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1. Iconic signs and codes are created to represent the thing itself so that an image of a mafia gangster looks like, or signifies, a
mafia gangster.

Iconic codes also work to create extra meaning so that when we see an image of a gangster we associate it with meanings of
lawlessness, of a person involved in drug dealing, a dangerous person who will kill, and who our culture identifies as a definite
‘baddie’.

2. Indexical signs are different. They work by indirectly suggesting a meaning by prodding our existing knowledge and
understanding.


3. Symbolic codes act as signifiers of meaning which are not remotely the same as what they actually look like (what they
denote).


Often in a film the bad guy wears all black, and this is to symbolise evil.

An all black outfit may suggest ‘cool’ too. Both meanings have nothing intrinsically to do with the clothes themselves.

In comedy sketches a burglar may wear a striped shirt, a mask, and carry a bag marked swag – we all know that this costume
symbolises a comic burglar – it works as a short hand for the audience– but why the striped shirt symbolises a burglar is an
interesting question.

Theorists in Semiology tell us that the meaning a code communicates is always culturally determined. This means that we
learn codes and symbols as we grow up according to our society and culture.

Well known buildings can connotate much more than the image of a large building.




       Go through your trailer and consider all the use of iconography in your work seperate them under the
       following heading:

       Iconic signs and codes          Indexical signs       Symbolic codes
This seems to have come along way from film iconography but, if you think about it, it is all very similar. Think of any film that you
enjoyed - the characters, the costumes, the settings, the objects, the way the film is shot, the use of lighting, the selection of shots
– big close ups, or a lot of of wide shots, the way the film is edited, the use of music ( where would the film Breakfast at Tiffanys
be without the song Moon River) all these things go towards the iconography of the film.

It’s really fun working out how all the signs and symbols work to create a rich cinematic experience.
Semiotics Terminology
Anchorage
The fixing of a set of meanings, often found in a photograph or advert, usually through captions or other written text
Arbitrary Sign
Where the signifier has no connection to the signified e.g. Snow and Christmas
Codes
A system of signs, languages or symbols that allow audiences to decode meaning e.g. Technical and Symbolic codes or
Narrative codes
Content Analysis
A way of decoding meaning by breaking down and studying the different elements of media texts
Conventions
The expected format of a media text e.g. A Tabloid or a Broadsheet newspaper or Genre conventions in Film or TV
Culture
Often understood through the different system of communications produced by language/media and the arts from different
countries
Connotations
The different meanings produced by the sign i.e. what is signified. Remember connotation is open to interpretation
Decoding
The process where meaning is deconstructed or ‘read’ by audiences
Denotation
The physical form of the sign, the signifier
Dominant Preferred Meaning
The meaning that has been encoded into media texts and constructed by producers in the hope that this meaning only will be
understood
Encoding
The meaning that has been ‘put in’ to a media text
Iconic Sign
Where the signifier has a resemblance to the signified e.g. a road sign with a picture of old people on
Indexical Sign
Where the signifier is direct evidence of the signified e.g. Smoke and Fire
Intertextuality
Where media texts make reference to other media texts that it is hoped audiences will recognise
Juxtapostion
Images or objects are placed next to each other to create a third or different meaning
Mode of Address
The way a media text speaks to its audience e.g. Capital Radio has an upbeat mode of address through its rhetoric of
presentation and sound levels
Negotiated Reading
Meanings of a sign which are not always agreed upon
Oppositional Reading
The meaning that is decoded is the opposite of what was intended by the producer of the media text e.g. Ali G is racist (which was
not the dominant preferred meaning)
Polysemic
Where a sign is capable of producing a number of different meanings e.g. a photograph without a caption
Semiotics/Semiology
The study of the science of signs by breaking down the different elements of a media text


            Use these terms and apply examples from your trailer: At least one per term
Apply Media Language and Audience theory
Intercutting
Where there are cuts between two scenes that are happening at the same time e.g. the audience is introduced to two stories at

to One of Your Productions.
once
Production Values
  Opening Paragraph: Outline the brief and the context,
Identifies the budget of a film e.g. Donnie Darko has ‘low production values’        created a Film
Hand Held Camera
  Campaign for a specific audience in the genre of horror. Outline dems/psy
Allows audiences toaudience.character and deconstruct realism
  of a specific identify with
Tracking Shot
Reflects the steady movement of the camera along tracks, often following character movement
  Paragraph 1: Introduce textual Analysis and treatment of your film trailer.
Two Shot
  REMEMBER YOU DIDN'T MAKE A SHORT FILM YOU MADE A
A shot of two characters framed opposite each other to imply a relationship
  TRAILER. Highlight the purpose and intention of your media product (the
High Key To create anticipation and excitement to watch the film for the
  trailer). Lighting
Overall illumination i.e. brightly lit. often used in glossy big budget Hollywood Films
  intended audience.
Low Key Lighting
Often used in Independent films to encode realism
  Paragraph 2: Begin textual analysis. Highlight the relationship between
  the text and the audience:

