Group 3: Cyborgs Proposal

Katherine Hayles said our readings, “…even a biologically unaltered homo sapien can count as posthuman. The defining characteristics involve the construction of subjectivity, not the presence of nonbiological components.” Our group aims to explore that quote in terms of the reality of the meaning of what it means to be post human in today’s society.  As opposed to being a literal human/machine hybrid, we’re focusing on the more abstract way that humans today can be cybernetic.  Society is so entangled with digital space, our mobile devices and connection to the internet so we feel that technological elements that we rely on are extensions of ourselves.

We want to use ‘nomophobia’ as a structuring element for out video essay.  Nomophobia is the fear of being out of contact with a mobile phone.  When many of us forget or leave our phone somewhere, we feel a sense of disconnect or stress that we’re missing something important.  This translates into cyborgs in the way that people have evolved to rely on devices and inherently, those devices are viewed as an extension of self.  People express themselves through their devices, connect with others through devices and document their lives through devices.

We plan to do this in a mashup fan video and video essay manner.  We want to draw clips from television and movies where we see this reliance and heavy use of mobile and technology being used and explain them in a manner that relates to our view.  We have also found a song that we want to use to help illustrate how frequently people turn to their devices and social media.

This video we found mimics the nature of the facts we have found and want to share about nomophobia and the dependence of today’s society on technology.

This video is effective in displaying how social networking sites have become more popular and integral to society and our aim is to show how we today have evolved to need mobile devices and how integral it has become–but also as a medium that connects us to social media.

Genres of Remix Video

In preparation for our week on remix and your upcoming video essay project, below you’ll find some examples of “genres” of remix that you might choose to work with for your project.  Remember that you should let your chosen argument determine the form the argument takes (e.g. some arguments will be better suited to a fake trailer, others will be more productive to construct as a more classical video essay).  We’ll discuss these genres, and the project, in more detail next week: feel free to link to other remixes you find effectively convey a point or argument here, or via twitter or email.

The Video Essay

This perhaps is closest to a conventional academic paper, using images, text and frequently some form of voiceover to clearly convey an argument with supporting evidence from scholarly works.  Below is a good example, on censorship practices and the depiction of sex in Hollywood cinema.

Sex and Sensation: How Hollywood Popped Its Cherry (Student Video Essay) from Kelli Marshall on Vimeo.

The Fake Trailer

The fake trailer typically rests on a humorous juxtasposition of genres and aesthetics, and presumes a knowledge about the conventions of both Hollywood genres and the “form” of trailers as a genre in their own right.  One of the more famous early examples recut The Shining to play as a romantic comedy.  The example below inverts that premise, reimagining Mary Poppins as a Horror Movie.

The Fanvid

Per our reading from Francesca Coppa this week, fanvids typically use a popular song which, when juxtaposed with a series of images from a media property, conveys some form of argument.  The video below is more celebratory than argumentative (we’ll watch some examples of the latter next week), and it’s also a metavid (a vid about fandom itself), but in general it’s a good example of the style of fanvids.  In particular, note the various “passages” here, where similar images are cut together in rapid succession to create a sort of visual chorus or stanza.  Plus, spaceships!

Starships! from bironic on Vimeo.

The Lipdub

In its simplest form, the lipdub is a video that combines some form of lip synching and dubbed audio.  Below, you’ll find a more complex iteration titled “Imagine This.” Though producing a video on this level might require more time than you’re afforded for this assignment, it conveys a clear argument, so it might be useful to consider doing a scaled down version of something like this (this Mad Men video being a possible example).

The Mashup

Technically, almost all remixes can be categorized as “mashups,” but for the purposes of demarcating this as its own category, we’ll use “mashup” to broadly define a video that combines two texts to create a new one.  Below, Jonathan McIntosh’s “Buffy vs. Edward” mashes up Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight to create new narrative that implicitly addresses the gender politics of both franchises.  Also to note for next week: McIntosh went to court for this video, and won claiming fair use, in 2012 after Lionsgate had the video taken down from YouTube.

