This class was much different than the other classes I have taken. It has changed my perspective on advertising and design, and it has taught me a lot about advertising and the interconnected media. Next semester will be the second of my sophomore year. That being said, my course load will increase even more than it did this year. I will be taking 15 hours, however, I will be taking some very challenging classes such as Biochemistry I, Calculus II, and Physics II, as well as a weight training and public speaking class to balance my schedule out and give me a little stress relief and fun. I am not planning on studying abroad next semester, however many of my friends are. If the world doesn’t (or especially if it does) come to an end in December, I plan to volunteer at my local hospital over the break so I can gain some experience with hospital work. I am expecting next semester to be incredibly interesting with all the great science and math classes I will be taking and am very excited.
Two of the most intriguing ideas I learned from the aesthetic readings were the film techniques from Bernard Dick’s Anatomy of Film and the idea that the space between comics, the gutter, gives us the ability to interpret the comics in our own way. The film techniques discussed in Anatomy of Film I believed were incredibly useful in interpreting the meta-fictional Cabin in the Woods for my paper. The techniques that Bernard Dick discusses also gave insight into the thought processes of the filmmakers behind all great films. A site dedicated to Stanley Kubrick’s films, Kubrickfilms, explains the Kuleshov effect. This was one of the film techniques discussed in detail in class. I found it to not only be incredibly interesting, but also very useful during the creation of my video re-cut trailer. I was really interested in the idea that individuals interpret comics differently based on how the events in the space between the panels proceed in their minds; this concept allows for a wide variety of interpretations. If a comic book has a suspenseful or confusing scene, different people often have wildly different interpretations of what even happened. Concepts like these helped me see into the minds of great filmmakers and authors by helping me notice and understand these tricks.
The most fascinating ideas I picked up from the theoretical readings this semester included meme theory from the Blackmore reading and the manipulation techniques given in the paper by Pratkanis and Aronson. Meme theory attempts to explain how all behavior changes and is transmitted from one individual to a multitude of others. This theory is incredibly useful in the new “viral marketing” techniques utilized so much today. Subtle yet powerful techniques of manipulation are incredibly useful in advertising and marketing, this is one important reason why I believe the Pratkanis and Aronson paper about cults’ brainwashing of their members is invaluably useful in this and other communication classes.
This strange package I received during my winter break would remind me of a few key things. The package would remind me that nothing is in fact real, nothing is truly a reality, this is best illustrated by what Baudrillard has claimed about Disneyland, how truly nothing there is real and it is all a fantasy. This is referenced by the return address given by “Monsieur Johnny B.” at “West Ball Road, Anaheim, CA, 92802.” This return address is in fact the address for Disneyland in California, and the name of the sender is a play on Jean Baudrillard’s name. Almost all the pictures in the strange package delivered were pictures from our readings in class with my face attached to them. The true meaning of the package is that we are always and forever will be influenced unintentionally by media, advertisements, television, movies, and perhaps most importantly now, the internet; this argument is backed up by the quote “World history, your life story, its all just metafiction” attached on the picture of Crafty confronting his creator in Animal Man.