• To reinforce the basic media language
that create meaning in texts.
• To have a basic understanding of how
to evaluate your coursework against
the media language that you used.
Importance of media language
• Every medium has its own ‘language’ –
or combination of languages – that it
uses to communicate meaning.
Television, for example, uses verbal and
written language as well as the
languages of moving images and sound.
• We call these ‘languages’ because
they use familiar codes and
conventions that are generally
Denotation, Connotation and
• In semiotics, denotation and
connotation are terms describing the
relationship between the signifier and
• Barthes (1977) argued that in film
connotation can be (analytically)
distinguished from denotation.
• As John Fiske (1982) puts it
“denotation is what is filmed,
connotation is how it is filmed”.
• Evaluating media language is an
evaluation of all micro elements and
how they have created meaning to
inform us about genre, narrative,
representations/ ideology, targeting
• This requires us to use semiotic
terminology to explain our encoding of
elements and codes and conventions
within our texts.
• We must also remember to discuss the
preferred meaning (Hall, 1980) that
we wanted our audience to DECODE.
Micro Elements: Mise-en-Scene
• Mise-en-scène constitutes the key
aspect of the pre-production phase of
the film and can be taken to include all
aspects of production design and
• Mise-en-Scene creates the diegetic
world - the fictional space and time
implied by the narrative, i.e. the world in
which the story takes place.
Aspects of Mise-en-Scene –
video and print style
1. Location - settings, set-design
2. Character – Costume, Properties
and Make Up, Actors and
3. Cinematography - Lighting and
4. Layout and Page Design –
colour, juxtaposition of
Micro Elements: Camerawork
• There are Four aspects to camerawork
that you need to understand:
1.Shot Types – particularly relevant