Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Internet Isn't Always Bad

You hear it more often than not 'The internet is terrible. People are so mean' or something along those lines. That's not really true, but it's not always a sparkly land of rainbows and candy either. Of course the internet that people complain about is social media - where people are free to input their own commentary, usually about someone else (most cases it is the original poster).
But a lot of good things have sprung from the generosity of people on the interwebs. Families who were on the brink of losing their homes could live to see another day because they offered a bit of themselves to complete strangers in return for small donations - just till they could get back on their feet again. Some people have been able to make their daily lives their jobs, which is the case for CTFxC's Charles Trippy and Shaytard's ShayCarl. They started out as ordinary people and now Trippy is the bass player for We The Kings and ShayCarl recently sold Maker Studios (which he co-founded) to Disney.
The internet has enabled us to do anything that we want to do. All you need is a means of knowing how to do it and make that dream real and an audience. There are people who are out there who want to know. The career that is vlogging is still hard to understand - it's reality tv but 100x more real (even I, a devout fictional series watcher enjoys watching vlogs). Sites that crowdsource, Kickstarter and Indiegogo being two popular ones, are growing as well. The internet is about giving yourself to others, making yourself vulnerable, and seeing who will help lift you up and get you there - there are more people out there willing to help than you would probably expect.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ban One - Ban Them All

A week or so ago an interesting point was brought up by my fellow classmate, Katie, when we were talking about banned books - Harry Potter to be specific. She said that if you're going to ban book, why don't you just ban them all because all books have questioning content in them. It was a point that I agreed with, on my stance banning books conflicts with the first amendment (by US standards of course because that's what I know). It also teaches kids that they can only say so much, that there are things that they can't talk about because it might make one person question everything. I never grew up in a home where that was the case - my parents encouraged reading, I've been reading high school level books since third or fourth grade if my memory serves me right. They wanted me to have a voice and reading told me it was okay to think differently than the people around me - it made me feel like a main character in my own story rather than a supporting one.
But as far as banning books go there should be some rules put to it. If someone is going to ban a book for a particular reason then I would suggest putting a rating to it. That's not banning it, but it's telling kids that maybe they're not old enough to completely understand the meaning behind the book. It's like a movie rating - some movies are rated R just so that the audience is mature enough to understand the purpose of it, writers and directors willingly through in that second F-bomb just so that MPAA will force theaters to only allow viewers who are over 17 (or minors with permission from a parent). The message still gets out there but in a different way. It would make more sense to do that rather than to tell a child that they can't read a book because it contains contents like homosexuality/multisexuality, magic, guns, etc. The people who should ultimately ban a book from a child should be the parents and not the school administrative board.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Delicate Balance of "Fan Serving"

Many a show has been ruined due to an overloaded attempt to appease an entire fanbase - my opinion of course. Perhaps I'm bitter due to the overwhelming number of shows I have ceased watching because the story felt like it was falling off of the rails.
But we're going to start with the good news (always good news over bad news, right?)
I'm looking this from the viewpoint of a writer - fanservicing allows writers to get a general survey of not only the amount of people who watch and engage with the story, but to also hear potential plot ideas that viewers could potentially see occur at some point in the series. Theories about canon life and possibly forgotten plot holes that writers might find an intention for. Actively engaged viewers can often catch, and point out, things that writers tend to forget about. (A writer can only hold so many storylines in their head at one point after all.)
There are some bad things to it - unfortunately.
One - the intent in fanservicing is to please loyal fans. We all know that you can't please everyone though. Two - in the attempt to please fans, the point of the story can be lost or become cloudy. Storylines become difficult to understand piece together because a loud part of the fandom wanted two characters to be together, despite it not canonly making much sense at all (and sometimes it is something that might make the actors feel awkward about it as well). I like to consider myself a loyalist to tv shows, loyalist meaning that I want to know the story the producers and writers had intended to tell when they had first proposed their series to their respected network. I don't tend to complain much about what happens in a show - as long as it all connects together.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Be Your Own Webdesigner

