Presentation on theme: " As you know all media products are encoded with signs, codes and conventions A sign is any individual thing that signifies meaning; for example, the."— Presentation transcript:
As you know all media products are encoded with signs, codes and conventions A sign is any individual thing that signifies meaning; for example, the use of red can signify meaning. There are two ways that signs create meaning: all signs have a literal meaning, which is called a denotation; i.e. red is a name, but red can also connote depending on the use of it danger or love, this is called connotations. A code is a group of signs that we recognise as going ‘naturally together’ to signify meaning (e.g. a rose is a sign; but being handed to a girl by a boy could create a ‘romance ’ and suggest love). Codes can be both symbolic and technical. Symbolic are clothes, props etc and technical would be use camera shots and editing to create meaning i.e. quick editing to create tension high angle and low angle shots to show power positions in characters. Convention: Is what we expect to see so for instance certain conventions are associated with different genres and narratives i.e. the use of establishing shots or over the shoulder shots to show conversations in drama and the use of multi strand narratives in soaps, to using stedicam in live action and documentaries. Conventions are ‘the way things are done within that genre’ what you expect to see. The audience then decodes these signs to create meaning i.e. so they know what they are watching, who is the villain and the hero.
How we the audience interpret these signs, codes and conventions is debated in the industry. Thinking point what do these signs mean, are they the same for everyone? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK_NinOmFWw The way that we interpret these signs, codes and conventions is referred to as audience theory.
Audience theory became popular in recent years with the belief that video games and television programs had an effect on the way people behaved. This was seen with the media coverage of Jamie Bulger when the film Child’s Play Three was banned because people thought it had an effect on the killers of Jamie Bulger. This theory is referred to as the hypodermic needle theory
Hypodermic needle model is one theory, which sees the audience as passive, where the media injects the audience with ideas. This model is one directional where the media injects and form people’s opinions or can change their behaviour. Are we all passive waiting for the media to change out behaviour?
Research has shown that people are not passive and the way that we interact with the media is far more complex. The key thing here is that different people will receive the media in different ways Think about how demographics and psychographics effect the way that people interpret a film? Not whether they like the film or not, but also whether they are offended or not?
DEMOGRAPHICS PSYCHOGRAPHICS Puritans? Individualists? REBELS: Young children? Male? Female? The different social classes? i.e. police officer or bricklayer? Over 60s?
Although there are weakness with this model because individual differences can affect the way we interpret media, this theory can be used to interpret copycat crimes, and incidents where watching violent films may make children become desensitised to violence and see this as normal. If we look at advertising this has an effect on the way we buy products, so why should violence not have an effect on people?
However, to what extent the media influence public perception is debatable, and the relationship between the media and the public perception is more complex. As Kitzinger explains “early notions that the media act as a ‘hypodermic’ directly injecting ideas into people’s minds have now largely been discredited” ( 2006: 45). What the media reflects is their readership’s views and political leanings. “The media are more likely to reinforce, rather than to change, existing attitudes” (Kitzinger, 2006: 44).
Remember demographics such as age, social class and gender can effect the construction of these products i.e. the Sun newspaper generally has more pictures than text and less complicated language because it aims for a c2de audience. The Daily Mail is mostly read by older people and the Independent is read by mostly ABC1 and liberal people, so here psychographics plays apart. And the types of people who read the Daily Mail maybe traditionalists, and the Sun maybe individualists. So both demographics and psychographics can play apart in interpretation.
As research has shown that the audience is not just a passive consumer other theories have developed to explain how we interact with the media through an active rather than passive way. According to one theory “uses and gratifications theory” we expect different things from the media and we make active choices about what we choose to watch. This theory places more emphasis on how the audience interact with the media rather than on the message itself by asking “what people do with media” rather than “what media does to people” (Katz, 1959). The model is very simple it suggests people seek out the media to gratify their need, this is an audience centred model, unlike the hypodermic needle model which sees the producer of the media injecting the passive audience. This theory suggests that the audience may seek out media for different reasons based on gratification.
1. Information-we may want to find out about society and the world. We want to satisfy our curiosity. 2. 2. Personal Identity-we may watch television for models for our behaviour. For instance -we may identify with soap characters or their situations. 3. 3. Integration and Social Interaction-we use the media to find out more about the circumstances of other people perhaps through empathy or sympathy. 4. 4. Entertainment -enjoyment, relaxation
The hypodermic needle model sees people as being strongly affected by the media, where the media inject ideas to a passive audience who have no say on the media’s influence. The Uses and Gratifications model has developed against this that people are not helpless against all-powerful media, but choose and select media to suit their needs. In this model the audience plays an active role.
As has been shown with advertising, which can have an effect on consumption, sometimes we cannot just choose to watch certain things but are bombarded with media. People do not tell the media what to make, the media choose what they put on TV and films they create. With only a few companies controlling the global media, is there that much choice? This is a weakness as we don’t choose based on gratification, but are given options of media. Both model also suggest that the public can become dependant on the media. Further reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A770951
Consider how both models may have a different view on censorship in films? Is it possible now to have censorship? How do you think the use of the internet and online media effects censorship and particularly what does it say about these two theories?
Preferred reading: The idea of the Preferred Reading is the audience interprets the film in the way the producer intended in a passive way. The audience does not analyse the meaning but only looks at the product for what it is based on the codes and conventions which the audience has been trained to understand. They do not question. (this is similar to the hypodermic needle model) Oppositional reading: The audience reads the product in a total different way they may misinterpret the codes and conventions. For instance a teenager may find something which was meant to be serious to be funny. This is based on both social and cultural differences. Negotiated readings. Is where the audience partly accepts the text's code and broadly accepts the preferred reading, but their interpretation reflect their own opinion and experiences. So the interpretation is a negotiated between what is intended the preferred reading and the audience own interpretations so the meaning has been modified. This can be based on demographic and psychographic variables. I.e. a football match will be interpreted differently depending where you live or even what parts of the match you have seen.
When answering task 3 here are some tips: 1. Explain what audience theory is 2 Explain the different models offered to account for how people consume media products i.e. ‘ hypodermic needle’ and ‘ uses and gratification,’ explain why you have picked this model to analyse your film. For a higher mark use some compare and contrast between the two theories; discuss the strengths and weakness in both theories use examples to support your argument. 3. Explain how these models view the effects of exposure to media i.e. the impact of violence and sex on TV, and the people’s consumption of this. 4. Link these models to how the audience responds to the media product i.e. preferred, negotiated and oppositional. 4. Apply this theory or theories to your trailer how will your audience understanding these signs, codes and conventions 5. Or does how the audience interpret the trailer depend on what theory you have used? Green: how to get a higher mark Bold: Areas you specifically talk about.
Based on what you know you need to analyse a film trailer using the following framework to help you 1. What genre does it belong to what codes and conventions would you expect to see? 2: How do the following c odes work to create meaning: Symbolic codes ( Mise-en scene ) everything you can see props, clothes, body language etc. Technical codes use of use of camera angles, composition, editing and Sound. 3.Do either these symbolic or technical codes create meaning through connotations to create representations of people? 4. What type of narrative structure is used single strand, multi-strand, closed, open, linear, nonlinear; restricted, equilibrium etc 5. How are people and groups represented by these c odes and signs in the trailer to create meaning. What types of stereotypes are these positive or negative.Look at the juxtaposition in the trailer how are opposites shown in media texts i.e. good vs. evil, or how are opposites like men and women, young and old represented through these signs to create a negotiated, preferred or oppositional reading.