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The Concept and Effects of Media Convergence and Digitalization

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Arts and technology have given birth an extraordinary creation—film, and it brings unparalleled artistic enjoyment to its audience. When film first appeared in the society, there are countless people knelt down before her beauty and charm. And TV has been defined as ‘the provoker of meanings and pleasures, and of culture as the generations and circulation of variety of meanings and pleasures within the society’ (Fiske 2011). The film and television both have experienced a lengthy sublimation from black and white silent to colour sound. During this time, digitisation and convergence made a huge contribution. What is convergence and what is digitisation? Media convergence is the merging of mass communication outlets, and digitisation is the conversion of analog information into digital information. Nowadays, some believed that high-end technology and media convergence enables the consummate integration of TV, movies and digitial effects. However, the influence of technology and convergence is a sword with double blades, and it has also contributed to some negative impacts while actively stimulating the development of film and television. Irrefutably, the digital innovation and the convergence has inaugurated a new era for the TV and film industry.

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Digitalisation and convergence enrich the methods of filmmaking and greatly increases the speed, efficiency and flexibility of it (Apuzzo 2006). The digitisation introduced the high-definition digital cameras and now they are taking control of the mainstream filming industry. Eventually, the old, inefficient photographic film can be slowly retired from the stage. Digital convergence provides a new creative space for film art. The use of a computerised camera makes the camera’s function exceed the human eye. It can find out the perspectives and capture the subtle detail that the human eye can’t see, which can provide the audience with more visual feast. Furthermore, digital technology is not only restricting in the field of pre-recording and post-production, it involves various fields and stages of film production. For example, the masterpiece of digital movie — Avatar, presents some unheard-of-a-kind creatures and magical scenes to make the audience feel like all is just on their fingertips. The prospect of digitalisation and convergence is limitless. Because of them, filmmaking will be filled with imagination and creativity, they used to like a beast trapped in a cage, bounded by traditional techniques. Impossibilities are getting out of spotlights, possibilities are rooting and sprouting in every inch of the ground.

However, the wide application of digitization in movies and the media convergence can easily misleading film creations paying too much attention to digital technology and ignoring the true connotation and arts of the film. If the film is overemphasized on virtual effect scene, and aiming the audiovisual effect of creativity, attraction, and stimulation as the ultimate goal, it is easy to overlook the important position of art and thought in the film. As the mainstream of present world development, most movies are becoming more commercial, developing and producing films based on commercial needs. The media convergence has brought people thousands of ways to access to a movie, by subscribing, following they can have tens of thousands of movies to choose, so how to stand out in so many movies? Eye-catching effects.

Inevitably, the film creators, they resolutely and determinedly abandon their conscience, after seeing the tremendous value that digitization brought. Devote themselves to the use of technology, while the arts and connotation reduce to a tragedy accessory to the pursuit of film. Undoubtedly the whole movie is empty and cannot withstand scrutiny. Artistic as the spiritual pillar of the film, can furnish the film a deeper content and exquisite beauty, no matter how superb technology cannot be surpassed, which is why many Hollywood classic movies can still last forever in the development of digital film.

The digitisation of television has led to turmoil in the copyright of television programs (Quisquater and Macq 1995). Analyzing from a technical perspective that indeed, TV has gained more channel capacity in digitization, and the image quality has achieved a qualitative leap, and users have also got more program choices. However, the electronic scripting has brought unprecedented crisis to the copyright of the program. The rise of technology and emerging industries has made investors see tremendous prospects and endless wealth. They are scrambling to launch TV programs, such as TV series and variety shows. . . Numerous TV works have emerged in an endless stream. Before digitization, all TV shows use a card to store negatives plates and is an actual dedicated database to store them. However, with the breakthrough of technology, all the negatives plates are backed up in the electronic format in the cloud, even if it is encrypted, it is not foolproof. The cost of piracy of copyrighted materials has become extremely low. For the content and audio of TV programs, anyone can copy and distribute these programs through screen recording and sneak shot. (Quisquater and Macq 1995)

Television programs are gradually becoming networked, moving from a single model to two distinct models through the journey of media convergence. Traditional TV programs like news, are interviewed by photographers and journalists, and professional personnel are editing. The quality of the interviews completed in this mode is high, and the scheduled broadcasts are broadcast on specific channels, but they are time-consuming and labor-intensive. And ratings are dependent on a specific audience. The other is very random, it is spontaneously shot by the public, uploaded to the Internet in real time, then filtered by the software program, edited to polish, and then reported on the event. This way not only captures the first scene, but also saves time and effort, and is closer to people’s lives. Now it has become a hot way to get news. The traditional role of journalists is an indispensable role in news events. The whole process of participation in problem presentation, analysis and conclusion analysis, and the first-hand news material. After the media integration, people can easily obtain information through the Internet platform. The audience also bears the dual identity of the information receiver and the information disseminator. At this time, the reporter is like a ghost, and only when it is mentioned will it be noticed.

The changes that have resulted from convergence and digitization of TV and film is quite controversial, people really enjoy the spectacular artistic experience and premium quality of life brought by the changes. However, a series of hidden dangers are imminent. If we want to maintain the sustainable and stable development of the TV and film industry, then solving these problems is the first to bear the brunt, or it will cause immeasurable losses in the near future.

Cultural convergence

Cultural convergence is when different cultures become more and more similar and things like beliefs, values, customs and behaviors become alike. This is mostly shown with countries that interact and communicate, such as India and Pakistan. Communication and languages are incredibly important, as through languages we can see the impacts of cultural convergence and globalization throughout the world. Cultures converging has an extremly positive impact to the world, as it is bringing countries closer together than ever before. Through the help of media, people from different places can learn more about cultures from different areas. Clothing, religion and languages are now shown to many people in the world. Things such as technology and sports are things that are helping us to build a common culture, as in the past, different parts of the world barely understood one another.

With the aid of technology and the internet, many people are now able to communicate with each other. However, culture convergence isn’t always a positive thing, as more and more of the unique characteristics of different cultures are being washed away. Languages, for example are one thing that is very quickly diminishing as English seems to be dominating the globe, and because of this, native languages are struggling to survive and are on the brink of becoming dead. Kyzl, is a perfect example of this, as native languages such as Tuvinian, are slowly dying out, as the younger generations choose not to learn and use it in favor of English, Spanish and Mandarin. This is most likely due to the increasing amount of media shown all over the world, from news, to movies and music. These are mostly in English, so in order for them to be connected with the majority of the world, learning English is a must.

Tourism is a huge part on how cultures are losing its distinct characteristics, the people in Omo Valley for instance, is a prime example of this. Due to increasing tourism within Ethiopia, tribes have been taken and housed in ‘modern’ villages, and have now become beggars, as agriculture would have been impossible due to no land allowance. They now live on photo money from tourists, Suri women who would normally paint their faces for weddings, now do so whenever tourists come around, and childrenwould remove their shirts and climb up trees. They do so for the ‘authentic’ photo that tourists and photographers look for.

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To prevent globalization, several countries, such as North Korea and Bougainville are trying it’s best to preserve their culture. North Korea has tried to protect its culture by isolating itself from the rest of the world, as they are striving to become self-sufficient; however, both countries have only recently got in contact with the outside world. To conclude, cultural convergence is extremely helpful to the world, however, it is only to a certain extent, if it goes further it seems like it will be impossible to distinguish one culture from another, as cultures would become carbon copies of one another.

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