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Postmodernism and Multimedia Essay

The premises of postmodernism include the spread of globalization, deviation from the “universal truth”, non-linearity and flexibility and that it can be closely associated with computer technology. These premises can be found and embodied in today’s multimedia. Multimedia itself can be considered a postmodern creation because of the nonlinearity in its creation, storage and distribution especially with the advent of the World Wide Web and other technological advances (Phillips c. 2003).

Multimedia is also an entertainment form that branches in different directions, deconstructing and reconstructing the experiences to suit different individual tastes. It links different sections and components, making the media more interactive and more convenient for the audience as they go through the sections of their choosing. This proves its nature true as an integration of multiple media that can multiply the impact of the message/s the multimedia would want to impart to its audiences (Pant 1999).

Multimedia methodology and production itself can be said to be generally postmodern because of the technologies and the demands they need to adapt to in order to satisfy the demands of the today’s market. Postmodernism, is, thus the heart of this era’s multimedia methodology and production. The methodology and production of multimedia is a process that involves multiple steps that include conceptualization, development, preproduction, production, postproduction, and documentation with each phase being further subdivided into different activities (Pant 1999).

Conceptualization and development, mostly take a linear approach (though these may become non-linear depending on the medium of technology it should be adapted to), but the preproduction, production, postproduction and documentation stages get more complicated as the multimedia reaches more audiences. This is where postmodern methods, like non-linearity, enters in. This is a case in point in movies, wherein, after the theaters, they go to the DVD.

In the DVD, they get reproduced by adding commentary tracks, behind-the-scenes documentaries, deleted scenes and outtakes which involve the stages from production to documentation (Owczarski 2007). Because of the new edits to DVDs and other media such as downloadable videos, the media has been made to be more interactive with a click of a button and lends to its non-linear quality. Tied into its production and methodology, the different sections that are being inputted into the multimedia are not created linearly and are edited into the work piecemeal depending on the market’s demands and the playfulness of the media produced.

The multimedia are not only transmitted through the Internet and DVD but are also being distributed non-linearly to other mediums such as the mobile phones and other devices that makes creators go back and forth in the production process making it spiral rather than linear in order to accommodate the demands of technology and the public and still having almost the same experience in the end. Flexibility is also very evident in today’s multimedia as evidenced by different mediums where they are presented in.

Some of the most popular mediums are online streaming sites such as YouTube. While traditional media uses video cameras to create videos, postmodern methods use different technologies to create videos devoid of the professional touch. As stated by Ann Hornday in her study of the phenomenon of the public’s production of their own media contributions, “The mobile phone camera has introduced a whole new version of variety, delivering spontaneous, intimate, unedited footage.

At their best, these slices of life – devoid of structural conceits and often of narration – transport viewers to places and situations they would never otherwise be privy to. And they can land unexpected emotional punches. No CNN report and few feature-length documentaries could capture the stark terror of a two-minute video recently uploaded to Metacafe. com, in which a U. S. Army convoy on a routine run dodges a bomb on an Iraq street” (2007).

Such is the nature of today’s multimedia. Postmodernism in multimedia has expanded the experiences of audiences around the globe because of its introduction of the idea of versatility; being able to explore different environments that would otherwise be closed off to traditional media. As today’s technologies demand more portability and accessibility, multimedia has adapted to become more flexible to the growing requirements of its consumers.

Some of these technologies come in the form of handheld technologies such as PDAs and mobile phones which have varying and more compact requirements. Since the requirements of these small and less complicated devices are different from those stated above, the creation of multimedia is increasingly becoming more flexibly created and recreated. With the addition of textual design in different forms of multimedia, the current technology has enabled the audience to interact with and participate in the media-making experience itself.

The different technologies that have emerged has made it possible for various ways to present multimedia, regardless of proper lighting, sound and focus, and is still able make an appealing video to the audiences (Hornday 2007). This disregard for traditional means for professional multimedia creations and the non-professionalism of the publicly-made multimedia has made the postmodern movement of media an exciting experience that has made it possible for multimedia to flourish unlike other media forms. These, and other postmodern influences, has made it the most successful form of media that makes it the heart of multimedia.


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