STARSand their POWERObjectives•To be able to indicate the three ways we canstudy stars.•To be able to indicate how the star persona isconstructed and perpetuated.•To construct a profile of an actor to trace their‘stardom’.11/12/12Year 12 Film Studies
• Richard Dyer suggests that we can study stars in threeways :• Economically (monetary worth)• Through audience reception (how much an audiencelikes their films)• As a text in themselves (how much the audience likethem)He suggested that the economics of stars as a text can bebroken down in three ways.
Economy of a star• 1. Capital- Stars represent the capital possessedby the studios (they have a monetary value).• 2. Investment-Stars as an investment – againstloss on it and also creating a investment (starsguarantee a certain return on money)• 3. Outlay- Stars are a major portion of a film’sbudget so it must be careful and correct (Is a starto expensive for a certain type of film?)
Suggested that movies were a medium that could give starsgod like qualities.• Remember that whilst all stars are actors- not all actorswould be classed as stars!Actors would be considered stars once they gain afollowing and they would usually have a body of workbehind them in which they have played a similar type ofcharacter. This creates a persona that the audience canreconise.(Nick lacey)Film theorist Bela Balazs (1920s)
How Hollywood constructs a star image• A star persona is referencing the idea thatthey are a recognisable image which hasbeen constructed through:Their physical appearanceTheir on screenrolesThe media coverage ofthem What is BradPitts Starpersona?
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 ofcreating meaning for the audience- there is lessneed for a semiotic reading and interpretationfor the audience• It also may put a lot of power in the hands of theactor, especially if the want to do re- makes or• Understanding the expectations- you expect tosee certain things from certain actors and there isa comfort in doing that
How stars are used as a promotional tool?• Using the power of the name- cashing in on an already existing fanbase.• Think about how film posters for example use the star to sell thefilm and prove audiences expectations• The star can also link into narrative and genre expectations• Stars also have the ability to complete cross media promotion- TVinterviews, magazine interviews, awards ceremonies• A stars private life can also benefit- e.g relationships on set maypush people to see the on screen chemistry. They do however wantto cover up scandals etc that would go against the star persona thatthey have worked to create.• A star needs to ensure that they are promoting the right image soas not to loose fans and therefore contracts.
• Examples of how celebrity is used to sell a film• Use of star names todraw in targetaudiencePlaced above title ofthe filmUse of directorsnames-celebrities intheir own rightStar as visualimage attraction
Star persona vs. real lifeMiley Cyrus shows that the starpersona that she created forHannah Montana and heractually true identity are at oddsWhat do youthink is thedanger of thestar notperforming in theexpected way ofthe persona thatthey havecreated?
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, thedistribution and profit of the films• Consider whether they are typecast or if their roles havechanged 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 ithttp://star-currency.forbes.com/celebrity-list/