For my analysis, I would like to talk about the documentary How poor people survive in the USA, made by DW Documentaries. Many things stand out to me about this documentary. First off, it was made by German broadcasters and other international production companies, so it provides a relatively unique viewpoint for an American viewer. It also does something that many other documentaries do, which is picking and choosing angles and clips to show to persuade the viewer. I want to study in greater detail how the information that they gathered comes together to create an argument and a storyline. I’ll be able to use many things we’ve discussed in class, such as cinematography analysis, editing style, as well as rhetorical elements such as looking into what the documentary may exaggerate. I’m drawn to this film in particular because as an American, it is something that I have an opinion on, although as someone who is not in the situation, I still feel that I am open to influence and persuasion that the film may attempt.
For my first Persuasive Media Analysis, I would like to talk about Netflix’s documentary series, Cheer. It reveals the perspective of each member of the Navarro College cheerleading team. For my explicit argument, there are different types of people placed on the same team, whether they came from a troubled home or they wanted to escape from dark pasts. My implicit formation implied that they are all on the same team because of their matching practice attire and uniforms. I want to learn more about the atmosphere of the competitive college cheer squad, while each cheerleader is being interviewed about their personal lives and the team’s progression. This Netflix series is similar to Errol Morris’ documentary film, Thin Blue Line, due its gritty appearance, but with the actual footage of the Navarro College cheerleaders practicing and performing. I also want the audience, including myself, to learn more about the backstories because I had the experience of being a cheerleader back in high school and here at Austin College. This relates to our class discussion on realism and documentary series. The Navarro College documentary series gives a lot of details about how the school’s competitive cheerleading team prepare for games and competitive cheerleading events.
This documentary uses a myriad film techniques and tools to convince us that the food we’re eating is not only artificially created and processed addictive poison, but also that the enormous organizations that produce these foods commit acts that seem inherently evil. Through various film techniques, personal interviews, and the intense imagery of animal cruelty, the argument is presented to us that the food we eat is horrible for us, and everyone involved in the process. It will be hard to stay unbiased as I watch this film, but I hope my biases will help shine a light on theirs.
The artifact that I wish to discuss is a series of YouTube videos that are made by a set of YouTubers that attempt to push political views on those who follow Disney. Most of these videos attempt to persuade you against current media such as movies or comics that practically revolve around Disney properties like Star Wars and Marvel, using terms such as SJW or snowflake in order to discredit styles of writing or representation in these works. This is meant to slander these forms of media in order to claim these creators are overly sensitive, overly political or possibly racist toward white men. There exist other platforms and social media presences that discourage following this viewpoint as itself being racist. I want to study this due to the spread of negativity and gatekeeping that many of these videos show; these videos also use click baiting to gain views and also twist a narrative that further divides fans into realms of politics, rather than critical reviews. These videos fall in line with the persuasion and identification section of class, as the YouTubers attempt to persuade the viewer into agreeing with their negative views about the writers of Disney while identifying themselves as the voices of reason and logic.
For this Persuasive Media Analysis assignment, I would like to take a shot at the Blair witch project. The overall goal of the film, other than the ultimate death of all those filming it, is to make the audience think that the Blair Witch is an actual thing. This Movie tries to blend fiction in with reality, making the movie into more of a documentary gone wrong rather than what is it, an act of fiction. Most shots are framed in the first person and have a shaky feel to the camera to support this.
I would like to study this film in more depth to better understand the sensation around it when it came out, as it did trick a large amount of its viewers into thinking that the cast died and that the Witch is real. Hence why there are several websites explaining now that the characters are in fact, alive and were not killed by the witch
I think this film will be a perfect way of blending in what we have learned in class with a media, as it uses tools such as sound design and ‘Mise en Scene’ that we have been learning about to create a persuasive and true feeling horror.