By suzannescott

Sample 110 video project author statements and videos

Below, you will find two samples of group video essay project authors statements, and the subsequent videos the groups produced, to give you a sense of what I’m expecting.  See the NOTE sections to see a summary of my comments back to those groups on where they might improve.

Example 1: Romantic Distubance

We want to focus our video around Week 7’s topic of Surveillance.

We will incorporate the themes from Mark Andrejevic’s “Surveillance in the Digital Enclosure” and “iSpy: Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era” from Week 3 by using scenes from D. J. Caruso’s Disturbia, which is partly inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, and other Independent Romantic-Comedies that pertain to a more whimsical narrative.

Ultimately, we will create a video that falls under the genre of a fake trailer that portrays Disturbia as an Independent Romantic-Comedy while also addressing the issue of surveillance becoming a common element of modern day human interactions through social media.

In order to incorporate Andrejevic’s quotes from his article about the “digital enclosure,” we will use him as a “film critic” with his scholarly quotes from his article appearing on title cards as a reflection of the film’s theme of surveillance and the romanticized stalking performed by Shia LaBeouf’s character. We will also use other clips from films that show more forms of “Facebook stalking” and elements of modern day surveillance within the digital enclosure.

NOTE: This is a strong proposal, both in terms of tying the project to course themes, offering a clear sense of how they plan to formulate the video, and the style they plan to use.

 

Example 2: “Cyborgs Among Us”

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The goal of our group is to discuss and comment on the increasing pervasiveness of user based electronics in the modern social sphere. In addition, we wish to explore the inseparability and reliance between user and device. We plan to focus our argument through the lens of a Cyborg based argument, and will use Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto and Hayle’s Posthumanism articles for guidance.

Our argument will focus on the question “Are we headed towards a society of ‘Cyborgs, due to our reliance and over-saturation of technology’?” We propose that indeed we are slowly starting to become an embodiment of a cyborg as a society. We still start by defining what a cyborg is, in the digital culture sense, and move to real life examples of people starting to “act” like machines in the constant and regular saturation of social media, technology, and our gadgets. We will include a voice over narration of our argument to accompany the visual examples being shown.

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We will be pulling videos from multiple sources from the internet for our video. We would like to include the intro sequences from Dawn of the Dead or some other sort of zombie movie.  We also want to depict  news reports talking about how the world is ending or that something mysterious is happening, as well as pull clips from the video game Deus Ex, a game that allows the player to have augmentations and add machine parts to their bodies.  All of this will help us to make our argument about the shift toward cyborgs.

NOTE: This author’s statement would be slightly stronger if they had: 1. Engaged with the reading more directly in terms of considering this through the lens of posthumanism, and 2. If they had a slightly clearer picture of what form the video would take (as you can see below, the final product is a visual essay).  I do like the visuals here, and they help you visualize the sort of the video material the group plans to collect.  If you have a specific type of video style in mind, include an example for reference.

 

Example 3: “Who’s Watching?”

Our group has decided to focus on the subject of surveillance, particularly of how it relates to the amount of privacy we think we have as opposed to the amount privacy we truly have. We reject the gratuitous increase of surveillance and the attempts to normalize it in society.

We are planning to break it down to three different components: the prevalence of Google and the universality of marketing, the communal wealth of personal information available on social media, and the rise of governmental surveillance, particularly the NSA. We plan to critique the positive portrayals of these types of surveillance, and the attempts to instill complacency in the surveilled by the surveillers.

To conclude, we will pose the questions “When does it end? How will it end? How can we stop the inevitable?” Our group sees a bleak future if the rate of surveillance is not curbed.

NOTE: This would be stronger if it were more focused, and rooted directly in course concepts like the “digital enclosure.” As you can see below, they focused this considerably into a dynamic fan vid.  This is an example of a relatively unfocused proposal that turned into a great finished project.

