In case you didn’t know, the Internet really, really, really wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to win an Oscar a few weeks ago. The five-time Oscar nominee wasn’t the only one disappointed one when he walked away (again) empty handed. Heartbroken fans of the “Wolf of Wall Street” actor went to the social media to express their frustration after Leo failed to win. Again.
The angst for Leo to take home an Oscar began in an interview (here), when he spoke out about what it would mean to him to be recognised at the Oscars awards ceremony, with him saying that “everyone wants to be recognised by their peers” at some point in their acting career.
The media text I will be analysing is a fan made gif of Leo’s Golden Globes speech – but with different subtitles. I found this on Tumblr a few weeks ago and until I started this blog post I actually thought it was his real speech.
This text makes evident the new form of participatory culture where consumers take media in their own hands, “reworking its content to serve their personal and collective interests” (Henry Jenkins). This concept of the ‘produser’ exists because of technological advances, and has given a new meaning to fan culture.
Interactions between the producer and audience definitely impact on the reading of the text and its meaning. This gif was created after there was a substantial amount of user-generated content on Leo and his Oscar already on social media. This means that majority of the audience would have understood the story behind it. However it would have a very different meaning to the members of the audience who didn’t realise he didn’t actually say this in his acceptance speech, *cough cough me*.
Before I was more informed about the memes and tweets about Leo, I thought he literally cried and that was why everyone was posting crying memes.
The ever-evolving technology we have in 2014 is pretty outstanding and some of the user-created content definitely could be crossing a line if someone was to take it literally.
However in this case I really don’t think people taking the memes literally would harm DiCaprios name. It’ll just make them want to hug him.
Some interesting questions to be asked from the text, include why would these consumers feel the need to become a produser, or a collaborative media creators?
Because people on social media love it! I’m not ashamed to admit that I was one of the fans left reeling after he was left Oscarless. If you say you’re not, you’re lying. Titanic, come on.
These producers are motivated by a desire to enrich the community of fellow fans, or as suggested by Axel Bruns (2007), “the collaborative and continuous building and extending of existing content in the pursuit of further improvement.” Furthermore, by contributing to websites such as Tumblr, others will also create content and keep the website running.
Another interesting question to be considered is; will Leo ever win an Oscar? And from that, I wonder if when the Oscars is next on, these gifs and memes will reemerge or will be built upon.
I’ll leave you with a few user created content that made me giggle.