Friday, 25 September 2015

What I Have Learned In Media So Far

So far in media I have learnt many interesting, insightful and somewhat eye opening pieces of information. Most of the things we have looked at are new to me but I am already intrigued by some of the concepts we have discussed. One thing I have already picked up on is that Media makes you question a lot of things.

 We have started looking at semiotics and semiology which is the study of signs symbols and signification. However so far we have focused on learning not to state the obvious and look more deeply at certain things. For instance we have been shown many different pictures and been asked to say what we see. Most of the time the answer seems obvious but we are quickly shown that it is not. One thing we have looked at in more detail is a picture of a pipe, which is in fact not a pipe. Mr Ford has used this to demonstrate that just because we see it on a screen does not mean it’s real. We have also discussed the hypothesis that we, as a society are completely controlled by the media. We are told what to wear eat and even what to think. However there is also an argument that we have become so accustomed to the media (tertiary) that we do not take notice of it anymore and have almost become out of its manipulative grasp. Personally I believe that media definitely influences our decisions but does not control them. We have also learnt a very important anagram that will help us throughout our media course:
Representation
Audience
Institution
Language
Ideology
Narrative
Genre

These are the main concepts and ideas we will talk about in media. Genre has been identified as the most important one. This links into my first few weeks learning about the coursework side of the course in Miss Piggott’s lessons.  We have discussed the importance of genre and the characteristics that come with it. Genre is useful because it categorises films so people know what they are going to see and if they will like it or not. For instance little children are unlikely to want to see a romantic comedy but more likely a family film instead. Genre will help them know what they want to go and see.

People know what genre a film is by the way it is advertised and marketed. For example the film ‘inside out’ could sound like a horror movie if interpreted in a certain way but its film cover and adverts clearly show it’s a family film. However having Genres can also cause problems. If a film is over advertised or ‘over hyped’ audiences come in expecting  a lot and can be let down, sometimes because it does not feel like it’s been advertised as the genre it actually seems like. An example of this would be ‘the Purge’. The trailers and advertisements made it seem like it was going to be one of the films of the year, a must see. However in the end the film lacked a good storyline possibly due to its low budget. This led to audiences across the globe being very disappointed. An example of a film that was well marketed and lived up to its expectations was The Imitation Game. Its trailers were clear and enticing so people knew what they were going to see and it was also obvious it was a Drama. The film ended up winning many Oscars and Baftas as well as being the most successful film of the year, making a huge $157 million in profit. This could also be due to the fact that the lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch has a huge fan base who would watch the film purely because he features in it. Moreover the Drama genre is a genre that is enjoyed by most audiences, making the film appealing to a wide range of people.
So in short, Genre is crucial to the world of film and television, but sometimes people are deceived by the marketing of a film and expect too much of the movies they are seeing.


As well as talking about Genre in Miss Piggots lessons, we have also looked at what we need to do as part of our Media Course. We first learned that 50% of the course is taken up by coursework. This is split into two sections, the first of which is creating a title sequence for a film in a group. Each group member has been given a certain role. The choices were Director, Producer, DOP or Editor. Each role requires different jobs and tasks. For instance the director should be demanding and creative. I have been chosen as the editor in my group meaning I have to put the title sequence together in post-production and think about how I want it to look. I am happy I have been given this role as I have been editing videos for 2 years now so have a good understanding of different techniques I need to use and the software ‘Premiere Pro’ is something I am familiar with. However I will also learn more advanced skills throughout the year and achieve some personal development whilst working on this exciting project and sharing ideas in a group.
Overall I am excited about the next year in media and what I can achieve personally and in a group. Furthermore I look forward to learning more about the film and television industry as well as getting a better understanding of how media affects our culture.