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Concept Analysis Genre: We have decided that our film will have two genres, these being social

realism and romance. Social realism will be thought as of the dominating genre, with romance being the sub-genre. Although the film will focus more on the social realism elements, the theme of romance is shown and is a key part of the film. Some of the recognisable conventions that justify that our film has a social realism genre are – the heavy use of drug abuse by Elizabeth, the use of council estates where Kyle lives, specific characters being from a lower class (Kyle) and it also shows the realism of the British culture. Recognisable romance genre conventions are the elements of a romance blossoming towards the end of the film as Elizabeth and Kyle fall in love. In relation to Steve Neale, I think that our film stretches the boundaries as we are trying to challenging the typical conventions of stereotypes, such as those who come from an upper/lower class background. As Elizabeth is from an upper class background, those characters tend to be raised well and lead life in the correct footsteps, however she is the ones that ends up taking drugs. Kyle is from a lower class background and lives on a council estate where he is around drugs constantly and is therefore more likely to be peer pressured into taking drugs. Instead, we challenge this convention and he tries to get away from that environment and make something of his life. For this reason we are subverting the typical genres and are also putting two genres together in a film which wouldn’t usually be put together. With reference to Robert Stam’s theory, we agree that genre as a whole is hard to define as there are so many different elements that make up genre. However, we do think that every film can be classed as a ‘type’ of film and this is backed up by the simple fact that the audience of a film tend to look out for certain genres of film to fit their preference and they are able to do so. In terms of our film, there are elements of it that suggests that genre isn’t easy to define such as the way we have combined both romance and social realism so there isn’t one set genre. On the other hand, the genre’s that we have chosen, makes it easy to justify that genre is easy to define as the happily ever after idea and the scenes of Elizabeth and Kyle falling in love clearly shows that it’s a romantic film. The use of drug abuse and the upbringing of a lower class male who lives on a council estate show social realism. Rick Altman’s theory can be considered wh en looking out our film idea as we consider both the semantic and syntactic elements. Some of the semantic elements that are shown in our film are the use of drugs – in particular cocaine, makeup (this helps to heighten the damage that the drugs are doing to Elizabeth), use of dark lighting (this is important when showing the scenes of Elizabeth going through some dark moments), eerie/dramatic music as this helps create atmosphere. These are all elements that are easily recognised by the audience which makes it easier for them to understand the narrative. A few syntactic elements that will be featured in our film are themes such as fear (when Fredrick fears for his sisters health/mental state), love (both love with siblings/family and Elizabeth and Kyle falling in love), anger (Fredrick angry that his sister takes drugs and Elizabeth angry that her dad doesn’t have much interest in her), the fear of death from the drugs and the side effects from drugs (irritability, restlessness, anxiety and paranoia). These are elements which may be harder for the audience to recognise. Concept Analysis Audience: The audience is a key concept and therefore a lot of thought was put in as to who our target audience would be. There are several theories as to what an audience wants from a film and our film tends to follow these theories to an extent. In relation to Richard Dyer’s theory, we agree that audiences often want to be offered a utopian solution and our film provides a resolution. Although the film may not be full of perfect scenarios, our film does provide a resolution to drug user’s problems and shows that there is a way out even if things are at an all -time low. It also reflects on the reality that family problems and commitment issues can be resolved as Elizabeth has a happy ending. Frankfurt School’s theory can be applied directly to our film audiences tend to be influenced by media products and our film represents some of the views which are seen by today’s society. Examples of this are the constant bad reputation of drugs, the youth and those who are of a low class. The audience could be

