media language 2011

January 12, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Arts & Humanities, Performing Arts, Drama
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Section 1b of the exam question:

 How was media

language used in your production?

 Again question 1b is asking you to only talk about one of the things you have made from AS to A2 I would suggest analysing your trailer.

What is media language?  Media language is one of the Key terms that

might be used in the exam.  Media language is an umbrella term to describe the way media audiences read media texts through understanding formal and conventions structures.  Media literacy describes our ability to read and write in this extended language

Key concepts: Media Language 

You may be asked to write about one of your production pieces in relation to the concept of Media Language. This could be seen as the trickiest concept to define as it is not immediately obvious from the name what you are being asked to discuss – you therefore need to be careful when reading the question to make sure you know what is expected of you. However it can also be seen as a broader category than the others, giving you the opportunity to write about a number of different elements and to discuss any of the other key concepts. Media Language means the way that meaning is made, using the conventions of the particular medium and type of media product. It is about considering how media texts communicate. One way to look at it is in relation to written language: if writing uses words, nouns, adjectives, sentences, paragraphs, rhymes, rhythms and chapters to convey meaning, how does a media text do it? If a written text uses short sentences, adverbs and similes to convey a sense of danger, a film title sequence might use fast editing, signs such as shadows falling across a wall, carefully composed mise en scene to suggest imprisonment and a specific choice of font and transition for the titles to convey a sense of unease. You could write about elements of semiotics, genre, narrative, design, structure, codes and conventions, time and space, aesthetics, spoken, written and visual language to name just a few examples.

What is media literacy  If you read the A2 book you will see the importance of

media literacy enough to have an A-level in it, but you will also be able to create media products based on conventions, from your research you will produce a mode of address suitable for your audience. And be able to theorise your own creativity and support this will academic theorise such as postmodernism, representation etc.  So deconstructing i.e. taking apart how you have created your product using  to the examiners. That they want to see at A2 you  Media literacy then is linked to media language because

you can

Media Language  Is one of the key concepts they might ask you to

write about for question 1b, where they ask you to pick and write about one of your productions. In this case I have selected for you to write about your trailer, as this will help you to also create your trailer as you are considering how you are going to make it.  Other concepts they might ask you about are: Genre , Narrative , Representation, Audience  Media language is a big concept as it covers a bit of all of these

Any media text is made up of GRANITE. Confused? 

   

  

Okay, Every media text belongs to a Genre or group (a horror film, dance track, teen magazine) Within that text, a person, place or object is being Represented in some way, shape or form. The Audience for that media text will make sense of it using their personal and shared experiences The text also contains a Narrative, be it a photograph of war or some bad gangsta lyrics about pimping your uncle The text didn't evolve from bacteria, it was constructed by a media Institution for financial purposes and has elements of their Ideology embedded within the text. It was produced using some Technology, be it DTP (Desk Top Publishing software) or hardware The Evidence is the product itself which you can then reference against other Experiences you've had with similar Media Get it?!


Semiotics what is it

Semiotics 

Is form of media language it is the studying of signs and meaning. There are different types of signs Semiotics is a way of explaining how we make meaning. Semiotics recognises that all meaning is encoded in things that create meaning. When we see objects and images or hear / read words we cannot perceive more than an idea. This idea is what we call “meaning”. We have learned to decode this meaning as we grow up and are educated. The important realisation is that such meaning is not our own idea but someone else’s. For example, if you read the word “coward” you decode it by referring to values that our culture relates both to cowardice and its binary opposite term, heroism. In semiotics, a sign is the smallest single unit of meaning we can decode and which contributes to overall meaning, e.g. your clothes are a group of ‘fashion signs’ and might have been ‘encoded’ by you – consciously or otherwise – to create the meaning of ‘coolness’; the ‘FCUK’ on your T-shirt, for example, is a group of signs that create a code of, perhaps, youthful rebelliousness. Simplistically speaking, meaning exists at two “levels”: a sign always acts at a basic level – called its denotation; this is a literal meaning; but, when it occurs in certain contexts, a group of signs – a code – can also suggest or connote extra meaning, e.g. a rose denotes a kind of flower; but when handed to a girl by a boy, it also acts to connote romance (and, importantly, in a media text, this would also act to reinforce ways of thinking about how romance ‘should’ ideally be conducted – one of our society’s dominant ideologies)

Semiotic signs 

In semiotics, a code is any group of signs that seem to “fit” together ‘naturally’ to create an overall unit of meaning (e.g. the rose is a sign which when added to the signs of a girl and a boy creates the ‘romance cultural code’.

Filmic codes are a form of technical code because filmic equipment is needed to create them, e.g. cameras, microphones, lighting, etc. In semiotics there are three basic types of sign and code need to know about:

Iconic signs and codes are created to appear exactly like the thing itself, e.g. an image of a cowboy looks like – signifies – a cowboy. But… importantly, iconic codes always act to represent more than the thing itself, e.g. when we see an image of a cowboy, our culture associates ideas of toughness and action with this particular iconic code (which also acts to reinforce what masculinity ‘means’ in our culture – an ideological meaning).

Indexical signs show a connection between things they are a pointer rather than representing what they act as ‘cues’ to existing knowledge, e.g. smoke signifies fire, sweating suggests hotness or exercise. These codes are a kind of media shorthand. They are very common and useful to media producers.

Symbolic codes act as signifiers of meaning totally disconnected from what they denote, e.g. a red heart shape acts only to symbolise love; a white dove symbolises peace; red symbolises danger, power or sexuality, white symbolises innocence, etc.

Horror and semiotics  Horror as a genre has a very close connection with semiotics. Considering that horror as a genre is all about making various cultural references it easy to see that most films could

not function on a deeper level without semiotics. A common theme among horror films is the victimization of women which relates back to feminim. Without semiotics in a film would a teenage girl running away from a serial killer be anything more than a random victim?

Indexical  In your own horror film identifying what

signs you have used to create the horror code  indexical  symbolic  iconic

Semiotics creating meaning 

An important realisation is that the meaning a code communicates is always culturally determined, i.e. We learn the meaning as we grow up in a particular group, society or culture, e.g. the national flag means much more than its denotation of a piece of coloured cloth; it also acts to connote patriotism and pride. An important filmic and media code is the enigma code which work by creating an intriguing ‘question’ that the media text will go on to answer. Cinema trailers and posters use enigma codes to tempt the viewers. The term convention is important; it refers to an established way of doing something; we are so used to conventional ways that fail to account for their effect and often see them as somehow ‘natural’ – yet are anything but. So: women in Westerns are conventionally either ‘very good’ (the ‘Madonna’) or ‘very bad’ (the ‘whore’), and this seems entirely ‘normal’ within this film genre; equally, the wheels of a car always screech; a guns always kills outright; a punch always knocks a person out cold. Genre and narrative are important media conventions (see later), as are editing techniques and the use of certain shot types (such as an establishing shot sequence or montage – see below).