  Repetition/Variation: How you used genre conventions and enigma codes
  Genre Marketing: How have use used conventions of genre (including
  conventions of a trailer)
  Semiology: How you have used sign and symbols to have an effect on the
  audience, what is that effect?
  Uses and Gratifications theory: in relation to how the text is used by the
  audience.

  Paragraph 3: Evaluate to what extent you feel understanding of media
  language has had an effect on your final product.
Moving Image Terminology + Semiotics
Use these terms to record examples of where you have applied them (where you can see them) in your production. Some
will be
more relevant than others. For example, Semiotics/Semiology is the study of signs and will be apparent in all your
productions but
you won;t be able to find an example of it



Semiotics/Semiology
The study of signs that help us to deconstruct Media Texts




Signifier/Denotation
The physical form of the sign, without deeper meaning




Signified/Connotation
Meaning associated with the relationship between signifier and signified. Connotation is open to interpretation




Mythical Connotation
Meaning which is subjective interpretation, yet untrue




Anchored Meaning
A Media Text has a reinforced meaning, e.g. in Advertising




Polysemic
Many meanings e.g. a photograph has many connotations without the addition of text

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Critical perspectives

  • 1. 1. Iconic signs and codes are created to represent the thing itself so that an image of a mafia gangster looks like, or signifies, a mafia gangster. Iconic codes also work to create extra meaning so that when we see an image of a gangster we associate it with meanings of lawlessness, of a person involved in drug dealing, a dangerous person who will kill, and who our culture identifies as a definite ‘baddie’. 2. Indexical signs are different. They work by indirectly suggesting a meaning by prodding our existing knowledge and understanding. 3. Symbolic codes act as signifiers of meaning which are not remotely the same as what they actually look like (what they denote). Often in a film the bad guy wears all black, and this is to symbolise evil. An all black outfit may suggest ‘cool’ too. Both meanings have nothing intrinsically to do with the clothes themselves. In comedy sketches a burglar may wear a striped shirt, a mask, and carry a bag marked swag – we all know that this costume symbolises a comic burglar – it works as a short hand for the audience– but why the striped shirt symbolises a burglar is an interesting question. Theorists in Semiology tell us that the meaning a code communicates is always culturally determined. This means that we learn codes and symbols as we grow up according to our society and culture. Well known buildings can connotate much more than the image of a large building. Go through your trailer and consider all the use of iconography in your work seperate them under the following heading: Iconic signs and codes Indexical signs Symbolic codes
  • 2. This seems to have come along way from film iconography but, if you think about it, it is all very similar. Think of any film that you enjoyed - the characters, the costumes, the settings, the objects, the way the film is shot, the use of lighting, the selection of shots – big close ups, or a lot of of wide shots, the way the film is edited, the use of music ( where would the film Breakfast at Tiffanys be without the song Moon River) all these things go towards the iconography of the film. It’s really fun working out how all the signs and symbols work to create a rich cinematic experience.
  • 3. Semiotics Terminology Anchorage The fixing of a set of meanings, often found in a photograph or advert, usually through captions or other written text Arbitrary Sign Where the signifier has no connection to the signified e.g. Snow and Christmas Codes A system of signs, languages or symbols that allow audiences to decode meaning e.g. Technical and Symbolic codes or Narrative codes Content Analysis A way of decoding meaning by breaking down and studying the different elements of media texts Conventions The expected format of a media text e.g. A Tabloid or a Broadsheet newspaper or Genre conventions in Film or TV Culture Often understood through the different system of communications produced by language/media and the arts from different countries Connotations The different meanings produced by the sign i.e. what is signified. Remember connotation is open to interpretation Decoding The process where meaning is deconstructed or ‘read’ by audiences Denotation The physical form of the sign, the signifier
  • 4. Dominant Preferred Meaning The meaning that has been encoded into media texts and constructed by producers in the hope that this meaning only will be understood Encoding The meaning that has been ‘put in’ to a media text Iconic Sign Where the signifier has a resemblance to the signified e.g. a road sign with a picture of old people on Indexical Sign Where the signifier is direct evidence of the signified e.g. Smoke and Fire Intertextuality Where media texts make reference to other media texts that it is hoped audiences will recognise Juxtapostion Images or objects are placed next to each other to create a third or different meaning Mode of Address The way a media text speaks to its audience e.g. Capital Radio has an upbeat mode of address through its rhetoric of presentation and sound levels Negotiated Reading Meanings of a sign which are not always agreed upon Oppositional Reading The meaning that is decoded is the opposite of what was intended by the producer of the media text e.g. Ali G is racist (which was not the dominant preferred meaning) Polysemic Where a sign is capable of producing a number of different meanings e.g. a photograph without a caption Semiotics/Semiology The study of the science of signs by breaking down the different elements of a media text Use these terms and apply examples from your trailer: At least one per term
