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1b) Analyse one of your coursework productions in relation to the concept of audience.
The target audience of my music video for debut artist „Lexi Grace‟ was a huge consideration as it was important to construct a music video that would entice and excite them. Lexi is an androgynous artist as she is feminine and can attract male audiences, yet has short hair and can wear biker boots to represent a „girl power‟ image. David Gauntlett addresses „fluidity‟ in media and Lexi is a prime example of this as she drifts between sexy red lipstick and girly dresses and yet directly addresses the camera, subverting traditional stereotypes of passive women which shows her diversity and appeal to many people. Her target audience is young people of both genders and her Britishness is a key factor. The video is set in London, with Lexi walking around different iconic scenes such as Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden. My aim was that by associating Lexi with iconic places, audiences would associate her as an icon as well. Also, by incorporating post-modern ides through intertextuality as Lexi wears a Rolling Stones vest, audiences would recognise this, gratifying their needs as they would associate Lexi with the band and legendary music in general. Furthermore, Lexi can be a role model to young people as she is a young person herself, at 19 years old and audiences can familiarise with her. Laura Mulvey‟s idea on the action of „looking‟ was an inspiration as Liexi is objectified in someways, for example through ECUs on her lips or pans across her legs as she walks, yet she directly addresses the camera and subverts this „passive‟ role as she almost objectifies those looking at her. This ability to be diverse is key to Lexi‟s audience appeal and again, her fluidity. Through camerawork, editing, mise en scene and sound I was able to create a brand image for Lexi to appeal to her audience. Editing was used to emphasise sounds, for example, jump cuts on lyrics like “things that are inside” to emphasise the importance of them. The message of the song was important as Lexi needed to attract viewers to watch repeatedly. The majority of shots were very short and Lexi wore many outfits and appeared in different locations ranging from central London to North London. During the audience screening I noticed people talking about places they recognised and Lexi‟s clothes, so this was a positive point as it provided a „basis for social interaction‟ which gratifies the needs of the audience. Moreover Lexi appeals to her audience because she is unlike any other artist. Singers like Pink and Robyn have similar styles but seem very edgy and artists like Pixie Lott are extremely feminine and overtly sexualised. Lexi has the right balance, which is why she can appeal to both males and females. She can embody Winship‟s theory of girl power, but also appeal to males through subtle sexuality through costume and styling (using dresses and high heels). She is the ultimate icon of post modernism as she has feminine qualities but isn‟t overtly sexualised and subverts stereotypical roles. This is a level 3 response. The question is answered directly and theories of audience / reception are coherently and intelligently applied to one chosen text. There are flaws Winship’s theories do not relate to ‘girl power’ in this simplistic sense and at times
‘audience theory’ is reduced to ‘appealing to the audience’ and these shortcomings prevent the script from accessing the level 4 mark range.
JUNE 2011 Q1B ANSWER: AUDIENCE TTrailer EG
1b) Analyse one of your coursework productions in relation to the concept of audience.
„Spinning Time‟ was the teaser trailer I made in A2 media and is what I will eb analysing in terms of genre. „Spinning Time‟ is a teen comedy about a teenage girl who has a watch that can control time. As such it is aimed at teenage girls who can relate and identify with the protagonist. Subsequently my target audience is girls aged between eleven and nineteen. I catered for this audience, firstly by presenting a relatable protagonist in Myles Brown. She is a student dedicated to her work, though also a bit lazy as depicted by her hesitance to get out of bed the trailers beginning. The film was intended to be a Disney family film and as such „Funmi Buriamoh‟ the actress playing Myles Brown is the new up and coming teen start like Selena Gomez in „Ramona and Beezus‟. As such the casting of Buriamoh would be an aspect to draw in the target audience. My target audience are predominantly fans of popular music – energetic, exciting, like stuff from the top 40. Chick flicks which are the sub genre of films that cater to my audience feature this kind of music throughout teaser trailers and the film. As such I complied with the conventions of Chick Flicks by incorporating this kind of music to entice my target audience. I was in no way trying to create moral panic with my film. It‟s Disney-esque vide was highly considered during its creating, empowering it to be the kind of film the family can see together. I think that there are many uses and gratifications to „Spinning Time‟. The positive portrayal of an Afro-Caribbean teen is not something that is often seen in big-budgeted Hollywood films/ As such it breaks stereotypes and challenges conventions, and subsequently some preconceptions regarding the demographic. Additionally it provides the target audience with a new role model to look up to and possibly use as reinforcement for their personal values and beliefs – as Myles is quite a positive character. The preferred reading of „Spinning Time‟ is that audiences will wish they were in Myles position; having a watch that could control time as it would make life more exciting, easy and generally more fun. Having the instant opportunity to rewind time and do things over again (like a test for example) would eliminate the universal fear of making mistakes. I think eroding that fear would generally make people happier and less self conscious. However, an oppositional reading to the film could be that Myles is too lazy and selfish to be using such an amazing gift for lazy personal gain reasons – like catching a bus. The audience may expect Myles to do something much more meaningful like prevent deaths or wars. In conclusion I provided for my target audience in a number of ways (including music, casting, mise en scene to give the happy Disney-esque vibe and plot) duting the creation of „Spinning Time‟. The piece is for entertainment as opposed to creating moral panic, and hopefully offers audience members the opportunity for self discovery and social integration through discussing what they‟d do if they had a time controlling watch.
