Entertainment is Losing It's Star Power


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  1. #1
    The Fox Smith's Avatar
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    Entertainment is Losing It's Star Power

    Opinion article I wrote for my school newspaper. Went up on the news-site today. Was looking for any kind of constructive feedback I can get on this. Thanks!

    ---

    In the same way you tell your parents what they want to hear instead of the truth, sacrificing artistic integrity for giving people what they want is becoming a common trend in the movie and music industries.

    If Star Wars: The Force Awakens had been an essay, J. J. Abrams would have failed and been suspended for plagiarism. The script felt less nostalgic and more like a copy of the old movies. Why did it get an 8.4 on IMDb and a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes then?

    Because everyone can appreciate special effects and CGI aesthetics. However, not everyone can appreciate the complex plots of movies such as Interstellar or Inception; most people just want to walk out of the theater with all the answers, instead of be challenged to think. Not everyone wants a surprise twist, instead preferring that typical make-out session in the usual spot, comic relief one-liners at the same right times, and a happy ending to wrap it all up.

    Look, I get it. Sometimes we just want to relax and see dinosaurs on the big screen, not contemplate the man vs. nature conflict of Jurassic Park, for example. And at the end of the day, if one wants a great story, you probably aren't going to find it in a one to two hour film anyway. There's a reason for the old adage that says the book was better than the movie.

    "It's all a representation of our culture," Liam O'Curran said. "Simple Michael Bay films, for example, appeal to an already existing audience who want to be easily entertained. That's not to say I don't enjoy Transformers. If I was to waste time watching a movie, I would prefer something that has some value to it, but more mainstream entertainment still has its merit."

    Appealing to a niche audience and / or demographic is a risk. What do businesses hate most? Risks. It could cost them revenue, so they often choose to play it safe and appeal to as many people as they possibly can.

    This mentality isn't just restricted to movies though, but applies to entertainment as a whole, including the music industry.

    "There's two sides to music: there's the creative arts and then there's business," Gerald Gillum, better known as G-Eazy, explained in an interview on YouTube. "It's important to have both, but it's important to never let one control another. The big-hit single is the missile that puts the rest of the [creative] message on its back and carries it. You have to have this condensed version of your message to travel the farthest to reach the most people, because not everybody has the attention-span to digest the whole album instantly. So the single is the catalyst for the rest of the record."

    Quality of entertainment is a very broad topic, and is difficult to discuss for a number of reasons, the most obvious one being it's highly subjective. Everybody has their own opinion.

    On top of that, music specifically is constantly evolving. You could argue that before the technology of today came along, artists weren't auto-tuning their voice, or worrying about their lip-syncing being off by a few seconds. It was pure talent.

    That being said, what exactly does, "entertainment is losing quality," mean? It means entertainment is becoming more about the money and less about the craft. It means taking superficiality over depth. It means trading unique ideas for the same old recipe we've been fed for years now.

    All we can do to not contribute to this cultural decay is raise our standards. Demand better. Our appreciation should be more than skin-deep. The first time we see a new movie or listen to a new album, let's go swimming; wash away the make-up and judge what it really looks like.
    Last edited by Smith; April 13th, 2016 at 05:41 AM.
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  2. #2
    Creative Area Specialist (Fiction) Blade's Avatar
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    I think this reads pretty well overall specially considering that you are trying to cover a lot of ground in a limited space. You do provide some specific examples to match the ideas which does help to clarify what you are talking about.

    I don't think the title quite matches the content though. The reference to 'Star Power' I would take as alluding to hiring a big star to head up a movie in order to draw attendance whereas your theme seems to be along the following lines.

    That being said, what exactly does, "entertainment is losing quality," mean? It means entertainment is becoming more about the money and less about the craft. It means taking superficiality over depth. It means trading unique ideas for the same old recipe we've been fed for years now.
    I like the theme over all though the presentation might be more effective if some of the points brought up were done in more depth but that of course would expand the essay a great deal.
    I was fighting with temptation but I didn't want to win.
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    The Fox Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blade View Post
    I think this reads pretty well overall specially considering that you are trying to cover a lot of ground in a limited space. You do provide some specific examples to match the ideas which does help to clarify what you are talking about.

    I don't think the title quite matches the content though. The reference to 'Star Power' I would take as alluding to hiring a big star to head up a movie in order to draw attendance whereas your theme seems to be along the following lines.