 

 

 

By suzannescott

Transmedia Storytelling with Glee from Fox

             Transmedia storytelling is a new form of media that is exploding and you may not even know it. As explained in the article “Transmedia Storytelling 101” by Henry Jenkins, the many ways shows use trans media is thru webisodes, character twitter accounts, character blogs, web comics, minigames, and wikis. Certain television shows may use them all or just one of them.
                Glee is a hit television show that is aired of Fox. Glee has separate twitter accounts for each of their characters which can be seen in the images at the end. This is a form of hypertext fiction. Glee uses twitter and acts as there character for each twitter account. For example, a character named Rachel Berry who is a performer. While she is in high school she is trying to be discovered. Glee during this season made a tweet on her character account and tweeted “In the meantime, I’ll do my makeup and see if I can get discovered at the Manhattan mall”. As you can see this shows the character Rachel Berry acting as her normal self. This tweet does not add to the story. But some of them do.
               Multiform storytelling is when a show uses transmedia in different story telling ways. Glee does a small amount of this but none the less they do it. In one of the latest episodes, Glee aired an episode where the students of the Glee Club coached by the character Will Schuester go out and play softball for some fun time. But before the episode was played, Will Schuester tweeted “I bet you guys didn’t know that I’m really good at slow-pitch softball.” This added to the story showing that this character was thinking about this. This form of trans media is an in-character social media account. So this cannot alter the whole plot of the show Glee. I however think that it does in fact add to the story. When you watch a show you are under the impression that anything that happens in that television screen is the characters life. But anything that is put on the web for a reason adds to the story. No matter how little or how big it does this, it changed the perception we have for the characters because it changes the identity of the character closer to real life.

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Works Cited

“Official Glee Cast and Character Twitters!” Wetpaint. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.
“Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2014.
“Twitter.” Twitter. N.p., n.d. Web.

Blog Post #3

Like Henry Jenkins wrote migratory cues are “blurring the line between marketing and entertainment.” At first, people can think it is just a way to “create a more expansive and immersive sosttory” and of course it is.

Henry Jenkins wrote migratory cues are “blurring the line between marketing and entertainment.”

House of Cards is a Netflix original series that is breaking new ground when it comes to original series and how they can be made. House of Cards, produced by Netflix, films an entire season and then releases it all at once, allowing viewers the opportunity to consume a season as quickly as they would like. In my blog post I will be focusing on the main character, Frank Underwood’s, twitter account.

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Frank Underwood has a following of a little more than 40,000 people. By creating a twitter account for a fictional character through social media the show is using migratory clues to its advantage. Mainly this account tweets direct quotes from Frank Underwood on the show, specifically key moments in episodes, which change the overall outcome of the show. This leads viewers to backtrack and think about re-evaluating an episode that they have already seen, with this new insight, and focus more directly on a scene that is tweeted and quoted.

 

House of Cards and its marketing team do a great job of using cultural attractor and cultural activators to their advantage to expand their fan base and connect fans to each other. A cultural attractor is something that can connect groups of people who share the same interest, like House of Cards. Fans can re-tweet quotes and also post directly on Frank Underwood’s twitter account. A cultural activator’s main purpose is to allow the following of a transmedia object something to do. For example, Frank tweeted recently a link for a survey, where you could find out which House of Cards you are most like.

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This allows fans to really feel like they are on the journey with their favorite characters. Also he tweets very significant quotes from the season, which provide insight to the outcome of the show. Making the fans who follow this account feel like they are on the inside scoop and more knowledgeable than someone who does not follow the account.

 

Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>.

 

Murray, Janet H. “Chapter 2: Harbingers of the Holodeck.” Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York: Free, A Division of Simon and Schuster, 1997. 27-64.

 

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By thecharlesbarkley

The Real Housewives of New Jersey

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The Real Housewives of New Jersey is one of many reality TV series of “The Real Housewives..” based off of the former hit TV soap series Desperate Housewives. This reality series airs on Bravo and follows the lives and series of events that take place in several women’s lives throughout the state of NJ. These women are usually friends or in similar friend groups but live for the drama and problems that are caused between them. The name of the series is deceiving to many because the shows follows divorcees, single mothers, families and wives. Although, their titles may be different all of their lives revolve around luxurious and wealthy ways of living. Their drama, broken relationships, divorces, parties, alcoholism and big drama all add to the “reality” portion of this TV series. 

