Thursday, 6 February 2014

Peaky Blinders: Audience Targeting

Peaky Blinders is a crime drama created by Steven Knight set in Birmingham in 1919, based around a group of former World War 1 soldiers who return home and form a criminal gang.

It uses many different methods and features in order to target and attract its desired audience, mixing niche and mainstream conventions in order to do so effectively.

To begin with, the series is aired on BBC Two, a channel renowned for its highly praised and prestigious "high brow" dramas, giving Peaky Blinders the desired reputation before it has even been aired. By successfully placing the series on this channel, it demonstrates and suggests to BBC Two's audience that this new drama is highly stylised and intellectually and culturally rich, appealing to their viewers.

Whilst being a low budget show, a large element of the text includes exquisite cinematography in order to attract the active audience desired. An example of this can clearly be seen in the fight scene close to the start of episode two, between the Shelby Brothers and the Gypsies they were doing business with. The scene has been edited to be shown in slow-motion, not just to allow the understand to the action, but also to exhibit the technique and stylistic elements of that scene, namely the cinematographic elements. The way the scene has been filmed not only shows definition but also gives an element of beauty to the fight scene.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Lost: Target Audience

Lost is a television series from 2004, directed by J.J.Abrams, that was produced by ABC. The show attracts a wide, mainstream audience and as such has been coded to be inclusive for active and passive audiences.
One of the conventions of the show that is used to attract mainstream audiences is the hybrid genre that is expressed. The narrative features conventions of the action genre specifically through the use of fast pace cuts, an example of which can be seen during the scene where the hiking group are being chased by the 'unknown bear'. Other action genre conventions that are used are aspects such as the special effects, those in Kate's flashback where the back of the plane becomes detached from the main section. There is also the increase in tension in certain scenes, such as that shown in the argument between Sayid and Sawyer on the hiking expedition, as well as multiple enigma codes an example of which being the mystery of the unknown prisoner due to the discovery of handcuffs. Whilst the text effectively includes these action conventions, it also features many other conventions that fall into the fantasy genre. These include the undertaking of a quest as the hiking group embark on a trek to find signal for the radio transmitter and the supernatural phenomena used as a primary element, like the issue of a polar bear being on a tropical island. The amalgamation of these conventions, along with others, leads to a mix of genres and therefore attracts a wider audience as it appeals to many people with different interests who search for different gratifications. This therefore allows the show's hybridity to count towards its success as a mainstream programme.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Social-Realism in Fish Tank

FishTank is typical of its social-realism genre due to the character roles, narrative themes, technical conventions and mise-en-scene and iconography it uses. These all work together in order to create emotions and communicate the narrative of the text.

One of the typical character roles it fills is that of the non-nuclear, dysfunctional family. This is evident in the four-minute clip that we viewed that clearly portrays the cold and unhappy relationship that Mia and her mother have. In the scene where they dance, just before Mia leaves, she goes into their living room to say goodbye to her family. However, rather than the expected hugs, kisses and good wishes for the future that the audience were hoping Mia would get, her mother is quite harsh and short with her, asking her "what she's waiting for" and then continues to tell her to "fuck off". This displays the lack of emotion she feels towards her daughter, and the fact that she's leaving, and draws more attention to the broken relationship between Mia and her mother. 

Another way it conforms to the social-realism genre is through the narrative themes that it employs and explores. The text runs at a slow pace, taking time and expanding shots longer than typical mainstream films in order to present the idea that the film is more realistic. Evidence of this is in the scene where Mia, her mother, and her younger sister dance to a song on the stereo. While this scene shows the only moment in the text where Mia's family seems to function without any male involvement, the dance starts to become repetitive, as the text isn't cut where the audience expects it to be and therefore seems to last for a long time. This is relative to real-life as the dance and movements they do are allowed to take their full time, rather than being cut short, and giving another depth of realism to the text.

FishTank also uses a number of technical conventions that allow it to fall into the social-realism genre well. One of the techniques it uses is showing action and movements from Mia's perspective. For example, when Mia is leaving in the car, she turns her head to look of the rear-window and the shot cuts to show Tyler, her younger sister, running behind the car and then waving to say goodbye. It puts the audience in the eyes of the main protagonist and allows them to take on her emotion. 

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Research Investigation: Ideologies

"a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy; the set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual"

Both gender ideology and gender role ideology refer to attitudes regarding the appropriate roles, rights, and responsibilities of women and men in society. The concept can reflect these attitudes generally or in a specific domain, such as an economic, familial, legal, political, and/or social domain. Most gender ideology constructs are unidimensional and range from traditional, conservative, or anti-feminist to egalitarian, liberal, or feminist. Traditional gender ideologies emphasize the value of distinctive roles for women and men. According to a traditional gender ideology about the family, for example, men fulfill their family roles through instrumental, breadwinning activities and women fulfill their roles through nurturant, homemaker, and parenting activities. Egalitarian ideologies regarding the family, by contrast, endorse and value men's and women's equal and shared breadwinning and nurturant family roles. Gender ideology also sometimes refers to widespread societal beliefs that legitimate gender inequality. For example, Lorber (1994 : 30) defines gender ideology as “the justification of gender statuses, particularly, their differential evaluation. The dominant ideology tends to suppress criticism by making these evaluations seem natural.”

...application to Iron Man 3
  • conforms to ideology and traditional belief of women being wives and spouses first
  • needed a man to provide protection
  • Pepper is CEO, shattering male breadwinner belief
  • however, Stark is main breadwinner and brings the most income, most desirable due to his skill
...application to The Hunger Games
  • repels ideology of women homemakers
  • Katniss is responsible for her family, and is the main breadwinner
  • takes the head-of-the-house role and protects and provides for her family
  • doesn't need a man to provide protection, skilled in archery

Research Investigation: 'Iron Man 3' Film Poster

May 2013

Research Investigation: The Hunger Games Film Poster

March 2012

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Sin City: How typical of their genre(s) are your chosen texts?

Sin City is classified as a hybrid genre as it has a mixture of comic book and film noir conventions. The film is very typical of its genres due to the techniques and conventions it uses.
One of these relates to the characters within the film. In a film noir genre, a common protagonist tends to be male and normally has a health condition that maims them in some way and makes them seem less of a hero character, such as a mental condition or physical trait. In Sin City, this is applied and used with the main protagonists of the piece as each one seems to have a condition, e.g John Hartigan has angina and Marv has scars and cuts from fighting. These conditions push the protagonists to do some good, as they treat themselves like less of a person because of them, regularly insulting themselves in dialogue throughout the film, for example when John Hartigan is going to save Nancy when she's a child, one of the lines of dialogue he says is "prove you're not completely useless Old Man". This is a common trait in the film noir genre, and this film is no exception.

Another way that Sin City is typical of its genres is the fighting scenes it includes, which are typical of a comic book film because of their unrealistic appeal. In one scene where John is saving young Nancy and first goes to enter the place where she is, he completely breaks down the door with one arm and is shot around 10 times with a gun in vital places but still continues on. This is typical of a comic book genre film as the hero tends to be seen as almost invincible in most and isn't affected by "simple" injuries such as gun shot wounds or otherwise.