The Tramp’s Mission Unit 26: Film Studies Create a blockbuster Charlie Grover
The story line• Clive, (Robert Downey Jr) is a man who is now currently living on the streets of London after being dropped from the Army, because of a failed mission. His wife has now left him since he has been a terrible husband since the army.• It is the 5th of June, the Queens Jubilee, however, this is one party the Queen won’t be attending. The Queen is kidnapped and murdered down a back street in London. Fortunately, there was a witness. Unfortunately, the witness was Clive.• Clive bucks up some courage and finally goes to the Police station to tell them what he saw. He is seen as hero and gets a lot of publicity. This means that Clive can now afford a house and a better style of life.• Everything is going swimmingly, the Police think they have a lead, thanks to their 2 detectives, James (Simon Pegg) and Louis (Nick Frost), Clive is having a better than normal life, and everything is going to plan.• However, the head detective starts to believe that it is all a set up. He thinks that Clive murdered the Queen, just to get publicity. The tramp is the suspect and starts to be hunted down.• Can he win his wife back? Can he find the real killers and clear his name before the court summon him to prison?
Seven Key Characteristics of Blockbuster movies1. It is a ‘star’ vehicle movie My film has an A-list actor, Robert Downey Jr, who plays the lead role of the tramp2. A Large Production Budget For my film to be a blockbuster it needs to be a BIG movie, with lots of effects. To pull this off my film will need a large production budget3. A Large Marketing Budget For a film to be recognized it needs to be marketed appropriately and effectively. With a large marketing budget I am able to market my film in many different effective ways; Trailers, toys, gadgets, posters, bill boards, advertisement on public transport etc.4. A range of merchandise For a blockbuster to become a ‘blockbuster’ it needs to have a strong merchandise strategy. Toys and games can be put into fast food meal deals, and larger figures or cuddly toys can be put in toy stores. My film mainly targets an older audience therefore ill have to think carefully about what merchandise I will use. Figures and console games are a great way to advertise.5. A wide demographic6. A holiday release date Every blockbuster has a holiday release date. This date normally links, or has some sort of relevance to the film. If it’s a horror it may come out in October, if it’s a love film then February may be a good time, and obviously a Christmas film will come out in the Christmas holidays. Since my film relates to the Queens Jubilee, I hope to bring it out in that bank holiday.7. A wide release A blockbuster isn’t just seen and remembered in one country. Great films such as Avatar, Harry Potter and Titanic are films known all over the world.
Narrative theoriesThere are 4 main narrative theories;1. Vladimir Propp’s Theory2. Todorov’s Theory3. Roland Barthe’s Theory4. Claude Levi-Strauss’ Theory
Vladimir ProppVladimir Propp had a theory that challenged the way a film isstructured. He come up with 31 different things that occur in movies. He concluded that thereare no authors anymore, every film is based around different theories.Below are 11 elements that link to my film.-A member of a family leaves home, (in my case, hero leaves war).-The villain makes an attempt at reconnaissance.-The villain gains information about the victim.-The villain attempts to deceive the victim to take possession of victim or victims belongings.-Hero is tested, interrogated, attacked.-False hero presents unfounded claims.-Difficult task proposed to the hero.-Task is resolved.-False hero or villain is exposed.-Hero is given a new appearance.-Villain is punished.
Tzvetan TodorovTodorov came up with a theory, that every film has 8 character roles. If a film does nothave these characters then the film will not work..according to Todorov!The 8 character roles are1. The villain(s)2. The hero3. The donor - who provides an object with some magic property.4. The helper who aids the hero.5. The princess (the sought for person) - reward for the hero and object of the villains schemes.6. Her father - who rewards the hero.7. The dispatcher - who sends the hero on his way.8. The false hero In my film I have a villian (The murderers), hero (clive), a donor (2 detectives), the princess (Clive’s wife), The dispatcher (the queen), and a false hero (head detective)
Roland Barthe• Roland come up with 5 different codes that each film or piece of writing has. He believes that nothing is written anymore, they are more or less based around different codes or conventions.• The 5 codes are;• Action Code (events taking place)• Semantic (Characterisation)• Enigma (Mystery)• Referential (Explaining/Informing)• Symbolic (Connations of signs)• My film works in a similar way. You firstly see the events take place, (killing of the Queen), then you find out more about Clive, then the mystery comes into place. We then need and explanation or informative scenes, and finally signs come together and we have an ending)
Claude Levi-Strauss• Claude Levi-Strauss looked at narrative structure in terms of binary oppositions. Binary oppositions are sets of opposite values which reveal the structure of media texts. An example would be GOOD and EVIL – we understand the concept of GOOD as being the opposite of EVIL. Levi – Strauss was not so interested in looking at the order in which events were arranged in the plot.• The binary oppositions are;Earth SpaceGood EvilHumans AliensPast PresentNormal StrangeKnown Unknown• My film doesn’t have any space related scenes, however, there is a mixture of good and evil, past and present, normal and strange, and known and unknown.
Audience theory• There are 4 types of audience theory;• The hypodermic needle• The 2 step flow• Uses and gratifications• Reception theory
The Hypodermic Needle• Uses and gratifications theory attempts to explain the uses and functions of the media for individuals, groups, and society in general.• There are three objectives in developing uses and gratifications theory:1. to explain how individuals use mass communication to gratify their needs. “What do people do with the media”.2. to discover underlying motives for individuals’ media use.3. to identify the positive and the negative consequences of individual media use. At the core of uses and gratifications theory lies the assumption that audience members actively seek out the mass media to satisfy individual needs.
The two step flow theory• The two step flow theory is based on the opinions of people. It relates to a theory of superior people being listened to because they are ‘older’, ‘higher educated’ or even seen as ‘cooler’.• This theory asserts that information from the media moves in two distinct stages.• First, individuals (opinion leaders) who pay close attention to the mass media and its messages receive the information. Opinion leaders pass on their own interpretations in addition to the actual media content. The term ‘personal influence’ was coined to refer to the process intervening between the media’s direct message and the audience’s ultimate reaction to that message.• Opinion leaders are quite influential in getting people to change their attitudes and behaviors and are quite similar to those they influence.
Uses and Gratifications There a 5 main reasons why people go to the media.• To escape People want to escape from reality so they go to the media.• Social interaction It creates a common ground for conversations. People can talk about the media the following day.• Identify People search for themselves in media. So they can relate. Soap operas are a prime example of identity media.• Inform & Educate A majority of people go to the media to get a better understanding and knowledge on the world.• Entertain A simple reason why people go to the media is just for entertainment.
Reception Theory• There are 3 different Reception Models;1. Dominant2. Negotiated3. Oppositional
Dominant, Negotiated and Oppositional• Dominant-When a reader understands the text and excepts it.• Negotiated-When the reader has a small understanding of the text and portrays it to his/her life. They may see themselves in a text and react to their life in the same way the text did.• Oppositional-When the media is completely the opposite in which the position of the reader is in. Eg, watching a political party debate who you are campaigning against.