Wix is currently a website that I am exploring on my off time. It is a free web design builder that is HTML free. There are quite a large number of features and apps to use for this site - making it become completely customizable. It takes some serious sit down time to make something easy for user to use and still be productive though. From it I noticed that there are a few drawbacks to being 100% customizable - it takes exhausting amount of time. However Wix is a very usable once you have learned all of the options that Wix makes available to you - for free or a fee - and have mapped out a design that you want for the site. I find this site difficult for myself to use, possibly due to lack of an immediate need and uncertainty of what exactly creates an effective website - but it does give me a certain appreciation to those who use coding to build a website from scratch because Wix's program allows you to start off with a template to build off of.

Why I know more current events than my parents

Friends from around the world, unlimited knowledge at your fingertips, and opinions dying to be shared spread around the internet like wildfire. I don't watch the news - but I know more about issues around the world than my parents. Odd coming from a nineteen year old, but apparently I am not the only one of my peers who want to have a voice on what is happening in the world we live in - issues that go beyond the assumed marijuana laws. Thanks to sites like Tumblr and Youtube I am hearing what old media news sites filter out, and hearing what people may age have to say about what's going on in Russia and Ukraine, about the research going in to bringing back extinct species, and the depletion of honey bees in the world (that could mean our end). New media has allowed us to have an opinion and to share it with hundreds of people, it's also enabled the ability to know more about the world we live in (possibly things that news stations don't want us to be aware of - an example might be corrupt cops).

Tackk your ideas

On a quest to find a handy tool to help me with a class project I came along a site that I think, and hope, to use more often. The website is called Tackk. I used this site to create an example press kit as a detail in a project of mine. However, this site has many more uses - be it very customizable, yet still easy to use and understand. During my initial interaction with the tool one idea I came to the idea that this would be an interesting tool to create a storyboard, and have the option to share it with others who use the site (it can be found by how you tag the Tackk board). I'm not a wonderful drawer myself, but I do find inspiration from photos that I spot on the web. Storyboarding, flyers, press kits are just a few uses I saw from a glimpse at this site - I'm sure there are other uses that can be found from this site, and you can see the other ideas that people have found for the website.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Let's Be Superheroes!

No this isn't going to be a consecutive post about my love for Marvel, but it could quite easily. Actually, I'm going to be talking about the change in old medias. Copyright is still something many creators are scared to venture near, but in some cases it's a lot less strict than it has been in the past. Copyright prevents fans from creating content inspired by this copyrighted material - imagine how sad if the laws were a lot stricter in the current world we live in. We wouldn't have videos like Harry Potter Puppet Pals, which is very easy to tell was fan-inspired by the Harry Potter series or even the Kid Vader Volkswagon commercial from a few years ago. I know I personally could be in a lot of trouble, as someone who picked up her writing 'hobby' by taking on already canon characters from television.

Media has been the inspiration for young creators - it's our trampoline, how we get momentum. If it weren't for television I would be wandering around my college campus trying to figure out what it is that I want to do but TV brought me back to writing, something I did when I was younger but I lost my confidence to create stories.

I'm done with my tangent now, maybe. The point that I am attempting to address is that with stricter policies on copyrighted material, and pretty much everything is copyrighted these days, people are less reluctant to be apart of something ... like a fandom. Who would want to be apart of something where they are restricted in how involved they can be. What if I want to make a fan video, art, fiction, whatever I can come up with, to celebrate this thing that I love so much - I want to be apart of the journey or even create my own inspired by the mythology, world, or characters, that this one franchise has developed.

Now to my title - so abstractly titled "Let's Be Superheroes!" It's not about actually being a super hero, but if you want to be - more power to you, I will definitely not hold you back in that endeavor, but it's about being able to insert yourself in a franchise - to create something for it based solely on your passion and creative abilities to manipulate someone else's idea and merge it with your own to create a "whole new world".