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Friday, April 24th

Poster Number: 089

The Correlation between Film Score and the Film's Success

Courtney AR Singleton, Winthrop University

This research analyzes the correlation between film scores and films’ success. Without the film scores, films that viewers know and love would not be as successful as they are. This can be supported by analyzing how film scores have impacted the films that they accompany. Even during the silent film era, music has nearly always played a role in film. While the visuals of a film impact the viewer at a conscious level, the music impacts the viewer in subconscious ways that heighten the viewing experience. Examples of how pertinent film scoring is to the film can be seen through John Williams’ work for Star Wars and E.T., The Extra Terrestrial. In both works, the respective directors have claimed that the film was greatly enhanced by Williams’ scores. American Beauty, scored by Thomas Newman, is another example. These examples suggest that music is a consistent part of film, and furthermore, an important part of the artistic success of most films.

Poster Number: 090

Digital Access as a Socioculturally Minded Process: a Literature Review

Anslie Vickery, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Chen Chen, Ph.D.

“Access” has many meanings in digital media and rhetoric studies, and many scholars approach it differently. This literature review seeks to highlight the need for greater awareness of a more cultural approach to access. It is crucial to understand the presence of the physical human body, even in digital spaces, as identity often defines how we approach and interact with media and digital discourses. In studies of access to digital information, we approach a crucial question: how present is the human body in online spaces? When we enter digital spaces, does the body fade? How does our sociocultural status affect our access to digital information? Free and “available” information that is not adapted to as many bodies as possible still fails to be accessible. Accessibility is also a continuous practice, requiring continued study and adjustment to provide access to as many people as possible. This poster reviews and synthesizes past and current approaches to media accessibility, focusing on scholarship in digital and cultural rhetorics such as Angela Haas’ “Toward a Digital Cultural Rhetoric” and other scholarship from disability and accessibility studies, such as work by Melanie Yergeau. This project seeks to highlight the need for a more process-oriented view of access in digital media, ultimately concluding that the study and practice of media accessibility must become more socioculturally contextualized.

Poster Number: 091

Creating a Cult: How the Canterbury Monks Capitalized on the Myth of Thomas Becket in Popular Culture, Visual and Textual Imagery, and Branding

Martha Whiteman, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Kyle Sweeney, Ph.D.

The brutal murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in his own cathedral sent tremors throughout medieval Europe, prompting a subsequent interest in Canterbury Cathedral. Immediately following Becket’s death, people began to proclaim miracles in his name. Thus, the cult of Becket originated. Over the next four centuries, Canterbury would be a primary pilgrimage site, drawing pious pilgrims and curious spectators alike. This rapid influx of pilgrims can be linked to both the myth of Thomas Becket in popular culture and the Canterbury monks’ superiority in cultivating a cult culture. This research addresses three key points. One is the importance of miracle accounts in creating a populist cult. Laypeople were the first to convey miraculous accounts. In this way, they appropriated the miracle experience and attached themselves to the cult of Becket. The second key point is the superior marketing techniques the monks at Canterbury employed in attracting the masses. This includes capitalizing on the pilgrimage experience, which can be seen in an array of souvenirs produced near Canterbury (e.g., pilgrimage badges). The third key point is creating a sensorial environment that must be experienced. By engaging the pilgrim’s senses at every station of the cathedral, the monks strategically heightened the feeling of awe one feels at experiencing something spectacular. Much of this sensorial environment is created through the cathedral’s visual culture. This essay will provide new readings of the use of visual and textual culture in the manipulation of the pilgrim’s experience – an issue relevant to both the medieval and modern pilgrimage experience.

Poster Number: 092

Reviewer Comparisons of Popular Books and the Associated Film Adaptations

Elizabeth Johnson, Winthrop University

Faculty Mentor: Darren Ritzer, Ph.D.

Almost a quarter of the top-grossing movies across the world have been adapted from books. The goal of this research was to explore the link between the movie and publishing industries, addressing the common query of whether the book was better than the movie. Because books frequently drive movie production (and not the reverse), it was hypothesized that books would receive more positive ratings than film adaptations. The research began by identifying four movie genres, and then identifying three authors in each category whose best-selling novels were successfully adapted for the screen. Public reviews posted through sites for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Rotten Tomatoes, and IMDb were then collected. Previous research indicated that reviews on Amazon tend to be longer and more impactful than those on Barnes & Noble. A paired sample t-test comparing movie reviews (Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb) to book reviews on Amazon found that books were rated more positively than were the associated movies, t(85) = 4.48, p < 0.01. The same test comparing movie reviews to book reviews on Barnes & Noble found no significant difference, t(62) = 0.31, p > 0.05. These findings provide some support for the hypothesis. It is worthy to note that movies were never rated higher than books. At the very least, this research has provided some initial evidence that the book may be better than the movie, a tentative outcome that is likely to appeal to avid readers across the globe.