliberate journalist’s ethics violations.  Meanwhile, advertisers and marketers, with the use of ‘content’ oriented journalists, has manipulated new formation of words to mislead and deceive the public.  Promotions that are unclear and misleading can lead consumers to purchase goods and services, or makes investments with negative results.

And, the so-called academic community is not exempt from ‘miscommunication’ errors, e.g., Wikipedia is open to anonymous and collaborative editing, so assessments of its reliability usually include examination of how quickly false or misleading information is removed.

Which brings me to the question you should be asking yourself by now. Having read my take on digital age communications, you must be wondering, who is actually responsible, how can it stopped and, what kind of person dedicates himself to a blog view of such things when nothing matters in the long run? Why bother when attempting to do anything is pointless and shooting for the stars just burns you up in the atmosphere?

The thing is, I don’t agree with ‘the need to know’ in the digital age of communications theme. People, it’s a brilliant age of technology designed to improve the ‘bottom line’ in an age of thinking human beings.  Targeted audiences of digital communications (that’s you) are an indecisive crowd preconditioned by ideas of patriotism, enigmatic convictions, and of course, holidays that replace critical and speculative thought processes.  As a result, I should assume that the need to know, in the digital age, is a little skewed. I am a man of great skepticism, and I don’t see that changing anytime in the near future.

So let’s embark on this digital age of communications adventure together. Because, understanding, reason and critical speculative thought, I have little optimism, and (I hope) lots of people interested in what I’m discussing.

On a final note, here’s our question(s) of the day: how do you see yourself in the digital age of communications? Why? Would you put down your iPad, iPod or turn off your internet connection, which is a part of yourself? Leave your answer in the comments, and in the meantime, sleep tight, you puppets and sheep. (Brownie points if you can make me less cynical and more optimistic. Okay, bye for real this time.)