  • 5. Apply Media Language and Audience theory Intercutting Where there are cuts between two scenes that are happening at the same time e.g. the audience is introduced to two stories at to One of Your Productions. once Production Values Opening Paragraph: Outline the brief and the context, Identifies the budget of a film e.g. Donnie Darko has ‘low production values’ created a Film Hand Held Camera Campaign for a specific audience in the genre of horror. Outline dems/psy Allows audiences toaudience.character and deconstruct realism of a specific identify with Tracking Shot Reflects the steady movement of the camera along tracks, often following character movement Paragraph 1: Introduce textual Analysis and treatment of your film trailer. Two Shot REMEMBER YOU DIDN'T MAKE A SHORT FILM YOU MADE A A shot of two characters framed opposite each other to imply a relationship TRAILER. Highlight the purpose and intention of your media product (the High Key To create anticipation and excitement to watch the film for the trailer). Lighting Overall illumination i.e. brightly lit. often used in glossy big budget Hollywood Films intended audience. Low Key Lighting Often used in Independent films to encode realism Paragraph 2: Begin textual analysis. Highlight the relationship between the text and the audience: Repetition/Variation: How you used genre conventions and enigma codes Genre Marketing: How have use used conventions of genre (including conventions of a trailer) Semiology: How you have used sign and symbols to have an effect on the audience, what is that effect? Uses and Gratifications theory: in relation to how the text is used by the audience. Paragraph 3: Evaluate to what extent you feel understanding of media language has had an effect on your final product.
  • 6. Moving Image Terminology + Semiotics Use these terms to record examples of where you have applied them (where you can see them) in your production. Some will be more relevant than others. For example, Semiotics/Semiology is the study of signs and will be apparent in all your productions but you won;t be able to find an example of it Semiotics/Semiology The study of signs that help us to deconstruct Media Texts Signifier/Denotation The physical form of the sign, without deeper meaning Signified/Connotation Meaning associated with the relationship between signifier and signified. Connotation is open to interpretation Mythical Connotation Meaning which is subjective interpretation, yet untrue Anchored Meaning A Media Text has a reinforced meaning, e.g. in Advertising Polysemic Many meanings e.g. a photograph has many connotations without the addition of text
  • 7. Encoding Where meaning is put into a Media Text Decoding Where meaning is deconstructed by the target audience Dominant Preferred Meaning The meaning that the producer of the media text wishes the audience to deconstruct Oppositional Reading Where the audience deconstruct the opposite of what is intended Negotiated Reading The sub-conscious meaning that is formed between the relationship with producer and target audience Technical Codes Constructed codes e.g. Camera angle, types of shot, types of edit, type of lens, SFX, Sound, Framing, Focus Symbolic Codes Cultural Representations – in film the mise en scene can be described as symbolic codes ie they ‘stand’ for something
  • 8. Mise en Scene The Mise en Scene comprises – setting, objects and props, body language, pose and posture, gaze or ‘the look’, lighting and colour – everything in the shot Narrative Enigma Limit audience understanding to ensure 100% concentration and engagement with the narrative Sound Bridges A piece of music is carried across two different scenes to connect the narrative Non-diegetic sound Sound added during the process of post production e.g. music Tilt Up and down camera movement Pan Left to right/right to left Star Marketing Where a film is marketed to audiences primarily on the status of the A’ List celebrity
  • 9. Genre Marketing Where a film is marketed to fans of the genre e.g. Sci Fi Establishing Shot Identifies setting and often introduces the central protagonists Fast paced editing Quick cuts, often to increase tension and anxiety in the audience e.g. Action Films Intercutting Where there are cuts between two scenes that are happening at the same time e.g. the audience is introduced to two stories at once Production Values Identifies the budget of a film e.g. Donnie Darko has ‘low production values’ Hand Held Camera Allows audiences to identify with character and deconstruct realism
  • 10. High Key Lighting Overall illumination i.e. brightly lit. often used in glossy big budget Hollywood Films Low Key Lighting Often used in Independent films to encode realism