One of the interesting paradoxes about reality TV is that a show is less like reality, so the better the ratings become. By this I mean, less like our reality. Shows like The Real Housewives of New Jersey may be set in real places and show real people but their lifestyle and dramas are likely to be a million miles away from any reality that we’re familiar with. Transmedia can be described as a telling a story across multiple media and with audience participation and interaction. The engagement with each media heightens the audience’ understanding, enjoyment and affection for the story. To do this, the story in each media needs to be satisfying in its own right while enjoyment from all the media should be greater than the whole.

We tell stories and watch TV series like this because across mass media because no single media satisfies our curiosity and describes ones’ lifestyle. We surround ourselves in everyday life by unexpected opportunities and different ways of life. The people we wish to tell our stories to can choose not to care or to stop and listen. Technology and social media advances have allowed levels of customization, personalization and responsiveness so that common lifestyle is no longer expected or acceptable. Transmedia like such allows content that’s right-sized, right-timed and right-placed to form a larger, more profitable, cohesive an rewarding experience.

After reading units about Transmedia, it can be best described bye Henry Jenkins, “transmedia storytelling practices may expand the potential market for a property by creating different points of entry for different audience segments. Similarly, the strategy may work to draw viewers who are comfortable in a particular medium to experiment with alternative media platforms (as in the development of a Desperate Housewives game designed to attract older female consumers into gaming).”  With this being said Jenkins information can be better said that  the media can alter the information to fit its audience and can build whatever story and world it chooses. The two transmedia story telling elements are additive comprehension and world building. 

World building develops in The Real Housewives of New Jersey as a fake materialistic overview of their world that they all claim to live in and be part of. Being an outsider who watches the show this TV series, and lives in NJ, this gives New Jersey and these “housewives” a fake persona and life that they think they live. Most people in the world know that this isn’t how they live and the drama they are involved in is created but many people still continue to watch the TV series and what goes on cause their world they live in. Everyone always wants to watch to know what is going to happen next. 

Additive comprehension is a way to adapt and change our original views of a story. After watching a TV show, you may think that is how people act and how most people live their lives in The Real Housewives of New Jersey but that is not the case. This allows the viewers to change their perception and view as a whole. As Henry Jenkins said the development of a game that allows you to select who you want to be gives you the opportunity to become apart and play a role you didn’t have the chance to before. 

Works Cited

Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. Genesis Framework, 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.

By kelseyekoos

‘@TonightOnGirls’…

The television show ‘Girls’ is about a small group of women who have recently graduated college and are rolling into their paths of “real life.” The show emphasizes on how life is in our reality. Unlike other female focused shows where everyone is successful and bleeding money, ‘Girls’ shows the struggle of life in trying to follow your dreams. Aside from the major plot, the show is also known for having the most unmethodical episode plots and character one liners. A favorite of mine is when the main character Hannah played by Lena Dunham talks about how lazy she is and that she uses her chest for a feeding tray when laying in bed. I love that because I myself am guilty of that simple pleasure. Tying in to transmedia storytelling, the show ‘Girls’ has many parody accounts for each of the main characters that over exaggerates the show as a whole by making the characters the most whiny dramatic people ever. I chose to use one that has a focus on the show in its entirety, the best of all: @TonightOnGirls. 

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The parody account tweets episode plot snippets that deal with the most extreme and random events. It ties in all of the main characters by giving them exaggerated roles from the show. This gives a sense on how the actual show has an a extremely broadened focus on daily adventures and the little things in life.

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Having this parodistic social media form gives the audience a comedic view on the show, which initially would draw their attention to watch ‘GIrls.’ Some may think that having parody accounts for movies and TV shows is a bad thing, but I believe that is a positive form of marketing. With comedy comes laughter, and everyone loves a good laugh. Social media is how our generation stays up-to-date with everything from fashion to TV shows. Having comedic parody accounts gives us a dramatic sense of what we would be watching if we tuned into the actual show. 

