Monday, 29 September 2014

The Male Gaze: Images

Analyse both images using the gaze theories.

The Male Gaze-Millie Leader

Analysis of video for the Beyonce song 1+1

Throughout this video there are several scenes associated with sex, orgasms and intimacy.

Within the first 10 seconds we are presented with Beyonce. She is seen to be wearing no clothing, or very little which we cannot see and appears to be wet. Her hair is a little messy which put together with the absence of clothing and wet skin we connote this with sex and pleasure. 

About 19 seconds in we see that Beyonce begins to turn to face the camera, looking down the lens at us the audience and essentially 'breaking the fourth wall' to show that it is all just a fantasy and that she is fantasying over a parter/lover.

She begins to tilt her head upwards to expose her bare chest. Her mouth is slightly parted and her chin is tilted which again leads us back to the connotations of pleasure, sex and even orgasms.

We are presented with a close up shot of her face after about 25 seconds which shows that the scene is intimate and she wants us to see how she is feeling and possibly feel it ourselves. Her eyes are very enticing in this shot which we refer to as a characteristic of the 'invitational' look.

After 30 seconds the camera begins to move slowly down Beyonce's body to again, show that she is bare. This allows the lighting to shine upon her wet skin so we are again reminded of the connotations and assumptions we make that are sex related.

44 seconds in we are presented with Beyonce tilting her head backwards again which we connote with orgasms and pleasure.

Just before the 1 minute mark we see a first glimpse of her clothing. It seems to be some sort of night garment or lingerie, made of either silk of lace which we connote with sexiness. She tilts her head back slightly again and we see that her lips are parted and that she is almost smiling.

Again we are given a close up of her eyes to remind us that it is intimate and imaginary. 

About 10 seconds into the 1 minute mark we see Bey take of her straps from her shoulders while she tilts her head backwards. Throughout the video she is presented as wet and in this particular scene we most defiantly connote that wet look with sweat as she looks incredibly sexual and almost orgasmic, again her mouth is parted and her eyes are closed. It is both invitational and sexual.

After about a minute and 15 seconds we see Beyonce once again tilt her head backwards, we are presented with no visible clothing and her groping herself moving from her neck down to her chest. We see this as suggestive and invitational as her lips are parted and she elongates her blinks.

Movements like this are repeated all the way up to the 2 minute mark where we see Bey in leopard print lingerie and black stockings with heels. We connote stockings and heels with sexiness which supports the ideas that this scene is sexual. She is represented as sexy and is most defiantly invitational by the way she stands with one leg opened out to the side. We see that the lingerie puts emphasis on her figure. She continuously looks down the lens (breaking the fourth wall) to remind us that this is all a fantasy of hers and that it isn't real.

Going wild: Beyonce appears in leopardskin lingerie and stockings in her new video for song 1+1

At the 2 min 44 second stage we are introduced to a male. We don't see his face only the back of him, this gives the element of mystery and we assume that this is her lover, the person she has been fantasying about. They engage in physical contact and the light shines on the males body to show that he looks wet, like beyonce does. We can then justify the connotations to sex and pleasure as they are both wet and we come to the conclusion that it is sweat.

Just before the 3 minute mark we are shown beyonce being lifted up. She starts bent over backwards with her head tilted toward the floor with the male holding her back and lifting her up. The camera moves upwards from the feet to the head as this movement takes place to emphasise her body.

At the 3 minute mark we are presented with skin on skin contact where, again where we see no visible clothing and sweaty bodies groping each other, we associate this with orgasms, pleasure and sexual contact.

At about 3 mins 15 we are again shown a close up of Beyonce's eyes to re-enforce the idea of fantasy and to remind us that it is not real.

She continues to run her fingers through her hair and tilts her head back several times toward the end of the video and we are show another shot of her and the male addition. Her mouth is parted at all times and her eyes remain closed throughout, leaving us to connote what we see with sex, pleasure and orgasms.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Majorie Ferguson Gaze Theory (Magazines)

    Marjorie Ferguson (1980) identified four types of facial expression in the cover photos of British women’s magazines:

    1. Chocolate Box: half or full-smile, lips together or slightly parted, teeth barely visible, full or three-quarter face to camera. Projected mood: blandly pleasing, warm bath warmth, where uniformity of features in their smooth perfection is devoid of uniqueness or of individuality.
    2. Invitational: emphasis on the eyes, mouth shut or with only a hint of a smile, head to one side or looking back to camera. Projected mood: suggestive of mischief or mystery, the hint of contact potential rather than sexual promise, the cover equivalent of advertising’s soft sell.
    3. Super-smiler: full face, wide open toothy smile, head thrust forward or chin thrown back, hair often wind-blown. Projected mood: aggressive, ‘look-at-me’ demanding, the hard sell, ‘big come-on’ approach.
    4. Romantic or Sexual: a fourth and more general classification devised to include male and female ‘two-somes’; or the dreamy, heavy-lidded, unsmiling big-heads, or the overtly sensual or sexual. Projected moods: possible ‘available’ and definitely ‘available’. 

