Saturday, 31 October 2015


As the extract begins, the first establishing shots are close up panning shots of the Titanic. The camera is facing up to the titanic, making it seem big and powerful. This is supported by the grand orchestral music in the background. Whilst the Titanic is on the left hand side of the frame, there are many poor people looking up at the titanic in the right of the frame. This is a binary opposition of the rich looking down upon the poor. The Titanic is an indexical sign of wealth whereas the dark, small figures represent poverty. The next shot is a close up of a car being lifted onto the Titanic. The car is purple and gold. Purple being an indexical sign of Royalty and Gold is a sign of Wealth. Furthermore, the car is being lifted by poorer people, who are all looking up at it, symbolising that wealthier people are more dominant. To add this, the car is in the centre of the frame, making it seem more important than the people surrounding it. Finally, there is an extreme close up of a young girls face looking up at the Titanic, she is extremely impressed at the ship, connoting she is not used to seeing such wealth. Moreover the girl has many teeth missing which is an obvious sign of poverty.
The next scene starts with a car, once again gold and purple (so the audience know the people inside are rich), pulls up and Rose steps out. The camera is looking down at her which signifies she is important. To support this, as the camera pans down, the music becomes louder and more impressive when her face is revealed. Her face is clean, bright and almost shining. This is a powerful binary opposite to the previous shot of the dirty, messy face of the young girl as it shows the difference between the rich and poor. Rose is also wearing mostly white, which signifies innocence, so the audience immediately take a liking to her. However when Rose sees Titanic she is unimpressed, which is another binary opposition of the young girl, because she was fascinated by it. As Roses fiancé steps out the car, there is an extreme close up of him smiling. He is charismatic and confident as if he is better and more important than the people around him, signifying he is upper class. Additionally he takes out and Gold pocket watch, which is a symbol of wealth. The usher is also told to speak to his servant, which connotes that he is not important enough to waste the man’s time. The usher also speaks to the fiancé as if he is of higher authority, he speaks nervously and quickly whereas the fiancé has better vocabulary and speaks calmly. All the rich families begin to walk to the titanic. They all are wearing bright clothes and elaborate jewellery. Although there are many more poorer people surrounding them, the focus is all of them because of their eye catching clothing, this further shows their dominance over the lower class. Finally, the panning camera shot shows the poorer class getting checked for nits and illnesses. However the rich family are allowed to walk straight through, which signifies that the higher class are more respected and trusted.

The next scene starts with the camera going through a dusty, unclean window into a dark smoky bar. This shows the difference between the world of the rich outside, which is shown as bright, clean and exciting and the world of the poor as dark and gloomy. The window is the separation between those two worlds. On top of this, the Titanic can still be seen through the window, which connotes that it’s something the poorer people are aspiring to. In the bar, a few men are playing cards around the table. A close up of the cards shows that they are tattered and worn. This connotes that they have been used a lot and the men playing with them cannot afford a new set. Moreover the men playing are similar to the cards they are playing with. They look tired and worn out. Further into the scene the camera shows the pile of money being gambled on at the centre of the table, it’s not much. The fact the money is in coins suggests they do not own much money and it’s not a large amount. What’s more the money is silver, which is not as rare or as special as gold. All this connotes the men playing are very poor. This is a complete binary opposite of the earlier scene where the man handed notes of money to the usher as if it was no big deal. This suggests richer people use notes. Furthermore when the men win tickets to the Titanic they are clearly extremely excited, similar to the reaction of the little girl who saw the ship, but very dissimilar to Roses reaction as she has been on many ships before and was unimpressed. This is another binary opposite.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


The RAILING acronym is a very useful way of helping us remember the key concpets we shall explore in Media. Here is a breif overlook:
Representation- how the media is presented or packaged to suit its audience

Audience- Who the media is presented to.

Institution- The people who create the media and manipulate the way its presented to the audience. E.g Disney

Language- Medias connotive meaning through signs,words and sound.

Ideology- The meanings,intentions or ideas expressed through the media

Narrative- The story told through the media.

Genre- The way media is categorised through its characteristics, codes and conventions.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Semiotics In More Detail

The study of 'Semiotics' is a crucial part to our development in media. It gives us a firm foundation onto which we will be able to develop a more structured and confident understanding of media peices. These peices have their own language which is expressed through many different things like audio and visuals. These are called codes. To comprehend these codes we need to get to grips with a range of key concepts and ideas. I briefly spoke about the importance of the anagram 'RAILING' in my previous blog post. The anagram helps us remember and identify all the key concepts we will learn throughout the course.

