Using Conventions from Real Media Texts What skills did you develop in the understanding of the relationship between text and audience – i.e. The creation of meaning in texts. G325: Section A: Theoretical Perspectives in Media Question 1(a)
Mediation – Encoding and Decoding, Open/Closed Texts You will need to investigate, across AS and A2, how you encoded meaning in texts to give a preferred meaning (Hall, 1980) or closed reading (Eco, 1981) for the audience based on your knowledge of the conventions of real media texts. This is going to involve an assessment of the micro and the macro aspects of your work in relation to your audience.
Macro Analysis Pre-production: Ideology & Discourse (discussion or debate): Mediation of Ideas, Representation and Debates/Agenda . – what were your intended meanings/messages? Production and Post Production: Form and Style - Postmodern? – Hybridity, Intertextuality. Medium, Genre, Narrative? – how were your meanings/messages communicated?
<ul><li>Micro Elements </li></ul><ul><li>What choices did you make in terms of the following in order to communicate your meaning to audience (mode of address)? </li></ul><ul><li>Media Language: </li></ul><ul><li>Mise-en-Scene, </li></ul><ul><li>Camerawork, </li></ul><ul><li>Editing, </li></ul><ul><li>Sound </li></ul>
Macro Theory: Ideology and Discourse, and Audience Reception Stuart Hall (1980) – Dominant/Hegemonic reading. Preferred Meanings . Stuart Hall detailed that texts have preferred meanings, but the decoder will not always necessarily read them as intended by the producer as everyone has a different social/ cultural background. Texts that are meant to communicate hegemony will be encoded so that they are easily interpreted and understood by a mass audience.
Umberto Eco (1981) – Open and Closed Meaning . Texts aimed at large audiences (mass) will be encoded so that the majority of the audience can only decode a preferred meaning. This is known as a closed text. An open text is one that has many meanings, or is deliberately ambiguous, and can be understood in different ways by a number of different audience members.
Roland Barthes (1979) – Anchorage and Myth Images can be polysemic and Barthes argued that the meaning of images can be pinned down to give a preferred meaning through the process of anchorage (text/music). Barthes also argued that all texts are encoded in such a way to reinforce dominant, cultural ideologies or values. The way that a text is encoded makes the representation seem ‘natural’ or ‘common sense’. This is the concept of ‘myth’.
Macro: Meanings and Messages across AS and A2 coursework TASK 1: What was the purpose of your text? TASK 2: What were you trying to communicate to the audience? What was the theme? What was the discourse (point of view/agenda debated) in your texts? TASK 3: Who was your target audience and what was the main mode of address (voice)?
Macro Theory - Postmodernism, Genre, Narrative Postmodern aesthetic: Irony, Parody, Pastiche, Bricolage, Intertextuality. Bricolage is the process of deliberately ‘borrowing’ or adapting signs or features from different styles or genres to create a new mixture of meanings (O’Sullivan et. al, 1998). Pastiche : Bog standard copying of conventions or can be done for bricolage effect. Whichever, this ultimately reinforces their importance in culture and society. Parody is a kind on pastiche which makes fun of the subject. Intertextuality is the way in which media texts gain their meanings by referring to other media texts that the producers assume that the reader/decoder will be familiar with and recognise (O’Sullivan et. al 1998).
Genre: Was it a hybrid? Did it have a sub-genre? What were the stereotypical elements of real media texts that you encoded into your video? Narrative: Is it an open / closed narrative? Did it have a beginning, middle and end or not (i.e. follow a classic narrative structure)? Linear or non-linear? Anti-narrative (deliberately doesn’t make any sense – surrealism)? NOW THINK BACK: Are there additions to the ‘Creativity’ section now you have studied postmodernism?
TASK 1: How did you pastiche or parody any other media texts? (this includes bricolage and intertextuality). TASK 2: In relation to the above, can you be more specific in terms of generic conventions of your medium? TASK 3: In relation to the above, can you be more specific in terms of narrative theory of your medium?
Micro Theory – advanced editing Editing is its most literal sense is to remove unwanted elements. In terms of production : for your A2 photographs: “a photograph Barthes claimed, involved a mechanical process where the image – that which is denoted – is recorded, but there is also an expressive, human and cultural process that involves the selection and interpretation of such elements as camera angles, framing, lighting and focus” (O’Sullivan, 1998). In terms of post-production : You didn’t just decide what elements to put in your images – it was what to leave out/take out in order to create meaning.
Editing and Sergei Eisenstein (1920s) Sergei Eisenstein was a Marxist film maker and teacher of film theory. Intellectual/Dialectical Montage – process of putting images together so that a new meaning is created through the juxtaposition . It identifies a struggle between opposites. It is like putting an image of bankers quaffing wine next to an image of pigs in swill – it creates a meaning: bankers are like pigs (metaphorical). Vertical Montage - Create meaning through the juxtaposition of an image with some other element (text anchorage or music).
Think about your videos and their use of juxtaposition , of montage , of using text and graphics alongside music and images … Apply this to your own product : What conventions across AS and A2 did you adhere to? Use the editing theory as part of your answers.
“ It is impossible to create a media product that is entirely original”. From your own experience discuss the extent to which you used conventions of real media texts to produce your media products and/or to the extent they allowed you to be creative.” “ Creativity is always constrained by generic conventions”. To what extent did you adhere to or subvert generic conventions in the creation of your media products.” Think of these questions as the first part of your revision...