The way the meaning are constructed so the audience understands
Different medias construct meanings in different ways, using different conventions that are appropriate
Open Narratives Eg. Television and radio soap operas
No sense of ending – could go on for ever, eg Coronation Street
Many more characters – characters shift in and out of prominence and narrative function
More than one story line
Time is more chronological and more with the ‘world time’
Different knowledge of characters for the audience to that of characters in films
Closed Narratives 1. The audience is aware that they are watching a complete story; so watching with the likely ending in mind More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 2. There is a small number of central characters; ‘depth’ of audience knowledge often set up More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 3. Characters arranged in a ‘hierarchy’ of importance More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 4. Audiences invited to make ‘verdicts’ on the characters More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 5. Unlike Open Narratives, time is compressed and not with the ‘real time’ More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 6. Times and events are usually special to this particular story and not linked to the outside world. More relevant to films and cinema
Closed Narratives 7. Audience usually has evidence about the characters only from this single text – plus star, publicity and genre expectations More relevant to films and cinema
Propp Theory Vladimir Propp developed a character theory for studying media texts, which indicates that there were 7 broad character types in the 100 tales he analysed, which could be applied to other media Certain characters are linked to certain elements in predictable ways – he calls these the ‘spheres of action’ Propp assumes a linear narrative which makes flashbacks problematic
The (magical) helper
The hero or victim/seeker hero, reacts to the donor, weds the princess
The 7 broad character types
Todorov proposed a basic structure for all narratives.
Films and programmes begin with an equilibrium, a calm period
A period of unsettlement and disquiet
A renewed state of peace and harmony for the protagonists
A new equilibrium which brings the chaos to an end
Barthes Theory Barthes’ Enigma Code The narrative will establish enigmas or mysteries as it goes along. Essentially the narrative functions to establish and then solve these mysteries.
The Voiceover (including words on screen) is one of the most frequently used conventions of the trailer genre. It is used for several reasons:
Helps the audience to make sense of the narrative by giving us background
It showcases the stars appearing in the film
Give information about the filmmakers
Helps to build a sense of anticipation
Sets the tone for the film
Can summarise the story in between 5-8 lines.
The Voiceover How To Train Your Dragon
The Voiceover Tenacious D
The Voiceover Gone in 60 Seconds
The Voiceover Paranormal Activity 2
Mode of Address The way that a media product ‘speaks’ to the audience
Aspects within the context of a story that are happening simultaneously with the primary performer’s situation.
The technique is employed in the editing process where the projected image goes band and forth between the primary and secondary scene.
The ambiguity of an individual word or phrase that can be used to express two or more different meanings
Mode of Address
A predominant style of editing in narrative cinema and television
The purpose is to smooth over the inherent discontinuity of the editing process and to establish a logical coherence between shots.
Most film sequences are edited so that time seems to flow, uninterrupted, from shot to shot.
Telling a story from more than one person’s point of view or two stories of two different people that intertwine.
‘ Disjointed’ or ‘disrupted’ narrative is a narrative technique.
Sometimes used in literature, film, hypertext websites and other narratives, where events are portrayed out of chronological order.
Often used to mimic the structure and recall of human memory but has been applied for other reasons.