Flash movies seen as growing trend

By Paul Nasella
March 11, 2005

Have you ever gone online and seen some annoying flashing box at the top of the page? Or have you ever been sent a link that sent you to a page where a squirrel rants or current political figures are satirized in 2-d animation? If so, then you have been a witness to the current phenomenon known as flash movies.

These movies, which have been increasing in popularity over the past few years, are created using the program Macromedia Flash 2004 MX. In this program, the possibilities of what a user can create are nearly endless. In recent years, Macromedia flash programs have evolved to the point where a user can include sounds, streaming video, as well as entire array of other various effects in their works.

Some of the more popular flash movie sites include: jibjab.com, homestarrunner.com, atomfilms.com and angryalien.com. At these sites, viewers can watch movies ranging from the hilarious to the downright bizarre.

A reason for the popularity of sites such as those listed above according to senior graphic design major Louis Defrancesco is that the program used to create these movies, Macromedia Flash 2004 MX, is a simple one to use and understand and whose animation delivers results. “It’s real basic to use,” he said. “It’s real basic animation and yet it still comes out looking good.”

Since the advent of flash, the internet has really played a vital role in the popularity of flash movies. A contributing factor is their accessibility on the world wide web. Don Dempsey, chairman of the graphic design department, said flash movies are easily accessible on the internet and the ability for users to view these movies is almost 100 percent. He also said, “because they’re highly interactive they include sounds and animation. It’s a whole experience different from the regular internet.”

“They’re created by regular people, so the subject matter can range from political satire to silly cartoons and the fact that they’re displayed in an unusual place meaning the internet where everyone can access it. You can look at one of these movies and instantly email it a friend. So they can travel quite quickly…the popularity of them,” Dempsey said.

The aspect of humor is another reason for the popularity of these movies. Dr. Harold William Halbert, assistant professor of the English and communication department, said, “I think they are liberating humor from the film studios and from print media, allowing more folks access to create truly funny stuff without any limits on subject or marketability. You don’t even need a target audience, per se. You simply put it out there and let folks find it.”

The possibilities they offer the users is another reason contributed to flash movie popularity. According to Halbert, “they allow people to create their own interactive experiences and cult figures.” “There is also a sense that you could make one yourself if you wanted to do so,” Halbert said.

However, flash movies are almost like a fad. According to graphic design asst. professor Nancy Schill, “I think it’s like anything else. When it really starts to catch on, everybody starts using it.”

Nevertheless, flash has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings as just a simple animation program according to Dempsey, “It started out as just as a simple animation program,” he said, “Now it is a full-fledged authoring program. You can author applications using flash. You can do streaming video now with flash. It’s more than just an animation program. You can connect databases, you can have data driven websites. It’s becoming more of a developing tool.”

During its establishment, these movies have enabled people to use it other than just as a development tool. An interesting aspect to these movies is the opportunity that they present to those who wish to spread a message with the world. Defrancesco said, “I think a lot of people…make flash movies on their own websites as their method of free speech, in other words. Like some political ideas or just something that is going on [in] the news to kind of poke fun or display their opinion of [something happening].”

Dempsey also said that flash movies offer a lot to the internet in the way of further developing it as well as making it more enjoyable for those who use it. “It just adds a richer experience to the internet,” he said.

“It really is where the internet is going to go. If you look at everything that HTML has brought to the internet, flash is going beyond that. It’s brought applications to the internet. Applications, the same kinds of applications you use on your desktop you can now have on the internet. And it’s brought animation, sound, video. So, it’s really the tool that everyone is going to be using when developing for the internet.”

Posted to the web by Shawn Rice

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Paul Nasella

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Email
  • Print
  • Copy Link
  • More Networks
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap