Can you read the signs?
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24
1. Identify each sign. What does it stand for?
2. Does it have more than one meaning?
3. Is it symbolic or indexical?
4. Which groups will be able to read it?
5. Which groups may NOT be able to read it?
6. Which groups will have the deepest understanding of the sign?
Discuss your thoughts on this briefly in your answer.
7. Has it been affected by time? If so, in what way? If not, why not
Extension: Are any of these metonyms or contiguous?
Denotation & Connotation
The ‘literal’ meaning of something, an image or idea. It is, in a way,
the “dictionary” definition.
The extra added meanings that we attach to images, objects and
ideas that are not ‘literal’ but based on our experience, culture, age,
gender etc. They are often shared within groups e.g. people of a
similar age, people from a particular religion or country.
These pairs roughly denote the same thing but have different
Cat/Moggy Prostitute/Whore Nanny/Au Pair
Connotation are usually
Influenced by each other, the media and personal experience
They are often understood and shared by groups. These groups can
be based on many things, including;
Geography/Where we live
Sometimes when reading a text, a person may read the text
differently than was perhaps expected by the text’s producers – this
is sometimes a partial acceptance of the ‘intended’ meaning and
sometimes a complete rejection of it. These are called negotiated
and aberrant readings respectively.
READING A FILM STILL
Some initial questions…
1. What type of film is this from? How do you know?
2. Who do you think this film is aimed at? Why do you
3. Is this a real or fictional text? How do you know?
4. What do you think has happened immediately before
this moment? Why?
5. What do you think is going to happen next? Why?
6. What is the relationship between the characters?
Why do you think this?
7. Are there any relevant props or other elements in
focus in the frame that are important? Why?
In Media Studies you must get used to going beyond just describing
what you see. Everything in a frame is there for a reason: someone
purposefully put it there and so we must try to deduce why. This
action of placing things in a frame (for example on a film set) for a
reason makes them what we call MOTIVATED.
When writing about any still or extract of a text, you must always
say WHAT the effect is and WHY you think it is there. You should
always give alternatives if possible (or plausible) e.g. “it could
mean…” “it could have the effect…
Not static but
A set of
and audience – a
combination of the
audience recognised by
familiar and the
expectations audiences over
equals time e.g.
like language –
GENRE At an ideological
offering a set of
rules and a
MEAN? offer comforting
a closing down of
Genre films work
cultural myths and
fears by repetition,
the risk of financial
The Beano & Narrative
Using the A3 sheet story of the Bash Street Kids, do the following;
1. Read through the story
2. Plot out how the story is told
3. Re-write the story in three different ways, one using a
different point of view, one using montage and one using a
4. Thinking about Levi-Strauss – what oppositions are there in
5. In what ways is ellipsis used in TWO of the story versions you
created in number 3? How is it different?
6. Look at the following theories – what do you think are the
advantages and disadvantages of each? What bits are ‘good’
or useful from each and which ‘bad’ or not useful?
NARRATIVE THEORY -Is it any use?
COPY THIS ONTO A4 PAPER and complete
THEORIST Advantages/strengths Disdvantages/weaknesses
SHOT SEQUENCE ANALYSIS (2) NOTES….
From “Pretty Woman”
From “Pretty Woman”
From “Pretty Woman”
Make notes about each image. ALSO, think about how the images work as
How do we read the images? What are the key differences? What is being
Reflections on shots
1. How similar were your actual photos for the thriller shoot in comparison to
your planned drawings?
2. What did you actually do to achieve your shot?
3. Identify what works really well in your chosen still
4. Identify what could be improved upon, or what didn’t work in the shots you
5. Write up a short analysis of your shot, focussing on camera, character, and
6. When you go out shooting again, what techniques or tips would you like to
practice or improve on?
7. What have you learnt from these sessions?
Extra question: Has your work in Photoshop enhanced your shot? If so, what did
you do and what effect has this had?
Shot types activity
Shot Shot Type Director Actor(s) PA Success?!
9 2 SHOT
11 HIGH ANGLE
12 LOW ANGLE
13 TILTED FRAME
Camera movement activity Group:
Shot Camera Does it work? Why/ why not?
1 Forward track
2 Reverse track
4 Whip pan
6 Canted angle/
To introduce character
Establish narrative structure
Establish core themes
Introduce core iconography
Establishes audience expectation through use of
• Establish sense of enigma
Predominance of action codes
Significance of soundtrack – establishing mood
Use of titles as credits/ event signifiers