Remediation In Film
Updated: May 2, 2019
To understand what remediation is you need to look no further than the works of Bolter. In the film industry ‘new media and new genres are best understood by examining the ways in which they refashion… ‘older forms’ (Bolter 2000, 62).
Remediation in film is now seen a lot more in the modern-day film industry than ever before. Back at a time when films remediated books now film remediates multiple industries from video games, books, comics even previous film as recent as seen in Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman (2018) where we see clips of Birth of a Nation (1915). This specific example in BlackKklansman (2018) shows that modern day cinema is still borrowing from old cinema creating a homage to the origins of cinema. This creates a great sense of immediacy and ‘the desire for immediacy leads digital media to borrow avidly from each other as well as from their analogue predecessors’ (Bolter and Grusin 2000). This allows the audience to recognise what is going on and allows the audience to analyse further into the context of the film as there is already something with the film that is already recognisable and if not then it provides a new layer to be explored creating a different meaning.
Remediation from video games to films is becoming increasingly common and guarantees a financial influx as it already has an established audience that is guaranteed to generate sales. This is evident from films that originated from video games such as Assassins Creed (2016) and Warcraft (2016). According to boxofficemojo.com Assassins Creed (2016) and Warcraft (2016) both generated more income globally than it did domestically. This could suggest that the followings of these films are more widespread globally than domestically making it easier for production houses to generate a profit due to the massive market that the games have especially World of Warcraft (2016) which is an online video game this creates a level of immediacy hiding the process of issues such as computer-generated imagery (CGI). Warcraft (2016) really tried to rework the styles of this video game by using CGI to create characters from the game and create the world that they live in.
Reboots is also another form of remediation. An example of this would be Westworld (1973) cross platforms and moving to a new updated television series on HBO in 2016. It is essentially the same story taken and told again but with a new spin on the original. This means that it creates immediacy for the viewers as it gives them another platform for the audience to explore allowing them to get further into the story. However, one down side to this is that it means that older viewers will compare the text to the previous text that have already been viewed. This could potentially remove the immediacy effect and cause audiences to compare the two texts in how they are made and they might be able to see through the means of production meaning that the effect of immediacy is lost potentially removing audiences from the text and not allowing the reboot to stand on its own.
To conclude remediation is a positive notion in the film industry as it allows films to branch out to wider audiences but could in turn mean that audiences may start dissecting and comparing the films to the original texts whether it be a reboot or a brand-new film version of a game as seen with films like Warcraft (2016). As this may be an obstacle for the film industry to tackle in the long run it should make the film industry a more intelligent place and films will only get better.
· Bolter, J.D. ‘Remediation and the desire for immediacy’. Convergence. 2000: 6, 62
· Bolter J.D. and Grusin, R. remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge Massachusetts/ London: MIT Press, 2000.