Year 12 Film Studies 11/12/12 STARS and their POWER Objectives •To be able to indicate the three ways we can study stars. •To be able to indicate how the star persona is constructed and perpetuated. •To construct a profile of an actor to trace their ‘stardom’.
• Richard Dyer suggests that we can study stars in three ways :• Economically (monetary worth)• Through audience reception (how much an audience likes their films)• As a text in themselves (how much the audience like them)He suggested that the economics of stars as a text can be broken down in three ways.
Economy of a star• 1. Capital- Stars represent the capital possessed by the studios (they have a monetary value).• 2. Investment-Stars as an investment – against loss on it and also creating a investment (stars guarantee a certain return on money)• 3. Outlay- Stars are a major portion of a film’s budget so it must be careful and correct (Is a star to expensive for a certain type of film?)
Film theorist Bela Balazs (1920s)Suggested that movies were a medium that could give stars god like qualities.• Remember that whilst all stars are actors- not all actors would be classed as stars!Actors would be considered stars once they gain a following and they would usually have a body of work behind them in which they have played a similar type of character. This creates a persona that the audience can reconise.(Nick lacey)
How Hollywood constructs a star image • A star persona is referencing the idea that they are a recognisable image which has been constructed through: Their physical appearanceTheir on screenrolesThe media coverage ofthem What is Brad Pitts Star persona?
Examples of past questionsConsider the use of the ‘star’ in the film industry .•Compare the different factors that contribute tothe box office success or failure of a film•Hollywood films have movie stars, thats why theyare more appealing to UK audiences than UK films.How far do you agree with this comment?
What are the pleasures for the audience?• Watching a type cast can be easier in terms of creating meaning for the audience- there is less need for a semiotic reading and interpretation for the audience• It also may put a lot of power in the hands of the actor, especially if the want to do re- makes or• Understanding the expectations- you expect to see certain things from certain actors and there is a comfort in doing that
How stars are used as a promotional tool?• Using the power of the name- cashing in on an already existing fan base.• Think about how film posters for example use the star to sell the film and prove audiences expectations• The star can also link into narrative and genre expectations• Stars also have the ability to complete cross media promotion- TV interviews, magazine interviews, awards ceremonies• A stars private life can also benefit- e.g relationships on set may push people to see the on screen chemistry. They do however want to cover up scandals etc that would go against the star persona that they have worked to create.• A star needs to ensure that they are promoting the right image so as not to loose fans and therefore contracts.
Star as visual image attraction• Examples of how celebrity is used to sell a film• Use of star names to draw in target audience Placed above title of the film Use of directors names- celebrities in their own right
Star persona vs. real lifeWhat do youthink is thedanger of thestar notperforming in theexpected way ofthe persona thatthey havecreated? Miley Cyrus shows that the star persona that she created for Hannah Montana and her actually true identity are at odds
Task• Create a case study of a least two stars• Highlight the key areas of the stars power (economic, audience reception, texts themselves).• Look at Forbes and see where they appear• Consider the films that they have been involved in, the distribution and profit of the films• Consider whether they are typecast or if their roles have changed over the years• Identify what their fan appeal may be• Look at what fan appeal there is out there on the internet• Identify their outside life and how the media report it http://star-currency.forbes.com/celebrity-list/