Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative I previously discussed narrative as if the characters were involved in a jigsaw puzzle Protagonist.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative I previously discussed narrative as if the characters were involved in a jigsaw puzzle Protagonist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative I previously discussed narrative as if the characters were involved in a jigsaw puzzle Protagonist Exposition Motivation Enigma Climax Resolution

2 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative It is equally important to understand characters within a drama or comedy Without characters there could be no television narrative and not TV stars On TV characters, actors and stars intertwin in ways that make us see the actor as the character - look at Senfield

3 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Building Character Characters assume human form because they look and talk like us We set aside the knowledge that they’re actors…this is an act of ‘willing suspension of disbelief’

4 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative To view TV critically, we need to be able to recognized the implausibility factor - its ‘Fakery’ Critical viewers must channel this awareness of TV’s ‘fake’ constructed nature into a critique of how those narrative constructions operate

5 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Fabricating character is the daily work of the writers, directors, producers and other craftpersons who make the show They must create signs of characters that signify the character to us In turn, we interpret or read these signs

6 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative There are a variety of factors that control the way we read the character –Our understanding of the world, of TV, of genre –The context (program) in which the character appears –The viewing situation itself (where do you watch TV, when, how large is the screen?)

7 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Because there are a lot of variables involved in making TV shows, character construction is an imprecise science Thus identifying the signs that signify character and investigating the code of character construction can help Both producers and consumers have learned this code and we take it for granted

8 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Typology of Character Signs –Viewer foreknowledge - advertising and promotion provide use with signs that signify the characters. –Once the show has been on a few weeks the viewer’s foreknowledge makes the characters familiar to us

9 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Typology of Character Signs –Character Name signifies an identity with ethnic background, race, religion, unusualness (Corky in Murphy Brown) –Appearance is broken down into face, body and costuming. Corporeal attributes carry clear meanings for the viewers (shortness, baldness, blondness, weight, etc)

10 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Typology of Character Signs –Objective Correlative - this is an object associated with a character and conveys something about him/her. (can you give ex?) –Dialogue - what the character says and what other characters say about him/her lends understanding of that character

11 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Lighting and Videography (Cinematography) –Some of the technical aspects of filming contribute to our sense of character. When an actor is lite from below, he/she appears sinister, silhouette convey a sense of mystery, close-ups may distort facial features. (Most viewers are not actively aware of technical manipulation) Action –What the character does in the story determines what the character means to the viewer

12 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Building Performances –The work of the actor in building performances is often difficult to isolate from other aspects of the character. –There is a bit of snobery regarding acting with film acting as seen as more important than television acting –Subjective terms - overacting, good acting

13 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Typology of Performance Signs –The actor constructs a performance based on Vocal presentation Facial expression Gestural movement Corporeal (body elements) The way a character talks or moves or smiles signifies how the character feels, her emotional state, etc

14 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Typology of Performance Signs –Vocal performance - vocal qualities may be manipulated to create character Volume Pitch Timbre Rhythm

15 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Typology of Performance Signs –Facial Performance - the way facial appearance is used (including hair style) –Gestural Performance - some are easy to interpret, some are not. Some gestures add to the quirkiness of a character (think about Kramer) –Corporeal performance - stance and bearing of an actor’s body communicates meaning to a viewer

16 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Strategies of Performance –Most of the time we do not concern ourselves with the work of the actor to create the performance. –Television erases the marks of that work by emphasizing the characters as ‘real’ rather than a collection of constructed behaviors –Our understanding is often affected by presumptions of how the actor came to create those attributes - fundamentally there are two approaches Naturalist Antinaturalist

17 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Naturalists –Pantomine - the actor assembles specific gestures that have come to represent specific emotions or actions (Delsarte system) –Repertory - acting is seen as a process of selecting particular gestures. The work of the actor is to select gestures and dialects from life in the construction of characters

18 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Naturalists –Method performance - encourages the actor to become the character. Three tactics are used to encourage the actor-charcter fusion Emotional memory-actor draws upon previous emotion Sense memory- remembers physical sensations Improvisation - actor imagines his way into the mind of the character

19 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative Naturalists –Method performance made early incursion into television performance (Actor’s Studio) In theory emotional and sense memories may be used to access a broad range of emotions, both negative and positive…although method acting have typically been weighted towards darker emotions

20 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative The Antinaturalists –Vaudeville - a style of theatrical presentation build around song and dance, comedy routines, skits. Vaudeville typically reminds the audience that it is watching a dramatic or comedic performance –Brechtian - the actor ‘quotes’ the character to the viewer, reminding the viewer that he is playing a character

21 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative The Star System –Not everyone who appears on TV is a start. We’re refering to actors and personalities whose significance extends beyond this one show (like people who appear on daytime talk shows)

22 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative The Star System –Text and Intertextuality - we now treat stars like we know them personally and intimately. We may seem them daily or weekly, read about them in the paper, a whole news genre has grown up around the daily entertainment business (ET, People, ‘E’)

23 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative The Star System –In this regard it is useful to think of a star as a ‘text’ - a collection of signifiers that hold meaning for the viewer –Polysemy - they may have many meanings. For example, we may see the star raising money for flood victims relief today and out enjoying the high life tomorrow. Which is the real persona?

24 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative The Star System –Promotion –Publicity –Television programs (& films) build image over time –Criticism of these programs/ films (Certain actors are seen as serious or important)

25 Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative


Download ppt "Character, Actor, Star: The concept of building narrative I previously discussed narrative as if the characters were involved in a jigsaw puzzle Protagonist."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google