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Old December 8th, 2006, 06:14 AM   #1
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Filmmaking as a manipulative tool

I'm looking for some resources on how filmmaking can be used as a manipulative tool. I want to learn about how you can use filmmaking to change the way that someone thinks. Know what I mean?

Thanks for your help.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #2
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Easy: do a good job and give both sides of the debate ammo. You can affect change only if your opponents heed your message, and they will only do so if you do not insult their intelligence. If you are after only the gullible folk... that is another matter.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:54 AM   #3
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Maybe I'm missing your point. How can you NOT make filmmaking a 'manipulative' tool? In narrative fiction, you are crafting a story to MANIPULATE the viewers emotions towards a specific goal. In documentary, you are 'manipulating' the images you choose to show your viewer by choosing WHAT to shoot, what to KEEP, and how you ASSEMBLE (edit) those images... again, towards a specific goal.

Storytelling IS manipulation.

But again, perhaps I've missed the point of your question. Are you looking for historical reference books on great 'propoganda' films?
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Old December 8th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #4
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that's easy, google on the word PROPAGANDA.
Almost every country has used it.
Nazi, russian, american with vietnam and irak, scientology (they got nice little movie).
you just need to describe fact with a different point of view that brings doubts into the mind of the subject.
you can use lies or just telling truth, but omitting a part of it.
you can try to flood opinion with one version of the fact so people start to use it as reference.
Or you can make it like a secret and make it desirable, so people will want to know it.
look at the movies done about 9-11, or the Kennedy's murder....
Most of these movies are just telling facts , but trying to bring you to different consequences or pointing different causes than you could perceive by yourself.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 08:19 PM   #5
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Well I'm not only interested in the propaganda aspect, but also a lot of what is described as "The Kuleshov Effect".
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Old December 13th, 2006, 08:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Knight
I'm looking for some resources on how filmmaking can be used as a manipulative tool. I want to learn about how you can use filmmaking to change the way that someone thinks. Know what I mean?

Thanks for your help.

What is it that you are looking to change? This medium is the best for doing it, but what are your motives and goals???

Mike
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Old December 14th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #7
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Chris you ask a timeless question that can be answered broadly and narrowly.

Most broadly you are really asking: how can I persuade an audience? The answer, or better to say answers, are given by the study of rhetoric which is the study of how to use langauge (or how language is used) to persuade. Of course language can be spoken, or purely visual (as in paintings, photos, or silent films), or visual and spoken (as in film). For a staring point see http://rhetoric.eserver.org/ for some of the many definitions of rhetoric see http://www.stanford.edu/dept/english...pages/defs.htm. The wiki article is also good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric

Narrowly, perhaps you want to know about specific techniques that make up the persuasive vocabulary of film, or the rhetoric of film. As Richard points out, one answer is that ANY good film is persuasive and "manipulates" because it makes the audience want to believe in and become involved with the world it creates or the argument it makes. So any discussion of what makes a "good" movie or documentary can help answer your question.

Google "rhetoric of film" and you'll find this is a well-worn topic.

The "Kuleshov Effect" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuleshov_Effect) is really nothing more than what some rhetoricians call persuasion via "association" -- that is, when you talk about different subjects in a speech the audience tends to draw associations between them whether made explicit or not based on their own expectations and understanding of the world.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 07:20 PM   #8
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Well, this is actually for a paper that I'll be writing in the near future. I'm just looking for some sources for my research. Thank you all for your input. I think I now have a better idea of where I want to go with this.
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