Thursday, 3 May 2012

DO THIS ESSAY!!!! analyse one piece of media coursework in relation to genre

exampler esaay question 1b

Macro words
Micro words
Own examples
Relevance too existing media

 1b) The media production I am going to write about in relation to genre is my favourite piece from the whole course which is my horror teaser trailer.

The genre of the trailer is obviously ‘horror’ and this in itself allowed us to be creative with narrative etc but limited us because we had to stick to a certain amount of generic conventions in order for it to be recognised by it’s existing target audienceSteve Neal said that ‘genre is a repetition with an underlying pattern of variations’ which meant certain generic features had to be included and repeated which in my case was the use of a creepy location of the woods as well as hand held camera and restricted narration to cause disorientation and suspense within our trailer.

However, the pattern of variation Neal describes also links to my horror teaser trailer because we were able to creatively push the boundaries by twisting some generic features in order to make the trailer interesting and therefore cause the audience to want to watch the full movie. For this my group chose use a female psycho killer I order to subvert the stereotypical male dominated role. This female identification through point of view shots etc captured our female audience because were providing them with power and this is unusual for the horror genre although it is known for its forward thinking approach as it often attempts to focus on sub-cultural views instead of targeting the mainstream. Genre encompasses many parts and the trailer links to it in more ways than one. Its use of enclosed location and the fact the woods attempts to reinforce our society’s fear of loneliness and isolation which the woods creates when the three friends get lostIn these sections of the trailer we used a lot of heavy cross cutting between the female victim who is running anxiously through the woods in order to find her friends and get home safely. We also used the Kuleshov and collision cutting methods as the pace began slow as the friends head our in the car unaware of the danger before them and once they are in the woods we deliberately quickened the pace of editing to cause tension and to show that something is not right, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

Editing and mise-en-scene is really important to genre and reflects very quickly certain moods and atmospheres. Levi Strauss and Roland Barthes argued that the horror genre like many others used ‘binary oppositions’ in order to show the contrast between good and evil in order to force the audience to be constantly questioning the trailer for example; in my trailer I used light and dark to connote their happiness and carefree attitude in the daytime and the darkness to emphasise their fear and reliance on their senses. This is particularly important to the horror genre as characters are often shown in high angle shots to appear vulnerable and therefore under threat.

Gore or ‘body horror’ is also a common generic convention used by most horror films that we studied including Dawn of the Dead by George A. Romero who used it to make the audience feel sick by forcing them to see extreme violenceIn my own trailer we were inspired to use gore differently by showing a hanging scene in slow motion to create tension and the centring in on the face and neck which had been broken and this was shown by the rope burn we had made from latex and the blood pouring down her chest. This shot moves clockwise and slowly zooms in to force the audience to see what the hang (woman) has done. In our final two shots we finish the trailer with the male anti hero being lifted off the ground with blood pouring out of his mouth which causes the audience to assume no one survives because the final girl is stabbed by her friend accidentally which quickens the pace and adds tension but she is the survivor who as Carol Clover suggests will be terrorised throughout the film and finally overcome the monster. This plays with the audiences emotions and links back to the horror genre well by creating our own style of horrorAndrew Sarris argues because it encompasses so much and is key to explaining a film. Genre is the ideas that collectively make a particular recognisable style that draws in its existing target audience. My horror trailer had expressionist camera angles as the female victim desperately trips over the camera and we see her running above it as well as close ups of her facial expression that causes us to identify with her fear and therefore makes us scared. This meant the audience also were forced to objectify the female victim from the high angle camera shot down her top in which we can see her breasts slightly after watching other Hitchcock movies which use the male gaze theory by Laura Mulvey to force us to take a male’s viewpoint.

In my trailer we also used an iconic symbol of the noose because obviously as a hang woman she needed the prop but also as a female the circular shape suggested female power and this is something the horror genre often does but for male characters using guns etc as phallic symbols which we also used as the male anti hero takes out a knife and stabs his friend frantically when she walks up behind him. The horror trailer was made much darker in Final Cut Pro using the brightness and contrast menu and also dragged the saturated colours towards the blue in order to create a dark, dusky night time atmosphere a generic convention of horror trailers.

