Discussing genre and format in class made me think of how with so many tools on the internet now, there are many possibilities when it comes to sharing art and other media. On the internet with a variety of social media platforms and profiles, it can be hard to verify if something is in fact “real.” I also hadn’t realized how common changes in format occur. When it comes to art like music, books, TV shows and more, it happens all the time. I am most interested in how sometimes artists change the format of their art which results in it seeming more “real” or “authentic.”
An example of this that came to mind was the island of Eroda which I remember my friend confusingly texting me about last year when she was getting ads to “visit it.” Turns out it was all a promotion for Harry Styles’s new song “Adore You” where the music video takes place on the fictional island of Eroda (which is Adore spelt backwards).
Another example is the Norwegian teen TV show SKAM, which created actual Instagram and Facebook accounts for the characters. Fans are able to follow the characters and it makes it seem as if they are real people. This was one of the reasons I loved the show while watching it as it is really character-based, focusing on their development and storylines. Along with this, episodes and clips for the show would be put online by the Norwegian Broadcast Corporation in real-time, further blurring this divide between fiction and real-life.
I think doing this makes the art more interactive with the audience as it adds excitement to the franchise as a whole; you can even think of it on a larger scale like the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal.
While reading about my newest obsession, the Netflix musical series Julie and The Phantoms, I came across an article where the director Kenny Ortega talks about how they ultimately created a real band for the show and even hope to go on tour in the future. For this to happen, the cast went through various musical auditions along with group auditions where they were paired up as a band. In the show, the main characters Julie and Luke start songwriting together and Ortega reveals that Madison and Charlie (their actors) actually wrote their duet song that made it into the show.
This happens in the fan community a lot too. I’ve seen people create Netflix series pages for books like Six of Crows (which is actually happening!), The Foxhole Court and Heartstopper. Whenever I see these I am in awe of how real they look and I get excited even though it is just a fan edit. It also makes me think of fanfic which allows fans to be creative and immersed in the world even after its conclusion. One thing I have liked to do is make playlists or “aesthetic” photo collections for books I really liked which solidifies this image I have of it in my head. Even writing my guest blog post the other day – in which I wrote in the voice of a fictional character from the book I was reviewing – made me feel sort of like I was writing fanfic.
I think mixing or changing formats is a really important way to engage and bring in new audiences to a piece of art. I plan to experiment more with different formats on my blog, maybe in the form of music, photographs or more guest posts in the future!
*cover photo taken by myself*