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Contextual studies Audience Theories pt1

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Contextual studies Audience Theories pt1

  1. 1. Contextual Studies: Audience Theories 9 Nov 2017
  2. 2. Recap So far for Contextual Studies we have looked at; • Investigating the Creative Media Sector • Ownership • Controls & regulations BBFC/Ofcom • Marketing & Distribution • New and emerging industries – Transmedia, cross-platform marketing We now need to look at audience reception theories
  3. 3. WHAT IS AUDIENCE RECEPTION? •Audiences receive and respond to texts very differently. The different effects generate varied responses. •It is a way to characterise and group together different audience (consumer) interpretations. •Audience reception = the way we react
  4. 4. FILM CLIP: GET OUT DIR. JORDAN PEELE 2016 US WHAT DO YOU SEE? • Addresses todays climate and issues with race • Symbols of Slavery – Actors, acting, locations and costumes • The Deer – Omen link to protagonist • The teacup – hypnotising - suppression FILM CLIP INTERVIEW WITH JORDAN PEELE
  5. 5. ENCODING DECODING THEORY Stuart Hall, 1973 • Producers encode meaning/ideology into texts, which audiences decode • Audiences are active in their interpretations and can accept/reject the producers message. • ENCODE : meaning, ideology • DECODE : ???
  6. 6. ENCODING DECODING THEORY Preferred Reading – audiences agree and accept what the producers are encoding • Negotiated Reading – audiences partially agree with the encoded messages • Oppositional Reading – audiences reject/disagree or decode the text differently Age, Gender, Cultural Experiences David Morley
  7. 7. AUDIENCE READINGS – GET OUT Preferred Reading • Intended to encourage audiences to consider race relations issues in the US Refers back to classics of the horror genre like The Stepford Wives and Rosemary’s baby Negotiated Reading • Audiences who enjoy thrillers and horror films will be able to enjoy the film whilst possibly engaging with some of the deeper issues of the film .
  8. 8. ENCODING & DECODING MODEL
  9. 9. DECONSTRUCTING A FILM • Narrative • Cinematography • Mise-en-scene • Genre • Editing • Theoretical approaches (Semiotics, Auteur, Representation)
  10. 10. NARRATIVE • All scripts contain stories that have been carefully structured • These stories have a Narrative Form that is specific to film • Part of this form is defined through the constraints of running length (90-120mins) • A narrative therefore is an account of a series of events that occur in time and space • It is the role of the creators of the work to plan how those series of events will be presented coherently and artistically through sound and image.
  11. 11. Field, Syd The Screenwriters Workbook 2006 Delta Publishing Narrative: Structure
  12. 12. Narrative Film Structure Example: The Martian Dir Ridley Scott 2015, USA Film Trailer Set up: Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is happily working alongside his teammates on Mars. Plot Point 1: A dangerous storm rolls in and the team prepares for an emergency departure, but as they head into the storm, Mark is hit with debris and he’s thrown away from the crew. They try to locate him, but the storm is too fierce. Mark’s vital signs flat-line and the captain makes the decision to save the rest of the crew and leave the planet for home. Mark However is still alive.
  13. 13. Confrontation: After a harrowing journey back to base, he realizes the storm has destroyed many things, including what he needs to contact NASA. Watney must use his training and ingenuity to survive alone on Mars. Plot Point 2: Watney is doing fine and has successfully built a greenhouse where he grows the potatoes that will save his life. Things are really looking up for him until he accidentally blows a hole in his flourishing nursery. It destroys his crops and all the equipment he used, cutting his food supply in half. NASA must go on an active rescue mission in order for Mark to survive.
  14. 14. Resolution: Mark builds a rover to survive the long journey to a landing site where he’ll be able to launch into space and rendezvous with his former crewmembers. It seems like everything to succeed is in place: his former crewmembers have resupplied and returned to Mars, while NASA has been supporting them from earth. After many difficulties, Watney reunites with his teammates and escapes the planet.
  15. 15. ONE MIN FILM Late Dir. Edith Chong Yuen Ping Task: In Groups write out the story structure/plot of the film Split into beginning (Act I,middle (Act II) and end (Act III)
  16. 16. CINEMATOGRAPHY • Lighting • Film stock • Colour • Choice of camera/lense s • Movement • Shot framing (Distance and angle)
  17. 17. SHOT ANALYSIS The Dark Night Dir. Christopher Nolan Task: Watch the clip and write down the shot types you see as you watch it.
