For this FMS Live unit, we had to stay on top of current affairs due to it being ‘live’ and from doing so I realised how difficult that has actually become through being at University. All the news information that I used to receive was through social media, and obviously by that point anyone could have changed the information to be different to the source. This has made me actually try and check the news daily and keep on top it, making me more aware of what’s happening in the world rather than being oblivious to it.
Before I even started this unit I already had a blog of my own and was posting every so often, but by having to do this academically and to have it fit a criteria has made me take it a whole lot more seriously. I have put a lot more time and effort into what it was that I was writing about, and have tried to make my writing style a lot more professional but still approachable and easy to read. This was quiet a difficult task as you don’t want to sound too academic and formal but at the same time you want people to take you seriously. Along with this I tried to add a good amount of variety to my posts, I didn’t just want to write about films, I included posts on Music (vinyl), Television, Films, etc. This made my blog more interesting and diverse.
An aspect to writing blogs that I didn’t realise was so important was hooking your audience in with the first sentence or title. Now this was actually really difficult to achieve, I struggled more with trying to come up with catchy and witty titles more than a powerful opening sentence. It’s hard to use the right language and to give off just the right amount of information for someone to want to keep reading.
The free range that we had was something I really enjoyed, we could write about anything that interested us as long as it’s relevant and current. It was nice to try and challenge yourself to maybe talk about something you wouldn’t normally, or with going to the cinema twice a week you could see something you wouldn’t normally be interested in. When it comes down to reviews, I’ve noticed how much easier it is too talk about something that you didn’t like, you can clearly point out what it was that you didn’t like and why. But when it comes down to writing about something you enjoyed I found it harder to get my point across.
Overall this unit has taught me how important running a blog can be to tighten up and develop your own voice within your writing, but I’ve also realised how having a blog can really help you in the future. If you run a successful blog it can really contribute towards your career, and sets you apart from others. It opens up a lot of opportunities and is something that is becoming increasingly popular, and by developing a blog in the first year of the course we can develop it throughout the next two years so we have it exactly as we want it ready to graduate.
When I logged on to Netflix about a week ago looking for something new to watch, Peaky Blinders came across on the banner and took my interest. One of the main things that interested me was the fact that Cillian Murphay plays the role of the protagonist. If you’re a fan of Christopher Nolan’s Batman adaptations you will know that he plays the Scarecrow as was terribly good at it.
This T.V. Drama is based around a notorious gang called The Peaky Blinders, based in Birmingham, U.K 1919. The inventive name was due to the razor blades they would keep in their caps, and Tommy Shelby was the wild, dangerous and slightly crazy leader who was tainted from he’s time spent in WW1 with his brothers. The whole point to the series is for Tommy to make his gambling business legitimate, no matter what the cost. Now they may be dangerous and frightened off by most, but his intentions are good and are to make sure his family is well looked after. This is usually the main priority in most gang dramas, family comes first.
Now given the intense violence and dangerousness and overall power of the gang they all have their own problems they are suffering with, most of them diluting down to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTS. Tommy was a war hero, but ever since he struggles to get the sound of the opposing soldiers breaking through the trenches from his head at night. This gives him constant night terrors, which unfortunately lead him to take comfort in drugs. His brother Arthur suffers with serious problem with violence, when he fights he has no way to control it. This is not glamorized like the other violence in the show, it’s painful to watch as you know how much he is suffering.
I believe this show brilliantly shows the darker aftermath of the war and how everything did not go straight back to fine and normal. Not all soldiers got straight back on with their lives as that’s a very glamourized view of the truth. Alongside this though it has humour, action, violence and also a romantic sub plot – so there is a bit of something for everyone.
Series one is on British Netflix now and I would seriously recommend giving it a watch, series two is available online and the third has been approved.
For the infographic work we had to work as a group to produce them, some people decided to dedicate one infographic too each person, however we decided to do them all together as a group effort. This seemed to work relatively well, however as most group work it can be rather difficult to try and find a time or day that we were all free on to meet up and do the work. Another problem we seemed to have as well was how busy the library was due to it being exam season, however once we found a place to work we all got on fine.
With us all working on each infographic it meant that we could dedicate different aspects of the work to each other, for example sourcing information, picking a topic, designing the layout, finding images and so on. This also meant that not all of us had to be there for the designing of the infographic if you had already given the others your information. Something that we didn’t initially think would be that difficult was getting the layout right so that it looked clean and not messy. You can be sat for ours just slightly moving text and resizing it so it’s as you desired. We then realised that we couldn’t set our standard too high, we were using a free online developer so it wasn’t possible to make it look as sleek as someone using a more complex program would. However once we realised this, we just tried to make them look as bold and simple as possible as that seemed to make them stand out the most.
With the unit being one which is Live meant that we had to make sure what we based our infographics around what was topical and current. This brought to our attention how we would struggle to stay on top of news, therefor trying to find ideas was rather difficult as we had to go out of our normality. As well as this we didn’t just want all of them to be based around one form of media, we tried to add some diversity which is why we did one on the general election. This isn’t something we would usually be that bothered about, however it was what most of the news coverage was containing so we thought it would be important to involve it and approach in a way that interests us, which was social media.
Whilst deciding on what topic to use, we also noticed how difficult it is to judge how much information you actually need to use to make it successful. I believe now looking back that we used too much information on our first one, which made it look crowded and quiet challenging to read and make out what some of it said. The less information, the more memorable what you use actually is, so we tried to make sure what we used was interesting enough to be remembered.
For our final infographic we decided to do a comparison of the Avengers air time in both films. This simple amount of information presented in this way is easy to remember and also very interesting, especially how the order stays the same in both films. We kept the colour scheme as red, blue and grey, and used different graphs to represent similar information. I think it’s well presented, to the point and stands out.
