G325 Media Studies - Mock Narrative Essay


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G325 Media Studies - Mock Narrative Essay

  1. 1. Phoebe Bower A2 Media Studies 3) Apply theories of narrative to one of your productions (January 2011) In AS, for my Media Studies coursework, I had to research, plan and film an Opening Sequence to a film of my creation. Mine was a Romantic-Comedy, called “The Naked Truth”. In terms of Narrative Theory, my Opening Sequence follows certain aspects of a couple of theories but are worlds away from others. My Opening Sequence completely disregards Vladimir Propp’s Theory of “7 Broad Character Types”, accept for perhaps following the one character type of the Hero, or the Princess. Propp’s argues that pieces of Narrative Media all contain at least a few of the character types listed e.g. The Hero, Villain, the Donor, the Dispatcher, the False Hero, the Helper and the Princess/Prize and Father. In the first 2 minutes of my film, the audience sees the protagonist getting ready; having a shower, putting on her clothes and make-up and leaving the house. The Princess character is typically beautiful and ultra- feminine, traits my protagonist, Naomi, clearly displays, and could suggest that my Opening Sequence is responding to Propp’s theory in that way. On the other hand considering possible limitations of there existing 7 distinguishable character types, the Hero is traditionally the protagonist, the first person the audience sees and usually preparing to journey on a quest. My protagonist is literally getting ready to leave the house and travel somewhere, almost going on a quest herself. From this perspective, Naomi could also be acting as the Hero. Todorov’s Theory was one which we took much inspiration from in terms of planning our Opening Sequence. The plot of our film was very typical, Shakespeare-based Romantic-Comedy, taking inspiration from films like “Clueless”, “Legally Blonde” and “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging”, and sharing genre conventions. Informed by the genre, our film began with an Equilibrium, possibly beginning to enter a Disequilibrium. The Equilibrium was evident in the bright lighting, comfortable and familiar misé en scene of a classic teenage girl’s bedroom, and upbeat, peppy soundtrack, “Yearbook Long” and “Clear”, all of which culminate to create an atmosphere of everyday normality. However, the idea that something this perfect can’t be true might suggest to the audience that something is about to go terribly wrong, the narrative about to enter into a Disequilibrium and the ominous text message from Aiden, only goes to reiterate that. Barthes’ Enigma Code is heavily present within my Opening Sequence, as not a lot of questions are answered with our protagonist’s introduction. “Enigma codes work to maintain the setting up of problems or puzzles for the audience” and although the audience might get a feel for her personality e.g. That she cares about her appearance, is sexualised (“Fifty Shades of Grey” Trilogy), there are still a lot of information to gather. The Semantic Code is present, where the audience is directed towards an additional meaning in the actions of the protagonist, Naomi e.g. Her getting ready and her focus on appearance, as well as who Aiden is and his role in the narrative. The Symbolic Code is used in terms of the audience assuming from the predominantly pink colour scheme of the misé en scene that the protagonist is a girly girl, and from the “Fifty Shades of Grey” Trilogy can deduce she’s sexually active. William Gibbson’s Theory that “Designers are taught to invent characters, with narrative, who they then design products for or around” has no bearing on my Opening Sequence, which was created exclusively for the purpose of selling the film, which it is a part of. There were no products created as an extension and although that could be a possibility in terms of promoting make-up brands the character uses in the introductory 3 minutes, it was deliberate or an aim to which we first began.
  2. 2. Phoebe Bower Lastly, Tim O’Sullivan’s theory, that “Media texts offer a way of telling stories about ourselves” could be said of our Opening Sequence, purely because it is very relatable worth our female teenage audience, who’re all familiar with the idea of getting ready and looking nice in order to meet a guy you have a crush on, which is precisely what Naomi’s character is doing as she applies make-up, puts on her heels and leaves the house.