Media Theory and Theorists for G325

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Media Theory and Theorists for G325

  1. 1. Media Theory and Theoristsfor G325Section A: Examining your ownproductionsA2 Revision Session
  2. 2. G325ai – Skills and Processes(Hands)• Must use media theory/ theorists• I have split them by area of relevance:Genre/ Narrative/ Representation/Audience/ Media Language
  3. 3. What do you need to be able to dowith theorists and theories?• You do NOT need to:– Learn a load of quotes– Explain their theories in great depth– Know them all• You DO need to:– Use a few– Be able to apply them to your work/ case studies– Consider how useful/ not useful they are whendiscussing your work/ case studies
  4. 4. How to use theorists…• Quote• Summarise• Comment• Assume your reader knows about the theory/ theorist.• Don’t explain the theory; use it.• A Todorovian analysis would argue…• Mulvey’s notion of the Male Gaze provides a useful wayof understanding the video in that…• Kate Wales statement that “Genre is... an intertextualconcept” could be useful here because…
  5. 5. Genre• Denis McQuail “The genre may be considered as a practical device for helping any mass medium to produceconsistently and efficiently and to relate its production to the expectations of its customers.”• Nicholas Abercrombie It makes sound economic sense. Sets, properties and costumes can be used overand over again. Teams of stars, writers, directors and technicians can be built up, giving economies of scale” –Directors/stars are used to portray genres.• Christine Gledhill “Differences between genres meant different audiences could be identified and catered to...This made it easier to standardise and stabilise production” Different genres have different audiences• John Fiske “A representation of a car - we are unlikely to have experienced one in reality, therefore –intertextually. Repetition/stereotypes/conventions makes us understand the genre• Andrew Goodwin - Genres change and evolve• David Buckingham - “Genre is not simply given by the culture, rather, it is in a constant process of negotiationand change.” Genre changes with culture• Stephan Prince – Horror, unlike other genres, challenges the unknown. Good vs evil (foil) has evolved into –crazy dad or neighbour etc, this has happened through time. Humans are not top of the food chain, whichcreates helplessness• “There is no pleasure without difference” , “Genres are instances of repetition and difference” - Steve Neale• How we define a genre depends on our purposes – Chandler
  6. 6. Narrative• Tzetvan Todorov – Narratives always have a structure ofEquilibrium/ Disequilibrium/ New equilibrium• Story versus plot• Levi-Strauss – Human cultural understanding is based upon asystem of binary opposites (good/ bad/ black/ white/ male/female…). Narratologists have taken this theory and applied it tonarrative, arguing that binary opposition forms a fundamental way ofunderstanding narrative.• Roland Barthes: Enigma code; Action code. Also, Open andClosed texts.• Propp – argued that narratives always have certain character typeswho perform certain actions. Characters are agents of action.• Noel Carroll - Traditional 3 part structure for horror: ‘Onset phase’where a disorder is created, ‘Discovery phase’, where charactersdiscover the disorder, ‘Disruption phase’ where characters destroythe source and restore normality.• Horror genre most important characteristics are the modes of affectthat horror films intend to create in their audiences – othercharacteristics and generic conventions evolve - Brigid Cherry
  7. 7. Representation• Representation is what are the connotations of the media text - Symbolism.Verisimilitude – appears to look real. Socially what they look like, and how they arerepresented through society – e.g. policeman with respect.• Stereotypes are used to generalise and represent society. It is easier to groupcharacteristics and social positions together as it builds a stronger ideology of whatthey are like, without actually knowing them (assumption) – Shown through:Appearance and Behavior.• Perkins argues that stereotypes are not simplistic, they contain complexunderstanding of roles in society. Not always negative and often contain truth.• Dominant Ideology Widely held belief by many members of society. Marxist theory –Dominant ruling classes shape culture (Hegemony)• Baudrillard We watch hyperreality were everything is a depiction of what the world islike.Laura Mulvey – argues that cinema positions the audience as male. The cameragazes at the female object on screen. It also frames the male character watching thefemale.We watch the girl; we see the male watching the girl; we position ourselveswithin the text as a male objectively gazing at the female.• Hegemony – leadership by one smaller group over another larger group (male overfemale, the consumer is forced to accept what has been shown)• Pluralism – that the audience can choose wither to accept what they watch is real
  8. 8. Audience• Stuart Hall - Encoding and Decoding; Preferred/ negotiated/ oppositional readings• Denis McQuail – Uses and Gratification theory (audiences consume media texts forSurveillance; Personal Identity; Presnal Relationships; Escapism/ Diversion.• Dyer’s Utopian theory – How audiences consume media products with a clear set of pleasuresto draw from that experience. Escapism from people’s real lives.• The Hypodermic Syringe - According to the theory the media is like a syringe which injectsideas, attitudes and beliefs into the audience who as a powerless mass have little choice but tobe influenced- in other words, you watch something violent, you may go and do somethingviolent.• The Culmination Theory - Years and years of watching more violence will make you lesssensitive to violence• Morley’s Research - Women tend to watch something whilst doing something else and theywatch soaps etc. Men put full focus onto watching a film, sports and news.If a media text attracts a wealthy amount of people then it is likely to continue even if thatpercentage is small. A series such as Star Trek (attracts single male men), although it onlyattracts a small amount of people, the figures and collectables that come with it, make the seriessuccessful.“Audiencehood is becoming an even more multifaceted, fragmented and diversified repertoire ofpractices and experiences.” Ien Ang
  9. 9. Media Language• Camera Angles, shots, body languageetc..• Written, Symbolic, Technical (WST)• Semiotics – Signs of what we see(signifier)• Denotation/Connotation• Paradigm – set of codes that we see in amedia text
  10. 10. Media StudiesFoundation Portfolio• Research and planning• Preliminary task• Looked at several shots etc. Looked at Youtube clips of opening sequences, andused slideshare to collate my information.• Looked into gangster research• Then looked at several films in detail: Goodfellas• Created storyboard• Created first draft of an ident• Looked into soundtrack and films etc.• Used target research, filming people and survey monkey to collate information• Looked at fonts• Looked at costumes from different films• Showed and evaluated my editing process• Used audience feedback to get a result• Did location scouting• Evaluation Questions• Production, post production, evaluation
  11. 11. Advanced Portfolio• Looking at theorists and trailers – The Hobbit and also videoing myself talking abouttrailers• Prezi to talk about trailer structure• Looked into horror trailers – Separation and Absentia• Created Mood Board to showcase ideas and thoughts.• Looked into Directors and certain films• Looked into horror conventions through slideshare• Looked into three films: Heartless, Grave Encounters, Paranormal activity and handheld shooting tips• Looked into fonts by filming a survey of my audience favorite font

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