Transmedia Extension: Supernatural

There aren’t many T.V shows that excel at killing off your favorite characters, or that can pull of killing the main characters, many times, but one that does so successfully is Supernatural. Supernatural is an action/drama/horror show that revolves around two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, who are born Hunters that hunt down malicious spirits, demons, monsters, and occasionally might kill an angel or two as well. The show thrives on the drama that arises in the story to keep viewers captivated onto it, but still manages to manifest Henry Jenkins idea of transmedia story telling successfully. In Henry Jenkins blog he states his definition of transmedia story telling as, “Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes its own contribution to the unfolding of the story”. Supernatural encompasses this perfectly through its use of HyperText Fiction, of branching out the story line through different medias.

 

An example of this is through the Supernatural animated web series titled “Supernatural the Animation”. According to the Supernatural wiki this anime was announced by the Warner Brothers Japanese website, and although not all of the episodes include the real actors voices, they still participated in voicing a few of the episodes. This web series was only 23 episodes long but it went over the first 2 seasons of the show, but most  importantly it provides clarification and details regarding Sam and Deans childhood before they became hunters. Since the actual show begins when the brothers are in their 20’s and already fully fledged hunters this animated series provides more back ground knowledge regarding the brothers and their father before they themselves became hunters. Not only does it focus on the brothers, but it provides information on sub characters and how they became involved with their father, Jon Winchester, which in turn provided them connections with the brothers as well.

 

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In addition to the web series they also produced a series of comic books to help expand the Supernatural world, such as the first comic Supernatural Origins did. The comic mainly focuses on their father Jon Winchester and his life before he met his wife, Mary Winchester, and after her death where he then pursued the life of a hunter. From there the comic expands to the childhood of Sam and Dean and the different lives the brothers lived in their childhood which molded them into the drastically different characters they eventually become.

 

Together these two media forms merge together to add commentary and depth to the characters of Supernatural and to fill in any gaps or questions that are left unanswered in the show. They both add details to the world of Supernatural and serve as Addictive Comprehension as well, molding the consumers perspective on the characters and the choices they go on to make in the actual story itself, and provide justification for them.

 

Works Cited

“Supernatural (U.S TV Series)”. Wikipedia. N.P., 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural_(U.S._TV_series)&gt;

Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.P., 22, Mar. 2007. Web. 1, Mar. 2014. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html&gt;

“Supernatural Wiki: A Supernatural Canon and Fandom Resource”. wiki. Supernatural Wiki, N.P., Web. 1, Mar. 2014. <http://www.supernaturalwiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page&gt;

By zansrule

Transmedia

Transmedia

Transmedia storytelling uses different ways to circulate and exchange information between media properties. It not only shares and integrates information on various platforms to gain more popularity, but also improves media’s cooperation, coexistence, interaction and coordination. Current technologies provide distinct and diverse forms of media and the same story is usually delivered on every media channel from an unique perspective and form, example include but not limited to radio, television, newspaper and Internet etc., among which Internet has achieved it’s priority due to its enormous amount of information capacity and convenience to the audience.  Since most traditional communications media including telephone, music, film, and television are being reshaped or redefined by the Internet, most media use Internet  as an important component to build their transmedia storytelling framework.

 

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In China, I am a Singer has become one of the most popular TV shows on the air. This TV show is extremely hot that you can hear Chinese people talking about it everywhere, not matter on their private parties or during work time in corporation conference. I first knew the show from Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblogging website, where I am a Singer has an official account registered in order to promote its brand, communicate with audiences and update the latest status about the singers through microposts such as short sentences, individual images, or video links. Later after I saw some of the live videos posted on Weibo, I was deeply attracted and started digging more information on the show. The official Weibo website of I am a singer introduces the show in a comprehensive way and uses combinations of pictures, HD digital audios from the show, interview with the singer and even gossips and grapevines of the producers. The following print is a screenshot from I am a Singer‘s Weibo homepage, as it shows those Chinese stars who has joined in the show, and you can see that the official account has attracted more than 16,294,557 fans (left corner middle column), and now I am one of them, excitedly opening my eyes wide to expect any updates from the show.

