MS1 Textual Analysis

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  • 1. 1 Number 034www.curriculum-press.co.uk How to Approach AS Unseen Analysis M tudiesSedia Introduction You will be asked a number of questions based on a previously unseen media text. The questions asked can vary but the approach to the exam should be the same as the exam requires students to apply their knowledge and understanding of the media concepts in order to analyse and evaluate a media text. The aims of this factsheet are: To focus on the identification of media concepts and how to use them to respond to the unseen analysis question. To consider the relationships between media concepts To offer a method of questioning any media text which will raise issues that can be used to evaluate the given text What are the examiners looking for? Analysis and evaluation skills (NOT description) - your ability to evaluate reasons for or the effects of the media language choices made in the construction of the text An engagement on the issues raised in the text (via media concepts) Understanding of the appropriate media concepts and their application to the media text Justified and validated responses (NOT just personal opinion) using specific textual references Critical autonomy Clear and fluent communication Media Concepts The tools needed to help you undertake an analysis are the media concepts. In the exam the questions will focus on particular issues raised by specific concepts. What can you expect in the exam? The questions in the unseen analysis section of the same are always roughly the same and you will be expected to use media concepts analyse the text provided. The texts could be any mass media production: Moving Image: e.g. o Cinema Trailer o News broadcast o Extract from fictional text (film or broadcast fiction) o Advertising o Documentary o Extract from any form of entertainment programming Paper Based: e.g. o Advertising o Magazines o Newspapers (local or national) E-media: e.g. o An extract from a web site o Screen shots or sequences from a game o A pod-cast Activity 1 There are seven media concepts. Name them and provide a basic definition for each one. Complete the table by noting down any specific terms you have learnt related to these concepts. M I G R A I N Key Terms Crop, Pan, Anchorage, Headline Stereotype, mediation Binary Opposition, Enigma Code Your definition Institution: The business issues influencing a texts construction. Ideology: The ideas and values contained within a media text
  • 2. 2 034. How toApproachAS UnseenAnalysis Media Studies www.curriculum-press.co.uk Many students know their media concepts but dont show how they are related to each other in an exam response. Higher grades are possible when links between media concepts are shown in an exam response. Usually when analysing a text the first place we start is considering the media language but have you considered that Institutional factors such as the budget available will affect ML choices? Certain genres have codes that need to be replicated and so ML choices are limited? Representations are an outcome of ML choices? Narrative information is given via ML? Often the target audience influences ML choices? Ideologies are created through the way ML choices are used? AQA/WJEC/OCR? Each awarding body has an unseen analysis assessment in the exam. However, the questions in the exam will be focussed on specific aspects of the texts provided and named media concepts. Always ensure you read the questions carefully and respond to what is being asked but consider how the media concepts relate to one another in your answer. Exam Hint:- In the WJEC specimen paper there is a question which asks you to consider the target audience for a magazine based on its front cover. A detailed answer to this question would consider how the media language creates representations and values which are attempting to appeal to particular people. In addition, the magazine will be following recognisable genre codes and creating narrative enigmas which will appeal and attract the target audience fulfilling expectations and offering new experiences. Activity 2 This is one of the promotional posters for Spiderman 3 (2007: dir. S. Raimi) http://www.criticsrant.com/Images/criticsrant_com/DVD_Spider-Man%203/ spiderman3poster.jpg The Spiderman on the left is wearing his recognisable red and blue suit. However, on the right Spiderman wears a black suit with silver-grey detail. The sky in the background is golden. Note down the media language choices made in the construction of this poster. Media language choices made? If we accept that all media language choices have been made on purpose, then you need to consider WHY they have been made. Considering WHY is the most important part of analysing any text WHY have those words been used and not others? WHY have those colours been chosen? WHY has the layout been presented this way? WHY has this information been provided? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Complete the following table for some of your observations The answer to WHY is always a media concept issue (or several) For Example: One image of Spiderman shows him in the traditional red and blue suit. Why? Media Language Observation ? Spidermans suit is red and blue Institution This acts as a brand signifier Genre This is the expected look for Spiderman within these films Rep The colours are positive they also reflect the American flag Audience Audiences will feel reassurance as this is what they expect Ideology The idea of hero and America is bought together Narrative This identifies him as the hero
  • 3. 3 034. How toApproachAS UnseenAnalysis Media Studies www.curriculum-press.co.uk Activity 3 1. Make a table based on the one above and try to make a number of different media concepts points about 5 or 6 of your observations on the poster. You may not necessarily be able to complete each row but you should aim to get at least 3 or 4 media concepts comments per observation. 2. Put these answers in the table matching up with an appropriate aspect of the media language chosen. These statements answer the question why for various media language choices some for more than one. ?creates the idea of conflict within the narrative ?helps identify the film as being within the superhero genre ?creates a sense of anticipation for the audience ?links the hero with being American ?provides a geographical marker identifying New York as the setting for the film ?informs the audience of the nature of the conflict within the film ?represents the tone of the film as being ominous ?is used as it is assumed the audience is familiar with the series of films ?connotes sunset and reinforces the representation of the film as being dark ?connotes a familiar urban location The Function of the Text Another important way to consider what a text is doing is to work out what it is trying to achieve and to then identify how it is trying to meet its function. Media language choices are always made to attempt to meet the perceived functions of any media text so, the simple answer to the question, Why are the media language choices made this way? is to meet the texts functions. Media texts have many functions. Even something as basic as a shampoo advert is trying to achieve a number of things. To create recognition To make the shampoo appealing to the target audience To create a positive image for the brand To create a unique selling point that makes the brand different to all the other shampoos available To show the actucal benefits of the product To imply benefits that go beyond what the product can actually do To offer the brand as part of a lifestyl Whilst both of these brands offer the same products shampoos and conditioners their media language choices are very different. Each one is attempting to create a specific image for the brand and is trying to meet all the functions above in different ways.This is crucial with an everyday product like shampoo as each brand is competing against the others for customers and each brand offers the same basic benefit clean hair. Back to Spiderman The Functions of the Spiderman 3 poster There are just some of the functions of the Spiderman poster. To encourage existing fans and new audiences to want to see the new film To reinforce the genre of the film To give an indication of the narrative of the new film To create the right audience expectations of the film so audiences are not disappointed To identify the themes of the new film to show how it is different to the previous ones To show how the film is similar to the previous ones http://images.google.co.uk/imgres http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://bp1.blogger.com
  • 4. 4 034. How toApproachAS UnseenAnalysis Media Studies www.curriculum-press.co.uk Activity 4 Complete these sentences: 1. In order to attract existing fans to go to see the film the producers of the poster have. 2. Audiences are aware of the genre of the film because the producers of the poster have 3. The audiences expectations of this film are created by the use of. 4. The themes of the film are identified by the use of 5. The hero and the villain of the film are clearly identified in the poster because the producers have 6. The audience know this is a Hollywood Blockbuster because the poster includes 7. Spiderman is represented as being 8. The audience understand the conflict Spiderman will face in the film because the producers of the poster have All media language choices are made consciously and