Saturday, 14 January 2012

Recently Published

My essay on Stephen Volk's notorious BBC drama hoax Ghostwatch has just been published in the January 2012 edition of Electric Sheep. The text examines the genesis of the program and how it used the codes and conventions of the live broadcast coupled with elements 'borrowed' from other programs such as Crimewatch to create an intensely real drama that convinced the nation's audience that not only was a house really haunted but also that popular TV presenter Sarah Greene was trapped alone with the restless spirits...

Here is a brief extract:

This graphic escalation of events should have been enough of an indicator to the audience that Ghostwatch was indeed fake, but such was the quality of the programme’s verisimilitude that the spectral events sustained the illusion of reality instead of breaking it. Herein lies the programme’s greatest strength: it mimics the visual language of reportage television so fluently that its fiction is, in some way, successfully incorporated into the illusion. The expected unsteady camera work, the poorly composed images as the cameraman adjusts his framing, the use of cutaways, vox pop and live calls all function to create a genuinely frightening work of fiction while simultaneously declaring it as real. It is the perfect synthesis of technical craft and concept, a true perversion of the language of television.

To read the full text, follow this link.

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