Lying Media Bastards

October 17, 2005

Slice and Dice

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Although you don’t see it as often as you’d expect, I remember seeing ads for movies some years back (can’t remember which ones, of course) which highlighted different aspects of the film in order to woo specific audiences. The ads on Lifetime made the movie look like a romance, the ads on ESPN made it look like a tough-guy action flick, the ads on the Sci-Fi channel emphasized the special effects, the Comedy Central ads played all the jokes, you get the idea. It’s all about the power of selection and context in editting. Our brains are quite good and filling in the gaps by connecting the dots we’re given, and exploiting that tendency allows advertisers to collaborate with us on drawings that never existed.

To highlight how completely an edit job can change meaning, check these out. They’re a series of movie trailers re-cut by the media team P.S. 260. You may have seen their version of “The Shining” online already, making the haunted/psycho tale look like a heart-warming tale of a boy and his new dad, but you can also see their horror-fied “Titanic”, their “West Side Story meets Outbreak”, and the horror of “Cabin Fever” transformed into a weepy story of friendship and discovery.

Honestly, this is just your standard “look at these funny links I found” post, but as Captain Media Critic, there was an undercurrent of profundity to these videos as well.

Posted by Jake on October 17, 2005 6:58 pm

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