Extended learning  View semiotics Powerpoint available on



Theorists you may use  

         

GENRE Daniel Chandler (2001) – genre is a French work meaning ‘type’, ‘kind’ or ‘class’. Barry Keith Grant (1995) – all genres have sub-genres that have familiar and recognisable characteristics. David Buckingham (1993), Steve Neale (1995) – genres evolve and change over time; they are dynamic. They are a process of ‘systemisation’ and therefore naturally change over time. Christian Metz (1974) – genres go through a life cycle over time – experimental, classic, parody, deconstruction. Jason Mittell (2001) genres surpass cultural boundaries; they are used by institutions to sell products as they as they include familiar codes and conventions and cultural references. Rick Altman (1999) – genre offers audiences a set of pleasures; visceral, emotional, intellectual. David Bordwell (1989) – any theme may appear in any genre.

What Is Genre? • ‘Genre’ is a critical tool that helps us study texts and audience responses to texts by dividing them into categories based on common elements. • Daniel Chandler (2001) - the word genre comes from the French (and originally Latin) word for ‘type'. The term is widely used in literary theory, media theory to refer to a distinctive type of ‘text’.

Genre 

   

The Main Genres Action / Adventure Comedy Crime/gangster Drama Family Historical / Epic Horror Musical Science Fiction War Westerns

What defines a film's genre? Characters Mise-en-scene Narrative Music Editing

But remember: Genre is not 'set' - it is fluid, as it is defined by the audience. Genres have changed over time they have become parodied, hybrid and subverted 

All genres have sub genres (genre within a genre). •This means that they are divided up into more specific categories that allow audiences to identify them specifically by their familiar and what become recognisable characteristics (Barry Keith Grant, 1995) Contrasting view held by Neal •However, Steve Neale (1995) stresses that “genres are not ‘systems’ they are processes of systematization” – i.e. They are dynamic and evolve over time

How is your trailer identifiable, which supports Grant’s view or do you agree with Neale or both?

Genre  When a range of media texts, whether in print, film , music,

or Tv they share similar forms and conventions the audience have certain expectations this is called genre. Genre is the kind of narrative being told, e.g. detective, Western. It defines a text by its similarities to other texts. Watching a film, we have many pre-existing memories and expectations regarding characters, settings and events: it is this that helps us enjoy predicting what might happen next and working out where events will lead. Genre allows a director to create seeming realism because we fail to see that what we see is not reality but a media convention. So… in the gangster genre, we don’t mind the owner of a casino being horribly killed because we see him, within this genre, as belonging to the side of the ‘villain’.  .

The great debate In film theory, genre refers to the method of film categorization based on similarities in the narrative elements from which films are constructed. Most theories of film genre are borrowed from literary genre criticism. As with genre in literary context, there is a great deal of debate over how to define or categorize genre. Besides the basic distinction in genre between fiction and documentary, film genres can be categorized in several ways. Fictional films are usually categorized according to their setting, theme topic mood, or format. The setting is the milieu or the environment where the story and action takes place. The theme or topic refers to the issues or concepts that the film revolves around. The mood is the emotional tone of the film. Format refers to the way the film was shot, eg widescreen or the manner of presentation eg 35mm 16mm or 8mm. An additional way of categorizing film genres is by the target audience. Some film theorists argue that neither format nor target audience are film genres. Film genres often branch out in subgenres, as in the case of the courtroom and trial focused subgenre of drama known as legal drama. They can be combined to form hybrid genres, such as the melding of horror and science fiction in the Aliens films.

Generic features  Genre share the same elements of paradigms

with others in the same category, this makes them recognisable to the producers who create them and the audience. Audiences recognise these patterns and things brings about a certain expectations i.e. horror films the isolated house, the final girl etc.  (Analyse what paradigms your trailer

contains see next slide?)

Generic Characteristics across all texts share similar elements and can be identified by these elements. These elements can be referred to as paradigms meaning patters, and audience have certain expectations, what they expect to see. As Neale (1980) suggests “Genre is a set of expectations”.

Think about it from an institutions context why is it certain genres get made more than others, why are certain actors association with certain genres? Think about the success of Twilight, or the bond franchise? Paradigms:

1. Typical Mise-en-scène/Visual style (iconography, props, set design, lighting, temporal and geographic location, costume, shot types, camera angles, special effects). 2. Typical types of Narrative (plots, historical setting, set pieces). (For section B of the exam notice although genre is a concept it is also linked to narrative) 3. Generic Types, i.e. typical characters (do typical male/female roles exist, archetypes?).

Typical studios/production companies… 4. Typical Personnel (directors, producers, actors, stars, auteurs etc.). 5. Typical Sound Design (sound design, dialogue, music, sound effects). 6. Typical Editing Style. How does this apply to your film trailer’s genre, how have you created it based on these elements in this paradigm?

What have you used Mise en scene

Typical types of Narrative

Generic Types

Typical Personnel

Typical Sound Design

Typical Editing Style.






Using key words Evidence

Key words Iconography and Star system ICONOGRAPHY is an important aspect of genre. We expect to see certain objects on screen when we see a particular genre, for example, in a Western, dusty lonely roads, saloon bars, cowboy hats and horses, jails, sheriffs badges, guns, etc.; in a modern horror film, we expect young girls, ‘normal’ objects, use of dark and light, etc. These ‘genre indicators’ are called the iconography of the mise-en-scene or genre. These again are linked to semiotic interpretiatons

‘THE STAR SYSTEM’ Certain film stars can be an important part of a film’s iconography and become signifiers of meaning; they create expectations of character and action, genre, and powerful iconic representations of such as masculinity and femininity. In the past, stars were contracted to stop them moving studios and genres.

Steve Campsall’s definition of iconography is useful. – ‘Iconography is an important aspect of genre. We expect to see certain objects on screen when we see a particular genre,

In a modern horror film, we expect young girls, ‘normal’ objects, use of dark and light, etc. These ‘genre indicators’ are called the iconography of the mise-en-scene or genre.’

So iconography can be defined as those particular signs we associate with particular genres. Film producers use images that belong to the iconography of the genre to excite audience expectations, and to show that the film is within a certain genre. Another way of putting it is to say genre can be identified by the look of the images in the text – this is the iconography, or the signs, that are associated with a genre. Iconography includes a wide range of ‘signs To become part of the iconography of a genre a pattern of visual signs remain constant in that genre over a period of time. Some of the things that make up genre iconography include:

Genre horror conventions how have you made yours?

All Genres have Subgenres • Genre is a type, but these types can be divided and sub divided into specific categories that allow audiences to identify allow the audience to recognised the, specifically by their familiar and what become recognisable characteristics. •Steve Neale (1995) stresses that “genres are not systems they are processes” – they are dynamic and evolve over time.

