And They’re Off…

The videos we watched in class today were:

And the Independent article about the video is here: The Story Behind Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt’

We also looked at:

Yes, it is as bad as it looks. Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia, Spiderman, Hidden Figures) should know better…

And lastly, Evan:

We were using the Handbook  (<= Click the word to find the PDF version. It’s the first one, but you will likely want all of them at some point!) to direct our thinking. We’ll be developing this in class tomorrow. For now, if you have time, have another look at one of the videos and see if you can spot some of the denotations and connotations it uses… Enjoy!

Camera Obscura

Click to download the file

As promised, here’re the slides including the ones you’ve not yet experienced… Mwahahahaha… (Click on the clapperboard to download)

And there is (I’m afraid) a wee bit homework to keep you busy and happy over the weekend…

HOMEWORK

Watch the John Lewis ‘Monty the Penguin’ advert, and see if you can identify some of the camera shots used, and for added value, can you give a reason or justification for the choices. If you have any questions, just use the comments on the blog. 🙂

The ad is available on the John Lewis YouTube channel, and the relevant task from the full sides is here:

 

RoM – Full Slides

rom-handout-grabHere is the full slidedeck/handout for the role of media we’ve been talking about in class. Feel free to ask questions, and apply what is in the slides to the pop videos we have looked at … (Click on the beard to download the slides!)

Use the weekend to prepare for attempting to answer a RoM question on Monday. You can find more information about what is looked for on the SQA website here. (Question Paper / Marking Scheme)

Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid!

Just a wee heads up… I’ll be in the hospital tomorrow during the lesson (I may be back in time… I have no longer how it’ll take). Your task is straight-forward is simply to carry out an analysis of the closing scene of Casablanca.

Your focus is up to you, but I’d expect at least one comment and reference (quotation) from each of the starred Key Aspects below. Do your best, and don’t forget the things we’ve talked about with regards the previous clips.

Content-based KA analysis 

Categories: genre, purpose, tone, style

* Language: medium/form-specific technical codes, cultural codes, anchorage

* Narrative: structures, codes, conventions

* Representation: representations, selection and portrayal, ideological discourses

Context-based KA analysis 

* Audience: target audience, preferred reading, differential decoding, mode of address

Institution: internal controls and constraints, external controls and constraints

* Society: time, place

One last hint (and it’s a BIG one)… don’t forget you have a rather wonderful glossary at the back of your course booklet… and that your course booklet is stuffed full of awesome hints and tips and explanations! 😉

Here’s the clip:

Homework 01: Categories

Hopefully you were able to follow everything today. 🙂 But just in case, here’s a quick recap…

When we talk about the media, we can start by considering its category. This is so we can identify with a fair degree of precision just what kind of media it is (which makes it easier to compare/contrast/analyse a particular text… and also, helps you to work out what you could do in order to create your own example).

Categories include:

  • Medium (print, radio, television, film, internet, music)
  • Purpose (inform, persuade, educate, profit, to heighten awareness or politicise, to be rebellious, to advertise, to market)
  • Form (drama, light entertainment, newspaper, magazine, film trailer/promo, television news, above/below the line advertising)
  • Genre (sci-fi, soap opera, documentary, game show, broadsheet, western, chick-flick, romance, horror, rom-com, buddy film, sport, etc.)
  • Tone (serious, comic, ironic, tongue-in-cheek, formal, informal, objective/neutral, subjective/one-sided, personal, scientific, etc.)
  • Style (realistic, unconventional, traditional, modern, dark, fly-on-the-wall, lavish)
  • Other miscellaneous categories (star, director, controversy, cult, viewing figures, box office, awards)

If you have the time, and it’s a really worthwhile exercise, you should see how many of the above you can find examples of.

Anyway, here’re the slides (including ones you haven’t seen yet)… please take your time to look through all of them, and you can download the file for your revision.

Click the Picture to download the file!
The file is a PDF which you should be able to open on most computers/tablets/phones… which means you can (and should) build up a decent library of revision materials.

And finally… the homework…

CATEGORIES: HOMEWORK TASK

  • Carry out a survey of your own media consumption. Over the next week analyse the media that you consume or interact with and provide four different examples, from four different mediums from that survey and write them in your jotter using the table provided in the sheets as a guide.

The example in the sheets is from Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1960) which is still one of the best horror/thrillers ever… (Hint, hint!)

As you are no doubt aware, this is an exercise in getting you to start thinking critically about the media… and it’s also an excuse for you to say “But mum, watching this music video/film/TV show/newspaper IS homework… so I can’t do the dishes…” {PS: Good luck to anyone who tries that as an excuse… we’ll send flowers to your hospital ward…}

And finally… if you have any questions please use the Comments on this post to ask!

