Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Shaky Cameras and Shaky Production

Posted by emilyfalicaa on April 10, 2017

What Old Media Can Teach New Media by Amanda D. Lotz explains finding the balance between utilizing the old tradition ways between exploring new methods. More specifically with movies and TV. She explains that producers understand that around 80% of their material will fail, meaning they must go for every aspect of their production so that 20% will be spectacular. And the first The Hunger Games movie is a prime example of using new and old to try and create a successful franchise.

Director of the first movie in the series, Gary Ross, understood this principle to put so much effort into different main platforms of the movie. He took an older style of filming with the shaky camera method and more dramatic soundtracks and combined them modern movie trends of love triangles and rainy/dreary settings along with many other aspects. Because he knew that only so many aspects of the movie would prosper and so much more would fail, he put huge emphasis on these main categories of production so something would stand out and carry the movie to glory.

And this is where you can see the perfections and flaws of using this theory in movie production. The most obvious success was the love triangle. He put more emphasis on it then there was in the book causing many people to latch on and buy into the franchise (or rather the two attractive boys). The dreary scene from which a hero emerged caused many girls to look up to the main protagonist. The dramatic soundtrack was also a huge hit. But utilizing the older form of shaky camera filming did not take off at all. Many younger fans didn’t understand the reason for it and claimed it made the film confusing and messy. Some going as far as claiming it literally made them sick. There was so much emphasis on everything having to be shaky (sometimes violently shaky) that it took a large negative impact on the movie that it outweighed most of the good. Causing the movie to take monetary losses and causing Gary Ross to be “let go” from directing the rest of the movies.

The Hunger Games and Gary Ross show that this method of using old and new really does work, but only if it has clear balance and the right elements are selective. You also have to watch big you go. Otherwise, you might go to big and ruin any good you previously accomplished.


One Response to “Shaky Cameras and Shaky Production”

  1. kaufmansw said

    I like this post a lot because I think you really emphasized how hard it is to produce quality things. The fact that producers know 80% of their product is going to fail is astonishing. Balancing old and new media doesn’t require an exact formula which is why it’s so difficult.

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