What do you need to know? This exam will require that you apply the 4 Media Key Concepts to the topic Media Language Audience• Identifying the codes and • Box office and audience figures conventions and the Action • Conditions of consumption – Adventure genre cinema home viewing and the• Understanding and applying implications of e-media and narrative theory/ structure mobile technologies (Todorov) • Uses and gratifications in terms Representation• Understanding and applying Institution of action and adventure films characters types (Propp) • Fan websites. • Defining representation and its• Binary Oppositions (Levi Strauss) • Exploring the nature of significance• Sequence analysis Hollywood, the studio system, film finance • Stereotypes in action adventure• Storyboarding films • The star system • The role of the BBFC in • Representations of ‘good’ and certificating films; the 12A ‘evil’ through heroes and villains certificate • Representation of gender – the • Roles and functions in film role and functions of male and production female characters • Producers and director s • Representations of the West and associated with the genre the East, including ethnicity • The marketing and promotion of • The ideological function of action action adventure adventure films and the notion of • Spin-offs./ Film Franchise cultural imperialism through Hollywood.
Defining Genre? Genre is made up of the 4 typicals (NICS)Narrative - typical storylines and structure used. Example: Spider-Man is fighting against evil. He is in aAction-Adventure: hero is usually on a journey or range of different situations including saving Maryquest in search of something (artefact) or someone. Jane, fighting his friends dad (the Green Goblin),He has to complete a range of tasks/challenges dealing with his broken family (living with his auntiebefore the end and usually appears victorious. and uncle (who is killed)). Spider-Man kills hisTodorovs structure of equilibrium, disruption and enemies and emerges heroic at the endrestoration is commonly used to tell the story inchronological order. Example: In Indiana Jones we see fights between Indiana and various tribesmen and other artefact hunters; they fight using guns, bows and arrows, and swords. We also see chases between Indiana andIconography - things we expect to see. various villains, as well as Indiana running away fromAction-Adventure: We expect violence, weapons, danger (mines, the infamous rolling boulder). In thechases, explosions, heroes reinforcing good heroes end Indiana emerges victorious having beaten hisemerging victorious, defeated villains. enemies and gaining the treasure/artefact
Defining Genre? Genre is made up of the 4 typicals (NICS) Example: In Star Wars we have the typical hero, Luke Skywalker, who has many sidekicks/helpers/donors including Han Solo (who helps him defeat Darth Vader), Obi-Wan Kenobi (his guide, almost a fatherCharacters - people who drive the story forward figure), Yoda (an ultimate guide/advisor). Along theAction-Adventure: Typical character types (in terms of journey, there are many villains including Darth Maul,Propps stock characters) include the hero, villain, Stormtroopers, and his arch enemy, Darth Vader. Thehelper/sidekick, princess / love interest. They have a princess / love interest in the first three films isrange of different purposes to play within the Padme Amidala, and in films four, five and six, wenarrative. There must be a bad/evil force and a hero have Princess Leia. The two characters fall in love withto create conflict. the male protagonist (firstly Anakin Skywalker and then Luke Skywalker - but when Leia finds out she and Luke are siblings, she falls in love with Han Solo). They are subordinate to the male characters, although at points they are quite powerful characters (they are both royalty).Setting - the locations used Example: The Pirates of the Caribbean films use tallAction-Adventure: Typical settings are usually ships, which are quite dangerous (tall sails, riggings,isolated, dangerous, mysterious, scary, dark and quite use of canons, sea monsters) and which sail in vast,vast. This allows a range of situations to take place, mysterious oceans. Being out to sea has connotationse.g. fights, chases, explosions. of isolation, vulnerability and mystery. A vast, yet isolated setting allows for many things to go wrong, as well as having an element of unpredictability.
What is Action Adventure?• You will be able to define what Action Adventure is by remembering it’s typical codes and conventions (the ingredients). Narrative, Iconography, Characters and Settings (NICS), keeping these in mind will allow you to successfully plan for your own Action Adventure film idea.
Character Types In your own action adventure film you must be able to define who your villain and hero is by referring to the key concept of representation (how do the audience know who the hero or villain is?). Remember most action adventure films have more character types than just the hero and the villain.
Audience and Action Adventure films Audiences can be broken down into: • Age • Gender • Class • Income • Interests • EducationPrimary audience: The target audienceSecondary audience: Other people that Define the targetmay watch it, audience for your filmbut are not directly targeted
Audience and Action Adventure filmsPrimary audience Working/lower middle class Films of these genres do notGender: Male take much thinking about!Shown by male characters, stereotypically interested They are there to be watchedin action, explosions, technology and weapons more and are to visually look goodthan women. in terms of explosions,Age: 15-24 fighting, weaponry, and so on.Reflects the main cinema-going age, some action- Interests include:adventure films have an age rating of 15+ but this Masculinity, sports, computeraudience also play computer games of a similar genre. game playing, actorsSecondary audience Remember! There is always an exception to the rule. ThinkOlder men - They once were young about Tomb Raider and Alien films that haveand were directly targeted female protagonists, even though they are aimedWomen - May find the actors at men (women are portrayed as objects ofattractive and appealing desire) they also appeal to women
Audience and Action Adventure films• Although almost fifty years old, a useful tool in the study of any media product is the Uses and Gratifications theory. This theory is concerned with the ways in which people use a media product and the pleasures that they get from it, for example, an action adventure film.• A simplified version of the theory might divide uses and gratifications (rewards/ pleasures) into four primary headings:• Diversion – how the films might offer a release from our everyday life and its problems. Another word might be ‘escapism’.• Personal relationships – the films give us something we can talk about to our friends and family. ‘Have you seen the latest Bond film yet?’• Personal identity – the pleasures we might get from identifying with characters or situations in the film.• Surveillance – information we might get from the film that could be useful to us in our everyday lives. How to use a cutlass perhaps?• Take each of the headings and use examples from action adventure films explain how it might relate to your own consumption of the genre.
Film Classification• The classification given to a film can influence how successful a film is at the box office. This is especially true of action adventure films where the prime audience is families, including young children.
Film Classification• Who are the BBFC? What do they do?• The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), originally British Board of Film Censors, is a non- governmental organisation, funded by the film industry and responsible for the national classification of films within the United Kingdom. It has a statutory requirement to classify videos, DVDs and some video games under the Video Recordings Act 2010
Film Classification• Make sure you know what the different certificates are, think about what certificate you would give your own film and why
Film Classification• Critics of Action Adventure argue that such films promote unhealthy attitudes towards violence and that narratives are becoming too dominated by special effects and action sequences• One interesting classification of films is the 12A certificate. Refer to your BBFC website research and see what qualifies a film for this certificate.• The category was introduced after the film Spider-Man received a 12 rating meaning that according to the BBFC people below that age should not see it in the cinema or on video. However, many local councils, which have the final say about who can and cannot see films in cinema in their area, ignored the advice of the BBFC. The 12A certificate was introduced allowing young people to see the film if accompanied by an adult.• Do you think there is an argument for a 15A certificate?
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