Why Life in Meta?
I’ve discovered the term meta-film while researching my university dissertation on breaking the fourth wall, a playful technique that bridges the gap between fictional characters and the audience through direct address. I categorized the highest form of wall-breaking as the meta-film, because it unveils the process of filmmaking and makes the viewer aware of the creator’s presence. (Watch here)
This method challenges the suspension of disbelief in cinematic narrative and can give the audience “power” to see through media manipulations. Since then I look at cinema from a different perspective and whether it keeps its receivers passive and malleable or active and “in on the game”.
Cinema’s ageing and the new wave of social technology have altered the relationship between the creators and their audience, because it ceases to be one-directional. I believe we are witnessing a new media literacy that is rapidly advancing, because the active consumers want to work and play together with the creators, they want a quick exchange and communication line with them. This ping-pong of ideas will keep both sides on edge in a good way and advance media literacy and possibilities of expression even further – as the millennial generation will grow savvier, media creators need to cater for their ever changing needs.
What I mean by Life in Meta is this new realm of relationship that is being explored and experimented with as we speak. I adore this new era because it holds endless possibilities – or let’s say wormholes to alternate universes J. My starting point is cinema, because that is my main passion and how I discovered meta in the first place, and I will write on topics such as the creative process, immersive experiences, cloud-filmmaking, social video, live action role-play and curation.
However, as meta relates to the beyond, I might not colour within the lines of the subjects I chose, and divert to other topics too.
What is meta ? It’s a state of mind, an in-joke or the key to understanding life.
“Meta” stems from the Greek word “after” or “beyond” and is frequently associated with self-referential films, used as inside jokes for the knowledgeable or in a rhetorical and philosophical manner. But it also means “among” – which leads me to believe that, what we think is beyond and out of reach, is actually among us.
It is a way of seeing things, of stepping back and looking not just at the bigger picture, but beyond the picture. Why is the picture big? Why is it there in the first place? Why are we looking at this big picture and not another?
What happens to the people behind the cameras and beyond the screens? What is the relationship between screen and audience? Where do characters go after the book is closed, what happens to them after the THE END title?
Disclaimer – I’m not claiming to know all the answers nor to being an authority on this subject. I’m discovering it alongside you. Maybe I’m opening your eyes to something I’ve glanced at and you’ll take me further. These are my journeys, impressions and life lessons and I hope they will be of use to you in one way or another.