Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Rise of New Media

Media.  We hear this word all the time. Our culture is obsessed with it. But when I say media, I'm not talking the broader sense of the word. I'm talking the kind of media we hate.

The media is a haunting creature, incessantly critical and predictable. Their opinions don't necessarily shape ours, but they do tell us what to care about, what's newsworthy. Example: the latest Paris Hilton rumor is so important that there's a story on that instead of one on a hero in Iraq.

Yeah, that kind of media.

There is obviously a gaping hole in our media.

One branch of the media is especially in need of a make-over. The movie industry. If you've seen any movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, between the years of 1930 - 1950 something, you've noticed the horrid difference between then and now.

Those movies had true art. The actors acted beautifully, and some of them didn't even have good looks - they looked normal. This made them easy to relate to. Even the background actors could act really well. The screenplay was a masterpiece. There was a lot of dialogue, which made a deeper story with character development that had a beautiful flow. So many of the stories in those movies were good, wholesome, and uplifting. Even if they were disturbing, it didn't glorify the evil. It made you hate it and uplifted you in that way.

What the heck happened since then?

I'm not sure. But there is something seriously lacking in the movies made today. Although there are still some gems, the majority of movies are a sad downgrade from the classiness of the Golden Age. People act like animals following their instincts. Stories have less dialogue, unimaginative plots, little character development, - as a whole, the art value went way down. Glorified trashiness went way up, including fornication, crass language, and bad actors. (It doesn't take any talent, by the way, to strip in front of a camera. Just no shame.) It's all glorified mediocrity.

Christians as a whole are noticing in particular this huge problem in the movies. In our media-saturated age, what's the best way to bring the good news to the rest of the world? Movies. Movies reach everyone. Money is always set aside for it.

There is a rise of a new media, one that Christians are trying to get their hands on as a means of missionary work.
How do we do it?  First, we learn to speak their language. Learning how this kind of media works, getting into the industry. Going to acting school, learning to screen write, getting into producing, the works. Christians are trying to slip their hands into the cracks of the media world, recognizing the need not only for change, but also the need for a new means of spreading Good News, not the nasty news about Charlie Sheen.

It might take some years for us to actually make a visible change. But, the change is coming.

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire in the 1936 film Swing Time


tephyhefel said...

This is beautifully written Therese! Thanks for sharing:)I absolutely love it! What do you plan to do next? Are you going to make a movie?

Therese said...

I'm glad! :)
Well movie-making isn't exactly my forte, unless it would be a screenwriting job. I'd love to do that. But I know a lot of people who are wanting to get into that industry. I would just write about the movies they make. ;)

Sean said...

"There is a rise of a new media, one that Christians are trying to get their hands on as a means of missionary work."

There's plenty of Christian media today with a missionary focus, and substandard quality.

If I have to choose between a "secular" film that tells a good story and authentically captures the human experience, and a "Christian" film that is cliche and lacks depth, I'm going to choose the "secular" film, every time. In fact, I would say the "secular" film is even more Christian than the "Christian" film.

Obviously, that's not always the case. But it's something to watch out for. Godspeed.

Therese said...

I'm talking about the same thing you are. Rather than making films for Christian audiences only (and usually lacking depth and artistic value), more people are interested in making "secular" films with good messages as a means of preaching without words. The current Christan media that's out there is for Christians only for the most part, and that obviously doesn't work well in getting the message to those that are not.

BG45 said...

Beautiful first post! Makes me happy to know there are journalism students who still care about the media as more than a means to a biased end.

Therese said...

Thank you very much! :)