Friday, 30 November 2012

Week 5 (Tues 6 Nov)

In today's sessions, we looked at Character and Performance: in the seminar, we took a look at the basic components of a character and performance in Film & Television:
  • Script (how it is written)
  • Performance (Histirionic/pantomime, Naturalistic, The Method and Self-concious)
  • Convention (what we expect from them)
  • Star Persona (The star power and perception of the actor)
  • The relationship between characters and audiences
  • Character elements (Name, key relationships, desires, psychology, function within the narrative and development)
Additionally important was Recognition (Turning sounds and images into something we as an audience can recognise and uderstand), Alignment (our investment and insight into the character and his/her mentality and views) and Allegiance (Our judgement on their views and ideas). The types of codes and ideologies that form part of these include Gender, Ethinicty, Race, Point of view, Class and the character's position within the narrative of the piece.

Then, in the lecture, we saw the documentary Man on A Wire, about a french tightrope walker who walked across the twin towers of the World Trade Center back in 1974, and afterwards, we looked at Genre, which are catergories of similar compostions of media (horror, musicals, action, comedy etc.), made up of elements such as setting, Costumes/props. character types, narrative, themes and style, and their effects:
  • Leads audience interpretations
  • Creates viewer expectations
  • Gives creators ideas how to construct a piece
  • Industry strategy (appeaking to a certain demographic)
Also important to genre was users (the audience, the industry and the media), each of whom contribute to a film and its perception:
  • Industry (production, schedule, broadcast, marketing, stars)
  • Media (cultural impact, reviews, debates, advertisement)
  • Audience (vieiwing, evaluation, fans, legacy)
However, genres are not set in stone, and can be combined as a hybrid of sorts. For example, Man on a Wire was a documentary, but also had elements of a thriller and heist/caper film. Similarly, film makers can play with conventions and subvert audience expectations/misdirect them, such as a film within a film/meida within media and subverting cliches and having something unexpected. happen/plot twist.

In conclusion, today's subject was fairly interesting, especially in examining elements of character and how many different factors can into it and differentiate between one we care, and one we have no investment. It's almost akin to a scientific formula in a sense.

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