TV show Lost analysis on how it engaged its audience

For my analysis I am going to look at ABC’s show Lost and attempt to pull it apart and look into the deeper meanings and audience reactions to the show. To help me with this I may use parts of Gillian Rose’s methodological model but change things so I can understand itI would like to focus mainly on the Image or object it’s self. I may also look at the Mese en scene to try and do  some formal analysis on the peace and I would like to focus on intertextual references within the piece.

Lost is a TV show directed by JJ Abrahams which has had 5 seasons so far and a 6th coming. At first the show started of as a classic stranded island drama where a plane had crashed on a remote island and a few people had survived.  The story followed a pattern of people hoping to get rescued soon; however there was always a feel to the show that made it seem different to something like the movie cast away. I think this as Cast away follows a standard liner native which consists of a start middle and end. Lost seems to have a start middle and end but has aspects to it which make it more Non liner. For example the uses of flashbacks are used to create a back story for each character. Plus some flashbacks have links to other peoples flash backs. This then creates a sub story within Lost which the audience can follow as well as the main story. On http://www.gurusoftware.com they say that;

“In the flashbacks of Lost, we see that many individuals had violent or intense backgrounds that they were bringing to the ordeal. The sum total of their negative energies of the recent past — which were very considerable — contributed directly to the crash of the plane.” (2009)

This brought a question of was it destiny for them to be on the island. Were those people somehow chosen and if so is this why these people survived the crash.

Lost has always seemed to have bizarre things going on which has kept the audience watching the show just to find out what is going on. There have been many strange situations within Lost which had lead to conspiracies about the show Ivan D. Askwith notes that;

“Within the first six episodes, over a dozen significant narrative mysteries are introduced, ranging from an unseen monster that appears to be stalking the island to theCostofliving.jpg discovery of a radio transmission that has been sending an uninterrupted distress signal from the island for sixteen years” (Askwith, 2007, p. 117)

These things then sparked the audience into making website forums where they could post there ideas and conspiracies with others and then discuss what they think is going on in the show.  This can be seen on such websites as Ew.com as some has made an article where they are just talking about conspiracies such as

“Oceanic flight 815 crashed. Everyone died. Some went to heaven, others to hell. The rest wound up in a dangerous purgatory, where they must work toward paradise — or risk tumbling into the inferno.” (2009)

Or

“Reality on the island isn’t exactly ”real.” To boot: All characters are aspects of one person (usually attributed to Jack or potentially supernatural characters like Hurley and Walt); or everyone is still on the plane trying to survive massive turbulence by escaping into a mass delusion.”

For some conspiracies some people have gone to the extent of making videos on Youtube. This is a video where made to try and prove that “John Locke” a character from lost was the mystical “Jacob”

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locheThe picture on the left shows Jacob and the on the right has been edited so that the hair has been removed and light added and it looks like Locke.

Ivan D. Askwith points out that;

“While most television programs allow different opportunities for viewer mastery, complex ‘puzzle’ narratives such as Lost and Twin Peaks all but demand them, challenging viewers to engage in an active process of deciphering clues, ignoring red herrings, and putting together events in order to “solve” the show. In such cases, mastery becomes a conscious pleasure” (Askwith, 2007, p. 105)

I can vogue for this as I myself have made videos and trying to put things together and when you get stuff write it feels like you are one step ahead of the show. However once one thing has been solved the makers of Lost always adds 3 to 5 more situations which make you want to solve them as well.  Askwith also says that

“Lost functions on several possible levels at once: viewers can opt for a more traditional role, which allows them to “sit back and enjoy the story,” or a more active and engaged role, treating the program “as if it were an adventure-puzzle game like Dungeons & Dragons or Myst.” (Askwith, 2007, p.121)

The only downside to having such a complex narrative is if you miss an episode you may miss something vital to the whole series. This is why a few people stopped watching as they started getting confused. Askwith point out that

“Its successful because it is dense enough to ensure not only viewers tune in for the following episode, but take it upon themselves to seek out and watch the previous episodes. In fact, in the series’ later episodes, it is often literally impossible to understand the narrative action without first viewing (or reviewing) several earlier episodes” (Askwith, 2007, p.118)

However now that the show has been put on DVD viewers can go back and watch missed episodes or new audiences can watch it from the start in there own time. He also says that

“The show is layered with so many references, clues, and inside nods that it seems to be daring neophytes to buy the DVDs.” He as also noticed that because the show is accessible on DVD  its” enabling new viewers to catch up with the show’s narrative before the next season premiere, and enabling the show’s most dedicated viewers to review and scrutinize the previous season for clues and insights” (Askwith, 2007, p.124)