Jason Mittell (2001) argues that genres are cultural categories that surpass the boundaries of media texts and operate within industry, audience, and cultural practices as well. This means that genres change over time, i.e from horror we now have subgenres like slasher, zombie etc. In short, industries use genre to sell products to audiences. Media producers use familiar codes and conventions that often make cultural references to their audience’s knowledge of society + other texts. Genre allows audiences to make choices about what products they want to consume through acceptance in order to fulfil a particular pleasure.

Pleasure of genre for audiences • Rick Altman (1999) argues that genre offers audiences ‘a set of pleasures’. Emotional Pleasures: The emotional pleasures offered to audiences of genre films are particularly significant when they generate a strong audience response. Visceral Pleasures: Visceral pleasures are ‘gut’ responses and are defined by how the film’s stylistic construction elicits a physical effect upon its audience. This can be a feeling of revulsion, kinetic speed, or a ‘roller coaster ride’.

Intellectual Puzzles: Certain film genres such as the thriller or the ‘whodunit’ offer the pleasure in trying to unravel a mystery or a puzzle. Pleasure is derived from deciphering the plot and forecasting the end or the being surprised by the unexpected.

The Strengths Of Genre Theory The main strength of genre theory is that everybody uses it and understands it – media experts use it to study media texts, the media industry uses it to develop and market texts and audiences use it to decide what texts to consume. The potential for the same concept to be understood by producers, audiences and scholars makes genre a useful critical tool. Its accessibility as a concept also means that it can be applied across a wide range of texts.

Genre Development and Transformation Over the years genres develop and change as the wider society that produce them also changes, a process that is known as generic transformation. Metz (1974) argued that genres go through a cycle of changes during their lifetime. 1. Experimental Stage2.Classic Stage 3. Parody Stage 4.Deconstruction Stage

Nicholas Abercrombie (1996) suggests that 'the boundaries between genres are shifting and becoming more permeable'

Abercrombie is concerned with modern television, which he suggests seems to be engaged in 'a steady dismantling of genre’

Genres are not fixed. They constantly change and evolve over time. David Buckingham (1993) argues that 'genre is not... Simply "given" by the culture: rather, it is in a constant process of negotiation and change’.

As postmodern theorist Jacques Derrida reminds us – ‘the law of the law of genre is a principle of contamination, a law of impurity’.

In terms of your coursework... • How we define a genre depends on our purposes (Chandler, 2001). • What was your purpose and the medium? • Your audience and the industry sector you were working within will have defined what you understood as the genre and sub-genre of the texts you created.

Genre point 1:  Film companies use genre both to sell and

help make successful films: a popular genre creates a greater chance of commercial success, so genre is a cost efficient way of planning a film, making it cheaper to write new stories and reducing the need for entirely new sets; a negative aspect is that it being ‘safe’, it can also act to reduce choice and creativity.

Point 2  There are three types of genres : Major, sub

genre and hybrid.  Major genre: the main one i.e. horror, western, action etc  Sub genres i.e Slasher, Zombie,Vampires etc  (Which genre is your trailer, how does it fit with the paradigm analysis, is it unconventional) Consider feminist theory and what they say about your genre?

Genre point 3  Genre is embedded into cultural it is what people expect. Genres also change over time, until the 1990s reality did not exist. Christian

  

Metz (1974) said – genres go through a life cycle over time – experimental classic parody deconstruction

Analysing your horror trailer using genre theory For instance does your horror trailer challenge or following genre conventions? Use the writing frame below to focus your thought>.




terminolog y

feminis m

Here you must explain your product to support your point , again look at contrasting theories this shows high level thinking. Use a quotes and theorist

Here you must use evidence to support your point . I.e. what is it specifically that you have used that makes your trailer suit that genre. What theory (feminism and genre) what theorists i.e. Neale’s paradigms i.e mise-en-scene, narrative etc

Here you must use both evidence and argument to support your point and use theorists. I.e. use Neale view of paradigms and explain how you have used miseen-scene, narrative etc (include theorists from narrative) theorists

What terminology are you going to use

Consider what feminist say about your trailer?

Metz  Metz believed that genre develops through four stages:

Experimental - Bulding blocks for future horrors to go by. Early stages of horror setting up the general codes and conventions of the horror genre.

 Classic/Classical - Movies that have followed the general

guidelines set out in the experimental stage.

 Parody - Movies that mock the genre, usually turned into


 Deconstruction - Movies that pick that take codes and

conventions from the Horror and Thriller genre and combine them into one movie

Using Metz formula with films            

Applying it to these horror films: Seven Frankenstein Dracula The Blair Witch Project The Sixth Sense Carry On Screaming Nosferatu The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Scary Movie Abbot + Costello Meet Frankenstein Scream

Using Metz formual  Experimental: Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr.

Caligari  Classical: Dracula, Frankenstein  Parody:Carry On Screaming, Abbot + Costello, Meet Frankenstein  Deconstruction : Se7en, Scream, The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project


“Media texts rely on audience knowledge of generic codes and conventions in order for them to create meaning”. Explain how you used or subverted generic conventions in one of your trailer. Remember Explanation, Analysis, Argument, Examples and terminology. Use Quotes and a structure format on the following pages:

Use this writing frame Explanation




What evidence and theorists?

How are your going What terminology to explain, provide are you going to evidence and use use? theorists to argue for and against. Remember show both sides to get those extra points?

Fill this in Explain your answer?

Using genre theory and theorists  The following uses examples of theorists and

what you might say to support your work. Remember if they ask you to talk about Genre this has to be interlinked with narrative. You must talk about both as they are inseparable.

Nicholas Abercrombie  Nicholas Abercrombie identifies the use of genre

for media producers when he writes “Television producers set out to exploit genre conventions”. His argument is that media producers can re-use conventions, creating formulaic and conventional products that are familiar and appeal to the audience, but that are also likely to succeed and therefore are less risky for the producer. Think about what your audience expects to see have you followed this or have you challenged this?

David Buckingham  Genre is not simply given by the culture, rather, it is

in a constant process of negotiation and change.” David Buckingham   It is important to recognise that genres shift and

change over time, and Buckingham’s statement above acknowledges this. I would argue that this is vital to understanding music videos, where in order to appeal to the audience and seem cutting-edge and new, the producers have to reinvent and revise generic conventions to create a fresh and appealing but recognisably packageable product.