The defintion of semiotics is the study of signs,symbols and signification.However to understand this definition we need to know what a sign consists of. In media, There are many different signs and meanings from them. Here are the basic definitions:
Sign- The smallest unit of meaning. Anything that can be used to communicate.
Signifier- Any material thing that signifies, e.g words on a page, facial expression, an image.
Signified- The concept that a signifier refers to.
This may seem complicated but a simple diagram definitely helped my understanding.

So in this diagram, the word 'tree' is the signifier and the image of a tree is the signified. This means that when we see the word tree, we picture a tree in my head.

In semiotics, we catergorise signs into three types:

An iconic sign is a sign where the signifier resembles the signified,like the above picture resembles a tree.
An iconic sign is a sign where the signifier is caused by the signified for example, smoke signifies fire.
A symbolic sign is an arbitary sign, where the relation between signifier and signified is purely conventional and culturally specific, eg most words.

Friday, 9 October 2015

The Comedy Genre

uComedy is a film, play, or television programme intended to make an audience laugh.
uThere are many sub genres of comedy and each has its own characteristics and humour
uComedy can also link into completely different genres. For instance animation, family and even action movies sometimes contain elements of comedy throughout the films.

uComedy is one of the most popular genres in the world because it has a positive effect on its audience. Its relaxing, enjoyable and entertaining.

uAs said before, comedy has many sub genres, here are some of the most popular:
uRomantic comedy (rom com) ex. Love Actually
uMockumentary- ex. Borat
uParody- ex. Disaster Movie
uSpoof- ex. Tropic Thunder
uFamily Comedies- ex. ELF
uThere are also some less know genres like slapstick, School, Dark humour and comedy thrillers.
There is certainly a sub genre suited for everyone.

u1. ANCHORMAN- Stars Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd. About a news anchor trying to hit the big time. Hillarious and Ridiculous
u2. Hot Fuzz- Starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. A top police officer moves to the countryside and discovers his village is full of maniacs.
u3. Airplane. Real slapstick comedy, one of the most famous comedy films. Full of one liners and memorable quotes.
u4. Friends. The most consistently entertaining and enjoyable shows to have been made.
u5. The Office UK- Very unique show but also very well written with one of the best comedy plots I have seen.
How Comedy has Developed
uComedy started off as mainly slapstick in the 1800s. Most of the films were silent so directors relied of physical humour to bring the laughs
uComedy really took of through one of its pioneers; Charlie Chaplin.
uChaplin was born in 1889 and he made his first film in 1914. He self directed and wrote all his pieces and his career lasted over 75 years.
uHe was famous for his unique movements and acrobatics, using his body to create humour. However his humour was also quite natural. He would often wait for the environment around him to present him with an oppurtunity to get people laughing.

uAs we move into the early 1930s, Slapstick was slowly growing out of fashion as new technology meant that films could contain speaking.
uVerbal humour at the time consisted of innuendos, parodies and on screen puns
uOne of the first directors to use verbal humour was William Fields who was born in 1880. His most famous film was little Chikadee.
uComedy duo ‘Laurel and Hardy’ were also very popular at this time. They used more elaborate sets and storylines than previous comedies as well as using a combination of slapstick and verbal humour.
At this point, comedy became darker and somewhat serious in films.
There were more spoofs on real life events and spin offs from other tv shows. The leaders of the genre at this point were a group called Monty Python. One of the most famous actors being John Cleese.
There films were well written and consistently funny. A lot of there comedy was very surreal and did not make sense. Scenes were often not in a logical order.
For instance in one of there most famous films ‘Life of Brian’ which is based in biblical times, a man is randomly captured and sent up into space by aliens. The sheer strangeness makes it humorous. Life of Brian also built up a lot of controversy as it made fun of Jesus’ life and actions. For instance as Jesus is carrying the cross up the hill he asks a random stranger to carry it for him. The film was banned in 12 countries
1990s- present day
uComedies nowadays have big budgets and there are many huge stars coming out of the comedy genre.
uOne of the most popular comedy sub genres at the moment is Romantic Comedy. This is because people can relate to the situations they see on screen but unlike other sub genres, Rom Coms can have a deeper meaning to them.
uOne of the most famous being ‘love actually’ its all star cast and uniquely heart-warming story led it to be one of the highest grossing British films ever.
uSome of the biggest actors around today are comedians: Will Ferrell, Jim Carey, Kevin Hart and Jonah Hill