Lights… Camera… In-Action…

Raptors in the kitchenHi everyone. Here’s a primer for next week’s shenanigans.

As mentioned, you will be filming your ‘scene-stealers‘ (and mahoosive thanks to Ms Lynch of Blairgowrie HS for sharing the idea!) so you’d better be prepared/ready… here’s how:

  1. Choose a scene from a film you will recreate…
  2. Find the script (10 Great Websites to Download Movie Scripts) or transcribe the scene/sequence you have chosen
  3. Look closely at the use of cameras (shots, angles, motion), and also any deliberate lighting effects
  4. Storyboard your own version
  5. Film (you can use your phone(s)/Eng. Dept. iPads/DSLR), but don’t get too hung up on the quality at the moment… it is recreating the shots that is the focus
  6. Edit (using any software you can get access to, like Windows Movie Maker in school, or YouTube editor online)
  7. Get ready for the premiere!

We’ll be working on 1, 2 and 3 in class on Monday, but you can jump straight to 4/5 if you do some preparation between now and then. 🙂

As ever, leave a comment if you have any questions.

Spectre Opening Sequence

Thanks for the question about the Spectre opening. Made me go back and look at it again, and that’s always a good thing. 🙂

Here it is:

And here are a couple of links that talk about how it was filmed…

How They Pulled Off The ‘Spectre’ of Death…

FXGuide to Spectre…

ASC Interview with Sam Mendes

And finally, here are some behind-the-scenes pics of the filming. Enjoy!

 

Sign Signifier Signified

So… the real fun starts here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 13.14.17

You are to choose an advert (Press/magazine/poster/TV) and identify five of the signs used in its creation… and also give some thoughts on what they signify. Bonus points for seeing if you can combine all the separate signs into an overview of the adverts overall message. I’m looking forward to seeing what you hand me on Monday 🙂

What’s that, you say? You’d like the slides from class to refer to? Oh, all right. Here they are…

pdf-icon-1
Click to download the slides!

 

Institution (Waltz?)

Obscure prog rock reference aside, I’ve just had a query about Institution and PQD.

Most of the information you need is on the slides, but for clarity, the most important things to remember are:

Stamp PQD PriscillaCasting: Terence Stamp (Wikipedia, IMDB, Guardian interview) would have appealed to an international audience as the big ‘name’ in the cast.

Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce and Bill Hunter would appeal to the home Australian audience… (Incidentally, click through on the links, especially Bill Hunter’s as it’s an interview from 1994 so fits in nicely with society… and also how casting can work)

Get the casting right, you pull in an audience, your film makes money… or more importantly, your message gains an audience…

Production: What would have been the challenges of producing PQD? Especially at that point in history and against the prevailing social background (fear of AIDS, homosexuality was still frowned upon, and so forth)… would it have been easy to get the necessary finance for the film without the likes of Stamp/Hunter on board?

Look at the respective credits for the two main producers, Al Clark and Michael Hamlyn. One has a background in drama (including the critically acclaimed adaptation of 1984), the other is known for music videos… how might these backgrounds have helped producing PQD?

The production companies involved include the New South Wales Film & Television Office who have a specific remit to promote film-making and as such help subsidise ‘edgier’ subject matter.

Marketing: Look again at the 5 posters for the film included in the slides… can you see how each is designed to appeal to a different audience (mostly through the choice of anchorage — either quotes form reviews, or specific blurbs). This is all part of creating a ‘buzz’ around the film, and so encouraging people to want to go and see it.

Finally… read this Guardian article about the 20th Anniversary of Priscilla. It contains this rather useful paragraph that neatly sums up PQD’s main message and why the film was so important:

“That’s just what his country needs,” Bernadette scoffs. “A cock in a frock on a rock.” And, actually, that was just what the country needed: an intelligent and entertaining Australian film that embraces LGBT culture without turning turning a quintessentially personal story into an exercise in outrage-pedalling and button-pushing.

Being realistic, Institution is unlikely to be the stem for Q1, but if you swot up on the above, you would be able to tackle it if it did. 🙂

PS: Don’t overlook the money

PPS: Check your spelling!

  • Stephan Elliott
  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (PQD)
  • 1994
  • Australia

PPPS: The aria is called Sempre Libera, it’s from Verdi’s La Traviata and the translation of the lyrics is as follows:

Free and aimless I frolic
From joy to joy,
Flowing along the surface
of life’s path as I please.
As the day is born,
Or as the day dies,
Happily I turn to the new delights
That make my spirit soar.

Love is a heartbeat throughout the universe,
mysterious, altering,
the torment and delight of my heart.

Oh! Oh! Love!
Madness! Euphoria!

If that doesn’t sum up Adam/Felicia/Guy Pearce’s character, then what does! 😉

PPPPS: Can you tell I’m going OTT as I want you all to do well?