Genre - Repertoire of Elements  Generic Feature Explanation Link to other Key

Concepts Characterisation This is when stock characters are present in a media text (we sometimes call them stereotypes), this can also refer to stars/actors who play a particular type of role (ie, Bruce Willis - action/thriller), personal qualities of main characters (this can include motivations, goals and behaviours) Representation and Narrative Setting (Diegesis) The geographical (place) and historical (context) of the text might help identify genre. Representation (cultural ref)

Christian Metz  In creating my horror trailer I was keen to draw

upon familiar generic conventions of the horror , but to also try to develop some of these conventions. In this way, my trailer can be understood in terms of Christian Metz’s theory that genres go through stages: the Experimental/ the Classic/ the Parody/ the Deconstruction. I would argue that my video utilises enough classic conventions of the genre so as to be recognisable as belonging to the horror genre, but that it also seeks to deconstruct and take apart some of these conventions, and in doing so develops the genre.

Robert Stam  While some genres are based on story

content (the war film), other are borrowed from literature (comedy, melodrama) or from other media (the musical). Some are performer-based (the Astaire-Rogers films) or budget-based (blockbusters), while others are based on artistic status (the art film), racial identity (Black cinema), locat[ion] (the Western) or sexual orientation (Queer cinema). (Stam 2000, 14).

Problems with genre theory? 

Defining genres may not initially seem particularly problematic but it should already be apparent that it is a theoretical minefield. Robert Stam identifies four key problems with generic labels (in relation to film): extension (the breadth or narrowness of labels); normativism (having preconceived ideas of criteria for genre membership); monolithic definitions (as if an item belonged to only one genre); biologism (a kind of essentialism in which genres are seen as evolving through a standardized life cycle) (Stam 2000, 128-129).

Conventional definitions of genres tend to be based on the notion that they constitute particular conventions of content (such as themes or settings) and/or form (including structure and style) which are shared by the texts which are regarded as belonging to them. Alternative characterizations will be discussed in due course. The attempt to define particular genres in terms of necessary and sufficient textual properties is sometimes seen as theoretically attractive but it poses many difficulties. For instance, in the case of films, some seem to be aligned with one genre in content and another genre in form. The film theorist Robert Stam argues that 'subject matter is the weakest criterion for generic grouping because it fails to take into account how the subject is treated' (Stam 2000, 14). Outlining a fundamental problem of genre identification in relation to films, Andrew Tudor notes the 'empiricist dilemma':

To take a genre such as the 'western', analyse it, and list its principal characteristics, is to beg the question that we must first isolate the body of films which are 'westerns'. But they can only be isolated on the basis of the 'principal characteristics' which can only be discovered from the films themselves after they have been isolated. (Cited in Gledhill 1985, 59)

End essay with: Try and use Stam as this shows a problem with the theory, and then suggest that genre is useful so producers know what people what to see and as Neale suggests audiences have expectations about genre


What is narrative  A narrative can be both a work of fiction and

non fiction a book, writing, song, film, television, video games, photography or theatre

Narrative 

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   

In media terms, narrative is the coherence/organisation given to a series of facts. The human mind needs narrative to make sense of things. We connect events and make interpretations based on those connections. In everything we seek a beginning, a middle and an end. We understand and construct meaning using our experience of reality and of previous texts. Each text becomes part of the previous and the next through its relationship with the audience. What does narrative mean? The way that stories are told, how meaning is constructed to achieve the understanding of the audience. Groups events into cause and effect – action and inaction. Organises time and space in very compressed form. The voice of the narrative can vary; whose story is being told and from whose perspective? Narrative plot refers to everything audibly or visibly present, i.e. selective. Narrative story refers to all the events, explicitly presented or referred. In film, narrative is constructed through elements like camerawork, lighting, sound, mise-enscene and editing. The difference between Story & Narrative: "Story is the irreducible substance of a story (A meets B, something happens, order returns), while narrative is the way the story is related (Once upon a time there was a princess...)" (Key Concepts in Communication - Fiske et al (1983)) Media Texts Reality is difficult to understand, and we struggle to construct meaning out of our everyday experience. Media texts are better organised; we need to be able to engage with them without too much effort. We have expectations of form, a foreknowledge of how that text will be constructed. Media texts can also be fictional constructs, with elements of prediction and fulfilment which are not present in reality. Basic elements of a narrative, according to Aristotle:

Narrative 

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   

Plot is the basic structure of any story but narrative can have a variety of internal structures related to style, temporal elements and codification of the message. Plot describes a series of events that happens to the characters in a described setting. Ideally, all events should follow logically in order to maintain the continuity of the story. Larger texts often have subplots that run simultaneously with the main one. A-Plot is the term used for the main plot that binds all the subplots. The A-plot is not necessarily the most important one. A Subplot or Side Story is a plot that has no direct connection to the A-Plot, but is important for understanding various aspects of the characters' personalities and the world created by the author. There are several kinds of subplots: A Character Arc describes the events happening to a (secondary) character and allows the reader to learn more about his background. A Story Arc is a partial plot that is typical for episodic storytelling media such as TV series. It describes events that happen to the characters over several episodes, but is not crucial for understanding the events that occur in various episodes. Story-within-a-story is a technique used to tell a story during the action of another one. This is more properly called a Frame Narrative. Other possible plot patterns include: A Quest is a journey toward a goal typically used as a plot in mythology. In literature, the quest requires great exertion on the part of the hero, typically including much travel, which allows the storyteller to introduce exotic locations and cultures. Side-quests are often used to develop character depth by give opportunity for a seemingly perfect character to have flaws that can possibility provoke his downfall. Often side-quests are stepping stones to the completion of a final goal. The Monomyth (often referred to as the Hero's Journey) is a cyclical journey found in myths as discussed by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

Narrative 

NARRATIVE Narratives are stories. They are our way of making sense of our lives and the world. When we want to tell or hear about life, we want to tell it and hear it in the form of a story. This means that we frequently follow a particular form and structure when we tell about things, whether we tell about real or imaginary events. We have learned to use narrative as the means of telling about people and events such that it has become ‘hard wired’ into our mind as the most interesting way to tell about events in life and the world. Because we have grown so used to using it, narrative has become “transparent”, i.e. we don’t know we use it. This means we can call it a convention; it seems the natural way to tell of things. The paradox of narrative is that despite massively simplifying reality, it creates the illusion of offering authenticity and truth. A narrative typically begins with a sense that the world is in equilibrium – a calm place; this equilibrium becomes disrupted before eventually returning to a new equilibrium; because we believe that the world should be in astate of calm, we expect any disruption to be resolvable and to be returned to calm. This results in a connected beginning-middle-end structure in which the calm of a ‘hero’s’ world is disrupted by a ‘villain’. In the real world, of course, people are never wholly good or wholly evil; life is not necessarily ‘naturally’ calm and events are never so simply related one to another. But, that’s the way we see the world and by presenting a word of people and events in the form of a narrative, media texts work easily to trick us into believing we are being shown a ‘window on the world’ – reality. TV ads are mini-narratives in which we add in missed aspects in our desire to see a story unfold and be resolved. Often we become the hero and the advertised product becomes the ‘helper’ – equivalent to the magical potion of ancient fairy tales that helps change the frog into a handsome prince and so on…

Approaches to study narrative  Branigan  Propp  Barthes  Todorov  Levi-Strauss  Allan Cameron  Kate Domaille

Branigan  Edward Branigan  Branigan argues that narrative is ‘ a way of

organising spatial and temporal data into a cause-effect chain of events with a beginning, a middle and end that embodies a judgement about the nature of events.’  What is Branigan saying? Can you think of an example?  Branigan’s key point is that the narrative will embody a judgement – ideology and narrative.