  • 11. 1(b) Apply theories of narrative to one of your coursework productions. [25] Candidates will need to choose one production from either Foundation Portfolio or Advanced Portfolio. Explanation / analysis / argument Use of examples Use of terminology Examiners are reminded that candidates are asked to relate a media production to a theoretical concept and they are at liberty to either apply the concept to their production or explain how the concept is not useful in relation to their production. 1 x Overall grade with a sum up comment from the mark scheme 2 x Positive comments 1 x Target to improve
  • 12. Critical Perspectives To understand Q1A To research different aspects of the skills progression from AS-A2
  • 14. Hardware A2 Digital Photography: Hardware AS Cannon SLR 500, changeable lenses, Digital Photography: extra lighting equipment, features that Standard megapixle, standard built in allowed for change in aperture, focus lense: Changed shot size to create and depth of field. Lighting became images. Aim to create an image for an expressive at A2. artist, Hard lighting to express artist. Digital Filming: What examples do I have that show I Cannon SLR 500, changeable lenses, have used this skill? Refer to AS extra lighting equipment, features that production: allowed for change in aperture, focus Front cover: Composition of main and depth of field. images, consideration of lighting. Sound recorders: Used to record sound and dialogue alongside filming, allowing for more Digital Filming: professional look. Used filp camera in Prelim Task, to apply conventions of continuity editing. What examples do I have that show I Point and click have used this skill at A2: What examples do I have that show I We shot in a derelict basement and had to have used this skill? Refer to AS pay consideration to the lack of light and production: create our own lighting effects to express The meeting the horro within the scene. For exmaple, to create the isolated image of our anatagonist Grace we.... Mac Computers: Organise and file work allowing you to be creative. Convergence Mac Computers:
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  • 16. A2 Software Photoshop: AS Celtix Software Photoshop: Imovie: Shot insertion, manipulating lighting, hue and saturation, speed of the shots, sound layering and ducking, titling became more Imovie Previous version: competent Uploading, Spitting and trimming, some use of transitions and sound- Use of Examples: Creating horror effects. Use of examples to create effects that express genre, the effect of continuity editing, Heightening of awareness and mainly use of shot reverse shot anticipation through pace and tempo and titling Garage Band Garage Band
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  • 19. Openeing Paragraph: Why are codes and conventions important? Outline balance between repetition variation. Link to Audience. In this essay I will highlight the importance of understanding both conventions of Genre and medium specific ones. Moreover, I will express range of examples across the AS/A2 course to underly the significance my research and how it was applied to my media products. Paragraph 2: For my AS coursework we were given the brief to....This involved exploring codes and conventions of magazine layout and design as well as the genre codes and conventions to specific music types, in my case...... 2 examples of media that influenced your layout and design 2 examples of media that influenced your choice of genre How have this research been applied: Adhered or Challenged: Link back to R&V argument and explain how this has been used to create a successful media product for an intended audience
  • 20. Paragraph 3: For my A2 coursework we were given the brief to....This involved exploring codes and conventions of film campigns as well as the genre codes and conventions to specific music types, in my case...... 2 examples of media that influenced your layout and design 2 examples of media that influenced your choice of genre How have this research been applied: Adhered or Challenged: Link back to R&V argument and explain how this has been used to create a successful media product for an intended audience. Leading Paragraph: What was the difference between AS and A2 on the way existing media products influenced your production: Mainly adhereing to convention at AS, challenging convention at A2. For example... Breadth of Research was much wider at A2 which might account for the creativity and variation in your trailers. For example.... Independent learning through research and planning: At A2 you became a lot more confident through the use of digital technology. Group based division of labour allowed for much more research. For example, (show how the research was applied).
  • 22. Critical Perspectives Aims: To Understand the requirements for the critical perspectives exam To begin preparing for the summer examination To research key theory as applicable to the exam
