Research Ideas

The perfect paper topic. It really doesn’t exist. I’ve been looking for it in my head, on the ceiling of my room, under stones near Otter Creek. Nope. Nowhere. I didn’t even know where to begin and no I didn’t have a crazy realisation due to some uncanny occurrence. I tried narrowing down the movies that I love from the bizarre graphically disturbing, cheesy romantic comedies, chick flix, etc. but they weren’t that narratively intricate. I mean I have to say something about it for all them pages. I guess my uncanny revelation was going back to the blog and noticing that I didn’t necessarily need ‘A’ movie to write a paper.

So I began writing this post and Max Hulme and Roberto Ellis were in my room and talking about what we were going to wear for Halloween (I’m thinking Leeloo). And even though I wouldn’t categorise the fifth element as the ideal cult film mainly because of it’s box office success it got me thinking that I was just looking at it from the wrong angle.

So if Roberto dresses up as Ruby Rod, Max as Emanuel Zorg, and me as Leeloo we would be in some way creating a narrative of sorts. We are definitely going to take on aspects of the characters and play them out in some way. So I would like to investigate the cult film. I think this would be interesting to investigate mainly becausecult films have cult followings who take these narrative threads and weave them into the real world soaking in the light of their subjective interpretation. I’d like to see how these narratives manifest in the real world.

My second idea, on a similar note, is investigating the t.v show Heroes. It’s a comic book that is advertised for after every episode, there’s an online game too (it’s a facebook game) that functions similarly to WOW. You have to be a Hero and as you explore the worlds you acquire different powers and play not in fantasy lands but in 3-D renderings of real-world cities.

Well this is what I’m interested in but I know i have to narrow this down much more. Ideas?

  1. Jason Mittell’s avatar

    I think these are interesting ideas – one of the appeals of cult films & shows is the ability to extend their narrative universes into everyday life and enable fans’ opportunities to tell their own stories. You might want to look at the literature on transmedia storytelling and fan productivity – Henry Jenkins is the obvious starting point, but there’s a lot of other relevant sources. Additionally, there’s some good writing on the cult film phenomenon. You should definitely choose either film or TV as your core site, with the clear potential to widen your scope as media proliferate and converge. Good luck!


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