Todorov theory: 5 stage narrative 1. Stage 1: A point of stable equilibrium, where everything is satisfied, calm and normal. 2. Stage 2: This stability is disrupted by some kind of

force, which creates a state of disequilibrium. 3. Stage 3: Recognition that a disruption has taken place. 4. Stage 4: It is only possible to re-create equilibrium through action directed against the disruption. 5. Stage 5: Restoration of a new state of equilibrium. The consequences of the reaction is to change the world of the narrative and/or the characters so that the final state of equilibrium in not the same as the initial state.

5 stage narrative

Vladimir Propp’s Theory of Narrative  Propp’s approach to narrative Vladimir Propp studied     

hundreds of Russian folk and fairytales before deciding that all narratives have a common structure. He observed that narratives are shaped and directed by certain types of characters and specific kinds of actions He believed that there are 31 possible stages or functions in any narrative. These may not all appear in a single story, but nevertheless always appear in the same sequence. A function is a plot motif or event in the story. A tale may skip functions but it cannot shuffle their unvarying order. Propp also said there were 7 different narrative character

Propp's 31 stage Narrative function •1.. A member of a family leaves home (the hero is introduced as a unique person within the tribe, whose needs may not be met by remaining) •2 An interdiction (a command NOT to do something e.g.'don't go there', 'go to this place'), is addressed to the hero; •3.The hero ignores the interdiction •4.The villain appears and (either villain tries to find the children/jewels etc; or intended victim encounters the villain); •5.The villain gains information about the victim; •6.The villain attempts to deceive the victim to take possession of victim or victim's belongings (trickery; villain disguised, tries to win confidence of victim); •7. The victim is fooled by the villain, unwittingly helps the enemy; •8.Villain causes harm/injury to family/tribe member (by abduction, theft of magical agent, spoiling crops, plunders in other forms, causes a disappearance, expels someone, casts spell on someone, substitutes child etc, commits murder, imprisons/detains someone, threatens forced marriage, provides nightly torments); Alternatively, a member of family lacks something or desires something (magical potion etc); •9.Misfortune or lack is made known, (hero is dispatched, hears call for help etc/ alternative is that victimised hero is sent away, freed from imprisonment); •10Seeker agrees to, or decides upon counter-action; •11Hero leaves home; •12Hero is tested, interrogated, attacked etc, preparing the way for his/her receiving magical agent or helper (donor); •13.Hero reacts to actions of future donor (withstands/fails the test, frees captive, reconciles disputants, performs service, uses adversary's powers against them); •14.Hero acquires use of a magical agent (it's directly transferred, located, purchased, prepared, spontaneously appears, is eaten/drunk, or offered by other characters); •15.Hero is transferred, delivered or led to whereabouts of an object of the search; •16.Hero and villain join in direct combat;

Propp Continued 

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17.Hero is branded (wounded/marked, receives ring or scarf); 18.Villain is defeated (killed in combat, defeated in contest, killed while asleep, banished); 19.Initial misfortune or lack is resolved (object of search distributed, spell broken, slain person revived, captive freed); 20.Hero returns; 21.Hero is pursued (pursuer tries to kill, eat, undermine the hero); 22.Hero is rescued from pursuit (obstacles delay pursuer, hero hides or is hidden, hero transforms unrecognisably, hero saved from attempt on his/her life); 23.Hero unrecognised, arrives home or in another country; 24.False hero presents unfounded claims; 25.Difficult task proposed to the hero (trial by ordeal, riddles, test of strength/endurance, other tasks); 26.Task is resolved; 27.Hero is recognised (by mark, brand, or thing given to him/her); 28. False hero or villain is exposed; 29.Hero is given a new appearance (is made whole, handsome, new garments etc); 30.illain is punished; 31. Hero marries and ascends the throne (is rewarded/promoted). Although the plot is driven by the actions and choices of the hero (the protagonist), these narrative functions are spread between the main characters. Propp also defined these character categories:

Props 7 character types 

        

The hero, usually male, is the agent who restores the narrative equilibrium often by embarking upon a quest (or search). Propp distinguishes between the victim hero, who is the centre of the villain's attentions, and the seeker hero who aids others who are the villains victims. The hero is invariably the texts central character. The villain who usually creates the narrative disruption. The donor gives the hero something, it may be an object, information or advice, which helps in resolution of the narrative. The helper aids the hero in the task of restoring equilibrium. The princess (the victim) is usually the character most threatened by the villain and has to be saved, at the climax, by the hero. The father's (who in fairy tales was often the king) role is usually to give the princess away to the hero at the narrative's conclusion. He may also despatch the hero. The dispatcher sends the hero on her or his task (who can typically be the princess father) • The false hero appears to be good but is revealed, at the narrative's end, to have been bad Characters can fulfil more than one sphere character type, for example; a princess may also be a helper.

Propps’s characters applied to Harry Potter and Twilight The villain – Tom Riddle (Lord Voldmort) The hero – Harry Potter The donor – the Phoenix provides sorting hat, which provides a sword The helper who aids the hero – Ron Weasley The princess – Ginny Weasley Her father – Dumbledore, he rewards Harry, however is not the father but may be looked up to as a father figure The dispatcher – Moaning Myrtle, helps show the entrance to the chamber. The false hero – Professor Gilderoy Lockhart

Propps’s characters applied to and Twilight The villain – Victoria, James The hero – Edward Cullen The donor – Alice, her ability to see the future The helper who aids the hero – Carlisle, The princess – Bella Swan Her father – Charlie The dispatcher – The false hero – Laurent, warns the Cullens of James tracking power

Propps’s characters applied to and Twilight The villain – Victoria, James The hero – Edward Cullen The donor – Alice, her ability to see the future The helper who aids the hero – Carlisle, The princess – Bella Swan Her father – Charlie The dispatcher – The false hero – Laurent, warns the Cullens of James tracking power

