• The scriptwriter's paradoxes

    Cinema and television

    Understanding new audiovisual media 6

    Cinema and television have many things in common, but when directing something for television or for cinema, differences are big. The type of shots used in television are, basically, the close-up or the three-quarter shot, since any other type or remote shot loses its strength and definition. Shots with two or three characters are favoured, and groups are avoided. Naturally, these limitations proper to television tend to diminish when the size and the definition of a screen is bigger (but paradoxically, this type of plans come back with the use of new screen types, such as screens on mobile phones.). Concerning the narrative conception, the differences between cinema and television are summed up in the most lapidary way by this sentence: “Television is radio with…

  • The scriptwriter's paradoxes

    Interactive television

    Understanding new audiovisual media 8

    Such interactivity can already be found in television, in different ways, for instance when viewers send SMS, which can be promptly received. This is an emblematic example of a non-linear language: the viewer can decide to read the messages or to follow the program or still, if he/she is able to do it, do both simultaneously. There exists other propositions of interactivities, which are even more sophisticated, mostly developed in the United States, in Nordic countries and in Great Britain and that some people name cross-media, since they mix several media such as television, IT and telephony. In the show Masterplace, the viewer can chose the events that the competitors have to go through; in Thunderyard, chapters and broadcasting order are chosen by each…

  • Marshall McLuhan,  The scriptwriter's paradoxes

    Audiovisual extensions

    Understanding new audiovisual media 2

    Marshall McLuhan, who became famous after the publication of The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) and Understanding Media (1964), proposes very interesting theories, but also a great number of inventive sentences and paradoxical ideas, which gave him great media coverage in a very short time. Forinstance: “Look behind without turning back, you are in an acoustic space”, or “We live in a global village”. According to McLuhan, the world got out of the Gutenberg galaxy and entered the Marconi galaxy, which means, it went from the printed media to reach the pictorial media, a picture connected to electronics. Thanks to new information transmission systems, during the 60s, the world has become a global village in which someone living in Paris can know what…

  • CINE Y GUIÓN,  The scriptwriter's paradoxes

    Why the Seventh Art?


      “Audiovisual media” is a term, which, arbitrarily, includes diverse elements such as fictions, documentaries, TV programs, art-videos and many other contents which can be viewed on a computer screen or a mobile phone. This is quite an arbitrary grouping, since a theatre play or a conference both come under the audiovisual field. For a great part of the 20th century, cinema was the dominating audiovisual media, even though from the fifties on, he had to compete with television. One of the first theorists in this field, Ricciotto Canudo, maintains that cinema is not just an artistic media, but definitely the “Seventh Art”, which he perceives as the only true outcome of all classical arts: painting, sculpture, poetry, dance and music. This…

  • Marshall McLuhan,  The scriptwriter's paradoxes

    Cinema and other media

    Understanding new audiovisual media 3

    When it began, cinema depended too much on theatre and did not make the most of all the possibilities it could offer as a new medium: to direct a film was just like shooting a theatre play. The camera’s point of view was that of a spectator in a seat, it could even be said that the reception was more passive since attention did not divert once while still noticing everything that was happening before it. Little by little, directors discovered that cinema had no reason to copy theatre and that a camera could move even though actors did not. Another great advantage of cinema compared to theatre concerns the settings. Each scene can take place in a different location: in a street,…