  18. 18. MISE-EN-SCENE (PUTTING ON STAGE) • Setting • Scenery • Lighting • Costume • Props • Acting/actions
  19. 19. SCENE FROM AMELIE DIR JEAN-PIERRE JEUNET 2001, FRANCE
  20. 20. GENRE • Horror • Sci-fi • Drama • Romance • War • Western • Thriller • Musical • Genre conventions (rules) • Mixed-genre
  21. 21. WHAT GENRE ARE THESE FILMS ?
  22. 22. SEMIOTICS (THE STUDY OF SIGNS & WHAT THEY SIGNIFY)
  23. 23. OBJECTIVE: UNDERSTAND THE NOTION OF SEMIOTICS AS AN APPROACH TO ANALYSING AND UNDERSTANDING MEDIA PRODUCTS
  24. 24. One minute TASK: WRITE DOWN ALL THE WORDS, PHRASES AND IDEAS YOU ASSOCIATE WITH THE ABOVE IMAGE
  25. 25. LOVE COURAGE BLOOD HEART RELATIONSHIP ROMANCE HEART SACRED JOY FEELINGS The heart sign has come to symbolise multiple meanings all of which we are able to consider when we see the image.
  26. 26. HEART – THIS IS THE ORIGINAL, EVERYDAY USAGE
  27. 27. IN SEMIOTICS WE CAN DEFINE THESE TWO DIFFERENT MEANINGS WITH THE ABOVE WORDS DENOTATION CONNOTATION
  28. 28. HEART KEY TER: SEMIOTICS Denotations Connotations e.g. muscle Pump Blood Organ Body e.g. love Valentines Feelings Romance Sweet
  29. 29. THEORISTS: FERDINAND DE SAUSURRE (1857 - 1913) KEY TERM: SEMIOTICS SWISS LINGUIST & FOUNDER OF SEMIOTICS Saussure said the sign is the basic unit of meaning and he thought signs were made up of two parts TREE SIGNIFIED – The concept or object that is represented SIGNIFIER – The form of a sign such as words on a page or an image
  30. 30. THEORISTS: CHARLES S PEIRCE 1839-1914) KEY TERM: SEMIOTICS AMERICAN PHILOSOPHER & FOUNDER OF SEMIOTICS Peirce said the form a sign takes, its signifier, can be classified as one of three types an icon, an index, or a symbol. ICON – AN ICON IS A SIGN WHICH IS LINKED TO ITS OBJECT E.G A MAP OR A PHOTOGRAPH INDEX – AN INDEX SUGGESTS ITS OBJECT BY BEING PHYSICALLY LINKED TO IT, OR AFFECTED BY IT. E.G SMOKE IS AN INDEX OF FIRE SYMBOL – A SYMBOL HAS NO QUALATATIVE OR PHYSICAL LINK TO ITS OBJECT E.G. MOST WORDS ARE SYMBOLS
  31. 31. MISE-EN-SCENE (pronounced mee-zon sen) • In films signs can take many forms. They can be words, sounds, images, objects, colours etc. • Considering all the elements of a film can help us look for the signs more easily. • MISE-EN-SCENE Means ‘placing on stage or in the scene’ • The idea that every element in a film has been put there for a reason KEY TERM: Mise-en- scene
  32. 32. MISE-EN-SCENE (pronounced mee-zon sen) Includes a consideration of: • Sets • Props • Acting • Costume • Lighting • Composition KEY TERM: Mise-en- scene
  33. 33. Dir: Ridley Scott 1982 BLADE RUNNER Task: Write down the symbolic elements you see in the clip that form part of the mise-en- scene
  34. 34. SUMMING UP Further Reading • Roland Barthes Elements of Semiology London: Jonathan Cape 1967 • David Chandler Semiotics the Basics Routledge 2002 • Charles S Pierce The Philosophical writings of Pierce 1982 The use of semiotic theory can be a powerful tool to help you analyse and consider the deeper meaning of films Key vocabulary to remember: • Denotation • Icon • Index • Symbol • Mise-en-scene • Sign • Signifier • Signification • Connotation
  35. 35. TASK: AUDIENCE THEORY FIND YOUR OWN FILM SCENE, SUMMARISE YOUR THOUGHT ABOUT THE MISE-EN-SCENE AND USE OF SYMBOLISM, SIGNS AND SIGNIFIERS WRITE A DEFINITION OF SEMIOTICS POST THIS ON YOUR BLOG UNDER CONTEXTUAL STUDIES
  36. 36. REPRESENTATION How we 're-present' a person, place or thing Do we show the subject in a positive or a negative light? Love Thy Neighbour 1970s sitcom
  37. 37. Modern Family is a commercially and critically successful American sit com, told from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker. The program proposes to present an honest perspective of family life. Watch the following clips and analysis of 'Modern Family' Identify the stereotypes represented in the programme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh8WDVMqngM What stereotypes did you identify? REPRESENTATION: MODERN FAMILY
  38. 38. REPRESENTATION Sitcoms in particular aim for a broad audience. They perhaps feel they have to appeal and reinforce perspectives and stereotypes that are ingrained within audiences to become a hit show. Modern Family was initially seen as a progressive show. Do you still think it is? Can you name a more progressive show? How do we break the cycle of negative or incorrect representation? Interview from the show:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKoRiwCCsQU
