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  • 1. Task 1: Understanding Genre This is the most straightforward aspect of genre study because it involves looking at the conventions of specific genre. In Exploring the Media, Connell suggests grouping conventions under the following headings: Characters – representations, stereotypes, behaviour, body language, specific actors/stars Narrative events Iconography – props, symbolic codes Setting- mise en scene Technical and audio codes – camera use, editing, lighting, diegetic/non diegetic sound, sfxUse these headings, identify the main conventions of the horror film genre as they are presented in theopening to Scream (Craven, 1991)Scream opening scene part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3lSvJ5RXKA&feature=relatedPart 2http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpNoDzHkl5UGenre elements Conventions presented in the opening to ScreamCharacters – Casey- stereotypical dumb blonde, naïve, easily led, flirty over the phone at first,representations, helpless and weak, female protagoniststereotypes, behaviour, Casey’s mum- loving, caring , distraught,body language, specific Casey’s dad- determined, curious, protectoractors/stars Scream- male antagonist, evil, adds humour to horrorNarrative events –how is Linear narrative everything happens chronologically.the narrative orderedand structured?Iconography – props, Casey’s pale jumper suggests innocence, popcorn ready to watch a horror movie,symbolic codes screams big black cape hides his identity black symbolises evil, cartoon like mask suggests the villain’s purpose is linked with his childhoodSetting- mise en scene Set in and isolated location so that Casey could not call or run for help emphasising Casey is left to defend herself. Big house shown by the cinematography in pans and tracking shots expresses the family’s wealth, suggesting Casey has had an overprotective childhood. A contrast to when later in the narrative she is left to fend for herself.Technical and audiocodes – camera use,editing, lighting,diegetic/non diegeticsound, sfxWhat ideologies are encoded in the horror genre? What does the genre seem to say about what it is like to live
  • 2. in the world?Understanding Genre: Text and changes in audience expectationScream and afterScream was made in 1996. It was in part a parody of earlier fashions in horror but in many ways it can be seenas quite old fashioned now.From your knowledge of contemporary horror films, what are the conventions audience now expect? Thinkabout: Characters, Narrative events, Iconography, Setting, Technical and audio codes.Has the ideology of horror changed since 1996? How? As the case of Scream shows and as Bell et al have argued, “genres cannot be clearly identified as they are not static: they are subject to constant renegotiation between the industry and the audience." (Advanced Level Media, 1999) Task 2: Your Ancillary tasks Read the two theories below, the first by Daniel Chandler and the second by Steve Neale.
  • 3. Chandler:•Conventional definitions of genres tend to be based on the notion that they constitute particularconventions of content (such as themes or settings) and/or form (including structure and style)Neale:•Genre can be defined by instances of repetition and difference•genre is part of a process of “mental machinery” between “industry, text and subject.”In addition, the theorist Nick Lacey states that there is a ‘repertoire of elements’ that work incombination to suggest a media text belongs to a particular genre or mix of genres. Lacey’sframework is similar to the one described by Connell in ‘ExploriongThe Media’. Lacey breaks a textdown into 5 areas when analysing genre: Setting Character Narrative Iconography StyleConsidering Chandler’s and Neale’s theories above, pick out the conventions of your chosen genrethat you have used for your ancillaries. If you have produced a CD/Poster, consider the images youhave usedNick Lacey states that there is a ‘repertoire of elements’Ancillary 1 Technical and Iconography Setting/Mise Characters audio codes – en SceneProduct …………….. Design and layout Fonts/ColourGenre ……………….. scheme/ written style (lexis/tone)Chandler what are the conventions of content?Chandler: what *Conventional *san serif textare the Masthead *’the’ is theconventions of *san serif text definite,content in your *cheap price ‘source’Ancillary one? *when and where conventional available *metaphorical ‘delivering’ providing news *simplistic *when and where available *iconic newpaper masthead *value for moneyNeale: What are *’The source’ Language: Thethe instances of creative modern source is Iconicrepetition and name of journalismdifference? *’the’ is the searching for definite, ‘source’ news with conventional microscopeHave you appliedNeale’s mentalmachinery to yourwork? How?
  • 4. Now repeat the task for Ancillary 2. Print both boxes out for marking, with your nameclearly written at the top. Please do not print out the whole task!!