The generic conventions we chose to use were all important to the success of our product and since distributing it on YouTube we have over 4000 which I am really pleased with and gives me the confidence that we obviously stuck to the genre enough to capture our intended target audience but were creative enough to make people want to keep watching the trailer and virally sharing it with others.

Genre places a media text into a grouping giving it an identity which can be recognised by the mainstream society and I believe my product is successfully fitted to the horror genre using the narrative that Todorov argued was important to the horror genre by following an equilibrium at the beginning then a problem which in our case was the male anti hero playing a joke on the soon to be female victim making jump running after him causing their separation then a pathway to resolution – as they attempt to find each other and then a new equilibrium at the end which we deliberately left as an open ending to capture our audience effectively.

EAA 10/10
EG 10/10
Term 5/5

MACRO-  genre, audience, representation, narrative, media language
MICRO- mise en scene ( costume, props, location, hair makeup), editing, sound, special effects, ( movement position) lighting

camera angles

Own example
Mise en scene
Location- woods ( genre pecific convention meets the audiences expectation.
Genre- specific impact on audience
Steve neal
Barthes connotations
Levi-strauss- binary oppositions

Props- drinking showing signs of depression, lonliness,
Genre specific

makeup and hair- eye liner streaming down face



jump cuts


fast forwarding

 5 shots together

 showing two characters together at the same time

Theories to apply to Section A Question 1b
Genre - How a text is categorised, which codes and conventions it conveys
You should aim to apply the GENRE theory/theorists which can be applied to your c/w (don’t describe, apply it/does it apply):
      Structure of genre = Iconography, character roles, narrative structure, visual style, values and themes
      Steve Neale (1980) -  all genres are instances of repetition and difference
      Douglas Pye - films have to conform to audience expectations about narrative
      The genre may be considered as a practical device for helping any mass medium to produce consistently and efficiently and to relate its production to the expectations of its customers. (McQuail 1987, 200)
·         Film theorist, Robert Stam, refers to common ways of categorising films:
“While some genres are based on story content (the war film), other are borrowed from literature (comedy, melodrama) or from other media (the musical). Some are performer-based (the Astaire-Rogers films) or budget-based (blockbusters), while others are based on artistic status (the art film), racial identity (Black cinema), locat[ion] (the Western) or sexual orientation (Queer cinema). (Stam 2000, 14).” (you don’t need to learn all of this but you can summarise it in your own words and still reference him)
      Miller argues that both in writing and reading within genres we learn purposes appropriate to the genre; in relation to the mass media it could be argued that particular genres develop, frame and legitimate particular concerns, questions and pleasures.
      Tom Ryall “ Genre may be defined as patterns/forms/styles/structures which transcend individual films and which supervise both their construction by the filmmaker and their reading by an audience”
      Genre films can create pleasure through the use of both familiar and unfamiliar elements
      Roland Barthes has provided a useful distinction between these two types of pleasure
     Plasir = mundane, everyday pleasure
     Jouissance = more challenging, intense pleasure
Questions to Consider
·         Who is your intended audience and what genre techniques have you used to target them?
o   Representations of genre/character/social groups
·         Genre specific  elements
o   Conventions/connotations of conventions used such as props, location, style of filming/what does the imagery of the film suggest?
·         How does your film/music video reflect contemporary audience needs?  Does it satisfy them?
·         Postmodern texts
o   Genre development – “What may have been typical of a genre at one time may evolve other time as the audience evolve in such a way that an action film from the a few years ago may be a very slow paced film by today's standards” (
·         Discourse – how groups of people will determine the meaning of your genre – do all audiences understand genre in the same way? Are you presuming audiences will understand your text through their dominant ideologies/cultural experiences?
·         What media language have you used to enhance your film genre?
·         Does the opening scene suggest the theme of the film? If so, how does it do so? If not, what is its relation to the remainder of the film?
·         Does the final scene of the film either confirm or challenge the theme?

No comments:

Post a Comment