  • 23. Level 1 (0-9 marks) Candidates at this level attempt to relate the production to the basic concept of narrative, with limited clarity. The account may be incomplete or be only partly convincing. Very few, if any, examples are offered from the chosen production. The answer offers minimal use of relevant basic conceptual terms. Some simple ideas have been expressed. There will be some errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar which will be noticeable and intrusive. Writing may also lack legibility. Level 2 (10-15 marks) Candidates offer a mainly descriptive, basic account of how their production can be understood in the basic theoretical context of narrative. A narrow range of examples are described, of which some are relevant. The answer makes basic use of relevant conceptual terms. Some simple ideas have been expressed in an appropriate context. There are likely to be some errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar of which some may be noticeable and intrusive. Level 3 (16-20 marks) Candidates demonstrate the ability to relate their own creative outcomes to some ideas about narrative drawn from relevant media theory. Some relevant and convincing examples from the production are offered and these are handled proficiently. The answer makes proficient use of relevant conceptual language. Level 4 (21-25 marks) Candidates demonstrate a clear understanding of different theories of narrative and associated media theory and can relate concepts articulately to the production outcome, describing specific elements in relation to theoretical ideas about how media texts are structured to tell stories. Candidates offer a broad range of specific, relevant, interesting and clear examples of § how their product can be understood in relation to relevant theories of narrative. The use of conceptual language is excellent. Complex issues have been expressed clearly and fluently using a style of writing appropriate to the complex subject matter. Sentences and paragraphs, consistently relevant, have been well structured, using appropriate technical terminology. There may be few, if any, errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Section A total – 50 marks.
  • 24. David Buckingham studied 8-12 year olds undertaking this experiment. He found that “ genre was being used as an unspoken rationale for moving from one topic to the next. Thus, discussion of one comedy programme was more likely to be followed by discussion of another comedy programme, rather than of news or soap opera.” ( Buckingham 1993: 139 ) Discuss how it is only by understanding the conventions of the genre, knowing its generic feature of leading the audience through various red-herrings until the real villain is revealed at the end, that they understand how to read this murder/mystery text. This supports Steve Neale’s way of defining genres as ‘a set of expectations’ (Neale 1980: 51 ). So here, a competent reader of the genre of murder/mystery understands that the first suspect is unlikely to be the villain and expects to have to wait until the end before the actual villain is revealed. These examples all support the ideas of John Hartley (Key Concepts in Cultural Communications and Cultural Studies O’Sullivan et al. 1994, 128.) when he comments that genres are “agents of ideological closure” which limit the potential meaning of a given text. He sees genre expectations as restricting the potential for any unexpected developments. By placing the text in a particular genre the situations which can be explored are limited to the conventions of that genre. Activity: Discuss how far you have applied Hartley’s theory during the above tasks, thinking about how closely each of the texts you studied followed your generic expectations of them, and how difficult it was in the activity where you “ changed” the generic conventions mid-way through to produce something that was plausible.
  • 25. Apply the Theory of Narrative to one of your coursework productions 25 marks For this essay you will need to discuss your A2 film campaign in relation to narrative theory. Aim to discuss how the theories apply to your production work. For guidance on how it has been done before visit: http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-media-studies-h140-h540/ Go to support materials and download exemplar answers This work is due in a week
  • 26. He also concluded that all the characters could be resolved into 8 broad character types in the 100 tales he analyzed: 1. The villain — struggles against the hero. 2. The dispatcher —character who makes the lack known and sends the hero off. 3. The (magical) helper — helps the hero in the quest. 4. The princess or prize — the hero deserves her throughout the story but is unable to marry her because of an unfair evil, usually because of the villain. the hero's journey is often ended when he marries the princess, thereby beating the villain. 5. Her father — gives the task to the hero, identifies the false hero, marries the hero, often sought for during the narrative. Propp noted that functionally, the princess and the father can not be clearly distinguished. 6. The donor —prepares the hero or gives the hero some magical object. 7. The hero or victim/seeker hero — reacts to the donor, weds the princess. 8. False hero — takes credit for the hero’s actions or tries to marry the princess. [4
  • 27. However, if every text only ever slavishly followed the conventions of its genre, then audiences would become bored with them. So in reality what happens is that producers understand that audience pleasure is derived from preserving many of the accepted generic conventions, whilst still providing audiences what Steve Neale (Genre 1980) terms “repetition and difference”. The familiar elements of a genre gives audiences security, but products in genres cannot become too predicable; there needs to be some element of development or change to keep audiences interested.
  • 28. Apply one of your coursework productions to the concept of representation (remember to use media language in response to the question)