  39. 39. In small groups of 3 or 4: (YOU HAVE 10 MINUTES) Appoint a writer in your group to write the group's thoughts... You're directing a short film. The story synopsis goes something like this: An elderly lady is pushed to the ground by a mugger and her handbag is stolen. In the handbag was a large amount of money with which she was going to pay some bills. She is slightly injured in the incident and has to go to hospital, where her minister visits her. The local wealthy landowner, Lord Ambrose, hears about her plight. He comes to visit her too and offers to pay her bills. What does each of the characters look like in your film? How does each one talk? What are their values/personalities/characteristic traits? How will each character be represented in your film?
  40. 40. How did you 're-present’ each character? FEEDBACK…
  41. 41. KEY AREAS OF REPRESENTATION Age Gender Social Class Ability/Disability Ethnicity Regional Identity Sexuality
  42. 42. BBC Production Guidelines: Look at the BBC editorial guidelines and guidance and see what advice you can find about how people, places, things are represented in BBC content http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidance 1.2.5 Harm and Offence ‘We aim to reflect the world as it is, including all aspects of the human experience and the realities of the natural world. But we balance our right to broadcast innovative and challenging content with our responsibility to protect the vulnerable from harm and avoid unjustifiable offence. We will be sensitive to, and keep in touch with, generally accepted standards as well as our audiences' expectations of our content, particularly in relation to the protection of children’.
  43. 43. OTHER THEORIES TO EXPLORE There are three theories of audience that we can apply to help us come to a better understanding about the relationship between films and audience. 1. The Effects Model or the Hypodermic Model 2. The Uses and Gratifications Model 3. Reception Theory
  44. 44. THE EFFECTS MODEL • The consumption of media texts has an effect or influence upon the audience • It is normally considered that this effect is negative • Audiences are passive and powerless to prevent the influence • The power lies with the message of the text
  45. 45. THE HYPODERMIC MODEL • Here, the messages in media texts are injected into the audience by the powerful, syringe-like, Media • The audience is powerless to resist • Therefore, the media works like a drug and the audience is drugged, addicted, doped or duped
  46. 46. ASSIGNMENT 1 Produce a 250 word rationale’ on a creative media product or products you intend to research further for example a genre of film; television; books; newspapers or other justifying relevant reception analysis approaches to content and audience to explain and analyse the particular audiences your product appeals to and why. Think of this as an essay plan (250words) Due 21st November
  47. 47. HOW TO COMPLETE THE ASSIGNMENT • Choose a Media Sector (Film, TV Documentary, Journalism etc) • Choose a genre within that sector (Youth documentaries, social issue films, Documentary series) • Complete at least two case studies on relevant products from your genre • Consider how products within that genre have been influenced by • audiences/markets • How are films within this genre distributed in consideration of their key audiences • You could consider certification as part of your process • Choose an audience theory approach to research (semiotics, genre, representation etc) and apply it to your case studies • Research reviews of your media product/s • Use valid reference resources (books, online journals, film websites)
  48. 48. FURTHER READING Bennett, P., Hickman,A. and Wall, P. (2007) Film Studies: The Essential Resource, Routledge, London and New York Block, Bruce (2007) The Visual Story Focal Press Bordwell, David and Thompson, Kristin (2012) Film Art: An Introduction McGraw Hill www.bfi.org.uk www.imdb.com

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