Not only has the show engaged its audience by making the audience conspire and unravel the show but it has also drawn in an audience that liked spot intertextual references within a show and Lost certainly has many of these. One of the most obvious of references is to the movie “The Wizard of Oz” in Lost there is a character called Henry Gale which in later series is found to be Ben Linus the leader of the others. A few websites have been made discussing these references but the best one is loststudies.com. They say that

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the wizard ended up in Oz when his hot air balloon drifted and he became lost. When he landed in Oz he assumed the role of ruler” (2009)

which is interesting as  Ben was the leader of the others  in lost however he claimed to be a man called Henry Gale that crashed on the island in a balloon as seen bellow here;

balloonIt’s as if the Director is subggesting that this is the balloon that left Oz. Others compare Oz to the island saying

“Like the castaways on Lost, Dorothy is on a quest to find her way home again. Along the way she must travel through the magical Land of Oz. The castaways must also take their own, seemingly magical, journeys on the island before they can go home.” (loststudies.com 2009)

Another point to make would be that the entire series is like a dream or alter reality which is exactly what the Oz was.

One episode I believe to have the Most references is called “The Man behind the Certain” not only is the name of the show a references to The Wizard but there are other references such as later in the series Young Ben sees His dead mother in the woods as seen here:

The makers of Lost have made her look similar to Dorothy as she is wearing a blue dress.  This may just be a coincidence but the fact that its making me think about it dorothylady in bluemeans it will have the same effect to many other people who watch Lost. Some people may have different options to certain things which again leads to forums being made and more people becoming engaged.

To conclude I would like to say why I think the show has become so unique and managed to engage so many people. Besides the fact that they have included such an in depth storyline with loads of twists and turns they have also now stepped out of the show and into the real world. Askwith makes a point that says;

“Lost is also intended to operate on multiple levels, allowing for different types of audience engagement with the show’s narrative” (Askwith, 2007, p.119)

The way I think they have achieved this most is by literarily interacting with the audience. At first they started off my making a sight called the Lost experience which allowed viewers to get more involved with the show in solving puzzles or information to uncover certain things within the show. Now to be fair other shows have had similar things but what Lost did next took things to a whole different plain. They decided to break the rules of film by bringing the show into the real world. They started this at an event called Comic con in America where they had cast from the show playing as the characters and videos showing trying to get the audience to join the Dharma initiative a fictional company from lost. This then created a sate of surrealism and some people got so engaged they thought it was real. Loads of people started joining a website called “DharmaWantsYou.com” which allowed them to apply to be in the Dharma. This was the biggest thing that lead to making lost one of the most engaging shows ever made.

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Doom then and now

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Doom was the first FPS game I played back in the 90’s. It was fast, jumpy and like a maze to get through. Each level was made up of finding secrets, hidden weapons, key cards and of course lots of monsters. To this day if I play classic Doom I still feel on edge and pumped up when blasting through a brawl of monsters, especially on the latest modded versions such as “Brutal Doom” and the latest multiplayer mods with Coop gameplay.

 

Next up was Doom 3 and the add-on Resurrection of Evil. A very story orientated game focusing on the reasons for the hell invasion. It kicks off with you and many others on mars and then it all goes tits up when the portal is opened. From that point on your left to kill off everything in your way whilst trying to track down Malcolm Betruger and close the maxresdefaultportal to hell. I found this game to have an Unreal, the game, type of feel to it. It was very tense and suspenseful at times and full of jump scares. It had a different feel to the original doom but I liked it due to the story line and spooky theme.

 

When I heard A Doom reboot was being made I was existed but slightly apprehensive as I had heard they had attempted it before with “Doom 4” but it was scrapped for being too much like Call of Duty. My first concerns came upon playing the multiplayer beta for the new Doom as it seemed to be more like Call of Duty meets Doom but I had heard the single player was focused more on the old style of Doom.

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Canceled Doom 4

As soon as the game was released I got it and cleared my mind of any doubts and just hoped for a good game. What can I say…  it delivered! It delivered so much that I don’t quite nowhere to begin. It is quite literally old Doom meets new graphics. I was worried it was going to be a brawl of monster after monster after monster but the Balance between exploring and monsters is spot on.

Secrets are a big thing in this game and I went out of my way to find them all. Mynew_doom_old_doom favorite Secret is the old Doom maps. Playing though these levels with the new graphics was immense. Also to find you way around you now get a map which is a more advanced map
than old Doom but works it very much the same way to help find your way around.

