By now you should have read the beginning of the book and watched Hoop Dreams; so I want you to think about what you’ve done so far within the context of the word reality as it is constructed in 2015 (which is far different than how it was constructed when the book was written and when the film was made). Think about Hoop Dreams especially. It is often called the best documentary of all time, and that is because of its raw adherence to the real lives of the two boys who are at the center of the narrative. The film follows them for years and does not necessarily have an agenda to present them in any light other than how they go about their daily lives. At the same time, modern TV does the same thing in some shows that are not reality shows; they are fiction (think of The Office, or Parks and Recreation, or Modern Family, or even the new Muppets Show). Shows like these are following in the footsteps of films like Hoop Dreams to present the daily lives of people who we are supposed to believe COULD BE real. So your assignment:
In a two page paper (double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1″ margins all around), write Hoop Dreams as if it were a fictional TV show. You can do this in a new of ways. You can write a script, you can write a narrative, you can write a biography of the boys, basically anything you want. But you need to include aspects of modern day TV; for example–jokes, gags, drama, relationships, tension. How would a show like Hoop Dreams look, what would it sound like, what would you put in the script (or narrative, etc.) to make the audience interested?
The reason I want you to do this is for you to start thinking of the word ‘reality’ in a different kind of way. It’s become a hyper-real world, where real is un-real, un-real is real, and who cares about the difference? So do whatever you want to the film, but turn it into something like The Office, or Modern Family. Use the real characters from the film, use the real setting, the real story. But make it modern, and make it for people who would normally watch a reality-show style sitcom (or drama) in 2015.
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