How Does Your Media Product Represent Social GroupsPresentation Transcript
How does your media product represent particular social groups?
Age In terms of age, we represented our onscreen social group as teenagers. The two main characters in our film are teenagers, aged 16 and 17. A lot of psychological thrillers consist of teenagers in some way or at some point, some are also the main characters, like in our production. Similar to ‘The Butterfly Effect’ our production represents teenagers, males in particular, as having some kind of psychological disorder which restrains them from living a normal life. ‘Neurosis’ ‘The Butterfly Effect’
Gender Our production represents both masculinity and femininity. Masculinity: In our production masculinity is represented as; threatening, potentially dangerous, a sexual predator, highly intelligent, isolated from peers and sexually estranged. Many of these characteristics are typical of the representation of masculinity, for example; threatening and dangerous. Horatio, our main male, is shown to have these characteristics in association with his movement; the way he follows Mia from behind, and his signature action of touching his glasses, and also his costume. His costume consists of a white shirt, black trousers, red tie and prominent glasses; these clothing items are often associated with high intelligence and also people of the middle class. Males who are highly intelligent and middle class are often portrayed as calculating characters who prey on their victims in a clever and sneaky way. This is reflected in the way Horatio has the photographs of Mia which he has taken without her knowing, up on the wall in the newsroom. The colour of Horatio’s tie being red also portrays to the audience danger and warning – it warns the audience that he could be a dangerous and threatening character.
Femininity: In our production femininity is represented as; vulnerable, sexual prey, popular and under threat from males. These characteristics are very typical of the representation of femininity in the psychological thriller genre, especially vulnerability and being under threat. Our main female, Mia, is shown to have all these characteristics through the positioning of actors in our scenes; when Horatio follows Mia, she walks ahead of him, unknowing that he is there. Her ignorance to Horatio stalking her portrays to the audience that she is even more vulnerable. The photographs of Mia on the wall, which Horatio has taken also without her knowing, assure the audience’s feeling that she is very vulnerable and under threat from Horatio. Femininity in this context is usually represented as popular, or a person who fits within the social norms. Mia is shown to be less isolated from her peers than Horatio as her costume consists of very ordinary, everyday clothes that would be worn by many people, in contrast with Horatio’s smart and prominent costume.
Ethnicity Typically, in the psychological thriller genre, the villain is often a white, middle aged male. For example ‘Hide and Seek’ is a good example of this convention. However, in our production the villain is a young, black male. We wanted to show a broader cultural diversity in our production, and also challenge this typical convention of a psychological thriller. We believed that our villain being a different ethnicity to our victim would also make the difference between them seem more obvious and set Horatio apart from Mia. Our production represents a young, black male as calculating, highly intelligent, threatening, and potentially dangerous. Mia, our victim, is more typical of a psychological thriller victim. In our production we are presenting young, white females as being vulnerable, at threat from males, unaware of the danger they are in, a target and innocent. The female’s vulnerability is highlighted to the audience by Horatio following her and her not noticing, and also the photographs Horatio has on the wall that he has taken without her knowledge.
Mise-en-Scene The mise-en-scene in our production helped to portray our onscreen social groups in the ways I have discussed. The setting of the production taking place in and around a school helps to portray the age of the characters, that they go to school and so are not yet adults. Their costumes also help to portray certain characteristics about them to do with gender; for example Horatio’s smart clothes and glasses show masculinity as being highly intelligent and isolated, whereas Mia’s ordinary clothes show femininity as fitting within social norms. The lighting we used in the newsroom also portrays more aspects of Horatio’s characteristics in terms of masculinity being represented as calculating and threatening; we did this through the low-key lighting which creates a sinister mood and atmosphere.