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ameliajc

Experience of live tweeting

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I have generally enjoyed the live tweeting experience in this class. At the very least it's a great way to experience the camaraderie of the group, and it gives shape to my Friday evening viewing. So many great comments -- funny, wise, insightful (and not least from our professor - thanks @redwards7 ). But I find I have mixed feelings here, because it's also like having people talking constantly throughout the film, which is hard to suppress but also totally annoying, right?  

   In addition, I particularly found it difficult to tweet during Rear Window. More than any of the other films we've watched, this one is visually saturated. Every second on camera view showed a glimpse of some activity in the windows, some little moment that filled out the characters' lives. it was hard to miss the really big moments (we got plenty of opportunity to see Grace Kelly flashing the wedding ring, for example), but I felt obliged to rewind to get the Hitchcock cameo, because I had totally missed it (and again thanks to the prof for pointing it out). 

   I'm wondering if live tweeting isn't best for people who are seeing the movie for the tenth time. It seems clear that many tweeters have prepared in advance -- the comments indicate anticipation of certain moments, or  consist of posting still movie shots that have been culled ahead of time, or perhaps some of you even have a Twitter library of comic-book reaction images that you can insert at will (like a radio sound-effect library). I'm also not so quick using the Twitter app on my phone and wonder if I should be sitting in front of the TV with my computer -- but that feels like sacrilege to me. 

   Is anyone else having a similar reaction? Do you experienced Tweeters have any advice on how best to use the back channel for those of us who are relatively new to the process? I admit that Rear Window might be the exception in terms of how packed it is with interesting visual information. (I might have positively welcomed some twitter distraction during Trouble With Harry.)  

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Everything you've said resonates with me. Live tweeting lousy movies with a snarky crowd can be fun, but I think great films deserve more of my attention. I do, however, review the #Hitchcock50 tweet thread to glean what are some illuminating observations.

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Everything you've said resonates with me. Live tweeting lousy movies with a snarky crowd can be fun, but I think great films deserve more of my attention. I do, however, review the #Hitchcock50 tweet thread to glean what are some illuminating observations.

 

I totally get where you are coming from. Live tweeting isn't for everyone. And there are different live tweeting practices. As an instructor of a rather sizable Hitchcock course, I am consciously attempting to be different from other uses and I use it in a more instructional sense.

 

Since I am teaching a class on Hitchcock, I find it useful to show you how I am "reading" the films and show what is catching my eye in real/reel time - but of course, that takes a lot of preparation and I have images ready to tweet for most of the points I want to make - My live tweets in that sense should be read more as a scholarly commentary than an attempt to make the film "fun" or my attempt to engage with others who might just want to share their reactions or feelings about a cinematic moment. Though I have absolutely no issues with any of the other usages and practices--that is not my point here--I am just trying to express what I am seeking to accomplish by live tweeting.

 

That said, if it is your first time watching a film, then I do think my kind of live tweeting is distracting and takes away from the movie -- what to watch? The film? The live stream? Add your own comment? What did that character just say-- you get my point.

 

When I participate in a live tweet about a film, I tend to watch the film in advance so that the live tweet is at least my second engagement with the film. With REAR WINDOW, for example, it was at least my 20th viewing - that way if I get sidetracked in a twitter conversation, I've already seen the movie. 

 

Finally, all my live tweets can be read or perused after the film or really any time at all -- so don't hesitate to review what I tweeted as I point out things about each of those films that you might find of use. 

 

Hope this helps.

 

Best, Prof. Edwards

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Thanks for your response, Professor. I have appreciated your observations during the live tweets, nearly always helping me better see the cinematographic techniques in play, or identify the ongoing motifs. Works better for some films than others. I can see that TCM's decision to show the films chronologically left very little wiggle room for choosing what would be shown at 8 pm on Fridays. In fact, because some of the films you featured ended up being shown at 3 am, I just have to watch them at a later date. Must add that my favorite part of your courses are the Daily Doses -- I really appreciate a close reading of a (signature) scene. Your live tweets continue that approach. So, again, thanks!

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