G325 - Question 1b Media Language

Today we are: Learning the final question to the exam and recapping all we have looked at so far.

G325 Examination
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Examination is split into 2 sections: Section A - Evaluation of your own work (2 questions worth 25 marks each) Section B - Critical Perspectives (1 question worth 50 marks) It is a 2 hour exam - You should allow an hour on each section ‡ Your exam will take place on Tuesday 15th June 2010 at 9am.

G325 Exam Section A, Question 1A
‡ This question asks you to describe and evaluate your skill development over the course of your production work. The focus of this evaluation is on skills development, and the question will require you to adapt this to ONE or TWO specific production practices, out of the following: Digital Technology Creativity Research and planning Post-production Using conventions from real media texts We will be recapping this next week, when we recap our essays and subject matter.

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G325 Exam Section A Question 1b
‡ This will require you to select ONE production and evaluate it in relation to a media concept.The concepts will be as follows: ‡ Genre ‡ Narrative ‡ Representation ‡ Audience ‡ Media language ‡ You will need to select the production that appears to relate most effectively to the specific concept that comes up in the exam question. ‡ We will be completing work on this section this week and reviewing it in weeks to come.

Media Language
‡ ‡ What does it mean? ´How was media language used in your production?µ How would you answer this question? It will actually involve discussions on the following: The way meaning is made using the conventions of a particular medium and type of media product. Semiotics Genre Narrative Structure Codes Conventions Spoken, written and visual language Use of continuity Use of editing in a film sequence

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‡ Semiotics is the study of signs, or how things come to have significance. ‡ It assumes there is no direct relationship between the real world and the language we use to represent it. ‡ According to semiotics, meanings are constructed - never naturally or universally real. ‡ The basic formula for semiotics consists of ¶the signifier· (that which carries the meaning) + ¶the signified· (the actual meaning that is carried).

‡ Theorists include: Saussure, Peirce and Barthes

Signifiers and Signified

‡ Signifier = The image in the raw, the physical form - A knife is simply a metal implement ‡ Signified = That which carries the meaning, referring to something other than itself - In the context of a scene involving a murder in a shower this knife signifies death and violence. ‡ Both a Signifier and the Signifier join together to make up A SIGN ‡ Semiotics is able to give account for meanings that are absent as well as present in any given representation.

‡ Ideology is a difficult - but important - concept to grasp. Simply put, it is the ideas behind a media text, the secret (or sometimes not-so secret) agenda of its producers. It is important to be able to identify the different ideological discourses that may be present in even an apparently simple photograph.

Semiotics and Hegemony
‡ Hegemony is not a forced political movement, however. To use the previous example, no one is forced to watch/listen to/read about football. It's just sometimes it seems that there are few alternatives. This is how hegemonies take hold: a majority decide to 'fit in' with the cultural values and ideas of their time and place and the minority keep their objections quiet. Hegemony is about consent, and one of the things it consents to is inequality - us and them. Hegemony Captures the struggle between powerful and subordinate groups in society. Stuart Hall - The media deliver hegemonic representations of reality that serve powerful interests. Hall set up an ´Encoding/Decodingµ model (in Culture, Media, Language, 1980) as a theoretical attempt to understand hegemonic media processes in practice. He calls on semiotics to examine how the media guide the ways we make sense of the world.


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Hall: Encoding and Decoding
‡ Encoding process occurs during the phase of media production whereas ¶decoding· is what audiences do during consumption. ‡ ¶Encoding is guided by a professional code in which media producers follow certain procedures in order to comply with regulations and uphold standards of professionalism. This code serves to maintain the political and economic status quo. ‡ However, the phase of audience decoding doesn·t necessarily accept what is encoded in media representations, leaving three different types of decoding.

Halls model - Decoding
‡ The dominant code - accepts the encoded meanings of media representations. Consumers adopt a ¶preferred reading· of media representations as intended by producers. Therefore the ruling ideology filters down into the public conscience without challenge. ‡ The negotiated code - accepts some aspects of encoded representations but not others. On a general level, the encoded meanings may be endorsed by audiences but on a more local level these meanings may be dismissed as individuals consider themselves exceptions to the general rule ‡ The Oppositional Code - rejects the encodings of media producers. Audiences decode media representations in a way that was not intended or foreseen at the phase of production. ‡ The dominant code prevails most of the time in film.

Meaning Continued....
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Meaning can also be derived from a media text on the following two levels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hBDNueV4ec&feature=related Denotative Level (Denotations/Denotes) This is the straight forward visual image we see on the screen. In Psycho (1960) we see the Bates family hotel. On a denotative level it is a house on a hill. Connotative Level (Connotations/Connotes) This is the meaning we associate with the image that we see. In Psycho(1960) on a connotative level we believe the house is spooky, full of dread and horror.

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Representation (Media Language)
‡ Are certain social groups represented in a positive/negative light in your work? ‡ How did you represent specific groupings of society? ‡ Recap your notes on Representation!

Genre (Media Language)
‡ What genre did each of your films fit into? Look at your research on that genre - did your production meet audiences general expectations of that genre? ‡ What signs did you use that made your film fit into that genre? ‡ Recap your notes on Genre!

Editing (Media Language)
‡ How did you sustain continuity within your piece? ‡ What techniques did you follow and use to maintain high continuity values? 180 degree rule? Match on Action? ‡ How did you sustain these when editing? ‡ Recap your notes from Question 1A on Editing!

Media Language
‡ Complete the sheet with ideas on your productions based on media language. ‡ Ensure you use media terminology!!! If you want to know more information on something we have looked at today research it!!! ‡ You will have next lesson to complete this too!