The Male Gaze-Wonderbra Cadbury Spoof and Original Version

Friday, 26 September 2014

Dredd: Example Essay (Lauren Bolton)

Why Was Dredd a Failure at the Box Office

Essay: Why Did Dredd Flop At The Box Office?

Essay: Why Did Dredd Flop At The Box Office?

1000 words

50 marks:

  • 25 marks for argument
  • 25 marks for evidence
Write about Dredd and a superhero blockbuster of your own choice.

  • 12X Wednesday 1st October
  • 12W Thursday 2nd October

Evidence includes:
  • film type
  • studios/ production company
  • year
  • box office figure
  • marketing
  • stars



1. Pre-production: source material, stars, director, producers, budget
2. Production: Red x cameras, 3D, South Africa, cheap
3. Post-production: Marketing, distribtution (number of screens), length of cinema run

Then write about the same 3 elements for the film of your choice.

Other points to consider:
  1. Dredd as a cult film
  2. Dredd has an 18 certificate
  3. Marvel films are usually 12A or PG13 (four quadrant pictures)
  4. Superhero films are everywhere
  5. Developments in CGI means this type of film can be made easily
  6. Marvel (owned by Disney) owns Spiderman and all the Avengers characters
  7. DC (Warner Bros. produce the DC films) owns Superman and Batman
  8. Dredd was made to compete with US films
  9. Problems with the character/ source material: can't see Dredd's face, very violent, a bleak dystopia
  10. The film wasn't 'British' enough

Researching the following may help answer the question. Wikipedia is a good starting point but I have also added the occasional link to a more detailed site.

Pre Production

  • When was the 'lawgiver' gun built and designed?
  • During which other UK film was the 'slo mo' sequences designed?
  • How did the film makers feel about making an 18 certificate film?
  • How long did it take to film Dredd?
  • Which camera was used to film Dredd?
  • Why did they need to create new camera rigs?

Post production
  • What issue affected the films editing?

 Distribution and marketing
  • How many cinemas was Dredd released in and how many ONLY showed it in 3D?
  • How did producers begin promoting Dredd3D
  • What viral marketing campaign did the producers use for Dredd?
  • The film premiered at Fantastic Fest, what is it and why would this appeal to the films target audience?
  • Which awards did the films marketing campaign win?
  • How much money did the film gross at the box office?
  • What unusual step did the film's UK distributors take to ensure people watched in 3D?
  • What percentage of audiences are physically incapable of seeing a 3D image?
  • What % of light is lost in a 3D film?
  • Which film was Dredd unfortunate to be released after?
  • In the UK which position in the DVD charts did Dredd occupy?
  • What might this show about the decision to allow only a 3D release
  • In the US which audience demographic was the largest?
  • How many units did Dredd sell on DVD/BluRay in the US?
  • How much money did this bring in?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Dredd Research Task

Research the 2012 film Dredd (directed by Pete Travis). Focus on the following:

  • Producer (include green light)
  • Distributor
  • Script writer
  • Budget
  • Box office gross
  • Director & Actors
  • Marketing (posters, trailers, adverts,websites)
  • Critical reception (reviews-Metacritic & Rotten Tomatoes)
  • Reasons for lack of success
  • Awards
  • Technology used (3D cameras, new technology)
  • Tie-ins (soundtrack CD, toys, comics Etc)
  • Personal opinion

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Common Stereotypes Task (12Y)

In pairs make a document (upload to Scribd) that covers the key aspects of the common stereotype. 

Make sure you cover how these groups are represented in different ways.

  • are the representations realistic?
  • are the representations stereotypical?
  • in your opinion, is there a common stereotype?

Use the common stereotype document as a starting point.

Refer to examples from TV Drama to illustrate the points you make.