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Weibo plays not only the role of an extension of its “mother” media but also serves as an independent source of information. For example, the Weibo website about this show placed many of the participants’ news, character and personal anecdotes as well and many of those information like personal videos are never showed on TV episodes. You can also post comments or criticism on the Weibo websites where the interaction on traditional media is almost impossible. Sometimes the website will put manifold surveys regarding to the show to encourage the participation of its audience such as the following screenshot asking people to vote for the singer they like the most. It proposed the satisfactory survey on a particular singer by asking: “If you are not able to listen to ___’s singing every day, will you feel unhappy?”

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In addition to the official Weibo website for the TV show, I am a singer also has a post bar, a combination of forum and bulletin board, for netizens to post whatever they like regarding to the show. In the post bar, you can see many people have different viewpoints and express their opinions and put comments in it. Even it has many advertisements about other shows and movies and some of the participants’ gossip, it’s still relatively regulated and everybody enjoys the platform it provides. Personally speaking, I think the Weibo account is more useful to the show than the post bar since it tells more about the show other than personal opinions. The picture below shows some information of the post like the first is an advertisement about the sales of the tickets and the second is a gossip on one of the show’s competitor.  Comparatively, the Weibo website doesn’t have this type of information, and it just put official messages regarding the show.

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Work Cited:

http://www.weibo.com/p/1002063166262701/weibo

http://tieba.baidu.com/f?kw=%E6%88%91%E6%98%AF%E6%AD%8C%E6%89%8B&ie=utf-8&fr=wwwt

http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

Gossip Girl: Blog Post 3 Transmedia

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Gossip Girl is a show that makes up every girls dream and creates a storyline that every girl almost becomes obsessed with. Including the rich, upper east side, perfect relationships, drama and an endless amount of money that could easily get them out of trouble. The six seasons of this TV series are full of addicting drama that make you feel like you are in the middle of it. This show has become a huge hit for both men and women but mainly girls in their teens to middle age. One of the main and most well-liked characters is Blaire Waldorf. She is the center of all of the drama that goes on but helps everyone out with their problems even if that means scheming others. Blaire Waldorf is one of the most popular characters from the show and on social media including Twitter where she has 88,200 followers. There are many fans for this show as we can see in the thousands of people that try to connect with the characters outside of the show. This gives followers of Gossip Girl a way to interact and keep up with the characters that they most likely idolize.

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As you scroll through the many tweets of Blaire Waldorf, you will find quotes she said throughout the show and photos of her referencing back to the show. This twitter account perfectly describes Blaire and really makes it feel like she is the one tweeting on your timeline. She is one of a kind and if you’ve seen the show, you know she is somewhat of a drama queen and very high maintenance. These tweets represent her personality and her thoughts very well. As you can see below, her tweet, “I’ve always tried to make my life resemble the movie in my head” describes Blaire perfectly because anything that goes wrong she has to make it right to create the perfect life for herself. This is exactly something Blaire would think and say , because in one part of the show she goes back and forth between the man she really loves and the prince that would give her the perfect life.

film blog post 3- blaire tweet 2

 

In this tweet from Feb 15, she tweeted “Stop talking. Start doing”. As a Gossip Girl follower we all know that you shouldn’t mess with Blaire Waldorf because she can end you with a  flash of a camera. Also the fact that most of the time, everything she says, goes.

film blog post 3- blaire tweet

 

Throughout the 6 addicting seasons, Gossip Girl has demonstrated negative capability. In the reading from Henry Jenkins, he states that negative capability is the act of being left with curiosity or having uncertainty about something. Gossip Girl leaves us not knowing a lot of things to keep us interested in what will happen next. This TV show also shows migratory cues. As Jane Murray describes in her article, migratory cues are something in the show that gives a hint/clues to another situation or mystery. This happens many times in this show, where one thing leads to another and things from season 1 lead to situations in season 2. This goes to show that every episode is essential to the next.

The different forms of transmedia extensions, a webisode and an in-character social media account, serve different narrative functions. A webisode is a specific episode of a series available to the public on the web also known as web television. It is usually a short amount of time averaging 10 minutes per webisode. An in-character social media is when a character from a tv show has an instagram, twitter, tumblr, etc and they post on it mainly for their fan base. It gives fans a way to interact and follow a specific character from a TV show.