Media's Power And Control Over Society In The Truman Show
Whether we are watching television for mere entertainment or to gain information from the news, media fabrications exist to either alter our perception of reality within the realm of the show itself or our own external reality as well. The Truman show is a satirical science fiction film released in 1998, directed by Australian film director Peter Weir. The power of media is explored by Weir throughout his film with the use of cinematic techniques. The films unique style allow the audience to experience how a major production is filmed and as a result comprehend the magnitude of the media influence over society.
Camera angles and shots are used to display the power of media in The Truman Show. Within the film the director of the actual Truman Show is a man named Christof. In the movie Truman’s life was being controlled. To stop Truman from wanting to leave the island they decided to alter his personality and fears by “killing” his father. This caused Truman to develop a fear of water which would prevent him from ever leaving the island since it is surrounded by water. During this scene Weir uses a range of different camera angles to make the scene more dramatic and this works because when the camera was showing the audience’s reaction to the scene it was clear that they were shocked and upset. This is a great example of the media control over society. Anything that someone sees on television or the newspaper can affect them and change their lives forever. For example: If someone sees the movie “Jaws” they could develop a lifelong fear of sharks and even possibly the water. Another good example of how camera angles and shots are used is product placement. Since the Truman Show is running 24/7 there are no ad breaks. To make money the director of the show uses product placement. In one scene, Truman’s wife, Meryl, picks up a can labelled “Mococoa” and faces the camera before changing her dialogue and talking as if she was in a normal advertisement. The camera itself zooms in on her while she’s advertising the product. This once again shows the medias power. Advertisement and product placement can alter our opinion on certain products and cause us to want those products because our favourite celebrity is using them. The media uses its power to control what the audience buys and makes profit from it.
A great example of the Medias Power And Control Over Society In The Truman Show is the man in the bathtub. Throughout the movie there are multiple times where Weir shoes the audience’s reaction to the Truman Show. One of these people is the man in the bathtub. He is seen multiple times throughout the movie, and he remains in his bathtub the whole time. He is completely fixated on every action that Truman takes and this is a good example of how the media can grip their consumers. He did not even realise it but his life was basically being controlled by the Truman Show. He slept in his bathtub and when Truman was escaping from Seahaven in the boat, he can be seen clenching onto his shower curtain screaming “HOLD ON”. He is so emotionally attached to what he is seeing on his television that he can’t help but cheer for him. This is the level that the media can control as at, to the point where we are emotionally attached.