Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Advice for AS presentations on institutions and audiences ( Film )

The AS Media Presentations on your case study institutions and audiences.  

General Advice
Mostly use your blogs for the information that you need. If you are producing a Keynote/Power Point use images with key words as much as you can to explain your issues, as lots of bullet points and presentations that are text heavy are boring. You can also include hyperlinks to trailers and post images of the cast, director, producer, film posters, screenshots of the official website, screenshots or hyperlinks to You Tube videos for exchange, etc. Then talk over your images/videos/ links to explain their significance as "issues" for your film institution and how they are intended to connect with audiences. Never lose sight of the importance of how audiences are targeted.

This is important for effective revision for the exam.

In pairs or small groups in either mind-map or keynote (Power Point) form

Use images and key terms to help you make your points. Include key terms like synergies and technological convergence where necessary. Some areas like "distribution and marketing" may be covered in more depth than others.

Give the key issues your main case study institution and films for:

• production issues
• distribution/marketing issues ( how the institutions targeted specific audiences)
• exhibition issues (Audience)
• exchange issues

See this blog for details more these on issues

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

From The Truman Show to Survivor: Narrative versus Reality in Fake and Real Reality TV

This is not always an easy read for sixth form level - but it will be rewarding. BTW "a panoptic society" is the idea that our society is under surveillance by thousands of police cameras all the time and that we are little more than prisoners in such a society. The essay focuses on two major theorists, Jean Baudrillard and his ideas about the hyperreality of the image and Michel Foucault's concept of power, surveillance and ideology in the panoptic society.
Click here for an essay by Marie-Laure Ryan

For another article which explains several key ideas about the film you should read this.
The Meaning of The Truman Show

Jean Baudrillard's simulacra is applied intelligently in this article from another blog.
zoominanalysis on The Truman Show Part 1
zoominanalysis The Truman Show Part Two

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Editing - the invisible art

In film-world editing is known as "the invisible art" - and it's probably the hardest to teach. After the director, the editor is the next most important person on the production side of making films. Once the film has been shot the editor gets to work and the process of shaping and creating a story out of a film's thousands of miles of footage can take months - and sometimes years!

Most of the terms you need to understand for editing in TV drama can be found in the link below.
This link has most of the BASIC information on editing you need to know.

For practice in seeing how editing works in TV drama we can view a few sequences to identify the main types of edits and how they create meaning and narrative in a sequence from a TV drama.

Meanwhile, have a look at these abridged Youtube sections from "The Cutting Edge: the magic of movie editing". This is a "must see" for understanding the "invisible art". In Hollywood "the more invisible the cuts the better the editor".

Part 1

Part 2 (Really useful for knowing about close-ups, flash-backs, parallel action, continuity editing, and editing for creating the illusion of reality, etc.)

Part 3

For more from this film on editing you will need to buy the DVD with the same title.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Essays and resources on "The Truman Show", "The Matrix" and Jean Baudrillard

Worth reading, or at least dipping into.
David J Glover's essay on "The Matrix", "The Truman Show" and Jean Baudrillard

Short but definitely enlightinging on hyperreality in "The Matrix".
Prof. Lopez's thoughts on "The Matrix"

Another short, but worthwhile piece by Prof. Lopez on "The Truman Show" and simulacrum.
"The Truman Show and Simulacrum"

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Digital technology and cinemas

This is an important Youtube video for understanding how digital technology (technological convergence or simply 'convergence') is changing the ways in which films are being produced, distributed and consumed. The old 35mm films will end up in museums with cheaper digital downloads offering an immersive experience far greater than before on new digital screens in multiplexes. This short film features translated interviews with French and German film-makers and cinema owners but what is true of them is also relevant for us as our experience is going to be the same. Watch this as you will know how to discuss 'convergence' in the consumption/exhibition part of your essays and be able to discuss the changes that digital technology will bring about in cinemas and the benefits cinema-goers.

Monday, 1 March 2010

How To Analyse a Film Poster

When analysing any film poster you need to consider the following points:

Begin by identifying the film and date of its release.

Types of poster: Identify which type of poster it is:

The Teaser poster -This poster contains basic information to whet your appetite. It often does not indicate much about the plot, but may have a picture of the stars, and the name of the film.

The main theatrical poster- This contains information about the production personnel, the stars, and the distributors.

Video/DVD release poster - This one comes out when the film is released on DVD/video and often has all of the above plus short, one line reviews from relevant publications.

Identify the Genre
eg an action film will nearly always have images of guns/weapons, a Romance will always have the 2 lovers in very close physical proximity... etc...

Character Poster – this one features the main character. Remember that the posters could be a combination of two types.

Images of the key settings and the main characters. What is the title of the film? What can you say about the way in which the title graphics have been written? Who is starring in the film? Where are the stars’ names placed on the poster? Why? Describe the key images on your poster. Why have they been chosen? Write about the images used - stars, setting, colours, symbols, (mise-en-scene). What do they suggest/signify? What other pictures can you see? What is their purpose? What are the most important colours on your poster? Why do you think these were chosen? What do you think the film will be about? Who is the target audience?

Narrative: What clues are there to the narrative? What can you tell about the genre of the film and the types of characters from their facial expression, body language, stance, appearance and position on the poster? What makes you say this? What impression do you get of the character/personalities from their expression, clothes, props. Is there an enigma being presented? Is the poster composed of a series of images (montage, lack of perspective) Is the key image a still from the film?

Colours: What colours are used in the poster? Are they relevant to the genre e.g. horror posters generally use dark strong colours especially black and red to represent death and evil. Romance films tend to employ lighter pastel and warm colours such as pinks, purples and other warm shades. Are the colours on your poster important? Why? What clues do they give about the genre, and how do they attract the target audience?

• Layout: analyse how the images are laid out. Are they are blended in without any concern for real perspective or size relationships between people and setting? Why do you think they are laid out like that? Do you know what the plot, genre and/or theme of the film is? If so, how? Most posters are portrait or landscape in shape. What shape is yours? Describe and discuss the title, font, typeface and graphics on the poster. What style are they in and where are they positioned etc? has the poster been painted and printed or produced using DTP ( mention how improvements in technology have changed production values).

• Written Text: scan the poster's written text. What does film's title and its font look like and what does this connote? Is there a catch or tagline? What does it tell us about the action, genre and attitude within the film? Who do you think is the target audience for the film? How has the poster been made attractive to these people? Discuss the billing/credit block. What information does it include about credits and information? Do we get information about who is in the cast, who directed the film, which company distributes it and promotes it etc? Where is the certificate? What does it indicate about the target audience and the content of the film? Does the poster list a website? If not, why not?

• Finally, what is the USP (the unique selling point) in each poster? What makes it different from other films? The plot, stars, themes, setting or characters?