influenced to reconnect with their family and resolve issues and it may offer them suggestions as to how they can get off drugs or stay away from them in the first place. Audiences want media products that gratify their particular needs as Blumer and Katz’ theory states. Our film offers entertainment as it would be interesting to watch and sustain their attention and to some members of the audience they may find our film an escaping mechanism as there is a happy ever after, despite the social realism element. Concept Analysis Narrative: Our story can be related to many of the key narrative theories that we have looked at as they were considered when coming up with our original idea. The narrative of a film is a key element and it’s vital that it’s thought about carefully so that it appears realistic to the audience. The narrative for our film is especially important due to the fact that we are looking at social realism as one of our genres. Todorov’s narrative theory can be linked to our film as we have identified several main stages that occur in our film. We included the main stages (equilibrium, disruption and new equilibrium) and they appear in chronological order as it portrays a more realistic view of Elizabeth’s life and how she goes on to taking drugs. The equilibrium is the normal school life of Elizabeth, showing her with her friends and being happy at home. The disruption occurs when she starts getting involved with drugs and distance between her and her father begins to appear – this is when Elizabeth hits an all-time low and it shows how unhappy she is. The new equilibrium is formed when Elizabeth finds love with Kyle and she begins to feel happier again once coming off drugs. In relation to Levi-Strauss’ binary opposites theory, we have used this idea several times throughout the film. They are identifiable in the text and they are important as to the audience it can often show an insight as to who has more power etc. Within our film we see binary opposites such as: young and old – William (Elizabeth’s dad) is an older character who is often found minding his own business and looking down on society, he appears more of a wiser character who knows better than younger characters. Elizabeth is one of the characters that represent the youth and she is seen not being settled in life and experimenting with drugs, showing that she is still just a kid. The opposites of innocent and guilty and drug users and non-drug users appear – Elizabeth is guilty for taking drugs and it backfires on her when she finds herself in a bad place, whereas Kyle is innocent and is free of drugs and he is seen living a much happier lifestyle. Male and females are shown in the film – Elizabeth represents the females in this film and a negative portrayal of them is shown as she isn’t stable in her life and is shown abusing her body with drugs, whereas the males in this film have their intentions clearly set out and they are much wiser. Both rich and poor and upper class and lower class are represented throughout. Elizabeth’s family represent the rich/upper -class family but the character of Elizabeth challenges the stereotypical conventions of an upper-class character as they tend to look down on those that take drugs, but instead she’s the one involved with drugs. On the other hand, the representations of poor/lower-class characters are positive as the character of Kyle demonstrates. Despite him being from a rough background, he wants to do well for himself and stay away from drugs. Barthes theory can be linked to our film as we take into account the idea of open/closed narratives and narrative codes. Our film features both open and closed narrative scenes. Some of the open narrative scenes are when Elizabeth is on drugs as this can be unravelled in a number of ways and the audience are all likely to have different opinions on the situation. Elizabeth’s relationship with her dad and brother is another open narrative scene, along with her friendship/relationship with Kyle. The stereotypes that we portray of the upper and lower class can also be unravelled in a number of ways which is good as we want the audience to understand that the lower class can be the ones who are doing well for society. However, we also have closed narrative scenes such as Elizabeth when she is at her all time low as there is only one way of the audience looking at it and the concept of girl meets boy (Elizabeth meets Kyle) where it starts as a friendship and develops into something further. A few examples of the action codes that appear in our film are – the concept of drug abuse, the bath scene – will Elizabeth be saved? Elizabeth and Kyle’s romance, Elizabeth’s relationship with her friends and the general development of the characters throughout the film. Some of the enigma codes that are shown are the mother/father relationship and the father/daughter relationship. Elizabeth’s unexplained split personality and the whole idea as to whether Elizabeth will become clean of drugs.

The audience should be able to relate to the drug abuse situation as people are most likely to know of people who have experienced drugs and can often be worried for their health. The use of lower class backgrounds we also expect people to be able to relate to. Propp’s theory of narrative can be considered when looking at out film as it features several of the particular characters that he identified films needed in order to develop the theory. The characters are easy to identify in our film due to the roles/acts that they carry out and the characteristics that they have which link to the character roles (hero, villain etc.). The main character roles which we have within our film are – the hero which both Fredrick and Kyle play, the princess would be Elizabeth as she needs rescuing and the false hero would be William. I think the audience knowing what roles characters play, help engage them more because it allows them to understand the narrative more and can also allow them to relate to characters better. I agree with Propp’s theory in which he says that there are particular parts of a narrative that always happen such as someone getting hurt or the hero getting a quest. I think the audience enjoys seeing these because action always follows the event, leading to better entertainment for them. Concept Analysis Representation: There are several theorists that all have ideas relating to the representation of characters/events/locations throughout films. In terms of Laura Mulvey’s theory, we challenge the conventions of these as in the end Elizabeth is shown as the stronger character. However, it could fit in with her theory due to the fact that Kyle could see Elizabeth as vulnerable and therefore he has an easy opportunity to take advantage of her as she is seen as weak. Angela McRobbie’s theory can be taken into consideration as the characters in our film follow some typical stereotypes that are represented in the media. Examples of this are: Elizabeth is seen as weak and vulnerable – a common stereotype of women. However, the character of Elizabeth also challenges this stereotype as we see an aggressive side to her due to the side effects of the drugs. The men in the film are seen as dominating, stronger and show characteristics of those who are leaders. Also, Kyle and Fredrick could be seen as carers for Elizabeth. In relation to Stanley Cohen’s theory, our film can reflect particular groups in society, although our film focuses more on the negative representation of one individual. The negative representation of drug abuse is shown, along with drug dealers as they are seen as all being from a lower class. Some young people are shown in a negative manner and the social views of the younger generation are negative as they are shown as weak and vulnerable. Elizabeth is shown as being in fear of gangs who use/sell drugs which resulted in her giving into peer pressure and taking the drugs.