The film called “The Truman Show” directed by Peter Weir and released in 1998 is a beautiful work presenting the description of a reality show. In the nineties, the genre of reality shows started to gain popularity very quickly.
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The producers predicted that reality television is going to have global success. This genre was relatively new to the audience of 1998; this is why the film “The Truman Show” appeared, it reflected the common fascination towards the reality television in the society of that time.
The film highlights all the standard features of the reality show including the advertisements. The placement of various products in movies and TV shows is a highly effective technique of advertising. “The Truman Show” demonstrates the obvious and hidden advertisements in the reality show. Both types of advertisements are used to create a certain product image for the audience, who are also potential consumers.
Advertisement breaks on TV are often skipped by the viewers, while when the advertisement is placed right in the middle of the film it becomes impossible to skip. Besides, the audience of Hollywood movies and shows is known always to be huge; this provides a guarantee that millions of people all over the world are going to see the advertisement for the product.
The list of products advertised in “The Truman Show” is quite long. The techniques of attraction the potential buyers in these advertisements are various. For example, different goods get promoted by the characters, to which the potential buyers of these goods would relate to the most.
“The Chef’s Pal”, “Mococoa” and “Macaroni” are presented by Meryl Burbank, a typical wife, the beer is advertised by Marlon, a typical “good friend”, a collective image of an average beer lover, the magazine called “Dog Fancy” is mentioned by a lady holding a dog. All of the products are advertised in the responding surroundings so that each time the product is placed into the movie scene it looks like a fully developed standard advertisement on TV.
When in the movie Christoff says that “we accept the reality of the world with which we are presented”, this means that unconsciously every one of us would love to live in the world with the ideal reality that is depicted in the popular shows (The Truman Show, 1998). All of the fake realities presented on TV possess some mesmerizing kind of charm for the audience.
The viewers want to be like the characters of the shows, wear clothes of similar style, have the same haircuts, drink the same beverages, and eat the same food. This is why product placement is so effective in films and shows. Humans tend to have a strong desire to escape the reality they do not like, and almost no one is fully satisfied with the world they live in.
People try to alter their reality to make it more like the world they observe on TV, forgetting that the TV world is fake and artificially created by the producers, that this world is designed to cause even bigger escapist desire in the minds of the audience.
The reality shows popular today such as Top Model, Big Brother, or the Kardashians have little in common with the actual world, but they possess several things that most people dream about – beauty, money, fame, love, adventures, memorable events, traveling, beautiful locations. These realities are designed to attract and encourage the audience to desire the TV life that practically is unachievable because it is made up.
Feldman, E. S. (Producer) & Weir, P. (Director). (1998). The Truman Show [Motion picture]. United States: Scott Rudin Productions.