 

Talking of finding your way around Key cards are now back! And at times you may have to double back on yourself to get though doors once you have the key. This is where the map comes to use otherwise you can get lost in the multi-layer levels.

 

Let’s talk monsters. They cannot be more than spot on. The monsters in Doom 3 I felt lacked the style and look of the monsters in the old Doom, however this reboot has taken the old look and given them steroids. Let’s take pinky demon as an example he/she has a clear comparison to its old self but in doom 3 it went with a different style.

 

The Story in the New Doom is kept simple and to the point, there’s no big cut scenes its just you a sort of friendly robot and a crazy chick that your trying to stop and once again close the dam portal, do they ever learn… keeping it simple was another nod to the old style game which only game some idea of a story at the end. The only thing missing doom2rabbit2from the new Doom is the death of doom guys pet rabbit.

Overall I think each Doom has its own place and theme to it discounting the Doom film, which was a bit crap. The old Doom has the aspect of being classic game play and old memories. Doom 3 in having a lean into being more about horror jump scares and the backstory and the latest having a blast of nostalgia and rebooting the old one in the best way possible. I just look forward to the next installment.

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Will Superhero Blockbusters Survive or Thrive?

I nice read with a few interesting points and opinions.

Movie Blog and Reviews

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I have always loved a good superhero movie. I remember sitting in the cinema watching Batman Begins (2005) in absolute awe and anticipation for the next, but suddenly it seems that the film industry is becoming over-saturated by the superhero films that are based on Marvel and DC comics. The past decade has seen a massive increase of  Marvel and DC films with over 10 lined up for 2017/2018 alone compared with a much lower figure of 7 Marvel and DC films being released in the entire decade of the 1990’s. The Superman franchise has been pleasing cinema goers since the 1950’s and mainly dominated the superhero movie market until a few Marvel films released in the early 2000’s spiked some interest in the genre with Spiderman (2002) and X-Men (2000).

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It was when the likes of Captain America, Thor and Iron man films exploded onto the big screen, with something fresh…

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The Ancient Ram Inn Paranormal Investigation

 

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After a long wait I was given the chance to visit one of the most apparent haunted buildings in the UK. Built on 2 lay lines and has a history of torture witchcraft and sacrifice. It seemed to be the perfect recipe for the possibility of paranormal activity to occur.

Upon arriving I felt excited and yet slightly apprehensive as a few stories of on goings in the past loomed in the back of my mind. I managed to suppress such paranoid feelings and go at it with a level-headed approach so not to fall victim to my own imagination.

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We all entered the building and sat in what was John, the owners, living room. I found it quite homely as there20160423_200133 was a new TV and lots of trinkets and items around to look at. I however imminently noticed that it was a cold musty house with a lot of dust which I half expected people to be effects by and say it was paranormal as the night went on.

 

Once everyone was ready we had a quick tour and then went through into the room downstairs where we started the opening circle. In which everyone joins hands and the medium, in this case Bill, stands in the center and tries to call upon anything
to come forward. We waited for a few mins and nothing happened so split into 2 groups.

My group went upstairs into the notorious bishop’s room in which we did not knock to ask to come in. This is apparently a tradition that should be done but this time was not. Straight away a few people started to feel pins and needle20160423_200505es, head
aches or pressure. I myself felt fine and thought I’d have a lay down on the bed whilst people spoke to what seemed to be nothing more than thin air.

After leaving the room we proceeded to the witches’ room where I set up a Ouija board. A few of us sat around and I can thankfully say we had no fakes as it not move an inch. After about 10 mins we went downstairs.

Downstairs things started up much the same as the last room with a Ouija board, however Bill had an idea to try out some “trance” so we made our way to the accent grave where bones of a child were found, supposedly due to child sacrifice. Bill asked me to say my “chant” about asking anything from the past to come forward to now and join us. I started moving about asking random things and after around 10 mins Bill went into a small fit and everyone turned toSnapShot him.  He seemed to be supposedly in contact with a girl who had died there and seemed rather scared. We tried to get more information but Bill started to come around. Just as he came back the bed warmer to his right seemed to move off and away from the organ it was on and then slam back down.

 

This startled everyone and I had caught it very slightly on film. I watched it a few times over and saw Bills foot move slightly right around 5 secs before the item moves. It could be that Bill distributed his weight slightly and the item was wedged in such a way that this movement caused it to fall out and back. I am Also aw20160423_230809are that around the same this happened a lamp upstairs was knocked off its shelf. A believer would suggest the spirit Bill was channeling left his body and used his energy to move the bed warmer and then up through to the lamp above. Due to the nature of the house and how easy it is to knock things or things to fall a natural occurrence needs to be assessed first.

