All posts by classicstina

Blog #6

Introduction to my Unit:

My topic under Race and Pop Culture is humor. Humor is an important part of our course because it shows how we, as a society have evolved. It also discusses what could still be offensive to some, and serve as an educational lesson which would lead to a relaxed discussion on race and ethnicity. Questions I plan to cover are:

  • Why is it funny?
  • What about these comedy pieces do we like or dislike?
  • Is there something we find offensive?
  • If the research mentioned wasn’t known, then how would we feel about it?

 

Presentation of course Materials:

This list is (currently) an ever changing list. But so far here are some of the materials I hope to use:

  • “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” from Avenue Q
  • Good Hair starring Chris Rock
  • Interviews including Chris Rock
  • Scenes from How I met your Mother (Neil Patrick Harris and Wayne Brady are brothers in the show)

These materials will all show snippets of video most likely via Youtube.

After showing a clip of desired pieces, ask “Why is this funny?” Follow up with the research behind the comedy.

I plan to use a powerpoint type of presentation and provide link and citation for all of my resources. I also plan to link the presentation to my blog. This way my classmates will have access to the resources if they wish to look further.

 

A List of Public events

As far as this goes, I’m not entirely sure which I would like to use. I know that my group and I discussed have a group Twitter chat using a hashtag we came up with: #poprae. We had not talked about doing separate ones. I would like to bring this idea up to my group.


Blog #5

Blog about individual and group progress, goals and research…

As far as our group process goes, we have been collecting research and depositing it into our Facebook group. There, everyone is able to see and comment on our information and findings. Our goal, as a group, would be to have a more solid idea for our introduction and conclusion. Those are the two pieces we will be working on together.

My individual research is going well. I am really enjoying a lot of the interviews I find on Youtube. One, for example, is a great group of interview of Chris Rock. At first I didn’t realize what they would lead me to: a movie. Chris Rock came out with a movie in 2009 called Bad Hair. After watching the interviews, I want to view the movie and possibly use segments of this in my documentary.

I also am looking into the musical Avenue Q. There is a number from this production called “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.” In my opinion, I think this piece is genius. It is a perfect example of using stereotypes and satire to educate people. I am currently trying to find interviews on the directors or writers to get a sense of their research and inspiration.

This is where I stand currently…


Blog #4

Why do we need to have these conversations about race?  What can we do to shift the tides towards justice and change?  How can we connect to make our projects matter in the world outside our classroom?

I think it is important for us to have these conversations because we NEED to talk about these serious issues. There are many times that as a society we dodge bullets when it comes to addressing all the elephants in all the rooms. Either that, or we just make a joke of it. More importantly, we do this without even knowing if it will be well received, if it’s offensive, or if it becomes a defense mechanism. This is exactly why we need to talk about it.

I also think that in these conversations there are voices that want to be heard. Voices that want do be understood. Voices that need to be told the difference between right and wrong, fair and unfair, just and unjust. Sometimes people just need to take this opportunity as a learning experience. I think if people looked at these conversations as a learning opportunity, they would be more widely received.

Our projects can serve as these learning opportunities people experience. I don’t know. I could be completely naive about all of this, but I think that if I was introduced to this stuff through documentaries, presentations, panels, discussion boards, etc., I would be more open than if I had a conversation as to why I offended someone. We shouldn’t wait until we hurt someone to change our mindsets.


Blog #3

What will your part be in your group presentation?

In the Race and Pop Culture group, we decided to be a “unified separation.” That’s the only way I can think of describing it. We will each look into a different avenue involving race and pop culture. Mine, specifically, is Comedy. Together, each of us will present our findings, discoveries, presentations, activities, etc. as separate sections under the chapter of the Race and Pop Culture Umbrella. The information we will work on together is the introduction and conclusion. This is to make sure that we are all on the same page… well, maybe separate pages, but in the same chapter. We will reference our Facebook group specifically created for this project. This will serve as our information bank, and will also contain references, links, etc. to our finals projects and presentations.

What will you make as contribution to your final project?

Specifically, my goal is to enter the realm of race and pop culture in regards to comedy. My original idea was to survey various videos of episodes, shorts, skits, podcasts, shows, etc. I will then research the artist’s process, and figure out what he/she did behind the scenes to create his/her work.

I will choose the videos that have different backgrounds as to how they were created. For example, some of these artists may have actually done their research whether it be through history, sociology, psychology, etc. Others may have just looked at a stereotype and decided to run with it.

With this information, I intend to interview people of different backgrounds to show them my discoveries and get their before and after reactions. The point of this documentary is to show people that some of these comedians go further than just a shallow stereotype. That it “takes one to know one.” That we need to understand. Appreciate. Go further than what the shallowness of the world tells us.


Blog #2: The Proposal

Objective: I would like to make a 15-20 minute documentary about stereotypes and how they are perceived in Hollywood specifically comedic writing.

Materials:

  • Camera/Phone
  • Tripod
  • Videos of interviews
  • Interviewees
  • Editing Software (I have Adobe Premiere)
  • I also plan to make an organized storyboard of the documentary
  • Videos, books, magazines, Web info pertaining to topic for documentary discussion

Inspiration: My inspiration for this project is my love for film and creative writing. Sometimes I think comedians, writers, and directors aren’t given enough credit. I imagine some of them may do more than just think of a stereotype and make fun of it. I want to research the how and what they research to make their work.

In terms of people who would be involved, I want to interview fans of comedy and stereotypical shows. I’d like to share this information and get their take on it. If what I think is true, I imagine many fans would be surprised (I plan to be!)

The questions that would be asked would first pertain to their common knowledge of stereotypes. Then the questions for these interviews would concentrate into the video interviews (and other info) I find of comedians and figures in Hollywood.

I am very excited to go about this project in a creative way. I believe it will allow me to educate myself and others on stereotypes, and also allow me to express what I have learned in a challenging yet creative way.


Blog #1

The first part I’d like to address in this blog is the type of project I plan to do for the end of this course. I’m guessing that what I would like to make and my final project would go hand in hand. I am absolutely torn. There are two departments I’m headed towards: the creative piece, and the comedic piece. I love creative writing and I think it is one of my stronger features. If I were to travel down this path, I would most likely do a screenplay (or maybe a pilot episode). However, the comedic side I find so interesting as well. I think what I like most about it is the “why.” Why do we find certain movies or jokes funny? Perhaps I can combine the two…

Although I am still not entirely sure what we will be learning in this class, I am going to take a crack at the “What I’d Like to Learn” part. I suppose I would like to delve into the comedy pool of research. I enjoy how movies, comedians, etc. portray the different stereotypes. More importantly, I am interested to see if the people in this industry do research based on these stereotypes, or research towards how people perceive them, or both, or many neither and I’m way off. If I ever decide to go into film and make something if this nature, I want to educate myself as much as possible on this topic. No one wants to be that ignorant director/writer/producer/insert-title-here. No, no one wants to be THAT guy.

In regards to the most powerful way to connect my individual agenda, it would probably be through my project mentioned above. Whether I get the chance to film it in this class or in the future and submit in to an independent film festival, I think it would be a great way to show people what I will learn in this class.

That’s all for now.