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Compare, Contrast, Evaluate...

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Visual Media Theory


Marcin Kulpa


BCFE 2017


“Compare, Contrast, Evaluate…”


Introduction     p.1

Main Body        p.1

Conclusion       p.4

Reference List   p.5


In this essay I will evaluate the knowledge learned on the Visual Media Theory module. I will discuss and deconstruct some works of Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung in order to compare my approach to  visual and theoretical development in past and present. Towards the end of I will discuss the possible future in my development in Visual Media sector.

Main Body:

Without fundamental knowledge gained from the Visual Media module, adequate tactic, targets and long hours invested in the body of research, it is rarely possible to succeed.  

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  (Cummings and Teng, 2003).


However is the role of visual media sector to work out the way that product will be cohesive in visual language, educational, engaging e.t.c. (Phillips et al., 2009). How to create a body of work in the way that audiences will appreciate and want to buy the final product, be it a game, animation or ticket to the cinema?

What are the deciding factors for success?

Is it money? Sometimes. Is it luck? Rarely. Is it Story?

The importance of the story is the key factor for success. Either in a game, animation, movie and or any other representation of visual media, the storyline remains the most important factor.(Rosen, 1986)

In Visual Media Theory with the tutor Martin Hanley, the body of study for years 2016-2017 covered psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung and mythologist Joseph Campbell, Jungian Archetypes,  psychoanalysis, psychology, pedagogy e.t.c. Joseph Campbell books “The Power of Myth”, “The Hero with  a Thousand Faces” - symbolism , mythology, function of myth in Visual Media, to name few. We also watched a few movies and then discussed and deconstructed them in order to understand the roles of archetypes, scene setup and roles of actors e.t.c. It was an enjoyable experience and influenced me greatly.

A fascinating fact about studying Jung is that his area of investigation on the border of official science is still a cutting edge source of inspiration (Martino, 2016), moreover non ex-cathedra (Collins English Dictionary, 2017). In translation means not “from the (teacher) chair”, that situation obviously gives great opportunity for further investigation, which means: great and fascinating understanding of the human condition with not only  logical and proven reasoning (Harvey Bluedorn, 2017). Areas of the Jungian thesis on “The Shadow”, “The Anima and Animus” “The Self” , help to deconstruct patterns of archetypes that have repetitive tendencies across the continents(, 2017) and that helps in understanding patterns of values and moral appreciation in animation of characters or computer games development, with particular awareness of these issues coming from players interacting with violence and further effects in adolescent and adult life(nicolenomicon, 2015).

This sociological knowledge is helpful to increase the interest of the audience and that would be helpful in getting recognition in the market place. This fundamental knowledge will improve tools in the very competitive Visual Media market (Bens and Hamelink, 2007).


Where is all this reasoning is coming from ?

“Going back to psychoanalysts and continuing with modern terror-management theorists, some had argued that behind the need to create is the unconscious fear of death and the desire to overcome our necessarily limited time on this earth” (Kaufman and Sternberg, 2006)

This factor amongst others helps to create a great body of Art. Carl Jung’s concept of Complex in Archetypes (West, 2017) can be great body for studying the development of the hero character, however twenty book volumes known as Gesammelte Werke (Pilard, 2015, have much more to offer than officially accepted for thesis with only logical and empirical evidence (Rotter, 2016). Using Freud's methodology of deep analysis, Jung entered the field of religion and culture (Aziz, 1990), this way Jung met a wall of objection  where the western world of science believed that psychology needs empirical evidence (Sharlow, 2010), because a balanced human soul needs symbols, myths, pictures e.t.c.(Greenfield, 2013).

It was a great occasion to study the very influential and brilliant mythologist Joseph Campbell (Kapell and Lawrence, 2006).

Campbell’s theory about the archetypal hero journey influenced some of the best known people in Visual Media world like George Lucas, Kubrick or Dylan (Seastrom, 2015).

The knowledge gained in the Visual Media Theory every Monday had a great influence in the development on my 30 second video-commercial project. The “Hero's Journey” in the movie is divided in three acts and this scheme was well used in my commercial animation of the city train, where in the first camera shots the audience is acquainted with a morning environment, a dull color palette and a windy city scape referring to the ordinary world of the ordinary boy archetype. A Cross-Road accident refers to the threshold and obstacles in the beginning of the second act. The ordinary boy archetype, who is a car driver, tries to reach his destination on time but he’s stuck stuck in  traffic, what is referred to as the crisis at the end of act two and the car accident with Visual symbols emphasizing the failure by negative diagonal shape on the screen. In other words a bad choice of transport. The climax in the third act where the hero archetype: the one who saves the day (CARTER, 2016), in bright colors comes up on the scene as a solution with the accompaniment of positive music invites the audience to use a tram as transport instead of being stuck in the stressful morning traffic.



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