Independent study week means no lectures which then gives time and space for a trip to a cinema and to watch more television or DVDs.
I’ve chosen to look at the social interaction that occurs in relation to cinema instead of focusing and analysing the content of the actual film.
When going to the cinema, most people go together with another or as a group. Only very few choses to go on their own as humans prefer to move around in groups in the public domine. Likewise, going for dinner at a restaurant is mostly done in pairs or more. In regards to cinema, interaction between people, while the film is running, is seen as inconsiderate to the other viewers. It is therefore very misleading that the cinema is a social event between friends or family as the experience is individual and not interactive. The only part that could be social by watching a movie is afterwards where a discussion about what just had happened/ what we just have seen might be needed to clarify or simply express opinions.
Previously, when I have been to the cinema I have noticed different ‘cinema-personalities.’ There are people who just sit, absorb and leaves the experience without any need to discuss, people who watch the movie in silence and then afterwards want to discuss everything into details to figure out how, why and what and the people who needs to communicate with their friends in the middle of the movie about what is going on, on the screen. Personally, the experience of cinema is better if you try to find a friend with a similar ‘cinema-personality’. Important to notice is the theme of film might also be influential for a ‘cinema-personality’ as people react differently to horror and comedy.
Another one of the tasks set for independent research week was to watch a movie with friends. In one of my foreign moments I read that as ‘watch a DVD with Friends’, instead of watching a DVD with friends. So for this task I have focused on the difference it makes to watch an episode of Friends on DVD or on television. This also applies to movies shown on television.
When watching a movie or a series on commercial channels there are advertisements breaks throughout the programme which normally is great interruption for the viewer, unless you need a tea break. When watching an episode of Friends at home with my boyfriend I noticed that as soon as the adverts started both of us immediately grabbed another media device to keep us entertained. My attention was therefore not on ‘what’s going to happen after the break’ but on ‘what else is going on?’ It is a need to always keep entertained and too lazy to make an effort ourselves, we end up depending on digital media because it is convenient. Another thing I realised, was the fact that these small devises steal so much attention that it takes you a couple of minutes to get into the episode again after the advertisement break. Your attention has simply left the film/episode and gone on to the entertainment on the smaller screen.
An idea came up while writing this piece up to view the same clip/film on three different screen sizes to see how audience behave to different media platform and also to see if that might have an effect on the concentration/participation of the viewer.