After this some people were a bit shook up and other existed and we had a break and decided to split up into doing what we wanted. I found that 18 people all distributed over the house made it hard to tell if sounds or knocks were them moving or something more so my group decided to go into the barn which was more out-of-the-way. Here I set up a phone App “geophone” which only goes off when the item it’s on or its self is knocked. I SnapShot(0)tested this by jumping about to make sure I could not set it off. Karen, my friend, set up a ghost box and K2 EMF reader at the same time. I asked a few questions and my device and K2 seemed to respond around the same time. This may be due to phone interference and the app I may have just go off randomly for effect so it’s hard to justify as paranormal. However when changing batteries on my camera a stone seemed to come from apparently nowhere and startled Dan and Karen. As I did not see this happen I cannot say it was not falling from a banister of the walls.

After this we started going round rooms trying to get anything and Bill did a few readings. We then went back into the Bishops Room where Dan started to feel unwell. He then left the room and was fine, but I asked him to come back in and he was unwell again. I believe he was having some type of psychological effect with that particular room. At some points he was driven to tears and I had to get Bill and Ivan to help him. Whilst he was being sorted I was told by a bunch of guys that someone was thrown from a chair in the witch’s room. At this point I requested we go back in for more.

Once in the w20160423_202439itches’ room I set my service bell up on the window seal and my camera facing a person on the supposed possessed chair. We started asking out for a witch or an evil man who was apparently preventing anything from coming through. After a while I started to get a bit board. Then suddenly my bell on the window seal went off! I could not believe it went off and was trying to find things it could have been instead. I then fixed my camera up to film it but it would not go off again. The only logical thing it could be is that a small bit of plaster or debris from above landed on it to create the ting sound. I cSnapShot(1)an only wish I can a camera filming it to see what the cause was. This being said it shook be up a fair bit and I felt that my night was complete and after 20 mins of trying to get it go off again and a quick table tip session where nothing happened we decided to call it a night.

Now in the moment of being in such a situation you need to be self-aware of your own mind-set and stay rational. If this is lost than paranoia or even hysteria can be caused. This being said is The Ancient Ram Inn haunted? This is a difficult thing to comprehend. My gut tells me something was not right about the house and the things occurring. It felt like there was more to the events that happened that night rather than a  long-winded rational explanation. My brain however thinks it must be explainable as the notion of a ghost being real opens up a whole can of worms and how we understand the world within a rational and scientific approach. Either way I had a great night and would recommend this as a good spot for any ghost hunter / paranormal investigator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bristol Hell In The Cell Horror Escape Experience

 

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I felt like the event had started before we even got in as we had to track from the building and go through a small gap in the fence.  We were then told to wait outside and then were met with other people joining the event.

Once it started we had to hand over any means of contact or recording devices over and were bagged and handcuffed and taken into a very dark room. Within this room, without saying where you are put or what happens in too much detail, you are expected to get yourself free and join together to continue to the next stage. Each part of the experience is based on cryptic clues and p20160217_170750.jpguzzles which you and your group must figure out in order to progress to the next stage. You are only given small touches with next to no battery life and constantly feel like there are things lurking in the corners. There are parts of the experience where you may or may not find help from  something I won’t go into in with detail, but I can say it is very helpful if you feel you’re getting stuck and use it wisely.

Once things start to pan out you get a feeling of accomplishment but can be pulled back down to panic when hit with the next situation. With a time limit in place to get out or you loose (and die…)  and the feeling that the killer may come at any moment will make your brain play tricks on you. There were moments when I did not want to walk out the room into the dark as I thought something was going to be there. This accompanied with jumpy moments, which made me burst into rapid swearing, which kept me immured throughout. at one point the killer was coming and I had everyone get down and be quite as if it was for real.

Overall I felt it was really well set-up and if you like to problem solve and love horror films this is for you. I can’t say I was terrified but more paranoid due to the atmosphere and lurking horrors that my own mind kept thinking up. In that sense it’s very psychological. This and the odd jump scares made it work well.

If I were to change anything I would have more jump scares, perhaps rigged spring loaded traps, and I would like to add a bit more muck into the mix such as fake blood spraying out. I may also add some physical challenges such as filling things with blood but the tubs have holes in. Aside from this it’s a great experience and seeing as my group escaped in time it had a good feeling of achievement.

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http://bristolhorrorescape.com/