Digital media and production practices

From Television studies by Toby Miller 2003

  • New technologies come about not simply as a response to audience demand but mostly if they have a strong market potential.
  • ‘Production practices’ refers to the unit organisation, division of labour, performance of work and processes of specialisation involved in conceptualising productions [pre-production], shooting the actual scenes [production], and editing, sound mixing, titling and special effects [post-production.] The switch to digital media has affected all three parts but most significant impact on post-prod.
  • There is now dedicated software to help pre-prod planning.
  • Digital video [DV] has replace analogue video but digital cameras require special lighting.
  • Advantages of digital media:
    • No generational loss of signal in reproduction
    • No degradation of quality
    • Analogue was fragile and time-consuming to edit
    • Faster cutting and shorter shots now possible.
    • With broadband tech it is now possible for post-prod to take place at multiple parts of the world simultaneously.
    • Producers can now own the whole process and means of production
  • But disadvantages can include:
    • More free-lance personnel but they have less power ) but these could also be regarded as an advantage
    • Facilitates movement to areas with cheaper labour ) by production companies!
  • Robert McChesney said ‘Long ago… internet enthusiasts…regarded cyberspace as the end of corporate for profit communication…’ 1997
  • However established media companies do still have a vast advantage over independent producers:
    • The style of production that audiences are accustomed to reflects a level of investment …
  • Conclusion: Ellen Seiter:
  • ‘For aggrieved communities with second rate access to media technologies and whose representational exclusion from the mass media have long and relatively unchanging histories, the push towards digital media threatens to exacerbate economic hardship and a widening class divide…’


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