305MC: Spectacle & The Panopticon


  • The Panopticon – A type of prison designed by philosopher jeremy Bentham wherein all the cells are visible from the centre of the building. it engenders the feeling that someone is watching you, even though you know the contrary.
  • By definition we can say what we are, for example you can say that you are a photographer but how do you get the title of a professional photographer? You become a professional photographer when you find someone (companies & other filmmakers or distributers) to distribute your work and when you have power. You need power to get the title you want. How do you get it? there are different stages, it is who you know not what you know. Power is the key to getting what you want.
  • The counter discourse has always been the way to get people to accept the views and thoughts of the powers.
  • The greater powers of media and greater society are in a system where they are in a higher educational situation, they are higher than us in terms of being recognised. We need to not conform to the system, become higher and make something that is independent and resistance towards the system that begrudges us the higher powers.
  • Mainstream is pulling everyone in, all filmmakers are politically transgressive pieces of work. Someone can find an audience and the mainstream wants them to walk through the door; it accommodates to the new.
  • Media Production is all about learning how to produce spectacle. The power is even more important now, because it is vital to know who you are making it for, what you are doing it for, why are you doing it, do you agree with all of the power? We will face all of the problematic moral questions that we have to ask ourselves. It’s when you will feel the power, when things are out of your control.
  • TASKFilm a video for YouTube. Make a short video essay of 2 minutes. Based on our chosen theme, for next weeks lecture. The video can be anything, interviews, narrative etc. Get across a clear point. We are speaking to the audience of what we think, but the reality needs to be shown too. The video has to put across a counter discourse with putting a sense of the dominant discourse too, it is in for next week. The group with the most views for their piece of work will win.

My Ideas for the video task

(Taken from the group Facebook)

1: News Programme/Segment = A story on the reality of what is really happening in this case of Madeleine’s disappearance and the fabricated truths that the media and the ‘powers’ have fed us; do we really know what is going on?

Are there lies that have been fed to us without us knowing? This could be good for us to ask the audience questions, it could also help them to think more about how we are constantly fed so much media that sometimes we don’t really know what the truth is.

2: An imagination/remake of the crime watch programme, like something happens between takes or the presenter can go over her lines to tell lies. It could be focusing on the higher powers censoring what is said or how it is presented.

3: Another idea I thought about would be the parents going through what happened that night, from the crime watch programme and then going on to show what really happened, by what the press have said and how the media have really portrayed them. Basically it would look like they are lying and going against what they are saying by showing something that isn’t what they are presenting to the world, showing how we (we being with the media) can manipulate what they say and how the discourse can change when we tell them something that they may think in their brains.

So like it would show something that goes against what they are saying, meaning if it was really on TV it would make the couple seem like they are lying and that they are simply playing up to the powers to gain support.

4: Going on from what was said today, this case is the failure of the panopticon, it is said that this is the failure because all the surveillance etc has n’t worked, why hasn’t she been found by now if we were watched constantly? why aren’t there more cases where children can be found immediately? It’s wrong to say that society is safe and that we are in the panopticon because this case proves that it doesn’t work, crime watch also proves that it is failing.

so my idea for this one would be to show the failure of the panopticon and like a documentary that this is proving that it’s not working, using this case as a prime example, having it as a backdrop, you know?

5: The final idea that I Had was to simply reinact it in a way that would be simple. It kind of links in with what I said in number 4. Do the reconstruction in a way where the child goes missing but if the media worked and panopticon worked properly and she was found immediately and the person or people responsible were persecuted and the system worked as though it is meant to, then we could go back and show how really in reality it isn’t and hasn’t worked at all and she is still missing 6 years later.

Am I right in thinking that the dominant discourse for this would be the beliefs of what we have about this particular topic? Discourse is the way of talking about something, the terms etc. It contains meanings that are understood by groups of people or by a particular culture. so that would mean that this is something that we believe to know about this stuff.

The counter discourse would be going against what the norms are, meaning what the understood languages are and what the terms are in society etc; and how they are wrong and how they do not work and how society is failing because of it. Discourse is the beliefs of a group of people or a particular culture, meaning the higher powers of society and the media and how what they think does not work and cannot be the way that we function, using this case as a way of showing that the counter discourse is the reality and the dominant discourse is something of a fantasy of the powerful and controlling media as well as higher society.


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