Analyse media language june 2012


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Analyse media language june 2012

  1. 1. Sian Lynes“Media is communication”. Discuss the ways that you have used media language to create meanings in one of your media products.Media language was used in the construction of my music video to symbolise meanings to the targetaudience. This is evident through the use of camerawork to denote meaning, ultimately complyingwith John Fiskes Theory (1982) that "denotation is what is photographed, connotation is how it isphotographed". A long shot is seen predominantly in the outdoor sequences in combination withthe female artist seated on a garden bench on the right hand third of the frame. This connoted tothe audience that the artist, against the lifeless background, was solitary and alone, almost distant tonormal civilisation. In contrast with the indoor scenes, such as the regular use of extreme close-upswhich shows the artists entire lips to show the misé-en-scene of heavy red lipstick whilst lip-syncing.This sexualised the artist in order to appeal to a mass audience of both genders, complying withLaura Mulveys Male Gaze theory, as the artist becomes an object to be "viewed" by the audience.The compact framing of the face in combination with short, quick straight cuts draws the audiencesattention to the lyrics of the song.The use of camera angles was also evidently used to portray certain connotations. Particularly, ahigh angle shot was used facing downwards to film the artist as she was laying across the bed. Thisshot denotes my artist throwing flower petals at the camera whilst laughing. However, the staggeredhigh angle portrayed an "off-guard" and amateur aesthetic to represent my artist as a "real person".Conclusively, with the artist breaking the "Fourth Wall" by acknowledging the camera, it enables theaudience to form a rapport with her thus making her more desirable. An over-the-shoulder shot wasalso adopted as my artist was lip-syncing and applying make-up in the mirror. Again, this connotes tothe audience the feminine aesthetic that is popular to a mass audience.In terms of editing, straights cuts are the most prominent form of translation from one shot to theother within the music video. They were used in short periods with quick amounts of time in beatwith the pop song overlaid on the music video. This emphasised drama, allowing multiple visuals tobe decoded by the audience in a shorter period of time. These straight cuts were also reducedduring slow tempo sections of the song, which emphasised my artist in a calm and cooler manner.At the end of the video as quick fade out into black was used for the final shot. This complies withStuart Halls theory (1980) that producers encode texts and meaning in then decoded by theaudience. In this case, it was a convention used deliberately to signify the music video had ended. Italso connoted from the final shot of my artist hanging up the phone and that she had finishedrelations with whom whoever was on the other end. It also gave the video a fluent and naturalaesthetic to the ending rather than an abrupt straight cut which may have confused the audience. ASpeed Up shot was also used subtly on a shot of the artists hand dialling the rotary telephone. Itperceived the shot as being more active, reducing the usually elongated process; therefore byextension this created a hyper reality to the audience.Lighting is also used to communicate several meanings to the audience. For example, the location ofthe light source is manipulated to create a spot light effect to illuminate the artist singularly. Thisimmediately draws the audiences interest directly to the subject. With the rest of the stageunilluminated it also suggests to the audience that my artist is centrally important and hasconnotations of exclusivity. Back lighting was a technique were the lighting was positioned behindthe subject. With the light source obscured by the artists head, the effect was reminiscent to a halo
  2. 2. Sian Lyneseffect. Therefore this provided connotations of an angelic and pure persona, which contradicted thedark binary opposite conveyed in the rest of the natural dark outdoor lighting.Mise-en-scene was vital in the composition to encode meaning. For example, the binary oppositionswithin the locations with outdoors vs indoors adhered to Levis Strauss theory. The night-time scenerepresented the artist to the audience in a lonely way, especially with the dark undertones of thefoliage and black dress (which provided connotations of death). In contrast within the indoor scenesthe furniture and background had a warm red hue, whilst the oppositional red dress suggestedconnotations of being alive. The use of the garden location set at night-time also complies withCharles Sanders Pierce (1931) theory, with the artist becoming the signified. The natural signed ofthe night-time scenery, with dark sky and unnatural lighting can be inferred as a reference to thesubject; providing mysterious and lonely connotations that the artist may be feeling. The autumnleaves around the subject, and wilting foliage, may also be inferred as the subjects own state ofmind, again reinforcing the loneliness and dying state she may be experiencing (tying in with thesong title Living Dead) which can be decoded by the audience. In regards to make-up, I agree withPierce again as society has attributed meaning to the connotations of colour to represent emotionsand ideas. For example, in the video red was adopted as the primary hue, visible in the location andused predominantly in the subjects costume. The denotation of the lipstick that the female artistwore was dark red, which enhances the sexuality of the subject. Similarly, this can be applied to theuse of a black and white effect within the video during the bridge. This, in combination with longershots and non-verbal communication of the subject smiling, suggested connotations ofsophistication as well as security; challenging the abrupt cool attitude of shots with full colour.Another sign can be applied to the use of props, especially in the adoption of a black retro cigaretteholder which was used by the subject to inhale and exhale a cigarette. In modern day terms, it isunconventional and now has connotations of individuality and enhances the attitude of the subjectsmoking it, in this case the artist. It has connotations of carelessness and non-conformity toexpectations of society - becoming more of sign of style than functionality.