Deadline: posted on to blog by period 4 Monday 29th September

Groups and Categories

  1. Age: Becky/Sophie, Josh/George
  2. Sexuality: Emma/George, Katie
  3. Gender: Rebecca/Kieran
  4. Class/ Status: Cam/Jon
  5. Ethinicity: Melissa
  6. Ability/ Disability: Max/Rajan, Aaron
  7. Regional Identity: Tom/ Dan

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Representation Task: Skins (12Y)

Watch the episode of Skins (Episode 1/Season 1)

Watch from the start up to the scene in the cafe when Michelle appears.

Make notes on the four main areas: 
  • camera
  • editing
  • sound
  • mise en scene
You will use these notes in Wednesday's lesson.

Click on the image for the episode.

Write about the representation of the character of Tony in the clip we watched in class.

Focus on the key areas (listed above).

Use the following words in your work:

  • stereotype
  • binary opposites
  • represented
  • representation
  • diegetic sound/ non-diegetic sound
  • mise en scene-costume/ props/ set and setting/ lighting
  • character
  • camera shots/ camera angles (use words from these lists)
DEADLINE: Period 1Tuesday 23rd September (Hand in a paper copy of the work)

Judge Dredd

Judge Joseph Dredd is a fictional character whose comic strip in the British science fiction anthology 2000 AD is the magazine's longest running, having been featured there since its second issue in 1977. Dredd is an American law enforcement officer in a violent city of the future where uniformed Judges are empowered to arrest, sentence, and execute criminals at the scene of crime. The character was created by writer John Wagner and artist Carlos Ezquerra, although editor Pat Mills also deserves some credit for early development.
Judge Dredd is amongst the UK's best known comic characters. So great is the character's name recognition that his name is sometimes invoked over similar issues to those explored by the comic series, such as the police state, authoritarianism, and the rule of law.[2] Judge Dredd was named the Seventh Greatest Comic Character by the British magazine Empire.[3] In 2011, IGN ranked him 35th in the Top 100 Comic Book Heroes.[4]

Joseph Dredd is the most famous of the Street Judges that patrol Mega-City One, charged to instantly convict, sentence, and execute offenders. Dredd is armed with a "Lawgiver" pistol (programmed to recognise only his palm-print, and capable of six types of ammunition), a daystick, a knife and stun/gas grenades. His helmet obscures all of his face, except for his mouth and jaw. He rides a large "Lawmaster" motorbike equipped with machine-guns, a powerful laser cannon, and full artificial intelligence capable of responding to orders from the Judge and operating itself.
Dredd's entire face is never shown properly in the strip. This custom began as an unofficial guideline, but soon became a rule which artists were required to follow.[16] As John Wagner explained: "It sums up the facelessness of justice − justice has no soul. So it isn't necessary for readers to see Dredd's face, and I don't want you to."[17]

Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, 14 September 2014

12Y: Work To Do

The following needs to be posted to your blogs as soon as possible:
  1. Representation task notes-man,woman, man 2
  2. Self representation task
  3. Copy and paste 4 and 7 areas posts to your blog
  4. Complete the Lester Burnham representation task
  5.  Post your TubeChop clips for the camera terminolgy task

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Question

January 2010

“Media production is dominated by global institutions, which sell their products and services to national audiences”. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

The British Film Industry and America's Influence

You need to read the articles below in order to answer the questions which follow. 

You will sit a mock exam tomorrow (12X Friday 12th September period 4/ 12W Monday 15th September period 1) in order to gain a mark for your assessment point, the questions below will help you with the mock exam. 

You may use your notes when answering the question.

These links will help you answer the questions:

 The British Film Industry
  1. What % of global box office was the British film industry responsible for?
  2. What was this % in 2009?
  3. What might this change indicate about British film?
  4. What films have been responsible for this change?
  5. What % of the British film industry makes a profit?
  6. What % of Hollywood films make a profit?
  7. How does that % differ between £2m and £10m budget British films?
  8. What might we infer from this difference?
  9. Which age group makes up the largest % of UK cinema goers?
  10. Why do you think this might be?
  11. Which 'type' of film has seen an 18% drop in attendance?
  12. Within that 'type' which genre has seen the biggest fall?
  13. What did Charles Grant put this decline down to?
  14. Who is Paul Greengrass?
  15. How did he describe the British film industry?
  16. What did a BFI spokesperson say was the point of less profitable low budget British films?
  17. What was the budget for Filth and how much money did it take?
  18. What advantage did James McEvoy feel £100m films have over low budget films?
  19. What is VOD?
  20. What % increase did VOD see last year?
  21. What impact might VOD have on distributers and Studios?
  22. What impact has it had on Blockbuster rental stores?
  23. What was unique about Ben Wheatleys 'A Field In England'?
  24. What does director of The Machine Caradog James think is the toughest part of film making?
  25. Why have rules been relaxed on what makes a film 'British'?
  26. How has the use of visual effects in films been encouraged?
  27. Name five of these rules and link them to The Kings Speech, Kill List, The World's End
  28. What rules has chancellor George Osbourne announced for tax on British films?
  29. What is the highest grossing film in UK box office history?
  30. How much has it taken and how many screens was it available on?
American Influence - Variety links
  1. Why has Sony opened a Digital Motion Picture Centre at Pinewood studios?
  2. What benefit might this have for the British film industry?
  3. Where else have they opened facilities like this?
  4. How many films have been produced using the F65 camera?
  5. What has been the consequence of Blockbusters to US film production?
  6. How big a loss to Sony expect to post?
  7. Which films are responsible for this?
  8. How is Lionsgate different to Sony?
  9. Why is "the new mandate to avoid niche products'?

Monday, 8 September 2014

Representation: Lester Burnham

Analyse the character of Lester Burnham using the following headings:

  • Mise en scene
  • Camera shots
  • Sound

Film Production

Film production is the process of making a film. 

For the exam you'll need to understand all the stages of film production, these are:

Development - This is simply the process of 'finding' a story. Ideas for films come from a variety of sources, they can range from novels, real life events to computer game adaptations. Once you've got an idea you'll need someone to write a pitch for you which you take to a film producer in an attempt to get some funding to make your film. Even at this very early stage you need a very clear idea of who you're aiming you film at so you can include elements that will appeal to them.
Pre-production - Once you've got funding you establish your budget and can begin to get a film crew together, you can storyboard the script. You also need break the script down into individual scenes and identify all the locations, props, cast members, costumes, special effects and visual effects needed.
Production - This is simply the process of 'making' the film. Provided you've done your job properly in the pre-production stage making the film should be straight forward. 'Film' is very expensive and difficult to store so an increasing number of film makers are using digital cameras to save money.
Post-production - During this stage you take all the 'film' you've shot and give it to a film editor. They will then begin putting it together. Special effects will be added, a soundtrack will be added, any missing dialogue will be re-recorded and added resulting in a 'rough cut'. This will be shown to the director and a test audience who will offer feedback. Often this causes scenes to be filmed and added or removed.

In today's lesson you need to find out what the following key roles and areas entail:
  • writer
  • producer
  • casting director
  • director
  • film finance
  • camera operator
  • editor
  • production designer
  • marketing
  • exhibition
You must write a description of each role/area and add a relevant image to illustrate.

These sites (alongside wikipedia) will help (click on images):

Complete the work in Word, Illustrate with relevant images, upload to Scribd and then post to your blog.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Reading (12X)

Before our next lesson on Monday 8th September you need to have read the following:
Copy and paste this post to you blog (it's better to first copy into Word, then paste to a blog post)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Audience and Institutions-the 7 Key Concept Areas Listed And Explained

Section B: Institutions and Audiences

Candidates should be prepared to understand and discuss the processes of production, distribution, marketing and exchange as they relate to contemporary media institutions, as well as the nature of audience consumption and the relationships between audiences and institutions. In addition, candidates should be familiar with:

the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary media practice;
• the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing;
• the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange;
• the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences;
• the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences;
• the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions;
• the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour.

the issues raised by media ownership in contemporary (current) media practice

The depth and range of ownership across a range of media and the consequences of this ownership for audiences in terms of the genres and budgets for films. How for instance, can Channel4's Film4 survive in the British market place against the high concept, big-budget films made by Newcorp's FOX, Warner Bros, Disney, Universal, etc.? What kinds of niche audiences are left for Film4 to attract? Are mass audiences out of reach given the genres of films Film4 have the budgets to make? How successful have they been in reaching mass audiences with their films? How healthy is it that just a few mega media groups can own such a range of media and can decide what the public may see, and, perhaps, shape audience's tastes?