This is a level 3 response. Some elements are proficient and some are competent. Proficient – the ability to select one piece of work and to relate it to theories of audience / effects such as moral panics and preferred readings (though these are not attributed to Cohen or Hall / Morley). Competent – the examples are clear and the theoretical analysis is straightforward – in this sense the understanding of audiences’ reading the text is insufficient for the higher mark level.
JUNE 2011 Q1B ANSWER: AUDIENCE TTrailer EG2
1(b) Analyse one of your coursework productions in relation to the concept of audience. The concept of audience is fundamental to the making of a media text. A producer must take into account the age, social status and gender and interests of a target consumer in order to adjust the text to make it as appealing to them as possible. For my A2 coursework I created a horror called „The sleepover‟. Classification of age appropriateness is important in audience identification. Films are screened by an external board and given a minimum age of viewers. Most horror films are rated 18, due to extreme gore, violence, sex and disturbance – not to mention emotional trauma which is why I chose to rate my film as 18 as my film was a very conventional slasher film. The Hypodermic Needle effect is the first audience theory. It originated in the 1920s when mass media first began to be popular. This suggests that a producer has an intended meaning which is definitely understood by the audience. In this theory the audience are completely passive. If this was applied to my text the audience would view the killing scenes and sex scenes and instantly replicate the actions. This of course is unrealistic and this theory is often argued to be very simplistic and outdate, considering how much the media has developed this century. The uses and gratifications audience theory suggests than an audience consume particular texts in order to receive something from them. Bulmer and Katz identified four uses and gratifications as diversion (entertainment and escape from reality), surveillance (information), personal identity (seeing yourself reflected in the text and learning new values and personal relationships (seeking emotional interaction and substituting media relationships for your own). In my coursework, a consumer may use diversion - the horror trailer is escapist – a route away from reality and they would be entertained by the mystery and fear of my film. Diversion would also include catharsis that my trailer would enable, which is using the media as an outlet of emotion – they would experience horror in the safety of cinema. They would also experience the „personal identity‟ stage in seeing themselves in, or, admiring, the good characters – particularly the „final girl‟ character and her charming boyfriend, depending on gender of audience member. They would also have the personal relationships because they could feel emotion of the fear and sadness of the victims whilst substituting their emotional relationship with the friendships in my trailer or the main characters‟ romantic relationship with her boyfriend. My audience would not use the surveillance stage as horror films are not intended to be instructional.
The most modern and developed theory of audience is reception theory. This model based on Stuart Hall‟s encoding model, suggests that a producer will encode a text and the audience will decode it. Their reading is affected by many contextual and personal factors such as age, social status, gender, current mood and personal experiences. I encoded my horror trailer as well as I could using beautiful, edgy, feminine characters which appeal to the female consumers. I used isolated settings which suggest to the audience that escape isn‟t possible (deserted house, woods) thus highlighting the experience of fear and panic that one hopes for when watching a horror film. I used acoustic codes in the form of a deep male voice over and jumpy, low orchestral score to hope that my audience will feel tension and suspense. My killer was masked and always appeared silent and in the shadows, connoting evil and dehumanising him hopefully creating a response of fear from the audience. My main target audience were males and females aged 18-30. I used attractive actors to appeal to the audience who would admire / desire them. The „cool‟ stylish clothing adds to this. I used the male gaze theory by Laura Mulvey, showing a victim‟s cleavage and the „final girl‟ theory (hopefully creating a stronger feminist image to other women) to attract both genders. I used audience research in the form of questionnaires to find out my audiences preferences and dislikes in order to make my trailer meet their interests as fully as possible. I also asked for audience feedback on my first drafts which allowed me to make improvements based on the opinions of 20 18-30 year olds. The told me to exaggerate gore and violence more and use more threatening music which I then incorporated using iMovie so that me audience was tempted to watch my piece. I aimed my piece at a low social status as my trailer was a version of British teenagers experiencing the American slasher experience. I used strong language, popular music for soundtrack and fashionable clothing to hopefully attract this group. This is a level 3 / level 4 borderline response Level 4 qualities –coherence, range of useful examples, ability to answer the question in sustained manner, relating of theory to practice. The understanding of Hall’s encoding / decoding model in relation to own work. The discussion of ‘effects’ early on is clear and relevant. Level 3 qualities – the application of audience theories (insufficiently developed for level 4 – eg the ‘use of’ Mulvey, in the same paragraph as the use of questionnaires for feedback).
