*Header image made by me.
Media and morality are interlinked. Anything from moral conviction to changing social attitudes can be expressed – visually, lyrically, literally. For me, media is intrinsically linked to the moral development of viewers especially in the way it challenges people to rethink the ideas presented within it.
When we cross into the morally grey threshold in film and animation, we begin to start questioning whether or not the depictions of morally wrong behaviour through media is glorifying, or at its worst, condoning.
When A Clockwork Orange was released, the UK media reported a spree of alleged copy-cat crimes, where a 16-year-old boy had beaten someone to death in a manner mirroring that of the film (Bugge, 2013). Coincidence, or influence? Can the fictional world of violence really drive people to commit similar atrocities?
It’s no denying that, to some extent, media that we expose ourselves to influence our moral convictions – positively or negatively. A network report in 2010 revealed that positive representations of LGBT characters on television led to a noticeable change in attitudes towards them (GLAAD, 2010).
Exploring the confines of what is considered socially or morally acceptable is critical to the freedom of media, and particularly what drew me to watch, read, listen and create. Inventing stories and creating characters isn’t just about creativity – it’s about challenging human nature.
My own take on this is a developmental story arc hopefully transitioning into a web-comic, featuring short animatics, within the next year or so. Rather than relying on preconceptions, it forces you to look beyond the first layer and delve into individual morality. An angel with a cause to protect his people jeopardises the lives of others; a crime so immense that revenge is the only absolute course of action; grief blinding a demon beyond any ability to make a rational decision – is any of it justified? Depends on your perspective, which is exactly what I want audiences to explore within the narrative.
The core of a great media piece is not only the story, but the themes behind it – the message that transcends all cultural and political boundaries within the universe. Ambition and downfall in Macbeth, censorship and illusion of freedom in 1984. Media itself is an untapped reservoir of influencing potential, and when bound by the laws of creative freedom, it’s available for anyone to take advantage of, and it’s something that people in the film and animation industries have been tackling for decades. Good job team.
Bugge, C., (2013) The Clockwork Controvesy, The Kubrick Site. Retrieved from http://www.visual-memory.co.uk/amk/doc/0012.html
2009-2010 Network Responsibility Index, (2010) GLAAD. Retrieved from http://www.glaad.org/files/NRI2010.pdf
Image retrieved from http://411posters.com/2016/04/a-clockwork-orange-by-nikita-kaun/