Beware of Images: a documentary about the perils of media
Vancouver filmmaker critically examines the social effects and history of visual representation.
Beware of Images by Sergio Toporek
Bio-Facts Graphic by Sergio Toporek
Beware of Images - Kickstarter
Entitled Beware of Images, it is a feature-length, animated documentary about the history of visual representation. Toporek’s primary goal is to educate the public about the media, how it affects us and what we can do to improve the current landscape.
“Education and awareness are the only way we will be able to shift the present power balance, from corporate interests towards the public good,” he explained.
Toporek pointed out that all media is educational. “But what is it teaching us?” he asked.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Toporek studied photography and graphic design. After moving to Vancouver in 1998, he focused his career on corporate advertising but, slowly and steadily, became disillusioned with the business.
“Corporate advertising was promoting an endless cycle of desire, consumption, obsolescence and dissatisfaction,” Toporek said. “Meanwhile, serious issues receive little or no attention. The issues include pollution, corporate corruption, educational reform, income inequality and military spending.”
Thus the concept for Beware of Images was born. The documentary deals with issues such as the history of visual language and its application to propaganda, gender and cultural stereotypes, media violence, broadcasting technologies and advertising. It also examines the effects of media on innovation and creativity.
Beware of Images is aiming for completion in October 2014. So far, more than $30,000 has been raised through a Kickstarter campaign that can be viewed at the Kickstarter page.
Toporek needs an additional $8,000 for animation, music and sound design. He also requires funding for promotion – visits to theaters, schools and community centers.
Depending on their donation levels, Kickstarter contributors can receive digital downloads of the film, DVDs, T-shirts, credits in the movie, school media workshops and tickets to Vancouver for the Beware of Images premiere.
There has been much enthusiasm and support for Toporek’s project. The Beware of Images Facebook page has gathered over 250,000 fans.
“While there’s an ongoing debate about the potentially harmful effects of media technologies, the truth is that these technologies are here to stay and will continue to expand,” he said. “The real power lies in better understanding our media environment. In fact, the only truly dangerous media is the unexamined media.”
For further information, visit the Kickstarter project or the Beware of Images official website. Toporek can be reached directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beware of Images
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