JUNE 2010: VIXENS VID: GENRE
1b) Analyse one of your coursework productions in relation to genre. Genre is often used as a way of distinguishing one style from another; it categorises works so that the audience can more easily choose what they want to experience. For my music video, the genre of our music was a hybrid of electropop/rock/dance, which come mostly from the original song and from our personal tastes. Since our genre is modern and not common, we drew conventions from artists that had similar styles to ours. The conventions we found for music video for our genre are; editing often cuts to the beat; for female artists – costumes are bold, they wear high heels, ands the performances are strong and full of attitude. Examples of artists‟ videos that do this are Beyonce (through her powerful dance routines and sexy costumes) and Lady GaGa (who wears extreme hair, costume and makeup).
My music video consisted of my group members (4 girls) giving powerful performances with sections of dance routine. We stuck to these conventions because we wanted the audience to recognise it as belonging to a genre and looking back at it now I think we succeeded. The genre has postmodern influences as does our video. It starts with a short narrative to no music, where a girl looks at a picture in a locket of her and a guy, slams it shut and looks in a mirror – which transports her into „subconscious mind‟. We filmed the bulk of our video in an all-white studio and with our powerful costumes that intertextually referenced the deadly sins and Marie Antoinette the audience can quite clearly see that it is not reality. You can see that our video promotes strong women by their feisty performance and this is emphasised by the use of a male, white headless, mannequin with a „perfect‟ torso. In the video the sins are corrupting the girl (but they are all just facets of her personality) and they dominate the mannequin. This is in contrast with Laura Mulvey‟s theory of the „Male Gaze‟ whereby media is predominantly made with a male or masculine audience in mind. Our target audience is 14-25 year old women, and this is obvious because the audience immediately identify with the main girl since she is the focus of the narrative and on the mannequin‟s torso is a kiss mark, showing the women „marking their territory‟ on him. If we were targeting men we would‟ve used a real man, but by our production decisions the target audience and genre is clear. We followed the convention of cutting shots to the beat, however we challenged the convention of keeping lines of the song in one shot. We cut midway through words and phrases in order to quicken the pace, which is often fast for this genre. An aspect of the genre which we developed is comedy. In some of the music videos artists take themselves very seriously, however we combined the sexy performances with the comic editing and cut aways to five the characters a „human feel‟ in the make believe world. For example we used what was originally going to be an outtake, where one girl shakes her bum from side to side, and we matched it to the beat, giving it a comic edge. You can apply Lyotard‟s theory of mete-narratives to our video since it blurs the lines between reality and fantasy using the key signifier of a mirror in the opening narrative. I think the my music video successfully conveys its genre while still maintaining enigma. The Reception Theory can be applied, since from feedback, many people had different interpretations, which is what this genre is all about. Looking at it objectively I would say that it is a fun, interesting video that invites playability and successfully promotes the song, which is the aim of a music video. EAA 7 EG 8 T4 (19) Total for Section A 39/50 MARKSCHEME: Level 3
Explanation/analysis/argument (6-7 marks) Candidates demonstrate the ability to relate their own creative outcomes to some ideas about genre drawn from media theory. Use of examples (6-7 marks) Some relevant and convincing examples from the production are offered and these are handled proficiently. Use of terminology (3 marks)
The answer makes proficient use of conceptual language. Relatively straightforward ideas have been expressed with some clarity and fluency. Arguments are generally relevant, though may stray from the point of the question. There will be some errors of spelling, Level 4 Explanation/analysis/argument (8-10 marks) Candidates demonstrate a clear understanding of genre and can relate concepts articulately to the production outcome, describing specific elements in relation to theoretical ideas about how media texts are produced, distributed and exchanged according to generic categories. Use of examples (8-10 marks) Candidates offer a broad range of specific, relevant, interesting and clear examples of how their product can be understood in relation to theories of genre. Use of terminology (4-5 marks) 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.
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