Which of the following most accurately represents reality: <ul><li>a television newscast </li></ul><ul><li>a documentary </li></ul><ul><li>a reality-based crime programme like Police, Camera, Action </li></ul><ul><li>a TV drama like The Bill or Spooks ? </li></ul>
Constructed reality <ul><li>The truth is, that none of these programmes accurately reflect reality. </li></ul><ul><li>A newscast story or documentary is never entirely objective. It may contain slant or bias; it may only show one aspect of an issue; and it invariably contains dozens of arbitrary decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, the types of stories that make the news - the "if it bleeds it leads" approach - do not create a well-rounded picture of events as they occur in real life. </li></ul><ul><li>"Reality-based" crime programmes are edited, contain re-enactments, and offer only the more sensational aspects of policing. </li></ul>
The purpose of ‘reality’ dramas is to convey the idea of the ‘real’ Police at work in the neighbourhoods with which we are more familiar. Does this make them more ‘real’ than a more obviously constructed product such as Life on Mars or The Bill ? Are the people who appear in this more real because they are actual Police rather than constructed characters – played by actors? Does the programme not create ‘characters’ by positive or negative reinforcement of personalities through the editing?
<ul><li>KEY POINT: reality on television is constructed </li></ul><ul><li>Editing in news, documentary or reality programmes is used to emphasise some events or aspects over others and to lead the audience towards particular interpretations. </li></ul><ul><li>TV drama takes a further step into constructed reality by dealing with characterisations and dramatic elements within those characters lives. </li></ul><ul><li>TV dramas, although fictitious, may perpetuate stereotypes that influence our perceptions about criminals, police, women, young people, the elderly and minorities. </li></ul>
Representation <ul><li>Representation – How groups, events, places or social changes are portrayed in the media; how they are re - presented. </li></ul><ul><li>The way someone or something is represented is not reality… </li></ul><ul><li>Representations offer a version of reality . </li></ul><ul><li>They are subjective rather than objective and are constructed. </li></ul>
Representation Reality The real world Mediation The process of producing a film text. Representation The text itself. A ‘representation’ of the real world.
Representation <ul><li>Key points to consider when analysing representations: </li></ul><ul><li>What is being represented? </li></ul><ul><li>How is it being represented? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is responsible for the representation? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the representation be interpreted? </li></ul>
1. What is represented? Consider denotation and connotation - what information does the text give you about subject matter, place and characters? Draw on all your knowledge of microelements such as framing and camera angles, costume, colour, etc. - consider all the technical areas: camerawork, mise-en-scene, editing, sound. 2. How is this representative of social groups? What does the text suggest is typical? Consider what it says about particular social groups (gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, physical ability/disability, regional identity and class/status). Consider positives and negatives and use of stereotypes. Does your text reinforce or challenge stereotypes?
3. Who is responsible for the representation? Consider the producers and the institutions responsible for production. What agenda do the producers have? Why would they want to represent things in a certain way? (Think about target audience, genre, commercial aspect or artistic expression, etc.) 4. What does the audience make of it? Taking all of the above into account what might the audience response be? However, as we know not everyone will respond to the text in the same way so there is not one answer to this!
Lily Allen Consider the 4 points on representation above for the 2 different images of Lily Allen.