A look into the impact of media on our lives through the lens of the film, Nightcrawler.
It could be said that the media is the single most important element to world culture as a whole. A majority of the world depends on it for expression, news gathering, entertainment and guidance. From 24 hour news networks to social media to blogging; media has become as strong a part of someone’s life as community or family. It employs people and assists others in finding work and focus. It connects people and depending on the issue it separates people. This has become a conundrum within the modern socities’ culture; how can a person participate in society without being affected by the media?
In the film Nightcrawler, the protagonist played by Jake Gylenhaal moves from one scam to another until he discovers the world of nightcrawling. The film defines a nightcrawler as someone who is the first person with a camera on scene after a crime. This person would then sell the footage to a news station. These nightcrawlers utilize technology such as police scanners to get to the scene of a newsworthy event as soon as possible.
This world that exists after sunset is portrayed in this film is one where only the strong survive and everything serves the media. People sacrifice their principles and values (professional and personal) in order to have access to the exclusive or best news story. There lies the importance of this film.
In the film, Rene Russo plays a late night producer for a news network. She buys the footage that Jake Gylenhaal’s character captures. She compromises her professional and personal integrity in order to secure these exclusives. This is representatives of the lengths some companies go to ensure they get ratings.
Anytime a person is willing to sacrifice parts of themselves in order to achieve a profit of any sort there are consequences. Sometimes they are immediate and at times they are delayed. This is an inescapable truth.