I will never look at videos the same way again. Seriously. All it takes is a semester -or just half of a semester- of Comm Arts courses to change the way you look at media.
First, there’s Video Production. I have learned a lot about what not to do when making a video. Now, I can’t watch television shows or movies without looking for mistakes or different editing and filming techniques. There is always something I look for when I’m watching homemade short films and other types of videos:
(A cut between two very similar shots that makes the subject seem to “jump” from one place to the next.)
I must admit that jump cuts are not always the forbidden fruit of the film industry. They effectively get the attention of the viewer in Vlogs and other forms of YouTube content. They also keep up the pace of music videos and work really well at times.
However, they usually have no place in a serious, modern film. Some older movies did use them, most likely because they did not have the advanced editing technology that we do today.
Besides noticing how things are produced, I sometimes analyze why they have meaning. This analysis comes from what I’ve learned in Comm Theory. We focused on the study of signs, a study founded by Roland Barthes, for a few class periods.
Everything has meaning, but why? Why do we associate an apple with a bite in it with one of the largest technology companies in the world? The reason for that is our culture. Many symbols have meaning because it is what we are brought up to know.
Honestly, analyzing takes a lot of work. Sometimes I wish I could look at videos and articles and just accept them for what they are. But that’s not who I am and not who Marywood’s Comm Arts program encourages me to be. I am learning the value of a greater understanding of the media and its effects. Everything I learn in class I am using when I’m not in school. I could not be happier.
Jessica is a freshman Comm. Arts major with a concentration in Digital Media. When she’s not in class, she’s Asst. Opinion Editor for The Wood Word, a DJ for 91.7 VMFM, and a member of the PRSSA/AAF. In her free time, she enjoys writing, singing, and playing tennis, but not all at once.