Beyond Propp and criticisms Propp's lists are easy to learn - but are they so easily applied to every narrative you come across? Why 31? We live in a world of very sophisticated narratives - many of them non-linear - which deliberately defy the conventions of traditional folk tales. Can you apply Propp consistently if the hero is female? Can you substitute "science" for "magic"? Are all narratives about struggles between heroes and villains - or do we oversimplify them if we try to claim that they are? Propp's theories rely on 'good' and 'bad' characters. Have we moved beyond fairy tale thinking into a era of moral relativism — many interesting narratives spring from a conflict between two characters who are not easily identified as a protagonist and an antagonist. Levi Strauss who was inspired by Propp, also criticued his work and put forward an argument for binary opposites

Claude Lèvi-Strauss(1958) Binary Opposites Narrative amount to the fact that he believed all stories operated to certain clear Binary Opposites e.g. good vs. evil, black vs. white, rich vs. poor etc. The importance of these ideas is that essentially a complicated world is reduced to a simple either/or structure. Things are either right or wrong, good or bad. There is no in between. This structure has ideological implications, if, for example, you want to show that the hero was not wholly correct in what they did, and the villains weren’t always bad. (Postmodernism?) •Levi-Strauss also looked deeper into the way that narrative were arranged in terms of themes within that were ultimately always systematic oppositions. The order of events can be called the syntagmatic structure of a narrative, but Levi-Strauss was more concerned with thedeeper of paradigmatic arrangement of themes. There is a choice of elements (paradigms) and they are arranged/dealt with in a particular way (syntagms).

ExamplesBlack vs white of binary opposites Good vs evil Boy vs girl Peace vs war Civilised vs savage Democracy vs dictatorship Conqueror vs conquered First world vs third world Domestic vs foreign/alien Articulate vs inarticulate Young vs old Man vs nature Protagonist vs antagonist Action vs inaction Motivator vs observer Empowered vs victim Man vs woman Good-looking vs ugly Strong vs weak Decisive vs indecisive East vs west Humanity vs technology Ignorance vs wisdom

•Roland Barthes Structuralist approach 1.Barthes identifies 5 narrative codes which readers use to decode texts. 2.He emphasises the active role of readers in creating meaning, and their ‘culturally formed expectations’. 3.The narrative codes are: The 5 Narrative Codes 1. Action Code - applies to any action that implies a oAction further narrative action. oEnigma 2. Enigma Code - refers to any element in a story oSemic that is not explained and, therefore, exists as an oSymbolic enigma for the audience. oCultural 3. The Semantic Code - any element in a text that suggests a particular, often additional, meaning by way of connotation. 4. The Cultural Code - any element in a narrative that refers 'to a science or body of knowledge'. In other words, the cultural codes then to point to our shared knowledge about the way the world works. 5. The Symbolic - Levi-Strauss also a structuralist argued that the narrative structures have binary oppositions, eg. good vs evil.

Allan Cameron’s types of narratives Cameron has identified four different types of modular narrative: • Anachronic • Forking Paths • Episodic • Split Screens Anachronic modular narratives involve the use of flashbacks and/or flashforwards, with no clear dominance between any of the narrative threads. These narratives also often repeat scenes directly or via a different perspective. Examples include: Pulp Fiction and Memento.

Forking-path narratives juxtapose alternative versions of a story, showing the possible outcomes that might result from small changes in a single event or group of events. The forking-path narrative introduces a number of plotlines that usually contradict one another. Examples include Groundhog Day and Run Lola Run.

Allan Cameron’s types of narratives Anachronic modular narratives involve the use of flashbacks and/or flashforwards, with no clear dominance between any of the narrative threads. These narratives also often repeat scenes directly or via a different perspective. Examples include: Pulp Fiction and Memento.

Forking-path narratives juxtapose alternative versions of a story, showing the possible outcomes that might result from small changes in a single event or group of events. The forking-path narrative introduces a number of plotlines that usually contradict one another. Examples include Groundhog Day and Run Lola Run.

Allan Cameron’s narratives continued

Episodic narratives are organised as an abstract series or narrative anthology. Abstract series type of modular narrative is characterized by the operation of a nonnarrative formal system which appears to dictate (or at least overlay) the organization of narrative elements such as a sequence of numbers or the alphabet. Anthology consists of a series of shorter tales which are apparently disconnected but share a random similarity, such as all ‘episodes’ being survivors of a shipwreck. Split screen narratives are different from the other types of modular narrative discussed here, because their modularity is articulated along spatial rather than temporal lines. These films divide the screen into two or more frames, juxtaposing events within the same visual field, in a sustained fashion. Examples include Timecode.

Analysing narrative

•Narrative Analysis •Apply one of the narrative theories to the analysis of your trailer. •Narrative analysis involves considering how a range of elements (including mise-en-scene, editing, camerawork, sound, as well as events) create meaning for the audience. •Narrative analysis focuses on how the meanings made by the audience are constructed? How useful is this approach? What theorist are you going to use to support this


Narrative structure  Every moving image is constructed around a narrative

structure and classified and understood in terms of genre.  Narrative structure is best understood as how the story or event unfold through actions of the characters.Soaps opera narratives can develop over years, music videos in minutes. Originally told in books narratives have now developed through films, internet and newspapers. Narrative and construction is not a random act, but they have been constructed (encoded) delibately to allow the audience to decode these. Narrative organise a plot to convey meaning. In order to understand how audiences respond you need to be able to decode how media producers have encoded these.

Narrative structure  Narrative structures:  single strand  multi-strand

 closed  open

 linear and non-linear  alternative  narrative; enigma; climax; equilibrium

Narrative structures  Single strand focus on single characters such

as Spiderman, multi-strand focus on several characters i. friends or Lost.  Linear: Narratives can be linear where events are shown in a chronological order with one following another.  Non-linear, where stories feature flashbacks, like flashbacks i.e in Lost.

Hollywood narrative structure  Single diegsis (one manin storyline)  Logical chain of events, governed by the

action of a central character(s)  Audience emphasises with central characters pattern of enigma (mystery/problem) and resolution (closed not open narrative) dominated by versimilitude (realism) through mise-en-scene, editing and how they construct space and time.

Narrative development

Roland Barthes (1977)

Establishment of plot or theme. This is then followed by the development of the problem, an enigma, an increase in tension. Finally comes the resolution of the plot. Such narratives can be unambiguous and linear.

According to Kate Domaille (2001) every story ever told can be fitted into one of eight narrative types. Each of these narrative types has a source, an original story upon which the others are based. These stories are as follows:

1. Cinderella: The dream comes true, e.g. Pretty Woman.

2. Achilles: The fatal flaw that leads to the destruction of the previously flawless, or almost flawless, person, e.g. Superman, Fatal Attraction.

3. Candide: indomitable hero who cannot be put down, e.g. Indiana Jones, James Bond, Rocky etc.

4. Circe: The Chase, the spider and the fly, the innocent and the victim e.g. The Terminator.

5. Faust: Selling your soul to the devil may bring riches but eventually your soul belongs to him, e.g. Devil’s Advocate,and Wall Street.