    I like the theme over all though the presentation might be more effective if some of the points brought up were done in more depth but that of course would expand the essay a great deal.
    Thank-you Blade, I agree! Yeah, the title was changed by my editors, and I thought the same thing.

    I agree with what you had to say about delving into some of the points more. Like you said, it's difficult to do that without having to write something very lengthy or losing focus and angle, which were also big things I grappled with when writing this.

    "Appealing to a niche audience and / or demographic is a risk. What do businesses hate most? Risks. It could cost them revenue, so they often choose to play it safe and appeal to as many people as they possibly can."

    This was one spot I think I should have gone into more detail with, because I feel like this is a very important part to understanding the mentality that leads to worse entertainment. My friend also brought up a fantastic point when reading this, which was, "Not everybody sees entertainment and art as one in the same thing, or art being entertaining. Rather, many people see them as two separate things."

    Again, thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated!
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    Member Reichelina's Avatar
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    Hi Smith, editorial, right?

    My mentors back in the day always told me, "A good editorial is not based on how flawless your opinion is. It is how you show them why you believe it."


    Everyone has their opinion but why do some people read editorials? (I usually don't.) hahaha.
    But the reason is to compare their opinion or maybe "GET" an opinion from the editors who have the facts.

    I like your opinion honestly. I agree with you. But maybe more sentences to back you up should make it sparkle.
    But overall, good job. IT IS VITAL for an editorial to end with some type of solution at the end. I like it.

    But doh, I think since this was over a month ago, you have published it already. HAHA.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

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    The Fox Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reichelina View Post
    Hi Smith, editorial, right?

    My mentors back in the day always told me, "A good editorial is not based on how flawless your opinion is. It is how you show them why you believe it."


    Everyone has their opinion but why do some people read editorials? (I usually don't.) hahaha.
    But the reason is to compare their opinion or maybe "GET" an opinion from the editors who have the facts.

    I like your opinion honestly. I agree with you. But maybe more sentences to back you up should make it sparkle.
    But overall, good job. IT IS VITAL for an editorial to end with some type of solution at the end. I like it.

    But doh, I think since this was over a month ago, you have published it already. HAHA.
    Thanks for sharing!
    An editorial indeed.

    Your mentors were very wise. That is definitely some good advice, and something I'm starting to learn. I worry too much about if people will like my opinion, when I just need to concentrate on being factual and reinforcing my opinion. And that goes for my writing in general.

    Yeah, backing up something like this with facts is difficult because it's opinion. I think it has to do with aging as well: the longer you're around, the more you've seen. I see another Transformers movie or Call of Duty video game and I yawn. No innovation. But if that's some young kid's first time seeing something like that, or playing something like that, they'll think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    It had already been published before I decided to share it hear, so no worries.

    -Kyle
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    I completely agree. We live in a world of sequels, prequels, reboots and corporate talent shows. People are satisfied with less. To be successful in this day and age all you need is social media. In the past you had to earn it.

  7. #7
    Your article was well written. The tone was conversational and you included quotes from two sources that bolstered your argument. But the “today versus yesterday” angle was way too easy and lacked depth. Simplistic, middle-of-the-road, mainstream entertainment has always existed alongside the well crafted and artistic. I can easily give you examples of copycat, synthetic, flimsy music and movies dating back to the 1930s. The problem you're actually addressing is what's being promoted, not what's being produced. That's nothing new, but perhaps the amazing fortunes being made are driving the perception that “art” is suffering more today than yesterday. Your argument is shared by many, but I feel that by choosing to ignore (or being unaware of) the “good stuff,” you're not reflecting what's really out there. If I were your instructor, I would have told you to dig deeper and look beyond the surface. I wouldn't want my students' writing to be an example of the very problem being addressed.
    Publisher of the Durham Skywriter (Hidden Content ), Durham NC's online community paper, and host of TV Skywriter, Sundays 7pm USA Eastern time, on YouTube and Google+'s "patriciaAmurray" page. Currently working on my first nonfiction book, "And Then We Saw an Eye: Caring for a Loved-One with Alzheimer's at Home"

  8. #8
    one has to take such pieces as a short piece on the bigger picture....you have given your pov in a very direct and economical manner which i liked..the subject matter never interested me but your thoughts on it did....enjoyed
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