WTF online audiences and animated documentary

Land, Ellie and Blythe, Mark (2012) WTF online audiences and animated documentary. In: The Animation Machine, The 24th Society for Animation Studies Conference, 25- 27 June 2012, RMIT University, Melborne Australia.

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"Everything Was Life is an animated documentary exploring the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). It was directed by the first author as a final year degree project and subsequently made available on YouTube. The intended audience for the piece was initially academic but its availability on YouTube has enabled it to reach a wider audience. At the time of writing the video has over 196,000 viewings and 324 comments. YouTube video analytics indicate that it was most popular in the USA, Alaska and mainland Europe. These statistics also suggest that males exclusively viewed it over the age of twenty-four. The paper asks what happens when an animation made for a small academic audience reaches a larger and unforeseen audience. It draws on critical theories such as reader response theory as well as the empirical data on YouYube to contrast the film maker’s original aims with the YouYube response. Comments on YouYube are analysed using a grounded theory approach. Responses include amazement confusion (WTF i.e. what the fuck), cultural distancing and ethical engagement. It is argued that the new media platforms such as YouTube not only offer animators new means of distributing their work but also insights into the ways that audiences other than those intended receive it.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: online audience, animation, documentary, female genital mutilation
Subjects: P900 Others in Mass Communications and Documentation
W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Ellie Land
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2012 14:40
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:41

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