6. Orpheus: The loss of something personal, the gift that is taken away, the tragedy of loss or the journey which follows the loss, e.g. The Sixth Sense, Born On the Fourth Of July.

7. Romeo And Juliet: The love story, e.g. Titanic.

8.Tristan and Iseult: The love triangle. Man loves woman…unfortunately one or both of them are already spoken for, or a third party intervenes, e.g. Casablanca and Eclipse.

Exam question; Apply theories of narrative to one of your coursework?



Narrative is What evidence and theorists? linked to genre. You could explain here how you have followed on challenged conventions, i.e so your audience has expectations

Argument i.e.

Terminolog y

How are your going What terminology to explain, provide are you going to evidence and use use? theorists to argue for and against. Remember show both sides to get those extra points?

Codes and conventions

Codes and conventions of film trailers: watch this its really good

Codes and Conventions

Codes and conventions for film trailers  

Remember one is the length of the trailer whether its a teaser trailer or a normal trailer The codes and conventions for film trailers are: Establishing shots - Edits/Montage-dip to black shows passing of time, fast paced editing - Music - Voice-over - Dialogue - Captions - Non-linear - Restricted narration - Exposition - Production company - Release date - Title - Use of stars Most of these codes/conventions are included in movie trailers, they are the basic things that you will see in a movie trailer. If you look at most films trailers you will see these things in them. Genre/Genre - trailer - has a genre of it's own - the film is already going to have a genre

Spoken written and visual language

Horror Movie Conventions 1 spoken, written and visual language        

Blood Death Killing Villain Victims Haunted houses and isolated settings Monsters Evil

Horror Movie Conventions 2 spoken, written and visual language        

Weapons Darkness Storms Chase sequences Gore Violence Screams Ghosts

Design  Where is your film set, think about the design

how is this a code or convention of horror i.e isolated house.

Media Language  Use any of the theorists from these slides

Camera Shots, Angle, Movement and Composition  

Camera SHOT TYPES A shot is a single take. An establishing shot is usually a long shot that helps to set the scene; it helps the spectator locate him or herself within the narrative  CAMERA ANGLE  Eye-line match/high/low/tilt Camera angles always act to signify meaning, e.g. a subjective POV high angle shot can suggest superiority; a low angle shot can connote weakness.  CAMERA MOVEMENT: Zoom track/pan/hand-held Camera movement always creates significant meaning. A zoom into a close-up of a face can suggest emotion, a pan across a war scene can suggest widespread chaos; a POV tracking shot or a POV handheld camera shot can create tension and involvement by making the spectator feel as if he or she is a part of the action. A following shot pans or tracks (on rails or a wheeled platform - a ‘dolly’) to keep the subject in the shot. A hand-held shot can be kept from overly shaking by the use of a steadicam.

Lighting and sound  

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LIGHTING High key, neutral, low key Lighting can create atmosphere and mood as well as signify meaning, e.g. in the horror genre, light and shade are codes of meaning. High-key lighting is harsh; soft-key lighting creates romance; spotlighting picks out a character from a group, etc. Available light suggests natural light. Full-face lighting suggests openness and honesty; shadow can suggest fear or lack of trust, and so on. ‘DIEGESIS’ AND SOUND The diegesis is the ‘world of the film’: if something is on the screen (including sounds from objects within the mise-en-scene) it is ‘in the diegesis’ or said to be ‘diegetic’. Sound that is a part of the action is diegetic, e.g. wind noise, screeching cars, music from a hi-fi, etc; sound that is added to create mood or atmosphere is non-diegetic. Diegetic sounds may, of course, also be dubbed after filming, or may be exaggerated for effect (e.g. loud footsteps, whistling wind, etc.).

Mise-en-Scene  Cinema and TV codes are created within an area bounded

by the edges of a screen. What is shown is entirely controlled by the producer or director and by controlling what is in the frame controls the audience or spectators understanding. Asking ‘who, what and where’ of the characters and objects and their relative positions, expressions, appearance, costume, make-up, scenery, props, lighting, sounds, etc. in the mise-enscene will help you analyse and understand it. What effects are created in a particular mise-en-scene, what meaning do they have (both denotation and connotation), how they have been created and why created that particular way (which is director’s purpose – perhaps to develop a character, a mood, the storyline or plot and always to contribute to the exploration a deeper meaning or idea, i.e. a theme).

Editing 

Editing is the cutting and joining of lengths of film to place separate shots together yet still manage to suggest a sense of a continuing, connected and realistic flow of events and narrative (see below). A montage is an edited series of shots that works as an ‘individual unit’ of meaning greater than the individual mise-en-scenes from which it is created.  Continuity editing refers to editing techniques that keep the sense of narrative flow such as matched or eye-line cuts. A jump-cut is a dramatic edit that breaks time / space continuity yet still appears continuous and ‘natural’; an MTV edit is a rapid sequence of fast jump cuts that creates a conscious effect such as in music videos; a cross-cut follows action in two separate scenes; a follow-cut follow action to its consequence, e.g. a character looking out cuts to what they look at. Fades (sometimes to black) and dissolves create the sense of scenes moving forward. A sound-bridge carries sound across shots.  Parallel action allows two scenes to be viewed yet still retain the continuity and realism and uses cross cuts. A sequence is a series of shots (i.e. a montage) that leads up to a climax as in a story sequence.

Continuity  Continuity is an underlying principle of filming

and takes many different conventions. As long as continuity is used, the story can unfold. I.e. in a film we never see everything that happens, but because of continuity the viewer can follow what is happening. The purpose is to smooth over disjointed nature of editing to make things more logical for viewers through time and space. Montage editing i.e. rocky montage is different this shows symbolic connections rather than chronology of events.

Key rules of continuity  Mise-en-scene- you must make sure that props, clothing

remains the same, this is very important especially when filming over weeks, remember all the continuity errors we watched in the first year, even big budget producers make mistakes.  Storyboarding: Make sure when filming that if a character walks through a door you must make sure that your next shot shows where the character is heading, not show them walking in the other direction. Equally if a character is wearing glasses, then in the next scene if the character is shown asleep wearing glasses, then the audience will assume that the character has fallnd asleep wearing glasses

Continuity filming  principles  Match on action: Connects physical action

i.e. a shot of football being kicked and how the shot connects showing the motion of the ball-see AS PowerPoint editing  Shot reverse shot: conversation  180 rule:  Establishing shot: Show the audience where they are.

