Star Wars Casting

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Irving the giant lizard here to talk about the reports surrounding the star wars casting announcements. Star Wars is being given a reboot as a franchise from director J.J. Abrams. You would probably have to be living under a rock to not know this. As you would expect with the fictional universe that, arguably, has the most dire hard fans, rumors were abundant. Anyone that was anyone who came into contact with J.J. Abrams was written about by all the major film news outlets. When the major cast members were announced, a few days ago, the rumors were finally put to rest. Some rumors were confirmed while other cast members were a complete surprise.

I will compare two media sources reporting on the star wars casting and analyze them using the media literacy critical process. The first is an online source from The Hollywood Reporter and the second is a video source from IGN.

They both briefly go into every cast member announced. They do this in conjunction with a photo released that is table read of the script with the cast, director, writer, and producers. The article by the Hollywood Reporter briefly goes over the old cast members which include Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill. The actors portraying chewbacca, 3-CPO, R2-D2 are also returning. As stated above the article gives them a quick pass by and refers to them as the original stars.

In contrast the video by IGN gives them the same amount of time as the new cast members and even remarks playfully on the question of other original cast members and why they are not apart of the new trilogy. The video even features clips of the cast members in the original star wars trilogy through out the entirety of its length.

Then both sources went over the new cast members and their history in film. The video, I felt, expounded a little more on the past of these actors than the article did. It helped to have a visual reference for their histories, rather than reading credits in an article. The video, unlike the article, also theorized on what types of roles the new cast members might be playing. For example, the video theorized that Adam Driver will play a sith in the new film.

Another thing the video did as opposed to the article was introduce the producers and writer in the photo as to who they were. Though the article did make a remark as to when the filming would begin which is this May.

Patterns that are obvious to me are that both sources went through the new cast members to share thoughts and info. The video inserted humor by using clips from the original star was. Both sources were unsure about the casting of Ridley. She doesn’t have much of a filmography so the sources regarded her as a wildcard. Both sources also chose to mention the return of the hidden actors behind the roles of chewbacca, 3C-PO, and R2-D2.

After my analysis of the media it is hard to find any alternative motive from the journalists. However, there are somethings to think about. As mentioned above, Ridley didn’t receive the best response from either source. This implies a disapproval from the media creators. The video also seemed to be perturbed by the casting of Gleeson, making remarks about his past role in Harry Potter. The article skimmed over the original trio of the star wars franchise and mentioned them in brief. The article wants us to be focused on the new.

Other than that both sources seemed to be genuinely interested and excited about the new cast. It seemed as they mostly approved of the new cast. Both sources loved the casting of Von Sydow. The video particularly loved the casting of Boyega and Adam Driver.

In evaluation, I would have to say that I preferred the video to the article. The video was a lot more engaging and I found it to be very humorous while giving me knowledgeable insight into the back story of these actors. The article read like a list of facts and out of the two sources it had the most implied messages. It also talked about a few things that were unrelated to the casting and belonged to a separate article about the upcoming star wars films. One thing I really like about the video is how it kept relating the casting back to the photo it was very engaging and allowed a reference to be formed.

Engagement that I could find was run of the mill for the internet. The article from The Hollywood Reporter has a pretty confused comments section. This can be expected from any comments section of the web. The first comment I read had a reader talking about how he was going to shot himself in the head if he saw jar-jar binks in the movie. As I scrolled downward a heated and inflammatory argument developed over whether or not obamacare and same-sex relationships should be included in the film.

The video didn’t have a comments section that I could find. So there was no engagement available for the viewers.

You could be¬†wondering why the casting of star wars really matters at the moment and why not just wait to see the film and talk about everything then. I understand that point of view. However, it’s important to take note of not only the cinematic milestone, but the cultural milestone that star wars was. Those first three films shaped the future of cinema and had a massive impact upon the culture. The prequel trilogy was set to such a high standard that it failed in comparison to the original films. This is why the casting of these films matter. These new star wars films are going to make cinematic history for the better or worse and to see who the players are is important. I would advise to watch closely because were seeing cinematic history in the making. Pop onto a discussion board or share your thoughts below to further the conversation.

That’s enough star wars for one day!

-Irving the giant lizard

Print Media in Cinema

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Print media plays a strong role in the world of film journalism. Recently because of the digital revolution there have been a number of websites that have dominated the online world of film journalism. These are Deadline, Indiewire, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.

Two of these sites are the top trade magazines of the business and have been for some time. They are Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. They’ve been nicknamed the “trades”. These magazines are widely read by the people working in the industry and cover the vast majority of news that there is. The subscription is quite substantial, $199 for a year of print and digital or $99 for a year of only digital for a subscription to Variety. The Hollywood Reporter has the same prices except there is a third option of $120 a year to be able to access your digital copies on you laptop instead of just on your iPad. This makes is quite expensive for some one that is just curious or interested in the field, but for professional in the industry one or both of these trade magazines is almost a necessity.

These trade magazines have changed substantially over the years. For example it used to be printed and delivered like a small newspaper. Now a days there are digital versions and the websites. Granted the websites don’t have near the amount of content as the subscribers are privy to in the print and digital versions. Because the trade magazines are so specialized it might take a long time, but sooner or later the print versions will probably die off and be replaced by the digital versions of the trade magazines.

Books play a minor role in film journalism, but there are many that tell the stories of cinema history from a relatively long time ago to a short time ago.

This book tells the story of a transitioning Hollywood during the 1960’s and 1970’s. There are many books like this. Some people even take a single year in cinematic history and write a book about it. These books have a very small market, but a dedicated reading base. The books have not changed that much, but I expect they will end up transitioning with the rest of the publishing industry to the e-book format whenever that happens. It could be a good thing for this type of book considering the small audience.

-Irving the giant lizard