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script as score

May 17, 2012

In Optical Media, Friedrich Kittler quotes Georges Méliès cameraman Guidio Seeber: “the screenwriter of the future, will have to write like a musician writes his score.”

The defeat of Barack Hussein Obama, internet screenshot from nytimes.com

This morning, May 17, 2012, the New York Times published a storyboard for a five-minute film “obtained” by the paper. According to the Times “The film, titled “Next,” was proposed by Strategic Perception, a political public relations firm founded by Fred Davis. The storyboard provides a rough outline for a film highly critical of President Obama’s background and policies.” Notwithstanding the content of the film, featuring such particularly technical document on a morning paper is significant, as it suggests that reading of a storyboard is not restricted to filmschool graduates and the industry at large. Although, this might not be quite what Guidio anticipated from the screenwriter of the future, but the featured storyboard is production-ready and anyone familiar with the profession’s basics, could potentially imagine, and produce the film. “It is not the person ignorant of writing but the one ignorant of photography, who will be the illiterate of future,” writes Benjamin in Short History of Photography and here the Times confirms what Benjamin’s predicted in 1931. What used to be the under the hood nuts and bolts of the industry is now a common lexicon available and decipherable by the larger populace and thus it’s become evermore clear that the function of media criticism has [long] shifted from the mere exposure of the underlying apparatus. The apparatus has already mooned the audiences and moved on, and so writes David Foster Wallace: “what explains the pointlessness of most published TV criticism is that television has become immune to charges that it lacks any meaningful connection to the world outside it. It’s not that charges of nonconnection have become unture, but that they’ve become deeply irrelevant. It’s that such connection has become otiose. Television used to point beyond itself…Today’s mega-Audience is way better trained, and TV has discarded what’s not needed (real life). A dog, if you point at something, will look only at your finger.” Thus one does not look for truth in the media, but rather for entertaining affirmations, divided into political comedy on the left and propaganda on the right spectrum of the [American] media.

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