“We all know the dangers of sequels. Lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place too often…” Colin Firth.
While scrolling through the latest movie news on Empire, I came across something that has given me very mixed feelings. That Kingsman: The Secret Service has a sequel in the works. Now this is something that in the history of films, is usually frowned upon as they can never usually live up to their predecessor. For this film in particular, I think that is definitely going to apply.
The film has such a unique and clever storyline, that it just should be left as a stand alone in my opinion. If you haven’t seen it, without ruining it too much… It’s a spy film about a group of agents called ‘Kingsman’ and they get to bring in someone new to be trained against others in a series of challenges. Now what’s different about it is the fact that Harry Hart (played by Colin Firth) brings in a stereotypical “chav” from a Council Estate that everyone frowns upon, as all the others are well privileged and of a much higher class, including Harry himself.
Now I may be slightly bias on this topic, but if we have a look at Vaughn’s previous work Kick Ass, it was a very successful film as an comic adaptation also. But the sequel didn’t do so well, and yes it was actually Jeff Wadlow that Directed it, but Empire seem to have the same thought’s on him doing so for this sequel (see here in news article)
Whatever you think of sequels, this film is in the running no matter what. I am interested too see more of the characters developed mainly Eggsy, however I am not getting any of my hopes up that the film will live up to the first. It seems that the overall consensus towards sequels is as I’ve stated above, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work to try and break that. When a good sequel comes a long like Aliens for example, it’s like finding a diamond in the rough. If this film manages to do so then I think shock and relief will be the overall emotion of the audiences.
With the Election creeping up on us rapidly we decided to make an infographic showing the main political parties and leaders stance on social media. We are within the main demographic of users so we thought it would be a good way to show how popular each of them are on social media as it’s the main way of targeting younger voters like myself.
Our second infographic is of a timeline from the first Disney Cinderella through to the new live action version that was recently released. We used a blue, baby pink and gold theme similar to the colours which were used in M.A.C’s new Cinderella make-up line. We featured the most popular adaptations of the story, and simple important facts about them that are easy to remember. Along with this also used images along the timeline to show the progression of the story from the original Disney film.
When I ask myself the question where do I get inspiration from for my blog, and who are my favourite bloggers no names instantly spring to mind. I’m not one to read that many blogs, I know that’s stupid to admit as I run one, but never the less I don’t. The answer to this is pretty simple, YouTube. YouTube culture is something that is at its peak, with “Youtubers” being at the centre of most teenagers day to day lives. The transition is simple, just translate what you would write as blog post into a video, and the more your personality shines through, the more popular you are likely to be. I draw more inspiration from my favourite youtubers more that bloggers, however most of these people both run blogs alongside with their channel, as pretty much a full time job.
1. Helen Anderson, former know as Melon Lady. She’s a lifestyle, fashion and beauty youtuber, and has a very bubbly and unique personality. She has amazing confidence and that’s why she inspires me so much.
2. Joe Sugg, aka ‘Thatcher Joe’. He is hilarious, constantly pranking people, and normally has very original content, that sets him apart from the rest that tend to follow a similar format (which he usually mocks).
3. Dan and Phil, aka ‘Danisnotonfire’ and ‘AmazingPhil’. Honest, funny, awkward and geeky. There not afraid to admit cringe worthy stories from their lives in hope that you relate to them, and most of the time you do.
There are just a hand full of the 127 people I am subscribed to on YouTube, but they are the people I draw most inspiration from and watch the most. It seems to be that the transition from blogging to vlogging is one that most people are doing now, as it’s entered the mainstream.
As you can maybe tell by the title of this post, I have certain issues surrounding the second instalment to the Divergent triliogy, Insurgent. For me it was very highly anticipated after loving the first film, (however I haven’t read the books) although I must say it was a bit of a dull let down.
The film continues with the protagonist Tris’ struggle against the system for being a divergent, (which is basically someone who breaks the social rules and conventions of this Dystopian take on San Francisco) and trying to avoid a war which was pretty much inevitable. For the first hour of the film, it was slow and dull. There wasn’t enough passion and emotion between characters and just seemed a bit forced. The love scene between Tris and Four, which was highly anticipated and was stressed upon in the first film with her not wanting anything to happen too fast, was just like any other scene. The chemistry that they seemed to have in the first film too me, is lost.
The ending, without giving away any spoilers (hopefully) is ridiculously predictable. Those who are discriminated against end up being the ones who are the most important, feels like Déjà vu right? I mean, of course that’s how you would want the film too end, the protagonists are happy and the evil leader is locked away. Never the less by doing so it also doesn’t give much of a cliffhanger too make you excited for the third instalment, which is already in production as the films are based from a trilogy of books. It needed to end with a hint of conflict or an unknown object / person to appear to create an air of mystery around what will happen in the third film. In some ways I believe the Director is relying too much on the idea that the audience is mostly fans of the books, which isn’t the case. Maybe if this was taken into consideration more, the film might of been wore widely accessible and enjoyable.
For some reason this film was just seriously lacking, resulting in the audience having no reaction to the film either. It was just mediocre. A film that you would forget about, and left me feeling like the next instalment will not be worth seeing.
For our first Infographic project we decided to deal with the controversial comparison between The Hunger Games and Divergent, given that the new instalment to the Divergent trilogy Insurgent was recently released. We tried to show both was was similar and what wasn’t too show that our view is not narrow minded. The use of graphs where the best way to show the differences between the Opening Weekend Box Office takings, and overall profit. It also makes the infographic look more professional and put together.