Continuity editing  Continuity editing is the style used in films to

smooth over the inherent discontinuity of the editing process and to establish a logical coherence between shots. This will include  Digetic sound: using sound to smooth over cuts  Match on action: to pick up where the cut left off  Fade out i.e dip to black show passing of time

Media Language and moving image  In both your AS and A2 you have to understand

how to encode products like a media producer, but also how to decode products like an audience.  You must remember though that when decoding audiences don't always decode in the way you want and with web 2.0, British based films which were only ever intended for a British audience can be upload and watched world wide, ask yourself whether someone in India, would understand and Interpret Little Britain in the same way you do.

Media language how to analyse  Mise-en-scene, editing, Camera Shots,

    

Angle, Movement and Composition and sound Semiotics: Signs, codes and conventions. Narratives Genre Iconography Realism

Conventions of moving image  Conventions are the ingredients which make

the product recognisable. For instance we know that in films there are certain conventions that they follow.

Iconography, star system and versimilitude 

       

ICONOGRAPHY Iconography is an important aspect of genre. We expect to see certain objects on screen when we see a particular genre, for example, in a Western, dusty lonely roads, saloon bars, cowboy hats and horses, jails, sheriffs badges, guns, etc.; in a modern horror film, we expect young girls, ‘normal’ objects, use of dark and light, etc. These ‘genre indicators’ are called the iconography of the mise-en-scene or genre. ‘THE STAR SYSTEM’ Certain film stars can be an important part of a film’s iconography and become signifiers of meaning; they create expectations of character and action, genre, and powerful iconic representations of such as masculinity and femininity. In the past, stars were contracted to stop them moving studios and genres. REALISM ‘Verisimilitude’ ‘Generic verisimilitude’ ‘Cultural verisimilitude’. The media can offer ultra-high levels of seeming ‘realism’: the bright screen, clear and powerful Dolby sound, darkened room, etc. are highly compelling and persuasive. Such ‘appearance of reality’ is called verisimilitude. This is a convention as there is nothing genuinely ‘realistic’ about media images. There are two important types of verisimilitude: generic verisimilitude convinces us because of the genre we are watching (in horror it seems realistic for a vampire to sink its teeth into a person’s neck); cultural verisimilitude seems realistic because it mimics real life.

Iconography  Iconography is an important aspect of genre. We expect to see certain objects on screen when we see a particular genre, for example, in a Western, dusty lonely roads, saloon bars, cowboy hats and

horses, jails, sheriffs badges, guns, etc.; in a modern horror film, we expect young girls, ‘normal’ objects, use of dark and  light, etc. These ‘genre indicators’ are called the iconography of the mise-en-scene or genre.

Practice Time 

Media Language Practice exam question 1b “Media texts can communicate to their audiences in various ways.” Discuss the ways in which Media Language has been used within one of your productions.

Cover in your answer: ž Louis Saussure’s Semiotics – indexical and iconic signs ž Genre ž Narrative ž Design ž Structure ž codes and conventions ž time and space ž Aesthetics ž Visual language Practise taking a semiotic approach by evaluating one of your productions. Focus on: Signs and their intended meaning How they interact with each other – would a sign (e.g. the police hat) be read differently if placed in a different context? So how are elements affected by one another? Anchorage text – how does the font/size/position convey meaning? Drawing conclusions – what is the overall effect?

How to answer the question 

para 1 Intro: which of your projects are you going to write about? briefly describe it para 2: what are some of the key features of the concept you are being asked to apply? maybe outline two of the theories/ideas of particular writers briefly para 3; start to apply the concept, making close reference to your production to show how the concept is evident in it para 4: try to show ways in which ideas work in relation to your production and also ways in which those ideas might not apply/could be challenged para 5; conclusion Again remember you only have 30 minutes and that you really need to analyse the finished production, rather than tell the marker how you made it

How to quote  You do NOT need to:  Learn a load of quotes  Explain their theories in great depth  Know them all

 You DO need to:  Use a few  Be able to apply them to your work/ case studies  Consider how useful/ not useful they are when

discussing your work  Use authors name and date accurately.


Genre 

Gunther Kress Genre is “a kind of text that derives its form from the structure of a (frequently repeated) social occasion, with its characteristic participants and their purposes.” Denis McQuail “The genre may be considered as a practical device for helping any mass medium to produce consistently and efficiently and to relate its production to the expectations of its customers.” Nicholas Abercrombie “Television producers set out to exploit genre conventions... It... makes sound economic sense. Sets, properties and costumes can be used over and over again. Teams of stars, writers, directors and technicians can be built up, giving economies of scale” Christine Gledhill “Differences between genres meant different audiences could be identified and catered to... This made it easier to standardise and stabilise production” Katie Wales “Genre is... an intertextual concept” John Fiske “A representation of a car chase only makes sense in relation to all the others we have seen - after all, we are unlikely to have experienced one in reality, and if we did, we would, according to this model, make sense of it by turning it into another text, which we would also understand intertextually, in terms of what we have seen so often on our screens. There is then a cultural knowledge of the concept 'car chase' that any one text is a prospectus for, and that it used by the viewer to decode it, and by the producer to encode it.” Andrew Goodwin Genres change and evolve:

 

  

   

Christian Metz - Stages of genres: Experimental/ Classic/ Parody/ Deconstruction David Buckingham - “Genre is not simply given by the culture, rather, it is in a constant process of negotiation and change.”

Narrative  Tzetvan Todorov – Argues that narratives always have a structure of  

  

Equilibrium/ Disequilibrium/ New equilibrium Story versus plot Claude Levi-Strauss – Argues that human cultural understanding is based upon a system of binary oppposites (good/ bad; black/ white; male/ female…). Narratologists have taken this theory and applied it to narrative, arguing that binary opposition forms a fundamental way of understanding narrative. Roland Barthes: Enigma code; Action code. Also, Open and Closed texts. Vladimir Propp – argued that narratives always have certain character types who perform certain actions. Characters are agents of action. Pam Cook argues that the Hollywood narrative structure includes: “linearity of cause and effect within an overall trajectory of enigma resolution” and “a high degree of narrative closure”

Representation  Laura Mulvey – argues that cinema positions the audience as male. The camera gazes at the female object on screen. It also frames the male character watching the female.  We watch the girl; we see the male watching the girl;

we position ourselves within the text as a male objectively gazing at the female.  Can be applied to other media forms also.

 Hegemony (dominant ideology)  Anyone from the Collective Identity powerpoint

Audience  Stuart Hall: Encoding and Decoding; Preferred/ negotiated/ oppositional readings  Denis McQuail – Uses and Gratification theory (audiences consume media texts for Suveillance; Personal Identity; Personal Relationships; Escapism/ Diversion.  Ien Ang - “Audiencehood is becoming an even more multifaceted, fragmented and diversified repertoire of practices and experiences.”

Media language  Use any of these theorists as media language

you should draw upon all of these i.e  ž Louis Saussure’s Semiotics – indexical and iconic signs ž Genre ž Narrative ž Design ž Structure ž codes and conventions ž time and space-continuity editing

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