• the importance of cross media convergence and synergy in production, distribution and marketing

 Digital technology is enabling various media to converge in hubs, platforms and devices. For instance, mobiles phones do a lot more than act as hand held telephones: you can download and watch films and TV programmes, use them as alarm clocks, watches, play music on them, take photos and short films, text, go online, use GPS functions, a range of apps, and a whole lot more. New HD TVs, Playstations, X-Boxes, iPads, Notebooks, MacBooks, etc. are also examples of hubs which in which a variety of media technologies can converge for convenience for users. Media convergence is having an enormous impact on the film industry because of the ways in which institutions can produce and market for audiences/users on a widening range of platforms, capable of receiving their films.

Synergies can come out of an organisation's size; smaller media organisations such as Channel4 can-cross promote their films, etc. but the scale of cross-media promotion is nowhere near as great as that which can be gained by massive media organisations. Film4 is therefore unable to promote their lower budget films on a level playing field.

• the technologies that have been introduced in recent years at the levels of production, distribution, marketing and exchange

The audience's ability to interact with films by, for instance, using digital technology to put extracts on You Tube and overlay new sound tracks on them, etc. and make answering videos has been greatly enhanced by Web 2.0; Film studios can make films using CGI, greenscreen and other special effects that were impossible to make only a few years ago. The ways of filming and editing films have changed, too, with the introduction of digital film and film cameras, editing software, laptops, digital projectors, etc. Distributors market films using the latest software for designing high-concept film posters and trailers. They can use phone apps., online marketing, Twitter, etc. File-sharing and piracy are growing issues because the software exists to take the protective encryption of DVDs, etc and WEB 2.0 enables people to make and share copies of films easily. One way in which film companies are trying to get around this is by releasing films soon after theatrical release by selling them on video-on-demand, premium TV channels and downloads. US and UK cinemas chains are not happy about this, especially after all the investment some have made on digital equipment, projectors, etc. which unfortunately quickly goes very quickly out of date!

• the significance of proliferation in hardware and content for institutions and audiences

This means the increase of something: i.e. digital cameras, software, CGI, 3D films, film genres, etc. which are part of current trends; how significant is this for See Saw Films or Film4? Or are they still able to be successful without it by making films with genres that do not need the latest breakthroughs in digital technology? Research the film company's use of cameras, special effects, software, posters, digital distribution of films, etc.

• the importance of technological convergence for institutions and audiences

This is a WEB 2.0 issue and how technology is coming together in hubs like laptops is one of the features of our age; the mobile phone in your pocket is a great example of technological convergence: it can do so much more than a simple phone call; think how this is affecting film making at the production, marketing and exhibition stages? The Internet is acting as a hub for many aspects of film: you will find film posters, YouTube videos on films, interviews, trailers, official film and blog websites, etc. on it.  Audiences can also remake their own films by creating extracts and running new scores over them and then posting them on YouTube. This often leads to answering videos, never mind the comments, etc. that people make  on such sites. The internet, film and videos games seems to be converging in so many ways. People can watch films in a range of ways, using an astonishing range of hardware and software. They can also find audiences of their own. This amounts to free publicity for film institutions for their films and "A Long Tail" sales into the future through endless exchange.

• the issues raised in the targeting of national and local audiences (specifically, British) by international or global institutions

"Slumdog Millionaire" was originally aimed at Asian audiences living in various parts of the UK and also at Danny Boyle fans. The film's unexpected success at film festivals and being nominated for the Oscars led to another theatrical release and a crossover from the "indy" art-house into the mainstream. British film makers often make social realism films and aim them at local and regional audiences whereas this would never be enough for the major media players who tend to make high budget, high concept films. They have boutique offshoots who make and often distribute lower budget films, aimed at more high brow audiences. Disney's Mirimax and Fox's Fox Searchlight are examples of such boutique, art-house film distribution.

• the ways in which the candidates’ own experiences of media consumption illustrate wider patterns and trends of audience behaviour
How you consume films whether it is as a social activity after visiting a shopping centre or on an MP4 player or Playstation, is what is at issue here. Visit Pearl and Dean to see how multiplex cinemas are adapting the experience of cinema-going to gain audiences. In an age of falling DVD sales, home cinema and an increase in downloading for both music and film audiences are changing in how they want to consume film. Identify trends and consider where the audience trends are going in the near future.

This unit should be approached through contemporary (up-to-date) examples in the form of case studies based upon one of the specified media areas.

Thanks to DOG for this post.


Monday, 1 September 2014

The Man 2

Finally, do the same for this gentleman.

12W (Period 1)

Today's tasks are:

  1. Finish the 5X5
  2. Read the post below (Seven Key Concept Areas Listed And Explained) and make notes. The seven areas within are what you will be examined on in the summer.